Congratulations! Your Private Practice Satisfaction Survey score qualifies you as an Advanced Practitioner!
You are well on your way to the private practice you desire – congratulations!
Important Note: There is one common factor that distinguishes struggling from highly successful private practitioners – coaching. All highly successful practitioners get expert help and all struggling practitioners are trying to figure it out for themselves, alone, telling themselves they can’t afford to get help.
The lesson here is simple – If you want to be more successful – get expert help!
Below is an excerpt from my new book Million Dollar Practice: Building a Successful Business That Makes a Difference that describes seven stages of practice building. Please review these stages and ask yourself-
- What is my current stage?
- What do I need to do to advance to the next stage?
PS: Want to discuss your situation with a world-class practice building expert? For more information visit www.milliondollarpractice.net/consult
The Seven Stages of Practice Building
Stage 1: Student
Your private practice career starts as a student pursuing your degree or certificate in your area of focus—psychology, finance, spirituality, etc.—and you are developing the requisite knowledge to prepare you for your quest to make a difference in the world. The developmental goal of the student is to “develop trust in the value of what you’ve learned.” This stage is marked by a comfort level some find tough to get beyond. Practitioners often revert back to this stage when they encounter obstacles or get in a jam: “I need to go back to school.” “I need more training.”
Stage 2: Intern
You are an intern when you graduate from your degree or certification program and are focused on gaining experience. Here the developmental goal is to “develop trust in your ability to provide exceptional value.” The intern level is reached when you have successfully delivered exceptional value to at least five repeat clients. Getting paid for your efforts is not necessary at this level. What’s important is that you receive positive feedback affirming your ability to deliver effective services to your clients.
Stage 3: Apprentice
Here is where you start getting paid. You know you are an apprentice when you are finally earning some or most of your income through your chosen profession, consistently. This level can be achieved simultaneously with stage two. The developmental goal of the apprentice is to “develop trust in your ability to get paid for your services.”
Stage 4: Practitioner
This is the first stage of full time private practice. If you haven’t done so already, as many practitioners jump the gun in this regard, your efforts are designed to build your practice to the point where you can quit your day job. Some may think that leaving your day job early to work full time in private practice gives you a tactical advantage in building it. But that’s not necessarily the case. Leaving your day job too soon often creates undue stress and prompts you to act hastily and erratically, which in turn detracts from your ability to deliver quality services. Remember the survival mode we mentioned earlier? The goal of stage four is to “develop trust in your ability to support your basic financial needs with your practice’s income.”
Stage 5: Master Practitioner
In this stage you have a successful practice and are refining your business to coincide with your vision. The developmental goal of the master practitioner is to “develop trust in your ability to enroll clients at will.” You are confident in your ability to get clients, you only work with your desired clients, and you might even have a waiting list. This is the six-figure practice level.
Stage 6: Teacher
If you are in the Teacher phase of practice building, your focus is to “develop trust in your ability to effectively enroll groups of people and to function as an entrepreneur.” Here we are getting to the crux of a Million Dollar Practice: the idea of a technician vs. an entrepreneur, a one-to-one model vs. a one-to-many model (to be covered in chapter two). This is where the rubber meets the road and where the entrepreneurial mindset really kicks in. This is where the transition takes place for building a Million Dollar Practice.
Stage 7: Leader
At this stage of the game, your goal is to “develop trust in the systems you’ve built for effectively enrolling participants as well as building your organization to the place that you are no longer needed for day-to-day operations.” But remember: This is not the endgame. You don’t ever stop building your practice. You must continue to grow and expand your ability to serve your chosen niche. There is no limit to the degrees of leadership and how far you can expand your mission.
Again, the progression laid out in Brian Whetten’s The Seven Stages of Practice Building is designed to put things in perspective so you can see where you are, where you want to go, and the steps and time investment needed to get there. So where are you now? While the primary audience for this book is Stage 4 Practitioners and above, those in the earlier stages can benefit from knowing what’s ahead in order to “begin with the end in mind.”
What is a Million Dollar Practice?
Many private practice professionals see a “six-figure practice”—or Master Practitioner as viewed through the lens of The Seven Stages of Practice Building—as the pinnacle of their professional and financial success. And there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, this was my goal years ago as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice. Since then, however, I’ve learned that you can go beyond the six-figure level. You can indeed build a Million Dollar Practice. But what does that mean exactly?
A Million Dollar Practice is not a numerical measure of success. It’s a scalable business model. Sure, some practices reach the literal, seven-figure, quantifiable dollar value, but we are talking about much more than dollars. In addition to the inevitable financial compensation that comes along with it, we are talking about leveraging your expertise to not only build a successful business, but to make a significant difference in the lives of others .
Adapted from The Seven Stages of Practice Building with permission from Brian Whetten, Ph.D., © All rights reserved.
Want to discuss your situation with a world-class practice building expert? For more information visit www.milliondollarpractice.net/consult