Upon first meeting Laura, I noticed her sense of calm and peace. Then I discovered what she does for a living! After a year of having known her, I learned beneath the serene exterior there reside embers that glow and spark and I’m very happy to introduce you to her here.
Holly: What would you call yourself and what you do?
Laura: My work has evolved from a massage therapist who worked only with the muscles and soft tissue to a Massage Therapist/Stress Management Consultant who helps people create peace in the midst of stress. Many of my clients come to me with stress related symptoms. My approach is now focused on sharing tools and techniques that will help prevent stress from settling into the body and effecting people on a physical, mental and emotional level. I do this in combination during the Creating Peace Massage and through group classes and workshops.
Holly: When did you start your business? And why?
Laura: I’ve been a massage therapist since 1991. After realizing that my 9 to 5 auditing job with overtime during the tax season was not going to fit into the life style I wanted to create for my family, I chose a career path that was more flexible than my job at the time. I went to massage therapy school on nights and weekends for a year while working full time to make this happen.
Holly: What are some other interests you are actively pursuing?
Laura: I am working to improve my public speaking skills so that I can effectively share my message that self care and discovering what brings you pleasure is the means to reduce stress. I would love to share this with women on a larger scale.
Holly: Tell me about how you manage your time and still followed your passions and professional interests.
Laura: Managing my time is and always has been a work in progress. It’s more about managing “me” than managing time. Being aware of when I got “out of balance” and making necessary changes as been the key. Change is inevitable but we tend to be creatures of habit and don’t always welcome change. We like the status quo. It’s safe because it is what we know. We would rather plug along doing things that don’t work anymore than make changes.
When I start feeling anxious and overwhelmed rather than do more to catch up, it’s time for me to take a step back and do less, reevaluate what is working and what is not.
It may be time to eliminate some commitments from my schedule, delegate some tasks, or address some fears or issues that are causing me disharmony.
Holly: What mistakes have you made and what have you learned?
Laura: I have a tendency to over commit and not ask for help when I need it. When I over commit, I become overwhelmed and have trouble focusing and concentrating. I feel pulled in too many directions and can’t fully focus or concentrate on any one project. I feel that each commit gets short changed.
Learning to say no and eliminating those things that do not feed my Soul has been a big lesson for me.
I would keep plugging along trying to fulfill all of my commits. I would continue to do things that I had been doing for many years without being able to remember why I committed in the first place. I had grown and my needs had changed over time. I have learned to periodically take a step back, make a list of everything I am committed to and then let go of those things that may have served me in the past but are no longer serving me now. Letting go of the old opens the door for new opportunities that better feed my Soul. Sometimes there is down time or a lag between letting go of the old and welcoming the new. It is okay to be in limbo and trust that good is coming my way.
Holly: Have you ever enlisted the services of a coach or mentor?
Laura: I have worked with a number of coaches and mentors throughout the years. Some have been formal coaching relationships while others have been more informal such as learning everything I can about a successful person or reading books written by them. I am open to any coaching and advice from those who have blazed the trail before me. There’s no sense recreating the wheel when there are people who have developed systems based on their experience of success and failures. However, just because a coach or system is popular doesn’t mean it’s always right for me. I use my inner guidance system to help determine what is right for me. There are a lot of philosophies out there. Trust your intuition.
Holly: How do you refresh, recharge and stay motivated? What inspires you?
Laura: I tend to operate in my masculine energy most of the time as many women do these days – being logical, task oriented, setting and achieving goals. Checking items off of the to-do list is a big thrill for me! This is great for getting things done and thriving in business but it is also very draining and is an energy zapper for me. To recharge I schedule time to do things that are nurturing to my Soul such as dancing, taking a bath, walking in nature, kayaking, connecting with girlfriends. These things help me to cultivate my feminine energy which too often takes a back seat when I spend the majority of my time running a business and household.
Holly: What advice might you have to someone starting out in your profession or simply starting out as a self-employed business woman?
Laura: Remember why you started your business in the first place. Most likely you started your business because you enjoyed doing what you offer; you were passionate about sharing your gift with others whether it is a product, service or message. Too many times we get caught up in the details and busy work of running our businesses. We become overwhelmed and loose the passion and motivation that we started with. Our business becomes just another stressor with an endless list of to-dos and something that drains our energy.
I encourage new business entrepreneurs to delegate where you can so you can focus on the gift you are offering and schedule time for pleasure, to recharge and rejuvenate yourself.
To learn more about Laura visit her site, Back to Balance Stress Coaching.