Spotlight on Inspired Business Owners - Exhale Wellness Spa

This month we are excited to chat to Zhenya Gerson, the owner of Exhale Wellness Spa

Please give us a brief description of your business
Here at Exhale Wellness Spa, our goal is to help people start healing themselves from a variety of digestive and health complaints using Colon Hydrotherapy. We honour the individuality of each person who walks through our doors and into our care and take the time to get to know you and help you understand what your body is trying to tell you.

I also run health retreats and teach yoga outside of Exhale.

When did you start your business?

What inspired you to start your business?
I have been involved with colonics since 2002 when I lived in California and have seen first hand how much it has helped in every aspect of health. I was working in a clinic in Bondi before deciding to open my own business here in the Shire in 2013 as I saw a gap in the market here and a few clients already coming to Bondi from this area for a treatment.

Who do you look up to in business or who do you strive to be like?
I have a few fellow practitioners and therapists I have grown close to and created our own networking/referral group, so depending on what I need help with or what inspiration I need, I call upon a few different people.

What is your business motto or personal mantra?
My personal mantra is everything happens for a reason. I believe the same is true for the people that come to Exhale – they are here for a reason and we are very glad they came.

What advice would you give to others wanting to start a business?
Talk to other people in the same type of business. Find out what’s great about it and find out what the hardest parts are and then make your decision. Running your own business isn’t all about the freedom of creating your own schedule, it’s hard work, but if you love what you do, then it’s all worth it.

How do you market your business and what works best for you?
I use social media and newsletters. A lot of my business comes from word of mouth and soon I’ll be doing a Google Ad words campaign.

Do you have business mentors? Who do you seek advice from?
I use the business mentors at Realise Business in Kirrawee. They have helped me on numerous occasions. I also follow a few people via newsletters and their websites like, Gabby Bernstein and Maria Forleo

What makes you different to your competitors?
I think I have a big point of difference to my competitors in Sydney. At Exhale we strive to help people understand that their gut health isn’t just about their gut, but about what else is happening in life. I am able to bring in other aspects of what I know into a session. We discuss emotions, chakras and even yoga sometimes. When I can clearly understand where the digestive issues are coming from only then can I help them reach their goals. I refer out to other practitioners often as what we all need to remember in this industry is the Holistic approach to health. I don’t have all the answers or knowledge, but I have a team of practitioners who can help.

We all have a background in either Nutrition or Naturopathy, which makes a great deal of difference. Not all colonic clinics in Sydney require that from their therapists. I am also level 2

I-ACT certified, again, this isn’t something that other clinics require or can say they have certification.

At Exhale we don’t quickly rush people out and give out the same treatment protocols, we are all very different as is what works from one person to another in regard to their optimum health.

What’s the best thing about owning your own business?
Being able to manage my time and I get to make all the decisions – haha! I’m a bit of a control freak, so being able to set up the business, treatments, schedule, actual clinic, etc just how I like it is great! I do have 2 other therapists who work for me and I trained them myself to do colonics, knowing that they have the knowledge and give that we all give the same style of treatment makes me very happy.

What’s the worst thing about owning your own business?
Having to make all the decisions! Haha! It’s a double edged sword – as a business owner who absolutely loves their business, sometimes it’s tough to make the hard decisions where you have to separate emotions from decision making. You also have to wear EVERY hat – sales, marketing, therapist, admin, accounts, HR – I think a lot of people forget that. It’s time consuming and can be quite stressful at times. Getting covers for holidays is tough as well.

What is your favourite quote?
It’s hard to pick a favourite as I have a few but the two I often go back to are:

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl

“peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” Unknown

What does a typical day of yours consist of?
My days vary from day to day and my hours change. But besides work, I always have a great breakfast and make sure to do some form of exercise, sometimes a walk, yoga, Pilates or strength training and meditation at some point in the day. On my workdays I’m often seen at The Press in Cronulla grabbing a late lunch.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I recently put a gratitude book on the desk in my office and every once in a while I flip through and see what people have written. Often times it’s their gratitude for something outside of Exhale, but sometimes they write about their experience at the clinic and how I have helped them. That makes me pretty happy to know what we do here is helping them in many aspects of their lives.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you have made in your business?
Not having a lawyer go over a contract! I got burned pretty badly my first year in business and lost a lot of money by assuming that people are genuine and don’t have a hidden agenda. Lesson learned – no matter what industry you are in, people aren’t always what they seem.

If you could travel to one place in the world, where would it be and why?
Everywhere! I’d like to see as much of the world as possible, but high on the current list is Africa as I love animals and would really like to go on a safari very soon. I was also born in Russia, so I’d like to be able to go there with my mum and see where I came from, where we lived, etc.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Sleep! I love not having to set the alarm and having a good sleep in, it’s not often I get a sleep in these days – my husband says sleeping is my super power. LOL

What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?
Yoga, walking, pilates, dancing, spending time with friends and having a good chat, going to concerts/live music gigs.

What is the best book you have ever read?
That’s a tough one as I have a few favourites, but I’d have to say, The Bronze Horseman and Shadow of the Wind can be found high up on the list.

What is one item on your bucket list?
Hug a lion

Where do you get your inspiration?
Other practitioners in my networking circle. There are some amazing women I work along side with and they are a world of inspiration from all aspects of life, love and career.

Please share your website and social media pages links with us?

Insta: @exhalewellness

Thank you for taking to the time to talk with us Zhenya!