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How to Know When It’s Time to Leave Private Practice with Maegan Megginson

Episode Cover How to Know When It's Time to Leave Private Practice with Maegan Megginson

“I’m just imagining a woven tapestry where it’s like these two chapters of your life are woven together, and I think there’s power in using your private practice as this beautiful vessel that is basically funding you exploring who you are becoming in your life. How cool is that that you get to fund your own personal exploration?”

~Maegan Megginson

Meet Maegan Megginson

Maegan Megginson is a business coach, group practice owner, and licensed psychotherapist on a mission to help business owners create unique, burnout-proof businesses that honor their needs and bankroll their lifestyle.

As an ambitious introvert and highly sensitive person, Maegan is intimately familiar with the struggle that arises when your need to take a nap conflicts with your desire to create a profitable business. Maegan is living proof that it’s possible to do both and believes all entrepreneurs deserve to be deeply rested and wildly successful. 

In This Episode…

How do you know when it’s time to retire from private practice and move onto something new? What could the transition look like as you move into the next chapter of your professional life? Maegan Megginson comes back on the podcast to share her expertise around when it’s time to transition out of private practice and what that transition period could be like.

Linzy and Maegan, both of whom have moved out of private practice and into other professional arenas, share their authentic experiences with this transition and answer this question that listeners have been asking. Don’t miss this important topic, and consider what you can do today to help yourself avoid burnout to stay in private practice, or take action steps to eventually transition into something new. 

Connect with Maegan Megginson

Download Maegan’s free guide “Four Business-Building Mistakes That Will Leave Your Burnt Out And Broke (and How to Avoid Them)” here: https://megginson-consulting-group.ck.page/d739179df2 

Check out more of Maegan’s work at: www.maeganmegginson.com 

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CLICK HERE to join me for a free, live Zoom workshop series happening September 26 to 30 that will help you go from money shame and confusion, to calm and confidence. 

I’m also giving away $500 cash to one lucky participant! Make sure you secure your free seat by clicking here and all you have to do is attend the workshops for your chance to win.

Episode Transcript

Maegan [00:00:02] I’m just imagining, like, a woven tapestry, right? Where it’s like these two chapters of your life are woven together. And I think there’s power in using your private practice as this beautiful vessel that is basically funding you exploring who you’re becoming in your life. Like, how cool is that that you get to fund your own personal exploration? 

 

Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question: How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today’s episode is a special one for me. I brought back my friend Maegan. Maegan’s in to talk about a topic that was actually requested by one of our listeners, which was How do you know when it’s time to stop being a therapist and do something else? So Maegan and I have both gone through the process of closing down our therapy practices with, as she mentions, much therapy and also in my case, a lot of tears, probably a lot of tears in her case, too. I feel like that’s a safe assumption. And today we talk about how we knew it was time for us personally to shut down our therapy practices. We talk about the distinction between burnout and the actual kind of innate knowledge, the intuition, that you should stop being a therapist. Because I think so many times burnout can kind of masquerade as we’re done in this profession, which when really we need to change some other things and take a break and recover. And we get into some steps that if you are starting to suspect that you want to retire from therapy one day, things that you can start to do today, before you get too far into burnout or resentment, to allow you to start building out other possibilities for yourself beyond being a therapist. I’m so excited to share this episode with you today. Here’s my conversation with Maegan. Megginson. So Maegan, welcome back to the podcast. 

 

Maegan [00:02:31] Linzy I’m so happy to be here. 

 

Linzy [00:02:33] I’m always happy to be with you. So I brought you back. I mean, we could talk about probably 20 different things, but specifically, I brought you back today to talk about a question that came. We kind of polled listeners as to what they would like to hear on the podcast. And we got this question of when do you know it’s time to stop being a therapist? And time to move on and do something else instead. And I thought, who better to talk to than you? 

 

Maegan [00:03:02] The one and only, no longer a therapist, Maegan Megginson. 

 

Linzy [00:03:06] Precisely. Precisely. So the first thing I thought we could maybe dig into is, why do you think this is a question that circulates? Because I don’t think the person who asked is the only therapist listening who has this question in the back of their mind. Why do you think it’s so common that therapists are sometimes thinking or wondering when our escape time should be? 

 

Maegan [00:03:27] You’re right. I think most therapists in my stratosphere, at least therapists that I work with in my coaching programs, are all really sitting in a kind of just imagining, like being in the middle of a hurricane, you know? And there’s just all of these like thoughts and questions swirling around you. And one of the big ones is, Can I do this forever? Do I want to do this forever? Why am I doing this right now? You know, it’s one of many questions, but it’s one of the most profound because it’s so connected to our identity. Right. Becoming a therapist and being a therapist for most of us is like in the top three parts of our identity that we show to the world. So why do I think people are really thinking about this question? I think we can look at it from two angles. Sometimes I think people are just burnt out. 

 

Linzy [00:04:17] Yes. 

 

Maegan [00:04:17] And I we’ll talk about this more today. But I think people are burnt out and they don’t know that there is another way that they can do their work that is more sustainable and fulfilling. So they default to, I guess my only option is to burn the therapy license and get a job at Starbucks. So sometimes there’s like black and white thinking that really is about burnout and not about the work. And then there are those of us who, what we’re actually experiencing is a fundamental shift in our identity. Many of us became therapists really early in our lives as adults. You know, we might even, for me, you know, went straight to college, straight to grad school, straight to becoming a therapist. Maybe there were a few years sprinkled in where you did something else. But for all intents and purposes, when you become a therapist in your twenties, your late twenties, you’re going to change, like you were going to evolve as a person. And I think what happens for many of us is that we do our own healing and we begin to see that there is actually a life for us outside of being a receiver of other people’s emotional information, as we’ve likely been doing that from early childhood. And we recognize like, I’m ready for something new, I’m ready for a new chapter in my own development. And that, I think, is when the conversation about retirement and switching career paths is really fruitful. But those are the two kind of ends of the spectrum that I hold in my mind. Is it really burn out? Or is this a developmental transition and it’s time for you to try on something new? 

 

Linzy [00:05:54] Because when we’re burnt out, it’s easy to have the escape fantasy of like life would be easier if X-Y-Z. I used to have the Bookkeeper Body Piercer. That was my dual like burnout plan. I was like, This is like more – this is kind of going back ten years when I first started therapy and I was like, When I burn out – it wasn’t if – it’s like when I can’t do this anymore because I feel like I saw the end from the very beginning, for myself, that was my original fantasy. It was kind of like, I’ll be a body piercer and a bookkeeper. And then at some point I was like, I’ll do financial therapy. Like I was already eyeing multiple exits from the beginning, I think, because I felt the burnout-ness already from the start that’s kind of baked into the profession, right? 

 

Maegan [00:06:34] Or there was a deep inner knowing, an intuitive part of you that was like, Hey, this isn’t going to sustain you forever. Both are true. I think we know how exhausting it is, and intuitively we know it’s probably not the thing we’re going to do for literally the rest of our lives. 

 

Linzy [00:06:51] Yes. And I think, you know, I wonder if we get a bit of like a distorted perspective around how many therapists feel this way, because we work with folks who tend to be, like more ambitious, want to be more empowered. You work with folks who are already taking steps towards building something else. So I wonder, almost like representationally, if we actually get an accurate representation of how common this is. Because I know there are definitely therapists who are like 30 years in, love it, still love to work every day. Like, there are certainly folks who are like made for this. And I think no amount of healing would change the fact that this is like what they want to do. But then there’s other folks like us who – I remember at one point very clearly saying when you and I were at a retreat a few years ago, that I feel like I’m healing my way out of being a therapist. It’s like I could see that the healthier that I get, the less the work was fulfilling me and the more I was feeling the hard parts of the work through that healing. 

 

Maegan [00:07:44] I mean, there’s definitely a confirmation bias element to this conversation, right? Like where we’re looking around and seeing the other people who are going through something similar. But I think we can – I imagine this is true for almost any profession, that there are some people who land on the right profession early in their life and are deeply satisfied on a social level for 30 or 40 years. And then there are people who start, you know, start in one direction and and need to pivot and transition. I think what’s maybe different about this industry in particular is the over identification with profession as who I am, profession as identity. I am a therapist. I think it’s harder for therapists to pivot and change course professionally than it is – I think about when my husband Jonathan decided he didn’t want to be a chemical engineer anymore. There was no like deep soul searching around, you know, there was no push back. There was no judgment from other engineers that he no longer wanted to be an engineer because it wasn’t as internalized a part of his identity as – there’s some enmeshment here, I think, that makes it hard for us to explore. 

 

Linzy [00:08:56] I completely agree. And when you said earlier that often therapist is like one of their top three identities, I feel like it was my top. It was my number one. Like I feel like I could not go to a party and not immediately be like, I’m a therapist. 

 

Maegan [00:09:09] That’s right. It was my number one. 

 

Linzy [00:09:10] Yeah. Like and I think that there’s a lot to that. I think that that enmeshment in terms of us being so attached to identity, I think has a lot to do with being helpers and maybe some of the wounds that that helper-ness is connected to. 

 

Maegan [00:09:24] Yeah, because really, I’ve been a therapist since I was four. 

 

Linzy [00:09:26] Yeah. Yeah. 

 

Maegan [00:09:27] You know, so it’s like. 

 

Linzy [00:09:28] Yeah, twelve was the first time I had a friend be like, you’re my therapist. I was like, Oh, no, I took a long time to get paid after that too. Right. And so, yeah. And so like there is that old deep stuff of like, this is how I’m helpful, this is how I count, this is how I’m safe, this is how I am accepted is when I’m helpful and I listen and I’m of service to others. 

 

Maegan [00:09:47] So of course, it’s really it’s really terrifying to intentionally step away from that, or it was for me. I mean, that was my- I probably spent close to two years with my therapist, like, am I a therapist? Am I not a therapist? And I know she was bored as shit with me by the end because she was like, Maegan, like, you know, get off the pot already. You know what you want to do, right? It was the hardest decision I have made in my life. 

 

Linzy [00:10:11] Mm hmm. So for you, then, I’m curious. How did you know it was time to close off that part of your career and, like, close off that identity and stop being a therapist? 

 

Maegan [00:10:23] I mean, I think, honestly, it was a thousand moments of mini knowing that sort of culminated in arriving at the point when I had enough courage to take the risk. And then I think there were a lot of safety nets. So if we’re thinking more pragmatically for a moment, I had so many safety nets in place. It’s not like I was a therapist in private practice and that was all I had done. And I was just saying, I’m not going to do that anymore and I’m going to walk away and I’m going to give myself the next five years to figure out the next chapter. No, I had built a robust group practice that I was running. I had created my personal brand, my coaching business. I had a thriving coaching program that I was facilitating. The next chapter of my life was already happening. And that made it less scary to say, I’m going to stop doing therapy now. I also think I- every time I felt afraid, I would remind myself that I wasn’t throwing my license away. I still have my license. I just renewed it for another two years because I’m like, you know what? I like the safety net. I like knowing that if everything else goes to shit or if I realize I’ve made some big, terrible mistake, I can just take a training to freshen up my skills and go right back to what I was doing before. For me, the hardest part I realized over time was the identity piece. It was symbolically what it meant for me as a woman to sit with clients and to say I am no longer going to be a therapist as of October 1st. And to say that in relationship over and over and over again, I am no longer going to be a therapist. I’m I’m retiring. I’m closing my therapy practice. 

 

Linzy [00:12:11] Talk about boundary setting. 

 

Maegan [00:12:13] That was the deep work for me. 

 

Linzy [00:12:17] Yeah. 

 

Maegan [00:12:17] But. But it was also like doing it, doing it, doing it. By the time I was done, having all of the conversations, I knew with more certainty than I had ever known before that I had just made the best decision of my life. You know? So I guess it’s it’s not like there was one eureka moment when I was like, I’m ready to do this. It was it was a thousand small moments that all culminated in knowing I’d made the right choice. 

 

Linzy [00:12:40] And those, you know, thousand small moments of knowing that came before, as you mentioned. I’m curious, cause I’m sure folks who are listening are like, but how did you know? How do you know it’s not burnout? How did you know? That it really was time to stop that work. 

 

Maegan [00:12:55] Great question. Yeah, well, two years of talking about it in therapy and now, you know, it’s like like I was doing a lot of really active creation around this. But the piece about burnout specifically, how do I know if I’m just burnt out? I think the first thing that you should do is recover from burnout. 

 

Linzy [00:13:11] Mm hmm. 

 

Maegan [00:13:12] Right. Recover from burnout no matter what. And then do the hard work of making really strategic changes in your private practice so that you don’t hate the business, the structure of the business that you’re running, and then maybe experiment with a couple different types of things therapists can do, maybe run a group, host a retreat, create a course. I think, recover from burnout, restructure your practice so that it doesn’t suck, and try something new as a therapist. And I think if you do that, let’s say it takes a year for you to do that. At the end of that year, you are going to have so much clarity about if it is the work or the business, if it’s burnout, if it’s identity. But you’re not going to know until you recover from burnout and make some experimental changes to try to make it better. 

 

Linzy [00:14:00] Mmm Yeah. Something else that I sometimes see and something I think I experienced in myself is like there was a lack of energy over here with therapy. I noticed that like I stopped wanting to take trainings. Trainings would come through my inbox and I used to like go to like go to trainings, you know, and be so excited by like the names that I recognized coming, all the trauma folks coming. And I would read trainings waiting for one that I’d be excited about. And I just never got excited again. But then I noticed that this other stuff was giving me energy and was exciting, so it’s not like I didn’t have the capacity for it, but kind of the content had changed. What was getting me going was not what it used to be. 

 

Maegan [00:14:42] I remember you and I were talking about this a couple of years ago that we noticed we had like two stacks of books on the nightstand. There was like a stack of books, you know, in our clinical areas of specialty. And then there was like the business building. So for us, like business building is what we moved to. And it was like, you know, the pile started where there were like ten therapy books and one business building book and then, or the other way around, there were like ten business building books and one therapy book because I finished reading them all. And then as time went on, like the number of therapy books I wasn’t opening was growing and growing and growing, but my business book stack was like, you know, I was always done because I was like- 

 

Linzy [00:15:19] They were getting read. 

 

Maegan [00:15:20] Look at look at that. Look at that relationship. I think that is- I think your energy and your excitement is worth paying attention to also. And I don’t know that we’ve talked about this. I’m I’m curious what this was like for you. I noticed that my energy in relationship with clients in the therapy room was changing as well. That I was starting to feel- like I could always turn it on and do good work. I could get myself into the flow of the moment, but I no longer felt the same flame. When I was like really into being a therapist, like thinking about the client, seeing them in the waiting room or on the screen, sitting in the room with them, like something would come alive inside of me. And I just felt this, like, energetic connection with the person on the couch. And that just sort of fizzled over time and eventually got to the point where I like resented when they would email me between sessions or I had like dread and heaviness in my body walking into the room to sit down for the 45 minute session. And it just started feeling so wrong in my body. That was one of the big indicators for me that, like, something fundamentally needs to shift about what I’m doing with my work. Did you feel any of that in the room with your clients? 

 

Linzy [00:16:37] I felt it coming. I mean, I did I did my transition a little differently in that I, you know, we’ve talked about this metaphor before with our friend Annie, right? Of burning the boats. Like, if you want to take the island, you need to burn the boats, which is this idea. If you want to really make something happen, you need to get rid of your safety net, right? Like you need to make it so that this is the thing that needs to work. And that’s the way that I built Money Nuts & Bolts. Right. Is like it was kind of my side thing. And then I closed down my whole therapy practice when I went on mat leave for a year. So I kind of had already done the saying goodbye to everybody and the like, you know, a year is a long enough time that already folks had like gone off and connected with other people. And then when I came back, it’s like I had this decision as to whether or not to go back into therapy or like try to go all in on this, you know, coaching, financial consulting business. And I saw this moment where I was like, I can go back into that safe room where I already knew before mat leave that it wasn’t feeling so right anymore. And I could go back in that door and it’s safe. I’m going to make money. Or I can like open this new door that I have no idea what’s behind it and maybe it won’t work at all. And I did that. And the reason I could do that is because I had had a profitable enough year before I went on my leave that I had money in the business. So I kind of had like basically, truly, like three months of money. So I did it a little differently. And then the actual closing down of my practice was actually me recommitting to what I already knew because I did still let some folks in the door at the same time because they were folks that I loved. And I think that’s what I wasn’t prepared for yet, is like I knew that I didn’t want to go back into practice full time and I was focusing on Money Nuts & Bolts. But then when like a client who I loved came back and was like, Oh my God, there’s this crisis in my life, can I please see you? And it’s like, I need the money. They need the support. I really like this person. We work well together. I said yes, and I only did that with five clients. But suddenly I had this caseload of five clients and I could really notice like, okay, now this is kind of getting a little bit bigger than I intended. I was right before mat leave and knowing that my story is not here anymore and then I had to like close it all down again. So I kind of had my practice practice closing and then my real practice closing. 

 

Maegan [00:18:47] But, you know, the reality is rarely in life are there these clear divisions between one chapter and another. Right. And for the Americans listening, mat leave, I have learned, is maternity leave. I’ve learned many isms from Linzy, but it’s like I mean, there was something really beautiful about that going on this big mat leave, maternity leave, it created this like dividing line between this chapter and this chapter. There was still some, like, bleeding over. And I think sometimes it happens like that, but more often than not, it is this. I’m just imagining like a woven tapestry, right? Where it’s like that these two chapters of your life are woven together. And, and I think that’s actually great because most of us, like you alluded to, you can’t afford to just switch careers with like no period of overlap. Like we need the income from the private practice to fund building the coaching business or the income from private practice to fund going back to school or becoming a teacher or whatever. Whatever it is you’re moving into in the next phase of your career. So I think there’s power in embracing the overlap and like using your private practice as this beautiful vessel that is basically funding you, exploring who you’re becoming in your life. Like, how cool is that that you get to fund your own personal exploration? 

 

Linzy [00:20:13] Yes, absolutely. And I think one of the powerful things about being a therapist and like and also like being a therapist, like identity-wise, when this is what we’ve done for so long, is I do think that it’s work that comes naturally and it’s an easy backup plan. If you have been good at it, you will continue to be good at it. Like for me, you know, sometimes there’s not, you know, that question that’s supposed to help with anxiety of like, well, what’s the worst that can happen? Which frankly, I don’t understand how that doesn’t lead anxious people to spiral out and just live in a box. But I understand the helpful application of it. And whenever it- 

 

Maegan [00:20:47] CBT was never our clinical uh- 

 

Linzy [00:20:49] No, it was not. 

 

Maegan [00:20:50] Framework. 

 

Linzy [00:20:50] But when I ask myself that question, it’s like, what’s the worst that could happen? It’s like, okay, I restart my therapy practice next week and I do work that I’m not as excited about as I am with this- 

 

Maegan [00:20:59] Lowest risk transition. 

 

Linzy [00:21:00] Truly, truly. So there is like a lot of safety, I think, that’s available there and a lot of support financially. You know, as long as you’re not so done with the profession that you’re actually concerned that you’re not being helpful – and doing harm – anymore. And I think that’s something I was very aware. I wanted to get out long, long, long before I was starting to question, you know, my clinical aptitude. But there is something comforting, I think, still, to me about knowing I can become a therapist again when I’m 50. 

 

Maegan [00:21:24] It is. It’s the safety net. I mean, even thinking about this, you know, recession that we’re moving into and how scary it is for any business owner. When my anxious brain is like, oh, recession, are people going to stop wanting to work with me? Or are there people going to stop doing business coaching or all of my group practice employees going to like quit? I don’t know. You just go to crazy places and like, you know what? People will literally always want and need therapy. So I will just keep my therapy license, I don’t know, until maybe forever. Yeah, because it’s such an easy safety net. I mean, maybe I feel like this is what we’re circling around, Linzy Which is, if you’re questioning, A) recover from burnout, no one makes any inspired decisions when your nervous system is fried. But B) like play, experiment. You know.

 

Linzy [00:22:12] Totally. 

 

Maegan [00:22:12] Like, try something else, you know. And that’s- I think that’s another gift of the private practice business model is it is perhaps the easiest business model to- it’s so malleable. 

 

Linzy [00:22:22] Yes. 

 

Maegan [00:22:23] Right. So if you see 30 clients a week right now, see 20. If you see 20 clients right now, see ten and use that extra time to try something new, to take a class, you know, take on a client in some different capacity. Like you won’t know who you are until you start trying on some new costumes. 

 

Linzy [00:22:44] Yeah, that’s so true. That’s so true. 

 

Maegan [00:22:46] Which I think is what we both did. And you don’t have to become a business coach. 

 

Linzy [00:22:53] No. 

 

Maegan [00:22:54] People say to me sometimes in my coaching programs like is the only other way to make money besides seeing therapy clients to become a business coach. And I’m like, I see why you would think that. But no, like you can literally make money doing whatever you want to do. You just have to do it to see if it feels right. 

 

Linzy [00:23:10] Yes, precisely. And I think it’s that kind of catching yourself early enough. Like, I think that’s something that we pondered for a while. But I think we also started taking action when we started to notice, and that allowed us to not have some sort of terrible, jarring disruption in our life when we stopped being therapists. I can completely see how that would play out very differently. I think if I had been in denial about the fact that the work wasn’t feeding me in the same way anymore and and the work that I did was also like particularly kind of demanding work intellectually and emotionally and doing dissociation work. And I could see that if I had not been honest about myself, I could have gone back into the work after I had my son and like I’m no longer sleeping as well and he needs my emotional energy. And I see how I could have become very burnt out and resentful and not as effective. And being honest with yourself early and starting to be curious like before you get into that- those like yucky places, being curious and playing. Yeah, I think there’s so much potential in that for like literally anybody listening who’s starting to question if they want to be a full time therapist for the rest of their career. 

 

Maegan [00:24:13] And I think as you’re doing that exploration, really do track it back to how long have you been the healer in your life? Right. Like, again, I do feel like most of us started when we were kids. Like we came out of the womb highly sensitive and empathic, probably in a family that wasn’t. And, you know, we were just soaking up the feelings and the needs of everyone else. We became over functioning perfectionists. So there’s – and this is what took me two years in therapy to really see clearly, is the reason it’s feeling really scary. For me to even say maybe I don’t want to be a therapist is because really what I’m saying is maybe I don’t want to be who I’ve always been. 

 

Linzy [00:24:53] Yes, yeah. 

 

Maegan [00:24:54] Like my whole life. And so it’s not just like my professional relationships that are going to change when I shift this in myself, like my family of origin, relationships are going to change. My friendships are going to change. Like everything is going to change. So of course, it feels big and terrifying. And I love what you were just saying about just play, just experiment. You don’t have to – don’t wait until it’s so bad that you have to turn your whole world upside down for transformation. I have a little post-it. I have a bulletin board up behind my computer here with a bunch of stuff on it. And I have a little Post-it that says, you saw your first coaching client in March of 2018 for $200. 

 

Linzy [00:25:33] Aww. 

 

Maegan [00:25:34] And I wrote that down after because this person, her name’s Ann Marie. She’s incredible. She’s still my coaching client. She’s in my mastermind. And she told me that a couple of months ago. She was like, Did you know that? I checked my QuickBooks the other day and March 2018, you only charged me $200. And I was like, Wow, look how much I’ve done since 2018. Like, and I wasn’t even thinking about business development. I was thinking about, like, personal work. 

 

Linzy [00:26:00] Totally. Yes. 

 

Maegan [00:26:01] So it’s like March 2018. I was like, Sure, I’ll do a 50 minute business coaching session with you for $200, which was my therapy fee at the time. And then I just did another and then another, and then I was like, Maybe I should make a business entity. And then I tried that. And then I was like, Maybe I’ll try a group program, and I did that. And it’s just been this growing and developing. And then last year it was like, Oh, it’s time. I’m ready to not be a therapist anymore. And this other thing is bringing me so much life. And it’s been almost a year since I saw my last therapy client, and I haven’t missed it even a little. 

 

Linzy [00:26:40] No. No, me neither. Me neither. And you know, something else that kind of occurs to me in this conversation is about chapters of life. That’s something I think about a lot lately, like having a child, like I do, and having a toddler. And there’s these very specific kind of like, especially when you have a kid, like you’re literally going through developmental stages with your child. Yeah, right. But also in life, I think like as we go through different ages, as our parents are in different stages and have different levels of need for support from us and stuff like that, and something that I noticed in myself is being very clear that in this chapter of my life, being a therapist doesn’t make sense. And for me, a big part of that is just emotional capacity like I, the type of therapy work that I did, or maybe just the type of therapist that I am. I give a lot emotionally, which means there’s not enough, not a lot left, and sometimes not enough left for my own life. And something that I realized for myself. I think even intuitively before when I went on mat leave and before I was a parent is I cannot be an emotionally present parent and be using my emotional energy all day long. I just don’t have that much. So in terms of chapters, it’s very clear to me that at this stage of my life, I want my son to get all of it. 

 

Maegan [00:27:52] Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:27:53] You know, like I think in in the work that we do, we do use our emotional intelligence and like presence and capacity, but it’s like, you know, I’m using maybe 20% of what I used to. But it also makes you wonder if someday that might shift. Like, I’m kind of just open to the fact that like, this is where I am now and that could really look different in the future. And for me, there’s something very comforting about that. And I’m curious, do you think of this in terms of chapters, or do you know for sure you’re never going back to being a therapist? 

 

Maegan [00:28:19] I don’t know anything about anything. 

 

Linzy [00:28:23] Well, that was honest. 

 

Maegan [00:28:24] You know, I don’t know. It’s in I think of it chapters. I think chapters is great. I think I tend to think more into seasons because I like I like the kind of overlapping of one season to another versus like a start and a stopgap. I think that I love knowing it’s available to me if I want to go back to it. I love the way you were describing for you. It’s like you knew you wanted your emotional energy to go towards your son. And at my point in development, as a person who’s childfree by choice, like I reached a point where I said, I think I actually, for the first time ever in my life, want my emotional energy to go for me. So I just wanted to like say that to reflect that like that. It doesn’t matter why this is happening for you or what you need. It’s not selfish, it’s it’s not bad. It doesn’t make you a, you know, a bad person. It doesn’t make you a bad therapist. It just makes you human. And I agree, like we have to give ourselves permission to flow from one season or one chapter of our life to another. And if you think you might want to go back to being a therapist, just keep your license active and you can. It really is as simple as that. So simple. Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:29:34] It’s true. So, Maegan, coming to the end of our conversation and I’m wondering, you’ve already laid out some really, I think, thoughtful advice for folks if they are starting to notice, like just start to explore a little bit of what else you like, is there any other thoughts or advice around this or do you feel like we’ve covered the gamut for folks who might be bouncing these questions around in their heads? 

 

Maegan [00:29:55] I think we’ve covered a lot of ground. I wish I would have had access to this conversation two or three years ago when I was first starting to explore this. I think, again, it’s- if you’re burnt out, you need to recover from burnout. You can’t- nothing productive will ever happen from a place of burnout, recover from burnout and get into therapy. If you’re not or if you’re not with a therapist, a coach or a community of people where you can talk about identity and where you’re going and who you’re becoming and weave that into some really strategic experiments, professional experiments where you try on some different careers or some different types of working and just trust that if you just stay in the flow of the work personally and professionally, you’ll figure out where you’re supposed to be. And then you will. I mean, March 2018, I tried coaching for the first time, and here we are in 2022, and I feel like I’ve been doing this my whole life, you know? So trust your process. 

 

Linzy [00:30:55]  Trust your process. And I do want to say too, you might be very surprised by what happens. Like something- I feel like 2018, I was like on fire. I don’t know how I did all the things I did in 2018, but I did the first round of Money Skills For Therapists. I had my first, I guess my first, my very first like, Money Nuts & Bolts client was the year before where I really had not worked stuff out, but I did have like eventually I had my first successful client, 2017 and 2018. It’s like I started this course. I was pregnant and so tired, of course. And then I got this contract, a financial consulting contract, which still blows my mind, for $50,000 USD. I went from like charging like 150 an hour and therapy to getting paid like more than $5,000 a month. But it was only because I kind of bet on myself and stuck my neck out and, you know, dared to own my gifts and met the right person in the right place who needed the work. And we had a fit. And it was yes, it was like it wasn’t a fluke, but it also kind of, I think, blew apart my perceptions of what was possible for me. I wish that for everybody listening right now, that you also get an experience like that that helps you realize that there is so much more, so many more ways for you to show up and contribute and take up space and be excited about the world beyond therapy, if that’s something that’s calling to you. 

 

Maegan [00:32:13] Couldn’t say it better myself and I hope you get paid $50,000 for it too. 

 

Linzy [00:32:17] Me too. 

 

Maegan [00:32:18] Me too. Linzy, thank you for having this conversation with me. It’s feels really special. I know this is something you and I have. We’ve been swimming in this river together for many years now, and it does feel really special that we are in a place where we can share this with the people who are ready to hear it now. So real pleasure. 

 

Linzy [00:32:37] Agreed. Thank you so much, Maegan. 

 

Maegan [00:32:38] You’re welcome. 

 

Linzy [00:32:52] It felt really good to have this conversation with Maegan about retiring from therapy. You know, for both of us, it was such a huge journey and very difficult decision to make. And I think that’s a good thing. It’s not a decision to make lightly, especially since, of course, we know that when we finish up work with folks, whether it’s that you’re a mental health therapist or doing manual therapy, it is a disruption to our clients’ lives. And that’s why I think there’s so much value, too, in noticing and being curious kind of early on as you start to suspect that maybe you want to not be a therapist anymore, start adding things in early when you still have energy and you can explore and you can start to see if this is burnout or if you are really ready to leave the profession and you can start to build your escape hatch. I remember thinking sometimes about how building Money Nuts & Bolts was kind of like building my escape hatch from therapy. At first I didn’t know if I was going to use it, but I knew that it gave me other options. There were definitely times when I was practicing therapy where I felt stuck and that this is it and this is who I am and I don’t have other options and I’m good at this work. Therefore, this is the work I have to do. That’s a whole other conversation Maegan and I could have had, and that we did have a lot as we both went through our journeys of closing our practices of staying in your, you know, just because you’re good at something, just because you have aptitude and a gift doesn’t mean that it’s where you need to spend all your time. Right. You don’t owe it to the world to be a therapist just because you’re good at therapy, you get to do what actually suits you and your energy and your passions and what lights you up. So, so many- I feel like I could just keep talking about this, but I’m just so appreciative of Maegan. And if you are not familiar with her, Maegan Megginson, check her out. She is a business coach for therapists. She especially supports therapists who are expanding beyond, but she also helps therapists build their brands. Check out the link in the show notes. She just has so many amazing resources and does all sorts of cool free offers in addition to her paid programs. Just very honored to know her. If you’re enjoying the podcast, you can follow me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. We share free practical and emotional money content on there all the time, and if you’re enjoying the podcast, please jump over to Apple Podcasts and leave me a review. Super helpful and it’s the best way for other therapists to find me. Thanks for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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