Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dacia Fusaro, Founder of Portland Trauma Healing, located in Milwaukie, OR, USA.

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

I am a psychotherapist specializing in trauma and grief. I have a private practice and see clients virtually and in person in Oregon and California. My clients come to me to work through a variety of different challenges, including trauma, grief, loss, eating disorders, and mood disorders. I truly believe adversity is not destiny. I meet my clients where they're at and get to know them within the context of their unique life experiences, and together we work towards their development of more adaptive, sustainable, and fulfilling ways of moving through the world and addressing life challenges.

Tell us about yourself

I started out my career in education in New York City; however, I always knew I longed to be a therapist. I went back to graduate school in my early 30's and continued my work as an educator while attending graduate school and completing my internship at night and on the weekends.

I lost my husband several years ago and started my private practice shortly thereafter. My husband was integral to my success in embarking on a new career, and it's in honor of his memory and how much he believed in me that gets me up in the morning and inspires me to do my best for my clients.

I believe wholeheartedly in each person's intrinsic capacity to evolve and heal past traumas and create an aligned and fulfilled life. I am endlessly humbled by my client's ability to be vulnerable and courageous. I find my work energizing and incredibly meaningful. It is an honor to do the work that I do, and I am connected to that gratitude and perspective every day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is filling my practice. I relocated to Oregon in January of 2021 and slowly began building my caseload over a number of months. I did advanced trainings in grief and loss, EMDR, and sensorimotor psychotherapy, as well as several somatic therapies to ensure I had the best skill set I could to help make a difference in the lives of my clients.

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

For me, one of the hardest things about being a business owner is drawing boundaries between my work and my personal life and free time. I find it harder to take days off or refrain from responding to queries and work emails after business hours. I know I am growing something I am extremely passionate about, and I find I can work around the clock if I'm not intentional about it.

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

The top 3 tips I would give to someone looking to start, run and grow a business would be to learn from others who have started a business in your particular industry. I learned so much by speaking with other therapists who started off in private practice. I asked them about their advertising and how they got their name out there as well as how they networked with others in their industry.

Another tip is to find a great marketer who can help you build your website. Having a polished, professional website that brings customers to you is crucial.

The third tip is to frame your expectations. It takes time to bring your vision to life, and it's okay to reframe your missteps as all part of the process. It's a learning curve, and you learn just as much from your mistakes as from your successes.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

One of the things I ask myself when I'm contemplating life changes, especially changes in career, is, does the path have a soul? When you find yourself on the path that's right for you, you'll find there's an abundance of energy and life force colluding to help you on your way. When the path isn't heart-led and doesn't have a soul, you might have the initial energy to get things going, but you'll burn out quickly and lose the inspiration to keep things going.

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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