Passive Income for Therapists Step 1: Create Time

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Last week we talked about the idea of Passive Income to start building up income that doesn’t require you to directly work. I know you are VERY excited about creating passive income that could take care of your living expenses without seeing a bajillion clients a week, but before you do that- you have some work to do…

If you have been following us for awhile, you may have realized that Kelly and I don’t gloss over the tough stuff. There is no fast forward button or magic wand when building a profitable, sustainable business. Why? Because the things that you try to avoid now will come back to bite you on the tush later!

Yes, sometimes people seem to grow faster than others, but often you don’t see the work, research, planning, and implementation that came before what looks like an “overnight success.” Anybody who has been through our Business School Bootcamp for Therapists can tell you- it works- but it is NO magic wand! It really is a bootcamp!

Why You Must Create Time for Passive Income

You need passive income so you can see less clients, and have more time. But, you also need time so you can create passive income, and see less clients! It can feel frustrating when you’ve been overworking for so long and you need something to change right now and realize that there isn’t an overnight fix. The reality is most therapists don’t have the time to implement a passive income stream successfully.

A Quick Example About the *Time* It Really Takes to Create *Passive* Income

The most classic example of passive income is rental property. Buy a property, rent it out, the rent check covers the costs and then some and poof- you’ve got passive income. But what came before that… or during that “passive income” stream?

Have you ever purchased a piece of property? Think about the amount of time you spent researching, negotiating, signing papers, making sure the space was ready for move-in.

Ever looked for rental occupants, “marketed,” your rental space? Or managed a rental property , otherwise known as provided ongoing customer service? It is seldom initially a completely passive process. And, this doesn’t take into account all the “time” that was invested previously saving up that money to invest in a down-payment or closing costs for the property.

That ebook, or ecourse is not much different. There is research involved, paperwork, moving, marketing, customer service. You need time to research plan, create, and implement that passive income that you so need.

What Happens If You Don’t Create Time for Passive Income

I know you- you’ve listened to all the podcasts, watched the YouTube vidoes. They make it seem like you can create a magical income stream in just a few hours. Some of the trainings almost make it sound like you are stupid if you don’t already have a passive income stream.

But, most people find that creating and launching a passive income stream takes a LOT of time- much more than they were prepared for! If you don’t create the time for passive income you can end up spending more time, spending more money, and WASTING time for a project that would be a great idea but it never gets launched at all. Or, it gets launched in a way that doesn’t allow it to actually bring you in income.

You wouldn’t expect to spend 10 hours one weekend buying a house, getting it ready to move-in, finding renters, and setting up processes to make sure your rental gets taken care of. You can’t expect to spend 10 hours one weekend building an entire new arm of your business that will support you from scratch and have it start bringing you real income.

Erika, a psychologist in Florida, and one of our My Awesome Year coaching clients had this to say about passive income: “I thought launching passive income was gonna be easier than starting a business, but really it’s just as difficult and time consuming because now you have 2 things to juggle 😫. You have to have a solid business with consistent referrals and systems before venturing into a  passive income stream, and an assistant you can delegate to.

How to Create Time for Passive Income

Ok- you can’t really “create” time, but you can definitely take back time. It is important to assess how you are spending your time right now. Both our bootcampers and our private coaching clients consistently find that without addressing this issue, they end up getting distracted from the projects, passive income streams, etc. by the reality of running a business and living life. Here are some questions to explore:

  • What am I doing right now that isn’t actually helping my business that I can let go of?

  • What am I avoiding right now that needs to be done to keep my business running smoothly?

  • What am I doing (or avoiding) that could be automated by software?

  • What am I doing (or avoiding) that could be outsourced to an assistant?

  • Can I batch any activities to free me up for a few months? (Set 6 months of blog articles to drip out for example so the marketing continues while you shift your focus to another project).

  • Is there anything in my business that I could change to free up my time or make my life more streamlined? (Dropping an insurance panel, letting go of a contract that takes a lot of time, etc.)

  • Do I have processes and systems in place that make it easy for me to delegate tasks, oversee big projects, and move my focus away from my business without my income dropping?

These questions may seem easy on the surface. We know they aren’t. It is really easy to get mired down in the way that things have already been done. Before you move to creating a new business or income stream- make sure your current business process is truly running as efficiently as possible. If you don’t, it could easily keep you from ever getting a really great passive income project off the ground. OR, you could take the same inefficiencies that keep you busy in your business as is and replicate the same problems in a new area of your life.

One of the best pieces of advice that we can give you is to have an outside person really look at what is happening in your business. It is uncomfortable, it is vulnerable, but it is incredibly powerful. It doesn’t have to be a business coach, but it does need to be someone who understands your field, and that knows how to create something that is streamlined and that meets your needs.


Already ready to dig deeper into other income streams? Check out the free multiple streams of income for therapists training, or listen to stories from a panel of therapists who are thinking Beyond the Couch and making money beyond traditional 1:1 psychotherapy.

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!

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Thank you Mia for sharing your wisdom. 

Sh*t Therapists Say To Avoid Getting Sh*t Done: Part 1

A silly title... but a true and real issue. Today we are going to let you into the mind of amazing therapists, who are self-aware enough to let you know the ways they convince themselves NOT to do the things that they know in their heart they need to do to live a happy life and run a happy practice! 

What is with the cursing? 

Did you ever see that silly series of videos? Sh*t crossfitters say... Sh*t vegans say, etc? I have to admit- some of them were hilarious. My focus in writing near year end is really about inspiring each of you, and helping you uncover what is holding you back so you can feel inspired, focused, and make a great plan for next year! 

This title pops into my head. Oh goodness... I don't know if you've noticed it... but I don't use a lot of profanity in my writing... which is funny- because I have been known to use a well-placed curse word (or many). But, even writing out "kick a*s" I struggle with.... seriously... 

I went and shared the idea, and the title with a group of ah-mazing therapists from all over- and asked them what they tell themselves. I expected a few fun responses that I would pepper into my blog post. 

Something Amazing Happened

Before my eyes, people started to share. One person, then two, then three... They started to riff off each other's internal voices, validate one another, encourage one another, and inspire one another. And I watched as the act of sharing, putting a name to it, being validated, being heard, and so much more provided more connection. 

It is almost as if this act of being vulnerable with what keeps us stuck helps us get unstuck! Imagine that! So, next week I will share Part 2 where we delve into what to do with all of this. But this week, let's just name it. Let's share. I am going to start by sharing some of the amazing statements shared. Read over them and see if you see yourself in any of them: 

  • I've got a lot of time. I'll do it later.
  • Not even my mom reads my blogs
  • Watching a movie will really relax my mind and then the writing (blog) will flow...
  • Oh, that's really important. I don't have to write it down. I'll remember.
  • I suck at paperwork - therefore I do no paperwork!
  • I have no idea what I am doing!
  • I'm a single mom how can I do this AND take care of my kids?
  • Said using a silly voice I created that starts every word with slph "It's too hard because my menopausal bipolar brain doesn't work anymore."
  • No one is going to care what I do. So why keep doing it?
  • They don't pay me enough to do this sh$&! (Said while working at an agency)
  • Sh*t! insurance billing....
  • I'm introverted so I can't market effectively
  • "Dang, you need a therapist, oh wait, that's me!"
  • I need a nap.
  • "Have you thought about the ethics of that?"
  • "Damn, I'd hate to be my therapist!" 
  • About my writing: Nobody wants to read this sh*t!
  • Me - blog? No one will read the stupid shit I have to say!!!!
  • "I can't afford to take any time off".
  • This topic is too controversial to write about
  • Omg - biggest fear - I'll write about something controversial - and people will attack me!!!
  • "I need to stop writing things that are as opinionated and hits nerves or no one will ever send me clients"
  • I will update the FB business page first and then get to those notes after - marketing is time sensitive, I can always complete the notes later.
  • My memory is amazing...I will get to those notes
  • "I'm a foreigner, and I'm kinda of an acquired taste. I will not be successful because I'm different, and I will not connect with people." 
  • "Just one more puzzle!!" said the 9 therapist.
  • "I'll just research what's been written about my topic" - and off into the rabbit hole I go for the next three hours
  • I'm exhausted, I need to self care for the next 8 hours and not adult today
  • My blogging just seems like I'm writing out into "empty space" - it's just floating out in the ether. So no rush to get to it. (And then there's the opposite...I better write every day so I gain authority so people will start seeing my blog - but that's overwhelming, so nothing gets done there too.) 
  • I COULD do my notes and billing, or I could just finish this show on Netflix..... Netflix it is!
  • "Netflix is my self-care" hahaha... can be a total cop out excuse when more intentional self-care is needed
  • If I talk about one thing I am good at in my marketing, I will get pigeonholed and won't get any other clients
  • _____________ is unethical
  • I don't have time to... You just can't do THAT! 
  • I Don't Need to Make a Good Income Right Now... 
  • Nobody Cares What This Therapist Has to Say
  • If I really cared about my clients I would never... 
  • If I really cared about my clients I would always... 
  • I don't need to look at taxes, how can I owe taxes when I am not making enough money to survive? 
  • I could do the thing I am planning to do... but this new blog just came out that said I should do this fancy, new thing... I am not sure why- but I am in! 
  • Some chips, cookies, candy, ice cream mingle help me write my notes
  • When I get enough training in this area, I'll be ready to market it/create a program/make a product, etc.
  • I have to check my email first....

What about you? What script plays that stops you in your tracks? Do you connect with any above? Do you have one to share? Next week will do a deeper dive into some strategies... but sometimes just naming it and bringing it to the surface can be a strategy that works! 

Are you looking to dive deep with a small group of passionate therapists next year as part of your personal and professional development? Click here to get on the list and learn more about project: rebel retreat series and coaching program for therapists today. 

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!

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You might feel confused, scared, or just too overwhelmed to care because you need the work right now.

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