York St John graduate Gill runs a private therapy practice.
Tell us about you
2004-2007 BA Hons Counselling Studies. I was passionate out therapy and always volunteered along side my paid roles in HR/Training. When I was made redundant at the start of the pandemic, I saw a way in which I could not only follow my passion doing something I enjoy every day but I could help lots of people at a time of mental health crisis.
Tell us about your business
I started my business in October 2020, it is a private therapy practice offering Counselling to Adults and Young adults experiencing anxiety and/or depression.
My business is called Gill Jackson Therapeutic Counselling.
What were the main challenges of starting your business and/or going freelance?
The main challenge was my own anxiety over not being able to cover all my bills- I have a young family, mortgage etc. That anxiety had prevented me going for it with my own business for years despite being desperate to do so. I am extremely pleased I overcame it.
Did you receive any support/inspiration from York St John? If so, what?
The tutors at YSJ always inspired me, I saw many of them with multiple income streams and that’s how I knew I didn’t have to go full time in my practice immediately and be destitute! I started to build it up slowly and picked up self employed training and consultancy on the side to supplement my practice income.
What’s the best thing about running your own business?
The freedom! Both emotionally and physically- I have a fantastic work/life balance now, I can attend all the school plays and meetings and do the school run around my clients.
What tips would you give any aspiring student start-ups?
Have a little cushion of savings for those oh no I didn’t realise Id have that bill kind of moments or the slower first few months.
Put yourself out there- people buy from people so let your potential customers get to know you and see you (I personally did this via social media) write blogs and articles, post useful information on your website and YouTube and any platforms you use.