Jason Drake Of Katy Teen & Family Counseling: “Starting With the End in Mind with a Clear Vision, Mission, and Values”

Taking into account your vision, your purpose (mission), and your values can guide both personal and business decisions in your life. Jason Drake, LCSW-S, BCN has provided counseling and therapeutic services to teens, young adults, and families since 2003. Jason is the Owner and Lead Clinician at Katy Teen & Family Counseling, PLLC. Jason grew his […]

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Taking into account your vision, your purpose (mission), and your values can guide both personal and business decisions in your life.

Jason Drake, LCSW-S, BCN has provided counseling and therapeutic services to teens, young adults, and families since 2003. Jason is the Owner and Lead Clinician at Katy Teen & Family Counseling, PLLC. Jason grew his part-time private practice and opened a thriving group practice in 10 months.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you grew up?

I grew up in Bountiful, Utah which is a suburb of Sale Lake City, Utah. I am the youngest of three children having two older sisters. I also grew up with a mother who had major depression and social anxiety and a father who was disengaged much of my childhood.

Because of my mom’s depression, my mother spent much of her time in bed. Once she was asleep, it was made clear she was not to be disturbed. As a result, my oldest sister stepped in and served the role as our mother. My sister would make our meals, get us ready for school, do our laundry, and make sure our other needs were met.

When I was eight years old, my oldest sister was married and moved out of the house. The person who filled the role of “mom” was no longer able to serve in that capacity. My mother’s depression continued unabated growing up. This created in me an emptiness that I would later go on to fill with unhealthy coping skills.

My teen years were trying years. I rebelled and rebelled often. My mind needed to feel stimulated, and rebelling fit that need. Rebelling helped with escaping from my inner struggles as I would focus on the excitement of rebelling which would help me escape for the time being.

Looking back on my teen years it was clear that I had major depression and anxiety. But being a child who grew up in a home where emotions weren’t discussed and only “crazy” people went to therapy, I didn’t have an outlet to talk about confusing, intense feelings I was experiencing.

The challenging things in my teen years followed me into my young adult years. I think sometimes we think that kids will “grow out of it”. Often kids don’t grow out of it but grow into it. I was eventually able to work through many of the struggles on my own. However, I think about what it could have been like had I a therapist when I was a teenager.

I earned my master’s degree in Social Work and started working as a therapist with teens, young adults, and families in 2003. Since 2003, I have continued to specialize in teen therapy, young adult counseling, and family therapy.

I have filled various positions in administration including Clinical Director, Executive Director, and Regional Executive Director. These positions helped me gain the business and administrative experience that has helped in growing a group practice.

There is no reason why teens or young adults should need to struggle and suffer with emotional or behavioral challenges. Katy Teen & Family Counseling is here for the teens and young adults in Katy. Our purpose is to help teens and young adults overcome the challenges of today so they can avoid the problems of tomorrow.

Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to live a wellness-focused lifestyle? Can you tell us about your main motivation to go all in?

If I had one person that inspired me to live a wellness-focused lifestyle it would be Dr. Daniel Amen. I like his approach to mental health and neuropsychiatry.

Dr. Amen incorporates into his practice of neuropsychiatry traditional psychotropic medication plus the use of supplements, vitamins, diet, and exercise. There are ways to improve our mental health by natural means vs. turning immediately to psychiatry and medication.

Dr. Amen is also able to support his approach towards mental health by looking to see how supplements, vitamins, diet, and exercise affect the brain. With over 160,000 brain scans using SPECT imagery, he is able to show how these things improve brain functioning and overall health.

Being able to see how various healthy and unhealthy lifestyle choices impact the brain, it was at that point that I started to focus on physical and emotional wellness activities.

To help in this journey of wellness, I became a Certified Brain Health Professional through the Amen Clinics. It’s important to me that I implement evidence-based wellness approaches in my own life. This way, when I suggest these wellness activities to my clients, I can speak to the benefits firsthand.

Most people with a wellbeing centered lifestyle have a “go-to” activity, exercise, beverage, or food that is part of their routine. What is yours and can you tell us how it helps you?

My go to activities are those that center around mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the here and now. Simply observing the sounds around you, the sights, smells, physical sensations, the taste of food that you eat — all as though this is the first time you’re experiencing it.

Two of my go-to, mindfulness-based activities, are reading and writing. Reading allows for my mind to be focused on the story line I’m reading. I am focused in the here and now and not on the past or thinking about the future.

Writing serves the same purpose but is an outlet for creativity as well. The stressful thoughts that detract from my vision and mission are held at bay. This helps me relax and take a little break daily that makes a big difference in maintaining emotional wellness.

Mindfulness helps with mood, emotion, focus, concentration, creativity, and a host of other benefits that can help one live a purpose driven life. Regular mindfulness practice can help stave off burnout which is the killer of creativity and drive.

To live a wellness-focused life is one thing, but how did it become your career? How did it all start?

I want to help teens and families avoid the pitfalls I encountered as a teenager and young adult. There is no reason for teens of today to have to suffer with emotional or behavioral challenges. Because of my experiences, I have always had a passion in helping teens, young adults, and their families.

Katy Teen & Family Counseling is the culmination of that dream and desire to help. I hire those therapists who also have a passion for helping teens, young adults, and families. And the goal is to continue to grow in order to be able to help more people in our community.

Can you share a story about the biggest challenges you faced when you were first starting? How did you resolve that? What are the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

There were 2 main challenges I faced with getting started. One of the challenges had to do with lack of knowledge and experience. The second main challenge was having the courage to leap.

When I started my part time private practice in January of 2020, I started something that was a brand-new adventure for me. There was much about managing a program and people in the program I had experience with. Starting a private practice was not something I had done before.

In previous clinical and administrative positions, I had supervised and managed therapists. I was responsible for the development and management of 3 budgets totaling 12 million dollars in revenue. I also started a residential treatment center from the ground up. I have much of the business and management experience, I simply lacked the experience of working in a private practice.

My knowledge base on the ins and outs and the subtleties of running a private practice was gained as I went. There are multiple podcasts out there on running private practices.

Anytime I was in the car, in line waiting, or other times where I wasn’t working and had free time, I was listening to these podcasts. I listened to these pod casts in 2 x speed so that I could get more, faster! I become a private practice podcast junkie!

This helped fill in gaps of knowledge for me. I was able to implement the suggestions given on these podcasts which helped provide a stable foundation for future growth.

The other challenge I first faced was the courage to leap. This challenge was pure internal and my comfortability (or discomfort) with risk.

While I was starting my part time private practice, I was working full time as a Regional Executive Director for a Foster Care agency. In the back of my mind, I knew that I had the safety and security of a full time, W-2 job to fall back on should it be needed.

After starting the group practice, I started to become too busy at the group practice to hold both the group practice and the full time Foster Care job. Yet, when it came time in the beginning to pull that trigger, to leap into full time group practice and resign from the full-time gig, I procrastinated. At this point in the journey, all the “what ifs” started flooding in. The main “what if” that was a barrier was, “What if I fail?”.

There was a lot of self-talk around this big “what if”. The first thing I looked at mentally is what if I do fail? What does that look like? Does it mean I’ll be homeless and destitute on the street? No, with my experience and background, I could get hired at another agency job. It wouldn’t be ideal as I love private practice, but it is an outcome that I can live with.

Once I worked through the worst-case scenario and determined that it was an outcome I could live with (which is different than being happy with), I moved onto the likelihood of another “what if” — “What if I succeed?”. I started to envision a life where I am successful at running and operating a group practice.

I also took an objective account of the things that I have failed at. There weren’t too many instances of failure and where there was, the result was something that I was able to live with. In one case, the failure of that time led to leveling up my career. Had I not failed in that aspect, I would have stayed where I was at and not been available for that next thing that elevated my career.

A shift happened mentally and emotionally at this point. I realized that even in the worst-case scenario (failure) that it was something that I could live with and be okay. In looking at the likelihood of success and what that would look like in owning and operating a group practice, this helped me to have the courage to leap.

February 5th, 2021, was my last day at my full-time agency job. I made the leap to full time group practice at that point. Looking back, it’s a leap that I should have taken sooner yet, I had to readjust some mental perceptions prior to making that leap.

Can you share with us how the work you are doing is helping to make a bigger impact in the world? Can you share a story that illustrates that?

At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we have four full time therapists and one part time therapist. We have 50+ years of combined experience in helping teens and families. We work with many bright, capable, talented teens and young adults.

Yet they aren’t able to fully access their innate talents and gifts due to an emotional or behavioral struggle. Having an emotional or behavioral struggle is like putting an artificial ceiling on a teen or young adult’s reservoir of talent. The depression or anxiety can block them from accessing this reservoir.

We have seen time and time again a teen or young adult enter therapy hopeless. When they complete therapy, you can see the hope and happiness in their eyes. Families communicate more effectively after therapy and the bond and connections are often restored.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among teens. And according to the Pew Research Center, teen depression has increased 59% since 2007 as well as struggles with anxiety. The work we do not only help teens and young adults learn to manage and overcome mental and emotional struggles, it is also a lifesaving work.

I had a 16-year-old teen boy (who we’ll call Thomas) that came to therapy due to depression. After talking with him, it became clear that his depression stemmed from his social anxiety.

Thomas experienced thoughts about how nice it would be to not be around any longer. Those who struggle with anxiety over time can develop depression. Depression can lead to suicidal thoughts, plans, and in some cases, attempts and completions.

Thomas had a couple friends who he would hang out and go to the mall with. Early on, he told me that he once went to the mall by himself but wouldn’t do it again because his anxiety was so bad.

I started neurofeedback with Thomas to help him overcome the social anxiety which would lift his depression. Around 15 sessions in, I asked Thomas how his weekend was and if he did anything fun. Thomas told me, with a smile on his face, that he went to the mall.

Knowing that he goes to the mall with his group of friends and not by himself, I asked which friends he went with. Smiling, he said, “I went to the mall by myself!”. I asked how long it had been since he’s been to the mall by himself. He told me that it had been four years. I asked him what it felt like back then to go to the mall and what it felt like this time. Thomas looked at me and said, “Jason, I didn’t even have any anxiety!”

Four years of battling this crippling anxiety on his own. Four years of the crippling effects of anxiety on school, relationships, and self-esteem. Four years of the crushing weight that he had to carry around with him daily. The freedom that he experienced and expressed was awesome! No longer was he kept bound and captive by anxiety. He now has a new lease on life and freedom to access his full, inner potential.

At the end of neurofeedback, Thomas made an insightful comment. He said, “Jason, I don’t have anxiety like I used to. There is still anxiety but it’s like I float now instead of sink.” This is the kind of life changing impact we as therapists can have on the people we work with.

I was part of helping Thomas make this difference in his life. I can now multiply this with my four full time therapists and one part time therapist. The impact and effect we can have on our community is powerful.

The rest of Thomas’ life will be better for the work he did as a teen. This positive impact through therapy can have effects inter-generationally. And now we can help 4.5 times as many teens and young adults in our community. And we’re still growing.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I started a part time private practice in January of 2020, right as the pandemic was ramping up. By October of 2020, the phone calls significantly increased with people looking for therapy. It became clear that in order to help them, I would need more therapists than me in the private practice.

In October of 2020, ten months into starting my part time private practice, I found and secured a new office space. This office space is our current space and provides four offices. Ten months after opening our group practice, it has become time to move to a larger office space to accommodate the steady influx of calls we are getting.

An exciting project I’m working on is having a new office built. This new office will allow us to go from four offices to eight offices, doubling our size. We should be moving into the new office in December 2021.

This is exciting as there is a high demand for more therapeutic services for teens, young adults, and families in my area. Having a larger office space will allow me to accommodate the people inquiring into our services who I have had to be placed on a wait list due to therapists being full.

It’s exciting to think about the people I have been able to help as a part time private practice therapist. To think about the impact we can have on our community with having 8 x as many therapists is super exciting.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

The character traits that have been most instrumental in my success are: A strong work ethic, “stick-to-it-tiveness”, and embracing uncertainty.

To start, I had an experience in my life early on that helped solidify these character traits in my life. In 6th grade, my friend was trying out for a soccer team. As a recreation soccer player, I didn’t know that there were teams you had to try out for. In recreation soccer, you sign up and play. Competitive soccer, you try out and either make the team or are cut.

But because my friend was trying out, and in my ignorance and bliss, I thought I would go with and try out too. What I came to later find out is that I was trying out for a AAA soccer team which, at the time, was the highest skill level of soccer in Utah.

This recreation player had something the coaches must have liked because I made the team. It could have been the heart I played with. When it was my time to perform, I gave it my all with great energy and enthusiasm.

But the bottom line was that I was still a work in progress. As a result, most practices that year I had to practice with a coach as I couldn’t get a team mate to practice with me. That was self-esteem inspiring as a 13-year-old!

It was miserable. At that age, being accepted by my peers was incredibly important. To feel the judgment by my teammates regarding my skill made me feel like I was on the outside of this group.

I wanted to quit but my dad kept me in. He told me that now that I’ve started the team, it’s important to finish out my commitment to the team for the year.

I sucked it up and continued to show up to every practice, run the miles needed in between practices for conditioning, eliminated sugar and carbonated drinks from my diet, anything I could do to improve I did it. I dug in, worked hard, and stuck it out for the year. I was uncertain about what that year would look like but embraced that uncertainty.

Because of this, looking back I can see how much my skills in soccer grew. I didn’t make the AAA team that next year, but I could and did make any AA team that I tried out for the years after. Come my first year in High School, I tried out for and made the High School soccer team.

I was able to continue to play competitive soccer over the proceeding years. Had I not tried out, I would’ve still been that recreation player. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have had that experience that taught me the importance of a strong work ethic, stick-to-it-tivenss, and embracing uncertainty.

This relates to my recent success in starting a group practice. I started a part time private practice in January of 2020. Starting a part time private practice was something I had never done before. And I was attempting this during the height of the pandemic.

I was uncertain of the outcome but embraced that uncertainty. I viewed learning the process as I go along as an exciting part of the adventure. I embraced the knowledge that mistakes would be made and that’s okay.

Had I waited until I had the knowledge necessary to start a group practice, I may still be simply collecting knowledge and not helping the number of people we are currently helping. In the very beginning, I dug in and talked with people who have worked in private practice before to figure out what I need to do to start. I read articles, blog posts, and books on private practice.

Digging in and working hard to gain knowledge and insight while getting the practice on its feet paid off. By July of 2020, seven months after starting my part time private practice, the volume of calls to the practice increased significantly. This held true through July, August, and September. So much so that in October of 2020, I opened my group practice and started hiring other therapists.

The hard work I consistently put in, and the sticking with it despite the uncertainty, helped me get to this point where we are helping many of the teens, young adults, and families in our community.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Let’s begin with a basic definition of terms so that all of us are on the same page. Wellness is an incredibly broad topic. How would you define the term “Wellness”? Can you explain what you mean?

I look at wellness as something that incorporates multiple areas in our life. Wellness is the active pursuit in engaging in healthy life habits that focus on the mind, the body, and relationships.

For some, wellness may simply bring to mind physical wellness. Diet, exercise, getting plenty of rest, proper hydration, and self-care are all important for physical wellness. When we are striving for physical wellness, this has a positive impact on our mental and emotional wellness.

Emotional and behavioral wellness is an area of wellness that often goes by the wayside. Yet having a strong mental and emotional state is the foundation upon which success is built.

A strong emotional and behavioral foundation can help motivate one to practice strong, physical wellness. A strong emotional and behavioral foundation can help those with an already strong, physical wellness program be more consistent in their practice or take it to the next level.

Having strong physical, as well as emotional, wellness also helps with your relationships in life. It’s challenging to have good relationships when you physically aren’t around or capable of being around.

The same goes with emotional challenges. Things like depression and anxiety can prevent you from being either physically or emotionally present with others.

No man is an island. We have evolved as social beings. This is because our ancestors were safer when they were with the group. To wander off alone and away from the group could bring life threatening consequences.

Today, being isolated away from other stirs up a primal anxiety that we may not be able to put our finger on in terms of the cause of that anxiety.

Having a strong emotional, behavioral, and physical wellness approach provides the energy and ability to strengthen the relationships around us. Having healthy, strong relationships is a factor in improving one’s physical health.

Having healthy relationships also helps to protect and support healthy emotional wellbeing. Those with healthy relationships tend to live longer, experience less stress, can heal quicker, experience less pain, and other benefits.

As an expert, this might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to expressly articulate this. Can you please share a few reasons with our readers about why focusing on our wellness should be a priority in our lives?

In a society that is so focused on producing, it can be challenging at times to think about taking time for wellness. But being productive is contingent upon feeling well physically, emotionally, and relationally.

We all have goals that we want to accomplish in our lives. We may have daily goals, weekly goals, monthly, quarterly, annually, and beyond. Many of our long-term goals we want to accomplish are built upon the short-term goals we set. To achieve our long-term goals will require a healthy engine that will drive us there.

If you are planning a cross country drive, one of the first things we do is take our car in to be inspected. We want to be able to address any potential problems early. We want to eliminate any minor problems that could become crisis problems somewhere on the road between where we are currently and our future destination.

Our “selves” are no different. We have a destination that we are trying to get to. This destination has often taken much blood, sweat, and tears in the journey towards arriving to this destination. In order to get to where we want to be, we need to make sure our internal engines are running properly.

As we take time each week to focus on self-care and wellness in the area of emotional, physical, and relational wellness, chances increase of us accomplishing our long-term goals. When we don’t focus on wellness, we will not be operating optimally emotionally, physically, and relationally.

When we prioritize wellness and make the time, we will find that all other areas in our may improve. At the very least, we will be proactive in addressing the minor problems now preventing them from becoming crisis problems leaving us stranded on the road of our happy destiny.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasingly growing understanding of the necessity for companies to be mindful of the wellness of their employees. For the sake of inspiring others, can you share steps or initiatives that companies have taken to help improve or optimize their employees’ mental and physical wellness?

One of the benefits I am able to offer our therapists is a flexible schedule. Therapists being able to manage their own schedule allows them to schedule around important events in their lives.

Having control over their schedule also helps decrease stress and improves morale. They can focus on their own wellness programs and the relationships that are important to them while helping others do the same.

We also have healthy snacks and drinks for our clients and our therapists. The snacks are both brain and body healthy. These healthy snacks play a role in maintaining both the emotional and physical wellness domains. Our clients and therapists can also enjoy their healthy snack while sitting in our massage chair.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

The 5 things you need to create a highly successful career in the health and wellness industry are:

1. Starting With the End in Mind with a Clear Vision, Mission, and Values

There are a lot of careers in the health and wellness industry to choose from. In order to be successful, it’s important to fully understand your personal vision, mission, and values.

Understanding what you would like to achieve in that career in the next year, three years, five years, 10 years and so on is key. Once you have a clear vision outlined, you can make today’s decisions through the lens of where you want to end up tomorrow.

Having a clear vision starting with the end in mind allows for me to make decisions for the practice that support this vision. When I am confronted with a decision, I can ask myself if the result of my decision will help us accomplish our mission and vision or if it takes us away from that.

Being crystal clear in the reason you are choosing to take the health and wellness career path you have taken is important. Also identifying with clarity the values you hold both personally and professionally will help as you make decisions.

Taking into account your vision, your purpose (mission), and your values can guide both personal and business decisions in your life.

2. Embrace Uncertainty — Progress, Not Perfection, is the Goal

To risk being successful one has to be comfortable with the idea that one could fail — and move forward anyway. When doubts start to creep in, it’s helpful if you can fall back on the knowledge that even with the worst-case failure scenario, you can live through it, it will be okay, and it’s worth the risk to fight for success.

To be successful, you also have to be okay with making mistakes. If you can chalk it up to all being a part of the experience, the fear of making mistakes won’t hold you back.

For example, I had never been in private practice. I have always worked agency jobs. I didn’t feel that I knew enough to start a part time private practice let alone a group practice. I knew going into this that mistakes will be made and it’s okay. I knew that I would learn from those mistakes which would help strengthen the practice.

Being able to embrace uncertainty like a good friend is important. Understanding that should it fail, and it is not the end of the story, can free you up and remove an obstacle in your path toward success. Perfectionism paralyzes. Embracing uncertainty and mistakes frees one up to continue to push through and succeed.

3. Stick to it and Just Keep Paddling

When I was a teenager and in boy scouts, our Boy Scout Troop canoed down and camped along the Snake River. Being a little bit younger than the rest of the boys in the troop, I was usually doing activities with one of the scout leaders. This trip was no exception.

We approached one part of the snake river where we were told there would be large rapids. The boy scout leader impressed upon my young mind how important it was to just keep paddling through the large rapids.

As we approached the rapids, I thought to myself, “What’s the big deal?”. From my angle, the rapids looked small — until the first canoe entered the rapids.

What I saw was incredible. That canoe, and each one that proceeded it, disappeared as it went down the first rapid, shot back up and disappeared again as it went down the next rapid, shot up again and disappeared as it went over the final of the three rapids.

These rapids were a beast! I have to admit that I experienced uncertainty and doubted that our strategy of just keep paddling would keep us upright in the face of those rapids.

Each of the canoes tipped and didn’t make it out of Lunch Counter with their canoe upright. As we were the last canoe to go, I got to watch each canoe take on Lunch Counter only to fail. Not a confidence building view. It was our turn and we paddled to the rapids.

As we approached the rapids, my Scout Leader shouted over the noise of the rapids, “Keep paddling! Keep paddling!”. I kept paddling as if my life depended on it and didn’t stop.

It feels counter intuitive to continue to row while you are getting bounced around by rapids. Reflexively, your brain shouts at you to hold on to the canoe so that you don’t tip out and into the water.

As we exited the third and final rapid, we came out continuing to paddle. We also came out upright and were the only ones that didn’t capsize their canoe.

What an amazing feeling that was in my young Boy Scout mind that out of the whole troop, we were the only ones to successfully navigate some pretty impressive rapids!

Yet it was pushing through the fear, uncertainty, and the fact that we kept rowing that made the difference. There have been times along this journey where I thought, “What am I doing? Is this too big for me? Did I bite off more than I can chew?”

Yet experiences in my life like making the AAA soccer team and now this experience taught me to just keep paddling. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and don’t stop. Those self-doubting thoughts passed.

But had I reflexively let go and scaled my vision back because of fear or uncertainty, I would not been in this position to help many in our local community. Stick to your vision and just keep paddling.

4. Be Humble and Be Hungry

There is not a more dangerous place to be as a businessperson than to feel like you know it all and don’t need to learn more. I am hungry for this group practice to be a successful business. I want to help the teens, young adults, and families in our community. I want our therapists to be happy working here and to stay long term. I knew that while I had many of the answers, I didn’t have all of them.

I reached out early on to consult with an expert in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We do not accept insurance. Many clients find therapists through looking through their insurance list of providers. This is automatic marketing for therapists.

Since we don’t take insurance, our website would be the main way to market to clients. Yet, in the beginning when I created the website, unless I typed our name in the search engine, I could not find us. I knew that I needed help.

I contacted Jessica Tappana with Simplified SEO Consulting. Jessica encouraged me to do their “12-week Intensive SEO Training”. Jessica could see how hungry I was for success and took me on as her client.

After a month of working with Jessica and implementing what she taught, our practice phone calls started to increase. We could be found in the search engines. Our rankings for keywords improved to where we are in the top three search results in our area and for our keywords.

I also contracted with a Group Practice Consultant. As I had never ran and operated a group practice before, I thought I would consult with a highly successful group practice owner. I wanted to ensure I caught any blind spots and improve where I could.

The Group Practice Consultant helped me to refine some of my processes and helped me to see that our practice was in a good place. Being able to work with a group practice owner who had been down the road further than I had was helpful.

One of the main reasons it was helpful is that it validated the work I had done up to that point. Gaining confirmation that I had accounted for the blind spots and the practice was in a good place put things in context for me as a new practice owner. The hard work and preparation I put in up front is paying off now as our practice is further ahead than most at our stage.

Staying humble and hungry allows for me to reach out for help when I have questions. This helps by advancing my knowledge of practice best practices. Our practice is stronger today because I stay humble and hungry.

5. Embrace Delegation

As a business owner opening a new business, it’s not uncommon to put in 28 hours a day, 8 days a week! It

can feel as if there is simply not enough time in the day or the week. There is so much that needs to be done

it can feel like you’re being pulled in a thousand different directions.

Being a business owner, it can be tempting to do everything yourself. If you do it yourself, you know it will get done right. Besides, this is your baby. No one is going to take care of it like you can!!

There is not a quicker way for a business to fail than to fail to delegate. Burnout is a real condition. A person can’t usually recognize the line that needs to be crossed in order to be in the burnout category. Burnout is a sneaky beast and rears its ugly head well after the burnout line was silently crossed.

Burnout decreases motivation, happiness, focus, concentration, future planning, etc. In order to avoid burnout, a business owner in the health and wellness field needs to embrace delegating.

There are things that simply cannot be delegated, and the business owner will need to continue to take on these things. All other things that can be delegated, should be delegated.

It’s important for the business leader to remain in a place where they are on top of their game. Delegating also allows the business owner to focus on other, key performance indicators.

Delegating allows the business owner to spend their time and energy engaged in practice strengthening or practice growing activities. They are no longer consumed by the mundane, day to day duties that anyone can do.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would promote the most wellness to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute supported by the Hackett Center for Mental Health here in Houston started a campaign with a simple message — “Okay to Say”. “Okay to Say” refers to the message that it’s okay to openly talk about emotional, behavioral, or other mental health issues.

Mental health still has a stigma attached to it. As a result, many people who could get help, aren’t getting the help they need. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among teens and young adults. We shame people who talk about mental health but then mourn the person who suicides.

If it became a normal thing to do, to talk about mental health struggles, this could save lives. That person who is experiencing such a deep, dark depression who got to the point where suicide was the only option could be saved. The person who cannot attend school or go to work because of anxiety could be helped. There is no reason why education and career advancement should be impacted because of mental health struggles.

There is help out there and we need our teens and young adults to understand that it’s “Okay to Say”. Reducing the stigma around mental health needs can save lives today and have positive impacts intergenerationally.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

The person that I would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with would be Brene Brown, Ph.D., LMSW. Brene, also a social worker, has combined her passion with helping people with a very successful business. She is a strong, independent businesswoman who is brilliant in her approach to education, research, and business.

Brene’s research on vulnerability and shame is at the heart of what underlies many emotional or behavioral struggles. Using her shame research, I have helped teens, young adults, and families that I work with come to better understand shame and how vulnerability plays a role in overcoming the shame.

Brene is also a very successful businesswoman. As a fellow Social Worker who has combined business with his passion in helping others, I would enjoy meeting with Brene and gleaning what I can from her expertise.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Readers can follow my work online by visiting our website. Here, my therapists and I write blogs on various mental health and wellness topics. I also contribute to articles around the country and these articles are on our website under “Featured Articles”. Our web address is: www.katyteenandfamilycounseling.com.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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