Business or Hobby?

How do you define a business?

If you have clients, then surely you are “in business”…. but is your Hypnotherapy practice a full-time business or do you supplement it with part-time work, or perhaps even work in a paid job full-time and have the occasional client after hours?

Working part-time (often in a job that is not terribly satisfying) and having hypnotherapy clients in the time remaining may seem like an attractive proposition. At least there is a regular wage coming in to put food on the table and many therapists live in hope that there will be a full appointment book that will allow them to transition to working full-time with clients.

So what is the reality if you are starting out full-time as a therapist?

Well, you are not going to be just a therapist, and unless you go into an established clinic, you will be the receptionist, the accountant, the marketing manager, the OH&S expert, the social media guru all rolled into one.

You need a plan…. preferably a business plan and if you can afford it a business coach or mentor who will keep you accountable to your actions. You need to schedule your time to do specific tasks, but before you do that, may I recommend that you read the E-Myth and do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) as well as a little market research?

All very well to think that you have done the training, had successful pro-bono cases whilst you were studying and the public will flock to you when you hang out your shingle…. quite often the pro-bono’s don’t convert to paid clients. Now, I’m not intending to sound negative with all of this, but is important to consider these points as they will contribute not only to your financial health but your emotional health if you are not earning.

What is your plan if you get sick? Do you have income protection insurance or a buffer set aside in the bank to tide you over? Clients are not going to appreciate you coughing and spluttering over them as you lead them into an induction…..

Keeping in touch with your supervisor, even when times are lean, is important. They may have some strategies or be able to refer you to the right people to help you manifest some clients. If you can’t afford a business coach, put the feelers out and see if you can exchange some of your time for some of theirs. Coaches have their own problems too and you may just create a mutually beneficial business relationship.

Be clear in your own mind whether this is something you can commit to …. having a foot in either camp is OK for a while but eventually the energy becomes depleted for both. Go with your passion….step outside your comfort zone for a moment and see what happens…….