Know Your “Why” So You Don’t Crash & Burn

If you don’t know your “why” then you put your practice and yourself at risk. Your “why” is basically: “Why am I doing this?” “Why am I starting a private practice?” “Why am I starting a group practice?”

As with any people helping profession, if you’re not motivated by something bigger than just making money, then you will burn out and so will your practice.

So we’re going to think through how to answer the “why” question and the way we’re going to do this is using a simple formula to create a clear vision and mission statement. 

To start getting clarity around answering the “why” question, I like to have my clients answer these 3 questions:


  1. Why are you looking to start a practice now? (Is it personal? For your family, for your community? all three?)
  2. What would be the impact on you, your family, or the world if you didn’t start or expand your practice?
  3. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of mental health practices in your area, why should you start another one?

These are weighty questions and you should create some space to answer them honestly.

In my private practice startup guide, I break it down into 3 parts. You need to:

  • Define a future benefit for yourself,
  • Define a future benefit for your family,
  • Define a future benefit for your community.

The answer to your “why” is your vision. Your vision for the good life.

So here’s what a vision statement could look like.


My vision for Acme Couples Counseling is to be the #1 private practice for couples to receive quality and compassionate mental health care in Chicago. Because when I have a thriving practice, my community is healthier and I am able to provide for my family.”

Now, it could be helpful to have a mission statement. The mission is how you will seek to accomplish your mission.

Here’s a simple mission statement formula that was developed by Donald Miller.

We are going to do [x] by [y date] because [stakes]


So you could write, “We are going to facilitate 7,000 marriage counseling appointments by 2030 because many marriages are in need of healing and I need to pay off my student loans.”

Now you don’t have to share publicly the student loan part, but it could be helpful for you as a defined goal to know you are on tract to accomplish your vision.

Another example here is the Vision & Mission of Brand Your Practice:

Brand Your Practice Vision is to be the #1 resource for practice owners to start and grow their dream private practice. Because, when people receive quality and compassionate mental health care the world is a more kind and loving place to live.

And our mission is to help our clients have a combined total of 100,000 new client appointment requests by December 2030.

Going back to my original thought on knowing your “why.”

At a minimum, you need to articulate a vision for yourself, your family, and your community.

Your business, then, is going to be a vehicle to accomplish that vision. And as your business grows and matures your vision and mission can pivot to something else.

But, just start with a clear vision. Understand your “why.”

If you have a clear vision then you’ll be less likely to burn out and be motivated to push through the difficult times in your entrepreneurial journey.

If you’d like more support on building your dream private practice, be sure to check out our blog and past podcasts. If you want a partner in starting or growing your practice, please check out our partnership plan for practice owners on our website.


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