Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Krystian Fikert, Founder and CEO of MyMind, located in Dublin, Ireland.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
MyMind is Ireland’s first and largest blended model of mental health care and is working to provide early intervention to people presenting mild to moderate mental health issues affordably, directly, and without stigma or delay. Among the key pillars of our accessible model are the blended approach of face-to-face and online therapy, as well as the sliding payscale, which offers subsidized rates to those in unemployment, full-time education, or in receipt of a pension. Since we were established in 2006, MyMind has grown to the point that we now operate five dedicated centers across Dublin, Cork, and Limerick, with a network of over 180 mental health professionals and a bespoke online platform to facilitate services for people around the country. In that time, we have delivered almost 250,000 appointments to more than 36,000 clients in 20 languages.
Tell us about yourself
A qualified clinical psychologist, I have always had a keen interest in technological innovation and landed a dream job with Google in Dublin in 2005. During this time, I noticed a significant gap in the provision of mental health services across the country, particularly to members of immigrant communities, and so I took the opportunity to blend my passion for technology and my clinical training to deliver counseling and psychotherapy services to fellow immigrants who had no access to the public health service at the time. MyMind was established in 2006, and since then, I have developed my own expertise and skills as an entrepreneur, dedicating myself to the expansion of services and growth of the business and managing to scale MyMind’s operations sufficiently. It is this continued growth and the capacity to expand my own skills as an entrepreneur that motivates me each day. While I am proud of the number of people we have managed to engage with over the last 16 years, I know there are many more who could benefit from our services, and I am determined to continue to drive to reach more communities.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I take great pride in the relationships we have made and the reputation we have developed for delivering high-quality services that have had a positive impact on so many people over the last 16 years. Those relationships continue to be instrumental in our ongoing work, whether they be relationships with clients or our network of mental health professionals, which allow us to do what we do every day, or relationships with state bodies and other partner organizations, which offer opportunities for us to be at the forefront of mental health thinking and initiatives on a national level. It is particularly pleasing for me to see how far the organization has come, from such humble beginnings to the point that our brand is now recognized and respected in mental health, general health, and wider social circles.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a social enterprise, our mission – to empower people and communities to look after their mental health by providing high-quality, affordable, and accessible professional mental health services – underpins everything that we do but is not always easy to deliver on, given the external pressures and factors in place. While MyMind’s model is built on being sustainable and has already proven itself to play a major role in the provision of mental health services in Ireland, we are obviously impacted by influences outside of our control, and so there is a constant challenge to adapt to the wider environment, particularly when it comes to funding and revenue and the retention of talent.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
If I could give three tips to anyone looking to start a business today, the first would be to be patient. Naturally, sometimes things don’t happen as quickly as we would like, and often that might be due to factors entirely outside of our control, but that doesn’t mean they won’t happen, so it’s important to maintain patience. My second piece of advice goes hand in hand, and that is to be strong and resilient. It takes a lot of strength and resilience to start a business in the first place, so bear that in mind and believe in yourself, even if things don’t go your way. Finally, I would encourage people not to be afraid to ask for help. Everyone – in any walk of life – needs help from time to time, and I would suggest that it will be those who seek and ask for assistance that ultimately gets to where they want to go.
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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