Are you in a job that you’re unhappy in?

You’re not alone.

Many studies show that over two-thirds of people worldwide find themselves unhappy and disengaged at work.

Maybe you’ve entered public mental health work to make a difference and a just contribution to the world.

But after years of service you feel burned out and unappreciated.

I hear this every single day from therapists all over the world.

I also hear a longing from many of you to make a switch to private practice.

I read about your visions to work the way you want.

Using methodologies and techniques that you’ve been told you cannot explore in your workplace.

I receive emails nearly every day about how many of you want to serve specific populations and determine your own hours. And there’s endless messages about not earning enough money in the public sector, while being overworked and under supported.

So many therapists reach out to me wanting to transition from a job they are unhappy in to a private practice.

But they feel caught in a state of limbo, unable to leave their current job while longing to fulfill their mission in a private practice.

I’ve been there. I know countless of others who’ve been there.

And there is a way through this emotional impasse.

I want to share with you 5 strategies from my own experience of how to leave full-time employment to creating a full-time practice so you no longer have to  fantasize about what it would be like to not only love the type of work you do but to also love where and how you do it.

One: Save some money! I know for some of you this might feel challenging, but it’s important in order to have the financial security to begin to work for yourself. If it’s possible, I recommend three to six months of savings to pay for your basic lifestyle expenses. If you can’t achieve three to six months on your own have a plan B. If you might now be able to pay your bills within the first few months know upfront who you can turn to for support.

Two: Invest money into your new practice. Building a private practice takes some degree of an initial investment. If you are wise with how you invest that money you can generate new clients quickly. Some options for finding investment capital include interest free business credit cards, low interest business loans, crowdfunding, family and friends. Obviously whatever method you choose, have a practical and sustainable way to payback your loan.

Three: Use your investment capital wisely. If you gain access to startup money there’s no need to go spend five thousand dollars on office furniture with it. Create a budget. Spend more money on items that will produce more clients initially such as online paid advertising, local networking lunches, social media campaigns, etc. Spend less money on your office space and other areas that don’t directly bring clients in the door.

Four: Educate Yourself. There’s no reason anymore to recreate the wheel when building your private practice. The internet has tons of invaluable resources on how to create a small service-based business from A through Z. Spend some time each day learning and you will find yourself so much more relieved to have knowledge as one of your key allies.

Five: Mentorship! Above all else make sure to have mentorship in the process. From building the smallest business to the largest corporations in the world everyone can benefit from the use of mentors who’ve been there, done it and learned from the mistakes. Find mentors who can guide you so you can transition in the quickest way possible without having to spend energy in inefficient ways.

Transitioning to a private practice often feels intimidating and scary. And the results of taking the leap into private practice can be extremely rewarding.  If you are longing to serve clients in a new way and the only thing holding yourself back is you it might be time to take a leap of faith and see what you’re fully capable of.

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Keith Kurlander

Keith Kurlander is the founder of Higher Practice, a company dedicated to helping therapists achieve their highest potential in private practice. He has two decades of combined experience in business administration, group facilitation, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, yoga instruction and as a licensed professional counselor in private practice.

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