Business for a Better World: Balance Wellness Collective in St. Charles

  • Amy Wilhelmi, center, runs Balance Wellness Collective in St. Charles.

    Amy Wilhelmi, center, runs Balance Wellness Collective in St. Charles. Photo courtesy of Amy Wilhelmi

 
Updated 8/4/2022 11:42 AM

Amy Wilhelmi

Balance Wellness Collective

 

1121 E. Main St., Suite 200, St. Charles; also 1500 N. Halsted St., second floor, Chicago.

www.amywilhelmi.com

Industry: Author, coaching, speaking, mental health, mediation, podcasting.

Q: Describe your company.

A: I am a multi-entrepreneur, and the Amy Wilhelmi brand encapsulates the things I do in one place. Primarily, I am a licensed marriage and family therapist who has evolved by expanding my work into writing several books, training, speaking events, coaching clients, providing traditional "therapy" and offering mediation. My specialty is working on mindset and mentality, particularly with athletes, as I am also a competitive bodybuilder.

Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

A: I probably should hire an assistant, but I do have a contracted team that helps me with many things such as public relations, marketing, website design, etc. Along with my bodybuilding team -- my trainers, team, massage therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, posing coach, bikini designer, makeup artist and other members -- they keep that part of my life running smoothly. I rely on both my business team and my athlete team.

Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?

A: I am launching my big, big memoir, so I will be getting that out in the world and accepting the feedback and opportunities that come with that book. I am also pursuing more opportunities to work with professional athletes and teams.

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Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: Mental health is a hot topic, and my main goal is to normalize it. There is a trend toward accessibility, so I expanded my business to "coaching" and away from traditional therapy. This way, I am not limited by my regional licensure and can help more people. I can help people worldwide. I appreciate the accessibility of some mental health telehealth platforms because it encourages people to seek help when they may not have before in the comfort of their own homes.

But on the other side of that coin, I am afraid that the practitioners are not being treated very well in some cases by the larger companies (i.e., not getting paid well), which leads to burnout and less desirable client care. Also, there is something to be said about doing an in-person session. I would much rather fly out to a location and do a training/workshop/speaking event or work intensively with a client than spend a long time with them on screen.

Q: Is your company minority-owned? Woman-owned? If so, what are the challenges of being a minority- or woman-owned company?

A: Yes. I am 100% the owner of my company. I have owned my business for seven years, and it has not presented an issue in my industry. I find there are a lot of women in health care, specifically in mental health.

Q: What does your company do regarding DE & I (diversity, equity & inclusion)?

A: When I have hired employees for the mental health practice in the past, this topic is definitely something that I strive for and think about because it directly impacts the success of my clients. Mental health is relational, and this is a reason why my athletes want to work with me, also an athlete. I'm someone who "gets" them, someone they can trust and someone who has gone through the same struggles as they have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

I strive to hire therapists that are a diverse bunch -- men, people of color, and a range of ages and experience. I want the clients to be able to identify and align with the person sitting in the room with them. I want my Black child clients to have access to Black therapists. I want my older clients to have access to therapists their age, if they choose to engage with them.

Q: Does your company donate time or money to any philanthropic causes? If so, what causes?

A: Yes, I am aligned with NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness. I sincerely believe in the work they do regarding accessibility, awareness, and serving minority populations. nami.org.

I am also a justice champion with my husband for an organization called Administer Justice. For only $30, those interested can schedule a 45-minute session with one of our attorneys and receive support from the team.

We host a day a month at our church where the community can schedule an appointment. We can provide answers to legal questions, make a plan for the next steps to overcome challenges, and provide care and support. For more information, they can visit https://www.administerjustice.org/foxvalleychurch/.

Q: Does your company do anything else to make your community better?

A: I am a truth-teller and storyteller. Unlike a traditional therapist, I am transparent about my life, journey and struggle to humanize challenges and growth trajectories in people. By doing this, people connect with me and my work because we are both raw, real and hopeful.

Q: What do you do to make your business a good place to work for your employees?

A: In my Amy Wilhelmi brand, I do not have any employees yet.

Q: Do you have a business mantra?

A: Yes. "Amy believes in the power of mental fortitude and the many possibilities inside individuals to level up and live their best lives. Within her work, Amy encourages the power of connection and the development of raw, transparent, and truth-telling storytelling that helps the clients themselves and helps others around them that are going through similar struggles.

"Amy sees an athlete's unique abilities such as supreme concentration, commitment to excellence, drive and motivation, goal-setting, positive mindset and optimism, confidence and self-belief, communication skills, and high-quality relationships, and uses these superpowers and innate abilities to teach athletes to become more mentally resilient and overcome mentality challenges many of them face."

Q: What is one interesting fact about your company that most people may not know?

A: This is the second company that I've built. The first one is called Balance Wellness Collective and is a holistic mental health practice with employed licensed and unlicensed intern therapists. This practice is the mother ship where it all started. It is still open and running, and the physical location is in St. Charles. We see clients throughout the state of Illinois via telehealth and are accepting new clients -- children, adolescents, families and couples. We are in network with most insurance companies and have billing services. For more information, people can visit www.balancewellnesscollective.com.

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