Have you utilized your time best to create your ideal work schedule? What resources are out there that can help you outsource your work? Can you upgrade your practice even more for your benefit?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok does a live consulting call with Lisa Lewis where they discuss what she should do next after hitting six figures.
Next Level Practice is an on-going support system for mental health clinicians, counselors, and coaches who want to start and scale their own private practice featuring HUNDREDS of trainings, LIVE calls with our experts, a robust resource library, an exclusive online community, and SO MUCH MORE!
Meet Lisa Lewis
Lisa Lewis has gained extensive training in the mind-body connection with three certificates in energy healing, Level 2 Reiki certified, and a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.
She is also part of the Disaster Mental Health Team for the world’s largest volunteer network, the American Red Cross. Lisa is a certified Bereavement Group Facilitator so she has a passion for helping those in need.
Get in touch with Lisa at [email protected] or call her for a free consult: 626.319.5076
In This Podcast
- What would your ideal schedule be?
- Next steps to take
You have achieved an incredible goal, you should celebrate it, and yourself! For all the hard work and sacrifice that you have put into your practice to build it into the version you want it to be.
What would your ideal schedule be?
If you would like to make a change to your work environment or take charge of the hours that you work, consider shaking up your work schedule. It is good to reach your goals and create the practice that you want to manage, however it is not worth the risk of losing your health, not spending time with your family, or becoming increasingly stressed.
You can change up your hours so that you can enjoy the best of both situations; managing a successful practice while still spending time with your family.
Starting to think about all those that suck your energy and suck your time, how can we outsource as many of those to a team of people [for] just a couple of hours a week. (Joe Sanok)
Next steps to take
- Evaluate rates and raise them
- What is taking up the most time and figure out what can be delegated
- Take a pause and examine the day’s schedule to sync it up better in order to work in batches instead of sporadically.
- Create ease in getting the work done in place of becoming anxious when there is free time.
- Work with hard boundaries and soft boundaries. Have these guidelines for yourself in order to construct the ideal life.
- Live Consulting with Ellen Gigliotti: How Do I Move Away From My Counseling Practice? | PoP 534
- Next Level Practice
- Events – click on the event’s dropdown
- Sign up to join the free webinars and events here
- Podcast Launch School
- Practice of the Practice Podcast Network
- Free resources to help you start, grow and scale
- Apply to work with us
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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[JOE SANOK]: Starting a private practice does not have to be that hard. It can seem that way. It can seem daunting at first. There’s so much to keep track of, so many different things, “Do I file an LLC or an S-corp? Do I just do a DBA? Do I start a bank account?” All these things that just seem like a foreign language and we don’t learn it in grad school. We don’t learn it unless we just pick it up here and there. That’s why I started Next Level Practice. Next Level Practice is the community for starting a private practice. So from that moment that you think, “Hey, I might want to start a private practice,” all the way till you’re at a hundred thousand dollars. That’s what is covered in Next Level Practice. You get access to over 30 e-courses, access to experts every single month, like Dr. Julie Schwartz, Gottman, who we’re having soon.
New Speaker: We interview her and ask questions and get to know these experts in our field that maybe we’ve looked up to for years. And honestly, they’re just regular people that want to help you out too. So if you want access to a community of people, that’s going to give you the right information at the right time, I want you to sign up for this cohort. This cohort opens on February 15th and it’s only open for four days. These spots usually fill up so you’re going to want to make sure that you’re on that wait list over practiceofthepractice.com/invite. Again, you can sign up on the wait list over www.practiceofthepractice.com/invite. I look forward to seeing you in there.
[JOE]: This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session 535. Well welcome to The Practice of the Practice podcast. I am Joe Sanok, your host, here at Practice of the Practice world headquarters on the road. We are in Escondido, California right now, and we are just so excited to have you here. I’ve been doing this series of talking to people over the last man, probably, episode 10 of this series or so where people just get to ask a question and I do live consulting. And we’ve had so many different questions about virtual assistants, leveling up your practice, expanding beyond your practice. And it’s just been so fun to talk to so many of the members of our community. And today we have Lisa Lewis and I am so excited. Lisa and I have been working together in a variety of different ways. And Lisa has gained extensive training in the mind body connection with three certificates in energy healing, level two Reiki-certified, and a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. Lisa, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[LISA LEWIS]: Thank you, Joe. I’m so excited to be here and also a little nervous. This is my first podcast.
[JOE]: Oh, well, I’m so excited to be your first. That’s great. I think it’s super normal to feel a little nervous about that. It just shows that it’s important.
[LISA]: Yes. So, yeah I’m excited to be here and, I’m not even sure what to ask or where to go from here. So I’m taking your lead
[JOE]: Well, sounds good. Well, you know, kind of the question at the beginning, if there’s a question that you have that you want us to dive into we’ll start there and yeah, let’s dive in. What question do you have about kind of getting to that next level for your practice or for your life?
[LISA]: Okay. So, I’m at the beginning of the new year and just looking at my practice. I’ve looked at my expenses and my incomes, and I made a huge, significant jump in income since 2019 and so I feel like I’m in this transition point of leveling up and I’m not sure where to go next. I see clients individually and I know there’s the thought of doing a group practice. And so I’m not sure if I want to do that, but I feel like I’m in a transition point where, in a crossroads. Kind of which direction do I go to next?
[JOE]: Well, that is such a, first it’s so great that you leveled up so much since 2019. So congratulations on that. I know that it’s a lot of hard work to make that happen. Tell me a little bit about your time, because, you know, there’s tons of ways that we can make more money. There’s lots of ways that we can figure those things out but then we also want to look at what’s your lifestyle? Like, what is it, how does that factor into how much you actually want to work?
[LISA]: So that is, so just looking at how I was working last year, I was working so much and I think part of the pandemic my caseload jumped. I also do consulting for a disruptive event management firm. So I can be working from early in the morning, 9:00 AM to late at night at 9:00 PM. And I set aside, I told myself I will not work weekends, so I do not work weekends, but I felt that not having enough time for my family, like in the evening. So that was a factor. And the life, the way I was working was not fitting my lifestyle and I don’t want to get burned out.
[JOE]: Now, when you look at the actual income coming in, do you need to make more money at this point, or is it providing what you want to provide for the family or it’d be nice to have a little more? Where are you at from just a financial side? You don’t have to say actual numbers, but just do you need more money? Is it pretty good where you’re at? Tell us that.
[JOE]: Well, I was surprised of how much I made last year and I kept looking at the numbers going, “Did I really make this much?” Like I did make six figures and I had no idea, I wasn’t keeping track of it during the year and I really surprised myself. And this is the first time I made this much money in my life. So that really meant a lot to me, as a woman, being married and being dependent on my husband’s income. So it meant a lot to me to earn my own money. So I mean, I can keep going in that trajectory. I can get so focused that I don’t want to lose sight of the bigger picture because I want to spend time with my family, but I also want to be able to support myself and also have a healthy business and also have a healthy lifestyle, so I can be a mentor for my clients. And so I’m also thinking about, does that mean that I increase my fees and then, as I increase my fees, does that limit the population that I see? And I also want to give back to, especially during this time that people, that maybe our clients that are not able to, don’t have the income to afford therapy. So there’s, I feel like in this, in a bind.
[JOE]: I mean, a lot of, I think when you get to this phase, all those questions are super normal. I just want to normalize that we aren’t trained in grad school as to how to run a business and oftentimes the idea of this level of success and like, what do we do with this level of success? So, first I want to ask you, how have you celebrated having such a great year? Because I think that a lot of us who work really hard and kind of put our noses down and just kind of keep going, have you done anything to celebrate, even if it’s getting a nice bottle of wine or some takeout from your favorite place have you celebrated in any way?
[LISA]: No, actually. I haven’t celebrated. I was just looking at my numbers yesterday and so, it’s really like the first since 2020 is ended to look at that and no, I didn’t even think about celebrating or really acknowledging it in some ritual way or something to myself.
[JOE]: I would start there before we even kind of dive into like, what to do now, is celebrate because, you know I put on Killin’It Camp this last year in 2020. We had to not have it be in person and it was three days of being online for three days straight. We had, I don’t know, 25 speakers and I was ready to just keep moving. And my wife actually was like, “We should celebrate in some way.” And I couldn’t figure out how and then there was this coat that I saw when we were in golden Colorado, and I thought, “I love that jacket.” And I actually have it on right now. It’s just like orange jacket that has like light blue, green, and dark green stripes on it, and I loved it, but I’m so budget conscious.
New Speaker: Then I’m like, “I don’t need a jacket. I already have a jacket.” But you know what? I bought myself this jacket and so this is my Killin’It Camp jacket. I just pulled off this huge three-day thing with a whole bunch of awesome people and it kind of continued the lineage of Killin’It Camp. You know, to pull something off like that, now, every time I wear this jacket, I think of how I worked really hard with a bunch of people to pull something off. And so, not that it needs to be something physical. It could just be an event type thing where you get a nice dinner, but I do think that it’s important in our businesses, once in a while to pause and reflect and say, “Wow, we pulled something off here. This is amazing.”
New Speaker: So after kind of brainstorming what that looks like for you I hear a lot of different things that I would want us to first evaluate before you make any major decisions, like starting a group practice. So first I would want you to look at what would your ideal schedule be if you could totally design it, because it doesn’t make sense to make hundreds of thousands of dollars, but sacrifice our families, our health, our time, all of that. And so I’d want to look at, do you only want to work Monday through Thursday? Do you want to have three-day weekends? Do you want to be done by four o’clock instead of eight o’clock? And then I would start to run some numbers backwards to say, if you were to do say 25 sessions a week, instead of however many you were doing, and you wanted to continue to make the exact same amount you made this year, let’s just divide that up.
New Speaker: So if I take three weeks off a year and I work 49 weeks a year and I make X number of thousands of dollars and divide that out by sessions, then you at least have a basic idea of how much per session you would need to bring in in order to maintain that lifestyle. So for a lot of people, when they run those numbers, they realize, “Oh, it’s only $25 more per session, or $40 more per session, if I could do that.” So it gives you at least a target to work with because a lot of us aren’t real good with our numbers. And I think it’s very normal that you haven’t been glancing at the numbers every single week, but even if we have some of those, what we might call KPIs, key performance indicator of, “kay, I want to be averaging this much per session. How am I doing with that? I want to average X number of sessions per week.”
New Speaker: Then you can kind of tell yourself, “Okay, enough is enough. I can enjoy my weekend guilt-free. I can say, “This is as much as I want.” Now, what happens oftentimes when you start to limit that time, is that your wheels start turning. I know that you’re a creative person, that you’re a person that’s thinking about different ways to do things, and so then that’s when it could be a group practice. It could be an e-course. It could be, you know, I know we’re working on the podcast and all these different things that you then put that extra energy into. And until we really are able to reign in the schedule to reduce as much stress as possible, and to give that best energy towards the best things, it’s really hard to say, here’s exactly what you should do, because you may find that you just love working four days a week, and that you’re just doing a podcast and working four days a week, that feels perfect. And from a monetization standpoint, that’s more than enough money. It may be that you say, “You know what, I see some significant challenges in my community. Having a group practice would be great. So to me, the time freedom is that really next step for you to figure out what then you’re going to do after that. Does that make sense?
[LISA]: It does make sense, and it’s right in the line with, my word for 2021 is joy, to bring more joy into my life. Not that I’m, I mean, what I do I find lots of joy, but it really does for more personal joy.
[JOE]: Yes, so I mean, some of those first steps I think, to move towards that joy would be to evaluate your rates and probably raise them for anyone new coming in. You might also want to start to look at what are the things that are kind of time sucks outside of my clinical work. And so, is that email, is that phone calls, is that website updates? Is it like, what are all those things that we can start to outsource to a team using something like Upwork or using even Facebook jobs to put out a job ad that says, “Two hours a week, I want someone to just return phone calls or an hour a day I want someone to go through my email and respond.” And you can start to create these jobs that employ people during a really tough time but then also take that load off because for 15 or 20 bucks an hour, you can get someone that they’re going to give you 10 hours of work and that’s going to be one session for the amount that a lot of people are getting per session.
New Speaker: So if you’re charging 200 a session and you’re paying 20 bucks an hour, you just bought yourself, by that one hour, you bought yourself 10 hours of virtual assistant work. So I think starting to think about all those things that suck your energy and suck your time, how can we outsource as many of those to a team of people that are just a couple hours a week? I think a lot of people will think through and say, “I need to have 40 hours a week,” you know, these people, but we’re in a freelance economy where so many people are kind of putting together jobs that they want to do.
[LISA]: Yes, and I love that. For me, it’s just to stop and pause and look at the bigger picture and step outside the box, because I think a lot of my core belief is that I have to do at all and like a lot. Well, I know how to do this and I should be able to do it. And so I just do it and that’s, it’s just not working anymore for me.
[JOE]: Well, even, so we’re, we hired a Facebook ad specialist for Podcast Launch School now. Just right before this was talking with Sam, our chief marketing officer, and I said to her, “Do you think that you should learn some of these Facebook ads, because I mean, you’re in charge of the marketing for Practice of the Practice. Do you want to learn that?” And she said, “You know, Daniel’s doing such a good job.” The person that we’re outsourcing a lot of this to. You know, he’s really expensive, but she’s like, “He knows what he’s doing. I think that we should just continue to work with him and make sure that we’re watching our numbers.” And so even for her to say, “Within our organization, my lane is this, my skills are this, and my joy is this.” She doesn’t really want to do Facebook ads.
New Speaker: And so for me to then as a boss respect that and say, “Okay, we’re going to outsource that. It’s going to be more expensive, but it’s going to be higher quality also and we’ll probably make fewer mistakes as well by having an actual specialist do this. So, that shift from, I can do it. Like I absolutely have the skillset that I could go learn how to do Facebook ads really well. I’ve no doubt. Do I want to be a Facebook ad specialist when there are thousands of Facebook ads specialists out there that are looking for work or that want to have a job? I really don’t want to be a Facebook ad specialist, even though I have that ability to do it. And that’s such a shift from, you know, I have this baby, this private practice that I have built. I’ve been everything to it. I I’ve fostered everything that’s happened. Now with the kind of that next phase is what should I be doing moving forward?
[LISA]: I love that and as you’re talking about that, I just feel that being a sole proprietor, I feel that this feels like so limiting and it doesn’t have to be that. I guess I can expand my network and actually have a team of people that do their skillset really well. And that feels so much lighter and more expansive like this talking about it. It’s like it just in my heart space and it feels really good.
[JOE]: Yeah, I think it’s one of those things that once it starts clicking along, almost everyone that I’ve talked to about this says, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” Even just thinking about how, I think it was yesterday, Jess my director of details, she texted me that my editor for my book said, he sent me an email. And so, we have 40 or so emails that I need to go through. She has a few hundred that she’s gone through over the weekend, but then for her to say, “Here’s the most important email out of all of this.” If you have 200 emails, you have to spend the time to scan through and if you’re looking for one or search for it, but when you have an assistant that says, “Hey, a client just emailed you and they’re in crisis. You need to respond to them right away,” instead of, you know, you’re just kind of going through all the 50 emails that you have to go through. It’s amazing how much more efficient you can be with your time then too.
[LISA]: Yes. And I’m looking forward to reading your book about just being more efficient with time. And I’ve been using that, too, and reminding myself to not feel like I have to be perfect, but just to set aside amount of time and just do the job that I’m spending my time on, not worry about anything else and then be okay with that. And it just gets done so much quicker and it’s fine. It turns out fine.
[JOE]: So, Lisa, when you’re thinking about freeing up time to give you more of that energy and that space and that breathing room what are your first steps that you feel you need to take? And then also, are there any spots you feel like you might get stuck in those first steps?
[LISA]: Well, if I feel like I have too much time, then I feel like I need to fill that time with doing something. That would be doing something with work, putting that energy to make I guess more money. That’s what it comes down to. So, my first steps is just to take a pause, look at my schedule, like how I am scheduling my time and see if I can sync it up better. So I have, what it’s like now, it’s like, I’ll have maybe a client or two then some time off, like an hour or two, and then another client. And so that’s like throughout the day and maybe like sinking those up so I can see maybe five or six hours. And I don’t mind doing back-to-back sessions and then I’ll be done for the day. Then I have the whole rest of the day to do something for me, whether exercising or, and then having more time to like write or think about what I want to do next, what kind of project I want to work on next. And that I think I would just feel more at ease with myself instead of feeling more like anxious, like, “Oh, I just got to get through this or get this done.”
[JOE]: Yeah, the idea of putting your sessions kind of back to back and just saying to your clients, “All right, I have this time,” at the front end or the back end of that kind of blitz that you’re doing, but you’re not going to spend the entire day having one session and then a big space and then another session and a space. I think that’s smart. I think that the idea that you’re going to really evaluate your time, oftentimes I think about things in soft boundaries and of hard boundaries. A hard boundary for me is I’m not going to do consulting on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, for example. I’m going to always have that three-day weekend, but a soft boundary will be, “I’m going to catch up on a couple of emails for up to an hour on a Friday, or I’m going to catch up on emails on a Monday morning while my daughter is doing her tutoring but as soon as her tutoring is done, I’m back helping the family.”
New Speaker: And so having some of that flexibility, or an example of a soft boundary might be, “I will never work after 5:00 PM unless there’s something that is game changing for my career.” Like the Today’s Show or some really big consultant wants to do a co webinar or something. I’ll make those exceptions, but I’m not going to work every Tuesday night instead of being with my family. And so starting to kind of think through that ideal life and setting some of those hard boundaries and those soft boundaries, I think it would be a good exercise to go through, to say, “If I could really design my life, what would that look like?” Because I mean, for the most part, your clients really don’t care as long as you have a handful of options that will work for them full time.
New Speaker: And they’re probably more flexible than you give them credit for that, most of us would give them credit for in regards to changing their schedule. So I’m looking forward to hearing kind of what kind of changes you make, Lisa. If you’re listening to this and you’re saying, “I am like Lisa. I want to get to that next level. I am growing, I’m expanding, but I don’t know what to do.” We have so many different options of ways to help you. We have our Next Level Practice community, which is for people that are under six figures that are starting a practice. If you’re interested in that you can go to practiceofthepractice.com/invite. Most likely if you’re listening to this and you find that you’re feeling like Lisa, you might want to apply to do some consulting. And we have a team of consultants, including myself that are helping people to get to that next level. You can go to practiceofthepractice.com/apply and we’ll talk to you. We’ll help you figure out just like we just did with Lisa some of the strategies, but then also here’s where I spend my time and money in regards to consulting or in regards to growing. Lisa, thank you so much for joining us today and for letting us into your ears and into your brain.
[LISA]: Thank you, Joe, so much. I appreciate you and I appreciate your team
[JOE]: 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. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.