When I was a kid, my parents and neighbours could have told you I was born to be an entrepreneur.
I was the kid who set up a lemonade stand on my front yard, offered to do yardwork and clean my neighbors houses in exchange for a few bucks, and starting babysitting as soon as I was old enough.
I’ve always loved the idea of doing work I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it — getting paid for it, and then having the freedom to spend my money how I wanted (back then, it was twizzlers and sour keys at the local convenience store)!
Those early skills translated into a natural drive for entrepreneurship.
You may have had a different experience than I did, but what I’ve realized over the years is that there are certain qualities that someone who is “cut out” for entrepreneurship possesses.
Thousands of newly certified counsellors and therapists in Canada graduate from their Masters degree each year, with dreams of going into private practice. Hundreds more, who are already experienced and working in the industry, make the transition from agency work or working for an organization into private practice. Although the number of practitioners in Canada is steadily growing, along with the number who are entering private practice, success has more to do with one’s orientation towards being an entrepreneur and a business owner, than being a skillful therapist (although that can certainly help)!
Anyone can take the initial steps into private practice, but actually being successful in private practice is a whole other ballgame. Few who venture into it have the knowledge, understanding, and natural instincts required to truly make it work.
The good news is that if you’re reading this article, chances are, that you’re instincts are already telling you that private practice is a right fit for you! And if that’s the case, here are some of the biggest ways to tell whether you were born to be an entrepreneur and whether private practice is a right fit for you:
You Long For Freedom & Flexibility
You’re tired of working for someone else, and your current job doesn’t give you the kind of freedom and flexibility that being your own boss does. You literally dream about being able to set your own hours and you and have always preferred doing things on your own time, and in your own way.
You’re not stuck on the idea of working 5 days per week and you want the freedom to be able to mix things up — work 4 days per week if you like, have weekends off, take holidays and vacations when you want.
Work-life balance is very important to you, and you don’t want to have to fight against your employer or an organization in order to get it. You want to be in charge of your own schedule!
You Have A Burning Desire To Do Work You Feel Passionate About
No one wants to roll out of bed in the morning, just to head to a job they don’t truly love.
And for you … this is literally pure torture! You’ve got this fire burning inside of you that has propelled you throughout your life to study, learn more, experience more, and constantly engage in personal growth work. The idea of falling in with the status quo, or doing work that is anything less than your purpose here on earth, just isn’t going to cut it.
You have an inner knowing that you were born to do something great … to serve, to make a difference — you just KNOW that you have to pursue it! The idea of having your own private practice thrills you and opens doors of possibility within your mind that just don’t exist when you’re working for someone else!
Thinking about waking up each morning excited to see clients you truly care about, journeying with them through their successes and breakthroughs, and knowing that you have truly been of service, is a huge, motivating factor for you!
You Have Natural Leadership Skills
There is just something about knowing that the business you’ve created, the work that you do, and the services you offer, not only generate a pay check that supports you, but your family as well.
The thought of accomplishing this, and knowing that you’ve created something that gives you and your loved ones opportunities for travel and connection, that you otherwise might never have had, is so incredibly fulfilling.
Getting known in the community for the great work you do, receiving referrals to clients who can benefit from exactly what you have to offer … and knowing that YOUR hard work did all of this, gives you an unimaginably wonderful feeling that you just doesn’t quite compare to anything else!
You Need To Feel That The Work You Do Is “On-Purpose”
Living our lives with a sense of purpose contributes to our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. To you, knowing that you are doing work each day that is important and meaningful and truly makes a difference in someone else’s life, is the epitome of living “on purpose”.
The idea that all of your hard work is directly benefitting your clients, your family, and you — instead of somebody else’s business, makes you feel like you are being intentional in your life, and it connects you to a life-giving inner power!
You Have a Creative Streak In You
Running your own private practice isn’t just about one-on-one work. Once you become your own boss, you have the freedom to flex your creative muscles and have fun with whatever pursuits light you up, interest you, and inspire you. If you get bored easily and need fresh, new challenges to keep you engaged, then private practice will afford you all the opportunity you can imagine to experience just that!
As a business owner, you’re not bound by anything (other than your legal and ethical guidelines!). In addition to one-on-one work, you will have the ability to generate other income streams like running groups, in-person and online courses, workshops and retreats.
The sky really is the limit in terms of what you can do, and if that idea lights you up and gives you excited shivers, you are definitely on the right track!
You Are Driven & Motivated
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. You aren’t content to sit back and take direction from someone else, or be told what to do. You are a hard worker, a high achiever, and you don’t quit or walk away just because something seems hard. You persevere. You ask questions and you’re willing to do your research and learn what it takes to succeed.
You’re not afraid of making mistakes or taking risks, and you sometimes even love a good challenge. You need opportunities for creativity and self-expression, and you get bored without them. You are someone who knows what they want and you won’t let fear hold you back!
You Have Life Experience
You might not have years of experience as a counsellor behind you. You might not even have a background in business, or any management skills. But you do have personal experience in the area you want to serve.
Success in private practice requires that you have gone through challenges, and overcome them. If you don’t yet know what kinds of clients you want to serve, what kinds of problems or issues you have experience with, you might want to spend some time on that before taking the next steps.
However, if you’ve had experiences that you’ve come out the other side better for because of it, you have tools, knowledge and experience that you feel confident will help your clients, and better yet, you have helped others to apply those same results to their life, you have a necessary ingredient for success in private practice.
If you found yourself nodding along with most of the above, and resonating with what it takes to be an entrepreneur, I invite you to take the next steps!
If you haven’t already, join our free Facebook Community with other dreamers and builders who are happy to help answer your questions about going into private practice!
Or, sign up for the waitlist to my 8-week Build Your Private Practice Mastermind Course, that will teach you everything you need to know about how to successfully set up your own private practice, while avoiding the common mistakes and pitfalls that so many new therapists make.