Mental Health

Cope Notes

Introducing Johnny Crowder, Founder & CEO of Cope Notes. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, Cope Notes uses daily text messages that combine peer support and positive psychology to help improve mental and emotional health.

Johnny Crowder

Tell us about your business and who your customers are?

Cope Notes helps people like you and me (as well as big groups like school districts and businesses and healthcare systems) improve their mental and emotional health on a daily basis. How? I'm glad you asked - we send daily text messages that interrupt negative thought patterns and train the brain to  think healthier thoughts. Pretty cool, right?

How did you get started?

I grew up with severe mental illness and spent a majority of my life in and out of treatment, which led to me pursuing a degree in psychology and doing a ton of volunteer work in the mental health space. In the early Cope Notes days, I  was literally coming up with and typing out every single text message we sent, and I was sending the messages from a Google Voice number. Talk about scalability issues!

What were some of the biggest hurdles you had to overcome? What has been your biggest accomplishment?

I'm a first-time CEO and solo founder, so every day has felt like a hurdle in its own way. I think overcoming constant rejection, feeling alone, and falling  into the trap of workaholism came the closest to killing the company and my will to continue. By that same token, I genuinely think my greatest  accomplishment is that I haven't quit yet. Most bootstrapped companies don't make it to 1 year, much less 5, so I'm beyond grateful for the willpower and drive it's taken to reach this milestone, and excited for the impact we will make in year 6!

What motivates you each day to do what you do?

Impact, 100%. I felt the exact pain we help people alleviate every day, and nothing is more motivating than that. I read through the testimonials on our website often, I have conversations with clients and subscribers about the change Cope Notes has made in their life, and I'm brought to tears nearly every time. Without that sense of community and mission, I seriously doubt I would  have continued to press on when the going got tough. 

What are the top 3 tips you can share to inspire other fellow entrepreneurs?

1.  If it's important to you, don't quit. I'd rather fail doing something important than succeed doing something that means nothing to me.

2. Ask for  help every single day of your entrepreneurial journey - there is no rule in  the book that says you have to do this alone. Be shameless in your willingness to ask others for help and lean on mentors and experts.

3. Just in case nobody else says it, I am proud of you for taking this chance on yourself and pursuing what you believe in. I hope you can be proud of yourself, too.

Anything you can share about TaxTaker and our work?

Thank you for all you've done for us!

If our partner stories have inspired you and you have your own startup story to share, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.