When I ask folks if they are interested in having their own Private Practice, often times I hear: “I’m not sure if I’ve got what it takes.” When I ask what it takes, I usually get a blank stare. These folks aren’t sure what they need — no wonder they don’t think they’ve got it!
When folks ask me what they will need to go into Private Practice, I tell them that aside from their clinical skills, they will need: business cards, a place to see clients, clients, and enough business sense to run their business or hire someone to run their business.
I guess I could add lots of little things like a marketing strategy, a genuine desire to be successful, etc. A computer and phone are also very helpful. But I would think those things would come along with the “business sense” mentioned above.
All of those things give you the tools you’ll need to have your own practice, but there are lots of people out there with all of those things, who are closing their doors for good every day. So… what does it REALLY take to have your own “successful” private practice?
There are two things that I believe MUST be part of your package, if you are to really make it in the world of Private Practice. You need a niche. And you need nerves of steel.
The niche is your little piece of the pie in your market. Choose a population, treatment strategy, or a specific problem for which you can become an expert. Get all the training you can get regarding your niche. Read everything you can get your hands on for your niche. Talk about your niche to anyone who will listen. Write about your niche for blogs, articles, magazines, and anywhere else you can find. Offer to speak about it anywhere they will have you. Make your expertise available to local newspapers, television and radio stations. Make it so whenever anyone hears or thinks about your niche, they immediately think about you.
Then — you need the nerves of steel to put yourself out there on a path to success, just because you know there is no other option. You must believe in you. You must believe in what you do. You must believe in your ability to do whatever it takes to have the opportunity to help others in your own business. Failure is not an option, therefore it is not a worry.
Once you establish yourself vis a vis you niche, you open your options up to generalize your practice and expand your services. Once you know that you must, and will succeed, you free yourself up to use your energy to build the practice of your dreams.
So… Have you got what it takes?