What made you determine you were going to find Beth’s Place in the Fargo-Moorhead community?
There were an array of different reasons I wanted to open, but the primary reason was my mother. My mother lost her life to alcoholism in 2017. I spent extensive time in and out of treatment facilities and was impressed by the teamwork and environment of healing specifically at the Hazelden addiction treatment center. I wanted to recreate an environment of healing that I felt was missing from the FM community. The second you enter Beth’s Place, you’re hit with the aroma of a candle we have chosen for the season, followed by a smiling face assisting you right away. The décor is calming and inviting and filled with Kate Baldock’s art. This was strategic. Mental health is scary. So incredibly scary. I knew if we could create an environment of healing, we would thrive.
There’s often shame around substance abuse among women. What do you think we can do as a community to support women with this issue?
As we know, Fargo is one of the biggest binge-drinking cities in the United States. Mommy happy hours are the new normal. I always try and normalize not drinking. I love an array of non-alcoholic drinks and keep them stocked in my home. My favorite is De Soi. I’m also very strategic when hosting to change the language around drinking. Instead of saying can I get you a drink, I ask, how can I make you comfortable?’ and I start with carbonated beverages first before I offer alcohol. It is imperative to the health of our community to normalize sobriety. We’re now seeing a lot of pop-ups for “mocktail” hours, this is amazing! Women and, quite honestly, the human form, desire connection, and we don’t need alcohol to achieve that connection.
You have substantially grown your business since you were founded. How have you strategized to create the team you have today?
I have done a LOT wrong. A LOT. By this I don’t mean wrong team members. Those that have come and gone were a strategic part of our growth both personally and professionally. I had to come to terms with control and what growing a team healthily looked like. I had to adjust my “right way” and listen to what the team was saying. When you build anything from the ground up, it’s deeply personal and the connection to my business is family. So, I built originally on fear: fear of losing it, fear of perception, fear of not being enough. I have dug into that in the past two years and now treat it as the business that it is. I have created a team of leaders. Those leaders have strategically grown and carried and built Beth’s Place into what it is today.
Women historically have left the workforce in droves since the pandemic and most of your therapists are women. What have you done to invest in your team to help alleviate this mass exodus from your industry?
My entire team is female, half of who are mothers or are currently expecting their firstborn. Flexibility with clear-cut boundaries and expectations is the way that we have built. We’re closed Fridays which allows my team to have a nonpatient day and reset. They are set up to either be in-person therapists or online or a hybrid model. I have found that seasons of life and open communication is key. Some of my older therapists want to be in person and enjoy leaving the house. The newly graduated counselors are comfortable with online therapy and only want that option. Communication is key to ensure that the counselors know they can come to me and communicate the needs of their family at this time. I have learned this is ever-changing and a core value of mine is, and will remain, family. So, if we have to switch the platform for the clinician, we switch the platform with clear and open communication.
How do you set boundaries for yourself and your family as a business owner?
I have had a lifetime of hurt. So many of us have. I’ve also had a lifetime of beautiful moments. I have and will continue to sit in the hurt moments and learn and grow from them. I’m big on self-awareness and moving your feet. For example, my response to everything is to work harder. If I stay longer, if I buy something for them, if I show up, if I show them it can be done, they will do the right thing. This led to a lot of burnout, resentment and my own mental health suffering. I now have clear-cut boundaries and expectations within my home and my business. In my opinion, I don’t care who you are within my life, my boundaries look the same for all people including the expectations I have for myself
According to multiple sources (Huff Post, The Guardian, Forbes) nearly 45% of women with children spend more than five hours each week supervising or caring for their kiddos—more than a third spending over 20 hours a week of unpaid work on the household. As a mother of three and wife, how do you navigate those types of challenges as opportunities to tend to your family, while scaling and expanding at the rate you have?
My mother told me when I became a mom to take my children to every place I went. So, I have. At the time of building Beth’s place, I invested my entire life savings because I couldn’t get a bank loan. We couldn’t afford daycare or a nanny, so they came with me wherever I went. My children have been in bank meetings, building inspections and have slept on the floor of the clinic–many times. My daughter began running payroll at the age of ten, she knows about profit and loss, employee taxes and the cost and time sacrifice it takes to run a business. I don’t believe in balance. I believe in finding your middle. Some weeks, I rock as a boss but feel like I’m failing as a mom and vice versa. I’ve found that laundry can wait and supper might be pizza again, but if I have face-to-face contact with the most important people in my life, nothing else matters. I’ve also backed out of a lot of deals and opportunities. This took me a long time to learn as well. What will people say? I could make more money if I did this or that. But I always ask myself, ‘to what end?’ I cannot and will not look at my three children and say that I was off saving the world and they came last. My non-negotiables are to have only one night away from them every six months and to be home by supper if not after school. Every woman cannot and is not granted this fortitude, but I also believe we commit to nothing and have grown comfortable breaking promises to ourselves. I’m committed to Beth’s Place, but my ultimate commitment is my children.
You’ve spoken publicly about patient-centered care that focuses on offering dignity to your patients. How can a lay person do this in their work and personal life?
How many times have we gotten off the phone only to call another friend and share the mess that is the other person’s life? We spend so much time having opinions about others’ lives and take no time to better our own life. But the issue is, we believe that we do. So, we do more and more and find ourselves out of alignment, and we are hardwired to feel. If our feelings become too much, it seems great to sit in someone else’s mess—then, look inward. Life is hard. It’s hard for everyone and harder for some. The people that I’m attracted to at this stage of my life don’t speak ill of others. They’re focused on their own personal and professional growth. They place their family and health first and you almost feel invited to be part of their life.
What do you do to create a vision for your future professionally without abandoning your personal duties in life?
You will abandon your personal duties at times. Don’t get stuck there. Pick up, re-route and try again. Our biggest competition is ourselves, nobody else. I’m the idea person. I have 77 projects going at one time and will probably announce 80 and complete 1.5. I’m an enthusiastic sharer who loves the Beth’s Place community and always wants to share what we’re working on. I had to be ok with random hateful messages, side talk and failure. I’m proud of what we’ve done in our community. I’m even prouder that I went to war with myself to become a better human.