Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Natalie Moore, LMFT, Founder of Natalie Moore | Holistic Psychotherapy, located in Pasadena, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My name is Natalie Moore, and I'm a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in the Los Angeles area. I work with ambitious millennial women who want it all but struggle with perfectionism, people-pleasing, and overthinking. Through mind/body therapy, I help them gain confidence, clarity, and healthy boundaries so they can say "no" to what doesn't serve them and "yes" to what does. I see clients in-person in Pasadena and virtually throughout California.
Tell us about yourself
The business came out of my genuine curiosity about human behavior and my intrinsic calling to help others. When I was 16 years old, I took an AP Psych class, and I've been hooked ever since. After obtaining my Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, I opened a practice because I knew that would afford me the most freedom in practicing from a holistic, east-west perspective. What motivates me every day is my drive to help people in new and inventive ways. I identify as creative, so inspiration comes to me all the time. This keeps me going – I never seem to run out of ideas!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishments are my clients' biggest accomplishments. When I see someone starting therapy in a very dark place and see them end therapy feeling good about themselves, their lives, and their future, to me, there is no greater gift. It lights me up when a client starts a session by saying, "I can't wait to tell you about what I did this week!" It also makes my day when I read a testimonial a client has written about our work together. It makes me feel like I'm fulfilling my life's purpose.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
This one is easy. Uncertainty! When you're a business owner, there is no guaranteed steady paycheck. You have to not only work "in your business" (which is providing the product or service that your company sells), but you have to also work "on your business" (which includes marketing and all of the back-end of running the business.) With any business, there are natural ebbs and flows – times when new clients or customers and coming in and then slow times. In the slow times, it can be easy to freak out and think, "well, we had a good run, but it's all crashing down now." It takes a lot of mental grit to stay confident in oneself and remain positive that the business will not only maintain but continue to grow over time. I like to say that starting your own company is betting on yourself because there is inherent risk involved. The good news here is that the longer you're in business, the easier it is to trust that everything will work out. You see the ups and downs occur repeatedly and can reassure yourself that it will go back up again soon.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start small and grow over time – Many entrepreneurs struggle with perfectionism and a level of ambition that can make it difficult to take baby steps. We want it all now, and we want it to look great! But building a business requires sustained time and effort, and everyone has to start somewhere. The Reid Hoffman quote is true, "If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late." Launch with the bare minimum and build it over time.
- Seek support – One thing that makes entrepreneurs so special is that we can wear a lot of hats; we are self-starters, and we have the drive to get a lot done. But it's a double-edged sword. As entrepreneurs, we think we can do it all and fail to seek mentorship, guidance, and support from others, which is much needed for the long haul. Starting a business is already hard work! Don't make it unnecessarily difficult by isolating yourself. Surround yourself with like-minded peers who can provide support along the way.
- Practice self-care – When starting, running, and growing a business, there is an endless list of things we can do at any given time. But business owners are also humans with physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual needs. At some point, the work day needs to end, and rest needs to begin. It helps to have healthy routines in place around nutrition, exercise, alone time, and social time.
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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