As an Australia-based yoga instructor and holistic nutritionist, Elise helps her clients lead a balanced life through a mental, physical and spiritual approach. Her interview inspires us to take one step at a time in building our business and to recognize the importance of focusing on doing what you do best.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
To be honest, I was sick of doing jobs that I had no real passion for. I had seen people close to me do jobs that they disliked strongly, were not appreciated or challenged. I couldn’t imagine dedicating 30+ years of my life and countless hours to something that I wasn’t wildly excited and passionate about. I wanted to take charge of my life and my time on this planet by making it count (or at least having a red-hot-go at attempting this!)
Tell us about your business or practice.
My business is Elise Danielle, Holistic Health & Wellbeing. I am a certified yoga instructor and a registered holistic nutritionist. I teach both group and private yoga classes and I work one-on-one with clients as a health coach. The health coaching I do addresses health and wellbeing on many levels. We look at the clients’ goals and address how we can reach those through balancing our lives mentally, physically and spiritually. I find this works so much better to create lasting, sustainable change.
What has been one of your favorite moments as a business owner thus far?
This is going to sound incredibly cheesy but I’m saying it anyways. I just adore those little breakthrough moments with my students and clients. When they have an ah ha moment, it seriously gives me warm fuzzies and it makes me so happy to know that I’m able to hold the space for someone to find those glimpses of clarity.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business or practice?
Time or lack thereof, ha. Talk about practicing what I preach. I find it challenging to maintain balance in my working week between work and time to do the things that help to keep me happy and healthy. It can be really easy to put in long days without even thinking about it. I definitely enjoy it but it is key to make sure I schedule in time out for doing what keeps me happy and balanced.
How have you overcome those challenges?
I physically schedule in time that I go to a yoga class, take lunch breaks, meditate etc. I work well with a routine most of the time so this works really well for me.
As your own boss, what is your best strategy for staying focused and productive during your workday?
I run between teaching classes and working from home so sorting out a schedule that works for me and helps me be most productive was key. I prefer to have larger chunks of time dedicated to one aspect of work so I get more done if I make my classes back to back and then have a couple hours to do work on my computer. The Pomodoro Technique also works really well for me- 25 min of straight working then a 5 min break- the focus app is great!
If you could start your business over again from the beginning, what would you do differently?
Hmm, I’d probably try and outsource a bit more. I know it’s really hard especially at the beginning when there isn’t a whole lot of money coming in, but there is something to be said about valuing your time to do what you do best and letting other people help out with the other stuff.
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
Being stuck in overwhelm mode. It is very easy to get overwhelmed at the beginning as it feels like there is soooo much that you need to be doing all at once. I would get caught up in it and find myself at a stand-still, unable to move forward because of the fear that I wasn’t able to do it all (sounds funny written down but it seemed to make sense in my head!) I found taking tackling one thing at a time before moving on to the step or project made it so much more digestible. This way I feel more accomplished and competent, which helps me continue to move forward.
What are the top three business tools or resources you couldn’t live without?
1) Google Calendar. I love how I can access it anywhere and share it across to different accounts and to people.
2) Pinterest actually helps me a lot as well. I find I need prompts to help me with the more creative side of my business. When I was working on my web design, it was so helpful to get ideas and inspiration!
3) My accountant is invaluable to me! Once I hired him I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to do so! I hate working with numbers and it absolutely blew my mind that someone could do all of that stuff for me!
What has been your most effective method for growing your business?
So far it has been word of mouth for the most part. I live in a fairly small city the yoga community is pretty small. I was lucky to create a good reputation with my initial classes and that enabled me to build them up quite quickly. Health coaching has been the same so far. I’m now taking more of that aspect of my business online so I’ll keep you posted with what works the best!
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever for done for your business?
Quit my day job… haha. I was juggling both for a while and I knew I was on the fast track to burnout town so I made the choice to quit my full time job and dive full in…some would definitely consider this crazy but it was a fairly easy choice for me.
What is your favorite indulgence?
Sea Salted Dark Chocolate and maybe a glass of red wine
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
Hmmm, I’ve eaten a fair few things in my travels that I’m still not sure what they actually were. I had some noodle soup from a street vendor once in Thailand. I thought it was the best soup I’d ever eaten, until I found out that what made the broth black was the blood in it! Interesting, to say the least!
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
Last book you read?
The Happiness Trap by Dr. Russ Harris- a must read. So fantastic.
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
What is your go-to breakfast?
Eggs and veggies
What do you find most fascinating about the human body?
How adaptable it is, it never ceases to amaze me how intelligent our bodies are.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
The freedom to create and do what I love. I love having the freedom to take risks, make mistakes and know that regardless of the outcome I will learn a heck of a lot from it.
Elise Maisonneuve is a Holistic Health Coach & Yoga Instructor based out of QLD, Australia. You can find out more about her and her business, Elise Danielle Holistic Health and Wellbeing, at www.elisedanielle.com.