Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brennah D'Layn, Founder of Mud Lotus Arts, located in Pensacola, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Mud Lotus Arts is a business focused on aligning the whole person to natural rhythms and raising the vibration of the planet one person at a time. My customers are folks (mostly women) who are committed to achieving greater peace in their lives through self-awareness, movement, and coming into alignment with their nature in a deeper way. I serve clients through group yoga classes, private yoga classes, and one on one coaching. I also have a Patreon page where I share content each month.
Tell us about yourself
I've been passionate about wellness since I was a teenager and have used nutrition and yoga to transform my life and the landscape of my mental health. My background is in art, and I love to make things as much as I love to move. On a backpacking trip down to Guatemala in 2018, I discovered that sacred singing was a part of yoga and decided to get certified to teach. After that, I went through a year-long health coaching program and held dreams of someday launching my own coaching and wellness business. At the time, I was a schoolteacher, but in 2021 I said goodbye to my art teacher job and launched my own enterprise! After years (since art school) running Brennah D'Layn St.Ores Arts, I rebranded to become Mud Lotus Arts. Each day I am so excited to get out of bed to weave together creativity, spirituality, and healing under this new moniker. I'm passionate about serving my community and expressing my creativity throughout all aspects of my small business. I've used the practices and techniques I now share to shift and change how I show up for myself and my community. I think of myself as multidisciplinary, and I think that's beautiful. I'm not and never could be, only "one thing."
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment so far has been reaching the point in my business, teaching, and space-holding to host my first yoga retreat. I am so proud to have had the pleasure and honor of serving hundreds of students from all over the world since I began teaching in 2020. Getting to host a retreat is such an extra special honor because the retreat participants will get to move so much deeper into the practices and really immerse themselves in nature for the weekend. It has taken a HUGE amount of work to pull this off, and I'm so proud I took the leap and decided to move forward with this exciting endeavor.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
In my opinion, one of the hardest things to tackle as a business owner is monotasking! As small business owners, we wear so many hats and play so many roles. There is always so much to do; for me, slowing down and working on one thing at a time can be challenging. This is something that I'm in the practice of because I know this is the best way for me to actually accomplish the tasks that I need to.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- "Start with why." The Simon Sinek book with the same title points out that it's important to start with why you're attempting to do what you're doing to let your values drive your actions. I think it's important to sit down at the beginning of your journey (or revisit this if you're seeking a pivot) and write out your vision and mission. Write what inspired you to take this action. Write why you're doing any of this in the first place. There will inevitably be ups and downs you'll face as a business owner, and having this dossier will be helpful when you're tired, frustrated, or otherwise feeling clouded on this nonlinear path.
- Know your numbers. Maybe this is a boring tip, but running a business is a numbers game, so you need to know yours. Putting off knowing important numbers will only lead to stress and anxiety later. Calculate what you need to thrive and go from there. Save a percentage of all the profits you earn and reinvest a part of these directly back into your business.
- Don't do it alone. It can sometimes be isolating to be an entrepreneur and live outside the normal 9 - 5 lifestyle. Don't let yourself get into patterns of isolation with your work. Find a friend, preferably a fellow self-employed person, to "co-work" with. I do this at least once a week, which has been a game-changer for my business. You may choose to meet at a coffee shop, café or other public space or maybe even one of your houses. Some cities have official co-working spaces, so check locally if something like that exists near you. These little hubs are a place where self-employed folks can come together, and they can be very helpful for networking and staying accountable with others on the path. Remember, you don't have to do this alone!
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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