We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamie Ratowski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I can attribute my business success to a lot of things, both big and small. However, if I realllllly had to choose, I think building a strong professional support system has been my ultimate secret weapon. I’ve been lucky enough to build working relationships with intelligent colleagues during my time in the field who I have learned and grown from clinically, essentially helping me become the therapist I am today. But even more so, I’ve surrounded myself with smart business women who share similar passions as my own and have built successful, thriving private practices. I’ve always been able to learn by example, absorbing the useful and helpful information that can benefit me and tailoring this to make it my own. Learning the ins and outs of a therapy private practice was no different. I learned by example and I asked for help when I needed it. If I have to give any advice to someone who has a passion for psychotherapy and wants to build their own practice it would be to network, connect with established practice owners, and create connections you can count on when you inevitably need help throughout the process. The success of my brand happened a little different. My practice name is Brightside Therapy Services and the Brightside brand was envisioned and created from pure authenticity. I try and tend to embody all things bright such as fun, happiness, love and laughter. Brightside represents my personality, my therapeutic approach, and the experience I hope my clients achieve when they work with me. Even more so, the Brightside brand was also created as a happy, uplifting model to inspire hope, possibility, and motivation for my clients to envision their own brightside and achieve their goals. Authenticity is so important when developing your brand. The more true to yourself you are the more you truly believe in what your brand represents, ultimately translating into the quality of services you are providing.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My career as a therapist has been planned since I was in middle school. I took those career aptitude tests that always told me I was supposed to work in the psychology field, but this was no surprise to me. I always wanted to help people. I had an early knack for listening to people’s hardships and being a shoulder to lean on. Oh, and I love to talk…So naturally, my career path was formed. I went on to major in psychology at Temple University then specialized in relational and family therapy at Nova Southeastern University here in South Florida to get my Master’s degree. While in school, I began planning on how to launch my own practice so that as soon as I was licensed and able to legally provide therapy I could. I always wanted to be my own boss. Doing what you love on your own terms seemed to me the ultimate goal and accomplishment. Working as an administrative assistant in a private practice setting while I was in graduate school was a huge blessing, I learned the ins and outs of how to run a therapy private practice first hand. With a little (a lot) of help from my mentor and supervisor Dr. Kate Campbell, by the time I graduated I had done the leg work to launch my practice, Brightside Therapy Services, and I was ready to go! I worked full-time in an agency for nearly 3 years while I slowly got comfortable in private practice on the side, growing my caseload, and trying to balance full time work, live a normal social life, while building my own business. It was a lot, but SO worth it! It wasn’t long before I left agency work and went full-time private practice..and I’m NEVER looking back. I imagine my story and experience is similar to many young practice owners in my field. It wasn’t always easy and the job can certainly beat you down from time to time. There are a lot of moments when you’re like “Holy shit, how am I going to make any money? What if I don’t get clients? How am I going to survive! Did I make a mistake?” These are the scary moments, the moments that have the power to make you give up. However, my passion has always been with therapy and that turned into motivation to push through the hardships that came along with the process. Patience, hard-work, and a solid support system are the factors I believe can get you through those tough moments. I love what I do so much that I believe it transpires into my work. I am genuinely so invested in being the best therapist I can that my clients are in good hands in that sense, I will always work for them and with them to help them achieve their goals. Brightside Therapy was created with the intention of bringing a light, positive energy, and sense of hope and motivation to the clients who come to me as I aid their journey to explore their potential and achieve their goals. I try very much to be the persona of my brand, bringing an uplifting, fun, positive energy to the therapy experience and help make for an enjoyable therapy experience in addition to productive. I work with adults and couples, specializing in areas such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem, relationship challenges, break-up recovery, and much more. I believe that life throws curve balls every now and then and sometimes, we need a little support along the way. So much of my own happiness and fulfillment comes from being able to be that support for people.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First of all, if my out of town friends are reading this, this is your sign to come visit me ! I love having visitors and taking them to all of my favorite spots in Fort Lauderdale. I take them to the beach first and foremost. I know my visitors always like to be able to go to the gorgeous beaches in Florida. I LOVE the beach, I need to make it more of a priority to get there more often. Dania Beach is one of my favorites. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is also such a fun place to spend the day as it has everything from the beach, biking, kayaking, topped with a cute little lunch shack to boot. I am also a big fan of a good happy hour. Shooters Waterfront, The Downtowner, Kaluz, Boatyard, and Beach House are all amazing bar and restaurants with a good happy hour and killer waterfront views. B-Square, Big City Tavern, Royal Pig, and Loui Bossi’s are some of my favorite spots to eat and drink at on the awesome Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. We have a really good selection of breweries in the area too for a more laid back, eccentric experience. Tarpon River Brewery and Funky Buddha Brewery are some of my favorites and The Sistrunck Marketplace & Brewery is next on my list to try! In truth, I can go on and on about all of the places in Fort Lauderdale that I love to go, there’s never a shortage of new restaurants and bars to try for some good food and fun. The Sawgrass Mall is also a must. It’s a HUGE mall but has something for everyone and can keep you busy for hours on a rainy day when you want to be inside. Theres always so much to do in Florida that is just a car ride away. My friends and I take a lot of “staycations”. We venture to Orlando for some Universal/Disney fun, The Keys, Jupiter, Sanibel Island, Delray Beach and many more spots for a little get-away. I still take Fort Lauderdale for granted sometimes. I am from a little town in Northeastern Pennsylvania and I was not brought up with the massive accessibility to so much fun, entertainment, and shopping so close by. Ive been here about 6 years now and I imagine while living here, no matter how long it’s been, I will never be bored. The amazing friends and good company I’ve made over the years make it even better.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a huge appreciation shoutout to my family first and foremost. I have always felt the most support and love from my parents and my sister. They have always kept me motivated and confident that my goals were within my reach and cheered me on along the way. Dr. Kate Campbell is also such an influential person in my life. She owns the thriving group practice Bayview Therapy in Fort Lauderdale that me and my practice, Brightside Therapy Services, are so proud to be a part of. She is and always will be been my mentor. I have learned so much clinically and business-wise from her. She’s also my friend. Dr. Kate is someone I can learn from and count on. I owe her so much!
Other: Email: Jamie@BrightsideTherapyFL.com
Grace Elliot – www.sayitgracefully.com