WOMEN WORKING FROM HOME – HER STORY
Plant Base Nutrition Instructor
Tell us a bit about the business that you are creating?
For most of my career, I have worked in the nonprofit world on conservation issues, the arts, and human services. My first leap of faith was quitting my regular 9-5 job about 3 years ago and starting my own grant/fundraising consulting business from home to give me the flexibility to make my own schedule and spend more time with my children. I was so nervous I wouldn’t get any clients, and now I find myself turning clients away! I really love raising money for good causes and find it incredibly rewarding and challenging (and still do this part-time).
But, I have always felt there was something more I could be doing in the world – and discovered that my creative passion is teaching plant based nutrition. I’ve been a vegan for about 4 years now. This way of eating has been personally transformative and I really wanted to share that with others.
After doing an incredible online program called BSchool, I decided to get some formal training and education in plant based nutrition, including a plant based chef certification, which was amazing. Since then, I have taught plant based nutrition to women in recovery from addiction and now teach plant based nutrition classes locally (this is growing very slowly because it takes lots of time!) and – with a friend who lives in Italy and also eats plant based – started a project to bring women to the Piedmont region of Italy for tours that include wineries, vineyards and winetastings, tours of local sites, and plantbased cooking and nutrition classes in her farmhouse kitchen. Our first trip was last September and it was a huge success!
What are your three core values in your working life right now?
Patience – Primarily with myself. Building a business takes time and it’s easy to get frustrated when things don’t happen as fast as you want them to. Take the pressure off and things seem to flow easier!
Authenticity – It’s very important to me that the relationships I build in my business, as well as my personal life, are all based on being true to who I am and what I ultimately want for my life and my
The Importance of Saying “No” – This is so hard for me! I want to say YES to every opportunity and challenge, which puts me on the path to overwhelm not a good place to be. I’m getting better at forcing myself to evaluate every opportunity and the impact it will have on my mental and physical health and my short and longterm
goals. There are only so many hours in the day!
What’s the hardest part of running a business from home?
Focus and avoiding the distractions. There is so much to do in everyday life with 5 of us in the family and sometimes you just have to let the cleaning wait. But it’s also hard to have a clear line between when I am working and when I am available for my family. Unfortunately, right now, I work mostly from my dining room table, which works just fine when the kids (ages 17, 14, and 12) are at school. But when they get home from school – not so much.
My husband and I have just decided to invest in renovating the basement and building an office space there so that I can have a “distraction-free zone.” I realized that I was doing all of us a disservice by being physically present, but not really there – and it’s confusing for the kids in terms of when/if they can interrupt me. It also ends up creating a massive amount of frustration for me. For now, I’m working at delineating clearer lines between when I am working and when I am available for the family, and until that office is finished I’ll just have to do my best to manage it!
In the Kitchen
Photograph by Tracie Hines
What’s the most rewarding part of running a business from home?
Freedom, freedom and more freedom! I can’t ever imagine working 9-5 in an office ever again. Oh, did I say freedom? 🙂
What fears did you have about starting your business?
Fear of failure and being judged as a failure, probably. But I’ve done a lot of internal work on this by reading inspirational and positive books and subscribing to blogs and e-newsletter from people
I admire. I just read “Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert and that put things in a wonderful perspective. It’s taken me a while to get comfortable with the notion that I’ll never get it all done and nothing is ever really finished.
My website is case in point. When I started out with it, I figured when it was done, it was done and now I know that’s never really the case. As my business evolves, and the services that I want to offer evolve, the website will need to evolve. And that’s fine. Tinkering is a good thing not just with my website, but with my business, also. It’s important to evolve and change as you build your business.
“Fear of failure and being judged as a failure.”
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running your home based business?
That it takes a lot of time, a lot of mistakes and perhaps a lot of failures, lots of patience with yourself and the learning process, as well as the importance of selfcare and being kind to yourself. The flashy success stories we see are usually the end result of years and years of trial and error, probably some pretty significant “failures” (or better said, lessons learned) and perseverance.
Most importantly for me, though, I think it’s making selfcare a priority and being kind to myself. When you work from home, you are ALWAYS working – either for your business, or running the home, or taking care of your family. We have to carve out time to take care of ourselves so that we are better able to take care of everything else. I try to carve out time for exercise or yoga and meditation every day. It makes me better at everything else.
How do you find the right balance between being a partner, wife or mother and running your business?
Making time for yoga, exercise, meditation, walks in nature, a message – whatever. It’s so easy to shove all that selfcare to the side when things get crazy, but those are the times you need to take care of yourself the most.
On a scale of 1-10 how much does your business light you up?
What do you wish you had in your business that you are still seeking?
Confidence in marketing! I’ve made lots of progress, but still, have ways to go.
In moments of doubt, how do you overcome it and lift yourself back up?
Those moments are the worst – the absolute, soul-sucking worst! Meditation and yoga are very powerful practices for me. They help clear the clutter out of my head and get me aligned with who I know I really am, what I am capable of and what I want for myself and my business. Those are also the times when an inspired, creative idea will strike me about how to approach a challenge I’m experiencing. Nothing better!
Who is your support crew if you have one?
My husband is incredibly supportive and I know I am really lucky to have him in my corner. If I ever feel a lack of confidence in myself, I just turn to him and he boosts me up. I also have an amazing, group of girlfriends who I can always count on for a glass of wine, good company and a boost in confidence. Also, interestingly enough, the feedback and support from the first group of ladies who travelled to Italy with me has been incredibly powerful. They almost seemed to feel like they were part of my business and loved it so much that they want to help me succeed! I love them dearly.
Photograph by Tracie Hines
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
Marie Forleo – “Everything is figure-out-able”– so incredibly true.
What’s a brief summary of the pathway it took to get to where you are now?
Environmentalist/conservationist, fundraiser and fundraising consultant, to Sage PlantPowered Health, teaching plant based
What sacrifices have you made starting a business?
I’m not sure I’d call it a sacrifice, but more of a tradeoff and it’s time. There are only so many hours in the day and what we choose to do with them has a huge impact on the quality of our lives. That’s where patience and pacing come in. Trying to accomplish too much, too fast in my business is stressful for me – and puts too much pressure on what I love doing. I’ve had to slow it down in terms of my pace and my expectations so that I am more present for myself and my family. Children grow so fast, I have to constantly remind myself to appreciate where I am right now – not just in my business, but as a mother, too.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I lost a very good friend to cancer and both my parents are cancer survivors. In my studies, I learned that most experts today estimate that around 90% of cancer deaths are lifestyle related (with food choices one of the most significant factors) and only around 10% are genetic. The health statistics in the United States these days are dire, not just with the incidence of cancer, but with diabetes, heart disease, obesity and more.
And now that we are exporting the standard American diet overseas, other countries who never before had high incidences of the “diseases of affluence” like heart disease and cancer are now seeing those statistics rise.
I’ve personally experienced the power of food as medicine in my own life and know that a whole food plant-based diet is the key to reversing so many health problems. For me, it’s not just about losing weight or being generally “healthy” (although that’s great). It’s about supporting anyone who wants to live a vibrant, energetic, fully functional life that they love, doing what they love, with the people they love – as long as possible. So, in a very roundabout way, I guess love is the inspiration for my work 🙂
Learn more about Tracie Hines at www.sageplantpoweredhealth.com