Maria Connolly, LPC Facebook Facebook Facebook

Category: Private Practice Advice

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

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. 

Continue reading

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. 

Continue reading

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.

Grow Professionally with 5 Rapid Transformation Strategies

If you want to accelerate your professional growth, here are 5 tips anyone can use to grow professionally and enjoy life more fully - tip 4 may surprise you“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” John W. Gardner

Isn’t it amazing to watch people completely transform themselves? One moment they’re a shy person and the next moment they’re confidently leading others. It’s as spectacular as seeing a beautiful butterfly emerge from a cocoon. How do they grow professionally, seemingly overnight?

The truth is this kind of transformation doesn’t happen overnight, does it? We aren’t born professionals – it takes time and concerted effort. However, there are strategies that you can use to grow professionally that will fast track your transformation as a confident leader in your field. Take a look at five of my favorites below:

1) Take advantage of targeted education. 

New practitioners, therapists, and coaches often struggle with maintaining focus, because there’s so much to learn when you’re starting your own business. It’s normal to get sidetracked. In order to grow professionally, you’ll want to fight that tendency and keep your goal foremost in mind.

Focus allows you to pick the most appropriate education for your current situation. Education is easily accessible via local or online courses, books and audios, podcasts, and joining specialized online communities, so take full advantage of these, but please do so purposefully. When you master one thing, move on to the next.

For example, over the years I’ve studied both traditional and non traditional methodologies. I started with western psychology and added specializations such as Hakomi, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Self-Relations and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy. But what really accelerated my transition from therapist to Somatic Coaching is the deep study of The Feldenkrais Method® and Neuro-Liguistic Programming.

Just as a caveat: searching for a “perfect” program may become an excuse for not taking action. You may find that working with a personal coach helps you focus on the most effective path toward your goal.  

2) Ask for specific feedback.

It boosts the ego when someone says they like what you’ve done. But without specific feedback on what’s working and what’s not, you won’t be able to grow professionally.

It takes time and effort to establish a reputation of excellence and it starts with the right attitude. For example, professionals aren’t defensive when they receive criticism, because they know that, somewhere there’s a nugget of truth they can use. Then they willingly invest in themselves to become the best version of themselves possible.

3) Network for progressive advancement.

Whom you associate with directly affects how you grow professionally. You may not view yourself on the same level as well-known people like Stephen Gilligan, Byron Katie, Robert and Diane Masters, or Richard Strozzi-Heckler, but you might be pleasantly surprised at how approachable influential people can be when you sincerely reach out to them. Social platforms let us show interest in what they do and how they do it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. (For example, please feel free to post your questions or comments about leadership, professionalism and personal growth on my Facebook page. I’m happy to chat with you.)

4) Go the extra mile.

Even if others are happy with a so-so result, hold yourself to a higher standard of excellence. Since an “okay” experience is quickly forgotten, push yourself to perform something truly memorable. Think creatively about how you can make it easier, more enjoyable, or more valuable for your clients.

5) Before saying “Yes” or “No”, mindfully consider your options. 

Some choices can be scary and that can make you say “No” reflexively. On the other hand, out of embarrassment or pride, you may be tempted to say “Yes” before fully knowing the scope of what’s required. Slow down and ask yourself why you’re reacting as you are. Then ask clarifying questions to ensure you fully understand the project at hand. By being willing to try new things, you demonstrate self-confidence, which inspires others to have confidence and trust in you as well.

Many years ago, one of my most influential mentors said to me: “When you are asked to do something, Say YES and then figure out how to do it!” This bold approach can bypass all the fear and anxiety of trying something new. It’s not for the faint of heart, though!

Which of these strategies are you ready to try? If you want to grow professionally it’s essential to have a plan. So, what do you really want to accomplish and how will you do it? Why not schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me so we can explore your options? I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.

Starting Your Own Private Practice? Five Things You Should Know…

Starting your own private practice or life coaching business will be more successful and less stressful if you consider these five things before you begin.Does starting your own private practice appeal to you? This can be a big transition for therapists, counselors, social workers, life coaches etc. But maybe you’re tired of the 9-5 job or you want more freedom to spend time on what’s really important to you. If so, there are some things that you should consider first so the transition to being an entrepreneur is easier and less stressful.

While it may seem tempting, it’s not wise to hand in your resignation without first having your new business up and running. And it’s not enough to build your business around something that you’re passionate about. Your new business must fit into what supports the kind of life you want for yourself and your family. It’s important to know that you can really make a living at your new business.

Consider the following questions before starting your own private practice:

What kind of life do you really want to live? A day-to-day existence isn’t enough. Life is meant to be enjoyed to the full! Now is the time to mindfully reflect on what it is that you really want and the values you hold dear. What personal goals have you been putting off? What do you want your life to look like 5, 10, 15 years from now? How do you want to renew your purpose in life? What are you going to do when you start to feel stuck?

How will you finance the new business? Starting a business on credit card debt is very stressful for you and your family. Start saving 20-40% out of each paycheck. Within a year, you’ll be in a good financial position to start your own business. During this time, learn to live on a budget and eliminate as much debt as possible. Put yourself into a position where you can live without a paycheck for a year, plus have extra for an emergency fund.

What’s your business plan? What’s your big picture dream for starting your own private practice? This is the time to fill notebooks full of all your ideas. What services or products will you offer? How will you deliver them? What does the sales process look like? How much money do you need to make monthly? Annually? How many sales do you have to make to fulfill that goal? Will you have employees, partners, sponsors, investors, etc? Where will your office be? What will your website look like? Which social media platforms will you find your clients on? How will you keep track of everything? A good online resource for getting started is enloop.com.

Who will buy from you and why will they want to? A business isn’t a business unless you have clients or customers. Start telling everyone that you’re starting your own private practice. Tell your friends, family, and acquaintances. Ask them if they would be interested in becoming a client or if they know of anyone who would be interested.

One of the biggest hurdles is narrowing down to a niche or audience that will really buy from you. If you try to appeal to everyone…you’ll appeal to no one. So don’t be afraid to be very specific about who you want to work with. It’s important to create a very clear marketing message of who you serve and what value you bring to them.

What kind of learning curve are you up against? There’s a lot involved in starting your own private practice. It’s time to assess what skills you have and what you still need to learn. Do you need further training in NLP? Do you need more computer skills? How about business finance and operational skills? What about marketing skills? Learn as much as you can now, because once you start your own business, you’re going to be really busy.

I enjoy helping fellow practitioners who are eager to build their own business, integrating personal excellence, core values and originality. If you could benefit from some one-on-one coaching, contact me and we can discuss your options.

To give you a super solid foundation for starting your own private practice, I also want to invite you to attend Institute for Professional Leadership fall class, Creating Your Dream Practice. As one of the instructors, I can personally guarantee you’ll walk away with a compelling business vision, clarity on your unique business identity, and a better understanding of your relationship with money and marketing. Feel free to contact me and ask any questions you might have.


Let's get started with 30 free minutes

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.

SCHEDULE


How to Step Forward to a Future You've Created

Discover how to replace your old, self-limiting map with a new map full of possibilities for the future

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE INTRO TO STEPPING FORWARD TODAY!

© Neways Integrated Wellness Center. All rights reserved. Site developed and hosted by Rogue Web Works.
Professional Certified Coach by International Coach Federation