Profiles of Inspiration: Briana Borten, Spa Goddess

April 19, 2010

Briana Borten, the founder and owner of DragonTree Day Spa located in NW Portland and a brand new location at PDX airport was my guest speaker at yesterday’s Ladies Who Launch Oregon event. She imparted frank and infinite entrepreneurial wisdom on how she went from being fired at a spa to her recent expansion of her wildly successful holistic day spa in the heart of the Pacific Northwest.  Here were some of the key takeaways:

  • Don’t go into business purely to make money. The reality is that you probably won’t make too much money for quite some time, and even if you do-you very well may end up out of business because your priorities were misaligned.
  • If you like what you do and think that starting your own business is a path towards greater happiness and wealth-you are misinformed. By becoming a business owner, the time that you will actually spend practicing your trade will become less and less as you will spend the majority of your time in management and business growth.
  • Go into business navigated by a mission statement that espouses your authentic intention for your product or services. For example, the DragonTree’s mission statement is based around restoring health and making people feel like they belong, it was never about selling a luxury service.
  • The buck stops here! Once you as a business owner understand that everything that occurs in and around your business is managed and determined by you, decision-making should become much more clear.
  • Do not take ‘no’s’ personally, they are simply ‘no’s’. For every roadblock there are endless other opportunities to get to a ‘yes’. Simply keep asking and do not let one ‘no’ prevent you from reaching your goal.
  • In regards to employees-hire slow, fire quickly.  If an employee has issues with matters that they should have learned from their mother (like not getting to work on time), fire them.  However, if there is a training opportunity for a loyal and committed staff member and you have the time to teach, then teach.
  • Know your financial goals precisely.  Understand down to a daily basis exactly how many sales you need to make every day to reach your growth plans.
  • Define your vision as specifically as you can-otherwise you will never get there. Then, proceed without a flinch of hesitation and arrive at your intended vision as if there was no other way to grow.
  • Be as explicit as possible and then put everything in writing in all of your business relationships-especially when you are working with friends.

Thank you Briana-you are a fountain of inspiration to myself and to all that you touch in our community.