Imogen RagoneI never would have imagined becoming an entrepreneur or a business owner, but I now have two businesses – BodyIntelligence and Alexander Technique Websites (I create websites for Alexander Technique teachers). Passion for an approach to self-care and optimal functioning (body intelligence) which is the Alexander Technique lead me to where I am today. I discovered the Alexander Technique as a solution to chronic neck pain and tension that had been plaguing me for years and was limiting what I could do. (Click here to read that story.) Not only did I gain freedom from the pain, learning to apply the skills of the Alexander Technique in all aspects of my life was life-changing in the best possible way. I had more energy, felt more confident, was more willing to try new things and experienced more joy in my life. Basically I was sold – so much so that I decided to undertake the three years of training necessary to qualify as a teacher of the Alexander Technique myself.

Learning the Alexander Technique turned my life around! After struggling with chronic neck tension and pain for years, I not only gained freedom from the pain, but increased energy, confidence and enjoyment of life! I also gained a fulfilling career bringing this powerful work to other people, and I especially enjoy working with women, who like me, are solo entrepreneurs, helping them function at their best doing the activities that are important to them and their business.

After I graduated from the Alexander Technique Training Centre of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA in 2006, I moved with my family to Wilmington, DE, where I tentatively set up in business as an Alexander Technique teacher. I quickly realized I needed a website, so, with time on my hands I enrolled in an online web-design course to learn how to make one myself. I enjoyed the process of creating and designing my own website so much, that when I was approached about designing simple websites for other Alexander Technique teachers my second business was born!

For both businesses I discovered that the skills of Alexander Technique (AT) were invaluable to me. Of course, as an AT teacher it was integral to what I was doing when I was teaching my students. It was, however, how it helped in the running of my business that started to inspire me more and more, and influenced a growing interest, and what has become a passion of mine.

I found that using the AT underpinned, and improved everything I did FOR my business. I could successfully manage a lot of time at the computer without undue fatigue, tension or pain. For working with groups, the AT helped me overcome nerves and present myself, and my work, confidently. As someone who is more naturally introverted the confidence and presence, the ability to “stay with myself” when networking has been absolutely invaluable. The ability to pause, notice and respond, rather than reacting out of habit, has been invaluable in making decisions big and small. The self-care aspect of AT is also hugely important. If you run your own business, you ARE your business, so YOU are your most important asset. I see many entrepreneurs and business owners only take care of their business to the detriment to their own health and well-being – but guess what? You are NOT taking care of your business if you are not prioritizing your own ability to function at your best! And that is what AT will give you. A tool, a secret weapon if you like, you have with you at all times to take care of yourself in the moment and function at your best.

I’ve also become increasingly interested in equality for women – especially in the workplace and in business. Reading books like Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg has been very influential for me. This has drawn me to especially work with women – to support women to be their best in their professional lives, to empower them in a man’s world. Most women entrepreneurs and professionals are passionate about what they do. My purpose is to help them bring their best selves to that passion so they have the energy, confidence and well-being to enjoy success.

Other influences include the Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability and shame, Susan Cain’s work on introverts, and Amy Cuddy’s research on body language and presence.

I was born and raised in England and moved to the States from Manchester UK in 1991 to marry my husband. I have a degree in German from the University of Manchester (UK) and a postgraduate diploma in hotel and catering management, and have worked organizing conferences and events in both England and the U.S.

In my spare time I enjoy reading novels, cooking, walking and keeping myself fit. I’ve recently started running and I also enjoy yoga.

Photograph by Ann Deas.