Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Hurt, Founder of Integrative Studio, located in Delmar, NY, USA.

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

Integrative Studio offers personal development and communication coaching to groups and individuals to help them identify and overcome obstacles holding them back so they can be clear, productive, and influential in their work and lives. Our clients are professionals who regard service as leadership and genuinely want to make an impact. Our clients do the self-study required to be honest about what's holding them back so they can develop better practices and become their best.

Tell us about yourself

I was the nice girl you knew growing up who stayed on the fringes of social circles, barely spoke up, and wanted nothing more than to have the courage to stand in the center of the room to voice her mind and heart. I became a theatre artist to find myself. I found my voice when I learned embodied voice and speech work and, eventually, became a certified trainer. I started Integrative Studio to teach tools that energetically saved my life, from one in which I'd be wallpaper taking in the world to one in which I influence others to live their best lives based on how they choose to show up. I call on a myriad of tools to help my clients identify inner roadblocks so they can be free from the inner critic and imposter syndrome and finally be who they know they are meant to be. I offer coaching services on communication enhancement, optimizing mindset based on the given circumstances of one's life, and personal development via voice, speech, and movement.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishments come in the significant changes that happen in my clients' lives. For example, the financial executive who stopped decades of alcoholism once she realized an organic and sustainable way to manage her anxiety and be herself around others; the car accident victim who spent hundreds of dollars in co-payments to medical professionals to help his leg feel normal, yet felt like his old self again after a 60-minute intelligently-sequenced yoga practice with me in which he developed curiosity on his movement patterns; the architect who was barked over by her male colleagues in the boardroom who developed her vocal tone to speak clearly and directly and hold her own in group meetings; the executive who was told by her male superior that her voice was irritating and worked with me to develop her vocal power without shouting to defend her right to raise her son in her divorce and custody trials-- she won her case! These and dozens of other stories assure me that my business offers a lot of good in the world.

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

It's a crowded market out there, and social media marketing can feel overwhelming, especially when the technologies change so frequently. Thankfully, I get a lot of referrals from clients, so I tend to use social media platforms as a means to help people who may not have the financial means to afford coaching services. My YouTube channel, for example, offers core teachings and practices every week. You can find it via this link:

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

  1. Be very clear on WHY you want to be a business owner, and use this to find your core values.
  2. Keep up your spiritual, physical, and emotional health practices so you keep grounded.
  3. Stick with it. It's an endurance race and not a sprint. Enjoy every single person you meet. They all have something special to bring to the world. They can teach you as much as you can offer them.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Always stay humble to learn from others. Read the business books. Take the online group programs to learn new skills. Find a mentor. We evolve every day, and your business should grow with your ever-changing mindset.

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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