Featured Thursday Business
How long have you been in business?
We founded the Center for Women's Sexual Health in January of 2017
Why did you decided to become a entrepreneur? How did you get started?
Honest truth? I am not even sure I decided that part! Becoming an entrepreneur had not actually been my goal. My goal was to try to make women's healthcare more comprehensive and judgement free. I decided women should be able to see their gynecologist (their vagina doctor) and ask about their vagina! And I had for too many years heard women tell me they either didn't ask their questions for fear of being shamed or they did ask and were given answers that weren't helpful. In my frustration I realized there was no reason I had to sit around and wait for someone to start practicing medicine in a way I thought would be actually helpful for women. I realized I could start practicing this way. I was blessed to have a wonderful business partner who supported my ideas and efforts, so I ran with it.
What is one challenge you have had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
Only one?!?! Ok, well, my biggest challenge has always been self confidence. Day in, Day out, that is what I struggle with most. I ask/tell myself constantly: "Who wants to hear you teach them that?", "Who wants to come listen to you?", "You're a PA, not a doctor. People aren't going to take you as seriously", "You can't handle that, just back off", "You're a woman, no one is going to take you as seriously as a man". I know I know, I work to debunk these fears in women every day. But I struggle with them too. How do I overcome those fears and more? I guess I just say screw it. I'll do my best to learn as much as humanly possible, and I'll be sure to keep an open heart and open mind to continually learning more, from my mentors and from my patients. If I can do this, perhaps I can help someone else do the same.
Are there any mentors you look up to?
Too many to count! Yes, there are specific mentors and role models in the medical, social work, sexual medicine, and academic worlds. But the ones I look up to on a daily basis are the women who lay out their secrets, their fears, and their questions to me every day. These are my patients, my friends, and my co-workers. What they do takes more bravery than I could ever wrap my head around. They put themselves through an intense amount of emotional and physical labor in order to help unveil a more authentic version of themselves. They make me strive to be better every single day.
What makes your business unique among others like it?
Well, I talk about sex, and the clitoris, and orgasms, and lube all day every day. Seems like most people don't get to do that at their jobs. There is no other business like ours in Michigan or surrounding states as we are the only comprehensive sexual medicine clinic. However, among gynecologists in general, I think it would have to be the fact that we will talk about the vagina, even so much as to talk about how it can help you experience pleasure, not just as a potential conduit for baby (which, let's stop for just a minute and recognize how freaking amazing that feat is!), and not simply a fleshy receptacle.
What would you recommend to a new entrepreneur?
Have faith in yourself. Realize that with faith and authenticity, you can create anything you want in this world. You will be disappointed, frustrated, hurt, angry, and exhausted at times, but when you pick yourself back up, you will realize how far you have come and how much you have accomplished. And in this, you will also appreciate the journey. The Negative Nellies in your head will speak to you, but give them a quick moment, and then politely (or not!) tell them it's time to move on!
What do you feel made the biggest impact on your business?
My coworkers. Hands down. These are the people making it run and grow every single day. They are by far the most important part of the Center.
How do you balance your personal life and work?
Ha! This question is a bit funny. I honestly find there is little to no balance, at least not in the way I thought I would achieve balance - the perfect amount of time with my kids, with myself, with my husband, and with my work. What I try instead is to make every moment align with my goals of loving my children with all my heart and helping my patients to the best of my abilities. The balance comes in to play when I stop to check in with myself. If I am taking the time or energy I need to not only sustain but also grow myself as a human, then I have achieved the balance I need to continue.
What are some fun things about you? What do you like to do?
I love to dance with my husband - like to boy bands. I'm pretty terrible, but he's great and it makes me smile the entire time. I love when my kids ask me to play or do whatever they are doing, which is usually some sort of sport or singing. Again, terrible technique on my end, but I love when they giggle at me and I don't mind trying!! I have always loved to stay active either running or any other form of exercise. But one of my favorite things to do for myself is sit back and watch crowds of people, doing my best to analyze human behavior while only catching a brief moment in their lives.