Can you get burned out from doing something you love?
When you work an hour and get paid for that hour, it is imperative that you hustle and make sure more hours get filled so you can make more money. This is sometimes called a ‘gig’ economy. Many counselors follow this model as their road to success. They spend hours building a private practice they love based on a gig economy. The clients come in, they work harder, and more clients come in. It makes sense to increase the number of client hours in order to make more money. Eventually, though, they find out the truth: doing something too much, even something you love, can lead to burnout.
Why is self-love important in private practice?
Self-love silences your inner critic and helps you be more decisive. Self-love in private practice will lead to self-confidence. When you have self-confidence you will know your worth and others will too. Without it, private practice owners may take anyone and everyone just to keep their days filled.
Self-confidence, or lack of, has followed me through two careers, starting with my days as a freelance musician in college. One day it hit me like a piano from a rope cut by an angry roadrunner; “Shit. I’m gonna have to audition for every dollar I make, for the rest of my life, even though I’ll have this frikkin’ diploma in my hand.”
Cue switching my major to music education and a new ‘stable’ career as an orchestra teacher. After fourteen years in a ‘non-gig’ profession, I guess I couldn’t resist any longer. So what did I do? I got myself right back into that gig economy when I opened my first private practice.
The clients came in, I worked harder, more clients came in, and I worked harder. I remember when I could count the number of clients on one hand and thought “winning” was making enough for rent. I’m sure you already know what happened; as I got more “successful” (I could count clients on TWO hands) and tried to balance work and family, “hard” turned into just plain “tired.”
How do I build self-confidence?
Counselors in a gig economy aren’t just tired because they are working all of the time. They’re tired because they’re discouraged. They can have a stellar week and go to sleep Friday feeling great because they hit it out of the park with a full schedule; then Sunday evening rolls around and they realize they have to wake up and do it all over again.
Self-confidence in private practice happens when you keep a cash flow, establish a cash ‘cow,’ learn to say no, and surround yourself with healthy mentors. In other words, when you go from being a counselor in a gig economy, to being a counselor entrepreneur. Successful counselor entrepreneurs grow their business, reinvest the profit, pay down debt, add additional income streams, live life, love themselves, and repeat.
For those of you who still don’t understand the difference I’ve made a chart with some examples:
|Counselors in a Gig Economy||Entrepreneurs|
|Hard working||Hard working|
|Make money when they personally deliver a service||Can make money when they personally deliver a service but have additional income through dividends, residual income, or passive income.|
|Get paid when they complete work (service rendered, contract completed).|
|Can be paid multiple times from a single service, product, or contract|
|Artist||Art gallery owner|
|Counselors in private practice||Large counseling practice owners|
|Uber driver||Individual who invests in Uber|
How does self-love lead to success?
Moving your counseling private practice from a gig economy model to an Entrepreneur model can seem daunting. You will need to confront what is stopping you in order to grab your power, love yourself, and make the move. I don’t know what that is, and maybe you don’t either, so join a community, get a mentor, and start breaking the barriers that are sabotaging your success.
You don’t know what you don’t know, so sign up for the Step it UP Community. This is one of Kate’s most popular courses, and for good reason. If you are a Facebooker, check out the Texas Counselors Creating Badass Businesses and join others to share your ideas. I hope to see you there.
Click here and get your Essential Guide for Self-Employed Mental Health Professionals and Supervisors.
Blog by Kate Walker Ph.D., LPC/LMFT Supervisor in Texas
Tag:clinical, clinical supervising, clinical supervision, clinical supervisor, counseling, counselor therapy, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed mental health clinician, licensed professional counselor, lmft, lmft associate, lmft supervisor, LMHC, LPC Associate, Lpc supervisor, mental health, mental health professional, Private Practice, Private Practice Strategies, Streamline Your Business, supervising, Supervision, Supervisor, therapist LPC