When Winter Clark’s side hustle began to grow organically, she took a chance and swapped teaching English for launching her business. Following her intuition has seen her thrive, including writing and publishing two books. Here, she shares the lessons she has learned from doing it differently.
What inspired you to launch your own business?
Before officially launching my business, I taught English at a public school in Brooklyn, New York. As soon as I decided to do what I love as a side hustle, coworkers began to seek me out for energetic and spiritual support! I was inspired to bring the business, Winter Clark Wellness, into full bloom, knowing I had an eager demographic to help.
Starting a business takes courage. What obstacles did you have to overcome?
The biggest obstacle to overcome was my learning curve! Building my website, finding appropriate payment systems, learning how to structure my schedule to honour my personal time and energy, finding ways to market and get my services out there in an aligned way… the list goes on.
What challenges have you faced running your business, and how did you resolve them?
Pricing and burnout. Initially, I had little work boundaries and would take clients whenever they showed up. I also priced my services competitively even though I offered something unique.
After the first six months of running ragged, I realised things had to change. I created my ideal work hours during the week and calculated my business expenses and energy invested. The result was a happy client, a happy practitioner and a sustainable income.
What achievement/s you are most proud of and why?
I’m most proud of life in general. In 2017, following my intuition, I decided to move to Colorado; it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. That kicked off writing and publishing two books, creating products for the first time, making amazing business connections and eventually curating workshops and mentorships. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to get things going!
Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? How did you address it?
I experienced imposter syndrome at the very beginning of my business. I was becoming an outsider in the family, going against the mould with the work I felt called to do. I also didn’t feel like I fit in with other metaphysical practitioners out there because I learned much of what I was offering through experience, not training. Once I had a certification or two under my belt, I felt more confident. I could offer my experience and training for a more well-rounded and higher-level service.
Who has been your biggest champion on your journey and how did they help you?
Over the years, my mentors have been my biggest champions, and friends who respected and admired my efforts to create a business. Mentors have been beneficial with resources, encouragement, spiritual support and direction. Friends have been great at showing their support and encouragement as my first clients and attendees to events I’ve curated.
What skills do you believe women must have to succeed as a leader?
Women need to be flexible and open-minded. You can have a vision for your business, but it will not always happen in the order or timeframe you imagine or want. Overcoming this can be a big challenge because it will be tempting to give up when it seems things are not working out.
Work/life balance can be difficult. How do you manage it, and can you share your ‘tricks of the trade’?
Work/life balance is vital, and the best way to manage it is by finding your natural rhythm. Create a schedule that works for you and stick to it. Add a day (or two!) to the week devoted to pure pleasure and regeneration. Remember that you can’t be of service unless your cup is full first!
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Yes! I signed on briefly with one coach, even though they didn’t answer my questions in our interview to my satisfaction. Within the program’s first month, I knew it wouldn’t meet the needs of what I was looking for in my business. I was lucky I could get out of the contract, but my takeaway is this: Ask all the questions and listen to your gut, always!
Winter Clark’s Top 3 Leadership Lessons Learned:
1. Establish healthy boundaries in your relationships, from personal to business.
2. Learn to value your inherent worth.
3. Be kind and courteous because a reputation lasts forever.
© Laini Bennett, MBA