What’s Next? Series: An interview with Katie Read | GP 77

Are you a clinician who is thinking of starting a coaching business? How can you start your coaching business while protecting your clinical license? What are some common mistakes that therapists make when starting a coaching business?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Katie Read about how she used her skills to create the lifestyle and freedom she was lacking in the therapy world.

Meet Katie Read

Katie Read has been an LMFT forever, directed large agencies, taught grad school, supervised 40+ interns, written psych training materials, spoken at conferences, and had practices in various cities.

Visit her website and connect on Instagram, Facebook and join the free Facebook Group. Subscribe to her YouTube channel.

Apply for training here.

In This Podcast


  • Katie’s recommendations to clinicians and coaches
  • Time considerations
  • Some mistakes people make at the beginning of their coaching business

Katie’s recommendations to clinicians and coaches

If you are a clinician and you are interested in moving into any sort of coaching, Katie recommends:

 Separate out your two businesses. Create the coaching business as its own entity to:

  • Protect your license,
  • Protect the lay public who do not really understand the differences between your clinical and coaching work

Serve people with specific but non-clinical needs

  • What is the thing that you are really passionate about that you could talk about all day?

In the coaching world … often people’s niches have to do with their own unique life experiences. (Katie Read)

What is authentic to you? What direct life experience can you bring to the table from your own history? From this point, the sky is the limit when you narrow in on the specific group of people that you would like to help.

Time considerations

On average it can take up to a year for you to fully layout your coaching business as a clinician, although this timeline does of course vary depending on what you want to do and where you are starting out from.

In terms of how long you can spend per week working on your new business, Katie recommends at least three to five hours per week of dedicated work.

 I’ll pause and say [that] I always hesitate when people [ask] “how many hours a week?” because one person’s hour can be very different from another person’s hour. (Katie Read)

Work with someone who can teach you what you need to know as this will shortcut your learning time.

Do not dawdle! You can work on building a motivational mindset that will help you to push past your self-doubt and insecurities. You can be a real master at feeling the doubt and still moving through it anyway.

Some mistakes people make at the beginning of their coaching business

1 – Piece-grabbing:

When you spend a lot of time gathering as much information as you can on your business or niche, from podcasts to programs to courses, you may run into conflicting advice.

The reality is [that] there are a million ways to grow. You will absolutely be able to learn little bits from different people but I think, in the beginning especially, one mistake people make is grabbing information from all over the place which leads you [to go] in five different directions. (Katie Read)

Pick one or two streams to follow. You have to pick a path to stick with – at least for a period of time – otherwise, you will get stuck on conflicting information and not make as much progress.

2 – Improve your marketing language:

You have to get good at marketing and copywriting because as a coach you are now competing for clients whereas before, as a therapist, clients often come to you.

Polish up on your copywriting to catch the attention of potential clients.

3 – Make sure your coaching niche is not clinical:

Therapists carry a higher ethical burden of responsibility and as a coach, you want to work with clients to who you can relate on a lived experience level.

It may feel difficult to shift your thinking in the beginning from thinking clinically to thinking like a coach, however, the work that you will do as a coach will be less emotionally heavy than your clinical work.

Useful Links:

Meet Alison Pidgeon

A portrait of Alison Pidgeon is shown. She discusses ways to grow your group practice on this week's episode of Practice of the Practice. Alison is a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a 15 clinician group practice. She’s also a mom to three boys, wife, coffee drinker, and loves to travel. She started her practice in 2015 and, four years later, has two locations. With a specialization in women’s issues, the practices have made a positive impact on the community by offering different types of specialties not being offered anywhere else in the area.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

Thanks For Listening!

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