The most common way for a business to measure its health or growth is by looking at its profit.
As a private practice owner, I can easily do that too. I monitor what I take in (net profit), my expenses, and what’s left (gross profit) monthly.
However, these numbers do not always reflect our growth in private practice.
For example, when I take more continuing education classes in one month, my expenses increase and my gross profit decreases.
This “decrease” does not reflect the “increase” I experienced in knowledge, confidence as a therapist, and professional relationships due to the continuing education.
Another example is when I raised my fees so that I could see less clients and honor my mental and emotional needs. I now see 45 hours of clients a month and make the same amount of money as when I saw 107 hrs of clients a month.
While my profit numbers did not change, I experienced a massive personal shift. I had more time, energy, excitement, and joy in my life. The shift freed up creative energy for me to write essays like this one and do other things I love.
The numbers could never possibly capture all of the good.
I recently spoke with some fellow therapists about this and we came up with a list of other ways to measure growth as a therapist in private practice:
Feeling more like your true self
Decreased imposter syndrome
Feeling more emotionally and mentally stable
Shifts in Time/Schedule
Having your ideal schedule (for example, not working on the weekends or evenings)
No longer taking work home at night
Able to attend to problems and crises that arise
More vacation time
More time for personal hobbies and interests
Improvement in quality of relationships
Able to spend more time with friends and family
More time for networking
Investment in continuing education
Upgrades to physical office space
Paying for new software, apps, etc
Investing in services that benefit the business
Clients reporting more and more growth
The gap between where you are and where you want to be shrinking
More present for clients
Choosing where you allocate funding (versus having to put out fires)
Increase in emergency fund
Paying for health insurance
Investing in retirement
Setting money aside for sick days
Saving for vacations
Able to financially attend to problems and crises that arise
Increase in client fees
Feeling more financially stable
More energy for movement
More consistent with routines (cleaning, laundry, etc.)
More drive for creative projects
Schedule that aligns with natural energy flow
Having extra energy after work
In each of these categories, there are hundreds more examples that could be given. What’s most important though is that you select which factors of growth are most meaningful to you.
Thank you for reading. If you would like to experience more growth
in your private practice, I provide business consultation.