We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Daniel Singley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Daniel, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It’s interesting, because my own dad was very much a career company man and that was my model. But even in the middle of grad school, I knew that I wasn’t going to follow a traditional career path. Most licensed psychologists do set up a private practice, and that was an easy way into starting my own business. One thing that I did that was a little strange was that after grad school I went to work for two different startup companies, and as with most of these types of environments I had to wear a lot of different hats. In doing so, I learned a lot about the intersection of business and mental health and so unlike a lot of psychologists who just want to help people, I feel like these early experiences helped me to also get a sense of how to set up a business well. And of course, I wanted the control over my finances and my schedule that owning my own business would afford. I always had my own private practice even while working 60 hours a week at these other companies. However, I was professionally a bit scattered in a number of different areas of interest. After leaving the second startup company, my wife who has an MBA, sat me down and basically told me I was not allowed to go work for anyone else because I needed to take at least a year and a half to give my consultation and private practice a chance to really take off. More specifically, she told me I had to only focus on activities related to men’s issues and early fatherhood – So that’s exactly what I did and followed my North Star of men’s issues in psychology and early fatherhood. I’ve never really looked back since then and have only grown to enjoy my career more and more as I’ve moved on and specialized in working for myself.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m a psychologist focusing on men’s issues and the psychology of early fatherhood. My clinic is The Center for Men’s Excellence, and my staff and I conduct psychotherapy focusing on men, couples, fathers and of course their relationships with a variety of loved ones. I also have an ongoing research program addressing men’s psychosocial shift to fatherhood or the “dude to dad” transition, and we’re active in conducting research, publishing in scholarly journals, and helping organizations to apply evidence-based practices to better engage and empower new/expectant dads.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This scenario happens a lot, living in San Diego – so the drill would most likely involve surfing whenever there are good waves, seeing our other buddies who live in town, hitting the beach, hiking, having some quality down-time with my wife and kids, hitting some of the killer craft breweries in San Diego as well as in Northern Baja. And the food discussion is a tough one. I cook a ton, so we’d definitely do some menu planning about some grub to cook at home, and have to hit some of the quality spots in town – Tacos al pastor at Tacos el Gordo, VG Donuts, Pizza Port, pints and pies at Gravity Heights. My friends and I also often do community service projects, so we’d be pretty likely to go cook dinner at a local men’s shelter, go paint a fence at a community clinic, head down to distribute Rainbow sandals or pass out sandwiches to the people who live in/around the Tijuana trash dump – the list goes on…
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve gotten much-needed help from so many friends, family, and colleagues along the way – and nobody has been more pivotal to my success and happiness than my wife, Celenie. Her unwavering confidence, kindness, coaching, and smarts have been foundational at every turn. Also need to give a shout-out to my friend and colleague Dr. Jill Stoddard for her years of fun, mentorship, and generous guidance throughout my career. She’s pretty much the best psychologist I know, and since she’s always about 10 years ahead of me professionally, I’ve benefitted hugely from her willingness to share her experiences and insight with me.