What to do when you’re “fishing in the desert”

So often I hear concerns and complaints about some of the frustrations private practitioners face when trying to build their businesses.

  • “None of the insurance companies in my area are accepting new providers”
  • “Managed care is being really stingy with the number of visits they are allowing”
  • “Private pay fees are low in my market”
  • “The economy in my town is so bad that no one has money for counseling”

There are a number of things and situations that might challenge your business.  The realities of dealing with insurance, a poor economy, a glut of therapists — these are things over which you do not have control.  In these situations you may feel like you are “fishing in the desert”.

You cannot (or don’t wish to) relocate.  You can’t “fight city hall”.  However, you DO NOT have to throw in the towel. You don’t have to die in the desert!  If you really want to have a successful private practice — if you will absolutely accept nothing less — you MUST find a way to flourish in that desert!

  • If you find yourself in a market glutted with other therapists… you MUST find a way to make you and your services unique and valuable so you can stand apart from the crowd
  • If you find yourself in an economy that minimizes the number of clients available to you — you MUST find a way to broaden the pool of clients by expanding the types of services you provide (i.e. groups, training, supervision, consultation, mediation, expert witness), modifying the way in which you provide those services (i.e. 30-minute sessions, monthly sessions with 15-minute phone follow ups between sessions, packaging blocks of sessions) , or making your services accessible to a greater number of people (i.e. e- therapy or e-coaching; selling books, products, or information)
  • If you find yourself spending time thinking about why you cannot be successful, you MUST find a way to shift that energy into a positive force with which to recharge your goals and achieve the success you desire

You may not find fish in the desert, but you don’t have to starve there either!

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