How Private Practice is Like Playing Golf-Part 3

We’ve already looked at how Mindset affects attitude and sustainable success in private practice.  We identified two of the most commonly seen categories of mindset traps that I see when coaching mental health professionals in private practice; mindset traps that hold clinicians back from getting what they want in their businesses.  In the last post we explored the first category of mindset traps.  In this post, we’ll take a closer look at category #2: “I’m Scared!”

The core of the “I’m Scared!” category of mindset traps is a lack of information and/or the courage to take action.  It undermines your ability to confidently move forward knowing you can fill your book and serve those who need you most.  Here are three “I’m Scared” mindset traps that may cause you fear about taking action.

“Scarcity” Mindset Trap

So many clinicians make business decisions based on the fear of there not being enough.  Do you worry that if you choose a target market there won’t be enough clients to fill your book?  Are you afraid that you won’t find enough clients to pay your fees?  Do you get nervous when clients drop out or complete treatment?  Concerns about scarcity can cause a lot of fear and worry. 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Choose a target market or two – people who really inspire you to do your best work. Know that you can see anyone you like, but it helps to have marketing that is targeted.  Claim your expertise and put out a message potential referrers and clients will notice; people don’t remember generalists
  • Don’t assume your clients’ ability and willingness to pay. Your job is to let them know why you are the best person for them.  Once they know that, they will let you know if they will pass or play.  Remember: When able, most people find money for that which is really important to them
  • Be aware of the thousands of patients the physicians in your area have; recognize the number of kids and families in your school districts; know that the attorneys and clergy in your town serve thousands and thousands of people. Believe me:  There are more than enough people in need to go around

While your spending your time worrying about not having enough, you’re losing sight of the many ways you can provide valuable services to the people who need you most.  Know that once you know who you serve best and are able to express that effectively to your community, your book will forever be full.  If you don’t have enough clients it just means not enough people know about you, what you do, and why you are the best person for them


“I’m a Bother” Mindset Trap

Selling you and your practice doesn’t have to feel slimy or unprofessional.  How else will people know they can count on you?  Do you hold back talking about how you can help because you’re afraid to bother folks with your message?  Take it from a person who triages 300+ referrals a year into my community – I am desperate for good referral sources; I NEVER have enough.

Here’s what you can do:

  • If you’re feeling funny about making a call, sending an email or letter, or approaching a potential referrer, stop and shift your though pattern. Instead of focusing on your fear of being a bother, remind yourself that this person is in need of really good referral options to serve their people.  You are reaching out to assist them, with a heart and intention of “How can I help you?” 
  • Don’t drop the ball after taking the first shot. Follow up within a week and if you don’t get a response, reach out again next month.  Most of these people don’t know you or what you do.  It’s your job to educate them about why they need you, and it takes time to build familiarity and trust.  Remember:  People will only do business with you to the extent they trust you
  • Find the “gap”. Get to know your potential clients and referrers well enough to know where they are, and where they need to be.  If you can show them how you can help to fill that gap, you’ll be so much closer to getting the business.  Know your people – inside and out – and figure out how you can help solve their biggest problems and headaches.  This increases your value and your positioning in the community

Your time is valuable.  Your efforts are valuable.  Reaching out to help doesn’t make you a “bother”.  It makes you a problem solver and an investible resource.


“I Can’t Do This” Mindset Trap

Feeling overwhelmed is often a function of not knowing what to do next.  Did you learn how to run a business in grad school?  Are you a professional salesperson?  Do running a business and selling feel overwhelming to you?  Maybe you just need to learn the next steps.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Find a mentor or a coach who can give you solid direction on how to successfully run your business. If possible, do this in a group setting so you can get the support from your peers as well
  • Explore the various ways to market your practice and choose one that feels right to you. It should be a proven process that can be replicated for the life of your practice.   It might feel uncomfortable (that’s to be expected), but if it coincides with your values and intention it’s worth pursuing
  • Come to terms with the fact that unless you want to be at the mercy of insurance referrals (and everything else that goes with that arrangement), you are in sales! Once you choose the right process and get some positive results, you’ll find your angst diminishing.
  • Don’t for a minute think that filling your book with clients is all about luck. You can plan all you like, but until you put that plan into action, it’s just a pipe dream.  I’ve found that the harder I work, the luckier I get

No need to be scared.  Be informed.  Be confident.  Be active.  Change your mindset and take charge of your destiny. Build the private practice of your dreams.  You CAN do this!

(We guide you, step-by-step through this process in our Private Pay Practice Program!)

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