Today I want to talk about some of the mistakes I see when people start off in their private practice. And let me preface this by saying: I’ve made these mistakes too!
Oftentimes we need a catalyst for change. We need to be so uncomfortable in our current situation that we can’t help but take action. I know my breaking point was when I had a 45-minute commute to a job that I worked 40 hours a week at and “productivity” discussions were on repeat. My caseload was filled with the types of client that made me feel tired and burnt out, and I had no control in how many more were given to me every week. My physical and emotional health were suffering, and my unhappiness started to spill over into my personal life.
I’d like to say I spent the next year building my practice and carefully mapping out a business model that would ensure my success. Nope! I applied for and accepted the first job I was offered closer to home and reached out to a colleague to see if she had available space for rent. I bumbled my way through paneling with insurance companies and taught myself how to bill claims, drawing solely on my experience working in a dentist office during grad school. I remember sitting for hours on my couch calling the insurance companies trying to figure out where to go and what to do. Not well thought out to say the least.
Having a plan can make a world of difference when starting your practice. Many times I work with clinicians who are quick to join a group practice because it seems so “easy”, but don’t quite understand enough about the dynamics to ensure it is the right fit for them. Anxiety can cause us to make rash decisions fast, and this can make opening our practices much harder down the road.
Another common block for people starting in their practice is the belief that they “shouldn’t” charge “a lot” for their services. Now, “a lot” can be subjective based on your income needs. However, what I do know is that you are worth EVERY penny a client spends on their services with you. YOU bring value to the table. All the years of education and continued training you do combined with your unique way of doing things means you have a lot to offer your clients! How you emotionally feel about accepting money for your services will directly impact your ability to make the kind of money you want.
And finally, one of the biggest mistakes I see people making is believing that because “everyone else” is doing it one way, they must follow that way too. This method is a surefire way to create more of the same burnout you experience in an agency. The whole point in becoming an entrepreneur is so you can make the rules! Now obviously this doesn’t mean that you throw practical business advice out the window. But it does mean you should trust yourself more. Educate yourself, network, talk to others, but ultimately lasting success will come from following your heart. Only you know what lights you up. Only you know how many hours you can work before you are overwhelmed. Only you know how much money you need to sustain your lifestyle.
The beauty of this digital course is that it will provide you with the missing pieces. You already have the skill and ability to help others. Now all you need is the practical business know-how.