Does the mainstream definition of success stifle your lifestyle? Do you want to create a life where you can be highly successful while living sustainably with your time and energy? How do you create a personal brand?
In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Maegan Megginson about How to be Highly Successful and Well Rested.
Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision
It’s Brighter Vision’s biggest sale of the season!
With the holiday season in full swing and the new year right around the corner now is the perfect opportunity to think critically about your future marketing initiatives and consider what improvements can be made to ensure you’re attracting the clients you need to grow your practice.
If you find yourself in need of a professional website that’s properly optimized to rank well in online searches and targeted to speak to your ideal client, Brighter Vision would love to help.
And there’s never been a better time…
Sign up for a new website during their Cyber Monday Sale and get 50% off your first 3 months of any new website package plus pay no setup fees – up to $280 off a new website for your private practice!
But hurry, this discount will only last until 11:59 pm on Monday, November 29th.
So, if you’re ready to get started or just want to learn more about how Brighter Vision can help you grow your practice, head on over to brightervision.com/joe.
Meet Maegan Megginson
Maegan Megginson is a business coach, group practice owner, and licensed psychotherapist. She’s on a mission to help business owners create unique, burnout-proof businesses that honor their needs and bankroll their lifestyles.
As an ambitious introvert and highly sensitive person, Maegan is intimately familiar with the struggle that arises when your need to take a nap conflicts with your desire to create a profitable business. Maegan is living proof that it’s possible to do both and believes all entrepreneurs deserve to be deeply rested and highly successful.
FREEBIE: Check out The CEO Starter Kit– a free online course designed for business owners who are ready to level up from Solopreneur to CEO.
In This Podcast
- Redefining success
- Own who you are for the sake of your business
- Maegan’s process for your business
Being a business owner who commits to being well rested and highly successful in some places is an act of rebellion because you’re saying “no, I’m not going to be a part of these systems that oppress so many people, myself included. I’m going to step outside of the line and try to do this in a different way.” (Maegan Megginson)
The current view of success is hard-lined, driven, self-sacrificing to the limit, and demands us to work overtime. We’re supposed to neglect any life other than the work that we’re supposed to complete.
Overall, this is not a success because it is not sustainable. The definition of success that is rooted in unhealthy self-sacrifice can be changed when enough people realize that there are other ways of going about business. We can change the way we want to achieve success, earn a high income, and realize our ambitions.
Own who you are for the sake of your business
Design your business to serve you first before anyone else.
When you create your work from your passions, you are encouraged and motivated to do the work. Otherwise, you’ll end up forcing yourself to do something for the sake of others, which is draining to you. This is an unsustainable model of business, and it can change as well.
I find that people who build their businesses as an expression of who they are, and people who create boundaries in their business that align with their needs, emotionally, energetically, financially, those are the people who make the greatest impact for the people that they want to serve. (Maegan Megginson)
Maegan’s process for your business
1 – Clarifying: answer big questions about who you are and what you want for yourself, your career, and your family financially.
2 – Which business model fits best: how can you structure your business model to complement the life that you want to create for yourself?
- What is your expertise?
- Which clients do you want to serve?
- How do you want to show up in your company?
3 – What is the next step? What is the thing that you want to do, beyond how you earn your income? You can do anything.
Books mentioned in this episode:
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- Visit Maegan’s website and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
- FREEBIE: Check out The CEO Starter Kit– a free online course designed for business owners who are ready to level up from Solopreneur to CEO.
- Check out brightervision.com/joe for the Cyber Monday Sale. Get 50% off your first 3 months of any new website package plus pay no setup fees. Discounts will only last until 11:59 pm on Monday, November 29th.
Check out these additional resources:
- Kathleen Coughlin Sold Two Private Practices – Part 2 of 2 | GP 94
- Group Practice Launch
- Group Practice Boss: www.practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss $149 a month
- Email Alison: [email protected]
- PoP Group Practice Owners Facebook Group
- Free resources to help you start, grow, and scale
- Work with us
- Consult With Alison
- Alison Pidgeon on Therapy for Your Money Podcast
- Practice of the Practice Network
Meet Alison Pidgeon, Group Practice Owner
Alison Pidgeon, LPC is the owner of Move Forward Counseling, a group practice in Lancaster, PA and she runs a virtual assistant company, Move Forward Virtual Assistants.
Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.
Transformation From A Private Practice To Group Practice
In addition, she is a private practice consultant for Practice of the Practice. Allison’s private practice ‘grew up.’ What started out as a solo private practice in early 2015 quickly grew into a group practice and has been expanding ever since.
Thanks For Listening!
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You are listening to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. Whether you were thinking about starting a group practice or in the beginning stages, or want to learn how to scale up your already existing group practice, you are in the right place. I’m Alison Pidgeon, your host, a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a large group practice that I started in 2015. Each week, I feature a guest or topic that is relevant to group practice owners. Let’s get started.
Hi, welcome to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. I’m Alison Pidgeon. Happy Thanksgiving. It may not be the exact day of Thanksgiving but In general, it’s kind of the season. So if you’re in the United States hopefully you ate some Turkey already or are planning too soon. We are lucky enough to have both sets of parents close by. So we will see both of them today or at least this weekend. I’m obviously recording this ahead of time but just want to do wish you happy Thanksgiving. I hope you take some time to take a break, maybe do some self-care, because hopefully that’s what the holidays are partially about, at least for all of us who tend to take care of other people. I am planning to take some time to have some rest so I hope you do as well.
Today I have an interview for you with Maegan Megginson. She is a successful group practice owner who pivoted and transitioned to starting a business coaching business and such a lovely person. It was so great to talk with her. She already kind of established a group practice and it’s still running. She has delegated that out to other people and now she is on a mission to help business owners create unique burnout-proof businesses that honor their needs and bank roll their lifestyle. So what I love so much about Maegan is that she has this great tagline about how she believes that you deserve to be rested and wildly successful. So I think in our culture, that is always usually at odds, like if you’re getting rest, if you’re taking good care of yourself, that probably means you’re not working that hard in your business or not making great money.
Maegan wants you to know that that is not true. She understands sort of all of those struggles and she calls herself an ambitious introvert and a highly sensitive person. She said she’s intimately familiar with the struggle that arises when you need to take a nap and that conflicts with your desire to create a profitable business. So I love Maegan’s point of view on how to have both, how to not burn yourself out in the process of building a really successful business. So please enjoy my conversation with Maegan Megginson. Hi Maegan, welcome to the podcast.
Hey Alison, thanks so much for having me.
I’m really excited to talk to you today. Before we dive into all of the questions, can you introduce yourself to the audience?
Oh, absolutely. So I am Maegan Megginson and I wear two hats. I’m a group practice owner here in Portland, Oregon, and I’m also a business coach for therapists who are looking to build personal brands. So two very different things that I’m doing. I love them both and I’m hoping today will be able to talk a little bit about each of them.
Absolutely. That is my plan. So let’s first talk about the group practice. When did you start it? How many folks do you have working for you?
So I moved to Portland from Houston, Texas with my husband, Jonathan and our three beagles back in 2016. We moved to Portland and Jonathan was totally burnt out on corporate America. We needed a change. So he went on what he thought was going to be a sabbatical and we moved to Portland, thought he would get back into engineering when we got here and it just was not happening for him. So we kind of put our heads together. I had always had the vision of starting a group practice. It kind of felt like the organic next step. I had figured out the successful private practice gig.
I had it in Houston, I built it, I was full in two months after I moved to Portland. I was hungry for something else. He was hungry not to go back to a nine to five office desk. So we were like, Hey, why don’t we start this group together? We have these complimentary skill sets, so we can each do what we’re good at. We did. We started the center for couples and sex therapy here in Portland in the fall of 2016 and here we are today in 2021, we have about 16 therapists on our team. And with the pandemic, everything changed. We had two brick and mortar offices. We have since condensed to one office, one physical office, but most of our team have opted to remain virtual even when we go back to in-person services. So I think we will forever be a hybrid practice with a mix of all telehealth therapists who live all over Oregon and Washington state and a group of folks who work out of our office here in the city of Portland.
That’s amazing. So what does your husband do in the practice?
He is the CFO of the business and that was, it’s been such an interesting journey. We didn’t know what we were doing when we first got started and he was kind of taking the operations role, kind of a general manager of the practice. We figured out pretty quickly in the first couple of years that it’s not his gift managing people. It just doesn’t bring him joy. What brings him joy is sitting at a computer, playing with spreadsheets, moving money around, making financial projections. So in our marriage, we’ve been like, hey, how do we take really good care of our relationship? Well, we can only do that if we are both feeling really fulfilled and energized by the work that we’re doing in this business that we run together.
So we’ve been working the past couple of years at really moving him out of the operations role and into managing the finances exclusively. And between me and you, he’s also a really great house husband. I haven’t done a load of laundry in like five years. So it’s when it works, it works. And we’ve been working to kind move other people, hire other people onto the team to fill the positions that both he and I really dread.
Nice. Yes, that is amazing when your spouse can kind of pick up the slack.
Well, challenging gender norms and just both giving yourselves permission to do what you love. And for him making the home a home, it just really brings him joy. It makes me crazy. I want to be working, I’m super ambitious and there is something really powerful about just saying, “Hey, we are, again, we’re just going to do what we love in this business and that’s how we’re going to make it work for us and our family.”
That’s amazing. So who are the folks that you have hired to do those other kind of operational tasks? Because with 16, is it 16 clinicians? I’m assuming that there’s fair amount of leadership roles that need to be filled.
Oh, absolutely, yes. So we have three key players on our team besides Jonathan and myself. The first hire that we made was our intake coordinator, which, and I will just say every hire that I’m going to tell you about, I wish I would’ve hired them one year sooner. Isn’t that the case for most of us as we’re growing our businesses? And I even thought still at the time, I was like, okay, I’m hiring before I’m ready. But no, I should have hired like way before I was ready. It would have propelled our growth much faster, much more seamlessly than it did. So pro tip for anyone listening, if you need the person, stop waiting, figure out how to hire them now.
So the first person was our intake coordinator. That was the first real game changer in the practice. She is, Ugh, I just love her. I really love her. She is the artery of the main artery of this practice. So her name’s Jennifer, shout out to Jennifer. She’s amazing. She’s our intake coordinator. The next hire that we made was my executive assistant, whose name is Nancy. Nancy’s great. She’s actually taken on a role of helping me manage both of my businesses. So I like to call her my frontal lobe. And the third hire that we made, and this is sort of our biggest hire to date, his just happened earlier this year was Ellie, who is our practice manager.
We really hired us a full-time W2 position. We went through a recruiter to find this person, which was a crazy, very expensive experience, but also it was an incredible experience. They found us the perfect person straight out of her MBA program, somebody who really was hungry to be an integrator in a business boots on the ground. She is an operations genius and her passion really is managing the team and keeping the gears running and looking at ways to expand the practice. And for Jonathan and I, this is kind of the key ingredient that is helping the two of us work ourselves out of the group so we can spend more time doing the things that really bring us joy.
I’m so glad that you used that word integrator, because I feel like that’s such an important piece of the puzzle. Usually the person who starts the practice is more of a visionary or like a big picture person and having somebody who can step in and deal with all those nitty gritty details of the day to day is so amazing.
It’s amazing. It sounds like you’ve read the same book I have maybe. So yes, I highly recommend reading Rocket fuel. It was really a game changer book for me. Every now and then one of those business books comes around that you read and you’re like, whoa, this changes everything. That was one of those books for me because it so clearly defines who is a visionary and who is an integrator. I love how they talk in that book about most visionaries and let’s just like, look at like you and me as examples. We’re visionaries, but because we’re high achieving women who have been probably over performing our entire lives, we’ve learned how to wear the integrators, get in suit.
We can pretend to be integrators and then we tell ourselves the story that we are integrators and we can do it better than anybody else, but it’s not true. There’s something so incredibly liberating about really separating your roles in the business. And magical things happen when you give yourself permission to just be the visionary and to hand off all of the integration pieces to other people on your team, if it’s one person or a team of people. I think it’s just, I think it’s an incredible experience and I want all group practice owners who are real visionaries to experience that for themselves.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. I love how you described that. Amazing. So curious about, so obviously there was this process of you kind of working yourself out of the practice and starting your coaching business. So what was that transition for you? Was it just like one day you were, oh, I’m just not going to be around as much and I’m going to go over here and do this thing, or was it a slow process of pulling yourself out over a period of time, or how did that work for you?
Definitely a slow process for me. I’m a big fan of taking very calculated risks. That really comes from, at this point I am the sole breadwinner for my family. So I don’t have the financial luxury anymore of being able to just experiment with this or experiment with that. The group for many years has been our kind of stable income generator for my family. So I had to be very mindful of that. I couldn’t, I knew that I really wanted to explore some other avenues for myself professionally, but I had to do it in a way that protected the income that my family needed to survive on the west coast.
The way that I did that was by just very slowly starting to expand and experiment with other types of work, which for me, I knew I was interested in business consulting, business coaching. So I just took on one client and then two clients at a really low rate just to test the water, see if this is something that I enjoyed. And over the last several years, I have let that organically evolve into what it is today, which is a full-fledged business with its own life force. And I’ve been over the years strategically, as the coaching business was supporting us more and more financially taking steps further and further away from the group practice. So it’s been a little bit of a dance, these two businesses really kind of figuring out strategically, when is it safe for me to take a step away from the group and deeper into the coaching business?
I think what you need in order to do that successfully is, one a really solid financial team. A group of people for me, it’s, our certified financial planner, it’s Jonathan who’s in the spreadsheets all the time. It’s having this team of people there to really make sense of the finances so that we can make very strategic and calculated decisions about when we hire for the group, when we step deeper into the coaching business. And yes, so it’s been an organic process and it’s sort of culminated this year really in hiring our practice manager. Earlier this year I also stopped seeing therapy clients. So I decided it was time to hang my hat and say, okay, my days of being a therapist are finished because my work now it’s so clear to me is working with other business owners in the coaching capacity.
That’s awesome. So what length of time was that over, like period of months, years that you kind of made that transition to eventually not seeing therapy clients anymore?
I started I took my first beta coaching clients, as I called them, in early 2018. So 2018 was just a year of dabbling. I didn’t even have a separate business entity. It was all very experimental. I was just, yes, testing the waters and then 2019, I was ready to take it a little more seriously. So I set up a business entity and a simple website, started building an email list and 2020 is when I really started meaningfully moving away from the group and giving the coaching business more of my time and attention. Then a timeline worked, it worked really well for me and for both of these businesses.
And all along, I think really, as soon as I started coaching, I didn’t name it for myself until later, but as soon as I started it, I felt in my own body like, Ugh, this is the work I’m supposed to be doing. This is, as I was a certified couples and sex therapist and I did love that work, I was very passionate about it, but I was intellectually passionate about it. It was something that really stimulated me intellectually. I believed in it from a social justice standpoint. The work was powerful. I felt honored to be in the room with these clients, sharing details about their relationships and their sexual health, but it never in life, it never kind of woke me up and really ignited a deep passion in my soul, the same way working with business owners did.
So it was a process for sure, many hours spent in therapy talking about like, but if I’m not a therapist who am I? Like this has been my identity for all of my professional life. How can I step away from this? So it was definitely for me a process psychologically, emotionally. But when it’s right, it’s right and you have to just move into that.
It’s Brighter Vision’s biggest sale of the season. With the holiday season in full swing and the new year right around the corner now is the perfect opportunity to think critically about your future marketing initiatives and consider what improvements can be made to ensure you’re attracting the clients you need to grow your practice. If you find yourself in need of a professional website, that’s properly eyes to rank well in online searches and targeted to speak to your ideal client, Brighter Vision would love to help, and there’s never been a better time. Sign up for a new website during their Cyber Monday sale and get 50% off your first three months of any new website package plus pay no setup fees up to $280 off a new website for your private practice. But hurry, this discount will only last until 11:59 PM on Monday, November 29th. So if you’re ready to get started, or just want to learn more about how Brighter Vision can help you grow your practice head on over to brightervision.com/joe. That’s brightervision.com/joe.
I had a very similar experience, that questioning, oh, I spent all this time in school to become a therapist and we’re working at this for so long, like all the emotions that go along with what does it mean to give that up? But for me it’s been great as well.
Oh, I love hearing that. It’s just a Testament to listen to yourself and kind of, well, having your own therapist, first of all, like let’s put a vote in that category. Like have your own therapist and have somebody that you can talk to about these things, but yes, you have to move towards what that little voice inside of you is telling you you’re really meant for.
Absolutely. So tell us about your business coaching, because I know you have a very specific niche that you work with that I found very unique. So tell us about that.
My business coaching journey really was born out of my own, not so great experience in business coaching programs, myself. And long story short I think what happened to me is what happened to many people. I joined a group coaching program that was led by a group of very extroverted, very high energy business owners, very much committed to sort of the hustle and grind mentality, what I now call the arbitrary more; people who kind of exist in this culture of always striving for more. You finally get to five figure months? Now go for six figure months, or you finally hit a six figure year, now you need a seven figure year. It’s just always about more and more and more, but really for no good reason. I mean, it’s capitalism at it’s finest if we just really boil it down to what it’s about.
It’s more and more and more and that mentality for me as an introvert, as a highly sensitive person led me straight into a deep dark pit of ugly burnout. I was in the burnout. I actually took a sabbatical away from the group practice because I was about to flush it down the toilet. I didn’t want to fall flush it down the toilet. My family needed the money. So how am I going to make this work? It was during that sabbatical that I really kind of recovered one and also connected to what felt true to me, which was that the way I had been taught to do this was kind of a bunch of bullshit.
I was like, no, this isn’t right. If this is how you have to do it, if this is what it looks like to be ambitious and to be successful, then I’m out. And I didn’t want to be out because these conversations and this work is really thrilling for me. So I just decided I am going to find a way to do this that really works for me as a lower energy person, as someone who has boundaries and wants to put my life before my business. What I have discovered is that it is possible to be deeply rested and wildly successful as a business owner but you have to do it in a different way. You have to build your business in a different way.
That’s what I do now. I help other business owners who are hungry for that same conversation. I’m super ambitious. I’m not afraid of success. I want to do more with my career, but I am not willing to do it at the expense of my wellbeing. So I now live in that conversation and I find it a fascinating and thrilling place to hang out.
I love it. That’s actually why I wanted you to come on the podcast to talk about that because I feel like that’s such in sharp contrast to what we normally hear, which is what your experience was in that coaching group. Like you got to hustle harder. Who cares if you’re working 16 hours a day because you’re building this great thing? I think obviously as therapist too, even in the the time I’ve been a therapist the past 15 years, fortunately there is more of a conversation now about self-care as therapists, but I don’t think maybe there’s not that conversation happening as business owners. So yes, I love that you’re bringing that to the table and helping people with that because I think it can be both. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It can be, yes, I can be successful and ambitious and do all these amazing, but I don’t need to burn myself out in the process.
Exactly. Yes. Rest and success are not mutually exclusive. If you feel like they are, you need to take a big step back and do some deep personal work to really figure out why. Why am I aligning with this value them that really doesn’t resonate for me? I mean, again, capitalism, patriarchy. There are some powerful forces that play, especially for women business owners that really contribute to us, sort of playing out the patterns we play out in our lives, in our businesses. We are overgivers. We’re, overfunctioners. We’re a little bit addicted to hard work. We don’t know how to take good care of ourselves. We’re constantly striving for more and more and more in our lives.
I mean, all of this conditioning that we’ve been experiencing since infancy, the minute we come out of the womb, we’re exposed to these big systems and these ideas, they play out in our businesses. So being a business owner who commits to being deeply rested and wildly successful in some ways is an active rebellion because you’re saying no, I’m not going to be a part of these systems that oppress so many people, myself included. I’m going to step outside of the line. I’m going to do this in a different way. I’m going to try to bring as many people as I can with me so that maybe one day this conversation will be the norm and not the exception.
I love that. So what are some of the core things that you end up talking about with your coaching clients? I’m sure there’s probably patterns or the same things come up over and over again that you help people with.
I think the most, at its core for me, this conversation is about unapologetically owning who you are and building a business that is designed to serve you first and everybody else second, especially your clients. And for therapists, this is a pretty radical concept, because as therapists, we are very much conditioned to put our clients above all else in the practice. We are doing this work to heal people. I’ve had so many therapists say to me, “I didn’t sign up to be a therapist for me. I signed up for my clients to help the world.” And I think that’s a broken way of looking at how to be a business builder because I find that people who build their businesses as an expression of who they are and people who create boundaries in their business that align with their needs emotionally, energetically, financially, those are the people who make the greatest impact for the people that they want to serve. They make the greatest impact in the world because they’re doing everything in honor of who they are and what they need.
So the questions that I like to start with all of my business coaching clients are really around getting to know you as a human and as a business owner, getting to know what do you love? What works best for you? What helps you feel most rested? What are your personal financial goals? We’re not doing anything arbitrary here. Every decision we make is going to be really rooted in what you as the business owner really, really want for yourself and for your life. And everything that we build is coming from that place of deep knowing about who I am as a person. Also I think personal branding is perfect for that, you know having a brand.
Think about the people that we admire, Brené brown, Esther Perel. I mean, these are great examples of big, powerful, personal brands, people who are leading with their name. When you lead with your name and who you are, the world’s your oyster. You can do literally anything that you want in your brand and in your business. You can pivot whenever you need to pivot, whenever life circumstances change for you. I think there’s something just so liberating about moving into that space, where you’re leading with your story and your needs versus what your employees need and what your client base needs. Is this making sense?
Yes, absolutely. I wanted to ask you too, what is the, in a practical sense, like when your coaching clients start implementing these things, what does this look like? I know you mentioned setting boundaries, which obviously is huge but I guess I was wondering like the practical applications, what do you see your coaching clients starting to do?
Yes, so again, the first step for me is all about clarifying. I call the first stage of my work this is the clarity stage. We are really going to dig deep to answer these big questions about who you are, what you really want for your career, for yourself, for your family financially. We’re going to do a lot of data gathering in that space. Some people know those answers right away and other people take months and a combination of working with me as their coach, working with their own personal therapist to discover the answers to those questions. Because many of us haven’t given ourselves permission to even ask ourselves those questions for a very long time. So you can’t do anything before you really clarify, who are you and what do you want?
The next phase that we move into is really kind of putting the pieces together to figure out what kind of business model is going to be the best fit for me based on who I am and what I want in my life right now? This is a really practical application. I mean, this is where it starts. Let’s take a look at first of all, what are you good at? Where do you have expertise? What kind of clients do you want to serve? Then how do you want to show up with those clients? How do you want to serve those clients? How do you want to make money? We’re going to take the answers to those questions and really figure out what is the business model that is the most thrilling for you right now?
Some people, it’s always easiest when you’re starting from scratch, when you’re just maybe in private practice and you’re launching into the next phase. That’s the easiest way to do this work. But I think more often than not what happens is therapists move into group practice because for most of us we move group practice simply because that’s what we think comes next. It’s like the lowest hanging apple on the tree. Well, I built a private practice so I guess the next thing I should do is start a group practice because I just have this client overflow. I can hire a new therapist.
I’m realizing that so many of us move into that space before we we do this clarifying work about who we are and what we really want and you end up with a bunch of group practice owners who actually group practice was not the best choice for them. I think I work with a lot of these group practice owners. I’ve had the experience of being this group practice owner, being like, wait a minute, there was another option? Nobody told me that. A personal brand. What is that? I didn’t know that was on the table.
So a lot of the work that I do is with people who have already built something that they want to pivot away from. And that’s a little bit harder because you still have this group that you’re responsible for and you care about, you want to tend to it and then it’s about splitting attention and figuring out how do I really optimize this thing I’ve already created to protect it and all of the people who live inside of it while also making space to really begin to explore and experiment with the business model that I think might be a better fit for me personally?
So it sounds like part of the work that you do is helping people figure out what is the next thing that I could be doing outside of just either group practice or solo practice?
Yes, I think that’s a big question. What is the thing that I meant to do? And it’s why as the years go on, I’m more in love with the personal brand model because leading with a personal brand does position you to do anything that you want. If you want to start with online courses, great, you can do it and this container of the personal brand. If you want to hire some associates who work under you, you can do that under this container. If you want to pivot to intensives, retreats, high ticket offers, you can do that within this container.
And for me, I know I’m a person who always is always going to want to experiment. I get bored easily. I think many ambitious entrepreneurs are the same. We tend to, we do a thing and then we’re like, okay, now I want to create a new thing. So building out a container for yourself that is profitable, has great boundaries and gives you the flexibility to experiment, I think that is, it’s a no-brainer next step for most people who are ready to do something a little bit bigger with their business.
So for folks who may not be familiar with what a personal brand means or what that could look like, can you explain that a little bit?
Yes, absolutely. There’s a lot of different thoughts and opinions about personal branding and what that means. I’ll just speak to what it means for me and then you can Google it and go down the rabbit hole of the 2000 other people who have something to say about this. But for me I realized that I had been, before I started my group practice, and even after I started my group practice, I had a personal brand. I was in the community. People knew my name. I was known as the person who works with sexual pain and sort of medical sex therapy issues.
So I had a personal brand where I was known as the person who talked about this topic, sexual pain, and the community knew me as the person to refer to when they had a patient with sexual pain. And just by networking and talking about myself and developing something that I was an expert at, some area where I had specialty, I had created a personal brand. I didn’t know it at the time, so I didn’t leverage it in the best way, but I was like, oh, organically, I already did that. If you were a person listening to this who networks yourself and has a specialty people know your name, you have a personal brand.
If you’re moving into that more intentionally, I think all it is is you lead with you. You’re not kind of hiding behind. I mean, how many therapists have something with a tree in their business? Which is fine. It’s beautiful, it makes me feel calm, there’s benefit to it, but when you lead with a facade, it’s really hard for you to show up in the business. People are going to know the business name. They’re not going to know Maegan Megginson. They’re going to know the Center for Couples and Sex Therapy.
Now that was a strategic move for me because I didn’t want my group practice to be my personal brand. I wanted it to be something that could exist without me in the coaching space, where I’m moving into who I am and making my business a deep expression of myself. I’m leading with my name. The business name is Maegan. Megginson. Leading with who you are with your name. It doesn’t matter you’re doing it. Doesn’t matter how you’re making money. It’s just all about leading with yourself and letting the world know, this is who I am. This is who I serve. This is what I do. This is what I want to be known for. That’s your personal brand. It’s not that complicated. Within that personal brand, you have again, infinite flexibility in what kind of service as you create, how you bring revenue into the business.
You’re not pigeonholed into any one type of service or offering because you’re just leading with yourself and you, as a person are extremely flexible and variable and unique, and your business will reflect that over the years. I also love to say one more thing about personal branding. I love it because there will never be another you. So it takes the competitive factor out of the equation instantly. When I’m thinking about the center for couples and sex therapy, there’s always the conversation of competition. I mean, not in a competitive way, but it’s like, okay, there are other couples and sex therapists. There are group practices in the community who are doing the same thing.
How do we really position ourselves as the go-to experts? And my Maegan Megginson brand, I’m like, well, there’s no other Maegan Megginson. So I don’t really have to give much thought or attention to how I’m differentiating myself because I’m just me. I think that there is something for me, so relaxing about just letting this business be an organic expression of who I am. So anyways, that’s my long-winded personal explanation of what a personal brand is and why I think it’s so powerful.
Yes, that’s great. I really like how you described that. Any kind of last thoughts or tips for people about if they’re thinking about kind of moving into what’s next phase of life for them, if they’ve already built up a group practice?
I think yes, what I’ll say is this time last year, 18 months ago, I was in some very black or white thinking about my group practice. I knew that I was ready to just blow up my personal brand and I knew that’s where I wanted to go. I was stuck in this thinking of I’m going to have to like shut down the group if I want to grow this thing. It’s one or the other. I can have this, or I can have that. The same way the old me used to think about rest and success. You get to have one or the other. I was in the same thinking about my group.
I’ve worked really hard over the last 18 months to, what I call my grand experiment. Like, can I hire the right team? Can I put the right systems in place so that I am the CEO of the group? It gets one week of attention from me, a quarter and calls, if there’s a big fire or an emergency. Can I make that work because I don’t want to shut this down? I love what I’ve created. I’m very proud of this. I love the work that we’re doing in the community. I didn’t know if it was possible. I have discovered it’s totally possible. That black or white thinking was just me being a little bit tired and not quite sure of the path ahead. So my parting words for any group practice owners listening to this conversation who know they are meant for something outside of their group is to hire now. Don’t wait, don’t put it off, don’t be afraid to take out a loan or to do it.
If you need a capital investment, get capital investment. Most other businesses have to do that when they’re are growing. They have to take money from outside sources in order to grow. Group practice owners are really scared of that and you shouldn’t be. If you have a growth plan, if you know that your market is capable of sustaining your group with more clients, hire the right people to do the parts of group practice ownership that don’t fill you up so that you can create space to do something that is just solely for you. I think the world will be a better place for it.
That’s great advice. If folks want to get in touch with you, if they want to connect with you about your business coaching, what’s the best way for them to reach you?
Best way to reach me is via my website, maeganmegginson.com. Join my email list. That is where I do most of my connecting with my people. I am not active on social media. Really taking this social media free business thing to heart because the longer I do it, the better it feels. So go to my website, hop on my email list or just send me a note. I would love to connect with you.
Amazing. Thank you so much, Maegan. It’s been great talking with you.
Great talking with you too. Thanks Alison.
Thank you so much to Brighter Vision for being a sponsor of this podcast. I have been a Brighter Vision customer since 2016 and have always been really happy with my service. The tech support is great. They’re quick to get back to me and make changes to my website. We’re actually in the process right now of kind of revamping my original website because it is now five years old. So they’ve also been great with that process as well. So definitely check out the special they have going on right now over at brightervision.com/joe.
I really hope you enjoyed that interview. Maegan was so lovely to talk to. And if you’re looking for support for your own group practice and how do you delegate and how do you work less hours so you can also be well rested without sacrificing your income or the success of your business, please consider joining us in our membership community called Group Practice Boss. We help group practice owners navigate all of the challenges of being the boss and continuing to scale up their practices. You can learn more and sign up at practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss.
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This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.