Interview with Michele Risa, Founder of Beyond Body Mind Spirit.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
Beyond Body Mind Spirit helps people lower their health care costs by reducing their need for health care. This is accomplished through our revolutionary programs that are accessible, affordable and sustainable! They provide: 365 days of LIVE support so you don't fall off track, easy access to anyone — all you need is a phone and a chair, affordable to nearly everyone — costs less than $1 a day, offers total sustainable health — includes activities for your body as well as your mind and spirit.
When and where did you start the business?
1989 in New York, NY.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
Before 1989, I worked at Citibank. Yes, this is my first business.
How did you come up with your business idea?
My business' mission reflects my lifelong passion for inner peace, health and joy, my dedication to being a manifestation master, and my commitment to sharing this with everyone interested in living their life's purpose and leaving their legacy.
Did you operate your business from your home? What were the challenges and benefits to this strategy?
The benefits to a home-based business are: reduced expenses, greater time efficiencies without travel and water-cooler chats, and greater schedule flexibility. Challenges are: fewer opportunities to brain storm, chat rooms which cannot replace LIVE chat, and discipline and time management which can turn into monsters without regular feeding!
Have you hired additional staff? What is your greatest human resources challenge?
I have hired a web specialist. Working via phone or Skype is my greatest human resource challenge. As in all relationships, communication, respect, forgiveness, and flexibility are keys to a successful team.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
I have shifted from a complete focus on business growth to inner growth — the source of everything we create and the playground of the subconscious. I've tirelessly expanded beyond the comfortable and have become more comfortable with the uncomfortable. I have broken through limited thinking and enjoyed the rewards of acting "as if". As I continue to deepen my understanding of how to truly and totally care for me, I see it reflected in my deeper caring and service to staff, clients, and the world.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
My early business success lulled me into pushing forward without enough analysis and review. If I had, I would have seen how crucial collaboration is — from the quality of the process to the quality of the product. So if you're reading this and feel touched by something I've said, email me . Let's collaborate.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Four suggestions: 1) Feel passionate about what you do in order to weather the inevitable ups and downs. 2) Receive and give support — we all need help and giving it creates joy and a win-win. 3) Review, analyze, learn — mistakes are lessons learned, often offering the best ones. 4) Celebrate often!
I love the idea of health being part of body, mind and spirit. Thanks for talking with us, Michelle!