Natalia Sofia has been managing various entrepreneurial roles in the field of mental health for 6+ years. She is a psychotherapist, expressive arts therapist, certified life coach, and business owner of GuidanceWithNatalia.com. She has gained extensive knowledge and training in the field of psychology and healing, with a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Arts Therapy, a Bachelors degree in Psychology, and certifications in Yoga as Medicine, Corporate Wellness Coaching, and Holistic Life Coaching.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I created my business with the intention to inspire women to become emotionally dependent, secure within themselves, and embrace their inner power, so they can LEAD a life they love. My main motivation has been my traumatic background. I grew up in a violent home, where my mother was financially and emotionally dependent on my father.
This led me to gain emotional, mental, and spiritual strength, so I could teach other women how to move through their stressful life situations. I truly believe, and have experienced, the power of altering one’s mindset, and how it effects our ability to experience a joyful life.
Tell us about your business.
GuidancewithNatalia.com is an online business, that empowers women to lead a life they love, by releasing victim mentality and entering into freedom. I focus on teaching and guiding women to gain resiliency during stressful life transitions, through personalized coaching, a free web show (The Guidance Show), and soon to be workbooks. My business was built underneath the idea that it is not about fixing our problems or getting rid of them, it is about how we get through them, that makes us stronger.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
If you go to my website GuidanceWithNatalia.com, you can receive a one-time 20% discount for my Women’s Leadership Embodiment Life Coaching, when you sign up for my love letter.
Due to the lack of legal regulations and code of ethics in the coaching industry, there are a lot of life coaches out there who do not have the education or experience in counseling or coaching. Even though there are a lot of great coaches out there who have natural ability, and do their work well, there are many coaches who do not know what they are doing.
Education is so important to me, and it has allowed me to grow in my field of interest: healing people. My biggest accomplishment is definitely my educational background. I have a BA degree in Psychology, a MA degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Arts Therapy. I have also obtained certifications in Yoga as Medicine, Holistic Life Coaching, and Yoga as Medicine. I am now working towards licensure as a mental health counselor, and applying for my doctorate degree.
Where is your business based?
My business is based online. I wanted to reach the global mass population, and knew that the only way to do that was through technology. The psychology and coaching fields are changing so rapidly, and I wanted to make sure I am catering to the future, and not just the present.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Due to my intense natural enthusiasm to create all my dreams, taking action to start a business was very easy for me. I saw a vision and went for it. The first thing I did was purchase a website using WordPress.org, created business cards from Moo.com, watched free business tutorials on Youtube.com, and created a blog. My blog has transformed into The Guidance Show, but it definitely was a great place for me to start spreading and sharing my mission and purpose.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
So far, networking has helped me the most. I am one of the weird people out there that enjoys networking. I just love meeting people, sharing what I do, and hearing from other people who have created businesses. Many of the people I have met at networking events have been extremely helpful, and allowed me to create a referral network. It really is about who you know, and I believe you spread your message faster when you get personal. This is why I want to get into motivational speaking soon.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge has been time management. My business is a side hustle, and I intend to keep it that way. It is meant to be a space where I contribute to the world, and I am fine with taking my time with it. But life can get really hectic, and it can start to become overwhelming to balance it all – work, friends, family, personal time and relationships.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Well, I haven’t completely overcome this challenge yet, but I am working on it. I am not a natural planner. I tend to do things sporadically or in the moment, so it is going to take some adjustment. I recently bought an agenda that allows me to jot down goals and important tasks to do right now, so I can focus more and work less.
This is key. Without a plan, it really is just a dream.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Being an entrepreneur can be tough, not to mention, starting a business. What has helped me the most has been my vision board. I have a word document on my computer, where I just copy and paste images from google, to display my dreams and goals. I look at this vision board whenever I need to, and change it up when my vision transforms (as it always does). Being able to see the big picture creates optimism, and in turn, increases motivation.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
The ONLY way to distinguish yourself from your competitors is to know yourself inside and out… and gain the confidence to share that with the world.
Take the time to do your self-work.
- Who are you?
- What do you value?
- What positive change do you wish to see in the world?
- What are your skills and talents?
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What do people think are your best personality traits?
- How can you combine all your experiences, education, and skills together?
Use this to your advantage, and combine it with what the market and economy needs.
- How is your field going to change in 10 years?
- Has technology affected your field?
- What specifically do people need and want in your field?
What is the best advice you have received recently?
The best advice I have received recently is the tired but true, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint”. As cliche as it is, I think many of us seem to forget this message. It is so easy to get caught up with what society expects of us and where we think we should be based on our biological timeline. But as soon as we take a step back, and learn to observe instead of judge, we realize we are exactly where we need to be. We can end “the search for the treasure”, because the treasure is already inside ourselves.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Being an entrepreneur is one of the most rewarding career roles you can pursue. It allows you to lead, innovate, and be an advocate for positive change in the world. Know that paving the road for others never comes easy. Failure and challenges will arise, and it will test your endurance in so many ways imaginable. Remember it is not about what your failures or challenges are, it is about how you get through them, that makes you successful. Let go of your fear of failure, and focus on creating a healthy mindset and gaining resiliency. This can be achieved by viewing your challenges as learning opportunities, creating a strong support system, and having a strong purpose and vision.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I really enjoy learning how successful entrepreneurs in my field (coaching and psychology) have created successful businesses, because it gives me something to look up to, and motivates me to achieve my career goals. In this day and age, it is so easy to access free information and contact mentors. By far, my favorite business resource has been Tony Robbin’s website, because of the endless free information in the fields of business, health, and wellness. On his website, you can schedule a free coaching call. I also highly recommend taking the DISC survey, which is a fifty-four page profile, that shows you how to achieve peak performance in your career!
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
My favorite magazine I enjoy reading is Psychology Today. As a Psychotherapist, Expressive Arts Therapist, and Holistic Life Coach, it is essential that I continue to expand my knowledge in the field, and am aware of current research. Psychology Today is a great magazine, because it includes advice from successful psychotherapists, and results of recent psychological studies.
One article in particular I recommend is “Down with Extremes”, from the July 2017 edition. It emphasizes the importance of balance, recommending individuals to engage in experiences that are not under-stimulating OR over-stimulating (‘the Goldilocks effect”). We live in a society that values extreme behavior, values, and experiences, but this can lead to boredom and high stress. The key is moderation in all things, a lesson I think many of us can practice in our daily lives to sustain happiness and fulfillment.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Marketing is definitely the most challenging aspect of my business, and I believe for many entrepreneurs. Without a strong marketing foundation, a business will not succeed. Therefore, I have been reaching out to marketing experts, who are giving me advice on how to spread my message, and reach more women globally. As entrepreneurs, I believe it is so important to ask for help, and admit that it is impossible to do everything AND master it all.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals for the next few months are to continue working towards motivational speaking, and writing my “Stress Less and Live More” workbook. I plan to achieve these goals by taking small steps every day. I have been able to practice public speaking through The Guidance Show (a webshow I created that gives free psychosocial education), and by conducting therapeutic groups at various hospitals in Boston, MA. Although I admit it has been difficult to find the time to write, I find my motivation and drive again when I get in touch with my passion and purpose. Every week I write only 3 pages of my workbook, so by the end of the year it should be completed.
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