Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Moushumi Ghose, Founder and Owner of Los Angeles Sex Therapy (LAST), located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Los Angeles Sex Therapy (LAST) is a collective of psychotherapists, sex therapists, coaches, and educators who work with individuals and couples, and we specialize in sex and relationships. We center the experiences of LGBTQIA, BIPOC, SW'er, and Kink/ENM/CNM communities. I also now have LAST University, an online community where I offer courses, CEU, and the proprietary professional certification program.
Tell us about yourself
I have actually had several careers! I moved to Los Angeles to play music and work at a tech company. After a few years of doing that, I returned to psychology (which had been my degree as an undergraduate). I decided then to become a therapist after learning that I couldn't do a traditional 9 to 5 desk/computer/office job. So, becoming a licensed therapist is actually my third career in a sense, and it was supposed to get me out of the office. I opened my practice the same week I got my license. I'd always wanted to work with sexuality issues and help people with their coming out, so I opened my practice in West Hollywood, which is a predominantly gay neighborhood in Los Angeles. That was in 2007. The rest is essentially history. As a queer, pansexual person that moved from San Francisco, I felt there was a need in LA to serve people with concerns about sexuality.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, I think the biggest accomplishment is that my message of how to have better, healthy sexual relationships is one that has profoundly helped so many people. This has obviously led to getting book deals, being featured on television and in the media, and of course, making my documentary film series. But the biggest success is helping others feel better and live more fulfilling lives.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think getting my business off the ground was really tricky. It took several years before my business really took off. I tried everything. Having a background in tech, I built my entire business online. I really wanted to work online and see clients online, but the psychology community didn't have it back then. So I did a lot of social media and finally started noticing a difference around year five. I started doing YouTube videos that year, and that's when my business really took off.
People really saw who I was and what my message was, and that was when my business really took off. It was also around the time I got my book deal and started working on my documentary series, Temples and Brothels. But I was burning the candle at both ends. Even though I was already hiring therapists to work at my practice, I had never lightened my caseload.
I think the hardest thing for me was to say no. I could never say no to money. So I just took on every client. And eventually, I burnt out. Around year 7, I decided to close my physical business because I was so tired. I moved to New York City and did very little work for two years. It was so nice. I was just coaching online. I had to learn to be selective, and I had to learn to value my personal time. I had to learn to set really firm boundaries not just with clients but with friends and family.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- I think the main thing is to know that it is a marathon; it's not a sprint. It is a journey of many years. So get ready for the long haul.
- Do a little bit every day, and you will get there. As a business owner, you wear many different hats at first. You can't do it all in one day, so set aside time to do the admin and marketing.
- When you have the means, and sometimes even before you have the means, get help. Hire interns who may be in school but want to learn the ins and outs of your industry, admin help, and VAs so that you can free up your mind to do the important CEO stuff: coming up with new ideas for your business!
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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