As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Krystal Woods.
She’s the creator of Inner Elixir Membership Community and has a practitioner program, Embodied by Design. Through her work, she’s helped over 100 clients truly step into their creative self-expression and lead their businesses and lives with more confidence and conviction.
Here’s what we found out about Krystal’s entrepreneurship journey, followed by an exclusive Q+A.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. I would love to know more about your story and your background. Give us some details about your journey as a digital entrepreneur.
Honestly, I think I’ve always been entrepreneurial: I was always creative, thought outside the box, had lots of energy and ambition, and never liked being told what to do. So when I got pregnant with my first child, it seemed like a great time to build something that would give me the freedom to create my own schedule and do something that I really cared about. I started out in a direct marketing company geared toward fitness, health, and wellness, which I’ve always been passionate about. I learned a lot during those years not only about building an online business and brand but also about women and how we tend to put everything and everyone else before ourselves. In late 2018, I decided to branch out on my own with a virtual self-care course and support group for women, and I knew then I would never go back to working for anyone else. Since that first course, I’ve built a profitable coaching, education, and digital product business that supports hundreds of people every day.
What do you specialize in and why should someone choose you over your competitors in your field?
Firstly, I truly don’t see other people, brands, and businesses in my industry as “competitors.” To me, it feels like we’re all part of a community whose aim is to help people, and we all have our own unique ways of doing that. I completely trust that the people who will resonate most with me and the way I work, are the ones meant to work with me, and everyone else will find someone else in the community who suits them better. That said, I am most well-known for my specialty in Human Design and for the unique approach I take to using this system. It’s my mission to help people – especially creatives and coaches – to peel back their layers of conditioning and help them see their quirks and insecurities as gifts. To take their mess and make it their message. A lot of coaches and mentors in the online business space lead with strategy and formulas, but I actually lead with the unique energy and purpose of the person in front of me. Yes, strategy is important when building a profitable, impactful business, but choosing strategies that are completely unique to who you are is where you get your edge in business. This works well for creatives because being stuffed into a box or adhering to a set of rules stifles your creativity and makes you feel stuck.
What’s your piece of advice for readers who want to achieve wealth and success in life?
It’s not easy, but it is simple. First, define what wealth and success actually mean to you. In other words, how will you measure your progress? Then once you know what you want your life and bank account to look and feel like, you can start aligning your behavior with what you want. For example, “success” to me, at least in part, is only taking clients and meetings two days out of the week, and being present with my children every single day. So, I won’t necessarily measure my success by how many clients I see in a week, but I might measure it by how much we can increase revenue on more passive products. Another hot tip: STOP comparing yourself to anyone else. I know everyone says that, but honestly that’s because it’s extremely good advice to get almost anything you want in life.
Is it tough for a woman to survive in this industry? How did you overcome those panic attacks?
I think it’s tough for a woman to survive. Period. I’ve lived a privileged life and I still find it hard to keep my head above water sometimes. The systems we have in place do not support women where they need it. That in itself could be its own article, but as for how I manage:
1) I learned how to ask for and accept help. This is something most women do not feel comfortable doing, but it’s life-changing when you realize that you don’t have to do everything yourself.
2) I schedule in time to take care of myself, no exceptions. Whether it’s a quiet bath on a Sunday night or an entire day of doing nothing while the kids play with a babysitter, I make sure to get some time to be with myself and meet my own needs.
Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?
This is such a huge question and deserves a huge answer, but I think we could all start by deconditioning ourselves from the patriarchal and oppressive ideals that our society has been built upon. We also need more support and better reproductive care all around, including prenatal and postpartum. And of course, paid family leave should not even be a question. Women have incredible power to change the world for the better, and it’s time we all get the help we deserve.
This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?
It’s clear that the world runs on money and power. Unfortunately, the majority of people with the most money and power are older white males who do not have the best interest of the collective at heart. The women founders I’ve met and connected with over the years have hearts of GOLD, and a mission to change the world for the better. If we can support more women founders in building their dreams, we can balance out power and representation so that we can ALL win, not just the “elite” few.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder? Can you explain what you mean?
That you have to work all the time in order to run your own business! Yes, there is lots of work to get done, and yes in the beginning it’s mostly you doing it, but YOU get to choose how much and when you work. You get to build your business around your life, not the other way around. If everyone buys into the lie that starting your own business means you kiss your life goodbye, too many brilliant, creative people with innovative ideas will give up before they even start!
What’s your piece of advice for people who want to quit their 9-5 job and start a business?
Know why you’re doing it. Wanting money and hating your job are not big enough reasons to make the sacrifices required to start and run a new business. Get really clear on your purpose in life and how the business will help you serve that purpose. Get clear on what success actually means for you, your life, your family, and your relationships. Have a clear and compelling vision that helps you stay committed even when it’s hard or you’re tired and discouraged. Having a mission that goes deep under the surface of the shiny, sexy parts of entrepreneurship is what will help you get through the messy, un-sexy parts of entrepreneurship.
Coming to the main part- has the pandemic affected your business, and what have you learned from it?
I started my business completely online, so I was at an advantage when we were ordered to isolate and people were scrambling to get their businesses online too. However, the way I think about business and show up for it has certainly changed. Spending so much time home with family and with myself gave me the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of myself and heal. This inner work has accelerated my growth as a person and as a leader, which I think helped me grow my business even faster than I would have without the time to devote to it.
What do you think is the key to a truly successful online business?
I don’t think there is one key. I think the key depends on who you are and what you’re actually trying to accomplish with your business. For me, exploring several revenue streams and building my community through organic, authentic connections are two main keys to achieving my goals. But those keys will change and evolve as I change and evolve, and as the business does too. Just figure out what makes you feel the best, and look for ways to create that feeling in your business. I guess that’s the key.
Can you describe what you believe a typical workday is like in this industry?
No way! I hope everyone’s workday looks completely different! Maybe that’s because I work with creative, unconventional people who operate more like artists than stereotypical business people, but I think you should be able to design your days around how you want to work! Personally, I have themed days in my business. Monday is dedicated to connecting with my goals, getting organized, and tending to the financials of the business. Tuesday is a creative day and is typically when I’m writing content or creating new programs. Wednesday and Thursday are communication days, where I see clients, meet with students, and take interviews. Then Friday is a free day: sometimes I choose to work on the business, and sometimes I take it off to go to a new place or try something new. The more I live my actual life, the more wisdom and ideas I can offer my business and clients.
Has there ever been a moment when you thought to yourself “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to get a “real” job? If so, how did you overcome it?
I’ve definitely felt like “I can’t take it anymore,” but I’ve never felt like I wanted to get a “real job,” whatever that is anymore! When I want to quit, I think about all the lives I’ve already touched with my work. Sometimes I even look at the letters previous clients or community members have written to me about how their lives have improved since working with me, and it helps remind me why I get up every day and keep going, even when it’s hard. Looking at my children’s faces and thinking about the beautiful things we’re able to do together that my business helps provide… is a priceless feeling that will always give me the fuel I need.
Where do you see yourself and your business in five years?
In five years my business will be a well-known self-development and coaching company, and I’ll be a best-selling author, traveling the world speaking on stages about the importance of knowing, loving, and BEING exactly who you are in every area of your life.
What is your favorite mantra or affirmation that you say to yourself to keep you going?
“You can do hard things, I’ll always have your back.”
What does success mean to you?
It means doing exactly what I’m doing now: improving the lives of women and in turn the lives of everyone around them too. Spending lots of quality time with my family, and watching my children grow. And falling in love with myself more every day, as a woman, as a mother, as a partner, and as a founder.