Being a business owner comes with huge responsibilities and a constant influx of challenging situations. But in certain industries—like mental health and addiction—the duties go above and beyond just running a business. Dr. Sarah Church founded Wholeview Wellness in New York City because she felt like there was something missing in the therapeutic community—she saw a need and felt a responsibility to bring a new perspective and approach to those seeking counsel. Passion and determination were key to her success in the wellness industry, but in reality, those values can be used as a model for any type of business.
This week’s Yelp reviewer, Glori M., felt hesitant and nervous at first, and she admits that it took her a few sessions to get comfortable—an experience that many can likely relate to. But after experiencing Dr. Church’s calm, welcoming, and friendly demeanor, Glori felt a sense of trust with this “incredibly compassionate and professional team,” resulting in a 5-star experience and 5-star review.
While Dr. Church’s customer-first approach has resulted in countless happy clients, her success didn’t happen overnight. Wholeview Wellness is the end result of the diverse experiences she had throughout her career. She did research at Yale, participated in pre-doctoral programs focused on addiction, and conducted investment research. Along the way, she collected an array of tools and techniques, and she ultimately figured out what role she wanted to take on. The only caveat? It didn’t exist yet—she would have to create it for herself.
Once Dr. Church acted on her vision and established her company, she still faced many challenges. Knowledge and awareness around mental health has become more widespread over the years, but there is still a stigma around addiction and treatment. For Dr. Church, it’s about breaking down those misconceptions and stereotypes—creating a community where people can talk openly and honestly about what they are going through.
Similar stigmas may not exist in all industries, but think about how you can leverage community to not only overcome your own challenges, but also help remedy the needs or struggles of your customers.
This week, we dive specifically into the different approaches to therapy and generally into best business practices. Here are a few of the key takeaways:
- Be trustworthy and reliable. It’s not just about being available, it’s about being reliable. Dr. Church stresses the importance of picking up the phone, of being there when someone calls. Think about your communication strategy and how consistent you are with your customers—including how, when, and where they can reach you.
- Find a way to relate to your customers. Dr. Church finds common ground with her clients and dives into the personal experiences that may be impacting their mental health and well-being. No matter the industry, relating to your consumers is beneficial. It creates a bond that inspires loyalty and a stronger relationship moving forward.
- Grow with your community. Whether you’re a gardener, a retailer, or a restauranteur, the community around you is essential to the success of your business. Whether you create your own community or weave into an existing one, find your place in that group and envision how you can make a positive impact. Expand your thinking to beyond the individual transaction to help cultivate a bigger and more engaged audience.
During Mental Health Awareness Month (and always), it’s important to acknowledge vital establishments like Wholeview Wellness, and we’re grateful to people like Dr. Church for the tireless work she does and Glori for sharing her story.
Interviews by Emily Washcovick
These lessons come from an episode of Behind the Review, Yelp & Entrepreneur Media’s weekly podcast. Listen below to hear from Dr. Church and Glori, or visit the episode page to read more, subscribe to the show, and explore other episodes.
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