Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in professional training and coaching but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marissa Badgley, Founder of Reloveution, located in Simsbury, CT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Reloveution is a consulting and professional development services provider that helps organizations build strong, sustainable, and healthy workplaces with engaged employees, powerful leadership and management, and compassionate, heart-centered cultures. We have five signature offerings, including our Work Culture Jumpstart Program, the BEAT Burnout Program, the Simply Human Management Accelerator, the TEAM program, and retreats/offsites. Through each of these engagements, we create deep impact by moving beyond surface-level measurement and band-aid fixes to create workplaces that truly and sustainably support the well-being of human beings and the organization's bottom line.
Organizations and humans from all industries benefit from our unique solutions, and to date, we have supported nonprofits, corporations, startups, small businesses, school districts, restaurants, and government agencies. Typically, we are contacted when leaders are losing sleep over things like work culture, employee retention, employee engagement or morale, communication, collaboration, and/or trust. We also regularly partner with organizations that have rapidly scaled (or are about to scale) and are experiencing challenges related to growth and change. The common denominators for each of our customers are that they care deeply about supporting their people (even if they aren't currently doing a great job) and that they are committed to making the world a better place through their leadership, products, or a commitment to social responsibility.
Tell us about yourself
In early 2019, after battling through several bouts of burnout and struggling with harmful workplace systems for many years, I left my job without a plan. I used the following months to heal, rediscover my passions, and recommit to becoming the person I wanted to be in the world. By the fall, I was ready to take a chance on myself as an entrepreneur (which would have been unthinkable if not for the time off), and Reloveution was born to help prevent what happened to me in workplaces from happening to others.
I am motivated by a steadfast belief that workers are human beings and not line items, outputs, or disposable resources, and my motivation to keep going is deepened when I see how simple shifts to systems and culture not only better support and sustain people but also support and sustain the larger organization's outcomes. The practices, mindsets, and strategies that I teach are foundational and powerful, and so long as I am able to see, feel and believe in the impact we are creating, I will keep doing it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Every project we complete and every human we support is an accomplishment worth celebrating. But sometimes, it feels like the biggest accomplishment is that I am living a life and running a business that feels aligned with my higher purpose. There are so many people and circumstances that might have gotten in my way. There have been so many reasons to give up or get a "real job." Perhaps the biggest success is less about the outcome and more about DOING THE THING. It's incredibly humbling, and I don't take a moment of it for granted.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Not "knowing" or being able to fully control the entrepreneurship journey has been incredibly hard (and often terrifying). What people don't see is how much business ebbs and flows and how emotionally draining the ebbs can be. I often joke that the revenue graphs that Quickbooks spits out for me also do a good job of timestamping my breakdowns and moments of highest self-doubt (the inverse is also true). I have been working on untangling my definition of success from how much money I make in a given month, and I have a feeling that that will be part of my life's work. Fortunately, my ebbs so far have always rebounded into comfortable flows, and I have learned that the downturns and quiet moments are perfect and necessary moments for planting and nurturing seeds for future harvest. Remembering that at the moment can be challenging, but it's a process!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The number one thing I recommend is to ensure that you don't start, run, and grow a business using the paradigms, structures, and beliefs that caused you to leave the comforts of "traditional" employment. So often, I and others unintentionally wind up recreating the traps that we got caught in because it is what is taught and modeled. Be really clear about what you want to do differently in your business, and don't be afraid to pave your own way even if your way doesn't have a book written about it yet (maybe it's yours to write!).
The second thing I can offer is to surround yourself with a community of people who cheer you on, offer support, listen to you vent/cry, operate as a sounding board, AND keep you accountable. Give yourself the gift of a committee of care that does not include your significant other or your mom. In the moments when I am lowest and most self-doubting, I'm not my best friend and struggle to pull myself out of the trenches (or away from the computer). It's the people who know me best and love me enough to say the hard things that keep me going. Every business owner needs and deserves this type of support.
Lastly, I give you permission to be yourself always and in all ways. The world may not always like it. Your friends or colleagues, or family may have LOTS to say about it. But you were put on this earth to do something amazing, and your business is ONE of the ways you can bring your brilliance and strengths, and magic to the world. Do it. Do it your way. Do it with love. Do it with humility. Do it with grace. Do it when it's easy and when it's hard. BUT DO IT. It's always worth it.
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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