Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Molly Dahl, Founder & Educational Author of YOUTH Positive, located in Genoa, NV, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
YOUTH Positive is a way for every 21st-century adolescent to explore and discover their Unique Genius. It is a series of lessons and personal experiments that take a teen through the process of self-discovery based on the principles and practices of Positive Psychology. My primary customers are teens, and my secondary are parents and teachers.
Tell us about yourself
I was a high school Spanish teacher for 15 years. My students were amazing, but they really did not like school. Something big was missing! I set out on my own personal journey into the field of Positive Psychology and fell totally in love with it. I started sharing what I was learning and some of my own homework assignments with them. It was amazing how much their whole perspective of learning and education changed. My dynamic classroom environment had always been very open and encouraging, and it exploded into a place of joy, creativity, and Spanish language fluency that every student enjoyed. My students encouraged me to write the book. So I did. I left the classroom and published YOUTH Positive for high school students in 2016, an edition for middle school students in 2017, and finally, a Teacher's Guide in 2018. I recently created YOUTH Positive Online Learning, where students and families can access self-paced video lessons any time of year and from the comfort of their own homes. For parents and teachers, and any other adult, I wrote and published in 2020 The Art of Emotional Resilience, An Everyday Guide to Resisting Reaction, Cultivating Compassion, and Gracefully Managing Yourself. It has many of the same ideas as YOUTH Positive that I expand upon for the adult audience. It's a fun exploration of cultivating Emotional Resilience in order to live a life of thriving and flourishing.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Getting the books published and then the online video lessons up and running. And, of course, working with the students and families.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Having enough time to do it all. I would much prefer to spend my days working with teens and families, as well as educators. But lately, much of my efforts have been sitting behind a computer, creating content. The other tricky thing for me is sitting at a desk! Being a teacher is so much fun, and I never sat behind the computer for more than 10-15 minutes at a time. Now, it's sometimes all day behind a screen creating videos or writing lessons.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be in it for the long haul! Success isn't an overnight thing. You'll have to keep your nose to the grindstone for quite a while. And that's ok. It's what you're doing with your life at this point.
- You'll also have to be really passionate about your idea, but don't let it become your identity. You are so much more than your business. And, your heart and soul are certainly in it and will shine through it. But don't lose track of who you are outside of your business. You have a whole entire life in addition to your business. Don't forget to take care of it.
- Be who you are. As you figure out things along the way, stay focused on your Unique Genius. That's what you have to offer to the world. Trying to be someone you're not, creating something that isn't aligned with your true self, or not being able to speak your mind or your truth will crush you. That's not why you start a business. You have a Unique Genius that someone out there wants and needs. You're passionate about sharing it. So honor it. Don't sell out. Don't comply just to earn a buck. It's not worth it. Stay true to your vision, your passion, and your heart.
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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