Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Zero, Founder of Wellstruck, located in Newark, DE, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Wellstruck is an intimate community for empathy-driven entrepreneurs who crave a nourishing home base with friends that challenge and champion each other. Running a small business can be so lonely and isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. Working alongside friends who bring an invaluable fresh perspective to the table is so good for our mental health and for the success of our businesses.
We’re based in the mid-Atlantic, so we can meet up in person as well as online — including monthly field trips to places like Longwood Gardens, as well as weekly opportunities to connect virtually.
Tell us about yourself
When I started my first business back in 2013, I was surprised by how lonely and isolated I felt. I went to some networking events but generally found them to be transactional. I was craving a deeper connection — a place where we weren’t selling to each other, but rather, a place to have meaningful conversations and form friendships with people who could relate to the ups and downs of running a business.
I decided to create what I’d been looking for by hosting an intimate gathering around my own dining room table — and my goal was to do the opposite of what makes networking events uncomfortable. Instead of a crowd, I invited six people. Instead of standing at cocktail tables and mingling, we would sit and have a loosely moderated conversation where everyone could ask the group a question. It turned out to be a magic format that inspired real, vulnerable conversation and collaborative problem-solving — and it helped everyone through their imposter syndrome so they could leave feeling confident, energized, and truly connected.
Folks asked for another roundtable. And another. I started hosting them monthly as a passion project, in addition to running my brand strategy and design business. They sold out repeatedly. People would tell me, “This feels like home,” and “This is the rest I needed, “ and “I am so motivated whenever I leave a Wellstruck roundtable.”
Since then, I have:
- Hosted 100+ roundtables (in-person and virtual).
- Worked with 500+ business owners throughout the U.S. mid-Atlantic.
- Survived ovarian cancer.
- Pivoted my business from branding to building this membership community.
- Spoken on conference panels and podcasts.
- Honed my moderation technique to inspire connection, curiosity, courage, and confidence.
What motivates me is the ripple effect of results. This has grown to be so much bigger than me — it’s truly a community with an endless legacy. It makes me profoundly happy to hear stories about how Wellstruckers have collaborated and grown together, have created real change through their work, and found the confidence to keep using their genius to make our world a better place. I deeply believe in the power of true community and the way it nourishes the people who are usually the ones doing the nourishing.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is creating something that’s so much bigger than I am. The mark of a great community is when there is a web of relationships between members, not just relationships between me and each member. That’s the legacy piece — I want the world to be a little better because I was in it, and I want that goodness to live on when I’m no longer doing this work.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Loneliness and self-doubt, which is why I do what I do! We live in a world where people broadcast all the good stuff (especially as business owners — because that’s marketing, right?). We also need a place where we can feel safe in working out the tough stuff. When we realize we aren’t alone in having those tough times, we are able to stop judging ourselves. Maybe even laugh about it together. Once we realize those feelings are totally normal, we can stop judging ourselves, and instead, we can focus our energy on moving forward instead of ruminating on whether or not we’re capable. We are capable with the right support system in place. Oh, and we can remind each other to take breaks. Rest. Step away. As humans, we need and deserve that. Full stop. When the people you admire remind you of that, it carries more weight.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do less, but better. Start with one thing — a product, a service, whatever. Make it awesome. Test and change. Become known for it. THEN consider adding another one in. So often, we overcomplicate or give our audience too many choices. Do the thing you do best first.
- Find your people. You don’t have to start from scratch with everything you do. Join a community of business owners who truly believe in a give-and-take culture so that you can learn from them (and share your area of expertise, too!). This will help you, give you a more well-rounded perspective on your strengths, and it’ll build your confidence.
- Create boundaries. Set your working hours and stick to them. Choose a “no meetings” day of the week so you can get work done that day. Schedule time off in advance and honor it. When you establish those boundaries early and you communicate them clearly, you’ll prevent burnout, and your clients and collaborators will learn to respect them early on.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
When you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, blah, whatever — go for a walk. Schedule lunch with a friend. Even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing. It always helps.
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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