Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shane Reilly, Owner of Optimal Dwelling Spaces LLC, located in Oregon City, OR, USA.

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

My work focuses on helping people identify one type of environmental toxin in their home- electromagnetic pollution or EMF. For those who don't know, EMF is energy from anything that plugs in or sends/receives a signal. For example, your WiFi router, LED lights, smart thermostat, power lines, cell towers, etc...

My customers are a mix of people, from those that have become extremely sensitive and debilitated by EMF to those wanting to improve health or proactively protect their families from exposure.

Tell us about yourself

I'm a single dad with daughters aged 7 and 9. I've lived in the Pacific Northwest my entire life. There were two watershed moments that propelled me to become a Building Biologist. The first was becoming debilitated to the point I had to leave a career I truly loved- firefighting. I had worked so hard to get into that field, but it wasn't good for my body. The world of first-responders can be stressful, and for me, the added burden of EMF (cell phones, radios, pagers, fluorescent lights, being up all night) was too much. As hard as it was to leave, my health did improve when that happened. The second was when my mom contracted a very aggressive form of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, and died less than eight months later. It was devastating. I'm convinced that her cancer was also from EMF and the way she used technology.

By that point, I had read enough medical literature on the link between EMF and disease that the link was clear in my mind. I was shocked that so few people were talking about EMF as something to be aware of for optimal health. So, I decided I wanted to help people be aware of this environmental toxin and learn what they could do to reduce it. All in the hopes they might avoid some of the personal hardship and loss I had faced.

I became certified by the Building Biology Institute and had been working with clients in their homes nearly every day since 2017. This is primarily in Seattle and Portland, but I regularly travel to Idaho and Northern California.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is being able to "pay the bills" doing something I am passionate about. That's not a flashy answer, but it's true. Being able to sustain yourself and your family while out on your own is a big deal. Plus, based on reviews, word-of-mouth, and getting asked to do interviews and podcasts, I know I am providing a service that others feel is valuable and makes their lives better.

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

My business is still at the stage where I wear all of the hats: accounting, sales, marketing, strategic planning, inventory control, communications, etc...and some days, it feels overwhelming. I've found having the discipline, and scheduling appropriately is the key to reducing this overwhelm. But some days, it all goes out the window and feels like a scramble.

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

Finding work you are passionate about can carry you a long way. However, at some point, you'll need more than that to be successful. You'll need to educate yourself on business basics like accounting, sales, marketing, and SEO. Thankfully there are a number of good online resources available to learn and many good options for service providers like Quickbooks or MailChimp. Top that off with a connection to others in your industry that you can learn from, and you will be on your way to success!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

EMF is the smoking of the digital age. Some may remember when doctors appeared in cigarette ads recommending a certain brand. That's how blind society was to harm from cigarettes. Society has a similar blind spot to EMF. But don't let that be you! I get it, EMF can seem complex and overwhelming, but I am working hard to educate as many as possible. I put out great content all the time in bite-sized chunks so that you can learn the basics of EMF, plus things you can easily implement in your home to reduce your exposure and protect your family. Please don't ignore this common source of pollution in your home, especially if your sleep quality isn't where you want it or you have nagging symptoms that haven't been solved yet.

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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