Rebel Therapist is the podcast where you'll get support in being a therapist entrepreneur. I'm Annie Schuessler, therapist and business coach and strategist for therapists. I'll support you in taking your work beyond the therapy room to make an even bigger impact. I interview Rebel Therapists who are already doing work beyond the therapy room, from running workshops to writing books to creating online courses. You'll hear about how they created their unique businesses, the mindset work they've done, and the mistakes they've made along the way. Get the inspiration and information you need to be a Rebel Therapist, starting now.
Being A Disruptor with Deb Benfield
How can you create a business if you’re a disruptor in your field?
If you’ve got a unique voice and you’re finding yourself pushing back against most others in your field, that could actually be a wonderful thing for your business.
Today’s guest has carved out an important space right at the intersection of the Body Liberation and Pro-Aging movements. And she’s pretty much on her own as a leader there.
Meet Deb Benfield, a Nutrition and Body Relationship Coach with over 35 years of experience working with women to heal their relationships with food, eating and their bodies.
You’ll hear why Deb created a program for women in mid-life and beyond, how she designed her program and grew her audience, and what works to fill her program.
Here's some of what we talked about:
Why she’s alone at intersection of the Pro-Aging and Body Liberation movements How she designed her program Streamlining her program and leaving more room for integration How she grounds herself when stepping into her work Pivoting her niche and feeling the stress of losing some audience members (but gaining others) Where most of her participants find her How she collaborates with other creators Show notes at https://rebeltherapist.me/podcast/213
Why I’m Keeping My Business Tiny
I’m grateful to be running a tiny and simple business right now. I have no plans to grow this business up to 7 figures.
I was a bit hesitant to tell you that!
I feel some fear that you won’t think I’m a badass, or you’ll think I have upper limit problems or limited beliefs.
Maybe you won’t want to hire me because I’m not as ambitious as you hoped.
Or if you’re my friend who runs a larger and more complicated business, maybe you’ll think I’m judging you when you hear what I have to say about running a tiny business.
(I’m not. I promise!)
But since I have the desire to be radically honest and I think this serves you, I’m sharing it anyway.
I trust you to identify the parts of this that fit for you and the parts that don’t.
Note: I’m talking about service based businesses, because that’s what I know best.
Capitalism tends to point us towards one vision of what it means to be a successful business owner. And that’s being a business owner who always makes and does MORE.
Capitalism tends to pull us AWAY from noticing when we have enough, or even considering what enough might be.
Us feeling enoughness or satisfaction is NOT helpful to capitalism.
Here’s the default vision of a successful business owner:
They’ve got a company bringing in revenue of 7 figures or more. They’ve hired a big team. They expand their business to serve more people year over year. These numbers are all as big as possible: total revenue, number of team members, number of followers, and number of people served. This person might be a coach who runs a course or membership with hundreds or thousands of members at a time. Perhaps they also have many many other offers at many price points. But when I look around at my colleagues and friends who are having a good time and feeling fairly stable financially, I tend to see a people with tiny and simple businesses.
Here’s the vision of that (tiny) business owner:
They’ve got a tiny team, like zero or one employees. They’ve got smaller revenue, like under 500k, but they get to keep more than half of that money. Their tech is simple. They don’t have much overhead. They have one or two high-touch offers. Sometimes people come work with me hoping to create huge empires. I’m delighted to help them because the first phase in creating an empire should be to create a really solid small business. And that is what I help with.
When you start with a tiny, strong and simple business, you focus on creating value. And that’s where every business needs to start.
Listen to the episode to hear
2 stories of folks who scaled big, hated it, and decided to simplify and shrink their businesses How I keep Rebel Therapist simple How you can still serve more people with a tiny business Show notes at https://rebeltherapist.me/podcast/212
Discovering What You’re Meant to Create with Judy Hu
How do you discover the work you’re meant to create? Today’s episode is a master class on how to allow the collective and your spirit to pull you in that direction.
Judy Hu created a framework for boundary healing. Then she wrote a bestselling book: The Boundary Revolution: Decolonize Your Relationships and Discover A New Path To Joy.
She’s a Licensed Mental Health Counselor turned Boundary Coach based in Massachusetts.
You’ll hear the intensely personal and brave process Judy went through to develop and share her work.
Here's some of what we talked about:
Creating a group program for BIPoC folks around boundaries in summer of 2020 Discovering that work can be fun, exciting and enjoyable Bringing together many lineages to create her method Hiring a social media team to get more visible Losing relationships as she stepped into being unapologetically herself Writing her book and changing the topic halfway through the first draft Why it’s terrifying to launch her book How she’s struggling and growing with the tech and administrative parts of running her business Show notes at https://rebeltherapist.me/podcast/211
Ask Annie: Should I Create My Own Program Or Teach Something Well Known?
I got this question recently from someone getting ready to expand their business to beyond private practice. They want to start offering a non-therapy program within their own business.
“Should I create my own program from scratch, or should I just deliver an established method from a well-known person?”
For example, although it’s not the example this person gave: Brene Brown’s Dare To Lead method.
Here’s my answer without knowing any of the particulars.
First of all…nothing is new under the sun. Whatever program you offer will be influenced by your learning lineages and your mentors…
So the REAL question is: will you create something new by bringing together many influences, giving them all credit, and blending them in a unique way?
Will you primarily use one established method from a mentor and jump through the hoops of getting that license or certification or purchasing that curriculum, so that you can use it in its entirety and put their name on it?
To figure this out, ask yourself: What is the truest, most high quality and aligned offering you can make right now?
Which choice will be of the highest service to your participants?
A good reason to use someone else’s method is that you feel clear that it is the most aligned choice.
A misguided reason to use someone else’s method is that you think it will be easier to create and sell it.
Since you’re creating this program within your business, you will likely be working just as hard with either choice.
Whether you sell someone else’s method or create your own, you will…
Identify who it’s for (your niche) Create or adapt the program Do messaging and marketing work to bring in participants In the business I’m running now, I’ve created my own method while giving a ton of credit to the people I’ve learn from.
You can’t get through my program without hearing about Tara McMullin, the business strategist who has had the biggest influence on me. And you hear about many other folks whose influences are woven into my programs.
At this point I’m so hooked on creating my own processes and weaving together many influences, I can’t imagine I’ll ever teach someone else’s entire method ever again.
But once I did! In this week’s episode, I share a story about running a couples workshop using someone else’s method with permission. Listen to learn from my experience so you can skip my mistakes.
Show notes at https://rebeltherapist.me/podcast/210
Creating a Program for Parents with Danika Maddocks
Even if you already work with the niche you want to work with in your private practice, you might ALSO love having an innovative signature program as an additional way to serve them.
Danika Maddocks is a parent coach who's passionate about supporting parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids. She's been partnering with bright kids and their families for over a dozen years as a teacher and therapist.
You’re going to hear why she created a signature program for twice exceptional kids, and you’ll hear how she grows her business without becoming a full-time marketer.
Here's some of what we talked about:
Why she wanted to create a group program for parents of twice exceptional kids (kids who are both gifted AND neurodivergent) How she designed her 8-week program Using asynchronous coaching between live calls The simple and effective ways she grows an engaged audience and gets referrals The system she uses to sell her program each time she launches Show notes at https://rebeltherapist.me/podcast/209
Real Advice About Making Money Beyond Private Practice: Open Coaching Call Replay
“Has it been extra challenging to sell group programs lately?”
“How do I figure out what niche to choose and what program to create?”
“When is it the right time for Facebook or Instagram ads?”
I ran a free and open coaching call recently for everyone in our audience, including podcast listeners, clients, and email subscribers.
A record number of folks submitted questions, and I spent over an hour riffing on a bunch of them.
We had such a great response from the attendees that I decided to share the entire call recording with you.
You’ll hear my answers to the questions above and more, including:
My program isn’t selling. Is it priced too high?
How do I take a break from my business for a big life circumstance?
Is it OK to post or send emails sporadically? Or should I do it consistently or not at all?
How much of an expert do I have to be in my topic area?
How much of an ROI do you get from social media?
Is it a good idea to start a program with a friend?
Do I have to get my private practice stable before I start a program?
What if some things in my program were influenced by the work of others?
How do I carve out time for following through with creative ideas if I’m overwhelmed and exhausted by my caseload?
Show notes at https://rebeltherapist.me/podcast/208
Inspires me and offers new ideas!
Annie is very wisdomous!
Annie is very wisdomous. She's so inspiring. Actionable tips for a thriving business while maintaining your dream job as a therapist and health expert.
Merging clinical and business skills
I enjoyed the podcast it was relaxing and provided helpful tips breaking down steps to navigate uncharted business areas. Also she understands the issues therapist face and provides insight to tackle the business aspect I have not been trained in. I highly recommend this podcast if you are thinking about setting up private practice. I am confident in my clinical skills, but have a lot to learn as an entrepreneur, thankful this podcast provides a path to merge both!