Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Keith Wakeman, CEO, and Co-Founder of SuperBetter, located in Glen Ellyn, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The World Economic Forum named SuperBetter 1 of the 14 Top Innovators in Youth Mental Health. SuperBetter brings mental health, resilience, student success, and social-emotional learning skills to life in a way that's practical and engaging. It is designed as a tool for educators and is available to anyone, including teachers, universities, work teams, counselors, coaches, small groups, friends, families, and more. The SuperBetter methodology uses the psychology of gameplay to achieve epic wins in all of life. It's backed by science. Over 1 million people have played SuperBetter.
Squad Play makes it easy to host SuperBetter challenges for groups. With a web-based Host account, hosts can create squads and host challenges for them. Squad challenges bring the SuperBetter methodology to life. Each has an epic win and five days of activities. Hosts can select from a library of challenges that promote mental, emotional, social & physical resilience or create custom challenges to have squads go for any epic win they choose. Squad members play about 10 minutes a day on the SuperBetter mobile or web app. They use a free Player account or a low-cost Hero account.
Tell us about yourself
Earlier in my career, I spent nearly 20 years in the food industry, leading brand teams, innovation, and new venture development for large companies, including Kellogg, Nabisco, and Keebler.
One day I counted how many new cookies my teams had launched. It was more than 30. And, while I love the problem-solving nature of figuring out the next new cookie, it struck me that the world doesn't really need another cookie. But, it needs other kinds of innovation. That set me on a path that led to SuperBetter.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We've chosen to (mostly) bootstrap our company. I am proud of what our small team has accomplished with lots of perseverance and few resources.
Our hope is that our biggest accomplishment is yet to come. We recently introduced Squad Play as a tool to help educators address the youth mental health crisis. Our goal is to look back in a few years and point to data showing how we empowered many more youth and young adults around the world with skills to improve their mental health and success.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being an entrepreneur is a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs. It's easy to experience times of self-doubts and anxious feelings. Making time for self-care helps me stay on track.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My tips for starting & growing a business are adapted from the SuperBetter methodology:
- Challenge yourself. Set out to see what you are capable of achieving.
- Set your epic wins (goals), map out the quests to get you there, and find and battle the bad guys (obstacles) that block your progress.
- Recruit your allies and activate many power-ups every day. Power-ups are quick, simple activities that boost your positive energy.
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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