Kerry Wekelo – Founder of Zendoway

I believe you must thrive personally in order to thrive in the other areas of your life, so I am always sure to practice meditation and do something I love every day.”

Kerry is the founder and visionary of Zendoway and hopes to share with you from all her life experiences. Though Zendoway is her passion, she also supports other organizations, hence her self-proclaimed title – Jill of all Trades.

Kerry serves as the Director of Human Resources and Operations for Actualize Consulting in which she spear headed and runs a successful wellness program. After years of personal exploration, Kerry has discovered that focusing on overall wellness replenishes energy, creates healthier relationships and provides excellent insight into life. It has become her passion to help share this with others.

Kerry’s trademark program ‘Enhancing Your Day’ teaches some of the nation’s top executives on how breath and movement throughout the day improves relaxation and creates deeper levels of awareness.

In addition to wellness and leadership articles and her latest book Culture Infusion – 9 Principles to Creating and Maintaining a Thriving Organizational Culture, Kerry has authored “Audrey’s Journey” a children’s book series focused on living with compassion and joy. “Pile of Smile Activity Book” to give away free while the children undergo treatment and the Award Winning If It Does Not Grow Say No to teach kids about having fun with nutrition. Kerry has completed the Spirit Junkie Masterclass Level One Training with Gabrielle Bernstein. She is a 500 RYT with 200 hour under Rolf Gates and 300 hour under Beloved Yoga. She also holds a certification in children’s yoga from Radiant Child Yoga. Kerry received her B.S. in Finance and Marketing with Minor in Psychology from Virginia Tech and earned her MBA in Information Systems from the University of Phoenix.

Where did the idea for Zendoway come from?

I first invented the Zendoway cubes as a way to get breathing into my kids’ schools. Breathing is such an easy and accessible way to cope with anxiety and stress because it helps bring you back to the present moment. For example, how many times have you acted on your stress and did something you regret instead of just taking a moment to calm down? It’s the same idea with kids: if you teach them to pause and check in with their feelings before they act, you’re teaching them valuable life skills.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I ensure I am up at least one hour before my kids, so I have my own quiet time to move, work, read, contemplate. I then get the kids off to school and start my work-day. I mostly work from home, so I am able to volunteer at their school and typically be home when they get off the bus. We either go to sports practice or cook dinner as a family. I always make time to move somewhere in the day as it keeps me motivated.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Most of my ideas come to me when I am contemplating quietly or when I am moving. Rarely will an idea come to me at my computer. Once I formulate the idea, I typically will write it out in my creative notebook and then go to my computer to write. I then will send to my editor or team member for input depending on what the creation is.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Being able to reach and serve others using social media. I love being able to do a Facebook Live to share with others.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I place a lot of importance on holistic wellness. I believe you must thrive personally in order to thrive in the other areas of your life, so I am always sure to practice meditation and do something I love every day. I hear many people say they are “too busy” to put themselves first, but I am busy too, and I make time. If we aren’t taking time for ourselves, we often aren’t as present as we should be in our day to day life. Remember: We will have ourselves for the rest of our lives, so why not invest in our own well-being?

What advice would you give your younger self?

Do not be a people pleaser. I am still working on breaking that habit. You cannot make everyone happy, so what’s more important is making yourself happy.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

You can be the same in all aspects of life. Many people feel they have to show up to work and their personal lives differently. Once I realized being the same in all aspects of my life, all flowed much smoother.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Self-care, move, meditate/contemplate.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Going to in-person conferences as the cubes do really well in person. It has truly helped with networking.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Not seeking help and trying to do it all myself. Once I enlisted the support of a team, everything got easier as all the pressure was not on me only.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

As I tending to my aging grandparents, I see a need for consultants to help families navigate their options and help them secure a team to support them.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Investing in two interns. There’s a whole lot of work to be done all the time, and they have definitely helped me find my work/life balance. It also helps that they work remotely, and as they both go to school in Southwest Virginia at my alma mater, they can cover more area, too. For example, I am setting up a campus ambassador program at Virginia Tech, and instead of driving 4 hours for me to advertise the program, I can rely on their help.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

DropBox. No matter where I am, if I have internet connection, I can rely on my files being accessible and organized. It’s also a great tool for collaborating with others, especially when they aren’t in the same office or area.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

If this is allowed to be a personal book, I’d recommend Culture Infusion: 9 Principles to Create and Maintain a Thriving Organizational Culture. It’s a case study on how to improve corporate culture, and it was developed from real life experience. For entrepreneurs, it will guide through exercises on how to enhance how you lead, but the advice inside is also practical for personal life as well.

What is your favorite quote?

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller

Key learnings:

  • No matter how busy you become, always make time for yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Don’t be a people pleaser – no matter what you do, you cannot make everyone happy. Make yourself happy instead.
  • If you can, attend conferences – they are great for networking.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks, because life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.