Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessi Beyer, Founder of Jessi Beyer International, located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a mental health author and speaker. My book, How To Heal: A Practical Guide To Nine Integrative Therapies That Can Help Release Trauma, is designed to help trauma survivors and their loved ones understand more about trauma and find a path to healing that works for them. Regarding the speaking side of my business, I work primarily with college groups, such as Greek life and student government, to help them learn how to safely and successfully support someone struggling with their mental health.
Tell us about yourself
As with many people who work in the mental health space, my passion for the industry started with my own mental health struggles. When I was in high school, I struggled with depression, anxiety, self-harm, and body dysmorphia, and I was in a really traumatic relationship with someone that unfortunately ended in his suicide attempt.
As I started to heal, I went to one day of talk therapy. I firmly believe that talk therapy can work for a lot of people, but for me, I was so uncomfortable that I literally ran out of the building and never went back. That resulted in me doing the bulk of my healing alone, which definitely made it harder and longer than it needed to be.
When I was studying psychology in college, I began to learn about different integrative therapies, such as nature-based therapy and equine-assisted therapy. I was fascinated by the fact that these therapies existed in the first place and by the research and theory showing how these types of therapies are often more effective for healing from trauma. I knew that these therapies could have absolutely changed my healing journey for the better, and I wanted to share that with others. After months of research, my book was born, and my speaking career started soon after. I'm so blessed to be able to share what I'm passionate about with others and help them take the next step on their healing journey!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I could definitely list some major accolades I've achieved or some big stages I've spoken on, and I'm 100% proud of those. Honestly, though, my biggest accomplishments are the reviews I've gotten from my readers. I've had the most heartbreakingly vulnerable and beautiful reviews from readers saying how they now understand themselves and their reactions to trauma better and feel like they can see a path to healing. Those reviews absolutely make my day and remind me that everything I'm doing is making a difference.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Everyone else's opinions. The minute you step out onto a public stage and begin promoting your beliefs, products, and services, it seems like people come out of the woodwork with negative things to say about you. Whether it's a nasty social media comment or an unnecessarily rude reply to a pitch you send, you have to deal with a lot of backlash as an entrepreneur.
The best tip I can give for mediating that is to hire out the doors for negativity - meaning, largely, email and social media management - as quickly as possible. If you put up that boundary between you and the hateful individuals, that can protect your energy and allow you to focus on helping the people you got into business to help.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Aside from my tip of hiring out email and social media management, my first tip is to really evaluate what business structure is going to work best with your personality. I'm a major introvert, and I got into many business situations at the beginning that required significant extroversion. That resulted in a lot of resentment and burnout building up very quickly.
- Remember that your business should be built around your life, not the other way around. Are there going to be days when you have to put in some extra work? Absolutely, but you need to continue to prioritize your relationships and your hobbies while you build your business.
- Choose a business you actually enjoy. I had a moment a while back where I woke up one morning to the realization that I hated what I was doing in my business - and I had built myself into that role! Life is too short to do something you hate, especially when you're the one creating it, so choose a business topic and structure that's, for the most part, enjoyable.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Go get it! Entrepreneurship is a wild rollercoaster and the biggest personal development journey you will ever go on, but it is absolutely worth it.
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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