Kasey Compton Started a Million Dollar Practice in Three Years | PoP 290

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Kasey Compton Started a Million Dollar Practice

Are you wanting to grow your practice into a group practice? Do you struggle with the business side of private practice? Are you looking for tips on how to onboard clinicians?

In this episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Kasey Compton about how she started a million dollar practice in three years.

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 practiceofthepractice.com/invite.

Meet Kasey Compton

My area of specialization is in anxiety and panic disorders. I work with clients from early childhood to ages 65+. I use a very successful treatment program to reduce and/or eliminate the anxiety and panic that you are experiencing in your life. All of my clients who have completed this program have experienced significant results. I look for people who are dedicated and willing to commit to the treatment process. These clients are always the most successful!

Kasey Compton’s Story

Kasey knew as soon as she got licensed that she wanted to start her own private practice. Yet, she soon realised that she wasn’t ready. So, she joined a group practice for a few years to ‘watch and learn’. Then, once she felt more knowledgable, she went back into her private practice.

In This Podcast


In this episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Kasey Compton about her journey into private practice. Although Kasey initially backed out of private practice to join a group practice, she eventually went back and went on to build a million dollar practice in three years. In this podcast, Kasey shares what she focused on in the first year as well as how she goes about onboarding clinicians.

Setting Up Private Practice

  • Licensing
  • Credentialing (insurance panels)

Biggest Things Kasey Worked on in First Year

  • Process
  • Infrastructure

Didn’t advertise for the first year or so until all processes and infrastructure were optimised.

Started practice in October 2015, but didn’t start off as a group practice from the beginning. Kasey’s sister came on board to help start the group practice. Added clinicians very slowly as they were very picky about who to employ. Initially, brought people on as 1099s. By the end of the first year, they had 10 clinicians which they had added to the business as 1099s.

Even to this day, they make use of hiring incentives to ensure the onboarding of quality clinicians. They also, eventually, gave their employees the option to move over to W-2 contracts with extra benefits.

Successful Characteristics

  • Stubborn
  • Strategic


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!

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Podcast Transcription

PoP #290

{If you are starting a practice and you do not want the hassle of not knowing what to do and you want to do it in community, you want to be able to have that support of other people and have me by your side helping you launch a practice, you have to join Next Level Practice. Head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/invite to join this amazing community. It’s only $77 per month and the return on investment people are getting is insane. That’s practiceofthepractice.com/invite.}

This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok: Session #290

I’m Joe Sanok your host, jolly day to you. I hope you’re doing really well. It is a snowy Northern Michigan day today at the time of this recording and I just want to give you a little update on this idea that I have and give you some behind the scenes. As you’ve probably heard me talk about, I’ve been talking about Next Level Practice for a while here and shared a little bit about that. I’ve learned a couple things and let me just give you some behind the scenes and then we’re going to hear an interview with Kasey Compton about how she started her million dollar practice. Now, when people typically have ideas that I work that I work with, they already have sketched out the entire thing. I mean start to finish, they’ve got their e-course, they’ve got their course, they’ve got their podcast, I’m going to cover all these things… which can be important to have kind of a general direction, but it’s also kind of like you put in all that time and it’s not always worth it.

So for example, I remember I launched a podcast a few years ago about how to become a consultant and spent tons of time on it and had this course I wanted to teach and you know, I had a handful of people buy it and it was worth it, but I didn’t sell it at the level I thought I was going to be able to sell. And so when we’re launching something new, we really want to try and text the concept first, which I had done for Next Level Practice, which my idea was that there are some membership communities out there for starting a practice, but none that really are as essential as having a website. And I thought if we can have a community that starts with creating content and teachings around starting your practice, and then over time we grow with that community, then people will say, “Oh my gosh, this was perfect for me when I was starting, but now it’s perfect for me as I grow and I scale,” that it really becomes this authoritative start to scale guide for people.

That was the idea. And I thought, ok my basic idea is to have a community, some teaching, some other things, and so back in November I interviewed probably about 20 people that were at that start-up phase. I had 15 minute conversations with them to really see what they wanted and I just asked a couple questions. I said, “What has been difficult about starting a practice for you? What do wish would have been around to help you with that and how much would you have paid for that?” And just had honest conversations with people. And so the words that they used were money mindset, or not knowing how to get clients, or feeling like I’m not sure how to get referrals or get referral sources.

So by really getting in the head of who I pictured really benefiting from this community, I was able to hear their words and get a sense of how they talked about it. So then I threw it out to my email list, threw it out on this podcast a little bit and said, “Hey, if you want first access, give it a whirl.” And then on January 8, I did, I gave it a whirl and learned a lot of things about the tech side. On that day we sold 35 of those spots in the first 7 minutes of the 50 spots and then I didn’t know that my PayPal upper threshold – the amount that you could sell, so you could limit the number – was at 42 instead of at 50 and so all day long I’m emailing people and saying, “Hey, there are open spots.”

So all this was going on and we get people in there and for the last two months this has been such a gracious group of people. People that just show up to work on their practice. And we started with one webinar platform that we had issues with – no Mac product other than computers would work with this webinar platform. And the recordings were not working very well either. Then we jumped to another webinar platform and that one the recording wasn’t as solid as the platform we ended up landing on. So now we’re using Zoom and we now have a hub where we put all of our webinars and over time we’re going to building out even more courses around different specific topics. That’s through Teachable.

And so we tested this stuff, we got the people who were the first adopters. They got to jump in at $55/month, that’s their lifetime cost. It’s going to be $55/month. And then the new groups that didn’t jump in, they’re at $77/month, which is higher than most of the other groups, but we wanted to set it there so we could do a lot of bonuses. So for example in the first month, everybody gets a logo. I mean, that’s usually $300 or $400 to get an awesome logo, but since we have so many people in the Next Level Practice, we’re able to really test this out and say, “What is it that means a lot to you?” I give our paperwork packet out to people, which is usually $200.
So our mindset is that every month we want to giveaway things that are more than the cost. So at $77/month, you’re getting way more than that. There are people like Jordan in our group and she said that in two months she’s gone from 8 clients to 18 clients per week. She charges I think $120 a session, so if she has 10 more people then that’s $1,200 per week more that she’s making off of this $55/month investment. And so to see people whose lives are being changed… Joann, she’s getting so much support, and there are just so many other people and I could give you their testimonials. But it’s inspiring for me to have tried this thing and then had it work.

And the takeaway for you is that when you have a big idea, find an audience for it first, test it out, see if it works, see if it’s worth the time for you, and see if it’s scaleable. So for this, it’s highly scaleable. I know that if we hit our goal of 500 people within this group by the end of the year, they’re going to be rocking out private practice. They’re going to have all these amazing teachings. We’re going to have amazing small groups of 6-8 people. People get accountability partners, it’s this really amazing support that would not have been possible that would not have been possible without technology being where it’s at right now.

So I know that’s a big behind the scenes, but even more behind the scenes… each month we do several Q&A sessions where I’m on Facebook Live in this private group or Alison Pidgeon or in the future Kasey Compton will be doing live Facebook Lives within the group and then what they’ll be doing is sharing and answering questions as well. I do several webinars a month. So for example, last month it was How to Start a Practice, the Nuts and Bolts of Practice, How to Find Your Business Avatar. I did an interview with Alison Pidgeon. I’m starting a group practice because a lot of people wanted to think about starting a group practice.

And one of the other interviews I did was Kasey Compton. Kasey Compton, you’re going to hear this webinar where she and I talked all about how she grew her practice to over a million dollars in three years, but then you’re going to hear a bunch of those questions from people who are in brand new start-up spaces. They’re under $40,000/year. Being able to ask her questions live is really interesting to hear that behind the scenes.

So without further ado, I give you the one, the only Kasey Compton.

Joe: Well it is 2:00 Eastern Standard Time, so we’re going to get started. I’m sure some people will be trickling in here as well. We’re going to be sharing this with the Facebook community and more. I want to introduce Kasey Compton. She is a Liscenced Clinical Counselor since 2009 and she specializes in anxiety and panic disorders and she told me that she helps anxious people, shy kids, and frustrated parents. She started a practice that converted into a speciality group, Mindsight Behavioral Group and she has 4 office locations, 15 counties, and 50 staff members and growing. I’m so excited to have you here in this webinar, Kasey – welcome!

Kasey: Thank you!

Joe: We’ve got some that are tuning in from the Next Level Practice Community that are growing their practices. And it was interesting because I had done a poll in our private Facebook group and said, “What do you want to learn if I was going to interview people?” I thought it was going to be really basic, like websites and basic start-up stuff, and I just threw in there because I know you have a 7-figure practice, not thinking people would want to. That was the number one thing people requested out of all the options. So we’ve got people who are starting a practice that are super excited to learn from you. So, welcome.

Kasey: Thank you, thank you. I’m really excited to be here.

Joe: So I want to start with 2009, let’s reverse back a little bit. That’s when you got licensed. Tell us about your career right after you got licensed.

Kasey: It’s really not that exciting. I got licensed right away and when I decided to make the jump into the Masters Program for Clinical Counseling, I know that I wanted a private practice right off the bat. I was actually the only one in my group that did. But I knew that I wanted to do that, so when I got licensed, I bought a building and I opened up the practice right away and just decided that I wasn’t quite ready, so I took a step backwards. I worked for a larger agency for quite a few years and just absorbed as much information as I possibly could and tried to evaluate what I really liked in that organization and what I thought needed to change, if I were doing it myself. And so from there, my private practice restarted and we’ve been trucking along ever since.

Joe: I want to go back to that right after grad school you bought a building and started a practice.

Kasey: Yeah, I did!

Joe: That’s not normal. So you buy a building and you decided to stop the endeavor. Was it because you weren’t hitting numbers? Or just bleeding money? Or what was happening?

Kasey: It wasn’t anything financial, I tell you it was bought the building, I renovated the building, I moved in, I got everything situated and I had and I had my first client and it was probably one of the most severe cases I have ever worked with. It was an eating disorder case and it really scared me a little bit and I thought, but you know, I’m just not quite confident enough yet to do this. Now looking back, if I would’ve just stuck with it it would’ve been fine, it was just a little bit overwhelming. I don’t know, I just didn’t feel like I was ready.

Joe: What did you do with the building?

Kasey: Well, my ex-husband has it. We kept it, it was just a really good investment opportunity. We remodeled it and kept it and he uses it for his business. So it worked out well.

Joe: So then you go and work for the agency for a while and then when did you decide that it was time to get back into the private practice? What were some of the indicators that you were ready to do this?

Kasey: The company where I worked, they were a very large company so they had their administrative offices in a city that was quite a bit far away from me, about two hours away. And so I kind of developed my own thing in a county closer to me. So I was generating my own referrals, I was just doing everything myself anyway and so it was a really good opportunity to just to kind of test it out and so whenever I felt comfortable, I had good relationships in the community, I felt like I knew the clinical piece of it really, really well and I just had a few years of experience, I just thought, you know what… the people that they were referring to me were referring to me, not the company. They didn’t even know who the company was. The company itself didn’t even have a presence in our community. I just felt a lot more confidence that I could do it.

Joe: Yeah, so then what were some of your first steps when you were starting the practice, when you decided to move away from that company?

Kasey: The first things obviously were just getting my business license and my insurance and just all of that. I spent quite a bit of time in the beginning, because I knew that I was going to accept insurance, I knew that we would be an insurance based practice, just for our demographic and for how I wanted to scale my business, I knew I needed to accept insurance. So I spent quite a bit of time in the beginning on credentialing, getting everything paneled correctly and getting on all of the insurance panels that I knew I wanted to accept. Just all of the little things that I knew that would keep me from growing if I didn’t take care of it in the beginning.

Joe: So what year was that when you started getting paneled?

Kasey: That was in January of 2015.

Joe: That was in January of 2015, you start kind of getting all that infrastructure built. What helped you decide between insurance and private pay?

Kasey: Well, I live in a pretty small town in Kentucky and the average household income – the last time I checked the census for my area – is about $20, 000 – $22,000 a year and that’s for a household. So I knew that I could do self pay and be fine myself, just individually, but I wasn’t sure that I could scale it into a group practice and only take fee for service clients. So that was a big piece of my decision and I knew that in order to scale where I wanted it to be I really needed some flexibility to take insurance because we have 22 other agencies in the county where I live and they all accept insurance. And so that was just a barrier that at the time I wasn’t ready to overcome. I didn’t want to spend my time selling to the community a fee for service option, it just didn’t fit for what I was wanting to do.

Joe: So as you were getting paneled, what were some of the things you did in say the first six months or a year. It seems like from the beginning you knew you wanted to scale, so it was a mindset that it sounds like it was an obvious for you. So what did you do in that first year, because a lot of the people who are listening or watching are in their first year or they’re below $40,000. What were some of the checkmarks that you had that you made sure you set it up so you had the ability to scale.

Kasey: OK this was really important. The two biggest things that I worked on in that first year was process and infrastructure. So in the first year we technically had enough clients and referrals to explode, but we didn’t because I knew that I wanted to grow very strategically. So in the first year we only grew when the process lent itself to growing. So if our referrals process was broken, we did not advertise because we worked on trying to fix that process. What I did – and I know these aren’t quite the right terms for the mental health world – but when I was growing and building my infrastructure for my company, I really focused on acting like it was going to be the training model, like the training company. You know how you go out and you buy a franchise or you do all these things, I wanted that to be as close to perfect as I could possibly get it before we really hit the growth.

Joe: So it sounds like really making it that you could replicate it.

Kasey: Exactly, very uniform, every office was going to use the same forms, the same procedures, the same policies. Everything would be very uniform.

Joe: So you had said, well we were ready to explode but we didn’t. How did you get to January, 2015 to within say six months being ready to explode. I think a lot of people are going to be like, wait – how did you do that? I want to explode?

Kasey: Well, I don’t really know. So we started in October, 2015 and October, November, and December of that first year was kind just kind of a wash. If you look at the books, there’s really no profit there, it was just getting everything settled and getting everything situated. So then January, 2016 comes along and we are just problem solving, troubleshooting things that are coming out, figuring out some insurance glitches, different things like that. By the third quarter of the year we had a pretty good infrastructure built to where I knew that we could really start marketing. The whole first year and three months of our business we did not do any advertising at all, none. And we did that on purpose because I knew that we were going to let some people down, I knew that I had to give up quite a bit of control because I couldn’t do it at all anymore. When it was just me seeing clients, I knew that I would always follow up with my referral sources. I knew that I called to positions, I thank them for their referrals, I did all that, but I knew bringing someone in there is going to be a chance that they would forget or that that wouldn’t happen. So I didn’t really wanted to advertise because I didn’t want to have so many clients that we couldn’t meet the expectation that I had for the company.

Joe: that’s so kind of reverse intuitive because most people start a practice and they’re like, I want to go out there and market and Facebook Live and tell everybody. I’m amazed that it’s like the opposite of your intuition is what really helped you grow because it sounded like you wanted to make sure everything was in place and that you really looked perfect, or close to as perfect as possible before you got the word out about your practice.

Kasey: Exactly, we tried. And another thing is, I don’t know, I’m looking over at the list to see if there’s anyone in this group or on this webinar if that’s from a small town, but the small town environment is just a little different and so I was afraid of hitting the ground running and saying, here we are, here we are and then 20 of them trying to take us down, you know what I mean, just getting a little competitive in a way that I didn’t want to happen. So we just kind of flew under the radar there in the beginning. And then one major milestone that we did, and this was kind of a personal and a professional decision, but in the third quarter of last year, 2017, we’ve brought on a full-time Community Outreach Director, who is also over all of the marketing and that was done so that we could maintain the relationships that we had work so hard to build for the first year. It was a big move because, well it’s just a big salary to pay and it wasn’t a direct, we weren’t getting any direct reimbursement from that, so it was a big salary to pay, but that has made such a huge difference for us just having that follow-through and that face out there in the community that, it’s just following up with everything that we have started.

Joe: So Liz and Yvette have some, Liz says she’s from a small town and Yvette said how did you start off right off the bat as a group practice? I’d love to hear that first year you said it was pretty much a wash, you know net zero, how many people, I mean when did you add clinicians during that first year?

Kasey: Well that’s a really good question. So I said that we started our group in October, 2015. My sister and I, she is also an LPCC and she did some substance abuse classes and counseling. So we were falls actually in private practice first for probably a good eight or nine months before we transitioned it over to a group. So that kind helped us, we didn’t start off right off the bat as a group necessarily.

Joe: So did she come in underneath you or are you co-owners or how did that work?

Kasey: We were. We decided to form the group together, we shared an office for our individual private practices and we went into the company and we were co-owners and since then I have bought out her portion of the business so now I’m the sole owner, but we actually added clinicians very slowly. We were very, very picky in the beginning and in the very beginning we brought on, in my opinion she was the best clinician in the state, amazing, and we could not have done what we did without her. She helped us build that very solid reputation.

Joe: And where they W-2s or 1099s?

Kasey: In the beginning they were all 1099s.

Joe: OK and we can get to when you made that switch. So you bring in someone who just has a great reputation, I mean I am with you, with my group practice, that first person that I brought on, Steve, he had a great reputation around substance abuse, he was a straight shooter, respected everywhere he went. And so those first couple people really set the tone for with the practice, what it is going to look like outside of yourself. Because if it’s always based on your reputation, that can only go so far and you want it be able to multiply with multiple locations or with different clinicians.

So at the end of year one, that would’ve been like December, 2016 or so? So where were you at in regards to how many clinicians you had by the end of that first year?

Kasey: By the end of the first year, I believe we had about 10 clinicians.

Joe: All 1099s at that point?

Kasey: Yes.

Joe: OK, so then you enter into 2017, so just over a year ago. You’re almost a wash from that first year, so then last year what do you do to kind of grow?

Kasey: In 2017 we had our infrastructure built. That was scary, I mean that was a scary year because we had outgrown our previous office. It was 1750 square feet, I lost an office, I was working in one of the rooms on the floor most of the time because there is, or in the kitchen, sometimes I would be in there.

Joe: Like doing counseling in the kitchen?

Kasey: No, work.

Joe: This quick funny side note, one time someone was using my office and our sign if you’re in the office is the door shut. And they just left the door shut and I didn’t want to knock the door and interrupt the session, but they weren’t even there and so I ended up doing a session in our file room. It was like knees to knees and this family and it was literally like 8′ x 8’, but side note.

Kasey: So when I worked in the kitchen for a while, it was really scary to grow because we had managed to keep our overhead so low in 2015 and 2016, that our rent is low and we don’t have a lot of overhead or a lot of bills. We knew that we were going to have to move and especially to scale and to grow like we needed to. So in 2017 we moved to our office, it’s between 8,000 and 8,500 now, so we wanted something that had a little bit of room to grow because we didn’t want to outgrow another office.

Joe: I love when people do that because we went from a single office suite to a four office suite and our rent went from about $300 a month to $2000 a month. This happened with me, I don’t know how this went with you, but when you get that much space, as the person who is paying for that space, it just killed me to have it be empty. So my chutzpah that I put into it, I just felt like I had to run full tilt and bring people on, get it full, vs. like going to a two office suite or a three office suite. And then moving every couple years, when you make that big jump it just forces your hand. Is that what you felt when it happened to you?

Kasey: It absolutely was. And it reminded me a lot of the profit first book when he talks about, take care profit first and you’re going to make it work out of the operating expenses, that’s what it did to me. When we moved, it’s two floors so the first floor we used as administrative offices and conference rooms in the source of things, and our first floor we kind of got to build out the way we wanted and it has 13 therapy rooms as opposed to 4 or 5 that we had at the other place, so it was like come on let’s get them filled. We’re ready to go from this point forward, so let’s just fill them up. So that’s what we we did. We did a lot of different hiring incentives…

Joe: What kind of hiring incentives?

Kasey: Well just your standard, we did some standard sign-on bonuses, some different things like that and then we did some internal hiring incentives, like right now we have for any staff member that recruits a therapist that we hire, they get $.25 of every dollar that they earned or every hour that they bill for therapy for the first full year of employment. So they get pretty good incentives, they are recruiting former colleagues…

Joe: And then they’re going to be like, let me help you get more clients, they want to make that money, I love that. Now, when you jumped to the significantly larger space, was that when you jumped from 1099 contractors to W-2s or when did you make that switch?

Kasey: We made the switch, I can’t remember exactly when it happened, but it was about the end of 2016, the beginning of 2017 that we opened it up and said, here is the criteria for W-2 employment. It’s your choice. We just kind of let them choose, our current staff, where they wanted to be because some of them really needed health insurance. We had some scary things happen with one of our employees and I just felt almost like I had an obligation to say, here, we’ll offer this if you want it, just so they could have some piece of mind that if something happened, their families would be ok.

Joe: Now do you still have that mixed model of 1099s and W-2s?

Kasey: Yes.

Joe: How is that, is it tough with the accounting or are there different things that you offered 1099s versus don’t offer W-2s or vice versa?

Kasey: Really, whenever we do a job offer we have two separate pay scales. So the 1099s earn approximately 20% more than our W-2 employees on the hour. But then our our W-2 employees earn paid time off, they earn sick time, they earn full benefits, we do company-paid life insurance policies, 401ks, so there are more perks for the W-2 and then they’re eligible for health insurance. Some people don’t need all that, they have a spouse that carries all of it so they would rather just pull in more on the hour.

Joe: So Carrie has a question. So when you’re at that 13 offices that you have to fill, what are your tips for recruiting and hiring those amazing clinicians? You had set the standard with some really great people. It seems like as you add more people, sometimes, especially in smaller communities,I live in a town that’s not gigantic either, the quality of people, not that it has to go down, but there might be more training. How do you find all those amazing clinicians?

Kasey: That’s a great question because that’s something that I really that had to be very focused on and deliberate with this entire process. But for me it happened in reverse. So I had one, actually at a private practice consulting workshop and I had this potential private practice owner coming in and her and I headed off immediately and I just knew she was just going to be an awesome clinician and so she was my awesome clinician that I had in the beginning. But in the beginning, where we’re a small town, there’re so many other agencies to choose from, we did not have a great wealth of knowledgeable clinicians to choose from. People didn’t want to work here, they questioned us, like you would any new business, so unfortunately we didn’t have a whole lot of wonderful and amazing clinicians the first year.

Joe: But you didn’t have a lot to select from or you actually hired people and then realized were not a good fit?

Kasey: Both. Both. But now it’s different because now our awesome clinicians and the ones that we love and that fit the culture fit perfectly are recruiting their friends, and they’re also perfect fits. And so now we’re getting really applicants and we know right away that they’re probably going to be a really great fit because this person that is recruiting them is a great fit and they know what we’re looking for. But on a side note I will say that the Ideal Team Player book, Patrick Lencioni, I read that book and I base all of my hiring off of the humble, hungry, and smart categories that he references in that book. I actually have my staff on board. I asked, hey, is anyone interested in a Leadership Hiring Committee. I actually had about 15 staff members say they’re interested and I said, OK, here’s the criteria, you have to read the book. So they’ve all read the book and they’re so excited about the book.

Joe: So it’s humble, hungry, and what’s the other part?

Kasey: Smart. So now when we’re recruiting they’re looking for these categories and I’m having them come to me and say, “Hey, I have this friend and she’s definitely hungry and she’s definitely smart, but I’m not so sure about humble.”

Joe: She’s the best! I love that, so Profit First and then Ideal Team Player, those are two books that we’re helpful to you. I mean, I’m just amazed that you went from just growing a practice that first year and netting pretty much a wash and then jumping to this gigantic 13-room office. I want to talk a little bit about mindset. One thing I really appreciate about you, Kasey, is that you seem to have this driven mindset that doesn’t always seem to come natural to a lot of clinicians. They have a lot of money issues, they have success issues, like – who am I? I just need to help the world. Not that you don’t feel that compassionate side, but what’s natural in your, what did you have to develop, what are some mindsets that people who are watching or listening can take away to just say, yeah I can kill it in a year! These are people who are starting a practice and to think of what you did in one year, I’m just blown away. What’s different in your brain or what did you have to develop in your brain to get that kind of mindset?

Kasey: I struggle with this sometimes because when I’m hiring people or when I’m working with my current therapists on establishing themselves in the community and building their reputation and build their own brands, who they are within the company, they just look at me like I’m crazy or something. {inaudible} I struggle with it sometimes to maximize their potential and I really never thought that I thought differently than anyone else did. This whole time, until I started this group, because now I see that
most people don’t think like that.

Joe: Well even in our Next Level Master Mind group, I think there are six people that are in this group and you offer so much to those people to the group and I think you get a lot out of it, but the way you think about things is so strategic and I’d love to figure out how to replicate this brain for the people watching and listening right now.

Kasey: I don’t know if you want to do that, but I think of any characteristic or any character trait I have that has helped me become successful would be probably two things. I’m very stubborn in a lot of ways, which can be hard for others and for myself and for my husband. But I”m very strategic, too, I don’t really take no for an ansawer. If I can figure it out, I enjoy that challenge. A really quick example. We’re trying to buy a house and I went to 6 or 7 banks in my community and they all had a bunch of different reasons, they said “No, I think your business is too new, I don’t know, the proof of income, you haven’t done your taxes this year…” You know, just all kinds of different things. One loan officer said, “We do the banking for a lot of the agencies here and when I took this to the head honchos, they said how is her business so successful when so many other ones here just breaking even?” And he told me that and I was just shocked.

Joe: That’s some good inside information.

Kasey: He kept me telling me no and I’d come back to him a day later and say, “Can we do it like this?” Finally, between the two of us, I think she picked up on my hunger and thought, “I think she really wants this house.” So when he came up with something to present to the big guys upstairs and they said, “Let’s do it, OK.” And so we got a house when everyone was saying “No, we can’t do it.” So I just wasn’t going to let it go.

Joe: Especially when you’re self-employed, it’s a lot harder to get those loans and everything, even though you’re probably making so much more than if you were a W2 somewhere. Now for this last year, what happened where you really got to grow there? Take us through 2017.

Kasey: Let me go back to the financial side for just one second. SO in 2015 we only have three months in the year and there was zero profit for that year and that was to be expected, I didn’t expect there to be a profit. 2016 I had projected the year with us being small, but we would be at about $350,000 gross coming in through the business and I think that was with 5 clinicians for 2016. We ended that year with $334,000, which was pretty close and we had about a 10% net profit margin, which is still pretty good for what we had done that year. And then 2017, I think the most important thing when you’re looking at a private practice or a group or whatever it is you have is knowing your numbers. And so for me, I knew what my gross profit was off of every service that we provided, on average, because sometimes there are modifications here and there. With that being said, I also knew what every therapist that I brought on, what financially they would bring. I don’t like saying it like this, but I knew how much I would make off of each therapist that I brought into the practice. So for 2017 our goal was to hit a million dollars and we were at $1,3500,00, I think. We went over our goal. But I knew that I had to either increase my volume or I needed to cut my costs. So that’s what I did, I did both. I cut my costs and I increased my volume. I did that by adding more clinicians. We added a Case Management Service, which is a Medicaid funded service and then we added a couple other smaller services in there, as well, that helped with the volume component.

Joe: So what do you think you’re on track to do for this year?

Kasey: We, conservatively, I think we’ll do three million this year. My ambitious side wants to say 5, but I don’t want to not hit it so I’m going to say 3.

Joe: Other than that first year, it looks like you triple each year. We have some time for some questions here, so go ahead and drop some questions in to the chat area. You guys heard that in 2015 Kasey built infrastructure, 2016 about $230,000 or so, 2017 1.3 million and this year, I’m going to say 5 million.

Kasey: Don’t do that to me!

Joe: So Liz says, “Holy crap, you’re amazing Kasey!” Comments are appreciated, as well. What do you want to know from Kasey? She has rocked it out and she is here to advise you. How often do you have access to someone like this who has just killed it in such a short period of time. I mean, it’s one thing to have launched a practice 20 years ago and slowly build it. But literally, Kasey was where you guys are all at a couple years ago and now she has a multi-million dollar practice… maybe a 5 million dollar practice.

Kasey: We’ll see.

Joe: What kind of questions do have for her? Sometimes it takes a while for questions to come in. So if you sat down with someone and it’s their first year of practice, they just got things going, I want to make sure I make my bills, I want to make sure I pay myself enough to make it worth my time… what would you want them to focus on in those first couple months of starting a practice?

Kasey: Probably just setting some goals. Say I wanted to do $350,000. I would set that goal and work backwards. How many clients am I going to need to see to meet that? How much time is it going to take? Someone told me something when I first started, he said, “If you don’t know where you going, any road will get you there.” I’ve always tried to make really certain of where I’m going so I can be focused on how I’m going to get there. Goal setting would be a big one.

Joe: I love doing that with consulting clients, where you take that how much they want to make, divide it by how many weeks they want to work and then you say, “Ok, how much are you charging? Ok, you need to see 15 people each week, make it happen.” Simple math.

So Liz says, “How would you advise someone who lives in a small community where there’s already a pretty large group practice that is well respected?”

Kasey: I would love that challenge, because that’s exactly what I dealt with here. DOn’t let that discourage you. What we did was, I’m obviously a little different than the average person, I have some different personality tendancies, but we have 22 other agencies in my community and I would say at least 70% are very well established and have been here 100 years and it didn’t matter. We figured out what our niche was in our group and what made us different and we just really drilled that into the community. We didn’t even try to compete with them. In fact, I’ll still refer people to them if it’s a service we don’t offer. We still have a good relationship with all the other agencies even though we’ve taken a lot of their business. I would really try to, it’s easy to get dragged into the drama piece of it or comparing yourself to this one or that one. But just try to focus on what you do well and that will get you further, I mean, it got us further than I ever would have thought.

Joe: Did you outspend them in marketing or out-blog them or what were some things, when you were ready to scale, you said early on you didn’t really tell anyone you were out there. But when you were ready to scale, what was the gasoline you threw on to really light it up, to go from $300,000 to 1.3 million?

Kasey: I think one of things we did differently was our community outreach. We are just very involved in the community. Our Community Outreach Director, he visits our referral sources every week, he knows them all by name. I mean, we just have such good relationships with the community. And plus our brand. None of the other agencies tried to brand themselves. They just put their name up on a building and there they were. But we’ve spent a lot of time and effort and thought on our marketing materials. They’re all very cohesive, they look professional. Our office is different.

Joe: We should add you to our private Facebook Group, just so you could post some pictures of your office – they’re so cool.

Kasey: I’ll do that. So we just really took a different approach. Probably with marketing and community.

Joe: Camilla says, “How much of your time is direct patient care vs. admin vs. networking now?” And then maybe we could add to that, has it changed from a couple years ago, maybe 2016 to now.

Kasey: When I first started I still saw my regular client load, so I had about 25-30 clients that I would see weekly and then I would still do all of the business stuff, too. All of the admin, a lot of other things. I paid myself just like I paid other clinicians. So I paid myself for every hour I saw a client and I had to get paid and I had to pay my bills, so I saw clients. Now I don’t take any new clients and I still see my established people that I’ll probably see for the rest of my life. But I’m down to one day a week and I think right now I only have about three clients a week, on that one day. So you just don’t really have time anymore when we grow.

Joe: So it sounds like your networking side, you have people in your practice out doing that. Your Patient Care Coordinator…

Kasey: Community Outreach.

Joe: So are you doing some of your own networking now or is primarily him?

Kasey: He’s doing it. It’s actually my husband. I hired my husband. I develop it all and then he just goes out and distributes the information and just maintains the relationships.

Joe: And then what about the admin side? How much time are you spending on that per week?

Kasey: I insert myself a lot of the admin stuff that I probably don’t necessarily have to. I probably work 30 hours a week on that, but it’s not something that if I didn’t do, it wouldn’t get done. But it’s not something that wouldn’t get done, I’m just in there.

Joe: Well it’s great because you’re at the point where you can say, well now what do I want to do? Do I want to keep investing my time in this? Do I want to do consulting? Do I want to level up in other ways, too?

There are more questions coming in. So Carrie says, “Yes! Amazing! This is more of an admin-type question. How do you measure and document those key performance indicators and numbers you talked about to stay organized and have a regular, clear picture?

Kasey: I’m really big on forms and systems and that sort of thing. Our EHR we’re able to manage a lot those things, a lot of the questions that she had in there.

Joe: Which EHR do you use?

Kasey: We use NewMD or NewSoft Technologies. It has been great for us, it has worked really well. It’s more for a larger scale practice. We switched. We moved over to this one because it had a bigger capacity. We some internal forms that we use, referral tracking sheets, that’s how I know how many referrals we’ve had in a year. It all funnels through that. We have a lot of different systems such as those.

Joe: Awesome. Liz says, “Thanks you’re such an inspiration. I love your confidence and your determination. I need more colleagues like you and Joe to keep my confidence and determination high.” Well Liz, that’s why we’re so happy you’re in the Next Level Practice community, so you can surround yourselves with these kinds of people and get access to people like Kasey. Thanks for your kind words, Liz, that’s really nice of you.

Carries says, “Are there any client experience tips that you think keep people coming back and referring to you over the agencies?”

Kasey: Definitely communication. So in our EHR we have different ways that we communicate with our referral sources. Let’s say a physician refers a patient to our office, then they will get a referral follow-up back to their office within 48 hours. So basically everything in our assessment goes back to them. And they love that. They are now screening their patients and sending them to us for diagnoses before they prescribe because there’s such a risk there. So they love seeing that information and a lot of them tell us, we have the patients for an hour or an hour and a half and they only have them for ten to fifteen minutes, so they just don’t have the time get everything they need to make a good diagnosis. So communication, 100%.

Joe: Awesome. We have Haness says “Hi Joe and Kasey, unfortunately in South Africa, psychologists are not allowed to register LLCs. Are there any other growth strategies you might suggest or could think of?”

So, I want to make sure to understand your question, are you not allowed to have a group practice, you only have to be a solo practice? If you raise your hand we can try to have you join us. I know I mispronounced your name because I know you corrected me. I said it wrong.

While you’re either re-asking that with text or you can raise your hand to do a speak request. We tried it yesterday, we got someone else to join us on the stage, so hopefully we can ask some follow-up questions. Let’s see if we can make this work. I’m going to say accept and let’s see if you’re able to jump on stage. You may have to click some buttons. And you can correct me how to say your name. While Haness tries to get on stage… oh yeah, harness without the “r.” Thank you. Liz – good job remembering.

Alright, Yvette says, “Where did you learn all your business skills? Training? Another degree? Books?

Kasey: I read a lot. I have no formal business degree, but I’m so stubborn that if I’m trying to figure something out and I can’t figure it out, I can’t stop until I figure it out. So I’ve learned a lot, I feel like I’m a junior CPA, a junior accountant. But to do it all, I couldn’t. But just reading. I don’t really have one specific thing. Profit First has been amazing for me. The Ideal Team Player. Because you can pick up little bits and pieces of business things in each one of those books, even if it’s not a business. I learn a lot of stuff from church. I realize that my pastor, he much read a lot of the same things I do. He was preaching about Simon Sinek, about the “Why.” And I’m sitting there looking at my husband saying, “Trevor, I just read that book!” and I had already told him and we watched the video. I pick it up from everywhere. Just being a sponge, seeing what you can learn from anyone that will let you.

Joe: For me, to get in the habit of turning on podcasts while I drive instead of peacing out to music. I drop off my kids and I have a ten minute drive back to the office, I have a ten minute drive home. It’s not a lot of commute time, but it’s 20 minutes a day. So if I do that the three days a week that I work, that’s an extra hour of learning. So if it’s using audiobooks or podcasts. Do you have favorite podcasts that you listen to that help you?

Kasey: Well I listen to yours a lot. I rely on Robert Kiyosaki, the {cash flow} quadrant. Gosh I can’t even think right now. But his model is very similar to the Profit First model, but it was actually introduced a little bit sooner, I think. But that book really helped me get perspective. That’s the book that really pushed me into, Ok I’m going to do this group. And he has a podcast, I listen to his podcast quite a bit.

Joe: Other ones I like… I’ve gotten into Tony Robbins podcast recently. And also I think Anna is the name of the person who does interviews for him. And what I appreciate is that they really break things down into really easy to understand ways. So it kind of helps me to think about my own teaching. Storybrand podcast with Donald Miller, that’s a great one in regards to setting yourself up as the guide rather than the hero. Pat Flynn with the Smart Passive Income podcast.

Joanie says, “I’m in California. LLCs cannot provide professional services, so I have to file as a corporation, but I can still file my S-Corp.” Joanie, filing as an S-Corp – and of course consult you own accountant – is a great way to save on a number of different taxes. When I switched over a few years ago I started saving $10,000 – $15,000 per year in taxes by having that all go through that way.

Haness says, “I tried to invite you to the stage, I’m not sure it’s not letting me. But you can have a group practice, but cannot get commissions from their services. Think I need to do a little more research around the ethics surrounding group practice.”

It may be worth it. I’m not sure in South Africa what the equivalent of a W2 employee is. But yeah, working with an employment law attorney. I’m sure there are other models – whether it’s attorneys that have a group practice, whether it’s doctors. I doubt that a doctor in a group practice is getting paid a flat salary. So I imagine there are some models there that you can model off of.

Other questions… keep them coming in. We have Kasey for just a handful more minutes, but want to be sure we get all your questions answered. As I’m scrolling, Kasey, are there any things that I should have asked you that we haven’t hit on yet?

Kasey: Why haven’t you quit, maybe? It’s really hard. One of the reasons that I joined your group is just because I personally feel like I’m just swimming in an ocean by myself. It’s very lonely at times because I’ve had people come out of the word work and people want to all the sudden be your friend, but they’re really just wanting something. For some reason a lot of people in this business, I have found, are just not very open. Like they have their little secrets and they don’t want to share and they don’t want to work together, which is fine. But sometimes it’s just very lonely, just thinking – I have no one to talk to, no one is going to understand. I can’t just call my friend and they’re going to understand what I’m talking about. So it’s definitely not something that has been easy.

Joe: That’s something I’ve really discovered – probably just in the last year in particular when I started launching Next Level Master Mind and starting these groups of six. You know, the one on one consulting is fine if you just want to go after a specific goal, but really the people that are at that six figures and seven figures, being with a community of like-minded people I think is even more powerful than just working one on one together. Because there are times when any one of us in that group will be in the hot seat and say, “Oh my gosh, I’m dealing with this…” and you have six other people that are like, you’re not crazy or you should change that or maybe you’re being too hard on that person. You get all these different perspectives and for me, I think that community aspect – and seeing all of you come together in person this summer. I just can’t wait for you guys to hang out on the beaches with me.

So Liz says, “Kasey, how do you manage your role as a boss? Do you like that role?”

Kasey: I don’t really like that role. It’s taken a lot from me, especially when we were so small in the beginning and I worked right beside each of my clinicians every single day and we might eat lunch together and it was just different. And now that we have about 50 and we have 4 office locations and I can’t do that anymore. So there was a point there where I really had to step back and put a couple other people in front of me as points of contact because I was still getting 1,000 emails a day asking me 1,000 questions. I had to almost retrain my staff, saying – “Ok, if you have a question about payroll, I need you to talk to this person.” That was a little bit difficult me and I don’t necessarily like it, but I think I’m getting better at it.

Joe: You mentioned that transition, you used to eat lunch with people and then 50 people over the place, in 5 counties was it? 15 counties. It’s just crazy. Do you have any habits or cultural things, like celebrating birthdays or a staff meeting? What sort of rituals of connection do you guys have as a group?

Kasey: We have staff meetings every month and the staff will vote. We have Above and Beyond award, it’s almost like an Employee of the Month. We have someone who coordinates all the birthdays and anniversaries, we have nice little gifts. The owl is the little mascot for our company and so we have these really nice little glass owls that we give out for a year anniversary and so on. We have a closed Facebook staff page and i’ll just do random thins. Like last night, just to get people engages and involved I posted – talk about your win for the week and everyone that listed a win, I put their name in a random drawing for this morning and they won a prize. We try to be very deliberate about the culture, try to make it positive, try to support one another. Our staff is kind of divided into teams and we have a lot of team building, a lot of team leaders. The team leaders have the ability to structure their team with the leadership style that’s most comfortable for them. So we kind of have the culture broken down into smaller little pieces so it’s more manageable.

Joe: It seems like to have a team that size, you need to have kind of families within it that are connected.

Yvette and Haness say, “At what stage would you advise to move from a solo practitioner to a group practice?” and then Yvette had the follow-up, “I agree, I feel like I need to grow the business side of me before growing. Is this the right approach?”

So both kind of saying, when do I jump from solo practitioner to group. You talked about infrastructure vs. now let’s add some people. Talk a little bit more about that.

Kasey: I think it really just boils down to confidence. When you know what you do and you do it well and you’re confident, that’s why I started doing all the interviews. I kind of gave that up to someone else for little while and that was a disaster because I feel like when I’m speaking to these people about our company and about our process and how this works, I’m probably the best salesperson we have because I believe it. I mean it is everything I am, I created it, I believe it.

So going from solo to a group would be just when you’re confident and when you know that what you’re doing is the way that you want everyone else to do it. I don’t know that there really is a right or wrong time, it’s just when you feel ready.

Joe: I want to add that I think from the system side, if it feels like you could grow an it when add too much to your plate. Because the last thing you want to do is add more to your plate and not take same thing off. So if you don’t have those systems set up so that you can automatically grow and replicate, you really want to have that down. Where if you have 1 person or 10 people, it’s going to be about the same amount of work and not just drive you crazy.

Kasey: Exactly and we just kind of have always let the numbers tell us when to add more providers and so any time that we’re getting pretty close, we’ll just post another ad and bring someone else on. And it’s really not that much more work because we already have the process in place.

Joe: So is it when everyone is about 80% full or do you have a hard number, I like when they are 90%? Or do you just kind of know?

Kasey: Well usually when we have about 10 referrals,I cap it at about 10 on a waiting list. We’ll go ahead and hire because, all of our clinicians, we are always full. I mean we’ve never needed clients. I think that would be the biggest barrier for our group is just staffing. If we had 50 therapists, I think we would have enough clients for 50 therapists. Because each one of your providers that you bring on are going to bring something to the plate, as well. And a lot of times they will bring clients with them.

Joe: Haness says, “Thanks for challenging me to focus more on my systems for scalability.”

I wanted to ask you about something we talked about a while ago in regards to recruitment, of looking for therapists from other cities to try and pull them down to you. Maybe talk about the challenge you were dealing with of just finding people and I’m not sure you ended up doing what we had talked about, but maybe share with people how you use that recruitment strategy we discussed a while back.

Kasey: Yeah, that was a really good idea. So I believe I have about 11,000 people in my community. So 11,000 people, 22 agencies. That’s kind of a lot of agencies for that few people. And you also mentioned earlier, you don’t have as much of a variety when you are kind of struggling to find that ideal clinician for your group. So we were really stuck. We needed about 15 therapists and just weren’t really getting any applicants.

So Joe and I talked about maybe trying to pull some applications in from larger cities. Maybe for relocation and we had discussed maybe planning a family weekend because you’re really selling the family. You need the whole family to buy in and we do live in a very family oriented community. We have the largest man-made lake in Kentucky, it’s in my front yard.

We have not done that, but I have everything ready and we are going to wait until the weather levels out a little bit and we’re planning on renting out a house boat for the weekend and have some events at some local parks with musicians, some local breweries and we’re going to really try to market some of the larger cities around us. That way we can be really picky about who we bring on an put all of our focus and attention on those people.

Joe: Do you have a food truck scene down there?

Kasey: No, I wish we did.

Joe: I have found that at some different conferences that hosted or things where I will late bring a food truck in and everyone will enjoy time that way. I’m sure you could bring one in from one of the larger markets.

Kasey: I bet I could.

Joe: It would probably be cheaper than the caterer. We did that at the most awesome conference out in California where every day we had a different food truck pull in and feed everybody.

Well cool, let’s see if there’s any other questions coming in and then we will say goodbye to our friend Kasey. This is your last chance.
On a personal level, how do you stay centered? Because I think people with entrepreneurial minds, you’re always thinking of opportunities or ideas. What habits do you have to slow down and remember your family, your friends, maybe that’s an area of growth for you too?

Kasey: It is. It’s definitely an area of growth. It’s tough, you know I’m pretty level when it comes to… you know, I say my clients all the time are emotionally dis-regulated or whatever. I’m pretty level. I’m pretty intuitive. Triggers, if you want to call them that, I kind of know when enough is enough for me. Luckily I’m at a point where if I feel the pressure building, because I feel it in my body very much, I will have a lot of headaches neck and back problems. You know I will say, let’s just get away for the weekend, let’s just decompress, let’s just relax. So we kind of do some of that.

We just bought a house, so I’m really going to try to focus some attention on that and I really enjoy that, that whole idea a furnishing the house, doing things I want to do to it. So I’m hoping that will kind of help me, but I’m really bad for not putting some restraint on my ideas. I could probably work 24 hours a day if I let myself.

Joe: Well, you’ll what you do. It’s a lot easier.

I see a question here from Camilla. We will be putting the books and the podcasts in a comment on our Facebook group for future reference.

And Kasey I want to ask you, if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?

Kasey: Be strategic and don’t give up. I have run into so many problems or barriers or obstacles, and we have overcome every single one of them. I mean, it’s just a matter of perseverance and how bad do you want it? And finding something that is a good fit and that keeps you balanced, it’s super important. If you’re struggling, if you can’t figure out the answer, call someone like Joe or whoever and just ask. There’s really no problem that can’t be solved

Joe: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on this webinar for the Next Level Practice Community. If this video ends up going on YouTube or something like that and you’re not part of the Next Level Practice Community, you can get an invite over at practiceofthepractice.com/invite.

Kasey, I can’t believe what you’ve built in such a short period of time. Thanks for sharing all of your knowledge with our community. If this has been helpful for you who are listening, we would love for you to put a “thank you” or “that was amazing” or whatever your feelings are for Kasey, so she can see that all of that come into the chat area. It always feels good when you donate your time as Kasey just did, to see the impact that it made.

But thanks so much for being on this webinar with us. I really appreciate it!

Kasey: Thank you.

What an awesome interview with Kasey Compton, she is incredible and actually – this just got released – she has just joined the Practice of the Practice team and she’s going to be doing consulting for people that want million dollar practices. So if you’re in that boat and you’re ready to hire her for one-on-one consulting, head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/apply. We’re still getting her onboarded, but as soon as she gets onboarded and ready, just like Alison Pidgeon – she’s going to be off and running.
She has just done an incredible job.

So if you are ready to scale your practice and want that individual help, head on over practiceofthepractice.com/apply. And if you are just starting out and you want to be in that next cohort for the Next Level Practice, head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/invite. If you’re on that invite list and if you missed our last opening for cohort, I’m so sorry. The last time I checked it was about 380 and so I’m pretty sure we’re going to be over 400 before we launch in a couple days.

I know that we’re going to fill that up really fast. But if you want to be in the next cohort, we’re going to start adding cohorts probably every other month or so. We want to make sure we really do it in a smart way. Pair people up with the best accountability partners. Emily actually meets with every single person that comes in, so we want to make sure that we pace it out so that we don’t bite off more than we can chew and it can really serve you well within that community, while also making sure that we give you access to things that you can’t get just on the podcast. So if you want to be a part of that community, and you’re starting a practice, head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/invite and we would love to have you in that community.

Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. I’ll talk to you soon, Bye.

Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy and 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, go find one.