Ask Tiffany: Mo’ Clients, Mo’…PROBLEMS?!

What the frack am I talking about, right?!

A few months back my therapist gently placed her chin on her fist, leaned back in her chair and observed, “You make everything harder than it has to be.”


Oh my gosh. She hit the nail on the head. Up until she made that observation, I had expected everything in life to be a painful grind.

If I had an income goal, I would have to work 10x’s harder to make it:

  • More time in email.
  • More time writing.
  • More hours of client work.
  • Hustlin’ day in and day out, morning until night.

I thought I had already broken out of this way of operating, but in many small ways, I was still treating the world as though money had to be violently wrenched from Reality’s grimy fingers. As if Reality didn’t want me to chill out AND earn AND do amazing work with the people I am thrilled to serve.

Little did I know that I had become poor Seligman’s little dog in the learned helplessness experiment. After busting my ass in my 20’s and barely making ends meet, and then working in agencies for YEARS – where I made $14.50 an hour while enduring getting PUNCHED IN MY HEAD 7 TIMES and then staying to work after that because I was afraid to ask to go home – and THEN doing thousands of hours more of free work in exchange for my license, all while going without insurance because I couldn’t afford it – I thought that earning more meant suffering, grinding, spinning and only eeking out tiny bits of accidental joy when they happened to settle on me.

Guess what, I was wrong.

Once I became aware of my belief that “earning was hard,” everything changed. 2018 is my year of Leisurely Earning. I’ve figured out that I’m going to help more people, while working less, having more fun, more time off, and – yes of course – gratefully welcoming more cash into my life.

All of this stuff has me thinking bout YOU.

I KNOW that there are ways you are grinding it out in your practice, completely unaware that it is totally unnecessary for you to be SO. stressed, SO. overwhelmed. SO freaked out – when a client leaves, when someone asks for a lower fee, when you need a day off.

I know that you believe that in order to deserve what you’ve gotten, especially while so many other people are struggling, you are unconsciously martyring yourself – and holding both yourself, your business and your clients hostage to your alternative facts about reality in the meantime.

Cut it out.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to get yourself OUT of the internal mill of scarcity so you can finally breathe, look out towards your day with ease, knowing you’re taken care of today, tomorrow and 20 years out.

Now, jump on down to the comments section and share one revelation you’ve had about being trapped on the mill of scarcity even as you’ve set up your own practice. Let us know one thing you can do starting today to get out!

Share with us in the comment section below.


  1. kathy chapel

    Hey Tiffany, it’s like you’re always talking to me! How did you get inside my head?

    • Tiffany

      BWHA HA HA! You are my muse, Kathy. There is nothing I want to do more than crawl inside your head, figure out how to tweak this, tweak that – to flip that little switch – that allows you to see how fucking RAD you are.

  2. Angela

    I spent 15 yrs working in other settings before contracting and starting to work on my own practice (the last 3 years). It was helpful to recognize that I am letting a message I didn’t like determine how I practice. I am not at the point of doing a private pay practice yet, but this was a very helpful insight. I am sure I will glean more.

    • Tiffany

      I’m so glad to hear it, Angela! It sounds like you’re beginning to imagine what life *could* be like. I encourage you to get clear about what – exactly – you want for yourself and then, work backwards from there to figure out the steps to make it a reality. It’s closer than you think.

  3. Gwendolyn

    I’m just now starting my PP after coming out of doing agency work for the past 6 years. I think the biggest aha for me was realizing that when out networking, meeting other therapist, or even sharing an office with other therapists it is important to really stay focused on and work on that abundance mindset. For example I was looking at office space this weekend and found a space that I thought had some real potential. I got on Google and started doing some research on who I’d be sharing space with and the neighboring therapist’s in the area. I was shocked and saddened to see that they were charging 1/2 the normal hourly rate for the city. I passed on the office space because it just screamed scarcity at me. I realize that I am easily affected by others scarcity mindset and need to protect myself from taking on other peoples fears.

    • Tiffany

      WOW! Good for you, Gwendolyn!! Now THAT is success thinking. I LOVE that you are 1) aware of the power of external influence and social pressure and 2) taking steps to set up an external environment that supports, nay – assures – that success is inevitable for you. THANK YOU for sharing. You are an inspiration!

  4. Nina Firooz, LMFT

    Thanks for droppin’ some more truth bombs, Tiffany! I recently left one of my 3 agency jobs to spend more time focusing on building my private practice (hence reading, watching, and commenting!), and I realized that I was exhausting myself and not gearing myself towards abundance (2018’s personal theme!). I even did something I thought was unthinkable this week — turned down a potential client. And while I’m still in the early stages of building my private practice, I knew that I could bust my butt to try and make things work with this potential client — but also, I’d be breaking some of my commitments to myself regarding my time boundaries. Definitely scary, and I had that scarcity mindset screaming VERY loudly — so I screamed louder with my actions and held up my commitment to myself, and I’m so glad I did.

    • Tiffany

      NINA! I am so glad you did, tooooo!! It is EASY to take every client that comes your way, max out your schedule, bend over backwards to make something – ANYTHING – work… in the short run. But you, my dear, are playing the loooong game. You did the hard thing, saying “no” to the quick win now in order to set yourself up for ease and wealth down the road – where you get to work with the clients who bring you joy, while ALSO working the hours you want to work, taking time off on your terms and creating financial security. You’d definitely pass the marshmallow test!


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About the Author

Hey, I’m Tiffany McLain, LMFT, and I teach you how to charge good money for the good work you do.  I’m the founder of Lean In. MAKE BANK. Academy, a group program that empowers therapists and social workers like you to reimagine your relationship with money, offering the tools and community support to not just earn more but to fundamentally change your life and the lives of those you serve.

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