Authentic Side Hustles

Authentic Side Hustles

An interview with Annie Schuessler about when and how to consider adding a business outside the therapy room. Curt and Katie explore with Annie about how someone can actually succeed in developing a side hustle, looking at the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and effective products and services.

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

Interview with Annie Schuessler, MFT, Rebel Therapist

Annie Schuessler is a business coach and the host of the podcast Rebel Therapist where she shares stories of people creating unique and innovative businesses. She’s been a therapist in private practice for 20 years, and a business coach for over 10 years. Her mission is to help people trained as therapists create and launch exceptional programs beyond the therapy room. She lives in San Francisco with her wife and two children. When she’s not recording a podcast or working with her clients, you can find her trying to convince her family to play Catan with her. You can find her resources at

In this episode we talk about:

  • The mistakes therapists make in developing their side hustles
  • Why it doesn’t make sense to go for passive income right away
  • The importance of creativity and passion for the impact you want to have
  • The role burnout should (or should not) play in what you decide to do
  • Characteristics of successful entrepreneurs
  • Why you need grit and perseverance
  • The problem with cookie cutter programs or programs from people one step ahead of you
  • Where to focus and how to initially develop your offering
  • The need for identifying what you have to offer and how to develop authority
  • Owning your experience and standing out
  • Selling a process versus expert information
  • The challenges of marketing and some ideas about how to address these challenges
  • Authentic relational approach for therapists turned coaches
  • The considerations for starting another business now during the COVID pandemic and the global economic crisis
  • Why fluff won’t sell, especially now
  • Creation of free resources to provide value to your community
  • The risk of repurposing others’ work for your own
  • The need to articulate your unique viewpoint, understand your mission and purpose
  • The fear of being bold and standing out

Resources mentioned:

We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance!

Rebel Therapist

Rebel Therapist Podcast

Relevant Episodes:

Creating Opportunities

Clinical Marketing

Beyond Selling the Couch

Connect with us!

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Get Notified About Therapy Reimagined Conferences

Our consultation services:

The Fifty-Minute Hour

Who we are:

Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, the CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at:

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at:

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.

Stay in Touch:

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapist’s Group


Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

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