I am CEO

CEO and Counselor Uncovers the Truths on the Power of Counseling and Self-Reflection

Full Episode from I AM CEO Podcast - IAM2020

In this episode, we are privileged to have Dr. Holder, a seasoned therapist and entrepreneur. Dr. Holder shares her journey of becoming a CEO, deeply inspired by her parents who were entrepreneurs.

Starting as a vocational career counselor, she later transitioned into substance abuse counseling and finally became a professional counselor.
She built her counseling business from scratch and now leads a dedicated team of therapists, serving individuals, couples, and families in need.

Dr. Holder also discusses the role gratitude and prayer play in her leadership operations.

Website: www.higherlifepathways.com

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Full Interview:


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Dr. Dinelly Holder Teaser 00:00

We're here to support you guys because the biggest thing for us or really for me is once we're able to lock into, the issues you have, if we're able to help you get to a high level of thinking, then maybe you can help someone else. Hey, you never know. And so the biggest thing is community and growing in that so that, we're both, we're all learning.

That it's important getting therapy and learning. So we're trying to just try to, I'm just trying to be the service. I'm just trying to provide counseling services to individuals that really do need it and their families.

Intro 00:32

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I Am CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 01:00

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast. And I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Dr. Holder. Dr. Holder, excited to have you on the show.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 01:08

Yes, I'm excited as well. Can't wait to speak about the things that you need me to speak about.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 01:12

Yeah, absolutely.

The things that I want to speak about are all the awesome things that you're doing. And I'm super excited that we actually get to do this live here at Intelligent Office in Alexandria. So I guess before we talk about all the awesome things that you do, I wanted to hear a little bit more on what got you here.

Can you take us through what I call your CEO story?

Dr. Dinelly Holder 01:27

Okay. I knew that I wanted to be a CEO owner of my own business for since I was younger, because my parents, they both were entrepreneurs. And so I grew up in a family of, I knew what to be employed was as well as I knew what entrepreneurship looked like.

So for me, it wasn't a question of doing the entrepreneurship part. It's just what I was going to do and how that was going to happen years later. Pass see a good story. But years later, I ended up working with an awesome supervisor who had her own business and her own model. And I came up with a lot from her when I first started out.

And so she taught me a lot of things, but the biggest thing for me with her, she kept me with a lot of clients. So I saw everybody from children to elderly couples family, she had, she just threw me into everything. And so I've had so much great experience working in that field and working, but also seeing how she did her business as well.

And so I'm like, okay, I don't know how I'm going to do all of this, but it's just the, when now, cause now I have an idea and I'm getting my confidence in doing. So the next bit I did, I was a director for a couple of center for a couple of programs. And I think that's where it got a lot of my confidence to just, Hey, I can really do this thing.

And so, I was in New York because I I'm I was in New York originally. . And then I came here a couple of years ago to this area in DMV area. And I started my business in 2018. . 2016 in New York. But then I transferred in 2018 in DMV area.

Yeah, I've been in the counseling field for over for about 20 years now. And so, again, I worked as a counselor for different programs and different agencies. It was just, when was I going to do my thing? And so, really, I started part-time in 2016 in New York. And then when I moved here, it was just needed to do it in 2018.

And then from there, I just never stopped now I'm adding employees and all those things because I'm growing. And so I'm just really excited. Of where this is going. So now I'm, so I'm learning different programs and learning how to, I'm trying to put myself in different positions. That's why I'm here and just learning about how it is to continue to be and flow in the CEO position that I have applied to myself.

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Gresham Harkless 03:46

Nice. I absolutely love that. I love that you had the entrepreneurship and you'll provide and I've just done what a lot of people don't always do, which is I think really get great at your craft and the things that you do. So I love that you knew this is where I'm going to end up, but you did the things that sometimes I'm talking more about myself and try to get their hands dirty.

But I think being able to be an expert at the craft that you have and taking those steps and knowing that now you have that opportunity, you have all this experience and everything comes to fruition in a great way.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 04:15

Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I concur.

Gresham Harkless 04:18

Yeah. Absolutely. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more on how you're serving your clients.

Can you take us through what that looks like?

Dr. Dinelly Holder 04:23

Yeah. Yeah. So, it's a party of, it's three of us. I have, it's myself and I have two other clinicians on in the on staff. Thank you. It's virtual for right now because we were physical location and COVID happened. And so I never went back to the physical location.

We may do that in the future, but right now virtual just works better. And so, You see our website higherlifepathways.com, you see our staff intro and all the things there. And we see individuals, couples, and families, and really, you're going through a life transition. You're going through stressors, you're going through anxiety, depression any family issues, brother, sister, mother, daughter couples, families, divorce.

We're here to support you guys because the biggest thing for us or really for me is once we're able to lock into, the issues you have, if we're able to help you get to a high level of thinking, then maybe you can help someone else. Hey, you never know. And so the biggest thing is community and growing in that so that, we're both, we're all learning.

That it's important getting therapy and learning. So we're trying to just try to, I'm just trying to be the service. I'm just trying to provide counseling services to individuals that really do need it and their families and so forth.

Gresham Harkless 05:35

Yeah, I love that because I think that so many times when you think of Filling up our cup, healing ourselves, how powerful that is for self or the individual, but also how that impacts so many other people.

We talked about that community piece. And I think that's something that we don't have a lot of awareness over. If we're going through something or we're struggling with something sometimes silo ourselves and just say, Hey, I'm dealing with this, but I think for better or sometimes not so good, we don't see the impacts that can have.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 06:04

Absolutely. I agree.

Gresham Harkless 06:05

Yeah. So it's so powerful. The things that you do. Do you feel like that's part of what I would call your secret sauce? It could be for yourself, the organization or a combination of both. Is it that ability to understand and see all of that and see the impact that obviously the work that you're doing with the person that might be across from you virtually across from you, but also how that impacts so many other people.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 06:24

Quick story, so, I wasn't always a counselor counselor. I started out as a career vocational. , Yeah. I started out way, way early in my career. When I first started, I started off a vocational career and then I noticed something like, wait a minute, there's more to it than this. There's a reason why they're not getting their careers or their resumes together.

What else? And then the next level was substance abuse counselor, right? And I went through this because I'm like, because for me, I realized that this whole counseling thing, it was about the person. And I really do enjoy people like to be a counselor, you have to love, not like love people. And so, and me, the investigator for that.

So Substance Abuse Counselor and I'm like, okay, this is good. Now I understand why it is that they're not getting to their levels. Okay. Substance Abuse Counselor says, okay, boom, but wait a minute. What's the reason why they're abusing substances? What's going on there? And then I went higher and I'm now a professional counselor.

I haven't seen anything, anyone, whatever. And so, what I did was I continued investigating the person and their different areas, different factors to realize that it's not just one caveat, like the community, even within yourself, our community, you have your spiritual, your social, your, emotional, psychological,

Gresham Harkless 07:35

all the things..

Dr. Dinelly Holder 07:36

Right? And so I realized going in that, going in those levels to get into that real client it helped me to get to that everything. So when he gets it, everything to the client it's not just, when the client comes in for one thing it's not just always one thing because it's like, why is this one thing?

And let's go deeper and deeper and deeper. It goes into more things. You understand what I'm saying?

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Gresham Harkless 08:01

Yeah. I understand what you're saying. I love it. Cause I could definitely, you're not passionate at all about this at all. I love it.

I don't know why I was just thinking of like the kid that asked, why?

And I love that because there you go, because you really get down to what the core of things are, because you're saying, okay, you're not getting the job you want, but why? And then you ask him why, but why, why? And you end up getting to, I think the true source of what you're end up doing.

Which is actually helping to help serve that person. On Sometimes not apparent ways that are blocking them from getting the job because they haven't dealt with whatever thing that might be, not, apparent to them.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 08:41

Absolutely. Because again, they come in for one thing. I just know there's all these other things that they, the thing is..

Gresham Harkless 08:47

thing is, they don't know.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 08:49


Gresham Harkless 08:52

Yes. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I went to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be more of an app, a book or even a habit that you have. What's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Dr. Dinelly Holder 09:02

Prayer. Prayer. I pray, I try to pray every day.

And it just keeps me focused. It keeps me centered on, just being able to get your thoughts together. And just pray, to God and just pray, just really get your sense of just genuineness and your thankfulness on your gratitude on, just be grateful every day for life.

Especially my parents have passed a couple of years ago and yeah. I had to tell people, my dad was like, I'm gonna bust up.

And just from that their legacy, just, thinking about my siblings and just all the things. I just, I'm just very thankful. So the hack is being grateful and thankful every day and definitely prayer.

Gresham Harkless 09:43

Yeah, I love that. And I think when you're able to sometimes we can lose focus and look at things that we don't have in this lack and I want this or I want that. But I love the practicality of praying and how talking with God and having that conversation and especially coming into that conversation with gratitude of things that sometimes we take for granted.

It's so huge and how that can make an impact on and push you forward in a really great day.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 10:07

It does. It really does. It just changes your mindset. If you're like, like this, Yeah. You forced yourself to like, literally calm down in your brain when you're being thankful, when you just like, and so the trees are.

Gresham Harkless 10:19

Absolutely a great reminder to just be present on the roles.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 10:24

There you go.

[Gresham Harkless 10:26

So what would you give? Consider to be what I call a CEO nugget, a little bit more word of wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say, you might tell your youngest business self this, if you were to hop into a time machine.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 10:36

Oh my favorite quote of all time. What's her name? Oh my goodness.

Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou, yeah. Believe what people show you about themselves. Believe it. Don't ignore the gut feeling. Don't believe it. You don't know how many people I have to talk to about this. My teenagers, my kids, my listen, this is what the family member is showing you.

Don't ignore it. This person don't believe what they're showing you. Yes, sir.

Gresham Harkless 11:02

Yeah. Do you feel like we are, people have a tendency to maybe want to believe what they want to believe rather than what is.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 11:09

All the time because it makes it simple, but it makes it easier for them to be more agreeable.

It makes it easier to make a decision that we probably shouldn't have, or it just makes it easier for them, but it's still unhealthy because you're not believing what you're seeing the truth in front of you.

Gresham Harkless 11:26

Yeah. And I think that's so powerful.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 11:28

Yes, absolutely. Quick story. All right. I had cause I can put people out. I do boyfriend and girlfriend as well. Partnerships, unmarried regular partnerships. And Guy comes in, they're talking they're not sure if it wasn't sure.

It isn't in person the relationship, the guys seeing this and that, but she's not sure. So it came in just to get some assessment work. And so, we're talking and immediately I'm like, this guy is not interested in getting married. Cause that was her goal. She wants to get married when we have kids, all of that.

And I'm listening to this guy speaks and he is not, he's not, and she's hoping. . She is coping because she's been for years and I, as a therapist, you don't tell them what to do. You make suggestions, you recommend, but they have to come to their own conclusion and conclusions and decisions. And so you give them the framework, the resources, all of the things support, right.

To let them come to that conclusion themselves. And towards the ending, she realized on her own through me speaking up this is what he's saying here. Are you hearing what he's saying here? Because he's not even saying it directly to her, right? So I had to do the bridge in communicating that, when she realized the truth, like you could just see the downfall.

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She's I guess I have to make my decision. And that was the last session, which I knew it was coming. And I'm like, okay, and that's that. I can't tell you what to do. I can only give you the information that's presenting. That was sad, but I was happy for her because at least she knew the truth because forcing someone to be married specifically, that is horrible.

. So I'm glad that she came to the right decision and not continue with the young individual.

Gresham Harkless 13:06

Yeah. He said it was sad. I think it, of course it's not

Dr. Dinelly Holder 13:09

in the moment of that.

Gresham Harkless 13:12

I think they understand. But I think at the same time, it's I did one door closes on, you're hoping.

So by allowing you to have that space away, then that allows the next opportunity to come in. And I think by holding on to those things and those things that sometimes we want to see, but aren't actually there, that's only, hurting both parties and probably more of that community that we talked about too.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 13:33

Absolutely. Yes. Yes.

Gresham Harkless 13:36

Absolutely. So now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO, were hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Dr. Holder, what does being CEO mean to you?

Dr. Dinelly Holder 13:45

Initially doing everything. You have to get your promotion up. You have to get your leadership, your going on leadership courses, your just pretty much, okay, let me just start off. Okay. So I was an old CEO, right? Like I said before, I had to kind of like get my craft going.

So I have to be comfortable being a counselor and being very confident in that. Being a counselor, being CEO of a therapy, therapy practice is very, very different. They don't teach you that. Actually, I have a course, I don't know if you saw it in my in my file, that course out that I have where I show you how to get to the therapy practice part because I've been getting a lot of like inquiries about that stuff.

And of course, it's okay, check it out. Hey, this is one, two, three, a lot of agencies of counseling getting counseling. So, basically, I'm involved in all parts of the business. I am hiring, I am letting people go. I am contributing. I am, just making sure that my staff is okay. I'm meeting with staff on a regular basis.

I'm doing the marketing on the back end, I'm making sure the website is getting promoted. I'm just doing all the things right now. I just, I'm not just, but I have hired also an assistant to help with different things, phone calls, all those things, so I am, as I get bigger, I am going to be adding more staff to the practice.

So being a CEO really, it's making sure that your baby, which is your practice is taken care of, but really you're taking care of. Are you getting your are you updating yourself with the different skills and strengths over time? Are you updating yourself as a business owner?

Because it's different hats, obviously. So pretty much doing everything initially. And then, my goal is to begin to elevate and I've already started doing the process of doing that.

Gresham Harkless 15:20

I love that you said a baby and I was thinking of a phrase. It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a village to raise a business as well, too.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 15:28


Gresham Harkless 15:29

Absolutely appreciate that Dr. Holder appreciate your time even more. So what I want to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know.

And of course, how best people can get overview, find about the course. All the awesome things that you're working on.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 15:43

Okay my tag on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, is Dr. Holder_HLP And on my Facebook is

On my Instagram, if you look on, if you click the link in my Instagram page, I have a book out as well, I have a book out and my course and I have a podcast as well. It's called What's Your Heart Problem Podcast. And I try to do once a month and everything's going on it once a month, every Wednesday first Wednesday of the month.

Gresham Harkless 16:09

Awesome. Thank you, ma'am. I truly appreciate you make it even easier. We'll have the links and information to show notes us as well, too, including that course as well, too. That Dr. Holger mentioned that should be loads and loads of goodness involved. So thank you so much again for taking time out, coming with me live. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Dr. Dinelly Holder 16:24

Thank you so much.

Outro 16:25

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I Am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Want to level up your business even more read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch videos at cbnation.co. Also, check out our I Am CEO Facebook group.

This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


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