Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health & wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maggie Valentino, Founder of Release Technique, located in Oakland, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Everyone who finds me is in pain, and most of them have tried lots of things to get out of it. The brick-and-mortar side of my business offers 1:1 Fascial Stretch Therapy to people, while the virtual side teaches them how to DIY their own pain relief on a foam roller through how-to tutorials and full classes to mimic a therapeutic, full-body massage session.
Tell us about yourself
Growing up, I was in a ballet studio four nights a week, and by the time I was in college, it was pretty clear to me that my career path was meant to be in the bodywork field. I didn't care for the formal side of the industry that you could access through college degrees, but I knew I had a ton to offer in my own strange little way.
Eventually, that turned into a career in massage therapy, then stretch therapy, then barre and foam rolling class instruction, and finally to fitness studio ownership. What I love about entrepreneurship is that there are no rules to this game, and the fact that I can change anything about how my business operates to better serve my needs is what really keeps me excited about my work.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
When I opened my fitness studio with a partner in 2017, we had to write a business plan that was approved by the SBA for us to obtain a huge loan. With the loan, we found a space to rent and a contractor to renovate it, and we took on a huge renovation project before even opening the business.
While my studio didn't survive the pandemic, and I've since moved it online, I couldn't believe I had it in me to not only open a huge, high-risk business but to prove to the government that I and my idea was worth giving money to. We even paid the loan back in full when we closed during the pandemic because the studio did well!
These are all just details to say that my biggest accomplishment as a business owner was that I believed in myself. Everything I've believed in since I've manifested.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think that while it's really appealing to make all the decisions by yourself, you're also doing everything else by yourself. There's the service you provide, but that's not your only job. You're also the social media manager, the web designer, the copywriter, and the scheduling manager. It's so much more doable with help, and it's important to stay in tune with when you need help and how to get it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Believe that your business is desperately needed! If you don't believe it, nobody will.
Stretch yourself, but stay within your means. You've got to make decisions that future you will appreciate because if you stay in your comfort zone, you'll never grow.
At the same time, you're still trying to enjoy your life while you level up. Take small steps that all feel like reasonable risks. When you look back a year from now at that first step you took, you will have come so far without even noticing.
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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