Today we continue our “spotlight” on a woman entrepreneur who is making her mark by setting goals and creating plans to accomplish them. In today’s spotlight, notice how Anne Hancock, founder of The Wellness Counseling Center, a center to help couples heal a distressed relationship, has used three important strategies to expand her business:
1. Tell us about your work – what you do, where you do it and who you serve.
I think of myself as a Social Entrepreneur but technically, I’m a Marriage and Family Therapist licensed in California and North Carolina and work exclusively with couples in distress. My ideal client is a couple, often a dual career couple – but not always — age 35-50, either married or in a committed relationship. Usually there are children in the mix. They love each other and their life is good in many ways – but things are not so good in their relationship. These couples have the same argument over and over again and get caught in a negative loop – sometimes for years – and it can take their relationship down despite the fact that they love each other.
2. What inspired you to start your business?
I’ve always enjoyed being in private practice and wanted to help more couples using a non-pathologizing approach. At Wellness Counseling Center we don’t view a distressed relationship as a mental illness…rather we are consultants to the relationship and this makes a world of difference to our clients.
3. How do you define success?
Being happy. Being in-love. Feeling valued. Being of service. And being in a state of gratitude pretty much sums it up for me most days. I like having earning capacity and making sure my practice does well is important – for sure — yet I see money itself as a medium for trade. It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s just how we set things up in our culture. In the past people used to barter or trade…or use shells or goats or chickens. Today money is the vehicle or medium used by business and everyone else too. I pay attention to the bottom line because that’s what it takes to run a healthy and solvent professional corporation. But money in and of itself doesn’t define me, motivate me or determine my success. Happy couples…. and seeing children in a safe and loving environment….now that’s a different story. That motivates me. That makes gives me a sense of professional success and satisfaction.
4. What have you taken away from your work with Joy?
Joy provides an extraordinary service. She’s a witness to my ideas and helps me articulate them and develop them further than I would by myself. To me…she also represents accountability. Joy’s not a taskmaster but once I’ve made a commitment to implementing one of my ideas ….in a funny kind of way….I don’t want to disappoint her….or me. LOL
5. What’s been your biggest challenge as a woman entrepreneur and how have you overcome this challenge?
A number of years ago I worked in a corporate environment where my non-traditional, entrepreneurial ways were not so highly valued. I still have to remind myself sometimes that I do not need anyone’s permission.
6. What advice would you share with women who desire to have a successful business?
Be very, very clear about your vision. It’s your GPS system. Launching a business is a risk and takes courage. You must be prepared to pivot and adjust as you go along. Make sure you have lots of support. You cannot do it alone.
7. What’s next for you?
We’ve designed a 2-1/2 Day VIP Couples Intensive Retreat to help couples respect, connect and fall in love again. Couples can take themselves off the grid for a few days and really focus on their relationships. I’m also looking forward to a nice, long vacation with my husband this year as we are headed to China.