Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brenda Stewart, Owner of Wellspring Therapy Associates, located in Winter Park, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Wellspring Therapy Associates is a quality faith-based counseling practice utilizing best practices and expert care to assist individuals in overcoming trauma, anxiety, grief, and eating disorders. Wellspring provides a whole-person approach by addressing the physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual well-being of clients through individual and group therapy. We specialize in working with adolescent and adult clients in the Orlando, Florida area as well as online throughout Florida and Louisiana. I also provide coaching and consultation to individuals, small groups, and organizations on the prevention and recovery of compassion fatigue and burnout.
Tell us about yourself
I hold a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regent University and am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Florida and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Louisiana. I am also a Nationally Certified Counselor and have additional training and certifications, including EMDR, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Compassion Fatigue Educator, and Compassion Fatigue Therapist. Outside of the business, I am a published author in Career Counseling textbooks and have presented at various professional conferences, and appeared on several podcasts. I am passionate about helping others heal and experience growth and freedom so they can live life in accordance with their values and in congruence with who they are created to be.
On a more personal note, I love to read and write, am obsessed (in a good way) with Boston Terriers, and enjoy music, coffee, dance, and the outdoors. My business started with a career change. I began my career path focused on elementary education. I then worked in hospital systems and in the field of insurance. It was through my own healing journey and the people that walked alongside me to assist in my growth process that I became passionate about doing the same for others. I went back to graduate school and, once licensed, started my own business with a desire to create a holistic wellness center for people.
Right now, we are focused on expert care clinically and then will continue to expand our services to other wellness practices to ensure we are caring for the whole person - mind, body, soul, and spirit. My clients are the source of my daily motivation. The hard work they do, the courage they exhibit, the perseverance in the healing process, the growth I am able to witness, and the freedom that people experience are more than enough motivation to keep pressing forward as a business owner.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a service-based business, the accomplishments may look different. Rather than a financial status or the size of the business, I gauge accomplishments based on the healing that people receive, the quality of care provided, adhering to the highest of ethical standards, and being able to sustain a business in a difficult economic time. As a therapist, I also did not have a degree in business, so beginning from ground zero, having a full private practice with a waitlist, and then launching into a group practice has been a big accomplishment for which I am so thankful.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being a business owner can feel lonely. You are responsible for the company, for employees, for the financial status, for the decisions, and for the direction of the business. Self-doubt can creep in, and loneliness on the journey can be felt, and that is why I believe it is crucial to have other people in your life who are also business owners, as well as having a business coach/consultant who can assist in the process.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Hire a coach or consultant - their wisdom and experience are invaluable.
- Stay the course - don't give up when things get difficult. It is part of the growing process.
- Lead with integrity - be the person you want your employees to model. Embody your business values, and be an ethical person.
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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