One On One With Entrepreneur and Psychotherapist Angela Ficken

Angela Ficken, LICSW is a full-time psychotherapist in private practice. She specializes in OCD, eating disorders, and anxiety-related concerns. She started her career at McLean Hospital, which is one of the top-ranking psychiatric hospitals in the country and affiliated with Harvard University. She was the head social worker on an inpatient unit that focuses on anxiety and depression.

During her time at McLean, she trained in exposure therapy and became certified in CBT and DBT. Shortly thereafter, she worked at Harvard University as a primary therapist for undergraduate and graduate students. During her time there, she taught students CBT and DBT skills to help them manage a range of challenging emotions that young adults face daily.

Along with her work at McLean and Harvard, Angela had a small private practice for years before she decided to move full-time in 2013. From there, she focused her attention on working with young adults and entrepreneurs primarily after noticing that both groups struggled with anxiety disorders and stress-related issues due to life transitions and the uncertainty of what was coming next in their lives.

She spent years fine-tuning her practice and building her business into something more than a standard full-time private practice. She began writing for Huffington Post as an expert, which then catapulted her into writing for other major online sources which include Marriage.com where she is a verified expert, YourTango.com, ThriveGlobal.com, and has been quoted in Oprah Magazine, and Fastcompany.com, Inc.com, Forbes.com, MSN.com, Bustle.com, Popsugar.com, Buzzfeed.com, Nylon magazine, Allure.com, and Justluxe.com. She has also been a guest on Onward Nation with Stephen Woessner where she talked about OCD and intrusive thoughts, as well as on the radio in Chicago and Reno speaking about stress and anxiety.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Angela to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

There are several things my team and I are working on right now. I have two brands ProgressWellness.com which is focused on my private practice, and then the WorriedtoWellBalanced.com brand, a wellness platform designed specifically for professional women with busy lives.

We focus heavily on marketing both brands through Pinterest, publicity, and organic search engine optimization.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

The best marketing strategy for my business has been Pinterest. My team has helped build ad campaigns for infographics that go directly to related articles I’ve written for the WorriedtoWellbalanced.com blog, and to Amazon where I have a CBT workbook and stress buster guide available for purchase. Pinterest has by far been the most cost-effective strategy we have used and will continue to use for the foreseeable future.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

While we’ve tested out Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, Pinterest has yielded the best results. The platform provides us with the biggest reach for sharing our message and letting people learn more about me and my brands.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

My team and I discussed goals for both Progress Wellness and Worried to Well Balanced, and the attention required for the business to grow financially. In order for each of the businesses to grow, I needed to be more present for it which meant I would need to spend fewer hours with clients.

Seeing less clients means I give up an immediate cash flow for the potential growth of both brands, and that was a tough and stressful decision, but one I needed to make.

How has your business been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Both of my businesses have seen an increase over the past two years. My private practice, which is Progress Wellness, has had more people interested in therapy because it’s much easier to show up in a virtual setting. Sessions are virtual so after we end, they are back at work without a commute. It makes it much easier than taking a ninety-minute break in your day to factor in a commute to therapy. 

Worried to Well Balanced has also done well. During the pandemic, I wrote the Covid Coping Kit which was available on Amazon. We are now working on an Everyday Coping Kit, and I am currently writing my first book which will be released late this year.

I have had more availability working from home to partake in more podcasts, be on live television and build the Worried to Well Balanced and Progress Wellness brands.

How have you adapted your business operations in response to COVID-19 and its associated impacts?

My private practice has been virtual since mid-March 2020 and will remain virtual most likely for the foreseeable future. I have also used this time to create more online stress and anxiety management products knowing that stress levels for many people were going up and would possibly have less access to support. I wanted to give people easy access to skills and strategies which is how Worried to Well Balanced came about.

What have been some of the most important lessons you have learned because of this pandemic?

The most important lesson I learned over the past two years is how precious time is. Time is our hottest commodity and being able to work from home has afforded me more time with my daughter and husband that I never would have had if it were not for this pandemic.

Before Covid, I did not have thoughts about how I wanted to spend my time, but now I do. How do I want to spend it and who gets my time? This has helped me think through my work schedule, time with loved ones, and quality solo time. It’s been the best lesson.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses all over the world?

For the US, my hope is that small business owners, no matter where they are in the country, can get affordable health care, paid maternity and paternity leave, and other benefits bigger companies are able to give to their employees. For the world, I hope smaller businesses have more opportunities to increase their brand awareness giving people more choices.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up a new business in this pandemic?

As the world is starting to go back to “normal”, many people will want to continue online shopping as their main way of purchasing products. With that in mind, I would encourage you to have a website that is easy to use, on point with your message, and customers can easily find and purchase your products.

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