Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Larissa Russell, Founder and Owner of Creative U, located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Creative U work with women who are ready to make a change in their lives. Whether they are just tired of where they are at or have been plunged into a new 'for them' reality. We use creativity as a gentle way to work through traumas, blocks, and those things that hold us back from living our best life. We believe you can draw, write, create, meditate, and work through your spiritual being to heal yourself.

Tell us about yourself

I am absolutely passionate about healing and using creativity to help us move into healing in a gentle way. I have suffered from depression on and off my whole life; about 7(ish) years ago, I went through a near-fatal bout of depression. I was released from the hospital at 1:30 in the morning, and I walked home, about a 45-minute walk, and if I hadn't been so exhausted and knew I could not leave my adult kids without an explanation, I would have taken my life that night. I woke in the morning angry. Angry at the medical system, angry at everyone who didn't see what was going on, and especially angry at myself. And something snapped in me, and I knew that I could not count on anyone but myself.

And I started to create, I started with journaling and then painting through my emotions, and more and more, I added creativity in different levels and different modalities to really dig into what had been causing my depression through the years. When I realized how much it helped, I knew I needed to share it. I have been a creative my whole life, but usually, when I was at my worst was when I would let creativity go. I knew we needed to start just bringing creativity back and making it important. Bit by bit, I have grown to help thousands of women heal and step into their most authentic lives.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is my perseverance. It is tough in the beginning. There is so much to learn and so many hats to wear, and you can't afford help, so you do everything, working ridiculous hours. But, eventually, I learned and realized what is really important and started to turn the business into what I wanted it to be instead of what I thought it should be. That is my biggest accomplishment. Persevering to make the business one I love and have more balance and choices in what I do.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Learning that you can't serve others unless you are happy doing what you are doing. It is not enough to want to help others, you can't work every hour and give everything away, you cannot give from an empty cup. You have to look after yourself, and you have to find the balance between what you love to do and how you love to do it. This is easier said than done, but it is absolutely necessary, or you will burn out, go broke, and give up.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Simple is better. You don't have to do everything. Start with one program, one product, and one thing, and keep launching it until you perfect it. Then you can add something else if you need to.
  2. Don't compare yourself to what others seem to be doing. Compare yourself to the you of yesterday, last week, last month, or last year. That is the only place you want to compare yourself. And as long as you keep moving forward, even if it seems like baby steps, you are heading in the right direction.
  3. Social Media is not showing you the whole picture; it is curating what they want you to see. For every great sales launch, there were a dozen (or more) failed ones. For every perfect photo shoot, there were a hundred horrible ones. For every success shared, there were a thousand frustrations.

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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