- Written by Annemi Olivier
- Published: 28 Nov 2016
One of the most common questions I get asked by students undertaking our
Diploma of Counselling Online or our Diploma of Leadership Coaching and Mentoring in Brisbane is: "How do I start my own practice?"
I completely resonate when a student says "I really would like to start my own practice but I am really nervous". When I was starting out I wavered between fear and excitement. Starting your own business can feel scary. Here are a few ideas that might help you when starting your own practice.
1. Don't Listen to negativity.
I remember the well-meaning advice clearly: "be careful the economy is bad"...thanks Dad, "why would you give up a well-paid job?", "what will you do if it fails?" Whilst listening to this well-meaning advice my thoughts immediately gravitated toward fear. The best possible thing you can do is to decide to listen only to constructive feedback from mentors, coaches or anyone who is positively supporting you on your journey. Trust in yourself. As a side note all those people who told me I might fail now tell me, "We always knew you could do it" hmm...
2. Picture that you have no limitations on what you can be, have, or achieve in your life.
Just for a moment, imagine that you have all the resources you need to achieve anything you want in life. What would you be doing and what resources would you need to achieve that dream? Write them down.
3. Prepare to succeed.
Mental preparation is one of the most important steps in succeeding. The reason for this is because if you have fear you will need to face it and go beyond it. Mental preparation helps you achieve a focused, confident and trusting mindset to perform at your highest level. Confidence is the number one objective of your mental preparation. Confidence can be built in many ways, including: practice, preparation, careful planning and the mindsets you maintain.
Self-sabotage often sneaks in without you even recognising it. That little voice that says... You will fail... Self-Sabotage can be described as a combination of negative thoughts, feelings and self-defeating behaviours, caused by low self-esteem and a lack of self-worth and confidence that create roadblocks on the path to success. When you consciously want something but subconsciously make sure you don't get it, your inner saboteur is at work. The behaviours are subtle, but by learning to recognise them, you can begin to overcome them.
Senior Coach and Mentor Chris Nunn O.A.M.* who has had a successful career in high performance coaching of Paralympian's and owned his own swim school says preparing yourself mentally in extremely important. Chris suggests the following:
- Choose to have a positive attitude. Realise that attitude is a choice and you can make that choice right now. Use positive self-talk. Negative self-talk only serves to sabotage your aspirations.
- Set goals that will lead you to your vision. You have probably heard it all before set SMART goals. We quite often become motivated after attending a seminar and think "Yes I am going to set my goals" A week later the plan is all forgotten. So, ask yourself just how committed are you to creating your own business? How badly do you want this dream? Do you have the resources to execute this goal?
- Manage your emotions - Accept that things won't always go to according to plan and there will be days when you feel like giving up. Emotions such as excitement, disappointment, happiness or sadness are all part of the journey. Understanding the impact of positive and negative emotions may actively enhance your effectiveness in reaching your goal.
- Resist distractions they serve no purpose.
4. Recognise and acknowledge your gifts and talents.
When you understand what your gifts are and you begin to live in a way whereby these gifts are being used to their fullest, that's when the dreams come true.
Your business success lies in your difference to other coaches/counsellors.
5. Think about your niche market.
With whom do you want to do business? Be as precise as you possibly can. Identify the type of clients you want to target. Once you have identified the type of client break it down even further. E.g. I want to be a career coach... I want to career coach women in xyz industry... I want to be a career coach for women aged between 25 – 50.
The benefit of becoming niche is that you begin to "get noticed". The more you learn about the area you are working in the more you become known for being really great at what you do. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth referrals.
Keep Your Business Plan Simple:
Too many times I was told that I have to have a really detailed business plan. That's ok once the business has grown but if you are your starting your coaching or counselling practice I do not believe there is any reason to bog yourself down in too much detail.
What you need to have is a piece of paper that details the main things that will keep your business plan on track.
1. Describe the business.
2. Describe the service.
3. Describe how the business will make money through a business model.
4. Describe how to market the business.
5. Describe the financial projection, including how much money you need and how much money you will profit.
Part two of starting your own business coming up next week.
*Chris Nunn O.A.M. trains Jigsaw's Gold Coast and Canberra Diploma Of Leadership, Coaching & Mentoring. For more information about this rare opportunity to be trained by one of the most experienced and highly regarded coaches in Australia, visit our Diploma Of Leadership, Coaching & Mentoring page.