It’s common for us to look at the world around us and think of the things we would change about it if we could. It’s a little harder to put our own dreams or jobs on the line in order to make it happen.
Introducing August’s vibrant Brighter Spotlight, Michelle Doyle. Michelle’s practice is derived from a genuine talent for the field, and a passion to foster a place where women support other women.
Sit down with us as Michelle talks through her decision to start a practice, how she found her niche, and what she did as a Brighter Vision customer to help her thrive.
Q: Tell us a little bit about you and your practice! (What do you specialize in, where is your practice, how often do you see clients, why did you become a therapist, etc.)
A: Becoming a therapist was actually a second career for me. It took me a while to have the courage to follow my instincts, take a risk, and go back to school to get my Master’s degree and clinical license. I have always had a knack for being a great listener, someone that people turn to when they need some guidance, or just a person that they can talk to without fear of judgment. My hope as a therapist is to take personal pain and turn it into an opportunity to find purpose.
I opened my private practice after the birth of my daughter. I knew that I wanted a work-life balance and that I would have to create this for myself. My practice is located in the historical and charming downtown part of Huntersville, North Carolina. I chose to work part-time for now until my daughter is in school full-time. This means that I work a few nights a week and on Saturdays. This has actually been great for potential clients, because it removes the barrier related to time conflicts.
My practice is focused on meeting the needs of women. All too often, I don’t see women supporting each other. I wanted a place where women empower and support each other. I decided to specialize in two areas that personally impacted me and for which I have great passion. I work with girls and women experiencing a variety of eating disorders and body image issues. I also work in Maternal Mental Health. I work with women through their pregnancy and postpartum, and help them navigate their new roles as mothers. I welcome them to the mom tribe, and it is one of my greatest joys.
Michelle’s private practice office in Huntersville, North Carolina
Q: What is one reason you’re glad you became a therapist?
A: This job is the first time I feel that I am living my purpose. It feels amazing to finally say that I am living out my passion and I look forward to going to work each day. Actually, I feel lucky that I can support people in their time of need.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not working?
A: In my free time, I love spending time with my family. I love to swim and do yoga regularly; it helps to center me and help me feel calm. I love cooking with my husband, and I love being outside and in nature.
Q: When did you become a Brighter Vision client, and why?
A: A little over a year ago, I was referred to Brighter Vision from a consultant that I was working with to get my business off the ground. The biggest determining factor in selecting Brighter Vision was that they work with therapists. This was very important to me because I wanted my website to come off as compassionate and understanding to those with mental health needs. I wanted the developers to understand my passion and help me see my vision.
Michelle’s Brighter Vision website, Women’s Wellness of the Carolinas
Q: What methods were you using to attract clients before you had a Brighter Vision website?
A: Well, I really didn’t have any. I opened my practice and very quickly realized having an amazing website was going to be the key to getting people into the door.
Q: How did your process of attaining and attracting clients change after your Brighter Vision website from how it was before?
A: I have had so many compliments on the website layout – information included – and it helps clients see that I am qualified to help them with their specific needs.
Q: What is one of your favorite parts of your website? How does that represent you and your private practice?
A: I love the About Me section. I think this is a great way for people to get a feel of my personality. I also included my treatment philosophy for both of my specialty areas. I think it is important for a client to understand how I conceptualize treatment and what I think works for treating different disorders. The fit between therapist and client is one of the biggest determining factors for growth in therapy, and I want clients to feel that they can connect to me.
The About Me page of Michelle’s Brighter Vision website
Q: What is something you know now about marketing your private practice or making a private practice website that you have learned from your experience with Brighter Vision?
A: I have learned that you need to constantly update your website and look for new revenue streams, from considering different marketing strategies to ways to retain clients. I enjoy reading articles they recommend and I use this to continue learning how to maximize my business.
Q: How do you keep organized and scheduled in your day-to-day life?
A: For me, my daughter’s naptime is my “get it done” time. I keep a running to-do list that I often prioritize to ensure I am getting the most important things done on time. I set a million reminders for myself and I text myself notes of things to do at all times of the day and night.
I also set limits on how much I am willing to work outside of my time for direct contact with clients. I try to eliminate things that aren’t necessary and balance them with times that might be slower with clients.
Q: How do you make time for self-care with your busy schedule?
A: For me, getting good sleep is critical. I can’t function without it. I make sure that I do exercises that make me happy and calm. I eat amazing food and often spend time cooking it myself. I also have learned how to say “no.” I can’t do it all and I want to set an example for my daughter that you should take time for yourself. And I also make time for a great massage and pedicure from time to time.
Q: What other tools or services do you use to help boost your private practice?
A: I use Google Adwords to help get clients in the door. I also spend time every month networking with complimentary practices and meeting providers that could benefit from referring my services.
Q: What have you found to be the most important piece of advice someone has given you about being a private practice owner?
A: “Hold on, because this is the biggest ride of your life.” Starting my own practice has had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. The learning curve is huge and there are so many things you’ll do for the first time and sometimes only once.
Q: Do you have any pieces of advice for someone just starting their own private practice journey?
A: You can do this if you really want it. You have to give yourself a ton of grace and a ton of pep talks. Find someone who can talk you “off the ledge” and who can support you through the highs and lows. Celebrate the little victories, speak kind to yourself, and live in the moment!
Want to follow in Michelle’s footsteps? Give your practice the very best and try out the world’s leading therapist website service, Brighter Vision.
Reach out to our customer happiness team today and learn how one of our custom-built websites can help you grow the practice of your dreams.