Holly Smith started a home-based business to coach others on how to live simpler, healthier lives.
I had been a health conscious person from the time I was in my early 20s. I ate well and exercised. I had learned to live a balanced life. However, in my early 40s, I allowed myself to get pulled off track and caught up in the fast pace that drives us through one day and into the next in a frenzy of activity. Next thing I knew I was overweight, out of shape and breathless from the pace. Then it came: In August of 2007 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s amazing how priorities will shift when you’re looking cancer in the face.
Thankfully it was caught early, however, it was aggressive and required aggressive treatment. What I thought would be six months or so turned into a four-and-a-half-year journey through treatments, sickness and then back to wellness. The blessing that came from that time was a fervent commitment to balance and wellness for both me and for my husband, Jim.
As part of that journey back to wellness, I attended the Creative Health Institute in Union City, Michigan where I was certified as a practitioner in Health and Healing. When I arrived home and we started implementing what I had learned into our life, friends started asking me to teach them what we were doing, and I did. Next thing I knew I had strangers asking me about the classes I was teaching. I didn’t really know I was teaching classes, but I guess I was! I began scheduling classes, and people started to come and they paid me to teach them what I knew. The more we implemented into our our lives, the more they wanted to learn. It just grew from there. Pretty soon I was doing a lot of one-on-one coaching and people began to pay me for that.
Throughout the coaching process, I developed notes and materials that people wanted me to duplicate for them. People started asking me for my recipes, but I didn’t have any because I am infamous for just creating as I go, adding a little of this and a little of that. So I started compiling my coaching notes into comprehensive materials that I could share and I began keeping a little notebook in a drawer in my kitchen so I could start writing down my recipes as I cooked.
Soon we needed a more effective way to communicate with the growing group of people that were now attending our classes and events. I opened up a small share site, but it was quite limited in what it could do. Jim searched and found a series of tutorials on how to build a website. I was the least tech-savvy person who ever existed, but I started watching them and little by little I built a website. I was actually astonished that I could do it, but I did. I also began using Facebook as a means of communication. Between the new website and Facebook, our following grew beyond local. We had people interested in our classes and coaching who lived too far away to attend a local class or coaching session. So I started coaching people over the phone and through email and Facebook.
We recently moved to a new home where we could simplify and begin growing some of our own food. People again started showing an interest in learning more about what we are doing. We have found that people have a hunger and desire to know how to live a healthier life and they want and need help getting there.
That leads us to where we are now. We were blessed to grow a home-based business mostly by accident from something we loved and believed in. However, starting out that way had left us with a less than fully effective operating system for a business that is growing rapidly. We could see this was not a direction we wanted to continue to pursue. We made a commitment at the end of 2011 to begin running our business like a business.
Starting in January 2012 we scheduled “work time” into our calendar. We began sitting down on a part-time weekly basis and working out a plan to move forward. Again, we used a series of tutorials as a guide and we started mapping out a business plan for 2013 and into 2014. Most of the work we have done this year has been behind-the-scenes planning which we are just now starting to implement.
This past September we placed our website “under construction.” We closed most of the pages and sections down and began reworking them. It is our plan to begin reopening these new and improved sections beginning in January 2013. We have also developed a series of classes for 2013. We plan to record these classes so that we can make them available to our online members. We have spent a large portion of time developing a comprehensive coaching program we will be rolling out in 2013 that will be available for local and online members. We have begun planning and preparing a host of other events and programs that we will begin implementing for 2013 and into 2014. We are very excited to move forward with our new business. It is no longer a hobby that is running us, but rather an organized and exciting business that is meeting the needs of so many while allowing us to share what we love.
This business is blessing us and we hope to bless many through it.
Photo By Fotolia/Byelikova Oksana