Autumn Equinox & Therapists

Since training as a therapist I’ve found being aware of the earth’s movement particularly grounding for me.

This year, for me, more than any other, I have found noticing the progression of the seasons to be so very soothing in light of so much out of my control.

I use the natural world’s markers – solstices and equinox – to mark my therapy practice phases too.

At each one I review my business – what’s gone well and what I could do differently. Which helps me keep focussed on my practice vision.

I have a little review-fest every 3 months – I set myself up in the garden, or wherever I can have peace, and I reflect on my journey over the last months and let my mind wander through the next ones.

 

I am often humbled by the ideas and answers that come to me during these spaces – this year I have found the time to be richly rewarding, rejuvenating and nourishing. 

So that I am clear on what I need to be doing – simply and confidently – to achieve success.

 

We can be so busy doing private practice we can lose sight of the power a different perspective brings – this Autumn Equinox I invite you to grab the pdf Template and refresh your therapy business!

 

If you’d like my free template, then pop your details here:

(you need to tick both boxes to be able to receive the download email)

Now’s the time to Mrs Hinch your therapy business

Do you feel you’ve been over Niagara Falls in a barrel over the last few weeks?
 
I like physical metaphors for life – I like the power of a river to rejuvenate when the conditions are right – when it comes to softer rock and can cut through to create a spectacular waterfall.
And, until the waterfall, the river might have been meandering slowly along – no real sense of direction of purpose. A vague awareness that, eventually, it will, probably, make the ocean.
 
Running a business can become like that – as therapists whilst each client is unique, there is a sense of a continuum of activity that repeats, day in and day out.
 
📅 Until March 2020.
 
When, to use the river metaphor, we hit a whole new world and tumbled down the waterfall.
 
I’ve used a picture of Niagara Falls – and I remember hearing about the characters who over the years have thrown themselves over the falls in a wooden barrel for a challenge.
 
Therapy business-wise, perhaps you feel that you’ve been over Niagara falls – bruised, battered, disorientated and tender in places?
 
You’ve popped up after the initial weeks of restriction not quite sure where you are going, anxious about your clients and income.
 
Yes? – I’ve felt this too. And when I felt this, I go back to one of the first things I learnt about business development. Review, or ReView – looking at things again.
 
Now is the time to revisit your business purpose – your Big Why – use the chaos, the unknown future to reconsider your business.
 
And whilst we’re in the midst of uncertain and unstable times, that can feel like just one more thing to make us anxious.
 
If we ask for support, this review of our business can be reaffirming and positive, and help us feel more under control for our future!
 
Trust me – it works – I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times.
 
I’ve created a checklist for you to use to review your business, and I’ll pop the details at the end of this post.
 
After checking in with your business purpose, the next step is to update (or create) your Vision – business, family, the whole of life.
 
Without a vision – and as I suggest, a Vision Board is just so powerful – we can flounder for direction, we can spend too much time making decisions – should I do this course, buy this software, because we are not clear on exactly how our business looks. With a business Vision, decision making is easy – does this fit my vision – yes/no. Simples.
 
If your business has changed beyond recognition, then your old Business Plans are no longer relevant – now’s the time to prepare your solid business foundations for your therapy practice.
 
Are there might be costs we can lose – premises or a particular advert for example. Is there a brand new income source and we just need to work out how to attract clients.
 
And doing this exercise with someone else – like therapy or supervision – helps us gain different perspectives.
 
We’ve all had a shock and for many our therapy practice looks very different. I want to help you have the private practice you want so that you can survive to help your clients thrive!
 
🙂 It’s kind of like Mrs Hinch’ing your therapy business.
(Thanks to Heatworld for the picture).
I’d not been aware of Mrs Hinch until the restrictions when I found myself looking at videos and posts of homemaking tips . . . I will admit I was a reluctant follower because she seems to be obssessed with Zoflora and it’s not my favourite disinfectant I can tell you.
 
What Mrs Hinch does is share simple, everyday things we have in our home, tools and tips to help us feel better about our homes. She has an energy and style that means you can’t help be drawn in.
 
I’m absolutely not Mrs Hinch, however her mantra of using what’s to hand to make things better – absolutely.
 
Knowing what your business needs to look like, knowing the right tools to get it there, and keep it there, easily and smoothly so that you have the work life balance you want.
 
That’s what Mrs Hinch’ing your therapy business means.
Take a step back and checkout for a while, let me help you find or create your vision.
Give your business a check-up, then look at what you could do differently.
 
Sometimes it feels like we’re chasing for clients – we need to attract our right clients and part of how we do that is starting with our clear vision.
 
Does it feel like you are up against a brick wall?
 
Right now, our businesses may look very different to last year – which may be temporary – or not.
By reviewing your business now, you can make any changes you need to, to give you the life you want.
 
Click here to get my free checklist to help you start reviewing and ReVisioning your Therapy Business and
 
I’ll be going live to talk some more about this at 3:00pm. No Mrs Hinch impressions and definitely no Zoflora*.
 
*👵 perfumed disinfectant my Gran used liberally . . . . .

What’s the biggest barrier to our success in business . . . .us!

I started on Monday talking about why now is a good time to start in therapy private practice and, once qualified, what else we need to be ready – the 4 elements. Tuesday was Personal Therapy requirements – I think at least 100 hours, and yesterday I talked about the importance of having a Therapy Team as our back-up – Supervision (one to one), Coaching or Mentoring and business admin support – for example accountant.

Today I want to talk about Money, and why I think – for Therapists – getting and keeping a ‘Money Mindset’ is a big barrier to our success in Private Practice.

Element 4 – Money Mindset

I was working as a Business Advisor whilst completing my Counselling Studies, helping dozens of local business.

The ones that were successful had one thing in common – their clear understanding of their service, and the value of that service to their customers, and their firmness in their belief that they were worth that value.

Simply – they knew what they wanted to do or sell, and they knew what to charge and were comfortable and confident.

After qualifying I knew Counselling was a proven way to help people, potentially, all people. And I wanted to help everyone – sound familiar?

By being so vague in the beginning, I wasn’t focussed and it’s impossible to market vagueness. Attracting clients was a nightmare.

I took some of my own advice, or at least, a colleague gave it to me, and I paused and stepped back.

I needed to get a business mindset, or money mindset to be more specific. I couldn’t (and still can’t) help everybody and I needed to decide what worked for me. What would my business look like.

Which is about having an absolutely clear, written in stone, Purpose for my business, more commercial than clinical and wide ranging.

Being in business on our own is hard work, overlay that with the emotional load of therapy work and it becomes doubly so if not more.

Being clear about my business purpose is the only way I keep going during the challenges. I see that as a form of external accountability – similar to how the therapeutic process works.

The next step was to create my vision, in words and images. We know the power of as-if with clients and it’s the same for us as business owners.

And the third step is about pathways. What route do we need to take, what do we need to do to build solid foundations in the right shape for us and our business, and it might not look like we thought it would.

I know mine doesn’t, being open to free thinking can lead to opportunities we may not have considered.

Front and centre as we build our business we need to consider Money. How much do we need? What is our budget – what do we need to live and more, enjoy life.

We can have a complicated relationship with money which we may have uncovered in our therapy.

We can project that on to clients as well as receiving their own projections.

By considering our money matters first, we get used to them and are more comfortable and around money.

Sometimes the money doesn’t add up to how we visualised our practice and life. Don’t be daunted or disheartened, reach out for business support as there are other ways of getting the income we need. Colleagues are amazingly inventive in creating a blended income stream, keeping themselves safe and supported so they don’t burnout.

It’s a myth as healers that we shouldn’t charge – we should give our talent as part of universal energy exchange . . . . I think the energy balance is formalised through the exchange of money.

We can develop an ethical and compassionate Money Mindset as we build our Business Foundations and we can do this right now.

I’ll be going live this afternoon at 3:00pm to talk some more about the particular challenges for therapists and you can get a pdf of my checklist by popping your details here:

Tennis, time and teamwork – therapist challenges

I’m writing this on Monday 15th July. Yesterday was The British F1 Grand Prix, the Cricket World Cup and the Wimbledon Men’s Finals.

My first draw was the motor racing, then the tennis. And others in the house were interested in the Cricket.

The tv went on first to watch the cricket. The same channel then switched to the motor racing, with us switching between the two until the race started. Oh, and crossing to another channel to keep an eye on the tennis.

It was a good race, and I stayed with the programme for the 100 minutes or so of the race.

At its end, we dipped into cricket (England not doing too well) before moving across to tennis. Which went on and on. Amazing performances from Djokovic and Federer. Such technical ability, stamina and magic.

Feeding time for mutts, checked in on cricket  – oh dear – and a quick walk in the cool of the evening.

And back to tennis – penultimate game, commentator notes it’s good to have an easy service game to love, when Federer fights back to several break points. And finally Djokovic wins the game. One game to go in final set before tie-break. And pop across to cricket – England need 3 off final two balls to win . . . .  – stay with cricket to see England draw and the ‘super over’ process will happen. Back to tennis to find Federer held serve and the new, final set, tie break starting. Leaving me breathless.

You may – or may not – know the results. Very well done to all the winners and runners up. Amazing examples of the best in their field. Literally in the case of the cricket 😊

I felt exhausted yesterday evening – I also felt a little giddy and lightheaded from the assault on my senses of all the amazing action.

And whilst waiting to fall asleep last night, I thought that yesterday’s experiences were a heightened example of running a counselling private practice.

The motor race was (about) the length of two therapy sessions, I was dropping in to the other sports – similar to checking emails and messages from clients – and in the background (cricket) are the ongoing activities needed to run my private practice. Keeping up with regulations, keeping on top of my business record keeping.

Walking my dogs was a different type of activity -definitely part of my self-care – as well as theirs.

Yesterday was an exceptional day for sporting achievement – and yet the physiological impact on me was, perhaps, the same as every working day. Well, to an extreme level but you understand my point?

I have been reminded to have time out – to use auto-email responses and detailed voicemail message to ensure clients know when I will respond and to ensure I can have my down-time.

I have been reminded that moving between one set of skills to another requires effort and time. I sometimes discount the impact of moving between client contact, therapeutic sessions and business admin activity. Yesterday’s concentrated events are unusual, and they demonstrated to me how I feel when I put myself under unsustainable demands.

Yesterday was brilliant – I enjoyed the experience, and it was not directly client impacting.

As a reminder to note my fitness to practise and all the other activities I do, it was timely and powerful.

We are all effectively playing in the cricket world cup; racing in formula one and competing in a tennis final every day of our counselling careers.

A final observation – team work.

Every success was the result of teamwork and whilst we may work on our own, we need to have our team around us, whatever that looks like.

Let’s make sure we have the right support teams for us, as did all three of Sunday’s winners – evident in their results.

Who’s in your team, are there any gaps?

And if you have a business admin vacancy  . . . . .  you know where I am 😊

With warm wishes

Alison