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How to Develop a Money Mindset - Page 13

She was scared, but excited. Then we ran into a snag when she realized what her up-front costs would be. She called me, obviously upset, speaking very rapidly, "I have to spend $879 for extra furniture, $17 for more business cards, and $125 to pay my web designer to create four new pages on my website. I'm sorry but it's just not worth it!" I calmed her down, reminding her of the original reason she contacted me. In fact, new referrals did come in, and for the first time in her career, she gave them to someone else. But she had a terrible sinking feeling doing this. "My fee is $125, and I'll only make $40 a session when my associate sees them," she protested. At this point, all Barbara could focus on was the money she'd just spent—and the money she'd lose under the new arrangement.

By the third month, she'd made only an additional $375 from her two associates' sessions. She was impatient and wanted to stop the experiment immediately. I kept her focused on the longer-term goal she'd set, which was to add two therapists every three months to her group practice. But then, unexpectedly, one of her new therapists quit and took four clients with her. Barbara was crushed and totally convinced this group practice idea is crazy. "I could still be seeing those four people!" she wailed to me. "I'm losing thousands of dollars."

I reminded her that one unit of income for one unit of time was clearly not working, and that her group practice wouldn't get built up in a month or two. I told her that this wasn't a linear process: you have to look at the longer trends, such as 3, 6 or 12 months down the road. There are, of course, many factors involved in successfully growing a practice, but at her rate of referrals, she should have expected to bring in up to 10 new clients a week within three or four months. I reminded her of the metaphor of the transition of going from crawling to walking, when crawling is still a more efficient form of locomotion. "That's all well and good, but the way things are going, I'll never get to walking, and running is just a fantasy," she e-mailed me. Slowly her practice grew. After seven more months, Barbara had three therapists generating $3,750 a month for her. She'd passed the goals set by the original business plan, and we expanded the plan for the next six months.

Soon after this, she realized the potential of what she'd created. "That's 7 hours of my life I've regained every week," she said with glee, "in addition to the 10 hours of clerical work I've let go of." She made plans to hire two more therapists. Barbara now knew there were no guarantees, but she'd finally transcended her line-worker mentality.

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