Hi, and welcome to this mini series aimed at practitioners in private practice, and anyone who works one-to-one with clients.
This will be a three-post series where I’ll be talking about
1. Creating the mental space that leads clients to find us
2. Calling things out so that they become a reality in our lives and businesses
3. Ghosting: a private practitioner’s initiation rite of passage
I’ve been in private practice for nearly 7 years now, and I’ve learned a lot.
Some things I wished I’d learned when I’d started, but that’s not always possible.
It is because of this that I’ve launched some services (free and paid), like this blog, to support practitioners that are just starting out now, to know about things that will get them started with more knowledge than I had when I started.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like how things have panned out. I love how my practice and life are going. But I know this might not be the case for everyone.
Keep reading if you want to find out about this week’s topic and what I mean by creating mental space.
I’ll write a bit about how I started out and how I got to where I am today.
In 2013, I decided to launch my website and get online on directories so I could get clients. I was also working 37+ hours at a care job (which I enjoyed, but my sights were changing more towards full time private practice, only a dream at this point!).
From that point onward, I had started to lower my hours at that job and spending more time on counselling.
The first two years I didn’t have that many clients. Which was fine because I was renting a room and finding it difficult to find the right times to fit clients anyway.
In 2015 I got a Senior Care Officer contract at a children’s home, which was temporary until November. When that contract finished, it gave me the freedom to work as relief staff, which meant I could choose what days to work and what days to dedicate to my private practice.
This is where it starts to get good!
A month or so before my Senior contract ended, I started thinking more and more about dedicating Mondays and Thursdays to private practice. Just thinking about it did something…
It was almost magic!
By the time my contract ended, I had quite a few more enquiries.
I booked them in, and by the end of the year I’d gone from 1-2 regular clients to 4-8 regular clients!
I got a contract as a support worker in the same children’s home on February 2016, but took only 16hrs per week, which meant I could still dedicate Mondays and Thursdays to counselling and building my business.
My manager there has always been kind enough to accommodate my other responsibilities outside of that job. And as I was working very part time only, it was all good.
That year I did my last waking night shift. That’s how I started letting go of doing extra shifts and focusing more on my private work. By mid 2017 I stopped doing extra shift.
Another dramatic shift came about when I decided to finally give blogging a good chance and take it seriously. This meant taking promoting my blog seriously as well.
And this in turn meant posting regularly and consistently on social media.
I was still counselling Mondays and Thursdays, but decided to start offering sessions on Wednesdays as well.
I got more clients. I also started offering supervision.
I created the mental space for those clients and supervisees, and lo and behold, they contacted and booked!
My last two years at the care job were spent daydreaming about only running my own business.
I planned for it.
I made the mental space for the clients that I needed – a mix of counselling, supervisees, coaching and tutoring clients.
I also started thinking about other services and products to offer.
I wrote 20 Self-Care Habits, which came from a series of blogs I wrote.
I began planning other avenues of income and work.
In July 2019, I left the care job. I miss the social aspects of it and the young people I worked with.
But it wasn’t for me anymore.
I worked 11 years as a support worker in different areas. It gave me lots of knowledge that includes being able to offer counselling to autistic and other neurodiverse people.
My practice is now full to the brim. My products and services are being created slowly but surely.
More books are in the pipeline, as well as collaborations with colleagues and companies to create more mental space to help more clients and colleagues with their lives and careers.
Those who know me will know that I didn’t write this to brag. I’m more in awe of how things are going than anyone else!
I wrote this to show my fellow colleagues what is possible when we work hard, when we get the training, CPD, support from one another, and put ourselves out there.
I hope this post has been helpful to those starting out, and allowed those more seasoned practitioner to reflect on the amazing journey we’re all in…
…doing what we love, whilst at the same time helping our clients and colleagues get back on track, or get their businesses going.
I look forward to writing to you next week.