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Category: Private Practice Advice

Advice on how psychologists, psychotherapists, healing professionals, and life coaches can start, build and run a thriving private practice.

How to Connect with Like-minded People — Simple Ways for Big Gains

Embrace the magic of networking with like-minded people, since you have something in common (passions, values, interests) it’s an automatic connection! “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. ~ Jim Rohn

Do you experience a heart-pounding moment when you think about meeting new people? The very word — networking — creates great anxiety among many of my readers. Especially if you’re an introvert, the thought of attending a networking event, or even reaching out to one person online, can stress you out. If that’s true for you…I invite you to stop… take a deep breath… and embrace the magic of connecting with “like-minded people.”

Who are like-minded people? They’re the ones who have similar opinions and interests to your own. Do you understand how powerful that is? Since you already have something in common (passions, values, hobbies, jobs, interests, etc), you can use that to start a conversation. You get to talk about something you’re excited about with someone who is also excited about it. Automatic connection!  

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3 Stages to the Art of Listening: The Amazing Power of Deep Listening

Don’t you hate it when people don’t listen? Deep listening is Stage 3 of the Art of Listening and this is how you can develop deep listening skills.“Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.” ~ Alan Alda

As Linda poured out her feelings during a recent session, she stopped and looked at me expectantly. “Aren’t you going to tell me what you think or tell me how to fix my problem? After all, that’s what everyone else does, when I try to tell how I feel.” I told her, “Number one…I don’t believe you need to be “fixed”. My job is to employ the art of listening so I can help you reflect on your feelings and find their meaning for yourself.”

Her experience illustrates how we fall into the trap of thinking about what we’re going to say next, rather than really give our full attention to what the other person is saying. It’s natural to relate what you’re hearing to your own experiences, however, this can lead to jumping to inaccurate conclusions. It’s important to make a deliberate and mindful effort to understand the other side.

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Find Your Passion, If You Want a Sustainable Business and Happy Life

When you find your passion, your life is enriched and it gives you a clear direction and guideposts, as you build a business around your passion.“We should always have three friends in our lives — one who walks ahead, who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.” ~ Michelle Obama

If you’re like other women in my community, you want to make the most of your life while making a difference in this world. So how will you know when you find your passion? The people you serve feel right, and the service you’re offering brings you lightness and joy, even if it’s hard work. 

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Don’t Be Afraid of Starting a Life Coaching Business. It’s An Amazing Experience!

Have you toyed with the idea of becoming a life coach, but starting a life coaching business sounds too hard? Follow my journey, it’s one step at a time.“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.” ~ John F. Kennedy

A few years ago, I made a decision that has changed my life and given me so many unexpected benefits. I’ve always been fascinated with the positivity and forward-thinking stance of Life Coaching. So, in 2013, I decided that starting a life coaching business was right for me! I changed my branding, read books and took online courses to get up to speed with this growing field and to feel more confident and competent.

At times, I would feel discouraged and my own inner critic would creep in with statements like: “You were doing just fine, why did you have to go and change things?” Well, that was just fear of the unknown. And no, I wasn’t doing fine, I wasn’t fulfilled anymore. I was just afraid of making the change. 

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Develop Your Professional Expertise by Keeping 3 Steps Ahead

Learn to gain self-confidence as you develop your talents into a professional expertise that you can use to build a satisfying and successful business.Would you like to turn your personal talents into a business that you love? You can when you discover your genius and build your professional expertise around the things you love to do, working with the kind of people you enjoy. Does this idea appeal to you? Do you wonder if it’s possible for YOU?

I know it is, because that’s exactly what I’ve been able to do. It takes work and effort, but if I can do it, so can you.

“But Maria”, you might say, “I don’t know what my genius is! I don’t have a specialty. I’m too ordinary.” If that’s how you feel, don’t despair. You can become an expert.

Usually the thing that makes developing a professional expertise so overwhelming is that you think you have to know everything about a subject before you can consider yourself an expert. Let me tell you a secret I’ve learned along the way… you don’t need to know everything. You just need to stay three steps ahead of the people you’re serving. And that makes it very doable!

Why three? Our brains seem to more easily grasp things in threes. It forms a pattern that we remember better. Add more to the mix and we become confused. Just think about some common trios: red, white and blue; blood, sweat and tears; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; mind, body, and spirit;  A,B,C’s; 1, 2, 3; three blind mice; three little pigs; the three musketeers; and Larry, Curly, and Moe. People who originated these concepts intuitively recognized that three is a powerful number.

This principle of keeping three steps ahead applies to any business you have. Whether you’re providing a service, coaching an individual or leading a large group. Your community will see you as an expert if you teach them something they don’t know, or if you can do something they can’t do. You don’t have to know everything to be an expert.In fact, it’s impossible to know everything. You just need to know more than the person you’re teaching or leading.

Staying three steps ahead puts you in the place where you can do your best work. It keeps you in the sweet spot – not too far ahead that you forget what it’s like at their level; and not too far behind, which is so stressful.

 For example, if you’re ten steps ahead, you may forget part of the process and not be able to connect as deeply as they need. On the other hand, If you’re only one step ahead, you probably haven’t integrated your learning enough to have “worked out all the bugs” as the saying goes.

Part of living a healthy life is making sure we’re not staying at the same level personally or professionally. We, as creative humans, are happiest when we’re growing and expanding our knowledge, skills and expertise.

As you expand your professional expertise, you’ll find that there will be things that you outgrow. Over time you’ll weed out what doesn’t bring you joy, and you’ll pinpoint the things that keep you excited and engaged.

Don’t try to hang on to something just because it’s familiar or you’re afraid of trying something new, or you think you owe it to the people in your community. If you’ve outgrown it, be assured there’s someone else out there who can step in and fill that place.Keep yourself in your sweet spot of being three steps ahead and you’ll feel comfortable enough while still feeling challenged. That’s what keeps life exciting and fresh.

So what is it you love doing, or that you do easily? If you’d like help identifying or stepping into your professional expertise more fully, feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let me  guide and support you as you explore your options.


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I invite you to learn more about me and my coaching and counseling services. Please contact me to schedule an “It starts with you!” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me, in-person, by phone or via video consultation, so we can explore our partnership.

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