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Are you currently working in a full-time job but dreaming of starting your own private practice? Do you think your goals to open your own private practice are unrealistic? What if there was a support network you could join that could help you realize your dreams while still working a full-time job?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Kim Parker on how she handles a full-time job while having a part-time private practice.
Next Level Practice is an industry-changing project to help counselors to start a private practice. Unlike many programs that are time-limited, or just an e-course, this brand new approach offers live and recorded trainings, small group accountability, and feedback.
Meet Kim Parker
Kim Parker is a licensed professional counselor in Houston Texas where she helps professionals living with disabilities find a career they love. She is currently working a full time job as a local disability service counselor but hopes to grow Accessible Career into a full-time group practice.
Kim’s website is https://accessiblecareer.com/
You can also find out more about Kim here:
Kim Parker’s Story
Kim is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) licensed in Texas and serves as a disability services professional at a major university. She has 20 years experience working in large and small companies as an IT professional and four years as a project manager. Kim focuses on strengths when putting a career plan together and has made two major career transitions.
While Kim has a strong background working with AD/HD, autism spectrum disorders, hearing impairments, psychiatric disorders, learning disabilities, and some health conditions, she will ask you to help her better understand how your condition(s) impact(s) your career. Kim educates other professionals, companies, organizations, and students about professionals living with disabilities.
In This Podcast
In this episode, Kim Parker talks about how she is running a part-time practice whilst working a full-time job. She had somewhat of an existing client base while she was ending her internship. Kim always knew she wanted to be in private practice, and in her current job she realized that even though students were finishing their degree they were having difficulty finding suitable employment.
Kim and her Director both have a son and daughter each on the spectrum. She knew that students with autism were having a tough time becoming employed. She changed her work schedule to allow her to work in private practice three days a week.
How do you Manage your Time between working a Full-Time Job and a Part-Time Practice?
I am a big fan of Google calendar.
It is very important to Kim that she knows what her day looks like so that she can set good boundaries.
When Setting up a Practice These Things can Help you Along in Your Process:
- Listening to podcasts
- Schedule clients back to back and you could possibly fit in another session
- If you set up a process for your clients and you do it consistently they know what to expect
Next Steps for Growing your Private Practice
I would really like to get to the point where I can bring someone else on part-time.
Kim’s plan is to utilize her office space by getting someone else who is willing to work the hours she is not.
She strongly recommends reading Profit First and The Ideal Team Player.
How Next Level Practice helped Kim Parker
I know I wouldn’t be where I am at today if I hadn’t joined.
- The price point was just right
- All the material and resources are insightful and educational
- The level of support and knowledge sharing
- Challenges in the group that really push you forward
Kim advises that no matter what phase of your practice you are in it would be highly beneficial for you to join Next Level Practice, because of the huge amounts of support available and also positive outlook which is shared within the group.
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
Thanks For Listening!
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KIM PARKER ON HAVING A PART-TIME PRIVATE PRACTICE AND A FULL-TIME JOB
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok – Session Number 310.
INTRODUCTION[JOE] Well, today on the Practice of the Practice podcast, we have Kim Parker. Kim Parker is rocking out private practice as a licensed professional counsellor in Houston, Texas. She helps professionals living with disabilities find a career they love. She’s currently working in at a local area university and she hopes to grow accessible career into a full-time group practice. Kim, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast!
[KIM] Well, thank you! I’m excited to be here.
[JOE] I’m so excited to have you. You know, down at Houston, I came down to MD Anderson down there for some cancer treatment a number of years ago. So, they did a wonderful job. That part of the country is dear to my heart.
[KIM] It’s really a privilege to be near world class medical center.
[JOE] Oh, man. I should have a t-shirt that says I left my thyroid in Texas.
[KIM] Oh, wow.
[JOE] I think it would be a good t-shirt.
[KIM] That would be definitely interesting.
[JOE] Yeah. Well, Kim, tell me a little bit about your practice that you’ve started. Take us back to when you’ve started it and we’ll kind of dive in from there.
STARTING HER PRACTICE[KIM] Well, I kind of have an existing client base when I was ending my internship. In the State of Texas, you have the 3,000 hours that you gather and 1,500 have to be direct. So, I had a supervisor who was really generous and had given me basic client base. But, I always knew I wanted to be in private practice. I did part of my internship in private practice but of course I work at a university much like you used to work for a community college. And so, at my local area university, I’m a Disability Service Councillor. And of course, we do resource coordination, helping students succeed academically, brainstorm with them how to handle their advocacy and stuff.
More and more as my students are graduating, I was reading statistics. Even though, they finished their degree, they weren’t becoming employed easily. My director and I both have a son and a daughter each on the spectrum. I knew that even students with autism were really having a tough time becoming employed. So, Accessible Career was born. And so, I changed my work schedule to allow me to work in the afternoon in private practice 3 days a week and with my bosses’ consent. I worked 2 long days and I’m really excited. I have a couple of ideal clients at this point, but I love counseling. I’ve always been doing some coaching around that even when I was in IT. And since then, I’m hoping to get and help out more folks.
[JOE] Well, I love that you took what was kind of near and dear to your heart. You know, your own child and you’ve grown that career. And also looked at, “What’s the problem that’s happening? What aren’t these students, even if they graduate, why weren’t they getting jobs?” The part that I also liked is that you talked to your supervisor. I think if you have a good supervisor that wants to retain you, if you talk to them what you want to do, you will have flexibility for kind of moving your schedule around or if you have the opportunity to see people at different times. As long as it doesn’t impact your full-time job, that’s a great way to build that side gig.
[KIM] Yeah, in fact, for me, it’s probably going to be a boutique practice where I’d like to go full-time at some point. I’m nearing retirement. I’m just 10 years away from state pension plus social security. And so, for me, I just found a business problem that we have to solve in which case, our office is open late 2 days a week. And, I offer to work both of those late nights in exchange for some flexibility. And so, it worked out great.
[JOE] Wow. That’s awesome. I love the kind of creative ways that people are able to launch a practice on the side. Now, you said that eventually you want to do a group practice, what’s your vision for that?
STARTING A GROUP PRACTICE[KIM] I would like to see people with different areas of expertise be able to source… A lot of people and I had this pointed out and I read that of course on your podcast and blog that we have to watch the language that we communicate with our clients with. You know, the term disability doesn’t really translate to the clients. So, I’ve been rewording a lot of my website and reaching out to just talk about anxiety, depression, things that we at the university would qualify to disability but other people don’t use those words. They don’t describe themselves that way.
As people come into practice, I’d like to see people who really are gifted at working with that particular area to be able to serve a wide variety of people who might have been struggling with their career because they got, you know, major depression chewing back up, or bipolar disorder that’s not under control, or just get them back on track in able to work.
[JOE] I love how much you kind of putting thought into that. Now, when you’re looking at keeping a full-time job and doing this on the side, how do you manage your time between kind of those 2 things?
[KIM] Well, I have probably several calendars that make it possible for me to manage back and forth. I’m a big fan of Google calendar so I have a couple – one for the practice, one for my personal. But, I also make sure that important events show up on more than one, plugging it into integrated calendar, which was really important. So, I know my day looks like. I’m also trying to be really transparent about other obligations and really set good boundaries. If I’m not available because of a family obligation, I let my clients know that’s not a day that works out.
[JOE] Was that something that was hard to do as you grew the practice, or did that come pretty naturally for you?
[KIM] It was… there’s some things that I’m really good at such as starting and stopping my session on time. But, if I have people that are really wanting to get around their own schedule, I fight with that. I fight wanting to help out versus making sure there’s good limits but I’m getting better.
[JOE] Yeah, yeah. When you look at the kind of nuts and bolts of setting up a practice, what were some of the things that helped you speed up that process?
[KIM] I think the biggest thing was the ongoing support. I’ve been listening to podcast from Practice of the Practice for about 2 and a half years. And, I’ve used a couple of ideas that were critical like Monday night is a golden couple of hours. It’s when I see clients because I see them on that night and 45-minute sessions suggested, you know, fit that extra client in there was huge.
Just being able to see people who have gone before and see it could be done. I mean every time somebody announces on the Next Level Practice Facebook group that they’ve gone full-time where they open their building and their office, or they’ve hired an employee. It’s like, “I could do that too!” And, it just spurs you on.
[JOE] In the advice that your referencing there Kim, in case, people miss it, is oftentimes people would do a 45-minute session and then sit around for 50 minutes to write their notes and then do it on the hour. Whereas, if you do a 4 o’clock, a 45-minute, a 5:30, 6:15, maybe you take a 15-minute break somewhere in there, you could often fit in an extra session within those hours. And so, Kim is saying if you end on time, you schedule people kind of back to back then you can get some extra people and get out of there a little bit early too.
[KIM] That really has been helpful to me especially in times where people are working, and they want to get in there and be served but they too respect that, you know, next person is coming in and they wrap up naturally. It actually works out.
[JOE] And, I know for me, the trigger when I start to pull out the receipt to kind of write things out and pull out my phone to take payment, that trigger naturally helps to kind of land the plane of therapy. And then, it seems that then paying at the other sessions become as natural as kind of the handshake in the beginning. It’s just part of the flow. They natural just pull out their credit card or their check book. And then, you didn’t really have to worry about, “How are they going to pay? It’s going to be awkward” because it’s just part of kind of how you do it every single session.
[KIM] Exactly, and for me, I have the client pay upfront. That just sets the expectation and every time I… because I don’t want to end a really emotional moment and then have to handle the payment. That’s just my style. Different people find different things work for them.
[JOE] I think that’s what’s great about Next Level Practice and watching a lot of the conversations that happen really organically within the private Facebook group. You know, someone might put out there, “How do you do payments?” You might say do it in the beginning. I might say do it at the end. You know, Allyson Pigeon might do something different, Kasey Compton and other people are going to just weigh in on it. And then, as a professional that knows how to think because we all have at least Master’s Degrees or higher, you then, can decide for your practice. “Okay, I have all this information. Now, what do I want to do because I’ve all these smart people that have private practices that I can get feedback from.”
[KIM] And, I found the most helpful thing is just like from examples that I learned from Practice of the Practice. If you set it up and do it consistently, everyone knows what to expect and I have little, if any, negative feedback. It’s always helpful if everyone has a structure and they’ve got something to operate from
[JOE] So then, where do you hope the practice is going to go over, say, the next 6 months or so?
NEXT 6 MONTHS[KIM] I would really like to get to the point to where I could bring someone else on part-time. I still got some caseload space. So, I’m still getting my name out there. I got people talking and I started to get those referrals but it’s taking time. I’d like to see… since my office is available 2 days a week. Even in the mornings, find someone who’s willing to work the hours that I’m not.
[JOE] So, you’re really moving towards that group practice pretty quickly?
[KIM] I’m hoping to. We’ll see.
[JOE] Well, our goal, you know, I’ve set in Next Level Practice is to make content that’s going to help you on each phase. I was actually just talking to Lindsey who’s in Next Level Practice too. She was sharing how she’s really kind of looking at adding people as well. She had an idea of having people kind of spin out of there small groups as they grow faster like you or Lindsey into groups that are focused around kind of scaling out because there might be people in your small group that aren’t quite at that point. But, if we got together 6 or 8 people that are all starting a group practice, just put them in a new group together as they grow faster.
[KIM] That would be so exciting. I know like I hang on Allyson’s every podcast and all of the staff because I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve been challenged to think about my stance on insurance. And so, I was exporting some things. Maybe just for a year or two and with that in mind, I’ve been really researching in and she’s just an amazing resource as well.
[JOE] Yeah, yeah. And, what’s awesome is that we also have Kasey Compton. She’s on track for 5 million dollars this year. She has joined our team also and she’s going to be more active in the Facebook group also. So, for people who really want to scale, she’s going to be there. So, it’s just really fun to have this whole team of people that you guys all get to hang out with.
[KIM] Exactly. One of the most powerful books I’ve read by her is the Profit First that she mentioned. That was so instrumental to me. And then, The Ideal Team Player, I’m currently going through that. So, those 2 are resources which were really helpful. They made such a difference in me being able to survive starting off.
[JOE] Yeah, the ideal team player has been making the rounds on one of my mastermind groups where there’s a few people that are reading it and just loving it. That’s a book that’s definitely resonated and I agree with Profit First also.
So, when you look at Next Level Practice, what were things that were really helpful for you to kind of get things going and to move quicker than had you not joined?
[KIM] Oh, I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if I hadn’t joined. I was looking for a coach and I really was hoping to find a local, but it was just the right size and just the right price point for me. I know that that made the difference in me being able to believe that I could keep going. I think the support, the existing material, the new material, I’m so excited about the upcoming classes. Every time, there’s a great, you know, Q&A session, I learned from just hearing other people’s questions, I just think personally there’s so many things. It’s hard to pin one.
[JOE] Sure, sure. Well, I think we’ve tried to create enough kind of ways to get people kind of absorb information. I don’t think everyone’s going to do every single thing. But, if one person is learning, “I’m stuck. I just want to ask Joe a question.” They come to a Q&A. And then, we kind of sort and chop off all those Q&As and put it in Teachable. Someone, you know, like you, maybe has a full-time job. Maybe you don’t attend every single one. But then, you can watch the Q&As that you want to.
And then, we have webinars that are more focused on specific topics. One thing I really like doing is the challenges. I don’t know how much you’ve participated in those but watching everybody get involved like you know, one month we did the kind of setup the Google My Business. And another one, setup your Facebook Page. They get feedback on that from Sam. She, then, kind of looks to it. And, people win free consulting with me or with Allyson, and soon with Kasey. It’s so fun to see the energy around these challenges that everyone just kind of pushes each other to do even better than they would if they weren’t involved.
[KIM] Exactly. And, I think that’s the whole culture that makes it so powerful is that pushing each other on.
[JOE] Yeah, yeah. So, for people who haven’t signed up for Next Level Practice, what would you say they should consider? Who should join? Talk a little bit about that.
NEXT LEVEL PRACTICE[KIM] I think that at any phase of your counselling career at a place where you’d like to consider. I mean, you’re just even just learning about what a private practice would involve. You can save yourself so much trouble in the stakes by having just guidance if you start out. If someone’s reinventing their practice, if someone’s trying to put some air back into it, if someone’s well into their practice and struggling.
I think any phase of your counselling practice or career, you could really benefit just because there’s people around you that not only the successes challenge you. But, you can get to understand each other as you’re struggling to learn things and support each other, and just tabbing that positive outlook. I have less down days when I have this community than I would have had if I were out on my own. In fact, I probably wouldn’t keep going if I wasn’t here.
[JOE] Man, that’s so great to hear. It’s one when you have an idea for something and then you generally see people’s practicing change from it. How would you say that this community is different from, say, I mean, there’s lots of great free Facebook communities that are out there? How would you say, this is different from that?
[KIM] I would say because of just spurring each other on. I’ve hung out in the podcast for a year and a half. It helped, I mean, I think the most helpful was like starting a private practice for $200. And, I went through the 28 steps and stuff, but you get away from it. Where is this active live community post you back in and helps to go to the next step and you get more done in 6 months than I did in the previous year and a half by a long shot.
[JOE] Wow. What would you say is the return on investment on your time and in your $77 a month for you?
[KIM] I think, you know, 5 or 10 times when I would have expected. I would have paid $100 an hour for this quality of coaching.
[JOE] I could raise your price if you want.
[KIM] And yeah, at some point, I hope you grow and do that. But, at this point, you get such a great value because of all the existing material that you can peruse on your own. If you miss a session, it’s available recorded. I think just that access is huge. And, all of the just the freebies, the free items that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. They’re included in the price so to speak. That paperwork packet was phenomenal.
[JOE] Yeah. Yeah. It’s usually $200 and you guys just get it. That’s part of it.
[KIM] Right. I think the added value is huge.
[JOE] Yeah, I mean, our mindset with it is that if you’re going to pay $77 a month, every month we want to give you something that we can say and stand behind it and say, “It’s easily with equal $77.” So, if you get nothing more than whatever freebie is like getting a logo the first month. You know, that’s going to cost you $200-300 to have an awesome logo but you just get at that just part of it. Our point-of-view is we want to make sure there’s at least that’s one-to-one return-on-investment right away. And then, everything else is a gravy for you. And yeah, we hear over and over that people are making way more or growing way faster than they thought they would have if they haven’t joined.
[KIM] And one quick additional note that new wave of enrolees, you missed it the first time around, and you don’t feel like you’ve mastered that skill, you get to go back through it every 2 months. If you need refresher, they’re right there with you and you get to get that again.
[JOE] Yeah, yeah. Well, Kim, if every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
[KIM] I would say that this is an incredible bargain and that you should sign up and enjoy being able to have community and support around you.
[JOE] Kim, thank you so much. I’m so excited about all your doing for people and their careers, and the hard work you’re doing down in Houston. If people want to read more about what you’re doing, and they want to look at your website, what’s the best way for them to connect with you? They could definitely get some information off at accessiblecareer.com and read the blog. And, they can also get hold of me through couple of ways to contact me that are listed on my website.
[JOE] Wonderful. Thank you so much for being at the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[KIM] Thanks. Bye. [Will you join us over at Next Level Practice. We would love to have you. It’s at practiceofthepractice.com/invite. We are creating an amazing community, a whole ecosystem to help support you in your starting and growing of a practice. You can head on over at the practiceofthepractice.com/invite to request your invitation. And then, when a cohort opens, you get an email all about it. You get that price drop down to $77 a month instead of the usual $100 per month. Thanks so much for letting us into your ears and into your brain. We’ll talk to you soon.] [Special thanks to the band Silent is Sexy for that intro music. And, this podcast is designed to provide accurate and intuitive information in regard to the subject matter covered. It’s given to the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinic, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.]