We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Scharlop and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
The habits that have helped me succeed are my professionalism, my kindness, my empathetic nature, my level of confidentiality, my dedication and passion, my writing ability and my gratitude. As a clinician and a business owner, I feel that I need to maintain a high level of professionalism and do so by living with a strong set of ethics and values. I believe that kindness goes a long way and it is important to me to be a kind person. I have always been empathetic, even a s a child I was able to look at the situation through another person’s eyes and understand their perspective. In addition to the skill of empathy, I have always had the skill of confidentiality. Even before I was a therapist, if someone told me something to keep to myself, I am like a vault. This lifelong skill made it easy to adhere to the strict confidentiality laws we have as therapists. I am extremely dedicated and passionate about the field of therapy. I am constantly researching and learning more about relationships. I am interested in the why and how they work and how I can help my clients. My creative writing ability has been a valuable skill because it is through the written words of my blogs that I can share my message, tips and tools with an innumerable amount of people. Thus being able to make a difference in the lives of others as well as my clients. Last but certainly not least, gratitude. I am extremely grateful and I do not take the success of my business or the opportunity to help relationships for granted. I am extremely grateful to be in this position and thrilled that I love being a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist!
Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about? How did you get where you are today business-wise? 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?
Hmmm, what sets me apart, what am I proud of or excited about? My humor, personality, compassion and authentic nature sets me apart. I am proud of my ability to connect with all different people in all stages of their lives. I am excited that the field of therapy is changing. Before 2020 it was predominately a face to face service and now online counseling is becoming more widespread. I am licensed in the state of Florida and because of online counseling (telehealth, online therapy) I am able to help more couples and individuals all over the state. It is very exciting to know that my geographic location of helping couples and individuals has opened up. How did I get to where I am today and was it easy? Easy, no! Lots of hard work, long hours of writing website content, marketing, networking and laying the foundation to have a private practice while keeping up to date on the latest techniques and trainings in relationship counseling. How did I overcome the challenges? By not giving up! If I tried something that didn’t work, I researched, asked questions, figured it out and tried something else. I surround myself with like-minded people who are willing to support me. I am also not techy but I am learning and getting better. But for the real important technical work, I have a technical expert who I can trust and his skills are greatly appreciated! What are the lessons I learned along the way? To trust my gut, stay true to myself and always put forth 100% effort. What do I want the world to know about me? Is that I had a dream. I worked hard and I achieved it. My dream was to be able to work for myself at a job that makes a difference in the lives of others while maintaining flexible hours so I can be there for my family. I love being my own boss, having a front seat to the lives of my clients as I help them achieve their dreams and having the time and energy to be there for my husband and son.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my friend was visiting it would probably be because we were going to take a cruise out of the Fort Lauderdale or the Miami port. But hopefully they would arrive a few days early or stay a few days afterwards so we could explore my area. If the Miami Heat were playing then we would go to the American Airlines Arena for a basketball game. If there was a musical or play at the Broward Center of Performing Arts, then we would be there. We would also take a drive to Wynwood and visit any of their amazing restaurants and walk around admiring the art work on the walls. If we were going to stay local in the city of Plantation, then we would take a walk at one of the beautiful parks and eat at my favorite restaurant in Plantation, Mustard Seed Bistro.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to send a big shoutout to all of the colleagues that I have met on my journey as a clinician and a business owner. I am extremely fortunate to have an intelligent, diverse, group of sharing professionals to network and learn with as I continue to grow personally and professionally. I value all of you, especially the colleagues that have also turned into friends. My second shoutout goes to my Instagram and Facebook followers. I am happy that you continue following and reading my blogs and tips. It gives me great joy knowing you find my shares to be a useful way to spend your time. My third shoutout goes to my teenage son who is my “son”shine. I’m happy that he always supports me with the same enthusiasm, interest and love that I give to him. My final shoutout goes out to my husband. He is the person who has been by my side since graduate school and continues to be by side through it all. He was so proud of me the day I graduated with my masters from Nova Southeastern University. It has been his pride, along with his unwavering support and confidence in my abilities that helped me achieve my dream of being a respected clinician and building a thriving practice.