Are you thinking about starting a private practice? What are some of the mistakes that people make when building a practice? What can you do to avoid making these mistakes?
In this podcast episode, Whitney speaks to Katie Lemieux about her business, “The Private Practice Startup”, and the six mistakes people make when building a practice.
Meet Katie Lemieux
The Private Practice Startup is co-owned by Kate Campbell, Ph.D., LMFT, and Katie Lemieux, LMFT. They’re two therapists with entrepreneurial spirits who are crazy about business, branding, and marketing. They live, work, and play in South Florida.
They both built their 6-Figure private practices in less than 2 years from the ground up and inspire other ambitious mental health professionals to brand themselves, grow their dream private practices, and live into their dream lifestyles. They have a hunger for business, branding, and marketing.
They love helping private practitioners work with the clients they love, profit more in business, and create the freedom to truly enjoy a lifestyle business.
In This Podcast
- Katie’s journey to starting a private practice and moving into consulting
- How Kate & Katie met
- Don’t Make These 6 Mistakes When Building a Practice
Katie’s journey to starting a private practice and moving into consulting
I was afraid of business. I didn’t have any business knowledge. I was really freaked out by it. But they kept encouraging me and you know, my other half encouraged me as well.
Katie worked in community mental health for 9 years, building up her leadership and management skills. She was pushed by her peers to take the leap into private practice. Through her experience in getting her private practice started, she realized that there weren’t many tools available to help people with their startups. People were curious as to how she and Kate were able to reach six-figure practices in less than two years, which resulted in some consulting, one-on-one coaching, and the podcast.
How Kate & Katie met
They were in licensure supervision together in the mid -2000s and were paired up together. They both opted to do the double MFT approved Supervision of Supervision, which was another nine months together. Their supervisor wanted to resurrect The Broad Association of Marriage and Family Therapists board so Kate jumped into the president role, and Katie became the vice president. This is where they realized how well they worked together so they started The Private Practice Startup as a local training company to provide the supervision course, and then it snowballed from there.
Don’t Make These 6 Mistakes When Building a Practice
1. Don’t go at it alone
You’re not just the therapist anymore, you’re now the business owner. This comes with a whole new set of skills that you might not have. Don’t waste your time, energy, and money trying to figure it all out the hard way. Get help from someone who has done it all before. Get support. Get a coach or consultant.
2. Don’t be everything to everybody
Get clear and niche-based. Have your ideal clients, who you do your best work with. You become the expert which is what clients want to see. If your business is clear, you’re able to communicate your clear vision and what your business is about. As Donald Miller says, “When you confuse you lose,” and so if you’re not clear in your communication, on what it is that you do, who it is you serve, and your vision, then you confuse others and they don’t know exactly what it is that you do. How do you distinguish yourself from others?
Businesses evolve, you don’t have to stick with a certain niche or ideal client. That’s the beauty of business, you can always reinvent yourself.
3. Don’t jump into practice without a plan
We’re either going to pay with our time, or money, or both. And we really have to look realistically that it does take time to create a business. And so really planning for that as well.
4. Don’t let the dirty “F” word, FEAR, get in the way
Don’t let the world miss out on the opportunity of being served by you because you’re too scared. Business is 80% mindset and 20% strategy so that fear will, naturally, come up. Fear is normal and it is part of being in business, just don’t let it stop you.
5. Don’t listen to friends and family who have never owned a business
You wouldn’t listen to advice from someone else who hasn’t been there or done that. Sometimes because we’re close to our friends and family, we let them in our heads but if they’re not business owners, they don’t really know. Hire a coach and mentor, really go to the source of the people who have the experience.
6. Don’t give up too soon – business is a marathon, not a sprint
Things are going to happen, it’s going to be up and down. It’s not a straight line of growth, it’s very much like the stock market. But realizing that it’s more of a marathon, it’s an opportunity to grow, it’s a self-reflection and you know, it’s not going to happen, you’re not going to have overnight success. That’s rarely ever the case in much of anything.
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Meet Whitney Owens
Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.
Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.
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Welcome to the Faith and Practice podcast. I’m your host, Whitney Owens, recording live from Savannah, Georgia. The purpose of this podcast is to help you start, grow, and scale a private practice with a faith-based perspective.
In today’s episode, I interviewed Katie from The Private Practice Startup. She also has a co-leader or a co-owner with her, Kate Campbell, and they are wonderful duo. Kate was actually on maternity leave at the time of the recording so I have Katie on the podcast. And what I love about being a podcaster is all the great people I get to meet and relationships I get to form. And I’ve really enjoyed getting to talk to Katie. I was also on their podcast, which should be going live probably before this one goes live. But, I also enjoyed getting to hang out with them. And they have a great dynamic, and they have a really good passion about the work that they do with consultees, and you can just really see that they have a passion for helping people build their private practices.
So, in the episode though, she talks about some of the pitfalls and mistakes we make at the very beginning of building our practices. So I’m guessing some of you are out there listening to this thinking about starting a practice or maybe you just have so I think this episode is going to help you prevent really prevent you from making some of those mistakes. As I think back on my time, starting my practice, boy, there’s a lot of mistakes. I mean, it’s all hindsight, right? Some of the things I really wish that I had invested in early on because I think if I had I would have gotten a really good return on my investment. The first one is website development and good SEO. When I started and I was bootstrapping it, I made my own website, I did a WordPress website. And it was okay, I got some calls, and people said it was good. But, boy, when I looked at that, compared to other people’s I was thinking, “Gosh, I don’t know if this is really up to par,” but at least it got my contact information out there. So, getting a website, even if you make it yourself, at least you’re getting it out there. But if you can invest in something like someone to make your website, just go ahead and do it, because it will make a big difference. And SEO, I didn’t really invest in my search engine optimization or having somebody do that on my website until I was about three years in. And once I did that, my practice tripled easily in call volume. And I really wish I’d done that earlier because I probably could have filled my practice a lot faster with a lot less marketing work, if I had invested in that. So, that was one of the mistakes I think I made and now I’m learning from that and I am investing in my SEO on a regular basis. The other big mistake I made at the beginning, and I fixed this through can my own consulting when someone said to me “Oh, you don’t need to be doing that,” was the billing I was doing. Because I was doing paper charting, I didn’t have an EHR, I wasn’t saving credit cards. It was a mess trying to get payment I was using square. And I could only get the payment if they were in the office. And then for working with college students, I was having to send receipts out to parents when they were at home and get those receipts. Just keeping track of those and then getting checks in the mail back from parents, it was just a real mess. And so, I switched my system, I changed all my paperwork, I started saving credit cards. Not only was it easier for me to not keep up with all those payments, it was easier on those that were paying. It also allowed me to start doing a 24 hour cancellation policy, even though I had that before, it’s a lot harder to get that payment when you don’t have that card saved. So, once I started getting the call saved, it really drastically decreased the no show rate. I would say for a first appointment, my no show rate maybe was 10/20%. And then once we did this, my no show rate went down to like 2%. Hardly ever will somebody just not show up without calling, because they got that card on file, and now they know they have to. So that was one of the other big mistakes, I wish I had saved those cards on the front end and had a better financial policy with my clients because I think I lost a lot of money and a lot of time because of that. But anyway, so Cal Katie here, sorry, Katie’s gonna go through some great tips on how do you keep those bad things from happening in your practice and how do you maximize the good stuff. So, I was really excited to interview her so let’s go ahead and jump into the episode.[WHITNEY]: This is the Faith in Practice podcast and today I have Katie Lemieux on the show. The Private Practice Startup is co-owned by Kate Campbell and Katie Lemieux. They’re two therapists with an entrepreneurial spirit, and they’re crazy about business branding and marketing. They live, work, and play in South Florida. They both built their six figure private practices in less than two years from the ground up and inspire other ambitious mental health professionals to brand themselves, grow their dream practice, and live into their dream lifestyle. They have a hunger for business, branding, and marketing. They love helping private practitioners work with the clients they love, profit more in business, and create the freedom to truly enjoy a lifestyle. Thanks to Kate, Katie is a wine snob in the making. Katie is an avid Pitbull lover and has two of her own. She loves to travel, new and fun adventures, reading, the ID channel, Halloween, sparkles, taking pictures, random silly things, family time, and taking time to just be. For some reason, she also seems to be getting into unicorns lately. Who knew? Kate and Katie are the creators of the Private Practice Marketing E-course and Coaching and they provide free podcasts and customizable attorney-approved private practice paperwork for therapists. Good to have you on the show Katie. [KATIE]: Thanks for having me. It’s funny, I forgot that I put that in my bio about the unicorns, but yes, I have been falling in love with unicorns lately. Not sure what’s up with that but, who knows? [WHITNEY]: Yeah, unicorns are really popular. I have a seven year old and so we just did her birthday party over the weekend and it was a ‘Unicorn Gymnastics Party.’ So, she is really into that. [KATIE]: That was fun, too bad we don’t live closer I would have come by. [WHITNEY]: That’s right. When I was reading your bio earlier, what is the ID Channel? [KATIE]: Oh. You know, it’s and I put that in there recently, but I love TLC and ID so ID is investigation, and discovery, and it’s all about like murder cases. And, I was thinking to myself, like, I never really like to talk about that because that sounds morbid. But then I was like, “Well, if there’s a whole channel dedicated to this, other people are interested in it too.” And I know there’s a whole bunch of podcasts and things like that. So, I don’t know, it just interests me. [WHITNEY]: Well, I love that you put stuff in your bio that’s not just about you as a practice owner or as a business consultant, like you’ve got a lot more to you than that, and too many of us in business are. We just kind of get so involved and then we forget about all the fun things that we enjoy. [KATIE]: Exactly, and that it is really a reminder to me because I definitely can be that business owner as well. So it’s a reminder for me. [WHITNEY]: Yeah, well, glad to have you on the show. I know we’re sad that Kate’s not with us, but do you want to share a little bit about where she’s at? [KATIE]: Yeah, so Kate welcomed a new little man in her life into the world in December, Mr. Jackson Ireland Campbell came to be on December 17th. So Kate is just slowly integrating back to working back in The Private Practice Startup after she had been on two months of maternity leave. So, I’m excited to have my business partner back and of course we keep on moving and that’s why I’m here today. And, you know, you guys will hear me often talk about we and us and you’re like, but who? So, I’m often referencing the both of us. [WHITNEY]: Yeah, well, great. Well sad to not have her but boy, it’s so wonderful to have a little one. And that maternity leave I just have such good memories thinking about maternity leave. So yay. Yeah. So can you share a little bit about your kind of your journey, how you started your practice? And then how did you get from private practice to consulting work? Good question. [KATIE]: So my private practice journey started back, I believe, if I remember correctly now in 2010. And, you know, I had worked in community mental health since 2001, and actually held a lot of management and leadership positions and I kind of got my license, it took me six years to get my license, because I did a lot of per diem work, like on nights and weekends and things like that. And, you know, I had really grown as a leader. Like, I started out as a micromanager because a lot of times, in most organizations (unless it’s a corporate organization), as a leader or manager, you get promoted because you’re a great worker and great worker doesn’t really equal leadership skills. So, I actually really took it upon myself and, you know, looked at my own journey personally, and really grew into a really great leader. And I so enjoyed working in teams and programs and really focused on, you know, I have a belief about businesses that when you take care of your people, your people will take care of your clients or customers and the clients and customers will take care of the business. And so I really looked at that aspect and worked heavily on really creating great connections with my team and supporting them and things inside and outside the office. There was a lot of authenticity and things like that. And it came to a point that they said to me, you’re too good to be here, you should go on a private practice. Now, I thought I was gonna live and die in community mental health, which like sounds so sad to say now, but I was afraid of business. I didn’t have any business knowledge. I was really freaked out by it. But they kept encouraging me and you know, my other half encouraged me as well. And I started kind of like thinking about that and, for me, I started doing you know, the part time private practice, the full time work and balancing that and trying to figure it out. And at the time there were really no practice building, like practice builders. There was no podcast, there was no nothing. I mean, Casey Truffaut was on the scene, and she was doing some videos, but that was about it. There wasn’t much. There are a few books out, I think. And eventually, I decided to make the leap, and I was scared as heck but I did it and really just kind of had to learn the hard way about a lot of things. And eventually I got it right and was able to reach a six figure practice within less than two years. And naturally, people were kind of curious as how I did that, as well as how Kate did that. And that started some consulting and kind of one-on-one coaching. And then really the private practice from there was born because we had a lot of interest in people like wondering how we did that. And we created the podcast for some valuable information and really to support people and I guess the rest is history. [WHITNEY]: That’s awesome. How did you and Kate meet? [KATIE]: Kate and I actually met in licensure supervision in, I believe in 2004, maybe, maybe 2006. I can’t remember the exact year. So, we were in licensure supervision together, and we were paired up together. So we would often, you know, have our supervision together. And then neither Kate nor myself wanted to give up our supervisor. And so we both actually did the double MFT approved supervision of supervision, which was another whole nine month thing. And then our supervisor, as we say, twisted our arm playing the victim, twisted our arm and said, you know, I really like for the Broad Association of Marriage and Family Therapists board to be resurrected. So Kate jumped into the president role, and I actually became the vice president. And that’s where we realized how well we had worked together. And then we actually started The Private Practice Startup as a local training company to provide the supervision course, and then it kind of snowballed from there. [WHITNEY]: When there’s something good people follow right, I mean, you started something and then it kept growing right? Even your practice, and then the consulting and what a beautiful friendship you described. [KATIE]: Oh, you know, I know Kate’s not here, but she already knows how much, I’m gonna get, like, choked up, I’m getting a little emotional today, how much I like love and adore her. And I mean, I couldn’t ask for a better business partner, right? It’s a blessing really, she’s a blessing. Our business partnership is a blessing. Like, people don’t realize like what it takes to really have a great business partnership, because it’s like a marriage. You’re in there in the day, you know, days in days out. You’re in each other’s personal stuff, because life happens and we’ve been through a lot of like personal things in the last few years. And, you know, there’s been personal tears and but we always have each other’s back and are really supportive of each other. And, you know, we have our moments, but we’re committed to each other just like you would be in a marriage. So I’m so grateful for her. [WHITNEY]: It is so like a marriage. My mom is a business owner and that was the first thing she said to me when I was thinking about going into business and I was potentially considering a business partner at the time. And that was the first thing she said was, “Do you think you could like basically be married to this person because that’s what it’s gonna be like.” And I was like, “Oh goodness.” We ended up not doing it together actually in the long run. But it was the best advice and I’m always going back to that. [KATIE]: I love that you share that. I think one of the things, that was an advantage to Kate and I, was because we had these several years of getting to know each other, you know, without any pressure of being a business owner. And then we were put in a position, through the Broad Association for Marriage and Family Therapist, for a two year position, where that’s where we started to learn, like, “Hey, we could work well together”. And you’re right, Whitney, it is a legal relationship. And one of the best business advice that I ever got from one of my attorney friends, I have many very lucky me, was she said to us, “you know, you have to think about your business partnership. You need to look at it from when it dissolves and how it dissolves. So you guys need to have that discussion and what does that look like?” And we had a very open discussion about that. And I think that’s great. And I think, you know, it kind of reminds me of, you know, when people get married, it’s all emotional and exciting, but you know, not that we want to get divorced, but sometimes that happens, and what would it be like if we talked about “what does that look like?” You know, I think when we can plan and talk and have those open conversations, you know, it’s easier. So, that was a really great piece of business advice that I was given by an attorney. [WHITNEY]: That’s great. We already given great advice, and we haven’t even gotten into the chips yet. [KATIE]: Awesome! [WHITNEY]: Yeah, all right. So, Katie’s got “Six Mistakes When You Build a Private Practice”. So, let’s go ahead and get into that. The first one here, you say is “Don’t do it alone”. [KATIE]: Don’t do it. Don’t go it alone. So, one of the things that I think a lot of times, you know, newer therapists, or even people like in business, you know, because this is not just for therapist is that, you know, one of the things is, you’re not just the therapist anymore, you’re a business owner, and being a business owner is a completely different set of skills. Now, Kate and I always talk about how therapists really make great marketers because, the reality is, is we have so many amazing skills that position us perfectly for being a great marketer. But when you, you know, jump into private practice, like you’re coming into a business and then you have to wear many different hats. And, you know, there’s so many people who’ve gone before you that are successful. Personally, I wouldn’t want to waste my time, money and energy trying to figure it out all the hard way. You know, that’s definitely something I’ve learned, I know that I’ve stepped in at time and time again. But, you know, I would rather hire someone to coach me through a process and really get support. Whether that’s mentorship, coaching, you know, being invested in a community, or maybe you even you know, you start out in a group practice so you can begin to learn the ropes. When you’re trying to figure it out on your own, it’s really, really tough, and you make a lot of mistakes and costly mistakes, and there’s a lot of frustration. I think I remember probably for the first year and a half, I probably wanted to quit, like every day, numerous times a day. You know, I would say in my mind, like, “That’s it, I’m done, going back to community mental health, I don’t care. This is too hard.” So it was really tough and I think a lot of times when you do have a good supportive community, or your coach, you have someone there to help you through those times, and really adjust the mindset issues in the blocks that happen, and also kind of normalize things for you. You know, most businesses create, it takes about one to two years to like create a solid business foundation and then to evolve from that. What Kate and I have been able to do is actually fast track people into that because we give them all the tips, the tools, and the things that they need to do. You know what I mean? So I know for me, it took a long time, I had to go back to part time work. So you know, there’s a lot of stuff in creating a business and you’re trying to give a great service as a therapist, but there’s all these other hats you have to wear. And so, understanding how they kind of mesh and mold together is really important. [WHITNEY]: That’s all such good advice, Katie. I actually got a consultant, my, let’s see, right when I started going from solo to group practice, I thought, “Oh my gosh, there’s no way I’m going to know how to do all this.” And having someone to walk me through that process and having a community to do that with made the world of difference, and the practice, I mean, exploded once I actually had somebody kind of guiding me in how to do it. [KATIE]: Yeah, and you know, one of the things, Whitney, that I found out about, like, business is, a lot of what I think, like, business sometimes seems very counterintuitive, right? A lot of like, what I’ve thought about business, it’s like the opposite, right? You know, and the idea of like, you know, slowing down to speed up, and when we slow down, and we work on our business, and we hire consultants, and we really work on the business, like you said it, your business exploded, right? And that’s like, like, truly a possibility. And it’s interesting how you talk about the transition from solopreneur to groupreneur because, group practice owner, is because one of the things that’s a new skill is all the leadership stuff, right? And so, if you don’t have that skill yet, that’s one thing. You’re hiring people, you’re working with different personalities, and how do you work within a team? So that’s a whole new set of skills, and then each level of growth, looking for a coach or consultant is really important to really level up in the way that we want to, so I love that you share that as well. [WHITNEY]: Yeah, yes. So your second one here is “Don’t be everything to everybody.” [KATIE]: Yeah, again, I, you know, I share these mistakes because I’ve made all of them myself, right? And one of the things again, not really having any guidance and not having a lot of practice builders out there to know how to be guided, is I went into practice and I was a generalist, you know. I did individual family and couples counseling, I worked with addictions, and trauma, and young children. And it’s exhausting, because number one, you really want to tap into what your own passion is, you know, what lights you up, because the reality is, like, we talked about your being a business owner and a therapist, and you really want to work with the clients that you absolutely love and adore that feed you and your soul as well. And, when you get more clear and niche based and have your ideal clients, you do your best work, you become the expert, and that’s really what clients want to see. And overall your business is clear, right? And that’s such an important thing to be able to communicate, is your clear vision and what your business is about. I love the quote by Donald Miller, Kate and I are big followers, He says, “when you confuse you lose”, and so if you’re not clear in your communication, on what it is you do, who it is you serve, you know, your vision, then you confuse others and they don’t know what it is you exactly do, you know, I always say, “If you go to a networking event, there are many realtors and CPAs, and therapists, like how do we distinguish ourselves from others?” Well, that’s becoming clear on who we serve, and who we’re most called to serve. [WHITNEY]: Yeah, that was one of my favorite things about starting a group was, I didn’t feel like I had to see everybody, you know, someone could call and I could give them to a therapist that’s more experienced and whatever it is that they’re bringing into the room. And then I can see more of the people I’m really good at seeing and you’re right, it totally brought me way more energy when I was kind of letting go with the clients that I wasn’t as experienced working with. [KATIE]: Totally, I remember when I because I had grown up, I always say grown up, in this industry, in the mental health industry, and working with children and families and I had worked with younger kids and teens. And I remember the day that I realized like, I cannot work with young children anymore. I have this eight year old, I said some really abstract concept and the eight year old looked at me and she’s like cocked her head and she said, “huh?”. And I was like, yeah, no, can’t work with young children anymore. This is not my jam. And it’s okay. And I think that’s another business thing is sometimes your business will evolve. You know, you don’t always have to be married to this one niche or this ideal client. And you know, that’s the beauty of business, you can always reinvent yourself. And that’s cool, too. [WHITNEY]: Yeah, so the third mistake is “Don’t jump into practice without a plan.” [KATIE]: Ah, yes, you know, it’s funny. I recently went to lunch with a friend who’s looking to get into real estate, my spouse is into real estate. And, you know, if I could go back my big three things would be have a plan, niche down and hire a coach. If I were to go into any new business at this point, that’s totally what I would do. One of the things I remember when I went into business and I finally let go of the full time job, I didn’t really have a plan. I had been seeing some clients, I had about 8 to 10 clients I had worked with Childnet, so it’s kind of like DCF here in Broward County, Florida. And so I had gotten some clients from there. I had also been working with teens at that point, got some private clients that had went to private school. So my, my business has always been private pay, so those were the places that I went to. But I didn’t have a plan in the sense of I didn’t save for, you know, monies for the business. I didn’t save for a marketing budget, like, I had no plan. And I remember when I did let go of my full time job, it was the end of November, so right during the holidays, now, holidays now are usually busy because people are spending time with their family and I get a lot of referrals in, but, you know, kind of being new into business. Like, it was like crickets, and I remember going from a steady paycheck to, I don’t know, $500 a week, and I literally Whitney, couldn’t breathe for six weeks. I was like so like afraid and I remember I had this recliner and I just sat in the recliner and I attempted to create my website and the website pages which, at that time, copywriting took me like two weeks to create one page. I went from that academic writing to trying to figure out how to do this with no direction. And you know, I was really scared. I did go back to work and I worked part time while I built my business then. But, you know, one of the things that we don’t do a lot of times is we don’t really look at the numbers, we don’t really look at what it would look like to, you know, okay, if I want to make this amount of income or only work these amount of days or only see these types of clients, you know, what is that going to look like? And also, one of the things too is, we have to spend money on marketing, right? We’re either going to pay with our time, or money or both. And we really have to look realistically that it does take time to create a business. And so really planning for that as well. [WHITNEY]: Now, that’s great. Well, you’re kind of leading into number four here. “Don’t let the dirty ‘F’ word get in the way.” [KATIE]: Yeah, and that dirty “F” word is FEAR. I had to say that I’m like, “Oh, this is a faith-based podcast. I’m gonna say that, we’re gonna mix things up a little bit.” [WHITNEY]: It’s okay. [KATIE]: So, it is fear, right. And it is really about that mindset. And this is where we go back to talking about the community, right, because the community can help you and the reality like I keep saying is, it takes some time to create a business and if you get stuck and paralyzed in fear and quit, and truly quit. You know, my view is that the world misses the opportunity to be served by you. And therapists, you know, most of us don’t wake up and want to be a therapist because there’s lots of money or whatever. Most of us are called to this field. And you know, when Kate and I think about our commitment, you know, to help therapists succeed in private practice, the commitment to me is more about if I don’t help this therapist is one therapist succeed, will they then shift and get out of the profession and go do something else? Not that they’re not that they’re called to serve somewhere else, but I kind of think like, Oh my gosh, if you have these beautiful skills and talents, where you can help someone, and we didn’t do our job to really help you stay in practice, then you know, the world loses out on you. And so that’s kind of really what pushes us and pushes me to like, really help therapists here and really, like talk about that in a lot of stuff, you know, like as therapists, that we talked about is mindset and business is the same thing. You know, I hear quotes all the time in different places that, you know, business is like 80% mindset and 20% strategy. So that fear will come up, it’s natural. It’s also natural to, even if you know business, like you talked about creating a group practice, is anytime we level up in certain places fear can come in, or it can show up as Imposter Syndrome, or many other things. So, being able to reach out to the community that you’re in and saying, “Hey, this is what’s going on”. Or, you know, “I’m considering, you know, I really want to charge my full fee, but I’m willing to cut it just to get clients in the door.” “What do I do, I’m scared.” It’s really important just to connect and be authentic. [WHITNEY]: It so is, and it helps you know that you’re not crazy, right? It normalizes your fear. And I love that you said that fear is normal, like fear is a part of being a business owner. And if you don’t have any fear, I’m afraid for you. Right? [KATIE]: Right. And maybe you’re not really you’re not pushing the boundaries and you’re not growing at a level that you can really grow at if you’re taking it super simple and easy. You know, maybe there’s some life circumstances at the time, that’s fine, but, you know, really to kind of be there and put yourself out there. Like one of the things that I love about business Whitney, as I just call it, this mirror, right? And it’s this mirror of growth where I get to be fully responsible for all the rewards and consequences. Yeah, I get to create all of the solutions too and I just think that’s so cool. So, when things are not working, is I always kind of look at what’s going on over here? You know, and it’s an opportunity to change and grow. I love that it’s you know that, I see it as that reciprocal relationship. [WHITNEY]: Yeah, well, number five here is “Don’t listen to friends and family who have never owned a business.” [KATIE]: Friends and family, ugh, they’re so amazing and so great and sometimes so supportive. But, I hear time and time again, that mom will say, “Well, I don’t think you should do that.” Or a friend will say, “Well, that’s silly. You know, you’re not going to succeed at that.” You know, you wouldn’t listen to advice from someone else who hasn’t been there, hasn’t done that. You know what I mean? And so I think sometimes because we’re so close to our friends and family, yet they’re not business owners, and they don’t really know. And this is why again, go always back to number one is don’t do it alone, right? Really hire a coach and mentor. So you can you can thank your family for sharing or say, “I appreciate that,” but really go to the sources of the people who have the experience. So don’t let them get in your head. And I think sometimes that works on the fears. [WHITNEY]: Mm hmm. Very good point. Of course, my mom is a business owner so she’s always telling me what to do in business. But you know, she usually has good advice. [KATIE]: Fair enough, fair enough. So like I said, anyone who has a business. [WHITNEY]: Yes, that’s right, that’s right. Alright. Number six here is “Don’t give up too soon. Business is a marathon, not a sprint.” [KATIE]: Yeah. You know, a lot of times I think we have false expectations and hopes of what it would be like. I remember, here’s my naive thinking. And I would say this to people. I said, Well, you know, being a therapist is not like owning a restaurant like you don’t have to have like a restaurant with inventory, and spend all this money and whatnot, I would say, “Oh, I just you know, I use my mouth for speaking I need a pen, I need paperwork, you know, a chair, like that’s not too expensive.” But the reality is, is I didn’t learn, I didn’t know anything about marketing and what it takes to sustain a business and all of the other costs around the business. And so sometimes we want to give up too easily. And really, business is a marathon, it’s not a sprint. It’s not, people are successful and they can come straight out the door in 90 days, and again, I think this is because they have coaching or mentorship, can come out the gate 90 days following a plan and be really successful and sustain. But of course, things are going to happen, it’s going to be up and down. It’s not a straight line of growth, it’s very much like the stock market. But realizing that it’s more of a marathon, it’s an opportunity to grow, it’s a self-reflection and you know, it’s not going to happen, you’re not going to have overnight success. That’s rarely ever the case in much of anything. I remember, I think, I don’t know if it was Picasso. There was this quote or something like that from Picasso or this situation where this person had come up and Picasso was drawing like something on a napkin and someone said, “Oh, that’s amazing how much?” and you know, it was like thousands and thousands of dollars. And the person said, “But it only took you five minutes.” And Picasso said something to the effect that “Yeah, that five minutes took me 15 years.” So, the reality is and that, you know, Whitney, before we hit record, I know that you were doing the intro and you said, “I gotta get better at intros.” It’s practice, right? It’s practice being a business owner. It’s not doing it well. It’s messing it up, and it’s getting back on the horse and trying it again. And that’s okay. I mean, people who are great at what they do, it is about practice, it’s time, it’s energy, it’s effort. So, if you’re in this for the marathon, awesome, you know, don’t get sidetracked or disillusioned by the sprint or the quickness of it. [WHITNEY]: I love that you’re used a running analogy. [KATIE]: Yeah, you’re a runner? [WHITNEY]: I’m a runner, yeah. And so I’m sitting here thinking about my first half marathon. I was actually in Colorado at the time and I ran on the treadmill one day cuz in Colorado, yeah, you get some great weather, but boy, you get some bad weather. So I was running on the treadmill, it was like snowing outside and I ran 4 miles. And I was thinking, “I’ve never run 4 miles before. Maybe I should do a half marathon.” So I convinced a friend who actually had never run a mile in her life. And we trained for a half marathon together. And at the time, I was working at a psychiatric hospital, and I was just burned out and sad. All I wanted was private practice. And so I used all this training time to think about private practice and spent a lot of time in prayer and a lot of time thinking about where I was at. And it wasn’t very long after that half marathon that I did private practice for the first time. And now I’m thinking about all the times I’ve run has been when I’ve gotten some really great insight into my practice, when I’ve listened to some great podcasts. And like, it’s been part of my business development. [KATIE]: I love that you share that because I realize, I don’t know if you’re familiar or if your audience might be familiar with the disc profile, but I‘m a Type-B. So that means Bs are usually like leaders, they’re doers, they’re very decisive. They’re go, go, go and so that’s my default and so I have to constantly be aware of that. And one of those counterintuitive things that I’ve realized about businesses. You know, I know we always talk about, you know, balance and stuff like that. But I find my greatest creative moments are when I’m disconnected, pulled away in nature, quiet, peaceful. And so I think you’re kind of like highlighting that for you. It’s running. And I know, I made a declaration this year, I said, because my, my default pattern is, I come into the New Year, and I’m like, going crazy, like goals all over the place. All my trips are usually like professional development and personal development, and then I start to burn out and I get cranky, and, you know, I pull back. And so I’m like, okay, we got to change that pattern. And so I declared that this 2020, that I’m coming into 2020 and having a full week vacations or going on a cruise in April, and I’m so excited about that to be able to disconnect and shut the technology off, but also I’m just so looking forward to just being in peace and being in nature and watching the water go by as we’re on the balcony. And I’m just excited to see what will be created from that. So, that’s really exciting. [WHITNEY]: Good for you. I’m glad you planned it. [KATIE]: Yeah. [WHITNEY]: That’s great. Yeah. Alright. So, you have got some awesome freebies here and information to give. You want to tell people about the A-Z cheat sheet? [KATIE]: Yeah, I would love to. So, our A-Z cheat sheet is the essentials for building and growing your dream practice. It’s an A-Z, somewhat of a roadmap that you need. And we’ve gotten really great feedback on this. We, my favorite one was someone who said, “I followed exactly what is in you’re A-Z cheat sheet, and I created my practice.” And I’m like, “That’s amazing!” So we do have that, that’s a freebie you can head over to privatepracticestartup.com, head over to the “Resources” tab and there you will see that. And then Kate and I also offer our E-course program, as well as our E-course in coaching, and the coaching launches several times a year. The E-course is available at any time so that has been many years in the making, and really it’s Kate and I, our combined experience of being able to grow six-figure private practices and really helping people get that jumpstart, that quick start, and learning how to do things correctly to really fast forward and fast track your practice. And again, that’s over at privatepracticestartup.com. We are launching, we launched the coaching a few times a year, I think you had said this is coming out in May, so we’ll already be in the next the middle of the next cohort. But you can check out the dates there under the, I think it’s the “Coaching” tab. [WHITNEY]: Great, great. We’ll have all this in the show notes so you can quickly just click the links there. So Katie, what do you feel like every Christian counselor needs to know? [KATIE]: That’s a good question. I think a lot of what we talked about today, it really highlights that, you know, you are building a business and really having coaching support, mentoring, a great community, as well as niching down and having a plan, I would say those are always my big three looking back, and those are what I would do moving forward. So I’d say those would be my three. [WHITNEY]: Thank you. Well, you’ve given us some awesome tips, especially for not only the people that are starting their practices, but boy when you’ve already got your practice going. We have fear, we have mistakes, we start trying to do it alone. So you’re bringing back some other tips, even for people who’ve already got their practice going. [KATIE]: Yes. [WHITNEY]: Yeah, well thank you so much for being on the show and everyone knows how to get in touch with Katie – the privatepracticestartup.com [KATIE]: Thank you for having me, Whitney. [WHITNEY]: Thank you for listening to the Faith in Practice podcast. If you love this podcast, please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. If you liked this episode and want to know more, check out the Practice of the Practice website. Also, there you can learn more about me, options for working together such as individual and group consulting, or just shoot me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
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