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Episode 146 | Do You Have a Scarcity Mindset?



  • Episode 146 | Do You Have a Scarcity Mindset? 00:00


Hey Group Practice listeners!

In this episode, I’m talking all about the difference between an abundance and a scarcity mindset.

In this episode we cover:

  • What scarcity mindset is
  • Where scarcity mindset comes from
  • Where I’ve observed my own scarcity mindset
  • How to deal with scarcity mindset

This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes. TherapyNotes is an EHR software that helps behavioral health professionals manage their practice with confidence and efficiency. I use TherapyNotes in my own group practice and love its amazing support team, billing features, and scheduling capabilities. It serves us well as a large group practice owner.

Do you ever wish for a financial therapist who could relieve you from the last few months’ bookkeeping, talk you off the edge when you’re running into issues with Quickbooks, or help you work through a profit plan for growth? GreenOak Accounting does just that! GreenOak Accounting is an accounting firm that specializes in working with group practices. Their value goes WAY beyond bookkeeping; they can help you get on track for financial success. Schedule a free consultation by going to


Maureen Werrbach

Do you have a scarcity mindset? Today I want to talk about scarcity versus abundance mindset, as a leader, as a business owner, as a group practice owner.

One of the things that I see in my facebook group, and that’s just you know, the place where I can get a lot of data, when it comes to group practice ownership, are questions that hint towards a scarcity mindset. So I wanted to unpack a little bit of what that really means in our industry. And what it really means to have an abundance mindset.

The kind of the textbook definition of scarcity mindset is the belief that there isn’t enough enough of something, whatever.

And it results in fear, anxiety and stress for that person. Whereas the abundance mindset is equal to personal worth and personal security. And there’s a belief that there’s enough for everyone. We’ve all encountered times in our lives where we’ve had a scarcity mindset about something, or an abundance mindset about something. I know when I first started my group practice, I had the typical scarcity mindset around seeing other private practices opening up near me. And also having the scarcity mindset around not wanting staff to leave and start their own private practice. It’s very common. So I’m here to say, if this conversation brings up thoughts that you are currently having, just know that every business owner has had scarcity minded thoughts, and will have a scarcity minded thought in the future!

And really, it’s just observing when scarcity mindset thoughts come up and unpacking why they’ve come. Why is this thought here? What do I need to work on myself as a leader, as a person as a human, to work through that and come out on the other end with a more with a more abundant mindset? So I wanted to start the conversation by just talking about some of the observations that I’ve had, in terms of where I see scarcity mindset come in, when it relates to or as it relates to being a business owner or a group practice owner.

The first is having a scarcity mindset around other private practice owners being in the same building as you are being in the close vicinity, right?

I see it happening a lot with practices that maybe have their location in a building where there aren’t other therapists. And at some point, a therapist opens up their location or opens up their solo office or group practice, whatever in that building. And you’ll see a lot of feelings coming up and discussion happening around fear that referrals are going to get confused as to which office they should go into right? It’ll be masked and not very clear a lot of times that they just don’t want to have another person another group practice or solo provider in the building. Sometimes it comes out that way.

But other times it comes out in kind of backdoor sort of ways where the person even posting or talking about it doesn’t even realize that it’s a scarcity minded thought. You know where it’ll come up in questions like, well, what happens if new clients get confused and go to the wrong therapist office, because now there’s two of us here, right? When there’s obviously a process that you can have in place to make sure that your new clients go to the right office and whatnot. Another place that we see this happening is when clinician leaves private practice to start their own, this is probably the most common.

On a daily basis, I see posts and comments, and have questions asked to me about how to handle when a therapist leaves and wants to start their own practice.

And you’ll see responses from one end of the spectrum to the other, from, you know, having really strict non-competes non-solicitations, non-supportiveness, from the business owner when a therapist leaves and wants to start their own practice. All the way to the other end of the spectrum, where they are fully supported by that group practice owner where they may be coached, and even in how to set up their own group practice, you’ll see, you know, all of us kind of fitting in somewhere on the spectrum. Obviously, one being more in the scarcity mindset side of the spectrum, and one being in more of the abundant mindset.

Then another place that I see it happening is related sort of to point one. It’s when you’re in a specific neighborhood, or geographic area, and you start seeing a lot of therapists starting to start their practices in that geographic location. And there’s this sense of like, wanting to, you know, take over that space and like, kind of grab this space and hide it from everyone, right? You don’t want to have other practices, sort of hitching their tent in your area. For whatever reasons, usually, it comes down to a fear of having a loss in clients calling, having fear of therapists leaving your practice to go to the practice down the block, right? Again, that results in this fear and this anxiety that there’s going to be less for you or not enough for you anymore as a business owner. Whether that’s not enough clients calling anymore or not enough therapists to hire anymore. And so those are kind of the the areas where I see that.

And then lastly, I see scarcity mindset thinking around raising rates.

And we see that for solo and group practice owners around a fear of not having enough new clients calling anymore. Or not having good conversion of callers to clients when your rates are raised. And they realize, oh my god, that’s way too much, right? There’s this oftentimes unnecessary fear that raising your rates is going to cause your business to go under. And that’s definitely a scarcity minded or a scarcity mindset.

Okay, so what I’ve observed with my own scarcity mindset, when and when it shows up, it’s usually around when I think that I’m not doing something good enough.

Or I’m not feeling confident in whatever it is that I’m offering, whether it’s a service or how I support my team. It usually comes in at that time. The last time I had a scarcity mindset was probably what I can think of at least, it was probably five or six years ago, when someone wanted to make more money. And all of these negative thoughts, “I’m not doing enough, I’m not paying enough, why would anyone want to work in my business?” all came flooding in. And I remember thinking, first off, as you as most of you know me, one of the things that’s really important to me, and one of the main focus of my group practice, and what I do in my practice is just making sure that there aren’t any other creative ways that my team can feel more supported. Both in compensation in perks and benefits, and in support.

And so it’s something I take really seriously. It’s not something I am not paying attention to, you know? It’s one thing to see a team member ask for more money or ask for something that they’re not receiving, and as business owner, be enlightened, that there may be an opportunity for growth as a business to better support your team. And it’s a very different thing to be focusing on that and doing everything you can and then have one question or comment, sort of take that all down, right, in turn, mentally, at least and so that’s how it was for me.

I remember thinking, there’s I literally can’t pay more. I literally, you know, as all of you business owners know, the group practice world profit isn’t, you know, 50%, it’s not very high. So I was getting creative and bending over backwards to try to find ways that I might be blind to the fact that there’s an opportunity for more income. And in this particular case, it was about income, it wasn’t about any other sort of benefits or supports, it was straight up just needing more money on their payroll.

I took a step back. And this is where because I initially went to the scarcity mindset, like “she’s gonna leave, I am just this horrible business owner who’s paying people so poorly,” you know. This is my scarcity mindset, right? “Everyone’s gonna leave, she’s gonna talk to everyone. And everyone’s gonna say, Yeah, that’s right, I didn’t realize I’m not being paid well, and now I realize it, and we all want to leave.”

And it wasn’t until I was able to step back and just seriously depersonalize it and look at objectively what we were offering, because in this case, it was about compensation.

We took the compensation, we took benefits and included that into the compensation, right, if you’re paying for health insurance, there’s a cost set, that’s part of their compensation, we took all of that and put it together, we looked at what our area geographic area was paying to therapists with that license level, right? And we found that I knew that I was doing a really good job and paying above industry average in our area. And it helped me become confident in my compensation package. So when I was able to become confident by looking at it and seeing, I actually have a really good compensation package here, it helped to be able to come back to the table, feeling more confident, and in turn, helping that person feel a little bit more confident in why they couldn’t have more money, right? They couldn’t make more income, doing whatever it is that they were doing, right seeing clients.

Now, there’s obviously always more opportunities. And that can be the creative part of, you know, keeping your team members happy is finding alternative ways for them to make an income outside of one on one sessions, whether that’s through group work, or workshops, or offering sees all of that fun stuff. But in the way that it was done, I was able to get become confident. That helped create a more abundant mindset. And I ended up having that conversation where I said, “I really honestly want you to make everything that you need to make. And if what this practice offers isn’t enough–We feel really confident in what we’re offering based off of what income we received from clients and insurance companies, that it’s a really fair, more than fair compensation package. But I understand that your needs might be that you need more than that.”

And I was only able to have that type of conversation after becoming confident right? Otherwise, going into it with a scarcity mindset, you’re going to go in defensive.

Defending your rationale for your compensation, or potentially getting into a dangerous place financially and giving more income, giving more compensation, and really putting yourself in a sticky situation when it comes to how much you have left for operating expenses. So once I was able to have that conversation, and really come to an abundance mindset that the world is not going to fall apart if this person does leave, and I will make it work, which is abundance, right? Versus scarcity, no, you know, everyone’s gonna leave, everything’s gonna fall apart, the whole group practice is gonna fall apart, etc.

I was able to then be more clear in my conversation and be more confident and say, I really want you to make what you need to make what you feel like you deserve to make. And so I encourage you to look around if that is what is making you unhappy. Or if that is what’s causing you some resentment or negative feelings right now, then I encourage you to look around and see if there are other businesses or practices and or maybe it means solo practice, where you have the opportunity to make more. And we walked through, what the compensation looked like in our practice, and put numbers to it. Then that person was able to go and look around and eventually came back and realized that the compensation was just, you know, the expectations or the assumption on what was able to be made in private practice was, she was kind of going above what our geographic area was.

And it was another lesson learned for us because, that person had come from a different state where compensation is higher because the session rates are higher. So it was a learning curve for everyone in terms of how to discuss this, but it really helped to be able to take a step back.

And I think that’s really the key to shifting from a scarcity mindset to abundance mindset is, is stepping back and doing some reality checking.

You know, is the business really going to fall apart? And even if it does, does that mean you can’t rebuild? You know, if everything falls apart does that mean the world’s going to end? Probably not. Are you really not going to get any more clients, if another practice opens up shop in the same building as you? That’s probably not the case. And really, the successful business owners have grit.

I think grit is what carries people through obstacles and, that’s where if another practice comes in, instead of going into this scarcity mindset.

Now, we all jump into the scarcity mindset for a minute or two. But you know, let yourself live there for a little bit. Then remind yourself that the abundance mindset is really the the more health healthy and helpful mindset to have as a business owner. And it’s going to carry you through into a successful business versus being in a scarcity mindset.

Then asking yourself, okay, what what could potentially happen with X or Y, whatever the issue is, right? And what are some of the resolutions to that? What do I have control over? What don’t I? And with what I do have control over? What can I do to reduce the impact of that potential obstacle? So if someone moves into your building, and all of a sudden, you go from being the only provider, only practice in the building, to now having, I don’t know, two or three different providers that aren’t associated with you? What do you have control over?

Well, from the abundance mindset perspective, I might say, I have control over my marketing efforts.

I have control over becoming more invested in the community and being a part of the community Chamber of Commerce, where the businesses that are in our area, get together and the community members get to know me, and my group practice, right? I have some level of control over how I’m seeing in the community. I can also sit side by side with another business owner who’s doing the same thing. And there’s more than enough clients and need to support all of our businesses.

So I hope that’s a helpful conversation. I just feel like I am seeing it so often. I’m seeing it kind of creep up again now it was it’s been gone through COVID, just because there’s such a demand. But I’m seeing this questions kind of creeping up again, around staff leaving because it feels easier to start a solo practice while everyone’s in telehealth, and in seeing group practice owners asking questions around how can they enforce things so that their team can’t leave. Or so that it’s harder for that employee to or contractor to have their own business.

You know, and just a lot of skirting the lines with having contractors who they’re not allowing to work elsewhere, and really, you know, questionable ethics around their employees and making it harder for them to earn an income if it’s not with them. And so, I really see this scarcity mindset kind of coming back up in our industry.

So I hope, if you’re feeling like you have some of that scarcity mindset going on, now’s the perfect time to work on it. It’ll only make you a better leader. It’ll only make any interactions you have with your team members, a more positive one, and it’s just better for our health. So have a great day and I will see you next week!

Maureen Werrbach 

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra support? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into! Visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.


Here are the resources and guides we recommend based on this episode

Recruiting & Hiring Your Ideal Therapist

Whether you’re a seasoned or a new group practice owner, one thing we all have in common is the overwhelming, sometimes painful process of recruiting, interviewing and hiring of therapists.

Specialized Accounting for Private Practice

At GreenOak Accounting, we offer accounting services that cater specifically to solo and group therapy practices. Our services range from bookkeeping to budgeting & forecasting, Profit First support, profitability analysis, payroll, tax preparation, compensation analysis, and much more.

Through working with over 100+ therapist clients, we have seen what works and what doesn’t, so our team can help guide you on the path to financial. Our specialized services can be customized based on the size and needs of your private practice.

For more information about our packages and the different ways to work with us, please visit our website at and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our team members!

* I am an affiliate for some of the businesses I recommend. These are companies that I use in my own group practice, and make recommendations based off of my experience with them. When you use some of these companies through my links, I receive compensation, which helps me continue to offer great free information on my podcast, blog, Facebook group, and website.

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Meet your host


Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


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The podcast is structured so that you get practice building tips in small doses, where an episode can be listened to (and a group practice building lesson can be learned) in a single car ride.

Episodes are structured into categories: coaching sessions where I coach a group practice owner on a specific topic, tips of the day by yours truly, real talk where you get to be a fly on the wall while an established group practice owner and I talk about the highs and lows of ownership, and trainings done by experts in the field.

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