Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tony Schwartz, Founder of Tony Schwartz Bodywork LLC, located in Minneapolis, MN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I work in the therapeutic orthopedic bodywork, catering to professional athletes, amateur athletes, and those going through recovery from significant injuries and surgeries. I help those with disabilities and those who have served in the military and are recovering from significant long-term combat-related injuries, including PTSD.
Tell us about yourself
This is a second career for me, as I originally started out in the vending industry or where I spent 15 years running my own business as well as supporting a family-owned business. After meeting the love of my life, I decided to retrain in a new job sector which turned out to be therapeutic bodywork. It has been a long evolution to where I'm currently at, and I must admit I am exceptionally pleased with the road I have been on. I went from being strongly mentored by other business owners to now needing to mentor the next generation because many of my elders are now retiring due to COVID-19 and will not be returning to the profession.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, it has been something of repeating previous accomplishments for me because I have run successful businesses before this. So I don't think I use the same metrics to measure accomplishments as other people do in this industry. How I choose to measure my own success really comes down to understanding how to create a more successful business and still create a good work-life balance which is something I didn't do before then I'm trying to do now. I think I'm much more willing as a business owner now to admit that work-life balance is important and that I can still accomplish my business goals and still thrive professionally and personally at the same time. To me, that is a big accomplishment for me.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think one of the hardest aspects of my work has been working with other professionals who have never been in a business before and trying to help them. In one particular aspect, I find that many entrepreneurs fail: because they assume that people are just gonna show up because they have a good product or service. That's not how it works at all. Even the most talented people with wonderful ideas run out of money long before people catch on. In a microwave society, or everything has to happen now, many entrepreneurs lack the funds and the patience. And having to tell somebody that their current plan will not necessarily be successful because they're impatient or because they think they have a lot of money to start their business and sustain themselves, and they really don't. That is very hard to tell somebody to their face. Still, someone has to tell them sometimes to either rethink what they're doing and think of a better way or cut their losses. In contrast, they still have a chance to have some money left in their pockets and an escape to another form of income without burning bridges behind them.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I think the first people to know is that they need to be flexible and work outside their comfort zone because other people are going to. They may take advantage of the marketplace you want to avoid. You should always measure your ethics and morals against what you're doing in your business, but if you're simply afraid of something or I'm comfortable with it, that's no excuse.
The second tip I would offer is to make sure you understand the business you're entering by observing others learning about what they're doing and talk to people in the industry. Don't just watch videos and research things online; go and talk to the people doing the work.
My final tip would be to make sure that you're willing to give your business time to grow and that you're willing to listen to criticisms and successes. Some of the best entrepreneurs are people who are willing to listen far more than they talk. And when they have something positive like mentorship or volunteering, do it privately without sensationalizing it so that it might be good for marketing sometimes; it does speak to you glorifying your business over doing the right thing and that people see right through.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I think it's essential to keep learning and to stay humble in what you're doing here. Things are changing from a technology standpoint so quickly now; whether you're in a service or product business, things are changing, and you need to be willing to adapt. It's not that the old ways can't work; you can do something better than trying it.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.