When to Leave Your Full-Time Job for Private Practice

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Are you currently in part-time private practice and in a full-time job? Q&A was part of Next Level Practice, the most supportive community for therapists starting a private practice. In this video, Joe answers the question based on when you should leave your full-time job for private practice.

Question: When to Leave Your Full-Time Job for Private Practice

Nicole: I started working full-time in mental health and private practice, but it took off way faster than I expected. I’m torn about leaving my agency job, but my full licensure doesn’t come until November. I was planning to leave the agency after the holidays, but hate turning clients away. But, now I’m burning the candle both ends.

Leaving Your Full-Time Job Answer

Joe: Nicole, I have been there and we’ve seen so many next-level practice people take off so much faster than they expected. I would start to run the numbers on how many clients you think that you could have. Now, some things before you leave your full-time job that I think are important to consider. Usually, you want to have at least three months of the expenses of your practice saved up. So that’s rent, website trainings, things like that. Say your rent is $500 a month, save some for your website and marketing, and an extra hundred for your Next Level Practice. So, maybe $800 a month. We’d want to have at least around $3,000 or $4,000 just saved up in case the next couple months after you leave your job are slower months.

As well, we’d want to look at your family budget. How dependent is your family on the money that you’re bringing in through your full-time job and your private practice? You usually want to have three to six months of living expenses for your family saved up in your family account. So, obviously, these are two separate bank accounts. One’s your business account, that you keep separate, and one is your family account. And then, you’d want to look at, if things got really bad, what’s the budget that your family could live off? With your mortgage, health insurance, all those costs that you now have. And, what if you stopped going out to eat, going to the movies, etc? What do you actually need? So you need, for example, $1,000 a week to come in. You know you’re taking from the practice so, with taxes and everything else, that means you need to be bringing in $1,500 a week. Charging $150 per session, you need to have ten clients a week, minimum.

Now, let’s say you wanted to keep living like you do right now. Well then, how many clients will you need? Well, maybe you’re bringing in $2,000 a week. If you’re seeing only ten clients a week now, but you could be seeing twenty, you really could be living off of $3,000 a week. So, you’d be making $150,000 a year. So you’re looking at all of that. It is really important so that you do it in a way that it doesn’t affect your family in any way.

Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC

joe-sanok-private-practice-consultant-headshot-smaller-versionJoe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI. To link to Joe’s Google+ .