EmpowerHER: Entrepreneurship Unveiled


Welcome to episode 12 of the Light Her
Project podcast.

Real women,

Real talk.

I'm Rachel Strella.

And I'm Vixen Divine.

Thank you so much for tuning in today.

Today's topic is one that is near and dear
for us because we're gonna talk about entrepreneurship.



While we don't talk about it a lot, Vixen
and I are both entrepreneurs and own our own business.

So this will be fun.

We're going to start talking about our
personal experiences.

Our team wants to know, you know, what's
your origin story?

How did you get started?

How did you know you wanted to be one?

So as I mentioned in my last podcast on
the mentoring side, for me, it wasn't like

anything that was in the stars.

Like it wasn't even on the radar.

I had a mentor at the time who was hearing
me talk about all these jobs I've been

through and she was like, you know, I
think I might be an entrepreneur.

And she kind of met that in a way where,
yeah, you can't work for anyone else.

But I think she, she was not wrong because
it wasn't just I couldn't work for anybody else.

It was that I had to like, I needed to
have the outcomes I wanted.

It was so hard for me.

working for other people, I'd be working
really hard and then they'd just change

the initiative the next day.

So like all that work that you do, you
don't have that ownership.

So that was really why I started, you
know, but as far as knowing when to be

one, this definitely was not something I
would expect or I've ever envisioned, but

I'll say that it is something I'll never
want to do like anything else except for

running my own show.


Okay, that makes sense.

When you feel that way, for me, it was
more of a natural path because of what I do.

So as a massage therapist, one of the
paths that are readily talked about is

being an entrepreneur, having your own
place, having your own thing.

So that is really something that wasn't
necessarily foreign or something I had to think up.

But after working,
for someone else.

I usually work for someone else and then
I'd work for myself as well.

I never really wanted to just work for
myself because I just feel like that is

just like you're not getting any other

You know, I like the professional
interaction as well with other therapists

and other, so I do like that.

But yeah, so for what my profession is,
it's not unusual and it's not something

that is odd for us.

So as a therapist, it's kind of
a natural path.

That makes sense. Okay.

Well, um, you know, we've both been in business
for a little while.

So one question is, how did you decide to
grow your business and, you know, your

teams if you have a team?

So for me, I actually started my business
in 2010.

I built it alongside my day job and I put
everything into it that time would allow.

And I was really lucky because I was able
to focus on my business full time in just a few months.

But that's when it really started to get

I just didn't know which route to go.

And as you get more clients, you're faced
with this age-old dilemma of, should I

hire help but
how much?

And for me, it's a leap to hire.

You don't wanna make that financial
investment until you know you can actually maintain it.

And I bit the bullet, in any event, for
that first year or two, I decided to hire.

I started with a contractor or two and
then eventually an employee.

I made mistakes.

I learned quickly that you want to hire
slow and fire fast.

And I, about three years in, I retracted
again and went back to handling most of the business myself.

That lasted about a year before that's the
starting point in the age-old dilemma.

So I rinsed and repeated this cycle for a
few more years until I hired a coach and

got my act together.

It was then that I learned the importance
of core values because without them,

I was just flailing around.

So once I established them, how I grew the company became
a lot easier, whether that was with people or not.

And while I still make mistakes, I know that I need
a team of people to carry the mission of the company.

That's just my philosophy.

And fortunately, the core values made that a
lot easier to find those who align with us.

And that can be difficult.

The alignment can be very difficult.

You have a value that you almost expect
other people to have and sometimes assume

that other people have and they don't.

They have a different upbringing, they
have a different thought pattern, they

have a different way of life.

So you bring them on, they have those
skills that you're looking for, but

sometimes they don't have the work ethic
or they don't have what you value.

In order of values, I should say.

They value it, but it could be very low on
their list.

Oh, I got a hang nail I can't
go to work today, you know?

That makes that work a very low value.

So having core values as your standard to
begin with, as you hire, it really does, I

feel like, make a difference for you and
anyone else who has that because you know

exactly what you're looking for because
the standards then are the same.

So for me, as far as hiring, I started
with just work, like I said, dual working.

I worked for someone else
and worked for myself.

Now I primarily now work for myself and I
work just a few days a week.

And that's what I prefer.

So I prefer having the prices that I need
to maintain the lifestyle that I want and

the clients that I want fall in
that scope of what I'm looking for.

So there have been times, as you know,
that I have debated because I have this

extra time in the studio that could be
taken up by someone else or I have extra

tables that could be, you know, used with
another therapist on hiring someone else

to work with me in my studio.

And those values, well...

It is, I find in my, at least in my
industry, we tend to be freer spirits.

We tend to be free, you know?

And so not necessarily, basically, I think
you're kind of looking with the core

values, you're kind of looking for a clone
of yourself almost.

Someone who, you know, thinks like you.

And it's very hard and difficult sometimes
to find that.


I hadn't had any luck.

No one stuck out to me.

So it's always a no for me.

And I'm happy with the
outcome that I have.

My clients are happy and I'm happy
with the income that I have.

You brought up a really great point,
because one of the things that I struggle

with is, you know, while it's always nice
to have mini-me's, you know, I can't

expect the same people that work for me to
be the same as me.

Like, I can't expect them to be me.

And I think we would actually be
counterproductive, you know, at some point in time.

Well, I think we should align our values,

I don't want the same expectations for
them that I would have for myself.

It's just a little bit different.

I felt like at times I pushed that on
people, um, and I've learned to back away.

Well, let's talk about, you know, being an
entrepreneur and what the pros and cons of that are.

Um, and also, you know, what's the most
difficult aspects that you've experienced

and what was your solution?

How did you handle it?

I think the pros and cons,

there are pros to where you can, you have
that freedom to run your business the way

that you envision it to run.

You have that no one's, you're the boss,
so to speak.

So that's a good thing.

You get the days off you want, you know,
you get to work the times that you want.

But there are definitely cons in the
respect where

What if something goes wrong?

What if there's a glitch in your plan?

You have to take responsibility for that.

You can't just go home and clock out at

That just doesn't happen.

The work has to be done no matter what the
work is, whether it's preparing for a

client for the next day, or no one's there
to do that for you, no one's gonna prep

that for you, or whether it's
meeting a deadline

for something else that has to be done.

So it's all you.

So that is, you have to be willing to put
in that work for that to get done by those

deadlines or whatever the
outcome needs to be.

You have to be the one to do it and you
have to understand that and be ready to do it.

Cause if you're not, it's
not gonna get done.

So that is a definite con for some people.

Some people like me and you,
we don't care.

We're gonna do it, you know?

But some people they are

you have to understand that if you are a
nine to fiver, you need to check out at five

entrepreneurship is
not for you.

It's just not because no, it needs to get
done and you're the one who has to do it.

So the most difficult aspect, I feel like,
of entrepreneurship is the balance between

work, whatever you're doing, whatever your
business is, and your personal life.

That can be very difficult to draw that
line between the two.

Because many people have basically lost
their families because they lose touch.

They're so dedicated to what, because it
has to be done, they are day and night,

day and night, pushing it, pushing it.

And that can disconnect from the family
that actually needs you.

And you have to learn how to balance that.

So that could be a very big problem.

So the solution is, again, if you don't
know how to do that, that's something you

need to figure out or read up on or get a
coach with to be able to do that prior to

getting into entrepreneurship because that
can really tear up the finances and your life.


So I think you answered the question that
I was going to answer the same way.

So I'll put it this way for just about
every pro there is an equal con.


For example like you said.
Pro, you're the boss. Con, you're the boss.

Being my own boss was one of the
reasons I wanted to be an entrepreneur,

but it's not all it's cracked up to be.

I remember, um, in my first year of
business, I had a customer, we were just

talking, you know, he’d owned his business
for a long time.

And he said, you know, isn't it great?

Like you had one boss and now you have 10.

And he meant the customers, you know, and
he's right.

You know, being your own boss, just
like you said, you're responsible for everything.

The revenue, the brand building, the
customers, their expectations, your team

if you have one, and so much more.

I mean, it is a delicate balancing act.

And while you're in charge, you wear a lot
of hats and so much can happen.

It feels like you're out of
control at times.

I think the most difficult aspect, at
least in my business, is when clients have

to leave and has nothing
to do with your work.

For example, like when times are hard, for
example, when the pandemic hit, the first

thing that most businesses cut is
marketing, even though it's a time when

you need marketing the most.

For some, it comes down to just keeping
the lights on.

And I get it.

In a similar case, if a company decides to
hire in-house social media manager, you know,

rather than work with our company or my personal
favorite, they want to go in another direction.

It's hard because maybe you can relate to
this, Vixen.

You put so much of yourself into your
business and you treat your customers like family.

You want to do what's best for them.

You've put your absolute best foot

It's difficult when they have to quit
working with you and it's at no fault of your own.

There's not really a solution when this

I've learned just to be as prepared
financially as I can to weather the storms.

And I also try to maintain a good
relationship with those customers that are exiting.

Sometimes it's easy to get in a routine
too and not look at wins or milestones

that you've achieved with a client.

But I think it's really important to do
that to showcase your value on an ongoing basis.

I agree with that.

I definitely agree to keep that
relationship open because especially when

it's no fault of your own, whatever the
circumstances have happened that made them

exit, you know, they may change in the
future to where they, and if they have a

good light of you, if they have a good
memory of you, you know, you did good

work, they'll probably come back to you,
you know, if their finances allow, you

know, that kind of thing.

So I agree with that.

And by this time, you probably got to know
them anyway.

So I think it's a very good thing to do.

Well we have a core value of
relationships so it goes hand in hand.

But you brought up with a
good point too about balance.

That is a really tough thing and it's
something that I've struggled with a lot over the years.

I think I'm in a position now where I
handle it pretty well but it's so easy to get sucked in.

I've turned off the computer for the night
and a half an hour later I get an email

and it's something I have to handle.

So there is that, it's hard to set the
boundaries when you care about your work so much.

Yeah, yeah, it is.

So what's the best piece of advice you
would give to someone just starting out?

This is gonna be so hard to swallow.

When someone wants to, they've got that
gung ho and they're ready to start their

business and this is gonna be great.

They know what color scheme they're gonna
have, what the curtain's gonna look like,

where they wanna set up, what part of
town, all of that.

But planning, you have,
you've got to lay it out.

You've got to put it out as if a day in
the life because as great as those

curtains look, it won't matter if no one's
coming through the door.

So you have to have a marketing plan.

You have to understand where your clients
are coming from.

Or is it something that you were doing
from home and now you're opening, you

know, you're scaling?

You know, is it

You have to make sure money is coming in.

You have to make sure marketing is going,
because every time, like you talked about

losing a client, you never know when
that's gonna happen.

You have to have a new one coming in.

Or else if you just rely on what you have,
all those clients could go at any point if

nothing else is coming in.

So planning is the best
advice I can tell you.

And I don't mean, like I said, I don't
mean planning the curtains.

I mean planning what you're doing, making
sure you are stellar at whatever it is you're offering.

What is your, what is your brand?

What is your thing that makes you set
apart from other people that are doing

that same type of thing?

But what is it that you are known for?

Understand it, market it, know it, and
then be able to bring those people in on a regular basis.

You have to plan for that.

You're right.

That was one I hadn't even really
considered, but you're so, so right.

I mean, I actually have three pieces of

So number one, I don't care what some of
the flashy books or experts tell you, you

will not work four hours a week,
especially when starting out.

It takes a lot of work, a lot of stick
with it-ness, and a lot of grit.

You have to be willing to play the long


I would also tell you to definitely define
your purpose and your core values early on.

It will save you a lot of time and energy
and you'll probably avoid a lot of

headaches by knowing what it is you stand
for up front.

And finally, you know, you can't do it

Regardless of whether you have employees
or contractors, you will need to rely on other people.

Fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches,
colleagues, friends, you have to get people that will

tell you to get out of your own way.

I do need to say this.

For the person who has watched this so far
and is like, oh my God, I could never be

an entrepreneur after hearing all this,
there is another option to consider.


Franchising is like cookie cutter.

If you believe that, oh my God, this is
too much, what we've said, there is the

option of opening a franchise where
they've actually,

giving you the directions on what to do.

So their cookie cutter, like, just take
Chick-fil-A, for instance.

That's a franchise.

There's a book on exactly what to do, how
they make their burgers, chicken, when I

mean burgers, I mean chicken.

Their chicken burgers, how they make their
fries, how they make, you know, everything

is laid out for you.

You don't have to think about it, what
time it opens.

It's never open on Sundays because none of
them are open on Sundays.

Like, that's their standard.

So everything is laid out for you.

So if you are that type of person who
doesn't think or believe that you have

what we are talking about, but still kind
of wanna run your own thing, think about a franchise.

That's something that you
could probably do.

I think in the book, you might be thinking
of the E-Myth by Michael Gerber.

They just did a year edition recently.

But it explains the whole franchising
business and breaks that down.

But that's a really great piece of advice.

I will say you'll need a good amount of
capital for franchising.

So but you have the procedures, you know,
you won't have to figure out the plan, it will be ready for you.





What have we learned about leadership in
our roles?

The only thing I'll really say about that
is it's not what I thought it was.

It's not what you might think it is.

It's not management.

It's inspiring others to believe in what
you're doing so much that you can't tell

the difference between them and you.

That's what it's felt for me.

And it took me a long
time to get to that point.

Again, go back to the core values and the
alignment, but.

To me, everybody on the team can represent
this company as much as me.

And they want to be here.

And I feel like that that's what good
leadership should be.

And I would never have predicted that I'd be
somebody that would be a good leader, but

I feel confident that I've developed a,
you know, formed a really great team and

they're behind our mission.

One thing about leadership I find is that
you can be a leader without having a team.

I've noticed that a lot.

In this day and age, social
media is super prevalent.

You're a leader without even realizing
that you're a leader.

Someone is following you for what I call
no reason at all.

Just because something that you did clicks
with them or resonates with them.

They're following you, and sometimes
they'll send you a message.

They're getting a light from you that you
didn't even know that you were emitting.

So leadership is just not necessarily
about having a business.

Understand that you can be a leader to a
younger person.

You can be a leader to someone in your
field who aspires to be better in their

field because you're showing them what
they could be.

So leadership is just not about

mentorship not about leadership not about
being a good person. It's about showing the

world what you have because someone is
seeing you. Someone is seeing you so be air

that show that whether you believe you're
a leader or not. That is what I've learned

about leadership can be you leadership can
be me leadership can be anybody. It's just

the only person who knows is the person
who needs it

I totally, totally agree with that.

It's something I hadn't even considered,
even though I should, I work in social media.

You follow a person usually because you
have that sort of emotional connection to

them, or at least some connection.

And what you say and do, well, it
influences people and maybe the wrong way,

but you're showcasing who you are.

So you're absolutely right.

Well, let's talk about what we're seeing
for a minute.


Many may not know this, but October is
actually National Women's Small Business Month.

So I'm going to talk about some of the
progress that's been made in the last years.

So in 1972, there were around 400,000
women entrepreneurs.

And today, there are over 13 million.


So let's talk about, you know, being
female entrepreneurs.

What's that environment like?

How is it different for women than men?

And how have we personally found
camaraderie with other women entrepreneurs?

So for me, to be honest, I don't have a
lot to compare it to because I'm not a man.

I can only speak from my experience and
I've been very lucky to have the support

of both men and women in my role.

I can only think of a few experiences
where I felt like I wasn't treated like an equal at the table.

But I think it had more to do with the
circumstances at the time rather than my gender.

We're so fortunate to live, you know, in a
time where women have a lot of support in

their careers and as business owners.

Of course, my business is based online,
which is a little bit of a different

animal than if I were providing products
or services in a physical space.

Although it's become a lot more common
since the great resignation and the pandemic.


We do check-ins with every person on my team
every so often.

And one of the questions that we ask, you
know, is what do you like about working with us?

I recall one person saying that she liked
that we wore a woman owned business and

that we have mostly women on the team.

That was one of the first times I ever
heard that.

And it was really fascinating to me.

Then I heard it again.

And both of these folks were younger
during the twenties and you know,

People can say what they want about Gen
Zs, but they are driven by purpose.

And I hadn't considered that being a
female entrepreneur would help drive that purpose.

So it's been an honor, really.

As far as finding camaraderie, I again,
I've been blessed with a lot of support

from women as mentors and entrepreneurs.

There are times that the environment can
get a little catty too, especially in a

competing field or industry.

But I'll say, at least from my experience,
that's the exception, not the rule.

I am overall really fortunate.

I also get a lot of enjoyment out of
supporting other women business owners,

whether it's just attending their events
or in the mentoring capacity or offering an ear.

You know, that is, you do have quite a few
women, yeah, on your team.

And, you know, some of them are, well, all
of them are younger.

All of them are younger.

And, well, that's, you know, that's the
generation that is into the online world.

You know, that's how, in a lot of cases,
they don't know anything else.

You know, they didn't know where the
offline world was, like we did.

So, but for me in my industry, I am
generally offline for the most part.

A lot of it I'm hands on, a lot of it
hands on.

So I have seen then the men in my industry
who are not necessarily competitive, but

they are more guarded.

They are more guarded.
Simply because

as a man in this industry, then they could
easily be accused of something, you know,

not acting appropriately and such.

Whereas in women,
we get it a lot less often.

We get the opposite.

Whereas we get...

inappropriately inappropriate questions.

Let's put it that way.

Just go with that, which is actually one
of the reasons why I service women mainly only.

So it makes it a lot easier.

It makes women feel a lot safer.

But I will say that was something that you
didn't have the choice of years ago.

You didn't have a choice of because you
just got what you got.

You weren't allowed.

You were kind of
soft spoken

because you were kind of in the shadows a
little bit.

It was kind of, it wasn't forthcoming to
be a woman in business.

You could be, but it wasn't something that
was backed.

It wasn't something that was accepted.

You know, it was very, it was more of a
man's world.

That's a really good way of putting it.

That's really a man's world.

So I have found, have I found camaraderie
in the female entrepreneurs?

Really, it's both.

It's really both.

I haven't really had an experience with a
gentleman or a female that has been

different due to genders.

They all either are
supportive or they're not.

Nothing specific like that.

So in this industry and in, I haven't
found anything odd like that.

So it's really equaled out in that respect
as far as they're not looking at you so

much for being a woman.

As opposed to what
business you're in.

Does that make sense?

Yep, yep, absolutely.

I agree with you.

It's been my experience too.

Alright, so one more thing that we're

Cher did an interview and it was shared on
TikTok and she says, I quote, “I love men.

I think men are the coolest, but you don't
really need them to live.

My mom said to me, you know, you should
settle down and marry a rich man.

I said, mom, I am a rich man.

You know, my experience with men is great
because I like them.

I don't need them.”


That’s a good perspective.

What do you think about that?

I mean, I think that's a really good
perspective because it's, I think it's

similar to signing a prenup.

The reason I say that is because you
should marry or be with someone because

you get along, you like them.

Money should not be the issue.

A lot of times it is a motivation though.

Is it not?

So I feel like if you're both starting
with nothing, thumbs up.

There's no pre-nup needed.

Nobody has anything.

But if it's an unbalanced financial
situation, when you go into it, one person

is really a lot more well off than the

I'm not mad at her
as far as you know you

make sure that they
like you because of you.

And I think that's one way to do it, just
to make certain of that.

So I agree with her.

You don't need them,
but you should like them.

You know, it's great that we have come as
far as we have, really.

Um, I, if it were years ago, I don't
know what I'd do, you know, what I'd be

doing, but being in the corner and being
quiet is not my strong point.

All right, we're coming to the end of the

Vixen, is there anything that you would
like to add on this topic?

You know, I have to say just giving

I have to say the choices for you as far
as entrepreneurship, it is a great thing.

It is freeing, it is being able to set
your own hours, but there is a level of

discipline that you have to have.

Even in a franchise, franchise is like
someone giving you directions.

but there is a level of discipline you
have to have, as you call it, the

is that what you said?

That, so not easily getting up.

But I have to say, also, you have to have
that level of I don't care, because you

cannot cry and wimp out in the corner the
first time someone says, oh, I don't like

whatever it is that you do.

Say you're...

I don't know, making drinks, you have a
special drink you make.

The first time someone doesn't like it,
you can't cry in the corner and say, oh my

god, I'm a failure, nobody's going to like
this anymore.

You have to have that level of gumption to
understand that, yes, no one's going to

like everything you do, but you've got to
keep that level ahead and keep going

because honestly, your goldmine is right
there and as soon as you give up, you'll never hit it.


You're absolutely right that stick-with-it-ness
and ability to let it roll off. For me

the only thing I can think of so today I
had lunch with a former coach and he’s

really helped transform my business. He
said to me before, entrepreneurship those

who don't do it can't understand it and
he's right.

It is hard to explain entrepreneurship to
anybody else until they've done it

And he's right too that, you know, it's
something that you're going to put

everything into.

And a lot, when you mentioned balance and
all of that?

It just made me think, you know, maybe,
maybe spouses might understand it, but you

really, truly, um, it's not, it's, it's
not for everyone.

It is not for the weak.

Um, it is its own sort of monster and it's
magical and it's hard and it's all those things.

But those who don't do
it can't understand it.

I agree.

All right, well, thank you everyone for
tuning in to the Light Her Project Podcast.

You can always follow the conversation
online with our hashtag.

So in the meantime, keep it real, real

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