Therapist Ada Pang has filled her caseload over the last two and a half years through specializing in counseling couples as well as people living with or impacted by cancer, and clients who fall under both of those categories. Now that her business, People Bloom Counseling, is operating at a caseload that is close to full, she’s focusing her energy on building her business by way of adding other clinicians.
Ada utilized the consultation services of Business Impact NW as she began the task of increasing her business’ scope with additional clinicians. She describes her work with Darren Guyaz as “very helpful.” They touch base about once a month. “It’s not super high touch. I love the flexibility and the ability to say, ‘This is what I need.’”
Including Bob Russell, also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, at People Bloom Counseling four months ago has allowed Ada to reach a wider clientele that includes Bob’s specialization of mainly teens and young professionals. Both therapists also work with folks living with anxiety and depression, issues that have only seemed to increase societally.
The collective cultural push in recent years toward prioritizing our mental and emotional health works to Ada’s advantage. She rents her Redmond office from ThinkSpace, a shared work space. She believes that “a sprinkle of us therapists in the mix” is beneficial for that community, thinking about how those spaces can be isolating and potentially lacking in emotional connections as people focus their energy on individualized work rather than interacting with colleagues.
Ada says she loves her job because, “I’m able to really affect change in a person’s life. In the clients that I’ve seen the most movement, it affected them, their work, their family.” There is value added to peoples’ lives thanks to the work Ada does.
“I would love to have more of an effect on the community, but I’m still new.” Now that Ada is running a clinic with another therapist and hopefully will be able to add even more clinicians soon, she’s operating less on her own personal outreach.
“As a minority and as a business owner, I have to be on,” there’s pressure there. Ada is able to be a minority therapist and work with people of color when potential clients are seeking that. Being located in Redmond, Ada is an excellent resource for many South Asian folks working in the tech industry.
“It’s hard to be taken seriously as women in business. We’re either considered too sensitive or not sensitive enough, often second-guessing ourselves.” However, there are certain advantages to being a female business owner. Ada believes there’s an element of the emotional that can be more balanced when women run businesses. “There’s an ability to wrestle with the complexity of problems…there are so many layers to peel…having good intuition on something, that’s not just reasoning it out, it’s not just the cerebral or the rational.”
“As a woman and as a person of color, I feel like I have to work a little harder just to make it happen. …I’ve had to rely on myself a little more.” She seeks out opportunities to market her business, such as connecting with schools or medical clinics, or printing her business info on fidget spinners, things she wouldn’t have done when she was previously working salaried jobs. “I recently took a box of donuts to teens at a driving school [as outreach]. …Being on my own necessitates that, putting myself out there.”
About the author
Katrina Herzog has spent the majority of her professional life working in childcare, youth education, and social services. She is a documentary photographer and recently received a Master of Social Work at University of Washington.