December 4, 2022

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Deb Hopper – Senior Occupational Therapist at Life Skills 4 Kids

Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m an occupational therapist (OT) working with kids in therapy as well as offering professional supervision and business coaching for other OT’s across Australia. I help professionals and parents to demystify kids behaviour through my online programs, blogs and The Life Skills 4 Kids podcast.

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I’ve been an occupational therapist for 24 years and when I started out I felt so alone professionally, and there was very little support for therapists to support their clinical skills, and none for business coaching and support within the therapy space. My therapy and business coaching for pediatric occupational therapists has grown substantially over the past 3 years, and I’ve been successfully replacing 1:1 therapy with families with my online professional and business memberships the last 3 years.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Well, I started 15 years ago when my son was a baby and I was looking for more flexible work. It’s been quite a journey and we have pivoted a number of times, but launching the online memberships has been the most rewarding, so I can give back to the profession and support younger therapists the way I wish I had been supported when I was starting out in business.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Providing a quality service, making sure that people feel heard and seen is paramount to being a female entrepreneur. The evidence of most of our founding members in our group staying in our memberships since launching 2.5 years ago speaks to this. Also, retaining therapy clients for 15 – 16 years also shows that people need to be heard and seen and related to.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I’m gradually replacing my clinic therapy with my memberships and online offerings. The future looks exciting, with big plans to launch The Parenting Life Skills 4 Kids membership in the near future to support parents to demystify behaviour and make days and evenings easier.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

I’ve learnt about developing resilience, persistence, seeing projects through, tenacity and constantly changing your mindset to look on the positive side and learn from every experience.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I use infusionsoft (keap), wordpress, memberium, zapier, clickup and zoom mostly from day to day.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

The One Thing book, all of Mike Michalowicz’s books, Master of One book, Systemology book, The 5 second rule book, Donald Miller’s books on storybrand, the book Deep Work.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Set specific goals, build one bridge at a time, and fail forwards.

Where can we go to learn more?

www.lifeskills4kids.com.au