Chasing Dreams Interview with Mia Bell: From Med School to Beauty Industry

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Mia Bell is an entrepreneur who completely switched paths to pursue her dreams. She was studying to be an eye doctor when a professor unknowingly sparked the flame that would later become her passion and business helping natural, organic beauty and lifestyle brands get their spots on store shelves (and thrive when they get there).

So many of us are afraid to listen to our gut, thinking what we'd love to do is too hard, too late, or too different. But what's the cost of not trying?

Mia's story is proof that you can change directions, no matter where you are in the process.

Let’s dig in!

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At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

My pivot into the Beauty Industry happened while going through my pre-med studies in college. I wanted out!

This was quite a shock because I had been so set on becoming an Eye Doctor. But none of it felt right anymore. My intuition was telling me that I was meant to serve in a different way. I finished up my Bachelor’s degree and moved to Los Angeles where I enrolled in FIDM's Beauty Merchandise Marketing program. While there, a teacher said something that turned everything I believed upside down. "Ladies, we are being exposed to toxins through our everyday beauty products." It sounded like complete crazy talk. But after taking a cosmetic chemistry course, it dawned on me how liberal beauty companies can be with the use of questionable ingredients. And how easily accepted it is!

There just HAD to be healthier options out there. For several years I did sales & marketing for mainstream beauty companies all while desperately searching for natural, conscious product alternatives. I even had a blog where I would write about my product discoveries in Spanish. It was the first of its kind at the time.

Getting to know many small natural brands through the blog, I quickly learned about their struggles with getting their products into more stores and ultimately getting them into the hands of more people. I knew just how to do that thanks to my work at larger companies.

Every fiber in my being pushed me to honor that call. Everything about it felt RIGHT.

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

Being okay with the unknown. Nothing and no one can fully prepare you for what you'll encounter on the way towards achieving your dreams.

Some days will test you. Some days will lift you. I’ve learned that you just have to keep going!

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

I'm a recovering, busy body workaholic. To some this may sound downright silly. But it’s a real thing that if left unchecked can be crippling physically, mentally and emotionally.

I've finally learned from all of my burnouts. So, to help minimize anxiety, I cut out caffeine 4 years ago and I even make it a point to enjoy all meals slowly at the dining table (not on the fly, not in the car, not at my desk). I routinely listen to guided meditations so that I can reduce frantic thoughts and meet everything throughout the day with full energy and a clear mind.

And to recharge, I've been following a great piece of advice lately- do activities you used to do as a kid for fun! That's been a mix of tree climbing, hiking, hitting some softballs, reading every night, taking naps, coloring (yay for adult coloring books!) and making special trips to be near a river, lake or the ocean. I highly recommend doing this!

To do great work, you've got to show up as your best possible self. twitter icon

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

My work is primarily in the sales realm. I've been rejected thousands of times!

Rejection is a key part of making things happen. twitter icon

It can be your biggest teacher. In the early part of my career, hearing "no" was devastating. But my mindset about it has totally changed. I get up every day not looking to avoid the 'no's", I get up looking for the people that are going to say "yes!" And if it takes me getting past 5, 10, 20 "no's" to find that 'yes' then so be it.

The 'yes's' to what you want are out there and you have to find them.

What do you do when you're having an off day—maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

I first process my thoughts out loud. So yes! I talk to myself!  I then retreat to a quiet place, cuddle up with some tea and I read or watch something that will inspire me to get through it. I’m also incredibly fortunate to have tribe of strong, business women that I can text or call at any moment.

It's absolutely important to have a support system that can relate to you. You need your peeps!

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

That it's superficial. I'll admit that conventional beauty companies, their messaging and their sales tactics are completely profit driven but the blooming niche that I serve; ethical, health conscious, natural beauty has a more positive mission.

These small, independent companies are passionate about making the world a better place in so many ways. They sell their products in sustainable and renewable packaging. They use wild crafted, all natural and organic ingredients that you can pronounce (even eat!). Many are vigilant to source from ethical organizations that pay fair wages and respect this earth. They formulate high performance, effective products without harmful chemicals, questionable fillers, nono-particles and contaminating plastic microbeads. These brands don't believe in testing on animals. There are even vegan brands which formulate their products with no traces of animal derived ingredients.

And as a community, their messaging promotes the acceptance of your own authentic beauty. It’s a wonderful and exciting space to be a part of!

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

Oh do I have a big one! It's realizing that I am the only one in charge of my happiness and destiny.

I resisted this idea for a long time. We give too many external factors power over us (other people, the economy, the "I don't have's", the "I don't knows", the "because of x" excuse).

Once I took complete ownership of my path and life, I stepped into a place of knowing a truth- that I have everything within me to succeed. If I don't have it, I will find it. If I don't know it, I will learn it. If it's not given to me, I will ask for it. If it's not in front of me now, it will surely be there soon.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

Reach out to me! I absolutely love connecting with other like minded folks.

And additional advice I would give is this- START.

Don't wait for perfection. Start where you are today, with what you have and do the best work that you can.

Everything takes longer than we expect. Don't delay your dreams even more by waiting for things to be perfect.twitter icon

To be honest, it will never be perfect because what you create and who you are will always be evolving. That's the beauty of the journey. Just START.

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

When I'm in a true place of service. This means giving of my time, heart, skills and knowledge to causes and entrepreneurs that are doing kind, generous and impactful work. And of course, being around other dreamers!

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

I've always been inspired by the works of Mother Teresa, Oprah and Maya Angelou. Marie Forleo (Marie TV), Hilary Rushford (Dean Street Society). Carrie Green (The Female Entrepreneur Association) and Angela Jia Kim (Savor The Success) have been business mentors from afar.

Must-have books on to have your list:

  • The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist
  • Go-Giver's Sell More by Bob Burg and John David
  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less by Greg McKewon

And lately, Pandora's Tropical House station has been inspiring a pep in my step!

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

There have lots of great moments in my career thus far but my most favorite moment is now. MIA BELL BRANDS is in the middle of its 3rd year in business, my team is happy, my clients are amazing, our retail partners are wonderful and I have a family that supports me in all that I do.

Being grateful for the now is important. And I trust that the future will be just as beautiful!

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

2 things: (1) My son just turned 2. He's quite the ray of sunshine! (2) I'm preparing for the next stage of growth for MIA BELL BRANDS which will be a combination of hiring additional staff, offering even more business classes for indie beauty brands and finalizing several new ventures. Can't wait to be able unveil everything!

 

About Mia Bell

Mia Bell Retail Strategy FirmMia Bell is the CEO & Founder of MIA BELL BRANDS, a national sales representation and business development firm for brilliant, natural beauty & lifestyle brands. A beauty product lover since grade school, Mia was shocked to learn about the use of questionable, toxic ingredients by some of her favorite brands. Armed with her sales and marketing background she joined the growing Healthy Beauty movement. Today, Mia and her team help get safer products onto store shelves and teach conscious companies how to thrive in the marketplace.

Website // Instagram // Periscope

Chasing Dreams Interview: Cristina's Journey from PT Etsy Shop Owner to FT Graphic Designer

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today's interview is with Cristina, founder and designer behind Sombras Blancas Art & Design. Cris started her business about four years ago as a part-time occupation and after a few years was able to make it her full-time job. She markets her services through her website and Etsy.

I know many of you have side hustles with the hopes of one day going full-time, so I was excited to share Cris's journey of getting started by selling her services on Etsy.

[Read more about Etsy shops: Chasing Dreams Interview with Amanda Heslinga, Owner of the Popular Rocks With Sass Etsy Shop]

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At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

This adventure started some years ago when a friend of mine asked me to create a logo for a fair trade campaign he was preparing on our university. It was then when I realized I wanted to take it seriously. I had always gravitated towards creative and artsy activities so this came as a great opportunity.

I started selling my pre-made logos and graphic design services on Etsy as a part-time occupation back in 2012.

I’m now working as a full-time freelance designer and I’m so glad I took this route.

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

I can say I have been pretty lucky during this whole journey.

Normally, the most difficult aspect of starting a business is precisely that: starting it. twitter icon

In my case, I was a college student when I decided to try, and I was still receiving economic support from my parents. This made it possible for me to go through the early stages of the process without having to worry about my income or balancing multiple jobs.

Apart from that, I think the biggest struggle I’ve faced has been learning to manage all the different aspects of the business by myself. During my regular day I am a graphic designer but also a customer support agent, an accountant, a postwoman and a social media manager.

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

Something every business owner should embrace in order to keep a healthy balance, especially if working from home as is my case, is maintaining a regular work-out routine. I go to the gym early in the morning 3-4 times a week, right before starting my work day, and I definitely feel the effect it has in my emotional well-being.

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

For me, the best way of getting over rejection is to analyze what might have gone wrong and put in place new processes or strategies that can help in the future.

Obsessing over failure is the least productive thing you can do with your time. twitter icon

Whereas this other approach will very possibly lead to new successes and happier customers.

What do you do when you're having an off day—maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

If I had been asked this question a couple of years ago, my answer would have probably been, “I keep working non-stop until I create something good."

However, I’ve learned that this strategy is useless in most cases. When I’m feeling in a creative slump, the best thing I can do is take a day off. That doesn’t mean that I am completely unproductive. I simply turn my back on my design work (and my computer, if possible) and focus my energy on other creative fields I enjoy: illustration, music or just reading a book.

Usually, the following day I’m looking forward to get back to work with renewed ideas in mind.

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

There are plenty of misconceptions about the work of graphic designers, but the one I still find striking is that some clients see us as mere translators with the ability to convert their exact wild ideas into a digital format and won’t accept any suggestions or ideas that would certainly improve the final result.

I feel bad in those cases because they are paying for a professional service and then not allowing me to do my job. These are just a few exceptions, thankfully.

Most of my clients come to me with a general idea of what they 're looking for but are happy to see the concept evolving throughout the different revisions.

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

So far, the biggest lesson I've learned through this experience is that you can't measure your success by focusing on daily numbers. I've found it better to track (at least) bimonthly stats. That way, you can use all your energy to create new products and services instead of worrying to death each time you go more than 2 days without a sale.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

Anyone who knows me would smile when reading this answer because I always give the exact same one: start before you are ready.

It's something I’ve always believed but even more after having run this business for some years now. There is no better way to learn all those things you have no clue how to accomplish.

Researching and planning are great but they will never give you as much experience as trying by yourself.

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

When talking about my business, receiving photos from past clients that show their own businesses are thriving always inspire me to keep working like nothing else. It makes me feel like I'm a tiny part of their journey and that's the best fuel I know.

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

It may sound cliché but those who have inspired me the most throughout this journey are my parents. Since I was little, they impressed on me a strong set of values such as working as hard as I can and being independent. That's what has driven me to where I am now.

In terms of books, I would say ALL THE BOOKS. I am an avid reader and I try to read more and more diversely every day. I especially feel inspired by fantasy stories and South American literature.

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

When looking back to the evolution of my business, I think the most exciting moment I’ve experienced has been when I launched my own website, which was the first one I designed myself, including e-commerce functionality that gave me the ability to market my products and services independently from other marketplaces.

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

I'm currently planning a whole redesign for my website with a fresh look. I'm super pumped about it and looking forward to see the result!

 

In the Comments:

Have any questions for Cristina about selling services in an Etsy shop or getting started on Etsy? Ask them in the comments below!


About Cristina

Cristina Graphic Designer Selling on EtsyHi! My name is Cristina, I’m 26 years old and I am from and live in Spain. I am the designer behind Sombras Blancas Art & Design. I offer branding services for small businesses and startups at an affordable price, mostly logo and website design but also marketing graphics and custom illustrations.

 

 

 

 

Website // Etsy // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // Pinterest

Comment

Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

Chasing Dreams Interview with Dana + Bridget, Founders of Crop Tops & Kale

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Dana Barron and Bridget Shannon, founders of Crop Tops & Kale. CT&K helps women enhance their wellness, beauty and style in a simple, minimalist way. Their message and work are completely in-line with my values, and we hit it off right away during our first meeting.

Plus, both Bridget and Dana are graduates of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and Bridget was previously the social media director for IIN. I just love how they approach wellness and life in general from a minimalist, approachable perspective.

I had chills while reading this interview because you can feel the passion and dedication they have to their vision. They're both so honest about the fear and excitement of starting a blog and business that I promise you'll come away feeling inspired for your own path.

Let’s dig in! (and stay tuned, because you'll be hearing from them again on my blog in the future.)

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At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

It’s been an evolution. We've both always known the nine-to-five lifestyle wasn’t for us, but there wasn’t a single aha moment. It was the culmination of saying yes to ourselves and what we were interested in a thousand times as we went along. In shifting our own limiting beliefs as to what’s possible and committing to trusting ourselves and our intuition. The path really started to roll out when we got clear on what we actually wanted to do and not just what we thought we should be doing. Our initial concept has evolved over the past year, and we’ve pivoted a few times. Adopting a minimalist and essentialist mindset was key to gaining this clarity and direction.

There is so much noise. So much distraction, especially online. We can’t do everything—so what is it that we REALLY want to do? What is the impact we REALLY want to make? We just kept asking ourselves those questions.

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

The voices in my our own heads. A positive mental attitude is the number-one thing that decides what we can do and what we cannot do.

Dana: For me, that means staying out of my own way so I can stop doubting myself and just sit down and do the work that I know deep down is valuable. It’s a daily practice to stay on the right side of it.

Bridget: For me, this means deciding what is most essential in my life, and asking what it would take to achieve my dream (moving out of the city and leaving a comfortable job to do the work that matters most). Removing the ego from the equation has been huge.

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

Dana: Sleep, abstaining from alcohol, and exercise. Sleep is number one. If I’m not sleeping well, everything goes to hell. And I actually quit drinking alcohol entirely for 90 days as a sleep and mood experiment. It’s incredible the positive impact it’s had. I'm sleeping like a champion now. And when I don’t drink at all—as opposed to a glass or two a few nights a week I was having—my mindset, which I mentioned above, is exponentially easier to control. And I’ve also been battling anxiety for most of my adult life, but when I cut alcohol out, it almost entirely evaporates. It’s mind-blowing. And exercise, specifically circuit training, helps me stay clear and energized. So nothing ground-breaking here but, getting good sleep, abstaining from the booze, and working out have been doing the trick for me. Oh, and I’ve recently been really into reading Mike Dooley and Gabby Bernstein as mental exercise—staying in my "trusting the Universe" mindset.

Bridget: I recently moved and am working rough hours, so staying healthy is a work in progress at the moment! But there are a few simple things that when overlooked can totally throw me off. Sleep and exercise are huge. When I’m sleeping seven or eight hours a night and working out regularly I have more clarity, energy and enthusiasm. Another big one for me is unplugging. Lately my tendency is to turn on the computer first thing in the morning, and I have a hard time checking out at night. When I leave zero time for disconnecting, it not only takes away from sleep and exercise, but can lead to more anxiety and frustration. I’ve learned how to say no to things I don’t want to do that may pull me out of balance. A few rituals that help are long walks with my dog, reading a good book at night and cooking healthy meals.

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

Dana: One of the best ideas I’ve extracted from the hundreds of self-help and business books I’ve read is from Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. In it, Ruiz says, "Don’t take anything personally." I try to keep that in mind at all times.

Bridget: Trusting the process has been key for me and knowing that things have a way of working themselves out, regardless of what you expected or thought the outcome might look like. You have to put yourself out there if you’re going to be writing and working online, so learning to let go of other people’s opinions is important. Also, having a solid back-up plan and surrounding myself with people I love and trust has given me the confidence to go for my dream.

What do you do when you're having an off day—maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

Dana: I cry. I take a hot shower. I curl up in bed with a book. I talk it out with my husband. I find that when I’m struggling with self-doubt, the best plan is to just go do something else, take my mind off of it. And come back to the work when it’s passed.

And I always try to remind myself that just because I’m thinking something, doesn’t mean it’s true. twitter icon

Bridget: A friend once told me that when she was training for a marathon, she constantly repeated to herself “one foot in front of the other.” I apply this logic to anything I struggle with, from a long run to an awful day. I try to keep in mind that everything has an end point, so this day WILL be over and tomorrow I’ll feel a lot better. I allow myself to let it pass and tackle the next day with new energy.

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

Dana: That blogging is easy or that you just write posts and that’s all there is to it.

Bridget: Ditto.

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

Both: It’s so much easier (and more fun) when you have a partner who shares your mission!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

Both: Just start. You’re not going to get it right the first time. Just get going. It will evolve. twitter icon 

And remember that it’s not about you, it’s about the value you’re creating for other people. That always helps us when we’re scared to ship something.   

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

Dana: Right after I’ve written something I’m really proud of or read something that really resonates.

Bridget: Helping someone. Whether that’s through writing, a conversation or an action. When I can do work I love and feel passionate AND it helps someone—that’s magic.

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

Lately Erin Boyle at Reading My Tea Leaves, Caroline at Un-Fancy, The Minimalists, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown, Miracles Now: 108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose by Gabby Bernstein, and Manifesting Change: It Couldn't Be Easier by Mike Dooley.

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

Dana: I ran a cleanse a few years ago. I had about 35 women enroll. One of them was a woman in her 60s living in Maine, a friend of my sorority sister’s aunt (I love when stuff like that happens!). When I spoke to her after the cleanse, she said her husband wanted to send me flowers. Because after doing the cleanse for just ten days, the chronic pain she’d been living in since her bout of Lyme Disease—a decade earlier—had totally vanished. She felt like she had her life back and her husband wanted to know who gave him his wife back. She cried. I cried. We all cried. I can’t remember ever feeling so professionally fulfilled. It reminded me that there is always SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE who needs what we have to offer the world. Our job is to do the work, put it out there, try to find them, and give them all we’ve got when we do.

Bridget: A big turning point in my journey was deciding to leave my full-time job to go after what I really want to do. There were a lot of factors involved and a ton of fear, and but I’m really proud of the decision because it was the first time I stood up and declared “This is what I want to do. I know it’s going to be hard and it’s risky, but it’s worth it to me.”

Another favorite moment was when we agreed on our partnership terms at a bar (after about three beers) on a cocktail napkin. Maybe not the most official process, but it meant we were both all in. I still have the napkin.

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

Dana: This project with Bridget. It’s basically all I think about these days. There’s so much good we can do and most of the time, it’s super fun. It’s so exciting to do the work and watch something grow.

Bridget: Starting this new chapter. I’ve never been more pumped about work and all the possibilities life has to offer. Change is scary, but it’s incredibly liberating and exciting.

About Crop Tops & Kale

Minimalist Health CoachesDana Barron and Bridget Shannon are the Co-Founders of Crop Tops & Kale, a website dedicated to living healthier and happier through the pursuit of less but better. After years of studying personal development, lots of trial & error, complicated diet protocols, and several wardrobe malfunctions, they've figured out a formula to live happier, more fulfilling lives. They write about simple wellness, safer beauty and minimalist style to help readers live their best lives and make the world a better place.

Website // Instagram // Pinterest

Chasing Dreams Interview with Batani Khalfani, Designer, Dancer, Actress, Writer + More

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Batani Khalfani, who was recommended by Crystal Chin (who I interviewed last year). Batani is a creative powerhouse, from fashion design to dancing, acting and writing.  She also has a great positive outlook and is an inspiration for any multi-passionate women out there.

Let's dig in!

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At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

I was born to be who I am in all aspects. All of my talents are innate. I am self-taught in all that I do artistically. I am a self-taught designer, dancer, artist. When I was 4 years old I was asked what I "wanted" to be when I grew up. I said, "I'm going to be an architect, fashion designer, actor, model and dancer." I am all of those things and soon I will be going to school for architecture.

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

I don't look at anything as a struggle, I look at things as a learning process. I really just do what I feel in my mind, I do what compels me always if it's in a positive direction. Sometimes I move too quickly and miss a few steps and then I have to go back. I've done that a lot. Right now I am making sure I take care of all of the essential steps in order to have a better outcome. But when I finally get it right it is RIGHT!

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

While owning my own business I make sure I do what I want. If I want to hang out with my friends and family I do that. I make sure I put myself around people, especially family, where I can give and receive unconditionally that helps me day by day. Sometimes I get so busy though that I forget to eat, hence me being so thin...I am making a better effort to eat all throughout the day to maintain my health and energy. I love to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. I love spinach and kale, and I love all fruits.

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

Ha! I am so hard on myself and honest with myself that I don't care what anyone thinks. Seriously. I talk to myself all throughout the day, but I have fun with myself in making sure I'm doing what I feel is best for me and my path. I am my biggest critic. So any type of rejection is nothing to me. I have the thickest skin of anyone I know.

When I was younger people used to laugh and talk about my forehead and how skinny I was, and I laughed right with them because the jokes they said were funny. Nothing anyone says can affect me, the only thing that can affect me is if someone does something to me physically then they have a problem, not me.

What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

When I'm having on off day, I usually just sleep to rest my mind. Sleeping is fun sometimes because it renews. People are like, "Team no sleep" I'm like, "Yeah whatever."

Sometimes I will go to the beach and look at the water and let it run over my feet. I find that very cleansing. Maybe sometimes I will go to the park. I like to unify with nature if I'm feeling a little off balance.

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

One misconception that people have about me is that I only design, when in fact I'm very well rounded. Not only do I design but I dance, I act, I write, I paint and sketch. I know Spanish, I am learning Japanese and I know a little bit of Korean. I can talk about anything from foreign policy to indigenous cultures. I like to learn so any chance I get to learn, I'm always on it.

In my upcoming projects I get to show my mind, my thought process and my views of the world and all of what I can do. I'm excited.

I understand, though, why people may have misconceptions about me because most of the time I'm very quiet, I just like to observe things around me. I don't go along with the crowd, I'm always standing out of it watching all that's around me and I've come to find out that sometimes that makes people uncomfortable because people are taught that they have to do things to fit in. I never wanted to fit in because I am not designed to fit in. So people have their thoughts...and I let them have them.

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

One of the biggest lessons I've learned is to do the art for the art and not for the money. twitter icon

The money will come. Just dedicate yourself to your craft and the rest will follow. I recently just learned that, and I'm glad I learned it at this point because the experiences leading up to it are invaluable.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

Well no one really follows anybody else path unless they're a copycat, but anyone who wants to do anything in life, the most valuable advice I can give is to just do it.

A person should do what they want and what they feel to achieve the success they desire and not let anyone dissuade them.

Since I was a child I've never let anyone tell me I shouldn't do something because I've always known what I wanted in my mind and have always had a very clear vision of my future.

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

I feel most like myself every single day of my life. If I'm having an off-day or a very fulfilled day I know each step is a part of my process. I am grateful that I have a keen sense of awareness which allows me to be very introspective and check myself if I'm not elevated towards my higher self.

Sometimes, not that often, I let myself vibrate on lower frequency just to get the experience out but I immediately check myself and go back up. I really enjoy myself and love myself so that love keeps me on high feeling like myself all of the time.

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

Anything that has substance, that has a soul, life, character, gets my attention. In a world where most things are mundane and lack substance, the things and people that are true to their core catch my attention.

One of the people in my life who inspire me though is my dad. He has great character and integrity that he's had all of his life and he has never wavered and is very well respected. He gives me something to aspire to. Its also great to know that I have a lot of his attributes.

My mom also inspires me because as I get older I see how wise she is and her thoughtfulness in the decisions that she made towards her children. She always bought paint and sketch books for me. She bought me my first sewing machine when I was 15, and I didn't even ask for one. Her dedication to people outside of herself inspires me.

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

My favorite moment in my career so far has been all of the moments leading up to this point and my future moments. I really am grateful for this process. I enjoy it all. Like I said I love to learn and each day I am learning and going higher and right now at this point in my life I am excited because of what's coming.

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

The most exciting thing in my life right now is that I am living and experiencing. I am having fun and doing what I want. I'm meeting new people everyday and having fun with the people I've known for years. I'm seeing people get wiser, I'm seeing some regress lol.

I am seeing more people wake up to who they really are and right now in my life I am becoming who I will ultimately become. I can't wait to meet myself 6 months from now, a year from now, 5 years from now, 10. This is all exciting to me.

When I am older and ascend to my next life, I will just smile because I know that I will have lived my life the way I wanted to live it and not how anyone else wanted me to live it, and that excites me.

 

Batani KhalfaniBIO

I am self-taught artist. I am in love with my family and in love with great things. I design, I paint, I act, I dance and I write. In the near future I will release a book about my life which is way too interesting and I am releasing a documentary about my father who is a very influential figure in South Central Los Angeles. I am working on several projects in the film arena.

I have a blog called Agent of Fashion which you will see more of as well as my YOUTUBE channel under the same name. I am working a non-profit for children. My couture line, which the new collections haven't been released yet, is www.batanikhalfani.com. My couture line is where my creativity and the different levels of it can be seen.

Blog // Instagram

 

 

 

 

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Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

Chasing Dreams Interview with Chrissy Gruninger, founder of Sanguine Collective

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Chrissy Gruninger, a fellow member of the Female Entrepreneur Association. Chrissy is the founder of Sanguine Collective, as well as many other actions in the pursuit of a happy and whole life through intentional actions. We have a lot in common with a love for travel and intentional living, so I have a feeling you'll all enjoy her message as well!

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At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

I’ve always loved writing and creating.  I remember writing my first little “book” way back in Junior High but somewhere along the way, life went in a different direction.  Then a few years back while I was in grad school and writing my thesis, I really felt called to write more and to create messages of happiness and harmony in the world.  I started by writing a basic quarterly newsletter which turned into a blog and eventually I wrote several books on living intentionally and eco travel.  What I like to call “eco wellness.”

When I sent one of my eco travel memoirs to a hospitality management firm in Costa Rica (as I had visited all their hotel properties), I was then contacted by the President of the company and offered a position in their online marketing department, managing all of their social media channels.  I knew this was the right direction for me –creating content that I love and sharing stories of eco wellness with a worldwide audience.

It was only recently that I acknowledged (and accepted) that I’m a multi-passionate.  When I realized that I wanted to both create harmony in the world as well as support others in doing the same, that is when everything finally fell into place and I started to feel like I was not only on more solid ground but had finally created my dream life.

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

About a year after I got the social media management position, I decided to move to Costa Rica.  I didn’t realize however that the combination of starting my own business AND living in a foreign country would be such a major (and challenging) adjustment.  Not only was I spending an enormous amount of time trying to grow the business, I was also living in a totally different culture (one that I’m still trying to understand, 3+ years later).

To make matters worse, at the time, I had no idea of the concept of an “ideal client” and I was running into a lot of problems with working with clients who were really not a good fit for me or my business.  That caused lots of time to be wasted and many headaches.

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

I love my yoga practice.  I live it every day, on and off the mat.  I also love being in nature.  Fortunately, living in Costa Rica, I’m surrounded by the natural world.  It helps bring me back to my center.  At times, I’ll admit it can be distracting – wild monkeys running around and macaws squawking in a nearby tree.  But that is what helps keep me grounded and a reminder of why I’m doing this work – to create more harmony and wellness for all.

power to thrive

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

In the beginning, it was really hard on me and I took everything personally.  Over time, I began to realize that it usually wasn’t about me, or that maybe the client just wasn’t a good fit.

I’ve learned that there are plenty of clients for everyone and when we find the right ones, they will stick around.  twitter icon

Most of the clients I have now, I’ve had for several years, and I adore them.

What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

Depending on the day, the weather, my overall energy level… I love to read, listen to music, get on my yoga mat and just rest in balasana or savasana.

In good weather, I’ll head down to town or the beach, being in the warm tropical air and seeing the world around me helps me center myself and reminds me of all that I’m grateful for.

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

That being a writer and understanding how to show up in our busy online world is easy and/or not a high value.  That a high school kid with a Facebook account can do it so it must not be worth more than a minimum wage salary (so far from the truth!)

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

To really understand my value and what that is worth. When I was just starting out, I did a lot of work for free and really undervalued my services. I was trying to please everyone and because I was a single business owner, with just the one income to support me, I didn’t ever want to say No to clients. I was terrified of losing clients.

Now, I have learned how to say No. I will still say Yes, sometimes…but it has to feel right to me and my relationship with the client has to be one in which the work that I create is valued and respected (and paid for).

Clients that are constantly asking me to tweak my contract or add something in for free…I know pretty quickly now those situations are a rabbit hole I don’t want to jump down.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

I like to say: Make the grass green where you are first.  twitter icon

You have to be happy with who you are and where you are.  Then you can begin to think about making changes.

Changing jobs, moving countries… they won’t necessarily make everything better, those choices won’t make all your problems go away. Sure some of them might change with a new job, new boss or new location but often, you will find yourself continuing to be unhappy, only for different reasons.

Look within, find contentment, and then decide what it is you want to do and how you want to show up in the world.

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

Fortunately, now, that is how I feel every day. I love every moment – even the not so good ones.  It’s not that life is so easy (it definitely isn’t!) but I’ve learned how to live with ease and presence, courage and strength.

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

My favorite books are In the Heart of Life by Kathy Eldon, The Legacy of Luna by Julia Butterfly Hill and Learning to Breathe by Alison Wright. On those days when I find myself on the mat in balasana, I love listening to Sita’s Light, a beautiful, heartfelt collection of kirtan songs. Or Michael Franti when I need to do a more challenging vinyasa sequence.

The people who inspire me are those who are doing something with their life to make the world a better, more beautiful place. The authors above and Miriam Zernis from Sita’s Light all fall into that category. Colin Beavan, No Impact Man, is another person who I admire.

All these people…they inspire me because they’re actively living their lives. They’re choosing not to be on the sidelines but instead to show up and really make a difference. I’m fortunate to know some of them personally and while they’re not perfect, they do walk their talk as best they can.  Authenticity is what inspires me the most.

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

My absolute favorite accomplishment is my first book, An Intentional Life. While my eco travel memoirs are a big part of who I am and having a feature in Colin Beavan’s upcoming book is so surreal (and exciting!), really An Intentional Life is the epitome of all that I am, all that I believe and value. It’s my heartfelt desire for the world – in a beautifully designed photojournalistic book.

I purposefully wrote it to reach a wide audience and both kids and adults have found it to be inspirational and moving. To know that it has touched the lives of others and supported others in recognizing (and remembering) that we are all One…  That has truly made all the difference for me.

What I want my legacy to be is that I helped create more harmony in the world and I supported others in doing the same.  An Intentional Life was my first real public step in doing just that.

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

What I’m most excited about now is my signature program, Inherent Harmony. It’s based on my newest book, Lost and Found in the Land of Mañana (coming out in early 2016!).

I absolutely love supporting people in transforming their lives and really showing up in the world in a meaningful way. With Inherent Harmony, that’s exactly what I get to do. I want more people to be able to say: I’m in love with my life (and really mean it).  Learn more about the program here.

 

BIO

Chrissy GruningerChrissy Gruninger is the founder of Sanguine Collective, an eco wellness & travel author, yoga teacher and creator of the Inherent Harmony mentoring program. She loves her 400 square foot jungle home in Costa Rica, the sunshine and the rain and passionately believes that through intentional actions we create more happiness, health and harmony in the world.

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

 

 

 

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Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

Chasing Dreams Interview with Samantha Costello, Owner of The Little Green Studio

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Samantha Costello, a fellow member of the Female Entrepreneur Association. Samantha runs The Little Green Studio, a boutique design + stationery studio specializing in wedding stationary. I am in love with her work and you will be too.

At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

My background is originally in marketing, which I loved and still love now but after 4 years in this field, I decided that I needed a new challenge. I started a design & lifestyle blog in 2011 as a creative outlet (as well as a distraction to my then long distance relationship) and completely self-taught myself Photoshop. However, YouTube videos can only get you so far and in 2012, I signed myself up for complete graphic design course at night school and I have never looked back. This was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made and I knew/know that this is the right direction because it feels so right. I read a quote recently that says, "You know you are on the road to success, if you would do your job and not get paid for it". I believe it was Oprah Winfrey who said that and I think she is absolutely right. I wake up every day and I am excited to get to work; whether that is designing wedding stationery for a client or screenprinting in my studio, if feels like a hobby that I also get paid for!

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

As a completely novice business owner, I have faced every struggle there is; from pricing to time management. There are so many really high highs but an equal amount of lows, especially at the beginning. However, the biggest struggle that I just wasn't prepared for was the amount of time it takes to really get the ball rolling. Clients don't just arrive because you've decided to start a business, you have to really put yourself out there and that takes a lot of time and effort. In our world of social media and always being connected, it is so easy to look at other business owners in your field and think that it looks so effortless for them but you are potentially comparing your beginning to their middle and they had to start somewhere too. Consistency is key, no matter what you do. Make a plan and stick to it. twitter icon

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

Owning a business definitely requires very long hours but it also means that I have the flexibility to decide when I put those hours in. I'm very good at getting up and getting started early in the morning and I also try really hard to do a gym class every day during the week. Evenings are time for me and my husband and I try to be really strict about this. We will both get home from work at about 7pm and then I will cook dinner for us whilst we catch up. This is probably my favourite part of the day. I love to cook and find that it is such a great way to relax and unwind. After dinner we will sometimes take a walk or catch up on a TV series we're watching. I try really hard to leave work at work.

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

Rejection hurts and I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, so I can definitely take things personally, especially when I have spent hours working on something. However, I come from a very positive family and I am a very positive person. I believe that everything happens for good reason and, even if this isn't apparent immediately, it will work itself out for the best in the long run. Bouncing back is tough, especially when confidence has been knocked but I like to take tiny steps in the direction of my dreams to build my confidence back up. Whether this is sending an email to reach out to someone, watching an inspiring video or doing something as simple and easy as getting all of my accounting up-to-date, tiny little steps enable you to move in the right direction, whilst also re-building your confidence.

What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

Being a woman in my 30s, I guess that I have (finally) become used to being on an emotional roller coaster and when I find myself in a dip, I try to remind myself that it will pass and to stay focused on all the things that I have, rather than thinking about all the things that I don't yet have/want. I believe that happiness is created in the mind, so positive thinking can go a very long way to improving a bad mood. Other than that, I will have a chat with my sister, go to a gym class or crack open a bottle of wine!

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

Gosh, I really don't know but I would love to find out!! :)

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

I'm definitely still learning something new every single day but the biggest thing I've learnt so far is how important it is to get out and meet people. This has had such a positive knock-on affect on my business and it is great to meet link-minded individuals, who are in the same industry. Whether it is a catch up over tea and cake or developing a collaboration; networking and developing friendships in your industry is important to your sanity and happiness (especially when working alone) and is equally important to developing a successful and thriving business.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

Be prepared for an adventure and be prepared to never stop learning. Running a business takes so much time, energy, commitment, creativity, organisation and thought. You never switch off, whether you're at your desk or away on holiday, you're always thinking of your next business move and inspiration is everywhere. It should be a lifestyle choice. Find something you love doing and then find a way to make money from doing it. In my specific industry, I would recommend networking at local wedding fayres and exhibiting at local events. Attend national stationery events as well, it is so important to get yourself and your brand out there. Speaking of brands, I would highly recommend developing a solid brand and a beautiful, easy-to-use website. Photography is absolutely key, so be sure to employ the skills of the best photographer you can afford and then use these photographs consistently to build your social media following.

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

I honestly feel most inspired when I'm starting a brand new project for a brand new client. After our initial consultation, I will then go away and spend hours researching, developing colour schemes, creating design concepts and moodboards. I will look for the best paper/card stock and give some thought about the best printing method for the job. When it is just me, my Apple Mac, my music, my ideas and of course a cup of tea, I feel happy, inspired and most like me.

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

My dad and my sister are such inspirational, self-made business people and I'm so lucky to have them close-at-hand for tips, advice and general business chat. My dad has been building businesses since the 1980s, so he has an old-school attitude to business, which is really refreshing in this age of online businesses and social media. My sister, on the other hand, has built multiple online businesses, so knows a thing or two about the modern business. Both of these very different influences make for interesting family dinners!

With regards to books, I loved The SecretThe Moses Code and The Alchamist, along with The E-MythThe 4-Hour Work Week and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Next on my list is It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be.

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

The day I got my first real, completely unrelated client. That was the turning point for me and I knew I was on the right tracks from that moment forward. I also feel lucky to be able to wake up everyday and do something that I absolutely love. I never mind when Monday rolls round and I'm never wishing for the weekend. Life is good and this makes me feel accomplished.

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

Right now, there are lots of very exciting things going on. Wedding season is fast approaching, so that is keeping us busy and we are currently in line for our busiest wedding season ever, which I'm really pleased about.

I am also in the process of finishing up our first line of greetings cards, wrapping paper, gift tags and prints. All of which are going to be screenprinted by hand, photographed and then added to our online shop by the end of the Summer. Along with all of this, our Costello Collection of luxury wedding stationery is also in development and this will consist of 5 unique designs, incorporating beautiful, hand finished elements, such as gold foiling and duplexing. I cannot wait to reveal this new collection at the end of Autumn.

On a personal level, my sister just got engaged, which I am so so happy about and my husband and I have lots of traveling planned for this year, so I'm pretty excited about that too :)

BIO

Little Green Samantha CostelloSamantha is the enthusiast behind Little Green, a boutique design & stationery studio specializing in developing & styling beautiful wedding stationery. As a newly-wed herself, she completely understands the what it is like to plan a wedding and finds it easy to connect and work with like-minded individuals. She is constantly grateful for the opportunity and community that her business and blog brings and loves the fact that, whilst not easy, she’s turning her dreams into a reality one day and step at a time.

Samantha launched her blog in 2011 as a way to channel her creativity, love for fashion and design and, if she’s honest, a way to keep her mind occupied and focused on something other than her long-distance relationship! Fast forward 4 years and she is now happily married and focusing her attention on designing beautiful wedding stationery, developing content for her blog and being creative in the kitchen to keep her American other-half satisfied.

Keeping it sweet and simple is Samantha’s philosophy in life and this is also true for her design work; which can be seen throughout this website and also in her shop.

Samantha’s love of design often takes her away from her computer and up into her studio, where she can be found screenprinting for hours on end; developing her line of inspirational quotes, greetings cards and wrapping paper, all of which will be available to purchase very soon!

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest

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Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

Chasing Dreams Interview with Kristl Yuen, Founder of Kwai Fah Acupuncture Clinic

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Kristl Yuen, a fellow member of the Female Entrepreneur Association. Not only does Kristl run a successful acupuncture clinic, but she also works with other business owners to reduce debt and reach their financial goals.

At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

Believe it or not, I've wanted to be an acupuncturist since I was 7, after I received treatment for the first time. I'd struggled with respiratory issues and frequent colds as a child and acupuncture and herbal medicine were the only things that helped. I wanted to help people feel better the way that it had helped me feel better.

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

Practically, the biggest struggle is that we didn't get great business training in school, so there's been a huge learning curve there. Emotionally, I've had to learn not to compare myself to others and not to worry about their opinion of me, of what I'm doing, or of how I'm running my business.

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

I am a huge proponent of self care! My partner and I cook all of our own meals and do our best to eat only whole, non-processed foods, and very little sugar. I also receive acupuncture, Chinese herbs, massage therapy, and chiropractic care on a monthly basis. As far as rituals, I make sure to meditate, read, and walk to the lake every day and my partner and I write down the things for which we are grateful every day before bed. I'm excited to go through our gratitude jar at the end of the year!

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

I see rejection and failure as educational opportunities, as well as signs that there's probably something better down the road that I may not be quite ready for. When you stop living in a place of victimhood and start to see the universe as acting in your favor, even rejections and failures can be positive, as you have the power to change things.

What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

I usually retreat for a bit and take some time to myself. I'm also a huge fan of getting out and getting moving. I find that when I connect with nature and connect with my body that my mind gets a lot clearer. Often, this is just taking a walk around the block, but it could also be going to yoga, going for a bike ride, hugging a tree, etc.

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

That it's woo woo and requires very little education. To become a Chinese medicine practitioner you need to go to school for four years and get training in both eastern and western medical theory, nutrition, Chinese herbs, and acupuncture points, to name a few. It's incredibly intense.

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

It's cliche, but you have to be true to yourself. Act in honor and integrity and don't do things just because other people are doing them. Do what feels best in your heart.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

Just start. You can research and try to find the "best" program for you, but really you just need to start. Pick something. Do something. When Gloria Steinem turned 80 she was asked if she had any regrets and she responded, "Actually, it's not so much what I would have done differently; it's that I would have done it much faster." This hits so close to home, as I've had countless times in my life in which I researched and waffled and asked advice and when I finally took action I felt a huge relief and wished I'd done it sooner. So, just start. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You'll figure it out.

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

When I'm taking care of myself and standing my power. I find that this is easiest when I'm really taking care of myself - meditating, walking, eating clean food, making time for me.

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

I love everything Tiffany Han does. I also recently read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks and really enjoyed it. Anything about the Law of Attraction and the power of a positive mindset, really. I do my best to foster positivity and intentionality as much as possible.

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

My favorite accomplishment was moving into my very own storefront clinic last summer. Up until that point I had rented from other acupuncturists and it felt like such a huge step forward to have my very own clinic. There are some days I look around and can hardly believe that it's mine!

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

Well, I recently decided to focus all my energy on paying off my student loans. Most people don't know that acupuncturists frequently graduate with over $100,000 of student loan debt. In February I decided I'd had enough and started a blog at www.debtfreeacupuncturist.com, documenting my journey with paying off my debt. It has struck a chord! I've gotten so much positive feedback, from non-acupuncturists and acupuncturists alike. People don't like to talk about their debt, so the fact that I've started the conversation and am being open, honest, and transparent has been really well-received. I am really excited to see where this leads!

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BIOkristl yuen

Kristl Yuen, L.Ac., MSTOM, Dipl. O.M. owns a successful acupuncture clinic in Chicago, IL. In her practice, she focuses on partnering with her patients on their wellness paths using acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Reiki, nutritional counseling and supplements, cupping, and other accessory techniques. She also has recently started to work with other acupuncturists on cultivating wealth consciousness and a positive money mindset. She enjoys cooking, singing, dancing, and spending evenings at home reading with her partner, Rachel, and their dog, Bradley, and cat, Delilah.

Website // Twitter // Twitter // Facebook // Facebook

Comment

Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

Chasing Dreams Interview with Kyle Weiger, Founder of Reflexion Yoga

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Kyle Weiger, founder of reflexionyoga.com. I came across this website from another healthy living blogger a few years ago and decided to sign up around Christmastime 2013. I've been hooked ever since! I contacted Kyle about an issue logging in and he was super helpful. We got to talking about digital marketing, and I just had to ask him to participate in this series. Find out what it's been like for him and his partner to start an online yoga studio/subscription site.

At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

After practicing yoga for a couple of years, and watching all the dramatic changes it brought to my own personal awareness, I wanted to share it with as many people as possible. So when the opportunity to go through Teacher Training came along, I jumped right on it. Best. Decision. Ever.

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

Right now, I'm in the midst or running a couple of different yoga sites, so time management is the biggest struggle I face right now. What I've realized is that the work is always going to be there, so stressing out about how much work you have to do is pointless. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I simply take a few deep breaths, and ask myself "What's the most important thing I can focus my energy on right now?". This usually helps me to set aside the laundry list of items and get truly present to a single task at hand.

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

No surprise here....yoga! A regular yoga practice keeps my mind clear, and ensures that I get up from my computer so I can devote time to my mind and body. Also, it always re-energizes me and gives me that 2nd, 3rd, or 4th wind I need to keep going!

Kyle Weiger Reflexion Yoga

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

Emotional ups and downs are part of the job when you run your own business, there's no way around it. My favorite remedy for any kind of emotional roller coaster is a good night's sleep. Waking up to a new day mean a fresh start and a new opportunity to handle anything. Yesterday is already gone and when I first get out of bed in the morning, the choice is mine on how I want to fill my day and what kind of energy I want to give it.

What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

Aside from yoga, my other favorite form of relaxation is conversation with good friends. My best friend is also a business owner, and always willing to lend an ear, so it's great to have a sounding board for the hurdles I run into. Most of the time, it turns out he's experienced something similar, and it's refreshing to know that I'm not the only one stumbling on the path to running a successful business.

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

"Yoga is not a workout." - I hear it way to often. They think yoga is just stretching. There is nothing tame about holding a handstand or trying to quiet the mind while standing on one leg for a minute. Although it's gaining in popularity, many people still don't realize that yoga is a mind/body connection, and not just sitting on a meditation pillow.

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

I'll rely on one of my favorite quotes here - "If you want to get something you've never had, then you have to be willing to do something you've never done." - There were plenty of times where throwing in the towel would have been really easy when building my yoga sites, but that's not how great stories are made.

kyle weiger handstand

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

Be curious. Be very curious. Go out and find other people that have done it before you, and ask them for coaching. If I had only went off of what I knew, I'd still be sitting in front of a blank monitor wondering how to get my logo on my homepage. No matter what, there is always someone out there that has the experience that can help you, and they too were probably once at a point of being lost and confused. Learning from others' successes/mistakes is the best thing you can do when embarking on a new adventure.

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

Although my sites teach yoga online, I'm most inspired when I'm a room with live students. I love connecting with people and seeing them get into new poses, or discover something about their body that they didn't think they could do. The look on my students' faces when that happens is worth more than any paycheck.

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

People: Ido Portal, Jake and Amir (comedy), Jamie Smart.

Books: The Science of Yoga, Rework, Hooked.

Music: Banks, The Weeknd, Blackmill, Bonobo, Chromeo, edIT

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

In December of 2012,  the first version https://reflexionyoga.com went live. I had building it for almost a year prior to that, and finally seeing all my work actually come to fruition was such an amazing feeling. The moment where I could actually visit the site (and it actually worked) made all the blood, sweat, and tears totally worth it!

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

We are currently test-marketing the Yoga For Belly Fat system. It's a 14-week yoga-based workout system that will be available for full purchase in April/May of 2015. It was written by me and my teaching partner, Matt. It is designed to be a fun and effective way to not only burn the extra inches around the belly, but to bring more confidence and power to women around the world.

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BIO

Kyle Weiger HeadshotKyle Weiger is a student of yoga and gymnastics, with a passion for showing people that they are far stronger than they think. Not just a little stronger, but like a “Holy crap, I can’t believe I just did that!” kind of stronger. Getting people to experience transformation through the use of their physical body is something that Kyle strives for every time he teaches. The shift happens when students move from the world of “I can’t” into the possibility of “I’m learning how to.”  For Kyle, yoga isn’t about getting your foot behind your head or balancing on one arm. It’s about being willing to try something new, being vulnerable and open, and being ok with doing just for the sake of doing, with no attachment to outcome. There is no finish line, there is only progress

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Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

Chasing Dreams Interview with Lisa Jemus, Owner of Tarot Solutions

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Lisa Jemus, a fellow member of the Female Entrepreneur Association. Lisa runs an online business called Tarot Solutions, where she does tarot readings for entrepreneurs. I was immediately interested in such a unique business idea, so I wanted to share her story with you all!

At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

I have known for a few years now that I wanted an online business of some kind, and have known for my entire adult life that I wanted to be an entrepreneur.  I have spent the last decade or so searching for just the “right” business, and really thinking my way through it, which was kind of a disaster!  I attended a retreat in 2013 to try to figure out exactly what I wanted to do… from a deep soul level… and the leader pulled out her tarot cards.  I had been doing tarot for over 20 years, but had packed them away for a couple of years because I was “in the closet” about me using them.  It peaked my interest in the cards again, so when I got home I started to do readings for myself again.  Once summer rolled around, I was bored of doing them for myself and on a whim posted on my FB page, “Hey, bored of doing readings for myself, would anybody out there like one?  For free?”  And within 12 hours 25 people had commented that they would love one!  And most of them were friends and colleagues I never in a million years would have thought would want one!  And thus, the seed was planted for my tarot business.  And since then it has unfolded so naturally it’s almost scary.

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

Feeling kind of alone as I hit my highs and lows.  My husband and family and friends are not online entrepreneurs, so they really don’t understand why I get so excited about another person joining my tribe by joining my list, or how much work it is to do day after day to produce content and keep my community engaged. This is why my network of business BFF’s is so important, and I am about to have our very first ever Google Hangout with my Biz Soul Sisters this weekend.  We are all in the same stage of development and understand the ups and downs.

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

It is super important for me personally to completely unplug from my biz on a regular basis.  Sundays are becoming a sacred day for me. I make sure I schedule content for my FB page, so that I don’t really have to look at it, other than to check in and respond to folks that comment on Sundays. Which is really fun, so I don’t think of that as work. But for me, the main thing is the borage of overload in gurus and pages that I follow, and my never ending to-do list in my office.  When I am not working, I tidy up my office and close the door. I work hard to not work when my kids are home from school, and that my evening are for my family. I am just now starting to bring exercise back into my schedule, which is a huge part of handling stress and the hours and hours sitting and hunched over a computer. My rituals when I am working are really important. Every single time I enter my office to either do a reading or do work of any kind, I create a sacred space by saying a shamanic prayer for this purpose, I smudge my space and turn on my Christmas lights, my salt crystal light, and light my protection candle (for readings).  I do this every single time. This helps to focus my mind and spirit and grounds me in my body to stay focused. It also adds the soulful part of my business because my ultimate desire is to help people uncover the best of themselves using the tarot as a tool.

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

I learned a long time ago that you cannot please everyone. But for me, it has been key to identify my Ideal Client, and to recognize that some of my offerings will not land with people for whatever reason, and that’s okay.  People will be drawn to my energy and my message, and hopefully there will be some alignment and connection that happens. When I get rejected, I just keep moving forward and literally let it go. This has been a process I have learned over decades though, I have worked on this aspect of myself in my personal life for years, so I also think that being older has helped in my case.

The other thing I do is to read about or revisit other successful women in the online world and hear their stories of rejection and how they overcame this difficultly. This always makes me feel 100% better!

What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?
It varies.  Sometimes I feel this way because I am just plain tired and burnt out.  If this is the reason, I take the day off from all business activities and watch DVD’s, knit, or play video games with my kids.  I stay away from social media, because my feed is so full of business stuff, just scrolling through it can give me palpitations when I am in this from of mind!

If I feel this way and it is NOT burn out, it is usually because I have been too hyper focused on a task or piece of my business and have lost the Big Picture view.  When this is the case, the cure for me is to revisit my 2015 plan and look at my big picture goals for the entire year, and then to reflect on all that I have accomplished thus far.

If I am totally unmotivated to anything, which happens at least once per week, and if I am not able to focus on anything, I pick ONE THING to work on for 20 minutes and I set my timer.  This is MAGICAL and something I learned from Racheal Baxter Cook in her Conscious Business Design course.  This is the #1 way for me to get motivated very quickly and get a task done with 100% focus on it.  I tell myself, “I can do 20 minutes!”  And usually after the first 20 I am suddenly on a great roll and do another one, with a 5 minute walk-away break in-between.  These are called Pomodoros and you can get an app on your phone for it.  A life changer!

One last thing I do when it all goes to pot is I read inspiration books by people that I respect.  I love The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.  So great for this!

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

They think that I am a fortune teller. Which I am not. At all. The first thing I tell clients, literally the first thing I say in our session is, “Let me tell you how I work, tarot is not a fortune telling tool for me, it is a powerful way to cut through all of the mind chatter that we have to access our intuitive self.” And that’s it. If you want to come to me and ask a question like, “Will I have a baby this year?” I have no idea. But we can do a reading about “What is truly blocking me from getting pregnant”  or “what do I really need to know about having a baby this year?” I had a client ask me this once after she had been really trying to get pregnant for one year, and it turned out that she had all of these blocking beliefs and fears about having kids, and she obviously subconsciously knew they were there, but she had no real awareness that this was a huge underlying stress and block to her having a baby. Once she brought those feelings out to the light, she felt much better, and took steps to address these fears. Amazingly I checked in with her 3 months later and she was pregnant!  HUZZAH!

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

That I don’t have to do this all alone and that even the MOST successful people in life have self doubt and fear!  This is why I make it regular practice to follow and read articles or books about successful women.  They all have these same feelings sometimes!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

For a prior business I tried, I worked with a developer and designer. It was more work than I had thought, because there are so many decisions that the business owner must make!  He was great, though, and was always sending me examples of what he thought my vision was. This is what I would say, is that if you can create based on someone else’s vision, you would be a great designer.

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

During a reading! When I am interacting with my clients, and we are connecting and having fun, and going deep into their lives, and then when there is that moment where we both can feel that “ah-ha” happen for them. It is so amazingly powerful, and not only am I most ME, but I feel deeply honored to be doing this work.  My clients inspire me everyday. They face their issues bravely and are so moved to make their lives better. They are just incredible!

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

I love Racheal Baxter Cook, she inspires me as an online entrepreneur in every way, and how to balance that with being a wife and mom too. I also admire and am inspired by Carrie Green of Female Entrepreneur Association.  She has created something so powerful and has connected an amazing group of women. I am continually inspired by everything Carrie puts out for us in that group! I am inspired by entrepreneurs and those that beat the odds and create something beautiful out of their lives, despite any obstacles in their way.

One of my most favourite songs that totally lights my inspiration fire is Brave by Sarah Barielles!

I am a book person, so I read all the time, mostly books on business and personal development.  Here are my top 5 go-to books for inspiration:  The Big Leap by Gay Henderix;  The Energy of Money by Maria Nemeth;  The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte;  Get Rich Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield.

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

Well, launching it! I consider this my biz’s birthday! I launched on Halloween, which seemed super appropriate and kinda cool for a tarot business. It was a proud day for me because not only did I have a real business to put out there, I actually LOVED IT, and couldn’t wait to dive in to it with all of my heart and soul. After that day, I get excited about pretty much everything! But an exciting day after that was the first time I had two bookings in one day. This was HUGE for me, and I celebrated that day! Since then I have had several double day bookings, and each time it happens I am just so grateful for my business. I love it almost like a person. :0)

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

I am super excited about my very first ever online 5 week course that I am launching next month. There is quite a bit of interest, and I have had so much fun creating the content for it. I have that delicious fear that you get when you do your first skydive, or jump off a really high diving board.  It is scary as heck, but thrilling at the same time! It is my Dabbler to Diva Level 1 (beta) course that will teach you to read tarot cards in fun and quick ways. It will be 5 weeks of webinars and worksheets, and a private FB group to play in! It is my newest baby and if you want to learn more about it, you can visit my page right here! Registration is open until March 21st, 10pm MDT.

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BIO

oracleLisa Jemus is a Tarot Reader who believes that this ancient tool can help transform your life and business in ways that are unbelievably powerful.  She has been reading tarot for over twenty years, and is a Certified Professional Tarot reader through Tarot Foundations and Biddy Tarot, and is a member of The Tarot Association.  She resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and is able to do readings in person and via Skype.  She reads for personal and business type inquiries.  Whatever your tarot needs are, you can be rest assured that she will conduct your reading with enthusiasm, warmth, empathy and lots of humour!

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Comment

Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!