I often talk about the need to take a risk in order to build a successful private practice.

Maybe it’s reducing hours at your current job or even leaving it entirely behind.

It might be investing money into your practice in marketing or coaching for the first time ever.

You may be in the process of considering that new office space that has a high rent with a one to three year lease.

Or trying to figure out what website needs you have and how to turn your creative vision into a reality, but it’s gonna cost you some cash.

The list of transitions, leaps of faith and investments are many and in all fairness they come with associated risks. What happens if your clients don’t start walking in the door?

What if you thought you did everything right and your efforts failed you.

You thought you strategized perfectly with your new social media campaign, but it turns out no one is paying attention.

You’re cold calling all the new doctors in your town, but no one wants to meet with you.

You paid an SEO firm to get your website ranked and you’re still on page 1000 of google listings.

The real question you need to ask yourself is can these “failures” benefit me in some way?

Thomas Edison answered the question best when describing the process of developing a commercially viable light bulb, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

So, how does this apply to building your private practice? You have to fail in order to learn what won’t work. Through a process of elimination you can relinquish your non-productive efforts and then make your discoveries of the handful of actions the will cause you to shine.

For your practice, it might be the two graduate school professors that are highly reputable in town and that absolutely love you. But you needed to go to everyone else first with no results before realizing your two professors were your golden ticket.

Maybe you tried for months to gain organic website ranks on google with all kinds of techniques and lost causes until realizing you just needed to pay for google ads to generate four to five new calls a week.

This is why it’s so important that you don’t shy away from failing. If you avoid falling at all costs you’ll never discover what works. You will get stuck in trying a limited number of techniques and tactics that produce minimal results.

Once you are willing to learn from failures and not avoid them, a new doorway opens where you can discover the recipe for success.

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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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