When Life Happens - Pregnancy Loss

When Life Happens - Pregnancy Loss

Today's topic is a heavy one, but a common one. 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in loss and chances are you know someone who has gone through this or you have experienced it yourself. We invited Dr. Kris, a psychologist and owner of Limestone Clinic to share her experience of going through multiple losses while in her practice.

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Advocacy in Private Practice with guest Benjamin, PsyD

Advocacy in Private Practice with guest Benjamin, PsyD

I reached out to Ben because I needed to learn about what it means to be an advocate in our field. Sure, I advocate for our businesses to grow because that means more people get help and more therapists stay in the field in which they are gifted. 

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Quiz: Should I Go Paperless? (Updated)

Quiz: Should I Go Paperless? (Updated)

Here is a quiz to find out if going paperless might be the right decision for you: Are you a therapist, counselor, or psychologist trying to wade through all of the options for going paperless? Here is a quiz to find out if going paperless might be the right decision for you: 

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You are invited to the book club for Irvin D. Yalom's new book

You are invited to the book club for Irvin D. Yalom's new book

To be successful in private practice long-term, you need to strive to be an amazing therapist, No, you don't have to be perfect, but you need to want to be exemplary. I had the honor of reading a pre-release copy of Irvin D. Yalom's new book Creatures of a Day

Wow. 

This book is hands down the most clinically dense book I've ever read. The storytelling format is so incredibly reach, and really speaks to the feeling of what happens in psychotherapy. Yalom shared in our interview with him that each of these stories is meant to teach psychotherapists and psychiatrists alike powerful clinical lessons. 

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How to not be salesy, slimy, or talk about money in your business...

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Derek Halpern started Social Triggers and teaches all kinds of business owners how to blog. He shared this image in his most recent newsletter. Dan Pink, a bestselling author, did a survey of what people think when they think of sales- and this is what came  up. The bigger the word, the more often it was said in the survey. Are you surprised? I'm not. 

When I started my business 7 years ago, I thought the same thing. I did not start a sales business, I started a healing business. However, I quickly learned that I had to talk about money if I wanted to have a successful business. And guess what, I had to make sales if I wanted to have clients. Of course, I didn't call it sales. I called it "get clients." 

Is there a difference between selling your services and getting clients? 

No. Guess what, you don't have to be slimy or a jerk. But, if you want to know how to never talk about sales or money, you are going to have to close down your business. A business is how you make your living... in other words how you pay for food, shelter, and health care- with money. 

Work for a non-profit and feel like there are no sales? Ask the person who is doing grant applications whether there are sales involved. 

Ok... so does selling have to be slimy or salesy? No. 

What are the top 5 ways you can be slimy sales person in business? 

  1. Be dishonest

  2. Rope people in for things that you don't believe they need

  3. Rope people in for things that you don't believe can help

  4. Be unethical

  5. Be manipulative

Let's break these done and show you how you may be inadvertently doing this in your day to day business- even though you are trying to avoid being salesy and slimy!

Clinical Vignette: A client calls you reporting that they are really depressed, they know it is impacting their marriage, and they report problems at work as well. They report they need to get started right away. You go over fees and scheduling. When they report they can only come in twice a month because of their time and their finances. You get them scheduled for sessions every other week, but feel a bit bummed because you feel strongly after the phone consultation that they would really benefit from weekly sessions. However, you tell yourself that some therapy is better than nothing, and you really resonate with the financial struggle. You don't have a lot of extra money either.

You feel a bit anxious during the first session as they unfold everything that is happening- it is worse than they let on during the phone call. You go over your 50 minute session time by about 20 minutes attempting to make sure the client is stable enough to make it through the next two weeks. You offer to meet in a week, but when the client brings up finances- you don't push the subject. You would normally just offer to slide down farther in their weekly sessions- but you have realized that you can't keep lowering your normal fee and made a pact with yourself to not take more than 20% sliding scale in your practice- and you are already at 30%.

Are there any issues here? Have you inadvertently become a "slimy salesperson?"

Let's unpack the vignette. Over the phone you felt strongly that they needed weekly sessions. Did you go over the risks and benefits of weekly vs every other week sessions clearly? If not, you may have just "sold them what they didn't need."

If you believe clinically they need weekly sessions- isn't it your clinical responsiblity to share that with them clearly? Is it unethical to take them on in therapy in a mode or frequency of treatment that you don't think is recommended? Would you better off referring the client out to someone who they could afford to see weekly? 

Were you really honest with the client about the value of therapy? This person is looking at possibly losing their job or relationship. That costs much more than any therapist I have ever met. Did you have that conversation to ensure the client was really weighing the risks and benefits of investing in therapy at the level that they needed? 

Did you schedule him in for something that you didn't believe could help? Ok... so maybe you felt like "something is better than nothing..." But, is that what services with you should be like? Or should working with you be transformative? Should you ensure that each person who walks through the doors of your business is set-up for success? 

Did you manipulate that client into paying for services that aren't likely to get the client the outcome they need, in the timeframe they need it? Was that a waste of money? And what about going over session? How does it feel to your next client when you come out feeling a bit spent? 

I know you. I know you are an amazing person! Why? Because only awesome people are allowed to read this blog. If you aren't awesome, I'm not sure why you are here. You can run along now and play somewhere else! 

If some (or all) of this is feeling familiar- it is ok! It is awesome that you are noticing that and feeling it- that is what allows you to make change! 

You never have to be a pushy salesperson, but you do need to find your inner voice to be able to talk about money issues and ensure that people get what they are really looking for when they call you- deep transformation! 

Building a Life, Business, and Practice of Integrity

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We all have core values. Things that we build our life, and our businesses around. But, what happens when things get out of whack? No, I am not talking about you letting an addiction take over, or doing something obviously illegal or unethical. 

I am talking about those smaller decisions that can lead you away from a place of integrity. What is integrity? One definition that resonates for me is the the idea of being "whole and undivided." Are you whole? Are you undivided? Or, have you built your life or business in such a way that you are starting to feel torn, weighed down, squashed...? 

As therapists, psychologistics, counselors... there are so many different names and descriptions of healers across the world... we are big on teaching integrity. But, today, are you living it? Here is a quick quiz for you to take: 

Am I living a life and running a healing practice with integrity? 

  1. Do you get adequate sleep 90% of the time?

  2. Do you care for your body and keep it in great physical and emotional health?

  3. Have you identified a limit of how many clients you can be excellent with, and held to that standard?

  4. Do you recommend the treatment you think best for your client, regardless of the financial cost or time committment?

  5. Do you communicate boundaries on the way you work best so your clients can get the best return on their investment?

  6. Do you consult at least twice a month with uplifting, supportive people?

  7. Are you truly living out and working towards your deeper purpose in the world without being scared or putting it off until later?

  8. Is your posted and stated fee actually the fee that 75% or more of your private pay clients pay?

  9. Do you run a business that creates income for vacation days, sick days, retirement, and high level trainings that keep you inspired?

  10. Are you giving back to your community out of bounty, making sure that you and your family are taken care of concurrently?

Every yes answer gets you closer to living a practice of integrity! This is not a pass/fail exam- this is part of our continued work on the planet- to move closer to a life of wholeness with a clear undivided purpose. 

Challenge: Go to our Facebook Post or LinkedIn Post and share what you are going to do differently based on today's post. Or, share something you would add to the quiz that is important for you to develop a healing practice with integrity. 

Let's Get Creative

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"You need a website! You need a brochure! Don't forget business cards! Get on Psychology Today!"

You have a great message and know how to help people, but how do they find you? I am sure some of the above ideas, you have heard before. Heck! I probably told you one or two of those. But let's get real for a minute...Marketing doesn't work without a plan or a purpose. So how do you figure out what you need?

Uh oh...back to that planning thing again Kelly? Yep! I know. Am I repeating myself...maybe, but this important stuff. So this is how I approach marketing planning with any of my clients.

  • What tools and services do you offer? How do you help people heal? What do you know and love?

    • Answering these questions demonstrates your value. You gotta know what you are about and what you have to give to the world. It takes bravery but if you care about the people that need you, you will dig deep and find your value.

    • Who benefits from your tools and services? Who are you meant to help?

      • Getting clear on that ideal client is so important. That process never ends and constantly gets renewed in the course of your business. You just get more and more clear as you work on this. But once you identify who you want to work wtih...then you can determine where to find them.

      • Where are these people at? Are they online? Are they in the community?

        • Ok, I will be honest. I am a big fan of online marketing. Why? Well, it works AND it reaches people that I can't reach by pounding the pavement. It extends my support across the world and that is beautiful. But the online world has its challenges. You gotta put your message where the people you want to work with will find it. For everyone that is different. Some people - google ads has really worked and for others it is LinkedIn, and let us not forget about facebook :) This sometimes takes some coaching plus trial and error to find the sweet spots in your marketing placement.

Once you got an idea of the answers to those questions, then you can get creative with what you do to get more people in the door or purchasing your eBook or online course. And this is the fun part for me as a coach. Sure, the idea is to find more clients...but the ways in which to do that are so vast. Newsletters, webinars, social media plans, websites, face to face networking, speaking engagements...oh the list goes on and on. And none of those things alone is a good idea. You have to have purpose remember? So if you do a speaking engagement, get emails, follow up, offer the next step in working with you. If you do a newsletter, give them options to engage in your services. 

There is no magic wand. There is no absolute one perfect way to market your practice. But there is hard work and dedication. There is a unique path for you. If you feel stagnate...your marketing is gonna be stagnate. This is why coaching is so helpful for people. It reignites their passion and gives them laser focus and purpose in their marketing strategies. If you want help, be sure to get on the list for free practice building trainings and articles delivered weekly! 

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?

Therapists Need Websites

We have all heard it "If you are in private practice- you need a great website!" The truth of the matter is, 70% of small business owners do NOT have websites (I think that number is higher with therapists). And, when I talk to therapists with websites, half of them LOVE it- and the other half are stuck with websites that they can't update, nobody can find, and that aren't bringing them any business! 

If you are a therapist looking to have an effective website to build or maintain your private practice, here are your basic options: 

1. Hire a designer to build a html or flash website.

These websites could cost you anywhere from $200-$10,000. These websites are often difficult to update, they don't contain a blog function, and it doesn't answer the questions you have: What pages should I have? What do I write on each page? How do I develop a clear vision for my practice? How do I convey what I do in writing to clients? 

2. Purchase a service like TherapySites.

With content pre-written for therapists and fancy little moving pictures, it may seem like a no-brainer! $60 a month isn't much to spend for a professional website that will bring you clients! The problem is the content pre-made in TherapySites could actually keep you from being on the first page of Google. It could make it HARDER for clients to find you, because it isn't unique. It also doesn't give the option of having a blog. You can have a separate blog that links like another page. But, that means you are actually learning how to use, design, and maintain TWO websites. For most therapists, taking care of one website is a chore- it doesn't make sense to have to do TWO! All of a sudden, your $60 isn't going that far! 

3. Check out the fabulous WordPress.

Some of you have seen that WordPress isn't my favorite thing. At the end of the day, WordPress is a great product- I am just not convinced it is fabulous for most therapists. However, if you are a techie/geekie therapist I think you will LOVE wordpress. It is a low-cost option and gives you lots of options and cool add-ons to wade through. You have many templates to choose from, as well as the option for custom design. 

4. Check out a Wordpress upgrade like Squarespace.

There are many Wordpress-like services out there that start with what works about Wordpress and then upgrade so you get the best of both worlds. Squarespace integrates cool add-ons, does not require any techie expertise (or desire), and editing your site- it looks just like your site. You can see a video of what it looks like to edit a Squarespace site here

If you are ready to finally build your therapy website, check out our Therapy Website in 30 days program. It is a video training developed especially for therapists who have NO or limited website experience. We love working with people who have fears or anxities about technology to break down the process of writing and putting together a website into small blocks of work that won't overwhelm you. 

You can schedule an hour a day at home, at the office, in your slacks, or in your pajamas with a cup of loose leaf tea (I found the most amazing caffeine-free tea the other day-yum!). 

This program is only $300 and it is more than just a how-to in formatting a website- it is made especially for therapists and helps you process through all the questions that you have to answer as you build your website! The ongoing cost for your new website would normally be just $13-22 depending on your needs. However, for the month of June, Squarespace has given us a fabulous coupon code that gives you 30% off of your website purchase! Woohoo! Check out the ZynnyLoves page for the link and the coupon code! 

Click here to signup for this fabulous video website building program today. We have a 14 day money back guarantee-if you don't love it, aren't inspired, and don't see it coming together- we will give you your money back! 

Never Say Never

When I started a private practice, I was working a full time job. I was at the end of my rope, reviewing charts all day and never doing any clinical work. I decided, "This is it. Either I am going to stick with my field or I quit." So before I ran off to sign another school loan for some other profession, I knew I had to give it my all and see if I was really meant to do this.
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