Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maryellen Dance, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Speaker, based in Rochester, NY, USA.

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

I am a mental health consultant, speaker, and educator. I have spent 12 years as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and business owner. I now consult with businesses and educate others about mental health. I also have a podcast called the Okay-ish podcast.

Tell us about yourself

When I was in college, I had no idea I would be where I am now. I wanted to be an actress (I mean, I still do a little bit). Psychology is something that kind of fell into my lap. It's amazing to be able to "accidentally" find your passion through taking classes and working in the field. I absolutely love to connect with people. Getting to know other people, learning about other people's stories, being able to relate to others, all of it! In hindsight, it makes sense that I got into this field because I have always thrived off of connecting with others, but I had no idea at the time. What keeps me going, honestly, is that I get to be myself. I get to be authentic, teach other people, and the hope that when people walk away from my office, they know a little bit more about themselves.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Opening a business. Seriously. Opening the doors and owning it has been so incredible. I never thought that I would be able to do it. Here I am, still doing it. I know that I definitely don't give myself enough credit for what I have done, and I see that so often with other business owners too!

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

That I have no idea what I'm doing, I never took a business class. I don't know anything about accounting or numbers. I talk about feelings all day, not numbers! That can be really overwhelming, but it helps to remember that no one else really knows what they're doing either. It also helps to remember to trust my gut.

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

  1. Do it. You'll have fear; you'll experience imposter syndrome. Those will be there whether you do it or not, so you might as well do it.
  2. Ask for help. You're not supposed to know how to do every aspect of a business, so ask for help with the aspects you don't know. For example, I ask for accounting, business, and numbers help since I am not an expert in those things, so I find experts to help me.
  3. Try not to take yourself too seriously. As stressful as it is, opening a business should also be fun and exciting. Don't let the stress take over the fun and exciting parts.

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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