Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sharon Niv, Co-Founder & CXO of Joyous Health, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.

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

Joyous prescribes very low doses of ketamine to individuals with anxiety and depression who have tried other approaches (such as therapy or SSRI antidepressants) and are still seeking relief. The doses we prescribe are not psychedelic but psycholytic. This means that they produce a state of openness and nonresistance, which creates an opportunity for deeper processing of emotional states because we can feel our feelings without becoming overwhelmed. Ketamine produces high levels of neuroplasticity, allowing the brain to rewire and leading to mental health improvements that start at the root of the problem and do not merely address symptoms.

Tell us about yourself

I came into this world from cognitive psychology, as I was interested in translating research into applied tools that people can use in the real world. I co-founded several companies in neurotechnology, the first being based on EEG neurofeedback (Palo Alto Neurosciences), the second using VR to increase neuroplasticity for the brain to reappraise chronic pain (Karuna Labs), and the third being a VR approach for psychedelic connection (Anuma, formerly Sodalic). My mission is to increase human well-being and increase consciousness, and I'm tool agnostic. Psychedelics is a great tool, but I'm more interested in what we can teach people and the habits we can instill in them. The outcomes that motivate me are humans who are more open and interconnected and who are better able to relate compassionately and create a prosocial world.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I'm working on a psychoeducational program for our patients that will give them core knowledge about attachment, parts theory (Internal Family Systems), self-compassion nervous system balance, and how it relates to anxiety and depression, among other important information. Along with practices and guidance that they can use while they're taking their medicine and feeling more open and receptive, I believe we will provide them with real tools for well-being and self-knowledge.

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

Recognizing your limitations, and simultaneously not being hard on yourself AND working to improve. The dialectic of self-acceptance and change is the most healthy approach. For me,

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

  1. Do your own personal growth work! Develop the ability, to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. Meditate to develop the ability to be present with difficult moments and not need to react or withdraw due to discomfort.
  2. Find the methods, supplements, and other aides that allow you to be more productive in the time that you work so that you're comfortable being done when you're done. It is so important to live a balanced, whole life.
  3. Find good partners who can complement your skillset, encourage you to grow, and provide you with honest feedback.

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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