I have been in business for over 6 years. Each year, I learn something new about building, sustaining, and growing a business. 2019 was a year of major growth for me – I have created more and made more money AND I have also learned to do a little less.
When you are in the thick of it, a year seems so far away. But I want to share with you what has happened for me in ONE year. 365 days.
- I grew an Instagram account from a few hundred followers to 125,000 followers.
- I leaned into my therapy consulting business and started the MBA for therapists program and ran it TWICE, working with 30 therapists to help them grow their practices.
- I started my online school RORY which has taught almost 3,000 students
- I started my membership program which gained almost 300 members in one month
- I moved my private practice into a larger office space and hired more employees which made it possible to service almost 200 people a week!
- I finished my Gottman Certification
- I was featured in dozens of podcasts and publications
- An agent reached out to me to write a book and I am currently in the final stages of signing a book deal!
NONE OF THESE THINGS WERE GOING ON IN 2018!
Let me tell you what else 2019 got me:
- More time with my son
- Almost a month of vacation at the beach
- The purchase of a small beach place in Maryland
- Opportunities to connect with amazing people around the world
- A few romantic vacations with my husband
- More time. more time. more time.
So how did I create and manage so much in one year while also increasing the time I had to enjoy life?
Read some things that I learned this year that helped me to do just that!
5 Things I have Learned This Year
1. It gets harder then it gets easier, every time.
Every time that I expand or try something new it I think “oh shit. What have I gotten myself into?”. The learning curve is challenging and can feel stressful. Sometimes overwhelming. Sometimes worrisome. When I decided to move the therapists at my practice from subcontractor to legit employee it was really difficult. I felt like I was reading another language. And now I don’t even think twice about it.
When I decided to build an online course it was challenging to figure out how to log in let alone how to format course curriculum and then sell it! But now? It flows pretty smoothly.
Whether you are starting your practice, growing it into a new space, taking on clinicians, or scaling into different locations, learning something new can be really, really challenging.
Figuring out the ins and outs. Learning new systems. Coming face to face with challenges you never expected. It is all headache inducing. And totally normal.
If you stick through the climb, you will eventually hit a peak and that is where it will start to feel easy.
2. Start out cheap and then invest, invest, invest.
Taking a business to the next level takes investment. Not silly investments but really smart investments that help you to grow, improve, and expand your time and energy. You know that I preach keeping it cheap. Please don’t buy the expensive furniture. Don’t start in the fancy office. Don’t buy expensive equipment or software that you don’t truly need. BUT when you are ready to grow please pay for course, hire coaches, get an assistant, upgrade your website, etc etc.
This year I spent tens of thousands of dollars on my own growth – coaches, classes, assistants, website designers, and so, so much more. I have already made all of that money back and I have also gotten my life back in many ways. Spending money has made me money.
It takes investment to grow. I know it might be scary to spend $2,000-$5,000+ on that coach but if you can I definitely think you should. It will increase your understanding of what it means to lead a company and will help you see costly and time consuming blind spots.
3. Buy your time back.
This has been a challenging one for me! I often preach that being wise with your spending in the beginning is important. This is because when I started my practice I was broke. And I believe that is part of the reason I was successful. I couldn’t throw money at a problem – I had to solve it and I had to solve it in a way that made the most sense for growing the business. When I coach my therapist clients through building their practice, I encourage them to limit spending. This way we cut through the noise – by limiting spending we can make sure we are only spending on the stuff that will make a difference rather than the stuff that relieves our anxieties.
With that being said, you must buy your time back in order to grow a business. This means hiring an assistant when the workload becomes burdensome, hiring someone to update your website or manage your social media, taking things off your to-do list at home. Buy your time back. It gives you the space you need to think, be creative, and execute the big picture stuff.
This year, I hired two assistants, a website designer, someone to help around the house, and probably a million other people that have supported me so very much.
4. A lot of things don’t work out.
A lot of things don’t work out. Many of the things you will try won’t amount to very much. And one or two of the things you try will amount to a lot! Instead of thinking of those efforts as failures, consider them market research. Learn from them. Use them to understand yourself, other people, and your business and then utilize that understanding to make decisions moving forward.
This information is the stuff that makes the rest of your business successful.
5. A lot can change in a year.
As I mentioned above, a lot can change in a year. Things can happen very quickly. I hope you can use that perspective to recognize that wherever you are in your journey right now, you can choose to recommit and dedicate yourself to the disciplined practice of building your business – who knows where you will end up!
I would love to hear what you learned this year about business! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
“I’m Elizabeth, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist turned Mindset, Business, & Marketing consultant for therapists who want to build a six-figure practice. With custom solutions and personalized coaching, I help my clients improve their business mindsets, communicate their value, and market offerings that prioritize profit with purpose.”