Lisa Vescio (The Director Doctor), Founder of Auspicious Business

Coaching directors and business owners through stress, overwhelm and burnout

I became an entrepreneur aged 30, when I set up an independent mental health hospital in Norfolk. As a fully qualified mental health nurse, I’d spent time working in hospitals in both the UK and Australia before deciding to go it alone in 2006.

It was of paramount importance to me that my own hospital put the best interests of the patients first. The settings I’d previously worked in on both sides of the world were political and bureaucratic. At times, I felt more like a glorified prison officer than a therapeutic nurse.

My setting was small and bespoke, but in alignment with what I wanted to set out and achieve. During the 12 years I directed the hospital, the demands of the role became increasingly stressful. Running a business – as well as having a duty of care to my staff, patients and company shareholders – was more than I’d anticipated.

Everything came to a head during the 11th year of what was a 12-year lease on the premises. The landlord wanted to tie me into a longer lease, but when my counter-proposal was declined, I – with the shareholders’ backing – decided to move somewhere else.

The financial strain of renovating a new site, project-managing a big construction scheme and continuing to run the hospital affected my mental health. To further complicate matters, my then partner – a builder – was commissioned to work on the development and our personal and professional lives collided. Causing increasing tension within an already-challenging relationship, three-quarters of the way through the project I saw a GP and was signed off for two weeks.

I never went back after those two weeks. My relationship was over and I felt embarrassed towards my team. I was in a bad place – making misguided decisions – and I felt the only way to save the business I’d created was to walk away from it.

Leaving Norfolk to return to my family in Northumberland, I spent 12 months recovering and retraining as a hypnotherapist and life coach. This year, I founded my new business – drawing from my skills and experience to create the six-step ‘Opti-Mind’ model.

My vision is to positively enlighten lives and restore the minds of others.

Auspicious Business