I've always been interested in the world of work; my undergraduate degree was in economics, the closest thing to a business degree at the liberal arts college I attended. During my graduate psychology training I took as many organization psych classes as I could squeeze into my clinical program, but eventually ended up for many years running a psychotherapy practice. During that time I found that many of my clients struggled with workplace issues, and that often became an important theme in our work: not only how to be successful at the work they were doing, but helping them to envision and move towards work that actually was meaningful to them, and used a fuller range of their talents.
Somewhere along the way I started a little side business, producing and distributing psychotherapy training videos. Fast forward 25 years and this grew into a successful enterprise, Psychotherapy.net, with over 300 video titles, worldwide distribution to therapists and universities, and a small team of employees. Inadvertently I discovered that my prior interest in business, careers, and workplace issues had actualized in me co-running my own business with my wife. In essence, I became a case study in the creative progression of simmering interests gradually morphing into something I couldn't have foreseen previously; but looking back, it somehow all makes sense.
OK, so why am I sharing this? At this stage in my life, one thing I've found very meaningful is helping entrepreneurs, managers, and small businesses navigate some of the challenges I've encountered in my journey, as well as ones I have luckily avoided. And yes, luck does have lot to do with it sometimes! Some things are certainly out of our control in the world of commerce, such as changes in technology or competition (think how so many retail businesses have been eviscerated by Amazon, or the widescale disruption predicted by AI).
BUT some things are indeed under our control: Can we better understand our skills as well as weaknesses? Can we improve our interpersonal skills to become a better leader, manager or co-worker? Can we think strategically about where our business is going, rather than just reacting to the latest crisis? Can we learn to better navigate the inevitable conflicts with business partners (and if they happen to be family members, the emotional triggers can be especially powerful indeed)?
I find that my combined background as a psychologist and a business owner work well for me and my clients. I can't speak for other consultants, I know that if I only had my toolbag of clinical psychology skills, I just wouldn't really understand the real day-to-day challenges of running a business. Likewise, if I only had my business experience, I wouldn't be able to help my clients manage the complexities of the emotional and interpersonal challenges that come with the territory of getting bright, creative, and ultimately imperfect human beings working together to create something great. My background as a psychotherapist helps me lead clients to dig deeper into the core of the issues they are confronting in a way that a matter-of-fact logical discussion often just can't achieve.
If any of this speaks to you, feel free to give me a call and we can discuss whether I might be someone who could help you with the business challenges you are facing.