Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amanda Voss, Creative Director and Founder of Mood Altars, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm the Creative Director and Founder of Mood Altars which began as a brand + design studio and has now evolved into the Creativity Coaching programs I now offer. I support multi-dimensional creatives who want to embody creativity in every aspect of the world, experience limitless self-expression and confidence, as well as use their creative voice in a very powerful way – perhaps for the first time ever. Most of my clients are female/non-binary and are looking to build creative self-worth. They are actually very creative but need some guidance on how to realize all the creative visions in their head, making them tangible in the 3-d, representative of their most authentic creative nature.
In my signature program, I support my clients in a very focused 1:1 structure which is part retreat/travel membership tailored specifically to each client, private coaching, and artist residency, which culminates in a public performance/exhibition. So we go unabashedly big in aligning ourselves with the artist we have always known ourselves to be at a core level.
Tell us about yourself
My business started first through my work as a freelance brand + web designer. Despite being firmly embedded in a creative career my whole life, I always quieted my creative voice and expression. I only allowed myself to explore my creativity to a point, and then I would abandon that creative practice to try something else, never feeling worthy enough. The cycle would endlessly repeat. I tried just about everything: studied dance + voice, played music, wrote, took photos, became a graphic designer, made perfume, took textile design classes, and on and on and on. My inner critic was relentless, and I was unable to get past my perfectionism for years.
The voice in my head to support others through their own creative journey grew so loud over the last several years that I finally had to listen. After years of transformative spiritual work, I finally crossed the threshold, and I know firsthand what can guide a client to a massive creative breakthrough in a matter of weeks. I am inspired each day to share this with as many people as possible, so others don't have to go through what I did over decades.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Embodying the confidence I desired to finally be able to access my creative voice, along with the desire to share it. It's what I teach in all of my programs – despite living in impostor syndrome and resisting my own artistic voice throughout a 20+ year-long career, one day it just completely fell away, and I am so grateful that I was present enough to witness it within myself.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Understanding that if you aren't doing well, your business isn't either. They are inextricable. If your energy is off, people will feel that, and your relationship will be affected from the outset (e.g., clients that don't book/buy or want you to lower your rates, etc.).
We must always have almost a 3rd personal perspective of how we are doing first before we do business with others. Clean your energy daily. Only you know what balances your nervous system, but I love:
– Kundalini Yoga + Meditation
– Herbal Medicine
– Creative embodiment / somatic movement practice/dance
Also, I swear by a weekly tech detox. My phone goes into airplane mode every Sunday and weeknights from 6 pm onwards.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Ask questions and know your people. Often we start building the business we would have wanted for ourselves, but ultimately it's not just about you – it's about your clients' vision for their own lives and how your lived experience can support them through this life-altering transformative work.
I can't stress enough how much actually sitting down with your potential / ideal clients and learning everything you can about them actually defines what you are creating. This is what allows us to authentically express our value. When we don't do this, our future clients will never find us. Don't overthink this. Sometimes when we are just getting started, we need to just take the grassroots approach. If you need to start small, then start there. There's a lot you can learn even from a simple IG poll, but nothing compares to taking your potential audience out for a coffee and just listening.
- Practice allowing and receptivity. Everything is medicine. Continued resistance to lifelong patterns will only show you more of what isn't working. Try something else.
- I wholeheartedly believe that your business won't be sustainable unless you are creating something much larger than yourself. You may be guiding the vision, but it's held by and grown by the collective of your support. Building a business out of fear, desperation, or desire for prosperity will never work.
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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