Meet Donterio Smith of The Bearded Therapist
The Bearded Therapist is a brand that I founded in July 2019. To start, I think that it is significant to discuss the meaning behind the name of the brand and how the name came about. As you can see, I sport a pretty cool beard and I’ve had the pleasure of working as a therapist on an ongoing basis from a professional perspective. Therefore, in that sense I wanted the brand to be a blend of who I am from a personal perspective as well as aspects of who I am from a professional perspective. By marrying the two, I was able to develop a brand that I’m truly proud of and that I feel the community could benefit from as a whole. Through the brand, I aim to shed a new light on what mental health is and why it is important for us to truly embrace taking care of ourselves more intentionally from a mental health perspective.
Mental health is a topic that has been viewed or perceived as taboo from some time now especially when you consider from differing cultural standpoints. As I was growing up, mental health is not something that was discussed much and it was not until I was older that I truly understood how much our mental health could impact our overall quality of life. Once I started to take my mental health more seriously, I started to see positive changes within my life as well as how I viewed and handled day-to-day life. Therefore, I decided to develop The Bearded Therapist brand as a way to provide positive exposure to mental health awareness along with changing perspectives on what mental health truly is.
I would not say that it has been the smoothest road, but I will say that there is nothing that I would change about the process if I could. The good totally outweighs the bad because of the purpose behind the brand. I feel as though the brand is more than simply a brand and could be instrumental in influencing how individuals view mental health. I want to be able to leave my impact on the world in a purposeful and meaningful way. I want to break some of the stigma associated with mental health and scatter societal preconceptions about the shamefulness that sometimes comes along with owning your mental health.
There is sometimes a struggle of trying to balance it all. It’s definitely a balancing act. I’m not only an entrepreneur, but I committed to maintaining all aspects of my professional life along with my personal life. I’m sure that many other entrepreneurs can vouch for the level of multitasking that it takes. But I will say that life is about more than just “working”, therefore I make it a point to ensure that I maintain a healthy and adventurous personal life.
The brand does not focus on offering any therapeutic services, such as therapy, but rather provides the community with mental health awareness, education on more effective ways to address our own mental health, and connecting people to available resources. Also, the brand does offer merchandise to provide a physical reminder of maintaining awareness and empowerment. That’s just to name a few significant components of the brand. The brand encourages more intentional behaviors when it comes to addressing our mental health. Mental health is a significant element that affects us all from childhood and adolescence throughout all of the other stages of our lives. Our mental health impacts how we feel, think, and act every minute of the day.
I can say that I’m most proud of me releasing the fears of the unknown and fully going through with building my brand. Launching the brand required me to mustard up the courage and refrain from attempting to take myself out of taking the leap of faith. It has been a dope receiving feedback from others about their thoughts on the brand, the mental health related content that the brand is putting out, and positivity about the brand merchandise. This has helped to solidify within me that it was the right decision to launch the brand.
Success. Success means many different things to many different individuals. For me, success means being a better version of myself than I was the day before, the day before that, and so forth. Personal growth is something that I’m always on a personal pursuit for. In my opinion, it is ineffective to compare yourself and your growth to others because we all come from different walks of life. A major accomplishment for me may seem minor to someone who has not experienced the same life experiences as I have. I truly stand behind the saying that comparison is the stealing of all joy. You should be your own greatest competition because you should always strive to outdo yourself rather than attempting to outdo the person next to you. Life presents enough opportunities for us all to be great if we’re willing to embrace these opportunities and commit to elevating ourselves. This is not to say that life is easy, but more so to say that you can sometimes turn terrible situations into something magically beautiful if you are willing to alter your perspective on the situation.