Build Your Independence Team

I’m sharing this practice-building video tip I made a couple of years ago, because it’s a good reminder, and because tomorrow is Independence Day. It may seem like an oxymoron, but you do need to build an “independence team.” Also, here’s a link to the article that I refer to in the video.

Happy Independence Day!


Transcript of video:

Hey, Deanna Sylvester here. Happy Independence Day! So, I know it’s not still July 4th, but it is still July, so I want to give a shout out to all the independent practitioners out there! Woohoo! Keep up the good work.

You know, one of the risks you need to look out for in working for yourself, and much of the time by yourself, is the risk of isolation. Now, my dictionary defines isolation as “the state of being in a place or situation that’s separate from others.” Doesn’t that sound like exactly what we wanted as private practitioners? We wanted to go it alone. But what ends up happening when we do much of our work alone, and the work of our practice alone, is we start to think we have to make every decision alone. And that then becomes a burden because we start to think we have to have all the answers all by ourselves.

Not true folks! You need to build your independence team. Now that may sound like an oxymoron but it’s really true and can make the difference between success and failure.

First, you need a mentor, a coach, a supervisor-type person to talk through all those ethical dilemmas that come up. You aren’t going to have all the answers, in fact sometimes there’s not even a correct answer and you need to work through those things outside of your own brain.

Second, you need a business advisor, maybe even more than one depending on your level of expertise coming into this business—someone with particular knowledge in business, marketing accounting, etc. because more than likely you’re a practitioner first and a businessperson second. You need to have advisors on those other things where your weaknesses are.

And finally, you need at least one other peer practitioner, ideally more than one, to commiserate with. You know, complain a little bit about the business, the marketing, and the accounting stuff that has to be done—the doing the laundry side of the business. You need to talk through those things with people who really understand what you’re going through so that your family doesn’t have to hear it over and over. You’ve got to get things off your chest.

Now be sure to read the featured article in this month’s newsletter that talks about peer groups and supervision. It was written by the gurus of ethics themselves, Ben Benjamin and Cherie Sohnen-Moe. Make sure you read that.

Now get out there and create your independence team, and most importantly have a great day!