Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Annalise Oatman, Founder of Deeper Well Therapy, located in Newport Beach, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is a private psychotherapy practice focused on providing spiritually oriented-therapy to women who are committed to their creative and erotic flourishing. Right now, it's just me, and I combine EMDR with Shamanic Energy Medicine and strong leanings toward Jungian, somatic, and transpersonal approaches. I also provide Shamanic Energy Medicine sessions by themselves in my separate healing practice. I'm working on a group for my separate healing practice that combines erotic dance (as a means for accessing wisdom, intuition, vulnerability, joy, and aliveness in the body) with poetry as a practice of soul speech. It's meant to be a way to help women access their inner knowing and the power of their embodied souls. I'm also a writer with a book out and an essay published by OUP, and I consider that to be a vital aspect of my lifestyle as a business creator and a creator in general. Being a business owner nurtures my writing life. In many ways, my writing also inadvertently nurtures my business (even without that being its primary motivation).
Tell us about yourself
I knew since I was about 20 that I wanted to own my own business, but I didn't know what kind of business it would be. I also always knew since I was a kid that I wanted to write, but I never knew what I would write about. I had a sort of identity crisis after college and spent a lot of time reading my baby boomer dad's spiritual books from the Sixties and beyond (including Ram Dass, Suzuki Roshi, and others). I came to the conclusion that service is the highest and purest expression of spirituality. So I decided to devote my life to service, one way or another. I had an uncanny spiritual experience around that time and explored books in the metaphysical section of the bookstore to try to understand what I had experienced. I stumbled upon Doreen Virtue and read the bio on the back of one of her books. "A psychologist in private practice who writes books about angels . . . I could get behind that life!" I thought. And off I set on my quest.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has been creating a space where people can begin their journey in therapy completely flattened by depression and can end it glowing, genuinely hopeful, with a very strong sense of who they are, their worth, and what kind of lifestyle they need to have in order to be really well. Every time that happens, it is my biggest accomplishment as a business owner. Also, scoring a praise blurb for my book from Marianne Williamson was a pretty big accomplishment, and hitting #1 bestseller in several categories in my book's first week. I could not have made any of that happen if I did not have the privilege (as a business owner) of total sovereignty over my weekly scheduling priorities.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It's hard to be genuinely busy most of the time and to have people not understand that and assume that, since you work for yourself, your schedule must just be "open," so you must be free to go do something on a Thursday afternoon. In my experience, generally, business owners are even busier than people with regular jobs, but it depends on what stage your business is in and what your current goals are.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Save up at LEAST a couple of months' worth of living expenses. Many people would say six months' worth, though that's not what I had when I started.
- OR if you can't save up at least six months' worth of living expenses, be willing to wake up at 4 am every morning to pick up a few hours of Lyft rides before getting to work on your business for the day if that's what you need to do to make ends meet for a while. In general, be willing to do what it takes. Know that you are absolutely capable.
- Be driven by a mission that touches the very core of who you are as a human being. Without this, you might not feel like getting up at 4 am again.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.