You are not alone. We are all going through this together. Everyone across the globe, for the first time ever, is experiencing the same things.
A lot more people are paying closer attention to the more meaningful aspects of their lives, and less of the superficial. Families are closer, neighbors are getting to know one another, phone calls are being made to one another, people are finally getting a chance to enjoy their homes, neighborhoods and everything they’ve worked so hard to create.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Many of us now have new challenges that come with working from home, homeschooling, and sheltering in place.
As a part of my series about how busy women leaders are addressing these new needs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mona Dan.
Mona Dan, LAc., MTOM is an herbalist, acupuncturist and founder of Vie Healing. Mona specializes in Traditional Oriental Medicine, using healing treatments and tools to help reignite inner vitality and vibrancy. She created Vie Healing with the intention of inspiring individuals to take responsibility for their health, build lasting rituals and give their body what it needs to feel and perform optimally. Working with celebrities, influencers, wellness publications/events and corporations, Mona has an impressive clientele, who seek out her expertise. Mona is also a mom of 2, and multi-faceted entrepreneur, heading up partnerships, brand development and various projects for her successful and growing wellness company.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Of course, thank you for having me. When I came to finally figuring out what I wanted to do with my career I was really at a fork in the road. My husband and I had just gotten married and we really had only 10k to our name. I was obviously obsessed with wellness and healing which is why I studied Chinese Medicine, but I also had a deep itch to develop a product line to be able to get my method of healing in the hands of as many people as I could to help them with the three main concerns I saw while receiving my masters. People were primarily trying to reach Happy, Detox or Calm.
One night my husband said, “Mona, I know you’re extremely passionate about both, but for this moment you need to just choose one,” and I thought about it, and realized, if I wanted to make an impact, I needed to start now. The only thing I can really do right now, is get patients on the table and heal them. Doing this, I was able to not only meet my incredible clientele and support them but also, organically develop my product line and work with my clientele to perfect my line.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started at your company?
A few things come to mind, including finding out I was pregnant the night before I opened my first location, yes, really the night before. I’d say, though, the highlight was when Neiman Marcus reached out to me for a collaboration. It was a truly exciting and unforgettable moment. I had done a beauty trade show and was hoping that I’d be able to catch their attention. During the show, they walked past my booth and smiled. I was really disappointed when they didn’t come to talk to me. Two months later, I got the phone call and they had me fly out to their HQ with my entire show setup to demonstrate what VIE HEALING is about and from there, I started working with the most incredible group of people which has helped springboard Vie Healing to where we are today.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes! Absolutely, the most exciting aspect of VIE HEALING is that we’ve been fortunate enough to be recognized across different platforms to add benefit and value in the area of wellness. Because we provide wellness through both products and treatments, we have piqued the interest of incredible companies that are paving an elevated path to wellness. They trust VIE HEALING, as a source for creating new ways of connecting people to healing. Currently, we are working with an incredible incubator startup to nationally expand our spas, while also plugging VIE HEALING into specialized medical experiences to bring a collaborative East/West approach to wellness. We are also working with a few major retailers for new product development and brand collaborations. These various paths of healing, treatments and products will be available to support individuals with the different concerns they are dealing with, allowing for time-proven wellness practices and tools to be even more accessible.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes absolutely, aside from my family there are two people I always connect with who are beyond generous with their support and connections. Tyler Kelley, an incredible entrepreneur and dear friend who is extremely supportive and connected, always makes the time to listen to the new ideas I’m working on and shares his world of contacts and relationships to support our continued growth. The other incredible person is Annbeth Eschbach, the founder of Exhale Spa and president of KindBody. She is a powerful woman in the industry of wellness and has become my mentor for growth. Her generosity and support for women-owned business is unmatched. I’ve been so fortunate having these two on my side.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Can you articulate to our readers what are the biggest family related challenges you are facing as a woman business leader during this pandemic?
A one and four-year-old and home (without a nanny), 10+ employees, managing a spa, treating patients, maintaining a product line, developing new products, collaborating with new partners to keep our businesses thriving, endless phone meetings, cooking, cleaning and maintaining a routine during a pandemic and cultural shift has been an incredible juggling act to say the least.
First, I want to make clear that being a mom during this pandemic with no other side responsibility alone is a huge role in and of itself. Adding the work aspect gives the role almost no space to breathe, however, it still gives me a level of life and excitement. Before the pandemic, there were days where I felt the need to really get away but now I get that feeling multiple times a day. Before the pandemic, I had a system and routine down of which role I was playing; when I was in business-mode, and when I was in mom mode. Currently, I’m wearing multiple hats at any given time. With the pandemic, I learned very early on that if I wanted my business to not only survive but to thrive during this pandemic I need to start saying yes to many more new things to make the right transitions to protect what I’ve built so far. This has definitely put a strain on my family life because while I am making myself fully available to whatever the business needs, I’m not able to give to my family the way I was before. It’s been a tricky path, but everyday I’m rerouting my energy, efforts and my routines to better support both my family and business.
Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
To be honest, I’m still figuring it out daily, but a lot of it has to do with being patient. Being patient with myself, my husband, my kids, my employees and everything else in the mix. I’ve learned that although things are moving fast, taking things slow and being okay with the slow process of things is okay. I take each day and simply make a priority list of the things that I will address and a separate list of the other things that will get taken care of. If I don’t get to the second list, then that list is shifted to the priority list the next day. I make sure to still be playful with my family and work when I hear myself complaining too often in a day too. But to be perfectly honest, being respectful of myself and the needs of everyone around me is the most important aspect to make sure things at least keep going and keep growing.
Can you share the biggest work-related challenges you are facing as a woman in business during this pandemic?
With my work, managing employees, maintaining the spa, the product line, new work relationships and new projects are all equally important in comparison to one another to me, because they are my passions. However, I’ve been realizing more and more which areas of the business I want to remove myself from and where I need more help. The pandemic has made me aware that I need to bring in more support as my business grows.
Staying creative and passionate are essential to VIE HEALING and being drained, takes away from it all, obviously. It has always been very important to me to have a very understanding and flexible attitude towards all my roles, however during the beginning stages of the pandemic, I had become extra understanding and flexible. I’ve learned that being the source energy of the business, regardless of the situation, boundaries can not be bent. Structure is key to good business, although flexibility was definitely needed in the beginning stages of the pandemic, I’ve been realizing more and more how professional boundaries can not be swayed
Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
First, I’ve identified the areas in my business that needs support. I’ve always said that it is best for a founder to do what they do best and give the roles that they don’t enjoy or know how to do well to others. During this time, so many lines crossed but now that I’ve identified the problem areas, I have been able to hire a new team to support the whole vision. Having open communication is very important. I’ve always been very transparent with my partners and employees, which gives me comfort in knowing that I’m trusted. Articulating what is needed while also showing you truly care about them is important too.
Can you share your advice about how to best work from home, while balancing the needs of homeschooling or the needs of a family?
Routines have been very helpful, but making sure there is spontaneity too is important. Some days, we eat outside, some days we work outside, some days I handle my work from home in the bedroom and close the doors, while other days I arrange to work around my kids while they’re busy with an activity too. Knowing that your daily schedule is planned helps a lot, but how and where you do the tasks can be switched up to keep you from feeling like it’s Groundhog Day. Just today, I set up my laptop to my phone’s hotspot and set up a cute little picnic at the park, brought paint and canvases for my kids to play while I worked. It felt like a little day trip.
Can you share your strategies about how to stay sane and serene while sheltering in place, or simply staying inside, for long periods with your family?
Yes, it’s important to keep in mind that although we are to shelter in place and only go places when in need, that we also keep our mental, physical and emotional states in balance too. Going outside and getting fresh air and vitamin D is very important. To get into a routine getting dressed, having a routine for the day to break up the day keeps you healthy. Factoring in alone time for yourself and partner, and making sure everyone in the family has this is important for having a sense of space.. Keeping ourselves safe from the pandemic itself is one thing, but making it a priority to keep our mind and body healthy during the pandemic is equally important. The reality is, that this too shall pass, even if there is a level of a “new normal” we can’t damage ourselves, our partners and our kids because of the excessive fears and uncertainties of what these days bring.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
Yes, all of which are very understandable.
- Understand that there is a big potential for good change! Take this time to gently address the little things you didn’t have time for when we were all moving at a rapid pace.
- In these changing times, it’s when new opportunities arise. Did you know big tech companies were born during the last financial crisis? Allow yourself to create some magic.
- You are not alone. We are all going through this together. Everyone across the globe, for the first time ever, is experiencing the same things.
- A lot more people are paying closer attention to the more meaningful aspects of their lives, and less of the superficial. Families are closer, neighbors are getting to know one another, phone calls are being made to one another, people are finally getting a chance to enjoy their homes, neighborhoods and everything they’ve worked so hard to create.
- We’re in the thick of and soon this too shall pass- hopefully sooner than later. Keeping in mind that this is a transition period and is only temporary can ease a lot of stress too.
Active listening! A lot of people need to talk to someone and feel heard. This can be seen and felt for people of all ages. We are all experiencing so much right now and we are all experiencing it differently. Being a safe place to really listen and comfort is so important right now. Also, there is a lot of judgement about the who’s and what’s. The most important thing is for us to be united. The divide between beliefs of all sides is tearing the things we love most apart. So, giving the time to each other and listening without judgmentis so key. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences so we naturally are pulled to different beliefs and ideologies. The more united we are emotionally for one another, the less of an impact this all can have on us.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Wake up everyday to your vision, not your emotions”
Especially these days, so many emotions come up with all the new changes and new normals, our vision needs to be at the forefront of our actions and days, to keep things moving forward and alive.
How can our readers follow you online? You can find me at @viehealing. I’m not one to post often on my personal but I’m intending to start working on it! @mdzydan
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!