Rachel Beider is an entrepreneur, educator, speaker and mentor. She is the proud owner and CEO of two Brooklyn-based clinical massage studios, Massage Williamsburg and Massage Greenpoint. She has made her career about empowering women to start and grow their own practices, via her company Wellness Business Consulting. Follow her @rachelbeider.
Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
My hero in business is Paul Newman. He was the ultimate multipotentialite, who excelled in multiple areas and committed himself and his life to philanthropy and political and social activism. He was an incredible entrepreneur, actor, race-car driver, investor, environmentalist and philanthropist.
What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
The single best piece of advice that I followed that shaped my career was to get out of my own way. I often found that I was so nervous or critical of myself and my ideas that I’d spend more time worrying about doing something than actually doing it. It was challenging, but I learned to address the things that I dreaded first to get them out of the way. What I’ve discovered is that the task I was fearful of was typically not nearly as bad as I thought, and it felt like such a major relief to get done.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
The biggest mistake that I’ve made in business was not delegating daily tasks soon enough and feeling burned out. I had to learn to ask others for help and truly depend on their strength, skills and wisdom, so that I could fully commit myself to the bigger picture. It can be scary at first to depend on others, especially when you’re used to doing everything a certain way at a certain standard of quality, but it is absolutely necessary for a business to grow and scale. If all information must pass through you as a business owner, you can never truly scale up.
Another important mistake that I see business owners making is being so nurturing of others: their clients, family and friends. They often forget to nurture their business, which should be taken care of as its own entity.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
People typically don’t answer this truthfully, so I will tell you my honest answer. I spend the first hour of my day in bed, snuggling my dog, and eventually stretching out and catching up on emails on my cell phone. In the morning, I like the coziness and indulgence of working from bed and I cherish the warmth of spending time with the sweetest dog ever, my Cavalier King Charles, Winston.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Don’t spend money on anything that doesn’t directly lead to income at the beginning. It can also be helpful to get a 0% interest credit card, or a low interest line of credit. When starting a small business, don’t get yourself into more debt than you can pay off yourself within a year.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
To take your business to the next level, consider what your major values are — what you want to make your life about. Think about what kind of world you want to leave for the future. When you want to get to the next level, do so with that ultimate goal in mind. This will help you stay true to your vision.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
I define success by having an abundance of life, love, joy and experiences. Success for me is a balance of feeling satisfied by the challenges of my work and fulfilled by the contributions that I can make in other’s lives. It’s about leaving work with enough energy to enjoy the time I spend with my family and friends, and often with more energy because I love my job and career. I feel the most successful when I watch my business grow and when I help other small business owners, via consulting, feel empowered and proud of their work, and achieve their dreams.