Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Meagan Clayden, founder of Willow Therapy, located in Airdrie, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Willow Therapy is a service that provides therapy to children and youth who are struggling with symptoms of trauma. Many people think of therapy as sitting in a chair across from a professional and talking about feelings. I love exploring other means of expression, especially the expressive arts. The expressive arts provide a means of self-expression asides from verbal communication, which can be especially beneficial when working with children who have experienced a traumatic experience that they may struggle to put into words.
Tell us about yourself
Growing up, my mother was a foster parent, so I spent many years interacting with children who had experienced trauma. I then became a nurse, chose to work in the field of psychiatry, and saw the impact of trauma from a different lens. Through these experiences, I developed a passion for this area.
I am motivated by a genuine, deep desire to have a positive impact on the world. Many days the world feels large, and the impact I have on it feels insignificant. There is the Dr. Seuss quote, “to the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” I think it helps to keep that in mind and have the perspective that “the world” does not have to mean the entire planet but can mean the components of an individual’s life, and I can have a positive impact on that.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Right now, I have my business but am also employed elsewhere. I think my biggest accomplishment is yet to come and will be the day I feel confident enough in my business to commit 100% of my work hours to it.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me is balancing my personal and professional life. I try to be easily accessible and provide a quick response, so I often find myself attending to work matters at all hours. I find I have to be intentional about setting aside time for other things that are also important to me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Be patient, persistent, and passionate! There are likely to be a number of obstacles when starting a business, and the day I decided I was “open for business” was quite unlike any other day. It takes a lot of time and effort to grow a business, so you better be passionate about it to make the grey hair and wrinkles worthwhile.
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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