Chapter 1: Lisa Kiss on Mindful Entrepreneurship

Hello everyone! I hope you are having an excellent day so far. This is the first official chapter of our newest series called “The Stories Of Us.” The premise behind this series is to connect, collaborate and share the experiences of inspiring people in an authentic way. With each Chapter, we will chat with someone who has a unique story and share their journey. There will also be an instagram takeover, which you can find on our Instagram Highlights at @bellantonidesigns.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Introduce Yourself! 

Hey, I’m Lisa Kiss and I’m a mindful entrepreneur from Hamilton, Ontario, which is about an hour west of Toronto.

What Inspired You To Start Your Own Company And Create Be Mindful Studio?

I started my marketing agency back in 2018 by accident. I participated in a youth entrepreneurship grant program in partnership with the City of Hamilton and Province of Ontario called Summer Company. I had been working with start-ups for 2 years at Ryerson University’s Fashion Zone and loved the idea of being my boss. I really wanted to become an entrepreneur but didn't have an idea so I would say in the future I will have my own business. However, this program was an opportunity for me to try entrepreneurship for the Summer; kind of like a trial to see if it was for me. So, I took the skills I knew how to do because of running my own blog and interning at start-ups, and started a marketing agency. Now that I look back it was really like I was a freelancer which is a form of entrepreneurship, but I wanted it to be bigger. That’s where Be Mindful Studio comes in! At the beginning of January 2020 I decided it was time to move forward with the name change for a few reasons:

 

  1. Show my clear intention of who the agency wants to work with
  2. Share our core values
  3. Show that it isn’t just me, it is a team

 

My reason for niching down who my agency works with is simply because of my lifestyle changes and only wanting to market companies doing something good. Marketing is this really cool thing that allows you to tell the world what you’re doing, but it is responsible for the mass consumerism lifestyle we live in. It’s been about 3 years now that I’ve been a conscious consumer and have adapted a little bit of a minimal lifestyle so, I had to have my business reflect this. I have to believe in what I’m helping to promote.

As Both A Yoga Teacher And Business-Owner, What Does A Typical Day Look Like For You? 

Every day is different! That is one of the main reasons I love being a business owner; I get to wear so many different hats and different things will pop-up all the time! Some people thrive on routine and structure and while I have some structure and routine to running my business with different processes and systems, I need the variety and surprises. I’m a Gemini through and through, and I crave change. One of my biggest fears is becoming bored and as an entrepreneur I definitely don’t have to worry about that!
I just became a yoga teacher at the end of 2019 and I’m not currently teaching any classes but, yoga and mindfulness are big practices in my daily life. I try my best to do a home yoga practice everyday even if it’s just a quick 10 minute flow. Just 10 minutes can change your day. Whether I take a break from working at my desk to stretch or do a flow before a start working, yoga helps me to get out of my head and into my body bringing awareness to what is going on. If I’m not functioning properly my business can’t function so, I make sure to include some mindful movement most days.
 
“Just 10 minutes can change your day. Whether I take a break from working at my desk to stretch or do a flow before a start working, yoga helps me to get out of my head and into my body bringing awareness to what is going on.”

You Seem Like A Very Busy Lady! How Do You Balance Entrepreneurship With Living A Balanced, Mindful Life?

Setting boundaries is very important to me. I think it’s very necessary to stay sane as an entrepreneur, especially in the services industry where clients may contact at any moment from one of the many communication channels that exist. I set limits on the times I communicate with clients and respond to emails and treat it like a normal 9am-5pm would. I sometimes will work later at night as it’s when I can feel my most creative so I now schedule emails to go out the next morning (thanks Google!) so I’m in turn respecting my clients boundaries as well.I also take time to unplug and step away from technology since my job relies heavily on my phone and laptop. To keep the work/life balance I try to do things I enjoy that have nothing to do with social media or marketing such as my dance class every Thursday evening and going on evening walks. 

What Is One Of The Biggest Struggles You’ve Had Since Starting Your Own Business?

I started my business when I was 20 and I’m currently 22 so what I’m doing on a full-time basis isn’t typical of someone my age. I’m working with my life coach to remove this limiting belief from my life. It honestly doesn’t matter how old you are. You don’t have to be a certain age to do anything. Everyone has their own unique timeline they are following. But, one of my biggest struggles has been explaining to people what I do and having to explain why entrepreneurship works for me. I work from home quite often and a lot of people think I don’t do anything while at home and don’t understand the concept of my business. So, my biggest struggle has been pushing through the barrier of caring what other people think and move forward to grow my business. Also, understanding that the people who don’t understand what I do aren't my ideal clients anyways so, it really doesn’t matter what they think.
 

“…the world needs more offline experience to really connect with each other. ”

That’s Really Inspiring To Hear That You Became An Entrepreneur At Such A Young Age. What’s Next For You? Any Big 2020 Goals?

Ideally I would like to own a building in Hamilton and create a physical space for Be Mindful Studio. This space would act as an office for the agency as well as a gathering space for the mindful community in the Greater Hamilton Area. I don’t think this will have to happen in 2020, but I’m going to put it out into the universe because I think the world needs more offline experience to really connect with each other. 

How Can People Integrate More Mindful Practices Into Their Daily Lives?

Mindfulness is simply becoming more aware of what’s going on inside you and living in the present moment as it’s the only thing that exists. Some small ways to integrate mindfulness into your life is by waking up slowly. Don’t look at your phone when you get up. Slowly wake up, become aware of your surroundings and express gratitude in the moment, for the moment.You can also try to incorporate a mini meditation practice into your daily routine. Some people like to meditate in the morning as it can set the tone for your day. Others like to meditate to unwind at night. It’s up to your personal preference on which will work best for you. Also, recognize that mediation doesn’t have to be in your typical sitting (or lying down) form, it can be a stream of consciousness writing mediation (one of my favourites) or a walking meditation.

Meditation Tip: If you find it hard to sit still try doing a movement practice first, like yoga. It honestly helps to tire you out a little bit so it’s easier for your body to be in a resting state.  

How Do You Integrate Sustainability Into Your Lifestyle?

The first thing I did was recognize my fashion habits were not the best for the planet. Since 2017 I have been doing my best to shop from ethical brands or thrift. I’ve changed my toothbrush, use reusable cotton rounds and have a cork yoga mat. I also don’t drive. I take local transit to commute around my city daily.In terms of sustainable food practices I’ve never been a big meat eater I personally don’t like the smell. Because of this I am almost 100% plant based with the exception of some fish and cheese.Lastly, I only buy something if I really need it. I feel like this is a big one. The less you consume the less you have to throw away. 

What Is Your Top Tip For Aspiring Entrepreneurs?

Honestly, just take the leap and start, especially if you’re young. I feel like entrepreneurs are born, not made, and if you have a burning desire and are having trouble working for someone else, just [start] your business. Also, access all the support you can; grants, funding, mentors, training, etc. Research your local resources. Mine have helped me so much! 

Where Can We Find Your Work?

On my website and my Instagram!
Twitter: @lisamariekiss

 

We hope you enjoyed Chapter 1 of The Stories Of Us. Huge thank you to Lisa for sharing her experience as a young entrepreneur with big dreams for her business. Please let us know in the comments what you think!  
 
 

 


 

 


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