Inspired by a love for natural foods, healing and yoga, Claudia began her career in wellness through yoga retreats and has since expanded her offerings to include health and fertility coaching. Her interview inspires us to embrace mistakes as a form of progress and to dive in, regardless of whether or not we fully feel ready.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
A love for natural foods, healing foods and yoga. First I set up a yoga retreat in Goa with my husband because we wanted to live and work abroad and this seemed like a good business idea. Then I trained as a health coach because after writing my book on fertility, pregnancy and motherhood after 35 I realized what a key role food and lifestyle had in getting pregnant. I was contacted by people who read the book asking for tips and decided I needed qualifications to be able to advise them.
Tell us about your business or practice.
I host yoga retreats for mothers in magical locations. It started in Ibiza but I’m now expanding to other locations in the US such as Florida, Vancover and Hawaii; also Morocco and Sri Lanka. I’m scaling up my health coaching and fertility coaching practice to serve more people by moving away from 1:1 and offering online programs.
What is your current business model?
Group programs (retreats), some 1:1 and virtual online programs.
What has been one of your favorite moments as a business owner thus far?
Seeing the retreats grow. Empowering clients to the point where they don’t need to see me anymore because they ‘get it’. When clients tell me they got pregnant because they detoxed/relaxed/followed the tips I gave them.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business or practice?
The amount of work is sometimes overwhelming. Having days with a huge to-do list and ending up working until 2am because I’ve been with the kids all day and the only time I get to answer emails is midnight.
How have you overcome those challenges?
Grinding on one step at a time (I have a strong work ethic), having good amounts of energy because I eat well, being one of those people who can survive on little sleep, knowing that it won’t always be like this.
How do you find new clients?
Usually they find me. I write articles in different media and I think this helps but many do a search on google or amazon and find my book or my retreats.
What have you found to be most effective in securing new clients to sign up for your services?
Good customer relations, personal emails that come from the heart (this is why I haven’t delegated this out yet but know I need to in order to grow the business).
What do you do to keep your existing clients engaged in the long term?
Provide good quality so they keep coming back. On the retreats I have many mums who come back a second and even third time.
As your own boss, what is your best strategy for staying focused and productive during your workday?
A strong mission and sense of calling driving me on. Limited amounts of time to work so I have to stay focused and do as much as I can in those time slots.
If you could start your business over again from the beginning, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Everything is progress, even mistakes.
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
I don’t see mistakes as things to be avoided. I would tell anyone to just dive in and start before you’re ready. Don’t stall taking on customers because they are the people right for you in that time for your growth. Everything is just the way it’s meant to be.
What are the top three business tools or resources you couldn’t live without?
Books, internet, computer.
What has been your most effective method for growing your business?
Organic, slow growth based on experience.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever for done for your business?
When we started our yoga retreat business in India we went out with there with a 10 week old baby, a lot of ideas, little cash and a bunch of people who had booked a holiday online in a place that wasn’t even built yet.
What is your favorite indulgence?
Warm organic goats’ milk with raw cocoa, coconut oil and cardamom before bedtime.
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
A grilled, honey-roasted spider in Cambodia
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
So many – I loves places where nature is abundant: remote beaches, untouched mountain valleys.
Last book you read?
Spirit Babies by Walter Makichen
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
What is your go-to breakfast?
Avocado on spelt bread or a smoothie
What do you find most fascinating about the human body?
Its capacity to heal
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
No one tells me what to do.
Claudia Spahr is a Health coach, retreat founder and director, author and journalist based out of Lorca, Murcia, Spain. You can find out more about her and her business, HolyMama, at www.holy-mama.com and www.claudiaspahr.com.