If you could travel to the past to when you started your business, what advice would you give yourself? Why should you strive to be clear on your offer? What can you start implementing now?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok celebrates the Practice of the Practice’s 700th Episode!
- Don’t be afraid to start small
- Be clear on the offer
- Get consistent sooner
- Be mindful of the journey
Don’t be afraid to start small
One piece of advice I would have given myself, or would give myself if I was to go back, is that there is no shame in starting small. That whole idea that “the riches are in the niches” is so true when you find the right niche. (Joe Sanok)
When people start businesses, want to get fit, or try to make any change in their lives, they want to start by making a huge impact and going straight to success.
However, it is okay – and even encouraged – to start small.
Focus your time on finding your niche, and work with that, instead of jumping onto the first thing that comes your way.
Try not to get worked up over the numbers early on, and rather concentrate on serving and building your niche.
Be clear on the offer
I wish I had structured out my email course and what I was offering through the email list a lot sooner. (Joe Sanok)
Be clear on what it is that you are offering your audience.
Right from the start, work hard to flesh out exactly what it is that you are helping your audience with, how will you help them, and what are you providing as tools along the way.
Try not to sell too hard too early. Listen to your audiences’ needs, learn from their behaviors, and try to create products and services that cater to them.
Get consistent sooner
Being consistent with your work is one of the greatest investments of time and energy that you can put into your new business and venture.
That consistency over time of being a reliable information source helped me grow when I decided [to commit] and I wish I could go back and tell myself that. (Joe Sanok)
Be mindful of the journey
Each phase has its stressors and opportunities. Each aspect and transition of your business has value to share and lessons to teach you.
Although you are working towards a specific goal and working to achieve a dream, it is important to be present in the moment, and appreciate your progress.
Sit with the unfolding of the process, and allow that to be a part of your journey alongside the successes that you have and will experience.
Books mentioned in this episode:
Useful Links mentioned in this episode:
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- Listen to Smart Passive Income
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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.
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[JOE SANOK] This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session 700.
What, 700 episodes, are you kidding me? It’s a lot of time to put into something. I mean, you got to like something a lot if you’re going to put in 700 plus hours. I mean, clearly, like it’s more than just an hour per episode, especially early on in that first several hundred episodes. I was doing the show notes, the editing, the design for each one and then I realized the error of my ways. But welcome to the 700th episode. If this is your first-time listening welcome, we help people start, grow, scale, and exit their private practices. But I think even bigger than that, we hope to inspire mental health professionals to play bigger than maybe they think they can.
That often comes out in private practice but then even as people grow their private practices, they may want to do different things outside of that; e-courses membership communities, helping the world in a different way through consulting. It is so exciting for me to see all of you just get so excited about growing practices, growing ideas, doing big things. So today it’s a day of celebration, but it’s also a day of information. I don’t want you to just hear this and have it be a celebration. Like I’m going to talk through some of the things that I would’ve totally done differently if I had, could go back and start talking to Joe from 2012 when we started Practice of the Practice. So yes, 10 years ago we started Practice of the Practice. We, I started, there was no we back then.
So it’s really interesting to reflect back on 10 years of work through the website and through the podcast and through putting on conferences and all the friendships and partnerships that have come through this. There’s just some really cool people. So I just want to start with man, when you have a dream for something, it oftentimes doesn’t unfold how you think. I think early on, I felt like I just wanted to become Pat Flynn right away. I loved the smart and do love the Smart Passive income podcast. Pat’s been so gracious with my book launch and being on the show and having me on his show. I listened to a Pat Flynn who was just exploding in the business world. One piece of advice I would have given myself or would give myself if I was to go back, is that there’s no shame in starting small. That whole idea that the riches are in the niches is so true when you find the right niche.
So realizing that Pat Flynn is talking about passive income for anybody, but his ideal listener they may only make a few hundred dollars a year in their first year whereas my ideal listener, if I help you raise your rates and get a couple extra clients, that’s thousands of dollars per person. So even just understanding that difference between types of audiences, like would you rather have a really niche audience and have fewer people that follow you, but you can make the same amount of money, but just really dig in or do you want to be more general and broad and deal with a lot of oftentimes growth mindset problems and things like that?
So one thing I would definitely go back is say, yes, when things are feeling like you’re banging your head against the wall and is this podcast or website or anything going to take off, or what is taking off even look like, I mean, there’s still times that I look at our numbers and I say, I feel like we’re producing something so amazing here. It seems like every therapist in the United States, in private practice or not, should tune into this. Business professionals should love this but the reality is I’ve got my people. We’ve got our solid several thousand people that are always involved, always connecting and then there’s more that are on the outskirts, maybe pop in, pop out.
Then there’s more that our, say on our email list and follow us loosely, follow Practice of the Practice loosely and that’s okay. It’s really okay until it’s not okay. I mean, when you’re launching something there may be times where it just feels like nobody bought anything and it’s frustrating. That happens but then we reconfigure, we say we have good information from that. I mean, the first thing I would say is like, Joe, don’t get so worked up over the numbers early on, really work on serving those people super early.
When I look back, I wish I had really structured out my email course and what I was offering through the email list a lot sooner. When I started working with Jamie Masters, she, as a consultant to me, really helped me think through what was it that I was offering through that email. I mean, so what’s the outcome and how are we going to take people through a very clear series? So when someone opts in to our 28-step checklist, what are those first 10 emails? What are they getting out of that? How are they starting a practice? Walking them through marketing and logistics and staying organized and having it really be a course, rather than just a newsletter or updates or a hodgepodge of emails to really walk through a transformation for people. So if I had done that earlier, I think people would’ve really bought in earlier to their own sense of self, their own sense of growth.
Then when I also think about the email course, I definitely tried to sell a little bit too early rather than just let my audience say, here’s what we want. I would try new things and that was fun to do. One of the other things I think I would’ve told myself is get consistent sooner. Early, the first bit I wasn’t doing the podcast every single week. I wasn’t committing to exactly what the audience could rely on me for, but now, or even when I started doing the podcast every single week, that level of content made the numbers just go through the roof. So just that consistency over time of being a reliable information source really helped me, I think, grow when I decided that, but I wish I could go back and just tell myself that.
There’s some people that left voicemails for me and for the Practice of the Practice team. So we’re going to hear some of those voicemails right now of people just making comments or sharing what they’ve learned over the past 700 episodes. So here are, here’s you, the audience. I posted it out on Facebook and our membership communities and let people know that if they wanted to leave a message that they absolutely could.
[LYDIA] Hey, it’s Lydia your sister in Traverse City, Michigan. Congratulations, Joe. I’m really proud of you.
[CORDELIA MILER] Hi, this is Cordelia Miller Muhammad from Illinois. Congratulations to Joe and his team for making it to episode 700 in the podcast world. Thanks for all the valuable content provided over the years.
[JULIAN] Hey, it’s Julian from Fall River, Massachusetts. This podcast has given me the knowledge and confidence to start and grow my private practice. Now I am in a position where I am doing the same for other clinicians. It has been invaluable. Keep up the great work.
[JEN] Hey, Practice of the Practice. This is Jen in Boulder, Colorado. I want to say thank you and congratulations on 700 episodes. I started out with a well-paid hobby that was meaning to be a career and I now run a thriving group practice. You guys are awesome. Keep holding up our community. Thank you.
[ALISON] Hey Joe, it’s Alison per down here in Asheville. I just wanted to say, congratulations. This is huge. I’m really excited for you. You know what, yours was the very first podcast I was ever even on. So thank you so much for introducing me to what it is to be a guest and to help give me the confidence to have my own podcast. I hope you are celebrating in a way that feels really good and fun. I’ll talk to you later.
[ADAM] In a world full of mildly entertaining podcasts, featuring thinkers, thought leaders and thinkers who thought they were leaders, one podcast stands out among them all; the Practice of the Practice, Joe Sanok. Yoh Joe it’s, Adam for Podcast in Business School. Congrats on 700 episodes. This time it’s for real.
[LAURIE] Hey Joe, it’s Laurie from C Hub calling in to say, congratulations on your 700 episode. What an accomplishment? I’ve listened to, probably about 690 of those episodes and the most important takeaway is the four-day work week. Oh, wait, can you hear that? It’s a sea Otter. I know your daughters love sea otters and I’m a psychologist that gets to work with sea otters. How is that possible? Because I implement a four-day work week. Thank you for all the work you do, Joe, and a special shout out to your whole team at Practice of the Practice.
[TOE] Hey, Practice of the Practice. I wanted to say that this is Toe Barrett from Kalamazoo, and I’m excited for you guys launching your 700 podcast. So congratulations. Just super excited about what you’ve accomplished Mr. Sanok, and all the people that you’re impacting with your advice, your insight, and just giving people the tools to stand on their own and just to gain strength in their lives as individuals and as practitioners. So thank you. Congratulations. Take care.
[LEXIE LEE] Hi, this is Lexi Lee from Weatherford, Texas, and congratulations, Practice of the Practice on episode number 700. Joe, you are amazing. I have been following you for years and my practice is well off the ground and doing so much better because I have listened to you and I am so appreciative of how generous you are with your community. Thank you. Again, congratulations.
[CAPRI] Hey Joe, it’s Capri from Sedalia, Missouri, and I have learned, and also been better equipped to approach different topics from your podcast. Man, I’ve learned so much over the years from you, but my favorite thing about you is how personable you are. I remember when I very first reached out to you. I’ve been in private practice seven years now. So it was about grasshopper. I want to say in me picking a phone system that I could afford just starting out, I messaged you and you actually answered like a real person. I’m pretty sure it was even you. I’ve been following you ever since, been super supportive and love your four-day work week book, supportive of that. I also support the four-day work week as that’s what I work. I also do proposal like the Italians. I brought that back with me, so wishing you nothing but continued success and thanks for being awesome.
[KATE] Hey, this is Kate Erickson from Puerto Rico, and I’m so excited to be hopping on the mic to wish you Joe, a happy episode, 700, what an amazing accomplishment and such a great milestone. So happy for you. Keep doing what you’re doing, my friend.
I just wanted to say congratulations to Joe and Practice of the Practice on their 700th episode. Just thank you for helping to elevate our profession and challenging people within our profession to take it to a whole nother level and also providing all the amazing content that we get from the podcast. It’s just providing so much equal access to everybody who might not always be able to pay for that type of information. It’s just doing such an amazing service to our profession. So congratulations. Thank you, Joe. Thank yo,u Practice of the Practice.
[CHRISTINA] Hey Joe, it’s Christina from in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Congrats on your 700th episode. What I’ve learned from this podcast is to keep dreaming bigger. Thanks again for this podcast.
[JESSICA] Hey, it’s Jessica Tappana with Simplified SEO Consulting. Congratulations on your 700th episode. Wow, what an achievement? Thank you for being an inspiration to therapist all around the country and the world, and for giving us the confidence to follow our dreams. If it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t have simplified and we are just so grateful that we do and for everything that you’ve done for me personally, and just for so many other therapists that you’ve spoken to. So congratulations again. Seven hundred, wow, that’s amazing.
[JOE] It’s absolutely incredible to hear all of those kind comments. It was great the very first voice memo that came through was my sister. I see Lydia almost every single day because we live in the same neighborhood. My nieces go to the same school as my kids and we walk to school and pick up our kids together and our kids love playing together. It’s really an amazing friendship to be able to be so close to my sister and to have that time and space, to be able to be around for my nieces and just have fun together and to live life in a different way than maybe most families get to live it. So that was such a special thing that that was the very first voice memo that came through congratulating the team on the 700 episodes.
You know, this really does take a team. This is one thing that I’m going to walk through as something I wish I would’ve done earlier, but also so that you understand our workflow for the podcast, because for you to understand that maybe that applies to your podcast, maybe it will apply to just the way you think about your private practice. So my goal is that I can show up and create content and then walk away and that everything now is automated after the recording. So right now, I’m in Zencaster, actually, if you use promo code Joe for Zencaster, you can get six months free. We created a partnership with them for all of our podcasters to get six months for free.
So I go onto Zencaste, even before that people will schedule through Calendly to be on the show after they’ve been approved by me and then Jess makes sure that they get the Zencaster link, make sure that they’re prepped. So there’s some prep ahead of time that Jess, my director of details does, then I show up for the show and I always double check to make sure it’s pulling from the right mic. There’s been a couple times when I had my AirPods in and it just didn’t like, it kept connected to the AirPods as my mic. So I double check those things. I then do the recording, which I’m doing right now. When I’m done with this, I’ll copy the link from Zencaster. I’ll put that into a shared Google Sheet, which is where Sam R, our podcast producer and Mitchell, my sound engineer, they go in there and that’s where we have notes for everything.
So within there we have the date of the release, we have the episode number, those things are, we have codes, so it just repeats throughout so that we don’t have to be typing those in. So that saves a bunch of time by having that. I then label the title of the show. Josh, who works on our show notes and backend, he does some SEO research to see if the title that I selected is the best title afterwards. Then I put any comments in there. For example, if I have a cough or like at the beginning of this episode I screwed up and said, this is the Practice of the Practice podcast episode 100. So I’ll put a note in the Google sheet for Mitch to say, “Hey, cut that out.” Actually, he’ll see that, because I’ll leave a big space in there.
So making sure that everything’s automated. So as those voicemails came through, Jess is then forwarding those to Mitchell. He also has access to the Speak Pipe account where all of that’s housed for a typical show. Mitchell then walks through and listens to it. Here’s where there needs to be changes and edits. He puts in the music, he puts in the ads. He also notices if there’s things that I haven’t recorded or need to like, “Hey Joe we need some Ask Joe’s. Looks like you’re getting close to when it’s due.” So I’m having my team remind me to make sure that I do the job that I say I’m going to do also. I’m not high and mighty. It’s, hey, if Joe doesn’t do something, don’t let me drop the ball.
Then when he’s done with it, he then submits it to Sam R who’s our head of the podcasting wing of Practice of the Practice. She oversees all 17 of the podcasts that we have with the Practice of the Practice podcast network as well. She’s developing all sorts of other support services for podcasters and is really in that world. Over the last couple years she has dove in, she’s joined communities of podcast producers of being able to really think through the strategy of podcasting and to stay current with it, what are the trends? What are the price points, all those things.
She’s overseeing it all and then she coordinates the team. Right now, it’s primarily Josh, who’s doing the show notes, but we also have Adrian and Miranda and Claire that are all working behind the scenes in Cape Town, South Africa making sure that everything fits together. So then the show notes are done. Then we have a transcription done that helps with SEO. Also if people want that transcription, so that’s embedded in those show notes as well. If there’s any things such as videos I mentioned, links I mentioned, books I mentioned, they put in those affiliate links and things like that into the show notes.
Then they also coordinate directly with the guests to say, “Hey, your episode’s going live on this date. Here’s the episode number. Here’s how you can promote it.” Then it goes live. Miranda oversees all of our social media. It goes live on our stories. We push it out to Facebook. We put it into our Meet Edgar where it’s cycling through over time in regards to social media automation that we’re promoting. Really, so when I’m done recording, when I hit stop, as long as I put this link into the Google Sheet and then title the episode, my work is done, but that’s where the work really begins with the podcast support team.
The big lesson there is you can do the things that are most valuable if you have a team behind you. So for every episode, depending on the sponsorship we’re making quite a bit of money off of sponsorships. So if I can do a fourth episode per week, because I now have the time and the energy, because I’m not putting it into maybe the back end side of running a podcast, we can then create more financials. We can have more exposure. We can move faster than our competition. I don’t really believe in competition. People like whether it’s ZinnyMe or Abundance Practice Building or all these great podcasts that are out there, I don’t see them as competition, but if we’re going to do our best to just stand out, we have to keep raising the bar for ourselves and others.
So these people that are friends. Sure, I think that we all serve counselors in our own way, in our own differential, we differentiate differently from each other. I want Practice of the Practice to continue to stand out so that the people that are attracted to the work that I and the team does, then they can get attracted to that. I can put the energy into those biggest picture things. But even outside of our practices to think about where are you putting your best energy? I think I’ve said this before. I remember at the beginning of winter of 2021/2022, I got the snowblower out. I was doing it, our first major snow came down and it took like two hours to snow blow this driveway. It felt like two hours. It probably took an hour, but I was like, I would much rather be with my daughters.
The plow guy charges 30 bucks per plow. I don’t care if it takes him five minutes to do that. I just don’t have to plow my driveway. So to just say to myself for the season I’m going to have a plow person. I think it cost me $200 or $300 for the whole season to not have to snow blow. There were days when maybe it was done later in the day that I would’ve preferred, but I didn’t have to do it. So to say, I want to get my best energy to my kids as I’m raising them. I want to volunteer on the playground. I want to volunteer over at the food pantry with my friend, Paul on most ever every on most, every Monday morning. I want to be able to have time for friends and energy for friends and still do really good work. That’s a good takeaway for any of us to think through what is it that, that we really want to get out of life?
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[JOE] I think the last thing that I would really say if I were to go back would be really be mindful of the journey. I know I hear so many successful people say that like the journey is the journey, but really each phase has its stresses and its opportunities and areas that you can personally grow or you can attach or detach from outcomes. This last year, as many of you know has been a crazy year for me. Actually, this summer, we’re doing a whole series called how I got through it where I interview people who have been through really tough things, really in a lot of ways for my own development because this last year of uncoupling and being an unexpected single dad and so many just things that I won’t talk publicly about.
It was really crappy and to work through that and to partially work through that publicly and say what’s my story. How did I go through it? That’s going to be part of kicking off the how I got through it series, because I think it’s important to tell those stories. I think it’s important to process it and to give each other permission to do that. But that idea of being present within things, even just this morning, I posted on Instagram. I was folding laundry. I have a sick daughter home, had to cancel some podcast interviews because of my daughter’s orthodontist appointment got changed and then, because she had something important at school that she wanted us, we were able to get in early, but then my day just got wrecked.
I think I had four interviews today that we had to reschedule, which I hate doing, but it’s my daughters have to come first. So I’m folding a couple loads of laundry while my sick daughter’s just sleeping. I just looked at the laundry and was just so grateful for it. I was thinking about how the entire universe is in this laundry, the idea that I’m taking something that was dirty and unusable and making it clean again, and then I’m taking that clean thing and I’m organizing it and making it something that I can actually use and find quickly, and that is nice and feels orderly in my house. And that it’s also something that’s going to clothe someone else’s body for a whole day. It’s going to keep them warm and is going to keep them safe and secure, like our core needs.
That’s in laundry too. Then even just being able to see, like we have clothes, we have options, we have access to clean water, all these things just in that laundry. I really had this sense of, yes, we can get frustrated by the things in our life, or we can really find where’s the deeper meaning here? I think that when we try to do that, as we’re growing and struggling and pushing our practices or growing our podcasts, there can be a tendency to want to fast forward to the end and just feel that success but more and more I’m really trying to sit with the struggle, to sit with the unfolding and the frustrations and the banging my head against the wall and to allow that to be as much a part of my journey in business as well.
So I am so absolutely grateful to have the team that I have, to have our consultants, LaToya and Ashley and Alison and Whitney that are just helping so many of you with either one-on-one consulting or with Group Practice Boss, or just in all the masterminds that we are able to offer. If you do want to work with them, practiceofthepractice.com/apply is where you can apply to have a free strategy consulting session, and then decide if you want to do consulting. But to have these people that are just reshaping the mental wellness industry is so exciting.
And to have this whole support team in Cape Town that supports the marketing side and clinicians and logos and podcasts is just amazing. Then our sound engineers that are here in Traverse City and to have Dana out in Colorado as our accountability coach and Jess as our director of details it’s really amazing to have this team come together to support clinicians at every single phase of practice. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for following the work and giving us feedback and what you want to hear about and what you want to learn. It really is an honor that this gets to be the career and the phase of my career that I get to serve you in this way and join you in this way and help push you in ways of thinking that maybe you wouldn’t have in the past. So
I so appreciate you as a listener and us. Here’s the 700 more episodes. I did the math on when we’re going to hit episode a thousand with four episodes a week, and it’s like a year and a half away. So I guess maybe we’ll even add a fifth. Who knows? We’ll see. Where does it end?
We also couldn’t do this show. It wouldn’t be worth it to without our sponsors. Our amazing sponsors are people that we vet, that we have relationships with, that we really learn with together. Our friends over at Noble have some very exciting news to share their goal is to help mental health professionals serve more people in less time, support a worthy cause and earn passive income. They’re on a mission to add 50,000 mental health professionals for their platform over the next few months. If you join Noble right now, you’ll be able to continue using your Noble account for free forever. So learn more over at www.noble.health/joe. Again, that’s www.noble.health/joe.
Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing day. I’ll talk to you soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for that intro music. 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 producers, the publishers or guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.