I have no shortage of “information” in my days, yet when I really take a look into where I’m the strongest in my life, it’s not areas where I’ve read the most “X Number of Steps” articles. It’s the areas of life that I’ve lived out- slowly and painfully practiced- that I’ve grown the most. At the end of the day, life is to be lived and experienced and tried, not kept tidy and orderly and every step strategically planned out.
After nearly six months of being a part of The OWN, learning the ins and outs the group, it's safe to say I absolutely love it. It's hard to completely describe what I love, which is really the magic of The OWN, but here are a few of the things I do love about this amazing group of female entrepreneurs, explained through a series of gifs.
Our OWNer of the month for May is Bridget Zuvela. Bridget is a licensed massage therapist and owner of Grounded Touch Massage.
Tell us about your business, how did it start, why did you decide to become a massage therapist?
I started working for myself in 2013, with 10 years experience in the massage therapy field. I went to cosmetology school prior to massage school and knew that I wanted to be in the day spa industry. I wanted to become a massage therapist because I wanted to help people feel better, and see improvement in their quality of life.
What are some of the services that you offer?
The service that I offer is individualized. I do my best to meet people where they are at for that day when it comes to their session. Most commonly, I do Swedish massage mixed with other modalities that I have learned along the way. Appointments are available in 30, 60, or 90 minutes.
Why do you like being a part of The OWN?
I love being a part of The OWN for the support it provides me via this amazing network of women!
Favorite piece of advice for other business owners?
A piece of advice that I have for business owners is: be authentic!
Do you have any relaxation or massage tips and tricks?
Relaxation tip: BREATHE! Creating a few moments to take some intentional deep breaths actually helps reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and if you practice before bedtime it can help you sleep better too!
In business, having this kind of sisterhood can literally mean you keep going when you want to quit. It can give you the space to have the honest conversations to figure out what is and isn't working. It can be the push when you needed to move, or the gentle reminder that you need to slow down.
Our OWNer of the Month for April is Charlotte Kotnour, of Balance, Health, Strength. Charlotte stopped by TheOWN to chat about her holistic health coaching business and her future plans for the business. Charlotte has found ways to lose weight and love exercise that have worked for her, and enthusiastically wants to share the tools she has found with her clients.
What are some ways busy business OWNers can incorporate healthy practices into their everyday lives?
Planning and preparing! I meal prep lunches for the week every Sunday and feel lost if I don’t. I always try to park at the back of the lot so that I can get extra steps in.
Who are your favorite clients to work with?
Clients who are really receptive and ready to make lifestyle changes!
What do you have planned for your business this year?
I would love to offer more workshops and start offering cooking classes, so I’m working on finding a space to host cooking classes. As it warms up, the parks are a perfect place to host some cooking classes.
As part of her OWNer of the Month feature, Charlotte is excited about a special promotion she is offering for the month of April.
60 day program for $75/month (a savings of 25 dollars)
If two people want to join together the program is $50/month paid in full up front.
The program offers: One-hour, bi-weekly consultations • Goal-setting assistance • Hand-picked recipe recommendations • Email support & checkups • Nutrition handouts • Monthly newsletter
In the months since having my daughter, I'm learning the hard and slow truth of so many things about life. It doesn't come with a manual. Especially not one we refer to as "google".
The other morning I was talking to two owners in particular. Cassie and Donna. Cassie happens to be a certified nurse midwife and the CEO of Appletree Midwifery, and Donna runs a company called Birth Boot Camp, which was excellent because I had questions about my baby.
"She hardly ever falls asleep on her own. I have to nurse her to sleep most of the time. Is that okay?" I asked, knowing these mothers and trained professionals would guide me into light and truth, as I was living in darkness and confusion. Google had recently led me to believe that by nursing my 4 month old to sleep, I was basically setting her up to be- in summary of what the blogs, forums, and parenting articles presented me- a drop-out or a bum, whichever comes first.
To my relief, these two OWNers greeted my question with a resounding and happy, "Absolutely!"
Reassuring me that it was normal, it's okay to listen to my baby, and she might be dealing with a growth spurt, a little teething, the time change, booster shot fussiness or God only knows what else, these two wise women (and handy resources as it happens) gave me just what I was longing for.
In honesty, I knew my daughter was fine. I knew it was okay to nurse her to sleep because it felt right. It works well. It made us both super happy to do. It's easily achievable. She and I both enjoy the bonding time and the easy naps thereafter.
At the end of the day, I really wanted permission to keep doing what I was doing, that it didn't make me a horrible mother. It didn't make me lazy because I wasn't working on "self soothing techniques" just yet. I didn't want a search result. I wanted understanding. I wanted compassion. I wanted the knowing nods and the relating agreements of "my baby did that too".
Reflecting on my search for permission with my daughter in many ways mirrors the experience I've had in business. The beauty of The OWN isn't always that we "have the right answers" for your business questions.
The real beauty of The OWN is from the knowing nods you get when you're struggling, or the excited agreement you receive from someone who really gets just how big of a win you had. It's the ideas we share from the hard won lessons of what NOT to do, and the energetic openness of telling a fellow owner some of your (sanity saving) best practices.
It's getting permission when you went looking for answers.
In the age of search results and article after article on what is "right", the magic of human connection reveals what's "real".
Whether you join The OWN, or have your own network of supportive fellow parents, professionals, and friends, take some time to encourage a fellow human, empathize with their struggles and celebrate their successes. In the age of performance based results, it's nice to remember at the end of the day, were all doing our best, trying not to ruin our kids and our careers.
If you think you might fit in with a group of business ladies who "get it", feel fee to get in touch!
The real beauty of The OWN is knowing that you're not going it alone!
Jessica Johnson, of Wild Hare Boutique, creates ceramics, jewelry, hand spun and dyed yarn, soaps, and lotions.
Is that Calendar correct? Is it really the last month of 2016?
If the end of the year has you feeling like time has gotten away from you, perhaps it’s because of distractions. Each business owner is juggling so many responsibilities, deadlines, personal chores and more. Is it any wonder that the idea of focus is a laughable matter for many of us?
Multi-tasking is getting a bad rap out there, and perhaps rightly so. Instead, let’s give that which is of the most import in our lives and our businesses the focus that they deserve.
How do you find focus? Do you turn off the cellphone and social media, lock the door and devote a couple hours to catching up on your backlog of invoicing? Or do you set smaller timers for yourself, fifteen minute or even five minute “power blasts”?
As we prepare to wrap up 2016 (and what an amazing year it has been!) and usher in 2017, let’s talk about some of the ways we can find focus:
Your Peers: nothing speaks to accountability like having people surrounding you that will tell you the truth and hold you to your promises. Choose the people that will be honest and understanding. Or, join us Wednesday afternoons for The Charette where OWNers and Members come together to really talk about the back end of running a business!
Sharing Space: it might be challenging to focus on the work at hand when we’re in our personal space. Working from home has its perks, sure – but it has its pitfalls. Sharing in one of the two available co-working spaces at The OWN allows you to set your own schedule, meet with clients but more importantly, to share a space intended for accomplishment. Your workmates get it: you’re at the office because this is where you need to find your focus. They respect that – and they share the costs. It helps to focus when you’re not worried about when that utility bill was due, or when the water delivery man is going to pop by!
Finding the Calm Within: as the days grow shorter it seems like our list of responsibilities grow longer. But take advantage of the season. When the light outside grows dim, find a place of stillness within yourself. Even if it’s just for a few moments, with meditation. Light a candle, sit in a quiet place and remind yourself of your intentions. And set some new ones for 2017. Also, don’t forget you can grab a day pass for Sol Yoga and take in a class to help ground you physically, spiritually and mentally.
Apps: We love to talk about tools for organization and there are great apps that will help you find your focus. From Trello’s visual board system, to Noisli (which gives you ambient noise while working) to Freedom (all devices) or Focus (Mac-only) which reduce digital distractions on your devices. Find the tool that helps you focus on the tasks at hand.
As the year winds down it’s not uncommon to find your focus spiraling due to the distractions and holiday responsibilities. But you and your business deserve to find a place of peace and focus. What better time than the end of the season, the time of generosity and thankfulness, to give yourself the gift of focus!
Blog written by Lisa Ann Gallagher of Evergreen Script Services
They say that to every season, there is a purpose.
Winter is for contemplation. For looking inward and reflecting upon our past. A time to reflect upon where we are and where we want to be. Winter is for solitude and contemplation.
Spring is for renewal. A time to sow seeds for the future. A time of newness and new opportunities.
Summer is our season of joy. Of warmth and activity, a time with family in the beautiful Black Hills. But also a time of nurturing that which we are growing. Our vegetable gardens. Our client portfolios.
And Autumn is for… well, we don’t really have an autumn here in Western South Dakota, do we!
Our Winters feel interminably long. Our Springs are usually still pretty wintry, up until May. Our summers are hot, and they seem to go by so quickly, but our falls are practically non-existent.
But I’m an Autumn personality and I love everything about the fall! The colors, the crispness in the air, the harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving. Most of you are dreaming about pumpkin spice lattes right about now – I’m thinking white chicken chili, and roasted butternut squash, and classic horror films.
Whatever your preferences are as we head into autumn, let’s make the most of what we have. Our little three-week fall still comes with incredibly scenic sights to take in. Spearfish Canyon, Custer State Park and even here in Rapid City at Founders and Memorial Park.
So, although we may not get much of an autumn, let’s enjoy what we get. Let’s remember that this, too, is a season. A season to harvest, a season to prepare. A time to reap what we have sown.
And we have sown a lot, OWNers and Members! Just think of all that we, together, have accomplished in the past two years! We deserve to take a drive to take in the changing colors and reflect upon what, in each of our businesses and lives, is beautifully changing too.
It has been two full years since The OWN was launched and we are celebrating! Today, there are nearly 80 people and organizations in our network and we are growing by the month.
As we head into our short Autumn season, remember to reap what you have sown. Not just in terms of the hard work you’ve put into your businesses, but what you have helped to create with The OWN community. Join us at our Halloween Social and keep up with all of our OWNers and Members as head into the winter months. So, order your PSL and pull the sweaters out of the closet, grab your camera or a couple of good friends and head out into the beautiful Autumn to take in the falling of leaves.
After all – Autumn doesn’t last long!
Blog written by Lisa Ann Gallagher of Evergreen Script Services
One of the greatest phenomenon’s of the modern professional world is the notion of Co-Working. Sharing space and costs within a community. But more importantly, it’s about building connections.
There are now co-working spaces available in literally every corner of the world. From Detroit to Denver, Taiwan to Teheran, entrepreneurs are coming together and bringing their ideas into their shared spaces.
From 2000 to 2014 the location trend for professionals was telecommuting. Saving gas money, being more present in the lives of their families – these were benefits of working from home offices. But the price to be paid was an emotional one: most at-home workers felt isolated from their peers and void of the professional interactions they previously enjoyed when working out of the home.
The answer became simple: What if we find a space that feels like home, but without the interruptions of the kids, the spouse, the dogs, the Amazon deliveries? What if we could rent a space with all the amenities we need – wifi, kitchen, mail service, maybe even some administrative support – but share the expenses with others?
Thus began the birth of Co-working. For the last two years more and more individuals are choosing to share space with other professionals. And it’s not just business owners – many employees are able to save their company significant amounts of rent and utilities by co-working. This also satisfies a municipal quandary – what to do with all the empty office spaces? Some closed due to telecommuting trends, many more due to economic closures. There are now malls and office buildings and even government centers that are being repurposed to serve their professional communities.
When you share space, you bring your energy into a shared office environment. Butyou also receive the energy of all those around you. That includes those you co-work with and the clients they bring into the office. But that’s not all you share: the costs of utilities, the amenities the office provides, and the responsibility for that space.
The OWN proudly hosts two co-working spaces here in Rapid City. Our original offices above Murphy’s, named The Commons, and now our second location above Firehouse Winery. We have a host of open and closed office spaces, laptop and desktop availability for anyone in our network. Whether you need a daily place to work from, or an occasional place to find focus, The OWN is available.
Nicest of all, you don’t have to make a long-term commitment if you only occasionally need the space. Teaching a class or seminar? Need a place for a private meeting with clients? Our Conference Room (above Murphy’s) is fully set up with a desk, podium, comfortable chairs and a projection screen for your presentations. We’ll also have a private office available during the last two months of 2016. Each of these can be rented by the hour, the day, the week, the month or the year. The OWN is excited to have the flexibility to meet your growing demands – including the unexpected ones!
Please contact Veronica if you’d like to learn more about renting co-working space at The OWN!
Blog written by Lisa Ann Gallagher of Evergreen Script Services
It’s that time of the year. The temperature has dropped slightly, just enough to bring a mild chill to Black Hills nights. Another Rally Season has come and gone, along with the summer rain and hail storms. Rapid City’s Summer Nights is winding down – and the kids are heading back to school.
For many of us, back-to-school season is a relief. The kids are out of the house, out of your hair and you get to rededicate yourself back to your business again. For many of us, also, this is a chance to start planning ahead. Securing contracts and clients before winter kicks in. Looking ahead to the full school year. Planning our work lives around holidays and vacations and tax season.
But along with educating our children, are we educating ourselves?
Each of us, in every area of business, needs to continue to hone our many skills and talents. Are we putting our training needs as high on our priority list as our kids'?
"Are we putting our training needs as high on our priority list as our kids'?"
Through community colleges and continuing education centers, we can find a host of live classes in our own neighborhoods that provide beneficial training. Or, we can take the time to invest in the multitude of online training available. From webinars toe-learning centers, there are a host of classes available.
As you take time to shop for your kids’ school supplies, take a look back. Where are you in the span of your business? A year in? Five years in? Is this where you wanted to be and are you as successful as you had planned? What are the ways that you can use education to help refocus on your goals?
For some of us, there are specific licensing and accreditation that we know to keep up on. For others, while not as black and white, there is plenty of training available that can help us.
A great way of assessing what education might benefit you is to form relationships with your peers. It’s easy to view someone who does the exact same work as you as competition. But the real gift is to look at them as an opportunity for betterment. Learn from them. Share with them. Find out what classes and studies they are taking. Pass on referrals for great webinars and continuing education.
It’s as easy as your ABC’s. Well – your ABL’s – Always Be Learning!
Develop a curriculum for your business. Part of creating your business plan would have included setting specific goals. Have you reached those goals – and if not, what additional training could you take to help move you closer to them?
Create a specific agenda and timeframe. If you want to complete 15 hours of education each quarter, how much of that will be live – how much via the web? Are there specific programs you want to register for? You might even need to set a budget if there will be an expense for your classes.
As we kick off another school season, let’s make sure to prioritize our own education along with the kids!
Blog written by Lisa Ann Gallagher of Evergreen Script Services