Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Paul Dallaghan, Founder of Samahita, located in Koh Samui, Thailand.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Samahita Retreat is one of the original wellbeing retreat centers in Asia, devoted to helping people tap into an improved mental and physical functioning through tools one learns, treatments one receives, and an environmental infrastructure that fully supports learning a practice that you take home with you as well as time to let go, recover from life's typical overload, and learn balance. People come from all over the world, across age ranges of the 20s to 60s, and some even older, with an aim to discover greater wellbeing. We are not a hotel with some classes or a gym. We are a dedicated center with decades of training and expertise to offer this.
Tell us about yourself
I began to look earnestly into aspects of health and spirit from the age of 23, starting back in the mid-1990s. Yoga became a cornerstone of my interest. I left NYC in 2001 to study and practice fully in India. This also led to being in Thailand to teach, back then, in a rudimentary form. However, as I continued to practice and teach, a dedicated center was born in 2003 and grew up from there to be one of the world's leading centers on yoga, breath, meditation, and wellbeing. I completed (in 2022) a full-time Ph.D. at Emory University (USA) in Biological Anthropology. I was given the title of "Master Yogi-Pranacharya (expert in breath)" from the Indian tradition of yoga. This reflects my ongoing interest in the field and how to understand it better and share it. My day is a combination of practice, study, and any business-related matters, in that order of priority, and hence keeps me interested and motivated.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have stayed completely true to the intention and purpose of why the business started in the first place. That is difficult to do and survive in a competitive market. I care about the people who are committed to working here and to the community of guests. That commitment carried through COVID, meaning debt, but an unwavering commitment to support all staff and be there for people when travel opens up.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Daily balance and maintaining integrity in the face of financial and human resource challenges. One needs to know why they are doing this business venture. For me, it has been to offer the tools and teachings that I benefit from myself and to do so at the fairest of value while being able to function economically.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know exactly what you are going to do, offer, and why. Ideally, be trained in it.
- Don't bite off more than you can chew. Start humble. Watch the costs, and let revenue flow.
- Stay true to your intention and integrity of offering.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Be kind, and stay happy. Think about the effect on people (and other beings) of what you propose to do. Profit, revenue, and the like will come of their own accord. You need to BE 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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