As recently as four years ago I was content with my busy, profitable Concierge Psychiatric practice in Chicago. The story of building this successful business after closing my Dallas practice and moving to Chicago is told in detail in my ebook available on this site. But a trip to Chile several years ago catalyzed a fundamental change in my business mind set.
This was our first experience in Chile. The exhausting flight then the tiresome taxi drive from the airport washed me out. When we finally reached Santiago the sight of a sparkling new Starbucks, glistening high rise office towers, and new luxury cars on the streets perked me up. Our travel planner, Liz Caskey, arranged an amazing adventure. After a brief stay at the Four Seasons Santiago to recover from the flight, we struck out south of town toward the Colchagua Valley, a two and one half hour drive.
Again a bit travel weary we arrived at the Clos Apalta Winery and Lodge, moved into the Casita Petit Verdot, a smallish cabin beautifully designed and decorated with a modern touch, and quickly fell into relaxation, soothed by billowing silken draperies, an expansive redwood deck, and a cozy hammock perfectly placed to take in a view of the large vineyard in the foreground, the coastal mountain range in the far distance, all crowned by the biggest, bluest sky imaginable.
After a few days both my wife and I were inspired. Laura Lee began developing a special service apart from her psychiatric practice. I began developing what has become CLP Consulting. Both our projects are evolving. Laura Lee recently retired from active clinical practice and is devoting her time to writing a book about women’s use – or misuse – of the mirror and how to use it more effectively. This is a direct evolution of her dreams hatched on that Clos Apalta hillside.
CLP Consulting so far consists of this blog, the website it’s associated with, the book, and various other services many of which are still under development. But the point of this piece is that until that short stay in a magical place south of Santiago, Chile, my plan for the future was to continue my full time, pleasurable, and very profitable psychiatric practice until I died or became too demented to work. There on that beautiful hillside my mind opened up to other possibilities. Who knows what will happen? The point is that Laura Lee and I both began to dream about new possibilities for our businesses.
No matter where you are in training, either early in your career or as far along as I am, I want to inspire you to dream big. It might take a lovely vacation spot to do it for you – maybe not. Be very careful not to allow well meaning colleagues, friends, or even family members to limit your growth by their fear – it will happen, I guarantee it. Try it out – tell one of your classmates that you plan on moving to a distant city and start your own private psychotherapy or psychiatry practice. Wait, watch, listen for their fear and worry.
I was inspired to move to Chicago. I was afraid. I am inspired to launch a new business. I don’t know if anything will come of it. The success of our clinical business is based on our energy and optimism. We started from scratch and are thriving. But the unexpected and exciting element was the dream. There is worry – that this venture will flop, but I am enjoying the process of building it as I continue working in my busy clinical practice. Don’t limit yourself. Push through the fear. Allow your mind to play with possibilities. You’ll never do anything unless you allow yourself to imagine it first.
My eBook, Starting and Growing Concierge Psychotherapy and Psychiatry Practices, is finished and ready for you to purchase as a PDF download. It is a fabulous bargain at $9. Buy it, read it, use the pearls it contains, and tell all your colleagues about it. And don’t forget to dream.