No matter how many presentations I give on licensure laws, codes of ethics, and best practices, most audiences ask questions about Private Practice and becoming an entrepreneur.
I’m often asked, “What is the best way to run a counseling practice?”
The problem with that question is, I have no idea.
You see, I have only run my practice. I have done the best I can to increase my skills, operate ethically, make a profit, and achieve life balance. When I started, I had no idea how to run a business. Unless of course you count the fact that I taught piano lessons in high school. I charged $5 for a thirty-minute lesson in my student’s home. I remember thinking I liked the job better than working the drive-through window at Hardees and my entrepreneurial-self was born.
Thirty (something) years later and I am still looking for the best way to run a business, be a mom, and have a life. I have hired business coaches, attended seminars on social media, purchased DVDs, and attended all day retreats. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that future entrepreneurs get outside help, but there’s a lot of bad, and very expensive, information out there.
Here’s are some DO’s and DON’Ts I have learned:
- Assume the expensive stuff is better than the less-expensive stuff. The two best seminars I have ever attended were the least expensive. Zig Zigler hosted an event in San Antonio when I graduated from college (let’s say around 1990) and for less than one hundred dollars I got to hear him, Barbara Bush, and several other major speakers who changed the way I thought about myself and my future. Fast forward twenty years to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and again, for around one hundred dollars, I got to participate in a truly life-changing business paradigm-shifting experience.
- Purchase the biggest package. Most gurus worth their salt have tons of free stuff. Try that first to see if it is what you need then purchase.
- Sign the consultant contract. Most business consultants will understand you are not working with a lot of capital. As a new entrepreneur when you sign a contract the money should be coming IN not going out.
- Get to know your guru. Thanks to social media you can listen to podcasts, view twitter feeds, and read free book excerpts. Get to know before you buy.
- Follow directions. One of the things I remember about Dave Ramsey’s course is his statement, “If you follow this plan you will get out of debt. If you don’t, you won’t.” He was right. If you are going to purchase the material then:
- Go all in. If you have tested it, followed it, asked the questions, and gotten as many freebies as possible and you have decided to follow through with a purchase, then follow directions! If your guru says jump and you say, “well, I’m more of a swimmer,” then you have only yourself to blame if things don’t work out.
A few closing thoughts:
Becoming an entrepreneur will be the hardest job you’ll ever love. This post explains a few things I’ve learned, but they’re guidelines at best, not rules. I strive to provide the best information at affordable prices so follow me, ask me questions, test me, and try me out. In the end if you are having fun, turning a profit, and becoming the best counselor you can possibly be, then that’s what it’s all about.