Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Patricia Timerman Barbosa da Silva, Founder of Advocate2Create, located in Miami, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Advocate2Create (A2C) offers telemental health services to individuals, couples, and families, as well as clinical evaluations for immigration purposes and virtual psychoeducation training. Our multicultural A2C team works with a variety of issues, including grief, anxiety, and life transitions, and diverse populations, including minorities, trauma survivors, and survivors of suicide grief. Aside from serving the community through therapy and clinical evaluations, we also serve the profession through our psychoeducational training, including topics such as Writing Clinical Evaluations for Immigration Purposes, Suicide Postvention, Complicated and Disenfranchised Grief, Revamping Body Image for Adolescents, and more.
Tell us about yourself
Upon moving to the US in 2001 with a very limited grasp of the English language, I noticed that I did not only lose some of my confidence but I had lost my voice. This was a feeling I detested and did not want to have again. Thus, I became motivated to find a profession that would not only give me a voice but would allow me to help others find and/or express theirs. I attended NYU, where I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science while studying pre-med, thinking this was my career path. After graduating and while applying to medical schools, I stumbled upon the Master's degree in Counseling at Barry University. I am not quite sure how to express it aside from saying that the description of the degree and the curriculum spoke to me. I guess I could say that the counseling profession found me.
In my pursuit of this career, I became aware of how empowering it could be. Through psychotherapy, my clients and I are able to co-create a platform where they can express their voices both in session and eventually outside of the session. We are able to go through obstacles together and co-create the narratives we want to have for ourselves. One of the things that motivates me to do what I do each day is working with survivors of trauma and grief, as these individuals show the meaning of resilience every day they choose to continue fighting for themselves and their families. Another motivation is the exploration of the human mind and our interactions. For example, through my work with couples and my own relationships, I developed the Intention Action Perception Model: IAP model, which I call the google translate of communications (you can find a blog/video on it on this link).
I also developed what I call the WACA model: With Awareness Come Action. In addition, through this profession, I am able to do research, having focused my doctoral dissertation study on the heterogeneity of suicide grief based on kinships (parental and siblings) and currently working on a study on understanding COVID grief with Dr. Raul Machuca from Barry University. Lastly, within this profession, I am able to reach not only our A2C clients individually but the community at large through psychoeducational training, allowing for an even bigger advocacy platform. I guess you can say that what motivates me is creating platforms where we can have, express, share, and shout...our voices.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I would say that aside from helping our clients, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is my team. I have an incredible team of professional women working with me. I wanted to create a business where therapists who joined felt like this was their own individual practice, one which they want to help grow and are proud of calling their own. We have grown in the last couple of years, and this growth is credited to my team and their sweat and determination, trusting in A2C and trusting in me. So yes, cultivating our teamsmanship is my biggest accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is that you never stop thinking about the business. Implementing boundaries has been a must, and it is an active process. Owning a business brings anxiety about making sure my staff is happy and compensated for their work, that our clients are being well served, that we as a team always act within the ethics of our profession, and of course, that we are able to make a profit at the end of the day.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My number 1 tip comes from a saying my grandfather used to tell me: what comes easy goes easy. Meaning that when starting a business, don't rush through it. My second tip is to find a person/ team of people whom you can trust and who can share and help grow your vision. A2C's Clinical Director, Jeanevra Pearson, has been my right-hand woman and has been integral to A2C's growth. My third tip would be to remember to look back while moving forward, meaning that sometimes we forget where we started and begin to feel that we are never getting to where we want to be. When we look back, we take a moment to look at how far we've come, which helps create momentum for continuing our path forward.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.