One of my key values is community: I love connecting with other small business owners and get inspired by how they run their businesses and live their lives. In this interview series I’m asking lovely small business owners to share how they run a slow, gentle and profitable business. In this post, Taylor Broughton shares her journey to a slow, gentle and profitable small business: I loved reading her answers on what profitable means to her, how she changed her routines to fit in with her needs and more. Enjoy!
Taylor is based in Edinburgh, tucked away in a colourful mews home with a mini maximalist garden. She runs Just Human Therapy, an online counselling space that provides folks a long-term, steady place to rest, recover, and discover their history and context to live life in a way that makes more sense to them.
Taylor is passionate about providing space for mental health that isn’t about fixing, but rather is deeply human, patient, and welcoming of the really tough stuff. She mostly works with low-mood and relational trauma, and is inclusive of LGBTQ+ folks and neurodivergent brains like her own.
What does living a slow and gentle life, and having a slow, gentle and profitable business look like to you? What does a day look like for you?
A profitable business makes up different shapes for me- it’s working with people who are aligned with what work I do best, having fees that makes showing up for the long term feel sustainable, having enough time and energy to enjoy my life outside of work, and carving out space for boredom to honour my creativity! ‘Profit’ of course means finances, but it turns into time, space, rest, having hobbies, investing in support for myself, etc.
A profitable business makes up different shapes for me- it’s working with people who are aligned with what work I do best, having fees that makes showing up for the long term feel sustainable, having enough time and energy to enjoy my life outside of work, and carving out space for boredom to honour my creativity!
A working day for me looks like getting enough sleep and having a slow morning with my dog on the sofa with a cup of tea. I work with clients during hours that my energy feels alert and engaged socially (which for me is roughly 12-4 pm). Between sessions I go on a dog walk, tinker in my garden, and eat lunch with my husband.
I try to set myself up for success to feel a synergy with my creative energy both in my life and my work. Especially having a business that requires a lot of thinking, a lot of keeping others in mind in an intense way, and having a very alert nervous system, I used to struggle transitioning in and out of work.
Now, working in a slower, more intentional way, having my dog around, my partner being in and out during the day, I’ve found my capacity has hugely grown. I can transition in and out of ‘work’ mode quicker and actually view my work as an extension or a ‘part’ of myself, rather than an ‘on’ and ‘off’ switch. My work is an extension of my creativity, my connection to the world, my connection to myself.
My work is an extension of my creativity, my connection to the world, my connection to myself.
What inspired you to live this way? Which choices and changes did you make, or have to make?
I wish I could say inspiration came quietly and slowly, but it was more like being knocked over at first. Life “before” was very fast, a lot of travel, an over-full diary, a lot of external expectations. The pandemic hit, and later difficulties with chronic illness and pain, so it became clear that the ‘shape’ of life that used to work for me no longer fit me. I also discovered my neurodivergence. Suddenly I needed new community, language, and support to help me discover a new shape.
Logistically, I reduced my caseload, reduced the hours I was offering for sessions, and raised my fees. Changes happen slowly over many months. I implemented time off work every 6-8 weeks. I needed my working structure to feel predictable and have wiggle room, too. This really helped feel present within my work and show up for people in a way that matters to me. I hold a lot of integrity for therapeutic work, and therefore necessary changes are crucial but can feel very difficult to make.
I needed my working structure to feel predictable and have wiggle room, too.
Emotionally, I had to grieve and grapple with a ‘lower’ capacity (though I view this differently now). I had to find meaning, intention, and value outside of work, too. I began gardening. I spent more money on support for me- therapy, physiotherapy, supervision, art classes, things that sensory-wise felt better to me. My business now lives alongside uncertainty while honouring my capacity. It intentionally protects why this work is meaningful to me. The ‘shape’ feels roomy.
Making changes to have a slow and gentle business (and life) opened up so much possibility for me. I still have busy-seasons, creative bursts, and tough times, but I feel aligned with how I show up for others and how I show up for myself. This really mirrors a type of permission I hope to give my clients in their own life- to find what works for them, to honour their needs, and for this to allow an even fuller life. It’s a practice to rinse and repeat as needed, knowing we and our businesses will continue to grow, shift, and adapt with us. I now feel curious about how my business and life will change over time.
What three tips would you suggest for readers who also want to create a slow, gentle and profitable business?
Think seasonally. Not every time in business will include growth, creativity, or slowness. There are times to hunker down and create, or to shed what’s not working, or to retreat and do less. But there is always time, and the good ideas will come back around when you have the energy.
You and your business won’t be for everyone and you do not need to change this but embrace this. It’s allowed to be a relief, and not a personal failing or downfall.
Your business is a part of you, but not all of you. The other parts of you need care and creativity and thoughtfulness, too.
But there is always time, and the good ideas will come back around when you have the energy.
Thank you Taylor, for sharing this peek into how you are running a slow, gentle and profitable business. So much of what Taylor shares here resonates with me: the need to live life differently, seeking both structure and wiggle room and trusting that there is time. I hope you are similarly inspired!
If you’d like to answer these questions on slow, gentle and profitable business, do get in touch with me. More interviews on how to run a slow, gentle and profitable small business are coming soon! Sign up for my newsletter below so you never miss one.
And, if you want to create that slow, gentle and profitable business that truly nourishes you, discover how we can work together here.