Entrepreneurship involves putting yourself on the line and placing faith in ideas and actions that you can't 100% know will be as successful as you want, but often times the thing that limits that success and places those doubts is based on inner child wounds around past trauma and fears.
Those might show up as a scarcity mindset from money wounds or as fears to delegate or trust your staff or team because of abandonment wounds.
Many entrepreneurs struggle with these mindsets and fears, but there are ways to counteract them and find more security and trust in the process, yourself, and others.
If you are finding that you have these mental blocks and fears and want to know about where they come from and how to face them, then this episode is for you.
In this episode, I talk with Mikah Miller, LPC, licensed professional counselor supervisor, speaker, author, coach, and moderator for a Facebook group for therapists in private practice.
Top 3 reasons to listen to the entire episode:
Entrepreneurship can bring out a lot of our past traumas and wounds, so really digging into what they are and making an actionable plan to build security and prepare to face them is an important part of caring for yourself and your business.
More about Mikah:
Mikah Miller was born in Fairfax, Virginia. She is a small business owner and entrepreneur with a passion for helping others. Mikah is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor (CPCS) with almost two decades of experience. She is the proud owner of the #1 Child and Adolescent counseling center in North Georgia (Georgia’s Best 2022), With A Child’s Heart Behavioral Health Center. And while she has helped people from all walks of life, her primary focus right now is with Therapists wanting to take that leap into Entrepreneurship or scale their group practice.
A proud Single Mother, Mikah discovered her true passion in life through the numerous struggles that came with providing for her son. She strives to be an example single mothers can follow, from healing past traumas to walking fearlessly with the gift of motherhood and learning to manifest their future as Entrepreneurs. Mikah’s love for helping others is a shining beacon of positivity. She firmly believes that if she can do it, so can you.
Check out Mikah's course on inner child healing: revealingtheglowwithin.com/inner-child-healing-course
Mikah's Website: revealingtheglowwithin.com
Mikah's Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/theglowgetters
Mikah's Instagram: @mikahmiller
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A Thanks to Our Sponsor, Owl Practice!
I would also like to thank Owl Practice for sponsoring this episode. Running your own practice is hard. With so many moving parts, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. That's where Owl Practice swoops in. Created specifically with mental health providers in mind, Owl offers a comprehensive HIPAA-compliant solution that helps you manage your practice in one convenient platform. Meet with your clients virtually through video therapy, which is fully integrated and built with security in mind. Manage client appointments and client records seamlessly. Streamline your claims process with Owl's integrated insurance and claims capabilities, and optimize your insurance billing flow. Use Owl to invoice and manage payments. Owl Payments ensures no sessions are left unpaid, and financial data is stored securely. Let Owl take you under its wing and handle the heavy lifting so you can focus on what you care about most, providing quality care to your clients. To discover everything Owl can do for your practice, start your exclusive 30-day, free trial. You can get started with Owl Practice using this link, owlpractice.com/atpp. That link is owlpractice.com/atpp. Get started with Owl Practice today.
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A Thanks to Our Sponsor, The Receptionist for iPad!
I would also like to thank The Receptionist for iPad for sponsoring this episode. As you prepare for the new year as a private practice owner, one area of your business where you might be able to level up your client experience is from the moment that they enter your office and check in with you. For many private practices, the client check-in process can be a bit awkward and confusing. Clients often enter into an empty waiting room. And chances are you're wrapping up a session with someone else, so there's no way of knowing when they arrive. With a visitor management system like The Receptionist for iPad, you can provide clients with a discreet and secure way to check in for their appointment while instantly being notified of their arrival. What's more, The Receptionist offers an iPad list check-in option where clients can scan a QR code to check in, which negates the need for you to buy an iPad and stand. Go to thereceptionist.com/privatepractice and sign up for a free 14-day trial. When you do, you'll get your first month free. And don't forget to ask about our iPad list check-in option.
PATRICK CASALE: Hey everyone, you are listening to another episode of the All Things Private Practice podcast. I'm your host, Patrick Casale, joined today by Mikah Miller. She is a LPC, a licensed professional counselor supervisor in North Georgia. They just won Child and Adolescent Family Group Practice of the Year in Georgia, which is pretty amazing, speaker, author, Facebook group moderator, coach, all the things. So, I am really happy to have you here because I know you were just traveling for a speaking engagement over the weekend.
MIKAH MILLER: I was and I'm ecstatic to be here and thank you so much.
PATRICK CASALE: So, I know something that's been really a passion of yours lately, and just the work that you're doing is talking about being an entrepreneur, and also addressing early inner child and attachment wounds, and how they show up and connect to each other, and how to work through those. And I think it's really a great topic for our audience to talk about. What starts to show up when you step into the small business owner role and what starts to manifest behind the scenes that a lot of people just don't get to see?
MIKAH MILLER: You know, I think what shows up the most is when you transition from solo practitioner to a group practitioner, you know? Solo practitioner, you're kind of working by yourself, no one's really checking for you, for real. You can make, you know, mistakes here and there as you go, you know? And no one's really looking at it. You know, you may or may not have a CPA, you may or may not have a virtual assistant.
And once you start to transition to, you know, wanting to scale or want more, that's when wounds start showing up because now you're building relationships, you got a relationship with your VA, you got a relationship, you know, with your contractors or your W-2s, you're building relationships with CPA, and so then you have money wounds popping out, you have, you know, abandonment traumas popping out, you have, you know, the overachiever or the underachiever things that start popping out.
So, you know, it's a numerous number of wounds that actually surface. I think for me, one of the biggest ones was more so like abandonment trauma, you know? Like being afraid to confront staff or being afraid to do, you know, even sometimes delegating. You know the idea of delegating, but then you may leave me or the idea of delegating, you know?
So, a lot of things just did pop up and so we did talk about that at that conference. But I think people don't realize how badly trauma wounds pop up when you start your business.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah. I think that a lot of people just assume, like, I start my business, I put my business owner's hat on, and like I can separate personal from professional. And I don't think that's possible because there's so much interconnection, like you said, the abandonment wounds popping up, the control issues that start to manifest when you struggle to delegate, or truly give your teammates autonomy and trust that they're going to do the best that they can do for your business.
All of the things that come up even with like conflict, right? Like you mentioned, if you're noticing something that a staff member's doing or that you're not happy with, or something that a virtual assistant may be doing that you don't really like the way it's happening, if you don't confront that, if you don't have healthy communication, resentment starts to build up, frustration starts to build up. You start to really regret your hiring decisions, you start to maybe communicate in a way that's like, not intended, but the message is coming out in a way that can be harmful. And I see that a lot in people that I coach and they really struggle with, "I don't want to be the bad guy. I don't want my staff to dislike me."
MIKAH MILLER: Yes.
PATRICK CASALE: "I want to make sure everyone feels really happy and taken care of." But sometimes you have to use direct confrontation and just have healthy confrontation to run a successful business too.
MIKAH MILLER: Absolutely. And I think that needs to be in consideration because you are sacrificing the success of your business for, you know, people pleasing, or for accommodating, or for all these various things. And it's like, you're going to suffer, your business is going to suffer and you have to put yourself in a position of, you know, this is a purposeful business, this business means this to me, this is what happens, or this is my goal for this business. But you sacrifice that. You really self-sabotage and self-abandon, if we're being honest, when you do not address those wounds because they're going to show up.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, absolutely. I think you're spot on. And I think that self-sabotage piece is a lot of the time what we see leading to burnout too, right? Like, because then you're like overextending, you're doing too much, you're not really delegating responsibilities as a boss or a leader that you should be and you're trying to take everything on maybe because you don't trust the staff that you have, maybe it's just the relinquishment of control, maybe it's just simply like that's how your anxiety manifests and I have to do, do, do all the time.
And I think that just sets you up for a platform where things really start to become heavy and that's where we can become really regretful of the decisions that we've made. And sometimes we've dug ourselves too deep a hole to come back out of.
So, tell us a little bit about some of your journey that led to really becoming passionate about this topic. Like, what were you noticing showing up for you as you went from solo practitioner to boss, and group practice owner, and having staff that you actually had to manage, and lead, and supervise?
MIKAH MILLER: I mean, it boils down to, I think, one of the biggest issues too is you don't pay yourself, right? You know, you talked about not trusting your staff, what about not trusting damn self? You know, I think a lot of it was I didn't trust me to make the right decision in who I picked or to make the right decision in a bunch of things, you know, just because of, you know, potential of impostor syndrome or whatever it is that popped out.
But for me, it was really mainly like trusting and it boiled down to trusting me, trusting that I could actually do this work, that I could actually run a business. It's very different from solo practitioner, which, you know, was great and group practitioner is great too, but solo practitioner was great because nobody was checking for me. If I made a mistake, no one knew. And when I decided to transition it was like, "Oh, shit. Like, this is different. This is really different."
PATRICK CASALE: Like Wild fucking West, right? Like, where-
MIKAH MILLER: Yes, yes.
PATRICK CASALE: …you're just in your office or virtual office seeing clients, doing whatever is happening throughout the day, and by the end of the day you're like, "I don't even know what I did today." And you don't really have that accountability if you don't set up those systems for yourself.
But when you have staff that you're, you know, leading or supervising, there's a lot of self-doubt that comes into question like, am I making the best decision not only in the interest of the business but the people I'm employing, in the interest of myself? What priorities do those take? Like, where do I stand in that line of succession?
Like, I know as a group practice owner I stress constantly about my staff's well-being. Are they getting enough clients? Are they feeling enough, like, joy in their lives? Are they having enough work-life balance? Are they not burning out? Like, and that's a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff that I have to deal with. And I think that can consume you if you're not healing those inner child wounds too, if you're not addressing that attachment trauma, and the stuff that is in the past and resurfacing.
MIKAH MILLER: Yeah because you can personalize everybody else's stuff as if it is against you, you know? Your admin may be going through grief, they may be going through all these different things, and you may be afraid to confront what's going on or whatever, but you just assume they're not doing whatever, you know? And it's like, yeah, you have to get into a position where you realize like the lens of abandonment that you may have, or the lens of rejection, or neglect, whatever that lens is maybe skewed because you are so used to someone leaving you and it's like, no, they are checked out emotionally. Check-in with them and check in with yourself. What is happening with this transference issue? So, you're absolutely right.
PATRICK CASALE: And we do that so often as human beings, like where we are reading into a situation and putting our own spin or perspective behind it without really knowing what the other person's going through. And maybe that person's become distant or they're just not as communicative and in your head you're like, "Okay, this person's not doing a good job. They're not showing up the way I need them to."
But if you never address it, that narrative is very one-sided and very skewed. And that perspective is often misjudged. And you can then react in a way that you don't intend to or is not accurate. And it could just be, like you said, this person's just having a hard fucking week and they just don't want to talk to you because that's just how they're managing their stress levels.
MIKAH MILLER: You know I work with kids and teens, right? And I always say, to have a friend you have to be a friend. That's what we always say when they ask about how do you make friends? And you translate that into your business. I'm really big on bringing even the positives of childhood into the way you operate your business and creativity. And it's like you have to get to a place of vulnerability and even be open to share some of that vulnerability with your team. You know, if you have certain wounds or you know you have certain things, share that with them.
My team is clear on, you know, certain, you know, deficits that I have. They know that I'm very type B, so I had to hire an executive assistant to help me with the day-to-day or the smaller details. I'm a very big-picture person, you know?
So, it's like, you have to be very honest with your team too about the type of person that you are, the type of, whether you consider yourself a boss, I consider myself more of a mentor, more of a you know, I guide to my team. I don't necessarily like the term boss because I do have a teaching side. I want to help cultivate amazing clinicians. I want to see those clinicians that do want their own private practice thrive, and so that's kind of the angle that I've taken since the pandemic really is to be a teaching site.
PATRICK CASALE: That's a great point. And I want to talk a little bit about that. So, the teaching/mentoring side versus being a boss, I think that we can, not we, but I don't want to generalize, but I know a lot of folks really struggle with, well, what if I hire someone and they want to leave? What if I hire someone and invest all this resource and then they go start their own practice?
In my mind, that's the fucking goal. Like, that doesn't mean everybody is going to do that because not everyone wants to deal with being an entrepreneur. But isn't that what leadership is all about? Developing and helping guide along the way and not being possessive of someone's livelihood because we're only in this career for so long, there's so much burnout, there's so much intensity. And I just always look at it like the way I do with clinical situations where I think about day one of seeing a client, I'm working myself out of a job of teaching them skills, guiding them along the way. They're eventually not going to need me to be their therapist anymore.
Same thing as a boss, like you said, I don't want to use that word mentor, or guide, or whatever, or even peer in a lot of roles of helping people along the way so that they can then help their community to the best of their ability, and their family, and just really have a great life that they deserve to have.
MIKAH MILLER: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And that starts with setting the tone with your business. You know, like what do you want your business to look like? How do you want your team or your clinicians to matriculate through it?
You know, I've never had an issue where, you know, if I've had someone leave, someone replaces them immediately. I've had someone leave and I've had that very person replace themselves before, you know, with other clinicians that were still pre-licensed or whatnot. I believe that what's for you is what's for you. If someone does come into the business and you know, obviously, it's in my contract, you know, it's not just, you know, come in, take whatever, and leave if there's definitely decency in order in the way you do branch off and do your own private practice. But yes, that is the goal. Yes, I have a method to it. The way that they can transition and take their clients too.
Like, continuity of care is important to me. Who am I to say, okay, you've created such a wonderful bond with this client, but you can't take them with you? Like, to me that doesn't make sense because I know that double people will come into that place, you know, and the people that need the help will find us. You know, I'm a black hippie, so I believe in just, you know, what you put out, you get back.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah. I love that. I know we're kind of alluding to like abundance for scarcity mentality in this regard because if you're saying like these are the practice's clients, which I know a lot of group practice owners do, and I can't get behind that mentality because, like you just said, if you've developed a rapport with someone, if the termination/abandonment trauma that comes up on the client's end, if the therapist has to say, "I'm leaving, you can't see me anymore." That really doesn't feel good to me.
And I operate from the mentality of like, yes, take all of your clients, you've developed these beautiful relationships and that probably means that therapist that's moving on is going to refer to your practice, is going to refer colleagues who are looking for employment to your practice, is going to be in a good working reciprocal relationship. And I do think that's what it's all about.
Did you ever, you know, I can talk for myself, but do you ever experience the opposite as you've been doing your own work with being a leader, with being a mentor? Like, where that resentment, or that kind of possessiveness, or jealousy started to kick in at first when you started hiring people? Or has it always felt pretty natural for you to just be like, this is kind of my role here?
MIKAH MILLER: No, I have never had that issue ever. I mean, even to this day, I have former clinicians that refer to our practice, that send people just for private practice consultations, that support me in the most beautiful way.
You know, I may have had one or two that just kind of went on and did their own thing, but like I said, we were in the middle of a pandemic when I was transitioning to group practice, you know? So, even the ones that transition out, it was like, oh, I understand. You know, I know why you're transitioning out. Like, burnout was real during that time.
But no, I've never had any of that because that comes from a deeper place. You know, bitterness, resentment, fear, jealousy, any of those things come from a place of not being completely and totally in touch with those wounds.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah. Alignment is a big part of this. I think that alignment with your values and your why as the driving force behind what you're doing is so important. And that shows up in everything, your marketing, your networking, your relationship building, the way you get up and structure your week in terms of how you communicate with your team.
MIKAH MILLER: Yes.
PATRICK CASALE: It's so crucial that you are working on those wounds because those are the things that will show up if you're not doing your own work. And you know, I think that a lot of us in this profession, you know, seem not to really practice what we preach. So, it can be harder to do that.
And I never struggle to have applicants. Like, I have all these colleagues who say, "I can't find anyone. I post on Indeed. I did this, I did this, but nobody's applying." And I'm like, "I get bombarded by emails of people who want to come work here."
And I think it's, again, setting the tone, creating a culture where people feel supported, feel like they can grow, feel like there's going to be accountability, and that it feels overall like a good place to be. And that doesn't mean that has to be the final landing spot because I think in this career we're going to change interests, and we're going to change our passions, and things are going to evolve, and we may move into other areas like coaching, and consulting, and training, and there's just so much we can do. And I don't want to be the barrier for someone to move forward past that.
MIKAH MILLER: Yeah, I absolutely agree. And talk about alignment, you know, like, sometimes there's a stillness in alignment. You know, sometimes there's a moment of, okay, it's time for you to kind of recalibrate a little bit here, sit, because you may not be in a position where it's time for you to move right away. There were moments in my journey where it was like, "Okay, I'm not getting applicants what's going on?"
But it was because it was like, no, this system is out of whack, this system is out of whack, this system is out of whack. You're not in alignment, business alignment right now. Tighten those up, tighten it up. And as soon as I tighten those things up I had four applicants that I hired, ended up actually hiring all four and they're still with me three years later. Yeah, they're three years. Oh my god, time goes by so fast, three years later because I was ready for them.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I think that speaks volumes. And that even goes back to like in solo practice, you get that ebb and flow of like clients coming in, clients coming out, and then there's this stillness period. And I think the stillness makes you question your ability a lot of the time of like, what's happening? What am I doing wrong? What am I missing?
And if you can really take a step back, it's probably like you don't have the capacity, you don't have the energy. Maybe this is going on in your life and you just truly can't commit to being as present as you want to be. Or like you said, systems being out of whack or whatever it is. But stillness is really important in the entrepreneurial journey and not feeling like you have to press, press, press. And I know how hard it is because that anxiety can creep up and start convincing you with all this irrational self-talk of like, you don't know what the fuck you're doing, you're never going to get calls again. You know, you're clearly not a good business person. All the things that your brain can start telling you.I don't want to get up until:
MIKAH MILLER: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And you got to teach your team that. You know, like I said, I'm a teaching side, so when I hired them I'm like, "Listen, there's an ebb and flow that happens. I pretty much mastered the trend of what that looks like, so you need to plan for this. You know, we need to plan to see this many clients this week or plan to see this many clients before school starts or whatnot because once you're ready to take your vacations, or once you're ready to take your holiday breaks, or once kids are ready to go on their vacations and their holiday breaks, you're going to see a slower pace on your schedule." But we've planned for that. So, it's almost like that's how they maintain balance emotionally because we've already planned for that since day one when they walk in the door.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, you're helping with business regulation, right? You're like, I'm teaching you how to regulate your nervous systems around your business because the reality is there are going to be drop-offs, there are going to be slow periods, it's always going to happen with human behavior, and instead of panicking, and saying like, "Oh, shit. Like 10 people just dropped off this week. I need to like build my caseload immediately." Then you overcompensate, right? Because then you're like, now I have too many clients because all those people just came back from vacation and now I don't have anywhere to put them.
MIKAH MILLER: Exactly.So, it's just like [CROSSTALK:
MIKAH MILLER: And you have to be flexible to… Yeah, I'm sorry, go ahead.
PATRICK CASALE: Oh no, I was just going to say just take a step back, take a breath. It doesn't all have to be like a hundred miles an hour all the time.
MIKAH MILLER: Yeah. And be flexible, you know? Like, there's moments, like people always say, "You still work on Saturdays." I probably work like once a month on a Saturday, but I enjoy that because it's like the office is empty because people hate the weekends, and I'm able to do groups, I'm able to knock out, you know, a certain amount of groups, which is a huge bulk of income, right? And I'm able to see a bunch of clients in one day.
And so, I don't work on Mondays, I don't work on Fridays, I sometimes don't work on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, in between, just depends. But like I'm able to flex my week because I know what the primetime slots are. I know how to navigate, you know, what I need just to stay mentally well. Like, so it's like you have to be flexible in the business too.
You were talking about, you know, people panicking, that comes from, like you said, scarcity, that's a money wound, you know? That's a money wound and hoarding, and being so used to that nine-to-five schedule. People don't transition out of nine to five mentality.
PATRICK CASALE: No. And I had a hard time with that one. I left my agency job where I would look at my calendar, and I'd see all this free time, and all these gaps and be like, "What am I doing? Like, what the hell am I doing with my time? I'm not being productive." Or that also leads to the phone calls where that's not a good fit and you're going to take the client anyway because you're scared that like nobody's ever going to call you again. Or you're going to say, my rate's a hundred dollars an hour but I have a sliding scale of 30. And then, the client's going to be like, "Okay, 30, that sounds great."
MIKAH MILLER: Right.
PATRICK CASALE: And then you're kicking yourself because you're operating from a place of insecurity where you're really feeling fearful that if you don't say yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and accommodate, accommodate, accommodate, you're never going to get another client again, your business is going to fall apart. All that irrationality starts surfacing and it can be really paralyzing and it can be really fucking damaging.
MIKAH MILLER: Yeah. And that's the scarcity mindset right there. You've already self-abandoned as soon as you've started shifting your rates, and changing what you're willing to do. Not that I have a problem with sliding scale, we offer sliding scale, but we plan for sliding scale, we plan for free, we plan for scholarships. We make a provision for those things because self-abandoning instantaneously, you're automatically bringing up your own trauma wounds right there. Right there is where it pops up.
Okay, well I'll do this, I'll do that. Now you're showing that you don't value what you've done as a clinician. You know, the work that you put in, the schooling that you've done, the way you've set up your business. Like, you have to plan for the sliding scale, plan for the free sessions. That is completely separate from negotiation.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, absolutely. And you don't want to negotiate out of pure panic and anxiety because it's just, you're not operating from a place of being aligned with your business and your values, again. Like, I love that you just named, we plan for pro bono, we plan for sliding scale, we build that in, we don't just… Like, what I imagine, and I know this from coaching many therapists is that it's just chaos. Like, no process is in place. It's just like, I don't know what I'm doing and like we're just going to figure it out.
And for those of you listening who are newer to the profession or private practice, like first year, that's okay. Like, it's not ideal, but it's okay. It's okay to be like a bit of chaos and figure out what works for you. But as you figure it out, it really is important to start figuring out like how do I get in alignment with what makes sense for me? Because otherwise you're going to recreate your agency environment and you're probably going to work yourself out of a job because you're just going to be fucking miserable.
MIKAH MILLER: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And chaos is okay because that's how you learn. But then that's also kind of like you have this podcast, you have these mentors, you have these Facebook groups, you have all these different resources to tap into that you necessarily don't have to pay for it to kind of figure it out too. You know, like I was that fearful scarcity person as a solo practitioner and I was just shifting my rate, you know, just to make sure I could leave this job that I did not want to be in, you know.
But my clinicians, I don't teach them that. Like, I tell them like, "Hey, let's go ahead and do like a special, let's run a special. What is your…" And I always want to figure out the bottom line, "…what is your income needs? What do you need for your life, for your family, you know, for your household? And let's see what the least amount you can take is to make sure that you can cover those finances." And then, I'll say, "Hey, let's run a special for this amount for five people quickly so we can put something on your schedule quickly."
And that way, you know, obviously, you know, you're within what you enjoy working with. I always try to figure out what they enjoy, their niche, and all that. But yeah, we can plan for that. Like, but you need to really sit down and navigate what is your bottom line.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I like that you named that because that's a really important number. I see so often we get too focused on like, oh, my goal is to make X amount of money. But in reality, like you have to know how much money you need to make. Like, that is an absolute necessity and that often is really overlooked.
You know, and I would be a hypocrite if I was to sit here and say I didn't do some of these things when I started out because I was so fucking desperate to get out of community mental health. If someone called me and was like, "Oh, a hundred dollars is too much, how about 12?" I'd be like, "Yeah, okay, let's do it. I don't care." As long as I don't have to be there, I don't give a shit.
MIKAH MILLER: Yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: And that's when you start to really like, you know, that people-pleasing comes up and you're starting to say yes to things that you really don't want to. And that can get you in trouble too. Like, if you don't want to work weekends, but you're like, "If I don't say yes to this Saturday offer, I'm never going to get a client." That's going to get you in trouble, that's going to be the point of time where you're starting to get resentful of the client, but really you're getting resentful of yourself. And the frustration of like, I said yes to this, but I'm projecting this, you know, frustration onto this other person.
MIKAH MILLER: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Entrepreneurship is what I always say 25/8, you know, like if you're starting a business, be prepared to work 25/8, meaning you're going to work above and beyond. Like, you're working all the time, basically. You know, like if you have this mindset, you know, that I could only do this, this, that, and this. Yeah, that will work. It could work, right? But if you have a mentality of like, I have to make this work, this is literally my passion, my dream, I have places to go, I always say entrepreneurship, you have to be willing to do this for free. Not do it for free, but you have to be willing to know that you may not make a dime. Can you still thrive?
PATRICK CASALE: That's a great point, that's such a good point. And I think that has to be the mentality for successful entrepreneurs because otherwise you're kind of like, all right, if I'm going to put myself in this box and only do these things, the odds of really making that work successfully at first are slim. You have to be willing to put the hours in.
And it can feel like a grind. And you know, there are definitely days where I'm like, fuck, I am overwhelmed by all these responsibilities, but I also look at my career on a trajectory of like, leaving community mental health was the end goal for me just to go into private practice. And now I'm like, okay, you have a group practice, podcast, you're hosting retreats, you speak at… like all the things that can start happening because you make that decision back five, six years ago where you were really scared, and really overwhelmed, and really unsure, and uncertain.
Following that path, stepping in and embracing that fearfulness, and that unknown is a part of the entrepreneurial journey of like, you have to take some risk and you have to be okay with that. And that doesn't mean that every day is comfortable or really, really enjoyable, but I also think every day, if it's my worst day as an entrepreneur is a million times better than my best day working for somebody else.
MIKAH MILLER: Yeah. And then when you are in the position, you know, where you're doing retreats, and you're doing conferences, and you're doing podcasts, and you're doing all these different things, you are literally, I'm unapologetic about my life. Like, when it comes down to like, "Mikah, you haven't worked in a whole week." You're right, I haven't worked in a whole week, and I'm okay with that, and I'm unapologetic about that because I know how hard I was grinding even as a single mom in the early days. So, it's like if I don't want to work this week, I'm not working this week, it's not a problem for me. I'm unapologetic about it because I know where I came from.
PATRICK CASALE: And you've earned that right to do that too.
MIKAH MILLER: Right.
PATRICK CASALE: And you know, the thing about that is someone who's in a leadership/ mentorship role like yourself, there are going to be weeks where you don't work, but there are going to be plenty of weeks where you are working 60, 70 hours a week, and being responsive, and just having to take care of all… putting out fires and things that are happening.
And I think that means to me that because you feel unapologetic and really comfortable with that, that you have worked really hard on the attachment wounds and the inner child wounding to be able to get to a place where you're like, I feel confident in saying this and I feel confident in who I am in this journey right now.
MIKAH MILLER: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I always say I'm a recovering busybody, you know because I was always trying to find something to do or find something to work on or find something to read or find something to change.
I mean, obviously, I still do that because it's kind of fun, so I'm like a nerd in that aspect, but I'm not always trying to see what's wrong with what I'm doing. And I think that is one of those major overachiever wounds that I had that I've been able to work through.
PATRICK CASALE: I love hearing that. That's great. And I hope that those of you who are listening who can relate can take some of this in, and just know that as long as you do the work, and really start to strategize, and have a plan, and have a vision, things will come together. But I do think doing the work is crucial.
MIKAH MILLER: Absolutely.
PATRICK CASALE: To everyone listening, like, what are some tips or suggestions you could give for those who are like, "Oh, I am noticing this stuff coming up and surfacing in my business." Like, what are the things that they could be doing?
MIKAH MILLER: Start journaling. You know, like anything when it comes to be intentional about it, you know? If I could start all over again, I would've started journaling way in the beginning, you know, because what's coming up?
And say, for example, the issue that comes up is you're scared to spend money on a virtual assistant. I think I hear that so much with people in solo practice is there's a fear of scheduling or hiring a virtual assistant. What comes up? Start journaling. I mean, even if it's just thought journaling, just thought dumping, just start writing it out. What comes up when you think about hiring, you know, worthiness, being deserving comes up, impostor syndrome. Like, who do I think I am? I'm running a business and I'm hiring somebody? That comes up. Write that down. Where do all of these ideas come from?
And then go back and try to figure out where does this stem from? I think during the conference we had so many people have a lot of aha moments of where some of their issues actually stem from. Whether it be family, whether it be their place in the family, the narrative that they've been given from their family about money or about, you know, even being, you know, a woman that's owning a business or, you know, whatever it is. Like, there's always something that put that thought in your mind, or that narrative that you're telling yourself that you can't do that. Who do you think you are? That's something that you don't even think is something, but it is. Who do you think you are? That simple can really stop you from thriving.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, yeah, absolutely, that who do you think you are is a pretty painful and powerful one because it makes you second guess everything, and it makes you just press pause, and just take that step back, and shrink back, and say, "I can't grow, I can't play any bigger than this. I don't deserve to, I'm not worthy of doing so." All of that shit. So, I love that the journaling prompt, and really being intentional, and reflecting on it, and just kind of processing it for yourself.
I also think for those of you listening, like do your own therapy. You know, get coaching, get mentorship. Mikah mentioned podcast, Facebook groups. Like, there are so many free or low-cost options for those of you who are like, I can't afford to do some of that stuff. There are lots of resources to be able to help you navigate some of this inner child wounding, some of the stuff that's showing up and surfacing in your businesses that's self-sabotaging behavior or just really making sure that you can't move forward or grow into what you want to be.
MIKAH MILLER: Yeah, yeah because even starting out for me, you were talking about like, you can fumble, but I feel like when I started it was when Facebook groups just started popping out, you know? Like, literally, you know? So, it was like I was in all those groups. You have people, you have resources. Utilize the free resources first. You're going to need a coach eventually. Like, if you want to keep scaling, I do believe that you, you know, scared money don't make money. That's what I always say. So, you do eventually need to invest in yourself.
PATRICK CASALE: I could not say that better myself. That might be the podcast title by the way.
MIKAH MILLER: Scared Money Don't Make Money.
PATRICK CASALE: But that's true. I mean, it's so true. And I talk about the importance of outsourcing and scaling all the time. And when you're thinking about hiring a coach, you're hiring someone who's made a lot of the mistakes that they'll help you avoid making so that you don't have to go through the heartache of doing whatever the case may be like, or not having certain things in place, or just helpful ideas and tips that come along the way, and just motivation and accountability. So, lots of good information there.
Mikah, this has been good and I appreciate you coming on, and sharing a lot of this story. And for everyone listening, I hope this was helpful and I promise you if you're just going to take some of this in, it's going to start helping change the trajectory of your entrepreneurial journey.
And Mikah, just tell the audience where they can find more of what you have to offer because you've got some of those Facebook groups, you've got a lot of stuff going on. What's going on behind the scenes?
MIKAH MILLER: So, I did start the Glow Getter psychotherapist community because that's where I started. I started out in these communities, so I wanted to help other clinicians or other people wanting to go from solo to group have those resources. And it's really more so the inner work. You can go get the details and all that too in the group, but I really want people to work on the inner part because that's the momentum that really drives the business, if we're being very honest, is the mindset. So, that is called the Glow… I'm a little tongue-tied, the Glow Getters psychotherapist community on Facebook. I'm also on Instagram at Mikah Miller, M-I-K-A-H M-I-L-L-E-R. And all my links are in the bio. So, if you want a consultation, if you want, you know, to find those groups, all of that is in the bio. I have books, I have resources, I have all types of things in my bio.
PATRICK CASALE: All types of things. And we will put all that stuff in the show notes for everyone listening so that you have easy access to all of Mikah's information and resources that she just mentioned.
Mikah, thanks so much for coming on and just sharing some of your story and a lot of helpful tips for everyone listening.
MIKAH MILLER: Oh, thank you for having me. It's been amazing.
PATRICK CASALE: To everyone listening to the All Things Private Practice Podcast, new episodes are out every single Sunday on all major platforms. Like, download, subscribe, and share. Doubt yourself, do it anyway. We'll see you next week.