Years ago, daydreaming in a graduate class I charted out the financial possibilities of owning my own private practice. I dreamt of being my own boss, having financially independence, and doing things my way. Then, one day, the dream came true.
Long nights at the office, endless paperwork, and hours on the phone with insurance companies became my reality. There was little time for my family, much less myself. I often questioned why I ever decided to be in private practice. The dream seemed to be dying a slow death. It appeared that only one of us could survive-either me or the dream. I chose me.
Let me tell you a secret few people know about me. I found a fellow therapist who had been in practice much longer than I had. I bought him lunch at his favorite restaurant and began asking questions and listening to the answers. He began asking me questions and then having me answer and listen to myself. We met for lunch each Friday for a couple of years. We remained close friends for many years-until his death. I survived. And my practice survived. Well, it didn’t just survive, it thrived. And so can yours.
Here are a handful of the Friday lunch with David gems I walked away with:
- Your voice mail message must be genuine and truly in the voice of your personality. It must be genuine.
- Your website must teach people who you are deep in your heart.
- You must clarify your values and vision and share these with potential clients.
- You must be your very best self-growing and learning constantly.
- You must give every client hope, and sometimes homework.
Over the years I had many meals with David and heard story after story about private practice. I watched him live out these principles and many, many more. When he retired, he literally gave me his practice. Yes, he handed his practice over to me. In many ways I felt honored. But I also felt a strong sense of responsibility to help other therapists the way David helped me. I chose to carry on his legacy. I have a vision to help therapists learn to find joy in their practice. And, to share that joy with their clients. Over the years I have mentored many, many therapists. Some much smarter and wiser than myself. But they were struggling with the challenges of the business of private practice, just as I had.
Let’s evaluate your practice from the ground up. Let’s discuss your dreams, your goals, and clarify your vision. Let’s make your practice, your business, your life better. Together we will slay the challenging giants that stand in your way. I want to be your David. Would you like some help? David would say, “The answer to that question is always, yes!”