Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in counseling but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melanie Tsesler, Founder of Mindful Beginnings, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

I am the Clinical Director and Owner of Mindful Beginnings, which provides therapy to individuals of all ages as well as couples and families. Our motto is “humans first, therapists second.” We believe that the best way to help our clients through whatever life challenges and emotions they are moving through is to connect with them by showing that we are also humans going through life’s challenges. This allows our clients to connect with us, to feel safe and vulnerable, and not feel so alone.

Tell us about yourself

I got married last year to the kindest man that I’m incredibly grateful to call my husband. We joke that we knew we were going to get married even before we met each other, just from talking, without ever meeting; we just knew. We also just had a baby, so we are in full-blown newborn life right now and soaking this beautiful stage in!

I went to school studying psychology with a focus on mindfulness before starting my business - Mindful Beginnings - 6 years ago. In the beginning, I ran mindfulness workshops in schools, hospitals, and the corporate world. I would speak about ways for my audience to improve their mental health, and I loved it. But I felt that ‘one on one would be the most effective way to really affect change in people’s lives. More quality than quantity. And so I went back to school to become a therapist, and my company turned into a therapy practice in which I saw teens, adults, and couples. I’ve since grown the practice and now have ten therapists and an office manager, and I couldn’t be more proud of their hard work, passion, and dedication to what we do.

Seeing my clients believe in themselves and have the courage to work through what it is they’re coming to me for is the biggest motivator. We are stronger than we think we are. We can have those difficult conversations, use our voices to stand up for ourselves, and have the courage to move through uncomfortable emotions; sometimes, we just need someone to believe in us before we can believe in ourselves.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is definitely growing the clinic to where it is now. I started my business seeing clients at my office in Thornhill, but when the pandemic hit, I ran my business from the kitchen table. I was forced to move my practice entirely online and found that there were so many people struggling and needing therapy during these past couple of years, which inspired me to grow. I always envisioned having an amazing team of empathetic therapists who share my passion for helping people, and to see it come to fruition is truly a proud moment for me.

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

One of the hardest things in being a business owner (in the mental health space specifically) is balancing my desire to help while also running a business. The business and financial side can be tricky sometimes when emotions are involved, and someone needs our help. For example, making sure that our therapists get paid by our clients isn’t the most comfortable thing for us, but it’s necessary to keep our business going.

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

  1. Have a vision and believe in yourself enough to go after it.
  2. Outsource as much as you can and be able to delegate so you can focus on the important things.
  3. Word of mouth is always the best advertisement, so do everything with integrity.

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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