Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

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How Does the Online Idea Party Work?

You have a dream or a wish, and an obstacle to getting there. (If you don’t think you know your wish, work through my kick-starter and read this post. To learn why you must put logic aside to find your dream, read the following.)

The online Idea Party is here to help you – and the other fellow party goers – with your wishes and obstacles.

Voices from Success Teams and Idea Parties:

Having a team to report to and hearing what everybody did each week is very exciting. It’s kept me moving all year. In the past I made some good starts on my own, but found, every time, when the energy ran out, I ran out. Now it doesn’t run out.
Jade G.
Children’s Playroom Therapist, New York Hospital

I would do a painting a year, a sketch a year. If it was only me I know I would never do it. Having to tell you makes all the difference. It’s crazy why I didn’t do this years ago, it’s so easy all of a sudden.
Caroline R. Personnel Executive, Macy’s Dept Store

Post Your Wish and Your Obstacle Here!

And help your team mates out when you can. Use the Reply link to help, the form below the comments to add your own Wish and Obstacle.

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3,742 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. Update!!! I found out how to save and print my client form and waiver, and I just made my business cards on Vista ( a friend told me about it)….and they will be here by December 2nd!!!!! I am so very excited!

  2. My dream is to start a company that represents the values of making high, quality, long lasting and beautiful things — the antithesis to so many products today that are cheaply made, disposable, and drive a Brave New World – like culture. I am passionate about anything and everything that represents beauty and quality and would love to create products that represent those values.
    I have some great ideas for products to start with, but I have no idea how to get funding for this sort of thing. I am terrified of a small business loan because I already feel like I’ll fail with no mentor to help me navigate the process of starting a business. All I have is the ideas, but not the business expertise to bring them to reality.

    • Dear Alicia,
      Earlier today, I wrote you quite a post, and it got immediately cannabalized. Two out of three posts that I make get eaten by the computer, and it is absolutely maddening.
      But here’s the scoop:
      I, too, am in this boat. I want to start a psychotherapy practice, and have gynormous student loans, so I am practically allergic to the notion of another loan, and the very idea makes my toes curl up in my shoes.
      And besides, it doesn’t matter how much money one throws at the problem–without knowing how to promote the business properly and effectively, the business dies soon after it is born. And I need to know how to grow the practice effectively on a local or regional basis, since I can only practice within state lines by law. So social media is not appropriate. For me, it’s a question of how do I get known in the community and how do I get referrals? And by what other means do I grow the practice?
      I have begun several businesses and have worked for myself for most of my working life. Some of these businesses were so small that they were practically microscopic and one, in particular, in real estate, was highly successful.
      What I do know is that the Small Business Administration and SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) are helpful in providing mentorship and micro-loans (the $2,000 to $5,000 variety) as start-up capital to people that banks normally don’t lend to. They will provide bigger loans too, up to $50,000, but these numbers are the numbers that make me cringe. The Service Corps of Retired Executives is a volunteer group of retired executives whose mission and purpose is to provide business mentorship. And all of this is for free.
      Another thing is that I had a friend who died this year who was a fiber artist. She made the most wonderful hats and scarves out of the finest wools, including alpaca wool, that she hand-spun herself. She belonged to a crafters’ guild that helped her by opening up ways for her to sell her goods. They were all helping each other. I would guess that you would possibly be considered a crafter. Could there possibly be a guild or some similar organization you could join, or maybe even found?
      I think there are marketing associations for people who want to learn how to do mail order marketing. I know these people who had a bookstore and wanted to turn it into a mail order business. They did that, and added craft items to their catalogue too. It flourished. A lot easier idea than to try to get their craft items into existing catalogues, which can be quite difficult. Perhaps there are business associations–I don’t know much about that, but I think they exist.
      I do know once when I started a very small business out of my home that I went to someone who was already in the same business and interviewed her for information. She did not view me as competition, which was very nice of her. She willingly furnished me with enough information so that I could get my particular business started, including how to set things up so that I could get my first client. This produced my first client, and from there, a steady stream of clients. Her advice really worked.
      So whether it’s jewelry, or ceramics, or fine fabrics, or whatever, is there a crafter’s guild that you can find?
      Another thing is getting into or founding one of Barbara Sher’s Success Teams. These are a group of 4-6 people who meet weekly on a business basis to help each other develop their dreams. But the action, although it is very dynamic, takes time to develop, and I’m getting that you want to and need to hit the ground running. Therefore, I am suggesting these groups. Within the SBA, there’s a particular group that helps women entrepreneurs to start businesses, and has more practical help than just loans. I wish I could be more helpful, but these are a few things, at least.

  3. I wish to work for a sports in the marketing department or any department for that matter, or a ad agency which also specializes working with sports brands and people, My biggest obstacle is that I live in South Africa andd dont have a degree but , have been doing online course on Coursera and Google digital skill in Digital Marketing to get my foot in the door, would like a fresh start and chance to pivot in this career as I have been working dead end jobs just to survive. Anyway looki g forward to hearing from anyone

  4. Wish: To leave my country and to live in Canada for a few years
    Obstacles: I am intimidated by the entry process and cannot afford to hire someone to do it for me
    I do not have the kind of money that relocation tends to cost
    I have no one to help me with the paperwork and looking for work over there

    • What special talent can you develop to the point where it is worthwhile to someone in Canada to recruit you, take care of your paperwork, and pay your relocation expenses because no one in Canada can build their business as well as you can?

  5. Wish: To finally start my canine hydrotherapy service. I have the training, and the pool!
    Obstacles: I am so exhausted teaching in this new Covid world. I want to take a year off while my husband is still working, and he is not supportive of that. Vets are starting to buy underwater treadmills in our area, and if I don’t start soon, I will lose out to their business, as they won’t refer to me (even though swimming is better for hips and conditions like DM, and for dogs who won’t put that leg down in the treadmill, due to pain.)

    If I don’t start it soon, I fear I never will. And that would be devestating, considering all the support I have had from Barbara (miss you SO MUCH), and Patty, and all of my Hanging Out friends.

    • Can you get a teaching assistant or an intern to take some of the load off? Maybe you can offer your services on the weekend and is your client base grows then you can replace your teaching income.

      • Thank you for responding with ideas, Preshus!
        We are having difficulty finding interns due to Covid right now.
        I think I just need to quit spending my weekend working on school stuff and get a couple of clients for those days, as you suggest.

    • Oh no. After all what you have done already.
      Please keep on.
      Remember three stages of exitement in ho.

      Could you specify, what prevents from starting or what is so exhausting? We could then find ways.

      Could you make YouTube Videos and write a book, to spread your idea and help the dogs. So that people will know you as the expert and book your service in real

      Big hug.
      Astrid

      • Hi, Astrid!

        What is so exhausting is the “new” teaching reality due to covid. We now start school at 6:40 am because there are not enough bus drivers, and so our school got picked to start early to ‘share’ a bus driver. There are not enough custodians, so teachers have to wipe down tables, and do the heavy sanitizing at the beginning, middle, and end of the day. We don’t get a lunch break anymore. There are no substitute teachers, so when a teacher is sick, we have to have additional students in our classroom who may or may not be at the same place in the curriculum that our class is. I have had 5 students out for two weeks, and have to prepare work at a moment’s notice for them for the two weeks, and four of the five came back with none of the work done, so I had to catch them up, in addition to keeping the other children on the same schedule. It is absolutely insane! I get up at 4 am, and get home at 5:30 pm, and work most days of the weekend to catch up on lesson plans.
        Thanks so much for the reminder of the excitement levels! I have notes, and need to go over those again.
        Thanks for the encouragement! I know everyone’s world was turned upside down with Covid, and I am lucky that I have remained healthy!
        I finally decided today that writing the detailed lesson plans no longer makes sense, as we can’t get a sub anyway, and I am rarely absent. I have an emergency sub tub, and can walk into class and teach well with simple lesson plans that just remind me of a few new points. I think this will take a lot of the stress off and give me some extra time.

    • Just a guess that a dog in need of your services will distract you from that exhaustion. Maybe get your brochures out to all of those vets ASAP, before they invest in those tanks and treadmills. Then get some local news coverage — everyone wants a “good news” story, and this will be nicely visual. Aim for a waiting list of clients, while you accept only a very few. Once you two know there is a market, you won’t be “taking a year off” — you’ll be saying yes to clients you know are ready and waiting.

      • Thanks, Patty.
        I am totally willing to take the year off of teaching….I know I don’t need a lot of money to live off of, and can make it work. Glenn is being very resistant. He gets freaked out by the lesser income, but he is planning to retire in three years, so I want to do this before he retires, as we will still have his income and insurance. My boss is very supportive with approving a one year break. I am also looking into a ‘teacher share’ where I would teach math and science for two classes, and the other teacher would teach reading and grammar. I am just having a hard time convincing anyone to do a share because everyone prefers math on my grade level. LOL.
        I DO need to just get the brochures out and take on a couple of clients on the weekends. I just feel so overwhelmed and like I am neglecting my own dogs with the schedule this year. I usually am so exhausted by Saturday, that I sleep for like three hours in the afternoon and then do work all day, laundry for the week comiing and meal prep. I used to feel overwhelmed with teaching (the grade that has to pass the state test to move on), but now I feel even more overwhelmed. I believe I could totally make it work if I had one year of not teaching, even if I needed to supplement with tutoring and consulting with homeschooling parents. I just need a way to get Glenn on board to take the risk with me. We could make it just fine, financially, if we plan. He is just freaked out and won’t even talk about it with me!

        • Are you in a position to hire a dog walker using the rover app and use a cleaning service once a week? Maybe even having some meals prepared by a meal planning company? The best money spent is one that saves you time.

        • I noticed your comment saying you’re “willing” to take off a year from teaching. What I’m curious about is, what will you be accomplishing by taking a year off?
          And, why a year? Why not 3 months?

          Having started several side businesses while working 12 hour days at my job, you do not need a year to get a business viable.
          90 days is more like it.. if that!

          Have you asked Glenn if he’d be up for a shorter time frame, if you had a plan you could show him and you could prove to him that you were taking action on it?

          Greetings from California.

          • Thanks for responding, Alvaro!
            Our school district won’t allow us to take off months right now, because there are no substitutes. If I did not go back next year, I would still have the opportunity to return the following year.
            I am trying to convince a friend teacher to do a job share with me, where each would work part of the week. She just had a baby and is wishing she had more time with her baby, so in the spring, she will decide if that is a viable situation for her, and if so, we will approach our admin. Either way, I have begun spending much less time on lesson plans, and am close to done with what I need to get going to start with a few clients!

    • Oh, Dear Karla!
      It’s so good to hear from you, even though you are struggling. I have been a teacher and a reading and writing tutor, and I can certainly see that your teaching situation is an exhausting nightmare. Yikes! And it seems to be entrapping, too. More Yikes! Is there any possible way that you can do what Barbara suggested in such a situation and hire a personal assistant to do the household stuff while you take care of developing the dog stuff on weekends? And I’m all with Patty that you need to get brochures, business cards, etc., to vets in your region right away so that they know you’re the local or regional expert. And this needs to be done immediately if not sooner. And that way, they see the light, hopefully, (make the pain-treadmill connection clear to them!) and cut ’em off at the pass! Before they buy that expensive equipment! And then you get referrals, and You become a “Substitute” as your business grows. Because It substitutes for your school teaching, and you bow out! And get engaged in building the business. You jump/shift from one into the other this way. I started out with one customer, and from that one came a steady stream. Get the vets to see the value in what you’re doing, and this’ll take off like a rocket ship! (Well, not maybe like a rocket ship, but you get the idea!) I think that’s how you jump shift from one thing into another. And, Whewee! You’ll be free of all that exhausting hell! And besides, Karla, whom I almost met in Sequim, You’ve Come Too Far to give up. I won’t let you give up! I simply won’t permit it! And I’ll even pray on it for you! You’re so close, now! Just remember, it is always coldest and darkest just before the Dawn!

      • Thanks, Mary Ann!
        I think I am back on track. I finally figured out how to save my documents as a PDF, and have finished the Waiver and Release, as well as the Client Questionarre. I am planning on finishing the vet form today, then I mainly need to get a brochure and business cards made. Vet Tech to Go ( a friend who does land rehab) wants to refer to me, as well as the neurologist who saw my work with Waldo. And there is one vet that is a specialist on orthapedic issues in our area, so I need to meet him, too. I also would feel better if I had insurance, but the Vet Tech to Go does hers without insurance.
        I found buddy from Canada who also went to La Paw Spa, and she is trying to find a Greyfriar’s Course. She and I are working as buddies to hold each other accountable and cheer each other on.
        Wishing you the best in getting your practice set up! Keep in touch!

  6. I want to take a cruise on thanksgiving, my obstacle is getting the $4000 to do it. I also want to start a bookkeeping business and quit my job, my obstacle is my fear of marketing, I’m a shy person.

    • Thanks, Patty.
      I am totally willing to take the year off of teaching….I know I don’t need a lot of money to live off of, and can make it work. Glenn is being very resistant. He gets freaked out by the lesser income, but he is planning to retire in three years, so I want to do this before he retires, as we will still have his income and insurance. My boss is very supportive with approving a one year break. I am also looking into a ‘teacher share’ where I would teach math and science for two classes, and the other teacher would teach reading and grammar. I am just having a hard time convincing anyone to do a share because everyone prefers math on my grade level. LOL.
      I DO need to just get the brochures out and take on a couple of clients on the weekends. I just feel so overwhelmed and like I am neglecting my own dogs with the schedule this year. I usually am so exhausted by Saturday, that I sleep for like three hours in the afternoon and then do work all day, laundry for the week comiing and meal prep. I used to feel overwhelmed with teaching (the grade that has to pass the state test to move on), but now I feel even more overwhelmed. I believe I could totally make it work if I had one year of not teaching, even if I needed to supplement with tutoring and consulting with homeschooling parents. I just need a way to get Glenn on board to take the risk with me. We could make it just fine, financially, if we plan. He is just freaked out and won’t even talk about it with me!

    • Hi Preshus!
      When starting a new business, most people believe they should “market” (create advertisements), but what the focus should actually be is “networking” (connecting with people, human to human).

      Have you thought about asking friends if they know anyone that owns a small business? My shyness lowers quite a bit when someone I know introduces me to one of their acquaintances. Maybe a friend of a friend needs bookkeeping!

      You don’t even have to be in the same geographic location since books are kept digitally, right?

      Food for thought 🙂

  7. My wish is to launch a global platform for youngsters are contemplating suicide owing to being bullied and my obstacles are I need 7 core contributors:

    A strategist/mentor‍♂️experienced in operating internationally in this space.

    A marketing/branding expert experienced in operating internationally

    A legal expert experienced in operating internationally

    An IT expert experienced in operating internationally

    A seed funding expert experienced in operating internationally

    A subject expert who can ensure only vetted professionals for confidentiality, ethical, moral, legal, and professional reasons are involved.

    A subject expert in cross-cultural issues experienced in operating internationally .

    For all these roles, specific knowledge, skills and abilities are still to be determined (WIP).

    • Tell us more about the role you’ll play in all this, Richard. What might make all these necessary resource people want to volunteer to help you get this started?

      • Hi Patty, a contributor. Not figured that one out. Hence being part of the program for one year. A lot can happen in one year or less.

        I have a few other ideas I plan to launch.

        I am going to be working on 4-5 projects on a retreat over the next 5-6 months.

        The second project will be mentoring indigo/crystal youth to manifest creative solutions to 3d industry problems created on Gaia (land/sea/air).

        The third project will be setting up a global platform for youth empowerment with 6-7 youth speakers to empower youth. .

        My being will be teacher/shaman/healer.

        Fourth is a platform for global lightworkers to aid those across the transition owing to current agenda.

        Fifth, maybe doing corporate shaman work to get organizations to move towards a world-centric model/corporate soul way of doing things

        I will be launching these over the next few months.

        Sixth, take my last breath in this lifetime. I wont be launching this over the next few months.

        • That’s a lot to take on in just 5-6 months. Does this relate to the sixth item? Is your last breath likely to arrive sooner than you had previously imagined?

  8. Hi Mary Ann,

    Dream Number 1:
    Would it be possible to share a space with other therapists?
    A few years ago I had rented a room in a shared practice for two days a week as I also had only a few clients (for teaching Alexander technique) and it was great to have colleagues to talk to.
    Do you have shared private practices in the U.S.? (I‘m in Germany)
    And when you have more clients you could see if it is possible to get your room for more days a week or even open your own private practice.
    Or you could try to find one or more colleagues who also wish to open a private practice and open a shared practice (or is group practice the right word?).
    Saves rent and, as mentioned, you get colleagues to talk to in breaks, meet in the kitchen, you could even start a supervision group, plan events, open house…

    • Dear Daniela,
      I have done the legwork and the homework, and, incredibly, know of a property management company that rents office space cheaper than the office sublet rate. They were telling me about an office space for $250 per month, utilities included, and a parking space out back. The prices I’ve been quoted for subletting have ranged from $460 per month for one day a week, to $640 per month for one day a week. We don’t have shared private practices in the U.S. Everyone builds their own practice. So I need to open my private practice. And do it promptly.
      I have two stimulus checks sitting here on my desk that expire by April if I don’t use them. That money is enough to start the practice, and set up the office, so that’s not the problem. The problem is, and the scary obstacle is, how do I sustain and build the practice over the first bumpy year or so? As I described, you may start with 5-7 clients the first month and then be down to 2 the next, and the rent’s still due! That’s what’s scared me to the point where I’m procrastinating, setting this up.
      We do have group practices here in the U.S., where, say, a group of therapists form a nonprofit agency as an incorporated business, and get a fairly large office with various consulting rooms within it. Each therapist has their own room. And each therapist builds their own practice. And they collaborate to pay the rent, utilities, and other expenses of running the office building that they’re sharing. And they form a business together and incorporate like that. I have supervision in place for my practice. It’ll take me at least another 2 years before I am able, by law, to supervise anyone. I think my best bet for starting is to go with the property management company I’ve found. But, as I say, sustaining the practice through the first year or so is the scary part. How to get clients? And get more of them, so as to build the practice? The large building required for group practice would, all by itself, of course, be a lot more rent than a single office. And this may mean a savings in rent or not.
      With my own office, I have it all month long, and I can use it for life coaching and other events. $250 per month is hard to beat. I may also be able to sublet it myself.
      I like the idea of the group camaraderie. Gatherings of people, (clients) in group therapy cannot happen here on account of COVID. Nor can gatherings of any kind. We’re all having to run around indoors with masks on and six feet of social distancing and avoid eating together, because you have to take your mask off to eat or drink anything. And telehealth is extremely costly and difficult to implement, and goes way over the top of what I can afford. You can’t do it on Zoom, but must use special encrypted platforms, have special encryption software, install security cams within your office space, get a special phone with the right encryption, get a lawyer who can draft business associates’ agreements with everybody who even touches your business, from your tecchie person, to your landlord, to your accountant, to your cleaning lady, etc. I just have the means to rent and furbish an office. Existing group practices that may have room for one more therapist tend to run well over $600 per month. There are some support groups for counselors that meet once a month. I don’t know if they’re meeting now or not on account of COVID. They may be doing it remotely. And I will have supervision, which should help somewhat.

      • Regarding what you wrote about telehealth being so expensive, I think you are not correct. I had written to you there are many companies offering assistance with all of that, like http://www.helloalma.com, I have heard of one called http://www.simplepractice.com, they offer the HIPPA compliant platform etc. I suggested you search on indeed.com, there are many ads for remote mental health therapists.

        • Dear Hana,
          Everything I have iterated above IS correct. I have just completed a lengthy training and certification from PESI, a well-known training organization for therapists that produces CEU trainings and much lengthier certifications, on different topics. One of the ones I completed this year is the one on what you must do to implement telehealth and be HIPAA compliant. And this is what they outlined, verbatim. There’s no way that I can possibly afford to take all that on. I just have enough stimulus money to set up a basic office. And there’s no way I could do all that, including setting up security cams and alarms here. The apartment I am presently living in is rent adjusted to income, and they do not permit home businesses. If I had an office, I could install all these things, but I know what I’m talking about and I simply don’t have the means. There are about 18% of all therapists who are offering telehealth, in spite of a large need. And there’s a reason for this. The answer is in the material in my previous post. This is the truth of what it would take to set it up. Because of my huge student debt, banks and credit unions (I bank with one of these) won’t lend me money. I am presently working with the Small Business Administration. There’s also the matter of being responsible for and handling electronic security breaches, and having to report them to a federal agency. In any event, I will need to have an office. And, I can see people either in person or will work with them as my mentor does, over the phone, by calling them at the scheduled time of a session. This is affordable, and in budget.
          I will scope out these things that you have suggested and see what they’re offering, however. Doxy-me is a free HIPAA compliant platform. But apparently it takes some skill to use, because one of my friends, a therapist, was losing contact with clients, trying to use it, and thought the thing was a nightmare. She didn’t like it at all.
          People who are not certified are of the mistaken notion that it is a simple matter to set up a telehealth practice, and it plainly and simply is not.
          In any event, what I am facing is not the setting up of the practice. I can do that. That’s not the problem. What I’m facing is how do I grow and build the practice within the first year, and do it in a conventional manner, without having to incur additional steep expenses, and big liability risks, involved with implementing telehealth. That’s the obstacle. How to grow a traditional practice in a good way?

          • >> That’s the obstacle. How to grow a traditional practice in a good way? << Make yourself known. To prospective clients and to referral sources. It is often a lot easier to make yourself known if you target a particular group of people. You want a group that all shows up for the same lectures and workshops, reads the same newsletters/newspapers/magazines, checks out the same online resources. Better yet if it's a group that others will recognize and think, "Oh, that sounds exactly like my friend; let me be helpful to her/him by sharing this therapist’s name.” And it ought to be a group you are a member of or very familiar with.

            Then, you offer your services as a speaker to groups that can’t afford to pay for speakers. You pitch articles to the media your target group reads or watches. You create 15- to 20-page PDFs with helpful information on a particular problem faced by this group, and you offer them to anyone who writes to you after a talk or when reading something you wrote. When you write the next PDF, you send an email to the folks who requested the first one to offer the second to them, reminding them that you’re there whenever they (or a friend) might need you. You answer questions from this group on Quora and put your contact info and the fact that you do counseling by phone in your profile. You go introduce yourself to every primary care physician in the area who serves your target group. You create a basic website, so that web directories can easily add you to their websites and people who lose your phone number or email address can find it again.

            You might even offer your services as a speaker at local meetings for other therapists, talking about whatever you are especially knowledgeable about — not therapy, but how therapy interacts with things you know even more about than they do (horses, music, native culture, etc.). If you try this, be generous, honoring and respecting their experience in therapy and inviting them to share it. You might get referrals as a result, but it’s quite likely you’ll get therapist friends to help you find your way through those first years of building a practice.

  9. I have two dreams and at least two obstacles.
    Dream Number 1: To open a private practice in psychotherapy.
    Obstacle: The first year is typically up and down sharply, with, say, 7 clients one month and 2 the next. And the rent’s still due. This seems to be true until the practice reaches 20 clients or so, when it stabilizes.
    Although I have the money to start the practice, I don’t have the startup capital that I need to survive the first rough growth period. Banks and my credit union won’t lend or extend me credit because of my student loan debt. I have no family or friends I can go to for support. I’m really scared to start my business without any backup.
    So what’s the answer? How do I raise the capital and stabilize the business during its growth period?
    Dream Number 2:
    This is a large-scale business, the Center for Indigenous Wisdom. Its purpose is for the presentation, preservation, and promotion of the values of Indigenous cultures worldwide. It would be a presentation venue with ongoing guest speakers, an art and photo gallery, and performance space for Indigenous dance performances. The Center would also partly be a retreat center.
    It would not be limited to Native American cultures. In its fully developed form, it would be a multi-million dollar facility. I see this being formed in Canada, in B.C. Down here, Breitenbush Retreat Center, which mostly burned and has plans for being rebuilt, and Esalen are examples.
    Obstacle: My main obstacle, besides overwhelm, is lack of know-how. Could you develop this from scratch without an MBA? Or would it be necessary to go back to school and get the MBA so as to become a CEO? And without the MBA, how would you develop such an enterprise? What would you do first, second, third, right up through the 10th step or so? What would be some beginning steps? Even small ones? This is a Most Precious Vision!

    • Hi!

      Regarding opening a psychotherapy practice, nowadays there is lot of therapy being done remotely, that means online through telehealth services. I just renewed my NY state license to start practicing this way,
      after not practicing for many years. It is much easier, as you don’t have to open an office! If you are in the US, I suggest you search on Indeed.com, there are many job ads for remote therapists and there are agencies looking for people to fill these positions! Some have online directories they list you in, and have their own clientele seeking services that they will match you with. Others help you get listed with insurance companies so you can accept insurance. Good luck!

    • Dream Number 1: what might help is an online workshop (Zoom or FreeConferenceCall) for the same population as your practice. You keep writing to them, promoting both. The workshop brings in money when you have gaps in your therapy schedule. It also introduces potential clients to you.

    • The first step in launching a non-profit business is not an MBA. It’s to find good people who want to work for you, and then ask their opinions on the mission, the organization, the budget, and what roles they want to play initially and down the road. And given that your love of the work does not fall in managing people and budgets or handling paperwork, make your longer-term role board chairman, with a great CEO and CFO taking care of all that for you. In the short-term, get all the help you can from SCORE (part of the SBA, staffed by volunteers with CEO experience) and any state agencies or tribal organizations designed to assist non-profits. Hire a CPA to get your bookkeeping set up and monitored. And don’t build any buildings until you have programs running smoothly that you can move into those buildings. Rent any campsite or B&B by the event until that income is secure, because a mortgage you can’t support is far more deadly to your future than a program that doesn’t get enough takers.

      • Yes, absolutely, Patty. Thank you for your good advice. This helps to get me steered in the right direction. I already have a mentoring appointment set up with SCORE. And I’m approaching the SBA about my practice. It’ll be awhile, because of COVID, before retreat centers open back up again, but I do have good material to present.
        And I’ve done at at retreat centers and on private land before.

    • I just found out about a free HIPPA compliant platform for telehealth sessions, it’s called doxy.me. Check it out! Also, I found out about a free platform called Headway.com that lists practitioners and helps them get registered with insurance companies to provide in-network therapy. Both are FREE!

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