Laurie Wilson is brainstorming how to help women with ADHD | PoP Bonus

A photo of Laurie Wilson is captured. She owns a private practice in Huntington Beach where she treats individuals and couples. Laurie Wilson is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Are you looking to build your business by building your audience? Why should you work with your audience to create your specialty? How can you repurpose your content to test its efficiency?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Laurie Wilson about finding your ideal audience and how to help women with ADHD.

Podcast Sponsor: Gusto

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Meet Laurie Wilson

A photo of Laurie Wilson is captured. She is is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and ADHD Certified Clinical Services Provider. Laurie is featured on the practice of the practice, a therapist podcast.

Laurie Wilson, M.A. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, an ADHD Certified Clinical Services Provider, and an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University. She owns a private practice in Huntington Beach where she treats individuals and couples.  In addition, Laurie developed a counseling collective, The Smart Therapist, that supports like-minded therapists in growing their individual private practices. In 2020, Laurie opened a group counseling practice, Rize Counseling Inc, in Fountain Valley, CA. Laurie is passionate about mental health advocacy, education, and treatment.

Visit The Smart Therapist website, and see also Rize Counseling Inc.

Connect with Laurie on LinkedIn.

In This Podcast

  • Building your business: work with your audience and specialty in tandem
  • Building your business: free up your time
  • Aspects of ADHD in adults
  • Homework for your specialty

Building your business: work with your audience and specialty in tandem

When you are in the process of growing your practice, your brand, your audience, or your income, you need to know the direction in which you are headed. Live training, retreats, email courses, and programs are all interesting, but they can fall flat if they are not geared towards what your ideal client and audience needs.

You may have some clients in your audience that want a specialized course while you have other clients who want one-on-one training with you. Therefore, you need to be speaking to your audience to know which specialties to provide them with.

The more that you can know your audience, the more you know that specialty, and that’s just going to set you up differently [for the better]. (Joe Sanok)

Building your business: free up your time

Do not be afraid to outsource it if you can afford it. If you can afford to have someone come in and clean your home, do the laundry, work in the garden, or shovel snow from the driveway: do it.

Use your time more wisely, especially if you are doing something that you dislike doing that someone else can easily do for an hourly wage.

What are those one or two things that maybe cost $200 a month for getting a cleaner once a month or whatever … that then allows you to double down with your energy on your family and also on your business and audience building. (Joe Sanok)

Use your energy where you want it to be used. It is not coming from a place of entitlement, but to preserve your energy.

Aspects of ADHD in women

  • Disorganization
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Self-doubt
  • Procrastinating
  • “Sparring”
  • Half-finished tasks

Homework for your specialty

Figure out a framework for your specialty to follow:

  • Which are the five main pain points or areas that your ideal client struggles with?
  • What can lead up to these five pain points occurring?
  • Can you give five helpful structures or behaviors to try to combat and treat these pain points?

What’s nice about doing it this way is [that] this could be your first five podcasts, this could be your first five emails in your email course, this could be five different social media posts … then we’re building out [your] way of thinking about the world, what are [your] solutions, what are the practical things? (Joe Sanok)

You can use this content for micro (social media posts) or macro (email courses) purposes and test to see which content sticks.

Which structures should the information be in and which information should it be for your audience to enjoy following you and learning from you?

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

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

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

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, bonus edition.
[JOE] Well, welcome you the Practice of the Practice podcast. I’m Joe Sanok, your host. You may have noticed we’ve had some bonus editions. We had actually prerecorded a whole bunch of shows and we were ahead of schedule and doing great. Then we got another sponsor. We got Gusto who came back and so we are adding a fourth episode every single week. We plan to do this for a while until it doesn’t make sense. Just like when we added the Ask Joe show on Wednesdays, where you get to submit your questions. Three shows a week, and now we’re at four shows a week. Who know, maybe we’ll add a fifth show at some point as well.

So if for those Ask Joe shows, if you want to submit a question you can head on over to You can put your question, your name, your practice, you get a shout out on the show. Every Wednesday I’m answering those questions and we’ve got a lot of really interesting things coming up. Alison and Whitney are going to be doing a whole series where they’re taking over the podcast, talking about launching a group practice that just started a couple episodes ago and it’s going to continue for a few more episodes. We’ve also got some more of these live consulting shows.
[JOE] I am so excited that today we have Laurie Wilson with us and Laurie is part of our Audience Building Academy. She’s one of our Audience Building Academy elites. So Laurie, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[LAURIE WILSON] Hi Joe. Thanks for having me.
[JOE] Yes, absolutely. I’m so excited to have you on the show and to help you get started with your audience building. But maybe give us a little background on who you are as a practitioner and why you’re looking at audience building now.
[LAURIE] So probably around 2014 when I graduated. I had a supervisor for private practice. I always hoped to go that route and just enjoy building relationships with people. So I feel like I was fairly successful. Then I opened a counseling collaborative where there were other practitioners who were trying to build their practice, so they were renting space and just getting a little bit of guidance and then we were all able to refer and to help support one another on that private practice journey where it can feel, yes, like you’re alone. Then in 2020, I did some consulting with Alison and opened a group practice with another licensed clinician. It’s been, yes, the pandemic, it was right when the pandemic hit. So it’s been booming because mental health is really busy right now. Yes, just really wanting to branch out to the next thing. I’ve always been listening to your podcast since the beginning of how to build the practice and what to do. So really needing that next step; just not really sure how to get there.
[JOE] Well, it’s helpful when you work with someone like Alison. They can just give you those nuts and bolts of a group practice so that you’re not spending so much time sorting out things that people have already done.
[LAURIE] Oh, definitely. I’m sure that’s something I learned on delegating and just taking things, not reinventing, just taking things other people do. Delegating was very hard but it has alleviated so much stress and just opened me up to a lot more time to do things like this and to try to build an audience and try to see what the next part of my journey is.
As we go through Audience Building Academy, the first part is going to be really focusing in on your niche and your specialty. We’re then going to go into building out your email course and how to do a good opt-in. Then we’re going to be building social media and doing some social media sprints, and then getting you onto some podcasts and doing some live events and things like that. So really right at the beginning. Let’s talk about where you’re at in regards to your specialty. I know you and I have had conversations but the audience has no idea what you’re thinking about creating. Where you at in regards to your specialty, your niche, the area that you might want to talk about in the world?
[LAURIE] I actually have a specialty, I’m an ADHD certified clinical professional, I think is how they say it. It’s just an additional 50 hours. I got really interested in ADHD specifically for girls because I just, I struggled myself in school. I had like a pretty bad learning disability when I was younger. I don’t think I could read until about third grade. Had I not had remediation and looking back now, I’m an adjunct professor at Pepperdine and just all the things I’ve been able to build, obviously if I’d got left behind with that, I wouldn’t have been able to. I was just dreaming. I think that’s the entrepreneur in me. I’m like, I don’t want to be at school. I’m just going to daydream about other things. My parents joke about how I would go around to neighbors and sell pine cones. I wouldn’t like put anything on them. I would just sell them to them.
[JOE] I found a pine cone.
[LAURIE] Here, let me sell this to you. So I’ve always had that spirit and I just, I really enjoy being in relationship with people. And I’m extremely passionate about ADHD and also building out the additional, so I have a friend who actually lives in Chicago because that’s where I’m originally from who is a reading specialist. I’ve noticed, I specialize in like assessment and diagnosis. That’s also one of the classes that I teach at Pepperdine. So I think understanding that, especially in the changing times because even like the lights on your phone or the scrolling and stuff that releases dopamine. So there is going to be, I think, somewhat of a shift. I think I had told you, I was thinking about doing an ADHD podcast.

It would be, I think it would be titled You, Me and our ADHD. I do have a couple of psychiatrists that I work with, who I refer to who would be willing to be on it and just trying to, who can I get that information to? We’ve talked about that, is this like continuing education, like some of that for providers that I do think it’s needed, but I know you and I had discussed what would that look like? But I also know that a parent program, a lot of times parents need additional support after they get that diagnosis. Maybe building out some educational resources on a platform for like, when a kid has dyslexia, they use a different program to even learn how to read. So just giving them some of those access to things that they might not readily have because they can’t thrive later in life if they’re not thriving towards that beginning portion of life. So I’m really passionate about that.
[JOE] Now, do you feel like ADHD is something that you could sustain talking about for the next five or 10 years?
[LAURIE] Yes. When you said that I like got excited. I was like, yes, I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, but yes. I don’t like apologizing. I wish there was, it’s just so unique and it’s so unique to every person. I probably could. So the next five, 10 years talking about, I think after about 10 I’d want shift.
[JOE] Sure, sure. You can always add, I mean, you think about where I started, where it was just how you start a practice. Then we went into growing and now we’re talking people exiting, this sort of stuff. Your audience can grow and change and shift for sure but some people, their clinical work is so much a part of their life that then if they talked about it on a podcast or in some other way. It’s like, I’m just burned out on ADHD. I’m so sick of ADHD clients. If you’re there, we don’t want to really build another stream of income around that if it doesn’t bring you joy. So the name of the podcast that was, your working title was You, Me and ADHD?
[LAURIE] Yes, You, Me and our ADHD or You, Me and ADHD. Again, just working a title. I have no idea.
[JOE] So I just went to see if is available, which is always a place where we want to start. Right now it’s not offered. Maybe you already own it. But when I look at it, it also reads “you mean dad HD.” So we also want to look at that and be like, oh, what else could just be read as yes. So it’s funny because there’s a local taco place called Mama Lus and it’s in Traverse City. So their website is mamalustc. So if you read it quickly, you see mama lust. So the joke of the town is like, do you want to go to mama lust for like tacos? So you want to have that be part of when we’re looking at names. We don’t have to name it right now at all. All we’re looking at is your specialty. But to have just like a working idea or title that ADHD, something that you’re passionate about, it brings you joy. When you think about particular populations, you say, girls, are there ages that you tend to be drawn towards or is it just girls in general or what are your thoughts on girls? Is it grown women? Is it like adult women?
[LAURIE] I feel like it’s more adults with ADHD, but women or men. Then also typically their partner joining sometimes because I know it can get really frustrating for their partner. It’s just the little things, leaving the cupboards open or, it’s just really random things that tend to sometimes create struggles within the relationship. So I think more adults, whether it’s adult women or men and couples, I do have a pretty thorough assessment style that I do. So I feel like I do assess at every age, but I also, and I don’t know if this is good or bad. Sometimes people are just looking for the assessment and just want the paper and then they want to take it and go to the doctor. But I’m pretty big on, it needs to be a program. It’s a okay to get diagnosed with ADHD and to start medication but again, if you’re not doing those other remedial things, I just think we’re missing the boat on all those other things.

So again, I don’t know if that’s a different thing and then maybe kids and assessment for that comes later and I build a separate program on that. So that’s, I think I had told you that I’m an Enneagram three. Every idea can come to my head. It’s execution, that’s the part that I most struggle with and that’s why I’m here and why I’m just needing guidance.
[JOE] Well, and one of the bigger shifts, I think for people that are highly educated is we don’t have to figure out the product now. So I would brainstorm those things, like when you have ideas, either use a Trello board or Notes or however you best capture ideas, but I really would say put any of those ideas of how you’re seeing this on the back burner. We want to know that basic direction you’re headed in. So sure. Maybe you want to do a program of membership, community, live trainings, retreats. We can say all those things are interesting. You may not attract people that want to do retreats. You may find people that just want to do a self-paced course and they want it to be super specialized. So they want one for women in their forties that deal with ADHD that just got divorced.

You couldn’t guess who you’re going to attract. So that’s where we want to really focus on this basic specialty, which right now we’re learning the layers of that. Then we’re going to be moving into like, how do we get in front of that audience in a really particular way? So the more that you can know your audience, the more that you can know that specialty. That’s just going to set you up differently. So say you had three to five major talking points on women in midlife, in their thirties and forties that have dealt with ADHD their whole life. Then you go into mommy, Facebook groups, or, there’s different Instagram influencers that follow you and say, oh my gosh, this is amazing. You’re the specialist in that area. We want to then start to craft things around that. So if we zoom back into the specialty, tell me what are maybe the top five problems you see in women that have ADHD as an adult?
[LAURIE] Feeling overwhelmed, I feel like it’s one. I actually want to write these down. I took a move out of your point.
[JOE] This is your consulting.
[LAURIE] I love the whiteboard still. I love the whiteboard. Yes, I feel like so women, adult women specifically definitely feeling overwhelmed by just all the tasks that have to get done. I think, what, I was being snobby to my husband the other day and I said, I didn’t get a master’s degree. This is really snotty. “I didn’t get a master’s degree to do laundry.” He goes, “Well, who was going to do your laundry?” I’m like, “That’s a really good point. I have no idea who’s going to do my laundry.” I don’t think that has anything to do with it. It’s feeling overwhelmed. There’s always a lot to get done. Then I have an 18 month old and I want to be present for him. So I think women feeling overwhelmed is something that I notice and can —
[JOE] Let me pause you right now and pause the niche discussion and jump into the laundry discussion. So the more that you can free up your creativity, your energy, to do the work that you enjoy doing most, usually the more successful you’re going to be. So that may mean —
[LAURIE] Does that mean you don’t want me to do laundry because I’m going to tell my husband he has to do it?
[JOE] It does. It does no. There was this one summer where I was doing Slow Down School. We were prepping Killin’It Camp. I had Next Level Practice, all these things. We hired someone. We could wash the clothes, but we just could not get to folding them. So we hired someone once a week, this gigantic pile of kids and adult clothes, she came and she just like folded for like four hours. I think we gave her like 20 bucks an hour and it was like, okay, 80 bucks to fold our clothes. If I do one third of a consulting session, not even a third, I mean I probably two minutes of a consulting session it’s going to pay for that. So really understanding that if you do one counseling session, even outside of Audience Building Academy, one counseling session, it’s going to probably pay for someone to do your laundry for the entire month.

So it could be a laundry service. It could be drop off service. It could be a pickup service, but to find those areas that you say I’m not going to do that, it’s not my highest use. And of course this is a place of privilege. It’s a place of like, wow, most people don’t get to have these choices, but if we want to really put our energy and creativity into those big things, those things that just piss us off, outsource it. Like I, the first day it snowed in Northern Michigan, I was out there blowing snow. It took like two hours. I have a big driveway. I’m like, what the F am I doing here? This is terrible. For 35 bucks I can have somebody come and just plow my driveway and it’s done. Then I have those two hours with my kids and I don’t feel all like frustrated.

So this year I just said, I don’t want to blow snow. So there’s those things that we just do that then allow us to be even better in our career and show up differently for our families. Like, I mean, imagine if you and your husband didn’t have to think about laundry. That just wasn’t even a discussion item. Like even your reaction right there to say, like, what are those one or two things that maybe cost you 200 bucks a month, 300 bucks a month for getting laundry done, got it cleaned once a month, whatever? That then allows you to just like double down with your energy on your family, but then also on your business and your audience building.
[LAURIE] Okay. I love that quote, if it pisses you off outsource it. You said that. That’s a great idea.
[JOE] I mean, even the other day, it was Sunday. My girls were coming back from their moms. I hadn’t seen them all week and then they’re back here. I’m the primary parent. I have 80% parenting. It’s like, I could have gone to the grocery store and I could have gone and done all the grocery shopping myself. I’m like, for the $8 to have it deliver and then a tip, it’s worth it to just be able to relax my home and prep for my kids and then have a bunch of groceries they love. So finding those things, that again, a place of privilege, but also a place of using your energy where you want it to be used.
[LAURIE] Sure. I wonder if that’s a, because that actually brings up the second point. So the place of privilege, I think that’s maybe why, I know for myself, that’s why it’s hard to let those things go; the whole idea of not feeling good enough or not feeling right. Again, that place of privilege. I think that’s something that can come up with yes, with anybody.
[JOE] But you and I both know that if financially things got tough that I would go shovel or snow-blow my own snow. I would go get my own groceries. It’s not coming from this place of entitlement where you’re like, ah, I’m too good to fold my own laundry. No, it’s just like, it’s preserving that energy for the best use of things. To me that’s a much different posture when you enter into it than just like I’m too good to do my own laundry.
[LAURIE] Preserving your energy for, yes, yes. That’s okay.
[JOE] So back to your thing. So overwhelm was a big area for women with ADHD. What else are major areas?
[LAURIE] I don’t know if it’s, so the second one would be, I don’t know if it’s not feeling good enough or like a social. So I’ll hear a lot of women tell me, and it’s, how do you describe this? So like they’re out to dinner maybe with friends or something and then they get in the car when it’s more quiet and they’re doubting, oh my gosh, what did I say? Was I talking too much? So I don’t know what, yes, just like that self-doubt, that’ll come up and can be really present with that.
[JOE] Does that lead to decision making fatigue or lack of decision making, that self-doubt?
[LAURIE] Oh, that can, yes, definitely lead to lack of, the procrastination and the, yes, just frozen, really not wanting to make those moves because people say it’s social anxiety. But it’s less than social anxiety. More of it is that feeling frozen, just feeling like, yes, I think it all encompasses where that self-doubt comes in. You’re procrastinating, you’re feeling frozen to make decisions and they just all snowball into one another.
[JOE] Okay. So overwhelm, self-doubt, what are maybe three more big things that you notice in women that have dealt with ADHD?
[LAURIE] I want to say the purse. You open the purse and there’s, nothing’s ever organized. So I guess disorganization where, yes, it feels scattered. So it’s that friend, maybe that adult friend who starts in the middle of his or her story and you have to say, wait a second. I don’t know who Joe is. It’s that person who gets excited in their talking about something, but they’re disorganized not only in their purse or in their home life but also sometimes in their thoughts. I feel like that could just encompass a lot.
[JOE] Okay. What else?
[LAURIE] So feeling overwhelmed, self-doubt. Did we put procrastinating on there?
[JOE] I think you said procrastinating and freezing was more a symptom of self-doubt.
[LAURIE] Oh, okay, perfect. I’ll put that as disorganized. Not feeling good enough.
[JOE] So it’s not feeling good enough, does that fall under disorganized, self-doubt or overwhelm or is that its own category? Would that be the self-doubt?
[JOE] Okay.
[LAURIE] You could call that the self-doubt. I know I’ve heard people say imposter syndrome, but I don’t know that that’s necessarily how I would describe some of the stuff that I see. So sparring, so there’s, this is in one of the books, it was just about communication. I call it sparring. It’s something, it could be seen as debating, but it’s something that a lot of times people with ADHD will like to do like, oh, they’re sparring because they’re, oh my teenager, my wife’s always arguing with me. But I call it sparring because it’s really just to get that dopamine moving where they want to interact in a more yes, debating way. They’re not really trying to pick a fight, but it’s just releasing dopamine.
[JOE] There’s also a mental exercise when you’re debating or discussing something that if you have some inattention, it’s not very boring to have a fight.
[LAURIE] No, no. It’s very stimulating for their brains. So I could totally see that. I feel like, what would be like the finishing, that wouldn’t be procrastinating. It would be like lots of half done things. I mean, I feel like that’s another reason I, yes, I’m talking to you because there’s a lot of just things that, not completing tasks. There’s like say five half done things. I don’t know why that necessarily happens. I don’t know if it’s low motivation. It might go back to it being something that is boring.
[JOE] Is that, do you think it could also be a need for, I mean, the H side of ADHD of like just needing movement, but even if it’s like half movement and unintentional, like unintentional movement?
[LAURIE] It could be but that’s the other thing with, so more times than not women are, you’ll see that the criteria for ADHD is really difficult. So the other side of that is hyper verbal. It could maybe look more like a hypomania or something, but it’s, they’re actually more chatty than wanting to move. So I actually love that, a little bit of exercise, because there’s a book called spark, some exercise maybe could bring that down because people see it as anxiety. But usually when someone with that hyper verbalness starts taking like a stimulant or something that the doctor and them have decided is appropriate, it actually slows them down, which is fascinating. But then there’s also, why I’m so passionate about it is because that hyperactive part isn’t always a thing.

There’s something called sluggish, cognitive tempo. You can have a hypo active HD. That’s one that I more will see in girls, especially if they were born prematurely. It looks like depression, but they’re not depressed when they do all the assessments and take all the tests. It’s just called sluggish, cognitive tempo and they just don’t have as much energy. That one is also really fascinating to me because they just wouldn’t be able to get stuff done because they’re not, I think of you and myself as entrepreneurs. We move. We’re like we could do a bunch of things in a day. Again, that’s why they call it sluggish, cognitive tempo. It’s just very different and it presents very different. That’s why I’m so passionate about educating people because, if they’re diagnosed with depression and they’re working on that and medicated for that. SSRIs are something that they could take for depression.

It could actually make their ADHD worse. So if we’re really not careful with our assessment to ongoing assessment diagnosis we might be missing something. So I think there’s so many complexities with ADHD. That’s why when you ask me, could I talk about it for five to 10 years, definitely. I love reading research about it because there’s just so much unknown about it. Now with, I don’t know your thoughts on TikTok, but I’m so glad my son’s only 18 months old, because I’m like, I don’t even know if he was TikToking. Do your daughters, you have daughters, right?
[JOE] No, they don’t. Even though they’re seven and 10, they are still pretty into playing outside, being in the snow. We have an old school standup like Pacman and Galaga Arcade game. So if they want to play video games, we’ll play that or like the old school Mario. So we have a pretty artistic musical family that doesn’t have, I don’t think they even know it exists unless they’ve heard a kid talk about it.
[LAURIE] I love that. That’s great. Because I’m worried that’s where audience building is. Or I’m like, oh no, am I going to have to make TikToks? But I feel like there is a lot of misinformation, especially with ADHD. Then one of the classes that I teach it’s, there’s like a circle diagram that I’ve created. It’s ADHD, OCD and CPT because sometimes they can overlap. You have to be really mindful, if somebody has OCD and ADHD, not giving them stimulants and being careful that the stimulant medication doesn’t make the OCD worse. So yes, there’s overlapping obviously with that, but I, again —
[JOE] Let me go back to that one comment you just made about, oh, am I going to have to make TikTok? So when we get to the social media section, we’re going to start with the social media you absolutely love. So even if that’s Facebook, if that’s Instagram, if that’s Pinterest, like —
[LAURIE] Oh, Joe, I don’t love social media.
[JOE] Here’s something I don’t disclose publicly. Neither do I. So I literally never, no, I take that back. There’s a couple Instagram accounts that I follow that are just for fun, but I would say 99% of my time outside of work is not anything social media. I don’t do it for fun at all. I’d much rather just hang out with someone and have a coffee or go for a walk. So we will talk about those —
[LAURIE] That is there anyway. Is there any way to, I know you’ve created a team of people but since I’m not maybe super versed with social media, I’m going to be 38, Facebook started when I was in college, but I just —
[JOE] Yes. I mean that’s, with you doing the Audience Building Elite, you get all those support credits. That’s where we’ll use those credits for maybe designing some things or managing some things. You won’t have to do it. So when we get to that phase of Audience Building Academy we’ll just talk through, what do you want to do? What do you want to have our team do to support you? I mean, it’s really meant to be really supportive so you’re doing the things that you’re best at. So I would allow those feelings towards social media to sit on the back burner. We’ll get there, but you don’t have to worry about it at all right now.
[LAURIE] Oh, good. They’re not really intense feelings. It’s just more neutral.
[JOE] If you do a test where we do one of one week sprints and say you do like once or twice a day Instagram live and you go from having five followers, like your mom and your aunt and your husband to then having like a hundred followers, you’re going to say, holy crud, that really worked and people are resonating. They’re saying, this is amazing what you’re doing, Laurie. Keep it up. That’s going to be different for you than if you just feel like you’re like screaming into just like the ethos of social media and nobody’s even responding. So we’ll get there. We’ll do some tests around it. That’s something that you can just emotionally put on the side for now.
[LAURIE] Okay. That’s so interesting. I’m excited to get started with some of those tests, because I think you had mentioned earlier, it’s not like you pick the, you see what people are wanting and build it around that?
[JOE] I mean, I think there’s two sides of it. So in our first two sessions, we’re going to first dig really into what does bring you joy? What can you talk about for five or 10 years? What’s exciting for you? Because there’s lots of things that people want folks to build content around out there that I could care less about. I’m not going to do it just because there’s a market for, I don’t know, Teslas that also make cappuccinos. I don’t care about that. If someone invents that, great, but that’s not my audience. We want to find that overlap of the area that you absolutely love and find joy in and where there’s somewhat of a market that we can test out. So women with the ADHD, that’s a pretty broad market. We may want to add another layer of niche in there to make it even more refined, but that’s where we’ll get in some more.
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[JOE SANOK] I want to give you some homework though, from our session today, that’s going to help you build out some content. You actually naturally did it. So these five areas that you talked about, we have overwhelm, self-doubt, disorganized, sparring and unfinished work as the overarching titles. I want you to think about this like a graph. So under each of those I’d want to know maybe two to three points of what it’s like. You went into that, so unfinished tasks, things are half done, you’re sluggish, you’re bouncing between things. You’re giving more of a description. Or for sparring, you said you debate, you’re hyper verbal or under disorganized you said in life conversation and thoughts or under self-doubt you said not good enough. Just building those five areas out a little bit more.

Then if we scoot over a column to think, okay, what does that lead to? What you said was with sparring that leads to more arguing, having more dopamine, having to move your body and your mind more or for example, with self-doubt what does that lead to? It leads to procrastination and freezing. So you naturally went to, okay, what’s the big picture, what’s the description? Then what does that lead to? What’s the symptom of that overarching area? Then lastly what’s the solution or solutions you see that can help combat those things? For example, with sparring, you said that if people are exercising more, they have maybe less of a need to debate and use their mind in that way.

You naturally already were saying here’s some of the solutions. I’d want you to create more of a decision making matrix thing where you have here’s the five areas, here’s the description of those five areas? What do those then lead to? What are say the symptoms of those areas and then what would be a handful of solutions you would offer? So what’s nice about doing it this way is this could be your first five podcasts. This could be your first five emails in your email course. This could be five different social media posts. This could be your core five things that you want to talk about. Maybe not. Maybe we take a different approach, but we’re then building out what’s Laurie’s way that she thinks about the world? What’s Laurie’s solutions. What are the practical things? Because even just saying, let’s take one of these thoughts, freezing and procrastination. That could be a whole Instagram live for five or 10 minutes where you just riff on procrastination and freezing and how that’s connected to self-doubt and what to do about it.

So any of these then become micro content. So Instagram post or live or macro content, whole webinar series that you offer people. So then we start to be able to test out some of the content to see what sticks. That’s really going to be in Audience Building Academy. What we’re looking at is, okay, you put out 10 Instagram lives at different times of day, different topics. Which ones were best, which ones did well, where’s the data on this? Where do we get the most engagement? You’ll naturally, you won’t even have to really track it. You’ll say, oh my gosh, so many people are chiming in with questions when I talk about procrastination, but the messy purse, I thought everyone would be talking about the messy purse, but nobody cared about that. So being able to then start to test some of it to see what’s working in both the emails, social media webinars, all those things will get to that point. But right now it’s just, let’s get that information out on paper and brainstorm as much as we can.
[LAURIE] Okay. So the homework is getting that information out on paper and I wrote all your notes on?
[JOE] Yes. Now you have a whole recording for it too.
[LAURIE] Oh, that’s perfect. I can go back.
[JOE] Awesome. Well, Laurie, the last question I usually ask when I’m doing consulting, is, are there any areas you think you might get stuck in doing this homework and thinking through your specialty? Any last things that might get in the way of you implementing what we talked about today?
[LAURIE] Anything that might be distracting me in the room? I’m actually going to, yes, I’m going to have to harness my, so what happens, Joe is I’ll make, I know the whiteboard that we talked about. I’ll start making the whiteboard with your bullet points on it and then when I go off to the two or three points or to something else, I’ll then go somewhere else. As you maybe notice it, like I’ll go somewhere else and I have to really redirect my energy. So I guess just like distraction, maybe I should set a time limit.
[JOE] I would even say time limits per, even like category, give yourself one minute to figure out what does overwhelm lead to. Okay, I have one minute to do this. What’s overwhelm lead to? And if that minute you find yourself distracted, when that timer goes off, maybe it’s 30 seconds, maybe it’s 20 seconds. Then you have 20 different things to brainstorm. You’re doing these 20 second sprints. Doing a sprint in some way with a timer, I think would be highly effective to keep you on task. If you find like you’re drained, go drink a green smoothie, do a plank, jump around, go outside. Your body is saying to you, I can’t pay attention. You need to listen to that and then say, how do I reengage it? Our brains go through engagement and disengagement all the time and your cycle might just be faster.
[LAURIE] When you say sprint, is that, you mentioned you were, I think you were writing like one time a week every morning. Is that what you mean by sprint?
[JOE] Yes, I would say for this activity, I wouldn’t even view it as that consistent sprint as much as okay, for the next hour, I’m going to work on this activity. How do I make sure I stay as focused as possible to even view, okay, I’m going to brainstorm overwhelm. And just, what is it like to be overwhelmed? If the whiteboard works best for you start there. Then I would set a timer for 30 seconds to a minute, knowing your tendency to get distracted and then stop for a second after that timer and say what worked, what didn’t work. Okay, probably at the 32nd mark, I got distracted. So I’m going to do a 25 second timer. And it may be you super break it down. Okay, I’m not even looking at what is overwhelmed. It’s what is one sentence about overwhelm that starts to capture it? I’m going to give myself 15 seconds. It may just be 15 second timers over and over so that you can just keep yourself on track.
[LAURIE] Okay. Then my initial, I guess, homework is turned in, in that messy, white-boardish way or differently?
[JOE] Right now I’d say we’re trying to get as much just information and content as possible out. Once it’s out, it’s going to be easier to organize. So if you’re going to reuse that whiteboard at least take a picture of it. Usually what we’re going to talk about is using a Trello board to start to organize a little bit differently. So then you could just from your phone, upload that into your Trello board. But we’ll walk through in Audience Building Academy how I use Trello boards to stay organized and gather information and all of that too.
[LAURIE] Perfect. Awesome.
[JOE] Awesome. Good first session. I’m so excited to see where this goes for you. Laurie, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[LAURIE] Thanks having me.
[JOE] Wow. What a fun consulting session that was? I just get so amped up helping people come up with ideas and ways to use their professional skills that have been limited to inside of their office to go out into the world. I mean, imagine six months or a year from now, Laurie expanding these things that we just came up with and it being a podcast or social media, or maybe even a book or a keynote. To see these things that have been limited to Laurie’s counseling clients now going out into the world, how beautiful is that? So I’m so excited about it.

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We’re now doing four shows a week. Make sure you tune into the ones that sound interesting to you. Thank you for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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