Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jennifer Shapiro-Lee, Founder of Jennifer Shapiro-Lee Psychotherapy, Mindfulness, and Meditation, located in Roslyn, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
There are many different aspects to my business! I am the Founder and Director of a private psychotherapy practice located in Roslyn, NY. I lead a team of several licensed psychotherapists dedicated to helping clients improve their lives. My therapists and I are highly skilled clinicians with rich clinical experience and varied areas of specialization. We use an integrative approach offering different modalities and treatments to fit clients’ individualized needs, resulting in the best quality of care with the most effective results. We work with clients of all ages- seniors, adults, teens, and children, and offer various types of therapy, including individual, family, and couples.
I have additional training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Psychodynamic and Interpersonal Therapies, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy. I also provide clinical supervision and professional development for those pursuing their social work license in NYS and offer consulting services for those seeking guidance with business choices, life decisions, or life direction.
In addition, I am a Certified Mindfulness and Meditation Instructor and Mindfulness in the Workplace Trainer. I incorporate mindfulness and meditation into my therapy practice. This unique skill set can be combined with therapy or used separately as its own relaxation and wellness method. I take a holistic approach to mental health and integrate traditional therapies with mindfulness, meditation, and self-care to help clients cope with life’s challenges and transitions, helping them find peace and balance. I also instruct individual and group meditation classes, lead therapeutic retreats, provide corporate wellness services, and am a motivational speaker. By offering wellness programs that support mental health and wellness in the workplace, not only does it positively impact employees but it benefits the employers as well, creating a healthier workplace culture and improving its bottom line.
Tell us about yourself
I always knew that I was meant to be a therapist, I've always been very open-minded, non-judgmental, and a person people came to for help. During my first career, I spent almost ten years as a successful sales account executive, managing a team in the fashion industry. Sadly, during this time, I lost my father to suicide. This life-changing experience motivated me to learn more about mental health awareness and change career paths to help others needing mental health support. It wasn’t until I had a life-changing event that I knew I had to make a career change in order to fulfill my life’s purpose.
My past business experience has given me an understanding of how a business works, which is really useful when running my own business. In my practice, I work with individuals going through stress, anxiety, grief, and depression. The fact that my clients trust me with their stories and are vulnerable to healing is so fulfilling. Transformations are possible, and it’s so amazing to be able to facilitate them. I am constantly motivated to help individuals reach their goals throughout their journey, and each day I feel so grateful because I really love what I do!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is how I am able to make a difference in an abundance of different ways. Whether it be with a client in my private practice, giving a motivational speech, or leading a meditation class, all of them allow me to constantly evolve in my creativity and help many different people I meet along the way. I truly get so much joy out of helping people improve their quality of life as well as seeing them live their best lives!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things as a business owner is wearing too many hats at once. From a clinical perspective, I take care of my own clients, supervise other therapists in my practice who care for other clients and provide mentorship and guidance to those needing clinical supervision hours.
From a business perspective, I assist with analyzing financial reports, marketing, and social media creative content, operations and logistics, strategic planning, and business development. Given all of the responsibilities that come with a business, I find myself handling all different kinds of tasks and being pulled in multiple directions at the same time. Luckily, I have a wonderful team that helps me manage my business, and there are many great resources available. I learn something new every day! Having business background experience has enabled me to apply those concepts to what I do every day in my business and helps me remain successful.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Take risks and step outside of your comfort zone, even though it can be scary at times. You will fail sometimes, but you will learn great lessons along the way. And never give up, you will learn from your mistakes, which will help you grow and lead you to greater success.
- Understand that it’s a process, and you can’t do everything all at once. Starting, running, and growing a business takes a lot of time and energy. There is a lot to do, which can sometimes feel extremely overwhelming. Remember to just breathe and tackle one thing at a time. Achieving your goals will take time so enjoy the journey throughout the process. Self-care and work-life balance are extremely important, especially since this process can be demanding on your time. Make sure you take the time to take care of yourself- whether going for a walk, meditating, journaling, or reading a book.
- Always be open to growing your network. You never know who you will meet. I have met amazing people along the way. We can learn so much if we lead our lives with our eyes wide open. I am always curious and open to all possibilities, and this comes with being open to the world around us. A lot of my connections have led to business opportunities, collaborations, speaking events, and other opportunities I did not even know existed. Many doors will open, and amazing things will happen when you least expect them.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Running my own business has been such an amazing and fulfilling experience as I see how people’s lives and mental health have changed for the better. I want everyone to know that there is hope and help for anyone struggling. 1 in 5 Americans experience mental illness, but talking about these issues is still a sensitive, uncomfortable topic for many. Although evidence-based research shows that therapy is proven to be an effective form of treatment, only half of the people with mental health issues receive treatment.
Recognition and education are important to remove the stigma that is often associated with mental health concerns. Mental health awareness aims to educate people about mental health, provide support and promote advocacy. No one has to suffer, and there is no shame in getting treatment. As such, my purpose is to decrease the stigma around mental health across the board, especially with the need for it now more than ever. Let’s continue to use our voices to decrease the stigma around mental health!
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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