Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jennifer Timer, Owner of Pacific Well-Being, located in Coquitlam, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the owner, operator, and counsellor at Pacific Well-Being, a counselling clinic out of Coquitlam, BC. I operate both in-person and virtually to listen to what matters most to my clients, to help them through depression and anxiety, grief, and health-related anxieties, and to help them learn new coping skills. My clients are of all ages, from teens to older adults, and I am welcoming of all cultures, ethnicities, and identities. I have a special affinity for healthcare workers and First Responders because I used to be an intensive care nurse who also worked in ER. Additionally, I have experience working with people in the entertainment industry because Vancouver is Hollywood North!
Tell us about yourself
I found that, after being a nurse for twenty years, what I found most rewarding was helping people with their mental health concerns, just talking to them and helping them through whatever was going on in their lives. I also have a previous degree in psychology (from before I went into nursing), and I decided to launch my own clinic, so I could focus solely on therapy and counselling. Of course, to be the best counsellor I can be, I also had to go back to school, so I am currently undertaking my Doctor of Psychology degree after doing one year of a Marriage and Family Therapy degree. I feel so honoured and privileged to be let into people's lives in such a vulnerable way, and my motivation is to respect that vulnerability and help people live as optimally as possible.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
When I first launched Pacific Well-Being, I was also doing End-of-Life Doula work (having trained in this as well), and my most rewarding accomplishment is having helped hundreds of people so far to prepare for their end-of-life journey, no matter how far away that might be for them (it's never too early, as the pandemic has shown us!). I have had one-on-one client sessions, I've done a series of workshops, and I am also writing a book on how to live fully until the moment that you die. It's not about wills and estates, it's about wishes and comfort, mental and emotional peace - what the client wants to see and hear, who they want near, etc., as they reach the end of life, but from a perspective that very few other doulas have because I am also a nurse and a counsellor. It's been such an honour to help people with what is usually a dreaded and procrastinated task and hear from them how relieved and at ease they are once we're done.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Cash flow! It is tough to ramp up and grow enough to make a living wage while still managing your time effectively. I was really in a position of having no savings, nothing to fall back on, so I had to work extra hard to make ends meet at first. You feel this almost constant pressure to always be 'on' and like you should be working every waking minute of the day to bring in the money while also knowing that money is not what this business is about - it causes a bit of psychological discomfort!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Know yourself, know your finances, and make time to be 'off.'
- Knowing yourself means really understanding what makes you tick, when and how you work best and with whom (whatever your field), asking for help when you don't know something, and knowing what you will and won't want to do to succeed - because only when you understand and honour yourself can you give it your all. I worked too long at certain positions I was not happy at. Now, I'm happy.
- Knowing your finances is important because you need to know where you're starting from as well as what you need to break even and then make a profit. You need to know budgeting, accounting, and all aspects of digital commerce, etc., if you are a solopreneur. I'm luckily good at numbers and am fairly organized, but it can be quite daunting for someone new to the game.
- Finally, take time for yourself. Don't always be 'on' because you'll burn out so quickly. Take good physical and mental care of yourself because you can't work and keep your business going if you burn out from stress or have a heart attack!
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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