Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Audrey Grunst, founder and CEO of Simply Bee Counseling, located in Vernon Hills, IL, USA.

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

Simply Bee is a mental health organization. It is a place where we strive to change lives through programs, services, and resources for all people to recognize, achieve, and sustain personal wellness.

Tell us about yourself

I'm an LCSW & CEO who founded Simply Bee in February 2018 with a vision to create an impact on mental health. I earned my MSW at Loyola University Chicago in 2011 and am certified in Change Management from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. I combine over 12 years of clinical experience with my business background to help others improve mental health. Specializing in anxiety, perfectionism, eating disorders, and mental performance coaching for athletes and professionals. I am the former mental performance coach for the Northwestern Women’s Volleyball Program, as well as a former D1 Volleyball player.

I've presented at over 100 different schools, nonprofits, and conferences, impacting thousands of students, parents, and educators. Speaking topics include my keynote presentation: Growing A Resilient Mind, Reconnecting As A Team, and Practicing Failure. I often use a workshop model approach, and my philosophy is always to provide tangible mental health and wellness skills founded on evidence-based practices and infuse my five-step Growth & Resiliency Model©.

I have extensive training in skill-based therapy, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), Family-based Therapy for Anorexia, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I use these skills in my strategy formula to promote change.

Prior to Simply Bee, I was a director at Eating Recovery Centers. While at ERC Insight, I built several programs and managed a team of over 20 employees and two locations. I participated in a three-year study with the University of Chicago, measuring the outcome of eating disorder treatment using FBT and DBT.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment has been becoming a mental health activist for trauma survivors, not just victims but leaders who need to rebuild their communities after a disaster.

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

The most difficult part of being a business owner is separating the emotions from the business.

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

  1. Strategy first, operations and planning second.
  2. Don't be afraid of the numbers, dive into your financials.
  3. Get a list of advisors who know more than you do.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I'm a female entrepreneur with a family and a community.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.