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A Guiding Hand as Self-Employment

Sedonia Perrier is the owner of Steelhead LLC in Gretna, Louisiana. The purpose of Steelhead LLC is to provide guidance in as many areas as possible including: empowerment, self-love, development of self-concept, financial responsibility, community growth and togetherness, educational aspiration assistance, mental health counseling and general awareness and guidance.

When and why did you join the NASE?
Within a week of filing for permits to secure our business title, Steelhead researched economical as well as cogent memberships in business to gain insight from and educate ourselves about resources for small businesses. It did not take long for us to discover the unique virtue of NASE. One factor, among many that stood out was how the NASE catered to students. As CEO, I would like to share that I am pursuing a PhD. I love the fact that being a student is supported by NASE.

When and why did you start your business?
Steelhead LLC Officially started on July 2, 2019. This company has been in works for over two years and as CEO, it has been a dream of mine for over a decade. When I was 7 years old, I lost my mother. Before her death, I was often on her lap for group therapy sessions. My siblings and I were often uprooted to stay in shelters, with friends or family due to safety concerns at home. Back then I did not know what was happening. As I grew older, I realized that not many people could explain to me what was going on with that experience. Mental health and wellness were either taboo or not understood. In my teen years I had to research for myself. During that time, I realized that both of my parents suffered from mental illness. One sought treatment and one did not and the difference in affect and behavior was striking. Upon discovering the impact of treatment, I knew I wanted to one day start a business where I could help others.

During this journey, I also discovered that mental health care and wellness alone will not solve everything. There are systemic changes that need to take shape in order for someone to live better and live longer. The question for me then became, “how do I achieve this for myself and teach it to others?” That was my quest.

Steelhead LLC was born out of necessity. The clients I joined with had a myriad of issues that hindered their mental health and no one who crossed my path professionally, was interested in truly solving this issue. Through gathering like minds and professionals, Steelhead is taking a comprehensive approach to wellness. We focus on mental health awareness, access to mental health services, parenting classes, financial wellness, trauma assistance and community outreach. Additionally, we provide speaking engagements to larger entities who would like to know more about all the topics above as well as how they could have the greatest impact on their employees wellness.

How do you market your business?
We market our business primarily on social media. This keeps costs low and allows us to give updates in real time. Additionally, we are currently working on a website where we plan to integrate social media promotion.

What challenges have you faced in your business?
The largest challenge is finding consistency and integrity in people on the ground floor. Steelhead LLC has been diligent as it pertains to the type of professionals we trust to helm our operations. There have been setbacks due to missteps in the hiring process, paperwork and funding. The most important thing I have learned is that some things require grit and force and others require a lighter approach and deep contemplation before proceeding. Knowing the difference can determine whether an outcome is a success or failure.

Do you have any employees?
Steelhead LLC is ever expanding. Currently, we have 12 full time and 2 part-time employees. Upon opening Synchronous (our non-profit mental health service), we plan to expand to over 200 full-time and part-time employees.

What’s your schedule like, what’s a typical day for you?
I start most days by checking in with the board of executives, each person is tasked with specific goals for the week. I check in daily with staff to answer any questions or discuss issues they may be facing. Before lunch, I typically make or return phone calls and take notes on future actions.

After lunch, I take time to meet with previously scheduled appointments and address issues as they arise. At this time, a typical day can stretch into the night because we are still building.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?
Autonomy is the best thing about being self-employed. While working for others, I never felt I could reach my true potential as I seemed limited by their dreams or beliefs. Being self-employed feels truly free.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?
“You have absolutely helped change my life by helping me realize my potential.”

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
Even on the hard days when you feel like giving up, take a moment, close your eyes and visualize your dream coming to fruition.

Which NASE member benefit is most important to you?
The most important aspect of my NASE membership is the access to business related resources and education.

Any other information you would like to share?
At the current time Steelhead LLC as well as Synchronous (our related non-profit still in progress) rely heavily on grants and donations. Steelhead LLC speaking engagements and guidance services are available at fee per service.

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