I have been in business for 10+ years as a therapist. Based on several negative experiences and my overall goals and strengths, I decided taking insurance is a terrible business model for me.
In May 2020, I decided to quit taking insurance and raise my rates. I knew I’d lose a lot of clients when I stopped taking insurance because they’d go from paying $30/session to $200/session. I thought I had enough people coming in that my caseload would still build with self-pay clients. Plus, I had a new niche and certification with sex therapy, which is in demand. But COVID slowed things down and basically I realized I had never had to really do sales and marketing before and had no clue what I was doing. Because I took insurance, I had a very full caseload with just a website and word of mouth and a couple online directories. I didn’t have to do any marketing on an ongoing basis.
Then I got a PPP loan and an SBA loan, which kind of enabled me to move slowly on marketing, (which is intimidating for me). I was spending more than I was earning, so some of it just went towards maintaining my lifestyle. I also hired a business coach for $1500/mo for about 8 months, but it didn’t result in increased revenues. I learned some good mindset stuff, but that was about it. I had also hired a couple other business coaches in the past that didn’t result in increased revenues. And I have done masterminds that didn’t result in increased revenues either.
The only helpful things have been talking with other business owners in my industry more informally. I also built a 2nd website during this period and joined a group program learning FB ads and content creation. I did learn a lot, but realized FB ads weren’t great for sex therapy since it’s so censored. Maybe there was a way to make it work, but I didn’t feel I had time to figure that out, so I switched to a Google Ads smart campaign, which had mild success.
Then the government money ran out and I had to really get serious about marketing. The Google Ads smart campaign that didn’t give me much in the way of analytics so I couldn’t adjust them and improve the results. So, I started learning more about managing the ads actively and doing a search campaign instead of a smart campaign.
It’s been very up and down and ultimately I started realizing that my caseload still wasn’t going up. I think that now that people pay out of pocket, they don’t see me as long as they used to. I don’t yet have a good grasp on the attrition, which never used to be an issue.
Recently, I listened to episode 190 of the podcast about Frank Kern and thought this was exactly what I needed. I signed up for his Rainmaker program, which was $10k (put on a credit card) and lasts 16 weeks. I am finishing week 1 and doing what they say. So far they have had good feedback about what I have set up so far, but we haven’t “solved” anything. I know it’s super early in the process (and I have a 30-day money back guarantee from them) but I just feel scared and like it’s hard to trust.
Sometimes running a business feels so brutal and I feel very alone. I am single and don’t have a business partner either. I have also had employees violate their contract in the past and my industry doesn’t enforce non-competes, so many past employees have taken their caseloads and left, greatly reducing my income.
I’m just having a hard time trusting in this Rainmaker program or really anything working. It seems like it would work. I know Frank helped Brooke and has a good reputation as a marketer. It’s just that most of what I’ve invested in hasn’t worked (I did invest $5k in a Ramit Sethi program in 2014 which definitely more than paid for itself). I feel like my past financial/entrepreneurial baggage is just weighing on me.
I wonder why I haven’t succeeded by now and if I’m just the problem. I absolutely HATE the idea of having to take insurance again and wonder if that’s what I’d have to do.
I want to trust the Rainmaker program will be the answer and to relax, but I’m really struggling with that. I’m scared of more debt or being destitute and not being able to continue the nice lifestyle I have.