Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Krystal Mazzola Wood, President of The Healthy Relationship Foundation, located in Phoenix, AZ, USA.

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

My business is The Healthy Relationship Foundation. Here I offer various services: Firstly, it's a private practice where I offer individual and couples therapy for adult clients hoping to resolve trauma, address mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, and heal their relationships with others. I specialize in codependency recovery for both individuals and couples, which focuses on healing trauma, developing and setting healthy boundaries, and increasing self-esteem and authenticity. I also write books - my first two are The Codependency Recovery Plan: A 5-Step Guide to Understand, Accept and Break Free from the Codependent Cycle and The Codependency Workbook: Simple Practices for Developing and Maintaining Your Independence. My third, Therapy Within Reach: Setting Boundaries, will be published in September with Adams Media, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. I also provide continuing education trainings on codependency and healing toxic relationships for other therapists. Finally, I maintain a weekly blog, Confidently Authentic, for mentally healthy dating advice.

Tell us about yourself

I have been motivated to be a therapist ever since I was a child. When I was a little girl, I saw a psychiatrist on a TV show (I didn't know the difference then) and felt that this was my calling to help clients heal. I pursued degrees to help with this goal: My bachelor's is in Liberal Studies with a focus on gender studies and human sexuality. Then I received my Master's degree in Couple's and Family Therapy. I knew immediately that my eventual goal as a therapist was to have my own private practice. I obtained licensure and worked towards this goal. Originally, I started another private practice with a co-owner, but after a couple of years, I launched the Healthy Relationship Foundation on my own. I feel that helping people heal to be empowered to have the authentic life of their dreams is my true calling which constantly inspires me. I'm also motivated by the ripple effect of good that happens when a person heals in therapy, from my books or my blog - this is what helps change the world when we positively change!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I'm very proud of being able to have my own private practice and loyal clients who refer to me. I don't ever market my therapy services which are humbling and exciting. I'm also deeply proud of being an author, as accomplishing this was my other dream as a child.

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

It can be difficult to stay self-motivated and ensure you're making the "right" decisions for you and your business. I find that I need to maintain a strong connection to my boundaries and intuition to overcome this challenge. It is challenging at times, though, to have no one affirming you're on the right track - being a business owner is a great opportunity to work through insecurities and gain confidence!

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

  1. Having a business is a long game. Anticipate that there will be long periods before you make a profit -for my first private practice, I didn't pay myself for a year.
  2. Set boundaries on the fear of failure. In business, there is no such thing as "failing." Only information about what does and doesn't work or resonates with your customers. There is always a chance to iterate - get comfortable with updating your plan over and over again.
  3. Have a clear purpose and passion for what you're doing. Running a business is challenging and often not profitable for a while; you must have a clear anchor for why you are doing what you are doing to stay engaged and committed long enough to see the seeds you plant in your business bear fruit.

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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