Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Mielke, Founder of The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre Inc., located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I’m a Registered Psychologist and Founder and CEO of a large group of private practices called The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre. I lead a team of heart-centered therapists who have been uniquely called to serve people who have experienced a loss of any kind.
We specialize in evidence-based approaches to healing that have been shown to effectively help people recover from loss, including The Grief Recovery Method, EMDR, and Somatic Therapy. We work with children, teens, adults, couples, and families across Alberta through our in-person and online services.
Tell us about yourself
I’m a wife, mother to a precious little boy, keynote speaker, doctoral student, endurance runner, and passionate hockey player! I love my family, Jesus, coffee, early mornings, rap music, playing a lot of hockey, and being of service to others, all of the things that make me feel most alive!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I tragically lost my dad to suicide in 2010 after he relapsed into alcohol and cocaine addiction. This was the most excruciating and devastating loss of my life. My dad was my absolute everything, my best friend, my emotional rock, and the person I turned to for support. When he died, it felt like a part of me died too. I wasn’t sure how or if I would recover from this loss.
A few years later, I found The Grief Recovery Method Program
the program that would transform my life forever. It taught me how to complete what was emotionally unfinished in my relationship with my dad and how to say goodbye to the pain that was keeping me stuck. It was so transformative that the day after completing the program, I founded The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre. That was in 2013. I knew then that I was called to serve grieving people.
Since the conception of my business, we have served over 3000 people, we have grown to a team of 26, and we are regarded as the provincial leader for grief support in Alberta.
I am humbled by the growth and impact our company has had since God planted that purpose in my heart after my dad died. The experience of losing my dad and the suffering I experienced was truly the impetus to discovering my life’s calling.
In 2021 I was honoured to be named as one of Edify’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2021 for the work we do at The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the greatest challenges of being a business owner is the need to get comfortable with discomfort. Entrepreneurship requires us to let go of the need for predictability, certainty, and control. Instead, we need to learn to live presently and take calculated risks without any guarantees. We must be willing to do things most people are not willing to do to create the life we dream of.
One of my favourite quotes by Dr. Brene Brown that perfectly describes starting, growing, and scaling a business is to “fly the plane while you’re building it.” It often feels that way, doesn’t it?!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Reflect on why you’d like to start a business. What is your intention? Is it aligned with your higher purpose? Or is it motivated by something else, like money? It is so important that your business aligns with a purpose and vision that will motivate and inspire you through the successes and the failures. It is also a whole lot more fulfilling when your purpose is focused on service and impact rather than on being successful. Success is always the result!
- Surround yourself with people who have gone ahead of you. Having a network of people who can mentor, challenge, and inspire you is key to our success. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
- Prioritize your spiritual life. It is too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of business and entrepreneurship and become disconnected from the parts of ourselves that are the most important - our inner peace and presence. One way that I remain accountable is by working with a spiritual director once a month and by starting my day with daily spiritual reading, prayer, and meditation. Self-discipline is self-love!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Pursue (chase!) the desires of your heart for those are God’s desires in you!
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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