Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nancy Whitman, Founder of Balanced Health Yoga Therapy, located in Arden, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am Nancy Whitman, a certified yoga therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT). My company is Balanced Health Yoga Therapy. I help women over 50 improve their health and well-being so they can age gracefully and comfortably and live their best life physically, mentally, and spiritually. We do this work together by:
• Reviewing an intake and initial assessment
• Developing a plan for her to work on based on her individual needs and goals
• Honoring the time she has to spend working on her plan each week
• Following through by keeping the practices that work and removing the ones that don’t
We use contemporary health and wellness strategies as well as the teachings and practices of yoga. No experience is necessary. This process is done virtually at agreed-upon times according to the client’s schedule. I suggest taking advantage of a free 30-minute consulting call to ensure that we’re a good fit to work together. Yoga therapy also works with small groups of like-minded people.
Tell us about yourself
I taught middle school for many years and worked part-time as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. Yoga slowly made its way into the Midwest, where I taught the practice of fitness and stretching. It didn’t take long to realize there was much more depth to yoga practice in mind, body, and spirit. I experienced the benefits of reduced stress, improved movement, balance, and flexibility, and being able to take a breath (a pause) before reacting to something. I knew in my being that yoga was the “right thing to do.” Yoga came to me later in life. I wish I had known about it in my 20s.
Over the next couple of years, I took yoga training and taught many classes and private clients. This was before the pandemic, and my time was spent going from facility to client homes and back again. I started my yoga therapy training in person, and when the pandemic hit, my training was taken online via Zoom. I am very thankful that Inner Peace Yoga Therapy, my training program, was so willing to move to an online venue.
One good outcome of the isolation is that people who normally wouldn’t go online did. And many found that online interaction was useful and convenient. Going online helped people that weren’t able to attend in-person practices. People from all over the country are able to benefit from yoga therapy. I formed virtual classes and client sessions. It also helped us keep a sense of community. I write a weekly newsletter to my email list, which helps with connection too.
I’m right in there aging like everyone else, and we want to do it gracefully as unexpected things come up. I don’t think we just wake up one day and say – “Okay, today is the day I’m going to start aging.” We don’t have to stop moving and grow old. Getting older is part of a celebration of life.
I am motivated each day to do what I do because I can see that yoga therapy practices work and progress is made with clients. I am helpful and useful and listen well. Sometimes just being heard is what someone needs. Clients are appreciative when they notice their health and well-being move forward or when they know strategies to follow if a mind/body/spirit trigger comes up for them. I meet a client where she’s at, and we add to what’s in place today.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest business accomplishment is getting all the platforms in place to logistically run my business, such as the scheduling and payment systems. Figuring out how to teach, train, and video online was necessary. I just started even though things weren’t perfect.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
From my perspective, the hardest thing that comes from being a business owner is the marketing, technology, and social media tasks because my business is in serving people, which is different from running a business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know who you are selling to – your target market.
- Confirm that what you have to sell is something they actually want.
- Be flexible. Some things aren’t exactly as you expect and don’t happen in the timeframe you think they will.
- Just start.
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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