Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Hamilton, co-owner of Stableway Counseling Services, located in Lake Zurich, IL, USA.

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

I am a co-owner of a mental health counseling private practice. I have the privilege of working with some of my closest friends at this practice. We serve clients in the Lake County and McHenry County areas. This practice was built on the need we saw within these communities. As we have grown over the past seven years, we continue seeing an increased need for mental health services within these areas.

We have grown from a 3 clinician practice to 13 clinicians over the years and continue to grow as the need does. We pride ourselves on the community relationships we have developed and maintained as well as the caring, thoughtful and empathetic services we provide to children and adults.

Tell us about yourself

The practice was created through an idea that we owners had while working at a community mental health agency. We all have a background in working with children in crisis and felt that we continued to see a lack of access to mental health services for children and adults. We wanted to create an accepting and accessible practice for everyone seeking mental health services.

I primarily work with the younger population, especially children under 12 years old. My only goal in life is to help a child and see them grow. I’ve worked in many settings, including residential, community mental health, hospital, and school settings. Seeing children grow and reach their goals through some of their most difficult times keeps me motivated to continue the work I do every day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

There are several accomplishments to choose from. I think building relationships with our community has been a huge accomplishment as a business owner. We have maintained relationships with schools, hospitals, community mental health agencies, and other private practices in the areas we serve.

A personal accomplishment for me as a business owner is obtaining my doctorate while co-owning the business. Being able to serve the number of clients we have has also been a great accomplishment. We continue to raise awareness for mental health and have accessible services for everyone.

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

The hardest part of owning a business has to be keeping everything going. We have the support of each other and are able to split up the work between the three of us. There are so many moving parts, but being able to work with friends makes it much easier!

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

  1. Build relationships within the community your business is in.
  2. Create a business plan including future goals, and review it every few months to ensure you are on track for your goals.
  3. Enjoy what you do and have fun with it! Being a business owner can be one of the greatest freedoms, especially if you enjoy yourself and are surrounded by a strong support system!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Mental health is an ever-growing need. We want to continue to bring awareness to this and let everyone know it's okay to ask for help!

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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