Mental Healthcare_Mackenzie Drazan podcast episode cover

Building An Effective Mental Healthcare System with Mackenzie Drazan, MiResource

February 15, 2023

Mackenzie Drazan has made it her mission to ensure everyone has access to effective mental healthcare through her platform, MiResource. During this episode, Mackenzie shares the strategies that have helped her get this far, including her approaches to effective communication, dealing with stress, and building a support system.

About Mackenzie Drazan:

Mackenzie is the Co-founder and CEO of MiResource, a platform that connects patients with mental health professionals. Her goal is to create a world where everyone has access to effective mental healthcare. Mackenzie holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Duke University, as well as a certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. She was also named on Forbes’s 30 Under 30 list.

A business mentor can shape you into the best entrepreneur that you can be

Mackenzie shared that consulting a business coach or mentor can help you gain clarity and can shape you into the best entrepreneur that you can be.

They bring unique knowledge and experience to the table and offer advice based on their own entrepreneurial experiences. Mentors guide aspiring business owners through the challenges of starting and operating a company. Their input is invaluable in avoiding potential pitfalls and making smarter business decisions.

In addition to guidance, mentors often have extensive networks and connections in the business world. They can connect business owners with important contacts, possible partners, investors, and clients. Leveraging their networks can help businesses open doors and create opportunities. Moreover, mentors can offer endorsements and recommendations that are respected in the field, giving entrepreneurs a competitive edge.

Finally, mentors foster a culture of continuous learning. They encourage business owners to be inquisitive, seek out information, and stay current on market developments and industry best practices. Mentors motivate entrepreneurs to continue their education, attend seminars or conferences, and take part in networking activities. Mentors support the development of a growth mindset in entrepreneurs, which is essential in the ever-evolving business environment.

In summary, business mentors help shape entrepreneurs by offering advice, networking opportunities, stimulating personal development, boosting confidence, and promoting continuous learning. The relationship between a mentor and an entrepreneur is a beneficial collaboration that helps people in overcoming the challenges of entrepreneurship and maximizing their chances of success.

Episode highlights:

  • “It takes a village.” Guidance and support are essential to the success of an entrepreneurial venture. Surround yourself with mentors and peers who can help shape you into the best entrepreneur you can be. (14:12)
  • As an entrepreneur, you will constantly be put in situations outside your comfort zone. To prevent the stress of discomfort from becoming overwhelming, reframe those feelings and keep reminding yourself of why you chose to do what you are doing so that you can hold onto your energy and passion. (22:54)
  • Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires being able to communicate your vision effectively. Be consistent in your messaging, keep it simple, and reiterate it often to yourself and your team. (27:09)
  • The role of an entrepreneur is to solve problems. Don’t get caught up in titles and expectations; just focus on the impact you want to make in the world. (30:01)
  • To ensure that you are always moving towards your greater vision, set yourself small, simple process goals that you can remind yourself of every day. (32:08)


Mackenzie’s best advice for entrepreneurs:

“Everything is always changing, which makes it so fun, but it can also be stressful. So you’re always having to reformulate how you handle those stresses. That’s always an area of growth for me.” (24:00)

Connect with Mackenzie:

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[00:01:23] A.J. Lawrence: We’ll talk about the value of different entrepreneurship programs, specifically the Tory Burch Foundation amongst others, that have set her on the path to then creating MiResource where she’s the CEO and Co-founder, being able to provide people with access to effective mental healthcare.

[00:01:44] And we’ll talk a little bit about how they do it, all stuff that I think is fascinating kinda worth thinking about as you look at defining your why and then the value. But I think specifically what I came out of besides a very, very, very powerful why that she has for such a huge goal – finding effective mental healthcare for everyone who needs it – is some of the things she’s doing to be able to achieve it.

[00:02:09] She talks about creating consistency and message and how she communicates and in sort of the spirit and intention at all times, and relaying it back to sort of the two frameworks that they use within MiResource to consistently make sure that whatever she’s saying aligns with those two directions. And that takes a lot of discipline.

[00:02:33] To achieve what they’re doing and the growth and sort of the awareness and some of the programs they have and their partners, it’s all very, very difficult to achieve, to get to where they are. Let alone the difficulties that they’re facing to go and go further. So I think this is going be really, really interesting to dive into her experiences, what she’s doing to kind of achieve, and grow MiResource, and the importance of finding the right type of mental healthcare. So let’s go talk with Mackenzie.

[00:03:08] Hello Mackenzie. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.

[00:03:11] Mackenzie Drazan: Thanks for having me.

[00:03:13] A.J. Lawrence: Well, I’m really excited to learn more about your company MiResource and about how you see this kind of growing. But before I cut, you know, because this is fascinating to me, this type of service is something I’ve looked around a lot for.

[00:03:28] So MiResource, I am very fascinated with it because this is a type of service I think that has a lot of benefit and it’s kind of hard to find out there right now. So thank you very much for coming on the show and I wanna talk about it. But before we get into that, I would love to know where do you see yourself as an entrepreneur these days?

[00:03:47] Mackenzie Drazan: So it’s interesting, A.J., when I started MiResource, I didn’t actually think that I wanted to be a entrepreneur. I didn’t grow up thinking someday I wanna start a company. Looking back now, now I guess I am an entrepreneur, I have always been a problem solver and there’s definitely a lot of characteristics about myself that very easily map out onto being an entrepreneur.

[00:04:17] But when I started MiResource, I didn’t think I wanna start a company. I was just obsessed with solving this problem and just understanding, and I’ve always been, four year olds always ask, why, why, why? And I don’t think I ever grew out of that . So I’ve always just kept asking, why, why, why, why, why?

[00:04:37] I’m the most annoying person in grade school to have in the classroom because I would always just keep asking more and more and more questions. And that is just always been a characteristic of mine. And so when I got introduced to the mental healthcare space, which I’m happy to talk about more about in a minute, I was just fascinated by this problem.

[00:04:57] Why is it so hard to connect people to mental healthcare? Why is it so hard for a system when there’s so many people that are struggling with their mental health and this is not anything new or rare? And I threw myself into learning everything I could about this problem and continue to ask that why question, and one day I woke up and realized, I guess I started a company and I guess I’m an entrepreneur.

[00:05:23] A.J. Lawrence: I like that you kind of came into it. You were solving this problem. Going through your background a bit, you went through the, and I’m fascinated cause I’ve never heard of this program, the Tory Burch entrepreneurship program. Love to hear that.

[00:05:42] Did you do that before? Was that during this process? I’m just curious about the evolution from Tory Burch’s program, hopefully I won’t massacre that too often, to team to now MiResource. Cuz you know, you could see the evolution there, from this entrepreneurship program, this really cool not-for-profit, to then MiResource.

[00:06:09] Mackenzie Drazan: I’m happy to tell you about the story. So MiResource story and my journey within mental healthcare and becoming an entrepreneur really starts back in 2014. My sister, younger sister, Shelby, struggled with her mental health and we were really lucky to grow up in Northern California right next to Stanford and come from a family of doctors.

[00:06:32] Very lucky that my parents were fully on board with getting my sister whatever help she needed. Shelby struggled with depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder, and Shelby very much wanted to get better. Never resisted treatment. And unfortunately, we were still ping ponged around the mental healthcare system.

[00:06:51] We saw three different psychologists, three different psychiatrists, we were in and out of the emergency room, IOPs, PHPs, residential treatment programs, you name it, we tried it. It was an extremely disjointed process and unfortunately we ultimately failed to find Shelby the right care. And in 2014, we lost her to suicide.

[00:07:10] And I was just beside myself at why is it so hard to find the right mental healthcare? Because we were so lucky in so many different ways. And if the system didn’t work for us who had care, you know, there’s a lot of areas around the country where there just simply is not care. We had options.

[00:07:30] We had care, we had the ability to pay, we had the sort of familial support, my sister wanted to get better. There’s so many things that could have gone wrong that we were so lucky to have go right, and yet still we weren’t able to get Shelby the right care in time and navigate that system.

[00:07:48] And so I started to talk to as many people as I could and what quickly became clear to me is that as a system, we do have mental health care. Sure. We absolutely have a shortage. There’s no denying that. There’s far more demand for mental health services than we have supply. But then additionally, there still is a lot of care in the system and there’s a lot more capacity that we can unlock.

[00:08:13] But additionally, we know how to treat a lot of mental illness. And the more I talk to experts around psychosis, around eating disorders, all the different fields within mental healthcare, they all told me- for example in psychosis, when somebody has their first psychotic episode, they should never have a second.

[00:08:33] We know how to treat psychosis, but when you look at the system, you don’t see those treatment protocols that we know working going into play. And the more I learned about it, the more I realized that one of the biggest problems of why we have such a hard time navigating this system is because it’s really hard to identify a) the right treatment protocol because we look at mental healthcare as this overarching category, but in reality there’s so many subspecialties within it.

[00:09:00] And so I think it’s unfair for us to expect the system and the sort of point people that are in charge of helping navigate people towards care to be able to understand all of those subspecialties. You know, we don’t do that in cancer. In cancer you have oncology specialists across different types of cancers. But in mental healthcare, we look at the system as one when it’s really a lot of subspecialties.

[00:09:25] But it’s really hard to know whether somebody specializes in eating disorders or depression or self-harm or suicidal thoughts because you and I could get trained as clinical psychologists but specialize in completely different disorders. And you can’t tell that just by knowing that we’re clinical psychologists.

[00:09:43] And so I started to learn a lot about the system. And kind of in parallel with this, I was also at the time struggling with this idea of obviously that my sister passed away, and I was feeling so much guilt and wishing that I could have gone back and I’ve been a better sister to Shelby. And I could see the more and more I learned about the system, that there were so many areas in which I did the wrong thing.

[00:10:09] I had without knowing it, stigmatized perspectives. And there was just so much that I learned through trial and error that I wish I could have gone back and told myself from the beginning. To have been there for Shelby as a better sister, and I didn’t want others, other brothers and sisters to have to go through that same learning process that I went through.

[00:10:34] I wanted to create a way to be able to provide the support for the support, right? Those family members and friends that want to do something but don’t know what to do, with those learnings that I had. And that ended up morphing into an informational website we call TEAM, a pocket guide to learning how to be a supporter because I think so many people want to do the right thing.

[00:10:59] They want to say the right thing, but they oftentimes don’t do anything out of fear of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing. Or they might actually reach out and say something and it may not be received by the person who’s struggling with the love and support that was intended for them.

[00:11:14] And so the goal of TEAM was to be that guide for loved ones of someone who’s struggling. To be able to know what to do and what to say in certain situations so that we can help educate our communities to be more supportive of each other, and provide them with those tools to be able to do that. And that then led to, okay, well, in a nutshell, your role as a supporter is to love and support somebody and encourage them to get professional help.

[00:11:42] But once you make that really brave decision as someone who’s struggling to say, okay, I’m ready to get help. Then you have to do what I call "Climb Mount Everest #2" to say, alright, I now need to figure out what care I need. Like I have no idea what kind of help I need. I’ve decided I want help, but now what kind of help?

[00:12:03] Because there are psychologists, there’s psychiatrists or LMFTs, there’s LPCs, there’s licensed clinical social workers. The list goes on and on of all the different types, but I don’t even know what I’m struggling with. I just know that I need help and I’ve no idea where I need to go to figure out what kind of care I need.

[00:12:19] And so that led me to realizing that as a person or as an entrepreneur, that’s what I wanted to solve. It’s my life mission. I will spend the rest of my life working on solving this problem, which is how do we create a world where once you make that brave decision to say, okay, I’m ready to get help, that finding help that helps you reach your therapeutic goals or whatever you wanna accomplish, is seamless. And that’s, it’s something that is possible.

[00:12:50] A.J. Lawrence: That’s a very powerful sort of reason for becoming an entrepreneur, and I’m just thinking back in situations in my own life or those of my children and stuff. And yes, the confusion, the time you have to spend to get any type of understanding. You know, I am fortunate but you had to go through so much to get to something that is such an obvious need out there.

[00:13:17] Kind of from this experience and this need to do this, did you look at programs like to Tory Burch? Or first starting and then realizing there was sort of something more to kind of go through that progress of how you developed as an entrepreneur through these things.

[00:13:36] Because having even a very powerful reason, a powerful why, you still, you know, you’ve developed some amazing skills just from the reach and the growth. Your recent funding round, I’ve been looking at some of the partnerships, this doesn’t happen just because you put it up there.

[00:13:56] This is work. This is really serious level, complex work that you’ve done. So, I’d love to kind of walk the audience through how that kind of happened with intent fueled by your why.

[00:14:11] Mackenzie Drazan: Absolutely. You know, it takes a village and I know that that’s sort of something that’s said all the time, but it really couldn’t be more true. And I am so incredibly grateful for all of the mentorship and guidance, and learnings that other entrepreneurs, different entrepreneurial programs like the Tory Burch Fellowship. [They] have been there to support me and to guide me and to be there as a resource for me to triangulate information across, has helped build up the knowledge base and shaped me into the entrepreneur that I am today.

[00:14:46] And to sort of give you an idea of the timeline on starting MiResource, I was a freshman in college when my sister passed away in October and we’re actually two days away from her angel anniversary on the 14th. And that was, you know, I’d just gotten to college, my freshman year, and I spent the next several months learning everything.

[00:15:08] Well, that journey has never stopped, learning everything I can about the mental healthcare industry. And I ultimately decided, okay, I wanna start this nonprofit that summer. So my summer after my freshman year, going into my sophomore year, I started TEAM. And then TEAM continues to evolve from there.

[00:15:25] And in tandem with building team and just trying to learn as much as I can about this industry is when I started to- and at the time I thought MiResource was going to be a feature of TEAM because it was like your role’s a supporter to love and support someone and to guide them for professional help. But then you actually have to figure out how to find that help. And so I tried to create MiResource as a feature of TEAM.

[00:15:49] But at the time, I don’t have a software development background at all. I took a Python class in college, CompSci 101. I’m very happy that I did but you know, so much respect for our engineers, because that’s not necessarily one of my skillset.

[00:16:03] And so I used website templates at first to build TEAM, version 1 of team. And I tried to use all kinds of funky piece together, different software solutions online.

[00:16:14] A.J. Lawrence: No code.

[00:16:15] Mackenzie Drazan: No code, yep. And it was faster and it didn’t work using like hash functions and things like that, but it didn’t work. So I then that was when I realized, okay, MiResource needs to be real. It’s its own thing.

[00:16:25] And I knew that it was gonna be very complicated to build because it’s a very complex system that we have to work within and be in the mental healthcare system. And I learned about, so I’m still an undergrad. I went to school at Duke University and at Duke they had this amazing program called the Melissa and Doug Entrepreneurship Program, sponsored by Melissa and Doug Bernstein, who started Melissa & Doug Toys.

[00:16:52] And they have this entrepreneurship program that was a year long program where they took, I think there was about 20 of us students that were building companies while in undergrad, together into this program where we would meet a couple times a week and learn about the basics of building a company.

[00:17:13] Because you’re like, okay, great. I have this idea. I think I know how to solve it. But there’s so much little nuanced components that go into starting a business. Like, when do you incorporate? How do you incorporate? How do you set up your bank account? How do you think about taxes?

[00:17:30] Like all this stuff that you’ve never had to think about as a college student. And that are the administrative little things that go into building a business. And that is pretty scary when you’re trying to juggle not only how do I solve this problem, how do I find product market fit, but all the nuts and bolts that go into building a small business.

[00:17:50] And it was so amazing to have two entrepreneurs that were teaching this class that were recent Duke graduates that had just done all the same things because you can talk to successful founders, but you know over time you get so far removed from what you had to do to start your first business and it just kind of becomes second nature.

[00:18:12] And so it’s really nice to have folks that had just done the same thing, that can help and it’s all fresh, those beginning stages of building a company, to help walk you through that and to give you that support and have someone to call up.

[00:18:26] And that’s always continued. Obviously that program was a year long program, but the beauty of all these other entrepreneurship programs, and later on, just this past year I was a part of the Tory Burch Fellowship program which was fantastic, but it’s sort of a common theme that I think one of the most helpful things has just been building a community and fellow entrepreneurs that are at my stage of building a business or a few stages ahead of me that I can lean on and turn to.

[00:18:58] To ask how they have handled certain stages, whether that is raising your first round of funding, whether that’s raising your next round of funding, whether that is handling certain scenarios with employees that might come up, or recruiting. There’s just a whole slew of different components that go into building a business that it’s so nice to have peers that you can lean on for support.

[00:19:24] And the beauty of these entrepreneurship programs is they bring together not only advisors or mentors or teachers within the different components, whether that’s launching a successful cold outreach campaign or you know, name your topic, right?

[00:19:40] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah.

[00:19:40] Mackenzie Drazan: Any component of a business. But it brings together a community of other entrepreneurs and founders

[00:19:47] A.J. Lawrence: The best part, yeah.

[00:19:48] Mackenzie Drazan: At a similar stage. And it’s those communities and having peers to bounce ideas off of, triangulate information, learnings from others, that is so valuable.

[00:19:59] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, that is really cool. For me, I always find talking with other entrepreneurs or seeing what other entrepreneurs are so much better than the descriptions that people get from articles. Because so often when someone says, oh, I did this and duh, duh. It’s like, it’s after the fact.

[00:20:16] I always love those stories from other entrepreneurs or other conversations where even if I’m not gonna do X, Y, or Z the same way, there’s a likelihood that all of a sudden where I couldn’t figure, you know, X, Y, or Z I couldn’t figure out, but if I hear someone else talk about it, all of a sudden the context comes stronger into place for me. So all of a sudden it’s like, oh, oh, so okay. Yeah. You know. No, move it around a little bit and then, you know, make it your own. So I love that these groups have been such important part.

[00:20:53] In this process now of growing as an entrepreneur, what is something that you are doing for yourself? What things do you work on? You know, is it journaling? Are there things you’re working on for your capabilities as an entrepreneur?

[00:21:09] Mackenzie Drazan: The way I think about entrepreneurship and where I want to be as an entrepreneur, I really think that being an entrepreneur means that you can see problems and create solutions to those problems. And so, your goal as an entrepreneur is to become as effective as you possibly can at problem solving and in building organizations to solve those problems.

[00:21:34] And there’s so many different components that go into that, and there’s so many different skills. Being an effective communicator, I think, is one of the most important skills. Being able to create, to build teams, to be able to communicate effectively across those teams, so that everybody is moving in the same direction. That the goal is clear. That you’re prioritizing the right things, and that people can share ideas in a way that is effective to people from all kinds of different backgrounds, possibly locations around the world. Being able to understand very precise details around what you want to do.

[00:22:13] And that sounds like such a simple concept, but I really do think that in reality when you’re trying to share an idea, I think the frequency in which that idea gets perfectly delivered to the person you’re trying to communicate it to, and that person actually receives that message and that the meaning stays the same and the feeling that went along with it gets received in the same way, it’s incredibly hard to do in reality even though it’s something that we do all the time. That sounds so simple.

[00:22:46] And so I think that from a just a skill perspective, I’m constantly trying to figure out how can I be a better communicator. And then on top of that too, is your ability, I think, as an entrepreneur to be able to handle stress and manage that stress, and to continue to be able to hold the same amount of energy and excitement and enjoyment out of the process. Because it’s really difficult as an entrepreneur, you’re constantly being put in scenarios where you have not prepared enough. You don’t have enough knowledge.

[00:23:23] A.J. Lawrence: You’re preaching to the choir.

[00:23:26] Mackenzie Drazan: Right. You’re always out of your comfort zone. You’re always learning new things. And that’s a double-edged sword because it’s the best job in the world because you’re constantly learning, you’re constantly growing out of necessity. But it’s also incredibly stressful because you’re always pushing yourself and you’re always outside your comfort zone, and that definitely takes a toll.

[00:23:47] And so constantly figuring out how to handle that as the stakes get higher over time and you have more and more responsibilities and everything is always changing, which makes it so fun, but it can also be stressful. And so I think that you’re always having to re-formulate how you handle those stresses, and I think that’s always an area of growth for me and constantly reminding myself.

[00:24:23] This, this is gonna sound silly, but one thing that I always do is I think, well, what if I, you know, an option would be to just completely stop what I’m doing right now and stop working on MiResource. But if I did that, what else would I do with my life? And almost like having the Plan Z in my head, I’m never gonna stop working on MiResource.

[00:24:43] I am so unbelievably committed, but it’s knowing that I wouldn’t wanna be doing anything else, even though in the moment I’m feeling stressed around. And then that sort of gives me this confidence, or not confidence, but just ability to kind of let go of the stress and to just enjoy. Like, this is what I wanna be doing more than anything. And it is fun .

[00:25:05] And I have the honor of working with such brilliant people around me and the ability to learn all the time. And so I need to stop and enjoy this. Enjoy this process because it is fun. Even though it is stressful, I want it so badly. Enjoying it. And then that also just fuels your passion on top of everything.

[00:25:23] A.J. Lawrence: I love that because I’ve experienced the opposite. And kind of part of the reason why I sold my last company was I had lost love, you know, that special feeling, all the different pieces. And I like the way you talked about how you focus on understanding the joy because, you know, in hindsight I lost that.

[00:25:47] And to me it was just like, just anything. Anything to get done with this. And there’s only so much you can do that as an entrepreneur before all of a sudden the company says, well fine. If you really don’t care, we’ll show you this.

[00:26:03] And before kinda moving forward, you talk about sort of that ability to consistently deliver the message with the same words, same message, and same sort of feeling, and maybe I miss doing that. But how do you work on creating that consistency? How do you practice or what effort do you do to develop that? Because as someone who’s gone through it and talked with other entrepreneurs, a lot of times we tend to kind of, yeah, yeah, it’s this.

[00:26:37] And we may have that concept in our head, I know myself and I’ve heard from others, I’m talking about this, the of the company from like five different directions. So every time it’s a little off, little inconsistent with something else and things kind of flow depending upon criteria or crisises, depending on you know, where you are. But how do you develop that strength and consistency of message? What do you work on to do that?

[00:27:11] Mackenzie Drazan: I think that it is diligence in making sure that you always explain context. Where does this idea that I’m presenting fit into the bigger picture? Which helps keep alignment of what everyone is working towards. And then simplicity, and putting in the time to prepare what you’re saying when you’re trying to communicate important ideas.

[00:27:34] Starting with explaining context, making sure that you’re using description as simple as it possibly can and that you’ve done, even before you communicate the message, that you’re consistently reiterating the alignment and this is what we’re aiming towards.

[00:27:51] So I didn’t really do a very good job of either of those three things when I just said this idea. Cuz I’m going on the fly a little bit here. But one thing that we do at MiResource is, in order to solve this mental healthcare navigation problem which is what we’re working towards, there’s so many different components that go into what we what we do.

[00:28:10] Because the mental healthcare system is very complicated, I describe it as like a bowl of angel hair pasta, and our role is to take out all the spaghetti and lay each strand out so that we can then help people do a better job of navigating it. But at the end of the day, in order to navigate that, we have to have a very simple framework.

[00:28:31] And so everything that we do at my resource comes back to what we call two company drivers. We need more patient connections, and we need more care. On patient connections, it is a factor of the number, like we need to get in front of people and we need those connections to be effective. So efficacy of match. Then on the more care side, we need to make sure that we have enough data on the care itself and that that data is accurate and that it stays up to date over time.

[00:29:04] And to solve the care navigation problem, everything comes back to these two company drivers. So what we talk about a lot at MiResource is every time you come to a segue when you’re making a decision, your guiding principle is to come back to your two company drivers and think, is going to increase patient connections or increase the amount of care? And if it’s not, then it’s probably not the right focus.

[00:29:34] A.J. Lawrence: I like that. Keeping everything within that framework. Touching base, consistent practicing, coming back to your touchstones I think is an important thing. With sort of the continuation of TEAM into MiResource, do you see yourself as a social entrepreneur? Do you differentiate in that or do you just think of yourself as an entrepreneur?

[00:29:58] Mackenzie Drazan: I actually say I don’t think I think about either of those things. To me, it’s very clear. It’s that I wanna create a world where everybody has access to effective mental healthcare. And to me, that doesn’t mean I need to be CEO of a company. My guiding force I think, is that I want to do whatever I can do as Mackenzie and given my skillsets and what I bring to the table, to best serve that mission.

[00:30:25] And if I woke up one morning and thought, you know what? Helping this scientist get their findings connected to these different entities is going to make the biggest impact in that, then I would do that.

[00:30:44] I don’t think of it as I have to be CEO of a company. I fundamentally believe that the best way for me to make the most impact is through MiResource, because I believe that we have a shot at revolutionizing the way that people access care and creating a world where finding, connecting with that care is easy.

[00:31:04] And so that’s why I am CEO of MiResource and why I love doing this and what gives me that passion. But to me, there isn’t any sort of, it’s not about being CEO. It’s about solving the problem.

[00:31:19] A.J. Lawrence: Well, given that the company has this one goal and then you have literally an overarching goal on top of that, of being able to make sure that anyone who needs it can find the service or find the support they need.

[00:31:35] Do you have, and I know you must have corporate goals and measurable destinations for MiResource, but do you have your own as an entrepreneur, as an individual, as a human, do you set goals for yourself based upon this destination, this big objective you have? Cause that’s a very large "BEHAG" you have. Well, you can do it any way you want. I believe you would. How are you defining success right now for yourself?

[00:32:10] Mackenzie Drazan: The way that I think about goals is similar to how a popular concept in entrepreneurship or OKRs. So you would have, I want to accomplish this as the objective, and there’s certain key results. And similarly within goals that I have for myself and how can I be more effective at the work that I do, what are those process goals, right? Those key results that I’m looking for and what are the process elements.

[00:32:36] And it’s not a long list because I think that you’re so busy as an entrepreneur. They have to be a few little things that you dedicate yourself to working on. And that you remind yourself of those three things every single day, and that you practice them every single day.

[00:32:55] A.J. Lawrence: To kind of go deeper, now you are looking at this on a daily, [but] where do you see the company? Like where would you like the company? Obviously providing care for everyone or being able to provide the ability to find the care you need, but where do you see your efforts down the road? How would you define that success?

[00:33:19] Mackenzie Drazan: For MiResource, I believe that we can make the most impact to the system by being the system that powers all mental health referrals. So, if you are a social worker in a hospital, you would go to MiResource to look up to find a network care for your patient.

[00:33:38] If you were a sister that was worried about your sister like in my case, you would, with your family sit down, and you would use MiResource to look up and find a network care or the appropriate care for your situation. If you yourself are a college student and you are like, okay, I think I am ready to get help, you would go to MiResource to find care.

[00:34:02] And there are several ways that we’re working about doing this. Within MiResource, we’re working with different entities. Um, right now we work with health insurance companies, university counseling centers to help them power their functionality to help connect students to mental health providers in their local communities.

[00:34:21] We do provider finders for your insurance companies so when you go to try and find your network provider, you have something that actually works within mental health care. And that’s what we’re doing right now.

[00:34:34] And so we’re working to get all of care into MiResource. You know, MiResource, it doesn’t make a difference to us financially whether you go and see provider A or provider B or treatment center A or treatment center B. We just want you to have a good outcome.

[00:34:48] So we’re just trying to understand what is all of care, so that we can guide you through that process. And then on the guiding you to the right care, we also have large research efforts to find better ways to understand what are you struggling with and what is appropriate care for you, so that you can reach your therapeutic goals.

[00:35:08] So we have a $1.2 million grant from the NIH to build and clinically validate a machine learning triage model that will do a better job of assessing level of severity than the protocol standard, which is called the Locus Protocol. So in simple terms, it basically means that you, if we go back to the story, you know, I’ve made this brave decision to say, okay, I’m ready to get help but I have no idea what kinda help I need, or what kind of provider, or what I’m struggling with.

[00:35:36] So we need to find faster, better, easier ways to determine on your behalf, right? You don’t have to sit there at home and figure out in your head magically what kind of cancer you have. We have ways or system to help you figure out what kind of cancer you have and guide you to appropriate care.

[00:35:55] Similarly, in mental healthcare, the onus of navigating the system shouldn’t be on the patient. And so we are using the immense amount of knowledge that we do have within mental healthcare and consolidating that and creating a way for that to be more accessible to patients and to people who want to work on their mental health and need some assistance in that area, so that it’s not your responsibility to figure that out on your own.

[00:36:23] A.J. Lawrence: I really do hope the more of this that you can achieve, you achieve. Because I’ve gone through therapy myself. I’ve known my own dark periods. And I’m now trying to find various services for my children for different situations. This is, and we’re light conditions, as you said. You know, not not actually even lighter than you know, well off, educated, really good plans. And it’s pain in the neck and therefore probably defer a lot of treatment we should have.

[00:37:03] One, we don’t even do as much, and two, don’t get it as often. And then going down to people who have less resources and need it more and more. Yeah, this is definitely something that should be in the marketplace and I really do hope you achieve all of this because this would be amazing.

[00:37:26] Anyone who’s listening who would like to either reach out to you, obviously miresource.com to check out, but where can they reach out and find you?

[00:37:35] Mackenzie Drazan: Yeah, miresource.com. So miresource.com is a great place to go. You can also find me on LinkedIn, or you’re more than welcome to reach out to us directly at MiResource at info@miresource.com.

[00:37:49] A.J. Lawrence: Great. We’ll put all that in the show notes and on the email when we announce this.

[00:37:55] Mackenzie, thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate this and I can’t wait to see what you do with this.

[00:38:02] Mackenzie Drazan: Thank you so much A.J. I really appreciate the opportunity to share what we’re working on.

[00:38:08] A.J. Lawrence: This episode of Beyond 8 Figures is over, but your journey as an entrepreneur continues. So if we can help you with anything, please just let us know. And if you liked this episode, please share it with someone who might learn from it. Until next time, keep growing and find the joy in your journey. This is A.J., and I’ll be talking to you soon. Bye-bye.

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