Katherine Wallisch on Empowerment Consulting for Parents and Clinicians of Non-Speaking Children

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Hello Katherine! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

As a speech-language pathologist specializing in Autism and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), I have created a comprehensive empowerment program for parents and clinicians. My name is Katherine Wallisch, and I am the mother of a 7-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. Growing up as a diplomat’s child in multiple countries around the globe, I developed a love for travel and the diverse cultures that exist around the world. As a bilingual speaker of English and French, I strive to provide accessible communication to all. With a focus on empowering both parents and clinical professionals, I offer a step-by-step AAC clinician certificate program, as well as one-on-one or group empowerment coaching. Clients can also access our unique AAC School Community App to receive regular content about AAC and how to implement it in their child’s daily life. Together, we can build confidence in non-speaking children and help them become active and independent communicators. Work together with Wallisch & Associates: Empowerment Consulting to break down barriers and create a more inclusive society.

So Katherine, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

It fills my heart with joy and hopes to witness women taking control of their futures by starting their own businesses. I come from a long line of powerful women that’s why I am grateful to be a part of the Entreprenista League – a community in which I can learn from and exchange ideas with women who have blazed a trail before me and support those who will follow. What strikes me most about this community is the genuine camaraderie and the sincere desire to uplift one another. Together, we can achieve greatness and reshape our world.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

Empowering Clinicians and Families: My Journey as a CEO As the CEO of two companies, Autism and Brain Institute and Wallisch & Associates.

Empowerment Consulting: I am passionate about providing empowerment to clinicians and families. At the heart of my consulting firm was the need to provide resources for non-speaking and complex communication needs children. I perceived a severe lack of empowerment for clinicians and families, and I wanted to provide them with the tools they need. Families and clinicians can sometimes struggle to connect with individuals with complex communication needs, and I believe the best way to remedy this is to provide empowerment tools so that they too can have meaningful interactions. As a result, I have innovative online products to provide clinicians with the resources and empowerment they need to communicate effectively with non-speaking individuals. I believe that communication is the key to unlocking the potential of these individuals, and I am committed to helping families and clinicians every step of the way. Join me on my journey towards empowerment!

So Katherine, what was your background prior to starting your own business? Did you have any prior medical experience?

Fulfilling a Dream: From Clinician to Business Owner As a clinician, I always dreamed of having my own private practice. But my journey took me down a new path – one that has been both challenging and incredibly rewarding. It all began in 2010 when I took a course at my local university about language development. I was immediately hooked and knew that this was my calling.

As I pursued my degree to become a licensed clinician, I discovered my passion for helping those with complex communication needs – particularly non-speaking children. One of my defining moments was listening to an AAC Clinician talk about her work and seeing the impact she had on these children. From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to make a difference in their lives. But when I moved to London, I struggled to find a job that allowed me to work with the CCN community.

Undeterred, I volunteered at a local school for children with cerebral palsy, determined to gain experience and learn from other professionals in my field. Eventually, I moved to Las Vegas and began working as a contractor in different places. My frustration with the limitations of my vision led my husband to suggest that I start my own place. And so, the Autism & Brain Institute was born. It’s been an incredible journey, but one that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Fulfilling my dream of owning my own business and making a meaningful impact on my community has been nothing short of inspiring. I continue that journey further by empowering other clinicians and families through my consulting firm Wallisch & Associates: Empowerment Consulting.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? What led you to discover the true meaning of entrepreneurship?

If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t quite sure what being an entrepreneur really meant. All I knew was that I wanted to own my own private practice. However, in the last five years, I’ve learned valuable lessons in branding, marketing, messaging, social media, staffing, human resources, medical billing, strategic planning, and so much more. Becoming an entrepreneur has its fair share of pros and cons, and it’s definitely not for everyone. But I wouldn’t change a single thing about my journey. The adversities I’ve faced only made me stronger and more determined to succeed. As a true entrepreneur, I am constantly learning and growing. I’m excited for what the future holds and can’t wait to accomplish even more.

When first launching a business, there are many lessons. Some more challenging to overcome than others. So Katherine, can you take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

The Beauty of Learning: My Journey to Success as a Consultant When I launched my consulting firm in November of 2022, I had no idea what to expect. As I worked with families and clinicians, I realized that I was repeating myself a lot in my clinic. I knew that I needed to diversify my approach to continue making an impact. After some research and self-reflection, I decided to create a coaching and online school to help others achieve the same success with their clients and children. I didn’t have a strategy at first, and I made the mistake of hiring the wrong company to help me.

But I kept learning, listening to podcasts, and reading books, until I was able to develop an effective marketing strategy using social media. Starting an online business has been a new learning curve and venture, and it keeps me on my toes. But that’s the beauty of the process – we are always learning. Now, I am better equipped to turn my views and engagements into conversions for sales. My journey has taught me that success is not just about the destination, it’s about the lessons we learn along the way.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?

Rise Above Your Failures and Succeed as An Entrepreneur: As an entrepreneur, I have faced countless challenges, and I have made errors that have cost me thousands upon thousands of dollars. Yet, I refuse to view these as failures. Instead, I see them as proof that I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone and doing everything in my power to succeed.

To those of you just starting out, I urge you not to be afraid of taking risks. Mistakes will happen, and they may set you back financially, but it’s all part of the journey. What truly matters is how you handle those setbacks. Will you let your failures define you, or will you rise up and make the most of the pieces in front of you? I am living proof that you can rise above your failures and come out stronger. So, go forth and chase your dreams. Don’t be afraid to take risks, and remember that your failures are simply stepping stones to success.

Katherine you have lots to celebrate! What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Looking back on my journey as a business owner, I have a lot to be proud of. Despite knowing next to nothing about being a CEO or running a business, I summoned the courage to start my own practice. I refused to be intimidated by daunting tasks, and instead embraced the opportunity to learn and grow. But what I’m most proud of is my decision to launch another business – a consulting firm – when I was in the trenches.

Financial setbacks had forced me to learn new skills I never thought possible: creating a website, crafting content, marketing my brand, writing classes, and selling coaching programs. Each skill was valuable in its own right, but the journey also revealed an unexpected discovery – I have ADHD. Understanding how my ADHD affects me as a business owner was just the beginning. I soon realized that owning my creativity and using it positively was something truly remarkable. Today, I can reflect on my journey with pride and encourage others to embrace their own inner courage to chase their dreams.

We all dream of work/life balance…Do you actually believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Work-Life Balance: A Journey Towards Success: Believing in work-life balance is easy, but applying those concepts to your everyday life is a challenging journey. As a business owner, I firmly believe that we should prioritize work-life balance. That’s why I have my team work a 30-hour workweek instead of 40, so they can experience the best of both worlds. However, I’ll be honest and admit that I still struggle to find balance in my own life.

But I’m learning to build automation strategies to improve my work-life balance. As a breadwinner in my family, it’s essential for me to provide for my children and husband. Though it’s not easy, I’m slowly making strides toward achieving success in both my personal and professional life. As a business owner, I know we never truly switch off our minds. It’s hard not to worry about our business 24/7 and think of improvement strategies. But it’s important to set boundaries and avoid working at unreasonable hours. Remember, just because it’s a journey doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for success. Keep pushing yourself toward work-life balance, prioritize your mental and physical health, and trust that success is waiting for you on the other side.

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

Embrace Failure, Reinvent Yourself, and Strive for Progress: As a CEO and entrepreneur, the greatest lesson I learned is that failure is a valuable teacher. Don’t be afraid to take risks, make mistakes, and reinvent yourself when necessary. Perfection is illusory, so it’s essential to strive for progress instead. Not everyone will love your product, and that’s okay. What truly matters is identifying the market’s problem and delivering the solution. However, don’t let analysis paralysis hold you back from launching. Conduct thorough research, but don’t get stuck in the planning stage. Demonstrate the courage to try, fail, learn, and grow. Remember, great success can only emerge from bold action and determination.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

Unlocking My Potential as a Speech Therapist: My proudest moment in my consulting business so far came when I finished building my programs and was given paid speaking opportunities on Speech Therapy PD. It was an honor to share my expertise on cerebral palsy with other clinicians, and it was a defining moment when I began to be recognized as an expert in my field. With focus, determination, and the courage to share my knowledge, I continue to unlock my full potential as an expert speech-language pathologist in autism and augmentative and alternative communication.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Igniting a Global Passion to Empower Families and Clinicians: As our business continues to evolve, I can hardly contain my excitement for what’s to come. But one particular milestone that truly ignites my passion is witnessing the impact of our new cutting-edge marketing strategy on the world stage.

Every day, I am driven by a burning desire to empower families and clinicians around the globe with the confidence and resources they need to treat children with complex communication needs. And with our new approach, I am confident that we will reach even more families and clinicians than ever before. Together, we will journey toward a brighter tomorrow, full of growth, learning, and endless possibilities. Let us continue to spread the message and touch the lives of countless individuals worldwide.

Learn more about the Entreprenista League and join today!

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