Hey fabulous health professionals,
I’ve been pondering this idea lately: whose advice is worth listening to and why when it comes to your practice? It’s not hard to find a person with an opinion, but which ones count? Which ones will make the difference?
I’ll be exploring this question indepth in the a free webinar this week (save your spot here) but today I wanted to give you a taste of my own journey in private practice, and who has sat on my personal “board of advisors” along the way.
Whoops, there it is!
I kind of fell into private practice. It was the thing I decided I wanted to do while I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life after 10+ years of being a Rehabilitation Counsellor (and thoroughly burnt out while doing it).
Little did I know then that being in private practice was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I got a taste of what it meant to do the work I loved to do, the way I loved to do it, and I fell into a groove where the referrals become consistent enough that I knew could really make my business into a thing. A real thing.
But I knew that I couldn’t do it alone.
I’ve never pretended that I can do “private practice” alone – and I don’t think we should have to. Part of this sense of having to go it alone comes from the stigma we attach to really (I mean really, wholeheartedly) investing in ourselves and our business. I had to do a lot of work to shake the idea that I wasn’t morally bankrupt for wanting to be ….. (gasp) successful in private practice instead of living just above the poverty line.
I was still very attached to the idea of being a sole trader, a business of one, a technician, an expert – all while being trapped working inside my business, and selling my time for money – until I was introduced to this concept of entrepreneurship and coaching through an intensive 12 month program. This course was a huge investment but the mindshift that it created for me was profound.
Coaching aside, the concept behind this program was powerful:
I was introduced to the idea that I didn’t need to be a “technician” working inside my business to make a good income, but rather, through developing a strategy and levering my skills (plus not being afraid to delegate and prioritise so that I could work on my business), I could find the freedom, fulfillment and flexibility I was looking for.
This was my first taste of entrepreneurship and it still influences how I run my private practice today.
Over the past (nearly 10) years that I’ve been in private practice, I’ve been involved in various group and one-on-one coaching and mentoring. I’ve learned about sales and marketing, I’ve travelled to 5 and 10 day immersive retreats where I’ve learned more about myself than I thought I ever would (and made some friends for life in the process) and I’ve done the hard work to figure out who I am, who I serve and why it all matters.
And I know that my practice Purple Co would not be what it is today if I had been too afraid to invest in myself and my business. Not every mentoring or coaching relationship I’ve had has been perfect, but in each experience, I have learned something profound about myself that created a huge shift in how I approach my work.
I’ve received a lot of bad advice as well. Sometimes business coaches and mentors don’t understand the nuances of marketing and selling your services as a health professional. I’ve received many a blank stare from so-called experts who didn’t understand that using client testimonials in my industry was unethical and, yeah, illegal. And that’s just the tip of iceberg.
Then there were the people in my life (let’s call them the peanut gallery) who decided that despite never having owned a business or worked in my profession, that they knew a thing or two about how I should run my business (we all have those monkeys in our lives, don’t we?)
There is a pattern appearing here that I really want to nail home for you:
in every relationship I’ve had, I’ve taken something from it that I used to create and mould a strategy based on one person: me.
I think there is something very dangerous about taking the words of others as gospel and relying on a single voice (qualified or unqualified) to guide what you do to grow your practice. And on the other hand, what tends to happen when we let in too many voices is that the most important voice gets drowned out: our own.
So I encourage you to do the hard work it takes to get clear on who you are.
And get clear on how you’re getting in your own way.
Get clear on what it is makes you so unique and talented and what the gift is that you have to offer this world. And use that to guide your strategy. Use that to decide which voices you let in.
When you work from a place of knowing yourself, you can build a strategy that is right for you. And only you. You might need some help to uncover it, but the really important stuff…
the stuff that is going to help you create a thriving practice….
The stuff that is the key to you finding freedom, flexibility and fulfillment….
well, you already have it all.
Here’s to your success,
Oh and…. there’s still time to join me on the free webinar this week. Let’s talk about the realities of being in private practice for the long haul and what to expect after you’ve passed the newbie state. Save your seat here.