Create Sustainable Life Long Income with Gordon Brewer | GP 120

Image of Gordon Brewer captured. On this therapist podcast, Gordon Brewer talks about creating sustainable life long income.

Do you want to boost and supplement your income? Which phase of life are you – and your practice – currently in? Can you create streams of income that will support life’s transitions?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Gordon Brewer about creating sustainable streams of income that can help you transition in life.

Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision

An image of Brighter Vision Web Solutions is featured as the sponsor on Faith in Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Brighter Vision builds all in one websites for therapists.

When you’re in private practice it can be tough to find the time to even review your marketing efforts, let alone to make improvements where needed.

By first understanding your practice and what makes it unique, Brighter Vision’s team of developers are then able to create you a beautiful website that will attract your ideal clients and get them to contact you. Better yet, they also provide unlimited tech support to make sure it’s always up-to-date, and professional search engine optimization to make sure you rank high in online searches – all at no additional cost.

But best of all, we’ve worked with them to create a special offer just for Grow A Group Practice listeners. Get your first 3 months of website service completely FREE. To take advantage of this amazing deal, head to brightervision.com/joe. 

Meet Gordon Brewer

A photo of Gordon Brewer is captured. He is a therapist, podcaster, trainer, speaker and writer. Gordon is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast Gordon Brewer, LMFT is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast and also a group practice owner in Kingsport, TN, Kingsport Counseling Associates. The Practice of Therapy provides resources and tools for starting, growing and scaling private practices. Gordon also has a new podcast, The Kindness and Compassion Podcast that launched in February of 2022 that explores the intersection of psychology, science and spirituality to help people live with more kindness and compassion in their lives.

Visit his counseling website and Practice of Therapy website.

Listen to The Practice of Therapy Podcast and The Kindness and Compassion Podcast

Connect with Gordon on Instagram and LinkedIn.

FREEBIE: Check out the Practice of Therapy Webinars and Training

In This Podcast

  • Know your “why”
  • Consider your current phase of life
  • Income and retirement
  • Gordon’s podcast recommendations

Know your “why”

Whenever you want to start a new venture by creating a new stream of income or providing a new service, know why you want to do it.

Do you want to boost your income? How will you use this new income? What is it for? Do you want to serve more people in your niche?

What is going to be a good return on the investment of both [your] time and [your] money? (Gordon Brewer)

Understanding why you want to do something, and adding a new stream of income, will help you to decide whether it is the best use of your time and energy.

Consider your current phase of life

Where are you now, and where do you want to go?

If you create a new stream of income, will you still want to be doing it in five years? Will it be sustainable?

A priority for me at this point is really making sure that the businesses and the practice [are] running smoothly so that I can get it to a place where I can hand it off to the next [chapter]. (Gordon Brewer)

Consider where you currently are in life and the phase that your practice is currently in. Will your new stream of income help you to achieve your goals, help the practice to grow, or something else?

Income and retirement

  • Make sure that the employees that you have can still work in the practice as it transitions from one owner to another.
  • Can your practice still provide you with a level of income after selling it, such as leasing the building that you own where the practice operates from?
  • Which systems can you put into place now to help the practice run while you are no longer working there?

Gordon’s podcast recommendations

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Alison Pidgeon, Group Practice Owner

An image of Alison Pidgeon is displayed. She is a successful group practice owner and offers private practice consultation for private practice owners to assist in how to grow a group practice. She is the host of Grow A Group Practice Podcast and one of the founders of Group Practice Boss.Alison Pidgeon, LPC is the owner of Move Forward Counseling, a group practice in Lancaster, PA and she runs a virtual assistant company, Move Forward Virtual Assistants.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016.  She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

Transformation From A Private Practice To Group Practice

In addition, she is a private practice consultant for Practice of the Practice. Allison’s private practice ‘grew up.’ What started out as a solo private practice in early 2015 quickly grew into a group practice and has been expanding ever since.

Visit Alison’s website, listen to her podcast, or consult with Alison. Email Alison at alison@practiceofthepractice.com

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[ALISON PIDGEON] You are listening to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. Whether you were thinking about starting a group practice or in the beginning stages, or want to learn how to scale up your already existing group practice, you are in the right place. I’m Alison Pidgeon, your host, a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a large group practice that I started in 2015. Each week, I feature a guest or topic that is relevant to group practice owners. Let’s get started.Hi, welcome to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. I’m Alison Pidgeon your host. I hope you are all doing well. So we are going to be launching a new cohort of our membership community called Group Practice Boss very soon in May. If that is something you’re interested in, checking out go to the webpage practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss, and you can sign up to be on our email list so you’re the first to hear about when we launch.Group Practice Boss is membership community that Whitney Owens and I run where we take established group practice owners and provide support to them. We do webinars every single week that are live. We have a different theme every month, and obviously everything is catered to what established group practice owners are going through, whether it’s having struggles with hiring or whether it’s questions around expansion or whether it’s how to make sure their practice is insured in the right way so that they have the most coverage possible. We cover all of that and more. Definitely check it out at practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss. Hopefully I’ll see you in there in May, 2022.Today I am interviewing Gordon brewer, who is an LMFT. If you have ever listened to the Practice of Therapy podcast Gordon is the person behind that. He is also a group practice owner from Kingsport, Tennessee. He has a practice called Kingsport Counseling Associates and through the Practice of Therapy, he helps other practice owners start grow and scale private practices. He also just came out with a new podcast called the Kindness and Compassion Podcast, where he explores the intersection of psychology science and spirituality to help people live with more kindness and compassion in their lives. [ALISON] Gordon and I talk about all of those things. We also talk about his plans for retirement and how he thinks about what sorts of things to start up in terms of multiple streams of income. We also talk about Gordon’s favorite podcast and I did not realize he had such a wide variety of podcasts that he listened to, but he definitely has a very interesting list. So if you have listened to Gordon on his podcast even if you haven’t listened to Gordon, he is just an amazing kind human being. So definitely take a listen to this interview with Gordon brewer. Hi Gordon. Welcome. [GORDON BREWER] Well, hi, Alison. Glad to be here. Looking forward to this. [ALISON] Yes, it’s so nice to talk with you. You are one of the folks in our group of business consultants. We actually have met in person so it’s always, always nice to see you either virtually or in person and hopefully when the pandemic winds down, we’ll see each other in person again. [GORDON] Right, yes. [ALISON] But I know you have a few different things going on in addition to being a group practice owner, you have a consulting business called the Practice of Therapy, and then you started a new podcast recently. So can you tell us about that? [GORDON] Yes, sure. I’ve got, probably folks that are listening here, probably know me from the Practice of Therapy podcast, which is hard to believe, it’s been out since 2017 when I started it, but this this past year or at the beginning of 2022, I’d had this dream or this plan or goal or whatever you want to call it to start a new podcast that wasn’t necessarily directly therapy related, but really was geared more towards just the general public, just outside our niche of practice owners and that thing. It’s called the Kindness and Compassion Podcast and really the goal of it is the tagline is conversations around at the intersection of psychology, I’m drawing a blank now, the conversations around kindness and compassion and the context of psychology, spiritual practices, and also science of really looking at what is it that makes that important for people and why people want to be switching over to being more kind and compassionate, and really what the ultimate goal of just really doing maybe just a little bit to try to end some of the polarization and divide that we seem to be experiencing over the last several years. That’s where it’s really geared towards. So I’ll be interviewing therapists, I’ll be interviewing clergy people or spiritual leaders, also people in the whole behavioral science realm and that sort of thing of really just having those conversations of really how people can begin to incorporate more kindness and compassion in their lives. So, [ALISON] I love that. I love how you combined all those things together. I’m curious, where did you come up with that idea? [GORDON] Well, it was something I’ve been thinking about. I listened to a lot of podcasts and just really thinking, it’s always been a theme for me part of my background. As well I’m a clergy person in the Episcopal church and just in my sermons that I do and that sort of thing is really, that being the core of at least my own faith tradition is the way I see it is that that’s the path we want to be on is to have kindness and compassion. So I did a search and kindnessandcompassion.com was available. So I snatched it up and bought that URL and a few others around that particular topic. I had just pushed it, during COVID I pushed it off in the back burner and then in December, when I was taking time off at Christmas, I put it together and pulled it all together to start that podcast. So as we’re recording this, I’ve got five episodes out. There’s a trailer there and yes, it’s happening. Thought we’ll see how it grows. [ALISON] That’s awesome. So is that really just a passion project of yours or are you hoping that turns into another business or? [GORDON] Yes, it’s both and really my philosophy is that I don’t think anybody should go into any sort of business without being passionate about what they’re doing or at least the topic around it. So, yes, my hope is that that will, as they say, and podcasting world will monetize. I’ve got a Patreon page set up for that. That’s really, my first step is to really have it people contribute that want to support it and that sort of thing, but ultimately hopefully to get podcast sponsors and that sort of thing. Then much like I do with the Practice of Therapy, maybe begin to offer some courses or some consulting or coaching around that topic if people are interested in that thing. So I’m building the plane as a fly with all of that. So hopefully that’ll, it will continue to grow. [ALISON] I think that’s a really good example of you’re trying to build an audience for something that maybe eventually will turn into a business, but right now is not, but we always talk about how building the audience is the first step just so you know if there’s a demand for whatever you eventually want to provide. So, I think that’s really smart. [GORDON] But yes, so I know like you do as well, Alison is just I’ve got several different projects that I keep going and certainly I’ve got my group practice that is done well. I think, for any of us in the mental health field, it’s just the sky’s the limit right now with just the demand that’s out there. We’re really limited by the number of people we can see and the time that we can put to seeing people, but also just with the Practice of Therapy, that just really has taken off and seem to be getting a lot of interest from people around just various practice building tools. One course that I’ve got, which if somebody’s interested in this course, I would want them to take through the free webinar first, the Google Workspace for Therapists, or really just knowing use the tools of Google Workspace to manage your practice and handle the, as much as anything, the business side of your practice with Google Workspace. Although there’s a lot of folks that are starting to use it as really almost a substitute for electronic health record system, doesn’t work well for my practice, just because I’m insurance based but I think for somebody that’s not insurance based, they can certainly do that if they’re willing to put the work into it. [ALISON] That was something I wanted to ask you about, because I know when you originally made that course, I don’t remember when it was, but it used to be called G-Suite. That’s what the course was called, but now Google has renamed it Google Workspace, so you did an update in 2021 just to reflect all the changes and right now you have that available? [GORDON] That’s correct. Like I said, you can go to practiceoftherapy.com/gwscourse, Google Workspace, but just use the initials GWS course. Or really what I would recommend is that if you’re just curious about all of that before jumping in and getting the course as I’ve got a free webinar on just it’s an hour long automated webinar, and people can find that at practiceoftherapy.com/webinars. I’ve got several other free webinars there that people can pick their time to watch and give them some good information around all of that. [ALISON] I know every time somebody’s viewed your course, or I know you’ve done some speaking engagements too, on that topic, people always rave about how well you explain things and how easy it is to understand how to use the software once they go through your course so I know that’s such a valuable resource for therapists and practice owners [GORDON] Yes, yes, yes. I think the reason I got interested in Google Workspace was back when I was trying to get really making that move from being a solo practitioner into starting a group. I really wanted to have my email extension be @kingsportcounseling.com. Then I started looking into, okay, well, I’ve got to worry about HIPAA and all of that sort of thing and as I researched it that’s how I landed on Google Workspace. Or back then it was really dating myself. It was called Google Apps for Work, and then they changed it to G-Suite and now it’s Google Workspace, but when you get the paid version of a Google account which is called Google Workspace that enables you to get the BAA from Google to make it HIPAA compliant, or HIPAA secure or whatever you want to call that for all of those tools.So was able to do that. Then as I added group members to my group practice, I was able to give everybody at kingsportcounseling.com an email address. That’s what got my foot in the door. Then I started learning about things like Google Forms and Google Drive and being able to integrate Google Calendar and all of those kinds of things. It’s really is a great suite of tools. It’s not — yes, go ahead. [ALISON] We use that in my practice and we still use an EHR but everything else pretty much happens in Google Workspace. [GORDON] That’s same for my practice. I’ve got, we might be using the same one, Alison. I use Therapy Notes for my EHR, which I think at least in my opinion, if you’re going to be in insurance-based practice you really need something like that just to make it all as seamless, as possible, as far as filing claims and all that sort of thing. [ALISON] That’s definitely a great option for an insurance-based group practice. So what else is happening in Practice of Therapy lately? You have any new goals for the year? [GORDON] Yes. Well, one of the things is really just getting the resources that I have there. We’ve got several things, one a new course that I just launched on becoming a third party, accepting insurance in your practice, just go over a lot of the ins and outs of that. Also in the same niche I got a new webinar that I partnered with my friend David Hall called Scaling Without Failing. It’s really just about going from solo to group practice. Then we’ve got a whole course around that on the Teachable platform, just called Group Practice Outfitter, again, walking people through the process of becoming a, moving from a solo practice to a group practice. I think some people find that format of doing an online course really helpful for them.Let’s see, what else is going on at the Practice of Therapy? Continuing, the podcast is just taking off. We’re averaging over 6,000 downloads a month now. So with the podcast, that’s been, I’m just blown away by that, because it’s just, even though I’m doing a lot of, I outsource all my social media and that thing, but it’s just really taken off. So, yes, that’s just been fun to delve into all of that. Then we’re continuing to look at what other course options we want to give people as far as expanding things. Oh, the other course that I’ve got out there where I partnered with, I think our mutual friend, Julie Harris at Green Oak Accounting is Money Matters and Private Practice.That’s another course that I’ve got up. That’s been there for a while and we again go over just teaching the whole financial side of running a private practice and doing things like using Profit First and that sort of thing. So that’s out there as well with the Practice of Therapy. So yes, I’m always looking for other ways to have resources for people that are going to just, I’ve learned a lot about being in private practice the hard way, and I don’t like for other people to really have to do it that way. So really sharing what I’ve learned over the, oh gosh, dare, I say it, last 20 years in private practice. [BRIGHTER VISION] When you’re in private practice, it can be tough to find the time to even review your marketing efforts, let alone to make improvements where needed. Whether you are a seasoned clinician with an existing website in need of a refresh or a new therapist, building a website for the first time, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. By first understanding your practice and what makes it unique, Brighter Vision’s team of developers are then able to create you a beautiful website that will attract your ideal clients and get them to contact you.Better yet, they also provide unlimited tech support to make sure it’s always up to date and professional search engine optimization to make sure you rank high in online searches all at no additional cost. But best of we’ve worked with them to create a special offer just for Grow A Group Practice podcast listeners. Get your first three months of website service, completely free. To take advantage of this amazing deal, head to brightervision.com/joe. Again, that’s brightervision.com/joe. [ALISON PIDGEON] Yes, that’s great. So there’s a treasure trail of different courses there. It sounds like that people can check out. I know you’re obviously doing other things and have other business opportunities outside of your group practice so we typically call that multiple streams of income. How do you think about that in terms of like, when you’re making a decision about what to do, like you started this new podcast. Do you consider how much time that’s going to take, do you consider how much money you could potentially generate from that? How much is too much? What’s your thought process around those choices? [GORDON] So part of it that people hear from me a lot is really knowing your why, why you would want to do any of these sort of things. And I think there’s several different, I think about the different domains of our life. We have certainly our family life, we have our businesses that we run, we have just things that we’re passionate about, hobbies, the social part of our life, our spiritual side, all of that kind stuff. I think that goes into that, but I think the way to answer your question, I think Alison is I really look at all of the things that you’re thinking about, what is going to be a good return on the investment of both my time and my money with that, and being able to hopefully get a good return on your investment.I think for a lot of us, particularly those of us that have maybe started group practices we really move out, I think for most of us, we tend to move out of the clinical side of things more and move more into the administrative business kinds of things. So really looking at what is the best use of my time around those things. I’ve really, for example, doing the podcast although, this past year of, this year actually I separated my podcast and consulting business under a new entity. So I’ve got my practice under Kingsport Counseling Associates and then started a new entity called Site Craft, LLC, that houses the podcast and Practice of Therapy and all of that. Yes, hopefully that answered your question. I went off on a tangent there, but [ALISON] Yes, no, I think that’s great. I think it’s always a unique thought process when you’re considering how to use your time, like you said, how to spend your money, what return on investment you’re going to get. I know for me at this point in my life, I’m looking for things that are really going to take as little time as possible, just because I have three little kids at home, but I think maybe in another phase of my life, I might look at it differently. [GORDON] Again, that maybe is something, exactly to think about my, I just have one daughter and she’s, so I like to say adulting now. She’s already graduated from college and out on her own and that sort of thing, and also I’m at that time in my life where I’m looking towards retirement and really getting things set up there. So making sure, a priority for me at this point is really making sure that the businesses and the practice and all is running smoothly so that I can get it to a place to really hand it off to the next, whatever that is, as far as whether somebody buys the practice from me or we go in a different direction or something like that. So really figuring all of that out. So it’s a different phase of practice compared to growing a practice. [ALISON] I’m wondering if we can just talk about that for a minute if you’re so inclined. So when you think about retirement, are you thinking you might sell the practice and that the proceeds from the sale is going to help to fund your retirement or how do you look at that? Or how are you planning for that? [GORDON] I think one of the things is that I really want to make sure that the employees that I have can do that transition and that the transition to whoever maybe the next owner is, is that they’re going to get what they have now, because I’ve got that. So I have that, taking care of the people and that sort of thing is really my big priority. I would like maybe for my practice to continue to, even though I might not be the owner of it, to continue to bring me some income at some level. You and I, Alison had talked about buying a building as in that sort of thing. So one potential there is just to lease my building to whoever practice is here next. So getting that income from that lease and that sort of thing. So, yes, it’s going to contribute certainly to my retirement. I’ve been fortunate in that over the years, we’ve been well prepared for retirement and so I’m not too worried as much about the money as I move into retirement, but it certainly has to be on the radar. [ALISON] That’s the one thing becoming a business owner, realizing that when you’re a W2 employee working for somebody else, you think of your retirement as like, oh, I’m just putting money into this 401k or whatever it is, and that’s going to be my retirement. Then when you’re self-employed, there’s so many more options. Like you said, you could keep the building and just get some income from the rent or you could sell your business. That would be a big chunk of money towards retirement and things like that. So I just think it’s interesting how people think about that and what all the different options are. [GORDON] Then too, just with, once I retire from clinical practice, I do plan on continuing to work with the Practice of Therapy and continuing to do that stuff just because I just find it a blast. I just have so much fun doing it and just enjoy creating the different things that we’re creating and all of that sort of thing. [ALISON] Me too. [GORDON] That’s important to me. [ALISON] I know a little while ago, you said you listened to a lot of podcasts, would you mind sharing some of the podcasts you listened to, even if they’re not therapy or business related? [GORDON] Yes. So let’s see, I just happen to have my screen here in front of me and let me look here and see what I have got on my list of podcasts I’m listening to here lately. I’ve gotten interested in cryptocurrency, so I’ve been listening to a podcast about that called Crypto Casey. That was just bit interesting. Another one I’ve been listening to is, which is really related to my other podcast, the. Kindness and compassion is one called The Science of Happiness, which is done by, through UC Berkeley and is called The Greater Good Science Center. So that’s been real interesting. I listen to Akimbo by Seth Gordon, which is is a good one. [ALISON] Is that marketing related because I know this guy? [GORDON] Yes, it’s marketing and business related. I listen to Focus on This as well by Michael Hyatt and company. One of the things that I love is my full focus planner. So it’s all about staying productive and productivity and that thing. I listen to The Daily which is, the daily is done by the New York Times. It’s just a daily recap of the news for the day. So that’s been good. Listening to Renegades, Born in the USA, which is a podcast that’s been done by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen. So I love that one. Yes, that’s a good one. If you haven’t listened to it, Dolly Parton’s America is a great podcast. It’s a short series just about her and her life. Being from east Tennessee, it was just a cool thing.Let’s see, what else? The Ted Radio Hour, I listen to that. Revisionist History, which is Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, I’ve listened to that. Of course, Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn. Also this obscure podcast called Practice of the Practice. Also Mike Michalowicz’s podcast called Entrepreneurship Elevated is one that I listen to. Then I’ve got some religious podcasts. There’s one that I do called Pray as You Go, which is a podcast really for a daily devotional thing. I’ll listen to a lot. Another one’s Uncommon Ground, which is Vance Jones’. That, again, very similar to what I’m trying to do of, just really having conversations around those tough topics that tend to bring dissension among people. So that’s been a fun one to listen to as well. [ALISON] That’s quite the variety of podcasts. [GORDON] It is. I switch off, from week to week, I get into one and then switch around and that thing. [ALISON] I understand. I got another one you should listen to. It’s called How I Built This. It’s produced by NPR and Guy Ross. [GORDON] Oh yes, yes. I love Guy Ross. I know that one. [ALISON] He’s a great interviewer. So yes, I highly recommend that one. [GORDON] I’m making a note of that. [ALISON] Okay. All right. Sounds good. Well, Gordon, it was great talking with you today. If folks want to get ahold of you, where is the best place for them to find you? [GORDON] They can, of course go to the website practiceoftherapy.com. They can email me at gordon@practiceoftherapy.com. Also they can check out the new podcast, Kindness and Compassion. It’s just kindnessandcompassion.com and they can find out more about that project from me as well. [ALISON] Excellent. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. [GORDON] Yes, thanks for having me, Alison. [ALISON] Well, I wanted to say thank you one more time to Brighter Vision, our sponsor for today’s episode. I have a Brighter Vision website. I’ve always been very happy with it. We actually have recently refreshed our website because it was made back in 2016. So we went in and modernized it and I’m really happy with the result. So if you are ready to get an amazing website and get three months free, take advantage of our deal over at brightervision.com/joe, that’s J-O-E. I’ll talk to y’all next time.Thank you so much for listening. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Gordon. If you are an established group practice owner, that means if you have at least two people hired that work in your practice, and you want ongoing support for building your practice for streamlining things, for helping you to feel less stressed out and more confident as a group practice owner definitely consider joining us in Group Practice Boss, our membership community, that Whitney Owens and I run. We are launching a new cohort in May of 2022. If you would like to get on our email list, you can go to practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss. Thanks so much for listening and I’ll talk to you all next time.If you love this podcast, will you please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player?This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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