In Conversation with Integrative Hypnotist Stephanie Dalfonzo

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Describe your business in a few words?

I have been an integrative hypnotist for 16 years, helping people make incredible life changes, Like Sarah. She came to me at 19-years-old and she WAS NOT going on her family vacation to Mexico. She had a crippling fear of flying. Here’s a picture of her skydiving and she went on to create a very successful business as The Five Foot Traveler!

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

In the 1980s, I was Celebrity Radio DJ “Stevie Knox.” After my radio career, I was home with the kids. Then I got that dreaded “middle of the night phone call.”  My husband had gone into liver failure and almost died numerous times before receiving a life saving transplant. I needed to find a way to support myself and our kids in case he didn’t make it, so I started coaching school. I also felt the nudge to check out hypnosis. On the first day of class, I felt the heavens open and the choirs sing – I had truly found what I was meant to do!

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

No. I knew from the age of 14 that I wanted to be a radio DJ and made that happen. When that was over, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I became an entrepreneur out of necessity and am so grateful – I love being an Entreprenista!

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

I had no clue what I was doing! Before my hypnosis training was over, I had rented an office, printed brochures and business cards and had a website (cutting edge back in 2004!) I didn’t have a plan, but it did go well. Not knowing what I was doing, I was able to be in the black from the beginning.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

When I started shying away from talking about hypnosis. Many people don’t understand it and are afraid of it, and I let that sway me. I learned not to listen to other people’s opinions and stand strong in what I know to be true: hypnosis (with the right hypnotist) can be mind blowing and life changing!

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

That, like the Japanese proverb “Fall down 7 times, get back up 8,” I have gleaned the wisdom of all those falls and continue to get back up.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

It came to a screeching halt for a few months beginning mid-March. Now, because of the pandemic and all that 2020 has thrown us, people need me now more than ever.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Growth. I intend to roll out my first group program in Q2 and want to scale from there.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Resilience. It’s funny – I wrote “Goodbye Anxiety, Hello Freedom: How to Build Resilience and Overcome Anxiety” in 2018. Who could have imagined how much resilience would be needed in 2020 and beyond!

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Being an Entreprenista is not for the faint of heart! It isn’t easy, but it is so rewarding. The work that I do with an individual affects not only them, but ripples out to their family, friends, coworkers and beyond.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

By practicing what I ask my clients to do. I am a devout yogi, meditate and use essential oils for mood support. One big change this year is upping my step count. I realized the few “bad days” I had, I wasn’t really moving my body. I walk out in nature every day and added an under desk elliptical.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

The key to finding balance is to find short moments of calm many times an hour. Pre-pandemic I said many times a day, but in today’s reality, it really is many times an hour. We have had our feet on the stress gas pedal non stop for about 10 months now, and it is crucial to interrupt the cycle. It can be as simple as stopping for 10 seconds and coming to your breath. Another super simple breath technique is to think “I’m breathing in, I’m breathing out.”

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I was the very first automated voice back in the 1980s when I was Celebrity Radio DJ “Stevie Knox.”

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Gratitude first thing in the morning – it sets up the rest of the day. 
  • Take frequent breaks. 
  • Use essential oils to help balance your mood. Lemon essential oil can help with focus, peppermint is uplifting.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

I live by the motto “A rising tide raises all ships.” As Entreprenistas, we are a different breed. Since people who work 9 – 5 don’t get us, I feel it’s even more important for us to gather together as a “sisterhood” and support each other.

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