What does volunteering mean to you? Do you think you can volunteer? What would you do if you have an idea so grand but you have no funds? Do you throw in the towel or do you look inwards? Meet Uma Alexandra Beepat, the founder of Lotus Wellness Center, in Northern Virginia, USA. Read her story of faith, determination and hard work. It will not only encourage you to dive deeper, but it will also let you understand that there is always a provision behind every vision. Keep reading and enjoy your read!
On how it all started, she had this to say:
Just before my 30th birthday, I awoke to a voice outside of me saying, “The time for playing is over, it is now time to work.” I have always heard voices, seen and felt things but rarely did I feel it as strongly. I agreed and waited to see what would happen.
See the voice wasn’t wrong. I had become a mom to two boys fourteen months apart and despite my thriving career in Health Care management, my goals and vision changed when I had kids. I wanted to stay home with them more. So, I prayed on it and asked God to direct me in the direction I needed to go.[Read: Meet the Nigerian Lawyer and Mental Wellness Advocate Who’s on a Mission to Helping People Birth Purpose from Pain]
One day I had the thought to look through my documents in the study. It was January 2008 days away from my 30th birthday and this thought came clearly through. I went through it and found a scholarship for $10,000 from Americorps- the sister program to Peace Corps. I was a volunteer with them for one year and in lieu of payment, I took the scholarship. Well, guess what? That volunteer stint was in 2001 and I had seven years to use it, so I needed to use it in 2008 or it was useless!
After that discovery of the scholarship, I had three other “messages” about attending a massage school in the area. I got a flyer in the mail, saw a TV ad for them and also spoke to a friend who told me she saw me doing massage. I called the school and went in on a Wednesday for a tour and by Friday I was enrolled in the class that was starting for the year. It was January 19th, 2008, the day of my 30th birthday!
I went to massage school and became a licensed massage therapist, so I could work hours around my kids’ schedule. It worked! I was able to get a job at a chain spa and chose my own hours. I worked there for a year and also worked another spa chain. As much as I loved giving massages and seeing my clients, I didn’t like the rushed atmosphere of getting clients in and out of the door, so I started working from home by taking private clients. As my clientele list grew, it gave me the nerve to quit my other jobs.[Read: How to Choose a Target Audience]
I worked from first a small room in my house to the entire basement of my home for five years. Finally, in 2014, as my business expanded and grew, I took out a one-year lease in a small room in a commercial building. It wasn’t my top choice, but it was in my budget range and I figured I could take the time to build my client lists. I have to be honest, I did not like my first rental place! It was filled with consultants and their private jobs, it felt very business-like and even though it was a beautiful building, it didn’t have the right feeling to it. My work is in healing and natural wellness, so I needed a place that felt more like home.
Before the lease was up, I started looking at other buildings and found my dream spot in the location we are at now. It is a small two-level building where I have two suites; one for the wellness center and the other for the school. At the time of signing, I could only afford the one suite, so I started with that. Over the years, I kept building my client list and student population so much so that in 2017, I opened a second business- Lotus Signature Massage School for students who wanted to become state licensed massage therapists. I hired two teachers and between myself and them, we run a pretty amazing school where the students are happy and the information shared is top notch. Education goals at the highest![Read: How to Start and Launch an Online Business]
Now in 2018, I have an amazing board of directors that help me run Lotus Wellness Center and I have staff that runs Lotus Signature Massage school as well. This has freed up my time to write books, offer speeches to small and large groups and travel to other states to teach classes and provide services. We are now looking to franchise the brand of Lotus Wellness Center to bring the joy, happiness and consciousness of what we do to everyone!
I once heard someone say that a business is not considered a business until it reaches ten years. I can truly say I feel that. 2019 makes ten years Lotus Wellness Center has been in business and I feel like it has taken me this long to find my stride.
I had a lot of challenges as most businesses do such as wondering where to get the money to pay rent and bills, the sudden client/student swell of interest and just as sudden departure, the months of extreme abundance and the months of slow business. What it took for me to make it through was a strong determination to keep going. Failure was never an option.
My biggest challenge is the repeated issue of mimickers. I have had the unfortunate issue of people attending my classes and working with me at the center, then copying my work or my objectives and repeating them in the community.[Read: How to Retain Customers in 5 Easy Steps]
At first, I would feel defeated until someone close to me reminded me that the copiers are not ME. So, they can copy my classes and my way of teaching as much as they wanted to, it will never replicate what I do in my own way.
Once I made that realization with the help of my friend, I sat back and watched each of those copiers fail in their businesses. See, it wasn’t meant for them to teach or do. And that is what I can say truthfully sums up YOUR business. It is an expression of YOU. So even though the temptation might be there to copy someone else who is more established in their business, please don’t. Their success came to them from their work. Your success will come to you from your work. Learn, grow, expand and then do it your way.
On her current projects, she said this:
I am currently working on writing my second book, “Stories of a Psychic Medium”, releasing an online chakra course and converting my 8-month intuitive mentorship program at Lotus Wellness Center into an online course!
On how to support Uma, she had this to say:
Whether you are located in Northern VA or worldwide, come and join us! Join our social media and Facebook groups, attend classes, book me for sessions or join us in our annual retreats. June 2019, our retreat is to the fabulous Mount Shasta in California![Read: Practical Ways of Reducing Your Overhead Costs and Increasing Your Profit Margin]
On advising those who would like to start their business, here’s what she said:
Don’t give up. Ever. It is a long, busy road and you can’t take a break, walk away or ignore the demands of your business. You also will not have a normal life! Allow yourself to move with the energy of your business. If you want to work until 4 a.m., do it! If you want to go to bed at 7 p.m., do it! As you build your business, your energy will become in alignment with it and as crazy as that sounds, it works to follow the energy.
Starting a new business can seem daunting and it is! But remember your WHY, your vision and your mission and it will keep you going in those dark days when the calendar is light with clients. Never doubt yourself, trust your intuition and follow through! It will be the best adventure of your life so jump in!
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