For 5 weeks, we’re looking at the common money issues that hurt therapists in private practice. Last time we looked at your money set point, the amount of money you expect to earn. Now we’ll talk about another money issue that holds therapists back: Looking away from your money reality.
If you have this money issue, you don’t know about your money reality and you don’t want to know. You are using denial to deal with your fears about money. As therapists, we know how well denial works. Not so well.
See if you can answer these questions:
- How much did you earn last month?
- What’s your average fee?
- How much are your monthly business expenses?
- Do you have any uncollected fees?
- How many people contacted you to ask about working with you last month?
- Are your numbers easy to assemble at tax time?
If you can’t easily get at the answers to some of these, and if your heart rate just sped up in reading the questions, you may be looking the other way about your money.
Looking honestly at your finances is kind of like getting a colonoscopy. Whatever you find, you’re better off knowing.
Even if you think you can’t handle the truth, I know you can. It may be painful and it may bring up shame. That’s so normal, and you are in good company. I have helped a lot of therapists work through that shame so they can take charge of their finances. Facing the reality of where you are right now leads to freedom. When you stop putting energy into keeping the truth out of sight, you get to use that energy for growth. You lose that creeping feeling of guilt that says “I really should look at my numbers” and you gain the ability to make better choices.
I worked with a woman who hated looking at her money. She didn’t know the answers to any of the above questions.
At first she insisted on building her practice without getting a clear look at her finances. She had a little bit of success with that approach, but fairly quickly leveled off in her income. Then I encouraged her again to look at her finances while leaning on my guidance. She found out how much she was spending, how much she was earning, and what her actual average fee was. This helped her understand what she needed to earn to have more than enough and live with more financial abundance.
This knowledge gave her the motivation she needed to raise fees for new clients and market her practice with more energy and consistency. This is what she needed to break through that income barrier and make a good living. It took courage as well as support.
I want that for you too.
If you need some help breaking through an income barrier, apply for a free consultation and find out how I can help. I’ve got group and individual programs to help you bust through your money issues and grow your practice.