SOFIA REGO - ENTERPRENEUR
CAREER BEFORE YOU STARTED YOUR SOLO COMPANY?
I qualified as a massage therapist in 2005 and worked with various prestigious five star hotels and spas in India and Dubai. But eventually, I moved to Sweden and worked as an Early Childhood Educator.
WHY DID YOU QUIT YOUR JOB?
It was always my dream to start my own company where I could help more people understand the connection between their minds, bodies and souls. As an Early Childhood Educator in Sweden, I noticed how stressed the kids were – and they were only 1, 2 or 3 years old.
I realized it’s because the parents were stressed and lived busy lives. Due to my training in Ayurveda in India and learning that our emotional and physical wellbeing is very much interlinked, I realized that I could help parents and kids re-connect and teach them how to live healthier lives. I also realized that I had so much knowledge and expertise I could share with a broader audience.
So, when I got the opportunity at the end of 2017 to create my own solo company, I grabbed at the chance. As such, my company Fia Ayur Wisdom was born where I focus on Ayurvedic body treatments and holistic practices to bring our minds and bodies into balance again.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A HOLISTIC ADVISOR AND MASSAGE THERAPIST?
Since I can remember I had a desire to help people overcome their own emotional and mental blocks. Most probably because I had faced the same struggles in my life and had, therefore, insight about how they felt. I desire to bring more extensive knowledge about the benefits of the ancient healing practice of Ayurveda to families and everyday hard working people so that they can learn what is holding them back in life, and let go of their emotional and mental blocks.
WHAT ABOUT RUNNING YOUR SOLO COMPANY DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST?
Freedom. The ability to do what I love and connecting and meeting with different people.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
1 – That you can’t do it or will not be successful. I think there should be more support for anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur.
When I just started, I got quite a lot of negative feedback. As an individual who loves human connection and communication, it was quite hard to navigate the business world that was so focused on only money, money and more money. As entrepreneurs, we should help other aspiring entrepreneurs.
DO YOU WORK MORE HOURS IN YOUR SOLO COMPANY COMPARED TO YOUR PREVIOUS JOB?
No, I work fewer hours for sure. I used to work 40 hours in my previous job. Nowadays, I’m kinder to myself and allow myself recovery time. Since my job is very physical and I work with energy, I do need to focus on getting enough rest and restore my energy.
“Ayurvedic therapy helps us to heal our hearts. As a holistic advisor and therapist with my own company, I love that I now have the freedom to live my dream of helping other people achieve wellness and balance in their life.”
WHAT TRIED AND TESTED METHODS DO YOU USE TO GET CLIENTS?
1 – Word of Mouth: It’s one of the best ways to get word out about your new business.
2 – Seminars: I used to do quite a bit of free seminars and awareness talks around Stockholm. It helped me build a network of individuals in the same field as me or clients who were seeking my type of service.
3 – Events: I also go to shows or events and set up a promo table.
4 – Wellness Center: I also connected myself to a wellness center who already had a group of clients, so that helped me.
5 – Social Media and Instagram helps: It helps to keep regularly updating social media, especially with upcoming events or promotions.
IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE A COMMUNICATOR AS AN ENTREPRENEUR IN YOUR FIELD?
Yes, but it should be authentic communication.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES YOU MADE WHEN JUST STARTING AS A SOLO ENTREPRENEUR?
I don’t see them as mistakes, but as lessons learned. So, I used my ‘mistakes’ to learn from. One was not doing proper research and finding information about running a business.
When I just started, I went with what felt like it will work. Over the past months, I have learned that a good business structure is essential, so I have one in place now. I would recommend any entrepreneur conduct research and a survey first, and not just diving in head first.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AYURVEDIC MASSAGE THERAPY
The opportunity to rebalance the body, mind, and soul to become in sync with itself, instead of this trio always in conflict with one another.
In essence, holistic ayurvedic therapy helps us to heal our hearts – That is why when we do work we love, and work becomes something from the heart, then we enjoy what we do and it doesn’t feel like work. But if we are stuck in a soul crunching job or relationships, it’s as if we are constantly in hell.
Even though I do work that is sometimes energetically daunting, I keep in mind that my clients need my support and knowledge to help them heal.
DOES A SOLO HOLISTIC ENTREPRENEUR EARN A GOOD INCOME?
I would say a solo holistic therapist earns a sustainable income if they are willing to put themselves out there and market themselves.
I have managed to secure over seven full-time contracts by now and have a steady income every month. Something which I am extremely proud of.
But there are the times where I feel I need to earn more money to expand my company and help more people. So, this year I’m focused on learning how to increase my income by still ensuring I keep my heart in the right place.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WANTING TO START THEIR HOLISTIC PRACTICE?
Build up your network – Networking is important, but you should be active in talking to people (let’s say at the event), not just sitting around and waiting for others to speak to you. If you are not talking to people or connecting, you can’t get the info or support you need.
WHAT HOLDS ENTREPRENEURS BACK?
Having lived for part of my life in India where most people are very outgoing and outspoken, I have found people in Sweden is quite fearful and scared to go outside of their comfort zone.
Even though they hate their job or are not happy, they don’t want to change. But if you’re going to live a better life and create your own company, you will need to learn to overcome your fears and what is holding you back. I always encourage my clients to change their thoughts and empower themselves.
ARE YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR COMPANY?
Yes. Even if they weren’t, I would have done it anyway.
WHAT SETS YOUR COMPANY APART FROM OTHERS IN THE SAME INDUSTRY?
From working with some of the top hotels and spa’s in the world that focus on luxury and going that extra mile for each client to ensure they had a fantastic treatment, I now also ensure that I bring some elements of luxury to the treatments I do.
Most of my clients had never experienced what a 5-star treatment is like, so they love the feeling of being pampered.
I also take more time in talking and educating my clients before and after a treatment so that I can really connect to them as a human being. Most often, most massage therapists forget about the human connection and almost perform the treatment robotically.