Starting a private practice is my proudest accomplishment so far in my professional career. I took a HUGE risk leaving my six-figure job in order to fulfill a lifetime goal of being my own boss. I also finally feel like I am helping people in the most ethical and honest way – and people are truly seeing results (which is the coolest thing ever)! However, going out on my own is also the scariest thing I have ever done! It is definitely not for everyone, but if you are interested in having your own private practice or business, read my six tips below on how to develop a private practice mindset.
- Be willing to take risks – building your own business and taking risks go hand in hand. I have taken many risks in hopes of enhancing my business that both went well and not so well. I don’t like to label the risks that didn’t work out as failures, because I learned something from each experience. Sometimes the risks we take pan out and other times it means we need to make adjustments or revisions in order to get to the goal outcome. The key is when you take risks and they don’t work out, you learn from them and don’t continue making the same mistakes.
- Be prepared to work hard – when I was working for the food service management company, I averaged about 70 hours per week. Some weeks were more, others were less. But, I didn’t leave that job to have a better “work-life” balance. I left because there was a passion burning inside of me that was stronger than what I was currently doing. When you go out on your own, expect to work 10 times harder than you ever have when working for someone else. Also, you are not going to have work-life balance. Nothing is going to be in balance. When you are building something there is no balance; things in your life are going to be out of balance for a while – for example, my husband and I don’t have kids yet, because we are both self-employed. Our businesses are our life right now. Just be prepared for that.
- Look for new opportunities – be prepared to always be looking for new opportunities. My experience was, once I opened myself up to a little bit of time, new opportunities were coming my way all the time. Be open to new opportunities that may be innovative and relate to how the market is evolving. For example, I also decided to start a virtual private practice for those clients that do not want to come into my office or maybe live across the state. There are so many opportunities with technology these days – YouTube, webinars, etc. Be open to exploring any new opportunity that comes your way.
- Keep a critical eye – with all of that being said, you also need to make sure to always keep a critical eye on what comes your way. Opportunity coming knocking a lot. We cannot jump into everything without taking time to determine the return on investment in both financial gains and time/energy needed to pursue the opportunity.
- Get comfortable with rejection – whenever you are going out on your own, there is a building phase that includes reaching out, asking people for things, and maybe even doing some cold calls. Get ready to be rejected, a lot. Also, be prepared to be out of your comfort zone almost all of the time. There have been so many times that I have been uncomfortable, nervous, and even downright terrified during certain experiences, that I have gotten so used to being uncomfortable. I also have more of a thick skin now than ever before.
- Play on your strengths – most people tell you to better your weaknesses (i.e. taking a writing class if you’re not a strong writer). However, I have started to think the opposite way, mostly because of listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s podcast. He pretty much says, screw your weaknesses – you hire people to do those things for you (once you can afford to) – and you play on your strengths. For example, if you are not a strong writer, maybe don’t blog, but do YouTube instead. If you are great at public speaking and you’re great with people get in front of the camera, or get out there at events, parties, etc. where you can meet people face-to-face. Use your strengths to your advantage.
If you are interested in starting a private practice and need some help, let me know!