A business growth strategy is about having a plan and incorporating it into your life.
Editor’s note: This is part two of a two part series. In part one entitled Latina Breaths Life into Respiremos a Company About Breathwork, Eugenia shared her family, growing up in Mexico and coming to the U.S.
The company is called Respiremos, born from Eugenia Altamira’s vision to bring Transformational Breath® to Mexico and Latin America. The first seeds were planted years ago and now Respiremos offers Transformational Breath® Sessions, Workshops and Professional Trainings in Latin America, USA, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
There are three main areas where Respiremos is currently focused: furthering education related to Breathwork, research and continuing to do pro bono work with different groups, including a women’s prison.
My essential elements of a business plan:
- Clear and realistic goals.
- Very clear distinction between short term and long term goals.
- Concrete time lines.
- Detailed budget of all the steps in the time line.
- Clarity on the flow of income that will follow each step.
- Extreme objectivity on real income sources.
- Willingness to let go of an idea when it doesn’t make sense financially, it can always be revisited in the future.
- Always get a second opinion.
What is the future plan for your business?
This year is a turning point for us, we strongly believe the way to make an impact in people’s lives and society in general must come from education. Educating is what my business does, but so far, we have worked with small groups in workshops and trainings.
We also realized that to help the demographics we were most interested in we needed to change our approach. This shifted our focus into two main areas:
Research, although there is plenty of medical literature available on the benefits of having an open breath pattern there isn’t as much information available on the benefits that breathing properly brings to people’s mental and emotional health. We believe our society is ripe for change in its approach to mental and emotional health and we have a very powerful tool to offer them.
The second area we are focusing on is in educating the people who will be able to offer this form of therapy. Respiremos is in the process of opening a University in Mexico where people will be able to obtain the education needed to not only help people but also to make a decent living from it. All our energy right now is focused in creating a sustainable business plan for the university and finding the best option for financing it.
To me this is the most exciting project I have ever undertaken, it is daunting and exciting all at the same time!
Living, business and work-life balance
I must admit that in the first years, I had zero balance and all my time and attention was focused on the business and nothing on me.
Eventually I came to realize that this approach was affecting both my personal life and my business. When we only focus on one aspect we can’t live fulfilled lives, our energy starts to drain and the expectations on the area we are focused on, become less objective.
Because all our satisfaction depends on this one thing. And the kicker is that it doesn’t matter how hard we work on it, we will never get satisfaction, because unconsciously we still want more, we want the forgotten side of ourselves to feel whole again.
My business requires that I travel a lot, sometimes for a full month, maybe even two. And then sometimes I’m only home for a handful of days before I have to go out. As much as I love the traveling, I think this is one of the biggest hurdles my family faces.
Fortunately, my family respects and understands my work, for us the key has been to have a relationship based on open communication and trust. When something comes up, we talk it out until it gets resolved.
When I’m home, we spend as much time together as possible doing the things we love.
And thank God for FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype and all the other cyber tools available for long distance communication. Taking the time every day to talk to each other, regardless of time zone and level of exhaustion, keeps the connection fresh.
Another key element is to create spaces for yourself asides from work and family. Never underestimate the power of just having fun.
The best rewards I’ve obtained from building and managing my business
First, the possibility of continuing to help others and fund my pro bono programs.
The pleasure to travel to so many countries and work with all these different cultures. To be able to witness every day the profound transformation that people who attend the events go through.
Helping others live the life they were meant to live.
Overcoming my fears and resistances, nothing like having an overhead cost that needs to be paid, to get one moving no matter what, heh heh.
And not in a smaller measure, the simple pleasure of having days of honest, good work that I love, and being able to support my family.
Advice for other Latinos who’d like to start a business
If you find something that you are passionate about, or that you enjoy doing and can’t wait to share, this might be a great business opportunity to explore.
Running a business is hard work and a long-term commitment. Having love for it, will certainly make your job easier. And, when you sell your product, you will be truly motivated and people will connect with your enthusiasm openly and unconsciously.
If you are new in a country, a company, an environment, a working field, etc. and trying to find your way, be prepared to be challenged and pushed outside of your comfort zone. It’s OK to feel vulnerable and lost sometimes. The key is to keep moving forward, it can be so easy to give in to your fears.
Don’t be afraid to place the real value of your product into the market. If you offer quality and plan carefully, you will get paid for your work. If you don’t value your work, time and product, no one else will.
Get proficient in what you want to do. Your level of knowledge and preparation, could open many doors. Invest the time in developing a business plan and at the same time in learning the business in’s and out’s.
If could turn back the clock knowing what you now know about starting a business what would you have done differently?
Definitely more long term planning. I didn’t start with a clear business plan and I paid the price for it. I can see how I wasted precious time, money and effort. I mean not truly wasted, they were all learning experiences, but it could have gone a lot smoother.
Also, I think my fear of not having enough to cover expenses at the beginning of the business, made me do things myself or hire people that were not very experienced. Under the assumption that this would save me money. And in the long run I ended up having to pay for most of these things twice and lost a lot in quality in the time it took to fix. I can see now how doing less things at once, but getting them done properly the first time, would have been a better approach.
My favorite quote:
Oh, I have so many, it makes me nostalgic to think on them. Right now, I’m really working on this one: “If you want to be great, you have to put the work it requires. If you are OK being average, then just do the average thing” Unmaniji King.