Olga Ward, owner of Beaverton Neurofeedback is a first generation immigrant who moved to the US on a student Visa to attend college and improve her English.
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, but she says deep down she always wanted to find a way to be a helper to others on a physical or emotional level.
“ I had entertained the idea of going back to school to re-qualify as a nurse, but something always got in a way. Perhaps it was God's way of saying: ‘This is not your calling’. It wasn't until my husband and I decided to expand our family through adoption, I realized where I could practice my desire to heal,” she explains.
When she and her husband adopted her daughter from the Oregon DHS foster system it opened her eyes to the world of childhood trauma and she recognized a great need to support the foster care community. They also decided to open their home to foster kids in need of a respite stay.
Their daughter joined their family at the age of eight already having suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of her biological family, she also had additional trauma in her first adoptive home which was promised to be her ‘forever’ home.
Olga says, “Raising a child often comes with challenges. Raising a special needs child who has lost trust in adults, takes ‘challenging’ to a whole other level. No amount of praise or comments such as ‘You are such nice people’ or ‘She is a lucky girl’ can make you feel better when you are exhausted and burnt out. In fact, these comments, without actual support, feel like mockery. I tried very hard to maintain our family ‘normalcy’, but the everyday challenges were making it difficult to hold down an inflexible full-time job. Eventually, I put in my notice, and quit my stable job without a plan for replacing the missing income.”
Around this time she also felt so emotionally burnt out that she chose to seek mental health support from a professional counselor. She found being validated by someone who understands the impact of secondary trauma helpful, but her home life was still in crisis on almost a daily basis.
“Our daughter was struggling and so did the rest of our family, including myself! It was my own therapist who introduced me to NeurOptimal neurofeedback. Trauma affects the brain on a physiological level. While talking to a professional can help you feel heard and validated, it will not change your overreacted brain to switch from the Fight/Flight/Freeze response. The fact that there's a professional device that can help retrain the brain be more balanced and better regulate emotions fascinated me. I delved into the research and tested it on myself.
The results were undeniable! Within only 3 neurofeedback sessions I felt more peaceful and patient. I felt happier and more relaxed. I could think more clearly! It was at that moment I knew this was my "healing" calling. I made an investment into the NeurOptimal training and purchased my own equipment. I wanted the same results for others as I had experienced for myself. In April of 2018, I opened my own practice, Beaverton Neurofeedback, and have been passionately serving others in my community.”
Olga says that as a current foster parent to children with trauma, she is required, and enjoys, taking continuing education courses on the subjects of parenting children with trauma and attachment issues. “There are several influential figures who have done the research and wrote books to help others understand how trauma affects the brain and what we can do about it. Dr. Valdeane Brown, the researcher and inventor of NeurOptimal neurofeedback equipment (which is what I use in my practice), Daniel Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, the authors of "The Whole Brain Child", and my current neurofeedback mentor, Catherine Boyer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, are to name a few,” she explains.
Her biggest struggle when she first started her business was feeling isolated.. When she left her full time job, she lost support that comes with having co-workers to share ideas and concerns with. She says finding the MOB Nation community was a huge relief. Not only did she feel supported as a business owner, she also found amazing friends.
Olga says she would advise new business owners to pursue their passion and understand their “why”.
“Doing what makes a difference in the world and what makes you happy and fulfilled is an important motivator, especially when things get tough. Ask yourself ‘What would I love to do even if money was not an issue?,”
She also reminds business owners that they can love what they are doing without giving it away for free, to find a mentor or like-minded person who will encourage and support them when they are stuck, to hire a coach to get clarity, and to get plugged in to a networking community that will be there for them in good days and in bad.
She would tell her younger self to not take things personally if others don't understand what you do or do not want to support you. Do not interpret it as less important or amazing. There will always be those who don't care and those who want to see you succeed!
Olga says her motivation to keep going when things are tough comes from seeing the difference she makes in her clients’ lives and hearing their testimonials.
She loves working for herself because of the flexibility she has. “Working for myself not only provides me with much needed flexibility, but it also allows me to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it. There are weeks when my family obligations require me to work less and there are others when I put in a lot more time and effort than I would have into a 9 to 5 job.”
She says the MOB impact on her business has been huge. “I found a supportive community and so many friends! I've been able to outsource several different services. I personally had difficulties with myself and got many referrals to my own neurofeedback services. We can't be great at everything and it's okay to ask or hire others to help us. We need each other for different stages of our personal and business lives and that's the power of the MOB,” she explains
Olga’s ideal referral are Moms who feel like she once did (burnt out, emotionally drained) and kids with trauma, learning disabilities, sleep issues, or behavior difficulties.
MOB Alliance members receive an enhanced session with energy work for no additional charge!
Connect with Olga and Beaverton Neurofeedback:
We're excited to welcome IFundWomen's Creator & General Manager of IFundWomen of Color, Olivia Owens, to the MOB blog!
Learn more about Olivia at the end of the blog post.
Black Business Month is an important reminder of the opportunity that exists for Black-owned businesses. According to Amex's 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, Black women represent 42% of net new women-owned businesses started in the last year, which is three times their share of the female population (14%).
Yet in the past decade, Black women-led businesses have captured just .0006% of the total venture capital funding pie. The pandemic has only exacerbated the larger funding gap problem, as we saw with the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program, where up to 90% of minority and women business owners were shut out.
If you’re as tired of hearing these devastating stats as I am, let’s talk solutions. The biggest challenge facing black women entrepreneurs is access. Through my work at IFundWomen, the go-to marketplace for women-owned businesses and the people who want to support them, we are addressing this challenge head on by providing the access to the capital, coaching, and connections Black women-owned businesses need to launch and grow successful businesses.
We launched IFundWomen of Color (IFWOC) in partnership with Caress at the New York City Women’s March back in January. Since the announcement, we’ve been hard at work building the IFundWomen of Color community from the ground up, and the response has been incredible. The women in our community are reimagining how we build and use retail spaces, carving out space for Black women in wellness, and tackling food deserts in Brooklyn.
They’re leveraging crowdfunding and grants as alternative funding sources to push their businesses forward. In recent months, we’ve seen uptick in the Black women in our community launching with a sense of urgency because people are now (better late than never) looking to fund them.
One of the hundreds of women you can fund is Karen Wilson, Founder of ChildNEXUS. She is on a mission to decrease the number of undiagnosed learning disorders and mental health issues in children and adolescents through her platform. After getting her MVP up and running and growing her list to more than 900 subscribers, she came to IFundWomen because she needed the funds to scale.
She worked one on one with IFundWomen coaches, created her crowdfunding campaign video with the support of our creative team, and continues to leverage the IFundWomen of Color community as a space for support, collaboration, and validation. Not to mention, the first funder of her crowdfunding campaign was a $2,500 grant from Caress. She’s nearly 50% of the way to her goal and needs your support.
Caress is just one of a roster of amazing partners that have stepped up to support the women of color on our platform. Caress is doing $500K in COVID-19 relief grants for the IFundWomen of Color community.
We recently partnered with The Financial Gym to do $2,000 grants plus financial training for Black-owned businesses. And we will soon be announcing the recipients of our grant program with Visa, who is doing 10, $10,000 grants plus one year of IFundWomen coaching for Black women-owned businesses.
Grants are a no-brainer for both entrepreneurs who need funding and brands who are looking to reach their target audience. As a founder, debt-free capital is the best kind of capital. As a brand, the best way to engage with your potential customer is to show that you’re willing to meet an immediate and dire need they have by putting your money where your mouth is.
The best part is, you don’t have to be a brand to support Black-owned businesses. If you’re an ally looking to redistribute wealth into the black community, head to the Black-Women Owned Businesses page on our platform and fund a business or five.
If you’re Black woman-owned business, apply to IFundWomen of Color to start connecting with the resources and support you need to launch and grow.
Olivia Owens is the Creator & General Manager of IFundWomen of Color, the platform for women of color to raise capital through crowdfunding, grants, coaching, and the connections needed to launch and grow successful businesses.
This funding ecosystem is designed to empower early-stage, women entrepreneurs and bridge the funding gap for women of color.
Jessi Sigander is a mom of two and has been married 18 years. She started the Brain Breakthrough after her daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia. She also founded ACT Parenting Community where parents who are struggling with anxiety, overwhelm, and stress in their families can find support. The goal of the community is to provide Action steps, Connection, and research-based teaching for families,” she says.
“We had tried everything else to help her when we stumbled upon a different type of therapy that made significant changes in her. I knew that I wanted to know more, “ Jessi explains.
Jessi has a PhD in education and has spent the last several years working with victims of trauma. She said it feels like a privilege to be able to show up and help people each day in her work. “It's not at all what I expected I would be doing with my life and now I can't imagine wanting to do anything else.”
Jessi says her mentor has turned into a close friend “She is in the next stage of life ahead of me and her wisdom about family and work and life are so valuable!”
One of her biggest challenges has been working on ways to get a brand new modality into the world. Despite the challenges, she would tell anyone interested in starting a business to do it. “Even if it makes you uncomfortable and nauseous, do it! You will grow so much from the challenge! My other piece of advice would be to find people who have gone before you and learn from them! Have a group of cheerleaders along the way and have a person you can lean on for support on the days when it's hard, because it is going to be hard,” she explains.
When things are tough or challenging, she remembers the life changes her work has given past clients. “When I see them reading and learning and excelling at things for the first time in their lives, I know I have to keep going!”
Her ideal referral is anyone from the ages of 7 to 100 who struggles with anxiety, trauma, concussions, dyslexia or reading issues and is open to attacking the root of the issue in a new way.
Jessi says the MOB has impacted her business through connections and meeting so many amazing women.! “Just knowing I have a community behind me keeps pushing me forward!”
When we asked her what advice she would give to her younger self just starting out, she said “It's ok to be a beginner. I was a successful educator for many years and so when I started my own business I wanted to jump in and be just as successful. I have had to learn to give myself grace as I am just a beginner in the business world and still have a lot to learn. I shouldn't expect that I would know how to do everything perfectly when I am just starting.”
All MOB Alliance members get 10% off Jessi’s services.
Connect with Jessi:
We're excited to welcome Dr. Raquel Muller to the MOB blog as she shares insights about money mindset! Dr. Muller is also a MOBCON speaker. Learn more about her at the end of this blog post.
Have you ever thought: “I just want to make enough money so I never have to worry about it again,” or “I’ll be financially set when I earn X dollars a month/year?”
While the idea of a certain, magical sum making your financial concerns go away is certainly a seductive idea-- and one that I confess holding on to for most of my life-- its fundamental flaw is that it makes your wellbeing, peace of mind, and even your worth, contingent upon an external condition: i.e. how much money is in your bank account.
The flaws in your money mindset
So why is this focus on a certain amount of income a problem? First, when you make your wellbeing in any area of your life contingent upon external factors-- e.g. amount in the bank, where you live, people’s approval, social media likes, etc.-- it means that you are vulnerable to feelings of deprivation, stress, inadequacy, even emptiness, the second that those things are no longer there.
You and I know that we cannot control things outside of ourselves, so why place our wellbeing in the hands of circumstances that we cannot control and which could change at any moment?
Second, making your security, wellbeing, or worth about how much money you have-- or any other external circumstance for that matter-- is part of a lack or scarcity mindset, that is, the belief that there is only so much to go around, and that people, things, circumstances or luck control your abundance.
What this does is that it leads to feeling constantly worried about the possibility of losing those things upon which you’re basing your wellbeing.
Think about this: a person can have billions of dollars put away, but if they are in a lack mindset it won’t matter, because they will always be looking over their shoulder, wondering when they’re going to lose it all. And that anxious, constant looking over your shoulder is the opposite of freedom.
Another problem with making your financial freedom about a certain amount of money is that it puts you in what my mentor, Felicia Searcy, calls “get” energy. You focus on what you want to “get,” e.g. more money, more customers, more followers, etc., rather than showing up in a spirit of service. Anytime we are in “get” energy we make our work and other activities, for the time being, about what we can “get” rather than about what we can offer to better people’s lives. This can lead to a certain vibe of desperation as we operate our businesses.
A Useful Analogy
There is a powerful and useful analogy in relation to this. Using an amount of money to judge your financial security is akin to putting a lit match under a thermometer and expecting it to increase the temperature of the room. Obviously, with a lit match under it, the thermometer will show a higher temperature reading momentarily, but the second the flame is pulled away, the thermometer reading will go back to status quo. Further, the increased temperature reading of the thermometer does not in any way change the temperature of the room!
In other words, you may experience a surge of money or material possessions at a particular point in time, but this does not provide true financial freedom or security in the long run.
How Do You Find True Financial Freedom?
True financial freedom and peace of mind come from cultivating abundance from the inside out. Abundance from the inside out means deepening your relationship with Universal Source, God, Higher Power, or whatever you choose to call this creative force. When you learn to see yourself as the divine being that you are, when you know that the power that created you supplies all your needs, when you know that you are loved and worthy regardless of the circumstances around you, this is when you will get to experience freedom, regardless of how much money is actually in your account.
Also, when you know yourself as an abundant being, you can change “get” energy, knowing that as you serve your community with your talents and gifts, as you do the work that brings you most alive, the money will follow. And you will know that nothing and no one can take away your good.
A Personal Story
Becoming abundant from the inside is not a once-and-done thing, but a process whereby we deepen our relationship with Source. Personally, I have to keep coming back to my inner abundance to override the “get” energy I spoke about. I describe my experience below. Like any other business owner, I have operating expenses in my business. These include my investing in expert coaching to help me grow as a person and as a business woman. While my financial obligations don’t fluctuate much, my revenue does fluctuate from month to month.
In the past, I would worry about not having enough money, and made decisions based on how much was in my accounts. But since I’ve been working on my own money mindset and awareness, I have been practicing letting go of this worry, trusting that I have plenty of money to meet my expenses and obligations, as well as accomplish my goals, and help others.
As a result, I have seen money come to me just at the time when I need it, sometimes even from unexpected sources! What this does is remind me that I am loved and well supplied by the Universe. This helps me to continue offering my coaching services without attaching myself to whether someone says “yes” or “no.”
Most important, I am learning to be grateful for this season in my life and business because it is helping me transform into a stronger, more confident, more remarkable version of the woman I am today.
There is no doubt in my mind that I will generate the money I desire as I continue to grow my business, but even now, I feel incredible peace in knowing that my abundance comes, not from any specific amount of money, not from any person, nor a set of circumstances. I am abundant right now because I am connected to an infinite source that holds nothing back. That is freedom!
It’s Your Turn!
My invitation for you is that you seek to connect more deeply with your Source, so that you, too, will know your own abundance and freedom, more and more each day!
In this spirit, I am pleased to offer an upcoming free masterclass called “Prosperity Mindset Skills for Mompreneurs,” where I will share more in depth about these concepts that have changed my life and which I know can change yours, too!
There has never been a more challenging yet exciting time to be a mother and an entrepreneur. As a psychologist, entrepreneur, wife, and mother of two, Dr. Raquel Muller understands first hand how self-criticism, unrealistic expectations, and insufficient support can cause entrepreneurial moms to experience a disproportionate amount of overwhelm, guilt, and self-doubt, causing them to quit on their dreams and not live their full potential.
As "The Mompreneur Success Specialist," Dr. Raquel helps ambitious mom entrepreneurs develop the mindset, self-awareness, inner strength, confidence, vision, and supportive community that they need to get out of their own way, avoid self-sabotage, and create, not only a successful business, but also a fulfilling, balanced, purposeful and happy life, while also modeling this for their kids!
Connect on Facebook, Instagram, or Dr. Muller's website.