Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shannon Schmidt, Owner of Tallgrass Training and Wellness LLC, located in Lawrence, KS, USA.

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

Tallgrass Training and Wellness is a personal training and wellness studio in Lawrence, Kansas. We offer one-on-one and small group personal training, massage therapy, facilitated stretching, reiki, guided mediation, one-on-one, and small group yoga classes, and small group cardio classes.

We choose to approach health and wellness from the mindset that your health is multi-faceted and those aesthetics aren't important- how you feel is what really matters! We look at each individual as a whole person and work from the inside out. We love to build strong relationships and connections with our clients and consider our client's families!

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and moved to Kansas in 2008 to pursue my graduate degree in Sociology from Kansas State University.

During my time at K-State, I was told by a doctor that I was unhealthy and needed to make a change. I promptly Googled "how to lose weight and be healthy," learned the basics, changed many of my habits, and over the next year lost 70 pounds. Through this process, I realized that by pursuing a career in health and wellness, I would have the opportunity to connect with others and help them transform their lives.

I then attended Wellspring School of Allied Health, receiving a program certificate in Personal Training, and through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, I became a Certified Personal Trainer, a Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, and a Certified Nutrition Coach. I have been a full-time personal trainer in Lawrence since 2014, have performed over 13,000 personal training sessions in my career, and have had the honor of working with hundreds of members of the community of all ages, ability levels, and cultural backgrounds.

Using my sociology education to understand more about others' experiences and motivations, I prioritize building relationships with my clients and connecting with them on a personal level, building trust, and working together to formulate a plan for success, however, each individual defines it.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I get the most satisfaction from watching my staff connect with their clients and help them succeed and from seeing my own clients do things that they didn't believe they'd ever be able to do. We work with many folks with a variety of challenges, limitations, and injuries, so helping them decrease pain and build strength and heal trauma in ways they didn't believe were possible is my greatest joy in life.

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

My constant struggle is giving all my energy to my clients and staff and not taking the time to care for myself and my needs. I am so passionate about my work that it's hard to balance self-care and rest with my responsibilities. I enjoy my work so much that it's hard to step away and breathe when I need to!

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

  1. Get a mentor. The Small Business Development Center and its staff helped me tremendously to even know what I needed to do to start.
  2. Care about your staff. Compliment their triumphs and correct mistakes compassionately.
  3. Seek feedback from your clients and staff, and don't take it personally if they give you constructive criticism. We need to know our shortcomings in order to correct them!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

My motto for my business has always been "Do good, and good will come to you." This has guided every step of my work. I try to give more than I receive, invest in the community and charitable causes, and lead with love in every step I take as a business owner.

Keeping laser-focused on this principle has meant that I have exceeded my own expectations financially and through the depth of our impact.

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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