BASED IN: NEW YORK
I am the owner of Cobb Psychotherapy, a private therapy practice based in New York City that serves children, adolescents, adults, and couples. I believe that therapy shouldn’t be an endless, tedious process. My goal is to provide quality therapy for the modern age to as many people as possible.
In my practice, my associates and I help clients realize lasting change in their lives by using an eclectic, individualized approach. Our areas of focus include anxiety, depression, communication, relationships, and work-related stress. Our motto is: Don’t just survive. Thrive.
Is entrepreneurship something that anyone can tackle? What is the most important thing to consider?
I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. I always assumed I would work for someone full time and have my private practice on the side “for fun.” However, once I started my business I realized how exciting and fulfilling being an entrepreneur is. I got hooked.
It’s easier than most people think to become an entrepreneur. However, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. To be a great entrepreneur, you have to be incredibly driven and willing to do anything for your business. I do things for Cobb Psychotherapy that would have seemed terrifying in the past. For example, I never thought I would be able to stand up in front of hundreds of people and pitch my business. When you are passionate about your business, you do whatever it takes.
Is it important to have mentors and mentor other people? Why?
Mentors and mentees are incredibly important. I have learned and grown so much by getting advice and guidance from more experienced therapists and entrepreneurs. When you start a business, it’s impossible to anticipate all of the challenges and pitfalls you may encounter. Operating in a collaborative and supportive way with others in the industry has helped me immensely.
I believe in mentoring the next generation of female therapists. I have several women whom I supervise both inside and outside my practice. I love teaching new therapy techniques, helping these women become stronger therapists. I also provide a lot of support to friends and colleagues in other industries.
Do you think you want to start other businesses in the future or do you want to keep growing this one as long as possible? What is the dream?
I am always thinking about how to expand my business. Today, there is so much demand for quality therapy, but it’s often too expensive for people to access these services. In the future, I hope to expand Cobb Psychotherapy’s reach and influence using technology. We already offer online video therapy, but I am always thinking about additional ways to use technology to make therapy more accessible, yet still personal.
My passion project is opening a wellness/crisis retreat to provide people daily therapy and relaxation. There is a real need for a safe, peaceful place for people to go in moments of crisis. Often when someone is feeling very depressed or anxious, the worst thing they can do is go to a psychiatric hospital! Eventually, I would like to host therapy retreats around the world in beautiful, inspiring locations.
Is it important to set goals or is it better to just “go with the flow”? What is your strategy?
I naturally tend to be more of a “go with the flow” person. In the past, I would get so many ideas at once and try everything without a well thought out strategy. Some of these ideas worked, while others did not. I’ve realized that, while passion and excitement are key ingredients of what makes my business special and successful, it’s critical to also focus on strategy, process, and organization. I am lucky to have a husband and practice manager that help channel my creative impulses into a strategy to scale my business with people and technology!
Did you look for funding in the past?
No. I decided early on that one of my goals is to “bootstrap” my business and not seek outside funding. While there were some startup costs, my initial investment was relatively small. In particular, using free or inexpensive technology services such as Google Docs and Squarespace help keep recurring costs to a minimum. Having office space with flexible and scalable lease terms also helps.
Why do you think that female owned businesses are a VERY small percentage (that has not been growing) of businesses that get funded by venture capital? What can we do to change that?
I don’t have experience pursuing funding from venture capitalists, but imagine that women generally tend to be less aggressive in asking for what they want. As women, we have to make our own opportunities instead of waiting for people to “give us permission.” I recently read Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” which talks a lot about women and entrepreneurship. I highly recommend this book. With practice, encouragement, and mentoring, all women can have access to the same resources that men do.