Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephanie Shaw, President of Leigh & Ollie, located in Warren, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a health and wellness business that supports mid-life women who want to lose weight and optimize their hormones.
Tell us about yourself
I spent most of my career working for a Fortune 500 and as the founding director of an education non-profit. In 2017 I was on a business trip in New Orleans, and as I stepped foot on Bourbon Street, my jaw became numb, and my heart began to race. Even though I didn't know it, that day launched me into entrepreneurship.
My two-year journey to recovery put me in front of 18 different doctors and no diagnosis. Finally, I decided to learn how naturopaths help their clients, which sparked a light bulb. I knew I wasn't the only woman suffering, so I worked to obtain two holistic nutrition certifications and then began the journey of helping other women optimize their hormones.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I love when I see the generational impact. Clients come to me to lose weight, have more energy, sleep better at night, and/or balance hormones naturally. They leave with a story about how their spouse and child(ren) are now eating and loving nutritious food.
I've seen how the right food has lessened diabetic symptoms and eliminated allergies and asthma in my own family. Being able to help not only the client but their family feels amazing.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It is overcoming mindset blocks! Whether it's self-limiting beliefs, imposter syndrome, procrastination, perfectionism…and the list goes on; your thought life can block you from being a successful entrepreneur.
Don't be afraid of the thoughts in your head. Recognize them, honor them and then tell them they have to go!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Practice Integrity. A leader must show integrity in all they do. Whether the relationship is with your staff, partner, or customer, you must be honest in your dealings. Integrity shows those around you that they can trust you, and people are more apt to follow people they can trust.
- Be A Risk Taker. If you plan to lead, you must be comfortable with taking risks. As a business owner, there is no guaranteed salary, no "pension," and often no one to rely on when you aren't sure what steps to take next. Since launching my business, I've turned down several substantial opportunities – one role I've wanted for close to 10 years. Still, I believe that the risk of running my nutrition coaching business far outweighs the comforts of a 9 to 5.
- Be Consistent. As an online business owner, I've found the one thing that has helped my business grow – consistency. When I started, I heard it repeatedly – be consistent with your messaging and how you show up. I took that to heart, and it's proven to be true. People want to know they can depend on you.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Some women who come to me think it's selfish to spend the money and invest time to work with a nutrition coach. I understand the hesitation, but I want you to know it's the best investment you'll ever make.
More energy. Better sleep. Fewer mood swings. All these things positively impact your family and your work, and who doesn't want a happy home and happy workplace?
I wish I had invested in a nutrition coach before spending $20,000 out of pocket only to discover – I needed to change my diet.
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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