Our Risk Taker of the Week: Erika Suhr
I have been blessed over and over again to work with the most incredible people. Seven or eight years ago I was lucky enough to meet our Risk Taker of the Week, Erika Suhr, when she showed up in my office to interview as my new assistant. I instantly recognized her desire to learn and her drive to improve and hired her on the spot. Erika’s positive outlook on life and entrepreneurship were a daily inspiration to me then, and all these years later I am lucky to count this success story as a close friend! She is now the owner of Botanical Tans and Wellness in Charlotte, North Carolina. Check out her story below to read more about her journey.
Founder of Botanical Tans and Wellness
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken so far?
The biggest risk I’ve taken is the one I took on myself. I had no prior ‘business’ experience, but knew my entire life I was destined to be my own boss! So in a time of internal transition and change, I decided to take the leap of faith and dive right in. I quit my full time job and dove head first into starting my own company. Whoa! Was it a risk! An uncalculated risk that ended up paying off in the end. Which isn’t normally the case. I just got really lucky to enter a new industry before it’s prime.
What inspired you to take this risk?
I had this desire and a calling from within to do more than I was. It was already a time of transition for me and the perfect time to listen to my heart and just go for it! I was at a point in life where I was tired of working to live. I wanted more than to wake up every morning, go to job I couldn’t stand, come home and repeat the next day. My inspiration came from within. It came from a desire to help others feel better about themselves. To give back and truly help people build confidence in themselves and make them smile.
What did you have to overcome to do this?
Fear and money. Let me explain: I had to overcome the most crippling of emotions: FEAR. It keeps us all from doing the things we really want to or are called to do. I knew if I didn’t do it then, and right then, I was never going to be ready! I was unprepared. It was uncalculated and risky, but I went for it. Then real life hit and I had to overcome the next crippling factor for any business: Money. I worked part time as an assistant and served part time to keep my schedule flexible and that allowed me to meet with clients when needed! Now I have a permanent wait-list!
What was the best part of your experience?
The best part of my experience has been learning how strong I can be. Also, the really great part of this experience is knowing that I can really make a difference in someone’s life. Helping someone get over an illness, building confidence, putting a smile on someone’s face everyday. That’s the best part of what I do!
Was there a point when you realized it was worth the risk?
The best and worst part of being an entrepreneur are those moments you throw your hands in the air and scream that you give up, that you’re done, that you’ve tried everything…. And the next day, you wake up, put your big girl pants on and push through the day. As you fight back the tears that day or even the next month… it always happens. You have that breakthrough moment! It’s like an explosion. You’re newly inspired and ready to conquer! That’s when you realize you’re doing something right and you really are on the right path. That’s when you realize it’s worth the risk! It’s the best feeling for an entrepreneur!
What do you want to do next?
The next step is our expansion. We’re now opening a holistic wellness spa and 2 pop up spray tanning locations! We’re also working on our own blends and have created a distribution company for our organic skin care line! Big risk, big reward!
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Ambitious, independent, intuitive, sensitive…( 4, so what! 😉 )
Have you ever felt like giving up? What do you do to overcome that feeling?
Refer to question #6. YES! There are many times I’ve felt like giving up. There are times when my accounts were in the red and had no idea how I was going to pay my bills. Times I had no idea what the next step should be…But if you’re passionate about your idea or business, that’s what gets you through. You have to be passionate and love your job so much that you would do it for free! That is how you overcome it. Passion. Drive. Fear and Love.
Do you have a favorite pump-up song?
I have a few! Right now it’s Fight Song by Sarah Platton. Best Day of My Life by American Authors is another good one. And then of course before an important meeting to boost my confidence, I love my routine of getting ready to my favorite female rock artists like Alanis Morissette, Lana Del Ray and Florence & the Machine!
Do you have a favorite motivational quote/song lyric?
“You know you’ve made it when you no longer have to wake up to an alarm clock every morning.”
What advice would you share to anyone considering trying something new?
Go for it! Follow your heart! Just make sure you follow your intuition/gut as well. It will never steer you down the wrong path. The best advice though, is to make sure you have a plan! A business plan, a back up plan, a money plan. It makes the whole process a little easier.