John Lee Dumas is an Entrepreneur on Fire | PoP 294

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John Lee Dumas is an entrepreneur on fire

Are you an entrepreneur in private practice? Do you struggle to stay motivated at times, or feel stuck? Are you looking for some inspiration to move your business forward?

In this reverse podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with John Lee Dumas who is an entrepreneur on fire.

Podcast Sponsor

Earlier this year, we launched Next Level Practice. Next Level Practice is the supportive community that helps people start practices. Over time, we are going to continue to add content around growing and scaling a practice. But, for right now, it’s just for people that have said to themselves, “I want to start a practice!” And, they got it going, and maybe it’s not going as well as they want.

There are so many different things that are part of this. We have live webinars, live Q&A, you get matched up with a one-on-one accountability partner, you get put into a small group of other people starting practices, and you get the support of me and my whole team – Alison, Sam, and Emily. We give away tons of free stuff, and we have competitions in there to help you take really great steps towards starting a practice. Things like: updating your Facebook page, making sure that your website looks good, and making sure that you’re attracting your ideal client.

So, if you are starting a practice and you want the authoritative, supportive community to be surrounding you so that you can be successful, head on over to

Meet John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas is the founder & host of Entrepreneurs On Fire, an award-winning podcast where he interviews inspiring Entrepreneurs every Monday and drops value bombs every Thursday!

His goal with Entrepreneurs On Fire is to deliver the inspiration and strategies you need to start your own entrepreneurial journey and create the life you’ve always dreamed of.

John has published over 2,000 interviews with incredible Entrepreneurs, including Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Gary Vee, Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss, and many more. Throughout each of these interviews, his guest shares their biggest failure, their biggest ah-ha moment, and their best resources to help you on your entrepreneurial journey.

In This Podcast


This episode is a reverse podcast with John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire. In this podcast, Joe speaks with John about his story and what he’s learnt in his journey from starting a private practice and then moving into consulting.

Three Core Values of Running a Business

  • Optimize your practice
  • Go after your big ideas
  • Have a lifestyle that’s sustainable

3 Key Points From the Interview with EOF

  1. Delegate the small things and take on that CEO mindset to scale your business.
  2. Don’t be afraid to take a risk in building a business.
  3. Start layering productivity to accomplish more things.

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultantJoe 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!

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

P0P 294

{Jordan Klekamp owns Atlas Counseling Seattle and she told me that, “In January, 2018 I joined the first cohort of Next Level Practice. I had launched my practice in the spring of 2017, but couldn’t afford private business coaching. So I spent countless hours teaching myself how to run my business. Next Level Practice was exactly what I needed to supercharge my business practices. The webinars, resources, community support, and consultant feedback helped me stay motivated and network more assertively. Thanks to Next Level Practice, my practice has grown from 8 to 10 clients per week, to 16 to 18 clients per week in just eight weeks.”
So if you want to join people like Jordan, I would love for you to supercharge your practice. I love how she put it in her own words as to how Next Level Practice has helped her grow so quickly. If you’re ready to grow your practice, head on over to to request your invitation to join the next cohort.}

This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok: Session Number 294

Well I am so glad that you are here. Way to take time for yourself to learn how to really grow your private practice. We have almost 100,000 downloads every single month, helping people like you to grow their practices, growth or income, grow their impact on the world. It’s amazing to see.

Three Ways to Optimize Your Practice

I wanted to to take you through just the three core things that really define my business and the way that I work with people. It’s taken me a while to really land on this, but the three different things are to really optimize your practice, so look for that low hanging fruit. Really optimize so that you’re not backed into a corner financially. Go after your big ideas, so your world changing ideas, whether that’s a podcast, an eCourse, a book. Whatever that big idea is. But then also have a lifestyle that’s sustainable because you’re offering amazing things to the world and if you burn out early, the world is worse off because of that.

Low-Hanging Fruit

So I want to drill into those before we dive into today’s interview. But first let’s talk about the low hanging fruit of your practice. So every practice has low hanging fruit. And probably the lowest hanging fruit, if you have any private pay clients, is what you charge. And so, an experiment that you can do is for two weeks you can raise your prices. If you’re feeling like you are kind of bursting at the seams or you’re getting close to that or you’re feeling too busy, you can raise your prices. So say you’re charging $110 a session. Test for a couple weeks having your intake be $150 a session and then sessions being $135 after that. So an intake that is a different price really helps you test out that market in regards to what price you could be charging per session. So do that with all new people coming in and then at the end of the year you can realign other people to bring them closer so with that typical price is. So if you have people at $60 a session, you’re not going to bounce them all the way up to $135, but you might bring them up to 115 and just say that the typical people are getting charged $135 per session.

Another thing in regards to optimizing your practice is just use that office space. Even if you’re doing 20 hours a week, so you’re pretty busy with your sessions. There are so many hours in a week that you’re not using. So there’s evenings you’re not using, there are Saturdays and Sundays, or days that you take off, or mornings that you take off. 20 hours, I mean that’s really just two days of the week if you’re piling them all and in one day, or in two days. That would be just two days, so really, if your office was a hotel, the occupancy would be terrible. And so a couple things you can do is you can add clinicians to your practice where you get a percentage of what they bring in, or you could just sublease your office. Say if someone wants to rent it on a Friday, for 100 or $200 dollars a month, you can then have been rent during that time. So really optimizing that practice, so that money is coming in, that’s you’re helping people, but it frees up your time to then work on those big ideas.

Big Ideas

So the big ideas, how do you work on those? Well, you think through the things that are really motivating you, what are you excited about? What do you want to talk about? Do you want to get interviewed on podcasts? Do you want to be on podcasts? Do you want to write more? Do you want to create an eCourse?

So the first thing that you’ve got to do is start creating some content. No matter what that looks like, you’ve got to create something that’s going to build an audience. Most people say, “I want to create this product first, so I want to make an eCourse that does all these things.” But the smart way to do it is to interview the people that want to be a part of that. So to build a small audience. Maybe you can email a list of 100 people, or 200 people in your particular topic area. And then ask them, what do you wish I would create? What do you wish I would put time into? And how much would you pay for that? If 20 people say, “Hey, I would pay 100 bucks if you made eCourse, I would totally buy that.” Then presell it and then you have that $2000 dollars in your hand where are then you can make that course, rather than make your course and try to then fit people into it.


And then the last corner of that triangle is the lifestyle. Now there are certain times when you sprint toward your goals. Maybe you have a full-time job right now. You’re just getting your part-time practice going, you’re paying off student loan debt, things like that. That’s a busy time, I’ve been there, I get it. But then there are also times when you start to say, I need to set different boundaries. So even if I am working 50 to 60 hours a week because I have this hustle and I really want to grow my practice, you say, I’m going to turn off my phone on Friday night when I’m on a date with my loved one. Or on Saturday, I’m not going to do anything work-related. I’m not going to listen to podcasts, I’m not going to do eCourses, I’m not going to hustle, I’m going to just enjoy this time with my friends and family.

Setting those boundaries then helps your brain regroup, it helps you slow down enough so you can really have those sparks of innovation, those big ideas. That’s why, when you’re in the shower, you have all of these ideas. Or if you’re driving and you have the music on and you’re just kind of daydreaming while you’re driving, and thinking, letting your brain just kind of bounce all over the place. That’s when you have your best ideas.

And so slowing down, having this lifestyle, that’s the thing that fuels it. And so whether it’s a green smoothie in the morning, like I drink every morning or whether you maybe go for a run… I wish I was a runner, I wish I could do that more, but I just hate it. But whatever your thing is that helps you regroup, have your brain and body bounce back, do that.

So that’s kind of that triangle of what I teach, whether it’s in the Next Level Practice or it’s people that are just starting. So if you’re just starting, it’s or if it’s people that want to join one of the Master Mind groups. So we have Master Mind groups that are just for starting a practice. They’re limited to 12 people and so it’s a smaller price point than some of the other things, like consulting or Next Level Master Mind. But then we also have Next Level Master Mind, which is aimed at 6 and 7-figure practices. So they can be in small groups of six, they can really dive then, and then you meet together in person a couple times a year.

You can apply for all those at So that’s kind of the corners of the triangle and I wanted to make sure we hit on those because sometimes there’s new listeners or people haven’t heard that from me. I want to make sure were all on the same page in regards to what I teach and how I live my life. And what I have found to be the most fulfilling way to have have a practice, go after these big ideas that really help you level up and help more people. But then also have the lifestyle to sustain it.

Interview with John Lee Dumas on Entrepreneur on Fire

So today, a very exciting interview. It’s John Lee Dumas. He has a podcast called Entrepreneur on Fire, millions of downloads every single month. I was actually asked to be interviewed on his podcast recently and I asked if I could do a reverse interview, where I used that interview of him talking to me and he said, “Yes, of course, I’d love that.” And so this is that interview from Entrepreneur on Fire.

So without any further ado, John Lee Dumas.

JLD: What’s shaking Fire Nation? JLD here and welcome to Episode 1934 of EOFire, where I chat with entrepreneurs on fire seven days a week. And if you’re ready to master productivity, discipline, and focus in just 100 days, Fire Nation, simply visit

Now let’s chat with today’s featured guest, Joe Sanok. Joe, are you prepared to ignite?

Joe: JLD, I am ready to detonate!

JLD: Yes! Joe is a consultant for private practice owners. His podcast, the Practice of the Practice Podcast, gives innovative ideas to start, grow, and scale a practice. Joe, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro and then give us a little glimpse of your personal life.

Joe: Absolutely, I have a very traditional background in regards to counseling. I went to undergrad and then went to grad school. I did a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and then a second one in Community Counseling. Moved on from there into the typical nonprofit world in community mental health and found that I really wanted to do more private practice work. So I launched a side private practice, started adding some clinicians to that practice and mental wellness counseling kept growing, but I found that most of what we learned in grad school had nothing to do with marketing, private practice, podcasting, consulting, all of that. And so I started blogging about that and following all sorts of people like yourself to learn how to do that. Outside my work, I love standup paddle boarding a couple months of the year when it’s not icy here in northern Michigan. I have two wonderful daughters and an amazing wife and I would say I’m just a curious person that finds people fascinating and I love discovering new ideas.

JLD: How do you define the word,”practice?” I mean I know my father is a lawyer and he has the practice, but for fire nation, for most of us, myself included, who don’t really know what that encompasses, what does that encompass?

Joe: Yeah, for me, private practice is really around the healthcare field. So people like counselors and massage therapists, naturopaths, people that often want to move away from insurance-based work and want it to be based more on their ideal clients.

JLD: Love that! So what is your area of expertise, Joe? If you could really break it down for us, what would that be?

Joe: Yeah, I help practice owners in the healthcare field to start, grow, and scale private practices. So people like counselors, naturopaths, psychologists. But I would say more of what I do and what people would say that I do is that I help them get their life back when they have a thriving practice that’s just driving them crazy. And to do that without losing money. So to scale back their time, but to scale up the amount they’re making to increase their income while also increasing their influence on the world and also their impact on the world.

JLD: So, for those that are listening right now, Joe, and they’re saying, hmmm, that could be me or that somebody I know, what’s one thing that you see people in that situation doing wrong over and over again? Or what is a misconception? Break that down.

Joe: When you’re under the six-figure mark, often times in a private practice you have this solo-preneur mindset where you have to put on multiple hats. You’re the accountant, you’re the marketer, you’re the website guy or gal. And then really the people that are most successful, whos scale to a six-figure or a seven-figure practice are the ones that aggressively take hats off. And they really move into that CEO mindset where they say, “Why am I spending time on this?” And they really edit down exactly what they are spending time on so that they are able to scale more effectively outside of their own time.

JLD: OK Joe, so that’s really cool stuff. Give us one thing, one action item that you would want someone listening to say, yeah that is me, that is something I want to do. What is something they can do right now? Or maybe again, if it’s one of their friends, what can they tell their friends to do right now that could maybe start them going down that right path?

Joe: I think looking for something really simple that you can outsource. When people here outsource or scaling, they often get overwhelmed because there are so many things they could do. Instead of that, what is one small thing that they can do in their private practice to outsource something? It can be as simple as having someone come in and do the cleaning and take out the trash. The CEO of Pepsi doesn’t probably doesn’t take out his or her own trash. So moving towards that CEO mindset, any micro steps in that direction.

JLD: Well, let me break in here for a second. And then definitely finish with that, but what is one thing that you just love seeing people delegate? What’s one thing that you think is pretty cool besides the trash thing?

Joe: Probably the biggest thing is outsourcing the phones. Most massage therapist, psychologists are still answering their own phone. They’re calling people back.

JLD: They’re like massaging somebody, they’re like wait I got a take that and the persons like, “What!?”

Joe: Or they’re missing calls while they’re in the sessions. So often times people think, well, this is going to be an expense, but actually it ends up being a multiplier because if you’re paying someone $15-$20 and hour and you’re going into a $200 session, you’re multiplying your time. And so just outsourcing your phones and your scheduling, that’s the first step that almost every one of my consulting clients does and they say, why didn’t I do this sooner?

JLD: And before I cut you off, where were you going with the end of that?

Joe: Oh, just make sure that you outsource something. To me, micro-steps and micro-goals are more effective over the long-term rather then some big goal that you’re going to just put off for years.

JLD: Joe, shifting to your story as an entrepreneur, what’s the worst moment you’ve experienced to date? Get right in there to that moment, tell us that story.

Joe: You know, for a lot of entrepreneurs, it’s the single moment when they lost a bunch of money or they were publicly shamed, but for me it was a two-year moment. I just started growing Practice of the Practice, we were getting some traction, we were about to launch the podcast, and in 2012 my mom was wrapping up her cancer treatment, her successful cancer treatment.
And a few months later, my daughter – right before her first birthday – had open heart surgery. Then, as we moved through that process, we thought we were done with this chapter of healthcare issues, and two weeks later I was diagnosed with cancer.

We had a bunch of other stuff happen as well, but what that year of 2012 reinforced in my mind in regards to my mindset, was to avoid risk, to stick with your full-time job, don’t put yourself out there because you never know when life is going to happen. For me, I would run the numbers all the time to see when I can leave my full-time job and every single time it came out that it was better to leave my job to stay in my job.

And I remember the moment when I was sitting on the couch with my wife, running the numbers for the 100th time, having made more money outside of my full-time job then she finally said to me, “Joe, I believe in you. You have the skills, we have the money coming in, and if you want me to stop being a stay-at-home mom, I could always go back to work.”

And for me that’s my worst entrepreneurial moment because I’m two years behind now then where I could have been. Imagine if I had been on EOFire two years ago, where would I be now? So often we delay these big ideas, we delay things because of fear, we don’t take those appropriate risks. Of course there’s a spectrum there, where you don’t want to just take risk and hurt your family, but you also need to know that there are times when you just need to jump, and for me I am two years behind because I didn’t take that jump after having such a tough year.

JLD: Fire Nation, we all delay in some way, shape, or form. I do it, you do it, Joe does it, it’s just a fact of being a human being. We delay, we procrastinate. Just make a commitment, just once, to do something that you aren’t just saying, that’s out of my comfort zone, that something that maybe I can do later, that’s something I can put off for now. Just do it. Just see what happens.

And guess what? Sometimes the best thing that can happen is you realize, that didn’t work and that actually wasn’t fun or that’s not something I want to do, because then, guess what? You can save time and you can save that thing that is hanging over your head of well, I’m going to do that at some point, now you know it’s done and it’s out and it worked or it didn’t. Now you can move forward or move on. So go ahead Joe.

Joe: I totally agree with you because I feel like the biggest thing that I see people that are scaling their practices do is to have that experimental mindset where everything is information. If you fail, then you’re able to get information from that. If you succeed, you get information from that. So exactly what you just said, that mindset of experimentation to me it’s so important to scaling up.

JLD: Joe, talk about another story in your journey. This is one of the greatest ideas you’ve had to date. I mean, we’ve talked about aha moments you’ve already had to date, but what’s one of those great ideas that really took you to that next level? Take us to the moment when you had that idea and walk us through that story.

Joe: My wife Christina and I were in the Detroit airport and we were flying down to Asheville, NC, and we were just joking about how fun it would be to host a conference where we had adult coloring books and Play-Do and we encouraged practice owners to just slow down.

JLD: I want to go!

Joe: I know, and just hang out on the beach and drink and go for hikes and have massages. And so we came up with all these fun ideas and in typical form, we’re on the next flight, my wife takes a nap and I pull out my note book and sketch out this entire conference. And right when we land, I purchased and had this idea of having a conference where, if you slow down and really recenter yourself, that when you sprint toward your goals you have more clarity.

And I hired Jamie Masters, our mutual friend, to help me with marketing it and understanding my audience. And when this conference sells out and finally we have everybody together, I remember I was on the beach with this guy, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, who has the Testing Psychology Podcast and John Clark, who has the Private Practice Workshop Podcast, and I was just observing this group of people and seeing the magic that was happening when you get the right people in the room.

It made everything else easier when I didn’t have to feel like I had to educate people, but instead I could facilitate what was already naturally happening here. And for me the big take away, the big aha moment, was that when you segment your list, when you give high-quality information to a particular group, and you make sure the right people are in the room, magical things happen that you don’t expect and that you don’t have to plan for.

JLD: fire nation, we all have ideas. What are you doing to make your ideas a reality? I mean, Joe could have just taken a nap on the plane as well, and woken up and they could still be talking about it to this day, that would have been a fun conference. But no, he sketched it out, he took steps, he invested in himself with Jamie Masters – my first ever mentor – and started to rock it and then he made that idea a reality. You can, too, and Joe, that being said, of course that has you fired up no doubt, but what is the thing today that has you more excited business-wise than anything else?

Joe: We built a bunch of things for our higher-end clients that were in the six-figure range over the last few years. And we had a couple products that were for people just starting a product and in this coming year what we’re launching is a complete supportive community that goes beyond your typical online community, where you just watch a few webinars. And so this Next Level Practice, it’s amazing what we’ve created, where we have trainings, live trainings, Q&A for people who are starting a practice, but then we also have small groups of 6-8 that work together to support each other over time. But then the third component is the live feedback on websites, on Psychology Today profiles, and then we’re giving away bonuses like free logos or free design for people’s blogposts.

And what I’m fired up about it isn’t so much the opportunities, but to really create something that’s going to revolutionize private practice. Right now there’s not a start-to-finish solution to help people start, grow, and scale a private practice. The idea of having people together in one place, to have this be a central component of growing a practice, is so exciting for me.

JLD: Fire Nation, what is exciting you right now? And what are you doing to make that a reality? This is kind of the theme that we’re building up throughout the show and if you think Joe has been dropping value bombs, ain’t nothing [compared to that’s going to be happening, which is coming up after we thank our sponsors.
Joe, are you ready to rock the lightening round?

Joe: I am ready!

JLD: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?

Joe: Well both my parents worked for the school systems, my father-in-law and mother-in-law worked for the school system, everybody I knew worked for somebody else. And so the idea of jumping out on my own was not only foreign, but it was super scary for me.

JLD: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Joe: When you say no to one thing, you say yes to all sorts of things as well.

JLD: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?

Joe: Every Friday, what I do is that I turn off my phone and my email and then I don’t turn it back on often until Sunday or Monday so that I can have time with my friends and family and really remember why I am doing what I do during the work week.

JLD: Recommend one internet resource.

Joe: My favorite internet resource right now has been the app, Marco Polo. My friend and business colleague, Kelly Higdon, introduced it to me. It’s a texting app where you can send videos back and forth and I’m testing it with my consulting clients as well.

JLD: Recommend a book and share why.

Joe: I love the book, Play Bigger. It’s all about how top companies have a mindset of category design where they create new categories. So we know that category kings get about 80% of the business. So think Uber, Airbnb. I just interviewed Christopher Lochhead on the podcast and instead of our typical 30 minutes, it was a two hour interview. The guy’s just got so much amazing information.

JLD: So let’s end today On Fire. Joe, you giving us a parting piece of guidance, the best ways we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.

Joe: JLD, thanks so much for having me on this show. The best advice is for you to go find your ideal client because when you do that it makes everything else easier for you because you get into their head. That magic happens when you get them together and it just helps you multiply your time. And so I’d say when you’re looking at multiplying your time and setting those extremes boundaries so you can get more done in a shorter amount of time, seek to layer your productivity. I have found that when you do multiple things at once – for example, taking a walk while you’re talking to your virtual assistant or reusing blog posts into an eBook or doing a live training, by doing this it allows you to spend more time on things that matter.

And for the listeners of EOFire, we’re giving away some of our best paid content totally free. We’ve never brought these three tools together at this scale, it’s over $200 in items. These are a bunch of tools that we have had thousands of healthcare professionals use.

The first one is we have the most simple intake form you’ve ever used. This is the intake form that I use in my own private practice and many others use. It’s going to help clients feel welcome when they come and keep coming back.

Also JLD, we’ve got a 5-part audio training all about the tactics and tools that we use to get into the mindset of our ideal client so that we can automat that process more. We have handouts that go with that, as well.

And then lastly, we’re throwing in two of our most recent magazines, the Practice of the Practice Magazine. We have the secrets and hacks that practice owners are using to launch and scale quickly. All of your audience can get that over at

JLD: Fire Nation, if you have anything to do in this world – private practices, etc. – you’re a little silly if you don’t take advantage of this incredibly free gift. So don’t be silly, just make it happen:

Get over there Fire Nation and – you know this – you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you’ve been hanging out with JLD and JS today, so keep up the heat, and head on over to and just type “Joe” in the search bar and his show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about. These are the best show notes in the biz. Time stamps, links galore. And Joe, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. Brother, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip side.

Joe: See ya!

JLD: Boom, Joe, that’s a wrap – way to rock the mic today!

Joe: Thanks, it was fun! It’s like you’ve done this before.

JLD: It’s always nice having an interview with a podcaster because you’ve been this before, too.

Joe: Yes, it’s fun, I like when you through in the unexpected questions, it keeps me on my toes.

Well thanks so much for letting me into your ears and also for invited JLD, John Lee Dumas, into your brain as well. Hey, I just set up something pretty awesome. If you go over to Facebook and go like the Practice of the Practice page and then send us a message, I set up this Message Bot, so it’ll walk you through the different phases of the practice that you’re in, all within Messenger within Facebook and I’m going to be doing some training on how to do this within your own Facebook page.

It’s a really cool automated feature to get you some of the things that you want. It’s sort of like a choose your adventure. You say, “Have you done this?” No, I haven’t and then you get that resource or yes, I have and it takes you to the next resource. It’s the new web that I’m continuing to build out. It’s super awesome. So if you want to test it out and see how it works, just head on over to Practice of the Practice, the Facebook page. Like us and then send us a message and you can go through that process totally free. It’s free to set up, too, so I can’t wait to show you how to do it because it’s super awesome.

So thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an awesome week, go take some action.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.