May 19, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Dr. Gloria Lee, Psychologist, Founder and Clinical Director of Brentwood Counselling Centre

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

I started my clinical practice over 23 years ago. After being on my own for a while, I noticed a greater need for the clinical services that I was providing. Therefore, I decided to expand my practice to include other therapists and train students in order to offer more services to the community. Over the years, my clinical practice has served thousands of individuals, couples, families, and organizations. I also offer affordable counselling and free workshops to various nonprofits to ensure equal access to quality care.

Describe the process of launching the business.

My business started off with myself in a solo practice. To ensure that my community knew about my services, I offered free workshops and lectures all over the city. People enjoyed what they learned and started booking counselling sessions and referring friends and family. Once my practice became full, I hired more therapists to help. Over the years, I have built a team of seven therapists, including myself. The clinic continues to grow and expand because of our reputation for providing quality and effective services.

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

Quality service which includes being professional, personable, knowledgeable, and caring. Clients have had profound and life changing results which then builds trust in our services. Many of our clients know about our services through word of mouth referrals.

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

My clinic has grown every year for the past 23 years. We’ve expanded to include both in person and online one-on-one clinical counselling services and workshops. I am always looking to hire more therapists and train more students. My clinic is busier than ever, especially during the pandemic. We’ve supported first line workers by offering free counselling to them. The need and demand for mental health services has never been greater and I’m glad to be available for our community. I look forward to reaching a more global audience in the years to come by creating more online content on the most in-demand topics. My book, The Kickass Couple, will also be available for purchase this fall.

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

Slow and steady is the way to go. Be thoughtful, yet be willing to take risks. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they are inevitable. Know that it is in making mistakes that you learn the greatest lessons.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I use Jane App for online booking, note taking, payment, payroll, and tracking client statistics. It is a great “all in one” system that has simplified, enhanced, and sped up my administrative work. I also use FaceBook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for social media.

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

Dare to Lead book and podcast by Dr. Brené Brown and anything by Simon Sinek.

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

Know your calling, stay focused, start small, don’t do it alone, ask for help, and have a mentor.

Where can we go to learn more?