Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with John Quirk, Founder of SoCal Wellness Retreats, located in San Diego, CA, USA.

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

We run highly transformative and inclusive wellness retreats in San Diego and around the world. We have welcomed people of all ages and backgrounds to learn more about themselves and wellness through meditation, breath work, yoga, plant-based eating, and laughter. We believe a safe community where people can be themselves is an essential part of the human experience! We teach wellness from the inside out!

Tell us about yourself

Back in 2013, I was a stressed-out news reporter in New York City, lacking in purpose and wanting to find more joy and meaning in my life. The best thing that happened to me that year, I got fired from my dream job.

It turns out that "making a living" was far from living. The day I got fired, I walked into a yoga class, and while I had been practicing for years, this class just hit me differently. I didn't have anywhere to be after class, no emails to answer; all I had to do was focus on myself and my breath. The teacher was one of my favorites and said all the right things about one door closing so another could open.

Fast forward three years, and I started to apply my can't stop, won't stop mentality to teaching yoga. In order to survive my rent and the cost of living in the Big Apple, I was teaching 20+ classes a week, and it started to take a toll. I remembered how I felt when I moved everything else aside to become a yoga teacher and decided I needed to take a break for myself.

I picked Costa Rica and decided I would go somewhere quiet where I could just practice and surf every day. I shared what I was doing with my students as a way to inspire them to make space for themselves when they needed it, and then something magical happened. People started asking if they could join me. Pretty soon, I was being asked about the "yoga retreat" I was leading. I didn't even know yoga retreats were a thing!

Six years and dozens of retreats around the world later, I've realized this is my dharma, my life's work, and my true calling. Once we step out of our day-to-day, only then can we truly step into a higher version of ourselves. When we come together in community with this common goal, to move, breathe, eat good food, and LAUGH, it has been my experience that this is truly some powerful medicine.

I am someone passionate about helping people feel better and sharing what I know and what has helped me and many others. I take that work seriously without taking myself too seriously. I strive to meet people where they are on their wellness journey and on their path to self-discovery. It takes time, and it takes work, but above all, it takes a willingness to say "yes."

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Helping people change their lives. When they tell me our retreats are the best thing they have ever done for themselves.

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

Keeping steady cash flow, I want so much to help people that I have been taken advantage of, and I've made some bad decisions.

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

How you want to be of service is always the most important thing. Do one thing really well at a time before scaling. Make sure it's fun; that doesn't mean it won't be hard, but make sure it is fun.

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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