“What would you like to be earning?”
When I talk to a therapist about practice building strategy, that’s one of my first questions. I often have to ask the question a few different ways to get a real answer. Often the therapist will say, “I’d be ok with making….” Or “I could get by on….” Or “I only need…” There’s tension in her voice as she thinks about her budget and what it takes to pay the bills.
Then I ask again, what would you like to be earning? What is the number that would allow you to have ease around money rather than stress?
Why is it so hard to say what we would LIKE to be earning?
Therapists often don’t believe they CAN make what they would like to be earning, so they bring that number down to what they think is possible. They don’t want to set their sights too high and be disappointed.
Another reason for not saying what they’d like to be earning is that therapists don’t want to work too many hours, so they pull that number back to reflect the numbers of hours they would like to work. They believe they would have to work too many hours to hit a higher number. It’s smart to make a plan to avoid burnout, but that plan doesn’t have to include making too little money.
When you set your goal at “just enough,” you don’t find out how you could earn more. It creates a mental barrier that stops you from thinking bigger and more creatively about your business. When you settle for just enough, you don’t make the difficult choices that could bring you to a higher income level.
So I keep asking. Once I hear how much a therapist actually wants to earn, there’s more ease and joy in her voice. As she names that number, she breathes a little deeper and lets go of a little bit of tension.
You should earn a profit in your business. It’s important.
Earning a profit can make a big difference in your life. Profit allows you to save for your future. Private practice doesn’t come with a pension, so you need to put money towards retirement. If you have kids, you want to be able to support them now and save something for the future. Profit also allows you to make different choices right now. You can buy organic food without worrying about the grocery bill. You can give generously when it feels right.
When you make a profit, you have the opportunity to invest more in your business, and that creates a positive feedback loop, allowing you to grow your business with more ease.
If you’re ready to go from just enough to making a real profit, I can help. Apply for a free phone consultation now.