We all like to think of our businesses are unique. We come up with a value proposition or a mission statement designed to stick out in the market. But the reality is, pretty much every industry is crowded with competitors and copycats selling pretty much the same thing. That’s capitalism.

Now throw in the internet and the number of competitors explodes. It doesn’t just affect businesses that are used to locking down a local geographic advantage  — like car dealerships, for instance.

Kristie McMath Hebert - owner of Arcenaux Ford and chair of the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association

Kristie McMath Hebert – owner of Arcenaux Ford and chair of the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association

Krisitie McMath Hebert knows all about that. She’s a third generation auto-dealer at Arceneaux Ford in New Iberia. Her father courted her to the family business right out of college, with the debut of a new Ford dealer incentive program. His offer: a salary, a car and paid off student debt. So, Kristie took that opportunity and ran with it. Today, she oversees the dealership’s four departments and its 42 employees. And she is the first woman named chair of Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association.

It’s not just car dealerships that have dealt with a shifting playing field. Today, you can get any number of mental health services online — and not all of it by ChatGPT. The counseling industry has changed quite a lot, even for folks working locally.

Shelly Killingsworth - counselor and owner of the holistic mental health practice Worth Counselling

Shelly Killingsworth – counselor and owner of the holistic mental health practice Worth Counselling

Shelly Killingsworth is a counselor and the founder of Worth Counseling, a boutique counseling service that specializes in integrative mental health.The approach is holistic. Food, mind, body and spirit affect mental health, Shelley says, and that guides how they treat patients. In-person visits feature a sensory, spa-like experience. And Worth also provides online services.

Shelly got her start as a contract counselor, developing enough clientele to launch Worth in 2019. The center now employs 9 counselors and is still growing.

Shelly Killingsworth, Kristie McMath Hebert, Christiaan Mader, Out to Lunch at Tsunami Sushi in downtown Lafayette

Shelly Killingsworth, Kristie McMath Hebert, Christiaan Mader, Out to Lunch at Tsunami Sushi in downtown Lafayette

Out to Lunch Acadiana was recorded live over lunch at Tsunami Sushi in downtown Lafayette. Photos by Astor Morgan.