Since our first blog in August, discussing what it takes to be successful in private practice, we have written other blogs about the counseling profession and private practice. However, upon further review we left out a discussion of a key component about success in private practice. There is an old business joke, “If you had five frogs on a log and three of them decided to jump, how many frogs would you have left on the log?” The common answer is two. However, that answer could be incorrect because there could still be five. You see there is a big difference between deciding to jump and jumping. In addition, sometimes we need a nudge.
Most successful entrepreneurs not only had a vision but a mentor who encouraged the jump. As we have learned from helping others take the private practice “plunge” mentors can make a significant difference. Most of us had a mentor or someone we admired that helped us find our way in to the counseling profession. Now that you are a professional counselor, find a mentor to help in starting a limited practice or expand an existing one.
While it could be someone in the helping professions, it just needs to be someone who has taken a risk and been successful. Seek out respected family members, friends, community members and peers who you admire and ask them for their keys to success. Do not be afraid to ask others to help mentor you in your new endeavor. We often wonder what would have happened if not for the mentoring of us by very special people who “nudged” us to actually jump and not stay on the log. Without them, the journey would have been markedly different.
For those counseling entrepreneurs out there who benefitted from mentoring, find another to give back. Happy Holidays Norm and Bob
Norm Dasenbrook and Bob Walsh are counselors in private practice, consultants, and authors (www.counseling-privatepractice.com)