One of the biggest challenges of any new private practitioner is the "waiting game". I identify the "waiting game" as the time in which we wait to her from prospective clients, agencies, fellow private practices, and various professionals regarding paid opportunities. The "waiting game" can be emotionally crippling and can accompany feelings of heartache, desperation, anger, self-doubt etc. Hoping for a phone call, e-mail, or social networking message can become all-encompassing and can hijack a new practitioners sense of purpose and direction. The biggest questions are what to do when you feel as though your private practice is a no-go? What can I do? and What should I do when I have no clients?
The first thing I always remind myself about my self-doubt is that starting a private practice in a relatively new area takes time. I have to remind myself to network, meet people, join clubs and organizations for sanity as well as NETWORKING tools, and always work on 'yourself'. Networking can be fun in many ways. Hanging out at a popular restaurant/bar in a resort town allows you the opportunity to sell music therapy or your 'brand' to perfect strangers who may know the right people in education, healthcare or various state agencies. You never know who you can meet at a festival, parade, or community function. Actions speak louder than words! I find that sitting around and waiting for a phone call makes me anxious. So instead, I push myself to meet people, hand out flyers, mingle with various professionals, and blog. This gives direction, purpose and the intention of a successful career. Joining clubs or organizations is one easy way to build support and empathy from community members and individuals involved with power players. If you are a physical therapist looking to work with a school or healthcare company, sign up for 5K runs affiliated with a local hospital or philanthropic cause. Plenty of doctor's, surgeons, and other specialists sign-up for these events. Music Therapists or prospective educators, joining a community concert band or chorus helps showcase your competencies while allowing your to find a "common community" of like-minded professionals who may be willing to pass your name and contact information on to a prospective client.
All in all, NETWORKING is the best thing to do when having the no client blues. It's also important to work on yourself and make sure you are doing well throughout the stressful process of starting a new private practice.