I’m here to tell you… your private practice is not a cute hobby.
Want a hobby? Then you should find a hobby. Hobbies are great! I like painting, yoga, tennis, needlework, and those elephants are sure cute. But don’t let your business become your hobby.
If you want to own your business, then you had better treat it like a business. Mental health therapists provide a crucial service to our families, schools, and communities. In short, we need well trained, passionate, and experienced therapists to take the lead and help us move towards optimal mental wellness, now more than ever.
That means we need to show up with our “A” game on. And we need to create a business that is sustainable. A model that provides high-quality, values aligned care for our clientele. A model that creates rich, collaborative, professional networks and referral sources. A model that continues to provide us with paying clients.
And guess what else? A model that values you as a provider. If you cannot sustain a living off of your private practice work, one of two things will happen. One, you will leave the field. Lots of people do. Exhausted from agency work and seemingly unable to make money in private practice, they find another career. Or two, you will burn out. You will not feel compensated appropriately for the often highly stressful work we do. You will take on “side hustle” gigs which will divide your time, attention, and emotional resources. You will become resentful at how you prioritize your client’s well being to the detriment of your own. That’s a lose-lose-lose. Your ideal clients lose, because they will not have the opportunity to work with you. Your community will lose, because you will no longer be a resource. And, perhaps the saddest part, you will lose, because you will not have the avenue to answer your soul’s calling.
There’s another way. Treat your business like a business, and it will prosper like a business. Tap into what brought you into this field, your fiery passion for the unique work that only you do, and you will connect with your ideal clients and with your own “why” for your work. You’ll be able to be selective of who you work with because you’ll know your ideal clients are out there. Operating from a space of abundance, you’ll set business policies that align with your values, work for you, and create a safe and consistent framework in which your clients can grow.
Sounds great, but you’re not sure where to start? I’ve got some ideas for you. First, identify your ideal client. My Defining Your Niche guide will help. Second, wrap yourself in a community of like-minded folks. Intentional Private Practice–Community, my free FB group, will be a starting point and a great place to bounce around ideas and garner
support. Finally, get out your calculator and get your ducks in a row in terms of operating and compensation expenses and your rate. Your employee (you) will thank you. Need individualized support? I’m happy to consult via a free exploratory call to see if we’re a good fit to work together. You can see more on my website.
Now put down that needle and thread and those cute elephants and let’s make your practice a place of joy and abundance where you, AND your clients, can thrive. You can sew elephants later, if that brings you joy.
You got this, friend, and I’ve got your back. The world needs you.