Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in consultancy but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Josh Miller, Co-Owner of The Empathy Paradigm, located in Plano, TX, USA.

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

In case you didn't already guess from our name, our brand is built on empathy and how to create it, use it, and teach it. It's the bedrock of healthy human interaction, so we use it as the foundation for all of our services.

Since we're LGBTQIA+ owned, we specialize in a few LGBTQIA+ specific services like coming out coaching, allyship development, and LGBTQIA+ inclusivity. Those are only some of our specialties, though. We also offer training for executive leadership development, trauma-informed culture building, and spiritual deconstruction/reconstruction… to name a few. Honestly, if you have a need, we can create a package that will meet it.

I think our intentionality and customizability are what sets us apart. There are plenty of coaches and leadership development organizations out there, but we didn't see any other services offering customizable training solutions that were unique to each individual, team, community, or corporation. There were so many one-size-fits-all options, but the human experience cannot fit into a single size, no matter how stretchy it may be. That's why we focus our efforts on training and coaching sessions that are entirely unique to every client. It really sets the stage for a comprehensive and inclusive service that we believe can make a difference.

If you want a strong leadership team founded on mutual understanding and healthy communication, and inclusive or empathetic workplace or faith community, personal and professional development coaching with someone that understands and cares, or any number of other training rooted in mental health and empathy… Let's chat!

Tell us about yourself

My start in the mental health field was as a crisis interventionist for a local community mental health agency. We went out into the community to help resolve mental health crises by meeting the clients where they were, physically and emotionally. While it was such an honor and privilege to be invited to join someone in their most vulnerable moments, I wanted to be proactive instead of reactive in the way we offer mental health services. I began researching the gaps in mental health treatment and education and then started offering consultation and training for individuals and organizations that were affected the most.

While working at the crisis agency, I met Anna Clark-Miller, who eventually became my business partner and chosen family. We shared many of the same concerns around the accessibility of mental health education, and our shared experiences really helped us align on what a business model might look like. We started offering training together, and that led to us jokingly saying we should make it an actual business. I never thought about actually being a business owner before, and I honestly wasn't thrilled about the idea, but our passion outweighed any doubts I had. We came up with a plan and set it into motion.

This is going to be one of those cheesy business lines, but our clients are what inspires me to keep at it. I specialize in coming out coaching and allyship development, and joining someone on their journey to authenticity and freedom has been one of the most fulfilling and vulnerable experiences of my life. They're trusting me with a part of themselves that they oftentimes haven't ever shown to anyone before, and it takes incredible strength to show up authentically like that. What a gift!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

That's a hard question to answer. I don't know; it's hard to compare accomplishments as if they're all equally measured. If I had to choose, though, I'd say my biggest accomplishment is becoming who I needed to be when I was younger. I know that's a deeply personal answer, and you're probably looking for something a bit more applicable to a broad audience, but it's true.

I made a commitment when I came out that I would, from that point on, show up authentically and help create space where others could do the same. I feel like I've been able to do that, and that's kind of what keeps me moving forward and what helps me on days when I feel like maybe I'm not strong enough to do this. I may not be able to go back and be there for little kid Josh, but through my work, I'm able to be there for others that are just like him... and that's something I'm incredibly proud of.

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

I think it's pretty subjective. Even with the obstacles that come with not having any type of formal business education, I still have privileges that others don't. The biggest challenge for me as a business owner has been figuring out what I don't know.

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

The number one tip I have is to be okay with being wrong. I'd break it down further, but it's truly as simple as that. You'll be wrong at times, and it's totally going to be okay. It doesn't have to be personal, and it doesn't have to shake your confidence. Learn from it, commit to change, and move forward.

My second tip is to offer enough free content to provide value, but never so much that they don't need your service. With that being said, check out our coaching sessions for more executive development tips!

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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