UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
December 15, 2016

Building a Business around a Taboo Topic

Ballwin, Missouri Entrepreneur Angela Skurtu of St. Louis Marriage Therapy

Everyone strives for a happy, satisfying relationship but internal or external factors often negatively influence the outcome. Angela Skurtu wanted to improve those outcomes for people. As a psychology student, she supplemented her education by reading books on sexual health. “Sexuality is a forbidden subject, but I wanted to help people develop positive relationships focused on exploring who they are as an individual and as a couple,” explains Angela of Ballwin, Missouri. Following her Master’s degree in Family Counseling and 3000 hours of licensing, she opened St. Louis Marriage Therapy in 2011.

The decision to open her business was exciting, but it came with plenty of challenges. “I know how to help people; I don’t know how to build a business.” says Angela. “I wore so many hats and had to create, adjust and apply policies while counseling clients. It was very exhausting.”

With support from her husband, who often reminded her to take a break, to peers gathered from networking, Angela gained the feedback and resources needed to move her business forward.

Maintaining income became a concern for Angela as well. Sun cycles and vitamin D levels affected her clientele, while holidays and summer vacation limited income. She also recognized the need to implement a self-care strategy to manage the depth of negative emotions she often encountered. Through her own experiences, Angela advises, “If you take care of yourself, you are capable of taking care of business. You will be more creative, more energized and happier.”

One of her favorite accomplishments occurred as a recent guest on a radio show. “The experience built trust in what I do and empowered partners to contact me before their relationships fell apart.”

Angela also advises entrepreneurs to get ready for a rollercoaster ride. “Self-learning is helpful, but also recognize you don’t need to do everything to make your business successful.”

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Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus, Missouri and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.

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