If you’re familiar with the blog, you know that I started a Black-owned business directory in 2020 to amplify Black voices and entrepreneurship in our community. It’s been so amazing to watch this list grow with so many incredible businesses. To celebrate Black History Month, I want to go a step further and get to know a few of the business owners listed in the directory. Check back weekly to learn about someone new!
E.L. Adams is originally from North Carolina and now has a private practice in Kingston. E.L’s practice is geared toward youth (ages 6-23) in our community to support them with coping mechanisms for mental wellness. I’ve had the pleasure of working with E.L. this year and know from experience that Kingston is incredibly lucky to have him and his services available to our young people. Learn more about E.L. and his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs below.
When and Why did you start your private practice?
I began my private practice in 2016 to open up professional opportunities. I felt like my current placement offered a lot of varied experiences, but there were still some opportunities that I could not pursue due to limits on time or policies, so I went private to open up more decision making on my end and try different things.
Kingston was a place that was never on my radar, but from encouragement from another Black business owner who happens to be my best friend, I made the move from Ottawa to put my home-base in Kingston. There were a lot of things that factored in the decision. There was a lot of opportunity and need for resources in Kingston. This is also a great location midway between Toronto and Ottawa where I could help support the smaller towns between the major bookends. Plus Kingston allows me to stay connected to Ottawa and support my client base that I built there.
What has it been like growing your business here?
It has been great growing business here. The major part is to market and touch base with all the community resources to let them know that I could provide services to those in need. COVID-19 of course put some unforeseen circumstances in there that slowed the growth as it trickled through so many levels of our ecological systems, but it has been steady growth and more than what I have expected.
Advice to aspiring business owners?
I would say to stay focused and be prepared to work hard to grow your own fruits of labor. It is certainly true that you have to work a lot being a business owner. And remaining focused and motivated is really important so that you meet the goals that you set. So many things come your way daily so it is important to remain flexible, while not straying away too far from the goals at hand.