Want to grow your practice? You need to do this first.

Want to grow your practice? You need to do this first.

You have a checklist of things you need to get done to keep the engine of your practice humming along. You are so focused on getting that phone ringing because every time it does, it makes you feel a little bit more confident and secure that you know what you are doing.

Diana joined bootcamp after she had started her practice and had just left her full time job. She had one of those - “I have to make this work” kind of moments. She had some of her marketing in place, she had the website but she was overwhelmed.

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BSB Stories: An Invitation

BSB Stories: An Invitation

It's story time. But it isn't just a story about a person who wins all the time because that is called a fairy tale. We are talking real stories - where people fail, get confused, find their way, change direction, fight some battles and honestly embrace the whole of the journey while falling upward. 

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Integrating You into Private Practice : Interview with Renee, LMFT

I had met Renee online and just had an instant resonance with what she would share. She was kind enough to offer to meet for this interview where we talk about what it means to be out of the box as a therapist, how to integrate spirituality and be true to who you are while remaining ethical and impactful in your work.

Thank you Renee for sharing your wisdom. I am grateful. To learn from Renee or to book a consult with her - visit her site here. 

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Becoming a Therapist in Seattle, WA

We are excited to share another story of the journey to becoming a successful therapist in private practice. Dr. Jane Tornatore joins us from Seattle, WA to share why she decided to become a therapist, how long it took, and her journey to a full private practice. 

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Therapist Stories: The journey to consulting and training

Don't worry guys, our website isn't going to be all EMDR all the time! It was impossible not to be inspired at the conference, and not to jump at the chance to interview some awesome big-wigs from the #EMDR world! 

Meet Roy Kiessling, if you are already an EMDR veteran- you know who he is. He has a great story of how sometimes small and big decisions can be absolutely life changing. Listen to his story and be inspired! 

Roy Kiessling, LISW talking about his journey to becoming an EMDR therapists, consultant, and trainer. 

http://www.emdrconsulting.com/Inspired yet? We'd love to hear what your turning point was in your professional development? Was it an invite to Bangladesh? Was it a random leaf falling from a tree? Share a comment below! (Did you know that commenting on other people's blogs helps your website be more findable?) 

References: 

Check out www.emdria.org 

Check out training and consulting with Roy Kiessling Did you know you can sponsor a training in your area of the country? Chat with him about bringing EMDR to your area. 

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!

These 3 Words are KILLING Your Practice

Words are powerful. They carry thought, emotion, perspective, and beliefs. They are used to motivate, to tear down, to educate and to connect with others. Words are a major tool for therapists. We mirror, reframe and challenge the words of our clients. I think we can all agree that words matter. 

Words don't just matter in terms of communication with others, but also with the self. So as a business coach for therapists, I try to be aware of what languaging is limiting my clients from another perspective or influencing behaviors that hold them back from their vision.

I thought it would be fun to give you three words that I commonly hear from therapists (and have used myself) that hold a major impact on their business success.

  1. "Just" - This word is a weak link in whatever you are talking about, but especially when it is referring to YOU. In fact, many grammar experts and speaking coaches will say to cut it out completely. Think about when you hear someone say, "I'm just an intern." - "Just" here diminishes being an intern, as if being an intern isn't awesome?! "I am an intern." Factual and, in my opinion, more confident. When you use the word "just" you are saying that you are not completely worthy of what you are, you don't want to offend others, or you are uncomfortable with who you are. "Just" holds you back because in business it takes an amount of confidence, an awareness that you can't please everyone, and knowledge that your dreams matter and are important.

  2. "Nobody" - When marketing your practice, remember that you can't fit your entire zip code into your office. You aren't looking to serve everyone, and many of you are only able to serve 10 to 20 people in your entire city, county, state, and country. That's it. When you start to say "Nobody can afford that, will pay that, wants this or that," you have set up a core belief of limitation in your business. If "nobody" exists for your business, how are you going to find anybody at all? Why even bother having the business? The start of a business is founded upon researching your market, understanding the need and identifying the mere existence of the people you seek to serve. I wouldn't set up my hamburger joint in the middle of the Mojave Desert or on a commune full of vegetarians (unless I only sold black bean burgers); I would set up my restaurant where there is a need.

  3. "Can't" - This word is a bit controversial. There are literal facts in which "can't" is very real. Fact - I can't eat certain foods because I am allergic to them. That reality isn't going to change. However, many times I hear the word "can't" attached to choices and perceived limitations which are in actually self-imposed limitations. "Mamma, I can't do it." - is a common daily phrase in my home. When I know my daughter can do things, but she just hasn't realized she is capable, I am there to show her how. This is when coaching is so helpful, when we need to learn to decipher for ourselves what is a choice or what is out of our control. For example, "I can't afford to invest in my business." Is it that you "can't" or that you choose not to? "Can't" shuts the door to any possibility. Even if you didn't have two pennies to rub together, what if you said: "I will make a way to invest in my business." Just by this you are opening up your mind to look at options. Be honest with yourself. What is really going on with you? What is fact and what is fiction?

When you speak, when you write, when you think, hold an awareness of these words and their impact. Start eliminating the language that holds you back and you will find yourself being more creative, confident, solution-focused, and driven. Are there other words that you or others use that hold them back? Share below!

Love your Life and Your Practice,

Kelly

You Charge WHAT?

How do you determine your fee? - It's a question we get asked A LOT. And while, I can't tell you, your rate should be X, I can tell you how to determine your fee. So before you go creepin' on your peers' websites and looking at what others charge, I want to take you through a part of the process we have our own clients go through in our coaching program.  

  • Sit down and look at what you want for your life. Really dream. Imagine what life looks like in 5, 10, 20 years from now. Where are you living? Who is in your life? What does your day to day look like? Some people even do vision boards to really capture what they are pursuing. This is the most important research you can do in determining your fee.

  • Now, let's consider that dream and the lifestyle that goes with it. What do you think you need to make to get to that place. I'm not saying you are gonna be there tomorrow, but let's kinda explore the cost of living. My dream is much more affordable in Minnesota than in California, but alas, I plan to stay here. I know what my mortgage looks like and what it is like to live here. But for me, I know I plan to move and do some things in my life that require more income. Retirement, college savings, etc....Look at the big picture and let's draw and estimated amount of money that you will one day need.

  • You have your number, now it is time to crunch it. You want to make $200,000. Let's say your fee was $150. You estimate 1 client slot at 48 sessions per year - because you are going to get sick or want to take a vacation, so that means your average client slot is worth $7,200. That means you need about 28 clients per week to get to your $200,000. Of course that doesn't factor in client's missing appointments, but we are estimating right now. If you charged $100 per session - you are looking at 42 clients!!!

  • Go back to that vision...what kind of hours were you working? 20 hours per week...4 hours per day? or 3, 10 hour days? Now compare what you crunched in terms of numbers to hit your goal...is it feasible.

  • You have two options - increase your fee or diversify your income (that is a whole other blog). By diversify, I mean, find other ways of bringing in income besides having your butt in the chair. Ok, so let's say you see that you need your fee to be $200 an hour and you're thinking..."there is NO WAY I can charge that." Let's evaluate the limits you put on yourself. There are people that charge that amount and others that don't feel worthy of that. Heck, I don't charge that, but I am working on it :) You have to do a little bit of reflection and evaluate

    • What is your time worth to you?

    • What is your education and training worth to you?

    • What is your skill worth to you?

  • It is a lot harder, in my humble opinion, to start with low fees and increase them over time than to start at the fee that you really want to charge. WHY? Because you are going to have to work just as hard at getting a client at $60 a session as you will at $100 a session. After you play with the numbers, then you get to decide what you are comfortable with - while recognizing your WORTH. You will have to battle the demons of doubt and fear to claim what you really feel you are worthy of charging.

  • What about your sliding scale? Bottom line - no more than 20% of your business should be sliding and you need to crunch the numbers for what you can afford to do. Ironically, when you take care of yourself and are financially stable, you have more room for the sliding scale clients. If you start off with sliding you will find yourself stuck in a cycle of not having enough for yourself which will lead to more burn out.

Notice I didn't say anything about comparing yourself to other people or wondering what someone else would really pay for counseling. This is about you making your business work for your life and your dreams. Yes, there are more details to the process, but this is a good summary of how I have helped other therapists determine their fee and I hope it helps you to reconsider your options and really look at what you have been doing in your business. 

JUMP!!

I remember the feeling, "How am I going to do this?" Fears bubbling up - fears about bills, money, time, relationships - all because I wanted desperately needed a change in my life. I wanted to do something different. I didn't want to work for the man the woman for anyone, anymore. But how do you go from a cushy salary to working for yourself? Well...here is what I have learned still experience in my life.

 

  • You need support - If you have friends or family cheering you on, the road to independence is a lot easier. Especially if you have a life partner - if they don't support you, it will be difficult. I am fortunate. My husband has often believed in me more than I have believed in myself. So, the days I came home, tired and freaking out, he would remind me of what I was doing and why I was doing it. You need someone to talk you off the ledge and light a fire under you to get you going. For me, I also got a coach...who walked along side me and held me accountable.

  • You need a vision - Vision is grounding. It brings us back to our purpose and drive. Imagine the life you are wanting to create. Are you working 80 hours a week? Are you taking 3 months off in the summer to travel? Are you working from home? Having a sense of what you want will help you plan a business that works FOR YOU. (By the way, we all want different things. Don't compare. This is a journey of self discovery and what you want will change over time. Don't worry, so will your business.)

  • You need to know your value - What are you offering to the world? What makes you unique? This is what determines your business plan. You might know how to get a couple to communicate and have fun in the process. You might really be able to help trans gendered youth find their voice and feel comfortable in the world. You also might love teaching women how to take back their confidence and shine in any relationship. You don't "Just" do counseling. Anytime I hear "just" I hear devaluing. You are so much more than that.

  • You need a plan - A plan that includes a budget :) because investing in your business is key. It is true! When you invest iny our business you are going to see a greater return on your investment then if you sit in isolation trying to keep your head above water. You want a plan that has a targeted audience for your business, marketing strategies - both online and offline, and you need a schedule of implementation for you plan.

 

4 simple things to transition from the shackles of employment to self-employment. So easy right? No, it isn't. I am not going to say this has been easy. But it has been easier because of these things that I have done and learned over the years. People hear about our program - some are shocked, some think we are crazy and some are so thrilled they jump right in. We are part of their plan to getting to success. Gosh it feels good to keep people from repeating the same mistakes I made.

You are literally faced with a canyon that you can either jump or stay where you are. Where you are - well, you know this place. It is a road that is well worn and understood. What's on the other side of the canyon however - that is foreign territory. But there are some people over there. You can see them and each has their own unique place on the other side. Where you stand - it is crowded. Lot's of people are around you. How long do you want to hang out here, doing the same things with the same people? When are you going to be ready to make the jump?

Being different is challenging

bigstock-Be-Different-876174.jpg

Gonna be real with you for a minute. While it is fun to create a new way of doing practice, challenging others to do the same, and trying to start a revolution in your community...it is challenging. I want to be the first to admit. It would be easy to just go with the flow. However, I just can't. I can't sit by and let people be miserable in this field. Yes, I am scared too sometimes, but really, what many therapists are doing in their businesses isn't working. If it were, you wouldn't be reading this nor would I be writing this. And honestly, how can you be expected to know it all. You didn't go to school for this part. 

Marketing your practice takes guts. Every time you put your message out there, you open yourself up to criticism AND you open yourself up to be heard by the people that need you most. I remind myself of this constantly as I speak to many therapists across the country. Some really do NOT like what we are doing. Call it a scam or making false promises...whatever...and then some LOVE it. Some implement things after a webinar and feel a shift in their energy and how they approach their businesses.

Do I like that not everybody likes us? Um..no. I would like to keep the peace. But you can't transform your business by passive means. It takes hard work and a lot of effort. I could sit and fret about the ones that don't care for us, but then that would stop me from getting to the people that will take what we teach and become even more successful. This is the same for your practice. You can worry about the client that only came in once, or you can focus your energies on finding the clients that value your work and will keep coming back because of the change they experience with you. 

So yeah, this stuff is hard. The good news is, we are all in it together. You are not alone. Let us help you. Let others help you. Reach out, be vulnerable, and grow a practice that fits the life you want to live. 

It's all a BIG FAT LIE!

Don't give into the subliminal messages all around you. That's right. You are buying into a load of BAH-LONE-EE. Seriously. You go to school and get told how this field requires years and years of experience before you can "really" know what you are doing. And you believe it! Sure, in anything in life, you get better with time and experience. But you have life experience, you have a knowledge that the average human being on this planet does not have and needs from you!

Then you graduate - oh it doesn't stop there people! You become an intern and are told you have more learning to do, so you have to learn under someone for a few more years. (yeah, could have gone to medical school in this amount of time). You love your work though. I know that. But you sacrifice starting your own business under the premise that you are "just an intern." When in fact, as an intern, you could be amazingly successful while you are still learning and growing. And, chance are, if you are in a private practice internship, your supervisor is freaking out about their business as well or they aren't teaching you "that part" of the field. 

Then you get licensed. You thought you would be done with all that negative thinking right? But then your peers freak out and everyone talks about the economy and insurance panel problems and you think - "Um, I don't know what I am doing." Or "people aren't going to pay THAT for what I do." And once again, another lie forms. 

So let's get down to the truth of things.

You may not have been taught how to do business, however you are highly educated and talented. You can learn this stuff. You can't expect yourself to know everything all at once. But if you believe the lies you will allow for walls to block you from being successful. And by successful I don't just mean the cha-ching of the dollar machine. Success comes from being confident about your work, being able to convey your value to another human being, from recognizing the impact of your skills in the life of your client, and being able to shout from the mountain tops that you are freaking amazing. That creates the fun and passion in this business. FEAR does not breed success. It limits you! If you realize your value, you will invest in yourself. You will stretch yourself and overcome the stuff that binds you from moving forward. You are worth more than you are conveying to yourself and to the world. 

And honestly, this comes from my experience. I used to under charge. I used to be afraid. I thought I couldn't hack it. The list goes on and on. I am just saying - I totally GET IT. Seriously, it the mental gymnastics that I have to overcome sometimes is insane, but so worth it. Why? Because for the first time, I feel like I am living out  my purpose, I value myself and my time, my confidence is through the roof, I love the people I work with and I am having fun. Business is fun. (never thought I would say that in my lifetime)

So I wanna know - what are your lies and what are you going to do to SMASH them to bits and pieces? Do you want some help? We have a free webinar coming up and I think it has really helped people figure out what they want. And when you sign up, some of you will qualify and really want our free strategy session. Why do it for free? We only work with a select group of people in our coaching.

What is your joy?

I am so stoked and I am not even sure I can express it all right now. We took a risk, by industry standards, in creating our program. But in that risk, we get to give of ourselves to a group of motivated, talented therapists. Do you know what it is like to work with people like that? Let me see if I can describe.

Sure, they have fears. Sure, they are uncertain. But, they keep going. They ask questions. They put in the work and the time. And it motivates me to be even better. I am encouraged and their energy gives me strength to keep coming up with more ways of helping people. Am I perfect? Uh, heck no! Just ask my husband ;) but I will stand along side you and help you the best way I can. For example, in our weekly Q&A call today, I was reminded AGAIN how overwhelming it is for therapists when they want to build a website. Everyone has an opinion on what to use or who to hire. How do you choose? So, Miranda and I were chatting and we came up with a solution to help our group. We offered an awesome bonus with a ton of value. 

Why? I love giving. It is something I have always known and I honor within myself. We do this program, because we believe that therapists and healers can have a different kind of business. They can truly help more people, make more money, and add more joy in their life. I can't wait to see what the rest of the program brings. I give thanks every day for the opportunity to change someone's life, whether as a therapist or a business coach. To make even a small difference is so special.  2 weeks into this program and my heart could burst. This is my joy. What's yours?

How do you become a successful therapist?

What is Success?

Do you think just starting a website is going to make you a successful therapist or business person?

Well just building a website won't make you successful... but it might... 

We love helping therapists build websites. You can probably find someone cheap to "build a website" for you, but we provide something different. Our goal isn't to help you build a website- our goal is to help you build a profitable, successful helping business. 

What does a successful helping business mean exactly? 

  • it turns a profit that allows you to live your life

  • it creates joy and balance in your life

  • it makes change in the world

  • it is something you love to go to

  • it provides for your retirement

But just "making a website" won't create  a successful business!

Why? Because a website is an extension or entry point to your business. And, if you haven't created or defined a business model that works- no amount of websites, marketing, or networking is going to help

We include business coaching in every website we touch. Why? Because otherwise- what is the point?

None of our clients went to business school, our licensing exams don't really talk about the logistics of how to keep the doors open. 

And ultimately, we want your website to be successful, so your business can make sense! 

The website design process is really difficult for therapists because it brings to the forefront issues such as: 

  • what am I really great at?

  • how do I talk about what I do?

  • what is my business plan?

  • defining clients in turns of financial revenue (yikes!)

  • what exactly is my business goal?

  • what is my operating and marketing budget?

  • how do I plan get return on my investment?

Yes, I said "return on my investment!" Spending even $50 on a website that doesn't bring you a client is a waste of time, money, and energy. 

Spending $50,000 on a website (FYI: that is usually too much unless you have some monster of an idea), that brings you $500,000 a year ongoing is a GREAT return on investment. 

Part of becoming a successful therapist is understanding the business end of therapy. Why? Because it serves a purpose- it allows you to make a great living doing something you love! 

Will you be joining us for our upcoming webinar where we will be talking more about how to be successful and avoid burnout? Let us know below- and be sure to save your spot!