Starting a Private Practice as a Mom: Part 1 Should I?

I started my private practice with a baby at home. My son was born in January of 2007. In April of 2007, I was all set to return to my “safe” county job on a part-time basis. We had done the daycare tests, it was Sunday, and my first day back was Tuesday. And then, I literally got a clear message from my higher power that I was “supposed to quit my job.” (Ask me about it sometime- one of the craziest things that has ever happened to me). So, on Monday morning, I quit my job. 

I Had No Plan

 Truth is, I had no plan. I didn’t have months of income saved up, I didn’t have loads of vacation time coming (I had used it all during my maternity leave). All I had was a clear message that this was what was supposed to happen. I had a part-time job teaching for University of Phoenix, and thankfully, our monthly expenses were pretty low. We lived in a little 2 bedroom Craftsmen house in a simple neighborhood and hadn’t yet purchased our first home. 

Private Practice Didn’t Occur To Me

Around the time I quit my job, I friend referred me to teach at the local junior college, so it gave me even more of a “buffer” financially. My husband had a decent job and it included some benefits. But, truth be told, my job at the county had paid more than his job, and included 100% paid for benefits for our entire family. I honestly didn’t even consider private practice initially. 

I Started Selling Tupperware

It is HILARIOUS to me looking back on it. I went to a Tupperware party throw by sister-in-law who was getting into it- and her “up-line” said it would help her. So, I jumped in and started doing that. My first real experience with running a business. The gal who got me started taught me how to run the numbers, how to market the business, etc. It was hilarious to introduce myself as someone who had a Master’s degree in Psychology but who was selling Tupperware so I could be home with my son. 

Moms Group

Being home with my son for the most part gave me the opportunity to do things like attend a Mom’s group. It was an amazing experience that included lots of art, journaling, and self-reflection. Again, I received another clear message. I was supposed to start a private practice. Except, I had no idea how to do it. 

In part 2, I will give more of the story of how I started a private practice with a nursing infant at home. However, the biggest lesson for me in this process was to trust. Trust myself. Trust my higher power. Trust my deep knowing of what was meant to be. Starting a private practice isn’t what everyone is meant to do. You have to know somewhere down deep that this is what you are meant to do. That there is a deep purpose for you doing this- otherwise- it is a whole lot of work starting a counseling practice from scratch! 

Homework: So here is your homework. Do you know? Do you know down deep. Spend a solid 32 minutes just free journaling. Ask yourself if you have a deep knowing that you are supposed to be doing private practice. And then, go from there. When your brain argues the point, write that down, and then respond to that. Just let it go… for a FULL 32 minutes. 

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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!