Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Hudson, a licensed marriage and family therapist and parent coach based in Yorba Linda, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a private practice where I provide mental health therapy services to teenagers and young adults who struggle with anxiety, sports performance anxiety, grief and loss, and parent therapy. In addition, I provide parent coaching through my online group parenting program, where I help parents of teenagers connect with their teenagers and gain confidence in their parenting skills.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Orange County, California, playing softball and went to UC Davis on a college scholarship to play collegiate softball. I came back home after college to pursue my Masters in Clinical Psychology and coach high school varsity softball for two years. After two years of finishing my clinical training hours and receiving my licensure, I worked as a high school mental health specialist providing therapy for high school students.
Doing therapy in a school setting for over 6 years, I wanted to start my own business and open a private practice focusing on teenagers and young adults, primarily teens who are struggling with anxiety and athletes who are struggling with performance anxiety. In my own personal experience, I remember feeling incredibly lonely as a teenager having so many emotions, not knowing who to talk to, and feeling like no one would understand me. Also, being an athlete comes with many challenges of striving to be better, not wanting to disappoint others, managing failure, and still igniting your passion for the game amongst all your worries and fears of not meeting other people's expectations.
What motivates me each day is seeing my teen clients' faces when they feel completely heard, seen, and accepted in the midst of their pain, struggles, and hidden secrets of themselves. They feel acknowledged and validated that they are not alone in their pain and there is hope in getting better and feeling happier. Also, I want my kids to know that their mom genuinely cares for others and loves helping people, and counseling and therapy is always an option for them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is taking the leap of faith to leave a secure and steady job to start my own business all by myself. Also, working hard to get my practice full and flourishing in less than 6 months.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest things that come with being a business owner are managing my time effectively and balancing work and home life. I have 3 small kids and trying to make sure I am a present and connected mother and also building a business at the same time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do it scared. I think we wait until the right time or until we feel confident enough. You can still achieve great things while doing it scared.
- Get a mentor or a business coach. My background is in psychology, not business. I think it is so important to get help from someone who has experience with starting, running, and growing a business, especially in your niche.
- Set boundaries and parameters around your schedule. Owning your own business can be really hard with separating work and home life. Make sure you are intentional with scheduling your time in regards to this: work time vs. this is home/lifetime. This tip is especially important if you have a family.
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.
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