We have a WINNER!

I’m thrilled about the great response to my Boot Camp Giveaway Offer!

So many people replied to that blog post contest — people from all kinds of backgrounds, with all kinds of hopes and dreams for their private practices.

Choosing a winner was NOT easy.  I presented the replies (without identifying info) to a colleague who kindly agreed to help me choose the winner.

I wish I could have given away Boot Camps to everyone (that’s how amazing the stories were).  However, we had to choose a winner.  It seemed only fair to choose a winner that could represent a significant number of our community members; one whose Boot Camp experience might benefit others in some way too.

Because this was such a tough call, I decided to ask the winner if we could use this experience to help out everyone who entered as well as all of our readers.  The winner generously agreed.

Thank you Dr. Steffanie Stecker.


Steffanie has her MA in Counseling Psychology with a double emphasis in Community and School Counseling and her doctorate in School Psychology; she is a Licensed Psychologist in Colorado.

Steffanie took her leap of faith in March, so she is just starting out her practice.  She is looking to increase her business savvy and develop a private practice that will serve the needs of many in her community.  She wants to build a great life and a provide a great example for her kids (“I’d like to model for them passion, work ethic, and following your dreams”) — I trust you will find a little bit of your journey in Steffanie’s story and her Boot Camp experience.

Starting June 1st, Steffanie and I will start working together toward her goals.  Each week we’ll submit a blog post so you can keep up with what we are doing, benfit from what we are learning, and you can get a feel for what the Basic Training boot camp is all about.

(REMINDER:  I gave a $100 voucher toward a Basic Training Boot Camp to the runners-up of our contest.  For those of you who have not cashed in your voucher and scheduled your Boot Camp — you have until Midnight May 31st to do so! –What are you waiting for?)

Start posting your questions to this post now, and we can get a discussion going throughout the month of June — you can use this opportunity to get some answers and help out each other in the process!

Leave A Comment!



  1. Steffanie Stecker, Ph.D. /Reply

    So, Deb sent me seven videos and tons of PDF documents over the weekend as part of my Boot camp. I spent pretty much all day yesterday watching the videos and reviewing the other materials and taking notes while I did so. There were tons of ideas for kick starting my practice! I can’t wait to impliment some of them. I think one of the first things I will do is add a newsletter and bring them to doctors’ offices. I love that idea. I sent out a short letter and cards already, but the way Deb has things worded inher material and the addition of a newsletter I think will make a hugh difference! Thanks, Deb! I already have several questions to bombard you with, but will have good boundaries and wait until the 1st when my Boot Camp officially starts! 🙂 I too read all the enteries that were submitted and there are a lot of amazing people out there! I wish everyone well in their practices and hope that following my journey with Deb will be helpful!!!!

  2. Hawanya B Miller, LMFT /Reply

    Congrats, Stephanie. This is a great opportunity to build your brand and gain new insight in your possibilities. We are excited that you are joining our field. Have fun.

  3. Kimberly A Godfrey, LCMHC /Reply

    Congratulations! Enjoy a great learning opportunity.

  4. Deborah Legge PhD CRC LMHC /Reply

    This is going to be fun!! Welcome everyone.

  5. Arlinda Lindsay, LCSW, LCAC /Reply

    Congratulations Stephanie! I look forward to going down the journey with you and Dr. Legge in Boot Camp.

    1. Deborah Legge PhD CRC LMHC /Reply

      Welcome to you too, Arlinda. You’ll be starting your Boot Camp on June 1st — I hope you share your experience along the way as well!

  6. Nancy /Reply

    Congratulations Steffanie!
    I look forward to sharing your journey in the days ahead.
    As I mentioned in my submission, I am still in school, graduating at the end of summer, so my goal of private practice is in the future yet. However, that in no way implies that I am waiting to learn what I can in the meantime!
    Your timing is NOW so Good Luck to you and I will be following right along !!
    Success is yours to have!

  7. trish johnson /Reply

    well my green jealousy monster came out when I saw it was a Phd who won the contest. I always feel the degree differential in terms of preference and paycheck.
    Trish Johnson
    It’s kinda of a turn off for me.

    1. Deborah Legge PhD CRC LMHC /Reply

      @Trish – Thanks for letting us know what you think. I’d say that I’ve had a 50:50 mix (PhD:Masters) of folks go through the Boot Camp. When it comes to private practice it’s more about the business savvy – and that isn’t related (or taught) at the doctoral or the masters level. The business sense taught in the Boot Camp is equal opportunity; I hope you will see that along the way during this Boot Camp.

      I know that although I have my PhD (in Counselor Ed), my practice is built on my masters degree (in Rehab Counseling and as an LMHC in NYS). I am not aware of losing any clients because I’m not a Psychologist. One of the most successful private practitioners in our area for many years was an object-relations guy with a bachelor’s degree in social work –he charged $150 an hour, his book was full, and he always had a long waiting list.

      Once you decide you want to run your own business, the first steps include answering the “Big Question” (Why, given all of my options — including doing nothing at all — should I do busines with you?). The answer to that critical question rarely has anything to do with being a masters level or doctoral level clinician. People (clients) don’t really care about what you have once they know about what you can do for them.

      The “green jealousy monster” that you mentioned (thanks for being so candid) is something worth addressing too. One thing I’ve seen time and time again over the years is that private practitioners who come from a “collaborative” perspective (vs. a “competitive” perspective) are usually the most successful. Those collaborations bring in a lot of referrals; that good will really brings with it a lot of positive energy. There are enough sick people to go around (sorry to say, but it is true).

      Thanks for your post Trish!

  8. Jackie /Reply

    Congratulations Step! And thank you for being generous in sharing with the rest of us along the way. This is exciting! We had an open house todaynat the Wellness Center where my private practice is located at. Sadly, attendance was poor. How do we spread the word about the great people and services we have?

    1. Deborah Legge PhD CRC LMHC /Reply

      @Jackie – Welcome! How great that you had an open house for your Wellness Center. Although it was not well attended it is just a small part of your mareting plan (see yesterday’s post about when to start marketing), so don’t be discouraged. Just off the top of my head, here are a couple of ways to spread the word about the great people and services you have.

      1. Wellness is a HUGE buzz — capitalize on that. Offer to go on TV or radio to talk about Wellness issues; write a Wellness comumn in your local papers. Become the local experts on Wellness in your community (out LOUD) and increase your exposure and your perceived value in the process.

      2. In a similar vein, contact the HR departments of the local businesses and colleges in your area and offer to do a couple of Wellness trainings each year. In the process you may be able to set up an “EAP” – like arrangement with them. Provide them with a quarterly Wellness Newsletter for their employees. Make sure the articles are written by the clinicians in your office and make sure your contact info is all over that newsletter

      Good Luck!

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