Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rachel Talan, Founder of Sleepy Santosha, located in Freeport, IL, USA.

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

Sleepy Santosha specializes in online yoga classes for chronic pain and chronic illness, so all of my offerings are geared toward people living in differently-abled bodies. I have an online studio where members can practice with me from all over the world in the comfort of their own homes.

Tell us about yourself

I am a certified yoga teacher and reiki master specializing in yoga for chronic pain and illness. Although I hold multiple certifications, my classes are largely inspired by my firsthand experiences with chronic pain, chronic illness, PTSD, and my personal yoga practice. I started teaching online because, at the time (in 2015), there was a huge gap in the online yoga community. No one was teaching gentle classes geared toward people with physical disabilities or mental health issues. Whenever I searched "yoga for chronic fatigue" or "yoga for fibromyalgia," many of the people who were trying to create those classes were still teaching moves that were impossible to do unless you were able-bodied. So I started creating my own yoga sequences for myself and knew I needed to fill that gap. Now I love sharing the practices that allowed me to find relief and healing and then seeing those same practices create transformation for others.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Whenever I receive messages from students telling me things like they're finally sleeping through the night or they no longer have to use their wheelchair because they've been practicing yoga with me. Getting to see the profound impact that yoga is having in their life is my biggest joy. That impact is the reason I'm here and the reason I keep going, and I think it's also the greatest measure of success. I feel like I've achieved what I sought out to do from the beginning.

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

Being self-employed, you can get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks and lose sight of why you're doing this. There's so much pressure on you. There's so much to get done. It's become really important for me to make sure I take time out to reconnect with myself and fill my own cup first so that I can continue to be of service to others. Sometimes that means saying no to certain opportunities so that I can take that time.

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

  1. Be authentic. Be real. Be yourself. When you're authentic, people know they can trust you. It also ensures you're attracting customers who share your values and invites them to connect more deeply with you. That connection is the most important part of running a successful business.
  2. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Being too afraid of failure will paralyze you and keep you from sharing your gifts with the world. Go for it. You will learn and figure it all out as you go.
  3. Don't compare yourself to others. Go at your own pace. Build a business that feels good for you and fits the lifestyle you want to live. Something you will be able to sustain over time without burning out.

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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