Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Haylee LaRose, Founder of Seek Balance Design, located in Beacon, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a brand coach and designer. I love working with coaches, creatives, and healers to own and unleash their brand uniqueness online to attract more clients they love working with and the income meant for them. I believe that connecting who you really are (at a deep soul level) to your brand is foundational to taking your business to the next level and what allows you to truly resonate with the clients you love and get paid well for what you do well.
Tell us about yourself
Even though I came from a family full of entrepreneurs, I never saw that as a path for myself until I had no other option… and it was the best thing that could ever happen to me. After graduating from NYU film school with a minor in psychology and philosophy, I was struggling to find a job that felt aligned for me in the creative industry and ended up working as a school portrait photographer for 4 years. While that job pulled me out of my introverted shell, empowered me, and allowed me to connect with so many different humans on a daily basis, it required long hours and tons of travel. I know it wasn't my forever job, and I had this deep knowing that there was something greater available for me and a more profound way for me to use my natural talents.
With a ton of support from my now-husband and family, I took the leap and started my own business as a virtual assistant, bringing together my creativity, tech knowledge, and customer service experience. I quickly grew it to a full roster of clients and even brought on 2 team members along the way. If I've learned anything about myself over the years, it's that I can trust myself to adapt and make a pivot to continue following what lights me up and when I found myself missing that creative spark, I pivoted my business to brand and website design. Now over 5+ years in, this has expanded to include brand strategy and brand coaching as well.
I'm constantly motivated by my core philosophy that each of us has a unique expression of our own gifts. The fact that I get to support other business owners in sharing them with the world through both brand coaching and design is a dream come true. Being able to own who you are and have the confidence to share it with others is everything when it comes to building a successful business and getting results that are specific to us.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment over the last 5+ years of business would be how much self-trust I've cultivated to do what I know is best for me. It hasn't been a linear process, and there's so much noise and potential judgment to contend with, but the more grounded I've become in myself, the better I've felt showing up and serving those around me.
I find in online business; in particular, it can feel so tempting to copy what others are doing because they appear to be "more successful" or have the results we want. We feel like when we copy them, it'll fast-track our results… almost like pressing the easy button. But I think the more that you can cultivate self-trust and know without a doubt that when you lean into what feels good to you and show up in your authentic truth, THAT is the magnetic thing.
When building a brand, you don't want to be just like everyone else, and this is one of the things that I support my brand coaching clients the most so that they can build a brand that makes showing up feel really fun and natural and attract the clients and money they desire as a result of simply being THEM. The joy and the freedom of being a business owner mean that you get to do it your way, so when you can trust yourself and give yourself permission to do just that, the possibilities are limitless.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The pattern that I've seen come up time and time again, particularly for myself and in supporting my brand coaching clients, is a fear of allowing ourselves to be seen for who we really are. We often think we're not that interesting, or we'll be judged for sharing our truth, or it's not safe to take off the mask that we're conditioned to wear in many places like a corporate environment or even during our daily lives.
When you become a business owner, most of us are forced to confront the fact that YOU are the one who has to show up and sell and … so when you approach brand-building as being grounded in who you really are and OWNING it, the results that you attract, such as exact perfect clients who you can't believe exist or hitting your income goals, become more of the norm, rather than attracting mismatched clients or not making as many sales as you'd like.
I often share with my coaching clients… What are small ways that you can start to create safety in expressing who you really are? Maybe it's with a close friend or family member or giving people a glimpse into your life through Instagram stories. Starting and trying and gaining evidence that it is safe to share who you are helps you to feel comfortable sharing more and more. And then, in turn, you start connecting more and more with those who really resonate with YOU.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get curious about what your unique attraction point is. Getting clear on your own uniqueness is truly foundational to standing out and attracting clients who are excited and ready to hire YOU. Hint: it's probably related to your background, life experience, special skills you have, or your unique perspective or approach.
- Recognize that it's completely normal for you, your business, and your brand to evolve over time, so you don't need to "get it right" from the very beginning. Taking the leap to start is everything; from there, give yourself permission to check in periodically to ensure that what you're doing lights you up. Owning your own business doesn't mean you have to do the same thing forever (but you totally can as well!). It means you have the freedom to create the business that lights you up and that supports you in living the life you love.
- Showing up, sharing content, and marketing your business doesn't have to be complicated. So many of us who identify as high-achievers tend to put so much pressure on ourselves to show up a certain way or market in a way that feels out of alignment with who we are or is draining to us. As long as you show up in a way that feels good and true to you, your energy will be fully behind it, and I believe that that counts for so much more than we realize.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you're feeling unclear on how to grow and leverage your personal brand as you evolve to attract more of the clients you love and ensure it's working for you so that you get paid well, I invite you to check out my free brand clarity quiz. In 5 minutes or less, it will help you identify problem points and detailed growth opportunities so that you can know for certain that your brand is working FOR you every step of the way - https://seekbalancedesign.com/brand-clarity-quiz/.
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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