Nisha Todi is a clinical psychologist at her business Nisha Todi, PsyD PLLC.

“My business primarily focuses on empowering people to make lasting and impactful changes in their lives. As a practicing psychologist, I work hard to build strong relationships and create a safe space without judgment. The relationship between my clients and I is unique in that this is a private place where they can be their authentic selves and know they are the primary focus. I also do not approach my clients with an agenda, so our conversations can be about anything, including changing old habits, building self-confidence in relationships, exploring professional identity, and working through the impact of our past.”

AZF: What is your life motto?

NT: Throughout my journey as an entrepreneur, I learned I am most effective when I start every question with “what” instead of “why.” As business owners, we know that we do not have the safety of an agency that will help us bear the possible negative consequences when taking a risk. Subsequently, when I first opened up my business in 2018, I feared taking a risk or making a change. I then would ask myself, “why am I scared?” I found that my reaction to this question led to shame, avoidance, and never-ending theories to explain my fear. However, when I reframed the question to “what about this risk is scary?” I could identify and address my specific concerns and move forward with the change. Asking myself “what” helped me feel more empowered and led to action instead of feeling stuck. I like to apply these strategies with my clients to help them break through any blocks that may be holding them back.

AZF: Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur? If not, when did you realize that it was the right path for you?

NT: Honestly, until 2017, running a business was the furthest from my mind. I was always working in agencies and never considered the idea of going into private practice. However, I began to notice that the joy and energy I felt toward my work as a psychologist began to dissipate. I have worked very hard to become a licensed psychologist, and my passion for helping others in the way I knew best is what always got me through tough times, especially during my years in school and in training. However, I started to lose that passion and connection to my professional identity. I really didn’t know who I was as a psychologist anymore, which was uncomfortable and worrisome. I had never thought I would question my career path. However, with the support from colleagues already out on their own, I finally started to explore the idea of establishing my own private practice. It was the best decision I ever made, and I never turned back.

AZF: How do you feel best supported?

NT: As a business owner, I am responsible for making all the decisions. Thankfully, I have several colleagues and friends who are entrepreneurs I can turn to for support and advice. I am also a member of a business group that supports business owners and provides solid professional advice from members who have faced similar situations. I believe surrounding yourself with people who elevate you will significantly impact your business. Many business issues aren’t only relative to my industry but have similar resolutions; the support of other entrepreneurs is invaluable.

AZF: What motivated you to keep going amidst of the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur?

NT: My passion for helping people be their best selves motivates me every day. As I sit down with a client, I feel an energy that empowers me. Business challenges seem to fade and don’t hold as much power over me. I continue to grow as a business owner every day, and my strength and resiliency have evolved through my experiences in the last five years.

AZF: Describe your perfect Saturday.

NT: My perfect Saturday morning is when I feel a sense of accomplishment from the week and also the relief that the weekend is about my family and me. I work hard to complete what is necessary for my business during the week to maintain clear boundaries and focus on enjoying the weekend.

AZF: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a young entrepreneur who is just starting out?

NT: When I first began exploring the idea of starting a business, I often focused on the end result, which would lead to feeling extremely overwhelmed and anxious. However, when I was able to slow down and shift my energy to the current task at hand, I was better able to move forward. Each time I reminded myself I was just completing the next step toward my long-term goal. Re-focusing my energy on the small tasks helped me feel empowered and act. Each time I completed a task, I got closer to the long-term goal, and my confidence grew to help me move on to the next step.

AZF: What excites you most about being an entrepreneur?

NT: I love the autonomy I have to focus on my client’s needs and not worry about satisfying the needs of an agency, such as hours and insurance limitations. In addition, the ability to control my schedule allows me to work within the parameters I know will be the most productive, and I can be fully present with my clients. I can also devote more time and energy to growing my practice and have a focused intention on attracting the clients I feel will be the best fit.

Follow Nisha on LinkedIn.