We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Kazarian and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Natalie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My upbringing was the most influential factor in starting my own business. I grew up observing my parents who were in charge of their own work. My father, an optometrist, and my mother an independent contractor working in the travel industry showed me the importance of flexibility. Time is the most valuable resource. We cannot create it or get it back. I actually remember the moment I realized time is not something I could get back. I was 6 years old. It was memorable, terrifying, and an important lesson for me to learn at a young age.

So spending my time the way I want leads to a meaningful life. Flexibility and hard work go hand in hand for me. I love the ability to make my own schedule, work the hours I want to work, as well as make a meaningful impact in people’s lives.

What should our readers know about your business?
Starting my own practice at the beginning of my career was the best and scariest decision I have ever made for myself, professionally speaking. To be honest I did not know how I would market myself, retain clients, and learn the ins and outs of running a business without a business degree. However, I realized that my greatest asset was my curiosity and ability to externalize failure. What I mean by this is, not taking the mistakes I’ve made as a personal failure of who I am, rather an opportunity to learn and keep trying.

My business has shifted so much from when I first started out in 2015. I have gone from working as an intern, to starting my own practice, to starting a group practice, to closing my brick and mortar office and moving totally online. Working with individuals, couples, families, and groups has always been my main focus, and adapting to the times is part of the business is integral for continued success.

I will continue to grow and adapt. I have a vision of opening up a mental health clinic in the next 10 years. One where people of all backgrounds and socioeconomic status can receive mental health care at an affordable price. Mental health care should not be a luxury. And there is a market for affordable mental health care.

I hope everyone who is reading this knows they are worthy of a meaningful and intentional life. Part of my work is reminding people of hope, that with proper intention and work, a wonderful life is just a mindset away.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite spots in the city are the usually within walking distance of where I work and live. My favorite thing about living in Santa Monica is the walkability of the city. So I would make sure to tell my friend, “bring a good pair of walking shoes.”

I love starting my mornings with long walks on the beach. It’s cliche for a reason.. the beauty of the water and listening to the natural cadence of the waves puts in the in the right mood for the day. No day begins without an amazing cup of coffee. My favorite spots are Cafe Luxxe, Philz coffee, and La Monarca. All three of these spots have delicious and interesting coffee as well as yummy treats. If you’re at Luxxe, I would go with a classic latte. Philz, Iced Philtered Soul (Philz way) and La Monarca definitely the cafe Oaxaca. If you can’t tell, I drink way too much coffee.

I’m a huge fan of Noma Sushi. This little gem favorite sushi spot in Santa Monica. It’s a delicious spot for lunch or dinner.

During the afternoon I suggest walking Montana ave and window shopping, perhaps doing some sun bathing on the beach. For a yummy dinner I recommend R and D kitchen on Montana or Elephante. The thing I love about Elephante is the beautiful view of the beach, it’s great to go around sunset.

I must say, I love Santa Monica, and these are just my most frequented favorites, but there are many more!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This shoutout is dedicated to the teachers, family, friends and therapists who have influenced me to become a healer.

Website: Nataliekazarianmft.com

Instagram: @nataliekazarianmft

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