Lozelle Mathai is the founder of Healthy Bodies of Finance. Read our interview with Lozelle about her experiences with Xcelerate business advising (Sales & Marketing) and peer mentor groups.
What inspired you to start your own business?
A few years ago, I began therapy to work through my mother’s grief. At that same time, I managed a finance team while attending school full-time at night to obtain my Master’s degree.
My therapist recommended that I try an activity that did not require a deadline. A fun activity, something that was freeing, something that would bring me joy, and something that I always wanted to do. So I decided to do belly dancing classes! And guess what? I never stopped dancing. I am no Shakira, but these hips don’t lie….
Belly dancing and therapy began the pathway to my continuous wellness journey. Over the years and at various points in my life, I have incorporated additional well-being practices (such as yoga, massage therapy, martial arts, aesthetics, and various forms of therapy treatments) into my regular schedule.
These businesses have helped me tremendously on my wellness journey, which includes my mind, body, and soul. I started to think about how I could use my accounting education, financial experience, and financial expertise to give back to the health and wellness industry.
Healthy Bodies of Finance was established to help health and wellness businesses remain operational, generate a steady stream of positive cash flow, learn the ropes of accounting and finance, and fall dangerously in love with their finances.
What are some of your key goals that you worked with Xcelerate on this year?
I had three primary goals: (1) Assemble a team of marketing professionals, bookkeepers, and administrative staff to free myself from day-to-day tasks in my business, thus allowing me to focus on strategic planning and development. (2) Establish transparent processes and procedures to ensure new staff members are well-informed about their responsibilities upon joining. (3) Raise my prices to allow me the financial freedom of being a business owner.
How has your identity as a woman and any and all other intersectional identities impacted your business?
I am a highly educated and experienced woman of Black ethnicity living in a country that unfortunately does not place a high value on Black individuals, particularly Black women who have equal or more education and experience than other races. I refused to let that obstacle hinder my pursuit of higher education ( I am currently a candidate for Doctorate of Business Administration) or my dream of becoming a business owner. However, I often receive calls from potential clients interested in working with me because I qualify as a Black, educated, and experienced woman. I have an excellent work history and a record of delivering high-quality results. Nonetheless, they are not willing to pay for my services.These individuals are interested in supporting a woman-owned Black business but are hesitant to pay for services from such a business. Why should my services be at a discount? I have decided to prevent individuals of this nature from having any influence on my business and my mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. They have only enhanced my strength and wisdom. One of my favorite quotes from Michelle Obama is, "When they go low, we go high.”
What were some of the challenges you faced this year and how did working with Xcelerate help you to overcome these challenges?
One of the challenges I encountered was distractions that hinder my ability to focus on what was necessary for me and my business. The meetings with my peer mentorship group cohort helped me stay accountable to my goals and kept me on track with my timeline. When individuals are responsible to someone other than themselves, they are compelled to show up. I had an obligation not only to myself but also to the members of my cohort. Since they were as busy as I was, I needed to show respect for their time and expertise.
Are there any wins or achievements you have celebrated this year while working with Xcelerate?
There are so many achievements:
Is there anything else you'd like to share about your Xcelerate experience?
The leader of my peer mentorship group cohort meetings has been an exceptional resource. She was consistently present, radiating joy and inspiration. I appreciate her consistent efforts to stay connected with our cohort. I am amazed at how she manages to find the time, considering she is not only a wife and mother but also a business owner herself.
Follow Healthy Bodies of Finance on Instagram: @healthybodiesoffinance
Celebrate Women's History Month with us Freeland Spirits!
In honor of Women’s History Month, Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) is hosting a panel featuring female founders who will share about their entrepreneurship journeys.