We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon Wilson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shannon, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My business partners and I started discussing the idea of starting our own business while working in a hospital-affiliated agency. For me, the work felt really restrictive in so many ways – I wasn’t able to pursue the aspects of mental health that I felt passionate about, and I was also restricted in the ways that I could function in that setting due to policies and procedures that often decreased the quality of care I was able to provide. We dreamt about creating a practice where the focus was on providing high quality care for our clients, and it seemed obvious to us that in order to facilitate that level of care, we had to be able to create a supportive, empowering work culture for ourselves and our team. As a mother, it was also important to me to create my own schedule for flexibility around my family’s needs.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There are two parts to the work I do – my role as a clinician, and my role as a business owner. As a licensed mental health counselor, I see adults with any presenting issue, but I specialize in perinatal mental health. On a daily basis, I get to support people through some of the most difficult times in their lives and this will never stop being an incredible honor. As our business has grown, I have been really excited to really develop leadership skills and learn all of the different aspects of running our semi-private practice. This has been an incredible challenge with many ups and downs. The growing pains of business ownership are tough – I have started to recognize that certain feelings of overwhelm, fear, doubt, and frustration often coincide with times of significant growth in our business. There are so many things that I don’t know, and my partners and I often lament about how we don’t know what we don’t know until we make mistakes. Mistakes can be quite costly (related to financial costs or the investment of time and energy!) but I have learned to accept this as a necessary part of this journey. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished at MWR in the 6 years we have been in business. We are recognized as a leading provider of high quality mental health services in our community, and we love nurturing the growth of our team and our clients.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When my business partners and I decided to start our practice, I took a full leap out of my full-time job (where I carried the family health insurance, received a steady paycheck, and had retirement benefits!) and into this new gig where I had zero clients and wasn’t sure how much money I would actually bring into our family had always fully relied upon two paychecks. Business overhead was added onto personal bills to pay and the uncertainty around this was absolutely terrifying! My husband, Ben, took this leap right alongside me and didn’t hesitate in his unwavering support of this risky decision. He has been such a solid source of support, from providing objective feedback on major decisions to hands-on maintenance at the office. He has been understanding when I struggle with turning work off, and allows me opportunities to leave our family for days a time in order to receive additional training and professional development. It is hard for me to see how this adventure would have been possible without his support and the financial/insurance stability that his job allows for. Thank you, Ben, for being so supportive as I have followed my dreams.
Studio U Photography – headshot