Justine Mastin is a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She started Blue Box Counseling to offer narrative-focused psychotherapy services including one-of-a-kind yoga classes she calls YogaQuest. Justine, although educated as a therapist, is a true entrepreneur at heart.
She identified a gap in the industry and created a solution to which she has dedicated more than seven years maintaining, perfecting and growing. Her unique approach to therapy has generated a creative way to engage individuals who consider themselves outsiders of the wellness mainstream in an inclusive and body positive way. The innovative fully narrated fandom yoga classes are described as “a hilariously good time” by her clients.
We asked Justine what she felt was the biggest misconceptions of owning a small business and she said, “that I would have lots of free time, when in fact I’m working more than I’m not working.” She explained that this was a common misconception she hopes to clear for aspiring entrepreneurs. Her second biggest lesson she learned the hard way. “Get everything in writing, even when working with people you know. It’s important to have records of terms and agreements.”
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Justine mentioned she did not own a home or office printer. Instead, she uses her local FedEx Office store for all her printing needs. “When I found out FedEx Office did printing, it was a total game-changer.” Justine uses FedEx Office weekly for printing flyers, posters, custom buttons and entire training manuals. “Usually, the materials I needed printed would take me a great deal of time to get, but I love that I can just send all the files from home and go pick them up when they are ready!” says Justine about her experience with using FedEx Office near her work and home.
As an experienced small business owner, here are the top five tips Justine said she wished she’d known when first starting her business.
- Connect with like–minded professionals – Collaboration can create some of the best ideas, so having other people to bounce ideas with, can be a great asset.
- Trust yourself – There’s a reason that you’ve created a small business. Listen to that reason that’s driving you. While others may make helpful suggestions, ultimately trust your inner voice when making difficult decisions.
- Celebrate small victories – Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. So give yourself permission to take time and celebrate all of the small milestones that you encounter along the way.
- Have gratitude for your mistakes – You will make mistakes, but try to not make the same mistake twice. Make a mistake, learn from it, and be grateful for the learning experience.
- Laugh – Being a small business owner can be stressful and at times, but we must remember that we chose this path. Things can feel dire sometimes, so remember to laugh and be playful. A little bit of joy can go a long way!
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