Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sierra Wagner, Founder of Sierra Laurel Yoga, located in Sebastopol, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am a Yoga Therapist (E RYT-200) and Thai massage therapist (CMT) who specializes in working with people with chronic pain and disabilities. I also teach self-myofascial release.

Tell us about yourself

My work is informed by my own personal experiences with injury and rehabilitation. In each instance, I successfully used yoga asana, meditation, and philosophy, combined with self-myofascial release, to facilitate my healing journey—both physical pain and mental/emotional suffering.

With my broken ankle, I had four surgeries, received six screws and a plate, and was unable to walk for over four months. It was extremely humbling to lose the capacity to do basic tasks and movements I had taken for granted all my life. Ultimately, as I recovered, I gained greater confidence in my ability to persevere. I now feel a sense of empowerment knowing that I can heal through my own actions, informed by ancient wisdom together with contemporary therapies.

On a professional level, these injuries have been extremely informative to my work. Adaptive ways to do poses, new ideas about what yoga is truly about, and greater empathy and compassion for my students all emerged.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I just led my first retreat. It was a day of yoga, Thai massage, community connection, and swimming. It took years to get to the place of leading a successful retreat, including building my capacity to teach and organize events, creating an enduring community of students, and marketing my offerings.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

To have a successful business, you have to be fully committed. No one else is going to build your business for you. It takes time, passion, and perseverance.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. I would recommend working at a sustainable pace, where you have a work/life balance, so you don't burn out.
  2. The foundation of every business is in relationships. Cultivate them, care for them, and stay in touch with your community.
  3. Do what you love, and it won't feel so much like work!

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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