Photo credit: Sargis Zubov from Getty Images

Starting, growing, and running a successful online business as a mental health professional is a lot of work. Being a location independent therapist, who travels the world and/or sees clients internationally is even more work. Most of us who have been doing this for years still spend over half of our time doing non-client related tasks like writing blog posts, newsletters, social media posts, or other marketing-related content. Then, there is the admin side of running a business, from client notes to taxes and figuring out international legislations when working across borders and time zones. 

So, how do we do it?

We get organized. Develop systems and processes to help you streamline your workflows.

We get help. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t!) do it all alone. 

We find a community. Sharing your struggles with like-minded colleagues, having a safe space to talk about your doubts and hopes is what will get you through it. 

Now, this all sounds good and nice, but how do we actually make this happen? 

Write down your workflows

This can be as simple as a one-page document where you write down what happens when someone contacts you, preparing some template email responses and making sure you have all the documents you need in a place you can easily access. 

The more you document your workflows, the easier it will be. This will also help you outsource some of those tasks down the line. But for now, it might just be a great reminder of how to do something for yourself, especially when it’s something you only do once in a while. We all have that tendency to think we will remember how to do it but then, 3 months later, we have to start all over again. 

Staying on top of your content and to-dos can get out of control quite quickly. Having these predetermined processes in place for your workflows will drastically reduce the headaches that come with content creation, from start to finish.

Keep track of your ideas and to-dos

Sometimes, we can have lots of great ideas, but lose out on taking action on them. Either they stay in our heads (where they can easily be forgotten about) or if they’re written down, they get lost. 

Establishing a system for organising your ideas is a must for maximising your success at follow-through.

This can be as simple as starting a list of blog post ideas.

Here are some tools that help us stay organized:

  • Evernote – a really popular note-taking app, Evernote allows you to store everything you could think of. In fact, this blog post from Evernote lists 38 things you can store in the app. With a mobile app in addition to the desktop version, you won’t have any excuse to keep yourself organised whether an idea strikes you while at the office, or out doing chores. 
  • Notion – an all-in-one workspace accepting 30 types of media files, it boasts great collaboration features if you’re working with a team, ensuring things don’t fall through the cracks. We’ve recently started using Notion ourselves here at LIT, and so far give it a big thumbs-up.
  • Ulysses – an app for focused writing, Ulysses removes all distractions, allowing you to concentrate on the task at hand and immerse yourself in the text. We’ve found that it’s really boosted our productivity. When a text has been completed, it can be exported in a variety of ways so it can be brought into the other tools you use in your workflows.
  • Google Drive and shared documents – for collaboration with colleagues on documents, spreadsheets and presentations, Google’s suite of productivity tools allows for seamless and real-time collaboration between you and any team members you have. Our own workflows have been streamlined, removing the need for constant back-and-forth emails or endless versions of documents while working on a particular project.

Outsource tasks – hire a virtual assistant

As soon as you have established your processes and systems you can start looking into getting help doing them. 

Now, you might say that you can’t afford to hire help. In that case, we would highly encourage you to work on your money mindset and look at how much your own time is worth. Because doing everything yourself isn’t free either. You are paying with your own time and it’s taking you away from more important things – whether that is making money by seeing more clients or creating a course or spending time with your family or maybe just getting a bit more sleep. 

Hiring help doesn’t have to be expensive and you might want to start by hiring someone to help you do your branding or get your website all set up. But once those first steps are done, it can be really beneficial to hire someone to help you manage the day-to-day tasks of your business. 

Here are a few ideas of tasks you could outsource as a location independent therapist: 

  • Social media management
  • Event management
  • Managing calendars, appointments and emails
  • Preparing reports
  • Personal tasks like booking hotels and restaurants
  • Simple digital marketing tasks
  • Research and content creation
  • and so much more

Even if you aren’t ready to hire help right now, we highly recommend you start writing down the things you could or would like to outsource in the future. This can be as simple as getting someone to upload and format your blog posts to help you rediscover the joy of writing.

Find like-minded colleagues

Being a location-independent therapist can be lonely. We all need colleagues and friends who understand what we do and who cheer us on along the way. 

This is why we created the LIT Community. LIT stands for Location Independent Therapists and yes, we do pronounce it “lit”. We created this community not only to help other therapists, but because we actually love being part of it ourselves. 

This community is where we get together, talk about best practices and the ins and outs of our daily work. Our community is a safe and supportive space for therapists from all around the world to connect and help each other.⁠ We meet in peer-supervision groups and business meetups, virtual co-working sessions, our monthly book club and more informal happy hour meetups. 

Does the LIT Community sound like something that would help you in your own work as a location independent therapist? Come sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know when we’re opening doors to welcome new members.