People out there need your help.

You know they’re out there (or, at least, you’re fighting hard to believe).

And you want them to reach out to you so you can make an impact with your expertise.

(And yes, it is also nice to pay the bills and have a little money at the end of the month.)

Well, what does an enterprising practice owner do to achieve that practice growth?

Over the past five years, we have worked with over 1000 different practice owners:

  • Mental Health Therapists of all stripes (PhD’s, PsyD’s, LCSW’s, MFT’s, etc.)
  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Naturopaths
  • Bodyworkers
  • Hypnotherapists
  • Dietitians
  • Acupuncturists
  • Coaches

Helping 1,059+ practice owners will teach you some things.

Here, then, are 7 proven tips we’ve seen grow practices across the United States in all sorts of markets for all sorts of practitioners.

1. Cultivate a Crystal Clear Vision

Vision is your ability to see a possible future in detail.

In terms of your practice, we’re talking about all the specific details that, together, would form a practice you’d love to have.

  • How many clients are you seeing each week?
  • What sorts of clients do you have?
  • What type of work are you doing with them?
  • What does your office look like?
  • How does your schedule work?
  • How much income do you make?
  • How much time off do you take?

The answers to these questions will begin to fill in your Vision for the practice you’d love to create.

Do you think Vision sounds too fluffy or vague or unrelated to putting actual food on your actual table?

I feel you. I used to view vision that way myself.

But check out one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books for a different take on the importance of vision for growing your practice:

“The shift in thinking from seeing vision as fluff, to seeing it as the mother of all antecedents is a fundamental shift in thinking that will pay huge dividends. When you understand the true power of vision, you will want to spend more time connecting with your own vision to begin freeing yourself from the self-imposed limitations that have held you back. Vision is the starting point of all high performance.”

–Brian P. Moran & Michael Lennington, 12 Week Year, pg. 84

There’s a lot going on in this quote. Allow me to explicate just a bit…

First off, this quote asserts that not only is vision NOT a fluffy waste of time; in fact, Vision is the seed from which your future achievements grow.

The recommendation here is to view Vision as the mother of ALL antecedents. Try that perspective on, and see what happens when you treat Vision that seriously.

Then, the reason Vision matters is because we otherwise succumb to self-imposed limitations that hold us back. This is the territory of Thoreau’s famous quote that “the mass of {wo}men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

If you’re living out of self-imposed limitations, your practice will be smaller than it could otherwise be. The number of people you help will be fewer. Your income will be tighter.

But, if you spend more time connecting with an expansive Vision for your life and practice, you will be able to shake loose from any self-imposed limitations and instead flex a bit and discover what’s possible beyond the limitations you’ve accepted.

Finally, Vision is just the starting point.

You begin at a strong Vision for what you want to create in your practice.

This implies a couple things:

  1. The journey to the practice of your dreams begins with the Vision of that dream practice held tightly in your mind.
  2. From that starting point, you’ll then need to get in motion, take lots of action, and do the things that will actually lead to your Vision for your practice coming into reality.

Therefore, cultivating a crystal clear vision is the first practice growth tip I’ve seen work time and again for the 1000+ practice owners we’ve helped within Therapy Practice Accelerator.

2. Befriend Your Practice’s Numbers

From the heights of Vision, of course we next descend into the stark depths of Accounting.

As above, so below.

I’d estimate over 90% of the practice owners I’ve worked with share a common phobia of accounting.

Income figures, expense figures, profit margin, taxes – all of that stuff gives most practice owners the willies.

The problem is, running a business requires 20/20 clarity on the monthly circulation of financial figures through that business.

The “cover my eyes and hope for the best” strategy might work for a little while…but eventually, the reckoning will come.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of this bad news, but the only option in front of you if you want to grow your practice as fast as possible as successfully as possible is to befriend the numbers in your practice.

One of the most surprising transformations we facilitate for our clients is having them go from numbers-phobic to numbers-enamored.

That’s right – you, too, can fall in love with the numbers that flow through your practice each month.

It may take a little (or a lot of) time to put these together. But that investment of time and effort is well worth it for what your experience will be like running your practice when you know and can easily see all your numbers super clearly.

When you can see your practice’s numbers with clarity, you’ll receive multiple powerful benefits:

  • You’ll know exactly where you stand in terms of your financial position. (Not having to guess is an amazing feeling, believe it or not.)
  • Your anxiety levels will be much less – because in the absence of the clear data, your mind will otherwise concoct horror stories about how dire things may or may not be.
  • You will be able to pursue your practice growth strategy with confident certainty based on where you actually are and where you actually want to be.
  • You will experience what it feels like to be a business owner in control of your own destiny.

Those benefits make the short-term pain of facing your fears around accounting, finances, math, etc. well worth it.

3. Realize Through and Through: It’s Not About You

This is a big one.

Lean in and really listen to me on this one.

So, when we first start working with practice owners, one of the biggest initial moves is to get them to stop trying to puff themselves up and look incredibly capable and qualified.

It’s normal that we want to have others perceive us as capable and qualified.

But the problem is that the people looking for your services don’t actually care about you that much.

What do they care about instead?

You guessed it – they care about themselves.

And as far as you’re involved, you’re only involved to the degree that you can help THEM fix whatever isn’t working in THEIR life.

In your world, you’ve spent thousands of dollars and countless hours investing in your education and expertise. So, of course, you want to show those off to the world.

And truth be told, you can share all about how expert you are at helping your clients feel and do better in their lives.

But that comes AFTER you’ve demonstrated the core understanding that It’s Not About You.

It’s About Them.

What does this look like in the real world?

It looks like you putting your prospective client front and center in every piece of messaging you put together for your practice. Your website, your social media, your interactions with potential referral sources, and every conversation you have with a prospective client.

Instead of beginning with: “Hey!! Look At Me!”

You start with: “What You’re Going Through is Challenging. Here’s How I Can Help You.”

The details will differ depending on what you offer and to whom.

But fundamentally, this shift will automatically improve everything you do to promote your practice.

If you’re reading this and you have a practice, I would RIGHT NOW drop everything and go look at every piece of communication you’ve created that offers your work to the world.

Reverse any instance where you put yourself first and the client second.

Then, watch what happens.

You’re going to love the result.

4. Avoid the Tyranny of “Just One”

If you’re overly reliant on any one lead source in your practice, then you’re walking on thin ice.

Here’s a story I’ve seen happen over and over:

A practice owner lucked into an amazing relationship with one specific referral source.

Say, a really busy doctor’s office, or a school with an unfortunately intense need for somewhere to send their most challenging cases.

Everything’s great while the gravy train is rolling down the tracks. Tons of referrals, flush profits, and very little need to spend time building out any other referrals sources.

Then one day, the bad news hits: Dr. Johnson is retiring so he can sail the Caribbean. Or that guidance counselor who loved you to pieces suddenly gets transferred to the central office.

Whatever the reason, WHAM out of nowhere that amazing referral source dries up. All at once. All of a sudden.

And then it hits you: you put all your eggs in one basket, and now you have no idea how to stay full without that referral source in your back pocket.

This can happen with an offline referral source, and it can also happen with an online source of new client referrals.

The most successful practices build a web of ways for potential clients to discover that practice.

When you’ve built an interlocking web of different strategies for reaching prospective clients, the whole is much stronger than the parts.

There’s an exponential lift that takes place – and there’s no danger of the whole practice dipping precipitously because one specific referral vector suddenly vanishes.

“Just One” is a danger you definitely want to look out for in your practice’s marketing strategy.

And NOW is the time to start building out additional ways for prospective clients to find you if you’re realizing that you’ve fallen into the “Just One” trap of overreliance on a single source for the bulk of your practice’s new client leads.

5. Maximum Accountability

I’d like to think that I’m self-motivated and capable of striving for greatness all on my own.

I’m sure you’d like to think of yourself that way as well.

It actually took me many years to finally accept that, in fact, I benefit hugely from being accountable to some trusted others.

Accountability is simple: you inform someone of what you’re going to do. Then, you let them know whether you did what you said you’d do or not.

It’s ideal if the other person is relying on you for accountability as well so you both have skin in the game.

If your only form of accountability is the voice inside your head, you’ll be much less likely to push through the inevitable resistance that crops up any time we confront an uncomfortable task that stretches us.

The most successful people I’ve met have developed layers of accountability in all the important areas of their lives.

Mentors, friends, colleagues, partners, their audience, their clients – the more responsibility someone has taken on, the more accountable they are.

I used to view accountability as an unwelcome burden. An unfortunate aspect of certain career paths or something.

Now, I see accountability as one of THE KEYS to actually making swift progress.

But the real magic started when I began experimenting with our community of clients to instill additional accountability throughout our work together.

For those practice owners who embraced the accountability frameworks we offered, we witnessed breakthrough after breakthrough (on top of the existing amazing results our clients already experienced prior to these new layers of accountability being added).

Even though I feel committed to my goals, participating with others in the goal-setting and goal-pursuing process has made a huge difference.

It’s late at the end of a long day, and I’m tired. Yet I committed to completing this article as part of my weekly plan. I committed publicly to my week’s goals, including this specific action.

So, I follow through and write the article. Largely because I know I’ll be reporting to my accountability partners next week.

Accountability works. Use it to the max.

6. Try, Track, Tweak

Here at Therapy Practice Accelerator, we have a saying we repeat multiple times per day:

80% is perfect.

Perfectionism is fairly rampant among the practice owners I’ve gotten to know. It’s rampant across society in the modern age.

Heck, for all I know, perfectionism has been haunting human beings since time immemorial.

One of the worst thing about perfectionism is that it occupies the center of a complex web of justifications through which we convince ourselves that perfectionism is noble and helpful.

Perfectionism is NOT your friend.

It delays – or destroys – progress. It slows you down. It stresses you out. It robs the world of all the “imperfect” creativity we stifle.

Instead of a perfectionistic approach to practice building, we embrace a different way: 80% is perfect.

The answer to most questions like “Should I try to do XYZ to grow my practice?” is:

Try it. Track it. Then tweak it based on actual feedback.

Many practice owners never let themselves get to “Try it.” They agonize and plot and ponder…while staying stuck.

Life is complex. Building a strong practice is complex.

Waiting until your plan is “perfect” means you’ll probably never actually get into action.

This is far too deep a subject for me to do justice to here in this article. Specifically because of how entrenched perfectionism is for most practice owners.

Talking someone out of their reliance on perfectionism as a life strategy is a delicate mental surgery.

However, if you’re at all amenable to trying a different way, then approach your practice-building efforts like this instead:

Try it.

Track it.

Tweak it.

Test that approach for a quarter and watch closely to see what happens.

If you’re anything like our most successful practice owner clients, you will be liberated to make more progress faster than you have ever previously managed.

7. Celebrate Your Actual Progress

If you implement the above six steps with consistency over a few months, you will see improvement. You will see new clients coming into your practice.

You will see progress.

The real question is: will you recognize that progress when it shows up?

Most people don’t see their genuine progress.

I know from firsthand experience – I walked around comparing myself to others and missing my own growth for the bulk of my adulthood before I learned that there’s a better way.

Going back to tip #2 above, if you don’t actually have clear numbers telling the indisputable story of your progress, then your mind will likely convince you that things are not going that well.

Our minds are incredible. Incredibly amazing, yes. But also incredibly arrogant.

Our mind will convince us of almost anything if we let it.

Whenever and wherever you have the numbers in your life, you have a direct way to counter the mind’s tendency to create false narratives and explanations about things.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in conversation with one of our clients where the conversation starts with a sense of impending doom, I encourage the practice owner to just look over their numbers real quick, and suddenly they realize they just had the best month in practice history by any measure.

So, celebrating progress begins with seeing progress.

And seeing progress begins with actually tracking what matters and keeping the important numbers in front of you.

How many clients per week. How much revenue. How much profit.

I know this sounds daunting if you haven’t actually completed the tasks I mentioned in tip #2 above, but it will set you up for the wonderful opportunity of being able to celebrate your progress.

How do you celebrate progress?

First, you notice it.

Then, you think back to where you started, or where you were a year ago, or a month ago.

You notice the growth – the change in state from where you used to be to where you are today.

And then, you really let yourself feel good for all that progress you’ve generated in your practice and in your life.

Sometimes, it’s fun to include a token gesture or activity or gift to really ground yourself in the progress.

Other times, it’s enough to just sit in the moment and smile and feel that progress in every cell.

If you aren’t in the habit of celebrating your progress, this is likely going to feel uncomfortable.

It might even be triggering.

Celebrating progress isn’t normal. We typically reserve celebration for the huge obvious wins, or the socially sanctioned celebratory occasions like a birthday or holiday.

Appreciating the intermediate steps along the way? That isn’t usually cause for celebration.

But those intermediate steps are the substance of your life.

Big success comes from a long sequence of small successes.

I’m encouraging you to celebrate those small successes and medium successes on your way to the big successes.

Capture the excitement, bottle it up, and keep it close to fuel your forward momentum.

1,059+ Practice Owners – Are You Next?

The seven tips I’ve just gone through will make a huge difference in your practice’s growth.

IF, that is, you apply them.

Often, the issue in life and business isn’t knowing WHAT to do – it’s actually doing it.

We offer the best system available anywhere for helping you achieve your practice growth goals.

But we go beyond the WHAT. We also show you HOW to build out a practice-growth engine in the fastest time possible. And, we offer support each step of the way to make sure you actually take the effective actions so you achieve at your practice growth goals.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you with your practice, the next step is easy:

Book a call with our team so we can learn more about you, your practice, and your dreams.

Let us personally help you triple, quadruple, or even 10x your client base – while equipping you with the tools and skills required to grow a therapy practice in the 21st century.