Private Practice Blog
Should I Start A Private Practice: Risks, Rewards & Realities of Private Practice.
By Gennifer Morley MA LPC
Should you start your own private practice?
On paper, anyone can start a private practice in counseling, physical therapy, or any helping profession. Private practices have the ability to level up our income if they succeed and to change how your life feels.
For some people building a private practice makes them less happy, and that is for one of two reasons:
- The reality of the job isn’t actually a good fit for their personality
- They didn’t build it skillfully and in accordance with what they know and need.
Let’s get ahead of these two reasons for failure and help you avoid these pitfalls before you start.
The Reality of the Job
Private Practice is a dramatic endeavor. The highs are high and the lows are low. What I mean by this is that the good parts are far better than the good parts of most jobs working for someone else. That the same time, the lows are much more stressful or painful than working for someone else.
So ask yourself; do you have the faith and the resilience to weather the hard times? Hard times may look like a much slower start than you hoped, financial slumps, or the pain of mastering a new business. It could also look like worrying more because there is so much more uncertainty in your income in the beginning. One thing that people don’t think of is the sheer number of hours that you have to put in at the beginning to get the business itself set up. Marketing, accounting, and legal stuff. Most folks do some level of bootstrap and coaching. But, even with a great coach, you will likely need to want this with a passion that can fuel the late nights and off-hours that build you a business without paying someone to do it.
Let me tell you a quick story about my own progress in private practice.
I spent years doing what I now know was fiddling with the idea of success in my private practice. It was not until I was nearly crushed by the strains of becoming a mom that I learned an entirely new level of my own strength. I knew how to fight for what I wanted because having a newborn had demanded that I keep going even when I was sick or exhausted, and even when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore. It made me stronger, waaaay stronger. The loss that came with motherhood also made me VERY clear about what I was not willing to give, what I was willing to work for, and what I would straight-up fight for. I learned not to give up and the magic that comes from that.
Working with folks building their private practices I have found the folks who know how to keep going through the uncertainty and straight-up hard work do the best. Do you think you can not give up even the weeks or months that it doesn’t feel fun? The thing is, the hard times aren’t the majority. The beginning is a lot of computer work and writing. A lot of writing. Writing a ton of website content and writing blogs. It is a lot of logistics so a good TO DO list or better a project management app. The hard part really is the uncertainty and the wait.
Getting it Right From the Start
So this brings us to the second thing that goes wrong. You bust butt, you don’t give up but you don’t know what you’re doing so your business model stinks or your marketing is non-existent or you are not professional with clients and do things like don’t charge for missed sessions. Or maybe you messed up your bookkeeping or taxes and have financial struggles you can’t come back from. I could go on and on. Basically, you just didn’t know better.
This is where I suggest you hire a business coach. You don’t have to but you will have to find someone to get all the information you need researching and then determine what of the hoards you found it best for you. Honestly, I’m happy to see people give that a go, and my experience is that if you have way more time than money and a natural bend for business and marketing it may be the best for you.
Hear me out here.
The first thing you will need to be thinking of for your private practice is not the cool name you’re going to give it. It is Return On Investment: ROI for nearly all your choices. The investment is both time and money in all cases.
Hiring a coach for 3-6 months can be a huge game-changer. They can help you get your private practice started the ‘right way’ from the beginning, expedite acquiring clients, and help you skip a bunch of wasted time because you are totally unskilled in building a private practice. It’s not an insult. Being honest with yourself is essential as a business owner.
Yes, I’m a business coach. I am not trying to sell you here. Go find another coach, really I just want you to skip the mess I was in for years before I hired coaches. If you really want a private practice and can even put the $5-10K it will cost on a credit card your ROI should easily be 3:1 and probably more like 10:1.
If you fully do it yourself, it is likely to take a while. Depending on your market, if you are cash pay or take insurance and how much effort you put into getting clients, plan for it to take 1-5 years to have a thriving practice.
So what do you think?
Do you have the unrelenting passion and grit to do so much to get it going? To weather the uncertainty and to deliver for yourself what you really want rather than what you think you could get?
If this is a yes, I would highly recommend finding yourself a business coach when you’re ready. If the answer is yes, you were probably made for this and it will haunt you until you bring it to life.
A woman sits across from a man and woman gesturing with their hands. This could represent a therapist meeting with clients after private practice coaching. Contact a private practice consultant to learn more about how to grow your private practice today. I look forward to seeing you build wealth, well-being, and community.
I hope this strikes a cord or it moves you to your first steps.
We all need you to follow your calling.
Begin Private Practice Business Coaching in Colorado and Across the United States
Finding support for the business aspect of your private practice can offer a variety of benefits to you and the clients that benefit from your mental health support. A therapist in Aspen, CO would be happy to offer coaching support across Colorado and the United States. To start your coaching experience, please follow these simple steps:
Other Services Offered at North Boulder Counseling in Colorado
Depression treatment isn’t the only service our Boulder, CO counseling practice offers. Our team also offers anxiety treatment, postpartum anxiety treatment, postpartum depression counseling, perinatal support, young adult counseling, counseling for women, counseling for men, parenting coaching, grief counseling, trauma treatment and EMDR, depression treatment, teen therapy, LGTBQ counseling, online therapy, and play therapy.