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Ideas & Observations

Behind the entrepreneur: Vera Powles, Mana Living

About the interviewee: I’m Vera, an Integrative Nutrition and Health Coach and Yoga Teacher with a background in Biomedical Sciences and Molecular Medicine. After working in the healthcare industry for 9 years, I realised that our health goes way beyond what we eat and how often we exercise and that’s how Mana Living was born. To offer services and products that delve deeper than surface level, I developed the “6 Pillars of Wellness” framework which covers diet, movement, sleep, stress, emotions and spirituality. I know all the wellness information out there can be overwhelming, so my aim is to only bring lifestyle changes to our clients that have a proven impact on their health. Through our events, my book “Live Well” as well as our online membership “Live Beautifully”, my goal is to inspire our clients to adopt a healthy non-restrictive, effortless lifestyle they can keep forever.

In a perfect day, what does work-life balance look like for you?

I like to start working early to make the most out of my day. My work involves so many diverse tasks from developing and recording content for our membership, to organising events and working with private clients so every day looks different. If I have a lot of admin to do, I try to do it from my treadmill desk as much as possible as it makes me feel more energised and productive. When the weather is good I like to have lunch outside and I make it a point of trying to disconnect from work as much as possible during this time. After finishing my work for the day I take some time to move either with strength training or yoga. This is such a great way to break up the day and release any stress and tension before winding down for the evening.

What has been the biggest hurdle in your entrepreneurial journey?

When you run a business on your own it can be easy to allow it to take over your life so establishing boundaries between work and personal time was really challenging for me. At the end of the day, you cannot work effectively and exercise your creativity if you’re burnt out so I try to remind myself of that everyday. The other major hurdle I experienced was lack of entrepreneurial knowledge – I had an idea and a vision but not a strategy so my first year in business was a rollercoaster! That taught me that you’re likely will fail at some point and that’s ok, just fail fast, learn from it and pivot into the right direction as soon as you can.

Do you have any advice you can share?

Before you do anything else, sit down and take time to really know yourself; what are your values, your nonnegotiables and definition of success. This will create the clarity you need to make decision making more efficient, branding more consistent and will allow you to set meaningful goals for your business.

What is your go-to way to switch off?

When I feel like I need some me-time, I love to walk from Longsands in Tynemouth to Whitley Bay and back. I do it rain or shine and it never fails to improve my mood and spark my creativity.

What reading, listening, or watching would you recommend?

Reading: “Believe IT: How to Go from Underestimated to Unstoppable”, by Jamie Kern Lima

Listening: “High Performance” podcast hosted by Jake Humphrey and Damian Hughes

Watching: “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”


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