Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chelsie Graybill, Owner of Art of Empowerment, LLC., located in Broomfield, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I run my own coaching/art therapy business. My clients range in age from mid-20s to mid-50s. We work on major life transitions, spiritual growth, queer identity, anxiety, and relationships.
Tell us about yourself
I remember being as young as 10 years old and having classmates I didn't particularly know very well come up to me for advice. I thought it was a bit odd, but I realized I loved helping people in that capacity. I also always loved art and was in painting classes most of my childhood. When I was 15, a friend's mom said, "Have you ever thought about art therapy?" I had never heard of it, but I looked it up and then and there and knew that's what I wanted to be.
When I graduated with my Masters degree in art therapy in 2015, I fell into working for a life coach through happenstance. He trained me in the differences between coaching and art therapy. Over time, I naturally started melding the two as I worked with clients. The practical, results-driven approach of coaching combined with the transpersonal, raw, and opening approach of art therapy proved to be a hit.
I left the company I was at to start my own business in 2018. My motivation today comes from the work I did in the past. Having past clients of mine reach out to let me know how well they are doing, or seeing the progress in current longer-term clients, is all I need to keep moving forward.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is the first client-to-client referral I got. Therapy is naturally a pretty personal thing, so if a client likes me enough to refer me to a friend? I know my business can succeed.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Advertising and networking. As a therapist, I can't really advertise in the traditional sense. Again, therapy is a very personal choice, and finding the right therapist can take a lot of work. The process, in its entirety, is most successful through referrals. Think of it this way- would you rather go to a therapist you saw an ad for or someone your friend sees and thinks would be a great fit for you too? I'm quite introverted, so networking events are challenging. I still go and put myself out there, but it's definitely the hardest part of growing my business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Understand taxes/get an accountant.
- Use contracts and/or have all your paperwork set up and ready to go.
- Use the resources already at your disposal. Reach out to your network- your friends, classmates, and family. Start wherever you can.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
It's been a bumpy road, getting this business off the ground (covid and having a baby in May 2020 didn't help!) There are still a lot of challenges, and yet it is absolutely worth it.
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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