Stacey Crowley’s Path: From City Accountant to Rural Speech Pathology Entrepreneur 038

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Today’s Guest

Stacey Crowley CCC-SLP

Are you thinking of leaving a steady job and starting your private practice, especially in a field as unique as Speech Language Pathology (SLP)? Meet Stacey Crowley, who took that leap and moved from the bustling city of Chicago to the peaceful hills of Asheville, North Carolina to open her SLP private practice Learning Tree Literacy. As we unpack her journey, we’ll discover the obstacles she faced, the lack of collaboration and resources in her previous job, and how the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People transformed her outlook and approach to life.

In this episode, we’re going to tackle the importance of mental and physical well-being while managing a private practice. We share personal experiences, discussing the art of setting boundaries, the courage to say “no”, and the process of understanding our definitions of success. We further delve into what truly motivates us – is it money, or could it be autonomy, mastery, and purpose?

Learn how Stacey transitioned from accounting to SLP, and explore the growing importance of emotional intelligence, communication, and restorative practices within both corporate and educational settings. Our conversation is packed with insights, resources, and anecdotes that could help you redefine your career path or boost your entrepreneurial journey.

“I have loved being a solo practitioner. That gives me the time and space to dive into every other interest that I have that has to do with human development and thriving.”

Do you want to chat more about this topic?

Stacey and I would love to continue this conversation with you over on Instagram.

Topics covered on being an SLP Private Practice Entrepreneur

  • How she found her passion and switched from being an accountant to a SLP
  • The lifestyle that we want determines our career path
  • Social-emotional learning vs Emotional intelligence
  • Healthy boundaries
  • Being curious and proactive in your networking
  • The impact SLPs can make

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Highlight questions from SLP Private Practice Entrepreneur

What made you change from being an accountant to a SLP Private Practice Entrepreneur?

I read a book that was super influential then and now in helping me frame my mindset around life, and it was called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And one of those habits is “begin with the end of mind”. Which means stepping back from the day-to-day and thinking about what I want from my life. This for me, short term, was to sit with a child and make an impact without all the constraints placed on educators in public school systems.

Why did you build your own practice?

The previous was my end in mind, professionally, and then personally, my wife and I wanted to be in more nature, we wanted less traffic, and we wanted to be able to afford a home. This made us realize that we needed to change locations.
At the same time, I was finishing my literacy master’s and I realized that there aren’t jobs available in public schools that are asking for a certified speech pathology and literacy specialist. So I had to make my own. I was very inspired because a good friend of mine, who was a special education teacher at my school, got her literacy master’s and started her own practice. To this day I keep coming back to those seven habits on a regular basis for the work that I do for myself, and for the kids and the adults that I work with.

What advice do you have for a SLP Private Practice Entrepreneur?

I would advise him/her to read all those books and map out where you want to be. In doing so, you end up with how you’re going to be successful, and defining success is a very individual task.
When you enter into opening a private practice, you don’t clock out at the end of the day. So there’s a lot of work to be done around healthy boundaries. I have a lot of parents asking if I’ll work on the weekends and I do not. It’s taken me a while to learn how to say no because I have definitely over-scheduled myself and found myself so overwhelmed. So, being able to recognize our sweet spot is an important aspect of it as well.
Lastly, another habit is to be proactive, and I did a lot of calls. I dialed up a speech therapist in Florida whom I’d never met before: “Hey, I’m thinking of opening a practice. Can I pick your brain?” And most people are willing to help you.

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Join Rehab Professionals (OT, OTA, PT, PTA, & SLP) seeking motivation, support, and resources to bridge the gap to alternative careers. Listen to honest and authentic interviews with Rehab Rebel Guests who have deviated from traditional health career paths. Gain insights, new perspectives, and the next steps to achieve both a positive career and lifestyle change in your non-traditional career. Or what I like to call, Rebel Careers 🙂
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