In Full Swing
When Basic Steps Mental Health first opened in 2017, I had never owned a business before. My sister hit it right on the head. She said, “As a therapist, you are top-notch, but as a businessman, not so much.” Yep, I made all the mistakes, squandered thousands of dollars, and was about to quit before my best friend told me to stick with it and if it lasted for two years, I’d have a lifelong business of my own. This was my humble beginnings and I am glad I took his advice.
I want to thank Joseph Scicchitano at S9 Digital, who is my marketing guru. He helped me in my hour of need and I am eternally grateful. I was down to my last few hundred dollars and had no understanding of advertising and Joseph took charge and changed my life forever. Has it really been six years? Wow.
As the boss, it is exciting to call the shots. I worked for other people my whole life and never figured that I could be that guy. I needed to utilize all the strategies and tools they taught me in graduate school to work through my apprehension. Because of this, I have been able to weather the storms of Covid, downturns in the financial picture of the country, and my own ignorance. Shoot, I had no clue I had been paying FaceBook and Google thousands of dollars until Joseph discovered it. Again, as a businessman, I was “not so much”.
Now in our sixth year, I am realizing that there are slow times and there are busy times. This week was, I think, the busiest week we ever had. Our groups are almost at capacity, the sessions each day are almost fully booked, and I never dreamed that we might have to initiate a waiting list. Maybe this is a year off, but it is still a possibility. I heard of many therapists who can no longer take on new clients and never dreamed it may be me. Luckily. I have two associates who work with me and we are able to share the load quite nicely.
In graduate school, we were taught the process of attracting to us what we wanted, in every area of our life. So, with pen in hand, I started dreaming about this facility 8 years ago when I had the idea to open up my own facility. Of course, I had to write out a series of, what is called, “Ideal Scenes” in which you plop yourself into a visualization of what you really want to experience and write it out in a certain format. In that process, we were encouraged to use all our senses as if the dream was actually taking place. So, I created ideal scenes on the facility, the permits and permissions, the ideal customer, the ideal staff, the ideal advertising, etc. In fact, I believe I am the only company that has Ideal Scenes instead of a business plan. Though, I wrote out a few business plans to appease my family.
Businessman Scott. That is a laugh. If you knew where I came from, you would be shocked. In 1982 I was homeless and sleeping on a doorstep in Hollywood. Depressed, angry, addicted, and hopeless. Yeah, I had hit my bottom. I prayed and prayed hard for God to help me. Obviously, that prayer was answered in a big way. The past 40 years have been amazing. I think that the best teachers are those who have been there and gone through it so they can guide others through the experience.
A few things stand out in the time with Basic Steps Mental Health. The opposite hand bowling tournaments, going to the Mongolian BBQ, and having everybody use chopsticks with their opposite hand. The happy faces of both staff and of the participants when there is a graduation. Of course, Karaoke singing. Who doesn’t love to sing in front of people? Yeah, nobody does at the beginning, though in the end all clammer for the microphone. Lastly, each client, who are the real heroes to me.
I remember this conversation I had with my youngest sister. Kristy is 12 years younger than me and I was out of the house when she was 5 or 6 years old. While she grew I went through my addiction, got sober, tried my hand in advertising, and failed miserably. In order to catch my breath, I went over to my folks on Christmas Eve to get some loving, only to find my folks asleep and my sister sitting alone on the couch. All Kris talked about was how hard it was to go through high school and what a miserable time she was having. I told her someone should show your generation how to have a good time. Then it hit me. I was always the guy who tried to pass the buck onto someone else. Why not me? Then the lightbulb hit me. I was supposed to be of help. Well, that sudden inspiration took place on Christmas 1991. In spring of 1992, I was enrolled in school and for the next 8 years studied psychology.
Thanks for bearing with me as I traveled down memory lane. Somehow this former addict is doing okay in business. The clients seem very pleased, especially the people who have gone through a series of counselors because they get to see the difference between what real therapy is all about.
Let’s get you in for a session before the waiting list becomes a reality.
Compassionate Care is Always Available
There are many more tools and strategies you can use in your pursuit of happiness. Here is where we come in. Contact us at Basic Steps Mental Health and let us support and educate you on this journey back to your loving heart center. Imagine living a heart-centered life, regardless of what is happening externally. We’d love to be of help.
For 25 years, Dr. Scott Alpert, the clinical director of Basic Steps Mental Health, has treated over 7,000 people with mental health and addiction problems, using a Psychological approach that mixes and matches ten of the top approaches used in the industry. We are here virtually and in-person to help you get through this COVID-19 pandemic and many other difficulties you may be experiencing.
May you have good mental health.