Angela Argentina is not just your everyday health & wellness entrepreneur...this woman is a the definition of a GO-GETTER! If there's one "influencer" you should start taking notes from, it's her. Never afraid to jump onboard new projects and challenges, learn about new ideas, and offer her insights and open up the floor for collaboration...she's been an absolute pleasure to get to know as one of our first ever Meal Garden Professionals.
For those of you looking to increase your "following" in a way that's contagiously authentic, meaningful, and that truly has the power to change the world for the better, I suggest reading her following advice carefully...
There is no survival guide to being an entrepreneur or for starting a small business. You have to have a dream, a vision and goal and prepare yourself as much as you can before taking a giant leap of faith and believing in yourself to trust you can do it. That takes courage! Nobody will tell you what to do or to check in and see if you pulled through. You are making a huge investment in yourself, and sure, that’s a gamble, but if you want it, you can do it.
Initially it may seem scary but the good news is, you are not alone, many have taken that leap before you that just goes to show that running a successful business is not impossible. Of course it’s not always easy to leave your comfort zone in pursuit of your passions and chasing your dreams, but it is worth it. This is your life and your chance to make a statement, share your gifts and inspirations and inspire others who are like you. If you have it in you to want to help others improve their health and lifestyles because it’s your passion, then you owe it to yourself to do what you love and you’ll be helping others while making a profit.
Imagine you were so good at what you do that your only job requirement was to be you?
In the world of entrepreneurship, one must learn to be resilient and learn to ride the wave—after all nothing is for certain, and the only constant is change. I started my first entrepreneurial pursuit in 2008, since then have changed focus and careers several times, but all the while I continued to educate myself, to pursue my passions and to add to my skills, experience and qualifications. If I knew then what I know now, things probably would have turned out a lot differently for me but everything in life is a learning opportunity and I believe things happen to us for a reason. After many failures, mistakes and costly lessons I've also have exceeded expectations, had countless success and incredible opportunities bestowed upon me.
I can say that I still don’t have all the answers but looking back in retrospect, I can see what worked, what wasted my time and how to be more effective, efficient and present in my business and HERE I AM — Healthy, Hip & Holistic — a self proclaimed Lifestyle Expert known as Angela Argentina who specializes in Alternative Healing, Yoga and Vegan Cuisine. I also recently founded Kindred Kitchens whose mission is to provide optimal health through plant-based nutrition and meal plans whilst creating conscious community.
If I can draw upon my own experience to offer you some steps or tips that could help speed up your journey and simplify a few things for you as you move forward towards success for your health and wellness business it would be this:
1) Be Clear on your Goal
I know this sounds really simple and it’s true. It’s one thing to say, “I want to have a successful holistic health and wellness business one day” and another to state things very clearly and outline the details. For example, a more defined statement might say, “In one year my holistic business will help 'X' number of busy working moms aged, 25-40 with plant based lifestyle support and guidance through meal plans, weekly comprehensive shopping lists, creative and easy to follow recipes, and bi-weekly follow-up and support sessions with access a private Facebook group for additional information, inspiration, support and sharing”. That’s just an example of a business statement that draws upon the values you provide to service your clients needs and how you plan to deliver.
I’m a creative person myself and I actually prefer to create a similar statement/value proposition in the form of a vision board. This allows me to take inspirations I see such as flyers, business cards, ads, articles and pictures from magazines and re-appropriate them to bring new meaning and help me visualize my business goals in a way that suits my personality. There is no right or wrong way, the universe (or that powerful inner force called your subconscious) is just waiting for you to tell it exactly what to do. The more you clearly define your goals the more likely you are to get the results you envision. However, that being said, sometimes we get what we need and not what we expect because the universe unfolds mysteriously. So as important it is to be clear on your goals it is also important to remain flexible and open to change and transformation. Sometimes by hanging on to that ideal too tightly, we may miss another opportunity for success, something more aligned or more exciting.
2) Mind Your Time (and your Money)
Yes, of course you have to manage your calendar and attend meetings, appointments, courses... whatever.... that’s just the nature of a successful entrepreneur. Keeping an up-to-date calendar is an essential but also it’s important to look into other ways you can save time and energy because as awesome as you are, your time and energy are limited resources so you must give them the upmost respect and be resourceful. Entrepreneurs wear many hats, but they can't wear them all.
Some time saving options could include outsourcing a professional such as accountant, designer or lawyer to save you the stress, not to mention countless hours, of doing it all yourself. Another way to grow your business with more cost efficiency is by meeting your business needs through energy or value exchange. You can swap your services with someone to get something done - and while this may seem a bit out there for some, the sharing/bartering economy is really growing. Everybody has a need and we all have things of value can offer others, you can negotiate with people or use sites or platforms such as the popular Facebook group: Bunz Employment Zone. If you are looking online for solutions to reduce your expenses and make things a bit easier, try using "shortcuts" such as hiring a virtual assistant to handle all of your time consuming administration; a tool, such as Meal Garden Professional to store recipes and provide your nutritional calculations, and apps to help with everyday things such as saving receipts and help with organizing them for your taxes.
It’s so easy to ambitiously fill our plates while on the path to success in business that we can quickly arrive at a place where we are so booked with meetings, appointments and things-to-do in our schedule that we run out of space for that oh-so-important ‘ME’ time. We often ambitiously push ourselves further, keeping so busy servicing the needs of others that we can forget to take care of numero uno. As the driving force of your business, your self-care is for you and your clients as well. In order to provide the best service possible you must be at your optimal by making sure all of your own needs are met. What good are you to anybody if your burnt out, exhausted or stressed? As a holistic health and wellness professional we naturally reflect a positive, healthy and balanced lifestyle to help inspire that in others, so it is necessary to create some space for your own sacred rest and relaxation.
Carve out some time and space in your busy schedule to practice yoga, for some mindful mediation, and/or for creative exploration, or perhaps for fitness, something fun with friends... whatever you need to include to help you arrive in a healthy balance of work/life/play; it reduces stress and makes the constant challenges and everyday struggles more manageable. Achieving your optimal health isn’t about perfection but rather about creating a state of harmony in the health of your body, mind and soul. Your overall health and happiness are what will raise your vibration, open you up to thrive in your personal life and of course, in business.
3) Align and Shine
Align with your intention. Check in with your goals and ask yourself if they are they consistent. Do all of your activities, services, products, events and social media posts reflect your brand identity and delivery your brand message consistently? A great way to approach your business as a brand (and not as yourself) is to think about your brand as a promise. Once you are clear on your brand message, image and what type of expectation you want to create then the method and form of delivery will begin to fall into place. When you are aligned with the authenticity of your brand, sharing it will flow more freely as you find your voice; you will eventually know what types of information to share and you will know what to say naturally.
An African proverb wisely states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This is true to business too, so once you know where you stand as a brand, the best way to get ahead is to network and find like-minded entrepreneurs and businesses to collaborate with. Sharing ideas, projects, services and creating new innovative ways to expand your services and reach through working with others towards the same goal will help everyone reach and go farther and much faster than you would alone. Ask yourself what types of things do your clients do, think, feel or need? By providing solutions for their problems you will increase their interest and the likelihood that they’ll buy your promise.
4) Social Media Mastery
Social media has become the buzzword for success in business these days, but if you don’t have a clear goal in mind or a strategy in check, it’s easy to get lost in all the noise and to waste lots of your precious time. As busy entrepreneurs we need to ensure that our time and our efforts provide us with some sort of return on our investment ("ROI"). Many people believe they need to have a huge social media following but what’s the point if there isn’t any sort of conversion or benefit to your business?
To use social media effectively and efficiently you also need to manage your time spent but also make sure that what you are doing aligns with the goals you outlined for your business. Things to consider to increase and enhance your online presence is collaborations, challenges, contests... things to get people talking about and sharing your business. What can you offer your audience? How can you position yourself as an expert or leader in your field? How can you be more engaging? And if you want results, what type of call to action are you providing?
The benefit of being an entrepreneur is that you are the voice of the brand and people prefer to engage with real people rather than dialing a 1-800 number to get more information. Social Media is an excellent opportunity to build relationships with your clients, expand your reach and gain trust by sharing your passion and expertise and you may have to make a free offer to grow your list of subscribers—but remember, you have to respect your business and boundaries and don’t give everything away for free. Continue to share ideas and inspiration but know when to stop. Once you have interest, share your offer or product/service that’s available for purchase.
5) Embrace Change
The most important thing to do is plan for success but keep in mind that trends, fads, markets, prices, partnerships, audience interest, participation, expenses etc... are all bound to change. You can’t control all or any of these external forces so it’s necessary to remain resilient and to be able to change with the times. This may mean making some adjustments to your initial strategy or even to change your ultimate goal. As the master of your destiny and the mastermind behind your business, you have to accept things won’t always go as planned and sometimes they may go exactly the opposite way as intended but this by no means signifies failure, it’s simply just another lesson.
Your business is your business so leave any emotions such as shame, guilt, embarrassment and instead: objectively examine your results. The only way to get ahead in business is to try new things and experiment. When plans fall through, as they are bound to do, we just need to pick ourselves back up and try and try again. Rather than abandoning any future attempts ask yourself, what did you learn from the experience? What worked, what didn’t and what could have been done to make it better? If you can’t answer those questions, perhaps you should ask others for their feedback. Constructive criticism will bring things to attention that you probably weren’t aware of. Perhaps you were way off in what your customers need and want, that is also a point to pivot and take a new perspective on your business.
It may seem like a never-ending road of continuous improvement, sometimes it’s all about chasing the thrill and other times it’s all simply terrifying—but if your pursuing your passion then just try to relax: you really are on the right path. Yes, at times the journey of running a health and wellness business is a bit like a rollercoaster ride of incredible highs and extreme lows, but once again that’s what creates the balance in the business world and it’s all part of natural flow. If this didn’t happen, then we would just plateau...and what’s terrifying about that is that then the business would cease to grow. The biggest regret is not failure, but not trying at all.
6) Celebrate Success
As you move forward in your business it may feel like you're taking baby steps. That’s ok, you might get where you want in one day, week or even a year or more, but as long as you're trying you're making a difference. Celebrate your successes, big and small, this shows your appreciation of your clients and that you are working. It may not come naturally for you to shout out and scream about reaching a few hundred likes, or celebrating it when you wish you were ahead, and while it may all seem a bit embarrassing: let it go!
The more people become aware of what your doing, your events, successes and offerings, the more likely they are to remember you when they are looking for something you do. It’s not bragging when you share your success - you are simply advertising that your doing your best and people want to work with people who are successful and doing great things. Since you are, keep that attitude of gratitude vibrating inside of you and you will naturally attract even more wonderful things and more opportunities for success. If you are sharing your passion and doing it on your own, that takes a lot of courage and faith, that’s something to be proud of. Continue to count your blessings as you continue on your journey towards success.