Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dennis Gillan, Executive Director of Half A Sorrow Foundation, located in Greenville, SC, USA.

What's your organization, and who are your members?

My business exists to improve mental health for individuals and organizations by promoting real conversations. My customers are corporations, schools, and civic groups. Basically, anyone who wants to talk to about mental health!

Tell us about yourself

I am a national thought leader on the topic of Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Advocacy. I travel internationally, speaking, raising awareness, and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. I have been deeply touched by suicide after the losses of my two brothers to suicide 11 years apart. After years of sitting on the sidelines, I jumped into helping those in need by working on the suicide prevention hotline when I lived in Chicago. After moving to South Carolina, I got involved with several non-profits that take on mental health issues, and this allowed me to lobby lawmakers and raise awareness by sharing my story. I did a TEDx talk on loneliness and recently started my own non-profit called the Half a Sorrow Foundation.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I get feedback all the time thanking me for our services, and one audience member commented that I made her feel normal again. How do you put a price on that?

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

Marketing---I absolutely stink at it and could use a hand!

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

  1. Be passionate about what you are doing. You cannot teach passion.
  2. It always costs more than you think. Do not underestimate expenses.
  3. Know when to turn it off.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I did a TEDx talk. You may watch this video.

I also wrote a book -

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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