This Founder Is Advocating For Kids With Autism

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Selfmade is a membership geared at giving women the tools, resources, community, and coaching they need to launch and grow their businesses. 

In our Ask A Founder series this fall, we follow 10 female founders on their entrepreneurial journey. Thousands of women have experienced our Selfmade virtual business coaching program, led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and sponsored Office Depot OfficeMax. Here, we ask therapist Angel Wilson, founder of SPARC Guidance, which promotes autism education and awareness, about maintaining a positive mindset, the most valuable lesson she learned from Selfmade, and how she celebrates the small wins.

Angel Wilson, founder of SPARC Guidance

How would you describe your brand in five words? 
Informative, casual, evidence-based, sincere, colorful.

What mood do you want your brand to evoke? 
A feeling of understanding and a desire for change.

What was your aha moment before starting your business? 
A parent casually told me that I had a knack for explaining autism in a non-scary, kind way and that “a lot of people need to hear this.”

What were you doing before you started the business? 
Working as a therapist for a nonprofit. I hated the fact that, because I was a mental health counselor, I couldn’t address autism on its own.

What’s one thing you wish you knew as an entrepreneur? 
Personally, I wish I had known how lonely it gets sometimes. Financially, I wish I had the foresight to better plan for my “dry season” in the summer. Ah well, live and learn!

How do you get in the right headspace to start your day? 
Weather permitting, I go walking in the morning. I have a favorite park that’s huge and has all kinds of animals in it. Seeing nature and being in nature helps put things in perspective and reminds me that no matter what, life is good.

How do you balance the practical with the creative parts of your business? 
I sought out programs and templates that allow me to be creative with the mundane. For example, my invoices are purple (the SPARC brand color) and I use HoneyBook to create customized training catalogs for potential customers. I also understand that sometimes, there’s just no way to jazz up paying taxes or bills. Throw in your personal flare where you can!

How do you celebrate the small wins? 
With cake, lol. Just kidding…maybe. I have no shame in busting out a 5-minute dance party. I think that we sometimes gloss over those moments in pursuit of the big wins, but the little ones are what actually keep us going. I mean, that and cake…

What is the most powerful thing you do in your day? 
When I first wake up, I take a moment to visualize how I want my day to go. Now, does it always happen that way? No, not always. But it sets me into a positive mindset where I’m looking forward to the day ahead.

What is your go-to productivity hack? 
This is going to sound weird, but…opening my door. I spent a lot of time shut away in my bedroom/office, and if I’m in there with the door closed for too long, I start to get sluggish and my mind wanders. Opening the door immediately perks me up and gets me back on task.

What is your favorite desk essential? 
I have a little inspiration board that says “Visualization: Intention, Mind, Focus, Manifestation.” My vision board is a close second.

Fill in the blank: ____ gives me all the feels.
A happy child gives me all the feels. It’s why I do the work that I do.

How has Selfmade helped you grow your business? 
I think the biggest lesson I learned was to not sell myself short financially. One Selfmade coach shared this sentence: “Whatever you currently think your services are worth…double it.” I was so scared to do this, but I did it and I truly think that one mental reset saved SPARC Guidance.

How have Office Depot OfficeMax services/products helped you accomplish more in your business? 
After spending years sitting on what I can only call the most broken seat of my life, I picked out a new rolling chair from Office Depot Office Max using the gift card I got for being a Selfmade Pitch Competition finalist. I now understand why posture and ergonomics are so important for productivity. Who knew something as simple as a new chair could be such a game changer?

What does the word “self-made” mean to you? 
Let me start with what I don’t think it means: I don’t think it means “go at it completely alone.” I do think, however, that it means to blaze your own path and walk that path alongside others who are creating paths of their own. It means to create your own destiny, on your terms, and to then share it with others.

Thank you Angel! Want to take on a personal mission and help others? Let Office Depot OfficeMax support your journey with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you’ll find the tools to reach your community with confidence.

March 1, 2023

Brit Morin