Are You Ready to Go Beyond the Practice?

Uncategorized Apr 10, 2020

As therapists, many of us are considering going beyond the practice. So what does it mean to go beyond the practice? And how do I know if I am ready to go beyond the practice?

In this episode, we explore the questions you need to ask yourself to determine if going beyond the practice is the right next step for you. 

 

  • Do you have a defined niche? Do you know who you help and how you help them? 
  • Do you have a steady, reliable income to support your plan of going beyond the practice?
  • Is your practice streamlined and efficient? Do you have good, solid, workflows, and processes in place?
  • Do you have the time to invest in going beyond the practice?

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TRANSCRIPT:

As therapists and many of us are interested in building our brand beyond the practice, and you may have asked yourself, how do I know when I'm ready to move my brand and go beyond the practice? Today's episode is all about the four questions that you need to ask yourself to really explore if going beyond the practice is the right next step for you.

Thank you so much for joining us for today's episode. Today we are asking the question, are you ready to go beyond the practice? This is a question that comes up for so many therapists I work with, as most of you know, I do a lot of practice consulting with therapists on building their practices, maximizing efficiency and profitability in their practices, and really designing a practice that they love.

And so often, I work with therapists who really have a big vision. And I think this is so common for us as therapists, is common for us as entrepreneurs that we want to have a greater impact. We want to help more people. We want to do more things. And so we started looking at things like that digital course we want to create or that membership site that we want to create, or maybe even moving into doing some retreats as a complement to our practice services that we offer, or some in-person live classes or courses that we want to offer, in addition to our therapy services.

And so we start having this big vision of how everything can fit together. And here's the struggle. And guys, I get it, and the struggle is real for me to really be able to rein that in, focus on one thing, and doing that well. Really excelling at it before you move on to something else. And this is something I still struggle with myself from day-to-day. Because there's so many things, there's so many ideas that I want to put into motion and I love the work that I do and I want to do more of it. And I want to do better. And I think so many of us fall into that trap without really polishing what we have going on right now. And so that's what we're really focusing in on today with the question, are you ready to go beyond the practice? So when I explore this, both for myself and with therapists that I am consulting with, the first question is pertaining to their practice, because most of these therapists are looking at expanding beyond their therapy practice. And that is, do you have a defined niche? Do you know really clearly who you help and how you help them?

And is that really clear in the work that you do? Are you able to be clear with your clients on who you help and how you help them? And the reason is questioned first is because I give so much clarity to all the other pieces of your practice. Really that is a foundational question for having a really clear and efficient, successful practice. So many times when therapists want to go beyond the practice, they're wanting to create something that's related to their niche that's related to the therapy work that they do. If you're really clear on your niche and really clear on how to help those clients get past all the blocks that they have. It's going to make your next step going beyond the practice way easier, because when we do therapy very well with a specific type of client and we are crystal clear on the struggles that they face, their internal struggles, the emotions that go with that the day to day challenges that they have, we are already five to 10 steps ahead, as far as creating the marketing for that service, whether it's the online course, the retreats, whatever it may be. So ideally, your idea that you have aligns with or complements your niche in your private practice. It doesn't have to, it could be something completely different.

But you're way ahead, you're leaps ahead, if it's something that's already related to your private practice niche, and you're super clear on all of the struggles, challenges, and successes of that type of client. So that's number one. The first question, do you have a clearly defined niche in your private practice? The second question is, do you have a reliable income? Now, this isn't to say that you've reached your target income or your ideal income or you know that you have a large income, but do you have enough income that you're able to support and sustain your financial needs and or the financial needs of your family. If you have a family that depends on your income, it needs to be a steady, reliable income so that you're not wondering how you're going to pay the bills. 

So back to that entrepreneurial mentality that so many of us have, especially as therapists, helping professionals that we want to help more people, we want to have a greater impact. So sometimes we can get ahead of ourselves in this. And the struggle is that when things get challenging when things get hard, there's a tendency, a human nature, tendency to want to move on to something else. And again, I do this all the time, and I'm getting much, much better at catching myself and really pushing through that when things get difficult when things get messy, you've got And keep going. Because what happens too often is I have therapy saying, well, while I'm building my practice, while I'm trying to get more clients, I want to start doing an online course. I want to start offering retreats because that can help me supplement my income while I'm trying to get more clients and that's not the way to go. That's splitting your focus. It's splitting your energy. And it's not ideal. 

You want to go all-in on building that practice and creating a sustainable, steady, reliable income from that practice. It may not be an ideal income and that's okay. But it's something that is livable because you can expect a decrease in revenue as you make the shift from your therapy practice to whatever that next thing is. If it's a big thing, I'm not talking about adding a small new service into your practice. But if it's a big shift, like a digital course, an online membership site, if it's moving away from one to one services, you can expect a decrease in your revenue. And you need to anticipate that and plan for it so that you aren't then coming from a place of panic as far as trying to make ends meet and get things off the ground. It's not doing anybody any favors. It's not doing your clients any favors yourself or your family, right. That's just something that we want to completely avoid. So the second question is, is you have a reliable, sustainable income from your practice. The third question is to look at your practice and say, is my practice streamlined and efficient? So do you have good solid workflows and processes in place? Your practice should be running efficiently and stressless. So you should have clear workflows for different types of clients for different types of work. Whether you do groups or individual services, things should be automated to the maximum extent possible. Hopefully, you are delegating some tasks to get some assistance in your practice. You've got clear workflows for scheduling screenings or console for discharges for managing your caseload, for scheduling, all of that is efficient and seamless.

And that needs to be there because as you're putting your focus on something else that needs to be on autopilot. You don't need to be worrying about is this done and manually doing everything. If it's possible to automate and systematize that then it already should be because it takes something off your plate so that you can focus on this next big thing that you want to complete that you want to put all of your time and energy in.

And the fourth major question to ask yourself, as far as are you ready to go beyond the practice is to ask about your time, your most precious resource is your time. And so if your practice is currently monopolizing all of your time, and part of the reason for wanting to create this additional service is to get back more time, but you're seeing 30 clients a week, which I think is way too much for pretty much every clinician out there. But that's, that's beside the point. But if you feel like you're already pressed for time, then you're not ready. You need to go back and look at how many clients you have. Are there ways that you can streamline some things can you maybe increase your fees so that you can reduce your client caseload a little bit so that you have the time and effort energy to focus on the next thing you want to do?

Are there things that you can automate or delegate to help free up some more time. But creating a whole new thing is going to be the focus of your time and energy. And it's going to have a pretty significant learning curve that goes with it. And you can't let your practice which is your primary income or your clients suffer. So the idea is to get everything flowing as smoothly, confidently and efficiently as possible so that you can give your time and energy to the new project that you're pursuing. 

Now, each of these four items that we just walked through are, of course, assuming that you are currently in private practice and you're wanting to create something that goes beyond the practice and additional program or service. Now sometimes I work with therapists they decide that the right thing for them is to make the shift temporarily out of practice, or to a very part-time practice and take maybe side contract work, or even potentially a full-time job while they focus on getting this other thing off the ground. And oftentimes that comes from a place of therapists that are so frustrated, so exhausted and so burnt out that did they don't feel like they are doing good work in private practice anymore. So they don't feel like they're doing their client's service. They don't feel like they're doing themselves and their families a service by staying in private practice at that point.

And so if that's you, and that's the right decision for you right now, at this stage in point in your life, then great, go get that you know, nine to five job temporarily while you get this other thing off the ground. Or maybe you keep just a couple of clients and you go get, you know, a significant amount of contract work. It just requires you to show up and be clinically present, and not worry about all of the administrative aspects and getting all those workflows in place and everything like that, because it's a lot of work, right. And so again, these four items, really assume that you are looking to maximize your practice before you move on to something else. But there's other ways to do it. If you want to go beyond the practice, there's other ways to make it work. But if you're looking to expand alongside your practice and move into something else, in addition to maybe scaling back your practice, these are the four big questions that you really need to examine.

So I'll leave you with the question. Are you ready to go beyond to the practice, and if you're not which one of these areas do you really need to focus your time and energy on right now that will get you closer to be ready to go beyond the practice. Now, if you're not there just yet, and you're committed to getting there, I encourage you to go to our website, the link is in the show notes and signup for our waitlist for our program that's coming up called practice with confidence. And practice with confidence is all about streamlining your practice and creating a very successful, profitable, and efficient practice that is aligned with your values and your vision. And so that program is going to be launching soon and it's going to take you step by step through every piece of that puzzle. And when you're done and once you've implemented all practice with confidence, you will be ready to go beyond the practice. So once again, if you're interested in learning more about that program, feel free to sign up for our waitlist so that you'll be the first to know once everything is up and ready for signups. Thank you so much for joining us today. Bye all.

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