Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Pam Steinick, Founder of Atha SomaYoga, located in Dallas Center, IA, USA.

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

Atha SomaYoga is my business. The majority of my clients are people who have some type of persistent pain, have tried other modalities, and come to me to find relief with a blend of breathwork, somatic movements, yoga poses, and philosophy. These tools first help to relieve the pain and tension, then find a better balance, and empower people to continue to use these tools to move and to be well.

Tell us about yourself

I started my professional career as an Occupational Therapist. After 20-some years, I saw that I couldn't help as many people as I wanted, and I, myself, was having pain that I knew would end up with me having neck surgery. And I didn't want to go down that road, as I have seen what happens once the surgery is done on a neck or a back. I found the tools of yoga, which helped a bit at first, but I was doing Power Yoga (which doesn't use the philosophy of the Yamas and Niyamas, or yoga philosophy) and was still in pain and actually hurting myself. I then found Therapeutic Yoga and, eventually SomaYoga, which brought in the amazing work of Thomas Hanna's Somatic work in 2017. Midway through my Level I training with Yoga North International SomaYoga Institute, I knew I had to bring this work to as many people as I could. I am not in pain. I sometimes forget what it was like to be in pain (and it was becoming my identity before). I love showing people a different way to move, to release tension, to find balance, and to live their best lives.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The easy answer is when I was able to fully transition to doing this work full-time and surviving the pandemic when all yoga had to shut down. Building a business with something that people don't know about takes time, and I literally had to "show" people what this work could do by giving away a lot of free sessions, knowing that THAT was the best advertisement I could do. Seeing the trickle effect of those people telling other people, and recommending this work to others, has been amazing to see. Lastly, joining the space of one of the best Physical Therapy groups in Des Moines, where I live, has also been huge. They do a lot of great manual work, besides all the other work that PTs do, with myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, and even visceral work, so it is a great complement to what I do!

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

The hardest, and the best thing, is being your own boss! It means you get to choose what you want to do, when you want to do it, how you want to do it, etc. And it means you need to work hard to make the right choices for your business and for yourself. Finding boundaries is probably the trickiest thing, mostly with my time. I love this work, and sometimes I need to remind myself that I need time away from it as well. (Because I also love spending time with my husband, my dog, and my friends!)

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

  1. Only enter into a business if you are truly passionate about it! There is so much other "business stuff" you have to do that you have to be truly invested in it from your heart.
  2. Be ok with making mistakes, and know that the road to becoming a solid business isn't going to be pretty. Some people will be super supportive, and some people will want to tear you down (and sometimes, it's hard to know the difference at first!)
  3. Keep your goals fluid... have them, for sure! But you never know what direction the business is going to take, who you're going to meet that might lead you in a different direction, or to build bigger, or to add or even subtract some of the things you're doing. And, if the pandemic didn't teach us anything, hopefully, it taught us all not to hold onto things so tightly but to let things happen more authentically.

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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