Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shellie Sakash, Owner of Sakash Health and Wellness, located in North Conway, NH, USA.

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

Sakash Health and Wellness is a specialized physical therapy and Pilates studio. We integrate the science of physical therapy and bodywork with the full-body conditioning approach of Pilates and movement education. We evaluate the person, not just the symptoms, to create a holistic and personalized program that will get them to their goals. Our clients range from 35-88 years old. They come into the studio at all levels of physical health. Some of our clients come with chronic pain that they have had for years, new injuries, or a decrease in physical ability. Some clients are looking to experience a new level of power and ability in their sport. One thing all of our clients have in common is that they want to learn what they can do now to improve their quality of life in the future.

Tell us about yourself

I worked in outpatient physical therapy clinics for 20 years. With the changes in insurance and health care, my job was becoming less and less fulfilling. I wasn't able to spend the time I wanted to with my patients, focus on my patient's care, or use the skills I had spent so many years developing. As a result, I wasn't seeing clients achieve the results I knew they could. When I started my own private business, I wanted to create a space where healing was focused on the person - their individual history, their lifestyles, and their goals. I wanted to celebrate the patients' wins, not the business wins oriented around meeting productivity numbers, making acquisitions, or increasing revenue. In order to achieve this, I had to get out of network with insurances. I believe healthcare should be about health and doing what is right, what is necessary, for healing to occur.

Today, my patients are what motivate me. Once they've experienced this model of care, they have a greater appreciation of what physical therapy and Pilates can do for them. I see so much more improvement and growth in my patients now - not just physically but as a person too. Their life is genuinely better because of the partnership we have developed. In this model of care, what I can now offer as a physical therapist is fuller, but most importantly, the mindset, mentality, and motivation of the patient are better too.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Taking the leap. I spent years being afraid of making the jump and starting my own business. As a perfectionist, I always wanted there to be the perfect time and place for things to happen and for everything to line up just right. But let me tell you, it can be messy at times. I had to overcome my fear of failure by ultimately recognizing that even if failure came, it wouldn't be the end of the world because of who I am and the determination I have to just keep on going. Even with the success that I've had, I still have challenging moments where I catch myself being afraid of making that next leap. I think mindset just needs to be a daily practice. Probably one for all aspects of life. I try to follow the motto, "Move forward in faith, not backwards in fear." Believing in my purpose and the importance of what I do in today's world is helpful. At the end of the day, I just want to help people feel better and to walk beside them as they achieve a higher state of their potential. How could that possibly go wrong?

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

Finding a team that can stay focused on the mission and vision of the business with the same connection, passion, and intensity that I do. Finding practitioners that are truly fulfilled by helping others. Everyone's work goals are different, which I understand, and I certainly don't judge. However, as a business owner, you have to get comfortable with recognizing when someone isn't the right fit. You have to also be confident and comfortable taking the actions necessary to continue to provide the best service possible based on your mission and vision when this is the case.

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

  1. Make a solid business plan and do your research. I always joke that being organized is my saving grace. With good organization, I feel that I always have the foundation to stand on to get myself through anything.
  2. Be honest about your why. Make sure you are truly passionate about "what" you are doing. When things get tough, that has always been what carries me through.
  3. After that, just do it. As I mentioned before, make sure you are not stagnating yourself with fearful thoughts, doubts, or worry. My greatest growth has always come from my greatest challenges. Staying safe is familiar but also stagnating.
  4. Find your community. Being around a community of business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs is so energizing and inspiring. They can give you advice, support you, and save you so much time.

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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