Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Steve Beattie, Owner of Breathing In Nature, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business, Breathing In Nature, is a place for people to find their own unique path to healing. No matter what your pain is – physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual – discovering and understanding the what and the why and then taking action and creating healthy habits is how we heal. Along with my partner Nici, we offer breathwork, Fascial Stretch Therapy, Thai Yoga Massage, Yoga classes, the Wim Hof method, guided wilderness trips, and guided transformational journeys. Our clients are most often people who have tried traditional western healing modalities and did not find answers and relief. They are individuals, groups, and often companies and organizations who want private events or unique combinations of our services.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a perfect example of the 'wounded healer.' For years I suffered from chronic pain due to a runaway inflammation disorder. I worked in the health and wellness industry as a Fascial Stretch Therapist and a teacher, but I never tried to understand my own pain. Until it was too late, and I found myself in a hospital bed in my early 40's, about to become a statistic. This health crisis led me to my path of healing, starting with the Wim Hof method. Previous to my work in health and wellness, I was a wilderness guide. I put the two together and decided to guide others on their path to healing.
I truly believe this is a calling. I love helping people. I also have always been called to entrepreneurship. I've had many businesses before and have always worked as an independent contractor. But I never felt any real passion for the work I was doing. Back then, I was just chasing the contracts to pay the bills.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The Gift Economy. Right away, I realized that those who need healing the most are likely not able to access it, financially and otherwise. I decided to offer my services on a "give what you can" or sliding scale basis. During these troubled times, it is important for me to continue working with people who are going through a lot of stress and anxiety and carry the heavy burden of past and present traumas. But many are unable to pay for memberships, events, or one-on-one work. The Gift Economy doesn't just mean monetary, but also other skill exchange. For example, my Breathing in Nature logo was a gift from a former client who happened to be a visual designer. Healing is for everyone, not just those who can afford it.
My partner Nici studied social work, and it's very important for both of us to collaborate with non-profit organizations to bring these healing modalities to the greater community. The great thing is that most of the skills we teach are available to people for free once they know what to do, e.g., the breath and the cold water. We want people to understand that, in the end, we all are our own healers and that we can practice these modalities without constant outside intervention.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Wearing so many hats at once. I am a healer, a guide, and a teacher, but I'm also a web developer, bookkeeper, and sales rep. One of my least favorite parts is keeping up with all the social media work necessary to promote our services. Your weaknesses are quickly revealed when you own a business. It's important to know when to ask and invest in help.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- It's not about making the big bucks. Have you found your purpose and passion? If so, never give up. It will get hard. You will most likely run out of money over and over again. You will make lots of mistakes. You will doubt yourself. If this is your purpose, then you have something to share with the world. When you share your energy with the world unconditionally, the world will share back.
- Fire yourself. Make a list of the things you hate about your work. Find a way to invest in outsourcing that task ASAP. It's not just the time that you have to put into it but also the drain of mental and emotional energy that comes with doing something you hate. When you remove these tedious aspects from your life, you will be able to create so much more.
- Find mentors. It helps a lot to have a person or a group to share your ideas with. AND DO TAKE THE ADVICE! You may have a big-picture vision, but the minutiae of business can be overwhelming. I wouldn't be here without my group of entrepreneurs saying, "How about this?" or "How about that way instead?" The flip side of this is to dump the naysayers from your life. People will drag you down and say you can't without any practical or helpful feedback.
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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