I often compare being an entrepreneur to having children. Even though it’s one of the best and most fulfilling things in the world, there are many challenges on that journey that the glorified picture in “mass media” seem to miss.
And yet, learning from and overcoming challenges in entrepreneurship makes you better not only as a leader of your business but also as a human being.
For the next few weeks, I decided to write a series of blogs featuring fantastic women business owners who, through their stories, will share the wisdom they acquired on their journey.
This week, we’re starting with the entrepreneurial emotional roller-coaster that ranges from feeling fulfilled while helping your clients and at the same time doubting yourself every step of the way. Because many entrepreneurs let those two things hold them back for too long.
And if, on top, you’re feeling the agony of picking your niche, this is a must-read for you!
1. If you’re passionate about helping others the way you helped yourself – just do it.
When Katie Mickolwin was 13, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Not fun for a young girl coming to the most challenging part of childhood: teens. It’s hard to even imagine how hard it must have been dealing with pain, progressing disease, medication, and peer bullying because of it.
And yet, Katie didn’t succumb to her disease and faced it head-on. In college, she decided to study holistic nutrition.
By adopting a holistic lifestyle (through nutrition, yoga, meditation, etc.), she could go off medication and start living her life almost free of pain and symptoms.
Her strong belief in the benefits of a holistic way of living and passion for helping others led Katie to start her Holistically Humble coaching business in 2014. Living in Canada, a beautiful British Columbia province, she’s since been helping people like herself suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or other immune disorders to lead a more normal life.
Katie’s niche came from helping herself first. So that was easy. But the fear of failure or need for perfection still came in from time to time, injecting doubt in her ability to run a business.
Having a support system of mentors, coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs helped her tremendously on her journey. One of the biggest lessons Katie learned is this:
Done is better than perfect. Put your work out there and tweak it if needed later. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and always stay true to yourself.Katie Mickolwin
2. Always remember your “WHY.”
Across the ocean, in Europe, Amy Culliford is just starting her journey. Similarly to Katie, Amy first helped herself heal from hormonal imbalances through nutrition, yoga, meditation, i.e., a holistic way of living.
She had degrees in public health and nutrition, and chemical engineering!
At first, the thought of starting a business was scary to Amy. She was living in Manchester with her partner, having a secure and cushy government position. However, the need to share her own path to recovery to inspire others led her to start blogging.
But then the COVID pandemic hit. Amy’s boyfriend is Greek, and last October they decided to move from the rainy UK to sunny Greece. It’s hard to find a new job in the pandemic.
But Amy has been thinking about helping others with her knowledge for some time now. Especially women at the end of the rope with their dieting with hormonal and fertility issues. So she took the move as an opportunity to start her own coaching business.
It’s still very new, and Amy is experiencing the emotional roller coaster regularly. Her thoughts bounce back between “I love what I do,” “I love my clients,” to “what if the business doesn’t work out,” “what if can’t do it?”. How does she deal with them?
She goes back to her “WHY” – remembering how fulfilling helping people is and how much she loves what she does. And following holistic life routines (journaling, yoga, meditation) helps as well 😊.
There is a big emotional component for many women who start their business. That desire to help others grows in you over time and overtakes everything else. It drives you to keep going.Amy Culliford
3. You don’t need to be clear on your niche right away; it can evolve with your business.
Jen Hill Myers has been a professional copywriter for over 20 years now, living in Pleasant Grove, Utah. She started her career in a 9-5 position helping non-profit organizations with their email marketing and Public Relations.
Jen, as well, has had a nagging feeling of wanting to do more for a while. More meant having a greater impact on the world. But for quite some time, she had no idea of what or how she’d do it.
Then in 2014, her husband went through a severe heart attack needing emergency surgery. He was OK in the end, but the event shook Jen to the core and triggered her soul searching.
She knew she loved writing, so as a hobby, she started writing a food blog. She quickly realized that food blogging is more about beautiful photography than writing. So, she went back to the drawing board.
That’s how she decided to become a freelance copywriter. This way, in the beginning, she didn’t need to worry about acquiring clients and just focused on perfecting her craft.
As her knowledge and skill improved, she realized that ghostwriting blogs or just email marketing was not as fulfilling anymore. And thus, a couple of years ago, she decided to turn her freelancing business into a full-blown copywriting agency focusing on sales copy for heart-centered coaches and course creators.
Jen didn’t pick a niche from the start. Even though she had doubts about it, she allowed her experience to guide her. And now Jen is so clear on her niche that she developed a system to carefully vet her potential clients. The vetting helps her ensure that she works only with women who are in their business for impact and service to help, not just money. By supporting such clients, Jennifer makes a greater positive impact on the world.
You will make mistakes. Give yourself grace when making them and have the courage to ask for help. You don’t have to do it all by yourself.Jen Hill Myers
4. Even if you feel you don’t fit in, you can find your purpose and courage to start.
We are back in Europe, UK. Nayara Alves was born and raised in a small town in Brazil, but now she lives in London. Moving to a big metropolitan city opened her eyes to possibilities. She realized that as humans, we can do great things if we only unlock our full potential.
Navara has always dreamt of doing a job she loved but couldn’t find her place. She tried many things over the years and felt like she never fit in anywhere. She felt lost. Until she discovered personal development.
Personal development allowed her to discover her real strengths and purpose in life. It guided her to starting a life coaching business to help people like herself – lost and feeling out of place.
After completing the life coaching certification in 2019, she helped her friends and people from her immediate network. Like Amy, being “new” to the entrepreneurial world, she sometimes faces doubts about it.
Jen Hill Meyers cleverly called it “Rapunzel syndrome.” One moment you feel on top of the world, knowing how much you can help others to only feel horrible a moment later because you took time off for self-care to have energy and creativity to serve your clients better.
What does Nayara do to keep going in those challenging moments and ensure she has balance in her life?
She intentionally redirects her negative thoughts to more positive ones. She creates thoughts that expand her and grow trust in the universe. While doing the work she needs to grow her business, she knows that the right things come to us at their divine time.
When you turn to the universe and the higher power, you can always find answers and peace there.Nayara Alves
5. Keep your eyes open and say “YES” to the right opportunity when it presents itself.
Like Nayara, Noni Night profoundly believes that we need to nurture all aspects of our being to reach our full potential.
As much as we know about our minds and bodies, many people forget about spirituality within themselves. Yes, most of us believe in God or the Universe, the outer part of the spiritual world. But we forget that as humans, WE are spiritual beings and that inner, often very vulnerable, part of ourselves must also be nurtured.
Noni comes from a family of 8 children in Atlanta, Georgia. She is 3rd in line, having 5 younger siblings in their pre-teenage and teenage years.
As an older sister observing how much attention, help, and support teenage kids need, Noni realized that people can become lost and vulnerable to the outside negative influences without it.
But with positive influences and the right leaders, they can better themselves, be happier, and positively impact their community no matter their age.
Knowing what she wanted to do, didn’t mean that Noni had her business all figured out from the start. After graduating from college in linguistics (yes, she speaks 4 languages: English, Spanish, Italian, and German) and giving an inspiring graduation speech about feminine power, Noni went to work as a manager in a restaurant.
As you can guess, COVID proved deadly to the hospitality industry. Early last year, Noni lost her job. Trying to figure out what to do next, she took this opportunity not to despair but pause and think more in-depth about her life.
She realized that she pursued a degree in linguistics to be able to understand people better. To know what they think, what drives them, and how the cultures they come from influence their beliefs. That led her to the conclusion that there are many ways to better oneself. And that spirituality is one of them.
This moment created a spark that ignited her start-up business. Noni helps teens and young adults grow their confidence, better themselves and their relationships with others through reiki and spiritual healing. She does it by translating spirituality into simple and practical tips.
How does she overcome challenges in building her young business?
By asking for help, developing and growing her expertise, and finding new ways to educate her audience on the power of holistic healing.
Be persistent, be bold and never be afraid to ask for help when you need it.Noni Night
Quick last note.
I’d have to write a book to include all the valuable lessons I have learned from these 5 fantastic women. Yet I hope that this article has enough of them to inspire your action. To lift you up when you doubt your ability to grow your business and fulfill the dream you have.
The one piece of advice that all of us have for you is that: don’t try to do it alone.
Ask for help when you need it. Hire mentors and coaches and surround yourself with supportive people who will uplift, motivate, and inspire you to action. The sooner, the better.
As Jen says, every penny you invest in a coach or other help is worth 10 fold when the match is right.
And one more thing: you don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to have it all figured out from the start. Progress is what matters.
To contact my Guests:
Amy Culliford, Moon Life Yoga
Masters in Public Health Nutrition
Jen Hill Myers, Jen Hill Myers Media
Sales copywriting services, 20 years of experience
Nayara Alves, Success & Life Purpose Coach
Certified Life Coach
Noni Night, Nonna Heals
Motivational Speaker & Writer
Holistic Healer & Life Coach
Nonna Heals on Instagram
Noni Night on YouTube