One of the biggest things I have learned about entrepreneurial management this summer is that you have to be patient when starting something from the ground up. It takes so much communicating and meeting with various people and it does not happen overnight. Even something as simple as a logo can take days or even weeks trying to decide on the look, color, and overall approach. I think this lesson is useful because at the end of all the long days you can look back on what you have done and genuinely feel accomplished and as if it is coming together. As for myself I have learned the amount of work it takes and that it is okay to collaborate with others in order to reach a common goal which is good for me because I value teamwork.
One of the biggest challenges that is ahead for Minds Renewed is getting consortium members to join and dedicate some of their time to the organization. Given that many of these people have been contacted via email it is hard to judge how much time they are willing to put into this project as a whole. Another big challenge is getting people to understand that Minds Renewed is not a referral service. There are many referral services out there that can connect people to individuals who can help treat their mental illness. However, Minds Renewed is different in that it will be set up more like a network where people can search for themselves and find providers near them. One of the ways Minds Renewed is going to address this problem is by making an explainer video which will be sent out to potential members to help them understand the concept a little better.
From what I have seen and experienced thus far I would say that the culture of Minds Renewed is one where the people involved all share similar values. Everyone who helps and has worked for Minds Renewed all share the same passion for Christ and see the need for providing resources to those affected by mental illness. Decisions are made through Bob Mills since he is the president but I do know that there is a board of members and he often consults them for advice. I have not seen any failures handled during my time with Minds Renewed but overall I would say that as a whole we just keep on going and editing things along the way when something does not work out right. Overall, most people work independently and then come together when need be. I think this is most effective because it incorporates working alone when someone wants to but also having a team you can go to when you need help. I really enjoy that approach to a work environment because it helps most people learn more.
Overall, all the therapists for my project have been emailed. We have received 439 positive responses. This has led to a very promising return on the actual surveys taken so far. Seeing all the interest that has accumulated in Minds Renewed through the emails I have sent and the surveys being taken is the part that I am most proud of. I am surprised with the amount of surveys taken because once we went live and started actually sending the survey out the return happened very quickly. So far we have 229 surveys taken which is changing as more people take the survey but it is a very good indication of how these therapists feel about the overall concept of Minds Renewed.
I have learned so far that starting an organization takes a lot of different people coming together to make it happen. This is good because it allows for other people to utilize their strengths for something that they care about. This is good for me in the sense that i like the idea of working with other people who are good at the things I know I am not good at. It also puts the entire process into perspective because it takes a lot longer to start an organization than one would think.
Minds Renewed started out as Transformed Minds. I am not exactly sure why the name changed but I do know that one of the inspirations for starting Minds Renewed came a lot from personal experience. Robert Mills has dealt with mental illness himself and has seen many people in his community struggle with mental illness. However, in some ways to all started at his church which is located here in Winston-Salem. On Monday nights they have a support group for members of the community and church specially dealing with bipolar disorder but they welcome all disorders and offer support for them. This is many ways showed Robert the need for more resources for people who are dealing with mental illness and sparked the start of Minds Renewed. I believe some of the growing pains associated with the startup of Minds Renewed is the amount of effort/work is takes to research potential members and then reach out to them and wait for a reply. One way this has been overcome is by having multiple people doing the same thing. For instance there are two interns now sending out emails and collecting responses and this makes the entire process a little quicker.
Given that Minds Renewed is primarily going to be organized through the internet there is not a lot of in person interaction between the people who are helping/working for it. Robert Mills frequently meets with a lot of people who are working with him to make Minds Renewed happen. I have had the pleasure of accompanying to a few of these meetings. On one occasion, we met with someone downtown who is going to help make an explainer video for Minds Renewed. We discussed the script and the target audience and the approach we wanted the video to go in. On another occasion, we met with someone who is helping with getting the actual survey up and running. This was of particular interest to me since I am the one who invites the people to take the survey and will ultimately be sending it to them. Most of the work I do is done from home off my laptop but I do like that there are opportunities to collaborate with other people.
Overall, what I am doing fits into the overall mission of Minds Renewed in that I am inviting people to take the survey to see if Minds Renewed is something that would be of interest to them and then establishing that connection. The others are doing more of the technical things that will be more important later on after everyone takes the survey. However, what everyone is doing all ties into one another and all together need to happen in order to make Minds Renewed as successful as it can/will be.
I am a rising junior with the intention of doing something along the lines of the mental health industry. Possibly, going in the direction of opening my own practice one day and providing clinical services to people. Minds Renewed is currently a national non-profit ministry led by Robert Mills who is working to assemble a network of people to help provide resources to people and their loved ones who are impacted by mental illness.
My primary responsibility involves doing market research and connecting with potential consortium members. I connect with people all across the country and briefly tell them the mission of Minds Renewed and ask them to participate in a survey that we will be sending out later this summer. I keep a database of their responses so that in a few weeks I will be able to start sending the survey out to the people who agreed to participate. The database is done in excel and is something I am learning more about as I go.
Overall, I expect to learn how to go about connecting with people with similar interests and utilizing their skills in order to benefit what I am working on. I am eager to see how the replies from the survey I send out will unfold. This is where my work will truly pay off.