We had the good fortune of connecting with Emalee Sigur and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emalee, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Prioritizing self care and aligning my actions with my values. Period. I started my business in 2016 at 23 years old which was something that I actively took a lot of pride in. Here I was forging my way down an unconventional path without knowing what I was doing or how I was going to do it. However, with the decision to do this, I was spending a lot more time working and grinding without having any practices for taking care of myself.
I quickly went down a spiral towards depression, despite the empowerment of being a self-starter. It wasn’t until a year into my entrepreneurial journey that I decided something needed to change. I started yoga and ever since then have continued learning how to prioritize my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.
As I aligned with myself, I grew into my business. My actions naturally started to come from a place of integrity, I had more patience, I started reflecting and evaluating more thus I was able to see the big picture and my next steps became more clear.
Working for myself leant to a lot of no days off, and if there’s no TLC, it’s an easy way to lend to emotional and mental lows. Taking care of myself meant learning boundaries and ultimately taking care of my business. The self work is a never ending learning process but so is working for yourself. It’s a lot of trial and error. However, if you can have a solid foundation of self-love, the best way forward will be clear.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
It’s hard. Without a doubt. I started my business, Paws and Relax Atlanta, LLC, not really knowing the “right” way to do it and have had to redo a lot of foundational elements that I began with as I’ve learned how to run a successful company.
I was also in my early 20s when I started this, now I’m nearly 30 and a lot has changed internally along the way. I’m not the same person I was when I started my business and I doubt I’ll be the same person this time next year. Not one aspect of growing both as a company and as an individual has been easy. I had no idea that I’d decide to turn my passion for yoga into a profession either. So there was a lot of learning how to balance everything that I wanted to do with everything I actually needed to do.
The biggest lesson was not being afraid of failing or making a mistake. I’m a perfectionist by nature, so accepting the fact that I’d make mistakes and may have to pay for them (literally) was a hard pill to swallow. There had to be a whole mentality shift to continue moving forward. I had to accept that sometimes I’ll have to learn the hard way but once I’ve learned what I needed to, the mistake won’t be repeated
I’ve always been an animal lover. It made sense that if I were to start a business, it would be in that realm. I had no idea what it would turn into, but I am grateful that I now have a team of 10 amazing pet care providers who love animals as much as I do. I’ve brought a lot of my yoga teachings into how I run my business and I’m big on mental health. I try to run my company from a place of integrity. I talk to my team all the time about communication, boundaries and mental health. I have a deep sense that everyone who works for me wants Paws and Relax Atlanta, LLC to succeed as much as I do and I think a big part of that has been knowing that we are all humans and creating a safe space within the confines of employer-employee relationships. The clients, my team and I have all benefitted from this. We came together knowing that we love animals and it shows.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first stop would be the beltline, the people watching is the best, you can just post up somewhere with a little picnic. You get hungry? No problem, just walk a little ways and you’ll find food/drinks/snacks. I’d also take them to the High Museum of Arts for some artistic appreciation.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have definitely had a lot of help along the way. Most of all, I have to shoutout to the community of friends I have in my life who have supported me through all the transitions and growth. There’s also an awesome facebook group community of those who operate similar businesses. We support and advise eachother all the time.
Instagram: @pawsandrelaxatl & @emaleesgalaxy