The Importance of Creating Passive Income Streams

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Why Create Passive Income Streams?

The number one concern that I hear from the therapists that I have the honor of supporting is burn out. They share that they are working long hours, and struggle to find the time to focus their efforts on other creative goals.

My colleagues and coaching clients are some of the brightest,  kindest and most talented individuals I know, but like any person (myself included), sometimes need individual support to focus and get the ball rolling on executing their MIS (Multiple Income Streams) vision.

Creating successful passive and leveraged income streams may sound daunting or mysterious, but I promise you that any one with a good idea and the willingness to learn can do this!

If you have have been procrastinating on writing your book, e-book, or creating a product, group, retreat, webinar or workshop, here is a secret: any therapist or business owner, not just the tech savvy, the writing wizards, or the creative geniuses can develop at least one additional income stream! All you need is clear information,  a willingness to learn, support in execution, encouragement, and the right tools. 

Five Important Tips to Help You Get Started on your M.I.S.

MIS Tip One: Focus your vision. What is it that you want to begin with? Adding a group to your practice as leveraged income? Creating an e-product as a passive income stream? Writing your book? Facilitating a training webinar? You may have several great ideas, but I'm going to encourage you to hone in on just one. That's right, I am asking you to take a moment out of your busy day, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and then trust your gut in selecting your MIS.

MIS Tip Two: Keep it Simple. Choose the MIS idea that will be easiest to execute. For example, let's say you have a full practice with a specialization in helping new moms, or working with men in reducing anger. You believe that some of your clients would benefit from adjunct support within group therapy. You don't need to look outside of your practice to fill a group, instead, you can simply create a group (more free tips on how to do that here), and then invite your current clients who would benefit from a community of support.

How is this leveraged income? Example: If you have 6 clients in a 90 minute weekly therapy group at $65.00/per client per week, that is an additional $1,560 per month for 6 hours of your clinical time per month. This means that you can leverage your time, make more income, and help more people. If you took the same 6 hours of active income (for example one-on-one therapy sessions) you would need to charge $260/therapy session to gross the same income. Or a very simple breakdown:

50 minute therapy session = $175

90 minute group therapy session = $390

MIS Tip Three: Name it baby! Naming your MIS passive or leveraged service or product is such an important step. This will help you to center and focus your vision. For example, let's say you want to create a webinar. What is the purpose of this webinar for you, and what is the purpose for the attendee?

By understanding your purpose (i.e. what is my hope in providing this webinar? Do I want to parlay this into other active, passive, or leveraged income? Am I all about simply getting information out there? Is this a way to help establish my voice as an expert?), as well as what the attendees purpose might be (i.e. why people would be attending and what they would be taking away), this will help you stay focused while you create your outline and curriculum.

One of my more successful webinars is on line training for sex addiction therapists on how to create a partners of sex addicts group. My other popular webinar for therapists is on Multiple Income Streams.  And another well attended webinar is teaching CSATs on how to take sex addicts and their partners through a complex process called, "Formal Clinical Disclosure."

Why are these successful? Because colleagues were searching for information, wanted to learn without having to fly to a conference or paying a bunch of money out, and I had the expertise, the experience, and a trusted reputation within our field. And... I was willing to take the time to create an excellent training and materials. The formula for a successful MIS is pretty simple:

Need + Expertise + Willingness to create a product of service of excellence + Sharing with others + Affordability + Integrity = A Successful MIS.

MIS Tip Four: Know your stuff. If you are creating a product, a webinar or a therapy group, please for the love of all things professional know your stuff. If you are accepting paid speaking gigs or workshops, know your stuff. If you are marketing coaching services, know your stuff.

If you are feeling like you need extra training to support your MIS, that is OK, we all are a work in progress, myself included. In this case simply invest in the training or support to help you polish your skills. No one likes to pay for materials, a service, or attend a training (and we have all been there) and then walk away with very little information. Make sure your attendees leave with a tool or information that they can begin using right away. It may be helpful to look at Tip # 7 in this blog post.

MIS Tip Five: Don't overthink it. As a healing (note the word healing!) perfectionist, I have a tendency to want to make sure every single thing I do in my business is "perfect." Here is what I have learned: There is no perfect platform to host a webinar (each has benefits and drawbacks), there is no one perfect website building platform, and no therapist or coach has all the perfect secrets.

And...biggest take away: You cannot please all of the people all of the time. No matter how much love and labor you put into a training, speech, product or book, while some will love your work, there will always be the Negative Nellie or Envious Ed that have something snarky to say. When (not if) this happens to you, be polite, be professional, be fabulous, be kind and keep your chin up buttercup. You can offer information dipped in gold and unicorn dust and I promise you there will be that one person who will react negatively.

Repeat after me:  I will take in constructive, kind feedback from supportive friends and colleagues, and I will move away from negative or shaming comments dressed up as feedback. If someone is unkind, I will not personalize their words or actions, but instead will remind myself that is their stuff to work through. Boundaries will be my best friend.

Gentle Reminder and Encouragement: What I always keep in mind if I am attending a colleague's workshop, webinar, presentation or purchasing a service or product is to manage my expectations. What I mean by this is that there is one person responsible for what I take away from the experience, service, or product: me. You, dear colleague, are only responsible for doing your very best and delivering a product or service of excellence. You are NOT responsible for how anyone receives, interprets, or interacts with your information or services. The very good news is that there are many people in the world who will support and celebrate and even promote the great work you are doing and the good things you are creating. So...go for it!

Why Work with a Coach in Creating a Passive or Leveraged Income Stream?

Working with a coach is like having a journey companion come along side as an experienced and supportive guide to help you navigate new territory. Maybe that means branching out into private practice from agency work. Or expanding on an already existing practice. Perhaps you are newly licensed and need a guide to help you build the first steps on your professional path. Maybe you have a secret dream to land paid speaking gigs, or you are ready to roll up your sleeves and start on your e-book, but need some support in focusing your vision. These are all areas where a coach can be of guidance and help.

You may be wondering what experience I bring to the table as a coach? If so, I'm glad to share! If not, feel free to skip this:

At 53 years young, I am a former foster care kid who was on my own at 16 years of age. I put myself through college and started my first business in my early 20s. I sold this business at a profit in my mid-20s. At 29 I purchased my first small home which was nearly unheard of for foster care kids at that time. My professional background includes a corporate management position in fundraising and marketing, as well as previously creating and operating two very successful and profitable businesses: the first in the beauty industry, and the second in the interior design industry. I started my business in Interior Design in my 30s which increased in revenue by 15%-18% annually over a decade.

At 40 years old I put myself through graduate school with zero student loans. In my mid-40s I founded Growth Counseling Services, Inc. a private practice fee for service (non insurance) counseling center in Glendora, California. I typically have a 3 month wait list for full fee paying clients. At 48 I wrote a best selling Amazon book, "Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts." I wrote my first e-book at 50 years old, "The Creative Clinician" and listed this at $39.95 on my website as my first passive income stream. In spite of nearly everyone telling me that no one would buy an e-book for more that $3 or $4 dollars, I sold over 100 copies right out of the gate and it has been going strong ever since. I have since created numerous very profitable e-products and am transparent with my gross income as shown in the graphic below. 

As you can see, my current counseling and coaching practices are not my first rodeo when it comes to running a successful and profitable business.

In addition to what I have shared above, I am also a national speaker and workshop teacher, with paid gigs at $5K for all day trainings (an example of leveraged income). I also facilitate weekly therapy groups, monthly workshops, and popular webinar trainings

As an author of, "Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partner's of Sex Addicts", and the writer and creator of several very successful MIS products including my popular e-book, "The Creative Clinician: Exercises and Activities for Clients and Group Therapy", I have years of experience in creating successful passive and leveraged income of my own.

Seven Questions to ask before working with a Coach

While there are plenty of business coaches out there who offer consults for therapists and other small business owners, some of these folks don't actually have a successful practice or business (success to me means that your practice or business is earning the amount of money you need, for several years in a row, in order to support the life style you want). Or they may offer training in multiple income streams, without having a successful passive or leveraged income stream. 

The seven important questions to ask any coach you work with, especially if they are training on private practice matters and MIS, is this: 

1. Do you currently have or have had in the past, a successful practice and/or business? If so, for how many years, and what was the total earnings of your practice annually? 

2. Do you have profitable multiple income streams? If so, what are they, and how much have you made on these MIS to date? 

3. How long have you been coaching, what do you bring in terms of business experience?

4. Why are you a coach?

5. What do you specialize in as a coach?

6. Do you have feedback or testimonials from other clients who have worked with you?

7. Do you provide an on line coaching group?

The Number One Question I receive as a Coach on M.I.S. is....

"OK, this all sounds great, but how are you doing with your income streams Mari?" I love this question! For those who know me, or for those who are getting to know me, I am a big believer in coaches putting their money where their mouth is. 

In an effort to be transparent, I have provided a screen shot of my Stripe website store dashboard showing my website passive income gross product sales for the last 17 months (May 2015 - Oct 2016) totaling $60,846.90. Divided by 17 months, this is approximately $3,579 of additional gross passive income per month:

Remember, this screen shot is passive income from the sales of my clinical products including my forms packets, workshop in a kit, and my e-book. This does not include my quarterly royalty checks from my Amazon book (another passive income stream). 

The store screen shot also does not include my leveraged income via speaking fees, workshops, group trainings or webinars.

And clearly, this does total does not include my active income from my role as a therapist in one-on-one or couples sessions, or from my coaching and consulting, nor does it include my supervision income, or my clinical income at my counseling center.

Again, this income shown is generated from passive income earnings only from my products that I worked hard to write, create and sell on my website store. Income I made while hiking, sleeping, vacationing or doing other things I really enjoy besides being actively present at my business.

Next Steps...

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If you are inspired to learn more about how to create your MIS passive or leveraged income stream, I'd love to connect and see if we are a good coaching fit.

If you prefer to work in a group with other clinicians, you may enjoy my Facebook "Like A Boss!" coaching support group.

You can read what other therapists and small business owners have to say about their experience in working with me or attending my trainings here if you would like to learn more.

In closing, with all the blogs floating around on on the web, you have paused in your busy day to read this information. I hope that you leave feeling inspired and excited to jump into your own MIS dream. If so, please introduce yourself and ask any questions in the comment section below.

P.S. By the time I polished up this blog and posted, 2 more passive income sales came rolling in. Gentle reminder: If I can do this, so can you!