I remember the first time I heard the word passive income. It sounded so... passive. Like something I would create that would magically continue to make money through little to no effort made by me.
However, through the last 10 years of having businesses online, it is incredibly clear to me that no income is passive. In fact, even people who seem to "stumble upon" or "hit it big" often have years of struggle behind it.
Multiple Streams of Income for Therapists
Creating multiple streams of income Beyond the Couch™ can have a huge impact on our communities. Many of you have been watching how Brene Brown turned some amazing research into a more impactful way to train therapists and engage people in difficult, but powerful change.
When Should You Launch?
However, many of you are in private practice. Some of you are still working a second job. So, before you jump into adding another income stream into your business, it is important to be mindful and plan for the right time to launch, and to launch in a way that is healthy for you and your life.
Creating a Weekend Retreat for Couples
I thought it would be fun today to take you through a mock process of developing something outside the box and Beyond the Couch™.
For example: Let's say I want to create a weekend retreat for couples. I am SUPER passionate about creating something amazing and therapeutic and KNOW I can help couples that need something beyond traditional, weekly sessions. I've done a few intensives with couples before in the office and it has been awe-some!
In a Perfect World What Would I Do?
However, I also know that it was pretty intense energy wise. I felt a little exhausted the next week after having added this type of work in. In a perfect world, if I was to do couple's retreats four times a year, I would take a week off each time from clinical practice.
I want you to think about this statement "in a perfect world." The truth is, as a business owner- you should be planning for things to be as close to perfect as possible. Or, we should definitely NOT be planning to feel emotionally exhausted during 4 weeks of sessions each year! While it might feel greedy to plan for that time off- it really isn't! It is about ensuring every client you work with gets your utmost care and attention! Nobody wants an overworked neurosurgeon! They also don't want an exhausted therapist!
What Would It Take For Me To Launch?
I also know that when I do something new it takes a lot of energy to wrap my head around something. It could easily take me 3 hours a week to focus my energy on couple's retreats and feel like I had the "space" and energy to focus on them. I also know that this is pretty new for me, and that the longer it takes for me to launch, the more money and time I waste in the middle ground- not helping clients. I might need to plan to get some additional training, coaching, or outsource some of the work.
How Much Money Would it Really Cost?
This means, that just to break even, I need my couple's retreats to make up for 4 weeks of clinical sessions and over 150 hours (throughout the year) of time when I could be seeing clients (making income). If I am going to be moving from 20 clients a week to 15 clients a week to make space for this and I am currently charging $100 a session than I need couple's retreats to bring in $21,000. I might also invest in some business coaching, hired someone for to outsource some of the work to, or attended the Most Awesome Conference for another $3,000. Finally, if my initial goal in launching couple's retreats was to help couples AND increase my annual gross income by $15,000 than my real goal is $39,000.
Start with What You Have
Don't panic just yet! I know I just scared the pants off of you! But let's break it back down the other way. If the coaching or the conference gave you the confidence to charge 13 of your 15 weekly clients $125 (you know you've been undercharging but have been dragging your feet to charge a fair fee) that takes care of $15.6k leaving just $23.6 to make from quarterly couple's retreats.
Creating a Couples Therapy Model That Fits the Bill
Now, I know that I need to create a model that allows for a NET income from each of these retreats of about $6,000. Charging one couple over $6k for a week (or extended weekend) scares the pants off of me- and I'm not sure if it is a sustainable model) I start talking through the options with my coach and I decide to create a group model where I can work with 4 couples over 4 days in a combination of group, individual, and couple's sessions. I develop my expenses, and am able to price and charge the fee with more confidence even though the fee is still several thousand dollars for the type of experience I want to provide each couple!
The Client Always Comes First
Even better, I get excited about the ways I can use the group experience to create more change for each of the couples. In fact, I had thought about couple's retreats for groups- but had been scared that I wouldn't be able to find enough couples who need this kind of work. After doing the market research I realize there are a LOT of couples looking for couple's retreats!
Putting It All Together
When you walk through this process with me do you feel excited? Inspired? Terrified? A combination of all of it? Behind every really impactful, sustainable out of the box therapist's work- there is a great business plan.