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Mark Zuckerberg with a group of friends created Facebook, the largest social network in the world in their college dorm room.

They changed the very foundation of how we live our life.

Nearly 1 billion people around the world use facebook every day.

We rely on facebook for news, connections to our closest friends, taking interest in people’s lives we never met, “viral” videos to inform or entertain us, and, of course, exposure to companies’ products and services.

They had a vision to create a network that connected the world for free.

They had a number of corporate investors take interest in their company early on but they often said no. Their value of keeping facebook open and free to the world was their highest priority. So, they never wavered on it.

Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard, one of the most prestigious schools in the world, in order to pursue his vision.

Dropping out of Harvard is a radical departure and risk for anyone raised in a culture that deifies higher education as the key to success.

Mark became an entrepreneur without any previous knowledge on how to do so. He had no idea how big facebook would become. He just believed in the vision and recognized that others believed in it as well.

He took a big risk by leaving higher academia.  Sure, he could have went back later, but as you know our paths are always altered in some way once we make our choices.

He had a skillset that he had become highly proficient in. For Mark that was computer programming. He and his friends also had a vision of a company that would change the world in a positive way. In this case, it was connecting people through social media.

But there are plenty of people with skillsets and visions that never come to fruition.

So, what determines the true spirit of an entrepreneur if it’s not skillsets and visions alone?

Mark Zuckerberg and his friends are great examples of true entrepreneurial spirits.

They used their skillsets and visions and took a risk at building a business without any prior knowledge on how to do so.

This is the core spirit behind any entrepreneur. It’s having the resourcefulness to enter into a situation without knowing exactly what to do or where it’s going.

Even though Mark’s story led to creating one of the largest companies on the planet, the principles of entrepreneurship remain the same for any size business.

He and his friends left a conventional path into an unknown landscape in pursuit of a better vision for the planet.

In your case, you’ve honed your craft as a therapist.  You have a vision for starting or expanding a private practice to better the world. But you need to enter into unchartered territories in order to see your vision all the way through.

Whether you are taking a risk by leaving a job, taking out a loan, moving to a new region, investing in your practice, you need to take a leap of faith knowing that no other option feels right any longer in your life.

And you will make mistakes. You will need to experiment to see what works. You will also have to study to learn what has worked for others.

You can’t predict when your vision will fully manifest. You must trust that it’s not only possible, but inevitable.

This is the entrepreneurial spirit that you must unearth in order to crossover from a person with an underutilized skill set into a therapist with a private practice to channel your gifts through.

The journey of a private practitioner isn’t for everyone. However, the entrepreneurial spirit is an essential energy in all of us. It’s a creative force that lies dormant waiting to manifest into a spectacular gift for the world.

Don’t get stuck in the question of whether you’re capable to build a practice. That has very little to do with the entrepreneurial spirit necessary for growing your practice.

The question to ask yourself is if you’re determined to unearth the spark inside of you to journey into the unknown so that you too can fulfill your vision in this world.

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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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