Doctor TK is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Therapist Business Coach, Author, and Content Creator. She is the CEO of Branding 4 Abundance, serving hundred of therapists annually to Design and Build an Abundant Mental Health Business and Lifestyle. Doctor TK has been a college professor for over 17 years and has built a profitable solo and group practice over the last 10 years. Her love for teaching and coaching has created an impact as a clinical supervisor, serving the re-entry population and program development through various non-profits across the country, all while being a wife and mom!
LaToya is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency in Fortworth Texas. She firmly believes that people don’t have to remain stuck in their pain or the place they became wounded. In addition to this, LaToya encourages her clients to be active in their treatment and work towards their desired outcome.
She has also launched Strong Witness which is a platform designed to connect, transform, and heal communities through the power of storytelling.
The Grow A Group Practice Podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice Network, a network of podcast seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like the Practice of the Practice podcast, go to www.practiceofthepractice.com/network.
You are listening to the Grow A Group Practice Podcast, a podcast focused on helping people start, grow, and scale a group practice. Each week you’ll hear topics that are relevant to group practice owners. I’m LaToya Smith, a practice owner, and I love hearing about people’s stories and real-life experiences. So let’s get started.
Welcome back to the Grow A Group Practice Podcast. I am LaToya Smith, your host for this season. Thank you so much for joining us again. You know we talk about all things private practice, from the nuts and bolts and what’s needed to start, grow, and scale your practice, and also what makes your practice stand out, the creativity. I love being creative. I believe I’m a visionary, way more visionary than nuts and bolts, what is good? So I like to plan things and do things, so that’s why I already know, for me, this conversation is going to be exciting to me. It’s already exciting. I have to stop myself from asking questions before, all the questions before we hit record. But today I have Dr. Tekesia Jackson on. You guys know I’ll hit you up on social media in a second if I see you talk about something that is of interest to me.
I’m excited and today we’re going to talk about hosting events, which is something that a lot of people begin to venture into when you have a private practice or a group practice. But I got a lot of questions for Dr. Jackson and I’m hoping as a listener you got some questions too and that even follow up with her just for more understanding about your next events you want to host. Dr. Jackson, welcome to the Grow A Group Practice podcast.
[DR. TEKESIA JACKSON]
Thank you. Thank you for having me on.
Yeah, I appreciate it. I wish you guys could see her background. I love sneakers. I got, I always say that I love sneakers, but I see sneakers in her. Matter of fact, I got a shirt on that says Jesus. This really should be, this should be a whole YouTube thing. I should might as well be on YouTube so I can see what we doing, but I promise you can’t see it, you can hear us, but we’re doing it. So Dr. Jackson, tell everybody a little bit about yourself. Just introduce yourself.
My name is Dr. Tekesia Jackson. I have a long name. My name is Dr. Tekesia Jackson Ru, which is why I just tell people call me Dr. TK for short because the kids really start calling me TK initially, they will butcher my name in therapy. But I’m a licensed clinical psychologist located in Southern California. I am a young woman from Compton. I am a mom, a wife and I also have a solo practice. I, at one point in my career had a thriving group practice with interns and licensed therapists. Currently I spend the bulk of my time actually coaching mental health providers of either how to have a profitable solo practice or we have a mastermind program where we split the groups into two and we show them how to open and scale a group practice, plus also doing digital products and offering services like hosting events.
On the on side of that, I still do private practice work. I just focus more on the one to many. My impact nowadays has become more larger than me, which it should, I believe for everybody. So instead of me, I’m going to say being selfish and just doing one-on-one therapy, a lot of people do that, so I’m choosing to work with the reentry population, people who come out of jail. I couple with a nonprofit and they pretty much so graciously wrote me into multiple grants where now I can go and do trauma-informed care training along with training the staff to help them more aware of like what’s really going on with the clients. That in a wrap is like what I do. Coaching therapy, but in a different way and then being a mom and wife.
Yeah, you said it all simple, like yeah, that’s what I do in a nutshell. Like this is, you do a lot of amazing stuff being a mom, a wife. I love what you said about the reentry into the community. I love that. I think that’s amazing. I think it’s beautiful and that’s one of those things where it’s like your grace for it, like a certain niche. So there’s so many other beautiful things we all could be doing, but you picked that and that’s amazing. Okay y’all, I’m fighting not to go off to that topic for the podcast. How’d you get into that? But she said she was going to talk about, so I’ll stay focused, but what made you, I heard you say you done a lot of great things in your career from the group practice and then back to coaching, what made you transition and say, okay, I’m going to stop growing this but I’m going to be way more specific now in helping other practice owners individually or in the small groups?
Yeah, so I feel like I’m going to still answer the question that you wanted to ask because it started with me actually working in the jail system. So early on, like in undergrad I was, or actually my first few years of grad school, but it started in undergrad, I started teaching. All of these things to me planted seeds in order for me to show up as a coach later but I didn’t realize what seeds were being planted. So I was teaching early on in undergrad and then I maneuver through that and start teaching at three institutions. I really love teaching and I love bringing the career side into the classroom. So if I were to compare that to events, it was like I was getting practice without even knowing that I was getting practice with not just being a keynote speaker in a classroom, but really engaging the audience because that’s what I thrive off of and so I call myself more of a trainer versus like a speaker.
From there and then working in a government position, I started my solo practice as soon as I got licensed because that was always my goal when I was in grad school. Then my group practice, I’m going to say it happened on accident. My solo practice was more intentional even though I didn’t know what I was doing, which is why I do what I do now, because a lot of therapists are like lost. It started with somebody who worked with me and the jail was like, hey, what you doing on the weekend? You keep saying private practice. So I said, want to work with me? One came and she brought her friend, was like, my friend want to do it too. Then I realized quickly about like what is a niche or a niche or whatever you want to say.
So one of them worked with kids with me in jail, so I’m like, well I can’t take all the kids. Then we both start working with families because that’s what we did in the jail and we started to magic, I’m going to say naturally, organically attract parents who wanted us to see their kids because we worked at a jail. So it’s almost like we didn’t have to work as hard during the first marketing phase in my private practice. Then the other young lady worked in substance abuse, so we had like adults covered everything covered. It grew over time, over like five years to the point where I had at 1.8 interns all post-doc, marriage and family therapists, like master’s and doctoral level.
I even moved up one intern until she got licensed. She became a clinical super supervisor but again, I was able to do that because I was in my genius zone. I’m saying this because it’s leading into events, so I really tell like therapists or any business owner, make sure that your goal and the path that you’re on is that you’re working in your genius zone because that’s how you’re going to be more successful. Fast forward after all that teaching, I hit a point in my life on a personal level where a few years prior I had gotten divorced and then I had ended up dating someone else who was not my husband, but I didn’t have kids. So I’m also a bonus mom and so all of that comes with layers of stuff. I reached a point where I didn’t know if I wanted to proceed with the group practice because I really felt like I was neglecting Tekesia and only focusing on the impact of building others, which was great, but I was missing something.
So I ended up going to a conference. The lady spoke prosthetically into me because she was a pastor as well as a business coach and I ended up joining her program and worked on my mindset related to manifestation and investing in myself. I shortly started to move toward shutting down the group practice, also because I ended up getting pregnant after like an infertility situation. I ended up getting pregnant. We were married and I ended up getting put on bedrest. During that time I really had to tap into what is my gift or what do I want to do and I still want to teach. So I chose to slowly shut down my group practice and then when I got off bedrest, I stayed with, my solo practice was still there the whole time.
Then over time I started getting people that wanted to know what I did in terms of like building a business because they saw that I had built a solo in a group. I started just talking to people and then all of a sudden people were like, oh, can I meet you in person? Can I meet you online? That’s how my coaching business was birthed. Everything, I believe was both intentional because of, I’m going to say God’s plan because of my gifts but I stumbled on it even though I believe it was already in my path. From there I just start experimenting to be honest, so I will say whoever’s listening to the podcast, so like be okay with trying new things because if it feels good to you and it feels aligned, then do it. What I really start doing is doing what I was doing for my friends all day long. They were having kids, I was throwing baby showers, I was organized. I threw my wedding. So why not throw my own wedding? I’m like for my business?
Then I started to tap into hosting live events and really took off, even though it was a slow takeoff, was when I became certified as APAC instructor. That’s when I realized like, oh wait, I can get in front of my ideal client as a therapist, but I could teach them first so they can get to know me. Then from there it led into a three-person event, seven-person event, virtual event and now we’re having a conference of a hundred people.
Oh, you skipped from seven to a hundred? Okay, got it.
No, it went from seven to eight to 3.
Yeah, I’m sure there wasn’t like 700 but so much good stuff. I’m just going to like try to summarize one, there was a reaction for me because I know exactly what you’re talking about. I started to practice mine back when I formed a hey, I just did what I knew how to do. Was it all the way right? Was it structured? Probably not. Not probably, it wasn’t, there’s a lot of hiccups along the way and I needed guidance that I didn’t know that I was out there. This is back in 2015/2016. I love what you said and I say this all the time, we plant seeds now to see the fruit later. That’s what you were talking about. Listen, it’s amazing how God puts steps together. Like, you doing this now for preparation for later or this is your gift and you don’t know how you’re going to come back and use it.
I love what you said about operating your zone of genius, your genius zone is how you said it. Because so many times we bump our heads, try to do what somebody else is doing like, oh, they’re on Facebook, they’re on social media, they do this kind, I’m going to do it just like them. I’ma do this just like them. That’s not your gift. That’s not your niche or that’s not how you do it in your area. I love what you always talk about, about teaching and pouring back. This makes, this is making sense now. It’s all coming together. So now you’re rocking out with hundred some people in the room. You’re very organized, which again, I said your background, again, this is not, they ain’t my gifts, but it’s okay because I’m in my genius zone. I can recognize that, that ain’t my gifts and my organization ain’t it. But maybe one day.
Let’s talk about that now as far as, okay, maybe somebody, they plant their seeds, maybe they’re at their point where they, I say, okay, this is what I love doing. This is what I’m good at. This is what other people tell me I’m good at. When it comes to your niche and how you’re moving to now, can they go with a hundred people, what does that look like? If somebody comes to like, okay, well like I think this is it. How’d I move?
I usually share stuff and narration, especially with therapists, because we understand stuff like a case vignette. So the one thing that’s lingering over in terms of the phrase that’s coming to mind is sometimes we got to slow down our speed. I share that with my community a lot because as therapists we were just pretty much going to school most of us, like back to back to back to the point where I bring this up to even students, like you don’t even know how long you’ve been conditioned to go to school.
Therefore, what tends to happen is when we do have ideas and they may or may not be in our genius zone, as you mentioned because we’re just following the trends online, we are then blinded by shiny object syndrome because we change our mind every six months to a year. But what does that remind you of a practicum site? You know what I’m saying? Like we switch, we are so used to it that we don’t even realize that changing our mind as much ain’t even normal. It just was normal for us to get our hours, but it wasn’t normal for those clients who had to meet a therapist every year. With that said, I learned during that phase when I recognized my junior zone, what was step one is recognizing it, I then had to ask myself what do I want to accomplish?
I’m a very visualized like visionary person. So what will that ultimate version of Tekesia look like at least in my eyes right now? I literally saw myself on stage and I recall back in 2016 when I married my husband now we had had our wedding at a venue space and soon as I walked in I’m like the first thing that come to mind after the wedding. But when I was planning it was like, oh, I could have a conference in here with like 250 therapists. That’s where my mind always is. I’m a futuristic person and sometimes that can hurt me because I may need to focus on like working through stuff that I’m going through right now. But at the end of the day, slow down to speed up.
Number two is be patient under that umbrella, slow down to speed up. What I mean by be patient, earlier I mentioned that I started off like with CE workshops, but if we really want to be honest, I started off with when I was teaching at colleges. You know how they say all professors are supposed to integrate work stuff into the classroom to let us see what real life is like. But most of them didn’t, including cultural diversity. So I, on purpose, especially at University of Phoenix, because they were teaching on a like a six-week model or five-week model, the bonus for the students would be if you do all your work in week one through four, week one through five, the last week of class we will do presentations and then I will give you low-key a business coaching session as a group so I can share with y’all personal development or professional development that you need to know about that ain’t nobody going to tell y’all about.
Those students still find me on Instagram and Facebook and stuff. So I’m bringing that up because I used that platform to give but also to perfect my gift that I didn’t realize was a gift yet. Then as I moved forward, because I was able to teach a classroom with 10 students all the way up to 50 students, to me it will be nothing to get in front of therapists. It is just a different breed of people. But my confidence was already there based off other seeds that were planted. So if we can look at the timeline of somebody who would say, well I want to be where you are, but where do I start, it would be, okay, decide what you want, write it down and make a map for it. AKA we call it like our, in my programs we call it a vision plan, but it’s a business plan, but decide what you want, stick to it and get an accountability partner or group. So get someone, like your get-it squad that can roll with you and also check you. Like if you are going veering off to the left, people in your circle need to like ask you why are you not sticking with this? Is it fear? What is it?
The next thing I would say is seek to get mentorship with somebody who’s eight to 10 steps ahead of you. That’s like my tagline. Like somebody who is in your circle, we all usually hear about what personal development, Jim Rome, the five, seven people you hang around is as far as you going to go. I truly believe that, if you want to earn $250,000, why are you hanging out with all people who want to only stay at a nine to five to make $50,000? That doesn’t make sense. Their mindset is in another level. Go find and get a get-it squad or get a community or a coach or something.
Then next I would say, I’m all about organization and building out systems but once you realize what you do want to do, you need to go try it and be okay with failure. Some of my clients, so like tomorrow I’m doing like a, I do an annual C workshop on motivational interviewing. Most people who are familiar with it, there’s one part of that cycle that nobody wants to acknowledge, which is relapse. But when we, it’s funny, when we work with therapy clients, we can see this all day long. When a client is working on a behavior and they relapse and go back to the old behavior, even a kid, the question that we usually ask them is, are you back in pre-contemplation like you in denial? They’re like, no. Do you act like you in ambivalence? Maybe, because you don’t know if you want to go through with it?
But to me your business and decisions in your business is the same thing. You don’t go back to the beginning, you fell off because you’re not consistent. Get back in it. So the next thing that I would say is like, you are going to fall down, be okay with that and get back in a race. That’s why you get a get-it squad is there, or a coach or mentor is there to like pump you up but you also got to be coachable and teachable. That by far with specifically therapists is, I’m not going to use the word difficult, but, I use, yeah, I use it in terms of like red light, yellow light, green light. That’s what I’ve learned being like an online course grader.
So like, and we see this in therapy again, but we can’t apply it to ourselves, so a red lighter for a therapist wanting to expand their business, for example, a red lighter is someone who listens to this podcast and was like, okay, that’s cool, but I ain’t got nothing. No problems. I’m good. I can just do whatever I want to do. Then the yellow lighter is, dang they on something. I should probably like slow down and think about some of this stuff. Look at me, listen to another podcast. The green light is like already listening to five podcasts. I already checked out on Instagram. I already know she got a workshop coming up. Let me go ahead and join.
So when we’re coming down to hosting an event, for example, which lane are you in? Because the red lighters are not teachable or coachable. They don’t even think it’s a problem. They don’t know that they’re missing something. It may not be a problem, but they’re lacking knowledge of something and you don’t know what you don’t know. What do we call that? Ignorance? But I know being a woman of color ignorance was used like a curse word when I grew up so we don’t like to acknowledge that. So I would say all of that, if you look at it, everything I mentioned is mindset. Because at the end of the day you can get all the strategies in the world just like we did in school but not everybody who went to school is a successful business owner. It’s true, it’ss mindset
[PILLARS OF PRACTICE]
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This is good stuff. This is really good stuff. I love and that’s, sorry I wrote down everything you said, I like the get-it squad. Let’s, I’m going to back up because I’m going to walk through what you said before we go forward, decide what you want to do, write it down, write the vision, becomes real. You see it, stick to it, but also get people around you that can push you forward. Too many times the dream is killed right there because we tell the wrong people and they’re like, but how? But why? Somebody’s already doing that. Somebody’s already doing it, like, not everything, but most stuff but they’re not going to do it like you. I think, and that’s why, I tell people but also be careful about who you share with. So this get-it squad one needs to be about it and get it right because you don’t want anybody in your get-it squad who in the same place they was at 10 years ago, but they also need to be positive forward thinkers, who will give you constructive criticism but won’t fight you on where you want to go. Would that be fair to say?
No, that’s definitely awesome. I like how you said forward thinkers and will not, I mean, I would say the only exclusion I would say to fighting you is when you not owning up to what you said you were going to do and they hold you accountable but yeah, I would definitely not encourage you to be around somebody who also becomes like jealous and envious of what you want. Because at one point what I think a lot of people may realize, especially with people we grew up with and went to school with, is that at one point you might outgrow the people who share the same vision as you. Then you got to find another squad.
Where do people find the squad? Maybe somebody looks around, it’s like, listen, I have so many dreams, 2023 I’m here, what’s up? Then it’s like, well I don’t have anybody around me. For the green lighters listening right now, where do they find their squad at?
So I would say first it depends on what squad you’re looking for. Think about it in terms of like mentorship. I believe that people can have multiple mentors, you can have a spiritual mentor, you can have a marital mentor, you can have a parenting mentor or whatever’s going on in your personal life. If somebody’s listening and they want help with their group practice, they should go find people who have a successful group practice. If somebody wants help around cash flow and money mindset, they need to go find a good CPA financial team, not another therapist, unless they got money issues from their past to do therapy. But it really depends on that vision and that end goal is where you find your get-it squad.
For example, I’ll share with our community that depending on the phase that you are in in your business, you may start with a Git squad and then you all recognize over time as you get more clear and clear on your goals that one person is going down route A, two more people are going down route B. Those two people going down route B will become like super close person over here and route A going to be like, I need to find other people. Well, that’s okay, you meet people for a reason and for a season it doesn’t mean that you neglect them. You just may not give them as much energy and time as you did in that previous season so then now you go, because you clear, you go and seek where those people are who want the same thing that you want, so like digital products. If you want a membership site, you go join a membership community, not a cooking community. Doesn’t match.
Gotcha. Got you. Basically get around of people who are doing what you want to do?
Yes, in terms of names for it would be like, it can be online groups. Just be careful about online groups because people in there are positive and not. At this point I now get into masterminds and then usually, and masterminds for those who don’t know is like, I’m going to say a higher level of coaching to the point where you are clear about what you’re doing in your business or your personal life because it could be different kinds. But you are really depending on the person who put together the mastermind, unless it’s peer-based, to choose the right people to be in a room or virtually together that can help each other grow and scale in their mindset, bank account or business.
I love a good mastermind group. I know Practice of the Practice does masterminds, I just love the idea. To me it brings energy. It brings excitement and listen, I want to press forward just knowing that everybody around us do it. That hypes me up. Another big key point that you said, try it and be okay with failure. Again, this is like a hard stop for some people just off the strength of fear of failure. That’s something else I always say about myself. I’d rather, I can’t sit with not trying and not knowing. I’d rather try and see, try and learn, but I can’t sit with not trying at all. I mean, not to the point where I’m about to set myself up for failure, like let me go run the New York marathon quick. Not like that but if I did train, now I got to go. Let’s talk about that because again, another space, many dreams are not meant out of fear of failing. What I hear you saying is it was never even when you started, okay, first I started with this number and this number, then this number. It was never about failing. It was about the stairstep or the learning way.
Yeah, it was definitely a progression. So I will say, and I think that people who are listening to this, including themselves, entrepreneurship is not for the faint heart. I think that a lot of people believe that they can be entrepreneurs. It’s available. Like, just because it’s available don’t mean that you should join the crew. Just like grass, who ain’t for everybody? So I think that people learned that but in terms of like failure, this is what I say to one of my clients. I did a YouTube live one day and when my clients met with me, they were like, one thing that you said out of that whole hour, I took that to heart and I’m like, girl, what was it? She said, when you showed up to a webinar and nobody was there, but you still spoke to yourself like it was a thousand people.
I said, yeah, because I’m not there. I mean, I’m there showing up for the people to give the information, but whether you show up or not, I’m still perfecting my skill. I’m still doing what I said that I was going to do. But I will say I’ve been introduced to something this year and I feel like this is really important because it gave me a different way of thinking about how people are or not motivated based off even what you had mentioned. Like you are okay with trying stuff and then failing to even see if you should move forward. I tapped into human design and to me it overlaps with like psychology of astrology and all those things. I met a young woman who gave me a human design reading and it’s based off your birthday and stuf, so one of the things that came up in my human design is that’s why I use the word experimenter. Now I’m an experimenter.
But I also had her do a human design on my team because I need to know how they show up. Like what are their strengths? I had her do one on my husband because my husband works with me in the business. It was interesting because even the way my husband’s human design is set up, our motivation looks completely different. I’m saying this because some people may mistakenly, let’s just say be licensed just as long as I’ve been. I’ve had clients that have been in the game as long as I have and they haven’t felt this way, but I’ve heard it in other areas where people will compare their year one to someone else’s year 10. So they may look at like financial gain and not look at the marathon that I’ve been running for 10 years and on top of that trauma grown up in Compton.
It’s so many things that have made me the resilient person that I am but all people see is like, well she hosted a webinar, she want to work with therapists, she want to host an event. Boom, I’m going to do the same thing like you mentioned earlier. It is not that easy. There are systems in place. There are team members in place. I’m doing this by myself and when I was, I was burned out. We tried that game. So it takes a different, it takes a certain level of a personality to even believe that when you fail, you can get back up again. Because I believe everybody’s resilient in their own way, but not everybody’s willing to play the game to finish. Period. Some people just want to try the game and if it don’t work, they count themselves out before they even start.
So would you say, okay to that person who says, well I don’t have that type of grit, what I hear you say is, listen, the seeds I plant in one my background where I’m from, I’m built for this so if nobody shows up, I love that too. I love the fact that you did that. I’m built to talk to myself, to encourage myself. What if somebody says, hey listen, I’ve never had to go through, I’ve had things handed to me. I’m used to things just working and, I don’t know, can they still be a great event planner, a great host?
Hands down, but they still got to know what they want. It still goes back to clarity, which is mindset. So I cannot spoon-feed, and I’m a real straight shooter when it comes down to like my services. That’s why clinicians are attracted to me because I’m like, I come as open as they get. So I’ll tell somebody like that I can’t spoon, I can’t spoon feed you like what you want to do. You have to figure out what you want to do. Now can I walk you through that process? Yes. Can I brainstorm with you? Yes. But anybody who knows Tekesia, not even Dr. TK, you cannot, you should not tell me whether you’re my family member or a coaching client or a therapy client for that matter. I want to accomplish this in my personal life or my business because I’m about to hold you to that fire.
If you talk to any of my friends, they will say, I was that girl in grad school. One of my best friends say this all the time, she said, when I told, when we joined our class Tekesia, in her first year was talking about what y’all doing for dissertation? I’m like, girl, that’s not for another three years. Or she said let’s do a business and we brainstormed the business in a 15-minute conversation the next day, Tekesia had a website for us, Tekesia had a W9 for us. Tekesia had on a Vistaprint handouts ordered for us and even a business name for us. I am your ultimate accountability partner, but at the end of the day, I don’t care how you were raised or what you were given. If you don’t want it, I can’t make you have it. Nobody can. To me, that’s what we teach our clients in therapy. What do we say, we have to walk alongside of you? If we’re on chapter 10 and you’re on chapter five, I can motivate you, but I don’t know how long I can stand here by myself.
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