Updated: Jul 4, 2021
You're a Therapist who loves going for walks and spending time in nature. You feel passionate about your work with your clients and can't stop thinking about this idea that you have. What if you combined all those things that you love? What if you started walking with your clients?!!!
You can feel that this idea is innovative, unique and exciting so you decide to use everything you already know and just give it a go!
BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER I WANT TO SAY THIS:
If you are the person that's out there already walking your talk (literally!) then congratulations!!! And if this transition from idea to doing was quick for you, you are freaking awesome!
The perfectionist and thinker in me got in my way for years before I kicked my outdoor practice off! And while I don't want to encourage anyone else to do the same and wait for years, I do want to share what I learned in my early days and while accompanying many others on this journey.
Here are the 5 Mistakes Therapists make when starting out:
1. You're waiting too long to get going
Yes you guessed it! This is the very first mistake I see other Therapists make. You read all about it, you think all about it, you "get your head around it" but you never actually get around to starting your walk and talk business.
Whether the process becomes too complex, fear kicks in or you allow every day distractions to sway you away from what you need to be doing; your dream is postponed.
Maybe you're waiting for a better time, you know when life decides to slow down and give you allll the breathing space to creatively engineer, design and feel through your work to get it perfect, I'm thinking that time is called retirement 😉
But seriously, when do you think that time will simply come to you? Or is this a case of you committing to a timeframe and making the time to build your dreams?
2. You're thinking everything will just take off once it's in order
You have moved past the stage of thinking about your walk and talk therapy business, you're a DO-er! Congrats! I'm so glad to see you in this space!
Here is what can go wrong once you get here...
You create the perfect website, but don't launch it until you have the perfect business card and flyers to match.
You create an awesome flyer with your services listed, but you don't hand them out until you have your walking location figured out.
You find a walking location you like, but you don't start walking until a client magically appears to ask you if you have ever thought about walk and talk therapy.
Here's some shit news; you could have the best website, excellent marketing information and a beautiful walking track. Just because it's there, doesn't mean that people know about, are sold on the idea or want to go for a walk with you.
I don't mean that to sound harsh, I just want to save you months of client silence once you have done the hard work!
My tip: Sit down and think about how your business will roll out and exactly how your clients will know all about you so that you hit the ground running when you're ready!
3. You're overthinking it all and fear is holding you back
I have been talking to a number of university students lately who love this whole walk and talk concept. I have noticed a common theme amongst all of them that seems to pop up right away and keep them stuck over and over: FEAR
Look I get it, I was one of those students. We get scared shitless about all the lawsuits, ethics, following procedures and keeping everyone safe information. We've all been there.
My guess is that university really needs us to understand the risks that come with working with Mental Health clients and that's cool.
I also think that they like us to sign up to, follow and embrace their methods and their methods only and that's not cool.
If I allowed ethics, current practice and rules to take over all of my thinking, none of us would be right here today. And that's not because any part of this business is unethical, poses a risk to your clients or dismisses safe practice.
There is a way to do all of that in nature, but you will need to take that fear hat off for a moment and allow your creativity to flow and create an innovative service without the fear of being sued continuously playing along.
And remember, that hat is just next to you, you can put it back on. I for one developed so many processes, procedures and boxes that were ticked to keep everyone safe, but not until I allowed myself to dream first.
4. You lack vision and clarity
You simply haven't taken the time to get clear on what this business needs from you or what you need from this business.
You haven't thought about where you see all this going in 12 months, 24 months, 5 years or 10 years.
You don't have a clear plan on how you will get there, who will be along for the journey or when this journey ends.
You don't have an exit strategy.
My tip: get one! The sooner you know where this is all going, the quicker you will get started!
5. You don't have support
You haven't reached out to a mentor, community or service that can help you on your way.
Imagine crafting this journey with other like-minded therapists who are coming up against the same roadblocks as you, but can help guide you along quicker.
Imagine supporting each other, accessing resources and changing the world one step at a time, literally!
Imagine leaning into the information of someone who has been there before, has figured it all out and wants to share it all with you.
My tip is simple; accept the help.
AND HERE IS WHERE YOU CAN START:
If you CLICK HERE you will be taken to a bunch of free courses that can help you on your walk and talk journey. I strongly recommend the "Start here" audio course as it will help you get clear on where you want this business to go and how to get there.
See you on the other side!