Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Mary Galloway, Founder of iliosHM, located in Stone Mountain, USA.

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

Hello! I’m Dr. Mary, and my business is iliosHM - which stands for “sun” Humane Management. It’s a trademarked approach to management. My tagline is “Be, Produce, Relate.” The aim of my approach to education is for us all to Be our best selves, Produce our best work, and Relate most effectively to others - improving our well-being. I am an I/O (work) Psychologist and the first to combine Jointly Accredited Education and Music!

My approach is a melding of research-backed education and music and has been accredited by the University of Virginia School of Medicine and School of Nursing for the course “Compassion Fatigue: Prevention and Recovery with Jonathan Roy.” Even though the course awards Physicians, Nurses, Psychologists, and Social Workers with continuing education credits for completing it, it is designed to be valuable for anyone - especially caregivers, rescuers, healers, and those who work and volunteer in helping professions. I have written another research-based course on Courage, and I look forward to releasing my courses on Humane Management in 2023!

Tell us about yourself

I battle some rare illnesses. And it was one winter night, at the height of one of those long and tedious battles, that I questioned if I could beat these illnesses that were plaguing me. I remember feeling hopeless and lost, and then a song played while I still had another 200 miles to drive home. Through lots of tears and the voice of someone singing about hopelessness, I found courage. I found the “sun.” That experience illuminated the idea of ilios. The course on compassion fatigue and the course on courage came to me over the next couple of weeks. I reached out to that artist I heard singing that night, Jonathan Roy, and within a year, I had made history!

Knowing I can provide hope for someone else is so inspiring. I felt hopeless facing these diagnoses. Years of medication, procedures… and few answers. Even with a phenomenal support system, I needed my own hope.

When I start to feel myself wane these days, I am reminded that my work, whether through a talk that I give, a workshop I facilitate, or a course I have developed, I can bring someone else that strength that I found through music and education – and that is what motivates me to continue pursuing this work!

After all these years of study (I have degrees in education, psychology, forensic psychology, and I/O psychology), I never thought it would be finding the connection between Art and Education that would help me thrive as a person.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Thus far, it has been gaining Joint Accreditation through the University of Virginia School of Medicine and School of Nursing for my Compassion Fatigue course and partnering with a recording artist. This is no small feat. Many people offer courses, but this level of accreditation is quite significant. Also, getting an artist to see your mission to help people who are hurting or who are at risk of being hurt by compassion fatigue is beautiful. But Jonathan Roy wasn’t hard to convince. He was right on board and so encouraging! He is so kind, and his music already addresses topics of wellness and hope.

I accomplished all of this during one of the most intense years of my life while being diagnosed and treated out of state. I traveled approximately 5,000 miles for medical care, I worked, started my business, and raised a family. This experience fueled the content for my courses on Courage and Compassion Fatigue. I lived both and witnessed both. I had conversations with strangers who became friends, and I learned from people in restaurants, hospitals, and folks sitting on beaches and some taking breaks at parks and in coffee shops. I listened to the hurt and the healed. And in doing so, I learned to listen better to myself. This propelled me forward to accreditation for that course. I plan on accrediting and partnering with artists on all my courses in the future!

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

For me, it’s being consistent. There are many days when I just want to lie down and not write. And some days, I don’t feel well, and I do lie down. But I get so far behind. Consistency is key. I have found that getting an accountability partner has been helpful to my process, even if I check in with this person once a week.

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

  1. You are going to mess up, so you need to accept it. I had to learn that I am going to make mistakes and I am not going to perfect it all. Perfection defeats excellence. When I learned to strive for excellence, I got a lot more done, and I stopped getting in my own way.
  2. Don’t get obsessed with self-improvement. This may sound counter-productive, but it isn’t. If we become obsessed with the idea that we must be ever-improving, we leave no room for wellness. I have found that wellness comes when we live in the present. If we are always striving for “better,” we miss the times when we are at our best.
  3. Take time to rest. Seriously. Rest looks different for everyone, so give yourself space to figure out what your “rest” is. My rest is reading research articles and then thinking about them before taking a quick nap. For someone else, rest may be folding the laundry. For another, it could be a slow walk around the lake. For another, it may be dancing. What recharges you? Find it and do it intentionally.

Where can people find you and your business?


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