We’re excited to learn all about Tara Haislip from Richmond, Virginia. She has been the Spiritual Career Mentor and CEO of Grounded Energy111 for 5 years.
What does your dream life look like? Are you currently living your dream or still working on it?
My dream life is to live completely on my own schedule doing what I love with enough free time to do the things I’m personally passionate about.
What does this look like? It’s owning a home on five acres of land, growing my own garden, diving into learning herbalism to build my own home apothecary, and working from home coaching others in career development that fits their own lifestyle and dreams.
Am I living that dream? I’m well on my way there. I have my own practice, designing my own schedule, and I’ve got the land for my home.
Tell us more about what you do.
I’m a Spiritual Career Mentor, International Best Selling Author, and the CEO of Grounded Energy111. I left my career as a successful professional dancer to rebuild myself in Corporate America and become the ultimate soul-aligned trailblazer.
After my own experience transmuting my shadows, I now help women break cycles of generational and societal conditioning to finally design a life that doesn’t feel like the never-ending hamster wheel!
I dive deep with my clients through shadow work, looking at the sides of our personalities, emotions, and desires that we have been taught are undesirable qualities. I utilize the tools of affirmations to help break those thoughts and emotional cycles along with manifestation practices, taking small steps to bring the things we desire into our reality.
These are all practices that I have continually implemented into my life to help me change careers, reassess relationships, and mend my relationship with my finances.
In addition to all of that, I’m a wife and a mom.
What inspired you to start this business?
My first love and career was dance. I lived in the dance studio from the time I was three years old until I was twenty-three. By the end of my dance career, I was battling so much internal self-doubt centered around career development and financial sustainability.
Once I was at University for dance, people started to always ask what was I “really” going to do to support myself. I never used to have any doubt that my passion and love for my career path wouldn’t support me financially.
I battled this internal and external self-doubt for six years before my body and my mind stopped trying to fight.
That is when I entered the corporate world thinking that this was the ideal form of “success”. I was only three years in when I recognized just how bored I was as well as realized all the freedom I had in my dance career over my schedule.
I started to crave that freedom again. I felt squished into a box while working in corporate. I never fit in as I always asked questions, offered solutions, and tried to bring my out-of-the-box thinking into my corporate environments.
Every time I was approached about managing, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. That’s when I knew I was meant to be an entrepreneur.
I left my paralegal career in 2017 to start my own coaching practice. I enjoy empowering others, living on my own terms, being creative, meeting new people, and always doing something different every day in my life.
You’ve been in business for 5 years. What’s a challenge you’ve faced along your entrepreneurial journey?
When I left my corporate career I brought with me all my corporate work structures. This means I was overbooking my schedule with meetings and networking events. I never gave myself space to contemplate, process, and move forward.
Some of this behavior came from my dance career as well. We’re always “on” networking, working connections, auditioning, and following up. This process is no different in the corporate world.
I found myself quickly burning out within the first three years of practice.
Not only that, I was attracting clients and business connections who aligned with this corporate structure. It did not feel good to me. This structure was the very thing I was looking to break free from in becoming an entrepreneur, yet, I was still practicing it every day.
In 2020, the mid-end of 2020, I decided to take a step back to give myself and my practice some space. I got a work-from-home job health coaching and turned off the virtual lights on my practice while slightly maintaining some of my business social media accounts.
Between the years of 2020-2022, I started to work on breaking these corporate cycles. My “day” job is what helped me to find the space to break these behavioral patterns.
As 2022 progressed, I started turning the lights back on in my practice by stepping into writing a chapter in a book, Divinity Speaks: Women Who Tune In and Trust Diving Inspiration. This experience brought me all the connections I was looking for back in 2017-2020. I had to work on myself first by breaking my corporate business patterns.
It was in breaking these corporate structures that I was able to change my own energy and that of my business to align with the very people I wanted to support. In addition to that, I was able to fully understand how I wanted to coach, the area I wanted to specialize in, and build energetically aligned business connections.
I have more fun in my practice now than I ever have and it’s only just beginning.
How has being an introvert affected your business?
Between my dance and paralegal career, I learned how to seem like an extrovert but I was always exhausted at the end of the day. I needed to make sure I was honoring my time to recharge which would take days at a time, sometimes weeks, to recharge.
When I was contemplating going out on my own, I was watching other entrepreneurs on social media. I’ll be honest, it made me exhausted to watch all they were doing.
Then I started meeting marketing strategists who were telling me I needed to be on every social media platform. Every marketing strategist I met was telling me this.
I remember thinking, “how does anyone have time to do anything else in their business?!”, especially when you’re just starting out as a one-woman show. It really reminded me of my dance career days of always being “on”.
I thought it was what I had to do to get started, so I did it. I hated it. I felt no joy in my work while feeling like a broken record. The marketing strategy I was taught at the time was all about tapping into people’s pain points and hard selling. Two things I am not good at doing.
I’m all about empowering by tapping into your vision for your dream and a soft sell. I’m not in business to make a quick buck and move on to the next person. Connections are really important to me.
This translates to “slower” growth when it comes to marketing BUT it is way more sustainable. I enjoy the process more.
I had to ditch the traditional marketing strategy. This meant I had to develop a routine that allowed me to be present for each person I met with virtually, either by email or video chat; and gave me time to recharge after each meeting.
I ditched being on all social media platforms. You’ll only find me on Instagram full-time sharing and I utilize my email list. That’s it. I want women to connect with my message and work more than having a huge social media following.
This has allowed me to give prospective clients, clients, and business connections the attention they deserve and they do not feel like a number.
I don’t overbook my schedule therefore I’m not rushing to get off a call or making the caller feel rushed off the call. I’m able to recharge after each call. I have a virtual open-door policy for anyone interested in my work to reach out to chat without feeling like they’re going to be pitched to work with me.
This has all turned into deeper connections with prospective clients who turn into clients because they trust me.
What other methods are you using to bring in new clients?
It’s all about personal connection for me.
Once a month I look to see what new followers I have on the business’s Instagram page and I personally reach out to them to introduce myself. Social media is touch and go because there is so much spamming. I only do one intro message and a final “door is always open” message to give people space.
I’ve really put energy into PR; being featured in magazine articles like Medium, GirlBoss, and recently a tech networking platform Elpha. I also pitch myself to HARO and podcasters. I’ve been featured on a few podcasts as well. All the articles and podcasts can be found on the media page of my website.
This has helped me and my business become more visible.
I allow myself to be vulnerable during these interviews. Being vulnerable is not easy for me because I’m an Earth-Sun Sign (Virgo). However, the more I’ve shared about myself the more people resonate and connect. I’ve learned to become more comfortable with it and have fun with it.
As people comment on the articles or podcasts I’ve been featured in, I personally respond to each post. I’ve had people reach out to me via LinkedIn DM’s, email me, as well as post comments.
I get to know these people and invite them into a Connect + Chat; a virtual one-on-one call to get to know each other more. Not everyone takes the opportunity and I always respect their space.
I always go with the flow of the conversation during a Connect + Chat. They are not designed to be sales calls.
If the opportunity presents itself during the flow of conversation, I’ll share about the different resources I have available to support them which is mainly my free download Career Mindset reflection guide and the workshop that goes along with it.
Some people tap in and some don’t. For those who tap into the Career Mindset reflection guide, I stay in communication through my email list and/or additional Connect + Chats. For those who do not, I honor their space and may follow up with them simply to check in on how they’re doing at a much later time. I won’t continue to bombard them with offers, opportunities, and so on.
Is attending networking events a part of your marketing strategy?
I used to overpack my schedule with multiple networking events. So much so, I couldn’t keep up with the communities and felt very overwhelmed. This was not fair to me or the networks I was in.
I prefer to be part of smaller networks where each of us is growing the community as well as ourselves. There is less of a feeling of competition in these types of networks. I believe that there are plenty of clients for every business even if we’re in the same field.
Yes, networking is part of my marketing strategy.
Right now, I work with a colleague in her community, The Soul Wisdom Leader’s Lounge. We are in strong alignment with our business’s missions and visions for supporting others in their career growth. We work together to build a bigger community for each other and those we support. I’ll work with this network until the energy shifts into a new adventure.
How do you define success for yourself and your business?
Success for me is reaching my dreams as I mentioned earlier. The same applies to my business.
My business and I are intrinsically connected.
It’s important to me that I be one person, myself, between my business and my personal life. Being able to find a complete holistic alignment between the two is the ultimate success for me.
What advice would you give to other introverted women who are just starting their own businesses?
Always follow your instincts and your needs. Do not allow others to tell you what you need to do as though it’s what’s best for you. What works for one person doesn’t always work for another. You know yourself best.
Thank you for taking the time to share your story. Where can our readers find more information about you?
Sure! My website and Instagram are the best places. You can also find me on LinkedIn. I monitor my LinkedIn account but I’m not very active in terms of posting there.