Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Should I invest in my own business premises?

London Therapy Rooms EC2
As a therapist, should you work from home or hire a therapy room?
If you opt for the latter, which one should you choose?
To hire a room by the hour in an existing therapy centre?
Or to rent your own office space?
Or even to buy and sublet to other therapists. and how much should you spend?

The number of options and resulting questions can be mind boggling. Hopefully we can help you to make a more informed decision by discussing some of the pros and cons of each option.

The first and usually cheapest option is to work from home. In order to do this, you will need a designated space in your home, which is generally very affordable but could potentially be costly, if you need to renovate a room or build a garden house. There are many benefits to this first option. The big benefit is no ongoing rent expenses. This is a huge advantage, particularly if your business is still quite young. You also do not need to pay travel costs or parking. Being in full control of your environment is also comforting. You can ensure that you have all the equipment you need, that the environment is quiet and the bathrooms are clean. This is not always guaranteed in a rented space! However, there are some disadvantages to working from home. From surveying many clients, it appears that clients view working from home as less professional. Most clients would prefer to go to a more formal setting. Depending on your type of therapy, your clients might feel anxious. Visiting you in your home feels as though they are in your territory, which can heighten anxiety. Running your sessions from a more neutral environment, can enable clients to feel more comfortable. Most of your clients will be wonderful people. However, almost every therapist has had at least one client who has not respected the professional boundaries. This can range from stalker type behaviour to expecting their therapist to be on call 24/7. Working from home offers you less protection against this.

A second option is to visit clients in their homes. This has many advantages. There are big cost savings since you do not incur any costs, other than travel. Clients potentially feel more comfortable in their own home. It is also easier for disabled clients as they do not have to struggle with transport and unfamiliar places. One disadvantage is that you have to carry your equipment from place to place, which, depending on your therapy style, might be very inconvenient. If a lot of your day is spent travelling, you are limiting how many paid hours you can fit into a day. Often client's homes are not a good environment to for therapy. Potentially there are pets around who are keen to get involved or family members in other rooms and the client might be conscious of them listening in.



If you decide to rent a space there are a dazzling number of options available to you. One of the most common for holistic therapists, is to hire a room by the hour within an existing therapy centre. This allows you to minimise the risk, since you are only paying if you use the room. Generally the rooms are well suited to therapy and may have equipment and suitable furniture included. Usually these centres will also do some advertising on your behalf, which is great for generating new business. One of the disadvantages is that the hourly cost is often quite high and takes a big chunk out of your earnings. Also, you can be limited by when the room is available so might not be able to see your clients at times which suit them.

Once you have established a good client base, it might suit you to rent somewhere permanently. This is generally the most expensive option. It looks very professional to have your own designated space, which you can furnish to perfectly suit the needs of your clients. If you rent an office with a receptionist, this further adds to your professionalism and portrays you as an expert. You have full flexibility about when you see clients. It can also be nice to separate your home life and work life. The disadvantage of this option is that it is expensive, particularly if you want a nice office in a good location, with additional features such as parking, receptionists and a waiting room. It is also a the riskiest option. You still have to pay your rent whether or not you have enough clients, so in theory you could be making a loss.

Please do add your comments below. telling the community which type of premises you practice from and how that is working out for you.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Lessons from Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion


As business owners we need to know almost as much about sales and marketing as we do about our chosen therapy. Generally, therapists are brilliant at helping their clients but sometimes find the sales and marketing side of their business a little trickier.

There are a lot of wonderful resources available to help us with promoting our business. A classic book, highly regarded in entrepreneurial circles, is 'Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion' by Robert Cialdini.

In today's blog post we'll aim to summarise the messages in this book and give you practical advice on how these strategies can be applied specifically to a therapy business.

Lesson 1 - Reciprocation

Potential clients will be more likely to pay for treatment with you if they have first received something from you. As people, we like to feel that things are fair. For example, if someone gives you a present for your birthday, you would feel very uncomfortable if you did not reciprocate the favour when it was theirs. If we receive something, we are more likely to give something back and this also applies in business. To put this into practice, offer something small as a freebie to your potential clients, perhaps a free digital product or free introductory session. The people who take up your freebie offer are far more likely to become proper customers. You can offer this on your website, newsletters and social media pages.

Lesson 2 - Commitment and consistency

A strange quirk in our nature, is that once we have made a statement about who we are or what we believe, we are very reluctant to change that, even if there is considerable evidence that our initial decision was incorrect. This could be because we want to save face, we don't want to appear hypocritical and we don't like uncertainty or conflict within ourselves. A good example of this is someone who makes a public commitment vs someone who only makes it in their own mind. Using weight loss as an example, a person who tells all their friends and colleagues that they are going to lose 3 stone and compete in a 10k run is far more likely to be successful than the person who just tells themselves they will do it. Again, we can use this as part of our marketing strategy. Run a free workshop for potential clients. Anyone who attends that workshop is making a public commitment that they are open minded about your specific type of therapy and the trust you as the therapist. Deliver great content in this workshop and at the end of the event, invite people to work with you in an one on one basis. An event of this type also utilises the rule of reciprocity.

Lesson 3 - Social Proof
When we make decisions we look for evidence that society agrees with our decisions. Would you go to a restaurant if everyone told you it was terrible? The rise of sites such as Tripadvisor show us how much we value social proof. The simple way to use social proof in your business, is to ask previous clients for testimonials. Once you have a collection of positive testimonials from your existing clients, you can quote them on your website, social media pages, newsletters etc.

Lesson 4 - Liking
This lesson is self-explanatory. A therapeutic relationship is a unique one. Potential customers will often feel vulnerable before they come to see you.  Before they will work with you, clients need to like and trust you. Social media is a great way to gain their like and trust. Just be yourself on social media. Engage with your audience. Talk about the things you are passionate about and believe in.

Lesson 5 - Authority
Building on the idea of trust, clients want to feel confident that you can help them with their issue. They want to see you as an expert in your field, an authority figure. There are lots of practical ways you can create this authority as a therapist. Write a book, being a published author (you can self-publish) creates a lot of kudos and presents you as an authority. Do a feature on local TV or radio. Or publish an article in an industry journal.

Lesson 6 - Scarcity
This rule is used in retail all the time,
"Sale ends tomorrow,"
"Only three left in stock."
Sales messages like these motivate customers to make a decision and buy the product. This marketing strategy has been around for a long time because it works. Apply these strategies to your own business. When you run a special offer, have a clear end date for it. Imply that you are very busy (even if you're not) and can only take on a limited number of new clients. This galvanizes people who are thinking about it to make a decision.

These very valuable business skills are described in far more detail in the original book, "Influence - The Power of Persuasion,' by Robert Cialdini.

You can purchase it from Amazon below.


Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Taking The First Step

A career as an alternative therapist is a dream job. You are your own boss, have the freedom to manage your own time, generally earn a better hourly salary than you do in employment and can do work you genuinely love.
Despite all the benefits of this type of career, many people hold back from taking that first step. For a lot of people it is a career they would like to do "one day."
There are many reasons why people hold back, for instance:

  • I am worried about giving up a regular salary
  • I don't know where to start
  • My friends and family will think it is a stupid idea
  • What if I'm no good at it?
  • I don't know anything about taxes and marketing
  • It all seems too daunting. 
The best advice we can give is to just start. Begin researching how to qualify in your chosen field. Or, if you are already qualified and are delaying setting up the business, just start marketing it. None of us have all the answers at the beginning. You learn as you go along.

You can easily work out aspects, such as keeping accounts and running Facebook adverts, as you progress. Everything does not have to be perfect on day one. There are a huge number of resources to teach you the skills you will need. Many people hold back from their ideal lifestyle because they are waiting for all the stars to be aligned. Well, that perfect time never happens to start now and adapt as your business develops.

Starting your own business feels like a big risk. However, as a therapist your risks are relatively low. You could continue to be employed part time while you build you client base. The overheads for a therapy business are low compared to other businesses such as shops, restaurants or manufacturing. Explore the risks and develop a contingency plan to deal with the, Don't let them hold you back unnecessarily.

As for the opinions of other people, the important thing is that it is your life. Whenever you make a big change in life, some people will be resistant to it. This resistance usually comes from a kind place, they are worried about the risks. There is a saying that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Take the first steps and then tell friends and family. Once you have started on the path you will usually find that people are more supportive. Explain to friends and family your reasons for wanting a lifestyle change. Accept that not everyone will understand, but that is OK.

Taking the first step is the most difficult. After that each obstacle you will encounter feels smaller.

You deserve to do work you are passionate about. Make that change in your life today.




Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Creating Digital Products

One of the disadvantages of being a therapist, is that we tend to exchange time for money. In general, the business model for therapists, is that we get paid a specific amount of money, for a set amount of time with a single client. E.g. £50 for a half hour physiotherapy session.

While this model allows us to really get to know our clients, it means we cannot scale our businesses. We get limited by the numbers of hours we can physically work. This business model also causes issues when we want to go on holiday. If we are not physically there, we do not earn any money.

So, how can we create a passive stream of income, which is not limited by time or having to be physically present?

A great solution is to create digital products. A digital product can make you money while you sleep. Sounds fantastic doesn't it?

Creating a digital product is surprisingly easy. Have a think about what products would work for your business. If you are a hypnotherapist or meditation instructor, then an audio products would be brilliant. If you are a yoga teacher you could create a video. If you are a nutritionist, you could create an e-book.

Take the time to make your digital product perfect. Edit your product to remove any small irritations, such as bad sound quality on a video.

Due to the increasing popularity of digital products there are lots of available platforms to use. Infusionsoft is a great system to use. Ecwid and Shopify are also very user friendly. These systems allow you to display your products, process the payments and send them to your buyers.

Once you have created your product, you can offer it to your existing customers. People who already know, like and trust you, will be more comfortable buying from you. You can also sell your digital products using Facebook advertising and Google AdWords (Pay Per Click) ads.

Another advantage of creating a digital product, particularly a book, is that it creates a lot of kudos. It demonstrates that you are an expert in your field. This benefits all the areas of your business.

Have you ever created a digital product for your business? If so, what has worked well for you? And what  obstacles have you had to overcome with creating digital products? Please do comment below.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Celebrating Freedom

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 10 which is the final blog post I am writing as part of a challenge, which has focused on getting clear about your goals in business and life.

I write a lot, both for you guys here at The Therapists' Business School and also on my hypnotherapy blog, but this challenge has pushed me out of my comfort zone. Usually my blogs specialize in giving you, the readers, tools and strategies to employ in your own lives.While a few of the blogs I have written for this challenge, have still focused on how to market a holistic therapy practice, a lot of them have been more personal. Instead of simply providing information, I have been talking about my own aspirations. For someone who is quite private and is more comfortable hiding behind the name of their business, being so open has been difficult. 

However, I overcame this challenge (the lure of the first prize certainly helped!)  and put my personal desires out there in the public domain. And you know what? It was fine.
People didn't ridicule me, tell me my dreams were fanciful or all point and laugh as the gremlins in my mind told me they would. In fact, people have been very supportive. The audience has actually engaged really well with these more personal blogs. 

My favorite post of the challenge was Day 3, which was all about creating a clear vision for the future, by planning your perfect day. This challenge was wonderful for a few reasons. First it feels great to fantasize about your perfect day. Second, it helped me to get really clear on what I actually want from life, as opposed to what other people say is important. Third, it was very personal, so really broke down the barrier I had, about being open about myself, in the public domain. I enjoyed this challenge so much that I have since set it as a task to several of my hypnotherapy clients. 

The challenge has been hugely valuable to me and changed the way I view things in business and life. In business, I am going to blog far more frequently as I have seen the business benefit of having evergreen content and have enjoyed the process. More importantly I am going to talk much more openly about what I really want in business and in life. 

If you have any comments about the 10 day blog challenge or about The Therapists' Business School, then please do comment below. 


http://thefreedomplan.rocks/ten


Sunday, 18 September 2016

Location Independence

Usually our blogs here at The Therapists' Business School provide guidance on business and marketing for therapists. Today's blog is a little more personal. I'm Cat, the owner of The Therapists' Business School and I've been taking part in a ten day blog challenge. Every day I've been writing a blog which helps me to create the vision for my own life. It has been brilliant and I thoroughly recommend you check it out. This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9, which is all about location independence. I hope my views can inspire you to also think about your goals.

I have always loved travel. As soon as I hit 18, I packed my backpack, passport, SPF 6000 sun cream (I have the type of skin which can burn under a light bulb!) and I was off. That first experience of independent travel took me inter railing around Europe, seeing ruins and beaches in Thailand, sailing down the river Nile, working in a hospital in India and office work (and drinking) in Dublin. I was hooked.

Life is a little different now. I'm in my early thirties, have a family, a home I love and a hypnotherapy practice, which I am incredibly passionate about. My goal now is to be able to travel for three months of the year, during all the school holidays and enjoy the rest of the year in my base in the UK. I admire all the families who educate their children on the road, giving them true location independence. However, for me that is not the best balance, for two reasons. One, I love my hypnotherapy work and to provide a good service to my clients, I need to be able to see them regularly over a period of a few months. Secondly, my oldest daughter is disabled and requires quite a lot of additional support in school and from healthcare professionals so it makes sense to stay where the support is already set up.

So, my dream is to have the freedom to travel for three months of the year, with my family. This is one of the reasons why I set up The Therapists' Business School. By providing business and marketing knowledge as online courses and by employing the best trainers in the field to run the classroom courses, I do not need to be physically present.

In April, we are going, as a family, to Thailand and Cambodia. We are all incredibly excited for this trip. While there it will be important to me to balance my work time, tourist time, relaxation time and time for exercise. We are working with the natural rhythm of the area we are visiting. Thailand and Cambodia are stifling hot in April. So, we will all get up early and stay up late to do most of our touristy things early in the morning or late in the evening. During the hottest part of the day, the children will need a sleep. This siesta time is mine and my husband's opportunity to get some work done. By saving all of our documents to Google Drive and our log ins to LastPass, we can log in from any computer in the world, saving us the extra luggage of having to bring a laptop. We will incorporate plenty of exercise into our daily routine in Asia, simply by the activities we will be doing, horse riding, swimming and lots of walking.


For another post about how to balance work and location independence, check out my blog about my perfect day here.

Often people think that extensive travel is out of reach. They think it is too expensive / dangerous / impossible to fit in around work etc. Don't let these limiting beliefs hold you back. In reality travel is accessible, it just takes a bit of organisation.

Travel is very important to me, as it is with so many other people. It really is possible to create a business and lifestyle which allows you location independence.

Get the 7 Steps To Create A Successful Therapy Business here. 



Friday, 16 September 2016

How To Overcome Procrastination And Overwhelm

There are many wonderful benefits to running your own business. Unfortunately, there are also a few downsides. As your own boss, you have nobody to motivate you. You have nobody to hold you accountable if you procrastinate. Sometimes it feels overwhelming doing everything yourself.

If you ever find yourself procrastinating or feeling overwhelmed, by everything, you need to do in your business, don't worry, this is very normal.

We all hit these periods of procrastination and overwhelm in our business.

Like everything in life, our energy and passion for our business naturally waxes and wanes. Often, we will feel incredibly motivated for a couple of months, focus everything on our business and then suddenly find our energy disappears. Don't panic when this happens. It's natural. The best thing to do, is to accept that sometimes you need to take a step back and relax a little. If you try to keep going at full speed during these low energy periods, you will simply extend the unproductive period and feel anxious about it. Take time for yourself to relax, spend time with family and friends, go on holiday and you'll come back to your business with renewed vigour.

As well as natural energy fluctuations, a period of procrastination and feeling overwhelmed, could be because your heart is not really in the work you are trying to do. Ask yourself honestly, is this something which lights you up? Do you have passion for the work you are doing? Or are you doing it because you think you should be? If it's the latter, then what else can you be doing? Take your business in a direction which fills you with excitement.

There will be times when our motivation is lower, our stress is higher but we cannot take a step back. There will be times when it is business critical to get things done.

There are various tools and techniques you can use to overcome procrastination and overwhelm.

Keep a 'To Do' list. This means that all your tasks are recorded and you will not feel overwhelmed by having to remember everything. Regularly review your To Do list and ask yourself the following questions for each item:


  • Will this generate an income?
  • Do I enjoy it?
  • Am I obliged to do this (e.g. legal requirements / tax affairs)
When the answer to all three questions is no, then get rid of the task. 

With the remaining tasks, are there any you can outsource? These days you can outsource almost all business and personal tasks, often for a very low cost. 

Now, you are left with a much more manageable To Do list. Hopefully this exercise of eliminating many of the tasks will enable to feel less overwhelmed. 

Make sure you are finding time everyday for some exercise and meditation. Both are great for minimizing stress and that sensation of overwhelm.  They also help you to be more focused. 

Once you have eliminated many of the tasks from your To Do list, it is time to get laser focused. 

Before you go to bed at night, choose a maximum of three tasks from your To Do list, which are the most important ones to get done the next day.  No more than three or you will start to feel overwhelmed. 


When it comes to the next day, focus on each task one at a time. Do not attempt to multi-task. Choose your first task of the day. Ensure you are working in a good environment. Limit the time you have available to work on this task. This might sound counter-intuitive, but limiting the time you have available increases your productivity.It prevents you from wasting time on Facebook or travel websites (maybe that's just me!). Work on your first task for a set amount of time. Then take a break. Go for a walk to clear your mind, have something to eat or do some exercise.

For example, a typical day when you want to overcome procrastination and overwhelm could look like this.

20 minute meditation session
Task one for 40 minutes
Have some lunch
Task two for 40 minutes
Go for a walk
Task three for 40 minutes.

Work with your own circadian rhythm. If you are a night owl, then do your most creative tasks late in the evening. If you have maximum concentration span of 20 minutes, then perhaps do six 20 minutes sessions rather than the three 40 minute sessions advised above. If you are more focused after eating then plan your most challenging task after lunch. We are all different. Listen to your own body and notice your own energy levels.

We'd love to hear how you overcome procrastination and overwhelm. Please do post in the comments below and share with others what works for you.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7






Thursday, 15 September 2016

Finding Your Tribe

Have you ever heard the quote,
"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."?
This statement usually applies to our financial situation, i.e. we tend to earn the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. However, it also applies to many other areas of life, such as weight, confidence, ambition, hobbies etc.

So, why is this the case? And why is it useful you know?

We are social animals. We want to fit in. So, we tend to adapt our behaviours and even our thinking patterns to fit in with those around us. We are influenced by the thought patterns, behaviours, beliefs and habits of other people. If you spend a lot of time with other entrepreneurs, who believe that it is possible to be very successful, then you are likely to adopt that same belief. You will talk about success and learn from each other how to achieve it. We also tend to adopt the behaviours of the people we spend time with. So, if you associate with people who take daily action to become more successful, then you are likely to be very motivated to do the same. Associating with people who are more successful than you can also give you better opportunities.
If, on the other hand, you spend time with negative people, the opposite happens. You start to believe the limiting beliefs that you hear from them. You will subconsciously copy the lazy actions and habits which pull you back from success. Start to notice who you associate with and become aware if they bring you up or push you down.

When we take a new step in our life, such as setting up our own therapy business, you can find that people who have known you for a long time can be quite negative about this. This is very common. People can be quite critical of you setting up your own business, particularly if you are giving up a good job to follow your dream. Usually, this behaviour comes from a good place. Your friends and family might be more risk averse than you and they are trying to protect you by discouraging you from taking that step.
Unfortunately, sometimes when other people are negative about your goals, it can be because they are jealous. Perhaps they would love the freedom of being their own boss but have never had the confidence to go for it. It can also be because they are worried that you will change. Many people can be very resistant to any form of change. Of course, we want to be accepted by friends and family. We often don't want to stand out as being different. We hate the though of our friends saying that we have become arrogant. It is really tough to continue striving for your dreams if you are being actively discouraged. The solution to this is to surround yourself with like-minded people. Create a tribe of supporters. Ensure that your five people are people who will encourage you to be a better person.

So, how do you do this? Fire all your friends and disown your own mother? Maybe not. There are much more subtle ways to do this.

First of all recognise that people have a different opinion to you. They are viewing the world as they see it not as you do. Learn to block out these negative opinions. Secondly, make a conscious effort to spend less time with people who are very critical of your dreams in life. Thirdly, find people who do believe in you.

There are probably already people in your social circle who are living the lifestyle you would like to live. Spend more time with these people. Ask their advice. Find out how they achieved their goals. A therapist peer support group is also a great way to connect with like-minded people. If there isn't one in your local area, you can probably find a group on Facebook.

As children, we learn by copying adults. This is a process called modelling. However, this type of learning does not end with childhood. For example, when you begin a new job, you learn by copying your colleagues. We can use modelling to our advantage. Identify someone who has achieved what you want to achieve. Then observe them. Notice how they speak. How do they use body language? How do they approach different situations? How do they speak and think about challenges? What daily habits do they have? What actions do they take to move towards success? Once your have observed their way of thinking and doing things, you can adopt these patterns into your own behaviour.
If you know your role model personally, then that's great. However, you are not limited to people you know. Perhaps your role model is someone like Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey or Tim Ferriss. You can still model high profile people. You can do this by reading their autobiographies. You can watch YouTube interviews with them. You really do have so many great resources available to you.


Have a think about what questions you would like to ask your ideal tribe.

For example:
How do they handle criticism?
How do they handle failure?
How do they achieve a work / life balance?
What is the best investment they have ever made in their business?
What would they tell their younger self?
Which limiting beliefs have they had to overcome?
What daily routines do they have to create the right mind set for success?

Surrounding yourself with the right people is essential for success. Start taking action today.


Get the 7 Steps To Create A Successful Therapy Business here. 



Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Setting Yourself Up For Success

Here, at The Therapists' Business School, we often talk about the limiting beliefs, which can hold back our success. A very common limiting belief is that as we get more successful we will have less time. A variation on this limiting belief is that as we become more successful we will be more stressed. So, when we hold this limiting belief, it causes us to subconsciously move away from success. Often, people will stagnate in their business, or even self-sabotage to avoid the time restrictions and stress, they subconsciously associate with success.
So, where does this limiting belief comes from?
It can come from parents. Many of us were taught, by our parents, that the only way to make a lot of money is to work as many hours as possible. It can also come from our own experience. I started my career in the corporate world. As I looked at the more senior staff, all I saw was people who were working longer and longer hours for a small amount of extra money. I saw people whose lifestyles were severely limited by their poor work life balance. It knew it wasn't what I wanted.
We need to challenge this limiting belief about success and time. If you work for yourself, as a therapist, then actually success brings you more time. You can increase your per hour fee to work fewer hours. As you become more successful, you can outsource many of your business tasks, allowing you the time to focus on the parts of your business which satisfy you.
As you become more successful, you can also use your increased income to outsource many chores. For example, get a cleaner, have someone to do your laundry, get your shopping delivered or even get entire meals delivered to your door.
The wonderful things about the age we live in, is that almost everything can be outsourced and more success allows you even more free time to do the things you are passionate about.
So, what is the best way to manage our time and set ourselves up for success?
How we feel physically will affect how mentally focused we feel and how productive we are. Therefore, look after yourself. Make sure you schedule time every day for some exercise. This will make you feel great, you'll be mentally alert and have more energy.
As well as scheduling time for exercise every day, find time for meditation. There's a great meditation app called Headspace which contains 10 minute long meditations, so there's no excuse not to fit it into your day.  Meditation is great for decreasing stress and helping you to feel more focused.
Once you have exercised and meditated, you feel physically and mentally prepared for anything.
It's often best to schedule your exercise and meditation for as early as possible in the day, to set you up for success.
Once you've set yourself up for success, what is the best way to maximize your work productivity?
A good strategy is to limit the amount of time you have on certain tasks. For example, set yourself 30 minutes to work on content generation for your newsletters. Limiting the time, makes you more focused. If you know you only have 30 minutes to work on a task, you will avoid unnecessary distractions such as Facebook.
Another great strategy is to choose your work environment wisely. If possible, get out of your house. Otherwise, you'll be tempted to do some housework! Aim to work somewhere without friends or family around to distract you. If you don't have your own premises, to work from, then a library or café is great. Make the environment a pleasant please to be. Choose a café with great light and ambiance. If it works for you, then put some music on. If you have your own office, make sure it is clean and put beautiful pictures up.
Avoid multi-tasking. You might think you get more done when you are multi-tasking, but in reality you probably don't. Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks to complete each day. However, just take one at a time. Choose your most important task, which must be completed today and work on that for 30 minutes. Another benefit of meditation is that it makes it easier to focus on one thing at a time.
Everyone's lifestyle is different so design a daily success plan which works for you. Personally, I find I am better at exercise later in the day, so will schedule blocks of work and break up those blocks with a work out.
A fantastic book, which details how to be more productive, is The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. We highly recommend it.

If you have any hints and tips for being more productive, please do comment below.


Get the 7 Steps To Creating A Successful Therapy Business here. 


Great Podcasts For Business Owners

As a therapist you have two quite distinct roles. One as a therapist. The other as a business owner. Both roles require significantly different skills. Often, we have extensive training on the therapy side, but when we start our therapy business, we realise that we need just as much business skill as therapy skill.

Thankfully there are lots of wonderful books and podcasts to help you to learn these skills and to become more entrepreneurial minded.

Podcasts have the advantage that you can be learning while doing other things such as cleaning, walking or commuting.

Here are a few of our favourite business podcasts.

The Tim Ferriss Podcast
Tim Ferriss is the author of The Four Hour Work Week, which revolutionised how people think about business and their lifestyle. In his podcast, Tim interviews high achievers from a variety of fields and identifies the tools and strategies they use to achieve their high level of success.

The Suitcase Entrepreneur
If you want to expand your business beyond one to one consultations, this is the podcast for you. The Suitcase Entrepreneur explains how to turn your therapy skills into online products (e.g. courses, books, membership clubs). As therapists we exchange time for money. We often then hit a ceiling in our business because our time is limited. This podcasts guides you through the process of moving parts of your business online to create more financial and time freedom. 

The Entrepreneur Radio Show
Hosted by a highly successful and experienced entrepreneur, this podcast contains interviews with other successful entrepreneurs. It gets into the nitty gritty of business and is a wonderful learning resource, particularly if you are very serious about making your business highly profitable,

Unemployable
This sits between The Suitcase Entrepreneur and The Entrepreneur Radio show in its style. It contains a high level of practical detail, such as how to set up sales funnels and how to manage your email list. Its target audience is people who want a business which allows them freedom in life, as opposed to a business focussed exclusively on profit.

Lewis Howes - The School of Greatness
While this podcast is a business podcast, it also focusses on general personal development and being the best version of yourself in all areas of your life. A wonderfully motivational podcast.

Which other business podcasts do you recommend? Please do comment below.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Unlocking Your Superpowers



As a therapist, you wear lots of hats. You have the role your clients see, as a therapist. However, you also have to wear your book-keeping hat, your social media marketing hat, your networking hat, your organization hat and so on. With only 24 hours in the day it can be very difficult to know where to place your focus.

Place your focus where your superpowers lie. Yes, for a moment we are putting hats aside and donning a superhero costume, complete with underwear worn on top of clothes! You have superpowers, lots of them, and by focussing your attention on those superpowers, you can build a thriving and fulfilling business.

So, how do you find your superpowers? A good place to start is to identify what you enjoy the most. What lights you up? What do you enjoy doing?  Take some time to write a list of all the things you enjoy in your business and all of the things you enjoy in your day to day life. This will be different for everyone. For example, many people would find coding very dull, but Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby, enjoyed coding so much that he kept doing the coding, even when he was running a multi-million dollar business.

As well as writing these lists of what you enjoy, take some time to write down what you are good at. Ask your friends what you are good at. There will be things that you find easy, which you assumed everyone else found easy too. Your friends will identify these superpowers.

For example.
Things I enjoy in business
Meeting clients for the first time
Business networking


Things I enjoy in life
Going out with friends
Going to new places
Travel

Things my friends say I am good at
Confident with new people
Organised with dates
Great at planning events
Make people feel at ease.

Once you have identified your superpowers, you can apply them to your business. If you are someone who has great tech skills and attention to detail, then you can focus your time on studying Google Analytics and tweaking your sales funnels. If your superpower is public speaking and networking, then great, get out there and market your business that way.

One of the wonderful things about taking that leap and starting your own business, is that you discover new superpowers. Often, in the world of employment, only a limited number of tasks are required of us. However, when you start your own business you can suddenly discover that you are good with numbers, a great public speaker or fantastic event organiser. Enjoy the process of your new superpowers shining through.

As well as discovering superpowers, you didn't know you had, your own business is also a great opportunity for growth. It is one of the steepest learning curves you will ever go through. Most skills can be learned and, if you have an interest in them, you will learn them easily. You can add to your superpowers by learning business strategy, online marketing or how to use social media platforms. Here at The Therapists' Business School, we have a range of online and classroom courses to allow you add to your superpower repertoire.

As well as running your business day to day, you also have to think about how to grow your business. There are so many directions you can take your business. Do you want to do group therapy? Do you want to hire another therapist? Do you want to create online products? Or sell a book? With so many options and with everyone giving you a different opinion, it can be hard to know which direction to take. Use the same strategy of identifying your superpowers and apply them to business strategy decisions. For example, if you hate working on your own but love mixing with people, then don't write a blog or book. Instead, you could organise wellness events. Sometimes, it can be hard to know what we want. This is very common. A good way to get into the flow state of mind is to do something you enjoy. You will tend to find that when you are in a good state of mind, new business ideas will flow to you. A common distorted belief, which can hold business owners back, is that if something is easy for us we can't charge for it. Remember, just because it is easy for you, doesn't mean it's easy for someone else. Someone else will happily pay you to alleviate whatever problem they are facing.

So, now that you've identified your superpowers and how you can use them in your business, it's time to talk about the rest. All the things you don't like, the tasks in your business which feel like chores. This is where outsourcing comes in. These days you can outsource almost every business task. Outsourcing doesn't mean you have to employ someone. You can outsource as much or as little as you like for a fraction of the cost it would be to employ someone. You can hire someone to do your SEO, write your blogs, do your accounts, even book your travel or do your laundry. A great website for outsourcing is  Upwork (www.upwork.com).

Discovering and then utilising your superpowers is one of the best things you can do for your business. So, take the time to do this today.

Find out the 7 Steps To Creating A Successful Therapy Business



Monday, 12 September 2016

Creating A Vision For the Future

We spoke in our last blog about the importance of visualising your perfect future. Here at The Therapists' Business School we walk the walk.  So... here's my vision for the future......

I wake up naturally at 6:30am to the sound of birds singing and the sunlight streaming into my room.

I leave my gorgeous husband Ben sleeping soundly and I go out on a walk. I'm in a hot climate and the scenery is beautiful. My walk alternates between sections by the sea and in forests. I can feel the early morning sun on my skin. As I walk, I listen to an interesting and motivational podcast.
On my way home I stop to buy some fresh pastries, delicious fruit and coffee. I take this delicious breakfast home, to my immaculate house, and eat with my husband and two daughters. Everyone is relaxed.

Then my daughters go to school. They are excited to go and I am confident that they are getting a great education.

I then do 20 minutes meditation before showering and getting dressed in beautiful designer clothes.

By now it is 9am, I put on some great music and get involved in my work for three hours. My three hours of work might include seeing one to one hypnotherapy clients, writing, optimizing my sales funnels for The Therapists' Business School or reviewing my investments. I create enough passive to be financially free. I do this work because I am passionate about it and enjoy it so much. After three hours I feel very satisfied with everything I have created. I have received positive feedback from people about the difference my work has made to their lives.

I then go for a work out. Sometimes this is a 5k run, sometimes it is a yoga session and other times it is strength work with a personal trainer. After the work out I feel that post exercise rush and feel as though I can achieve anything. My body looks perfect and I am fit and strong.

The early afternoon is my time. Sometimes I go for a massage or meet a friend for lunch, learn a new language or spend time reading a book, sitting in the sun. I feel calm and joyful. My husband, who enjoys cycling has plenty of time to cycle now that we are financially free.

Then the girls come home from school. They are full of enthusiasm about their day. They have a healthy snack. In the late afternoon we spend quality time with the girls and their friends in our pool. We can hear the sound of all the children laughing and playing really well together. Everyone feels pleasantly tired after this.

In the evening we have friends and extended family over. We eat delicious food from the BBQ and sit outside late into the evening drinking wine. I can taste the expensive wine, which compliments the food perfectly. The friends we have are all kind, funny, fascinating people who encourage us to push for our dreams. The children all play together until it is time for their bed.

After everyone has left I go to bed with Ben and think about how fortunate I am.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

http://thefreedomplan.rocks/ten

Sunday, 11 September 2016

What does freedom mean to you?

What does freedom mean to you?
How does your business facilitate your freedom?

Take some time now to really think about these questions.

Freedom will mean something slightly different to each person. For you, freedom might be the ability to choose which hours you work, to give you more time with your children. Freedom might mean being able to work from anywhere. Freedom might mean being able to travel for long periods of time. Freedom might mean not having to answer to a boss. Freedom might mean the opportunity to work exclusively on the things you are passionate about. It could be freedom from debt or freedom from money worries. Have a think about what freedom means to you, as this will be a huge factor in the kind of life you create for yourself.

Personally, freedom means that I wake up in the morning, knowing that everything I have scheduled for each day is something I really want to do. I don't achieve this every day, but I'm moving closer to my definition of freedom. My definition of freedom has changed over the years, as I'm sure yours has. When I was making the decision to quit my investment banking job and start my hypnotherapy practice, I wanted to freedom to do work I was passionate about and to have more time with my children. As the years have passed, freedom to travel has increased in priority for me.

The wonderful thing about being a self-employed therapist is that it creates a lot of freedom in your life. At the same time as creating freedom in your own life, you are also performing extremely valuable work and enabling your clients to lead much happier lives. As therapists, we generally charge quite a high hourly rate. This gives us the freedom to work fewer hours and have freedom from financial concerns. Being our own boss also gives us the freedom to choose the type of work we do, the hours we work and the freedom to make our own decisions. One of the wonderful benefits of systems such as Skype and Zoom is that you can now conduct many types of therapy via the internet. So your clients can be in New York and you can be in the Maldives. (Admittedly, this is trickier for all you massage therapists!)

So what is your definition of freedom? Does your current job or business give you this freedom? And if not, what is stopping you? Getting clear on exactly what freedom means to you is hugely empowering. Visualisation is a very powerful tool. Take the time to really visualise your ideal lifestyle. Imagine all the ways in which you are free in your perfect future, Engage all of your senses. What does freedom look like? Where would you be living? Where would you travel? What would you do with your free time? What work would you do? How would the extra freedom benefit your health and your loved ones? What would you hear in your ideal future? What would you be eating and drinking, if you had complete freedom? And what would you feel and smell?

Enjoy this visualisation exercise. Once you are clear on what freedom means to you, you can take daily action to move you closer to your goal.

As part of our 4 week Business Success Course, we provide a hypnosis MP3 to guide you through this visualisation exercise. Just for readers of this blog we are giving away a free copy. Download yours here.


Get the 7 Steps To Create A Successful Therapy Business here. 



Saturday, 10 September 2016

Finding Your Focus - Taking The Plunge

"You're so lucky to have your own business, doing something you love." This is a phrase that successful business owners often hear. However, when you ask people why they don't do the same, a range of answers are given:

I don't have enough money
I don't have any marketable skills
I don't know anything about business
I have the mortgage to pay.

Well here's the truth. Successful business owners haven't been lucky. They aren't more intelligent, born with different skills or from a wealthier background than the average person. The difference is that they have taken the plunge and set up their own business. Taking this step is a huge challenge. If you wait until the stars are perfectly aligned, you will procrastinate indefinitely, which leads to a heartbreaking amount of regret.

The biggest initial challenge after you have taken that step is creating enough income to live on. This is scary, and the reason why most people procrastinate so much in the first place. But guess what, when we are pushed out of our comfort zone we grow and learn. Needing to create an income from your new business is a hell of a motivator! You will push yourself to learn more about business and marketing. You will overcome a fear of public speaking and talk about your business at networking events. You'll develop your business and your own skills. And guess what, you'll feel amazing, confident and proud of yourself for it.

There will be tough times. No business owner will tell you it has all been plain sailing. When times get tough, you need to keep focussing on your big why. What are you passionate about? What does your perfect job mean to you? What does your perfect day look like? And how does owning your own business contribute to this? What extra security will your ideal business give you and your family? What new excitement and freedom will it give you? Have a clear vision of how you want your life to be. A good idea is to create a vision board or your dream lifestyle.

The vision board shows you the best case scenario. Looks pretty sexy doesn't it? Yet, sometimes, despite knowing how much better life will be, people still stay in jobs that bore them to tears. Why? It's the fear of it all going wrong. A huge challenge for all business owners is overcoming the fear of failure.

A great way to overcome this fear is to explore the worst case scenario. Think about this realistically and you'll see it is not that scary. If, and it is a big if, your new business does not work out, the chances are that everything will still be ok. As therapists, our start up costs are relatively low, so you are unlikely to need a large loan. The worst case scenario is that your savings seriously dwindle and you get into some debt to cover your living costs. While this is not ideal, it is manageable. You can more than likely go back to your old job (or a similar one), if necessary, providing you didn't bellow out a string of expletives to your boss on your last day. We don't recommend doing that! So, financially, if things don't go to plan, you will still manage. Then there are the social fears. We are scared of being judged negatively. We worry that if we try something as audacious as setting up our own business and it doesn't work out, we will have lots of people saying,
"I told you so."
In reality most people will admire you for having the guts to try and who cares about the people who are nasty. They have never had the courage to step outside of their comfort zone.

So, the realistic worst case scenario is that you end up in the same position you were in anyway but with a new repertoire of skills. In contrast, the best case scenario is wonderful. Taking the plunge is a big challenge but keep focusing on your vision, go for it and enjoy the journey.

As part of our 4 week Business Success Course, we provide a hypnosis MP3 to guide you through this visualisation exercise. Just for readers of this blog we are giving away a free copy. Download yours here.


Get the 7 Steps To Create A Successful Therapy Business here. 



Sunday, 4 September 2016

10 Ways To Be A More Successful Business Person


1.       Keep fit and healthy. You will have more energy to work hard and your mind will be clearer. As a therapist you must walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
2.       Model others. Learn from people you admire. Find out how they run their business and what steps they took to get where they are today.

3.       Overcome negative beliefs. We can pick up distorted beliefs about money and success throughout our lives, such as:

a.       To be successful you must sacrifice your relationships

b.      You have to be lucky to become wealthy

c.       You have to treat others badly to make it to the top

d.      You will become arrogant if you are successful

Challenge these beliefs. Read Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad” series for more information on distorted beliefs.
4.       Meditate. A wonderful way to keep focussed and manage stress.

5.       Who you associate with. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So, surround yourself with people who support your dream.

6.       Be congruent. Make sure everything you do in your business fits with your own values. You will enjoy your work more and ultimately attract more clients.

7.       Continuously learn. Take CPD course directly related to your field. Learn about business and marketing for therapists from us. Read plenty and listen to podcasts from experts in your field.

8.       Have a clear vision. To stay motivated, have a clearly defined goal for your business. Establish a time frame in which you will achieve your goal. We are visual creatures so create a vision board and place it somewhere you will regularly see it.

9. Don't be afraid to say, "No." If a client makes you feel uncomfortable or asks for an unreasonable discount, it is ok to refuse them, Set your boundaries. 

10. Ask for feedback. This is tough and it is normal to be worried about the responses. However, without feedback you cannot improve your service. 
          

Friday, 2 September 2016

Keeping Positive When Business Is Slow

Running your own holistic therapy practice has many wonderful benefits. More freedom, a better hourly rate, rewarding work. The flip side of this is that running a business can be tough. Your income can fluctuate wildly, sometimes clients do not get the results they were hoping for, and selling your services is hard.

We have all felt disheartened. Perhaps new leads dry up, maybe we have a number of cancellations close together, or perhaps we suddenly find out our office space is being sold to housing developers (this one happened to me!)

As a business owner your emotions are linked to the success of your business. When you are going through a bad time in your business, it is difficult to stay positive. Sometimes you might feel like giving it all up and going back to the job you were doing before.

It is very normal to feel like this occasionally, but do not let it deter you from your dream. Achieving your perfect lifestyle takes time and effort, so be willing to accept some uphill struggles.

It can be reassuring to know that everyone feels overwhelmed from time to time. The good news is that the longer you are in business, the easier it is to weather these storms. With time you get used to managing a fluctuating income. You also learn that the bad times do come to an end and after a few years you can see patterns and know when you will have quiet periods.

It takes time to build a business. We often hear about the overnight successes. However, we hear about these because they are the exception rather than the norm. Also, if you look in details at a lot of these “overnight successes,” the reality is that they have been working very hard, for a long time before the success started.

It can be very useful to join a peer support group, whether that is a group of other therapists or even just other small business owners in your local area. Talk to other people about your concerns. Learn how they overcome the same hurdles you are now facing.

Our mind set is so important to the success of our businesses. A good way to boost mind set is to take time every day to focus on the positives. Remind yourself of the great result one of your clients has recently achieved, re-read that lovely testimonial and celebrate the new leads you have obtained recently. Focussing on the positive helps to shift your mind set to a more confident one. As you appear more confident, new clients will naturally be drawn to you.

Our mind set is the most important factor to business success. The first week of our Business Success Course, focusses exclusively on mind set. For more information click here.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Creating A Marketing Funnel - Level 3

In our previous emails in this series, we have explained the first steps, to setting up an effective marketing funnel, for your therapy business. If you haven't read the previous emails you can do so here for level 1 and here for level 2.

So, once we have our email list, what next? How do we convert these email leads into customers?
The answer is an effective email campaign.

The most important rule is that your emails must add value to your potential customers. They must not be spammy!!

Please read that last sentence again. This is so important. Customers need to like and trust you before they will pay you, so your emails must build this relationship.

So how can you add value to your customers lives? What problems do they have that you can help with? You know your clients better than anyone, so you know what problems they face and how you can help them.

Some examples of good, useful content are:
  • Free hypnosis MP3s
  • A video on yoga techniques to get rid of a big belly
  • Recipes to help people build more muscle
  • A written post on how to manage difficulties in relationships.
Take your time to create useful, high quality content. Once this is done, you can use it on your website or social media as well as in your emails.

Your potential customers will become irritated if your emails are full of sales pitches. Therefore, for the first three emails send a content rich, useful email. Give away freebies. Build the relationship with your audience. Of course your can have a small amount of information about how people can get in touch but the primary function of these first three emails is to build trust.

We recommend sending the first three emails about five days apart. You will be able to schedule this by using a system such as MailChimp, AWeber or InfusionSoft.

As we have described previously, A/B testing is essential at all stages of the marketing funnel.

So test frequently. Compare elements such as:
  • The time the email is sent
  • The subject line
  • Which freebie is most popular
  • Which images get most interaction
One of the wonderful things about the email systems mentioned above is that they provide a goldmine of information about how your audience are responding to your emails.

Once all three of these emails have been sent it is time for your 12 Step Sales Letter. 

We will summarise the 12 steps of the 12 step sales letter here. However, for more nitty gritty information, as well as examples, look up '12 step sales letter' on Google. The beauty of this format is that it overcomes any resistance potential clients may have to getting in touch.

The 12 steps to include in your 4th email are as follows:
  1. Get their attention
  2. Identify the problem
  3. Show the potential benefits to your audience
  4. Provide a solution to the problem
  5. Present yourself as an authority
  6. Provide social proof, e.g. testimonials
  7. Make your offer
  8. Inject scarcity
  9. Give a guarantee
  10. Call to action
  11. Give a warning
  12. Close with a P.S. reminder
And that is your full marketing funnel. Once it is set up it will run itself. With each cycle you can review which parts are performing the best and tweak the system as appropriate.

Friday, 12 August 2016

The Ultimate Marketing Masterclass

The Ultimate Marketing Masterclass

A 1 day course designed specifically for therapists, to enable you to effectively market and grow your business. Held in central London, the day is split into two parts. The first covers Google AdWords and the second half teaches Public Speaking and Networking.  


You will learn
- How to market your business online, through Google AdWords, from one of the leading industry experts.

- How to effectively market your business through public speaking, networking and radio.

- How to overcome a fear of public speaking
Date - 26th November 2016
Price - £130
Location - Premier Meetings, London County Hall, 3J-3K Belvedere Road, London, SE1 7PB




About The Trainers

Google AdWords - Ben Swatridge
Ben is a Google AdWords expert, having worked in the field for over 10 years and run the company PPC-Active since 2010. Ben also lectures in online marketing at Bournemouth University and has managed the AdWords campaigns of several high profile therapists.

Public Speaking and Networking - Cat Swatridge
Cat is an experienced hypnotherapist, trainer and professional speaker, having featured on multiple radio shows, seminars and colleges. She has provided public speaking and networking training to many institutions, including JPMorgan and the Anglo-European College of Therapeutic Hypnosis.