I was listening to a great podcast this afternoon from one of my favorite authors and speakers, Grant Cardone, who was talking about what it takes to be you own boss. As a self-made millionaire, Grant certainly has the experience to challenge what we think as status quo in the self help world.
As a business owner, therapist, public speaker and coach, I know what it took for me to go from being a salaried employee, putting up with internal politics, not knowing when I would get a raise and having to answer to board members and other staff.
It seemed like I would never get off that merry-go-round, especially as I continue to work in non-profit organizations. Once I shifted to private practice after graduate school, I still worked for others for a handful of years. Even though I was much more satisfied than with agency work, I still noticed the contrast between being the employee and being my own boss.
I remember once walking out of my office in this group practice and the office manager pulled me aside with a serious look on her face. She asked me why is it that she can hear laughter from my office and my clients for the most part came out of the session with a smile on their faces while she saw other clients coming out with more serious dispositions from session with my colleagues.
My initial response was that maybe I was doing something wrong and that I wasn’t taking my job seriously enough. But after I moment I realized the stark difference between my colleagues approach to therapy and my own.
Having grown up going to therapy as a child and having two great-uncles who are famous Freudian Psychiatrists, my experience earlier in life was that therapy has to have a certain decorum during sessions. My therapist as a child, while friendly, focused more on problems or issues then on positive outcomes and solutions. My colleagues, while also incredibly passionate and talented, were for the most part pathology/diagnosis based and problem saturated.
My clinical training on the other hand was steeped in solution oriented, positive reframing and pattern finding/stuck attempts based approaches. Humor, rapport and metaphors as well as bringing your personality to the table was allowed as long as the sessions did not become about the therapist. There is a certain freedom when the therapist as consultant has a bigger box to dance in as long as your boundaries are very clear.
This, I realized, is why my office manager noticed the difference on many occasions. After a while the different approaches ( not better or worse) stood out to me more distinctly and I felt like it was time to jump ship and create my own practice with my own brand. I also knew that as long as I worked in someone else’s practice that my commitment to the team would not be incentivized with a greater salary.
Jump head about 4 years and not only am I in my own private practice, I now supervise and coach new clinicians who are getting licensed , am a sought after speaker and helping every person I work with grow their potential through mind-body healing modalities.
When I heard Grant ask his listeners the following questions about being their own boss and I was able to answer each of them with a strong affirmative, I knew that the “massive action” steps as he calls them have benefited me in ways I did’t realize till now.
- How much have you invested into your own personal and professional growth over the past year?
- How many books have you read on these subjects and put into practice over the past year?
- Who have you helped out in the past 48 hours? ( Part of being the boss is being able to give to others both practical and emotional support)
- What problems have you solved in the past 24 hours?
Take some time to reflect on these questions and then come up with a game plan to take some massive action steps of your own and soon enough, you too, can be your own boss and create the future you always desired for yourself.