Winning as an entrepreneur means THINKING DIFFERENTLY.
Who is Kimberly Bonds-Grocher?
What made you get started in your industry?
I knew I wanted to be a psychotherapist from the time I was in junior high school. I’ve always enjoyed listening to people’s stories and helping them find solutions to their concerns. In college, I majored in Psychology and went on to graduate school to earn an MSW in Social Work. Along, the way I fell in love with photography and film production and made Film my minor and eventually earned a second master's degree in Media Studies. I realized that film, photography, and digital media were powerful mediums to capture stories and portray them in way that impacts change on a much broader level.
I expanded my services to include coaching because coaching really emphasizes helping people to move to the next level and maximize their potential in a way that's not always possible in therapy since much of therapy is about helping people to overcome past situations to be able to function in the present. I once read this analogy that describes it perfectly. Psychotherapy is about helping someone get out of the hole to the surface whereas coaching is for the person who has reached the surface and wants to get to their mountaintop.
Walk us through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did?
I went to college and earned the necessary degrees, certifications, and licenses. I’ve always written out my goals, so whenever an opportunity presented itself I would ask myself “How is this going to help me achieve my long-term goal?” or “Is this an investment where I may not see tangible rewards now, but it will help me down the line?” I stayed on top of trends in my field and made sure I took advantage of educational and training opportunities that employers or other institutions offered asking myself “How can I use my passions and interests to help me stand out in this field?” I think I unknowingly began branding and niching myself before it was a thing. One of the most important things I did was build relationships with people who were in higher positions or further along than me. Again, I’d listen to their stories about their journeys, successes, and pitfalls. Hearing these different experiences helped me to think outside of the box in terms of my own career. These relationships often led to other opportunities as well. I think of myself as an introvert, so while I may not “network” in traditional ways, building and nurturing professional relationships has been so important to my professional and personal growth. Surrounding yourself with people who understand your vision and encourage you to rise to the challenge are crucial to helping you get out of your own way.
What do you consider are your specialty?
I provide psychotherapy as well as life and leadership coaching services to professional women who want to rebuild or redesign their lives following a loss or major life change. Often professional women have a unique set of struggles and are overlooked in terms of needing help. In fact, they are often the ones assumed to have it all together as they are often the breadwinners, emotionally or financially supporting family members and friends, all while trying to manage their careers. But what happens when they suffer a loss, either death of a loved one, break up, divorce, need to move, switch jobs or careers, transition from school to the workforce (or vice versa)? Who supports them?
I also provide health and wellness workshops to groups and organizations that want to help their employees develop healthier lifestyles, interpersonal communication skills, and/or enhance their leadership skills.
Do you see yourself making this full-time?
The auspice or umbrella may change, such as whether I do this as part of a group practice, consultant, or private practice, but helping people overcome their problems and start building healthy and fulfilling lives is my full-time mission.
What can we always expect from your company/brand?
My brand reflects my commitment to authenticity, quality, creativity, and innovation. While individuals may have similar problems and struggles, each person has their own unique set of circumstances. When helping someone achieve their goals or arrive at solutions to their problems, I take this into account and make sure to incorporate the individuals (or the organizations) unique set of needs, wants, and strengths into our work together. I love using my passion for design and creativity to help people step outside of the box.
What was the best advice you ever received and why?
One of my mentors used to tell me, “Be. Here. Now.” In other words, be present, don’t get so caught up in the past or the future, that you miss out on the moment. I’m a high achiever so I’m always thinking about the next thing, but that has always stayed with me and helps me to be grateful for where I am and what I have in this moment.
What tips can you recommend that you’d would most likely only share with a close friend or comrade on success?
Probably two things. The first is prayer. Everyone has different beliefs and people have to find what works for them, but I always say a prayer for my God to do His work through me, because at the end of the day its bigger than you and I. The second is to ask yourself “What is the absolute worst case scenario? Ok, find a way to handle that and get movin’ towards your goal.” It’s usually worse in our minds than it is in reality
Favorite online resources such as Evernote or Dropbox that you use for your business?
Dropbox is my lifeline. It holds all my documents and I can access them from any of my computers or mobile device, make changes that will be reflected across all devices, and I can also share documents with others.
Can you recommend one or two books that has been influential in your life?
That's a hard one because I'm an avid reader. The first I'd have to say "Their Eyes Were Watching God' by Zora Neale Hurston. I was inspired by Janie's, the main character, ability to overcome social and cultural norms and rules to find her own happiness. The second would be "Playing Big" by Tara Mohr. Mohr helps women to embrace their voices and mission to accomplish their big professional, academic, and life goals.
What can we expect from you and your company/brand in the next 5 years?
I’m actively working on developing a vlog as a resource for women to get additional information on improving their mental health and establishing healthy lifestyles. I’ll also be doing documentary films and other digital media projects around health and wellness topics of interest to professional women. There’s so much information that can help people that stays locked up in academic journals and other “elite” places that most people don’t want or have the means/ time to research.
What do you think will be the next big change or shift in your industry?
The fields of coaching and psychotherapy are seeing a shift towards using more digital media and technology. Coaches and therapists are almost required to have a social media presence as part of marketing their services and being able to do sessions online.
If a young entrepreneur walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?
Think of how you’re going to be different. What sets you apart from the next social worker, psychotherapist, coach, writer, or whatever your craft is? Who do you really want to reach? How are you going to let people know you exist and what you have to offer in a meaningful way?
How do you define a legacy and what are you doing right now to create one?
A legacy is something you start or do that future generations will benefit from. Every opportunity is an investment in the future and I'm always thinking of ways my family can benefit down the line.
Must Read Book?
KIMBERLY L.B. GROCHER, LCSW
Psychotherapist|Life & Leadership Coach