Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Ray Kim, Owner of Ray S. Kim, Ph.D. and Associates, Inc., located in Hoffman Estates, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is forensic psychology, and my customers are courts of law and other truth finders. In legal matters, whether it is civil or criminal law, people do not always tell the truth or may bend the truth to serve their purpose. For instance, it may be advantageous for a defendant to exaggerate psychiatric symptoms to be given a lighter sentence or even acquitted Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity in a criminal case. Feigning mental illness may also play a role in being awarded compensation in a personal injury or workers’ compensation case. On the other hand, denying or minimizing a mental health condition may be beneficial in a legal case as well. For example, a parent with a mental illness may downplay their symptoms so they can get unsupervised visitation with their children. Similarly, an employee being evaluated for fitness for duty may deny any impairments due to their mental disorder so they can return to work. Therefore, my job as a forensic psychologist is to provide the courts with objective psychological evidence to help them make fair and just decisions.
Tell us about yourself
I believe that the most successful people are those that have a genuine interest and passion for what they do. In my case, I find that there is nothing more fascinating than the human mind. Psychology has progressed tremendously over the years, but we still know so little about the complex workings of the brain. What makes people do what they do? For instance, what makes a person take their own life or the lives of others? What can be done to prevent these tragedies? These are some of the questions that motivate me each day I go to work.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is any time I have a repeat customer. My customers are mostly attorneys, such as criminal defense attorneys, family law attorneys, and employment law attorneys. When an attorney or other referral source keeps sending me cases, it tells me that they like my work. I believe that if a person does good work, then the business will come. Doing a job well is the best marketing strategy.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Having a healthy work-life balance is the hardest thing for me as a business owner. I could literally work 24/7 and still not accomplish everything I would like to get done. There is always something to do as a business owner. My greatest challenge is setting limits on my forensic psychology practice and taking some time off. When doing so, I find that I am more energized, more efficient, and more productive when I return to work. I am still learning that practicing self-care is not being lazy but is an essential skill for running a thriving business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My first tip is to understand that happiness leads to success, while success does not always make you happy. Having good mental health is priceless. Take care of yourself first, and the rest will follow. If you are “firing on all cylinders,” you will feel like you can achieve anything. The impossible becomes possible. Next, find your passion. If you enjoy doing something, you are probably good at it (whatever “it” is). When your business is your passion, success is inevitable as work transforms into play. Finally, harness the power of now. Focusing too much on the past can lead to feelings of regret and disappointment. Overthinking about the future can cause fear, anxiety, and worry. Therefore, living in the past or future can be quite debilitating. By getting out of our heads and being more present, we can truly live and achieve our dreams.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
There is no template for building a successful business. Everyone will take their own unique path based on who they are and where they are coming from. Just be yourself and take it one step at a time.
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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