By Joyce Wayne
Certain people retire because they’re worn out and want to put their feet up. Others for adventure and travel. Others build their own businesses. Still, others wish to help people. One of those is Kevin Waldbillig who launched his psychotherapist practice after a successful 20-year career in public education as a teacher and school administrator. He was in his mid-forties when he made the big decision. When you’ve received a steady paycheque for years, it’s a giant leap to become an entrepreneur. In 2012, he did just that, and Waldbillig hasn’t looked back.
“I like being my own boss,” Waldbillig says. “You might not know where your next gig is coming from, but in 2012 I wanted to get the heck out of the bureaucracy.” Having gone through several different roles as an educator, Waldbillig wasn’t convinced he wanted to rise to the next step of becoming a school principal. Instead, he worked in a supervised practice with a number of different registered psychotherapists, each with a different focus, until he was fully certified and ready to branch out on his own.
Waldbillig’s private psychotherapy practice, located on the border between Mississauga and Oakville, is client-centered, evidence-based and grounded on the theory of cognitive behaviour therapy. This therapeutic method is widely recognized as delivering successful, practical results. Waldbillig’s personal approach helps his clients to become the best version of themselves. In tandem with his clients, his focus is to write a better story for their lives. He describes it this way: “clients move from thoughts to emotions to doing something about their thoughts and feelings.” He specializes in personal clinical therapy focusing on anxiety and depression and also on professional counselling for those who feel stuck and are searching for a new career. As a registered psychotherapist, different health plans cover his fees.
With a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences, a Bachelor of Education and another Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology and with his open and sympathetic manner, Waldbillig is the perfect person to guide those looking to “write a better story for their lives.” Along with the subject of my previous post, Allan Dale, Waldbillig relied on Lisa Taylor’s company, the Challenge Factory, to prepare for his new profession. “Lisa got me started,” Waldbillig says. “Together, we worked on my value proposition, on what I could offer clients.”
In 2012, Waldbillig’s resume was high on work experience and education. Still, Lisa Taylor asked him to spell out what made him unique, who he would market to and to fill in any gaps in his resume. Waldbillig’s wife is a family doctor, so he has connections to those searching for psychotherapy. Still, marketing is a big part of his work, as well as making new connections on social media, a complicated task that takes time and patience.
Waldbillig is passionate about his work and life as a therapist and an entrepreneur. He enjoys the flexibility, the feedback from his clients and his ability to make people feel comfortable when visiting him either in person or virtually.
As the month of October comes to a close, thousands of small business owners are winding down the annual celebration of entrepreneurship. During October, professionals like Kevin Waldbillig take advantage of events, seminars, resources, and other opportunities as they celebrate, learn, and network with other entrepreneurs and small businesses. It’s become the time of year to recognize and laud the significant contributions of entrepreneurs and small businesses to local communities, provinces, and the entire Canadian economy.
Having taught in the public sector for more than 20 years, I recall how nervous I was when I retired from teaching. It was nine years ago when my final full-time paycheque from the government arrived in my bank account. That summer, I was writing my second novel and wondering if I could even sell it to a publisher. Now I count the last nine years as some of the best years of my life. Interviewing people like Kevin Waldbillig makes for fascinating times and only confirms that as we grow older, there are many different paths we can take and not necessarily conventional ones. What’s important is to discover the life that’s right for you, talk with those you trust, take risks, and face the future with optimism. After all, nothing feels as good as betting on yourself and winning.