Victoria is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and works individually with men and women, specializing in women’s issues. “I do psychotherapy, which I love with a passion even after 20 years,” she says. “I love people, and I care deeply about what they are going through and feel blessed that I have the skill set to know how to help them heal.”
Q: What do you find most fulfilling
about running your business?
VJ: I love, love, love helping people who are hurting and stuck emotionally, and want to grow and heal. I never tire of hearing painful stories where others fear to tread. People entrust their sacred wounds and darkest secrets as we walk on holy ground to hear God’s voice in the healing process. Wounds are healed, lives are transformed and I am always in awe as I am privileged to be a part of this journey. This is most fulfilling for me.
Q: What motivated you to start
I then became the adolescent social worker at a psychiatric hospital doing family therapy. I ran the group therapy for all hospital patients and implemented a sexual abuse program for the hospital. When the hospital closed, I decided I wanted to incorporate more of my spiritual values into my counseling than public health would allow so I opened private practice 15 years ago. My eclectic background allowed me to perform a wide range of therapy as opposed to one specialty.
VJ:I started my business in a circuitous way. After I received my master’s degree, I worked at a community mental health center where I worked with all ages doing individual therapy, family therapy, couples therapy and addictions therapy. I learned from nurses, doctors, psychiatrists, nutritionists and other specialists all aspects of mental health.
Q: What book has been most helpful
to you in your business?
VJ: One time when I was struggling a friend gave me The Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Life by Robert Fritz. It gave me hope and a new creative way of looking at life and business, and was the inspiration for me going to graduate school.
Q: Who has influenced you most
in your life?
VJ: My husband has been my champion. He has encouraged me to take risks when fear would normally hold me back. He is always there to hear me process, process, process. He started a small business years ago and encourages me every step of the way.
Q: What has proved to be your most
successful marketing strategy?
VJ: My largest referrals come from previous clients so it requires me to do the best job I can. It is the relationship that counts. It is essential to be caring, personal and always be present. Giving that extra touch, like a professional but warm office so from the moment they walk in they know I care about all of their needs. Knowing when a client needs extra attention because of that timing in the journey. Returning phone calls in a timely fashion. So many times it is the little things that count more than the big things. Primarily, it is the relationship.
Q: What have been the greatest
challenges you have had to overcome, or are currently facing,
in your business?
VJ: The biggest challenge has always been the fluctuation in the number of clients I see and to trust that it will go up again. A weekly client count is not steady. A business owner has to trust this fluctuation without panic. This is where it helps to have good book-keeping so you can look back and see the overall pattern. Each time I look at the pattern rather than the current status I calm down.
Then the next challenge is to use these lulls to work ON the business. These are great times to build a new knowledge base, enhance another, create a group or network, etc. It also becomes easy to slack off.
Q: How did you benefit from participating in a Make-it-Fly® board?
The board was wonderful because in solo practice I never can bounce ideas around with others. They were caring, bright, talented business owners who helped get me excited and motivated about building my business to the next level.
VJ: Make-it-Fly® really challenged me to “work on my business.” They helped me to define more specifically the known but not practiced, like the 1 month, 3 month, 1 year goals and the steps to get there with accountability. Without these, the ideas may always be there, but they never move to action.
What would you say to other business owners who are contemplating
getting involved in a Make-it-Fly® board?
VJ: Don’t hesitate. This is well worth the investment. Dave Block will not let you give up or fail. You will be a success with a new plan that will succeed. Go for it.
Victoria Johnson can be reached by phone at: 303-798-8836. Or send her an email at: email@example.com.
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