Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Adrienne Buhacoff, Owner of Positive Inner Self LLC, located in Beaverton, OR, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Positive Inner Self, LLC is a mental health group practice that is diversified and allies to all people who come through our doors. We seek to work with them on the goals and topics they want. As a strength-based, client-centered practice, we find the clients' strengths and use those strengths to build self-esteem and self-worth and decrease symptoms.
Tell us about yourself
There are reasons why therapists or helpers get into the helping field. My experiences made me realize that I wanted to help children and families. I wanted to work with children and families to help support them through the hard times, build emotional safety in the home, and create strong bonds. It is when I see a child opening up to their parent or a parent share with me that the work they are doing has stopped tantrums and fights within the children in the home. These are the moments that motivate me to keep going. Now it is when I see the clinical interns, I share the success they have with individuals and families.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Whew! This is a good question! I went into private practice at the start of the pandemic. This was the first time truly working for myself. When my waitlist started growing and growing, and I did not have space to see these individuals, I looked into what it would take to grow a group practice. In nine months, I went from private practice to a group of 14 clinicians and three office staff. At first, I started with three other clinicians. By the end of 2021, the two office spaces I had were always full, and we were fighting for space. I expanded into the office space next to me and had 8 spaces I needed to fill. I ended up hiring 8 clinicians to fill those spaces. However, most of them are Telehealth only. So I still need to fill to office spaces. Outside of this, I also just took on three out-of-state clinicians who are engaging in Telehealth only. What a ride it has been! I do not think that others should do this.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing would be ensuring that you have your finances in order. You should be able to open a file and see how you are doing financially. This is the quickest way to sink if you are unaware of income and expenses. I have seen colleagues fail because of this.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Research what you need to get started (business licenses (state, county, city), how to obtain Tax ID numbers from the IRS, and spaces if you need a physical space.
- Enter income and expenses at least weekly.
- Don't wait to hire help; you cannot do it all yourself (trust me, I tried)!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Be aware that when you start a business, it is up to you to make it work. Unfortunately, it can become something you are "doing" all time unless you set it up in a way where it can run itself (I'm working on this part)...
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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