To gear up for our upcoming event, “Chasing Dreams,” on March 6th, we are featuring our speakers to highlight the best parts of what they do. This week, we had a phone interview with Samantha Skelly of Hunger for Happiness.
MTI: How would you describe yourself and tell me a bit about your background.
S: I’ve always had a passion for living outside of the box and a passion for breaking rules when it came to the traditional method of earning money. I always just wanted to do things differently and live life on my own terms and design my own lifestyle. So that paired with my desire and passion for helping women created Hungry For Happiness about a year ago.
MTI: What are some of the major events that have led you to where you are today?
S: A lot of trial and error with a few other businesses that I had. This wasn’t the first business I’ve started, and there were a lot of things that failed miserably before I did this. It was a lot of learning lessons, and the power of connections. There are people that I’ve met briefly in a coffee shop ,and they’ve had a massive impact on myself on a personal level and on my business. And then the support from the community has been incredible this year; a lot of people supporting what we’re doing and jumping on board.
MTI: Tell me a bit about the Hungry for Happiness program.
S: The Hungry for Happiness program is created for eating disorder recovery for women around the world. We’ve created an online course where women can tap into that and go through the recovery course on their own. All they need is Internet connection and a laptop. The reason I designed it is that there is a very limited amount of resources for people with eating disorders, and when I say eating disorders, I mean everything – emotional eating, binge eating, struggles with body image, self-esteem, anorexia. We tend to focus mostly on emotional eating and binge eating, but someone who has gone through anorexia can definitely go through it and gain a lot of value from it.
R: Where do the direction of the company going?
S: We’ve created a lot of interest in our community, just through word of mouth and people being aware of the brand. But in the next couple years, I definitely want to make more of an international impact and just have a wide range of different programs that suits everybody on any price range and extend it that way. Personally, I see myself in more of a speaking role, so educating more; perhaps training people to run the one-to-one themselves. Right now it’s just myself, and I want to teach someone else the concepts I teach my clients, so eventually extending the team out in that way.
MTI: What are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced?
S: Money. [Laughs] I mean, I didn’t realize how expensive building a business would be at the start. I had to use my life savings and sell a condo that I was about to close on to fund my business, which is totally fine, but I didn’t realize that at the beginning. I thought funds were just going to drop in my lap, and I would be good to go, but it actually doesn’t work like that at all. It takes a lot of effort, and a lot of money. You just have to be strong, because you’re so emotionally and financially invested in something that doesn’t necessarily go the way you want it to go, which eventually could be overwhelming. Maintaining a really strong sense of self while going through the process is really important.
MTI: What is the best thing about what you do?
S: It’s just amazing. I get to help women all day long, and I get to change lives. It’s the greatest things I could ever ask for. It’s the perfect career. I got a testimonial from my client yesterday, and it made me cry, because she just wrote me this massive letter saying that before she started working with me, she thought her life was worthless. She thought she was worthless. She thought it would never get better. And in three months time, she was a completely different person. She looks at life with new eyes. So creating those kinds of changes and those kinds of testimonials almost daily now is really, really exciting.
MTI: How do you balance work and play?
S: Not very well. I don’t really believe in balance. I’m either all work or all play. It’s really hard to do both, so I go through phases where I’ll have a launch coming up, and I’m in grind mode, and I zone out. I mean, I take care of myself. I still honour my self-care and self-needs, but then I’ll take a week off and go down to California and just play for a week and not really worry about work. Balance for me is really hard. I have yet to meet an entrepreneur who’s really successful at having pure balance. I don’t think it exists. I have fun everyday, it’s just a different kind of fun. And then I’ll just go and hang out for a few days. It’s all or nothing.
MTI: What do you like do when you’re not working?
S: I’m really close to my family so I like to hang out with my family. I love to travel. If I do get a break in my schedule, I’ll travel, even if it’s just going up to Whistler for the weekend. I have lots of friends in San Diego, so I go down to San Diego a lot. I spend a lot of time in South East Asia. I used to live in Europe. I really love traveling, so that’s a huge part of my life. I’m big into acroyoga right now. I’m a foodie as well, because there’s really amazing restaurants in Vancouver.
MTI: What are your favorite three places that you’ve travelled to?
S: Bali in Indonesia is my number one. I spent six weeks there this past year. It’s an incredible place. My second place would be Vietnam. It’s a beautiful country as well. And then my third would be Italy.
MTI: What piece of advice do you have for someone who wants to chase their dreams?
S: Be a little bit outrageous. Don’t ever think that you can’t do something. Often, we’re told that we can’t do things, and we’re told the 9-5, climb the corporate ladder way is the way to go. For me personally, that’s not my jam. I think so many people are so creative and have so much potential, but because they’re confined in this little box that society tells them to be in, they stay in that. I just encourage people to push that limit and try something. Start envisioning what your perfect life would be like, ‘cause that’s where it all starts. That’s actually something scary for some people. They can’t envision themselves in a place they genuinely want to be. Start with that, and the universe will work in an interesting way to do what you ask for.