Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mike Comparetto, Founder of Strive On Counseling, located in Asheville, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Strive On Counseling is a therapy practice with the mission of helping our clients learn to thrive. We are a team of therapists with various backgrounds and specialties who truly love the art and the science of therapy. We provide both in-person and virtual therapy in the state of North Carolina to individuals struggling with a range of concerns, such as anxiety, depression, OCD, substance abuse, chronic pain, trauma, stress, and more.
Tell us about yourself
I became a therapist because I spent most of my life struggling with an anxiety disorder. It motivated me to make big changes in my life and to take a deep dive into every aspect of health and wellness. The more I learned and recovered from anxiety, the more I wanted to help others do the same. I went back to school, became a therapist, and eventually opened my own practice. I’m inspired each day to do this work by my clients, my community, and the meaning and joy I get out of not only getting to help people but to do it as my own boss.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The thing that matters most to me is getting results for my clients, and any time I see a client make progress toward their goals, it’s an accomplishment. For a therapist, there is no greater achievement than a client graduating from therapy. Expanding to a group practice and hiring my first three employees was a big step for me as well. Overcoming the fear and self-doubt that comes with a big leap like that has been part of the accomplishment, and the feeling of building something bigger to reach more people is very fulfilling. A lot of business ownership is about pushing into discomfort.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think one of the hardest things for me is creating boundaries around my work. A lot of business owners never put their businesses down and overwork themselves. For as much as I’d never go back to working for someone else, I do sometimes miss the feeling of “punching out” and not having to think about work at all. I’ve had to be very intentional in creating time to shut off my work brain and focus on the other things that matter to me because I’m a firm believer in work-life balance.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure it’s something you care about. If you’re just doing it for money, you run the risk of losing motivation and/or eventually becoming unhappy when the initial excitement of starting a business wears off.
- Follow your ethical compass. To be blunt, I think it’s time we start taking a more serious look at ethics in the business world. It doesn’t just benefit others to be ethical- it actually helps your own mental health in the long run.
- Get help! No one can do everything on their own. Outsource the things that you aren’t great at or that you hate doing. Get advice from friends, mentors, colleagues, and employees. You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
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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