So many Social Workers are on the fence about starting a business.
That’s why I asked some established Social Worker Entrepreneurs to help. I asked them 1 question:
If a social worker is wondering about starting her or his own business what would be your advice for him or her?
If you want to start a new business, just start; there is no ideal time for starting a business, and the longer you wait, the more likely you are to talk yourself out of it. Start small, then grow it!
I have what I would call a boutique private practice (…I currently only see 1 to 2 clients privately at a time due to my current workload as a full-time fee-for-service psychotherapist at a community mental health clinic and the father of a newborn and 4 year old) and am slowly expanding to include additional services.
Francis Lora, LCSW, Certified Financial Social Worker, and Professional Life Changer – www.thetravelingtherapistnyc.com
This is my advice: Don’t try to figure it all out on your own. Ask help from people who are further then you.
Try to take step by step. Start with the most urgent part and let all other parts rest to prevent you from getting to many things on your plate.
Do in particular what’s most aligned with who you are and where your heart is. The rest will follow automatically.
Danielle Bax Coaching for young women who suffer from stress – www.daniellebax.nl
I have three pieces of practical advice for social workers starting a business:
Focus on finding problems to solve. Not just any problem, but a ‘top of the Totem Pole” problem. Top of Totem Pole = problem that that’s not just nice to have a solution for, but one that you really, really needs solved. Bonus points if that problem is a problem for you too.
Don’t create a solution for a problem no one has (or is willing to pay for).
Forget business cards, creating websites, forming LLCs… in other words, “playing business”. Focus on your solution and execute on that idea. Do whatever it takes to get your first paying customer.
Nate Crowell is the founder of SocialWorkerSuccess where he writes about the tools, habits, and strategies social workers use to be awesome – www.SocialWorkerSuccess.com
If you’re thinking about starting your own business the best advice I could give you would be to hire a business coach.
Coaches can help to shorten the time between your dream of owning a profitable business and actually owning one, primarily because they’ve already done the heavy lifting of learning what it takes to do so.
Another great thing about having a coach is that they serve as an accountability partner for you, making sure you stay on track and committed to seeing your plans through.
Eva Forde, MSSW, helps social workers improve their mindsets around money through her blog – Eva’s Facebook Page
Develop a self-care routine and build it into the culture of your business. Do something every day that feeds your spirit and addresses personal needs. Entrepreneurs consistently work 70 – 80 hours a week in and on behalf of their business venture. This imbalance creates stress on one’s mental health, personal relationships, and overall wellbeing.
Financial concerns of a new business also lead to overwhelming stress. A consistent self-care routine brings health, balance and mental clarity.
Marcyline Bailey helps social workers and other professionals to “get through the day without losing it” by developing personalized self-care strategies to address their professional needs – www.forrealsocialworkers.com and www.mlbaileyconsultantsinc.com
Thanks for asking me, Anneke. My advice would be:
Give yourself time to grow your business. It took me five years before I had invested and saved enough to pay myself a salary for the first time!
Tell your boss about your plan. Make him or her part of your journey by asking advice, by showing your development and to discuss a way to separate that’s good for both sides.
Hans Versteegh is Social Media trainer and coach for social workers, to help them achieve their social goals more easily and be more visible along the way – www.welzijn30.nl
My advice to you….Here we go!
Visualize yourself being successful.
Use your imagination to see, feel and sense your private practice, your ideal client, and your life when you have achieved your goal.
Align with others who are doing it.
Stay close to optimistic entrepreneurs who love to share their knowledge with others. Listen, connect with, and learn from those you want to emulate.
Know your Worth.
Know that you bring value to your clients’ lives and that you have something to offer. Set your fees without feeling guilt or fear that no one will pay for your services.
Gena Golden LCSW, CHt. Therapist, Hypnotherapist and Mindset Coach – Www.innercoachhypnotherapy.com
Being in business means that you have to make choices. Choices on how to spend your time, who are the people you want to work with and what will be your products.
In this era of online business making choices is easy. Because you can have a quick overview of all the possibilities. But once I make a choice, I stick to it and follow my heart.
Does this always bring me what I want? No! But the freedom to follow my heart is priceless. You can only have this when you’re an entrepreneur. You create and share. Straight from your heart!
Bindia Ramcharan is the founder and owner of Ishakti, empowering Hindu Women – www.ishakti.nl
Francis, Danielle, Eva, Nathan, Marcyline, Hans, Gena and Bindia are all members of Social Souls, the Hangout for Social Workers. You’re welcome to join them in this free supportive community to explore your own entrepreneurial journey.