Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Mayland, Owner of Inside Out Transformations, located in Wilmington, DE, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Inside Out Transformations. My mission is to empower women to love themselves and their bodies so that we can empower the next generation of women to do the same. The women who come to me for support are women who are struggling to love themselves and their bodies, and they know that they need something deeper than a quick fix or just motivation. My clients are women ready to make safe and sustainable changes in their lives and want to address the real underlying issues getting in the way of those changes.
Tell us about yourself
I first started this business to address a need that I saw. At the time, I worked in a perinatal fitness community, and many of the women that were in my classes wanted to lose their baby weight and get back in shape, but also just feel better, stronger, and more confident as moms. Fitness was certainly part of that, but not the whole picture, and having gone through my own physical transformation. I knew that exercise, while important, was a small piece of the puzzle. Nutrition was essential, as was building the foundation of mental wellness that allows those healthy habits to stay in place. I had done my graduate work in clinical mental health counseling and became certified as a personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist so I could start a practice where I could help women achieve their health and fitness goals in a more integrative way. I love being a part of my client's journeys, and seeing their internal transformations is incredibly rewarding. Seeing their bodies change is nice, but seeing them step into their power, take ownership of their health, and rewrite their stories about themselves and their relationship with their bodies, and their health is why I really do this. Lately, what has been motivating me most is building a sense of community. I started a small group called The Healthy Habits Society and seeing those women come together and lift each other up has been incredibly powerful. Now I'm working on creating more group offerings to build more community in my practice and offer more support and resources to women who want to love themselves and their bodies.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has been building a way of practice that works best for my clients and me. There aren't a lot of people who offer all aspects of what I offer, and figuring out how to navigate that in a session, make it work for my clients, and make it into a viable, growing business is a huge accomplishment. My approach is always evolving, and I'm proud that I always give my clients my best.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, the hardest thing about being a business owner is self-doubt. I know that I'm an excellent coach, but I'm not great at all of the nuts and bolts of running a business, and I can sometimes get lost in worrying about what I "should" be doing, according to other people. When I first started, I was reading so many books about how to run a business, how to do marketing, etc., and it was information overload. I was second-guessing every move I made, worrying over every decision. Eventually, I had to learn how to let that go.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know who you want to serve and what problem you want to solve, and be as specific as possible. When I first started, I was afraid to find my niche because I thought I would be losing prospective customers, but I found that by letting everyone in, I was working with clients who weren't right for me and doing work I didn't want to do. When I finally got clear on who I wanted to serve and how I was able to attract more of my ideal clients.
- Let go of "should" - sometimes. "Should" can be a really helpful (or hurtful) word. It brings your awareness of a discrepancy between your actions and your values and signals that they need to align. But when considering that "should," make sure it's your value and not someone else's value. For example, if you're telling yourself, "I should rewrite my copy based on the recommendation from X marketing book," ask yourself if that "should" is coming from what that random book thinks is right for you or if it's coming from what you feel is your authentic voice.
- Be yourself. When you are who you are openly and unapologetically, the clients who like you as you are will be drawn to you. When you are not using your voice and trying too hard to be what other people think you should be, people can tell it's fake and stay away. When in doubt, trust your gut and do what feels right.
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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