Reina Lombardi is the founder of Creative Clinician’s Corner and Florida Art Therapy Services in Florida. We hope you enjoy this interview!
Coaching Focus: I help Creative Psychotherapists dream up, build out, and scale a thriving private practice according to their unique vision in order to create a life of joy, ease, and abundance.
Location: Fort Myers, Florida
Tell us about your journey as a coach.
I have spent the past two decades honing my skills as an art therapist and mental health counselor. While I have found immense joy and satisfaction helping my clients learn to connect with their creativity to help themselves navigate life’s circumstances and struggles, the systems in which I worked were less than desirable.
Currency is energy. As therapists, we exchange our life energy to hold space for people to heal. We need time and space to renew that energy within ourselves. Sadly, the mental health systems say they support these endeavors but often don’t allow for that in practice. This leads to burnout and attrition.
Feeling deep contrast within those systems was exactly what I needed to take a leap of faith and invest in myself. I established Florida Art Therapy Services and grew it to a group of seven therapists in seven years. This investment allowed me to create my life on my terms—not one according to the terms of an employer!
Friends and colleagues quickly began asking for guidance on how to open and fill a practice. They encouraged me to share this knowledge with and support others. I began offering intensive workshops on practice building at conferences which garnered high praise and feedback. In 2019, I established Creative Clinician’s Corner to provide resources, training, and coaching for therapists to do the same while also celebrating their amazing contributions to the world through interviews on the Creative Psychotherapist Podcast.
We want to destigmatize talking about money, including how much coaches make. Would you please share with our readers any relevant revenue figures from your business?
My first two years in my coaching business were a washout. Despite being able to create a six-figure private practice within a year, gaining coaching clients was a completely different process. I spent the first two years investing in myself as a coach. Anything that I made went back into the business.
In year three, I finally began to see some profit coming in, but it was less than 10K. I don’t have any online courses or passive streams set up thus far. I have primarily focused on small group coaching and individual coaching packages. Year five will be all about pivoting into the online course game, which I hope will increase revenues in my coaching business.
What courses, programs, or certifications have you done? Would you recommend them, and for whom?
If you are considering hosting a podcast, I loved Melvin Varghese’s Healthcasters Course. This helped me map everything out in a sequential way and structure a complex process which allowed me to experience success right away.
What advice or perspective might you give to a new coach trying to get her first clients? Any advice they should ignore?
Don’t waste money on using paid advertisements until you have a dialed-in marketing message. Really figure out your ideal client and the transformation that you are offering. This will help you figure out how to communicate about what pain point you are helping them resolve.
What are your thoughts on “choosing a niche” as a coach?
I think it is possible to have multiple niches, but we must begin with one. Get the first niche solidly flowing, and then you can expand from there. If you are struggling to identify a niche, people are going to struggle to see you as the one to help them.
There is a saying that once the person buys into your offer, they already experience their pain point as resolved. So, in order to build raving fans, that means you need to be clear about what you are delivering and provide that outcome in the end. Having a niche is the best way to be able to do this with success.
What books have significantly influenced your life? What are your key takeaways from these books?
Boundary Boss by Terri Cole is one I recently read which was AH-MAZING! Boundaries are essential when creating a business, remaining aligned to your life vision, and being able to remain grounded and secure when calling in the fees you need in order for your business to thrive. She has created a Boundary Boss Bill of Rights, which I think is an excellent resource to get you thinking about boundaries in your business.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is also a book that completely shifted the way I look at life in general. It concretized psychological concepts that I already worked with as a therapist, and reinforced ways of being in the world that I already embodied. It was confirmation that investing and believing in my abilities are the path to freedom.
Break the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza is also a book that has been hugely influential. It speaks to how our unconscious beliefs influence our lives and how to change them. I love his work and meditations.
Barbara Huson’s (formerly Stanny) book Overcoming Underearning was also a powerful read on how the limiting money stories we have—especially as women—hold us back and what to do about it.
Another recent book I am enjoying of a similar theme is We Should All be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers.
I could go on and on about books. I am a voracious reader and often am reading or listening to several books at the same time.
If you received an extra $10,000 to spend on your business, how would you spend it and why?
This is such a great question! I would invest it in hiring a full-time virtual assistant for my consultation business to help me complete various tasks to get my business to the next level.
What are some of your favorite affirmations, mantras, thoughts, and/or journal prompts currently? Why?
One of my art therapist and coaching colleagues, Leah Guzman, just wrote my latest favorite book, which also comes with an accompanying oracle deck called The Art of Healing & Manifesting: Creative Exercises for Living in Abundance.
I try to start the day with meditation and then engage in some art journaling. Some of my favorite mantras/affirmations are:
- Your urgency is not my emergency.
- There is enough time to get everything done that needs to be done.
- Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business.
- I call in those I am meant to work with and repel those I am not.
- Commit to the process, not the outcome.
- Above all else, be of value.
When you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or have lost your focus or motivation, what do you do?
One of my favorite things to do is reconvene in nature. I live close to the beach, and I love to go for a walk at sunrise.
I will listen to some motivational materials. I love anything by Wayne Dyer, Thich Nat Hahn, or Joe Dispenza.
Also, anything that helps me to reconnect and elevates my mood—making art, cooking, listening to music.
If I am super stressed and have a lot of energy to burn, I love going to group HIIT classes. It is something I do anyway, but it really helps for burning off stress and increasing dopamine.
Sometimes one of the best things to do when feeling overwhelmed by the urge to get it all done is to quiet the mind and slow down. Meditation, even just for 5 minutes, can create a powerful shift.
Do you have any examples of how a “failure” set you up for later success?
I love the acronym for FAIL: First Attempt In Learning.
I do my best not to get caught up in equating self-worth to success. When we do, I think that prevents us from stepping out on that growth edge.
It is definitely something that I had to reprogram within my own mindset. I was so terrified of the score I might earn on the SAT that I froze and never left my bedroom the day I was supposed to take the test. I rationalized that I could just go to the local college because I didn’t need the score to be accepted. I was avoiding the potential of failure—and success.
After doing a lot of personal development work, I can look back and see how I was holding myself back. I consider not taking the test due to performance anxiety a personal failure. I did learn from it. I learned techniques to help me manage test-taking anxiety and how to feel the fear and do the thing anyway.
Now, I can take any test no matter my condition. Unbeknownst to me, I had the Norovirus when I was scheduled to take a Board Certification exam. I literally had to run out of the room because I was physically ill, but that did not hold me back from taking the test and passing it. My 16-year old self would have called it off and lost the $300 it took to register. Every struggle, fear, and failure are another opportunity for learning and developing mastery.
Do you have any embarrassing (at the time) stories from your work as a coach? Or a time when putting yourself out there really paid off?
I don’t know that there is a specific incident where putting myself out there really paid off. I think it has more been a culmination of increasing visibility of myself and work that has been beneficial.
This interview, for example, would never have happened had I not begun the work. I would not have achieved the success that I have had in my practice without having learned that growth comes from pushing oneself to the edge of discomfort.
Becoming visible was something that felt uncomfortable to the point of nausea at first. My next push is out into the land of video. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would be sharing photos, audio, and video of myself to the world, I would have said it would be highly unlikely. And, yet, here I am.
If you could put a message on a huge billboard—getting a message out to millions—what would it say and why?
“Change the way you see things, and the things you see will change.” ~ Wayne Dyer
We alone are responsible for creating the life we want to live. The best way I have found to do that is by working on shifting my perspective to allow greater opportunity in life. Instead of creating all kinds of hypothetical reasons why something will not work out, give it a try and see all the ways it just may work out better than what you could have ever expected.
Thanks for letting us know!
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