My life hack is: Exercise at least four times a week My favorite activity is: Traveling (I’ve been to over 50 countries and counting)
Revolutionizing mental healthcare with accessible therapy
A WAKE-UP CALL. Jonathan TranPham’s path to becoming an entrepreneur was an unexpected one. He grew up in an Asian-American family that impressed upon him the importance of a 'safe' job. Jonathan followed suit, getting an Ivy League education and establishing a successful career in the corporate world, consulting at firms such as Bain & Company. Then, one day, the long hours and stress of working in a high-pressure environment caught up with him and sparked a surprising turn of events.
Suffering from burnout, Jonathan sought out a therapist. "I was skeptical because I'd never discussed mental health growing up. Emotions just weren't a topic of conversation in my family." Finding a therapist took around six months, an experience he admits "left me feeling even more alone. I discovered my experience was very common, which is when I realized there was a mental health crisis. Mental health is still very stigmatized especially in many communities, and a lot of people have challenges looking for a therapist."
Experiencing the life-changing power of therapy led Jonathan to found his company, reflect, with a mission to make quality mental health services more accessible. reflect uses a unique algorithm to match clients to the right therapist and helps clinicians run thriving businesses by taking care of everything from scheduling and billing to marketing. "We built the most diverse network of counselors – 20% who identify as LGBTQIA+ and 40% who are therapists of color – and have facilitated hundreds of thousands of therapy sessions to date. I see each as a life that's changed, thanks to reflect."
Jonathan never anticipated being a founder, but in hindsight, he says it was an obvious career path for him. "I've always loved solving problems, and I saw this problem that needs to be solved and didn't see anyone doing it in an impactful and effective way." With members of his family having owned restaurants and nail salons, he'd grown up with entrepreneurship in his life, "but the idea of a garage startup was completely foreign to me, especially because I didn't have anyone around me who were models for what that looks like. I didn't see a lot of gay, Asian CEOs."
Instead, Jonathan looks to his mom as a role model and driving force behind reflect, admiring her grit and tenacity after coming to America when she was 20 to restart her life. "She's dealt with so much, like being evacuated from Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975. It was probably the most impactful day in my family's history, and we’d never discussed it until we took a trip there together in 2010. That really motivated me to look at people's stories and healing differently."
A FRESH PERSPECTIVE. Since launching reflect in 2018, Jonathan has been on a journey of personal discovery, admitting he finally feels settled as a founder after taking over a year to identify as a CEO. Crucially, the journey has forced him to reframe his outlook on failure. As a gifted, high-achieving child, he was often motivated by fear of failure in school, worried about finishing with anything less than an A. "Since then, I've learned to embrace failure in a more constructive way. Thanks to therapy, it's not someone else defining success or failure for me; it's myself."
As reflect continues to grow its community of top clinicians and trusted therapists, Jonathan is determined to avoid another spell of burnout in the future. "I recently turned 40, and I'm single and don't have children. I aspire to build an amazing legacy for my company, but I also want to ensure that I'm not neglecting myself. I hope to find a partner and start a family, so for me, it’s about balancing both things, changing the world and ensuring I build an amazing life for myself in the process."