Madison Waggoner is the Founder, Yoga Guide and Ayurvedic Healer of Shri Wellness, a wellness company devoted to empowering personal and community well-being. Based in Denver, Colorado, Shri Wellness provides integrative care for your mind, body, and spirit through yoga classes, Ayurvedic healing and Ayurvedic cooking. Waggoner just released a product/cookbook tool, Veda Jar and Cookbook, to make healthy eating accessible on-the-go!
A Tucson native, Waggoner graduated from the University of Arizona in 2013 with a degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship, with a minor in Nutrition. During her time at McGuire, her venture team was WellSpark, a company that partners with small businesses to increase productivity, decrease absenteeism and improve the long-term health of small business employees by providing one-on-one counseling for employees to set and achieve goals with a personalized program.
5 Questions with Madison Waggoner
Q. What is most surprising about being an entrepreneur?
A. The most surprising thing about being an entrepreneur is how much I am willing to dedicate and risk to share something that I am so passionate about. A start-up in start-up phase means risking resources into the unknown. As much as I like to control outcomes, I also love being in situations where I have to pave my own way.
Q. What was the most important lesson you learned in the New Venture Development Program?
A. In the Entrepreneurship Program I learned about the importance of collaborating with others. Today, through my yoga teachings and holistic medicine practice, I frequently look for ways to collaborate and partner with others. Connection and community build a stronger base than when working alone. For all the solo-preneur's our there, collaboration is key!
Q. What impact has the New Venture Development Program had on your career or life?
A. The Entrepreneurship Program provided an experiential learning space on how to start a business. There are so many pieces to being an entrepreneur and running a business -- checking for viability, pitching, marketing, sales, finances, etc. We had the opportunity to practice these skills which is invaluable. I still reflect on stories and teachings that were shared with us.
Q. What do you consider your biggest entrepreneurial success?
"In my youth, I won a few pie eating contests!
A. Sticking with it. Being an entrepreneur is one of the most challenging things that I have ever done. However, I am able to eat, sleep live and breath a life that I am passionate about and I get to share that same passion with others. That is the biggest success in my eyes.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
A. Meditate. It helps with creativity, problem solving, acceptance, trust and relaxation. The bottom line is that you will make mistakes and fail. The quicker you accept that this is part of the journey, the more enjoyable the journey will become. Also, listen to your gut instinct - your body is intelligent!
For more information, visit the McGuire New Venture Development Program.