4 Awesome Lessons from the American Counseling Association Conference

american counselors association conference

#1. Get to know people.

Don't just focus on trading business cards or looking for people that can support you- focus on really getting to know people you are drawn to. Let relationships develop naturally and you might be amazed at some of the opportunities that will develop. Example: I met an amazing presenter and private practice owner from Russia and was able to sit down and interview him about positive psychotherapy and the challenges of developing a private practice in Russia (not much different than the rest of the World!) To do this week: Call 2 people in your area and really attempt to get to know them.

#2. Be yourself.

Be authentic, be real, and have fun. You will be amazed at how many awesome opportunities will develop based on just being yourself. An extra special bonus of this particular way of marketing your work- you don't have to worry about being "on" all of the time. You can be professional, while also being real, and it makes everything so much easier. Example: We got to meet Tamara Duarte at the event. We had an AWESOME time. I introduced her to Joseph Sanok, and he immediately realized she would be awesome to have on his podcast- so right then and there he pulled her aside for a podcast. His podcasts are downloaded about 5,000 times per month by therapists from all around the world! To do this week: Meditate daily for 5 minutes on who you are as your best, most authentic self. 

#3. Get outside. Literally and figuratively.

Get outside of the office and explore the outdoors. Get outside of your circle of therapists and get to know other business owners in your area. You will be so surprised at what you learn, how you will be energized, and how it will help you grow your private practice. Can I tell you a secret? When I offered to introduce Tamara to Joe Sanok, I saw the hesitation and doubt flash across her face for a moment. How do I know that was what I saw? I'm a trained therapist yo- I know what it looks like! And yet, with a broad smile of encouragement, I took Tamara over and introduced her- and it wasn't just painless- it was beneficial! Even though Tamara wasn't sure how meeting the great Joe Sanok would be worth stepping outside of her comfort zone- she did it anyways! To do this month: Get on LinkedIn and reach out to 10 businesses in your geographical area that are NOT in the mental health field. 

#4. Learn how to articulate what you are great at. 

I know, it is rough, it can be really tough! Kelly and I often struggle with how to choose that "one thing" to share about when we meet new people. This is often why people are surprised to find out just how much we have going on under the surface. We try to focus our efforts and become well known for one thing at a time.

Miranda Palmer

I have successfully built a cash pay psychotherapy practice from scratch on a shoestring budget. I have also failed a licensed exam by 1 point (only to have the licensing board send me a later months later saying I passed), started an online study group to ease my own isolation and have now reached thousands of therapists across the country, helped other therapists market their psychotherapy practices, and helped awesome business owners move from close to closing their doors, to being profitable in less than 6 weeks. I've failed at launching online programs. I've had wild success at launching online programs. I've made mistakes in private practice I've taught others how to avoid my mistakes. You can do this. You were called to this work. Now- go do it! Find some help or inspiration as you need it- but do the work!