After graduating from mechanical engineering, Chakameh Shafii found herself working for a fortune 500 company in a leadership program, but with her personal experience living with anxiety, she wanted to start something that would make access to therapy easier. This is where the idea for TranQool started to blossom with the other two co-founders, Babak Shahabi and Saeed Zeinalidanaloo.
TranQool is an online counselling platform that connects people to accredited therapists and lets them have their sessions online from the comfort of their homes. Many people feel like there is a stigma around seeking out help, so a solution like TranQool allows them to receive the support and help they need without having to feel uncomfortable with going to sit in a waiting room before seeing a therapist.
The three masterminds behind the platform wanted to change the mental health system’s biggest problem and built a solution from a user’s point-of-view. In doing that, they’ve learned a lot about the mental health industry in Canada, the rules and regulations, client-therapist relationships, as well as building a technology that assists an existing service in a non-intrusive way.
Since launching the beta in February 2016, they managed to build a team and also attract active and regular users. They are currently present on university campuses and are facilitating hundreds of therapy sessions that might have not otherwise happened. “We are so touched by the testimonials we get from our users,” Chakameh said.
However, being entrepreneurs who run a platform that promotes self-care, it’s especially important that they take the time to also take care of themselves. Chakameh shared that she is a huge advocate of self-care and the importance for entrepreneurs specifically due to the nature of their demanding jobs. “If we are not resilient ourselves we can’t build a strong team,” she shared. “It’s important to learn to regulate our emotions and learn to cope with turbulence.”
In an article she wrote for Huffington Post about being a selfish entrepreneur, Chakameh explained that when deciding to be an entrepreneur, in order to build a business without burning out, you likely are going to have to be selfish. She provided some examples that can help you, unplug from work and take time to mentally and physically regroup and stay healthy.
You can be selfish by:
Self-care is a critical component to building a successful business, and ensuring you remain healthy and at the top of your game as an entrepreneur. Chakameh wanted to leave other aspiring entrepreneurs with this piece of advice: “Find what you love and just do it. But before quitting your day job, assess the consequences of jumping into entrepreneurship. Is there really a market need for it? How much do you really believe in it and how far are you willing to go to make it happen? Realize that you will have to sacrifice many important parts of your life and question whether or not it will be worth it to you.”
TranQool was a 2016 recipient of the Spin Master Innovation Fund, a program by Spin Master Ltd. and Futurpreneur Canada for innovative entrepreneurs. To learn more about the Spin Master Innovation Fund, click here.
Written By: Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Specialist, Futurpreneur Canada