Setting Boundaries in Financial Tax Management

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This time of the year can be very stressful for clinicians scrambling to get documents and paperwork together to reconcile the books, therefore this month we are talking about money as we prepare to for “The BIG T,” Taxes.   Working for yourself has many rewarding benefits such as helping others, flexible schedules, having control over the income you make, and a host of other rewards; but one major stressor I found to be an issue early on in my practice was TAXES.  

One easy way to practice self –care in private practice is to set boundaries in regards to managing your finances which includes taking a long hard look at finances, your taxes, and tax structure.  

Clinicians will oftentimes continue utilizing the same habits such as doing their owns taxes or getting a friend to do their taxes. Here are some tips to help you begin to set boundaries in financial tax management.

  1. Create a road map for your business– You must have some idea where you are going to determine how much you want to spend getting there.     If you are having a difficult time determining this I advise you to invest in a coach or a business consultant to help you. A coach or consultant can assist you with determining goals, income levels, and making your business marketable. If you fail to create a road map for your business you run the risk of managing an expensive hobby not a business.
  1. Forecast! Forecast! Forecast! – Look at your business in segments to forecast your income and expenses to determine how to prepare for next years taxes. Looking at your quarterly numbers is a good way to start.
  1. Get A Seasoned Professional On Your Team–   Just as you would seek a specialist to perform a major surgical procedure or take your high-end car to someone who specializes working on that car type, you should treat your business the same way. Hire someone who specializes in helping small businesses save money, who understands the importance of tax structure, and who can help you identify the many deductions needed to reduce your taxable income.
  1. Save, Share and Spend Smarter- After you have hired a seasoned professional to assist you in determining ways to spend smarter, attend workshops that will increase or add value to your clients and a) generate more revenue, b) minimize purchases, and c) utilize the resources you have. I have found that you can always find a new book on Amazon to purchase, but if you check with one of your colleagues you may discover that they already have that resource and will allow you to borrow it. Sharing resources saves money.

Thank you for reading my blog; If you need any assistance, feel free to contact me at 678-585-1966.

 

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What Was That About Self-Love?

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This month we are talking about love and relationships.  As therapist we have lots of clients enter our office struggling with relationship issues in their marriage; singles who want to be married; and those who are excited about getting engaged/married, or having children.  But what about us?  If we are honest with ourselves we know that we also struggle with some of these same challenges are clients are facing.   So here are a 5 tips to help counselor’s exercise self-love.

  1. 1. BE Honest– Recognize you have some of the same feelings about love and relationship as do your clients and talk about it. (Doing this will reduce transference issues that will arise in your sessions)
  1. Take care of yourself– If you are struggling with a relationship issue seek help. Oftentimes we want our clients to open up in therapy and do the work, however we are not willing to seek help ourselves.   (Talk to a therapist …..Therapist)
  1. Treat yourself- There is nothing wrong with a little self-love. Try a massage, nice dinner, movie, or concert. Whatever you do make it about you. (You deserve it.)
  1. Celebrate your accomplishments– You are an amazing therapist who adds value to the world by what you do and say to others. Love yourself for what you give. (Your gifts are valuable and should be recognized as such.)
  1. Recognize God’s love– Last but not least, God’s has created you in his image and he distinctly designed you for a wonderful purpose so accept the love and care He took to create you. (You were uniquely and wonderfully made out of love.)

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Self-Confidence in Your Private Practice

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This month at Illumination Counseling and Coaching, LLC we are discussing self-esteem, worth and a healthy self-image.  Unfortunately this is not just something our clients struggle with, but we as counselor’s struggle with this as well.   One of the areas that counselor’s struggle with self-confidence in is private-practice development and growth.

Here are 8 tried and proven tips to help you build self-confidence as it relates to your practice:

  1. Know your vision– Without a roadmap leading you to a destination your practice is doomed to fail. You must carefully reflect and think about various aspects of your practice such as; what are your monthly goals, where do you see yourself in 5 years, will you accept insurance, and will you develop a group practice model.   All of these questions, and more, are crucial aspects involved with developing a vision for your practice.
  2. Know your worth– If you could place a dollar amount on yourself what dollar amount would you choose? How much education and training was required to provide these services for your clients? How much effort and time does it take for you to develop your amazing training programs or groups for your clients?  How many staff members have you hired to help provide excellent services for your clients? How many books have you purchased/read, resources obtained, and consultation calls had to be able to provide quality resources for your clients?  You are a rare diamond and you and your expertise is valuable.
  3. Know that is ok to be scared but do it anyway– Fear can stifle some from starting their practices and others from trying new ideas within their practice.   I know very well about fear.   I experience some element of fear each and every time I do something new.  I remember the reservation I had when I was writing my book; I asked myself so many questions like, “who will purchase my book”, “what if people hate it”, “will individuals use it to set boundaries” and more.  To be honest, I wanted to quit daily but I pushed through the fears and finished the book.  Your fear does not have to stop the process.
  4. Know your skill– Training, training, and more training is necessary to grow your practice. To perfect your niche and provide the best service possible, you must seek out further training.
  5. Know your niche area-It is important for clinicians or supervisors to determine their niche area.  It’s ok to see a variety of clients but it very important for branding purposes to identify a focus area.  Being a leader in a specific area gives you leverage in the field, as you will soon be able to identify yourself as an expertise.
  6. Know your boundaries– In my book “The Dumping Ground” I discuss the importance of saying No.  No is a complete sentence.   You must establish limits in your practice with pricing, scheduling, no shows, and self-care.    Without limits and boundaries you could potentially burnout, underprice yourself, provide inconsistent policies, and open yourself up to ethical issues.
  7. Know how to ask for help– Seek out professionals in the field that you trust, admire, and value as a professional. Invest in yourself and seek consultation and supervision to acquire new skills.  In addition, hire skilled staff that can help you grow your business.
  8. Know how to take care of yourself– self-care is a word that is thrown around a lot in our professional. My definition of self-care is, an intentional act of taking care of every aspect of you to include, mind, body, mental, and spiritual.  What have you done for yourself lately?

For more counselor development tips please sign up on my website and register for live and online events from the Counselor’s Chair.

Leveraging your Finances and Sanity in the Midst of the Holiday Season

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It is a busy time for parents, children, families and businesses as they prepare for fiscal year changes, family travel, finals, lots of eating, and shopping.  However, challenges of maintaining and leveraging vacationing clients, missed appointments, reschedules and no shows can put a damper on a clinician’s holiday season as we ourselves prepare for the holidays. A well thought out plan should definitely be put in place prior to the holidays to ensure a steady flow of clients and to ensure your income remains constant.  If there is a decrease in income you should have a backup plan to balance out the finances. Here are 5 proven tips that helped me leverage finances and sanity during the holidays:

  1. Have a conversation with your clients regarding plans for the holidays.   You want to find out there travel plans and there return dates and go ahead and schedule there upcoming appointments
  2. Extending your hours prior to the holiday can generate clients, especially those that have children. This would be a great time to get families into your office since children are out of school and some parents would have more flexibility in their schedule.
  3. Maximize on time and create content for your business and catch up on billing by making sure there is no low hanging fruit out there.  Network with potential referral sources and connect with organizations or colleagues during this time
  4. Look at other streams of income.   Make sure you have other streams of income to help you during the holidays such as:
  • Facilitating workshops
  • Planning webinars
  • Generating newsletters for the next year
  • Writing a book
  • Conducting a holiday group
  1. Take care of yourself.   Do something fun, get a massage, and/or spend time with friends.   Whatever you find peaceful and relaxing do it to gain energy for the influx of business that will come your way soon.