Some dreams are born in a moment, while others take time to grow.
For Aaron Thomas, his journey to a career in psychotherapy and trauma healing has been the latter.
“My vocational journey has always been body based, and I’ve always had a strong interest in the healing arts and human potential. Through the years, I’ve bumped into a number of career paths that led me to where I am today.”
In 1995, he found massage therapy and soon after became a certified massage therapist, which he did for more than 20 years. A few years later, he discovered yoga, which gave him a transformational lens. He started teaching yoga in 1998, and this path led him to meditation. Over the years, he studied all over the world, and he grew to appreciate the biomechanics and health and wellness aspect of each of these practices.
“But, none of those really scratched that itch,” Aaron explains. “I’m a natural born teacher, and I wanted to help people with their transformation. I longed to give them something deeper.”
In 2012, he was living in Boulder and stumbled across mindfulness-based psychotherapy. He hit the ground running. He enrolled in a three-year body-centered psychotherapy training at the Hakomi Institute where he specialized in neuroscience. Then, he stayed for another three years to help the next class.
“I could finally help people at the level I wanted to help them,” Aaron explains.
In 2019, he launched Soulride Psychotherapy and moved to Durango. While he had the background experience and training for the therapy aspect of his work, he was new to running a business. The SBDC helped him get his feet on the ground.
“I took the ‘How to Start a Small Business’ course and learned a lot that I thought I already knew. It grounded me in the logistics needed to run a small business. I’m also grateful for the one-on-one consulting I’ve experienced from them. Those resources have played a valuable role in moving my practice forward. It would be a shame had I not bumped into their office.”
Being a solopreneur, Aaron also appreciated the opportunities to meet and team up with others, so he hasn’t felt like he’s been going it alone.
One of the biggest challenges that Soulride has faced was the pandemic. Since he moved to Durango just six months before everything shut down, Aaron hadn’t had time to get his name out and become known. While other local therapists were overbooked, he was still working on establishing himself in the community. Since he had extra time on his hands, Aaron decided to focus on the back end of his business, which has proven to be a huge benefit.
For anyone who has been wanting to launch out on their own, Aaron offers this advice: “Patience is an underrated asset when it comes to starting a small business. You need to develop the skill of asking for help. And, it’s important to understand that, even though it’s your business, you really can’t do it alone.”