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How to Develop a Money Mindset - Page 11

"Do you think that coach could help you get at least one more referral this year than you would get on your own?" "Yes!" she said emphatically, "probably much more than that." I said, "Okay, then it's a no-brainer! If the he can get you just one extra referral this year, which should be the worst-case scenario, and you meet with the coach twice, you'll still make a $600 profit on your $400 investment, right?" There was silence on the phone. Finally, she said the question confused her. Before I had a chance to explain further, she got defensive. "You're trying to trick me, right? You're trying to sell me something, aren't you? You guys are all the same. You guys don't really want to help. Thanks for nothing." She abruptly hung up.

I felt empty and taken advantage of. I'd given her a free consultation, tried to help her see the benefit of paying someone else, and gotten this treatment! But I fully understood how difficult it could be to contemplate spending money on this type of help. I agonized for weeks about spending money to grow my practice in 1996, even after being exposed to some proven ideas. Our orientation as helpful service providers gets in the way: despite our skills at integrating disparate parts of the psyche, for many therapists, the integration of service and self-promotion is just too great a stretch. "Promoting myself? Why, it's just . . . so icky!" a woman named Joan told me during a consultation. She couldn't even bring herself to put her name on a handout at a lecture she gave. "Never in a million years did I think I'd have to prostitute myself like this."

The Growing Pains of a Group Practice

While most of the therapists we talked to would be thrilled with a full practice, others with full practices for some time found themselves frustrated with the lack of upside potential—they were working full-time but not making enough money—and wanted to expand into something bigger. Barbara, a 45-year-old psychologist, had had a full caseload in her Phoenix office for four of the nine years she'd been practice, but wanted to make more money so she could save more for retirement and her children's education. Her husband had recently been in a serious car accident and was currently on disability from his engineering job. She felt stuck, because there were no hours left in the week to see more clients. "I'm spent. I feel like a high-paid line worker who can't work anymore overtime," she told me, sobbing, after just five minutes on the phone.

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