We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My start in the mental health field was as a crisis interventionist for a local community mental health agency. We went out into the community to help resolve mental health crises by meeting the clients where they were at, physically and emotionally. While it was such an honor and privilege to be invited to join someone in their most vulnerable moments, I wanted to be proactive instead of reactive in the way we offer mental health services. I began researching the gaps in mental health treatment and education, and then started offering consultation and trainings for individuals and organizations that were affected the most.
While working at the crisis agency, I met Anna Clark-Miller who eventually became my business partner and chosen family. We shared many of the same concerns around the accessibility of mental health education, and our shared experiences really helped us align on what a business model might look like. We started offering trainings together, and that led to us jokingly saying we should make it an actual business. I never thought about actually being a business owner before and I honestly wasn’t thrilled about the idea, but our passion outweighed any doubts I had. We just had to come up with a plan.
To be proactive, it was imperative that we start learning about mental heath as early as possible. I’m not just talking about diagnoses or what depression feels like, but really starting at the fundamentals of human connection and development. What are coping skills and why do we need them? What is human emotion and how does it connect to behavior? What is mindfulness? What is identity and how do we create it? Having a holistic understanding of ourselves and others sets the stage for all interactions, opportunities, career paths, relationships, and more down the road. Reactively speaking, we needed to get this information into the hands of adults that didn’t get the type of education we’re talking about. That same holistic understanding that could have set the stage as a kid for success as an adult can now help them unlearn the problematic systems, processes, and worldviews that have the potential to cause harm.
We didn’t see any other services offering customizable training solutions that were unique to each individual, team, community, or corporation. There were so many one-size-fits-all options, but the human experience cannot fit into a single size no matter how stretchy it may be. This was where we knew we needed to focus our efforts: on trainings and coaching sessions that are entirely unique to every client.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Thank you for asking!
The Empathy Paradigm empowers groups and individuals to embrace empathy-focused practices of Emotional Intelligence, Inclusivity, Wellness, and Growth through accessible training and coaching sessions.
If I had to name it, I would say it’s our intentionality and commitment to individual connection that sets us apart.
Like I mentioned earlier, we’re intentional about creating packages that are unique to every client’s needs so we can meet them right where they’re at. They can book one of our individual workshops that cover a variety of high-demand topics, or bundle a few together to create complete training packages without any extra fluff. If they already have the educational foundation a training would provide, they can book coaching sessions instead! We even bundle coaching sessions into the training packages if that’s what they need. No matter what’s booked, all of our offerings are built on our signature Empathy Equation™ to give every client an inclusive, intentional, and empowering experience.
I know that seeing charged terms like “inclusivity” can be scary for some potential clients, so I want to be sure to clarify that our goal is not to change someone or their beliefs. Our goal is to create the potential for change through education and coaching support, but it’s up to each individual to determine if they’d like or need to take action.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh, goodness. A week long trip? My introvert partner wouldn’t survive a full itinerary, but I’ll give it a shot.
I love Bishop Arts, so assuming they’re like me and want to get some work done in the mornings, I’d take them to Wild Detectives for an early morning work sesh and Irish coffee. For lunch, we’d walk around the area and browse in the boutique shops. If we spent enough time to be getting close to dinner, we’d absolutely have to eat at Taco y Vino and say “hi” to the owner there. Jimmy is an absolute Dallas icon and it’s one of the best spots in town.
I would definitely take them to the Plano Truckyard location at some point, or maybe the Shacks in The Colony. Both are chill locations that we frequent, so it’s right in line with what we’d do regardless of my friend visiting.
I’d also probably take a weekday to go to the Cidercade in the Design District, and then make the short drive to eat at Trinity Groves and walk along the Continental Avenue Bridge.
Other than that, we’d spend most of our time doing house parties so they can meet all of my friends and chosen family here in Dallas. That’s really what I care the most about.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It would be a disservice to not recognize my friends and chosen family that helped me create the person I am today.
Coming out was a long and arduous process from me. I was indoctrinated at a young age with the belief that I was not supposed to exist, which led into the belief that no one wanted me to exist. It took many years of therapy and surrounding myself with people that taught me how to love myself and others, but I’m happy and healthy and love who I am.
So, thank you to my therapist, my partner, my chosen family (biological relation and others), my boss, and the gaggle of friends that didn’t give up on me.
Instagram: @itsJosh_Dangit, @empathyparadigm
Brooke Ogilvie Photography