After many years of struggling with her own emotional battle, Brenda discovered the world of health and wellness and changed her life. She now offers a health & lifestyle resource for introverted women who struggle with consistently eating healthy and not fitting in, to eat healthier without deprivation and embrace themselves as they are. Her interview inspires us to embrace our fears and dive into the pursuit of our goals.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
After my years of struggling with depression and having horrible, suicidal thoughts, I finally found the light in 2012 when I discovered the world of healthy eating, exercise and inspiration. Friends and family left and right asked me what I did to lose a bit of extra weight and to glow with happiness! So I decided to attend the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and get certified to teach others how to be happier and healthier as I have done for myself.
My original intention was to teach others how to be happier and healthier. I never would’ve thought I would be a holistic health coach, but I think that put the cherry on top. 🙂
Tell us about your business or practice.
Simply Serene Wellness is a health & lifestyle resource for introverted women who struggle with consistently eating healthy and not fitting in, to eat healthier without deprivation and embrace themselves as they are. I empower them to create their own simple healthy eating habits and honor their needs as an introvert so they can feel energized and confident, without feeling like they’re missing out on life. The resources range from free weekly e-mails (which I call Love Notes) and blogs posts, to videos, to private coaching with me. 🙂
What is your current business model? (Examples: provide services to clients/patients 1:1 in person or virtually, group programs, membership structure, product-based, etc.)
Right now, I have a free, private Facebook group for the Simply Serene community called “Quiet Hearts, Healthy Life, Happy Girls”, an ongoing 10-week online course called “Quietly Radiant Girl: 10- Weeks to Live Your Happy, Energized, & Quiet Life” – both for my introverted girls. I also have a 3- and 6-month private coaching program where I meet my clients over the phone, over Skype, or in person twice a month. I love it all!
What has been one of your favorite moments as a business owner thus far?
Seeing the transformations in front of me from point A to point B! One of them would be one of my past clients who had struggled with stress eating, coffee addiction and weight gain. We tweaked things here and there, she handled her stress eating so well, reduced her coffee intake from multiples cups to only 1 a day (she’s actually working to eliminate it all together now!) and finding the best ways to live more inspired and happy. I’m so happy for her transformation, which is still ongoing!
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business or practice?
I would say the finances. It’s been tough because I want to be independent, especially financially. The first year has been really tough, especially after I quit a draining barista job. Also, many times I’ve felt like I could love my business more, but I didn’t know how. Working more didn’t help, I just had to connect with my message and share it with so much love and gratitude. It wasn’t easy!
How have you overcome those challenges?
I’ve taken an online course called B-School and it has been so helpful in all aspects of my business! I’m still working through it, but it has been tremendous for my business for these past 8 weeks.
How do you find new clients?
Right now, it’s been friends, family and referrals from friends.
What have you found to be most effective in securing new clients to sign up for your services?
Talking with them about their goals and their emotional reasons and needs behind them. Ask them WHY this is what you want and what will happen what it does. It’s a real eye-opener! Of course, let them know how you can support them, that’s the most important, too!
What do you do to keep your existing clients engaged in the long term?
I have a Facebook group just for them! Some of them still send me e-mails, messages, SnapChats, and texts on what they’ve been up to, I love it. 🙂
As your own boss, what is your best strategy for staying focused and productive during your workday?
It’s not easy! It’s been something I’ve been working on, but I’ve bought a Passion Planner which has helped me so much with planning my weeks and months with what I want to do with not only my business, but also my life. Plan, prioritize and take action! Also, if you’re taking a long time to do something, ask yourself if this is really something you want to do for your business. If not, find something more exciting and enticing to do, or hire someone to do it for you!
If you could start your business over again from the beginning, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t! Everything I’ve gone through has helped me be where I am now, and I’m so happy for every cringe-worthy mistake I’ve made. I’ve learned so much in this past year and a half!
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
Don’t let your perfectionist get to you. That and fear WILL take over and you will regret not starting when you first had the thought of starting! You learn so much along the way when you just DO IT. As Marie Forleo says, “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.” All business owners start as amateurs. 🙂
What are the top three business tools or resources you couldn’t live without?
Oh my gosh, it’s have to be MailChimp, iCalendar and Notes!! I use them religiously! I love Notes for jotting down every idea that comes to my mind (because I will forget them quick!), iCalendar to remind me of client sessions and other appointments, and MailChimp to keep in touch with my community.
What has been your most effective method for growing your business?
Listen to your intuition and what FEELS good for you. People will know if you aren’t passionate about something and if you’re BSing it.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever for done for your business?
Hmm, that one has yet to be determined, but I’ll let you know! 😉
What is your favorite indulgence?
I love me some dark chocolate covered almonds! And a good massage, yum. 🙂
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried anything exotic… YET!
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
Colorado, specifically Breckenridge! It felt like I was in a snow globe when I went, SO gorgeous!
Last book you read?
I read so many books at once, but the last book I finished was #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso. Hilarious and eye-opening!
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
Argh, this is always such a tough question! But I would say bananas! I love bananas. 🙂
What is your go-to breakfast?
Protein pancakes!! 🙂
What do you find most fascinating about the human body?
The mind and how it works. I’ve always been an anatomy lover, but psychology is what really pulls me in!
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
That I have no limits on my creativity with my business! I LOVE it!
Brenda Canas is a Certified Health Coach based out of Huntsville, Texas. You can find out more about her and her company, Simply Serene Wellness, at www.simplyserenewellness.com.