I’ve made many mistakes while starting a business as a psychologist, in this article I’ll share a few so you can avoid them.
How could I know that, having studied psychology, I’d also have to train in:
- creating a blog and a website
- digital marketing
- social networks
- email managing
- online sales
the list seems endless…
I think I read in a Raimon Samsó book something like that:
“In the digital age you either become a digital person or your professional self dies.”
I chose to change so I WOULDN’T die.
The problem is that everything progresses so fast that, sometimes, this evolution can be overwhelming and despairing.
Above all, because I never had any technical training, and some things are tremendously complicated for me.
That’s why today I want to explain my story to you.
Because nobody explained to me that starting a business is like running a marathon.
8 mistakes made when starting a business as a psychologist
Mistake 1: Don’t believe everything they say
A few years ago, I started thinking about having a blog.
I’d heard that having a blog could allow you to have an income.
And I could also share everything I’d learned during my years of training and experience.
Some experts stated (and some still do today) that starting a business was an easy, fast, and simple process.
For which you didn’t need much money.
I contacted a friend and he quickly set up the template for my blog.
I could already see myself working on my blog and making a good income…
And do you know what led to my first disappointment?
It took me 5 months to write articles and upload content to the blog!
The wait was long, but once I’d uploaded my content to the blog…
I expected customers to come from all over the world…
A blog can give you visibility, but you need a lot more to sell online.
In addition, maintaining a well-updated blog requires discipline and being able to write regularly…
In the beginning it was 300-word articles, then 800 and at the end my articles had to have more than 1000 words to be considered as quality articles by Google.
As you can imagine, writing an article can easily take 3 or 4 hours, for the first version.
Then you need to edit it, add the links, the pictures, improve the SEO…
One article = many hours
And if you don’t add a call to action (something I learned later) or a lead magnet…
You’ll probably never hear from the person who saw your article again.
And where were the customers?
As they weren’t coming, I decided to take a course.
Then I noticed that the online world was a totally unknown world to me.
There were a lot of things that I DIDN’T know.
And the more I learned, the more overwhelmed I became.
Where was the easy, fast, and simple?
I’d been deceived…
Or so I thought
Ignorance makes us believe what we want to believe.
Mistake 2: Seeking help from friends and not professionals
At the time, I was out of a job, so I didn’t have a lot of money.
The friend who’d set up the template for my blog hosted my website on his hosting site and, everything was going well until the website began to “drop”.
My friend had a life and wasn’t available for “my” emergencies.
Since he was my friend, I didn’t dare ask him about such things.
And our friendship began to suffer a bit.
Luckily, I decided to change my hosting in time, and I was able to maintain our friendship.
But this is one of the mistakes when starting a business as a psychologist that I had the most trouble with.
Because changing the hosting meant “taking” that income away from my friend…
But I can state that hosting has a price, and friendship doesn’t.
So, keep your friends as just friends.
Mistake 3: Don’t depend on people who don’t work 100% on what they offer
In one of the face-to-face entrepreneurship courses that I took, I met a person who also wanted to become an entrepreneur.
He was a graphic designer and he told me that I needed a website to make my project work.
So, he offered me a budget and set up my website.
It was a very nice website, yes, but it had a lot of technical problems, because he WASN’T a technician.
At a certain point he got a job as a graphic designer and “disappeared” from the map without having finished the website.
I sought outside help to fix the mistakes.
But they couldn’t be fixed, not even by a professional.
So, I had no choice but to redo the website.
Mistake 4: Don’t train in things that you DON’T need NOW
The benefit of training a lot is that you learn a lot.
The downside is that you get confused about what step to take next.
- Some say that you need to improve your SEO.
- Others that you have to advertise online.
- Others that the important thing is to launch.
- And others that if you don’t have a good copy, you won’t go anywhere.
Who should I believe?
Surely everyone’s suggestion is true to some extent.
But the important thing is to know what is the next step to take based on the project phase you’re at.
It’s better to train on an email marketing manager when you want to set up an autoresponder than when you’re creating the editorial calendar.
I can state that this mistake was one of the errors I’m most aware of when starting a business as a psychologist.
In fact, I’ve had to seek professional help because I have so many options that I don’t know which one to pick.
Mistake 5: Training without Acting is useless
I had acknowledged that training was important.
So, I started doing all the free courses I could find on entrepreneurship.
- Entrepreneurial mistakes
- Taxation for entrepreneurs
- Making a user-focused website
- How to make a sales pitch
- How to negotiate
- Learning to sell
I believed that I needed to learn EVERYTHING related to entrepreneurship.
Since in my career as a psychologist I’d studied a lot to be able to work.
So, I got into a loop, in which BEFORE I’d even started implementing anything I’d learned in one course, I had already signed up for the next one.
And I’ve been trapped in this mistake for a long time.
I’m not saying that I haven’t implemented anything, because I have.
But last year I still signed up for a ton of courses that I haven’t had any time to implement.
The fact is that TODAY I know that:
Training without acting = Staying as you are (although with more knowledge)
There is no use in learning if you don’t put it into practice.
Mistake 6: Don’t seek perfection
I’m a perfectionist, I admit it.
And that can be a virtue in some cases, and a limitation in others.
But I’ll talk about my limitations, since seeking perfection in what I do has led to a lot of delays.
Maybe that’s why it still takes me so long to write articles.
The point is that perfection is the enemy of results.
I learned a phrase in a course that said:
“Better done than perfect”
Because if you seek perfection, you may never finish.
And now that I’ve been around for a few years, I’ve realized that:
What seems “good” today may not look like it tomorrow.
I review and update my articles,
So sometimes, when I review an article I wrote a while ago, I may end up rewriting it entirely.
- I learn
- I improve
- I evolve
- I grow as a person
and I’ve undergone new experiences that help me see things differently.
So, expect to change a lot of what you do.
Therefore, don’t seek perfection for something that you’ll just change some time later.
Mistake 7: Thinking that you can do everything alone
Another mistake I made when starting as a psychologist was believing myself superwoman.
For a while, I tried to do everything by myself.
In fact, for super simple things, I’d spend hours searching the internet on how to do it.
And in the end, I did! For the record!
But can you imagine how much effort it required?
However, I had the perfect excuse: “my budget.”
I had no money, and I couldn’t pay people to help me.
But then you realize that maybe you don’t need that much money.
You also don’t need, at least in the beginning, to have a team working for you 8 hours a day.
But you can count on other people’s help for a few hours per week.
For me, this was freeing.
- A person helps me for a few hours with my social networks
- I have a technical service to which I pay a fixed amount per month (professional and highly recommended)
- And I later found someone who helps me with some website things a couple of hours a week.
It’s not much, but it’s what I can afford RIGHT NOW.
And it’s not just about money, but of time.
Mistake 8: Not being patient with yourself or your results
I remember how afraid I was of social networks…
The first time I visited twitter, it took me 3 hours to find the button to write a tweet.
I’m ashamed to say it, but it was so unfamiliar to me that the fear itself blocked me.
Everything was a mountain.
My first year, as I wasn’t working, I’d spend 8 hours a day on the website.
Then I started working for another company and got up at 5 in the morning to spend 1 hour on it, from 6 to 7, before going to work.
When I came back, I tried spending another hour on it.
And the weekends too.
And I was frustrated because everything was so slow.
The results didn’t come.
I wanted to stop working for others “right away” so I could just work for myself.
I lost the balance between action and rest.
And after a while, I was completely demotivated.
I wanted to drop the website.
But I understood that the problem wasn’t in my website, but in my expectations.
In wanting an immediate result in something that takes time.
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s unlikely.
After a few years, I can say that I’ve learned to be patient with myself and with my results.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes get frustrated, but now I know how to react differently.
And I’m no longer exhausted by my actions.
Now I also spend time Being and resting.
I understand that results will come with time, and through my perseverance to continue dedicating time, money, and energy to my dreams.
I know that I have a long way to go, but I also know that I’ve achieved a lot of things.
- And I keep walking.
- And I continue to train.
- And I keep acting.
- Facing my fears and managing my emotions.
At what point are you?
By knowing the mistakes, I made when I started working as a psychologist, I hope you can avoid some of them, but bear in mind that, if you decide to start a business, you’ll need to overcome your own mistakes.
And it’s okay, so be it.
Have you ever heard that you have to make mistakes more often to learn faster?
Well, don’t be afraid of your mistakes, but use them to learn from them.
Along my way I’ve also hired coaches and psychologists at various times.
So, if you need help with your action plan, with managing your emotions or to regain your motivation, count on me.