Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessica Doering, Founder of The Doering Institute, located in Florence, KY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The Doering Institute is about making the world a more compassionate place. We help people understand why they do the things they do, how to unlock their potential for healing and growth, and how to help others on their own healing journeys from trauma. We help people who are looking to heal and grow and those who help others, including schools, nonprofits, and businesses.

Tell us about yourself

As a high school mathematics teacher, I encountered many students who, at the time, seemed to just be little stinkers. (I use the term affectionately.) But their hard attitudes, difficult behaviors, and frustrating views of their own abilities didn't turn me away but instead made me seek out how to love them better and teach them more effectively. It was these "stinks" that started my journey toward trauma-informed education. Not long after I started teaching, I began volunteering with women in an industry that sees incredibly high rates of childhood trauma. Almost all of these women have experienced childhood sexual abuse, witnessed or personally experienced domestic violence, and have continued to experience trauma as an adult. Fast forward to when I went back to graduate school, and my husband and I became foster parents (which, looking back, was a crazy time to do that, but it all worked out for us). We now had the trauma symptoms and frustrating behaviors in our home, in our children. We are now adoptive parents through foster care and are intimately acquainted with how childhood trauma can impact kids, both in the short term and long term.

This topic is so personal to me, as I have walked alongside people professionally and personally who have been through really hard things. I spent thousands of hours reading and researching trauma-informed care culminating in a Ph.D. in STEM Education with a dissertation on trauma-informed education and the preschool-to-prison pipeline. People kept asking, "What do you want to do with your degree?" And I finally decided--I wanted to make the world a more compassionate place through trauma-informed care education. This is why The Doering Institute was created, and I am overjoyed to have you join me on this mission!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have been able to serve hundreds of teachers as they help children who have experienced trauma. Connecting to people who are helping others who are hurting has been an incredible joy.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

It can be hard to find time to balance all of the moving parts of the business when you're just starting out because you are doing it solo.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do it to serve people. Find a real problem people have and then find a way to solve it.
  2. Find ways to partner with others who are doing similar work. They will inspire you, push you to grow, and encourage you as you do the hard work.
  3. Get started, and don't give up.

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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