Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in wellbeing, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tina Ottman-Boykin, owner of Life Point Counseling. Based in Wisconsin with locations at Plymouth, Sheboygan, and Port Washington.
What's your business and who are your customers?
We are an outpatient mental health and substance abuse counseling facility. We are a group of Professional Counselors who work with clients of all ages and at various stages in life on improving their mental health and relationships. We provide individual, family, couples, and group counseling in a safe and confidential atmosphere, in person at our offices, in a school setting, or virtually. We work with our clients to define their treatment goals and collaborate with other professionals such as doctors, social workers, teachers, guardians, and attorneys to work for the best possible outcomes. We accept most insurances and have cash fees and payment plans available as well.
Tell us about yourself
I struggled with mental health issues as a teen and young adult. I was fortunate that a caring teacher referred me to a counselor, which gave me the hope and courage to continue to cope with the challenges I faced. I decided to attend college to find a way to help other children and teens who were struggling.
I was a first-generation college student, with no financial or emotional support from my parents. I obtained a social work degree and began working in residential treatment, which motivated me to pursue a graduate degree in school counseling to attempt to reach children and teens before they had been through the system and ended up in residential services.
After working in the school system for a few years, I returned to school for Community Counseling so I could be more flexible in my schedule to be able to raise my children. During this time my husband and I also provided foster care to teenagers. As I developed a private practice I began to work with not just children and teens with emotional and behavioral issues, but also adults who were recovering from trauma or dysfunctional homes.
In wanting to be more effective in this healing work, I constantly sought to improve my clinical skills. When the opportunity to own my practice presented, my children were in high school and college. So with the mentorship and support of others, I purchased Life Point Counseling in 2015 with myself and two other clinicians. I have worked to recruit high-quality clinicians who share this passion to help others heal and were able to purchase another agency with excellent clinicians in May of 2021, growing from 3 of us in 2015 to 20 clinicians and 3 locations presently.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
For me, it has been to provide an environment for clinicians to be able to give their best to their clients by providing the space, training, and support needed. Growing this practice to be able to provide quality mental health and substance abuse treatment in our community.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a solo entrepreneur, all the roles, tasks, and decisions that need to be done are time and energy-demanding. The sense of responsibility to both my staff and the clients/community we serve is challenging especially when conflicts arise. Finding a work/life balance is a constant struggle.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Do your research, get mentorship and support, surround yourself with high-quality people.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance?
I set aside time daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly to renew and recharge and am intentional about making time for friend and family relationships, spiritual renewal and growth, recreation, and travel. I protect my private time and sleep routine and continue to work on healthy eating and exercise. I practice what I do, and attend counseling for myself regularly. I have a mentor who helps hold me accountable as well.
Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and why?
The women I know who have started and built successful counseling practices role modeled for me that it was possible. Vital resources for myself were and are the local office of the Small Business Administration and local Economic Development Corporation, as well as the Professional Women's Group, and Chamber of Commerce. I also read the regional magazine called INSIGHT that highlights local businesses and entrepreneurs. I do a significant amount of professional reading in magazines and journals such as Psychotherapy Today, that are connected to my field, as well as training, seminars, webinars to keep current.
I belong to the American Counseling Association. I also am on several email lists that share trends in this industry. The books that are most inspiring to me are written by Dr. Richard Schwartz, founder of Internal Family Systems Therapy, my primary modality for working with clients; and other authors who are leaders in the counseling field. I believe the books/supports/channels one will find useful and inspiring will be unique to the field of entrepreneurship of each person.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email email@example.com, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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