We had the good fortune of connecting with Shonda Renee Lawary and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shonda Renee, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my own business, Best Self Total Wellness, almost out of sheer necessity. The truth is that I was unwell – in mind, body, and spirit. I was spiraling in a state of discontentment, in all facets of my life; and I needed to make some wholesale changes in how I approached everything – from parenthood to career to interpersonal relationships. I needed to (re) discover my passion, and take a hard look at whether I had ever really felt passion at all. I longed for meaning … excitement, aside from my daughter, that caused me to jump out of bed each morning, rather than drag myself out of bed in disillusionment.
Best Self Total Wellness is all about fitness and wellness – in mind, body, and spirit. I leaned into what gave me air, what made me smile, and ultimately it was the state of being physically active, and sharing my love with others of treating the ‘whole person’ well.
I looked at my life and really considered what the cost may be of my NOT taking action. We are all faced with opportunity costs every single day … What is the potential gain or loss associated with choosing one alternative over another …? Ultimately, the risk of inaction was detrimental to my physical and mental health. Inaction is a threat to us all.
I stepped out on faith, and faced the most difficult decision(s) of my life. I decided to leave behind unhealthy relationships – both professional and personal. I left a lucrative Corporate career, and chose the well being of my daughter and myself, in leaving behind what wasn’t serving us in our home life.
My success is driven by the care that I have chosen for myself and for others. My ‘Why’ is always my daughter, and what is ultimately best for her. But there is also the ‘Mother’ in me that strives to care for others as well, and help them to properly care for themselves.
As an entrepreneur, the balance between what is important in our personal life and what we call our life’s passion is murky, at best. In fact, it really isn’t balance as much as it is agility and/or flexibility. With a small business start-up, work oftentimes comes first, to pay the bills and ultimately thrive; but as a single mom, it’s not always easy or what is best for my daughter – so I must take great care in understanding what the immediate need is, and to stay flexible. My daughter is now at the age where she understands what Mommy is working toward. She remembers my ‘other’ work that would keep me away for long stretches of time; and when home, in the midst of constant chaos and unhealthy stress. However now, she is completely aligned with the shift. My sweet girl is my biggest cheerleader and advocate; and because she has a role in my planning and my work, she stays agile in this ‘balancing act’ as well.
I remind myself all the time that I am incredibly fortunate to have found my voice and advocated for myself. I begin each day with a grateful heart and live by the mantra: Be Well – in mind, body, and spirit.
I care for others in their own personal journey, sharing my passion for the concepts of wellness and self-care with all whose paths I cross.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
It is the mission of Best Self Total Wellness to share a passion for the concepts of wellness and self-care with all. Best Self Total Wellness offers training and coaching for you to Be Well – fitness, nutrition, and self-care. We offer 1:1 Personal Training, Group Fitness, and Nutrition Coaching – both onsite and virtual, for adults and youth.Physical activity focusing on the fundamentals of stretching, balance, strength, and flexibility, along with building cardiovascular endurance benefits us in all life stages. Proper nutrition gives our bodies the fuel needed to be physically active, as well as fight disease. We strive to deliver enjoyable fitness and wellness experiences, so you can develop a love and appreciation for an active and healthful lifestyle. Be Well!.
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?
All that I do and all that I am is because of, and for the benefit of, my sweet girl.