While working on her first business offering executive assistant services, Riley Brown began reconsidering her passion for assistant work, desiring a more fulfilling role. After some self-reflection and seeking out counselling to help find a new path, Riley realised her own inclination for counselling and decided to pursue it professionally.
She balanced her executive assistant business with her studies, and went back to school for her Diploma of Professional Counselling. Now, she has launched Riley Counselling, which offers therapy for adults in the Comox Valley.
Riley Counselling provides support and guidance for individuals with mental health concerns. Riley creates a safe and non-judgmental space for her clients to explore their emotions, challenges, and personal growth.
During her career change, Riley sought assistance and began exploring grants, resources, and funding for start-ups. She discovered WeBC and was drawn in by the available resources for women entrepreneurs. She joined the Discovery Foundation’s Strategic Mindset Program to connect with other business owners and get feedback on her new venture.
Throughout the program, Riley learned the significance of dedicating attention to a single business and the value of refining her focus on a particular niche. Impressed by her positive experiences, she also enrolled in WeBC’s One-to-One Mentorship Program. This decision aimed to further her learning experience, seeking personalized, one-on-one guidance from a mentor who shared a similar background and business perspective.
This year, Riley is looking forward to shifting her focus to Riley Counselling and making a positive impact on the community she serves, while keeping the connections she made in the Discovery Foundation program.
Q: What was your biggest takeaway from the Discovery Foundation’s Strategic Mindset Program?
A: A great lesson that I learned was to focus. That ended up being a theme across our entire group. The women in my group picked up my dilemma of having two businesses and set me straight. Their advice was to choose a business and a niche, so I decided to focus on Riley Counselling. I feel so much calmer now because it was tearing me apart. That was a huge lesson for me.
Afterwards I was able to connect with a friend of one of the women in my group who actually happens to live around my corner. So it was crazy that we connected through the remote program.
Q: What has the One-to-One Mentorship Program been like for you?
A: It’s been immensely helpful. The program matches you with someone who has a skillset you’d like to develop, and it was nice to be able to focus on areas where I’m weak. For me, I feel good on my marketing side, but I don’t feel confident really understanding the numbers or the reports that I need to know. So that’s where she’s been tremendously helpful. There have been so many great tools that my Mentor has shown me that I can continue to use once the mentorship program is over.
I also love that my Mentor and I both have a background in psychology, so we look at things from a psychological mindset. It’s been great having someone to talk to about why this is the best way to do it, and why our brains think the way they do. It’s been a great commonality between us.
Q: What advice do you have for other business owners?
A: I think if I could pass on a message, it would be to take advantage of every resource you can—every webinar, and every program—and apply for them, it’s absolutely worth it.
Q: What’s next for Riley Counselling?
A: A goal for this year is to transition to in-person full-time in an office. I think in five years I could see myself having a group practice, and employing other counsellors to work in areas that I don’t work in, like couples counselling. And from there, maybe having my own location in 10 years, which would be fun.