BBW MEMBER INTERVIEW: Rachel Sykes, Therapist of Rachel C. Sykes, LMHC

What is your name?

Rachel Sykes

What is your title?

Therapist, Private Practice Owner

What is your business name?

What is your website URL?

What is your LinkedIn URL?

Where are you based? How did you end up there?

Boston/hybrid. I have space in the Financial District 1 day/ week and do the rest of my work from my home office in Pembroke, MA (no, not NH!) I decided to open a physical in this area to offer convenient in-person services to those working or living in the downtown area.

Tell us more about your company! What do you do and what pushed you to start?

I am a therapist that helps stressed out professional women who feel undervalued at work and over-responsible at home regain their confidence and enthusiasm for life. I opened my own practice several months ago and I love it! I am a career changer, finally pursuing my professional dreams after working for 25+ years in the investment field. The think that pushed me over the line was the realization that I had been avoiding this change because I was too afraid. I did NOT like to think that I was letting fear hold me back from something I really wanted, so I decided to push forward, despite sometimes still feeling afraid.

What is your definition of success? How do you know when you’ve reached it?

Maintaining a steady book of clients that really benefit from my work. I could be growing faster by making compromises but I believe doing so will make me not look forward to my work. If I wanted a job that I did not like, I could have just kept on working for other people. I will know when I have achieved it when I have met my pre-determined number of clients and filled my preferred working hours.

Tell us about your most transformational moment as an entrepreneur?

This may sound strange but being able to turn down a client I knew wouldn't be a good fit for me. When working in my prior agency jobs, I had very little choice about what types of clients I accepted. I definitely believe that some of my burnout was due to working with clients who would have been better served elsewhere.

What was one of your biggest challenges in business?

I was disappointed to find so much judgment from therapists and others who take issue with me running my practice like a business rather than a charity. I'm all for charity but that is a personal choice and I believe that women are not obligated to provide their time and expertise for free or at a discount. Believe me, when I worked in finance, no one made a peep about how much I made.

How do you handle the harder days? The struggles? Those moments when you feel like giving up?

Yoga, walking, dancing, spending time with friends. I remind myself that compromising to grow more quickly will create a business and job that I don't like. It's normal to have crappy days and sometimes I just have to accept it. It gets better.

How has being a Boston Business Women Inner Circle member positively influenced your life + business?

After two weeks, I can't really answer this question. I am hopeful I will gain new professional connections, referral sources (both in and out), and clients. I am also eager to learn more about how to position and market my business.

Tell us about your most proud moment in your career.

Turning down a safe job with steady income working for someone else, even though I was feeling financially vulnerable at the time. I have worked for so many people over the years-- good and bad; now is the time to work for myself.

Who is the woman behind your business? What does she like? How does she spend her free time? What does she value?

I am a passionate advocate for women and crazy animal lover. I love to dance, sing, read, and travel regularly to Ireland. I truly value my family and friends, even more since COVID. I am presently looking at non-profit Board opportunities that help women and others at high risk for domestic/gender-based violence.

What makes you stand out from others in your field? What do you do differently?

I work primarily with stressed out professional women.

I am professional, on-time, and skilled at using humor therapeutically and offering clinical insights in a non-judgmental environment.

I offer in-person, walk and talk therapy sessions in downtown Boston, in addition to virtual appointments. I even have a few early morning slots available at present!

I regularly blog (https://www.rachelcsykes.com/blog) on topics related to my work.

Where can we keep up with you? What social media platforms do you use the most?

LinkedIn - please connect with me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachelcsykes/

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