In this podcast episode Gordon interviews private practice coach and consultant Kelly Higdon, LMFT. They talk about therapists and counselors making the transition into private practice and some of the common barriers people run into in knowing the business side of things. They also talk about the importance of mindset and knowing your numbers (money) and being able to have an honest look at your finances.
Gordon and Kelly talk too about the importance of knowing your “why” and your own motivation behind going into private practice. They discuss the importance of having a plan and breaking things down into manageable steps and being aware of your time management.
Meet Kelly Higdon
Kelly Higdon, LMFT is the co-founder of ZynnyMe and co-creator of The Business School Bootcamp for Therapists, a flagship course that helps therapists in all parts of their private practice journey solidify their business foundation and growth. When she isn’t coaching or hosting retreats for her clients, you can find her playing roller derby or spending time with her family. To learn more about Kelly check out kellyhigdon.com and zynnyme.com
Making the Transition Into Private Practice
Gordon and Kelly both made the transition into private practice from agency work. Making that transition is sometimes a challenge for clinicians. There is a lot of fear around giving up a full-time job with benefits to go into solo private practice. Some therapists will make a gradual transition into private practice. That is, start doing part-time private practice and build the practice before going full time. Others, as Kelly said, will “rip the bandaid off” and jump in full swing.
Either way, it is important to get a handle on the business side of things and truly know your numbers. Being self-employed does require more than making a lateral move salary wise. There are the “hidden costs” of private practice that many times get overlooked.
Knowing Your Numbers
One of the major sticking points for therapists and counselors going into private practice is not having a full grasp on their money situation. Things like cost of running the practice, health insurance, taxes and the like can easily cause a practice to fail. The “fix” for all this is having a good plan on the front end.
Don’t Go It Alone
Kelly talks about the importance to spend some time with experts. Consult with financial experts and get a good understanding of your personal financial goals and situation. Secondly, invest in getting some coaching and mentoring from someone who has “been there before”. Investing in coaching and mentoring is nearly always well worth the money your spend.
Being in solo private practice can be isolating at times. So it is important to make those professional contacts in your community and in your specific professional space. It not only gives you support, but also can help a lot with building referral sources.
Tips For Making The Transition From Agency to Private Practice
- Know your “why”. Have a clear understanding for yourself about why you want to be in private practice.
- Imagine and think about your long-term goals. Where do you see yourself 5-10 years from now?
- Write out your long-term goals. Then plan toward those goals. What do you need to do over the next year… next 3 months… next month…next week… to get you where you want to be with your practice and financial goals?
- Invest in some expertise. Talk with an accountant or financial planner about your financial goals.
- Consider investing in some private practice coaching and mentoring. Nearly always, it is a good return on your investment. It lets you learn from those that have been there before.
- Create a business and marketing plan. Learn about these things so that you are not going into private practice without a plan.
- And if you are already in private practice, it is a good idea to always assess and revisit your long term goals and your business plans.
Kelly’s website: kellyhigdon.com
Zynnyme- blog and website Kelly co-founded with Miranda Palmer: zynnyme.com
Business School Bootcamp for Therapists- https://www.zynnyme.com/business-school-bootcamp/
G-Suite for Therapists Course: http://practiceoftherapy.com/g-suite-for-therapists/
Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT
Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog.He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn and Pinterest “Like” us on Facebook.