A common quote in the business world is, “You must spend money to make money.” I know, you've been spending money on training and are sick of handing out cash to be a therapist. But, if our graduate programs offered business courses we would probably have understood more about why this quote is so important AND how it applies to our therapy-business world. But alas, we did not necessarily have these options in grad school…so we must learn on our own.
I was inspired to write about this topic because when I was getting my practice going I really struggled with where to invest my money- and when to do it! I started in a group practice, which was an incredible experience. However, when I started out on my own I had some of the same expectations of how my practice should look (both literally and in practice). This was a great thing- I had mental model of a great successful practice to strive towards. But... I JUST DID NOT have the money to make my practice like this group practice- not right away at least.
I wanted to focus on spending money on myself first…I know, I know, it feels weird when you are trying to get a business off the ground. But to me the most important places to spend money are on things that are going to help you develop wonderful roots and set you up for long-lasting success.
Professional development is what your name is built on. Your training, your expertise, and your professional identity are what people use to decide if they want to refer to you. It is essential that most of your money is spent on professional development if you want private pay referrals. If you have your fingers crossed for getting called randomly from insurance lists or finding you on Psychology Today, that's another matter. If you want to establish yourself in this town as someone to send clients to, then here are your steps.