Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Roberta Gold, Owner of Laughter for the Health of It, located in Woodland Hills, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Being a Recreation Therapist, I have always focused on what is right with you instead of what needs fixing. This perspective has served me well in working with many of the premiere healthcare facilities. Over 25 years ago, I started Laughter for the Health of it and applied specialized therapy programs for a multitude of physically and mentally challenged patient populations. I began incorporating the use of humor and laughter in the programs at these facilities and other businesses. This led to speaking, lecturing, and writing on the myriad medical benefits derived from the unique but important characteristics inherent with humor and laughter. Teaching people how to view and interact with others more positively in our society has proven to be a rewarding endeavor. Leading specialized weekly groups called The Sanity Savers - for those struggling to find the bright side of life and wanting to discover ways to flip the switch when falling into the negativity pit, has been a joy.
I realized that to change the world; we have to raise resilient, happy children, so much of my attention and efforts are on reaching out to the youth in our communities and providing much-needed support in the area of stress management and communication to prevent the negative effects of bullying and increase resilience. By empowering parents with the tools to leave their stress outside the home and be more present with their kids, my hope is to have happier, more engaged families. I facilitate a weekly program over Zoom, Parent Power Happy Hour, for anyone interested in sharing, caring, and laughing about parenthood, grandparenting, or working with kids of any age.
My first book, The Family That Laughs Together... A Quick Guide to Sanity When You Feel Like Screaming and my newest book, Laughter Rocks! Tips and Tools to Help You Keep Your Cool and Have a More Positive Mindset incorporate my philosophies on developing a healthier attitude. I also write a free weekly e-newsletter – Laughter Rocks! Tips and Tools to Help You Keep You Cool No Matter What.
Tell us about yourself
While working in a free-standing psychiatric hospital, I would be silly with the patients. They would laugh, I would laugh, and later that day or week, some of them would stop me in the hallway and ask if they could talk, saying they felt more comfortable with me than their doctor. I realized that when we laughed together, I wasn't the therapist, and they weren't the patient; we became equal, which created a bond. This is when I began researching humor and laughter and started a class called, Brighten Up. It became very popular, and I was asked to speak to the staff, the community, and at conferences. I then created Laughter for the Health of it with my mission to empower everyone to have a more positive mindset by utilizing humor and laughter.
Every day I am blessed to present my program and to work with people to help them find ways to deal with life's challenges. Speaking and writing are two of the passions I have incorporated into my life. I also enjoy tennis, hiking, and, most of all - being with my family and friends. I am currently the President-Elect for the international non-profit, The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (www.aath.org). I have been involved in this organization for over thirty years and am very excited to become President after our annual conference at the end of April 2023.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am not sure I have just one accomplishment. Every group I get to speak to is wonderful. Having two books published and being part of over 13 others has been wonderful. Having a readership of my newsletter, which always sends me comments each week, is wonderful. Being part of AATH has been wonderful. I love what I do every day (okay, maybe not every day, to be honest, but most every day.)
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Marketing. I am not very efficient at doing what I know I should to grow my business to where I know it can be.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be clear on your mission, and make sure it includes your passion.
- Reach out to others who can mentor, guide, and help you do the things you would rather not be doing.
- Make time to breathe, laugh, and have fun.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.