Setting up your small business for life

Running your own small business can be hard work but when you get it right, it can be life-changing.



Broken Hill’s Donna Lee Wynen has had her ‘side hustle’ of remedial and therapeutic massage running for 33 years 25 of those alongside her central career path in tourism.

She also managed the day-to-day demands of being a single parent, experiencing her fair share of challenges along the way; periods of isolation and plenty of self-doubt about what she was capable of doing.


Donna Lee undertook a “tiny bit” of study in the alternative medicines field in her journey of self-discovery “working things out along the way” while her confidence in what she did and wanted to do, grew stronger.


By 2012 she was trained in the practice of Reiki and intuitive healing became her calling. “I felt I had a gift in knowing what treatment people needed.” Donna Lee’s “bodywork” knowledge about bones and muscles saw her massage business expand to include ortho-bionomy a process that helps the body to self-correct. “It’s not just bodywork either, it’s emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and energetic. I call myself a holistic healer.” Alternative healing services were a far cry when Donna Lee first started in that field. “Women that provided massage services were considered sex therapists back when I started in 1988,” she said.


To get to the point she is at today had been a “big mission” she says,


holding that space and using her intuition to soldier on-wards and upwards. “If something didn’t feel right I worked out a way for it to feel different.” This organic approach has since Donna Lee transition herself from working part-time in a night fill role to having the confidence to set up her own small business Free Spirit Healing.


“I took the leap five years ago and became full-time and self-sufficient.”


When COVID hit last year, like the universe has done before for Donna Lee, it delivered again when details of Kathie Heyman’s Business Masterclass popped up on her Facebook.


Learning about running a small business from someone else who had successfully run small businesses was all-new for Donna Lee who admitted to “winging it” until then. “I still haven’t branded myself, haven’t advertised, but since working with Kathie I’ve been more financially successful than I’ve ever been in my life.”


Donna said the pandemic gave her time to continue her small business journey and take control of her financial independence. “I really wanted to be accountable to myself and fulfill some of the dreams I had for my business but had never officially put together. I never thought about personal goals, or strategies, never thought about a small business plan, any of the things Kathie brought into the picture.” She said doing the Kathie’s Business Masterclass had really provided her with the “information pathway” she needed to know where to go next, and how to get there. “I’ve got everything I need now. As Kathie says ‘now I just need to sit down and do the work’.”


Donna Lee said she liked the way Kathie made you accountable but didn’t hassle you. “She leaves it up to you to take responsibility for the work that’s required.” Apart from the practical aspects of the Masterclass, Donna Lee said the other great thing was the connectivity the classes provided. “I realised I wasn’t alone. There were eight women in our class and none of us wanted to be left alone, which is why the Think Up group came about.”


Think Up is Kathie Heyman’s online hub for the Masterclass groups where women “lead each other” and member numbers have been steadily growing ever since.


“Just to know when, you sit here in your house, that there are all these people, all over Australia that are in the same boat so you’re not alone. I’ve developed friendships with a diverse range of small business owners, am making professional connections, and using their services when I can. They’re an incredibility inspirational group of women. Think Up attracts women like that.”


Donna Lee said she had also learned a lot about herself during the classes admitting one of the main reasons she never put anything tangible in place as far as small business structure was because she felt like she would lose her freedom. “I realise now that with a plan in place you have way more freedom. Otherwise, you stay in that same energy and it’s a waste of time. It just had to sink in and when I told Kathie about the revelation she nearly fell over.”


The financial freedom her business has given her has also been a big change for Donna Lee. “I had to admit to myself that I was actually fearful of being successful. I persevered and for the first time in my life I’ve achieve unconditional approval for a home loan on my own sole income. I now have money in my business account for first time. I’ve never had that much money in my business account.”


Donna Lee said being able to see the bigger picture and understand that it doesn’t all happen in a couple of weeks was something Kathie impressed from the very start.


“I look at everything that has happened in my life, and see that things can be easier with some help and support. Even though I haven’t finished my business plan yet, these past six months have been incredible.”


To find out more about Donna Lee’s Free Spirit Healing visit: https://www.facebook.com/freespirithealingdonnalee