Owner: Dr. Gabriel Rogers
Company: The Angel Gabriel Company, PLLC
The Pitch: The Angel Gabriel Company, PLLC provides comprehensive counseling and consulting services. Our licensed practitioners treat all types of emotional conditions and populations including depression, anxiety, individual therapy, couples counseling and adolescent and children issues. We work from a cognitive behavioral therapy model and also provide Christian counseling
Q: When and why did you decide you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I have always aspired to be a business owner. As an entrepreneur one is able to "chart their own course." I have worked for many years as a practitioner for a local hospital, but always knew that private practice was the path I was destined for. The practice not only provides the space for me to help individuals and families navigate their hardships in life, but it also gives me the flexibility to spend quality time with family and friends.
Q: How did you get your start-up funding?
My wife and I initially funded the practice out of our own pockets. We bought an old dilapidated building (built in 1924) and reconstructed it to house our practice. For three years I worked diligently to build the practice and to save funds for later expansion. During that period I also worked fulltime as a practitioner for Carolinas HealthCare System. This year we were fortunate to obtain a loan from Mechanics and Farmers Bank to enhance our building and add a functional parking lot for our clients. We also were awarded the façade and security grants from the City of Charlotte to help finance the project. It has been a faith walk, but as devout Christians, our beliefs have helped us stay the course and be successful.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of owning your business?
The most challenging aspect of owning the practice has been finding a balance between work and play. As an entrepreneur you serve in many capacities (CEO, secretary, janitor, etc.) and any and everything falls on you. With a supportive wife and two small children, I have sought to maintain a healthy sense of balance between work and family. My wife, Stephanie, has been a tremendous asset because she does all the administrative components which enables me to provide exceptional patient care.
Q: Looking back, how did the Small Business Center assist you in the development or growth of your business?
The Small Business Center was instrumental in providing me with business advice. Through a partnership between the institute and the City of Charlotte I was selected to receive funding support to enroll in the Getting to the Core of Business Strategic Development program offered at CPCC's Institute. The program helped me design a healthy business model for expansion. I am also grateful for the no cost consultations that I have been able to take advantage of and highly recommend the Institute's programs to any entrepreneur in the City of Charlotte; we are fortunate to have such a service.
Q: What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
I would encourage any aspiring entrepreneur to make sure they are "called" to do the business that they are pursuing. There are many hills and valleys to start-ups and sometimes the only thing you have is "your calling." I'd also encourage entrepreneurs to do an honest self-assessment, determine whether your business is viable especially in this volatile market. Real questions like, "is there a demand for what I have to offer?" need to be answered. Entrepreneurs need to determine whether their concept is a lifestyle (something they do for a living) or simply a hobby (something they do for fun), neither one is bad but determining this helps you to focus your energies in the right places. Finally entrepreneurs should develop a healthy prayer life. I encourage every business owner to connect to purpose and enjoy the rewarding ride of entrepreneurship.