Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carolyn Shannon, Owner of Empowerment Starts Here, located in Niagara Falls, ON, Canada.

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

My business, Empowerment Starts Here, is an umbrella for three small businesses that have all evolved since 1997 into Heart-Centred Empowerment Tools.

Laugh Yourself Healthier helps all participants to get out of their heads and into their hearts while getting fit with laughter and is offered on Zoom 8 times a week.

Venting Creatively (Originally Art from the Heart Adventures) uses FUN colouring techniques and sessions that overall lift you above your emotions to see life "differently," more objectively.

Women of Worth Online Magazine celebrates the WOW of Women, women no longer with us, and the pets people loved. Each story or tribute inspires, heals, or empowers others simply through the reading.

Mostly... my businesses are attended by women: mothers, daughters, 12 up to 65, and seniors up to and over 100 years of age. So inspiring to spend time with these special ladies.

Tell us about yourself

First a hairstylist for 15 years, then a Secondary School teacher for 20; I simply loved to be in customer service. Once I became an educator, I realized I needed my students to be independent of me, rather than dependent, if they were to succeed on their own.

This led to me teaching them stress relievers and coping skills to use while working with difficult clients. In the last ten years, we started using the colouring process I had conceived and developed, which even helped raise their marks by lifting their fears before and after exams. We also practiced many of the techniques in my Lighter Side of Venting Your Anger & Frustrations Away, which many still tell me they still use today.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The biggest hurdle for me was having to wait on and pay to have my websites updated. So I took a college course to learn about HTML coding, and it has been enough to be able to manage and update my own and a couple of others in real-time. Thankfully there are sites like Yola & Bravenet to make this easier to do on your own, as not everyone finds WordPress user-friendly. Lots of tutorials too.

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

Once you learn how to use a reliable business software program or social media tips and tools, they change them. It always seems to be when you are at your busiest with no time to learn something new. While they are improving it in some ways, it is much harder for those not ready to upgrade business tools that have been working seamlessly in the past.

Also, finding a trustworthy assistant who not only gets what you do when it's not the norm. I have always had difficulty delegating if I have to use the extra time to teach someone. However, when I held our Women of Worth 10th Anniversary Event on Zoom, I was able to relax and let others play roles once I had set things up. When it does work, it is wonderful!

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

  1. It's a cliché, but..."Do what you love, and the money will follow." Everything I have ever created out of love has been loved by others. If the business you choose is a labour of love, it will never truly feel like work because it fills a need not only for your clients but also for YOU.
  2. Remember that patience is an action, the hardest one we have to master. I taught myself and my students if something is not working, take a break or change directions because something needs to be tweaked.
  3. Always have a Plan A, B & C. Then go with the one that flows best rather than forcing an outcome that comes with the greatest difficulty. While it's important to have Percy (Perseverance) on your side, you can't fit a square block through a round hole. So if it isn't working with Plan A, be open to trying another plan. Focus on solutions.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I would like to share my NEWEST Zoom Perceptual Vision Heartwork Coloring Sessions that will give you an in-depth look into Yourself through 1 or All 6 Sessions. You can view these and register for the currently scheduled sessions here.

And if you would like to get Your Heart Pumping, Your Lungs Expanding & Your Brain Balanced with a FUN Laughter Fitness Program (30 min or 60 minutes includes Lymph & Laughter drainage) on Zoom, join me. See what's available and register here. The first session is always free, then just $20 for five sessions if you love it as much as we do.

Do YOU have a WOW Gal Story to share, a WOW Gal Angel Tribute, or WOW Pet Tribute to contribute? Find out more info here.

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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