Have you ever thought about whether you need to develop a business mindset as a location independent therapist?
Even more importantly, do you think of yourself as a mental health professional or as a business owner?
The reality is that as a location independent therapist, you’re usually both – unless you find a remote job and are employed by a company that allows you to travel the world while working with your dream clients and living the life you want. If that’s you, then we would love to hear from you!
But if you’re like us, then you’ll be starting or running and growing your own business to work and live the way you really want. The problem is that most mental health professionals have no business training at all, so it’s easy to become overwhelmed or not know where to start.
One of the key lessons we’ve learned over the years of working for ourselves is that you need to develop a business mindset (even if you have no background in business and never thought of yourself as an entrepreneur or business owner!) Knowing how to be a location independent therapist or which tools to use is also important, but you can’t replace the foundation of a solid business mindset.
In this blog post, we want to discuss why having a business mindset is so essential and share some tips to get you on the right track. If you’re already working for yourself, it’s never too late to work on your mindset, and if you’re still in the planning stages, then these tips should help you avoid some major pitfalls we’ve seen (and even experienced).
Having a business mindset means being committed to growing your business and developing the skills necessary to make that happen (or outsourcing any tasks you don’t want to handle yourself).
Another key part of a business mindset is getting comfortable with making financial decisions. Even if you’d rather not focus on the money, the truth is that every business needs to make a profit. If you’re self-employed, then suddenly you’re responsible for setting your own prices, not to mention taxes, bookkeeping, expenses, and more.
So, here are 5 tips for how to develop a business mindset as a location independent therapist:
1. Create your Business Vision
One of the first things we recommend aspiring (or even established) location independent therapists do is create a long-term business vision. It can be tempting to jump in and start working on your business straight away. But if you don’t know what your goals are or what your ‘why’ is, then you don’t have anything to guide you or help you move in the right direction.
As a business owner, you get to decide what success means to you and build a business that will help you achieve it. Having a clear business vision will help you make any big decisions and ensure that you’re working towards your long-term goals, not just the next few weeks or months.
2. Start thinking like an entrepreneur
Most mental health professionals don’t have any official business training or qualifications. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t start thinking like an entrepreneur. You need to take your business seriously, even if it’s just you and your laptop.
You can’t just focus on the therapy side of your business and forget about marketing, networking, and growing your business – or you’ll find that you don’t have any clients to work with.
You’ll have to embrace the role of CEO of your business and decide how you’ll spend your time. We all know that business owners wear many hats, including admin, marketing, bookkeeping, and more. Managing all these different activities (and outsourcing what you can’t or don’t want to do) is crucial to your business success.
There are some great resources out there to help you learn the skills required of a business owner. In the LIT Community, we host many events to help our members start and grow their businesses and develop their skills. And the best part is that when they join, members get access to all our past events in our Replay Library. All of these recordings (including with Guest Experts) are just a click away, so members can create their own mini business-building course customized to where they are in their business journey.
Here are just a few of the business workshops our members get access to when they join:
- SEO with guest expert Cinthia Pacheco
- Creating Websites with guest expert Judit Sarkany
- Money Mindset with guest expert Cynthia Dauderstedt
- Content Writing for Mental Health Professionals with guest expert Alyssa Berthiaume
- Social Media Marketing with guest expert Stefanie Faceira
- and many more!
3. Focus on the big picture
As you build or grow your business, it’s easy to get bogged down in the small details and forget about the big picture. You could spend weeks tweaking your website copy or get wrapped up in posting every day on Instagram to up with the algorithm.
But as a business owner, you need to keep your focus on the big picture. There are times when you can dive into the tiny details, but you should never lose track of your business vision. Whenever you’re working on a task or project, remember to check in with your ‘why’ and consider whether this project is moving you in the right direction.
4. Set up your essential business systems
Starting a business can feel scary, but it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it can seem at first. There are only four essential systems you need to set up as a location independent therapist to kickstart your business:
- Developing your core offer and how you’ll deliver it to your clients
- Getting clear on your niche and ideal client
- Clarifying your message (Your communication with potential clients, including your wording, copy, etc)
- Creating a marketing and visibility strategy (and putting it into action)
Once you have these four systems clearly defined and put into action, then you’ve set up the core of your business. Keeping this in mind can cut down on the stress of building a business and help you to focus on what most deserves your time and attention.
5. Find support & outsource (you don’t have to do it all alone!)
As a solopreneur, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to do everything by yourself. But part of developing a business mindset is assessing your financial and time resources and deciding how to manage them best.
For example, do you really need to create a YouTube channel and post videos every week? And could you outsource some work to a virtual assistant or hire a bookkeeper to handle your finances?
To make these decisions, you’ll need to have a good idea of your income, expenses, and profit. But you should also think about how much time you spend on each of these tasks. If you’re spending 20 hours a week on admin and marketing, that will eat away at the time you have available to work with clients. Outsourcing could save you so much time and allow you to work on what you do best.
Connecting with Colleagues Can Help You Develop Your Business Mindset
But as a location independent therapist, it’s not just logistical help you’ll need. Working as a solopreneur can get lonely, so creating a support network is essential. Ideally, that would include other entrepreneurs who understand the struggles of running a business. You can support each other through the ups and downs, offer suggestions, inspiration, and motivation as you travel on this (challenging, but rewarding) path.
And that’s why we created our paid LIT Community as a dedicated space for location independent therapists to connect, collaborate, and come together for support! Sign up for our waitlist here to be the first to hear when we next open our doors!
With these tips, you’ll be on the right path to develop a strong business mindset and create a solid foundation for your location independent business. Do you have any other questions about business mindsets or being a location independent therapist? Let us know in the comments!