Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melani Schweder, Founder of A Brighter Wild, located in Portland, OR, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I created A Brighter Wild as an inclusive healing brand where I could share my wisdom and skills with those looking for relief from a variety of physical and emotional challenges. Under this umbrella, I offer mind-body coaching sessions, Reiki energy healing sessions, and intuitive readings. I primarily work with women suffering from chronic illness, helping them find a path toward recovery using a combination of neuroplasticity, spirituality, and nervous system regulation.

Tell us about yourself

It was my own health challenges that brought me to this work. After many years of living with debilitating fatigue, pain, and other symptoms, I finally found several tools that truly made a difference: limbic retraining, Reiki healing, and somatic experiencing. I know what it's like to feel lost and hopeless, racking up diagnoses and chasing empty promises from the medical system, and this is what drives me to keep going day after day. I want to save people from the struggle I experienced and show them that healing is possible!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Honestly, just running my own business is a great accomplishment in and of itself. I got sick right out of college, and my health problems took a serious toll on my career aspirations, finances, and support system. Despite all of this, I managed to start something and stick with it, and I've been blessed to work with hundreds of clients so far. When I look back on everything, I feel proud to have made it to this point in my life!

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

There is nobody keeping you accountable but you. When you're your own boss, you make your own schedule and have to manage your time and energy wisely. It's easy to get excited and inspired, but also easy to burn out. You're responsible for learning about everything from marketing to taxes and planning ahead to give yourself time off when you need it.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Make sure you are truly passionate about what you are creating/sharing/offering and not viewing it as just a financial venture. This keeps you connected to your "why" when things get tough.
  2. Pick a social media outlet and get good at it. Invest in growing your audience and post consistently. Social media is where I get 80% of my business!
  3. Always prioritize your self-care above your bottom line, no matter what the "hustle culture" has to say. There's always time to make more money, but it's harder to regain your health once you've lost it. You can only show up fully when you're well-rested, fed, and emotionally/mentally nourished.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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