Why Business Owners Need Business Counseling

Why do we need business counseling and who needs it? Read on to find out more.

Source: pexels.com

I used to work as a marketing specialist in a multinational company in San Francisco. It was a typical 9-to-5 job that required me to meet various people who wanted to avail of our nutritious yogurt products a few times a day. Then, as soon as the clock ticks five o’clock, I would be out of the building with the rest of my team.

Now, despite my hardworking skill, I could not ever be on the same level as the people who make our products possible. That is especially true for those who work in the manufacturing side of the business, i.e., factory workers, plant managers, chemists, engineers, etc. Since the factory was running 24/7, it was common for them to work for 12 hours every shift.

Of course, everyone was well-compensated in the company, so we would not hear anyone complaining. However, there could be times when people could feel mentally exhausted due to the amount of work that they needed to get done every day. To ensure the employees’ mental stability, the company gave everyone – including us – access to multiple counselors with whom they could talk anytime.

I admire that a lot about the company. The bosses were conscious of what their employees might need, you see. Not all companies were like that, and I would know because I worked with a few before coming here. The only thing that I found odd with the setup was that business counseling was not provided to the higher-ups.

In truth, I learned about it through my coworkers when they were gossiping about how one of the executives had a long-standing untreated depression. It only became known when she tried to commit suicide by jumping off the building the other night. Luckily, one of the janitors went to the rooftop and managed to talk her out of it. It was a major hush-hush within the company, but everyone was still aware of it.

Horrified, I asked how it came to that point. That’s when my colleague whispered that it’s because they were not talking to counselors like the rest of us. For some reason, the bosses might have assumed that the executives were invincible physically and mentally, which was not always true. They were also humans who could be vulnerable to stress.

Source: pexels.com

Moving On To A Different Pasture

I only stayed in the yogurt company for a couple more years. I left not because of the lack of mental help for the higher-ups but because I had wanted to start my own coffee company for a few years now. I finally had enough money to buy land where I could grow and harvest coffee beans. I could even roast and pack them in the same property.

The hiring process was long and tedious, I must admit. Aside from finding people who loved coffee, they had to know more about it to become an asset to my company. As soon as the job positions were filled, I went on to hire three new counselors. They would serve as HR personnel and mental health advisers to everyone, including the other executives and me. I even went above and beyond and decided to make a business counseling visit mandatory for all.

Reactions, Reactions

My decision was met more waves than I imagined, especially when I told my other friends in the industry about it. They had been handling more businesses than me, but they never thought of giving their employees 30 minutes to talk with a counselor every week. The strongest opposition I heard was, “That’s preposterous! You will be paying both the counselor and the worker to chitchat!”

Others were mainly concerned about the possibility that my employees might think of me as a weak person for welcoming business counseling in the company. Some even voiced out, “You lead a chill life. What do you need it for?”

Source: pexels.com

Did their words offend me? No – not one bit. I was honestly more surprised than offended by such comments. I had no idea that the stigma around mental health was still at large up to this point. I thought it already went away, and we managed to move past that as a society years ago. However, judging by how many of my friends judged my decision in front of me, it was clearly not the case.

So, I schooled them. I told my former boss, who had depression but did not have access to mental help. I saw a few of them grip the sides of their seats as I informed them of that person’s suicide attempt, which could have been prevented if the CEO thought of extending mental help to everyone.

“You are all correct — I am okay right now; there is nothing wrong with me for now. But who can guarantee that it will still be the same tomorrow or the day after that? I have a startup company that has barely kicked off the ground; the stressors are yet to come! So, how can you tell me that hiring counselors to give my employees and me regular business counseling is an awful choice?” I uttered before walking out.

Focusing On What’s Important

Although I held no grudge against my friends, I decided not to talk to them for a while. I wanted to focus on my business; I did not need their negative thoughts to affect me. That’s especially true when the business counseling benefits that my company offered were paying off. Everyone was happy and motivated, so it did not a surprise that the launch of our coffee products turned out to be successful.

Then, one day, my friends went to my house. I braced myself for whatever crazy idea they might spew regarding my company decisions. But to my surprise, they all sang praises about my regular business counseling idea.

One of them said, “We’ve spoken to some of your employees, and we heard about how happy and consistent everyone is at your company. It’s never like that in ours. Can you recommend counselors to us?”

I let out a breath of relief before ushering them to the dining room to talk about my counseling experience over dinner.

Source: pexels.com

Make Life Dreams Come True

“Make life dreams come true,” my dad said. But I realized its importance after quite some time. Now I know that to make life dreams come true, patience and sacrifice are key. I wish you, too, could make life dreams come true.

Source: pexels.com

I used to hang out with the wrong kind of teenagers. You know, they were the ones you would see at the back of a building, bullying someone. If they were not doing that, they were either drinking at the park or finding a way to steal items from stores.

That part of my life started during middle school. I was tired of being on the receiving end of bullying, so I decided to join the bullies. All I had in mind back then was that befriending those kids would stop the humiliation that I experienced in other people’s hands for years. I did not account for the fact that I had to become one of them if I did not want to get kicked out of the group.

How did you make life dreams come true?

I began drinking at the age of 15. I could still recall the first time that I got drunk with my newfound friends. One of them had a fake ID and used it to buy a big bottle of whiskey at the convenience store. When I saw what’s in his brown paper bag, I initially tried to refuse because no one drank alcoholic beverages in the family, and I did not want to get caught by my mom. However, they said that they wouldn’t talk to me again if I said no, so I had no choice but to do it.

I hated the taste of alcohol every time, but I kept drinking when they told me to keep drinking. I just learned to pack a toothbrush and used it before going home so that no one in the house would know what I was up to.

Turning Point

So when did I realize I had to make life dreams come true?

The turning point in my life happened on my 18th birthday. My friends called me to say that they had a surprise for me. Of course, I was excited, so I went to the mall as instructed. When I arrived, they told me to pick three items that I wanted, and they would get them as my presents. I chose a bag, a belt, and a pair of pants. My friends even made me try them on to make sure that they were the correct sizes.

But when we were on our way to the cashier, they veered to the left and went straight to the exit — with the unpaid items. I watched in horror as the alarms by the door went off, signaling that someone just tried to get out without paying for something first.

My friends got apprehended at once. I thought I was already saved, but then one of them pointed at me. Another pair of guards appeared behind me and directed me to their office.

Our leader told us not to admit to anything once the manager left us alone to contact the police. The others agreed readily, but I did not answer because that’s not what I wanted to do. Even if I did not plan that shoplifting, I was still an accessory to the crime, and I was so guilty about it. Besides, I felt the need to get out of the group before they could ruin my life. My family would undoubtedly know about my wrongdoings anyway, so there was no other way out. When the police came and informed us that the mall administration wanted to press charges and prosecuted as adults, I pled guilty.

Source: pexels.com

My so-called friends bore holes at me with their dagger stares, but it was okay with me. I knew it would happen because I broke the pact. I stood by my guilty plea even in front of the Judge and was ready to go to prison. Of course l, I was sad that I would have a criminal record and that I could stay in jail for two to five years, but again, I had no other choice.

I was already spacing out as I assumed the Judge was about the adjourn the hearing when I heard my mom gasp and cry loudly behind Me. Then, my lawyer grasped my hand to congratulate me, increasing my confusion.

“What’s happening?” I asked.

The lawyer smiled at me. “The Judge practically wants to give you a second shot in life. He saw your sincerity when you admitted your mistakes. Instead of giving you jail time, you only need to do community service and promise to attend counseling sessions.”

I honestly could not believe it. I was so sure that I had to delay all my plans for my life to repent for my since in prison, but I would not have to do that anymore. I could not stop thanking the Judge for letting me get away with a lighter punishment. Out of glee, I vowed to meet him again in the future as a better man.

Getting Counseling

The first thing I did was work with the counselor that the law enforcement provided. I had no idea what it was initially, but the mental health professional allowed me to see that I got sucked into that dark side of life due to my insecurities. He helped me work through as many of them as possible and let the Judge know in the end that I was already good to go.

Source: pexels.com

Since my parents were still upset about the pain and humiliation I caused them, they refused to pay for my college tuition. I understood them, so I asked the counselor if I could do any work at his office. From being a part-time janitor, I became his part-time assistant for two years.

When I had the chance to go to college, I decided to study psychology. It felt so right to do that; it was a dream that I never knew I had.

12 Years Later

I found myself standing in front of the same Judge who gave me a life-changing verdict 12 years ago. This time, though, I was already a 30-year-old man with a Ph.D. in psychology and a certification in counseling. More importantly, I came as a friend, not as a defendant.

I saw how the Judge’s eyes widened when he recognized me. Then, his surprised look turned into something that resembled pride and admiration.

“Sorry it took so long before I could fulfill my promise, sir,” I said, grinning.

“No, you are just right on time,” the Judge replied. “What are you doing with your life now?”

“Well, I just passed my licensure exams. I’m a licensed psychologist and certified counselor now. To thank you for all you did for me, I’d love to offer my services to juvenile defendants.”

Source: pexels.com

The Judge shook my hand firmly. “Say no more, child. You’re hired!” he announced.