Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jared Dalton, CEO of Blueprint Counselling, located in London, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We're an integrative mental health clinic providing primary mental health care through our team of nurse practitioners, psychotherapy, relationship counselling through our team of psychotherapists, as well as parent coaching and ADHD coaching with our professional coaches. We're committed to providing accessible, trans-affirming, neurodivergence-affirming, and anti-racist care to individuals who are underserved in other mental health care settings. Our client-collaborators come to us with concerns related to their mental health, goals regarding their substance use, looking for an ADHD assessment and treatment, and wanting to improve their relationships. We're honoured to meet them where they're at and help them get where they are going.
Tell us about yourself
I've always been particularly touched by the hurting of others, and our world is certainly hurting. But I find so much encouragement in the personal healing work we see our clients undertaking each and every day and the ways that work ripples out into their families and their communities. I started Blueprint Counselling because I was tired of working for agencies that put timelines on peoples' healing, put paperwork before people work, and were more concerned about the quantity of people served than the quality of the service provided. During the pandemic, I realized that working in those contexts was burning me out and leaving my clients frustrated and struggling. But I knew the work wasn't the issue; it was the context.
I'm now incredibly motivated not only by the change I see in my clients but also by providing a healthy practice setting for my team. My team of brilliant, compassionate, and creative professionals who are joining me in creating this new context for healing. A context in which we look beyond the individual to acknowledge the layers of oppression and injustice that contribute to their mental health concerns. A context in which we put people and their goals first. A context in which we take care of ourselves so that we can provide the very best to our clients.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Since we started almost two years ago, we've grown to a team of 16 psychotherapists, social workers, nurse practitioners, and coaches, and we're still growing. But it's not just the growth I'm proud of. I'm proud of the team we've built. They really are exceptional and are doing amazing work. That they feel empowered to bring the work they are uniquely capable of offering is my greatest accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I really love all the aspects of my work. Managing the business, supervising my clinical team, and seeing my own clients. But finding a work-life balance while balancing all those things at once has proven to be a challenge. Learning to delegate, say "no" when opportunities arise that aren't fully aligned with my goals, and allow others to take more of a leadership role is my current growth edge.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- I really wish I hadn't waited so long. I recall a mentor once told me that I'd regret waiting to start my own practice, and that was almost 3 years before I took the actual leap. He was right. So if you have a business idea or a service offering that is trying to come to the world through you, don't delay.
- Don't underestimate the value of relationships. Take the time to connect with others in your field, don't view them with a competitor's eyes. Share referrals without asking/expecting anything in return. Speak highly of colleagues you know doing good work; when you hear of opportunities that aren't a fit for you - mention them. Mentor new folks in the field, give them your time, and encourage them. Foster a culture of reciprocity in your business network, and everyone will benefit.
- Find the space in your sector that is waiting for you. Don't try and compete for space that's already occupied; you have something unique to offer. Take the time to consider what it is and how you'll carve out that space for yourself amongst your peers.
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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