Creating Predictable Success in Private Practice with Les McKeown | POP 726

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A photo of Les McKeown is captured. Les McKeown is the Founder and CEO of Predictable Success. Les McKeown is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Do you want to create predictable success in your business? Have you created your visionary and processing team to support you? Why should you invest in the “fun” stage of your new business to help it grow successfully?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about creating predictable success in private practice with Les McKeown.

Podcast Sponsor: BiOptimizers

An image of the Practice of the Practice podcast sponsor, BiOptimizers, is captured. BiOptimizers is a magnesium supplement for reducing stress and improving sleep.


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Meet Les McKeown

A photo of Les McKeown is captured. He is the Founder and CEO of Predictable Success. Les is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Les McKeown is the Founder and CEO of Predictable Success. He is a trusted advisor to fast-growth SMEs and thriving not-for-profits as well as Fortune 500 companies and a number of the largest government agencies in the world.

He first began to recognize recurring growth patterns early in his career as a serial entrepreneur. Struck by the similarity of issues faced by all growing organizations, Les began to codify his understanding of the repeating patterns of growth, publishing his Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller “Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization On the Growth Track – and Keeping It There” in 2010, followed in 2012 by “The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success“.

Visit Predictable Success and connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and LinkedIn.

FREEBIE: Read a free extract from Les bestseller “Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization On the Growth Track – and Keeping It There

In This Podcast

  • What does predictable success look like?
  • How to create predictable success
  • Create your team
  • Sustaining and optimizing the “fun” stage of business

What does predictable success look like?

The difference between fun and predictable success is essentially one word; scale. The ability to scale. (Les McKeown)

Scaling simply means being able to grow to whatever size your industry will allow in the demographic that you want to operate within.

You can still have predictable success with fun in business, however, you grow more slowly with fun and you grow exponentially with scaling.

Be strategic with scaling. There is no blueprint because you make scaling work for you and what your business needs. What works for someone else may not work for you.

How to create predictable success

First, ask yourself:

  • Is the current business profitable?
  • If you extracted yourself from the business itself, would it remain profitable?

When you first started your business, it probably grew more organically.

Now that you have worked out some of the kinks, and you know more of what to do that worked well, can you replicate that in another location?

You pieced it together a bit at a time. Now you’ve got a blueprint and you can see [that] this thing works, [can] you go and clinically reproduce this thing over there? (Les McKeown)

Once you have replicated your business, you will no longer be doing clinical work yourself. Now, your work will shift to running these businesses as you become more of a practice owner than a therapist.

Create your team

If you want to get to the next stage, what you now need to do is develop a senior leadership team. You cannot any longer do that by yourself. (Les McKeown)

You need to develop your mindset from business owner to leader as your practice grows.

There is a team for marketing, a team for client relations, a team for clinical work, and a team for admin.

Now, you need to create a team of people that you can trust and who share your vision to support the entire business alongside you.

Sustaining and optimizing the “fun” stage of business

You can sustain the powerful growth of the “fun” stage of business by outsourcing as many processes as possible in the beginning. Do not try to structure it too much, because “fun” is an important part of helping a new business launch and do well.

Make sure you are on the right side of legal and safety regulations, that’s about all (at a minimum).

Too much process too early slows the growth of any organization, and optimizing is about getting the balance of that absolutely perfect [or close to it]. (Les McKeown)

Read your cash flow and optimize the return that is present, but you do not have to become too stingy. Earn well and be generous.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 726. [JOE] I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. If you are brand new to listening to this show welcome, you’ve got about 700 episodes to catch up on, all sorts of amazing information around the business, the marketing, the SEO, the logistics of starting, growing, scaling, and exiting a private practice. We have tons of resources for you if you’re just getting started, or if you’re growing a group practice over at, where we have our free e-course right there, we have these eight-minute experts where I literally set a timer for eight minutes and just dive in with them. We talk about websites, SEO, how do you market a practice, all that clinical stuff. So everything you need, including checklists and downloads over at totally free for you to just get going in your practice or to grow your group practice. We’d love to help you out over there. Well, I am so, so excited today. We have Les McKeown with us. Les is the founder and CEO of Predictable Success. First began to recognize recurring growth patterns early in his career as a serial entrepreneur in addition to being involved in the launch of more than 40 companies before he was 35. He has experience that he gained during that time to co-found one of the first business incubators in the world. Les, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. So glad that you’re here today. [LES MCKEOWN] Great to be here, Joe. Hi everybody. [JOE] Well, for those that haven’t read your book, which may be part of the audience, maybe a lot of them have read it, let’s just start with Predictable Success. What are the general concepts of it for folks that are in private practice? [LES] The most important aspect of it, Joe, is that what they don’t tell you and they didn’t tell me when I did it at first, when you launch your own business, is that they’re just two stages to business. What I mean by that is when you launch something, you’re not thinking about stages of growth. It’s like when you have a beautiful little baby, you’re not focusing on the horrible adolescent they’re going to become at some point. You’re hoping for a seamless transition from babyhood to a wonderfully mature, great person who takes you out all the time and buys you dinner. But the reality is that businesses just like people go through strangers of development. What happened was I started launching businesses, we didn’t have the phrase serial entrepreneur back then, but for reasons that we don’t need to get into, I got caught back in the UK, people from my accent will understand. I’m not from these parts. It was originally from the UK though. I’m 20 years here in the US, got my American nationality but I grew up in the UK and we had a massive push on entrepreneurship. That sort of sucked me into launching businesses. I launched one or two and then I began to realize there’s more than two ways to slice this, not just a pretty little baby your early struggle, the startup, and then this beautiful mature thing. There’s a couple of stages in between that are really important. So I gave them names and I started to work out what the patterns were that happened inside them and real quick on the growth side of starting any business. What our listeners will already know is that there’s a period called early struggle. That’s just a phrase I give it. It’s a fight to define a profitable, sustainable market. That’s really hard, 80% of all new ventures fail within a three-year period of time. You do the right things, you get to a stage, which I give a highly technical name to, I call it fun because that’s what it is. It’s fun. It’s fun because we’ve fun in our market, we know what we’re doing and we think that’s it. I have done it. I got through this thing. I had those existential crises and it was in the fetal position. Four times thought I had done a stupid thing, but I didn’t do a stupid thing. I found my market, I got a great business. Then what happens is we are in fun. We’re having fun. We say yes to everything. We take everything on the business grows and wham we had a stage which I call whitewater and whitewater is essentially the adolescence of a growing business. It’s the point at which you can’t just get up in the morning, say yes to everything and top down your way to success, which is how we grow in fun and why we should grow in fun. It is wonderful way to do it. There comes a point where if we want to continue to grow, we’ve got to put some, we’ve got to grow up a little bit. We’ve got to start a learn to say no to a few things and we’ve got to put some systems and processes in place. That’s it. Now there’s a whole decline stage. We don’t need to talk about that. That’s for big lumbering organizations, which most of our listeners aren’t, but on the growth side, that’s the core of Predictable Success. You get to fund, put your systems in process in place that will get you to that peak stage, which I call predictable success, where you can actually put your foot on the accelerator pedal and the car, boy, it goes forward. [JOE] I would love to hear what’s that end goal of predictable success, what’s that look like, and then maybe reverse and go back and lead us into how we get there so that people know where we’re headed when we’re talking about Predictable Success. In my business, in a counseling business, what does predictable success look like as the end goal? Then we’ll back up from it. [LES] It’s a great question, Joe, because there’s actually, isn’t an imperative that you have to get to predictable success. You can actually reverse course when you hit whitewater and consciously go back to fun. I’ll talk a little bit more and share a little bit more about what the implications of that are. The difference between fun and Predictable Success is essentially one word, scale. The ability to scale. Now I want do something that’s very important, which is to give some meaning to that because people talk about scaling these and it’s like a hip trendy phrase, and everybody wants to scale. Scaling means simply being able to grow to whatever size your industry will allow in the demographic footprint you want to operate in. I’m going to give a very specific example here. It’s actually a real example. I used to live in a beautiful little sailing village in Massachusetts called Marblehead. I had a couple of good friends, married couple there, and they had a fantastic coffee shop, really, really great coffee shop. Very definitely passed early struggle in fun, single unit, they opened a second unit, actually in the YMCA building, they got the opportunity to open a little café in there. They started running it, they were having fun there. They opened a third unit in the time nearby Salem and then a fourth one, and everything started to fall apart. The reason that it started to fall apart was because they couldn’t between the two of them always be in all four of the premises. They couldn’t make everything happen themselves. They had a decision to make, which was if they wanted to stay at four, which was scale for them, that was scale for them or maybe become like a regional caribou coffee or a bit heaven for Fann, want to be Starbucks, whatever you want to grow to be, they had reached the point at which if they wanted to keep doing what they were doing and grow any further, they’re going to have to learn how to train managers. They’re going to have to learn how to bulk purchase. They were going to have to learn how to refrigerate stuff. They’re going to have to learn how to codify their recipes for their wonderful scones and cakes and muffins. As it happened, they didn’t want to do that. So they made a conscious decision to go back to the two units and stay in fun. That’s perfectly fun. Now, does that mean you don’t have any systems and processes and fun? You have precisely enough systems and processes to keep you out of jail. That’s all you need to do. You don’t want to, you want to file your taxes, you want to stay in the right side of that. If you’ve got coffee shop, you want to stay in the right side of hygiene. You want to have good lavatories for the customers and you don’t want to poison your people. That’s all you need to do. You don’t have to start training managers. You don’t have to start codifying your recipes, all that sort stuff. That’s the essential difference between fun and Predictable Success. In fun, you can grow, but it’s like a curve going up a hill. It always sort of starts to flatten out. With scalability it’s like a GA curve. You can put your, instead of four units, you can afford units, because you’ve learned how to do it. [JOE] I love that you say it’s okay to stay at the fun stage because I feel like right now with Practice of the Practice financially and time-wise, I have a lot of freedom and to think through like how much do I want to scale this? I see the potential. There’s so many things out there in the mental health space that are growing and scaling. It’s such a decision to say, well, do I really want to scale? I’m a single dad of a seven- and 10-year-old and do I want to put in that extra time? When people are deciding whether to really double down and move towards predictable success, maybe out of just that fun phase, what are some exercises they can do? What are some thought experiments that would help them decide like, do I just stay here at fun or do I go after some predictable success? [LES] It’s just a fantastic question. Very insightful Joe, because the number one reason that people start business, start new ventures is for autonomy and freedom. Every survey, every time for decades, the number one reason people start businesses is for autonomy and freedom in a normal environment. Unfortunately, when we get recessions and stuff like that, sometimes people start businesses because it’s the last resorts, the last thing they can do. That’s a terrible reason to have to start a business but if you’re doing it voluntarily, you’re doing it because you want autonomy and freedom. One of the definitions of an entrepreneur is somebody who stops working 40 hours a week for somebody else to work 80 hours a week for themselves, but they’re doing it on their terms. What’s really important is when you begin to get to that stage where you’re starting to think this is tugging at just who I want to be it’s really important to just sit down and, used the word codify before I’ll use it again, codify what autonomy and freedom means to you. For some people, actually it means doing the things that will get you to scale. Oh, I want to hire a hundred people. I want to have three premises somewhere. I want to have flags on a map. I want that stuff. I want to do the scaly type stuff. That’s fantastic. Go do it. I mean, look, I’m like you, freedom for me. I’ve built businesses into predictable success of those 42 businesses many times but there’s, the last 15 years and probably for the rest of my career, there’s me and my faithful assistant who’s snoring on the city, right beside me here, folks might be able to hear him. I’m really on fun. I made that decision because for me, I can either help other people get their business into predictable success or get mine into it but I don’t have the bandwidth or energy. It doesn’t give me autonomy and freedom to try to do both. So I don’t work in my business on Fridays. I do a little work on it, but I don’t work on Fridays. I don’t do any work over the weekends. If I want to take a week off, I take a week off because that’s what autonomy and freedom means to me. So it’s very important to be clear and aware of it. What is problematic? I see it a lot actually, are folks who get stuck in that stage I call whitewater. Because they don’t really work out where they want to go, forward, in which case I’m going to have to discipline myself, going to have to do these systems and processes or backwards into fun, they just get stuck in whitewater, oscillating backwards and forwards. That’s a horrible place to be. [JOE] Yes, absolutely. I think that that’s the interesting thing for a lot of therapists is they start a practice and they can’t believe that they left their job at CMH or at wraparound or wherever they work, the schools and they think, oh my gosh, will I ever make that 60 or 80 or a hundred K again? They’re so worried about it and then they realize, oh my gosh, look at all this freedom. They’re seeing 25, 30 clients a week making more money than they ever thought and they’re not having to work on SEO and their website. They’re just doing the work they love and then they realize they have too many clients. They add a handful of 1099s or W2s. And usually, I would say four clinicians is that whitewater transition. Up till the it starts to feel, oh my gosh, I have two or three employees now. I’m making almost 200K. Look at this. Their minds are absolutely blown and then they just keep adding people and they hit that whitewater. I think, especially what you just said about not defining what scalability looks like to say are we trying to open five locations with five clinicians at each? Are we looking at doing an online counseling business? Really, what are we doing here? So when someone, yes, go ahead. [LES] You didn’t ask me this, but it just prompted me as you’re exploring that Joe, that one of the things that happens in personal services, particularly personal professional services where there’s a high degree certification and so forth is that typically the distinction that most impacts people is what’s the degree to which you personally want to continue to practice? [JOE] That’s such a big question. [LES] I think one way to phrase it in your mind is you’re thinking this is, do I want to provide a place for professionals to work or do I want to run a professionally managed business? That’s the scaling side of it. Doing that successfully almost certainly means that you’ll have to give up, you certainly have to give up being a full-time practitioner and yours will come tumbling down. If your heart’s in the business of the actual product service that you deliver then it’s almost certainly that fun is the right place for you to be. Now you can maximize fun. You can get a couple of practices going really well. You can get a really good reputation and get a really good revenue and fun. There’s not a darn thing wrong with that but if you want to scale in the terms of going to multiple practices, and this applies every, funny enough a large part of this discussion happens in the church space all the time. Multisite churches are different culturally than single churches. That’s an important distinction to me to make, is how much do I want to continue doing the thing and to what extent do I get my autonomy and freedom from managing others who are doing the thing? [JOE] I think the average clinician understands going from just me to a handful of people to maybe 10 people. I’d say at that point, most of us just feel like we don’t even understand scaling after that. Maybe talk to us about what does predictable success look like? What would be the checklist or the mindset, or the six-month plan for going from 10 clinicians to just genuinely scaling a business if someone really wants to do that? [LES] Well, where the challenge comes from in doing that in professional services, is this, you think about it like, same with an accounting or a law firm, so you start with some people who get together and they’re all good at the thing that they do. The initial setup tends to be a partnership, so people get into partnerships. Partnerships are almost impossible to scale. You can’t keep replicating partners and partners and partners. Now some professional services firms do that well for a while and then they begin to struggle. You’ll notice that most of them turn themselves into corporations, which have got a management, a professional management. There’s still a partner level in the business, but there’s a separate corporate group of people who run the business. Those firms where all of the partners get together and try to run the business it’s impossible to scale because you end up hurling cats. So what scaling looks like in the environment you’re talking about is typically, and this very phrase is probably enough to turn a lot of people off, a corporately run entity that may have subsidiary partnerships underneath it, but which controls the growth and strategy and direction of the business. Then you have a second issue which doesn’t happen in, for example, manufacturing. Well, it happens, but in a different way, which is this, you have somebody who’s running one of your locations, maybe the senior “partner,” but not part of the corporate development team. They just take your brand signed down and they start up on their own and you lose the momentum in that because somebody just goes, or maybe they just start up next door and they start taking your customers and clients from you. That happens with professional services all the time. So that’s another difficulty with truly scaling professional services. It is not impossible to overcome. When you do overcome it actually begins to look, again, people are going to shutter at this, it begins to look and feel more like a franchise. What you do is you attract the people into your locations who actually don’t want to manage a business, but like the idea of being given operational freedom and you are showing them here’s the marketing materials to use. Here’s how to kick things out. We’ll buy you the equipment, we’ll lease it back to you, that type of thing. Now that’s a very scalable model in professional services. [JOE] So then, so an individual, so I would say for the most part, at least our audience, it’s a solo owner that then brings in W2s or 1099 clinicians. Then they may bring in an operations person. They may bring in a front desk coordinator, some sort of virtual assistant. Imagine there’s the owner, maybe there’s like three to five support staff and 10 clinicians. This owner comes to you and says, “Les, I want to create predictable success. I’m not sure what that looks like. Take me through the next year or two of what I could be doing. I’m yours. Mold me and shape me.” What would you do with them? [LES] What I would say first of all, I’d run them through all that we’ve just done to make sure that they really mean it. I’d paint a very a negative picture of what their future could look like, just to make sure that they’re aware of what this is going to be. Then I’m going to ask them, is the business profitable, the current business, as it currently is, how much can they extract themselves as a revenue generator and still remain profitable with a bit of a premium in there? So what can this person devote to doing this again? Then we run through, what does it look like to go find another location and for you now, forgive, the bad pun here to very clinically replicate what you succeeded with over here. Because over here this first one, almost certainly it just built organically. Your prodding is like in a kayak, going down the river, it’s a little foggy, the fog lift, you say, oh, look around, nice around, there you go around the corner. So you sort of pieced it together a bit at a time. Now you’ve got a blueprint. You can see this thing works. Can we go and clinically reproduce that over there? Literally once you’ve done that, you probably, if you want to get any bigger, you’re not going to do any more clinical work. You’re out. But you’re not just going to replicate that. You get to choose a couple of different models as to how you can replicate it. As I said, you can keep full ownership and just bring people in who are going to continue to, they’re just going to be employees. You can find other professionals who you make “partners,” maybe not real equity partners, but you give them a profit share of the unit. There’s a whole bunch of different ways to do it, but now you are running a business. You are not that professional provider personally anymore. Does that mean that you need to, that you don’t care about huge quality and you want to really change people’s lives? You’re getting to do it at scale. That floats some people’s boat. The real fact that I’m changing five times more lives in a year than I was doing when I just had one unit. That’s what that would look like. [BiOptimizers] Did you know that there is one phase of sleep that almost everyone fails to get enough of? This one phase of sleep is responsible for most of your body’s daily rejuvenation, repair, controlling hunger, weight loss, and boosting energy. I’m talking about deep sleep. If you don’t get enough deep sleep, you’ll probably always struggle with cravings, slow metabolism, premature aging, and even worse conditions. A big reason why most people don’t get enough deep sleep is because of magnesium deficiency, which affects over 80% of the population. Magnesium increases GABA, which encourages relaxation on a cellular level, which is critical for sleep. It’s important to understand that most magnesium products out there are either synthetic or they have one or two forms of magnesium, which really the body needs all seven forms for the essential sleep mineral. That’s why I recommend a product my friends over at BiOptimizers created called Magnesium Breakthrough. Taking this magnesium before bed helps you relax and wake up refreshed and energized. I also love that BiOptimizers offers free shipping on select orders as well as a 365-day money-back guarantee on all their products. Plus they have a customer satisfaction rating of 99.3%. You can get 10% off Magnesium Breakthrough, the best aid that I know of for boosting deep sleep at Again, that’s, and be sure to use [PRACTICE10] for 10% off. [JOE SANOK] Okay, now, if someone wanted to start to say franchise, or you talk about this coffee shop that they were at four. I’m picturing, imagine a therapy practice that has four locations. It’s about as much as that individual owner can manage. They may have an operations person that’s keeping track of everything. If they really wanted to scale beyond that, what should they consider and what should they do? [LES] Well, again, it’s about mindset at that point. You want to get to the next stage of growth. I’ve got to say that for 99% of professional service providers, that’s not where they want to go, but for the one percent that do, at that point, it becomes a third different game. So we had the organic growth where you just were in the kayak and you did, you got a great front desk person, and then you worked out, this was easier if I purchased this equipment here, do it that way. You work it all out. Then you replicate that 2, 3, 4 times. If you want to get to the next stage, what you’re not into is developing a senior leadership team. You cannot any longer do that by yourself. You could get up to three, four, maybe a few more units as just a hard charging owner with, you’re going to end up by that stage. You’re going to have an HR person because you can’t be hiring everybody and managing all of that. You want to get bigger, you want to get to the next stage, you want to get the 10, 12, 15 units. Your job is to build a senior leadership team whose job it is then to go and make that happen because you can’t do it. All other people are going to have to be scouting locations. Other people are going to have to be finding the people that you’re going to put in there. Other people are going to have to be putting marketing and sales programs together. That looks like that that’s relatively rare, particularly in certified professional services, but it’s not at all impossible. For the vast majority of our listeners, it’s all, I would suggest, it’s all about making a conscious decision to stay in fun, get as far up the curve as possible, and then begin to optimize your revenue, find ways to get your average interaction fee or income higher, find a way to get your average utilization of your equipment, your expensive equipment higher, beginning to develop an understanding of how the financial side works and getting a better return. [JOE] Let’s talk about that, maximizing of fun and then optimization when you’re at the top. So when people are in the fun, what can they do to make sure they sustain that growth and keep it fun? Then how do they optimize it? [LES] Well, the first thing to do is to outsource as much process as possible. In fun, you need precisely the, I’m going to be a little glib here just for the sake of entertainment, but only a little. Essentially you want to have as much processes as needed to keep you out of jail. I realize when we’re dealing with people’s health. Actually, that’s a lot and it’s really important, but you find your taxes, you want to stay on the right side of your industry regulations. You want to make sure you’re on the right side of any HR or other safety regulations, all of that sort of stuff. You want to do all of that, but you don’t want to build a big lumbering, bureaucratic organization. You don’t need to over codify too much. That’s the number one thing, too much process too early slows the growth of any organization. And optimizing it is by getting the balance of that absolutely perfect. We’re never going to get to perfect, but the, we talked about this earlier. I keep my business in front. Every couple of years I look around and I realize I have just let so much crud get into this system here. I’ve got some 1099 people doing stuff that maybe it was a nice idea or a project two years ago, but now I really need to keep paying for that. I’ve got more subscriptions and software and memberships that I’m not, I see you nodding, because you’ll know what that’s like. Every night again, you just got to scrape out some of the crud,, getting to know how to read your numbers. If you’re not financially literate, you don’t need to become a CPA. I’m lucky that’s was my base qualification, was as a CPA, but just get to know how to read your income statement, read your cash flow and optimize the return that’s there. It doesn’t mean you have to become mean, you don’t have to become a grinch. You can be a very generous business owner, but to be generous, you want to be earning well. My rule of thumb is whatever your salary would’ve been had you stayed in employment to, there’s the stage in life that you’re at, for the grief of running your own business, you should be getting between 150% and 200%. If you can get 300% of what your salary would be, you’re in the top 1% of business owners. That should be the goal. That’s probably the maximum you can get to in fun. If you’re comfortable with that, it’s a lovely way to be and if you’re not, then you need to accept. You’ve got to get into predictable Success. [JOE] So good. Just for myself, I’m thinking when you’re starting to look for operations, people, people that can help with that side of it, I’m the ideas, visionary, I got to get reigned in. What are a couple things as I look for people to either join the team or look at the operations of our business that you would suggest? [LES] Well, I actually wrote an entire book on nothing but that. It’s called The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success. Here’s what I discovered over the years, Joe, there are four styles or four leadership styles that can show up in a business at any one time. There’s a very specific choreography as you go through the stages that we talked about. So every successful business starts with, you use the word, what I call, we in predictable success call a visionary leader. A visionary is somebody 30,000 feet, loves big ideas, they get their endorphin rush in the shower in the morning when they think of something and it’s all done after that. They can do the dirty finger air work if they have to, but actually it bores them. You’ve got to high shining new ball syndrome. They love starting new things. You don’t want to meet them when they’ve been on vacation for a week or off at a conference, because they come back with a million new ideas. That’s the model of a leader that starts as successful business, but they don’t do it on their own. A visionary leader needs a very specific team around him or her in the fun stage and they’re a group of what I call operators. An operator is a just get it done, finisher. The visionary’s the starter, they think of things and the operator makes it happen. It’s typically not pretty. They don’t take a lot of prisoners. They’re not dancing around stuff. They go through breeze, block walls to get things done. And the fun model is a visionary conducting a little orchestra of operators. So here’s somebody looking after all of the patient interaction. Here’s somebody looking after all the admin in the back. Here’s somebody doing all of the scheduling. These are operators. You don’t want another visionary because you can’t have two visions in a growing business. It’s one visionary, a team of operators and you want, the third style is what I call the processor style. It’s pretty self-evident. You hire processors in white water to build the systems and processes to get you to predictable success. If you don’t want to do that, don’t hire processors. They’ll slow you down. Outsource the minimum processor you need, the minimum you need to other people who will do it. Now in a regulated business, such as the one that our listeners are in, you have to have some process in the business to keep you out of jail, a little more than that. It’s incumbent to do it, but if you start over emphasizing that processor side, and here’s the thing with particularly again, certified professional services. I’m talking as if we are all just one of those things. We’re not. By the way, let me come back to that point in a minute, I want to finish. There’s a fourth style, which is called a synergist style. Once you decide to get to predictable success, the visionary operator and I are new processors, they form an unstable triangle. They don’t get on really well together. You need a fourth style, which I call the synergist style, which really makes, holds that team together. But let’s park that for a minute or two. I’ve been talking as to, we’re all just one of those things. We’re not, we’re typically a mix. So like many consultants, I’m a weird mix of I’m a big V, a visionary, small P, processor. A lot of consultants are visionary processors. A lot of professional service, certified professionals, people are visionary processors. That’s why they got into what they did because they know how to follow a system. They know how to follow, they know how to read and understand complicated stuff. They’re not out and out visionaries. You think of the classic, like forgive me all you used car salesmen that are listening to the podcast. They’re not like a classic used car salesman, just all big picture and hyperbole. A lot of professional service providers are visionary processor. You’ve got to be careful. You don’t let your processor side run the business. because it will slow you down. It’s got to be there. It’s good that it’s there, but the visionary side has got to be the one that takes the lead. [JOE] So awesome. Oh my gosh. Les, my last question is if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know? [LES] Whether they want to be in fun or predictable success, make that decision. [JOE] So amazing. Les, if people want to get your books, if they want to connect with you, if they want to learn more, where can they follow you? Where can they get your books? Where should they go to? [LES] Well, we could spray a whole bunch of stuff, but if they just go to, that’s my website, all one word,, woo, then you can get a download of the first chapter of my book, Predictable Success, which basically summarizes almost everything that we talked about and you can see a links to all my other LinkedIn, Twitter, all that sort of stuff. So go to and just take everything that’s there. It’s all free. [JOE] Les, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast today. [LES] Absolutely. My pleasure. Thanks everybody. [JOE] Wow. So many helpful things for me this year and the second half of last year. We really have been spending time just building the infrastructure of Practice of the Practice, getting our processes figured out and just really figure out core offerings, how we support you. It’s just really exciting to have people like Les on the show that can just, honestly, I get free consulting which points to why having a podcast is awesome. I mean, there’s lots of reasons why. If you haven’t checked out, we have all sorts of free tutorials over there to help you start your own podcast. Head on over there, You can get all sorts of extra help. We couldn’t do this show without our amazing sponsors and we have a new sponsor that came on and I’ve always been sort of a, I like supplements and think it’s good, but supplement companies have always made me feel really like weird and icky. They feel like pyramid schemes. It was amazing when I got to interview the founders of BiOptimizers. They have this Magnesium Breakthrough that I’ve been using at night and it’s helped me sleep better. It also has shown to have healthier blood pressure, less irritability, calmer mood. I like to be a calm dad. I want to be calmer. So if you want to try it, they also, if it doesn’t work, you send it back and you get your money back, which I think is awesome. You just take two capsules before you go to bed and you’ll be amazed by the improvements. Head on over to If you use that code [PRACTICE] at checkout, you get 10% off and free shipping. Again, that’s and use code [PRACTICE] at checkout. Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing day. I’ll talk to you soon. Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the producers, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.