Name: Nikki Yeager
Business: The Relievery
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Industry: Healthcare, Wellness & Fitness
Reason for starting? Last year, my first company, EHR Tutor, was on target to make $1 million in revenue. I finally became an expert in my role and found that, once I no longer had to challenge myself on a daily basis, I lost interest. Because of that I stepped down to pursue an idea that was hatched at happy hour with my best friend of 20+ years. She is a Holistic Health Practitioner who leads a self-admittedly hippy lifestyle. I’m a businesswomen through and through. She shared with me her desire to get clients to a point of self-reliance when it came to holistic remedies, and I jumped at the chance to help achieve her goals. Throughout the process, I’ve been motivated by the idea of helping my best friend succeed and also empowering women who might otherwise dismiss holistic practices to finally try them out. I focus on education that marries the science behind reflexology with the intuitively driven beliefs shared by practitioners.
How do you define success? Success to me is meeting a specific goal. On a small scale, that might mean doing 10 sales demos in one week, or having my business referenced in five articles this month. On a larger scale, that might mean buying a brownstone in Manhattan or having a million dollars in liquid assets. My definition of success is set by me and constantly evolving based on my current targets. By setting tangible goals, I can celebrate when I reach them and know that I’ve met my milestone.
Biggest success: When I found out that my first company was on target to do more than $1 million in revenue after just 4 years of operation, I truly understood what success felt like. As a girl from a lower-middle-income family (if I’m being generous about our finances growing up), I have always viewed the million dollar mark as unattainable. Now that I’ve reached it, I’d like to see my personal finances meet the same benchmark and see my current company hit $5 million in the same time period.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? My current company deals in physical products; we create reflexology socks for pregnant and postpartum women and babies. My background has always been in digital, so this is my first time managing inventory. As a bootstrapped business, that presents a huge challenge when it comes to our costs. To combat it, I’ve done a lot of research to find quality companies that will allow me to print tiny amounts of product at a time. After we sell 50% of our stock, I order additional products, so we are at least covering our costs of the first order before placing another. Managing inventory once we’re dealing in larger quantities is already causing me anxiety! In the meantime, I’m reading as much as I can and constantly asking advice from other physical products companies.
Who is your most important role model? My father will always be my biggest role model. He was a stay-at-home dad who told me every day that I could be whatever I wanted to be. Because of him, I didn’t know sexism existed until I was well into adulthood. My father is the type of person who is both infinitely wise, and willing to admit fault or change his viewpoint when wrong. I strive to be half as open-minded as him when confronting new knowledge, and always try to remind myself that it’s OK to change my mind when presented with new information. Knowing who he is, has made me strive to be better.
Edited by The Story Exchange