Overcoming the Fear of Getting Started: How Kelsey Managed to Do It!
In this episode of the Nine-Five Podcast, I got a chance to chat with Kelsey Rehome about her experiences of starting her own private practice in the therapy and counseling field. Since getting her Master’s Degree, Kelsey has been able to start paving her own path in a career in which many have told her wouldn’t be possible until much later in life.
Nick (00:00): Starting an online business can seem daunting. There are a lot of people out there who try to tell you how you're supposed to do things, because that's all they know. Well, what if you don't want to do it how everyone else is doing it? Today, we're sitting down. Well, I guess we're not actually sitting down, but we're chatting with Kelsey Rehome who is currently running her own private practice in the therapy and mental health field. Going through school she was told that she needed to work several years before private practice could even be a thing for her. And she decided that was not the path for her. So she went and started her own private practice. She's currently running this private practice alongside her nine to five job in the therapy field. And she's basically doing this until she gets the hours to run her private practice full-time. So I got the opportunity to chat with her about that experience of starting her own private practice, breaking the mold, when everyone told her she needed to wait to start her own private practice, and we even go over some of the next steps for her as she makes the transition into becoming her own full-time boss. This is the Nine-Five Podcast. And I'm your host, Nick Nalbach, where we get into the minds of entrepreneurs and people just like you. So you can start, build and grow your own online business.
Nick (01:14): Welcome to the Nine-Five Podcast. I'm sitting here with Kelsey. Kelsey, welcome to the show.
Kelsey (01:18): Hi, Thank you!
Nick (01:20): I brought you on the show because you just recently started your own private practice or in the process of starting your own private practice. But I guess to start out, I guess, tell me a little bit about yourself. So the viewers can kind of get an idea of who you are and what it is you actually do.
Kelsey (01:35): Sure. So my name is Kelsey. I live in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Um, I actually have it so currently right now I do own operate and run my own private practice, but I also work full-time at Gillette Children's Hospital. So I like to say my nine to five, my day job is psychometry at Gillette Children's, which psychometry is, um, the process of testing individuals to look at their cognitive skills and cognitive functioning. So I administer standardized tests, activities, questionnaires that look at things like attention, memory, problem solving, all that kind of stuff. So then on the side I have my private practice. And so that is individual counseling for mental health and interventions. So, basically a therapist and I do that evenings and weekends. Um, I've been doing that for about six months. So I graduated with my master's degree in psychotherapy and psychology counseling, all that. It's all like interchangeable words, but, um, in October of 2019, so last year, and then starting January of this year, I did the private practice. And so within that, it can be individuals that I see with relationships, couples, family members, groups, that kind of thing. And it's really just talking about their mental health. Some of it's, you know, very, like some is more severe than others, but it's really kind of across the board. My specialty or my niche right now is kind of teenagers. My youngest that I see is nine and my oldest is probably late thirties. So I definitely fall more towards the young adult, adolescent, child, teenage years, but I really like it. It just kind of, I think I knew that a private practice was always going to be my end game, but I definitely didn't think that it was going to be something I'd be doing right now and be doing so heavily or at such a high frequency. So I see right now, my caseload's about 20 to 25 clients. And in the world of private practice that is considered a full time. So people who do it Monday through Friday or whatever it is, and I've been how I manage both things is doing, like I said, the full-time nine to five at Gillette, and then on evenings and weekends doing private practice. So I usually see those 20 to 25 people in about four days.
Nick (04:01): You've mentioned that you had to get your masters, all that stuff. There's a lot of schooling involved. Is this something that you always knew that you were going to get into? Is this, was this the ultimate goal to get here?
Kelsey (04:12): It definitely shaped as I was getting into schooling. I think, you know, when I think back to being in high school, like I always had a pull towards psychology and people in general, like I can remember sitting in my introduction to psychology class in ninth grade and I can like see the seat that I'm in, in the classroom and everything. And I knew that it was definitely something I was interested in, but at that time I had no idea what I wanted to do or how I was going to do it or what that would look like. So it definitely wasn't, maybe it was like the greater plan for me, but it wasn't my plan. And then it's just slowly morphed over time. So I went to, I got my bachelor's degree in psychology, criminal justice, and sociology. And I actually started in criminal justice thinking that I wanted to be a forensic scientist, you know, like serial killers and stuff.
Nick (05:03): That would've been interesting.
Kelsey (05:05): But then that was back when like CSI was really big and super cool, but now, but shortly after that, I realized that I was far too nice for anything in the criminal justice field, not knocking that, but just definitely didn't have the gumption to do something in criminal justice. And now looking back, I sort of feel like it was a little bit of a denial. I was trying to avoid what I was actually doing, which was psychology. And so then I did I double major, but even then I had like, no idea what I wanted to do. I think when you think of psychology, you, do you think of the like very Freud-ian idea of like laying on a couch and we analyze your dreams and you know, it's like this voodoo magic type thing that happens. And I definitely believed that even, you know, until like four years ago when I started my master's program.
Kelsey (05:50): So after graduating, I did a few things in like mental health. And, I worked with kids who had autism and I, the drug and alcohol addiction type stuff. And then slowly through all of those things, I just sort of started getting this like little, like little voice in my head that was like, Hey, you could just do this. Maybe you want to do this. And it really took off from there. So by the time I actually got into my master's programs because there was a good six or seven years after my bachelor's degree until I went back for my master's. So within that time it was a lot of trial and error of different things. And I think through that, I really found that what I love the most about psychology was the one-on-one connection with people, the flexibility I would have within my own private practice, I wouldn't be stuck to a schedule or a certain time or, um, somebody else's rules or their way of thinking that, you know, would be maybe wouldn't match with mine or whatever. And so I, at that point, when I graduated last October, then it became my end-game goal. But when I say end-game, I'm thinking like I'm 50 to 60 years old and I've put in, you know, my 20, 30 years in psychology or whatever. And now I finally have all the experience to do my own private practice.
Nick (07:08): And here you are starting it.
Kelsey (07:09): Yeah. And here it is definitely wasn't my idea to do it like this, but I'm really grateful that I got the opportunity to.
Nick (07:19): That's awesome. What kind of options are there for people that are going into your line of work, like in the counseling side of things?
Kelsey (07:25): Yes. There are a ton of different options or different ways to do things. And I think that's one of the magical things about counseling and therapy is that not one person is the same or does it the same way. Even if we pull from the same theoretical or orientations or mindsets or values, everybody kind of has their own flair. So there's private practices usually viewed as, like I said, the thing that you do when you're like at the done, the end, the end tail of your career or whatever. Um, but if you were to get your masters, it really depends on, you can go into art therapy, you can go to addictions, you can do family therapy, you can do music therapy, um, their school counseling. And like there's all different venues to, or different avenues to take with it. And so depending on what you get your specialty in, so like for me specifically the career path that I'm going down, or the track that I'm taking is the licensed professional clinical mental health counselor. So they call that the LPCC and that is most broad one where you can do pretty much anything with it. Whereas if you went for family therapy, you know, you're trained in a mindset to look at a family, right. So to make it streamlined, I'll just think someone like me could, gosh, it's so broad. It's like, it's like a layered cake or a funnel, you know, you like start here and then you want to chop down. You're like, okay, now I want to work with kids. Okay. Then do you want to work with kids with special, with disabilities or learning problems or severe mental health and then like there's another level and there's another level, right? So the tricky thing about psychology as a field is that there's not a ton you can do with just a bachelor's degree. You really, to do the things that maybe you have in your head, or you think it's just, by the way the field is created, you most likely need a master's degree or higher a PhD. But when you get to that master's level, there is a bunch of different paths. You can take it on. Um, you know, it can be in clinics, hospitals, schools, private practice like this, like it's really across the board.
Nick (09:31): I got you. So at that point where you get into the master's degree, that's when you would kind of branch off into the direction that you're wanting to go.
Kelsey (09:37): Yes, definitely.
Nick (09:38): Okay. No, that makes sense. Then my next question is, I guess, what made you want to get into private practice? Why would you have not gone a traditional route or I guess, why are you going after private practice right now, if you said that it was something that you expected to happen later on down the road,
Kelsey (09:55): Um, I'm going to say that 50% of it was like opportunity and happenstance and it just kind of presented itself. And then the other part being, I couldn't really, I don't want to say it there's a lot of great organizations out there, but there was, I couldn't find anything that I fully connected to. I liked this piece or I liked this piece or this part. Um, but it was hard for me to find something that fit my specific values and needs and the way I wanted to communicate in the way I wanted to reach my clients and the people I wanted to work with. So I don't know why I'm thinking. It's just like I'm stubborn or I'm hard, hard to please. I'm not sure, but I felt like I was, would have been stuck. I would have been like, I think of it as a box. I would have been stuck in one box, but I didn't get to pick which box I wanted to be in. Somebody just threw me in there and then I'd like hit the walls of it. Right. Instead of private practice being whatever box shape I want it to be. And I'm within that. So stifled, I kept getting the feeling of being stifled or like, um, I would, could only achieve so much, you know, like in a leveled system or something like promotion-wise and things that I would only be able to get so far and then I'd have to find something else if I wanted to go farther. Whereas private practices really, you do what you want to do when you want to do it and put how much into it that you want.
Nick (11:21): Right. Yeah. I mean, that, that would make sense to kind of hit a ceiling at a certain point versus a private practice, that ceiling doesn't exist. You can go as high as you ultimately want to go. Yeah. Which, I mean, that's, I guess part of the reason why I wanted you on the show here, because that's exactly kind of the avenue that the listeners here would be going, uh, like kind of fed up and done with the traditional nine to five where, okay. Yeah. You could get a raise every couple of years or whatever it is, but there's only so high you can go. Not everyone's going to all of a sudden be the, or the CEO or whatever of that company. So you eventually max-out.
Kelsey (11:58): Yes.
Nick (11:58): And with your own private practice or your own online business, whatever that is, you can basically go as far as you want to go, which I think is awesome.
Kelsey (12:07): Agreed. And I also, like, I sort of love that it, you take responsibility for it. Like obviously it's yours, but if something is, if something good happens, it's because of what you did. If something bad happens, it's because of something that you did. And so while we never want bad things to happen, like if it does, you get to take ownership of that and you control it and tweak it and change it to something that works or works for what you're trying to get at. You know? So I liked the, I like that. There's depth, there's movement, there's area for movement instead of being stuck
Nick (12:40): In business. It's it's the control like when people are starting their own business control is a big part of starting a business. If you try to get into something where other people are kind of in control of what you're doing, like, I think of like Facebook or Instagram, like if you're going to make a Facebook business and you're going to run your business off of Facebook, you are bound to Facebook's rules. So if Facebook at any point decides you're not following the rules. And I actually, this just happened to me. My website got blocked and now, yeah, I can't post a link. I can't do anything pointing back to my website because Facebook didn't like something about it. So if I was running my business solely on Facebook, I would be screwed.
Kelsey (13:22): Yeah. You'd have to start from scratch.
Nick (13:25): Yeah. And they get themselves in these buckets where they, they start seeing revenue and they start seeing income, whatever it is. And then they put themselves in a position that's really vulnerable. They have no control. And it's the same thing. If you work a nine to five job, you don't really have any kind of control. You don't control your salary. You don't really control your time off. Like you're bound by other people's rules. You have zero control. So that's what I think is so awesome about the online business is that you have total control over it, make as much money as you want. Take the time off whatever.
Kelsey (13:54): Yeah. That's like, I never thought of it that way, but that's exactly what I was trying to say. When I was saying I was stubborn is maybe I'm not stubborn, but I just didn't like being controlled by someone else or being told what to do, which I'm not a rebel, but also like, I know what I like,
Nick (14:13): They know what you want and you're gonna go get it.
Kelsey (14:15): Exactly. Exactly.
Nick (14:17): And private practice gives you that opportunity.
Kelsey (14:20): Definitely.
Nick (14:21): I like that. That's that is awesome. Okay. We're, we're obviously in a very interesting time right now, there's the pandemic COVID we have a lot of the riots going on. Is that playing any kind of effect on what you're doing? Like, are you seeing a spike of people or a change in behavior or is that affecting you in your business in any way?
Kelsey (14:44): All of the above 100% the world like, Oh, I think about this all the time. It is definitely a love, hate relationship. Like I'm very, oddly enough, very grateful for all of the, not so great things that are happening in our community and society these days, because it's pushed the edge, it's pushed the barriers on where, what counseling looks like, how we get to do it, who we approach, where we get to go with it. Um, and it's really like pushed the boundaries on uncomfortable conversations and, you know, it's kind of more acceptable to have those. So it's been really cool seeing people like take on all the crap, I guess that's out there right now and kind of seeing them like digest it and process through it themselves. But it definitely is. It has its negatives on it too, because there is a need, there is a huge, like, there's a huge increase in the amount of people that are seeking out counseling. And like, um, you know, for example, like before COVID or anything, maybe I would get one or two new inquiries through psychology today, or like therapy den or something, which is how most people come to find a therapist, but say there was one or two per month before that, the month of COVID hitting, it was kind of like, like were disappeared. Right. But then sometime after that I was getting like five to seven new inquiries a week. Yeah. So there is, it definitely affected people's mindset, you know, probably due to being quarantined, being pulled away from some of their normal lifestyle stuff. And then just as that, that was switching over to getting back to normal, the riots and this movement. And you know, all of this stuff started, which throws in a whole nother wrench because people are feeling like, am I doing enough? Am I not? You know, like, what's this mean? And what's that and why are they doing this? And so it really, it's been like one thing after another, I guess. So it's been, been a crazy time. Like it's sort of exhausting on my end, but at the same time, I'm so grateful that people are finally reaching out and stepping out of that stigma or whatever it is and seeking the help that they need. It's just been a whole learning curve. It's bonkers. I don't know what else to say.
Nick (16:58): I would imagine that it would, it would have a huge effect, especially in the, in like the mental fields, just because yeah, like you said, it probably died down because everyone was shutting themselves up into their homes, kinda minding their own business. And then I would kind of picture everyone's starting to get stir crazy. I know. That's how we were like, okay, we're sitting around, we're not doing anything. What do we even do now? And I think once that kind of starts setting in, that's probably when you started seeing that big spike,
Kelsey (17:25): I also feel like with quarantine, you know, the COVID stuff in itself definitely like sends people's anxieties through the roof. But also this is another end of that like good bed, you know, it's like a teeter totter, right. Where people are at home more. So they're spending time, more time with themselves or with their families and they don't have the distractions of whatever else they've been doing. Right. So that itself I'm slowing down is really good for people. But also it opened their eyes to a lot of stuff, stuff that maybe they were ignoring before. And so now that they don't have anything else to do, but look at it. That's a lot of where I feel like the people had come from like, yes, the overall anxiety vibe with everybody is COVID and what's this mean, but then when you get down to it and you kind of break it down, it's like they finally started seeing the things that maybe weren't how they wanted them to be, or weren't the healthiest. So
Nick (18:19): Something, they were kind of able to be distracted from following their daily routines. And now they kind of in a situation where you can't do that anymore,
Kelsey (18:28): They woke up, They got woke, not the workout kind. Like the brain kind,
Nick (18:39): Mentally woke.
Kelsey (18:40): Yes, yes, yes.
Nick (18:43): You should copyright that. Get that in a hashtag.
Kelsey (18:46): Mentally woke. Maybe that should be my slogan.
Nick (18:50): That's your tagline?
Kelsey (18:51): Yeah. Get mentally woke. Get woke. Okay. Yeah. So
Nick (18:57): We'll be able to come back to the show. We got it recorded everything. So with the whole COVID, quarantine, riots, all that stuff, I'm assuming before all that happened, you were probably doing a lot of in-person / person to person sessions. I would imagine you went probably to a video like Zoom or Skype or something like that, or did it still remain person to person?
Kelsey (19:17): It definitely took more on a video tele-health role. My, so in my private practice and with my supervisor, we have always had like a virtual option. It's just, um, it's a portal called Clocktree. It's HIPAA compliant and so it's mega secure versus something like Zoom or FaceTime, which, you know, they had their own things happen during this. So we always had that in place, but we hardly ever used it. Or maybe there was like one or two or it was used as a last resort. Whereas when this shift happened, it definitely went down in the amount of people that I was seeing in person and online or FaceTime or whatever skyrocketed, one huge thing that played a part in that too, was that insurance companies didn't recognize virtual care for counseling and therapy as an adequate intervention. So even if we did it before with virtual care, we really couldn't bill for it. We would have to bill directly to the client. And a lot of people can't do that or can't afford for that. So, but with the COVID and everything, they put in a bunch of different exceptions. And so that's what I was saying is when we really got to push the boundaries and show how far counseling can go, and I don't know if you ever feel this, even, maybe in a corporation or something like that, where they like change takes so long, they're like, Oh, gotta talk to this person. And I go this way because this person knows this person. And it's like, it takes you like, like two years to get some like new Kleenex box in the lobby, just drive me crazy. Whereas this was really cool. Cause it was just like, bam, here, you can do this, you get all this freedom. And like, you know, as long as you're doing it in good faith, we trust you.
Kelsey (20:58): Right. So that was really cool. And because of that, it was really easy to switch over. I did continue seeing a select few in person that was unique to me and my supervisor, like what we decided to do. Some people didn't offer that, but the people that I did see in person were either they did not have the means to do virtual. Like they don't have FaceTime. They don't have access to a computer or internet or something like that, or other things like a social disability or like if I wanted to get through and to make the most of our times and help in the way that I wanted to, the only way to do it was in person. But with that, we took extra precautions and cleaning and wore masks and six feet apart, like all that stuff too. So it wasn't like a light decision. Um, but yeah, that was, that's something that was really on like a person by person basis and what they felt comfortable with.
Nick (21:50): I think a lot of industries are going to see a big change once everything kind of dies down and it, everything starts opening back up, which it has, but everything's still very different.
Kelsey (22:00): Totally. And I feel like at this point, you know, like we can't go back to normal or like, I guess I look at it as a positive where it's like, now I see that you can do it. You don't need, we don't need to have this huge long process. Or like, I understand that we have to have some structure or whatever, but like, look at, you could do it. We could do it. We can make these decisions right now. We don't have to wait. And I don't know. I'm hopeful. I hope that sticks. That's something that I hope we keep from COVID or a quarantine that trickles over into our new normal,
Nick (22:32): Like the huge learning lesson of all of it. Yeah. I don't know how I'll be interested. Do you think, do you think your industry is going to stay keeping that virtual option available now? I think the remote's going to be something that a lot of companies are probably going to have to offer now because everyone's kind of getting accustomed to this. It's been what, over a hundred days, of full quarantine, like everyone's kind of.
Kelsey (22:56): It has? A hundred days?
Nick (22:58): Yeah. It's, it's crazy.
Kelsey (23:01): That is crazy. Wow.
Nick (23:02): It's like become the norm. So I mean, people and companies are gonna have to start incorporating that and having that as an option, I would assume.
Kelsey (23:11): Yeah. And I think, yes, I do think that the virtual option will always be there. I think it should always be there, but also I think that people are gonna continue using that. Cause also convenience-wise, it's opened a lot of doors. Like it is much easier to get on a quick little Zoom or, whatever it is for 50 minutes instead of driving an hour to your closest therapist or whatever, you know, but I think what would happen at least specifically for mental health and therapy and stuff, is that we're what we get to do really is based what insurance will reimburse us for or, you know, so I do think that there will now forever be a virtual option. It just might be a little more sucked in. Whereas before it was like, okay, you, we give you good faith to do all, just do your thing, you know, and you kind of have a pass right now where we'll see what works. Where now that things are moving back to normal. I think it will get sucked in and there might be a few more boundaries or structure to it
Nick (24:10): That would, yeah, that would make sense. Okay. So the next section of it, we're probably. Let me check here, I think we're about at the halfway point. So let's segway over into the business side of things. Um, I'm curious, what kind of challenges you're experiencing started setting up your own private practice. So you're currently running, um, I'm assuming you have several clients right now under I guess. Okay. For one, how does that work? How does it work? How do you like have the private practice and then the company you're working for? Are they separate clients? Is it fill me in on that one a little bit..
Kelsey (24:42): Okay. Yes. So, um, so the company that I work for, it's a different position. It's something, I mean, yes, it's something completely different. Um, so that is, you know, it's a medical facility, so people are coming in by referrals, like a hospital, you went to a doctor visit that kind of thing. Um, so I don't have any control over the people that come into my room then. So then I guess the, the biggest difference is, is that with private practice, um, it's just me. So there's not a team, there's not the administrative assistants, the nurses, the other doctors or anything like that. So it's just me. And so when people come in, they often find me from just a general Google search. You know, a lot of people search like therapists near me and, um, Psychology Today or Therapy Den or my website or whatever will pop up. And then through that portal or that website, they reach out to me for my direct contact information. So a challenge with that is, is that there's not some like fluid system in gathering clients are there, you do get referrals, but it's through people that you've already made connections with.
Nick (25:53): I would say like word of mouth is obviously one of your biggest and best ways to attracting new leads and new people coming into you. And you mentioned Google as well. Are you, are you tracking that anyway? Like I'm assuming you have a website and everything's set up,
Kelsey (26:07): I do have a website of my own, and then I have my name on a couple of those other directory things. So through the directories, they track it for me, like how many people call, or email, or visit, or view it. Um, and you know what, I'm sure my website does that also, but this is one of the things that might be different for me than, um, someone else who manages another form of business or service is that I, I feel like I still don't know a ton about running my own business or, or, or managing it. Um, you know, I didn't go to school for business administration. They don't a class in graduate school on how to own a business or how to run your private practice. So it's a lot of trial and error. A lot of Google searches, a lot of leaning on my friends like this, or, you know, um, resources like this to learn. Like, is that something I should be looking at? Is that important? Like you just like with the tracking thing, I'm like, wow, maybe I shouldn't do that. I mean, obviously I tracked like my clients and, um, you know, I use an online scheduling system and I have my own planner and things and stuff like that. So it's not like I don't have keep track of my people it's but like, what you're saying is like views or the traffic, the frequency that people are coming into my different portals and stuff. I, that stuff goes right over my head.
Nick (27:28): I mean that, that's, I'm sure a lot of people are in the same boat. Like they might be going into another service based job and they're trying to venture out on their own and could be in the exact same situation you are in right now. They might not have a lot of the business experience, but like you said, that's what Google is for and YouTube and podcasts. Hopefully like this podcast will be a good resource for people just starting out. Um, but one thing I was going to say with that, basically what you can do, there's Google Analytics and all you do has been bed, this piece of code onto your site, which shouldn't be too difficult. I'm sure like Google or YouTube or something like that would be able to show you really well, or we can chat after the call by a little bit, but basically what it does is it tracks, there we go. It tracks all of the users, how they come to your site, what brings them there, how many users where located Like it, it gets real in depth. You can get very specific with the kind of information. Once you start getting into more of the, how do I get more customers? How do I bring more leads my way that's where that information will be super handy for you?
Kelsey (28:30): Yes. Would you be huge? Cause I that's sort of where I'm at now, where like in the beginning phase it was just like, okay, how do I do this? What are like bare minimum? What do I need? Okay. I need business cards or I need like, I guess I should have a website, you know, like kind of things like that. Like I had zero clue where now it's like, I have the clients, I have a steady flow, I have things kind of under control. And so now I'm at the point of like, how do I maintain and or grow like, what's the next step? How do I make this a lifelong thing, lifelong business instead of just a, a year or two, you know what I mean? So stuff like that is definitely more now at the forefront of my brain. And, but I think hearing about that in the beginning as somebody who didn't know anything like that was almost too much, you know, like I was like, that's the kind of thing that I was like, okay, I can't do this. I can't, I can't, I just don't know anything about it. So like I'm already going to fail, right. One that's just me being really anxious and self deprecating, but also, but whereas now, like that's the stuff that I'm starting to think about or like move towards is how, what is the best way to reach people through the, through the inner interweb? You know, all the things that are out there. And I think,
Nick (29:44): I think the way that you did it was good. Get the basic stuff set up and you're already getting clients. So that's off, like you're already ahead of the curve there. And then now it's yeah. Just making some tweaks or trying to focus your efforts. Where, how do I make this better? Yes. Is your website basically just like a lead capture? Like here's my services, here's my contact information. Let me know.
Kelsey (30:06): Yes. Definitely. Like it is, again, it has the basics on it, you know, like information about me, what insurances I take, how much a session costs like, cause those are the things that when I even call, when people call me or that's like their first questions, you know? So I tried to, I tried to like, what's the word streamline, but also yes. So doing that, but then also like, I don't, I didn't know how, I mean, I still don't know how to make like a website that has all the goods on it or, you know, like, like in the beginning when I was doing my search, that's what people are saying is like, have a website, have a website and it'd be really cool if you had one tab for each thing that you do. And then this and that. And I was like, what? I don't know how to write code. Like what is the HTML or so I don't know. And so for me it was just like, here, Squarespace is easier. It's like a bloop populates it in for you and stuff. So to some degree, that's the way I like it is just like, let's not sugarcoat things. This is just what I am. And here it is. But then also knowing that at that time, that was really all like fathom or like figure out.
Nick (31:13): Right. Well, and I think one of the next best logical steps for you would be to get into some kind of like blogging. Something like that. Like I think with that, you can build a little bit more trust. You might be able to help people without them having to contact you is that I know like I'm kind of a, a closed, reserved person. Like if I am going to try to figure something out, I'm going to try to figure it out myself. And for me, the last resort is actually contacting somebody. Obviously your field is a little bit more in-depth than that, but being able to provide like blog posts or resources, something like that where people can come and maybe just learn more about something specifically in your field and it would, it would boost credibility, credibility for you. The trust like people would, I think, feel more comfortable coming to you saying like, okay, yeah, this girl knows what she's talking about. Like when I go to her. Yeah. It's almost in my mind more of like a personal brand in a way. Oh, definitely. Yeah. That, that in itself is another reason why I think a blog or some kind of content based platform would be really beneficial to you because it is kind of like a personal brand and you will build, like I said, that trust and that credibility.
Kelsey (32:23): Yeah. Which is something I'm trying. Like, I, it's now my new goal to like build up. I was going to use Instagram as that way, but perhaps I should have a blog post too, that people can reference or like a blog thing too, that people could reference. But for that exact reason is that I feel like it would reach more people, but it also isn't, to me, it's not just about getting the clients to get the money. Like it's actually not about that at all. For me, it's a, it's a perk that I get paid to do something I love. But for me, it's about helping the people. And like you said, how you're one who was like the last resort would be to actually go talk to someone. Well, counseling's a little different in general, but like that's what I would hope is that I want to have a place where people can come and like, Oh, let's just, Oh, Kelsey had a general talk about anxiety or depression or like, Oh, that's how people like therapists diagnose and you know, just like little things like that to one, make it more relatable, but then also make mental health more relatable. So in a sense awareness, but that's been like a huge struggle for me is because I don't, I know there's more to it than just posting every day, you know, there's the algorithms and the interactions.
Nick (33:30): Yeah, there is that side of it. But really the only thing you can do is try to provide as much value. And I mean, you're obviously in business and you're in this field for the right reasons. You're not in it just to try to collect a paycheck. So that in itself is going to put you in a much better position than a lot of people. So if your goal is just to push value out and provide value, whether it's your blog or Instagram or Facebook, whatever it is, just get the information out there, provide as much help and value as possible. And that is ultimately, what's going to drive people your way and they're going to trust you for it. We can, uh, that we kind of got into like the challenges a little bit. Are there any other issues or challenges that you yourself are encountering as you have gotten started, or maybe it's hurdles that you've already accomplished? That might be able to help other people listening?
Kelsey (34:18): I would say for me a big thing was like imposter syndrome. Um, you know, feeling like I wasn't doing something perfectly or I don't know how to do that. So I'm going to fail or I have to do it this way, like this person did, because that's what success looks like, but that's not true for me. So kind of, um, I mean, this is something that still plagues me to this day, but recognizing that you don't have to fit a certain mold to succeed in whatever it is that you're doing. Oftentimes I feel like the reason why people start their own businesses or organizations or things is because they recognize that there's a lack of it already, you know? And so they want to go in and provide it with a different spin or provided in a way that really worked for them. And so in the beginning it was really trying to silence my anxiety and silence, the voices of the, like what everybody else is doing and recognizing that it's not what everyone else is doing, but it's what I want to do and how I want to do it. And that as long as I'm being like genuine and true, and like you said, like really sticking to my core values and like the point of why I got in this in the first place that things happen much easier or like I didn't have to worry and like spiral about things like a web page. You know what I mean? So I guess keeping your focus, trying to limit the amount of space you give to let other people tell you what to do or how to do it, or what worked for them.
Nick (35:44): Yeah. And I think that also ties in like, I like that you mentioned imposter syndrome because that's, it's a very real thing for a lot of people. And I think the comparison of yourself to other people that is a huge, I guess, inhibitor for people that are getting into their own business, cause you're going to look and you're going to see the people that are doing it and they're doing it really successfully. And they're going to look at where you're at and you're like, I'm not doing it like that and I'm not doing it successfully. What do I do? I'm doing it wrong. And that's not always the case. It just hasn't caught on like, haven't caught your groove yet. And I preach about this a lot on social media, but you really, the, the uniqueness of you is your competitive advantage. Like in business, you talk about what is a competitive advantage over your company versus the competition. Well, you are like, you could present something completely different than anybody else in the industry. And I think it's kind of interesting when you look online and you see celebrities that maybe they do coaching of some sort and they put out all this great information, like it's awesome. They have insane following. And then you have someone else who maybe is not quite as popular, maybe has only a few followers, whatever, but they're able to reach this person that even the most popular person hasn't been able to reach. Why is that? Like the message that that person is speaking, that popular person, whatever their speaking isn't fitting well with this other person, but your message does. So, I mean, there's, you are your own competitive advantage.
Kelsey (37:08): Yes. Yeah. I completely agree. And I, and especially in this field and you know, like, I guess that's kind of speaks to also the idea that like, you can't have your own private practice until you have all this experience and until you have the years and the stuff and whatever. Um, you know, and I think that's part of it is that like I was thinking, well, I have the clients, so obviously I'm doing something right. Or like that they, the way I'm speaking or giving them whatever it is, works versus someone else that they had, or, you know, so I have to remind myself of that, that like one in this profession, I am my career. Like my body, my brain is my tool. That's what it is. I could do it anywhere because it's just me. But then also that is what makes it so special. Like you were saying is that there's only one me in the world and I might not do it like Jessica over here, but also like people like Jessica and people like Kelsey, you know, and it's really who you connect with or what someone is looking for, what matches with them.
Nick (38:12): Yeah. Yeah. No, I, I think that's a huge thing for people.
Kelsey (38:15): Sorry, Jessica. I didn't mean anything again. Anything personally,
Nick (38:20): I'm sure. I'm sure the Jessica's out there are great.
Kelsey (38:25): Karen just needs a friend.
Nick (38:28): Okay. So I guess with that, like you had said felt like you needed to have all this extra experience. Obviously you are not sticking to that stigma. You are breaking the mold in a sense. So tell me about that a little bit.
Kelsey (38:43): Yeah. Um, it is definitely what everyone was saying, and I'm not just talking about like classmates or peers, like instructors, professors, like big business people, health insurance companies, the APA, which is the organization that like people, no one explicitly says you have, like, there is no specific guideline or criteria that you have to meet to have your own private practice, but everybody else made it seem like that. Like, and it, it almost had, you know, I can even remember sitting in grad school and people saying like, Oh yeah, one day I'd really like to have my private practice and instructors being like, well, you don't want to do that right out of school. Like, that's just crazy. You can't do that. And I really like, okay, because like, we didn't know any better at the time. It's just like, Oh, your parents tell you certain things and you believe them just cause they're your parents.
Kelsey (39:32): You know? Um, and so I don't know why, I honestly don't know where that came from or who said it, maybe it was like something there's kind of a shift coming in the world of counseling and therapy and that there's definitely generations. Um, and the older people who are practicing now have one idea and the younger generation, um, has a different idea and then there's kind of the middle ground. Right. So I think maybe just because it was one way for so long that everybody just assumed it had to stay that way. But when you really look into it and you look down to it, there is nothing that says you cannot do it. It's just, you're almost like shied away from it. Or you're, if it's scared into you, you know, like they talk about systemic racism and stuff. It's the same thing it's like taught to you that you can't do that.
Kelsey (40:21): And so I think at the point where I realized that that wasn't true or that I could do, it was at the tail end of my, my graduate school program. I remember sitting in, um, when I was doing, had to do some internship hours and I was at one of my internships and I was sitting at that one. It was sort of similar, like I was on with the organization, but I had my own office, my own space I had at this point, I'd managed my schedule, talk to the assistant, all that stuff, and then would meet with a supervisor. Right. So I was already doing it. And I was like, wait a second. What would be the difference of me doing this at an organization versus me by myself or with, you know, my supervisor under someone else's license. And so then I started researching things and I couldn't find anything that said, you could not do it like it wasn't unethical or against the rules.
Kelsey (41:12): And so then I started talking to my now supervisor, she was a supervisor for my internship too. And I asked her, how did she start her own private practice? And, you know, and it was just like, just have to start. You just do it. And I think that, that's the part that maybe is what made people so scared. And then since they were scared or maybe they were self conscious that they couldn't do it, they somehow like then instilled that in the next person and the next person. So then it just became this bigger thing than it actually was. And I mean, I definitely questioned it when I was like, okay, we're we're live or I'm live, you know, my services available to people. But then it's the idea that it, it doesn't matter is reinforced every day when like my clients come back or they like continue to reach out to me or they let me in even more, you know, it doesn't, doesn't matter what level you're at.
Kelsey (42:07): It's more of what you can manage in your life, how well you think you can do it. And then the type of service or like therapy that you want to run. And so I think that people thought it had to be done one way. And if you couldn't do it that one way, then you couldn't do it. Right. And or for people in the like social services field, it's very different than a business or a science or a math type thing. You know, like we don't naturally think in that kind of way of like the analytics and logistics and stuff like that. So maybe it was hard for people to wrap their brains around, or I'm not really sure what happened, but at some point I was just like, I'm going to do it. I'm just going to do it. And the opportunity was there and my supervisor was willing to help me do that.
Kelsey (42:49): And she's taken on more of a mentor role where, you know, as things progress, she will teach me how to apply for insurance panels and how to do this and your taxes and all that stuff, you know, but it was really recognizing that if I didn't do it now, I wouldn't do it for another 30 years. And that just seemed bananas to me. I didn't want to wait that long. And so I got it where I was just like, okay, the opportunity is here. And if I don't take it, I, I'm not going to get it for 30 years and that's going to suck. And if I fail, okay, at least like, I'll fail now, but then I'll still be able to do it something else for 30 years. And then do you know what I mean? So like, it was really kind of had to have a little pep talk with myself, but it was mostly like, there is no better time or like, if you're going to do it, you just got to do it.
Nick (43:34): The reason that I wanted to bring that up is because it's, it's not unique to you. It's not unique to your industry. I mean, coming up through school and I, I'm not going to get into the debate of, should you go to college? Shouldn't you go to college type of thing. Like, I think, I think it is important, but having said that coming up through high school, college, everything, they don't really tell you that you can do your own thing. They don't really promote that. And even for myself, like I came up through school and I was like, well, I'm going to graduate from college. I'm going to get a job. Or I'm going to probably sit at a desk for 45, 55 years, whatever retire. There's my entire life already laid out for me. Like, what do I do at that point? And it wasn't until I started reading books about entrepreneurship and getting started into your own thing and realizing like, I don't have to go that route.
Nick (44:24): That's not a route I have to take. And I mean, you're obviously in a similar boat where you have to get the career and you have to ride that career out for so many years. And then now after you have all this experience, now you can think about if you want and still do your own thing, you could. Well, no. You want to do your own thing. You know what you want to do. You're going to go out and do it. And I think, I think that is awesome. I think a lot of people, if it was like me, they don't really even realize that that is an option,
Kelsey (44:51): Right? Yes. And I, I mean, I was even one of those, like, I didn't realize it was an option to do it right now. And until the opportunity was there and it, it was honestly like, it was, it was here and Kelsey's here. Like we were close. Cause I, before the whole time didn't even see it coming, you know? And so I was one of those believers too, but I guess that's what I would like. If I had one message, I would want to get out to anybody in the world of counseling or therapy or whatever. It's like, you can do it. There is don't let anyone tell you that you can't, because most often it's just them regretting a decision that they didn't make or an opportunity they didn't take, or they don't know. I mean, they don't know, and that's not fair either.
Nick (45:33): Hopefully this podcast will get seen by those people and they will know that is an opportunity and an option. But I mean, I think you've made a good point. Also earlier, you said that you have this mentor basically, and she's someone that you're working for right now, but she has taken on that mentor role. I think that would be good for anybody who is interested in doing that. Should I talking to people in the industry, whether it is something where you get a job with them, or maybe you intern for them or whatever it is. So you kind of get the idea and you can learn from them until you're ready to kind of branch out and kind of become your own boss in a way.
Kelsey (46:08): Yeah. And I think that, I mean, that's exactly it, that's huge. I was like, talk to the people that are in your field, or, you know, not as not going as far as networking, but like take the experiences of other people and take what you like from it. Or, you know, listen to their struggles and things like that, and then apply that to your own life and what you want to do. And that kind of thing. I think you, don't all looking now, like, I'm glad I get to do this now for however long it lasts me or, you know, satisfies my career driver, whatever it is, because I fear that when people go right into a clinic or a hospital or a school or whatever it is that has something with more structure that they are then getting trained and turned into that version of a therapist, like what that organization wants, you know, or same thing with another business person or, um, you know, management or anything is that they mold you to what works for their system for their business.
Kelsey (47:04): But that's not the only way that works. That's just what works for them. And so for me, I feel like I've been able to flex a lot more muscles than if I did just stick to one organization, which did therapy this one way for this certain amount of time. You know what I mean? Like it's almost, um, I look at it as look at all those, those maybe skills that you had that you had to push aside for a little bit, or that you didn't get to try X, Y, and Z, because you weren't allowed to, or you only had to do it this way, or, you know what I mean? Like, there's, I feel like this, if anything has given me a better idea about what I want to do and how I want to try to do it so that if I did want to go join an organization or a business, I would know specifically what I was looking for that would then continue to fill up my cup and keep me happy in the career world.
Nick (47:51): Yeah. Okay. So now my next question for you and, um, this is something I'm starting to do with all of the people that I interview. Everybody has something that they are just really good at. I don't know. There's, there's certain things where everyone's like, okay, yeah, I'm the man for that. Or I am the girl for that, or the woman for that. So I call it their super power. What is your super power? What do you do better than anybody else?
Kelsey (48:14): It's really hard question to answer. Cause I don't like being boastful or like, I don't know why. I just feel like everything is like, Oh look look how great I am.
Nick (48:24): Tell everybody how great you are. What, what is the thing that you are awesome at? You're like, yeah, I killed that.
Kelsey (48:30): Well, there's a couple actually
Nick (48:34): Let's do it. Let's get into it.
Kelsey (48:36): The one right off the top of my head, I think that could be relatable for any type of business would be client retention. It's a little weird to say in the world of counseling, because your ultimate goal is to help the person heal or grow or get better so that they don't need you. But at the same time, the client like being able to build the trust, being able to build the relationship, um, and create the space that people want to continue to come back to and continue to like, like what I have to say or how I say it, or, you know, that I think is one thing. Like I don't have a ton of client turnover, if anything, um, client referrals increase with the amount of time that I see a person. And another thing I think is that I'm very transparent about the type of person I am, the type of counselor I am and how I operate even on a business level.
Kelsey (49:29): So I try to keep it, like I was saying before, very basic. So people know what they're getting or they know what to expect. Um, so that there's not a lot of change up or unexpected, you know, surprises or things that they wouldn't like. So I hope that when they first see me or they first searched me on, you know, my website or the other directories or whatever, is that I am the same on all of those things. Same on Instagram, same on my website, same as in person. So I'm consistent, which builds already builds the trust before they get in my door. And then I also, another one would be relate-ability. I try to keep it lighthearted and real and you know, sometimes goofy and silly and I don't stick to one Avenue of therapy. So I'm really, I'm really focused on tailoring my delivery of knowledge and skills to the person because of what they need. And so I'm not, you know, you'll hear things, Oh, CBT, which is cognitive being here with everybody loves that. But like the actual sense of that is like, it's literally in a book, it tells you how to do it step by step. So you're fitting, you're feeling like you're like a robot or like a cookie cutter thing, you know? So being genuine and authentic and real and relatable, I think is I'm going to say, that's my superpower.
Nick (50:48): That that is an excellent, super power or powers to have. I think it's like everything else we've been talking about, like even kind of segwaying very well between what you were doing versus what a lot of people need to be doing to run and be successful in their own business. I personally think the transparency is a very big thing. And like you had said the relate-ability, um, I think they kind of go hand in hand, but when you're, when you're transparent, like you mentioned before you show that you're human, right? Like you're not some, I think a lot of people and I was even this way, right. When I was starting, trying to picture myself as a business and pretend like I was a big corporation in a sense, because I don't know, I just had this idea in my mind that that's what people wanted to see. If I wanted to be successful, I needed to be this big thing. When in reality, people don't want the big thing. They want someone that they can communicate with when they can relate to. And that's exactly what you're saying. I think that's directly contributing to the fact that you're keeping clients, you are human. You're not just some corporation like logging in another number. Like here we go, let's get through this. Like you are a person.
Kelsey (51:54): Yes. Yeah. And that is what I hope. I mean, and I, well, a big thing for me is like, like you were saying how you used to envision yourself one way or that's because what people thought, and I will still do that sometimes. Like, I'll get in my own way. But then I think about like, what would I want if I was the other person, what would I, how would I want someone to respond to this email? Or what would I want them to say when it was their first time in the chair or whatever, you know? And I think that's, that's a way to like, get out of your own head, kind of break down the barriers and bring it back down to the stuff that actually matters.
Nick (52:26): Oh, I, I completely agree. I think that was a very good little segment there. So what would be one last piece of advice that you would give to the listeners who are interested in starting their own business, or maybe they want to get into the same field you are, maybe they want to start their own private practice. What is one thing that I guess when you got started really helped you?
Kelsey (52:47): I think listening to my own gut and not in the like cheesy sense of things, like in the way that was when I was researching stuff and I started feeling overwhelmed and I didn't know what to do or where to go or which link to follow and all this stuff. It was like, I had to slow down and be like, okay, what is this anxiety actually telling? Am I actually anxious about all the information that I'm gathering? Or am I anxious because I don't know how to do it. I don't like, you know what I'm trying to say. Like it was, I tried to listen to myself to see where that would gear me, like lead me. But then at the same time, when I, as processing things like that and like, thinking about it, like, okay, why am I scared right now? Why am I anxious?
Kelsey (53:30): What would happen if I did this, that kind of thing. When those questions were being answered with logical understanding things like, Oh, you're scared because you don't know what that is. Okay. Let's go find out what that is. Um, Oh, you don't know how to you're nervous because you don't know how to start a website. Okay. Let's research and Google websites. So when those questions started to not be answered with logistical things that I could actually control or work on and were more just like [inaudible], I'm scared. What if people don't like me? What if nobody comes? What if I don't get clients? Like things like that. That's when I sort of knew that it was the time to pull the plug. It was time to do it because there was nothing left for me to be prepared for. I had done all my research. I had talked to all my people.
Kelsey (54:14): I had figured out how I want to do those or what I wanted my business to look like. And so then the last step was like, just to do it. And so if I could give word of advice to anybody who's in that position is really like, allow yourself the time to research and to figure stuff out. And it doesn't, you don't have to be rushed and you don't have to listen to other people and just do what works for you. But there will come a time when those thoughts or worries or nerves change into more of a, like fear of failure versus fear, because you don't know where you don't have control. And when they turn into a field fear of failure, that's actually, when you know that you're ready. So at that point, tell him to shut up and just dive in.
Nick (54:55): That is an awesome answer. I really like that answer. That's something that I am very adamant about as well, because I think that the fear of failure, the fear of getting started, the fear of not knowing like the fear of the unknown, all that stuff is very real. And it paralyzes a lot of people. Oh yeah. And I mean, you can plan and plan and plan and you could basically plan for eternity, but the planets aren't going to align. Nothing will ever be perfect. The circumstances won't ever be, right. There's always going to be something wrong. There comes a time when you just have to do it and everything will work itself out. And you have to trust that it will work itself out. Because if you don't start, you have nothing to fix. You have nothing to work on. You have nothing to get better with as soon as you launch. And as soon as you're in it, now you can start tweaking and making some changes and making everything perfect. But until you get started, there's, there's none of that. You're just left with yourself and your anxiety and your thoughts. Okay. Kelsey. So where can people find you? Where if someone either wanted to get in contact with you about therapy, or maybe they wanted to ask you questions, they want to start their own private practice or get into it. Where can someone contact you.
Kelsey (56:08): The best way, and this is, again, me being direct streamlining things, um, would be to go to my website, kelseyrehomema.com. From there, you can shoot me a direct message. There's a little button that says contact me and it'll send me an email. It has my phone number. It has my address. It has my Instagram handle. It has my squares, like literally everything is there. So that would be a great spot to start. Um, actually I'm just going to say that's the spot to start. Cause it's really like the hub hub and it will send you other places. And also on Instagram at thera, as in therapy, thera, underscore Kelsey underscore MA (@Thera_Kelsey_MA).
Nick (56:47): And for anybody who is wanting to get the links to that, I will actually be putting the links in the show notes. So you'll just have to go to the show notes and they'll all be right there. Um, so that pretty much wraps it up. Kelsey killed it. So I just want to thank you for coming on the show. Um, I had a blast, hopefully you had fun as well. Um, I think we had a lot of great information here, so hopefully we can help a lot more people.
Kelsey (57:15): Yeah, I hope so. That's the point, right?
Nick (57:18): All right, Kelsey. Well, thank you very much for being on the show.
Kelsey (57:20): Of course. Thanks for having me.
Nick (57:22): I hope you enjoy the episode with Kelsey. Once again, you can find kelseyrehomema.com or on Instagram @thera_kelsey_ma as always all the links discussed in this episode, including Kelsey's links can be found over in the show notes. And the show notes for this episode can be found over at ninefivepodcast.com/episode3, just remember nine five is all spelled out N I N E F I V E podcast.com/episode3. As in the number three, if you enjoy this episode, please hop over on iTunes to rate and review. Uh, you have no idea how far that goes. It helps get the podcast recognized. It hopefully going to get us on the new and noteworthy section of Apple podcasts. And it's ultimately going to help let people know if this is a podcast for them.
Nick (58:14): And if this is a podcast for them, I want them to be able to hear it. And I want to be able to help more people. So your ratings and reviews can really go a long way. And finally, don't forget to subscribe to the show. So you don't miss next week's episode. Next week, we are chatting with a good friend of mine that I actually met over on Twitter, who has a ton of experience in starting running and monetizing his own blogs. He's done this with several already and currently he's building quite a following over on Twitter. So you're not gonna wanna miss that episode. Thanks for sticking around this long. I appreciate you guys. And I look forward to catching you in the next episode.
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About This Episide
Growing up, we are all taught many of the same principles as it relates to school and career:
- Get good grades in high school so you can get into college
- Graduate with a degree so you can land that big “career” job
- Work in your profession until your 65-years old and you can retire
Seldom are we taught that this isn’t the only path. And if you are like Kelsey, many people have probably preached this “same path” to you through every step of your journey.
Well, what if that isn’t the right path for you?
What if you want to take a different path?
That is exactly what Kelsey and so many other people are doing, paving their own way. And YOU can too!
It can be very intimidating to venture off on your own, especially when so many others advise against it. Kelsey has taken this challenge head-on and is turning her career into something of her own. Something that she built!
On this episode we discuss:
- How Kelsey managed to start her own private practice despite many others telling her to wait
- Overcoming imposter syndrome and the fear of getting started
- How being transparent and “real” with your clients and audience can build your credibility and trust
- Some of the next steps Kelsey can take to continue growing her private practice and transitioning to it full-time
Links & Resources
Note: Some of the links listed below may be affiliate links. This means I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you choose to purchase through them.
I really hope you enjoyed this episode with Kelsey! If you liked this episode or any other episode of the Nine-Five Podcast, please go rate and review the podcast on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews go a long way in helping more people find the show.