Stephen Covey’s, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”’ published almost 20 years ago is still relevant today. Covey’s 2nd habit, is based on the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. The physical creation follows the mental, just as a building follows a blueprint.

So, as you consider starting or expanding your private practice what is your vision or blueprint? If you don’t know where you want to wind up, how are you going to get there? Most clinicians just start a practice and see how it works out. Those in private practice “try” some things to increase business and see what might work or not (pass/fail approach).

Do you see yourself having a limited (never say part time, you wouldn’t see a part time neuro surgeon for brain surgery) practice and keeping your day job? How about a small solo or small group practice to share expenses? Or, do you want to create a large multi-disciplinary group practice in multiple locations?

Obviously, it makes a difference in your approach depending on where your are going!

But as Covey said, while it takes a blueprint or vision to start, one must do something with the vision. It reminds me of the old joke, “If you had five frogs on a log and three of them decided to jump, how many frogs would you have left on the log?

Common answer: “Two.”

Right answer: There would still be five – because there is a big difference between
deciding to jump and jumping. A vision or blueprint needs action steps. Action steps might include:

  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Use of Social Media
  • Record Keeping
  • Office Procedures
  • Referral Networks
  • Billing
  • Insurance or Fee for Service
  • Mentoring or Coaching
  • Public speaking, Webinars, Blogs, Podcasts
  • Technology

Once you create your vision, you can decide on defining the applicable action steps to get there. This takes an experimental approach (not pass/fail) and your creativity to implement these steps to create your vision.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Norman C. Dasenbrook, MS, LCPC is a private practice consultant with over 35 years’ experience. He is the author of, “The Complete Guide to Private Practice” For more private practice information go to or find him on Facebook at Dasenbrook Consulting.