Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Doug Sands, founder of Anywhere Hypnosis, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is an online hypnosis practice that helps people work through weight loss, body image issues, and even disordered eating. I specialized in this type of hypnosis because it was part of my own journey. I struggled with weight for years, and even after losing weight, I still had a terrible relationship with food. I'd gone from letting food control me to obsessively controlling food instead. Neither was healthy, as I still didn't have that good relationship with food. I had to deal with the root emotions behind it, and hypnosis was one of the main ways I overcame the issue.
My clients range across the board. Many are women, though I work with all genders. My weight loss clients are often in their 30's, 40's, and even 50's. They may have struggled with their weight for decades and are now looking for healthier habits as they move to the next phase of their life. My body image, body dysmorphia, and disordered eating clients are often a younger crowd. Usually, they're in their 20's or early 30's. They're the generation who have been bombarded with negative social media standards all their lives.
Tell us about yourself
What got me started in Hypnosis? Nearly freezing to death.
I'd been dealing with anxiety and depression for several years, battling my emotions as well as the weight and unhealthy eating patterns that developed from it. I'd been using food to push away my emotions. That all changed one January morning when I went for a winter hike in New Hampshire. I got lost coming down the mountain, and ended up bushwhacking for hours following a stream. Night fell, and I realized I was totally alone. I was so far off-trail that no one was going to save me in time. I had to get myself out of it or freeze to death.
I managed to make it out - exhausted and mentally drained. I thought I'd go back to life as normal, but I'd been so shaken that I couldn't keep shoving down my emotions.
I first found meditation (which, growing up in the rural US, was very radical for me). Then, I discovered hypnosis. I used hypnosis to deal with the underlying root causes of my emotional eating.
I had so much success that I started learning hypnosis as a passion project. Eventually - after helping friends and family through so many issues - I opened an official practice.
What motivates me each day is that my clients are struggling with the same exact issues I faced in my own life. I know the actual struggles they're going through, and I know how painful those emotions can be. That's really what drives me: to keep reaching more people, to help those I can reach, and to ease some of that pain for others.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
For me, it's not about launching a podcast, or having a viral TikTok account, or getting on the Today show. It's about the number of people I've been able to help through these issues. At the end of the day, outside accolades are nice, and they look pretty on a resume. But what got me through the grind of building this business - and ultimately, what fuels my growth as a business - is being able to help more and more people worldwide each year through these specific issues.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
No one tells you how long you'll have to beat your head against the wall to reach success. So many young entrepreneurs think success will come in 60 days. I know I did. In reality, it took over two years of a daily grind to gain traction as a business.
And I wouldn't trade that. Yes, it would have been MUCH more pleasant to nail it on the first try. But through those years, my business (and my personal approach) has changed and shifted so dramatically. It matured my practice, and it helped me find a type of work that actually inspires me day-to-day.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find something that lights you up. Not your passion, exactly - doing your favorite hobby as a career is a great way to ruin your favorite pastime. Instead, do something you LIKE. You need to enjoy it enough that you'll keep doing it even in the face of all odds.
- Know that it's hard work, but it's also extremely rewarding. I've never felt as accomplished as when my business finally took off.
- This journey will shape you. It'll force you to confront some things about yourself you'd rather not deal with. It'll change the way you look at the world. Be willing to change. Be open to it. The hardships aren't there to punish you - they're there to help you grow.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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