There are many tasks and projects that come with building your private practice. Let’s face it, once you start seeing clients, a lot of those projects end up in the “deal with it one-day” pile. But what if one-day is now? What if some of those items are crucial to your success down the road.
Many of us wing it when we start. We get the office, network our tushes off, and build a decent website for ourselves. Let’s say the calls do come in. Oh! Now it’s time to write up your informed consents and policies. So you reach out to friends and colleagues to get an idea of the basics.
Your caseload is building but then you notice you have some no-shows, or you get behind on your notes and billing. Marketing? What’s that? You don’t have time for it now that you are getting clients in. Then there was a snowstorm and as the weather alerts pop up on your screen, you go to an online forum to ask people what to do with your cancellations because they are less than 24 hours and you feel bad charging.
This puts you in a reactive state of building your practice. We all know what happens to the brain when we are programmed to constantly be on alert for the next fire to put out. It’s exhausting.
So why not this year get sturdy? Feel confident? Slow down and actually enjoy this whole thing?
Here are some practical reasons why you need to seize this year as the year you get it together.
- Tired just doesn’t feel good in the long run. You want to be the best therapist with your first client as you are with your last client and for that, you need a plan with getting your notes, pacing your sessions and really understanding what you need as a clinician to have confidence throughout the day.
- Your clients will love it. We all do better when we are clear about the boundaries of our relationships and our client relationships are no different. It puts us at ease when we know what to expect. When you are clear, then your clients can be at ease because they trust you to follow through and be there in the ways you say you will be there.
- The new tax plan is changing things. If you don’t understand your finances in business it comes to bite you later at tax time. Meet with your accountant and understand how much you need to put aside. I just did and it’s a completely different number than last year. Talk about what different entities mean in terms of liability and tax benefits. You could be saving money! More money in your pocket this year…who doesn’t love that?!
- You deserve to respect yourself. Stop tying your hands behind your back. Free them up, dig in, get messy…it’s work, but it’s also rewarding to run a private practice. You will build your confidence, discover new things about yourself and gain mastery in new areas. All you have to do is start.