MINDFUL COFFEE Q&A WITH MELODY DE VISSCHER BÜYÜKKARACA, BREASTFEEDING COUNSELOR IN ISTANBUL
In this interview, Melody shares:
3 action steps she took to grow her clientele from scratch.
How she overcame the struggle of having to market herself and her advise for those who are just starting out as a solopreneur.
How she carved out time to grow her business while having a busy family life.
I like my coffee…
What do you have for breakfast on the good days?
I have two fried eggs with a slice of whole wheat bread, some greens, and half an avocado sprinkled with salt and pepper.
You went from being a journalist, to being breastfeeding counsellor. How did you build your clientele from the ground up?
I built myself a website (with Wix) and asked women I had helped voluntarily and clients to write a testimonial for my testimonial page.
I contacted Do-um, a company specialized in birth preparation and post-partum support to offer my services. They straight away sent me all their clients in need of breastfeeding counseling.
I also introduced myself in Facebook groups for mothers. From time to time, I would post a testimonial. When a mom would post a question about breastfeeding, I would give her some tips and tell her that if she needed more help, we could arrange a session. Quickly, other moms started to tag me in other breastfeeding posts. Now, whenever a mom asks if someone knows a breastfeeding counselor, my name is the one which is tagged the most. The word of mouth did its job :-).
What was your biggest frustration while building . your business? How did you overcome this?
I had zero knowledge in business. As a journalist, I never had to make a business plan, think strategically, or market myself.
I first listened to my heart, because I have always chosen to do things I love and am passionate about. I just knew at that point that I wanted to be a breastfeeding counselor!
Later, I read books, listened to podcasts, and audio-book's’ summaries about business, leadership, and marketing to bridge gaps in these fields. I asked a lot of questions to my husband who is both a creative and successful businessman.
I used creative visualization which is an amazing tool to reach goals. I never really doubted I would be successful.
What would be the advise you would give to someone who wish to start their own wellness entrepreneurial career?
To go for it! I believe that wellness is a sector that will always be successful as most of us need to take care of ourselves, so there will always be a need for what you have to offer.
Being a wife and mother of a six-year old boy, how do you balance family life and running your own business?
I struggled with this a lot. I was spending 5 hours a day doing housework and taking care of my son. That left very little time to work on my business. The fact that I was spending more time doing things I did not like (cleaning, laundry, tidying up etc,.) left me frustrated, tired, and it depleted my energy. There was little left for creativity. Then I found a way.
My mom gave me the excellent advice to buy a planner where I could see my entire week on a double page, and start planning. She helped me think of ways I could spend more time doing what I liked, so I could have more energy to focus on my business.
This resulted in asking the cleaning lady to come two mornings a week in addition to the full day she was already working. This way she could do all the housework and even cook three times a week. This was the big shift. I could start working at 9 am after taking my son to school, until he finished school at 2:40pm or even 4:30pm-and I could be much more productive. Now, I feel so much more balanced!
What is the best business advise that was given to you?
Think BIG. If you think big, you grow bigger. If you think small, you stay small.
That energy flows where intention goes and with that, everything is possible!