The Silver Linings Group is a small, close-knit team that is hugely dedicated to making a difference for your brand. With a focus on strategic digital marketing, we help our clients reach potential customers through relationship building, providing value, and being authentic to who they are.
Say hello to Stephanie Carter, our new #BreathtoBoss entrepreneur! Stephanie is a nutritionist, personal trainer, and the founder of Carter Hall Lifestyle. Keep reading to learn more about her journey!
Entrepreneurship is not something you naturally think about when an idea springs into your head. You just have a thought that tickles the mind until you finally call attention to it and allow it the space it needs to grow. Most true entrepreneurs have had that entrepreneurial spirit their whole lives in one way or another. For me, I think that spirit came forth as a product of my environment.
When I decided to go back to school to get my master’s degree to become a registered dietitian, I knew that I wanted to open up my own private practice. However, unlike other dietitians, I knew almost immediately that I wanted to develop a wellness and lifestyle brand. Most dietitians need to have multiple streams of income. For me, it seemed like a logical approach to develop a brand that encompassed those multiple streams of income. I think my leap into entrepreneurship came as a result of me deciding to develop a brand that filled a gap in the health and wellness industry.
Being your own boss is most certainly not easy. You have to make tough decisions, many driven by your financial success or lack thereof. With that being said, you are the one in charge of the business, making decisions daily to support the health of your business. For me, while that aspect can be draining, it also is completely fulfilling because at the end of the day, I know that I have poured my heart and soul into my business. It’s my business; no one else’s. It grew from a thought I had into what it is today, and there is something wildly gratifying about that.
I’ve worked for a lot of businesses in my lifetime, both small and corporate, and I’ve seen firsthand how mismanagement can hinder the success of a business. In these businesses, I’ve frequently wondered why there weren’t certain systems put in place to help support the team and grow the business. As the founder and CEO of my brand, I don’t have to wonder whether certain systems are put into place, because I’ve done my due diligence to implement, analyze and change those systems as needed. My team requires that I do that not only for the success of my business, but their life’s success too. I think that’s my favorite part about being my own boss – the ability to support people through the success of my business.
Communication and honesty are key!
In my private practice, I mentor and precept for several dietetic students and interns. One of the first things I tell them is that I won’t micromanage them; that I expect them to complete assignments as needed and communicate if they are unable to meet deadlines. I explain to anyone on my team that communication is key and without that, the whole business will crumble. I can’t do my job as their boss and leader, if they are scared to come speak with me. Therefore, I have built my business on an open door policy.
Trends in the market and consumer demand will influence what your brand offers. It is important to look at those aspects when evaluating the health and longevity of your business. For my brand, this means constantly looking not only at my product offerings but also looking at the current state of the market. ‘Bringing breath into business’ means staying ahead of trends and being open to updating your brand’s products and services.
The health and fitness (or wellness) industry is oversaturated today; but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for my brand. Instead, I have to figure out ways to not only compete with other brands out there, but navigate changes in the market (e.g., virtual nutrition counseling and zoom workouts). In order to do this, I have to create solid systems and ways of evaluating those systems. It’s called quality management. A quality management system (QMS) is defined as a formalized system that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives. The benefit to having QMS is that you can better meet the needs of your customers, which helps to instill confidence in the organization, in turn leading to more customers, more sales, and more repeat business.
Be authentic. Show up on social media as your authentic self, aligned with the mission of your business. Don’t be the person who follows the trends; instead, be the leading voice in your field and set the trends yourself. Your audience doesn’t care if you have a perfectly manicured instagram profile; they just want to see you show your authentic self in your posts.
If you are someone that needs to schedule all their posts in advance, then continue to do that; however, be mindful of current events. Life happens, right? So you should examine posts you created a month ago for relevancy. A post about traveling right now would fall flat, especially given people are nervous about leaving home during this global pandemic.
Lastly, don’t rely on giveaways and other gimmicks to increase your followers. Instead, build a community of followers who are excited to hear from you daily and let their excitement inspire others to check out your content. The only way this happens is by being authentic in your content, speak your truth and don’t be afraid to get real. That’s the best way to get your audience to connect with you and your brand.
This is difficult. I hear from people all the time about how they want to start their own business because they are unhappy with their current career. Unfortunately, many times they don’t know what that business looks like; the vision isn’t clear. It can be hard for people to pinpoint their passion when they’ve been denying it for so long.
I recommend you allow yourself grace and time to figure out what it is you really want out of your life. Here are some ways to help you find your passion/purpose.
meditate to clear your mind
journal to focus your thoughts
find out what excites you to get out of bed everyday
revisit old hobbies
get the perspective of family and friends
It’s important to remember that your business is an extension of you. You are your brand. Your ethics, morals and values are what will support your business when difficult decisions need to be made. So instead of choosing a business idea because you think you’d be ‘good at it,’ choose something that reflects who you are as a person and the talents you possess.