About Me and You
A Letter From Sasha Raskin
When I was seven, my parents told me that we are Jews and that the next day we’re going to move from Russia to a very different country: Israel. I had no idea what Jews are, and I couldn’t google how Israel looks like, because there was no Google yet. But in my child’s mind, it felt like a wonderful adventure.
Is it me dreaming of a private practice or is it my ADHD?
What followed was a long experience that none of us wanted: the harsh reality of immigration. Together with my parents’ heroic move to a different continent without knowing the local language, or really anything else about Israel, came the common emotional, financial, and social challenges that face immigrants, without even speaking about the constant tension in the middle-east.
In Russia, my mother was a pediatrician and my dad was an engineer. In Israel, all they could do for years was clean houses. Their social status was gone, their social network was gone, and their income was gone. What was not gone is me, my brother, and my grandmother, and we all needed to be fed and clothed.
Why am I telling you all this? After all The 6-Figure Practice program, just like counseling and coaching, is not about me but about you.
The reason I’m sharing those personal details about my life is for you to understand where I’m coming from. The name of the program might suggest that that as someone with a full private practice, who achieved a good level of success and financial freedom, I might be disconnected from the common challenges of building a business: the unpredictability, the doubts, the not-knowing, the financial anxiety of living from a paycheck to a paycheck, the scarcity mentality, and the imposter syndrome that is always there, to show its head every time that a potential client doesn’t say yes or an existing client leaves.
I’m not a stranger to financial anxiety. I understand. Growing up, I was wearing used donated clothes by the age of 18. I was grateful, but I couldn’t disregard seeing my classmates wear shiny new clothes. As an adult, I adopted self-defeating financial approaches – from completely avoiding looking at my bank account and constantly being in debt, to avoiding spending anything only myself. Drugs were there too, and many unhealthy relationships.
The first glimpse of hope and freedom came when I decided to do an experiment: 15 years ago an Israeli non-profit owner I knew asked me if I could help them with their marketing. Not only that I said yes, hoping that I could do a job that’s good enough (even though I had more than enough proof that I can), I also asked for an hourly fee that was 4 times more than what I ever earned before.
I was shocked not just by the fact that the non-profit founder said yes, but also with the ease she did that. Later on, I realized that the benefit she was getting from my work, even monetarily was much higher than her investment. From there, my marketing agency took off. Gradually I built a clientele of customers who were helping others to change their lives and make a good living by following their passion, for example, the largest acting school in Isreal.
The best thing, I felt empowered to see all that positive impact on the world that I was creating, the time freedom, and even the financial freedom that I started seeing on the horizon. Earning more, having the freedom to do what I wanted by using my unique skills, and receiving wonderful feedback on a constant basis, all felt mind-blowingly (is that a word?) wonderful. It also allowed me to finish my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and my coaching training, volunteer and work in a wide variety of mental health settings, and save money to move again to a different country, this time the U.S., do a master’s program in counseling at Naropa University, where I currently teach.
In my pursuit to become the best counselor and coach I could be, over the years, I invested tens of thousands of dollars in additional counseling and coaching trainings, which I still do today. Every time I did, the scarcity mentality, my good old friend, kicked in. But I was already familiar with that voice and learned to work with it with the help of the therapists and coaches I hired, the hundreds of books I read, and the programs I bought.
Continuing building my coaching practice while studying at the master’s program allowed me to continue to invest in my skills. That gave me even more confidence to go into counseling private practice straight after graduation.
It was not easy, and it was scary. I noticed early on the uncomfortable truth: not in master’s counseling programs, not in my marriage and family therapy certification, not my in additional coaching training with Tony Robbins and Chloe Maddanes, not in any of my couples therapy trainings, not in my PhDs in Counseling Education and Supervision at 2 different universities I got any business or marketing skills.
Surprising isn’t it? Wouldn’t it make sense that if you study for hundreds or thousands of hours clinical and coaching skills AND you pay all this money, you will also be taught how to create clients and build a private practice if that is such a common model to work with clients?
The sad truth is that counseling programs especially, and the instructors in these programs, usually do not possess these business and marketing skills themselves, and usually are convinced that money and business have nothing to do with helping clients through counseling or coaching.
This confusion and binary thinking are creating a catch 22: When you are thinking to open your business you are sometimes stopped by lack of that knowledge and skills. And the longer you put it off, letting that fear convince you that you’re not ready, the longer you put off acquiring and practicing these business and marketing skills, and putting off serving these clients you were meant and taught to serve, and flourishing yourself by doing that, you’re of course wasting time not acquiring and practicing these skills and creating a cycle of avoidance.
Seeing that reality reminded me of my parents’ immigration story: they had all that medicine and engineering knowledge and skills, but they were not using it, because for years they lacked the language, the support network, and the confidence.
My mission with the 6-figure practice is to close that gap. I want you to have a thriving practice, and I want to make that process simple and exciting. The truth is that you owe it to yourself and to your clients. And I feel that I owe it to you, as a counselor educator, and as someone who has all this knowledge and skills in marketing counseling and coaching businesses, having the experience of building my successful businesses (coaching and counseling private practices included but not limited to) and helping my clients to do the same, working through my own story of a scarcity mentality, and moving from the employee mentality to the entrepreneur mentality.
My way to translate my vision into reality was to build a program that will teach you everything you need to know about marketing for therapists and life coach marketing, and will actually empower you implementing it.
For over 2 years I built the most comprehensive accelerator program I could for helping caring and skillful helpers, to also become a thriving private practice therapist or coach, so that they could actually apply these skills. I’ve included all the elements that I applied myself to build a 6-figure practice myself in less than a year.
You might be asking yourself, what’s this story with 6 figures? Are we not supposed to be compassionate and helpful, and not focus on the money? That’s a great question that deserves a lengthy answer. Here are my own thoughts on the subject.
And here are the thoughts of someone with an important seat at the table of the North American counseling system (which definitely apply to coaches as well), David Staten, president of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association, a division of ACA:
“Given the rigorous academic training and the pending debt from student loans, it is imperative for counselors to be adequately compensated for their hard work. Most counselors are not in this profession to become rich. However, we push our clients to maximize their potential in all aspects of life — physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, etc. Thus, I believe we should strive to reach those same standards.”
For those reasons, Staten says he believes all counselors should be making a minimum of $100,000 annually.
To summarize, I understand that it is scary and confusing to start, run, and grow your counseling private practice or coaching business. However, it doesn’t have to be. I created this website and the 6-figure program as a comprehensive resource to thrive in private practice and help your clients thrive too.
There are A LOT of free resources here. A good start is the short 22 min course, to which you can get access from the homepage. There is a constantly growing amount of blog posts on growing your business. And of course, there is the 6-figure practice program, to help YOU achieve your dream, step-by-step, using a tested system.
And if you want to talk, ask questions, and see what would be the best way for you to move forward, we can simply schedule a time to chat. That would be a free strategy session, a gift from me to you. My schedule is busy, but I do my best to find time for these free sessions as well, to support the community.
To your success,
Founder, The 6-Figure Practice