Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marsha Ralls-Hershman, Founder of The Phoenix Retreat in Asheville, NC.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Phoenix Retreat is a sacred space designed to support and elevate our clients' physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Situated here in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the walking trails, sweeping arbors, and secluded benches provide more than just healing, it serves as the catalyst for an empowering and fulfilling personal transformation.
We welcome leaders, entrepreneurs, and busy individuals to unplug, recharge, and take a break from their hectic modern lives that don't allow space for making meaningful changes. Individuals who are overwhelmed with obligations, notifications, and everyday responsibilities are all invited to experience The Phoenix, known for its results-oriented fitness and nutrition programs, wellness support, and opportunities to detoxify the mind and body in a healthy, sustainable way.
Tell us about yourself
I am the founder and CEO of The Phoenix Retreat. A leader in the hospitality, wellness, and fine arts spaces, a certified yoga instructor, and a mindfulness coach. My passion is to elevate humanity and give our guests the opportunity to slow down and pursue their dream of good health and well-being. My mission is to curate and tailor experiences for our clients that enable them to deeply connect with themselves, step into a new chapter of their life's journey, and tell a new story. I am a curator of change at The Phoenix everyone experiences possibilities for a better life and world.
Like so many people, I suffered a significant loss that shook me to my core. I had the choice of turning away or starting over and transforming my life. The misfortunes I experienced served as the necessary catalyst for a powerful rebirth. I named my business after the phoenix, a mythological creature that voluntarily lights itself on fire so that it may be reborn as a greater expression of itself. The archetypical energy of the phoenix teaches us that we are capable of great transformation if we step into the fire of our own souls, burning away that which no longer serves us, to rebirth ourselves in the light of our highest manifestation.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
When clients return from a retreat feeling rested, refueled, and ready to recreate new possibilities, I know I've succeeded in my role as a curator of change. Knowing that they feel seen, heard, and supported strengthens my resolve to improve the design of The Phoenix experience continuously.
My goal is to empower our guests and allow them to reconnect with their bodies, hearts, consciousness, and the natural beauty of the world around them. My biggest accomplishment is hearing our guests' stories of transformation and healing after each retreat. I know that through The Phoenix, I am able to make a difference, one person at a time.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
- Business is never predictable, no matter how well you prepare. You'll face obstacles and challenges each day that you must overcome. Being a business owner entails dealing with uncertainties every day, but if you have the right attitude and the qualities of a good leader, you can stay focused even when presented with the most challenging problems. (Leadership Series on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/marsharalls_buildteams-yourspaceforchange-thephoenixretreat-activity-6972469631257100289-iZwW?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop)
- Hiring new employees is one of the most difficult challenges I am facing right now. Finding the right people to work for The Phoenix and making sure they are aligned with the company's values can be hard, so if you know talented individuals looking for a new opportunity, please send them my way. We are building a team of individuals who can understand our client's needs and meet them in a way that will be transformational whilst also being respectful of the team's health and well-being.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Recognize the power of community and a strong support system; you are not alone in your journey. Surround yourself with smart people and experts in different areas, and have good advisors that have your best interest at heart.
- Strive to establish yourself and your credibility based on your merits rather than on your gender, race, religion, or any other socioeconomic category.
- My strongest advice to budding entrepreneurs is this: Never give up.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Apart from the programs we offer to promote our clients' holistic well-being, The Phoenix also supports creativity by providing a serene and inspiring atmosphere that fosters creative, intellectual, and professional growth for emerging and established visual artists. This program was designed to encourage artists to take risks and pursue new ideas.
The Phoenix also supports and promotes environmental sustainability. Nature is our wisest mentor and greatest inspiration when it comes to creating balance. We honor the grace and guidance it provides by practicing sustainability in all forms. From seeking out the freshest, organic, locally-sourced ingredients for our meals, carefully managing our environmental impact, and dedicating space for quiet reflection in natural settings, our commitment to nature is a foundational element of our philosophy.
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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