Parents in business: Nikki Collinson-Phenix of The Profitable Couch

What is your business?

I have been a chiropractor/therapist for the last 21 years both in the UK and abroad. In 2019 I launched The Profitable Couch Community to coach/mentor therapists on the business side of therapy. Many therapy training establishments do not offer sufficient business training alongside the therapy training and so incredible, passionate and skilled therapists fall flat on their face straight out of the starting blocks or struggle, never reaching their full potential. I knew that with my extensive experience and my previous corporate finance career that I could help therapists create impactful and profitable therapy businesses that would make a real difference to them and their clients.

What challenges have you faced along the way?
Business Challenges – Learning how to market was a massive learning curve. When I first started out, I genuinely had no idea what I was doing. I did a lot of things with no strategy or planning and just kept my fingers crossed a lot! I wasted a lot of time and money on doing things that were never going to work because I didn’t know any better! If I had had the knowledge I have now, I would have built my business so much quicker and so much smarter! I also relocated abroad and then back to the UK, so there were the challenges of building new practices again and also the challenge of finding suitable, reliable and dedicated therapists to work in your clinic and under your banner! One of them stole everything from my clinic one night and disappeared. She was caught eventually but it was a very upsetting and challenging time! 

Personal Challenges – Being off work through both my pregnancies due to me being a terrible incubator and being off work for a year following a back injury were huge challenges in terms of keeping my business going and keeping me visible. There were also huge financial implications too. Also, when I became a single mum to my 10-day old baby and suddenly had to relocate back to the UK and try and start a business again whilst being a solo parent. That was hard.

How did you start your podcast and why?
I have always had a little secret passion to have my own radio show, I have just really enjoyed it every time I have been a guest on the radio, so I had pondered that one day I might launch a podcast. Then Covid hit and The Profitable Couch community was suddenly filled with therapists in a state of fear, worry, anxiety and confusion. Their clinic doors had closed and for many of them it was their only source of income. I could feel the usually positive energy and vibe in there depleting rapidly and I knew I had to step and help them navigate the challenging times. I called on my business network and hosted a 2 day online business summit which was amazing but I knew I wanted to do more and reach more therapists who perhaps didn’t yet know of our community and the support that awaited them there. So, I made the decision to stop thinking about a podcast and to get on and launch it and let it be a beacon of help and inspiration to my fellow therapists. And so, The Profitable Couch Podcast was launched!

What has worked well about your podcast?
Well I don’t really know how to begin! I was told after I launched the first episode that I should try and aim to get in the iTunes Top 200 charts, which I thought would be impossible but that I would give it my best shot! What actually happened was that it reached number 2 in the business  charts for Entrepreneurship which was just amazing! That was a great bonus BUT the most important thing is that it reached and continues to reach new therapists who need this support right now and it became an integral part of the community learning too! I often ask what people are up to and I will get a reply saying they are listening to a podcast episode! That just makes me so happy that from my little attic on the Isle of Wight I can help more and more therapists with their business strategy and their mindset! We have guest expert speakers, I do training and I also interview some of our therapist community too to inspire their fellow therapists too! Plus, we have an Ask Nikki feature which is really good fun too! I have received so much positive feedback globally, plus on a local level, the local radio and papers picked up the story too which gave it a bit of a boost too! All of that has enabled me to reach and help more therapists. The journey has been beyond my expectations and I am so very grateful to everyone who has supported the podcast.

How do you fit this in around your family!
I am not going to lie, it’s been a struggle! I have been doing what most families have been doing and that is juggling lots of balls whilst trying to home-school and look after a toddler. My husband is also self-employed, so we have become supreme jugglers! We have sat with our diaries each week and worked out who can work what days/times so that one can work and the other look after the kids. I am also a big fan of time blocking so for me very early in the morning and later at night when the kids are sleeping, I get to do most of my admin and work. It requires a lot of give and take on both sides. We haven’t always got it write and we’ve messed up at times, but we’ve done our best and we haven’t yet felt the need to hit the divorce courts, so I think we are doing ok! My 8-year-old daughter has been inspired so much by my podcast that she now wants to launch a podcast with me for kids, so watch this space!

What advice would you give your younger self?
That you are stronger than you think and that even the darkest of times will pass. That all of your dreams can totally become reality if you want them bad enough. To not be so stubbornly independent and to not let your desire for perfection get in the way of progress. To embrace imperfect action all the way! You have the ability to positively impact many in your life and that
you should feel the fear and do it anyway!

What impact do you want to have?
I have 3 main areas I want to have an impact in. One is with my kids. I hope that by my actions I inspire them to dream big and to want to lead good, kind, fulfilling and impactful lives where through living their lives they help lots of people too. I want to continue to impact my work in Uganda through the organisation I have there (I used to live there) and to continue to make a difference to the women and children I work with there. And finally I want to impact as many therapists as I can across the world to know that they CAN learn how to run a successful therapy business, they CAN make a difference to so many clients and they CAN earn a great income in the process!

Nikki Collinson-Phenix is The Therapists Coach – she created The Profitable Couch community to help aspiring, passionate and ambitious therapists create therapy businesses that are impactful AND profitable! You can connect with Nikki via  Facebook and you can listen to the podcast – here.

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