Gina Bello has been a member with Mompreneurs® since its inception in 2010, and is now an Elite+ member. Gina is the Founder and Principal Therapist at Hand Heart & Sole Wellness, established in 2002. Services complement traditional medicine and are alternative and holistic health practices. We are excited to share Gina’s Success Story!
About Hand Heart & Sole Wellness
I provide all-natural, drug-free and non-invasive hands-on therapies that address balancing mind, body, and spirit of a person to restore health and prevent illness. For seventeen years now, Hand Heart & Sole Wellness has been serving clients individually inside my healing space and as a mobile onsite service direct to clients in their own homes. In addition, my company offers onsite workplace wellness to proactive businesses that are preventative and invest in their greatest asset—their employee teams. Relaxing Chair Massages, Reflexology, Lunch & Learns, as well as charity and corporate events for the workplace, all help to increase employee productivity, reduce absenteeism due to illness and stress, and create a happier, healthier and more productive team. My passion for balancing mind body and spirit for true health, has led me to continuous learning, serving clients and teaching these same therapies to those that wish to learn through Hand Heart & Sole School of Holistic Therapies.
When I began my business I was a single mother, and my daughter had just started Grade 1. At that time, I had absolutely no support network. Upon finding myself downsized from my corporate position, with only a small severance package, the expectation back then was that I just pick up where I had left off and immediately apply for jobs to ensure there wasn’t any ‘down time’ and to prevent any financial hardship.
My intuition nudged me and I was guided to move into the holistic health and wellness industry. I had been studying as much as I could, reading, and learning what was available within a rapidly growing holistic industry and with a focus on meta-physical practices for health and well being. I intuited a strong sense that reassured me that all would be well, and that we would be OK. Did I know where the road would lead? No, not at all… it was one foot in front of the next daily and one day at a time as I continued to learn various healing modalities, and continued to grow and work on healing myself, and the wounds I had acquired up to that point in my life. It became increasingly clear that although I may have felt alone at times, I was not alone. In fact, no one is ever really alone. During some ‘dark times’, I learned to trust more, to strengthen my faith and to keep at it, staying focused on my goals and business. The point in saying this is that I have found that in every instance when I have found myself resisting something, and when I have chosen to surrender, all becomes much easier to work through, perceptions change and so does the outcome. It is a prayer of mine that we all move forward with grace and ease in all that we face in our businesses, and in our lives.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Necessity really is the mother of invention. Opportunity met divine timing and my readiness, when I was downsized from my corporate job I held right up to a couple of weeks after 9/11. I had been very interested and keenly aware that illness and stress affect us all in varying degrees, since losing my mother to cancer years earlier. Her death had been the catalyst that kept me asking and searching for knowledge and answers as to why people get sick in the first place.
I had been introduced to Reflexology in the late eighties and had found it to be profoundly helpful in restoring and preventing illness for family members and for myself. I was guided to find courses to learn Reflexology first and several other holistic therapies, to educate myself regarding alternative methods to drugs and surgery. I made the decision to take the package that was given to me by my former employer and use that along with the time and opportunity provided to follow my intuition and guidance, and move into a completely new and different career.
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
First, to heal my own past trauma and ‘stuff’, loss, hurt, pain, and health issues, and to also share these methods with others. I enjoy educating and providing these same solutions and options available to restore health, prevent illness, improve quality of life, while connecting clients to who they really are — their true selves, feeling powerful, worthy, loveable, good enough, balanced, and healthy.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
It is is extremely gratifying work to guide people back to ‘health’ feeling well and to watch them learn, grow, heal and transform. It is a privilege to witness physiological shifts right before my eyes and know that I was able to contribute to that! It is an honour to be a part of one’s health, wellness and healing journey. Also, being an entrepreneur provides me freedom to create my own schedule and to affect my own growth and the relationships I cultivate and grow with clients, colleagues and other businesses that I’ve created alliances with.
Can you describe a typical day?
My first thought before getting out of bed is to say a Gratitude prayer upon waking. I choose to focus on three things daily that I’m grateful for in my life, three things I’d like to focus on for the day, and three things I am good at and appreciate myself for. I like the fact that the array of services I provide enables variety on most days. It could include onsite individual client work, or video calling, or workplace onsite wellness. It really keeps things fresh, new and fun. Typically, in the morning I will view my social media pages, engage with the audience, and post motivation, insight and inspiration for the day. I then prepare myself by grounding myself, and the healing space by clearing energy in the room and getting the space ready for client appointments for the day. I prioritize a daily ‘to do’ list and work on each item between client appointments. I send appointment reminder texts, follow up emails to clients. I’m a planner by nature, so will schedule upcoming monthly tasks and work on those as time permits between client appointments.
Who do you count on for help?
I enjoy networking with like-minded female entrepreneurs and learning and sharing our business successes, struggles, tips and ideas for growth and collaboration. I also reference several books that have made a huge impact in my life and how I now live, and the principles that I’ve learned taught by some great metaphysical teachers, authors, speakers, and healers.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Yes, especially as a single mother. I recall when my daughter was younger and when she often needed more of my time to be dedicated to her schedule, I found it challenging on many occasions when I had corporate or individual clients booked and faced the choice between working (and getting paid) or attending my daughter’s school events. During the summer months, I asked regular clients I would provide in-home service for, if it would be okay to bring along my daughter, where she played while I provided their services. Fortunately, many of these wonderful clients were very understanding, and flexible, several of whom I still see today. They have been clients since the very beginning and have watched my daughter grow. I have watched their own children hit many milestones like graduations, engagements, weddings, and children of their own; I feel blessed as these clients are more like family to me.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
I do my best to reward myself when I am able, anything from something like treating myself to my favourite latte or to going to get a mani/pedi or massage for myself. It is true, that when you take care of others, you are usually the last person you take care of. I am often asked by my clients “who takes care of you with all that you do?” I’m happy to connect with colleagues and we exchange our services for one another. This works for the most part and we are willing to put up with last minute cancellations, postponing and moving our appointments when paying clients always come first.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
I am focusing on becoming more visible via speaking engagements to share stories, to educate and inspire people to connect and grow spiritually in order to help heal what needs healing in their own lives. I am also moving towards more teaching and coaching programs. Over time, I will wean off of the hands-on work that I do myself, and am happy to direct clients to graduates of my courses who are competent and I am comfortable referring to.
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
There may be many days that you will wake up or you will be kept awake at night asking yourself what you are doing? That little voice in your head may say “why don’t you go get a real job”, and perhaps you will wonder what it’s all for, why are you doing it? It may or many not happen early on in your journey through business, it can also happen even after years of being in your established business.
Just keep going. Have faith. Trust your own intuition and know that other people’s opinions regarding your business decisions are based on their own understanding, and their filters, which include their fears, values, beliefs, behaviours and attitude. As with everything we do, there is never any failure – only feedback. Take what didn’t work the first time and do it again, differently this time. Persevere with stubborn belief in yourself and determination to never give up. Do whatever you need to do to take care of your needs (working one or more part-time jobs while growing and building your dream and business). Be prepared to ‘feel alone’ even in a crowded room and to lose a few friends along the way to success. Some will ‘get you’ in what you’re doing, in what you believe in, and in what you stand for… and some won’t. I love this quote: “Some will, some won’t, so what — someone’s waiting.”
This is your journey. Believe, achieve, and receive. Believe in yourself and in your dream. Achieve your goals through perseverance. Receive all the blessings from reaping all that you have sown.