Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Chris Barnes, Founder of The Lazy Psychologist, located in Kalamazoo, MI, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I have several. I am a psychologist, and I own/operate a mental health clinic. I also just started a consulting company that helps with technology and efficiencies to write psychological assessment reports. The mission for each of my pursuits is the same, though I get the most bang for your buck in life. Whether it is navigating emotional distress, finding areas of growth through assessments, or making it easier for psychologists to live a balanced life, we try to find the most efficient way to do that.

Tell us about yourself

The learning curve is oftentimes the most difficult component of change as we try something new… Because we all have our unique clinical voice and tend to do routine tasks in our own unique way, it is difficult to make a catchall solution that satisfies everyone's needs. Because of this, we try to take the learning curve from 10 to 2 steps. This is why I created The Lazy Psychologist. What we do is find ways to increase productivity in routine processes, particularly as it relates to psychological assessment. I've experimented with a million different ways to speed things up, and this current project is a combination of my best and current use cases packaged up in a way that we can deliver to customers and allow them to get over the learning curve associated with change. After they sprinkle in their own special seasoning, they can take hours off of routine and non-exciting writing tasks.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I love the game. It is all a series of problem-solving tasks. Being a solopreneur has given me a ton of freedom to pursue ideas. I've built several psychology practices over the last few years. Each has hit its own speed bumps, had unexpected changes in course, and, most importantly, has continued to hone my problem-solving. My current project is a result of that learning. However, most importantly, I've learned that taking calculated risks forces you to experience vulnerability. Historically, I've run away from I embrace it.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

It feels like your ego is tied up in the whole process. We put SO much of ourselves into what we build. A "failure" in business can feel like a failure in life or as a person. You have to get away from that perspective. There are so many great ideas and wonderful people...who never start a business out of this fear.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Self-analysis. Ask yourself why you want to start a business and be real with yourself. No judgment...but when you figure out the real "Why," you will likely achieve your goals more quickly without being caught by shiny object syndrome.
  2. Get a coach!!!! Find one online, reach out to someone you know, or find a SCORE Chapter....someone to guide you and pull you back on track is priceless!!!! I've used SCORE coaches often; one, in particular, has pivoted my life trajectory immensely!!!
  3. Get ready and enjoy the ride. Keep your goals and plan clear. The highs and lows are equally important. My favorite quote "I'd rather try ten things and fail at 8 of them than try two and crush them both." There is SO much learning in the process.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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