Read Time: 3.5 minutes
Big thanks to our sponsors and affiliate partners who keep the Weekly Read free for subscribers! If you’d like to have your work showcased, click here!
Are you tired of feeling lost and overwhelmed when trying to find the right therapist or when starting a new therapy session? Look no further than Shrink Think, the suite of digital resources created by therapists for therapists and clients alike. With Shrink Think, you can easily orient yourself to a new therapist, build a strong therapeutic relationship, and make real breakthroughs in your mental health journey. Whether you’re a client or a clinician, Shrink Think’s online tools provide the support you need to make therapy successful and fulfilling. Plus, if you’re a group practice owner hiring new clinicians, Shrink Think can onboard your new hires to private practice, saving you time and money. Say goodbye to the confusion and frustration of therapy and say hello to Shrink Think. Visit shrinkthink.com today to learn more.
Clini-Coach® Academy is the premier coaching certification + business incubator exclusively for mental health therapists. If you’re ready to grow beyond your office, you deserve the support of the best in the business. Learn more at this link.
We need to talk for a minute about a trend I see in the entrepreneurial therapist community.
Let me explain this trend with a metaphor:
- When someone we know writes a book, do we automatically assume it will be a massive New York Times bestseller? Or do we know that that’s a huge long shot?
- Similarly, if someone tells you they want to become an actor, do you automatically expect that they’ll be accepting their Oscar any minute?
I’m guessing on both counts the answer is a clear and obvious no.
However, when therapists decide to outgrow the office and branch into coaching, courses, or other entrepreneurial endeavors, an opposite thought pattern tends to happen.
People expect immediate, high-level success. They’re often surprised and confused when it doesn’t happen overnight.
And even people who scoff at that idea and say Oh no no, don’t be silly, I would never expect to be an overnight success actually harbor the deep-down-secret follow-up thought …but I’ll surely be a success six months from now.
Why do we assume this? The reality of the world is that millions of people attempt entrepreneurial ventures every single day. So why do we assume success should fall easily into our laps based on one course we took, or one coach we signed up with?
I truly believe that the most exciting part of life is continually trying new things until we find the ones we love and excel at.
This means understanding that in the beginning, your new entrepreneurial venture is an experiment.
Your therapist license is not a guarantee of success. Even your past private practice success doesn’t necessarily guarantee you entrepreneurial success beyond the office.
So how do you increase your chances of succeeding? Following are the qualities that we see repeated over and over in our most successful clients.
Putting extra time, effort, and energy into developing these particular skills will give you a higher likelihood of entrepreneurial success in the long run!
Copywriting is different from the types of writing we did back in school. It’s focused, energetic, and conversational. It also follows certain patterns that help move a person from not knowing anything about you to ultimately to signing up with you.
Working with many therapists over the past few years, I can say unequivocally that those with good copywriting skills moved ahead far more quickly than those without. If there’s one foundational skill I would study and build immediately, it’s the skill of copywriting.
Speaking on Video
The absolute fastest way to help people to get a sense of who you are is letting them see you speaking naturally on video. But let’s be honest: speaking naturally on video takes practice!
All of us freeze up and get a little nervous when that red light flips on. Learning to be yourself, while also speaking with energy, presence, and authority takes practice. We recommend seeking out feedback from others, since we can be wildly self-critical, seeing ourselves on camera. Practice, practice, practice, then lean on people you trust to give you honest feedback!
Willingness to do what it Takes
Almost inevitably, when people come to us and tell us nothing is working, it’s because they’re not actually doing all that much.
Listen, we get that posting a single post can feel like a lot since it’s an exercise in vulnerability. We get that writing a blog can take a few hours, or that creating even a freebie can eat up an afternoon.
But…this is what it takes, and it takes these efforts, on repeat, over an extended time–and it takes that level of sustained effort for everyone.
Clients will sometimes say things like Well I’m just not going to do social media because I don’t like it, or I only have two hours a week to work on this business.
Those decisions are yours to make…but choices like these are not aligned with a willingness to do what it takes to achieve your goals. It’s like a person who says My main goal in life is to meet my soulmate, but I will only leave my house once a week on Tuesday mornings to get my drive-thru coffee.
Any successful person who wasn’t born with a silver spoon probably burned the midnight oil many nights doing tasks they didn’t enjoy one bit to get to where they are today (just like you worked your butt off in grad school to get that degree!).
Especially in the beginning, success might take far more effort than you anticipate.
Focus Over Time
I’m trying everything with social media and nothing is working, lamented one client recently.
OK we said, how long have you been at it and what have you tried? we asked.
Well, I started this week and I posted three times so far and no one has downloaded my freebie, she said.
Deep breath, we had to tell her. This is normal.
It simply takes time and sustained effort to build, and that’s the reality of any new business.
We’ve also had people come in and work for a few weeks very hard on one niche, then change their minds and go in a completely different direction, then change again a few weeks later. They’re working quite hard on each niche, but because of the scattering of attention in multiple directions, they’re not getting the results they want.
It’s totally normal to change your niche as you’re figuring things out, AND you need to realize that with every change of niche and focus, the clock starts over. If anything, it might start a little bit further back, because now the people following you are a bit confused by the constant changes and they’re waiting to see if you settle into one focus and stay there.
You can’t say, I’ve been growing my coaching business for six months, I should be further along by now… if you’ve actually had four niche-changes during that time. There’s nothing wrong at all with changing your niche, as long as you understand that each new direction means you’re starting from ground zero.
Sustaining your focus over time is what will help you grow. People need time to get used to you speaking with authority on one topic. They need to grow into wanting to learn from you, and trust that you’ll consistently talk about this topic that interests them.
Too often new coaches will jump ship after a month or two thinking their niche must be the problem when really, they just didn’t give it a chance: their expectation of immediate success was the problem.
At the end of the day, all of these success skills can be developed with work and patience!
Which ones do you commit to working on even more, starting today?