Physical therapist discusses importance of mental wellness in entrepreneurship

Muhamet Hadzibrahimi

The Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship welcomed Lesly Devoliere Jr., an entrepreneurial physical therapist, to the latest installment of its “Entrepreneurial Lunch & Learn” webinar series on April 12.

Devoliere is the CEO and co-founder of his own physical therapy firm, Quality Movement Restoration. In this webinar, titled “How the Power of Mental Wellness Can Help you Flourish in Entrepreneurship,” he discussed his own entrepreneurial journey and shared methods of taking care of one’s mental health by handling fear to unlock their full potential.

“A lot of people build anxiety because they don’t know what’s wrong with their body,” Devoliere said during the webinar.

Devoliere said he prioritizes tackling fear. While obtaining his doctorate in physical therapy, Devoliere was told by a white male patient, “you’re not kidding anybody; you can’t read that calendar.” He explained that he could have easily grown frustrated at the obvious racism he was encountering, but instead chose to educate the patient on his negative judgment.

“My first client was a 102-year-old [woman],” he said. “Once I was paid by her daughter to work with her, that’s when I knew I’m valued for my services.”

The physical therapist explained how U.S. corporations can cause stress for ambitious individuals trying to make it in their respective industries. After trying to navigate through corporations, Devoliere decided to found his own business, Quality Movement Restoration, in September 2020.

He added that starting his own business was tough because of the murder of George Floyd, which had happened months earlier.. 

Reflecting on his death, Devoliere said he believes that the Black community tends to hold opinions in with the fear of jeopardizing their careers. The ability to express oneself is a step among many more important ones that can be taken to overcome fear.

Through his therapy sessions, Devoliere said he learned that “expressing yourself is a sign of strength, not of weakness.”

In the webinar, the physical therapist also recommended that attendees read “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,” a self-help book by Don Miguel Ruiz.

He explained that the titular agreements say to be true with one’s word and to not take anything personal. They also say to not make assumptions and to do one’s best in everything they touch. The last agreement encourages people to make mistakes and not become perfectionists.

“Human nature is trying to be a perfectionist, and perfection is the killer in goals and business,” Devoliere said.

Echoing the book’s message of not taking things personally, Devoliere reflected on how emailing fellow business owners and not receiving a reply immediately can be discouraging.

His resolution for this is to follow up with the person one is attempting to get in contact with in their best timeframe. 

He added that these practices wouldn’t be possible without personal, business and spiritual health routines. 

Devoliere shared that his bedtime routine is to say affirmations, giving his subconscious mind a positive outlook for the next day. This can be performed using a mirror to tell oneself the positive activities one can perform. 

Upon waking up, the physical therapist maintains pure silence and avoids using his phone. He writes his thoughts in his journal throughout the day to maintain his spirituality.