Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Angelique Snair, Founder of FemForce Empowerment & Practical Defense, located in Centereach, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I run a business called FemForce Empowerment and Practical Defense. We offer broad-based empowerment training to women and others from all walks of life, focused primarily on physical defense and personal safety. This includes segments on very topical issues like abduction prevention techniques and active shooter crisis training, too.
We’re very aware of the challenges faced by women, minority groups, and the LGBTQ+ community across the country and the fact that we’re living in uncertain times. Realistically, it makes sense to have a few practical skills and strategies at hand to protect yourself and your loved ones. We’re not advocating violence (exactly the opposite, in fact), but we teach essential physical self-defense in addition to a raft of related skills – greater awareness, better self-confidence, methods of controlling fear and responding intelligently in a crisis, a better understanding of the criminal mindset, and life skills that are central to a calmer, more assured, more centered life.
We provide the training through our in-person group workshops in Suffolk, NY, and our ready-to-purchase videos on our website. We’re also exploring the possibility of virtual workshops to reach out to those who would love to attend but can’t get to us. Our customers are primarily women – from young solo travelers to suburban moms. That said, our training and resources are available to everyone, and whoever would like to participate and learn from our training is absolutely welcome.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Angelique Snair, and I’m based in NY. My wonderful husband is my business partner and greatest supporter, and while we’re working on our businesses, we’re also proud (and exhausted) parents. I was raised in an environment where respect and consideration for others were taught as important values. Love and kindness are incredibly important, and I try to model that in my life and my business.
I’m a certified self-defense instructor through Elite Defence Academy International and through the Warrior Women organization, and I’ve been teaching adults and children for several years, both here in the US as well as abroad. I have a passion for empowerment: I can’t stand seeing people marginalized or victimized.
For me, being in business isn’t just a commercial consideration. It’s about making a meaningful, positive difference in the lives of those we encounter and in communities. It’s about having a bigger vision for a safer, kinder world for everybody.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Paradoxically, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner has nothing to do with record attendance or sales figures or overcoming personal challenges. Rather, it has to do with one particular series of workshops I conducted in South Africa a few years ago.
We were providing training for a group of young African women who lived in circumstances that I can only describe as dire. In addition to poverty and lack of opportunity, these girls also have to deal with rampant misogyny and a very high statistical likelihood of becoming victims of sexual assault.
On the day we completed the program, I sat down with a group of these young women, and we shared snacks while we spoke. They simply told me how much of a difference the training had made in their lives, how it had emboldened them and inspired them. They were going to teach these skills to their sisters and friends and families, and they attached a value to what they’d learned that completely changed the way I viewed my calling. That, for me, has been my greatest accomplishment to date – sharing what I have with people who didn’t see it as a ‘program’ but as something they treasured, something they knew had the potential to literally change their lives.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Finding balance. As a full-time mom and entrepreneur, I’m constantly on call. I think patience is really important, and the willingness to accept that things don’t always go the way you want them to – but persevering despite that.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Here are three tips that I’ve found most useful:
- Don’t wait until things are perfect for getting started. Start where you are, with what you have, and by simply taking action, you tend to attract the circumstances and opportunities that will get you to the next signpost on your journey.
- Know your market. There’s a saying: “If everybody is your customer, nobody is your customer” – and it’s true. Figure out who you’re serving and why. Give people a product or service that’s relevant to them and carries value. Be accessible and relatable.
- Simplify everything. As a business grows, complexity sets in. Start with the end in mind and make it simple – for you as well as your audience. More is not always better!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We’ve all seen the PSAs that remind us: “If you see something, say something.” I’d like to encourage everyone reading this: don’t be afraid to speak out. Confront bigotry and cruelty. Speak out, not just for your own rights, but for the rights of others. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated – and even better, if you can. If we all do that, the world will become an immeasurably better place.
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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