The Frugal but Professional Practice (Part 2)

In this article read about:

  • The Hairy Hypnotist of Houston
  • How To Do a Sniff Test
  • The Cheapest Malpractice Insurance You Can Get
  • The Lagniappe Method

In my last article I addressed several things which I think are important when starting your hypnosis practice without a lot of money. One was get good business training, so that you can organize your office and handle in-coming calls efficiently. Another I mentioned was to consider working from home (I work from an apartment in Dallas .)

Working from your home is a great way to get started right away for many people, so let's explore this a bit more. There are ways to work from home no matter how little money you have. I only had about $2000.00, but you could begin with as little as the price of a used recliner, business cards and flyers.

Most of my initial working budget was spent on my website, (right at about $1000.00), brochures, business cards, video recording equipment, and a yellow pages ad. Before I actually set up my business I also got a good deal of training and training materials, so I am not counting education in my start up cost. This article assumes that you already have decent basic training as a hypnotist.

Now even though I say that working from home is great for many people I did not say ALL people. For instance, people who are not relatively decent house-keepers, and those who collect clutter are a couple of examples who should not work from home. But, my friend, opinions are just that, opinions.

The Hairy Hypnotist of Houston

I once knew a cat fur-covered man in Houston, a 65 year old bachelor, who worked from his old and decaying bachelor-like home (as a family counselor –often dabbling in waking hypnosis) and he loved to do it his way. He only charged $20.00 for an hour and ½ and he was very talented. So, for people like me who can over look tons of cat hair (and cats) and dust for the right price (and results) he was a God-send. In fact, he had people flying in from all over the country to see him! So keep in mind there are exceptions to every rule.

Now, Lets talk about your cute doggy, or is it your cute kitty? Do not work from a pet-centric home unless you can keep the noise, odor and friendliness under control. My husband and I would really like a cat, but lots of people are allergic to cats and those little four legged-furry people can be very neurotic. I once had a cat that would jump at any door and meow loudly until I would let him in no matter what room I was in.

I have to admit right here and now, though, that I LOVE going to shops that have a cat running around. It feels homey. So maybe it would be okay if you had one of those quiet independent cat types. If you really want to work from home and you can't afford an office and you love your little Bowsers or meowsers, I guess you could give it a try. If it doesn't work you will find out soon enough. Or you could consider becoming a niche hypnotist. You could put an ad in the local Pet Gazette and call yourself The Pet Lover's Hypnotist. Personally, I don't think you'll really be able to make a living at it.

How to Do a Sniff Test

Thinking of pets brings me to another point, smells. Do you take out the garbage regularly? Do you cook a lot? Do you change the cat's litter box every day? Do you even realize that your house smells like last night's popcorn? Working from home you are more likely to have odors that you wouldn't have in an outside office. So, I've made it a rule, at my apartment, to step outside on the balcony before clients come in and take a few breaths of fresh air. I then come back inside and do the sniff test . This may seem silly, but it's very important because, let's face it, once you have been inside with an odor you easily overlook it after a while.

Also, you should consider working outside of the home if you are in an unstable or emotionally explosive relationship. It's important to be in a calming environment where you are supported and encouraged. When I first started learning hypnosis I was in a relationship with a “person” who was very critical. I actually tried seeing clients from our home in between bouts of arguing, and let me tell you, it was pretty hard to concentrate on hypnosis or my clients needs at those times. It didn't help that I also was always afraid he might do something or say something that would embarrass me in some way. Luckily, I got the heck out of that relationship!

So, what about safety issues? Anytime you work from home you take on some amount of personal risk. Yes, there are bad people and bad things do happen to perfectly nice people every day. One of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to always be very honest and fair. I make sure that even if a client doesn't get exactly what they came in for, they at least get some benefit and they leave feeling good about themselves and that causes them to like me . I also am very careful not to make false claims and I do not guarantee success.

The Cheapest Malpractice Insurance You Can Get

You may find it interesting to know that also, safety, in terms of being sued for malpractice, could boil down to how nice you are! In the book Blink , Malcolm Gladwell, shares information showing that in analyses of malpractice lawsuits there are highly skilled doctors who get sued a lot and there are doctors who make lots of mistakes and never get sued. There are also an overwhelming number of people who suffer injury due to negligence of a doctor and never file a malpractice suit at all!

After further investigation Gladwell discovered that what comes up a lot in malpractice cases is that patients say they were rushed, ignored or treated poorly. He quotes a leading medical malpractice lawyer, Alice Burkin, who says, “People just don't sue doctors they like.” This lawyer also states that she has never had a client say, “ I really like this doctor, and I feel terrible doing it, but I want to sue him.” She says they come in wanting to sue some specialist, and when she tells them, “We don't think that doctor was negligent, we think it's your primary care doctor who was at fault.” They then say something like, “I don't care what she did. I love her and I'm not suing her.” So, your best malpractice insurance may be your tone of voice, your undivided attention and your sympathetic expression .

Even though I believe being nice is probably the best malpractice insurance you can get, I do not mean that you should forego REAL malpractice insurance. I get mine through American Professional Agency, INC. Their number is 1-800-421-6694. I pay only $116.00 per year, but will have to pay more as I see more clients.

Another important thing to do is use your instincts. When someone calls Family First Hypnosis , I very simply tune into my gut and I suggest you do too. Since I have worked many years both in person and on the phone with the general public(I was a major market radio announcer), I quickly get a pretty good feel for whether or not I have a person with a problem or a problem with a problem. If you are not a good judge of character, DO NOT work from home!

Also, I make it a rule to see male clients in the afternoon when my husband is home (I have a very supportive husband who is as quiet as a mouse). I did have one male client I scheduled in the morning while my husband was at work. Not only did my intuition give him the okay on the phone, but he wanted to schedule himself, his wife and niece for a group session. Bad men don't usually want to bring a wife and niece with them. I don't do group sessions, so I declined. He went on to book a one-on-one session for himself anyway. As I suspected he turned out to be a fine person. But note, that yes, I took a risk. Hey, everything in life is a risk.

The final and most important thing to keep yourself safe is to meditate, do 7th Path Self-Hypnosis® , or some other spiritual alignment or inner cleansing effort. Many hypnotists surround themselves with light or spiritual protection while in an altered state.

Someone who was into the concept of Karma once told me that I should be more careful anyway , because I could also be unknowingly bringing bad past karma from a former life into this one. Well, if that is the case, and meditation and right action are not enough, it seems to me the piper would have to be paid sooner or later whether I work from home or an outside office, right? In the mean time I get to help people while enjoying all the comforts of home.

In my next article I hope to show you how to make your hypnosis practice more friendly and palatable to clients who might think hypnosis is weird no matter if you work at home or not. If I have time and space I hope to also include my personal budget that I use for my office here at Chisolm Place Apartments. You will be amazed at how inexpensive it is to have a practice from home!

The Lagniappe Method

Before I wrap up I want to offer you an idea, something we Louisianan's call Lagniappe. (I'm originally from central Louisiana , but I lived in New Orleans for 8 1/2 years.) New Orleans , before its sad demise, was full of lagniappe. Lagniappe means “a little something extra.” You get lagniappe (pronounced LAN-yap) when you order a dozen oysters on the half shell and they give you 13. Or when you buy a new hammer and a box of nails comes with it.

If you believe like I do that what goes around comes around, or you reap what you sow then it is worth considering using this lagniappe method in your hypnosis practice. Many 5-PATH ™-ERS (hypnotists who practice the 5-PATH™ system of hypnosis) offer to teach 7th Path (A special self-hypnosis that can be used for on-going self-healing and is influenced by meditation.) or they offer the book The Secret Language of Feelings for free. These are planned lagniappe offerings. But opportunities for employing spontaneous lagniappe may be even more powerful.

An example of a spontaneous lagniappe opportunity happened to us yesterday. A client, who lives and dies by her day timer, accidentally left it in my office. Even though, her place of employment was out of the way, my husband willingly drove over and returned it to her. She was very grateful indeed. In fact, she was so touched by the gesture that she told several of her colleagues all about the wonderful hypnosis experience she had just had. When my husband arrived with the day planner he was bombarded with questions about hypnosis and our business!

To illustrate further I'd like to offer a bit of lagniappe from me to you. This “little something extra” is made especially for hypnotists who are very gustatory like me. So, here you go an unexpected freebie for you . Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I appreciate you.

Wicked-Good Hypnotic Cookies
(Do not eat while driving)

1 ½ cups of oat flakes
1 ½ cups of whole wheat pastry flour
1 ½ tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup corn oil
½ cup of water
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup of toasted sunflower seeds

Stir it all together. Use an ice-cream scoop or a 1/3 cup measurer to scoop out. Put these large mounds of batter on the cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes for 375 degrees. Eat them carefully. They are known to cause deep trance.