Life is a challenge. For many of us, it’s too difficult to tackle without help, and for people in Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph, Erica Mitchell provides the help we need. As the therapist behind Eugenio Counselling Services, Erica offers a safe space to explore who and where we are and where we want to go.
She’s an experienced and trained social worker, and through Eugenio Counselling, Erica provides anger management, anxiety, depression and family counselling, as well as a host of other services.
We interviewed Erica and talked about how she started her practice, and what life is like for her, as a business owner and busy mother
What inspired you to start your own practice?
Having my first son inspired me to become an entrepreneur. I wanted the best of both worlds, to be able to stay at home with my son and be able to work. Having a private practice was something I knew I would eventually do, but the time wasn’t right until my son was born.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I love that I can run my business how I want. I’m not tied to organizational policies and procedures.
The very best part is having the flexibility to go on field trips, go to swim classes, and be at home when the boys are sick. Who better to take care them when they aren’t feeling well!
Can you describe a typical day?
My day starts when the kids get up anywhere between 6 and 7. Depending on the day, and how much time I have we have playtime and breakfast. Off to daycare we go for both boys, Tuesdays and Thursdays my oldest is home with me before he goes to preschool. There is a lot of playing those mornings, working doesn’t tend to happen. Once they kids are where they are supposed to be my day will start.
Some days it will be client work, other days paper work, in between all of that is doing household stuff and my husband’s accounting for his business. If I have sleep clients, there will be text messages back and forth around sleep and how it is going, what to do and encouragement that baby will sleep. Then it will be off to get the kids, play, dinner, bed and then back to work for me. Writing case notes, invoicing, and then hopefully some enjoyment reading. Then it starts all over again.
Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family that answer the call?
My fantastic daycare and preschool. I would not be able to do it without them! Heather at daycare is a second mom to my kids. My fabulous babysitter Lindsey, who comes every Thursday night so I can see clients in the evenings has settled right in, and I never know what kind of tactics her and the boys are going to get up to. There is always, my fabulous Mompreneur leader Tessa!
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
I try not to sacrifice home for work. Are my kids being cared for by others more than I would like? Absolutely, but that is what is needed to get myself established. Do sessions get cancelled because my kids are sick? Yep, they sure do. My kids are my priority. Do clients have to fit themselves into my schedule? Yep – I need to be at home for my kids in the evening.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
No day off for me! A day off of work means playing and playing and more playing. A day off from the kids, means I am at work seeing clients.
Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
Absolutely! To me it means being involved in community events, providing my expertise to different agencies where their clients would not be able to afford my services.
Name another entrepreneur who inspires you.
My fellow Mompreneurs in Guelph provide me inspiration. We are all in this together, and with them it is possible. I never looked at famous entrepreneurs and thought I want to be like them. It is the local moms that I meet that allow me to believe in myself and inspire me to be the best that I can be.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
My business is growing and continues to grow. I have clients throughout the world, which is very exciting. I have my own space, instead of a shared office. I plan on continuing what I am doing. I strive to offer more services through ecounselling and instant chat.
Any tips for moms thinking of starting a business?
It takes hard work and dedication. If you want to do it you can. Use the supports that are available to you.
FS Local has partnered with the Mompreneur® Showcase Group Inc. (Mompreneurs®) in an effort to share the inspiring success stories of working moms who never gave up on their dreams and embraced the challenges of both owning a business and raising a family.
We feature regular interviews with Canadian moms and explore what it takes to succeed at home and in the workplace.