Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michael Ross, Owner of Designed By Thrive, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Designed By Thrive is a digital marketing company specializing in web designing professional websites for therapists. Our goal is to help therapists launch/grow their private practice with a website that stands out and brings in new clients.

Tell us about yourself

When COVID happened, I suffered a great deal with my mental health and saw the benefits therapy can provide. Talking with my wife, who is a social worker, suggested I help therapists market their practice. I looked at it from another perspective. I wanted to be a connector. I can use my marketing background to help people in need of therapy to make it easier to find the care they need.

I love working with my therapist clients. They are compassionate, empathetic people who are truly appreciative of the work I do for them. The best part is always at the end when we launch a new site and celebrate their hard work.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I was able to transform an idea and build it into something that helps others. For every therapy website I make, how many more people can now find the support they need and are on the path to improving their lives?

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

As you start out, you are living with uncertainty every day. You start to question if this was the right decision to go out on your own. You begin to doubt your ability and if people actually like the work you do. Constantly asking, "am I good enough." You have to endure and push through, work hard and believe it will work out. You also need a support system around you to help motivate you through those hard times. Once the business takes off and the pieces fall in place, it hits you that this is just the beginning, and it gets me excited about what's next.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find your lane - don't be a generalist and cater to everyone. Find your niche and become the best at it.
  2. Know your client/customer - if you don't understand their needs or what problem you are trying to solve, you are not going to know how to sell or market to them. Why should they listen to you if you don't take the time to understand them?
  3. Have a support system - starting a business is hard and will be emotionally draining. You need to find people that have your back to be there to pick you up when everything feels like it is falling apart. On the other side, those are the first people you're going to call when you get a win, and they are going to be the happiest for you.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Suppose you go out on your own and love what you do. There will be late nights. There will be sacrifices you need to make when it comes to relationships, social life, and family. There will be times when you ask yourself, is this really worth it? Income isn't going to come right away. There are a lot of reasons that will come up why you should quit. If you love and believe in what you do, it will be worth it.

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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