This is the second in a week of profiles of local entrepreneurs who have started businesses in Siouxland. Some are small – with only one or two employees – while others have grown through the years to many employees. But all of them have started businesses here and this week share some feedback on what it means to start and grow a business in Siouxland.
Q: What makes you an entrepreneur?
A: I had a vision, a dream about what I wanted. There was never a time when I felt that vision would not become reality. There was never doubt or fear, nervousness – yes! When the vision is so strong your whole body resonates with it then starting your own business isn’t ever a question. I feel that passion and drive is what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Q: What was the driving force behind you starting a business? What drives you each day?
A: After my first practice at home, I knew this was for me. I knew before I set foot in a yoga studio that I wanted to teach yoga. After my first class I knew I wanted EVERYONE in this city to feel as good as I did when I practiced and I had to open my own studio. I am so blessed to live my dream! Although there are some days, rarely, when I might not feel like teaching when I get to the studio. Without fail, on those rare days I always feel better after teaching a class than I did when I started. I leave just as fulfilled as my students, without fail. There is a magical exchange between student and teacher!
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as you’ve grown your business? What has been your greatest reward?
A: The biggest challenge is balancing my family with my business obligations. Owning your own business isn’t 9-5. It’s all day, every day. My second biggest challenge is finding the time for my personal practice. You would think as a yoga teacher I do yoga all day. There is sooo much more involved on the business side than I ever anticipated! My greatest reward is watching people leave the studio feeling better than when they came in and all the hugs I receive. My job is to give and receive bliss.
Q: Why are startups and small companies important to a local economy?
A: Startups and small companies can offer enormous potential for growth just by creating that investment in the community. We are rather lucky that we have a community where word of mouth can generate growth potential by taking a startup from a single employee business to a stage one company. With the continued support of the community and local leadership, businesses continue to flourish into stage two organizations. When the local environment is supportive of entrepreneurial growth, like Sioux Ciity, it generates such excitement and optimism.
Whether a business idea comes to fruition or not that current of excitement exists and the realization that you can succeed, even if you fail once, you know the environment is supportive. Any investment into the local community enhances the quality of life for everyone in the city. When quality of life increases people are happier and healthier, optimistic and everyone is more willing to sustain and grow the community…. maybe even start a business! Why not!
Q: What more can be done to help create, grow and promote small businesses and startups in Sioux City and the region?
A: I have been so impressed with the entrepreneurial environment here, and it just keeps getting better. Thomas has done such an amazing job with Startup Sioux City by cultivating this idea of entrepreneurial gardening… just keep growing and watering that garden! The SBDC is always readily available. I love the Innovation Market but wish they would open it up to entrepreneurs over 40.