Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jamie Molnar, Founder of Be Your Best Self & Thrive Counseling, located in Saint Petersburg, FL, USA.

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

Be Your Best Self & Thrive Counseling is a modern, holistic and inclusive mental health and wellness company located in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. We work with teens, adults, and couples that want to reduce anxiety and stress, overcome trauma and depression, improve their relationships, and learn how to develop positive attitudes toward life's most complex and challenging circumstances. We take pride in our unique approach to mental health, which includes a variety of mind-body-spirit approaches, and we offer support in a variety of ways, both in-person and online.

Tell us about yourself

My journey has certainly been a long and winding path! But I believe everything I have been through has made me the professional that I am today, and for that reason, I wouldn't change a thing. I actually started as a film major as an undergraduate at the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!). To fully immerse myself, I even traveled to USC for summer classes and made some short films. I came back to Florida determined to be a director but uncertain of how or where exactly that would take me. So I continued on my college journey and began taking philosophy and psychology classes to become a director that could create meaningful art. I fell deep into this world, and my career path began to shift. I realized I liked exploring how and why people think and behave. One Psychology degree and one Spanish degree later, I decided to continue the trek. I also loved to travel and be abroad, so I ended up in Australia for my master's degree. I studied and worked there for several years, came back, and began working in the field.

But then, in 2009, I have diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma, and everything changed. Because my disease was so advanced, I had no time. I immediately went into treatment and subsequently lost my job, savings, apartment, and friends who didn't know how to handle it. I had to pack my bags and move back in with my parents and put my cats in foster care. I felt extremely alone on this journey. I survived, though, and finished my final chemotherapy treatment on my 30th birthday. Once I finished, the doctors told me I could go back to living a "normal" life. But I had no "life" to go back to. And nobody tells you that with cancer, the real struggle begins after you finish treatment. The emotional, physical, and spiritual pain that you experience, the existential crisis, the struggle to make sense of what happened – that is a whole different journey each patient has to endure. I lost everything. I was bitter and angry and had to build a whole new life.

This painful experience, however, did force me to really look at the way I was living my life. Before cancer, I spent many years trying to find happiness in all the wrong places. Now, for the first time, I realized I couldn't go back to that "normal." I had to find a new way. I needed to heal my body and myself. And while Western medicine saved my life, it didn't help me resolve and heal from my treatment experience as a whole, so I dove deep into Eastern medicine to heal my body and find peace within. This is where I found my passion for yoga philosophy. In 2012, I took my yoga teacher training certificate, and it opened the floodgates to all the ways yoga can help us heal ourselves. I traveled to India, explored different yoga methods, and connected with all kinds of really cool people. This profound and impactful journey changed everything for me. I've been practicing and learning Eastern methods ever since.

The yogic way of living has allowed me to transform my life and find new ways of being. I was able to reconnect with my true, authentic self and let go of the trauma I had endured. For the first time in my life, I was able to create boundaries and say no. I met my partner and established a healthy, loving relationship. And the best part was that I felt more connected to my mind, body, and spirit than ever before. What I realized was—I needed to be stripped down to my very core to see who I was and what I was meant to do in this world. It allowed me to reconnect to my purpose. This is the reason I do everything I do now. I want to help others find peace, joy, and alignment for themselves, just like I did. And that led me to create the business that I operate today. Be Your Best Self & Thrive Counseling was born out of my passion for mental wellness, holistic health, and de-stigmatizing mental health. I wanted to create a modern, inclusive space for individuals and couples to feel safe, empowered, and ready to embark on the incredibly rewarding path toward reconnecting with their true, authentic selves and living their best lives. I truly care about our clients and am dedicated to providing an empathic and specialized counseling experience, changing the way we view mental health as a society, and helping other clinicians find a way to do this work in a meaningful, sustainable way.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is staying the course. There are several times that I have wanted to give up - from burnout, from exhaustion, or from just questioning if it is the right path. But every single time I persevered is when the next uplevel would happen, whether it was professionally or personally...or both. When things are really scary, when you begin questioning everything, right when you are about to give up - that is usually the sign that something big is about the unfold. Stay the course!

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

Knowing when to stop. If you truly love what you are doing and are really passionate about your work, it is very easy to blur boundaries between your personal life and professional life and become consumed by your business. As someone that has experienced this throughout my journey, I can definitely say that it is really important to know your limits, know what you need to implement to maintain your physical, emotional, and spiritual health, and when to say no.

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

  1. Be willing to invest in yourself and your business continually. Your company is an ever-evolving, living entity that you must nurture and tend to regularly. Once you stop investing time, energy, and money into your business, it will grow stagnant quickly.
  2. Find folks that are where you want to be and study everything that they are doing. Each uplevel in your business requires inspiration, hard work, and a vision to which you can aspire. Find the people that are at the next level of your business and learn from them.
  3. Build a community of like-minded professionals that believe in the spirit of collaboration, not competition. I strongly believe having your own trusted network of colleagues is everything - for referrals, for support, and for guidance. Being a business owner can be lonely sometimes, and we need a trusted community to help us grow and thrive.

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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