Alumni Spotlight: Drew and Leanne Konzelman
Drew and Leanne started a counseling center called Novo Life Counseling after graduating from Northwest’s MACP in 2014. Leanne has since become a member of the alumni board. Novo means to renew, to refresh, or to begin again in Latin. Novo Life Counseling is a boutique practice that provides Mental Health Counseling, Coaching, and Neurofeedback Therapy. Drew and Leanne have grown their practice to include an experienced team of licensed mental health counselors who work with couples, teens, and adults, specializing in pre-marriage and marriage counseling, postpartum and trauma care, behavioral issues, ADHD, work-life balance, anxiety, and depression.
How did you start your business?
We started Novo Life Counseling after having graduated together from the MACP program at Northwest University in 2012. Leanne was coming from the corporate world, having worked for the Seattle Seahawks, and I was coming from a career in the creative world of music and production. While the corporate world had its perks, we realized that what mattered most to us was people and relationships. A big part of why we started Novo was to help other people live their lives to the fullest and in doing that we felt like we were able to live our lives more fully. A core value of our relationship is adventure and making sure that we live our lives to the fullest and help others do the same. This comes from Jesus in John 10:10 who said that the whole reason He came to earth was to help people live their lives more abundantly or to the fullest. We thought we'd hop on that train too, and it has been a rad journey so far.
What motivated you to build a business on your own?
I have always been an entrepreneur both relationally and in business. Outside of Novo I have started brands and scaled businesses. Leanne is also a builder and likes to have control over the feel of the brand. We wanted to make every part of our client experience intentional. We also wanted to create a place where other passionate and talented clinicians could come and work with clients under the umbrella and inside the community of Novo Life. The idea is to build long-term working relationships with clinicians who want to focus on their clients rather than running a business. Our goal is to continue to help other people figure out how to live their lives to the fullest and to reduce the stigma around mental health. I believe that the bravest people are the ones who reach out for help in their journey. We have, and it has helped us grow immensely.
How did your time at NU help prepare you for what you're doing now?
Our time at NU was growing to say the least. We had just gotten married, both had changed jobs, and were in full-time ministry at a local church in addition to full-time graduate school. The support from the staff and faculty of the program was exactly what we needed. There were many moments of growth for us as individuals and as a couple, and we valued our learning experience at NU. The multicultural aspects of the program prepared us for the work we are doing today. One highlight was a cultural immersion trip that we convinced the faculty to let us take to work and live at an orphanage (and get some surfing in) in Costa Rica. The trip was eye-opening and formative for our work today.
What advice would you give to someone with similar goals to yours?
I would say, get out and meet people. When we were getting the company off the ground, a mentor of Leannes' said that if you meet with 10 people, it's likely that 3 will have helpful information and 1 of them will become a lifetime friend or help in some way. That worked out for us, and Leanne did a great job building support and relationships in the community. We now have two clinics, our main clinic in Kirkland, and a campus in the South Puget Sound. If you know someone who wants counseling or coaching please shoot us a text or email, we would love to be a resource for you.
If you want weekly encouragement you can follow our Instagram @thenovolife or visit our blog for helpful resources.