All Things Private Practice Podcast for Therapists

Episode 75: Pivot, Adjust, and Get Back Up [featuring Amber Lyda]

Show Notes

It can be really easy for new entrepreneurs to get caught in a comparison trap and uphold these one-dimensional expectations and standards around what it means to be successful.

Many new entrepreneurs are often under the belief that success is measured by meeting grand goals and making tons of money, but the reality is that success holds a different meaning for everyone, and if you structure your business and lifestyle to match your values, you will be able to create a business that, no matter how much money you make or many vacations you take, will be truly fulfilling.

If you are at the place where you wonder what's next and if you're "doing entrepreneurship the right way," then this episode is for you.

In this episode, I talk with Amber Lyda, psychologist and moderator of the Online Therapists Facebook Group.

Top 3 reasons to listen to the entire episode:

  1. Identify different ways to measure success and avoid the comparison trap.
  2. Understand that it is okay to say no to things that don't align with your values and that not jumping on trends doesn't mean that you will be lacking.
  3. Learn ways that a therapist can evolve their entrepreneurial ventures over time, from butt-in-the-seat therapy to the skies the limit.

It's important for therapist entrepreneurs to embrace the idea that entrepreneurship is a journey and not a destination. As they grow and evolve, it's okay to pivot their business and services to better align with their passions, values, and goals. Being open to change and evolution can lead to even greater success, opportunities, and fulfillment in their entrepreneurial journey.

Message from Amber:

Hi. I’m Amber Lyda. I’m a psychologist who, for YEARS, let my inner Go-Getter trample all over my inner Life-Haver. I found a way to continue to do the work I LOVED without sacrificing the life I wanted.

I left my agency job and started an ONLINE-ONLY cash pay therapy practice… and then I built a side hustle… which turned into my primary hustle. Now I help other therapists do the same!

I coach, consult, and teach courses to help therapists get clear on the life they want to have and how to get there. Whether it’s…

  • training them to build their own online therapy practice,
  • marketing to private pay clients (yes, across state lines!),
  • or coaching them through finding their other passions and turning them into profits,

I help therapists Dream Big and Live Better. 

Email me and share where you are in your dream building and what you need to move forward!

Facebook: Online Therapists Group

Amber's Website:


🎙️ Listen to more episodes of the All Things Private Practice Podcast here


🗨️ Join the free All Things Private Practice FB Community 

A Thanks to Our 2 Sponsors: The Receptionist for iPad & Owl Practice!

The Receptionist for iPad:

I would also like to thank The Receptionist for iPad for sponsoring this episode.

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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.

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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 my friend and colleague, Dr. Amber Lyda. She moderates the Online Therapist Group that is really, really well-known, and reputable, and really helpful to help people start their online therapy practices. And Amber, I'm really happy to have you on. I know we have been trying to make this happen for almost a year.

AMBER LYDA: We sure have.

PATRICK CASALE: I just have to drop that, because I'm excited to see your face. So, Amber and I are going to talk about the evolution of being a small business owner and entrepreneur. And there is a lot of emotion tied up in the entrepreneurial process, especially, when it comes to imposter syndrome, self-doubt, perfectionism, insecurity, comparison mindset. Like, we can run the gamut with that, and we talk about that stuff a lot. So, Amber, tell me a little bit about why this topic feels big for you or important to talk about?

AMBER LYDA: Well, I'm having the recency effect, because I was listening to your podcast this morning, and listening to Latasha Carter, holy moly, if you guys have not listened to that episode it's so freaking good. And she just had me thinking about, you know, I always envisioned myself as a therapist. I thought I was going to be working in academia and doing maybe a private practice on the side. But even that felt intimidating, because like, who might run a business? You know, I don't know if I can do that. Maybe I'll join a group practice. 

And then to eventually own my own private practice, and then eventually, own a whole separate company just is a bizarre turn of events that I wouldn't have expected. And then, I was listening to Latasha and thinking about, she said this to you in and [INDISCERNIBLE 00:02:47] probably sounded really weird. She reminds me so much of my dad, because he knew, and I'm not going to share his backstory, because that's his to share. 

But the super summary is, came from an impoverished background, had a child very early in life, and he freaking made it. He started his own business, grew it with my uncle, and I never realized how much of an influence that was having on me until really this year running my own business, and here's what's really, really calling it to mind. So, I coach folks who are building a practice, trying to market to private pay, or building a side hustle. And a lot of the folks in the side hustle stage of things are like, "You know, I took so and so's course, you know, I did the Amy Porterfield thing or whatever. I followed all the steps, and I'm not having success. And what the heck?"

And having watched my dad pivot and adjust, pivot and adjust, pivot and adjust for my entire life, that feels so normal to me. Like, yeah, of course, you're not going to have immediate success. 90% plus of businesses fail. Like, that is entrepreneurship. It's different than our normal trajectory of go to undergrad, go to grad school, get a job, all things, you know, just follow the steps, and then you're going to have the life. Now, entrepreneurship is not like that. 

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, that's well said and it's nice that it brings up those memories. I did get your message while I was driving to get coffee and I like, did a double take like, "What did she just say? I must have misread that." But yeah, Latasha's story is a powerful one. 

And for referencing your dad, I mean, it sounds like that's bringing up some emotion and some feeling around that about the resiliency of being an entrepreneur too. And pivoting and adapting, right, we've talked about this a lot on this podcast, is a part of the journey. Like, you can't open a small business without pivoting, without adapting, without failing even. And, you know, a big goal of this podcast is to normalize fear and failure because we don't always have to look at that with a negative lens. 

But the reality, like you said, is when I went to school and got my master's, and became a therapist, and got my license, and I was excited, and I figured the journey stops there. Like, I get a job at an agency and that's it. Like, that's all I know to be true. And very quickly realizing like, my ADHD was never going to allow me to have a job at an agency long-term. Like, being in one place one setting, doing the same thing every day, that's fucking torturous. So, I just felt like, this is not the end. 

But I did think private practice was the end. And I definitely felt like it was a very lofty pipe dream of an expectation of like, "Who the hell am I to do this, I don't know anything about it. I know nothing about business, who's going to pay me?" All the imposter syndrome stuff, and rightfully so. But then you get into that, and you start realizing like, for a lot of people, private practice is the final destination. And that is absolutely okay. And then for a lot of people, it is not. 

And I think that can bring up shame and some inner turmoil when you think, "I've created this business but now I'm not really satisfied with it anymore. It doesn't spark me anymore, or it's not bringing me the joy that it did in the beginning." And then you have to pivot and adapt, because you cannot go through this career trajectory and path burnt out, looking at your schedule, not wanting to go to work, not wanting to see your clients, just not wanting to go through the monotony of doing the same thing over and over again, that doesn't last either. 

And that pivoting and adapting is such a crucial, and I said pivotal, crucial part of being an entrepreneur, because these things change, and shift, and evolve, and edit, and revise. And there's so much learning that happens on a day-to-day basis.

AMBER LYDA: Absolutely. When I think back to when I went into private practice, I can't even believe I had the courage to do that. But when I went to private practice, I knew that I wanted to have some sort of side hustle, and I really wanted it to become my primary hustle. So, that therapy was like icing on the cake as opposed to needing to pay my bills. 

And I hired a coach, somebody outside of our field, and we're working together, and I'm like, "Yeah, yeah, so my side hustle is going to be… I'm going to build courses for trauma so that people can buy courses for trauma." She's like, "That's great, that's great." Meanwhile, I have the Online Therapist Group that I built just for fun. I was like, "Oh, cool, this will be a place for the resources to live, blah, blah, blah."

And one day, she's like, "You know, Amber, you have a lot of people in that group. That could probably be your side hustle." I said no for probably six months. I was like, "No, that's not my plan, that's not what I want to do. I don't want to teach people how to have an online therapy practice. Like, it's easy. All the resources are already there. What's the deal?" 

And then, eventually, she convinced me to try it out. Not at all the direction that I thought it was going to go, pivoted, adjusted, and then, you know, everything has unfolded since then.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, that's a really wonderful testimonial of how this can unfold, especially, because we so often can't see the forest for the trees, so to speak, when we're starting out, because we like, we don't know what we don't know. And we also don't know how applicable our skill sets are in different arenas. So, you oftentimes hear therapists say, like, "I can only be a clinician, I can only sit in front of clients one-on-one. Like, that's all my degree allows me to do."

But in reality, there are so many skills, and attributes, and characteristics that come with the personality types that we have, how we attend to people, how we attune to people, how we can support people through their journey. So, there's lots of ways to apply those in different areas. But you know, it's interesting when you start something out, and it feels like a side hustle, and then it becomes your main source of income. And it's like, looking back, did you ever see this happening? Did you ever see this unfolding for you in terms of like, Amber's going to get her doctorate to now running a very, very successful coaching business helping people all over the world?

AMBER LYDA: Yeah, no. Yeah, no, absolutely not. No. You know, I've always have had lofty goals and vision for myself, but it was never around, like this is the sort of business I want to run or that I even want to run a business. It was always about lifestyle. I want to be able to travel, I want to have more freedom, I want to have more control over my time, I want to have more autonomy. 

So, I was making, you know, small micro decisions after micro decision that were moving me in that general direction. And even still, to this day, it is what helps me to make decisions about my business now, you know? Like, there was a period of time when I was getting invited to do lots of things. I don't get invited anymore, because I said no too many times. But it's getting in my head to do these things. And I was like, "Oh, that's cool. I could say yes to that, I could say yes to that." And then I thought, "You know, that's really not in line with the lifestyle I'm trying to create. That's going to cost me more time, or more energy, or whatever it happened to be."

And so, I think, you know, as your listeners are thinking about how they are going to kind of evolve in their own business if they can be guided more by a vision of what they want for their lives than attainment, you know? Like, here's a good example, there was a point in my business where I was like, "Okay, we've reached the point where it's time to scale." You know, if you're in entrepreneurial world that you will hear that term of like, "Okay, we've done one-to-one services, there's a ceiling on what you can make, you have to do one too many, and then one too many more." Etc., etc. 

And then at some point, you know, you're just trying to help as many people as possible, probably, in a little bit more shallow, less high touch kind of way to make as much money as possible. So, it was like, "Okay, so that's the next step." And I spent time trying to scale my company, probably, a year trying to be like, by the way, it takes way more than a year, but I thought that was a lot of time, you know? And I spent time trying to scale and then I realized, like, this at all, this doesn't fire me up. Sure, it gives me more time, it gives me more freedom., so it's in line with that. But where I get inspiration is working with people, you know? It's not putting a course up and then hoping that it sells to 10 million people or something like that. Like, that doesn't get me lit up, I don't get to see the results. 

So, I learned that okay, so an essential part of my business is that I have to stay inspired. The way I stay inspired is staying connected to the people. I don't know just, there's so many places where you have to check in about your own values and like what lights you up, and then pivot and adjust to make sure that you're staying in line with those things.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, well said, absolutely. And I think going back to your why, you know, I think that's always important in small business ownership, is to go back to your values, go back to why you started this in the first place. Like, what was the driving force? What did you want more of? What did you want less of? How do you continue to ensure that you're in alignment and moving towards obtaining more of what you're looking for?

And for me, I know I'm similar in that nature, where my VA has been telling me for years, "You know, your audience is growing, your coaching programs sell all the time, people get a lot of value, you need to start creating some, like, passive revenue." And probably I do, but I prefer to be in the room with the people I'm helping. So, it's really hard for me to do, like, the passive evergreen stuff where I'm not involved step by step in terms of like, live coaching the entire time and that takes a lot of energy.

And post throat surgery a couple of months ago, going from like doing a lot of one-on-one coaching, and a four-month coaching program, and all this other stuff I'm like, I don't have the capacity right now. So, now what comes next is the pivot and adapt moment for me. And that's scary, because you can tell yourself, like, I've worked so hard to create this following, and this reputation, and that know, like, and trust factor, are you throwing it all away by saying I'm no longer going to offer these things that bring in X amount of money and continue to generate an audience?

But I don't have the ability, or the energy, or the capacity anymore. And that may change, and hopefully, it does down the road. But paying attention to that is the next chapter of my entrepreneurial journey. And what I've realized for me is my passion right now is in retreat hosting, and planning, and traveling. So, I have to conserve as much energy as I can, because there's a lot of behind-the-scenes, there's a lot of planning, there's a lot of logistics, and then, when you're there you're on the entire time. And as an introvert, I crash so fucking hard after that for weeks to months at a time. And there's no way I could ever show up for my coaching clients if I'm depleted and running on empty 24/7.

AMBER LYDA: You know, I'm curious if you don't mind going there when you think about that pivot, what does that look like in terms of how frequently… in your ideal world, how frequently you would be attending the retreats and what, if any, passive kind of revenue you'd want to generate?

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, it's a good question. You know, I've felt stuck for the last six or so months of like, "What comes next? Waiting for that, like, creative burst to hit me that so often does when I'm like, all right, well, I'm kind of bored with this, or this has plateaued, or we've reached the capacity for this, now what?

And I love that about myself. But I think because of surgery, and energy, and recovery, I haven't had that spark. And I've been trying to like, force it, which is just not how that works. So, instead, I've just said to myself, this year is going to be all about the retreat process. I have five planned. One's already complete, the New Orleans one that I did the first week of January. I have Ireland, Spain, Asheville, and Portugal coming up in 2023. 

I don't know if I can do anything else. Like, I've had some coaches reach out to me, because I want to get back into having to coach again, and having some accountability, and figuring out that piece, but they're like, "Well, we're going to create this platform, we're going to create this membership, we're going to do this thing." And I'm like, "I don't want to. Like, I don't think I have the ability to." 

Because the other side of my business is that I own a group practice that has 15 clinicians and two psychiatric providers. So, like, there's a lot and I don't like not being able to invest 100% of myself into the things that I do. So, I'm noticing that this new chapter or season of life, for me, is about being okay with doing less. And that is so counterintuitive to who I am as a human being. But I am just trying really hard to accept that this is my new normal in terms of my ability to have energy and be present, and actually show up the way that I want to show up. 

So, right now the goal is podcast, because we do have an annual podcast sponsor,, wonderful company. We have the group practice, and then the retreats, and I've completely scrapped coaching altogether. That doesn't mean I won't shift that in the future. But I think right now, if I had to add anything else into my life, my life would just unravel and I would crawl into a black hole and never be seen again.

AMBER LYDA: We don't want that. There was a period of time I took a year solid of working less than I'd ever worked in my life and paying my team more than, you know, is typical that you would pay your team, because I just needed to freaking recharge. I mean, it had just been a lot. And so, I outsource as much as I could, I coasted for at least a year, and then I sort of coasted sort of worked for another year. You know, just doing kind of like what had to been done in the business to keep it running, but not at all moving towards growth, certainly, not moving towards scale. 

And now, at the end of those two years, I feel so motivated, and like excited to get back deep into my business, and you know, understand stuff that's happening in there that I don't even know how to work. Like, I don't know how to do anything in Kartra and my whole business is in Kartra. 

I'm like excited again to get back into knowing some of the nitty gritty. And that feels super cool. Like, I know this year is going to be a busy year, because of the way that I want to, like, re-attach to parts of my business, but it feels exciting and energizing, and it would not have two years ago. I would have been like kicking, and screaming, and whining about having to figure anything out in Kartra, for example.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's important to pay attention to that, to all of you listening who are thinking about side hustles, are thinking about creating separate businesses, or other revenue streams, to pay attention to your energy, pay attention to the things where you feel resistance, or you feel energized, and passion around, and pursue the things that you have energy and passion for. And like Amber said, your team that you have on staff, and that you're paying, you know, to have all that support is crucial. 

And I think that right now for me I have the propensity to burn myself out year after year, because I'll just overdo it. I'll do too much. My VA will wake up, she's in Pacific time zone, and will be like, "Are you serious? Like, you created this whole thing this morning, and now we're supposed to like run with it?" 

So, I think that this is the best thing that could have happened to me in terms of like, just having to figure myself out again in a lot of ways and just having to shift how I, again, pivot and adapt in terms of what comes next. 

And sometimes I think about, like, maybe this is the time to write the book that I've been putting off for a very long time and some other things that don't take as much energy, where it's face-to-face contact, or it's one-on-one or group contact in general. I think, trying to figure out some things behind the scenes is going to be more important right now. And that'll shift as I recover, and then who the hell knows what will happen next?

But, you know, the thing about retreat planning, and where this has taken me is that 2024 is already accounted for. And like, when you start thinking that way, it's like, it can feel like the walls are closing in somewhat, because it's good, it's great, travel the world to have these wonderful experiences, like, do all the things that people dream of doing. And I feel unbelievably grateful for that. 

However, it's like, all right, we're going to get through these retreats this year. And then in 2024, I'm going to have Ireland, southern Spain, Italy, and Greece. And like, by the time you're starting to think of 2024, then you can already start thinking about what comes in after that. So, really important it is sometimes. Yeah, exactly, I'm just getting antsy.

AMBER LYDA: My commitment [INDISCERNIBLE 00:21:29] like, "Yeah."

PATRICK CASALE: I feel like, you know, it's just one of those things where I have to pay more attention to the long-term vision than the short-term vision. And before working in the business, creating every day, that was much more important. And right now, it's kind of like, okay, enjoy the fruits of your labor of growing this audience in two years, and creating all this stuff in two years, now you kind of get to coast a little bit, because of how much effort and energy you put into it, and possibly also added to your burnout at this point in time.

AMBER LYDA: I love how your version of coasting is running a group practice, and running a podcast, and running retreats, that's hilarious.

PATRICK CASALE: It's a problem. But I just don't know what I would be doing if I wasn't doing those things. That's probably the scariest thing on Earth for me, is to think about, like, if this all came crumbling down today, which I have that feeling, and fear all the fucking time, could you ever go back and work for someone? And the answer is absolutely not. So, there is this pressure, right? To say like, you have to figure it out and you have to keep going when you are the face of your business.

AMBER LYDA: Yeah, you were saying something earlier that I hope your audience really heard, because my translation was, make sure you're really attuned to yourself and follow the flow of that, because I see people who, oh, my mind just went in like 30 places, if you are following the flow of what lights you up, and what your values are, you will land in a good place. 

I have said repeatedly to my husband like, "All right, so if something happens, and this business can't be anymore, if we had to go back to normal life, we could, but I know about myself that I love to teach. And I know that I do not mind consuming a ton of information, so I can like put an amber spin on it and teach it. And if I decided like, 'All right, this isn't working, I literally would get on YouTube and teach people how to fix toilets, if that's what I needed to do.'"

Like, I don't care. I like to teach. I like learning. It'll work fine. So, I think a little piece of advice here for listeners, when I see people and I coach a lot of folks who are in their entrepreneurial journey somewhere. And the difference between those who have easy success, and those who are, like, on the struggle boss for a while seems to be that when they're following their passion things happen. And when they're pushing, you know, because this is the way you're supposed to do it or I want to make $200,000, or you know, some arbitrary something or other. It does not come easily. And it feels like much more of a struggle.

PATRICK CASALE: That's wonderful advice. I hope everyone can take that in. And that's so true, because that's how often and easy we get into this comparison mindset too. You see all these posts of, "My goal for the year is to make $432,000 and work six hours a week." And it's like, "Okay, cool. That's awesome. Like, more power to you." 

And also, like, are you doing the things that light you up? Because if you're not, it's going to take so much more energy. It's going to take energy either way, but if you're doing the things that are really, really exciting to you and bring you joy and passion, it doesn't really always feel like work then, and things will come more naturally, it'll show up in your marketing, it'll show up in how you create your social media content, it'll show up in how you connect with other people, it will feel more authentic, it'll feel more in alignment. 

And if you're not, and you're just chasing the money or kind of falling into hustle culture in the capitalist society that we live in, it's going to feel like a fucking grind. And then that is when it is one thing after the next, and after the next, and after the next. 

And for me, I've started to realize, like, last year by far the most money I've ever made in my life. Thankfully, have a wonderful team for my group practice and my coaching business, and I pay them exceptionally well. 

And money is not the currency for me that I value, it's time and energy. And those are the things that we can't get back. There's an energy to money, it comes and goes, it flows in, it flows out, we spend it, we make it, but the energy and the time is what you can't get back. And that is why I started my businesses, because of the fact that I can't work a traditional 9:00 to 5:00 being an autistic, ADHD human being. I just cannot do that neurotypical grind, because it doesn't work with my system. So, I have to figure out ways to ensure that my energy and my time are being resourced and banked, and not depleted all the time, because otherwise, all of this is for nothing.

AMBER LYDA: Exactly right. I totally, totally agree, I totally agree. And I think part of the evolution when you're building a business, you're doing, you know, entrepreneurial stuff is figuring out, you know, how much money is enough, because we kind of get into our minds, like we need more and more and more. And what I have learned for me is that money is about safety, it's about feeling safe. And if I am making enough money that I am safe, I don't really need any more than that. 

So, I have definitely made decisions in my business where I have given up a lot of cash, because I want the time, I want the freedom. I don't want to work 40, 45 hours a week. No, thanks. Sure, could I make a lot more money? What am I going to do with it? You know, like, I don't want a huge house. We are in a place that we are comfortable. And I feel safe. And I'm funding my retirement. And all that kind of stuff. I don't need to be making a million dollars. If somebody wants to give it to me, I will take it. But I don't need to mean that kind of patch. And I would much rather have a business that is really fulfilling and is fun, and that I enjoy, and that people are helped by than to, you know, scale and never see the effects of the work other than cash, you know?

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I mean, if you're just working yourself to death to chase the money, you're never going to get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. And I just want to, you know, endorse what Amber is saying and cosign it, because I can tell you all that… I reached out to Amber last February when I was in Florida, at my dad's house in St. Pete and I said to her on Voxer, "What are your thoughts on cohosting retreats together?" Like, I had this idea. I hadn't hosted my first one yet, Ireland was about to happen the following month, and then I inevitably ended up hosting Asheville in June. And she was like, "No. Like, I don't think it's for me." You know, like, I figured we would hit it off, it would be a good partnership, we have different audiences. But she was staying true to her values of like, that sounds like a lot of fucking work that I don't want to do. 

And I really respect when people are able to name that for themselves, because so often it's really easy to chase the shiny object of like, "Ooh, that sounds exciting. Like, ooh, you have an audience that I could also, you know, start to capture and to gain and to, you know, get in front of. Oh, there's more money to be made." So, it's very easy in the entrepreneurial journey to chase that shiny object and that is not the fulfilling component of small business ownership. That decision for Amber was inevitably probably a very good one for your energy, for your time, for your values. 

So, really having to make difficult choices as you develop reputation, as you develop following, as you develop… Amber's going to cringe at this term, influencer status, because you are influencing people based on how you show up and what you put out to the world having to really be true to what makes sense for you. The partnerships that you join, the speaking engagements you commit to, the things that you want to pursue, because there is only so much time in the day and in the week, and in the month. 

And before we get on this recording, I told Amber about the next two months of my life, and it's chaos, self-inflicted, but to be able to say, like, from graduate school to hosting international entrepreneurial retreats around the world in places I want to travel to, and just being able to help these entrepreneurs and therapists really work through their self-doubt, and their perfectionism, and their imposter syndrome, and experience life, and culture, and new places, and new surroundings is like, that's the chef's kiss for me, because I've never envisioned that. And that was like dream job number one. 

And I think that is because I followed my passion in addition to what I'm good at, hosting, planning, and connecting people. And we can be good at things and that does not mean that you should pursue them either.

AMBER LYDA: Totally agree. And, you know, you're making me sound like I really know what I'm doing. So, I just want to give a little caveat in there. After I said no, I have thought so many times, have I made a mistake? Because… and y'all listen to this talk, you chase shiny objects, and then you also chase like your inner child shit. And my inner child shit was like, "Oh, no, everybody's doing retreats, I'm getting left behind. You know, like, this is going to be the end of my business, because I've said no to this and this is like the thing that everybody's doing." 

And I even felt that at Ernesto's Not Your Typical Psychotherapist conference, because I'm looking around, and everybody's younger than me. You know, everybody is like doing this cool stuff. And I'm thinking like, "Oh, man, am I getting left behind?" You know, I don't know where that is coming from. But it's such a familiar kind of feeling. 

And I think, especially like, maybe, maybe can relate to it in this way, as an introvert, you know, you often say no to social things, because you're introverted, and it's like, totally overwhelming. And then you sit at home wondering like, what connections am I missing? Like, what memories are they creating together that I won't have? And blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so, yeah, saying no to things is important and knowing that, you know, whether or not they're aligned with your values, and your vision, and your energy, but it's also freaking scary, and you don't know when you're making the right or wrong decision, and it's going to pull up your shit.

PATRICK CASALE: That's really true. And I appreciate your vulnerability in that. I mean, I think that's a real experience for people is that FOMO is real, right? And like, feeling like, "Oh, my God, because I said no to something and set boundaries, or, you know, made the decision that was best for me, am I going to be forgotten about, or left behind, or not considered for another opportunity?"

And maybe in some instances, right, but that's why I think like, developing real, authentic relationships with people in our field is really important, because then those relationships are more dependent on the actual authenticity of the connection and relationship opposed to what can I get out of this relationship? 

And that's why I've been asking you to come on here for a year, because I've just wanted to have this conversation. And, you know, I think it's important to just pay attention to that, for those of you listening, because you can certainly leverage relationships, you can certainly leverage other people's audiences and followings, and that is a normal practice. But if you go into that truly just wanting to build an established authentic, reciprocal relationship and connection, it'll serve you a lot better in the long run. And that may mean saying no to things that you don't want to do in the short term.

And I think saying no is hard for people. We have a lot of episodes on boundary setting from a lot of different boundary-setting experts in the field on this podcast, and it's a struggle for people to say no, it's a struggle for people to really set those boundaries and just really adhere to them, because so much inner child wounding and attachment trauma stuff comes up of being excluded, or being different, or being forgotten about, or not seen. 

And whatever it brings up for you just really trying to do your own work and recognize when it comes up, like not to make that impulsive decision too, and to really just give it some consideration one way or another. 

And, you know, I think that I often have that feeling of like, I'm going to get left behind, my throat surgery, my voice, like my energy, I can't do all the things that I was doing prior to this. Like you know, am I going to no longer have an audience? Is every single group practice clinician going to quit on the same day? And the reality is like, no, you're just going to show up differently based on your current situation. And that's what I can do and aspire to do is to show up and just name the struggle, and hope that it helps the audience that can relate. 

And I think that, although our careers and our trajectories evolve, our audiences evolve too, and based on how we're showing up, and how we are being authentic to who we are and what we're experiencing.

AMBER LYDA: And you just made me think about, it's so funny our fears just love to show up and you just made me think about how this time when I launched my course, my marketing course, I have so many people who joined and said things like, "I've been following you for years. I've been following you for years." And it was so, like, what's the word? Just like grounding, you know? Like, all right, so I'm not doing like the coolest stuff. You know, I'm not showing up in the cool places right now. But I think consistent, and I'm showing up for my people. And, you know, like that is getting rewarded. 

And I guess, I'm going to kind of treat my own anxiety here for a second, if I worried that like, "Oh, I've become irrelevant at some point. Like, nobody knows that I even have a course to buy." Well, then what would we do Amber? We would adapt and we would pivot. Like, if you have that skill then everything else is going to fall into place. If you can just adapt and pivot, adapt and then pivot.

PATRICK CASALE: I love that. It's a good way to bring it back to full-circle moment right here. And that's true for everyone listening. You know, if everything crumbled around me for whatever irrational reason that my brain likes to create, I have created a successful private practice before, I have created a successful group practice, successful coaching program, successful podcast, successful retreat business. So, like, you got to use that evidence, right, to combat the irrational parts and the insecure parts when they're really ramping up the imposter syndrome parts where they're like, irrelevant, fraudulent, not good enough, not competent enough, not cool enough, whatever that voice is saying, using the evidence, and almost some REBT stuff. 

But in reality, like pivoting and adapting, that's what this is all about. I'm sure my VA is going to use that damn phrase in the title of this episode since we've said it 38 times. But in reality, it's true. You know, that was a really good point that you just made. And just remembering that when that anxiety ramps up, when that self-talk and that criticism comes up, and that imposter syndrome, or that comparison trap of like, "I'm going to figure it out." And really trusting yourself, and your instincts, and your abilities. And knowing that you've figured it out before, and you're going to continue to figure it out as you go. 

Long gone are the days of our parents working in union jobs, in like factories, or warehouses, or for the cities and staying there for 40-plus years of our lives. That's not our generation. And we're going to continue to create, and grow, and evolve, and pivot, and adapt. So, I really would [CROSSTALK 00:38:45].

AMBER LYDA: I have to tell you this, that the way that I coped with anxiety, I was born with anxiety, and my parents had anxiety. And so, it was just anxiety all over the place and lived in a pretty dangerous neighborhood in the beginning of my life, anxiety, anxiety, anxiety all over. 

And one of the ways that I dealt with it, and my dad taught me this, he was like, "Well, let's just think of the worst-case scenario, and then figure our way out of it." Back to Latasha, be practical, like, what's the solution? What are we going to do? 

And so, no lie, I just yesterday driving home with my husband, I said, "You know, sometimes I think about like if everything crashed and I've had to survive on my own. Like, I didn't have you, you know, I didn't have the business, what would I do?" I was like, "You know, I bet you I could drive a semi, and then you can sleep in the semi. So, you would have your housing totally covered. They make a good living and so I would be able to, like, start rebuilding. And then phase two, in case that doesn't work, I'm going to rent a storage unit. And if I have enough cash, the kind with AC, and I can just sneaky live in that until I get back on my feet."

PATRICK CASALE: Life lessons from Amber Lyda.

AMBER LYDA: Yeah, just in case you need a worst-case scenario, y'all. I got you covered.

PATRICK CASALE: Could start a course about worst-case scenario planning. So, look for that coming out soon if you're following Amber's newsletter. Yeah, no, that is a good point. There's always a creative adaptation, I think, for those who choose the entrepreneurial journey, and probably because so many of our brains are just wired differently and develop differently. So, really trusting yourself, trusting who you are, trusting your why, going back to your values, adapt, and pivot. 

Amber, I've really enjoyed this conversation. And I'm glad that we've connected, and become friends, and just stayed in touch. And I'm happy that we made this work.

AMBER LYDA: Me too. And thank you so much for your understanding and patience over the last year of trying to make this work.

PATRICK CASALE: That's all right, I never took it personally, I never will. But please tell the audience where they can find more of what you're offering. And we will include that in the show notes for everybody as well.

AMBER LYDA: The best places to find me are on my website, which is really creatively named Or you can find me in the Online Therapist Group on Facebook and I teach people how to build online therapy practices, how to market to private pay clients across state lines even, and how to begin to create space for a side hustle.

PATRICK CASALE: Love it. So, again, all of Amber's information will be in the show notes. To everyone listening to the All Things Private Practice Podcast, new episodes out every single Sunday on all major platforms. Like, download, subscribe, and share. Doubt yourself, do it anyway. We'll see you next week. Thanks, Amber. 

AMBER LYDA: Love it.


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