We had the good fortune of connecting with Noel Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Noel, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting my own business began after working for massage companies with business practices that did not align with what I believed a massage business should stand for. After working for one company in particular (I won’t name, names) that placed more of an emphasis on upselling clients than their wellness, I realized that something needed to change. I needed to find a place to work for that did not overlook the most important part about being in the massage and wellness industry which is improving the quality of life for our clients! During my quest in searching for such a company to work for, I began to question, why am I LOOKING for a company? Why don’t I CREATE a company? I had a vision that was incredibly specific and particular. I concluded that the company I was searching for, would not exist until I created it. The idea of starting a business was daunting but exciting. It was this polarizing emotional tug of war that confirmed starting my own business was the right decision! I’ve read that if your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough.

What should our readers know about your business?
I opened A Touch of Serenity in 2014, in Alexandria Virginia. I wanted to create a company that provided affordable services without compromising the quality of the work. We offer therapeutic and relaxation massage therapy services. We not only focus on the physical benefits of massage, but we also focus on the important mental benefits of self-care. My business started as a one woman show. For years, I was wearing all the hats by choice. I was the receptionist, the manager, the marketing department, the accountant, the website developer, the social media manager, and the massage therapist. ALL-THE-HATS. My head was heavy from wearing all these hats, all the time! I was unknowingly stunting the growth of the business by refusing to share these responsibilities. There is only so much one person can do! One of the biggest challenges I had to overcome as a business owner was learning to let go of the control and to trust others. Yes, good help is hard to find (very hard actually!) BUT just because it is hard, does not mean it impossible. I kept searching and eventually found the right people who are the perfect match for this business. Reading business and self-improvement books (The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann is my all-time favorite), watching motivational seminars, and surrounding myself with a positive inner circle is the reason I had the mental fortitude to overcome my personal impediments and to get out of my own way. More often than not, the solution to most problems in life (and business) can be found internally.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
(siiigh) This question really makes me miss my twenties! I used to know all the great places to visit and eat. If my best friend was coming to visit, we would do all the outdoor things and eat tacos between all activities! Northern Virginia has beautiful parks and hiking trails. Great Falls Park and Mason Neck have breathtaking views all times of the year. If my BFF were visiting in October, I would make SURE we went to a haunted house, a haunted forest, a haunted hayride, a haunted ANYTHING. I mean, is it even October if you don’t? Markoff’s Haunted Forest in Poolesville Maryland is always a great time. Visiting the museums in Washington, DC would also be on the itinerary. When people come to visit you in Northern Virginia, visiting the nation’s capital is a must. And finally, after a long week of hiking, sightseeing, and eating tacos I would treat her to a self-care day for a much needed massage (emphasis on the foot massage!) at A Touch of Serenity.

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?
There are so many layers and levels to running a business. It takes a village! In general, I want to say thank you and recognize any and everyone who has supported A Touch of Serenity by choosing us as your go-to massage place and referring your friends and family. We have the best clients ever! More specifically, I want to say thank you to my mother and sister for their unwavering and unconditional support and encouragement through the highs and lows of this journey. I also need to take a moment to recognize and thank my wonderfully supportive boyfriend (who is also a business owner) for his patience and understanding. Because running a business is a 24/7 full time commitment, I learned it is crucial that the person you choose as your significant other, is one who understands the necessary lifestyle changes and commitments required. He has been a remarkably positive influence on my growth as a business owner. I truly value his advice, his patience, and his encouragement to keep going when times get challenging. Lastly, I have to thank and recognize the AHH-MAY-ZING massage therapists on our team. I feel so lucky to be able to work with such talented, professional, and passionate people. They aren’t just fantastic massage therapists, they are genuinely wonderful people at the core! Every massage therapist on our team is a gem and I am so proud to work with them.

Website: www.massageforserenity.com

Instagram: @massageforserenity (business) @sun.ofabeach (personal)

Facebook: @massageforserenity

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/a-touch-of-serenity-alexandria

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