Say hello to one of our new members Chara Ward. We are so excited to have Chara join as at SSN and we think you’re going to love her just as much as we do! She is the owner of Chara Therapeutic Services and you can visit her online at www.charatherapy.com.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Hi everyone! My name is Chara and I am a wife and mother of 2 children, ages 9 and 7. They, along with our 1½ year old fur-baby Sierra, who is half Akita and half German shepherd, keep me quite occupied. I love singing along with the Amazon echo in the kitchen, and I hate yard work and spiders. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but have lived in San Diego for the past 20 years, and consider this to be my home. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to help others, and my goal as a licensed counselor is to help others rediscover joy and hope in their lives.
What is your professional bio:
I worked with children and families as an adoption/foster care social worker for 12 years just prior to opening my business. I received my Master’s in Social Work from San Diego State University and my Bachelor’s in Psychology at UC San Diego. When I became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker 6½ years ago, I had a vision of opening my own private practice. That vision became a reality in August 2016 when I was able to secure office space in San Marcos, CA. I quit my job to devote myself fully to this business, and I have never once regretted that decision. My services include individual and family counseling to children, adolescents, and adults. Clients may come seeking help for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship problems, trauma, stress management, issues surrounding foster care or adoption, grief and loss, adjustments and transitions, or self-esteem and personal growth.
Why did you start your own business?
Today’s world can be quite impersonal and lonely. It may be difficult to find a safe place to explore one’s fears, desires, dreams, or deepest hurts. It is a true honor and privilege to be able to share in another person’s life in such a deep and meaningful way.
What are you most proud of in your business?
Counseling is an extremely personal experience that may be different for everyone. But what all of my clients will receive is an empathic and compassionate environment in which they may discuss their most private matters. My clients are more than numbers or business transactions to me. I care about them, and spend a considerable amount of time outside of office hours thinking about ways to help them.
What’s your super power?
Well, it’s definitely not cooking or maneuvering anything on wheels haha!! But I am quite astute at picking things up with my toes, faking a British accent, and singing every word to every song from The Sound of Music!
My kids, my family, my friends, my faith, our Amazon Echo, about 20 pairs of shoes, the contents of my purse, hummus, music, chicken, yoga pants, sunshine, frozen waffles…oops, did you say ONE thing? 😉
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not running your business?
Working out, playing my guitar, boating, or watching American Ninja Warrior.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you first started?
Just specific business details, such as purchasing a domain name, how to create a website, where to open a business account, the best programs for accepting credit cards, etc. It helps to do research ahead of time, or have the assistance of someone with experience in this area.
Any advice for new entrepreneurs or someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
It’s helpful to formulate goals and a timeframe that’s realistic, so as to minimize discouragement. Also, hang in there and be proud of yourself for taking a risk and stepping out there regardless of the outcome!
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