Heart, Hustle & How-To: Hygge Wellness
When I started searching for other girl bosses to collaborate with on this project, Sam found me and I instantly felt a connection with her. I loved learning more about Hygge and how Sam went from being a corporate attorney to health coach. Not only is her outgoing bubbly personality contagious, but she has so many helpful tips and take-aways from her own experiences that I just can’t wait to share with all of you!
One of my favorite things that she talks about is her mindset when working in the corporate world. She thought that if she “just did (insert action here) this” then she would be happy. I can totally relate to this! It can be hard to be content with where you are in the moment and not continue to wish for things to be different. You have to work to find your fulfillment and what makes you feel satisfied. Make sure to read on to hear Sam’s story and how Hygge Fitness came about!
When and why did you start you business? Give us the backdrop to your story!
Hi, there! I graduated from law school in 2012 and worked as a corporate attorney for about 4.5 years. I always had a passion for health and wellness, but I just assumed that it had to be my “hobby” and not my job. While working as an attorney, my colleagues always asked for my help about how they too could manage their corporate & healthy lifestyles. I would talk to them about food prep, self-care, and how to fit in exercise. After a while, I realized that I really, really loved helping people in this way! I decided to enroll in a health coaching program while I was still working at a law firm to see how it went.
After I completed the program, I went on vacation in Scandinavia. That’s when I found out about hygge [hoo-gah] and fell in love with the concept. Up to that point, I had trouble explaining to people what my wellness philosophy was. Most people assume that being healthy = being super strict and restrictive. I’m not like that at all! In fact, my wellness philosophy stems from my experience and journey from attorney to entrepreneur. I was pretty miserable when I was still practicing law. I blamed everyone and everything around me — the firms, people, the work itself, etc. I always said to myself, “When I change jobs, THEN I’ll be happy” or “If I could just find the right firm/work/people, THEN I’ll be happy.” I was SO wrong! It was only when I realized how and when to prioritize self-care that I felt fulfilled.
Now, I’m helping my clients ditch the mentality of being happy if and when they lose that last 5 pounds, and helping them to start living fully NOW. And that’s how my business, Hygge Wellness, was born! Through 1-on-1 health coaching, I help busy women learn how to prioritize self-care, eat whole foods, and figure out how to follow their purpose in life.
How is running a successful business different than what you thought it would be?
Great question! I’ve had so many unexpected experiences — both good and bad! — since starting my business! As for the positive, I think one of the most surprising and rewarding experiences has been hearing from people saying they’re inspired by my story. The fact that my experience and struggle (at times) can help anyone in their journey makes me so happy.
I’ve also been so pleasantly surprised by how quickly and deeply my clients have been affected by our work together. They make positive, healthy changes so quickly! Some of the unexpected challenges have been related to learning on the job things — like learning code, figuring out email lists and sales funnels, and dealing with unsubscribes from emails (in the beginning, it really hurt!).
I also didn’t expect how similar my networking and marketing approach as an attorney would be to starting a health coaching business. I naively thought that an online business would just attract customers automatically. HA! I worked really hard on my website, my blog posts, and yet nothing happened. I started employing a lot of the marketing techniques I used as an attorney and voila! Things got so much better.
What is the biggest thing you struggle with as an entrepreneur?
In the beginning, [bctt tweet=”I struggled with feeling like I wasn’t qualified or good enough to do what I’m doing. “] Once I started working with private clients and saw how much they appreciated and valued our work together, I realized just how much I do have to offer my clients. Now, I mostly struggle with worrying about the future and hoping that things continue to grow.
Describe to me the most exciting minute of your entrepreneurial journey.
I have been fortunate enough to be featured or mentioned by a few popular bloggers, magazines, newspapers, and companies. Each time I see that they’ve noticed or recognized my work, I get SO excited! I think that a lot of us online entrepreneurs and bloggers can feel like we put out a lot of content that we’re not really sure anyone reads. But then someone you look up to and/or respect includes you in their newsletter or on their site and it feels SO good. The other most exciting experience so far was when I got a call last week from one of the world’s largest food manufacturers hiring me as a food & beverage consultant for them for the day. So, so cool and totally unexpected!
What was the tipping point for your business?
When I got my first publication in a magazine. Not only did I hear from a lot of potential clients, but they were clients who were so passionate about finding or executing their purpose, too.
What do you consider to be your single greatest achievement (personal or business)?
Passing the Bar Exam on the first try in 2 different states (NJ and PA). It was definitely the single hardest, most challenging thing I’ve ever attempted. And I was legitimately proud of myself for passing and, more importantly, giving it my all.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow as an entrepreneur?
I try to read something or watch a webinar nearly everyday about some area I need to strengthen or improve upon, whether it’s about email lists, getting my message across, or finding new clients. I also reach out to a lot of people I don’t know and suggest we meet up or chat because I find I learn so much just by talking and listening to other entrepreneurs!
Share some knowledge! What is one tip that everyone can use in your niche?
Just ask! [bctt tweet=”If you want to partner with a brand, reach out to them. You don’t get anywhere by not asking.”] If you want to write an article for a publication, write to them. If you want to meet up with someone or partner on a project, ask! You don’t get anywhere by not asking.
Rocky road, but only when it has mini marshmallows — not that marshmallow swirl BS.
Any Final Tips or Comments?
Going to law school, studying for the Bar exam, and practicing as a corporate attorney has helped me immensely as an entrepreneur. I only tell you this because I believe so strongly that no experience is wasted experience. Nothing was a mistake or a waste of your time. Yeah, law school was a little expensive. But I wouldn’t be me without it. I wouldn’t have had the knowledge or skill to start this business (because I didn’t have it before law school), the contacts I made while practicing, or the networking skills.
Also, my strongest skill is my public speaking ability, which I most certainly wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for the skill and experience gained in being an attorney. Point being, [bctt tweet=”You can translate almost any experience you’ve had into experience for what you’re doing now… ” ] or want to do in the future.
Sam is a corporate-attorney-turned-entrepreneur & Certified Health Coach who helps busy women ditch diets and practice self-care, mindful eating, and functional fitness. Sam also coaches online entrepreneurs and creatives to help them get unstuck in business and life to chase their purpose in life. She gets hygge by brewing coffee, reading her favorite books, and cooking healthy meals. Sam works 1-on-1 with women through health coaching and eCourses. She also regularly presents workplace wellness seminars and consults for Philadelphia-area companies. You can find her at her blog, Facebook page, Instagram, or website.