Interview with Claire-Maree Charters – Founder of Serene Surf and Yoga Retreats
I have always had a passion to inspire woman, and I love absolutely everything about life and living to your fullest. I spent many years traveling, meeting new people, asking a million and one questions and being enthralled by life. One night I woke up with a yearning in my heart to get my message out and that is why I started the two websites Serene Surf and Yoga Retreats and A Modern Zen Girl. I wanted to create a product that would truly inspire others – so from that day forward that is what I set out to do.
“I once was kissed ever so sweetly by the universe, and in that moment the universe whispered into my heart that there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who loves herself, tell woman to embrace their authentic power, for there is a place that loves them for who they are, they just have to believe it. They have to believe in the power of the universe, themselves and in miracles. Once they believe, they will come home – home to their true self” ~ Embrace your femine power – A quote from my upcoming book.
What did you do before launching your own business?
I had always dreamed about starting my own business, however I had no idea what I wanted to do, where to start and I never had the confidence to pursue it. I spent 15 years traveling the world on and off. I did various jobs from Nanny, Ski Lift operator, Flight Attendant to Tour Guide. This was a wonderful time for me, which helped to develop my personal and life skills, which I believe have helped me enormously on my entrepreneurial journey today.
How did you fund your business?
I didn’t have much money saved up and I didn’t want to get a bank loan, so I decided to grow my business very slowly. I grew my business with baby steps and only paid out money when I had it. I taught myself everything with the help of various sites such as this one. I taught myself seo, website design, social media, marketing and so forth. The journey has been wonderful and I wouldn’t change a thing, there is a big sense of pride knowing that you did everything on your own with little money.
How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent is your home office?
I still have a full-time job outside of my business that demands me to travel quite extensively. Therefore, this does not give me a regular routine and my schedule for my home business is always different. I spend every spare moment on my home business, which roughly equates to fifty hours a week. I absolutely love what I do, which is probably why I spend so much time on it. My home business is 100 percent based from my home office, however now I am looking at some networking which will probably require me to spend 10-15 percent outside my office.
How would you rate your success?
My business is targeted at empowering and inspiring woman to live their best possible life, every day I receive wonderful emails from women that I have inspired – so I would rate my success as very high.
As far as stats go and being the most popular website or having high traffic, it is growing steadily every day. I have a five-year plan and I am in year two at the moment, I don’t let the stats get me down, because at the end of every day I can go to bed knowing that I inspired somebody – To me that is a reason to keep going.
As far as financially, I am certainly covering my costs and paying myself a wage through the Surf and Yoga Retreats, however I am currently writing a book, along with a program which I believe will really kick things up a notch and allow me to do my home business full time.
What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?
Not giving up. When I started out I just looked at the stats, and compared myself to other companies in the same niche. It was at times quite depressing and confusing as to why I was not doing as well as them, and then I learned one thing – All good things come with time. And especially over the last six months I have seen my business and stats start to take off. Along with this, it was hard not to become obsessed with my business – I had to learn how to prioritize my life so that I had balance. So now I have set rules where I no longer work on Sundays, I switch off the computer after 8pm and I ensure that I do my morning Yoga class five times a week.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
- Listen to your own heart, and follow your passion and intuition.
- Give yourself a minimum five-year plan – don’t give up beforehand.
- Learn to fail and choose to learn from it, pick yourself up and do it better next time.
- Don’t try and copy anyone, just do your thing with your own individual flair.
- If you truly do something from your heart then you will naturally attract the customers.
- Times will get tough so seek mentors, websites and books that inspire you to keep you motivated on your entrepreneur journey.
How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?
I have a diary. I schedule absolutely everything in from my full-time job, hours to spend on my home business, exercise, relaxation time, cooking time, sleep time, catch up with friends time, house hold chore time and so forth. This way I optimize my time and feel like I have control over my busy life.
Connect with Claire-Maree Charters and Serene Surf and Yoga Retreats and A Modern Zen Girl…
Website: Serene Surf and Yoga and A Modern Zen Girl