Whitney Yarnall

Founder of Sojourn Healing Collective

Whitney is an intuitive healer, spiritual mentor and founder of Sojourn Healing Collective, a sacred healing space created for people to come as they are, align with their purpose and feel supported as they grow to their greatest potential. In her 20’s, her curiosity around healing and thirst to know more led her to gather an abundance of different healers, teachers, facilitators and leaders on a mission to spread holistic healing to the world. In discovering these connections and a collective mission, Whitney uncovered her purpose as a teacher, facilitator, mentor and the creator of Sojourn, a welcoming space where no one would ever feel unsupported again.

Where did the idea for Sojourn Healing Collective come from?

Sojourn Healing Collective was inspired by a desire for support and community as I navigated my journey of healing myself physically and emotionally. In my early 20’s, I actively sought holistic wellness, optimal mental, physical, emotional and spiritual fulfillment and found that the healers or programs that were most impactful for me were in separate spaces, even requiring me to travel to different states at times. I dreamed of a space that had a variety of healing offerings under one roof and a community of supportive, like-minded people on their own personal healing journeys.

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

My days are never quite the same as I wear many hats in my business at the moment. During this time of the pandemic (when our offerings are primarily virtual), I spend most mornings in meeting with our management team, supporting our members over email, checking in with teachers, preparing class Zoom links and playlists to ensure that the customer experience goes smoothly. Some days I lead live workshops, events, group meditations or healing sessions with private clients. Other days, I record content with my team for our on-demand membership offerings. I also manage our retail shop, customer orders, payroll, accounting, schedule our instructors and plan upcoming special events, workshops or trainings.

How do you bring ideas to life?

One of my superpowers is my intuition and knowing when to take inspired action. There are times when I allow my ideas to marinate over weeks or months until I gather the resources, inspiration or education to carry it through well. Other times, I receive an intuitive hit to execute something right away! I believe the more we can be in touch with our intuition, that gut feeling within us, the more quickly our businesses grow and evolve.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I am thrilled that the wellness industry is continuing to expand and grow. More and more people are waking up to the reality that unless we prioritize our own health and wellness, other areas of our lives will suffer. Practices such as yoga, meditation, breathwork are now more mainstream than ever and people are seeking out ways to support their own self care. This is an exciting time of opportunity for business like ours to serve our community, and the world, in new ways.

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

Over the years I have curated a consistent morning routine. My personal routine consists of meditation, movement, reading, coffee and time spent scheduling out and visualizing my day being impactful, productive and enjoyable. For me, it’s very important to create a routine that’s filled with practices that I enjoy doing and that elevate my energy. My morning routine is my “non-negotiable” for increased productivity throughout the day.

What advice would you give your younger self?

“You do not have to have it all figured out, just start where you are!” Before opening Sojourn, I spent a lot of time perfecting my business plan, tweaking my budget, and ensuring that I had everything “figured out.” I have learned that sometimes taking some (at times messy) action is the best way to learn and grow. Just like ideas, businesses will transform over time as you learn your customers’ needs, your team’s strengths, the areas of success and areas that require more attention and improvement as well.

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

Over the years, I have yet to create a traditional job posting for Sojourn. I have never hired anyone on our team who doesn’t first come highly recommended by a community member, a close industry friend or team member. I’m not sure that others necessarily disagree with this, however I have come to realize it is not a traditional approach to hiring.

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

I seek guidance and mentorship from thought leaders and entrepreneurs who are steps ahead of where I am or want to be and have life missions, values and goals that are similar to mine. Whether it’s through podcasts, books, trainings, live coaching or mentorship, I am constantly investing time, energy and a significant amount of my income into my personal and professional development. By investing in these ways, my growth is exponential in comparison to going at it alone. I believe that we weren’t meant to be on an entrepreneurial journey alone, although at times it can feel that way. I highly recommend investing in ways that stretch you personally and financially, with people who have already been where you are and can help you up the ladder of (what you define to be) success!

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

Outsourcing areas of the business that I am not expert in. As a sole owner of my business, it is natural for me to try my hand at things like marketing, graphic design, bookkeeping, etc. that can otherwise be expensive to outsource. However, in the long run this is not effective as these things take longer for me to figure out, are not exciting or fun for me, and take time away from the areas that fundamentally grow the business such as membership development, sales, operations, etc. It is, of course, an investment to outsource especially early on, however in doing so I have been able to focus my energy on other revenue producing activities that ultimately grow our community and our business.

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

A recent “failure” occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As with most small businesses, we were forced to close our physical doors, which lead to a significant drop in our membership and overall sales. Additionally, overhead remained consistent making it difficult to survive months of being shut down. We immediately shifted our offerings online, creating live virtual memberships and an on demand offering to accommodate all schedules and budgets. We also created virtual retreats, trainings, and an online store with our physical products. Figuring out how to pivot with the current times allowed us to continue to impact and serve our local community and even reach others beyond San Diego. This seeming failure became an opportunity to grow in new and exciting ways!

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

In all of the trial and error, and struggles of transitioning my business online in recent months, I had an idea for someone in the field of videography, photography or digital content creation. The idea is a starter kit for anyone creating live streamed or recorded content. The package would consist of lighting, video and audio equipment, anything required for storing the files and then an option to either set up on your own or to have a consultant/specialist assist with the initial setup of your virtual studio. If anyone decides to run with this, I have a long list of prospective customers ready to sign up with you.

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

I purchased a healing session for my elderly neighbor who is experiencing a tough time right now. She has always been curious about our healing collective and the work we do. So, knowing she would be receptive and appreciative of help, I selected a family trauma healer who can help her navigate her wounds and bring peace and healing into her life.

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

Asana is my go to app and website for productivity. My management, support team and I all use it to manage projects, assignments, personal tasks, and asking for or assigning activities to one another. It has greatly helped us to manage our individual and collective work flow.

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

If you are an entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur, I highly recommend “My Personal MBA” by Josh Kaufman. This incredible book gave me so much insight on how to prepare for a business, a launch, the customer journey, budgeting, and so much more.

What is your favorite quote?

“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor” – Rumi

Key Learnings:

  • The more you can be in touch with your intuition, the quicker your business will grow and evolve.
  • A consistent morning routine is essential in creating increased productivity throughout the day.
  • Taking action (even if it’s messy action) is the best way to learn and grow as an entrepreneur.
  • Outsource the areas of your business that you are not an expert in and spend your time on the revenue-producing activities that you do effectively that will enable you to grow your business.
  • Seek guidance from mentors and thought leaders who are steps ahead of where you are and who have missions, values and goals that align with yours. Whether through podcasts, live coaching, trainings, books or other methods, invest time in personal and professional development.