“No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.” Thomas Jefferson Why be couch potatoes?
In joining a new Linkedin.com group,Thirsty Fish: Marketing for Right-Brained, Creative Healers and Mental Health Professionals, many thoughts crossed my mind when the question of how best to market oneself was raised.
When I first started my practice as a psychotherapist more than 25 years ago, I did much to market myself: handing my card to every medical doctor I knew (and just about every person I knew), sending out beautifully designed and informative brochures describing my training and my goals, and talking to any group that welcomed me to speak to its members. Even as a mother with young children, I mustered the energy to make myself visible, to “put myself out there” in the days before e-mails, Facebook or Linkedin existed.
So, as I continued to read Thirsty Fish, I began to ask myself, "so, what now?
During the years when I was completing my memoir, FOUR ROOMS, UPSTAIRS, there came a time when I had to take on fewer patients so that I would have more hours to complete the book and ready it for publication. Since then, I started writing this weekly blog, which will – I’m delighted to say – be published in book form later in 2011. But, now, I feel the urge to increase my practice and continue to use the skills I’ve developed.
I'd be less than honest if I didn't refer to my patients as high functioning, garden variety neurotics (like myself) who offer me challenging and rewarding days. I do, in fact, love my work and throughout the years my patients have encouraged me to promote myself as a LIFE COACH, since I often help them to write out or act out conversations with colleagues, bosses, family members, lovers, significant others ... and the list goes on. When the scripts we create then bear fruit and my patients receive their desired outcome, we share celebratory moments.
Therefore, as I continued to read about how one can best market oneself, I realized that though most of the people reading what I was reading were probably newcomers to the field, it didn’t really matter as I have no intention of retiring.
It is true that I am approaching an age that (when I was a child)I used to think represented only old ladies who were stooped over, walked with canes and were certainly not sharp enough to work and/or be productive members of society. But, times have changed. I have changed, and I hope I have grown and evolved. For me, remaining productive is a priority, as is a life in which time and talent are used wisely.
We have, after all, a limited number of years to become who we are and once we feel we know who we are that doesn’t mean we stop learning or doing. In fact, that's when it's all the more reason to allow our skills and talents to be manifest.
That being said, I welcome words of wisdom from all who are reading this blog for ways to increase my practice as opposed to settling in comfortably and not spreading my wings? Even now. Even as I’m approaching my 7th decade, the need to continue to give of myself is more than merely altruistic. It feeds my soul and offers me more energy, not less.
After all, I want my grandkids to say, my grandma couldn’t come to be with us today because she’s working; but, whenever we do see her, we have so much fun!
In addition to visiting my website @www.applemanshapiro.com, I look forward to reading your responses and suggestions.