Dr. Tracey Marks is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist in Atlanta,GA with a special interest in how the mind and body connect to shape our quality of life. She has worked with numerous women struggling to balance their life and work, while also overcoming burnout, depression and other stress-related issues. She also has an online presence where the focus is helping busy moms be their best through effective lifestyle choices that improve their personal and professional lives. She doesn’t have a mentor, but does have a business coach to helps her make some wise decisions. We interviewed Dr. Marks for this edition and here are her responses on life and her private practice, Marks Psychiatry.
Please list a quote or motto you live by and state why.
My motto: Relationships are the true currency of life. Nurture them because they will be all you have left at the end of the day.
List location, phone number, website.
My practice is located at:
2600 Century Parkway, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30345
My online site is: http://beyondburnout.com
What motivated you to open your own business?
Having a child and wanting to have a flexible schedule to spend time with him and be available for school activities.
Did you have any initial fears or concerns that you had to overcome when opening your business?
My fear was not having a guaranteed income. This kept me from making this decision when I was single. Once I got married and had a second income earner, I felt more comfortable taking the risk.
It’s still a struggle not knowing when business will come to a grinding halt and referrals dry up. This is a risk for any practice, so I have to stay on top of things with marketing.
How did you develop your concept?
I have a private practice that is similar to the one where I worked as an employee for 5 years prior. Over time, I found that I enjoyed helping women and focusing on lifestyle issues. I then decided to make that my niche for my online business.
How much capital did you need to get started? Did you use any creative funding sources?
Since I was employed in the same field for 5 years, I brought my patients with me and started with some work and instant income. I didn’t need extra start up capital.
How do you market your business? Do you use any creative marketing strategies?
Some of my referrals were word of mouth, but a large portion of my new patients came through online advertising such as Google and online therapy directories.
Currently I have expanded to social media for marketing my online business. I use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Are you or your business on Facebook? Twitter? Linked In? Please list.
How do you manage employees if any?
No employees at this time. I use people on a contract basis to outsource work such as transcriptions, on-call phone operators, etc.
What are some of your day to day struggles as a business owner?
Dealing with administrative paperwork and tasks that do not earn income for me. I don’t like the fact that as a service-based business, my income is dependent on how many patients I can fit into the day. I don’t like having to define things in terms of billable hours. I never have wanted a high volume practice and therefore taken the stance that I am willing to earn less income to have more personal time.
Having more flexible time was also the impetus for wanting to have an online business. I like being able to reach and help more people while at the same time having passive income from the sales of products.
What brings you the most joy from your work?
Seeing people’s lives changed when I help them understand their issues or prescribe medication that transforms their world. Because I have a relatively small volume of patients, I become very attached to them and love to see them flourish.
How do you balance work life and family? Do your work demands affect your relationships?
As mentioned previously, I make the decision to work less billable hours (see less patients) in order to have more time for myself and my family. I take Fridays off and have the time for myself. This does wonders for me since Saturdays and Sundays end up being family time.
I don’t have this problem, but I know that if I switched to the high volume/insurance model where I saw 20-30 patients a day, I would be making more money, but be very irritable and depleted at the end of the day.
Any advice you’d like to offer to anyone interested in your line of work?
Think of how you want your life to look, then work backward as to what kind of setting you want to have for your work (private practice, hospital work, large clinic, government agency, administrative position, etc). Also if you decide to own your own practice, get a business coach to help you make good decisions.
Would you like to offer a promotion to the readers? If so, please list.
I do have some meditation and relaxation CD’s available for purchase on my site http://beyondburnoutblog.com/products/
I also have an EZYWalk audio to help people get into the practice of walking for their health. http://beyondburnoutblog.com/products/ezywalk-system/
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