Renee McDonald is a constructive counselor, coach, and psychotherapist. Being a dedicated professional who knows how to leverage her over 20 years of expertise, Renee helps her clients strive for and achieve their objectives with excellence.
She is the esteemed Director and the face of Australian Online Therapy Training (AOTT) Pty Ltd. Her services are personalized for all—individuals, families, agencies, and NGOs. For more amazing insights into her work and experience, connect with Renee on LinkedIn or her website.
Hi Renee, thank you for joining us today; please share with us what empowered you to become an entrepreneur?
Renee McDonald: My entrepreneurial journey began around 15 years ago when I launched my own private practice business. Things originated on a very small scale but soon grew up. I started with counseling people and speaking at educational institutions, and later on, I became an online therapist.
Over the last five years, I worked in the online education department of large institutes. The feedback I received from my clients just lifted my spirits. Hence, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I say that the satisfaction of my clients is what empowered me to establish my own business, Australian Online Therapy Training (AOTT).
How did you come up with the idea of offering online therapy services?
Renee McDonald: I’ve always felt a digital skill gap in the therapeutic industry. I launched my company out of the very need for therapists to get ongoing professional development training. A testament to that is my online therapy programs are the first to provide individual practitioners with legitimate short courses. Nevertheless, I’ve launched slowly and gradually. I am not an overnight success by any means and have taken significant time to get to where I am.
Today, as the Director of AOTT, I offer online counseling courses, training solutions, and live training events to the sector’s busy professionals. The courses that I intend to bid on in the future will further employ a mix of technology, spirituality, realism, globalization, ethics, and philosophy.
Running a business is not easy. Our readers would love what motivated you to keep you going.
Renee McDonald: As I told you earlier, success didn’t come to me straight away; it is the culmination of a protracted purposeful journey. Along the way, I’ve pursued a ton of coaching and mentoring advice. I have gained a bunch of supportive friends, colleagues, and clients who inspired and encouraged me to continue heading forward. Attending regular training and marketing seminars and socializing with other entrepreneurs has assisted me, too.
Aside from that, I’ve formerly worked in the media and entertainment industries, which provided me with a wealth of unique knowledge. Yet, I believe I was able to do it all because I love to help people have a better life, be it through self-discovery in therapy, creativity, spiritual practice, or self-education.
Looking back, is there anything you would do differently?
Renee McDonald: I have no regrets about my entrepreneurial journey, it’s been great, and I am happy with what I’ve accomplished thus far. However, there are a few things that I wish I had done for myself. For example, I wish I had used some of my savings to strengthen my intellectual property protection. As many imposters also popped up during my years of expansion, this investment would have kept them at bay while also improving my brand’s image.
Finally, please tell us about the things that make you feel proud of yourself?
Renee McDonald: I feel proud to have offered Australia’s first independently practice-driven online therapy training by a practicing online therapist. I’m also pleased with my capacity to keep going ahead. Despite all the challenges that I’ve faced so far, I’ve been a pioneer in my industry; that makes me feel honored. Above and beyond that, I’m proud of my achievements in winning government funding of business R&D.
Thank you for sharing your excellent insights, Renee. We truly appreciate the time you spent on this.
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