During this very powerful episode of the All Things Private Practice Podcast, I talk w/ Marisol Colette AKA The Fashion Therapist. Marisol is the owner of Sol Reflection, as well as the co-host of the Reading Aloud Podcast.
Marisol's journey is one of courage, strength, resilience, and resolve. She was diagnosed w/ cancer immediately after leaving the VA (and their federal health insurance benefits) behind.
Marisol and I talk about our journeys out of community mental health, and Marisol shares her story about leaving a "safe, secure" job at the VA that paid extraordinarily well and offered fantastic benefits but was emotionally and physically exhausting.
Instead of panicking and going back to a job that was no longer satisfying, she trusted her judgment, intuition, and ingenuity, creating something very unique and unbelievably special within the therapy world. Marisol created her business and stepped into becoming a "fashion therapist." She incorporates trauma and body-based therapy to help people embrace their bodies and feel confident in their clothing — incredibly creative to say the least!
Fashion Therapist? What does that even mean? How does that work?
Marisol and I talk about her creative genius and process, as well as both of our determination to do things differently. Some topics include:
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I would also like to thank CPH & Associates for sponsoring this episode.
This episode of the all things private practice podcast is being brought to you by CPH & Associates. CPH & Associates is a leading provider of malpractice insurance for outpatient mental health practices throughout the United States. With up-to-date legal resources and competitive rates, CPH can ensure your private practice against board complaints and malpractice lawsuits.
CPH offers both individual and business entity coverage, which can protect your LLC or corporation. A business policy with CPH is tailored to meet the needs of your practice, providing options to add general liability to your office, business and personal property coverage, and cyber liability for data breach coverage. Policyholders, who also have access to our attorney helpline, are provided two hours of consultation with a malpractice attorney for situations with a client that could result in a claim or lawsuit.
CPH has committed to providing exceptional customer service and superior coverage to mental health professionals. Protect your career and find peace of mind with CPH. Get a quote and apply at cphins.com/allthings
Patrick Casale: This episode of the all things private practice podcast is being brought to you by CPH & Associates. CPH & Associates is a leading provider of malpractice insurance for outpatient mental health practices throughout the United States. With up to date legal resources and competitive rates, CPH can insure your private practice against board complaints and malpractice lawsuits.
CPH offers both individual and business entity coverage, which can protect your LLC or corporation. A business policy with CPH is tailored to meet the needs of your practice, providing options to add general liability to your office, business personal property coverage, and cyber liability for data breach coverage. Policy holders will also have access to our attorney helpline providing two hours of consultation with a malpractice attorney for situations with a client that could result in a claim or lawsuit.
CPH is committed to providing exceptional customer service and superior coverage to mental health professionals. Protect your career and find peace of mind with CPH. Get a quote and apply online at cphins.com/allthings.
Patrick: Hey everyone, you are listening to another episode of the All Things Private Practice podcast. I'm your host Patrick Casale, here in St. Pete, Florida. I am joined by a colleague and friend that is in Asheville, Marisol Colette. She's an LCSW. She is the owner of Sol Reflection, and she also is a fashion therapist.
And we're going to talk about creating businesses that haven't been created before, because she created something really unique and really special. And it's really, really, really fascinating. So I'm really happy to have you on today.
Marisol Colette: Yeah, Thanks. Excited to be here.
Patrick: So you used to work at the VA because I remember you from when I worked at Homeward Bound with the homeless population in Asheville and you left to start a private practice, and now you've created something: a podcast and just the different type of therapy in general.
And I'd love for you to just take the audience on that journey, because it just sounds so unique and different from what people expect. And I really want to try to highlight the fact that our skills are so applicable in so many arenas, if we can just get out of our own way and kind of understand how our creative processes work.
Marisol: Yeah, thanks. Um, so it's, it has been an amazing journey and you're right: we met probably, at this point, almost 10 years ago in our other professions. And I, you know, I worked for the VA and I loved my work there. I felt really honored to be a social worker there. So I had just gotten my LCSW and was offered a job at the VA, which is, kind of… has often been considered the gold standard of social work positions if you're going to work for somebody. The pay’s good and, you know: government benefits, et cetera. And so I felt really honored to work there and I loved the work that I did and I excelled at it. And also on the side, I used to dress my friends.
So I would go to their homes, go through their closets, help them make outfits out of the clothes that they already owned. And I would do it all for fun and for free. And it was interesting because they would begin to reflect back to me over and over. “You know, this is more than just what to wear. There's something that's happening in this. You know, you're really considering all these elements of my personality and all these parts of my wardrobe that I hadn't thought of. Not to mention, now I feel like I have an awesome wardrobe!”
And, you know, I attributed that pretty quickly to the fact that I'm intuitive, I'm empathetic and I'm a trained therapist. So I was listening in a different way. And when… so then I started to consider, like, what would it be like if I actually went out as a personal stylist and tried to do this on the side.
And there was like a big convergence of a lot of things that happened at once. So I had already started to consider leaving my work at the VA and doing something for myself. It included other things that I won't talk about today, but I was… I was teaching and I was teaching a trauma modality.
So I had gotten schooled in somatic experiencing and organic intelligence and so I was really attuned to the body and how the body is, you know, how, like when we get dressed, we're talking about the body we're dressing the body. So I started to see where fashion and personal styling was integrating into the world of trauma: trauma, healing, body self-esteem, self-worth and…
And so anyways, you know, long story long, I met my spouse, right as I was getting ready to leave the VA to go move across the country. And we decided to stay in Asheville and he had actually just moved from the exact same neighborhood that I was going to move to across the country. Uh, so we thought that was pretty synchronistic and we decided to stay here. So I was like, “OK, womp womp, I'm going to stay at my job at the VA” because it's, remember, the gold standard of… of jobs for social workers.
Patrick: Safe and secure.
Marisol: Yeah. Oh yeah. So, so safe and secure. Yet you never really feel that good!
Patrick: It's like an emotionally abusive relationship in a lot of ways.
Marisol: You know, let me just say, I know people who thrive there. For me, it was an emotionally abusive relationship, by a lot! And you know, a little side story is: a couple of weeks after I left my position, I went to the doctor to do all my final follow-ups with my very, very, very good government healthcare, health insurance, and I found out I had cancer. And I 100% attribute that to the abusive relationship that I was living in, which also included the fact that I wasn't living my passion. I wasn't doing what I really wanted to be doing.
And so the next couple of years was building my private practice and I built it, um, as a kind of typical private practice: so I, you know, took clients for trauma therapy. And then I just kept trying on the side to do this other thing. I called it at the time therapeutic image consulting: you'll still see that written on my website. But, um, now I just call myself the fashion therapist. It's cuter! And so I… I kept doing that on the side and, you know, and I was really encouraged by my spouse to do that.
But I think I skipped a step where I was going to keep my job. And he's like, “No, you have to leave your job. You have to, you've got this other thing that is so incredible.” So anyways, um, yeah…
Patrick: So I want to pause for a second. So that feels so powerful to me. And so, so courageous in so many ways to say “I'm going to step away from something that is really, really harmful to me, even though I'm facing this diagnosis and these medical challenges.” To step away from something secure to just follow that passion.
Marisol: I mean, I was, you know, I was super scared. I thought, you know, “I'm making the biggest mistake! This is just further confirmation that the security was actually security. I should have stayed!” I think it's interesting because I've watched a lot of people… I started a little bit of a mass Exodus at the VA,there were a couple of people who followed me, and I watch… at each one of these turning points for folks, when they're just about to take a leap of faith: that thing that you probably experienced, the thing that your listeners probably experience, that the universe throwing something really juicy at you and that makes you want to stay and in the comfort zone and to it's like, “Are you sure you want to take this risk?”
It's amazing how that happens. And I think the cancer was, was that for me,.
Patrick: I'm sure that it was, and you're so right. Like, so many of us have that moment where it's like,” I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready.” And then all of a sudden it's like, “I'm not ready anymore at all. And now I made the worst decision in my life and I'm going to regret this until I die.”
And, um, it won't be successful. And then you almost talk yourself out of it.
Marisol: For sure. Yeah. And you know, I did… I did keep a little bit of security by starting a private practice that I knew. You know, I had the license, I knew how to do that. I was watching other people start private practices, and I knew that people had a language for that. People need therapists and they know that.
Um, I didn't take insurance. So, you know, I kept it a little risky that way. I didn't want to get so involved in that part of my work that I… that I was then faced with another “I-can't-get-out-of-this-because-it-feels-too-secure” [situation.] And I just always kept it in my mind that at some point my private practice would dissolve and I would go fully into fashion therapy.
Now, six years later, I still have a couple of clients in my private practice. And I really love that work and I love them and I love keeping that work alive. So I do that by choice.
But yeah. So since then, you know, when you talked about: “This is going to fail. This is… this is a terrible idea.” I was really looking forward to being on your podcast, because I remember in your story, Patrick, you saying, you know: talking about speaking to imposter syndrome, talking about [how] there were other private practice business consultants, there were other people, you know, similar in your field and you know: “why would they choose me over them? How can we all co-exist in this space? Like, am I going to be successful? What do I know?”
Just… just believe that… having to believe that you have a gift and having to continue to operate from that place, especially when businesses don't just, like, fly off the ground. I think you've had… kind of… maybe a unique amount of fast success.
I think you've had a, you may not feel that way because every day feels like a long time, but I feel like you've had pretty fast success, whereas even in my business, you know, I kept trying to do that: the work of the fashion therapist and, you know, the big thing for me was that there was no language for it. I was literally making it up.
People say, “that sounds so cool! I've never heard of that before!” And I'm like, “well, yeah, because I made it up! Which feels like that really speaks to the seven-year-old in me. Like, getting to make something up and make something of it.
But what it really meant was there were so many days where people didn't know what I was talking about. People didn't totally understand it. I was still trying to get my elevator speech down. I didn't know how to pitch it. I didn't know how to sell it. I couldn't explain it because it was just something that was so inherent to me that I… yeah, it was really hard to explain.
So that's kind of, what I wanted to talk about today is how to keep the courage and the faith alive for an extended period of time.
Patrick: There's so much there that feels so powerful to me. And I'm trying to take some of that in, and now I also have the name of the episode that you just dropped at the end of that: “Keeping the Power and the Faith Alive and the Courage Alive,” you know? Um, you're so right though. And I'm thinking about how you mentioned this was really intuitive for you and that you were doing it for free. It just felt good, but it came natural.
I think we discount that a lot of the time as entrepreneurs when we're like: “this comes really naturally. I am really good at this, but that means everybody is really good at this. Right?” Like, I think that all the time when I used to do free private practice coaching (Sorry for all of you that are paying me now!)
And I would just be like, “this is just easy. Like, this is coming naturally to me. I don't understand why people are attracted to that or why people would keep telling me, like, ‘you should do this for a living,’ and I'd be like, “Hell no!”
You know, I'll joke with Alison [Puryear] to this day, like Alison lives in Asheville: I can't do this if she lives here, you know? And I attribute some of this success to you. I don't know if you know that, but you and I met years ago when I first started my practice and we met at… What’s the name?
Marisol: Liberty Coffee!
Patrick: Everyone loves… every THERAPIST in fucking Asheville loves Liberty coffee. We should plug it on the podcast.
Marisol: Um, they should pay, they should pay.
Patrick: Not me! I hate that place! but you know, maybe you… Alison… someone else.
But, um, I remember meeting you and just like, you know, we had very limited interaction at Homeward bound. I… Iwas very new there, but I remember telling you that my manager said to me that I would be back within 30 days and I was making a bad choice.
And I kept saying like, “well, if the private practice doesn't work out, I can go back to my agency job.” And you were like, “no! Absolutely not! Like, you go do something else: You fold clothes at an Old Navy, you go bartend. Like: you don't ever have that in your mind as the fallback plan!” I don't know if you remember saying that, but that was really influential for me. And I've taken that to heart since that time.
And, um, you know, I think that you stepping into your courage and working through the “I don't know how to explain this. It comes really naturally to me. I don't know how to explain that part of what I love.” That comes up for me with the travel coaching business I'm creating, incorporating that with what I'm doing. I love helping people travel and connect that's… I’m a connector! That's like my role in life. And I didn't know how to explain that. Like, people will be like, “what the fuck is a travel coach? What is this? Like, you help plan trips like a travel agent?” And I'm like, “no! I want to help you connect. Go step outside of your comfort zone! Go to a new place! I've new experiences!” Also while growing and, like, supporting one another and helping enhance your business. So it's just very interesting to me. I see a lot of parallels there.
But… So you are facing this thing. Your… partner is very supportive, it sounds like. Like, encouraging and pushing you to do this. When did you start to realize, like, “oh, this is becoming something that is taking off?” Like, “this is actually building momentum.”
Marisol: I think it was when there were two kind of pivotal points. One was when I started just getting calls out of the blue, like it stopped being: “I know you,” or, “I know you through someone!” And I would say, you know, “I'm so excited to talk to you!” You know, “how did you find me?” And they would say, “on the internet.” Like, “just found you on the internet.” That was a huge deal.
That was one of the most exciting days for me, because that meant my SEO was working. That meant that my reach was growing. That meant the energy that I was putting out was reaching far beyond my community that wanted to support me and that already knew me.
And then the next was when I did a… I styled a woman for a branding photo shoot in Tokyo. And at that point I was like, because it was such an interesting time because, you know, I was, I... I just remember being like, “OK, there's so many things that I'm going to have to figure out here.”
I remember looking at Adam (Adam’s my… my husband's name) and I remember looking at Adam and being like, “what am I going to do? Everybody that I've styled for branding photo shoots, for the most part, have lived either in my city or cities that I know well enough to point them toward particular stores. And I was, like, I don't even know the language of this, of this city.”
And… and so he got online and he did a bunch of market research for all these boutiques that she ended up going to! And then we used Telescope, an app, to talk back and forth and she's messaging me in the middle while I'm sleeping and I'm messaging her while she's sleeping. And we managed to find like… a… I don't know, like, a 12-piece wardrobe for a two day branding photo shoot. And somehow I knew the photographer in Tokyo! (laughs) Like he's like… kind of a friend of… like an old, old friend of mine! It was incredible!
But at that point I was like, “I can do this anywhere. If I can do this halfway around the world, I can do this anywhere. And I know what I'm doing. And I know that I have enough resources and creativity to figure out how to make this work!” Despite, you know, kind of all odds.
Patrick: That is fucking incredible! How did this person find you from Tokyo? Like that is some wide reach for someone to reach out and say, “Hey, I want to work with you on this thing. And we're not even going to meet in person.”
Marisol: Yeah. It came through a woman who worked in Hollywood, In LA, and yeah… I don't know. You know, I mean, I'm sure you talk to people about networking all the time, and this is, you know, and then speaking of travel, it's like you… the more you travel, the more you do.
I have a particularly strong relationship with LA. I used to lead trainings out there. I have some really dear friends who live out there. When our podcast started touring (my husband and I's podcast: the Reading Aloud Podcast)... When we started touring, that was our first stop. Yeah. We just have a really sweet relationship with LA. So I have things that come through that city a lot, you know? Just… yeah…
And it's just through here… you know, she had hired a creative director who hired me and then the creative director gave me two options for photographers in Tokyo. And I was like, “well, definitely pick the one I know. I pick my friend, Andy.” And then… I don't know, you know, it's magic! I think that when you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, you know, those synchronicities start to happen.
And again, you know, the value of travel and how that opens up your business and how that opens up your mind and creates connections to not only new people, but new land.
Patrick: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely! Networking and traveling and just meeting people and having those connections. And those relationships are so powerful.
It also helps you unlock creativity when you're traveling and taking in new environments and new food and new… new sites. It's just so stimulating in so many ways. And you're right. Like I have some connections… I just realized… that I met in Iceland. Like a doctor who's in this rural clinic up in Northern Iceland who messages me from time to time: “You ever coming out here to give a talk on what you do?” And I'm like, “no, man, I'm never coming out to rural Iceland that has nine people.”
But I do appreciate the relationship. And it's just amazing when you have these conversations and just connect with other people. Where that can take you and… yeah… Working within your passion. I mean, it certainly really ignites that… that energy as well, to just say, like, “the sky is the limit here! If I can continue to just be creative and do the things that I really enjoy.”
Marisol: Mmm Hmm… Mmm Hmm… Yeah. And that… it… it makes me think.
So, one of the favorite places that Adam and I have traveled is to Eastern Europe and we were in Montenegro. And then we did like a short trip to Bosnia, but in Montenegro we got connected to this woman who hosts a bunch of Airbnbs. Anyways, I remember sitting down the first day with her and we were super jet-lagged and the whole time she had her sunglasses on, and there's a little bit of… a… an opinion about folks from the United States in Eastern Europe.
And she was just sort of like… like I couldn't read her, and I feel… I think we were… we got sick, like the day that we got there. So I didn't feel great anyways. So she…
And then we just kind of kept nourishing that relationship. ‘Cause she was the only person we knew and she spoke good English and um, she, the kindness started to come out and now we text each other or WhatsApp each other all the time. ‘Cause she wants to know about my baby. She wants to know how we're doing. She asked us about the pandemic. We talked to her about, you know: rivers, things… things… mutual things that we love. But, you know, she knows what I do because I told her and I chose to tell her, and she's like, “what, you know, what do you do?”
And I didn't say, “oh, you know, I’m a therapist.” I was like, “no! Let me tell you exactly what I do. Because if you need my help or know somebody who does, I will make sure that I make myself available to support you.”
Patrick: I love that. And that's such genuine, authentic connection without any ulterior motive at all. Just about learning about someone else in their culture and really connect.
It sounds like you got your elevator speech down. If you can pitch it to someone in Montenegro or Eastern Europe and feel confident about what you're saying.
Marisol: Yeah. It took a really long time. I will tell you, my… my husband works with, um, men. He has a program that he works with men and it's called Modern Man School. And so I have watched him when he started that program. It took him… I don't know… I mean, I watched him fumble through some elevator speeches with friends and stuff for a little bit, but he sat down and he really paid attention to what he was doing. And he really focused in on it.
He's got a very different work style than me. It's much more efficient. And within a couple of weeks he had the language for it and he was able to share about it with ease with everyone. And me: I think it was years.
Like, I remember being at… you'll… you'll know the place, but Bouchon. I remember being at this French restaurant in Asheville and this woman picks up a conversation with my husband because they had something in common about trees ‘cause he works for a forest protection organization here. I remember she asked me what I do. And I, I mean, I left that conversation feeling so embarrassed and I had been doing this work for three years already. And I, and I was like, “Adam, what the fuck is wrong with me? Like, why can't I, like, why do I not know what I'm saying?”
Like: I know what I'm doing. When people work with me, their lives are transformed. Why can I not say it?
Anyways, we… we made some flashcards after that.
Patrick: I love that because I'm just resonating so much with what you're saying about that. Like even now, and… Granted, I've only been doing this for about a little over a year and a half, I still don't know how to describe what I'm doing. What's different than other people who are doing similar things. And I have such a hard time describing, like “I help people start their private practices.” It's like, no, it's so much more than that. And there's such intense mindset and empowerment work there to get people to believe in themselves and really embrace their authenticity and just feel confident.
If you ask me that in a bar, or a restaurant, or on, you know, on the plane, I would be like, “um, I'm a therapist. I own a group practice and I help other therapists start their businesses.” And I still stumble over all of that. So now I need to really reflect on that. So I appreciate it.
Um, yeah, that's a… that's a big piece for me.
So you have the podcast now. You've got the fashion therapist going. Tell me a little bit about, you know, juggling these two things, especially the podcast. I'm interested because you said you've been touring and I saw that when you posted it, which is amazing. And I'm just curious about starting that up too.
Like that had to be something new and different and really embracing, doing a podcast with your husband.
Marisol: Yeah, well, we… we are doing this series right now, which you're going to be on. Um, but it's called Pandemic Partnership and we're interviewing a bunch of couples and some singles as to what their relationships have been like through the partnership.
And yesterday we had an interview with a couple from Flagstaff, Arizona who lead meditation retreats, and that's the oversimplified… they’re… they're amazing people. But anyways, there's they’re schtick is meditation. So… And one of the things that Brian said, cause we were talking about [how] they used to live apart 50% of the year because he would do three-month-long retreats and then Robin would also lead retreats and it just worked out that they were apart 50% of the year.
And so I was super interested to hear: How is your relationship now that you're together 100% of the time? And Brian started talking about how… the third body: so there's the… there's him and his body, there's Robin and her body, and then there's the third body and it's the shared body between them. And when I met Adam that third body emerged, I mean, the day that we met. It was in… and I could see it and it was… it was wild. I mean, I remember it. You know, I couldn't really put words to it, but I remember saying like, “you are me. Like we, somehow, we are connected, which, you know, for all the therapists out there, they're like, ‘OK, CoDA meeting! She needs a CoDA meeting! She needs, you know… she's got some problems! She's got… she's co-dependant!’”
Anyways: whatever you want to think about me is fine.
I felt this like kindred-ness to him already. And no: we're not cousins, even though we live in North Carolina! Sorry!
Patrick: In rural North Carolina. That is, just so everyone knows, in Appalachia! (laughs) You've got me cracking up right now!
That's, that's so beautiful too, because I feel that way about my wife, you know? Like I travel endlessly without her, and I don't think we could do that if we didn't feel so connected and trust one another and just know what the other person needs.
I think that's really important too. So leaving for 10 to 14 days at a time and knowing she's doing her thing and I'm doing my thing and that we will always come to the same space. I think that's really a beautiful testament to a partnership.
And it sounds like you and Adam have had such a wonderful relationship and it sounds like it's also so supportive. Like, you have each other's backs, isn't that what this is kind of all about at the end of the day and in terms of connection?
Marisol: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I love him so much. And I really feel like, because our partnership is the right one for us, that that third body emerging created more creativity. So it… it opened up stuff in me that helped me to build my own business.
It's opened it up for him to help him build his own business, but it was so apparent that together… I mean, this is going to sound cheesy, but we're stronger together! And we are! And so, you know, we would have these epic conversations that at some point we started recording. I mean, they're long gone. They're on some old phone that's forever gone, but for whatever reason, we started recording our conversations and we’re like “this shit's gold!”
And, and I was like, “what does it mean to start a podcast?” And almost instantly we hit the top 100 relationship podcasts in the U.S. I don't think we've been on that list for a while, because podcasts are growing so rapidly, but like we got in at an interesting time. And so, yeah, it just… it feels like there's something evolving between us and that has kept us close and now our businesses continue to get closer and closer and closer.
And that's how we juggle it. We just know that it's all kind of one thing, even though each thing has its own name.
Patrick: That's pretty amazing, you know, and it's just, again, such a good representation of strong, healthy partnership to be able to do those things together. I'm sure there are challenges…
Marisol (interjecting): Yeah, a lot.
Patrick: as there are for everybody! (laughs)
And I'm just thinking of, like, my wife being in her little craft room, making her earrings that she makes, oh, I'm doing podcast or doing coaching. And I couldn't do this without her. Like her constant cheerleading, but also that when it gets tough, because being an entrepreneur is tough. Y'all when you're listening to this, I know you know!
And when you want to give up sometimes, and you're like, “this idea is not going to work or it's too risky or it's too bold.” And that person just is like, now, like “you've got this. You… you can do this.” And I think that is so powerful too.
Like when I created the Ireland retreat, I just put the idea out there. “Does anyone want to go to Ireland?” You know: build your businesses, get coaching, experience the country. And all of a sudden I'm flooded with responses. Like, “OK, I'm going to create this. I don't even know what I'm creating.” Same thing with this fucking podcast. And, um, we're going to see where it goes.
And I felt like, “why would anyone come to Ireland? Why would anyone pay me? This is going to be a disaster!” My imposter syndrome kicking up majorly. And she's like, “you're good. You've been in Ireland seven times.” Like, “you're good at hosting and planning. It's going to be OK.” And I'm just like, OK (laughs) that helps me settle. And it sounds like, you know, for the two of you, that can be really a similar situation as well and experience too.
Marisol: Yeah, I… you know, solopreneurship is just that: it's solo and you know, there are days… I mean, I just had a baby 10 months ago. My hormones have been shit. I've had postpartum depression and anxiety. I, you know, my body had to heal. I'm 30-something… seven? maybe I think, and having a baby at 37 is, you know, it's whatever, it's not a game of comparisons, but it's different than being a little younger and maybe potentially having a little more energy.
And so, um… and I also understand that anybody having a baby is a hero in my mind. So, but regardless, like at this age I had a lot of life that I had built and a big career that I built, and then having a baby flipped me on my head. And so being a solopreneur, you know, you… on the days when you can't get out of bed or the days when you physically don't feel well or mentally or emotionally having somebody to hold… to prop you up, or to just say, “we've got this, you take the space that you need. I've got us for now,” is so critical because that is the thing that I... I'm so grateful that I'm an extrovert and that I have a lot of energy because I've been able to withstand a lot of the solopreneurship, but I do have a lot of empathy for solopreneurs now because you know, you just can't do it every day. Like you can't and you shouldn't have to.
Yeah. So it helps to have support whether it's in a partner or a family member, a parent, or a best friend, I mean, or your private practice coach!
Patrick: Okay. (laughs) Thanks for the plug. Yeah, it is, you know, I give you a lot of credit for that. And, um, being able to juggle all these responsibilities: being a new mom, you know, family life, business life, I mean, it's a lot.
I know that being a solopreneur and an entrepreneur in general, I mean… ebb and flow all the time. And the emotions can be kind of like a rollercoaster. And there are definitely days where you're like, “fuck this! I don't want to do this anymore. I'm going to go like move out into the woods and never be seen again.” At least that's my fantasy.
Or like, “this feels so energizing! This is incredible! I can't believe what I just created or, or how I've helped someone in this way.” And I think you have to ride the wave and just know that it's not always going to be glamorous. It's not always going to be exciting. There is a grind to it in a lot of ways, but once you really move into your passion and your energy and the things that feel really, really powerful for you it feels less like work and it's so much more enjoyable and really fulfilling in my opinion.
Marisol: Yeah, totally. Well, I want to circle back to something that you said earlier and just give you a little shout out for inspiring me.
So, first of all, I just want to thank you for the story that you shared about how I inspired you. I very distinctly remember that day. I remember where we were sitting. Um, often I can remember what people are wearing. So I have a visual, also a view.
And, um, you know, I remember just… you know… being honored that you asked to talk to me, but I also remember your humility and your genuine curiosity. And I felt like: your kindness, your curiosity, your humility, and your kind of tenacity. I was like, “he's gonna make it.” Like, and when you said “maybe I can go back to the agency job.” I would say that to a lot of people, but I was also saying that to you specifically, because I was like, “don't give up before the miracle.”
Like, especially if we're talking about what your supervisor, boss or whatever said like “in a month.” I mean, you know, don't give up if… y'all a month when I was facing cancer and starting my business at the same time, I would ask my husband, like, “am I OK?” Am I okay?” And he's like,”it's only been two weeks!”
And… but he actually said that to me for two years, he says “it's only been six months. It's only been a year. It's only been two years,” and, you know, yeah! Definitely don't give up before the miracle, but YOU inspired ME because I paid enough contract workers last year to have paid a full-time employee, yet I hadn't put that together in my mind until I started doing my taxes at the… at the top of the year, this year.
And my goal is to have a full-time employee by the end of the year. I know who I want to hire. They're already doing a ton of work for me, and I just want a full time employee. I… I mean… I know what I can do with this full-time employee. I know what I can create because I know what they can take off my plate. And I know what they can offer me as far as support for the things that I have been struggling to do.
And I asked a girlfriend of mine who runs a business that has a couple of employees. I was like, “how do you do it when you are afraid? How do you do it when you aren't sure?” And… um, and the new baby and the new, you know, all the budget stuff, whatever. And she's like, “you just do it because it works for itself.” But anyways, based on what you talked about, how much money you ended up making and how much you were able to pay people last year, I just, I feel so inspired.
And so I really want you to hold me accountable, like: ask me in six months, “who's your employee? Are you paying them? Full-time?” and like… like time off and parental leave the whole bit.
Patrick: I love that. And I will absolutely hold you accountable. And this podcast can be a reminder of that too. And I was so scared to do it, you know, like: hire staff, grow, scale, reinvest in the business.
I just think it's so important now that I realize, like you just mentioned, that they could take a lot of work off of you, probably a lot of stress, [giving you] a lot of free time. Right? And just think of… I was thinking about, like, how energizing that can be and how that can lead to such a return on investment. If you have the energy to then be even more creative than you already are and how that can lead to just such tremendous growth and having a team of people, or a person, who you… you know… they've got you back your back, you know, you trust.
They're going to do good work. They're going to help you grow. My VA: shout out to Kelsey! So when she's recording this… is fucking amazing! Like [I] found her randomly. She edits the podcast, she creates the website, she does the Facebook marketing. She does everything and I could not be here without her. And that is the way I kind of look at this. As, like, we have to invest in the team around us and we will all build each other up together.
And it just feels so inspiring for me because I want her to be successful and she wants me to be successful. We have that type of relationship where she's like, “all right! We're going to fucking kill it this month!” Until I tell her, like, “Kelsey, I had this idea to do an Asheville retreat. We need to build the landing page today!“ But she's so amazing.
And I… I was so scared for so long, you know, to do that, to pull the trigger, to invest in the hours, to put the income in. And I can't speak highly enough about reinvesting your money into growing your business and scaling because it takes so much off of my plate that I don't want to do or don't know how to do. And then I have to figure out how to do it.
So it just saves me 10 to 15 hours a week of stuff I don't have to focus on. And I know she's got my back and she does it well. And I trust her and she has all my passwords, all my credit card information. Like I trust her completely, more than most people because we have so much interaction.
It's… it's just such a powerful thing to buy in and also to pay someone well and really build them up simultaneously. And I just believe in that mindset of like, “let's build each other up together and there's enough space for all of us.” And I want everyone to be successful. This should have… it’s just been a big shift, uh, you know, mentally and emotionally, I think.
Marisol: Yeah. That's… that's awesome. Well, thank you for inspiring me to do that. And, um, yeah. And I hope other people hear that. I'm sure there's a… like a… uh, tipping point because, you know, you don't want to put all your money into somebody else and not take care of yourself, you know, and… and your… and your basic needs.
So there's probably a clear tipping point there. But yeah.
Patrick: There is for sure. Don't… don't pay someone, you know, so well that you can't pay yourself. Don't take that to heart. You know, even with my group practice: I pay them very well, but at the end of the day, I still need to make some money.
But yeah, I… I just think that it's really wonderful that we both have evolved and this journey has taken us to so many different places with what we've both been creating.
And I'm really impressed by what you offer. And I think you're… you know, I'm thinking about like clothing and how people don't always dress well, because they don't have the confidence or the self esteem, or they just don't feel, like, deserving. And I, I feel that way. My friend asks me all the time. “You want to go to these stores and buy these better clothes? You'll feel so much better in them and they'll fit right. You're speaking at conferences, you should look like a professional and not wear soccer stuff every single day.”
And I'm like: I'm finally just giving into it. I'm like, “yep. Let's fucking do it!” It does make me feel better. And if that's what you're doing for people all over the world, that's pretty incredible.
Marisol: Yeah. It is really incredible. And it's really… it's aligning your insides to your outside. So it's aligning your style to your soul. Yeah. I feel so clear that this is not a what to wear or what not to wear kind of program. I come in just in the same way that we do as therapists. We… we show up to a session.
We don't know what's best for the other person. We're just there to walk that journey with them and to discover that with them and help to be… and to be a mirror for them to show them what they know deep within themselves about themselves. And I feel similarly, I mean, the outcomes for all my clients are different.
They're all positive, but they're all different as far as what they end up wearing. And I absolutely love that. And… and… you know, I say like, if you feel confident in what you wear, you're going to be confident in what you do. And it is true that it's about that alignment.
And it's not… again, it's not a facade. It's not a mask. It's not a costume. You're not putting on a show. You're really aligning your insides, your outsides, either who you are truly, or who you are… who you are becoming. And so, yeah, I mean, it sounds like you've got a great friend on your side. You also always have access to me. So I'm happy to support you as well, especially for some of the big, the big gigs.
Patrick: I was just thinking that while you were speaking: one, I was thinking that I have so many good quotes from you to use as podcast titles, like “aligning your insides with your outsides.” But two, I was also thinking like, “man, I need to hire Marisol for me and for my wife for different reasons. Like this would be probably pretty transforming.
I have such a hard time spending money on myself. I love experiences. That's really my passion, but I'm really trying to embrace the fact that like, if you dress well, you know, my wife's always like, “you got to dress for success. People know you're a business owner and you have to look professional” and like, fuck, I just want to be comfortable.
But I think it's really important. So everyone that's listening: reinvest in yourself this year. If you're an entrepreneur, I know it's scary to put money elsewhere, but I promise you it will come back tenfold, whether it's your image, whether it's your brand, whether it's your marketing website, coaching, it doesn't matter.
Just do it for you. And I know it doesn't feel like in the short-term there's any significant gain and there won't be most likely, but in the long-term it will pay you back. I promise you and I hope that this podcast can be a testament for both of us saying those things. I don't think either of us thought our careers would end up where they are today while we were in our agency jobs.
I didn't have that foresight. I didn't have that clarity. I just wanted to get the fuck out. And I'll say that again and again and again, and I'll always use that “you'll be back in 30 days” as motivation to continue to just be that kind of trailblazer too. So I could go on a long rant about that and I won't, but anyway… um, I wanted to just turn it over to you so you can tell the audience who's listening, where they can find more of you, where they can hire you and anything you have coming out that you want to share.
Marisol: Yeah, thanks so much! So you can always email me at marisol&solreflection.com So that's Sol Reflection. Um, you can go to my website where you can get some freebies. There's a… uh, self guided closet inventory to walk you through an entire closet transformation. I have a five-day, stretcher-style simply that just tastes you through these micro changes in your work in your day-to-day dressing that ultimately lead to bigger changes and expanding your creativity and expanding your options for your wardrobe.
And then I've got a blog and you can read, read, read, just consume, consume, consume, and you can find me on Instagram at Sol Reflection and on Facebook at Sol Reflection. But really, I just love to talk to people. I love to, you know… the most reward is going to be in the one-on-one time together.
So my favorite way of working with people, I said, my favorite two ways of working with people are: one, for branding photo shoots, because I really feel like we're getting to the essence of who they are. It's an opportunity for them to shine. They're investing in a photographer, potentially a location and in their business and their website and the last thing you want is to not feel aligned with what you wear.
And I have a special knack for helping you not only feel good in what you wear (look good too) but, um, to then align it to your business, like with colors and themes and… and purpose. So that's really cool! And then in my one-on-one program.
So I have a three-month program that I call my best girlfriend program.So I literally become your best friend. It's an on-demand program where we talk all the time. We can talk as much as you want. And we're talking about outfits every day and we shop together and I go through your closet and it's just special time to deepen into the sense… your sense of identity, and then to push through any barriers that you have to getting dressed and to also help you find exactly what you're looking for.
Like you said, you want to stay comfortable. Patrick, you want to stay comfortable, but you also want to look good and feel good. And you want to feel like you can walk into a room and have presence and have, you know: just be yourself. But you want to be comfortable: totally attainable!
Patrick: Love it love it. Love it, love it.
Gonna go on the website immediately after and see how I can connect to you. And my wife Ariel with the best friend program, but you're right. You know, and I that's my goal for the year and I hope that's the goal for a lot of people is just to take up space. I think I'm so used to that humility and, and like not owning what I bring to the world and what I offer and what I create. And I'm kind of sick of that shit! So it's just that year to really start embracing that.
So I appreciate this conversation. This has been one of my favorite podcasts so far. (Sorry, everyone else!) but I will put your information in the show notes for anyone listening so you can find Marisol’s information and you can connect with her.
And yeah, that would be fantastic. And we will have you back on for sure. And what's your podcast name again, so people can follow that too?
Marisol: The Reading Aloud podcast, and that's a… a relationship podcast.
Patrick: Cool. Reading Aloud podcast for everyone listening as well.
Thanks for listening to another episode of the All Things Private Practice podcast. We release episodes every single Monday morning. If you want to find more of me: retreats, private practice retreats, entrepreneurial retreats in different parts of the country, different parts of the world, group coaching for my “Take the Leap” program and my Facebook group.
The website is allthingsprivatepractice.com. The Facebook group is All Things Private Practice. See you next Monday!
Marisol: You're great!
Patrick: Thank you!