Live Consulting with Dr. JanaLee Wagner: How Do I Build More Passive Income? | PoP 539

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Why should your personal time in the business be the most expensive resource? What are the benefits of trying out a soft launch for a new business venture? How can people a few steps ahead of you help you along to your goals?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok does a live consulting call with Dr. JanaLee Wagner about how she can free up her time and build more passive income.

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Meet Dr. JanaLee Wagner

Dr. JanaLee Wagner has been a clinical social worker for over 30 years. She specializes in trauma care, empowering women to find their confidence and build independent lives when bouncing back from controlling relationships.

She also runs a non-profit organization to fight social isolation in all walks of life.

Visit her website, and connect on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

In This Podcast


  • Consider adding another clinician or two to the practice
  • Try out testing
  • Connect with people who have achieved your goals

Consider adding another clinician or two to the practice

The more that you have that income coming in outside of your own time, where you don’t have to be in the chair, you can be marketing the practice, running Facebook ads, having an admin do some of the marketing … that is going to make any [new venture] a lot easier. (Joe Sanok)

Growing your group practice by adding new clinicians to your staff is a good way of building up that passive income stream, as your clinicians will put in the hours to see clients while you as the business owner can focus on developing the practice.

Try out testing

Test out your new business venture ideas. What do you know about your audience? Which services can you provide for them that is particular to the skillsets within your group practice?

When you have a new business venture in mind, test it out as often as you can to know whether or not it is a viable option to commit to and try out. Consider giving a webinar about the topic of your new venture and give out a call to action to see what the response rate is to this new possibility.

Connect with people who have achieved your goals

If you have a considerable following on social media such as on Instagram or Facebook, contemplate whether you could connect with someone in your field that is at the level where you want to get to, in terms of followers, and perhaps collaborate with them.

Look for the people that are a few steps ahead of you and say to yourself ‘how do I align myself with that person?’ ‘How do I bring value to their audience?’ Can you reach out to them and say: ‘here’s what I do and I would like to provide that angle to your audience, we could do an Instagram Live together … I’m happy to help your audience in whatever way you think is best’. (Joe Sanok)

In this way, you and this person can build a like-minded relationship, you can help their audience and expand your reach to a whole new group of people while working alongside someone else, building connections, and co-creating content.

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Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

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]: Is managing your practice stressing you out? Try Therapy Notes. It makes notes, billing, scheduling, and tele-health a whole lot easier. Check it out and you will quickly see why it’s the highest rated EHR on Trustpilot with over a thousand verified customer views and an average customer rating of 4.9 out of five stars. You’ll notice the difference from the first day you sign up for a trial. They offer live phone support seven days a week so when you have questions, you can quickly reach out to someone who can help. You are never wasting your time looking for answers. If you’re coming from another EHR, they make the transition really easy. Therapy Notes will import your clients’ demographic data free of charge during your trial so you can get going right away. Use the promo code [JOE] to get three months to try out Therapy Notes, totally free, no strings attached, including their very reliable tele-health platform. Make 2021 best year yet with Therapy Notes. Again, that’s promo code [JOE] at checkout to get three months totally free.
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok session 539.
Welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I’m Joe Sanok, your host, here at Practice of the Practice mobile world headquarters in Escondido, California. As you know, we’ve been on the road for a while, since September living out of a camper and trying to quarantine as best we can, which has gone really well. Basically we’re doing what we would do at home during the middle of a pandemic, just doing it on the road. So hope your world is awesome today.
[JOE]: We’ve been doing this series with our Next Level Practice folks to help them experience breakthroughs and get a better understanding of where they’re at in their private practice and I am so excited. Today, we have Dr. JanaLee Wagner, who has been a clinical social worker for over 30 years. She specializes in trauma care, empowering women to find their confidence and build independent lives when bouncing back from controlling relationships. JanaLee welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[JANALEE WAGNER]: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
[JOE]: You’ve been such an active member of Next Level Practice. It’s great when I have people on this show that I can totally picture you being in Zoom calls and asking questions and taking action. It’s just been so awesome to see you be a part of the community. What’s your question today?
[JANALEE]: So I am at that place where I want to move into some passive income opportunities and free up some more time. My question is where do I start? There’s so many options out there. Do I just pick and go with that? Do I kind of put my feelers out to different things to see what takes off? Where do I start with that?
[JOE]: Well, I just love that you’re thinking about passive income beyond just kind of your therapy practice. Tell me where you’re at with your practice right now. What’s kind of clicking along already?
[JANALEE]: So my practice is, I opened up full-time in July and filled up before I opened and has been full with a waiting list. I hired another practitioner who is in process of getting credentialed and will actually be starting in a couple of weeks. She’s seeing some private pay people right now. We’re mostly doing tele-health right now because of COVID, but we do have a few that come into the practice.
[JOE]: Okay, and do you plan to hire more clinicians to the practice? Do you think?
[JANALEE]: Possibly. You know, kind of my thought is if I get into some more passive income and also at the same time building a coaching side business that maybe all back up a little bit more from the practice as I let others go in and do that, and I’ll just kind of manage that. And to free up some time so that when my daughter has my first grand baby, hopefully this year, I can take some time to go spend with her in New Jersey.
[JOE]: Oh, that’s wonderful. I love hearing people’s why. It’s never just, “I want to make more money.” There’s always something like that’s inside of it. Well, tell me about the consulting and the coaching. What are you interested in that area?
[JANALEE]: Yes, so I’m going to be launching actually in the next week, and I have a program that I’ve built for women who have been in controlling relationships to figure out how to move on from there and find themselves again and regain their confidence.
[JOE]: Mmh, is that a group program or is it individual? Tell me more about that program.
[JOE]: There’s a few individual sessions and then a Facebook group, so they can interact with each other, and a course.
[JOE]: Okay. So, and tell me what kind of audience you have already around that topic other than your clinical work. Do you have Instagram, do you have kind of a Facebook following already? Are you starting from scratch?
[JANALEE]: I’m starting from scratch and that’s kind of, I have a lot of Instagram followers. I have a lot of Facebook followers as me, myself. So it’s kind of going from that and I’ll be over in the next couple of weeks, doing a lot of posts related to the course and such and admitting people into the private group.
[JOE]: Okay. Yes, I mean, so in general, my advice usually is to start with the low-hanging fruit and so wherever things are easiest to usually start there. And so I would imagine that adding your first clinician was the hardest part of kind of starting a group practice because you’re going from just me running the practice solo practice to then a group practice. In the same way, going from not having a practice to having a practices getting that first client is kind of hard, but getting that second client, that third client, every new client afterwards is easy or easier. So to me, some low hanging fruit for you would be to start with having just that you’re focused on, let’s add maybe a second or third clinician and really get that clicking along because the more that you have that income coming in outside of your own time where you don’t have to be in the chair, you can be marketing the practice, running Facebook ads, having an admin do some of the marketing.
That’s going to, I think, make any of this new venture a lot easier because you have that predictable income coming in through other clinicians. Because really you want to think about this new passive income source as being like a new business. So sure you’re using your Instagram following, you’re using your Facebook following but we typically want to make sure that we have kind of the optimization done in as many different ways as we can with the practice. Now, there may be, it may be you or one of our listeners that says, “I just don’t want more than one clinician.” That’s fine if that’s what you want for your lifestyle. You may say, “I just want one. I just want two,” whatever that max is. And then we kind of move into the other area, just recognizing that maybe that low hanging fruit, and you’re like, “I don’t like that fruit. I don’t want to pick that fruit. I’m going to move on in a different area.”
So then really after we kind of move kind of out of that practice, we want to do as much testing of new things before we build too much. And so if you came to me today and said, “I have this idea for an e-course or a membership community, all of that, and hadn’t built it,” I’d say, “Let’s do some testing. Let’s really try our best in as many ways as possible to see if that audience is interested in it.” So that might look like an early bird opt-in. So you might have somebody, have like a form on Google that says, “Well, here’s what the course is going to look like. To get first access apply here.” Or you might have an application on your website. And so then you’re testing it out a little bit, but because you already have it built now, it’s like, “Well, what do we do with that?” So I want to hear more about the audience you already have. What do you know about them? What do you not know about them? It sounds like you’ve got a really great kind of Instagram following and Facebook following. Tell me more about who’s following you.
[JANALEE]: Yes, so actually the coaching kind of came from, I had four women in a three-week time period who came to me and said, “Would you ever consider doing this?” And so I started looking into it and that’s what kind of launched that. And that’s what I’m finding. A lot of my following, as well as those who are coming to me at the practice are these women who have, who are trying to re-invent their lives after having been in controlling relationships. And it’s not necessarily a marriage or whatnot. Some of them are, their parents controlled them and now they’re young adults and they’re trying to figure out, “How do I make decisions on my own when my parents won’t even let me?”
[JOE]: Yes. So when you put out a typical post or ask a question, what kind of engagement are you getting? How many people do you think are commenting on each post or replying or hearting or any of that?
[JANALEE]: Probably, it kind of varies, but I think between five and 20.
[JOE]: Okay. So, you’re getting some good engagement and then there’s all the people that read it and they just don’t want to necessarily put a comment there, but they like it too. So, that’s a good amount. If you’re getting one or two, then I’d say, “Oh, we want to kind of amp that up a little bit.” So that’s great to get that level of comments or reactions. There’s a few things that you could do to test this out. Webinars or kind of helpful webinars are a great way to test something out before you do a full-on launch. And so, to host a webinar on Zoom and to talk about what are controlling relationships? How to change your mindset after controlling relationships. Creating content around that, and then having a call to action at the end of it, either to sign up for your program or to sign up for your wait list for the program. And to kind of sketch out here’s what this is going to be. It’s going to have a Facebook group and some live things as well. Then you’re kind of testing it out ahead of time before you put all your eggs in the basket and start pushing it. If you were to do a webinar, what kind of topics would you cover around controlling relationships?
[JANALEE]: So I think the first thing I would cover would be kind of like a quick idea into how to rediscover myself, how to rediscover what your own opinions and values and things are. That seems to be where everybody is questioning, “What do I do?”
[JOE]: Yes, and that’s where once you get that Facebook group going. You can gauge their interests and create ongoing content or kind of next level type of things for them. Because I think a lot of people think of passive income and they think I do this one thing, and then it just brings in all this money. I would say passive money means you decide where you spend your time, and then it makes money outside of that exchange for your time. And so we really want to look for things that are scalable because if every single person that joins your community, you’re spending two sessions with, that’s not nearly as scalable as, “Hey, I’m going to sell this e-course and maybe I’m going to sell it at a lower rate, but if a thousand people buy it, or if a hundred people buy it, it’s still the same amount of time.”
Those are the kinds of things that we want to think about, that your time becomes the most expensive part of your passive income, because that’s the non-passive side. And so I would look at a couple of tiers. So, for example, whenever I do a pre consulting call for people that are looking at getting consulting for counseling practices or for their podcast, I’ll give them the recommendation where I think they’ll get their highest return on investment for their time and their money. Now, at the end of that call, I’ll often ask people, “Did that give you a heart attack, that amount of money?” And they’ll say, “Yes, that totally gave me a heart attack,” which tells me we probably need to do something cheaper or, “No, that that’s spot on,” or, “Wow, that’s cheaper than I thought it was going to be.”
And so by being able to have a couple tiered services, it may be that the most expensive thing includes two 45 minute sessions with you, the membership community and the e-course, but maybe a cheaper thing is just the e-course or just the e-course plus the Facebook community. And so we’re kind of thinking through it that way, but then looking at how do you get new leads beyond the people that follow you? Because you know, you do a first round, maybe a second round of entry into your program. Very quickly, you’ve kind of burned out everybody that knows you. And so we need to have that kind of ongoing side of things. And that’s where we can talk more about the ongoing marketing of something that’s passive.
[JANALEE]: Yes, exactly. I like the tiers, having different levels.
[JOE]: Well, I mean, you think about, and you’ve probably witnessed this through Practice of the Practice, being in Next Level Practice, that’s $99 a month and that’s includes all of Next Level Practice, but then the next step up is we have Group Practice Launch. And then we have Group Practice Boss, and that’s aimed at group practice owners. So you’re naturally following that person’s journey too, because there may be people that join your community and then at some point they kind of outgrow it and you want to say, “Well, if they outgrow it, do I want them to leave?” Well, maybe you do. Maybe you no longer want to serve those people that have outgrown, but maybe you have kind of a next level that’s up after that over time.
I mean, that’s where you just notice what your audience is doing, but I do think that, before we go too far, we do want to look at how do we keep doing that audience building? I think that’s a really important thing to think through around your skillset. Where do you enjoy, I guess talking about this topic of controlling relationships the most? Is it on video? Is it audio? Is it blogging? Is it on social media? All of the above? None of the above? Tell me about your interests.
[JANALEE]: I love to write, so blogging is a big one, doing posts and just finding information quotes, positive quotes, affirmations, those kinds of things, and sharing those. I really, I’ve done a lot of public speaking and I am good at that, but for some reason I have just been resistant to that whole video or even podcasts. That’s one reason why I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to maybe get me out of that mindset.
[JOE]: I’m so excited about one of our Podcast Launch Schoolers that just launched a podcast. The CodePen Dummy podcast is for 20 and 30 something women who are raised, reinforced, and rewarded for putting the needs of others above their own, i.e, For being codependent. Now, as young women, they’re exhausted, exasperated and enveloped in crappy relationships, especially the one they have with themselves. Melissa the hostess [inaudible 00:15:46] is on a mission to help her listeners undo all that so they can stop playing small and start taking up space. Yes, dummies. So go listen to the CodePen Dummy podcast.
[JOE]: We talk often in Next Level Practice and you know this that it’s a safe place to try new things. And so, one of the first things we have you do is to do a video introduction within the Facebook group, and for a lot of people, that’s their first ever Facebook live or their first ever video and so way to go pushing yourself to be on the podcast for that. I do think that you probably underestimate your skills. So even just thinking through, if you were on a podcast, what are the three ways that people are in controlling relationships that maybe they haven’t named as controlling? I mean, I think people picture that spouse that’s controlling and that’s a very clear, like here’s a controlling relationship, but you know, parents that are controlling or friends that are controlling, those are things that maybe are less in your face and less clear for people. So to have notes, if you’re on a podcast, nobody knows if you have a bunch of notes in front of you. In the same way, if you have a phone interview, nobody knows that you have all the answers in front of you.
So you can have kind of those talking points, I think even just thinking through, you know, five things or five mindsets that someone that’s been in a controlling relationship struggles with and then what can they do to overcome those things? So I think about who needs to hear this message. There’s so many mom bloggers or mom Instagrammers, or podcasters that are out there that are doing a lot of that kind of internal work. I’m thinking about other therapists podcasting about mindset coach podcasts, thinking about who’s in a relationship. Pretty much everyone has relationships unless they’re a hermit in a cave. We all have relationships and some of those are healthier than others. And so most podcasts would be applicable. It’s just, how do you spin or pitch yourself in a way that shows that you have an awareness of what that person’s unique audience is and what you bring value to within that audience.
[JANALEE]: Right? Yes, I like that idea that different angles …
[JOE]: Yes, and I think that just developing those relationships with other influencers is a great way to expand your reach in a way that feels authentic. So since you’re already on Instagram, I would start looking at well, who are other Instagrammers that maybe have a few thousand more followers than you. So there’s still kind of in the same group or the same level. I mean, don’t go after the person that has millions of followers. They may respond. They may not. But look for the people that are just a few steps ahead of you and kind of say to yourself, “How do I align myself with that person? How do I bring value to their audience? How do I reach out to them and say here’s what I do. I would love to provide that angle to your audience. We could do a story together alive, an Instagram live together. We can do a Facebook live together. We could host a webinar together. I’m happy to help your audience in whatever way you think is best.” For you, what stands out as areas that you would want to kind of join other people’s audiences?
[JANALEE]: I think there’s a lot of people out there who are talking about women finding power within themselves and kind of like the Rachel Hollis kind of following and those who have kind of launched from her following. So that kind of thing. The moms, I think that’s a great angle that moms not only as a mom, but also is in helping their kids and in developing healthy relationships.
[JOE]: Yes. One strategy that I’ve seen work really well is to join Facebook groups of the kind of person that you want to reach and then to reach out to the admin of that group and then to offer to them how you can give value to that Facebook group. You could do a Facebook live for the group, specifically around your topic. If they have a podcast, you could go on their podcast, or if you have a podcast eventually to invite them onto the podcast, that admin to say, “You oversee 3000 moms. What are some trends that you see amongst moms that have to do with these particular things?” And so it sounds like kind of the biggest thing for this next phase for you. I think is less on the development of content side. That’s usually easy for people that are highly educated, they are in the clinical field. The creation of content won’t be hard for you at all.
It’s really the getting in front of new audiences side and building up your connections before you really launch much, I would say. I would actually probably delay some of your launch until you may be double wherever you’re at right now with social media or people on your email list, so that you really can have a strong launch on day one and there’s sort of like a pent up excitement about it instead of just, you know, you get five people that join or 10 people or 30 people. You want something that it feels like, wow, this really caused a splash really quickly. And I think that you’re going to want to build up that audience a little bit more before you dive too far in.
[JANALEE]: Yes, the launch that I’m doing is just kind of a trial like what you were talking about. It’s kind of [crosstalk]
[JOE]: Well, and maybe you do sort of like invite-only. And then those people are allowed to invite one person into the program for each cohort. So it kind of grows and then you get good feedback. There’s nothing wrong with having a soft launch or a beta test group to work out the kinks, as long as they know that they’re the beta test group and that they’re going to be gracious with you. I remember our first cohort with Next Level Practice. We went through five different webinar platforms in a month, and you know, we had one where there was a live webinar and iPads wouldn’t work. Like you just, if you had an iPad, you couldn’t watch the webinar. I’m like, “What is wrong with this platform?” It was ridiculous. So Zoom is not perfect for what we do, but it’s better than everything else that we were able to find for what we needed it for, but yes, so as long as they know that they’re in the beta test group. Well, JanaLee I would love to know, like, what are your big takeaways? Where are the things that you’re going to take some action on as a result of this call?
[JANALEE]: So, I’m going to go onto my Facebook and Instagram and see who might be some people that are kind of in my same space. Maybe some Facebook groups, contact the admins and see if I can help in that way. I think that’s a really great way to start showing my face up.
[JOE]: Awesome. Well, let us know how we can support you with Next Level Practice. And if you’re listening to JanaLee and myself talk, and you’re thinking, “You know what, I am interested in passive income. I’m interested in growing my practice going beyond just that one-on-one counseling,” Next Level Practice might be for you. We have a cohort starting soon. If you want to be a part of that or read more about it, you can go to and that’ll give you all the information that you need. We have small groups, accountability partners, we’re being bringing in really big guests this year for our Ask the Expert. We have people like Julie Schwartz Gottman, who’s going to be coming in and talking to our community of people and then doing Q&A for 40 minutes.
We’re bringing in people of that level. And so if you want to be a part of a community, that’s leveling up, I mean, JanaLee said that she opened up and was full from the beginning. It’s people like JanaLee who really invest their time into learning how to do it right that we’re after. We want people that want to be successful. So again, Thank you so much for letting JanaLee and I into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing day, and thanks JanaLee.
[JANALEE]: Thank you, Joe.
[JOE]: What an awesome show. Hey, if you have not yet tried Therapy Notes, you need some help around your notes, your billing, your scheduling, and now tele-health. Tele-health has never been more important than now, and it’s totally integrated within Therapy Notes. So make sure you go over to, use promo code [JOE]. You’re going to get three months for free. They’re giving you three months free, and if you’re in another EHR, they will take all of that data and bring it over securely. Why not try it out? If you’re frustrated with your EHR or you just want something better, you’ve got to check out Use promo code [JOE] at checkout.
Thank you 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 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.