Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Angela Wetzel, Founder of Epic Initiator Coaching, located in Houston, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I offer trauma-informed relationship coaching with a focus on healing attachment styles (just think of how you feel being too close to others or too far away and the quality of your relationship bonds) and unconscious blocks to satisfying relationships. My clients are often successful in most life areas and come to me for help with navigating their personal, romantic, and business relationships, so they feel easy, energizing, and enriched.
Tell us about yourself
I honestly never planned on being a relationship coach. I had always been an actor and writer, but life led me to join the Army and become a Korean Linguist in pursuit of international business because I'd viewed acting as a hobby or luxury (plus, I took my father very seriously when he told me to get a "real job"), but when I got out of the Army, I went right back to acting it's where my heart truly was. I decided to try to balance my acting career with being in corporate. Then, a series of unpleasant and major life events happened, and I realized I wasn't happy. My marriage was crumbling; I'd gotten Lyme disease, among several other not-so-great things. I was offered a promotion, but I'd reached the top of that business ladder and felt empty, so I walked away from everything and decided to pursue my dream of acting as my main passion. It was both a terrifying and exciting decision. My Lyme disease diagnosis made me realize I could easily die without ever doing what I really wanted to do.
So, I moved to New York City, auditioned, and got into the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and there, in my studio training at the Atlantic Acting School, I really felt like all of my dreams were coming true. Through my studio training, I began to have some really big realizations about the way that I saw life through my own distorted perspectives. This caused me to start questioning why I acted the way I did. These experiences were illuminating in that I had encountered some significant trauma that I never dealt with. The biggest shock on top of all of it was that right before I was supposed to graduate, the retina in my left eye partially detached, and I had to have emergency surgery to save my eyesight. That really caused me to reevaluate everything...basically, it led me to committing to following the thread of doing what it took to learn about what was in my own blindspots, to make the unconscious conscious, so to speak, so that it no longer felt like my life was happening to me. My own biggest challenges had been in my romantic relationships, so my own healing journey and curiosity led me to study relationships with many of the industry's top relationships and trauma experts...so it just naturally happened that I started offering advice to others, I began writing about my own experiences and noticed that I had a natural ability to help people see where they had power and choice in their relationships. Learning about how to live my life more fully motivates me each day to keep learning and growing. I love helping my clients step into more joy, more happiness, and more fulfillment as they're able to change their perspectives and take courageous new steps in the direction of their own dreams.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It's one of my values in my business to always look for a win-win and make sure there's reciprocity. Therefore, one of my biggest accomplishments has been to achieve a thriving, consistent, and successful business in both the practical sense but also through the results I help my clients achieve. An awesome client I've been working with for a couple of years is now getting married to someone he considers his soulmate, and to see the happiness on their faces and the amount of love I can see there (I just got the wedding invite the other day) is priceless to me. Knowing that the work I do has a ripple effect and creates more love in the world is one of my biggest accomplishments.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think one of the hardest things can be to have faith that it's going to work out. It can be a challenge to cultivate the kind of faith needed to keep going before you feel like you know what you're doing or before you feel like anything's landing or even happening in your business, but it's necessary to be brave. It's a constant leap into many abysses over and over again, but you have to keep showing up and taking bold actions to get the information you need for the next step. It can often feel like you're going nuts when you level up because it's past what you can see for yourself. There are many things about being a business owner that can feel like a paradox or a catch-22 which is why it's such a wild and crazy ride.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, I'd commend anyone here who does have their own business for having the courage to create something new and put their energy behind it; it's not for the faint of heart. Three things that I think may help someone new to the entrepreneurial game are the following:
- Make sure that your business is a healthy, two-way street, meaning: make sure you know why you're doing this, that it's something that feeds your curiosity and passion because this will be such a huge investment of your life energy and that matters, it matters that you're happy. It matters that your business is somehow serving you with energy and compensation. Then, make sure you're serving people with your passion, that you're offering a service that's authentic and life-changing; it doesn't matter what you do; creating and selling a perfect cup of coffee can be life-changing, but just make sure that what you're doing both feeds your soul and the souls of those you're here to serve.
- Money is not a dirty word. If you put your energy into a business, you deserve to make money that supports you and your loved ones in return. Make sure your business supports you as much as you support it, and don't be afraid to invest in your own support, massive amounts of support.
- Embrace imperfection but remain consistent. There are so many unknowns and so much to figure out; you'll make mistakes, but you'll have some fun too. It's a journey, and you won't know what works, what you don't know, or if what you thought you knew was correct until you do the dang thing...then you'll get your answers and not before. So, keep learning, keep showing up consistently, take imperfection actions, and then refine and pivot. Rinse and repeat. :)
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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