In my second month of private practice, I accomplished a huge feat.
I painted the largest room in my house, all by myself!
Despite the upgrade to my home's appearance, this was a terrible use of my time. I spent hours taping, priming and painting when I should have been working on my private practice.
I would have argued at the time that I was doing lots of thinking about my private practice while I was painting and that was probably accurate; however.....
THINKING does not equal DOING.
Over the years, I have observed that this can be a common problem among therapists. We are thinkers. We think all the time about clinical conceptualizations, relationship dynamics, how to gently break through our client's defences. We think, think, think. This is great for our clinical work.
When it comes to our private practices, we also think, think, think. We gather information like squirrels gathering nuts for the winter. We subscribe to all sorts of e-mail lists, ask a ton of questions to those who have gone before us, create really complicated to-do lists.
And then we freeze. We toil away in our offices, cruising Facebook and wait for the phone to ring.
Or we take action on multiple things at once but don't complete any of them. Maybe you have 5 unfinished blog posts, or a draft of an e-mail to a potential referral source or the most magnificent to-do list that anyone has ever created.
Or we paint our house.
The biggest block to taking action or uncompleted projects is often feeling overwhelmed. There are so many things to do and we're not sure which one we should do and our to-do list is pages long and......I'm gonna go paint my house.
So how do we fight the overwhelm?
First, take a deep breath.
Now pick one thing to work on for the next week.
Maybe you want to focus on blogging? Great! Sit down and write a blog post. Can't think of a topic? Join the Blissful Practice Facebook group, ask for help and we will help you (seriously, it has to be the most helpful people in there ever!).
You're not feeling blogging? Okay. For this week, focus on connecting with real people that you want to develop professional relationships with.
Pick one person that also serves the type of clients that would like to work with. Shoot an e-mail and say this;
"Dear potentially awesome person, I am a therapist and I am always looking to learn about what other services and resources are available in our community. I would love to connect to learn more about you! Please let me know when you have time to connect. Sincerely, the action-taking awesome you."
Final option; let's work on your social media. Don't have a Facebook business page yet? Create one! Have one, but it's been seriously neglected? Schedule the next week (or even month's!) worth of posts or it.
Let's take some action!
These may not feel like huge action steps, but they don't need to be. Every action you take is another brick in the creation of your private practice.
In addition to painting my house, I made some other big blunders in those early days! Sign up for my free 3 part video series and I'll share with you 3 private practice mistakes that I made and get the tools to avoid (or fix) them!