Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kathleen Prasad, Founder of Animal Reiki Source, located in San Rafael, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We offer online and on-location immersive courses in the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki. We welcome animal lovers from all backgrounds to learn not only a unique, animal-guided approach to Reiki for animals but also to be guided towards deepening and balancing the human/animal bond. By learning this proprietary method of energy healing, people can help animals by transforming their stress and discomfort into peace and well-being. Meditating with animals opens the door to the vast healing power of mindful, compassionate presence.
Tell us about yourself
In 1998, I was a middle school teacher and animal lover who volunteered to walk dogs at a local shelter. I'd grown up having panic attacks and severe anxiety, so I really related to the stress experienced by the shelter animals I spent time with. My mother-in-law recommended I try a Reiki session for myself, and I felt so calm and relaxed that I knew I had to find out more!
As soon as possible, I trained in the basics of Reiki, and I saw great benefits for myself in anxiety reduction. I began sharing it with the dogs at the shelter. I got such amazing relaxation responses, even with the most stressed-out dogs. I wanted to learn more, and eventually, over three years time, I did advanced teacher training in Reiki in 2001, retired from teaching, and focused full-time on my Animal Reiki business starting in 2004.
I quickly realized my favorite clients were animals, and I found myself teaching staff in some awesome places, such as Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Elephant Sanctuary. The amazing people who work with animals in service capacities and on the frontlines of animal rescue, along with the brave, resilient, and wonderful animals in their care, are truly my heroes. They motivate me to travel around the world to teach people ways to manage stress, prevent compassion fatigue and deepen their bond of compassion with all animals.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is my passion project: my nonprofit, SARA (Shelter Animal Reiki Association.) First started in 2008, SARA now has a worldwide network of hundreds of shelter organizations and practitioners/teachers who effectively use our methods to comfort and stress-relief animals in shelters, sanctuaries, and rescue centers. As a group, SARA consistently donates over 3,500 hours per year in volunteer time and classes.
Our techniques differ from other healing modalities because we allow the animals to guide the process. We don’t control or dictate what’s happening, thereby empowering the animal, sometimes for the first time in their lives, which creates the foundation for a happier, more confident future.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, given my niche area of expertise, the biggest challenge has always been messaging. In plain and practical terms, what is the best way to explain to the average person what Animal Reiki is, why they might want to learn it, and how it can improve the lives of animals. I would say my answer evolves over time and with more experience, and I always try to consider my audience when I speak about it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The first two important tips are that it's all about relationships and service to your community! Build strong, trusting relationships with every client you meet, and find a way for your business to serve those most needy in your community. Third, plant seeds of information and possibilities, but then let them go with love. We don't need to chase after skeptics; we're all on our own journeys.
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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