Dr. Che Hurt standing in front of her practice, Hurt & Healing Behavioral Health & Wellness.
Dr. Che Hurt, licensed clinical psychologist and owner of Hurt & Healing Behavioral Health & Wellness. — Hurt & Healing Behavioral Health & Wellness

In 2020, when many were overwhelmed by the drama wrought by the pandemic, Che Hurt, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist, started Hurt & Healing Behavioral Health & Wellness, primarily offering services via telehealth before opening a brick-and-mortar location in Havelock, North Carolina in the summer of 2021.

Dr. Hurt built her business by offering free and reduced-rate therapy, support services, and skills groups. One of her main targets is military families—her husband is a U.S. Marine, and her office is across the street from a Marine Corps base.

“I have a lot of pro bono clients,” said Hurt, who is also a recipient of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) 2022 Enhancement Grant. “I don’t want to turn away anyone who needs help.” Her practice offers individual, group, and family therapy, as well as professional consultation that includes services like performance coaching, leadership training, and team building.

She’s relied in part on digital marketing to help grow her business and that, along with word of mouth generated by clients, is working. In the first quarter of this year, she exceeded her net income for 2021. She has five employees and is looking to hire another therapist. “I can’t do it all myself. I have a wait list to do autism assessments. I can manage doing one or two a month, but there is enough demand that I could be doing [that same amount per] week,” said Hurt, adding that there is a big gap in the area for psychological services, and there are few, if any, Black therapists.

Build a team. Never be afraid to ask for help. You don’t know what you don’t know.

Dr. Che Hurt, licensed clinical psychologist and owner of Hurt & Healing Behavioral Health & Wellness

When she can, Hurt will horseback ride, kayak, or bike with her husband. Her hands are full, she said, but “it’s all a blessing. I’m just going with the flow.” Here, she shares her bits of entrepreneurial wisdom with CO—.

Tap resources

“I work what feels like 29 hours a day and I need lots of help, especially on the financial side of the business,” she said. “Build a team. Never be afraid to ask for help. You don’t know what you don’t know.”

She is big on using resources, like her local chamber of commerce, websites for small businesses, such as Hello Alice, and Facebook groups with other therapists. “It’s these kinds of places where I’ve found out information about grants and other opportunities.”

Don’t fear failure

“Failure is the best teacher,” she said. “If you don’t fail, you can’t grow. Failure creates opportunities,” says Hurt. Reframe negative thoughts you may have about mishaps. See the good, learn the lesson, and move forward.

Think: ‘What if?’

Hurt recommended having a backup plan. “I’m thinking, What if something happens to me and I get sick? Who will take over and care for my patients? Will someone be able to run the office in my absence? You have to think these things through,” said Hurt, who is doing just that.

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