We had the good fortune of connecting with Patricia Alvarado and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patricia, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
One of the habits that has really helped me succeed has been creating a routine for myself. Being a business owner, I quickly realized that no one is going to hold me accountable but myself. When I began understanding this and looking at things from this perspective, I started to pay close attention to what I need to do to help me stay on track.
Having a routine in place really helps me get things done in an effective way so that I can still make time for my own self care as well as spending time with love ones, guilt free. What this looks like for me is having a wake time and a bedtime to notice when my day starts and when my day ends.
I try to be strategic about my time and give myself a few hours in the morning before I start working so that I can feel centered and ready for the day. Movement is really important for me so I incorporate that throughout my day. I have come to notice that movement in the morning is especially helpful for me because this is when I am the most alert and feel motivated.
Having something as simple as a morning routine has allowed me to feel a lot more productive throughout the day and helps me push myself to continue reaching my goals.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
This is a great question I’m so glad to have the opportunity to answer it.
I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in California and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York. I own a group mental health practice based out of Los Angeles, California called Alvarado Therapy.
What’s interesting about my story this is that this was never really my plan. I never thought that I would have my own business let alone that it would grow as much as it has. I think that sometimes certain things happen out of necessity and when I was put in a situation I decided to grab it and run with it.
When I was living in New York City a few years back, I was working within the managed-care field, think of the corporate side of mental health. The pay was great, the hours were ok but I was not emotionally fulfilled. I felt like something was missing and that when I started working in private practice, within a virtual setting.
I’ve been an online therapist since 2017 and at the time I was working within my private practice part time because I had my full-time job. When 2019 rolled around, I decided to make the decision to move back to California and realized that I needed more. I wasn’t quite sure what “more“ meant but I knew that I needed something. When this happened, I received the news that I was not going be able to transfer locations within my full time job. This was the moment when I realized that while there may have been some options, the only option for me at the moment was to work for myself.
I decided to give myself six months. I told myself, “if in six months I am not making ends meet, I will go and look for a traditional job“. Some people doubted me and even asked me questions like “when are you going to get a real job“, while I thought to myself well… This is my real job. Even though I told myself this, it still didn’t seem real because I am the first business owner and first entrepreneur in my family.
This hasn’t been an easy road. There have been many trials and tribulations that I’ve gone through to make sure that I am dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s and even with that, I still feel like I’m missing some thing. There have been many challenges throughout this journey and I have really leaned on my community and colleagues to help me during moments that I am feeling down. Imposter syndrome is real and looking at myself as a business owner, a colleague, an employer… it’s a lot!
One thing that I’ve learned is that I always need to stay true to myself and be human first. That is something that I always stand by. Even though I am running a business I can’t do it all and that is why now I have a team of clinicians that work directly with me and whom I support with their clinical cases. Having this team really helps me center myself, focus and remember why I’m doing this kind of work.
What I would want the world to know about me and my story is to never give up even when others doubt you. I know I can sound very cliché but it’s really the truth. You know what you can do… Don’t ever forget who you are because even in moments of adversity if you can stay true to yourself then you can accomplish anything.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since coming back to Los Angeles from New York, I feel like I haven’t really been out due to Covid and the 2020 pandemic. I think that if I had a friend in town we would definitely do some beach time, check out the arts District in downtown LA and explore the newest up-and-coming restaurants, definitely a Disneyland day, probably do a hike because the weather is always great in Los Angeles and really just spending quality time together. I think the best times that I have with people is when we can connect on a very deep and intimate level and creating an environment for that would be some thing that I would look forward to.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I completely agree with this… I do believe that our success and where we are in life is due to the encouragement and support from others.
There are many people that I would like to recognize but I think my biggest motivators have been not only my own family, particularly my nieces and nephews but also my ancestors who came before me.
I have realized throughout my work that education, having a voice, and even participating in The Shoutout is a privilege. I don’t ever want to take that for granted and that is why everything that I do, I am consistently keeping my heritage and Latinx community in mind.