Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kristina Virro, CEO and Founder of Fresh Insight, located in Markham, ON, Canada.

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

Fresh Insight is a wellness clinic that is passionate about inspiring hope, catalyzing change, and fostering a sense of personal empowerment in their patients. We honour this mission by providing psychotherapy and nutritional counselling to individuals, couples, groups, and families of all ages across the globe. Our customers include people who might be feeling a little stuck in life but are committed to improving their mental and physical health.

Tell us about yourself

My path to becoming a psychotherapist was anything but linear. In fact, my first career was in journalism, during which time I worked on a documentary film about prescription drug abuse. Through doing interviews with the documentary's participants, I realized that people seemed comfortable opening up to me about what they'd been through and that doing so was therapeutic and cathartic for them.

That said, it felt odd to me to connect with these people so deeply only to move on to another story. I realized that I wanted to couple my passion for learning about the "why" behind various issues with a commitment to helping others navigate these struggles, too. And so back to school, I went to pursue a master's degree in psychotherapy. Every day, I'm motivated to continue doing this work by witnessing the amazing bravery and resilience in others.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Seeing the growth of our clinic in such a short time period has been absolutely amazing. When I first started, I was renting out public office spaces by the hour, driving to and from three locations to do sessions, and working at separate clinics part-time. Now, we have a beautiful office all to ourselves in Markham, and our team presently consists of nine members.

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

Not only do you have to wear so many hats as a business owner, but there is always a ton of work being done behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. I also feel like many business owners, including myself, experience a much deeper attachment to work due to having much more to lose should something go wrong. That said, there are so many things that I love about being my own boss, from being able to work in a way that aligns with my values to having more control over my schedule.

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

  1. I believe that what differentiates successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful ones is perseverance. As with anything, I've had many difficult moments throughout my journey that have caused me to doubt myself, cry, and want to call it quits. But I always kept going. I once heard someone say, "There aren't hard things, just long things." In other words, you can achieve anything if you're willing to work at it for a long enough period of time. Keep going.
  2. Know your "why." Whenever I have a tough day, I find it helpful to remind myself why I wanted to open my own practice in the first place. When I was completing my master's degree to become a psychotherapist, we were told that it is up to the patient to come to their own conclusions, and this is still the popular belief among the vast majority of therapists. To be blunt, I think this is not only cruel but ineffective. If I went to a doctor and they said, "How do YOU think we should fix your broken arm?" I'd be pretty peeved! My approach to therapy is to make space for people to come to their own conclusions while also teaching practical, effective tools when helpful.
  3. Use any doubt or hate you receive from others to your advantage. Maybe this is just my personality, but I absolutely love being doubted by others because it fuels my fire to succeed that much more. Many people told me I was a lunatic for wanting to open a private practice right out of school, yet I can now say that this decision absolutely paid off. When people doubt you, tell yourself, "Just you watch..."

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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