by Heidi Dalzell
Full disclosure. I began this journey of reinvention prior to our current reality of working from home. And I failed. Well, not failed exactly, more like hit a wall. As a psychologist with a busy, often too busy, private practice I knew that I had to find a way to get my clients off my couch, and into the virtual world. For healthcare professionals this is the realm of Facebook, online coaching and virtual tools that leverage our skills. I needed to extend my practice to a new audience beyond the lovely but small Bucks County town that was currently my home base. Like many of you, perhaps, as I reached my twenty fifth year in healthcare I found that I was getting tired. Tired is not a good thing for most of health professionals, since it can lead to burnout and compassion fatigue.
Luckily I found a course that taught me some great strategies to market myself, and to leverage other people’s audiences and create a new niche developing online courses. I’m a CS (Steady/Conscientious) on the DISC profile (take it if you have not already) and while those traits of steadiness and conscientiousness have served me well, they are not a classic entrepreneur profile. I watched as those more Dominant/Influential members (DISC terms) of my group leapt into the already familiar territory of marketing, and sold courses. Without a current audience, I was essentially stuck at week four of eight, building that for myself, and that has been a bumpy but worthwhile ride. I also got to turn my psychological skills on myself and ask what was holding me back. It’s a question I continue to ask. If I can surpass these things, Ms. Steady/Conscientious may just be able to make it in the brave new world of technology. With the current pandemic and necessity of Teletherapy most of us in the healthcare field have already been catapulted into this realm, and many are lukewarm about it.
While I am admittedly mid-journey, I am learning new things every day about marketing and extending my influence beyond my small sphere. I hope that what I’ve learned, and am still learning, will be valuable to She Owns It readers.
- Are you struggling from imposter syndrome? Begin by considering what’s holding you back. Despite my many years in the field, it was a form of imposter syndrome that many women struggle with. The advice I was given was to find your role model, and emulate her (yes, her, not him). The finding part was easy – who doesn’t love Brene Brown – but the emulating part a bit more challenging. I could never be as articulate, accomplished and draw an audience like Brene, right? Well, I built a practice from the ground up, have a niche that sells, and stay busy unlike some of my colleagues. I needed to start looking at these strengths and own them.
- Know your strengths and limitations. Some small examples here. Limitations are always easy. I hate video, and don’t know all the platforms like Instagram. I can learn these. I’ve recently discovered that there are ways I can venture into video. For instance, while improv is not my thing (Facebook Lives may need to wait), interviewing works. A colleague asked if I could do a Zoom broadcast for local clinicians, and I in turn agreed to if she acts as interviewer. I’m also sticking with a topic I know backwards and forwards, binge eating disorder.
- Investing in my business is investing in me. Yes, I spent a ton on the course I mentioned and have yet to see results but unless I am willing to invest in my business this new direction I want to go will never happen. In psychology there is a term we call “acting as if.” It means that when we embody the person we want to become, the process itself creates this change.
And yes, I am doing a video course starting just this week. Looking forward to learning from all of you and to sharing the reinventing process on She Owns It.
Heidi J. Dalzell, PsyD, is a Clinical Psychologist, specializing in eating disorders and trauma. Dr. Dalzell has a busy private practice focusing on treating midlife eating disorders of all kinds, with a special interest in helping midlife women to stop binge. Dr. Dalzell also offers courses/eating disorder online coaching and is a prolific author on topics related to eating disorders, body image and spirituality. She is starting the journey of reinventing herself to extend her influence beyond the small Bucks County town where she grew up and currently practices. Visit her website at talktogrow.com or join her Binge Eating at Midlife Facebook group