Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Deborah Norris, Founder of The Mindfulness Center, located in Derwood, MD, USA.

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

The Mindfulness Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit wellness Institute founded in 2009 by me and my two daughters, Jessie Taylor and Jacqueline Hernandez. The mission of The Mindfulness Center is to facilitate the evolution of the standard of health care from one of managing disease to one of fostering health and to be a model for a new health care paradigm. We fulfill this mission by bringing mindfulness to all dimensions of life, and empowering people to use evidence-based, best practices of self-care, thereby addressing health care disparities by making health care accessible to all.

By integrating multiple modalities of care and practice, we enable you to find your path to greater health and well-being. Healing is a journey of self-exploration. Our team members are dedicated to providing you with evidence-based best care practices to support you along this journey.

Tell us about yourself

I love teaching people tools to empower themselves to optimal well-being, happiness, and health. As a health scientist, I have found solutions to so-called "chronic" illnesses that others have given up. I have done this for myself and my clients. I enjoyed my years as a research scientist, discovering pathways to healing, and founding the Psychobiology of Healing Program at American University. I apply that scientific knowledge to my educational programming, teaching others these practices to use for themselves and their clients. We have taught thousands of students to use evidence-based mindfulness practices to enhance healing and well-being through our Yoga, Meditation Teacher Training programs, and Professional Yoga Therapy training program.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our biggest accomplishment as business owners has been creating a thriving community of people who have turned their own lives around and are helping others become their most vibrant and thriving selves.

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

The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is the responsibility for the well-being of my staff. This means making certain that they are continually inspired by their work, recognizing when they are not, and rearranging things as needed. It means paying attention to their emotional health so that they are receiving the support they may need when they need it. And it means giving them time to maintain their physical health for themselves and their families. We are all human and have physical, emotional, and social needs. As a business owner, recognizing and supporting these needs has been an important and fruitful aspect of running a thriving business.

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

  1. Do something that totally inspires you that you'd want to do even if you didn't get paid.
  2. Hire experts to do the parts of the business that are not your strengths.
  3. Use mindfulness practices for continual inspiration and direction. Practices such as meditation and yoga will not only keep you in the flow; they will help you to navigate the challenges of starting a new business with greater ease.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Mindfulness practices should be a part of your daily routine. Encourage your team members to incorporate mindfulness into their lives, and you will watch your business prosper. Research shows that workplaces incorporating mindfulness have greater productivity, fewer days lost to sick leave, higher employee morale, and a better bottom line. If you would like help implementing mindfulness practices in your business, please contact us at

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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