Start a private practice month: Staying Organized when Starting a Practice with Danielle Swimm | POP 845

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A photo of Danielle Swimm is captured. She is a group practice owner and entrepreneurial therapist. Danielle is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Are you soon launching a new private practice? Do you need some tips on how to stay organized? How is organization a key component to running a successful business?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about how to stay organized when starting a practice with Danielle Swimm.

Podcast Sponsor: Level Up Week

March 20th – 23rd is Level Up Week, and we are offering over 20 webinars focused on helping you Level Up totally for FREE.

We have guests like Valerie Harris, talking about how to grow your practice with insurance. We have speakers from the Speaker Lab. We’re going to talk with you about the new public speaking gigs, as well as Experts on how to get a TEDx talk as well as every single phase of practice.

We’re talking about five simple marketing techniques you’d have to master and how to add virtual assistants to your practice. We have Profit First professionals coming in to teach you how to grow your money.

Whether you’re starting a practice, growing a group practice, or expanding to do multiple streams of income, Level Up week is for you. Mark your calendars, March 20th-23rd

See all of the webinars that you can register for over at

Meet Danielle Swimm

A photo of Danielle Swimm is captured. She is a group practice owner and entrepreneurial therapist. Danielle is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Danielle Swimm is a group practice owner in Annapolis, Maryland. She became known as the Entrepreneurial Therapist on Instagram where she teaches female therapists about mindset, marketing, and systems to start and scale six-figure plus practices. She is an avid believer that we need a mental health system that values the provider as much as it does the client.

Visit The Entrepreneurial Therapist and connect on Instagram.

In This Podcast

  • Danielle’s tips on starting a practice
  • Why you should care about being organized
  • How to get and stay organized
  • Danielle’s advice to private practitioners

Danielle’s tips on starting a practice

Make space and organize your life for this big change – your new private practice – that’s coming!

[Look] at [which] balls [you] can drop [in] the first four to six months of opening this practice so that you can spend more time and energy getting this thing off of the ground.

Danielle Swimm

Have conversations with your family and with your partner about where you are headed in your professional life with launching the new practice.

How can we make sure that you don’t burn out while you’re opening your practice? … where burnout is happening a lot [is in] transitioning into opening your practice because you’re still managing so many other things in the air.

Danielle Swimm

Let them know how they might best support you while you launch your new business, and you can let them know what you can provide in the months leading up to launching and stabilizing your practice after it’s been made public.

Why you should care about being organized

You might not realize how much support you have when you are working for someone else.

When that changes and you become your own boss, you need to create those systems of structure and support by yourself, for yourself! Effective and flexible organization is the key to doing this.

We really want to convert your energy and get organized early on so that you enjoy being in private practice and you don’t feel like you need to be constantly working so that [you can be] a good therapist when you’re showing up for your clients that are coming into your practice.

Danielle Swimm

How to get and stay organized

  • Keep track of taking notes: get your standard notes down to three minutes or less. Use checkboxes in your template for standard progress notes.
  • Get admin-organized: have your basic admin clear and easily comprehensible from the opening of your practice until you can hire extra assistance.

If we can get the admin system organized now, it’s really going to help [later on].

Danielle Swimm
  • Organizing your schedule by using blocks: admin, marketing, move-the-needle, and finance

What would your dream work week look like? Imagine your perfect week that allows for both flexibility and progress – how can you bring this to fruition?

Danielle’s advice to private practitioners

It is totally possible! Launching and running a successful private practice is completely possible, and you can do it.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Sponsors mentioned in this episode:

  • Practice of the Practice: Level Up Week

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

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

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

Thanks For Listening!

Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] March 20th through 23rd is Level Up Week. We are offering over 20 webinars focused on helping you level up totally for free. We have guests like Valerie Harris talking about how to grow your practice with interns, we have speakers from the Speaker Lab who are going to talk with you about getting public speaking gigs, as well as experts on how to get a TEDx talk and every single phase of practice. We’re talking about five simple marketing techniques you have to master, how to add virtual assistance to your practice, and we have profit first professionals coming in to teach you how to grow your money. Whether you’re starting a practice, growing a group of practice, or expanding to do multiple streams of income, Level Up Week is for you. Mark your calendars March 20th through 23rd and see all of the webinars that you can register for over at Again, that’s This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 845. I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. I hope your year has been kicking off in an amazing way. If you missed our previous five or six last episodes, you’re going to want to go back and check him out. On episode 840, we had our Ask the Expert with Pat Flynn, after that, we had Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, then John Lee Dumas, then I did a Ask Joe all around how much an owner should get paid. I compared Profit First to a private practice bottle where you’re doing a percentage. Then we had Les McKeown talking about how to have predictable success, so a huge lineup of people that we just had. We are kicking off a series over the next month or so that’s all around starting a private practice. This month is going to be exclusively around that startup phase. I know a ton of you from our Instagram, Facebook, from just our email list are starting practices this year, and we want to make sure that you get all the tools that you need. Throughout these episodes, you’ll hear about different things that we have but right from the get-go, want to let you know that we have our 28-step checklist that is all around helping you stay organized around starting your practice. You can grab that over at, that’s [NEW] Also we have a free e-course for you with videos and all sorts of downloads over at So if you’re just starting a practice, you’re going to want to have that as your guide outside of this month of amazing interviews. We know that the world needs more private practices. We need people to thrive in private practice and to not just limb along but to actually do really well financially and to create that heart-centered business that matches your values as well. That’s what I’m really excited about today is we’re going to have Danielle Swimm, who is a therapist in Annapolis, Maryland. She’s a group practice owner and also runs the Entrepreneurial Therapist, which is a consulting company where she helps primarily female therapists start and scale their private practices. She’s passionate about helping female entrepreneurs push beyond their fears and learn mindset, marketing and systems. She’s a mom of three year, of a 3-year-old and in her free time hikes and reads. Danielle, welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. So excited to have you here on the show. [DANIELLE SWIMM] Thank you, Joe. This is surreal. I’m so happy to be here talking with you today. [JOE] Well, hiking and reading, let’s start there. What are you reading right now? What’s your jam? [DANIELLE] Right now I’m actually finishing the book Girl Boss, which I’m surprised I hadn’t read so far. It’s actually, I would recommend it. It’s like a memoir and it does give some business tips through it, but it’s been a good read so far. [JOE] Yeah, that’s awesome. I just finished storms Can’t Hurt the Sky: A Buddhist Approach to Divorce, and it was like a year ago, I couldn’t really read it, it was too fresh. But it was really, it was good, it brought some things up and then I texted my therapist and said, can I come in for some EMDR? It was really helpful. It just felt like, okay, like I’m healing through a lot of things and it was just, felt very mindful and good. So [DANIELLE] Yeah, I’ll have to check that out. [JOE] Well, what hikes do you do you like doing in your area? [DANIELLE] I live in Annapolis and there’s actually a great trail right by me. I have a 3-year-old, so she’s not at that stage yet where she can hike that well, but when I don’t have her I will like take my dog and I’ll go on that and I do some runs on the trails and sometimes I just go hike depending on what I need. But it’s nice. I’m on airplane mode. I get a lot of ideas for work when I’m doing that too. I’m sure you can relate. But yeah, it’s very meditative and then it’s good exercise too. [JOE] I think that’s so smart that you put your phone on airplane mode. I do that so often also, or there’s this playlist on on Spotify that it’s all like this, I forget which level of hurts it is, but it’s supposed to help you concentrate more. So I’ll turn that on while I’m doing email and it’s just like woo-woo sound. But it like, it’s supposed to help your brain align with focus and stuff, so, those little life hacks to help you get more done when you are working and then step back when you’re not. Well I want to hear more about your story around starting your practice. So this month we’re, as you heard at the intro we’re talking all about starting a practice. What’s your story around why you started your practice to begin with? [DANIELLE] Well, I always knew I wanted to work for myself. My dad was a small business owner and so I really saw that growing up how he could really like take me and my sister to school because he was in charge of his own schedule. So I always knew no matter what industry I was going in, I was going to be an entrepreneur. I was one of those just born that way. Then when I went into the mental health field, I really was motivated. I think so many therapists can relate to this, graduating from grad school with all the student loan debt and looking at the full-time job offer I had, which was at a community mental health agency, which was making I think $35,000 a year and I, the student loans had kicked in, I’m making this amount of money, I’m seeing about 10 clients a day, it was a crazy workload. I was also driving for Uber just to make rent and to start paying off the student loans and I knew in my heart that I was meant for something so much bigger. I wanted to have a bigger impact being a therapist. I knew I would burn out if I kept up with that schedule and that workload for a really long time and so private practice was always the goal for me. I got into private practice about two years after graduating is when I finally was able to open it and I haven’t looked back. It’s almost, it’ll be five years old in March, so I’ve been doing this for five years, which is really cool. [JOE] Now I want to ask about that waiting two years before, after grad school, would you recommend that people delay starting a private practice? Do you think there’s value in having time in non-profits, networking, getting that experience? Or like what would you recommend with people that want to start say right out of grad school? [DANIELLE] I get that question a lot actually. It’s such a good question. So I’ve worked with a lot of therapists who are not fully licensed yet and are opening their practice and are full with private pay clients. So it absolutely can be done. I don’t think you have to wait. Now every state is different as you know so it all depends on the laws. The only reason I waited honestly is because it was hard for me to find a supervisor who would agree to supervising me in private practice. I had one and then it just didn’t work out with her so once it didn’t work out with her, I was like what, I only have a year left, let me just learn everything I can clinically be really confident going out on my own and that’s the route I took. Either way, I mean you could do it right out of grad school or you could wait but really figuring out what the best scenario is for you and feeling confident clinically I think is the most important piece to it. [JOE] I think that there’s so much networking and getting to be known as a therapist, especially if you’re in a community that you’ve been in for a while, maybe you used to not be a therapist and you’re known for something else. So to be able to network and be on local committees or things like that on somebody else’s dime while obviously still doing whatever job you have at a nonprofit or CMH can also be beneficial to just get known in the community without having it to be while you’re growing the practice full-time. Maybe you just do it a few days a week or something like that. [DANIELLE] Exactly. [JOE] Now, what would you say are some of the first steps that for you or for the people that you work with that are really important when you’re getting started? I know that the main focus of our episode is talking about how to be more productive and organized in private practice, which I definitely want to get to those three ways that you want to hit on, but when people are just getting going, what are a few tips you have for them as they start their practices? [DANIELLE] I think really organizing your life for this big change that’s coming. I was working two different jobs and starting my practice as my third job and so this is a lot that you’re taking on at this point in your life and really looking at what balls can I drop the first four to six months of opening this practice so that I can focus more time and energy on getting this thing off the ground and eventually leave your full-time job if that’s the goal but really having conversations with your family and your partner and buckling down those first few months if you are juggling a full-time schedule family stuff. Like I think the biggest realization for me was life doesn’t stop just because you’re opening a business. So getting really clear on how can we make sure you don’t burn out while you’re opening your practice because this is what I see a lot and I’m sure Joe, you do too, where burnout is happening a lot like transitioning into opening your practice because you’re still managing so many other things in the air and your practice is requiring a lot of time and energy because it’s so new it needs a lot of that. [JOE] I think that so often people underestimate how much work it is and that whole idea of staying organized during it to be able to say, I know I have to do this thing but not yet. To me it can feel like, oh my gosh there’s so much to do. I have to build a website, I have to do SEO, I have to network with people, and it feels like every single one of those tasks is the most important thing right now, which can feel super overwhelming, whereas if you have an idea of quarter one, here’s what I need to get done then I’m going to work on this, then I’m going to do some blogging and some SEO or whatever those next steps are that you choose, you can then say, I’m going to put those ideas on the back burner, put it in a to-do list in Trello or however you stay organized and then you can give yourself permission to say, sit down and watch Netflix after the kids are in bed instead of feel like you have to do all these things for your private practice. [DANIELLE] Yeah, exactly. Like the business isn’t going anywhere. We have time. So I think a lot of therapists that go into private practice are high achievers and so they put a ton of pressure on themselves to get it off the ground and to get it full right away. We really, it’s a marathon and so we want to make sure you’re going at the pace that you’re able to sustain for the long run so you don’t burn out and give up early on. [JOE] Yeah, yeah. Now you have three ways to really stay organized in private practice. Let’s talk through first why should people care about being organized? Like I think you and I probably have our own opinions on it and I’m sure that the listeners are like, well, well of course I want to be organized, but what’s the value of really having a strong organization plan rather than just saying, well I’m going to keep a to-do list on my whiteboard or something like that? [DANIELLE] I think you really don’t realize how much support you have when you’re working for someone else. So if you’re coming from a group practice or community mental health agency or maybe you’re doing crisis work, you really don’t realize how much support they’re giving you in that role until you go out on your own and then you’re bombarded with, you’re a one-woman, one-man show running everything. So if you aren’t organized it becomes overwhelming really, really quickly with having to take on admin role, marketing role, finance role, big picture CEO role if you’re looking to scale down the road. So we really want to conserve your energy and get organized early on so that you enjoy being in private practice and you don’t constantly feel like you need to be working so that you are a good therapist when you’re showing up for your clients that are coming into your practice. [JOE] I love that idea of thinking about just how much support you have when you work for somebody else and that so much of that is going to be wearing multiple hats early on in your business, but not staying there, not staying in that multiple hats and preserving that energy towards something bigger. So how do people stay organized? [DANIELLE] When I’m working with therapists, the biggest thing that I think most therapists are saying is they always feel like they’re behind on their notes in private practice. That’s one of the first things that comes up is I feel like I’m behind on notes or I’m not getting them done when I’m in the office and then they pile up. So notes is like the first thing I really want therapists to look at. Doing your notes in private practice is going to be very different than doing your notes if you are working in a group practice or agency because it’s just a different flow and you don’t have three or four different providers eyes on your notes like you do when you’re in a community setting. So it just flows really differently. So one of the tips I like to give a therapist and I run this in my own group practice myself, is we want to get your notes down to about three minutes. So if we can get your standard progress note to under three minutes, this will help you stay on top of it. One of the most brilliant ways to do this, and I’ve seen a lot of people talk about this to use check boxes in your template for your standard progress note. This takes away the, you shouldn’t be writing two to three paragraphs for most sessions in private practice. If we can get most of the information in check boxes, it will help to make sure that you’re remembering what to include in your session note. Most EHRs now allow you to repopulate the check boxes. So this is brilliant in my opinion because one of the things that I started implementing when I realized I was falling behind and just really unmotivated to do notes was before I hop into a session, I will pull up the client’s file and I will hit repopulate. So all the check boxes are already checked and the note is more than halfway done before the session even begins. Then once the session is over, I can go back, I can move some of the check boxes depending on how the session went and then you’re only writing maybe three to four sentences in the paragraph section because most of the information is in the check box. This takes away a lot of your energy and time and this way when you have 10-ish minutes in between sessions, only three of those are spent on notes. So then you can go to the bathroom, you can take some deep breaths and the biggest thing that if we’re being honest that’s holding therapist back from the notes is scrolling in between sessions. I’m just as guilty as everyone else on this, but if you can have your phone on airplane mode while you’re in session, have these check boxes up and done before the session begins, it really just creates that momentum where it’s done instantly within a couple minutes of session ending and then you can take that break and move on to the next client. Then once you have a good system for the standard progress note, then that takes away a lot of the time that you’re spending outside of the office doing notes or worrying about following up on things. It also makes you a really good clinician because it’s really fresh in your mind as to what just happens and they don’t pile up at the end of the week. [JOE] Yeah, yeah. I know for myself when I was in private practice, I would often schedule people on the 45 minutes instead of on the hour. So I had to end on time because I knew I had someone else coming in and so I might do two or three people on the 45 minutes and then give myself 15 minutes to write those three people’s notes. So it forced me to quickly get it done and then run to the bathroom and all these things or at the end of the night I would be, have three to five sessions that I had gone through and then be like, I want to go home and say I have to do these notes before I go home and just set a timer and be like don’t overthink it. Like get the correct things in there. Of course, we want to have good clinical notes, but also so often people think this has to be a full on term paper. It’s like no, you’re not capturing their entire life story in here. [DANIELLE] Especially with the open notes rule clients now have more access to notes than ever. So we really want to keep it short and sweet with what you’re putting in it because they could request to see it. So we want to keep it very objective, short and sweet and like you’re saying, not write a term paper. I think it’s like we want to have a good system around it but then there’s also going to be these sessions that are really hard where you’re processing trauma or maybe there was a crisis. For me, I need to make sure I’m also giving myself permission not to write the note right after because I need to walk outside to my car to get some of this energy out of me before moving into the next client. So sometimes if we feel like you’re constantly behind on notes, I also want you to ask yourself the question, are you working with the right population? Like, are you dreading doing notes because it’s you’re burning out from maybe doing the trauma work or the more higher acuity clients and then doing the notes brings back all of that? So there’s a lot that can go into that. [LUW] Are you in solo practice and wondering how to get things going, what marketing techniques to do and what the order is that you should get things done? Maybe you want to start a group practice because you’re busting at the seams but you have no idea when is the right time. Or maybe you want a seven-figure multiple location practice that you can grow. Also, maybe you’re even growing beyond that in building e-courses, podcasts, membership communities. No matter what phase of practice you are in, we have something for you at Level Up Week. Level Up Week is March 20th through 23rd, 2023. Again that’s March 20th through 23rd. We have over 20 webinars that are totally free. We have things like how to get a TEDx talk, how to get more public speaking gigs, how to use profit first in your private practice, how to pay yourself. Starting a solo practice panel where we have five successful solo practitioners. We also have essential systems you have to have, how to add virtual assistance, how to add multiple streams of income, supersizing your practice to over 50 clinicians in the five simple marketing techniques every practice has to master. No matter your phase of practice, it could be that moment that you just said to yourself, I need to leave my full-time job and start a practice all the way up through having a thriving group practice and you are launching something that’s going to go international. We have several webinars for you. Head on over to to see which webinar is the best fit for your time and your phase of practice. If you want the recordings, just register for the ones that you want and we will send you those recordings totally free of charge. Again, that’s, [JOE SANOK] So being organized with your notes, how else should people stay organized in private practice? [DANIELLE] Yeah, the admin, you don’t have admin support when you’re first starting out in private practice. And I know Joe, you’re constantly preaching to make sure you do get that support down the line, which I totally agree with. But when you’re first starting out normally you’re on your own. So getting organized with the admin is really going to help you when you’re first opening because what happens is the admin block and your admin duties aren’t super tedious or time-consuming in the beginning because you don’t have a ton of clients and you aren’t that well known yet. But what happens is this becomes really clogged and blocked the bigger that you get. So if we can get the admin system organized now, it’s really going to help. email is going to be one of the biggest ways that people are contacting you, email and phone. I always like to tell therapists, don’t check email when you are most energized in the day. So for me that’s the morning. That’s when I’m able to do the heavier mental lifting, which is like maybe it’s website work or working on a big idea or doing the marketing, the things that require more energy. So I want to make sure I’m in my email more towards the afternoon time when my energy’s a little bit lower and email doesn’t require that heavy lifting. I want to preserve when you’re at your best in the day to keep you out of email. I also recommend not having the email on your phone because this is going to create a cycle of you feeling like you’re constantly working in your practice. I’ll tell you a story, Joe, I started out with email on my phone when I opened my practice and I remember it was a Saturday. I was off from like all three jobs that I was working at the time and an email came in from a current client who was in crisis. I had my autoresponder up, they knew what to do if a crisis happened on a weekend but I had read it and then I just kept thinking about it and it gave me a lot of anxiety because I had just opened my practice. This was very new to me. I felt like a lot of responsibility because this was my client in my practice having a crisis on a Saturday. After that I never kept email on my phone again in terms of my group practice, because I have to preserve my own energy and mental wellbeing when I’m not in the office. And to create systems around admin time, it’s really nice to have it on your phone because it forces you to create systems about when you’ll be checking it. I also like the rule of if an email comes in, touch it one time. So if you have time to respond to it, then open it and respond but if you know that you’re about to hop into session and you only have let’s say 30 seconds, then stay out of email. Email really creates a false sense of urgency and it’s always someone else’s to-do list. So we want you in email because this is how you’re booking new clients but we want to be really careful about when you’re in it and not have it up all day every day. [JOE] Well, and I think also looking at am I creating more emails for myself? Because if you respond back to the person instead of solve it and say, well, what about this, there’s all this back and forth versus having some way to automatically schedule or automatically pay the bill or whatever the thing is. Even just today I had a new podcast sponsor reach out to me and I could have handed it off to Jess, my director of details to do the scheduling, but we also have Calendly. So I took the extra minute to go in and grab a Calendly link for a 30-minute meeting, made sure that there were times in January, we’re recording this in late December for that person to find a spot to schedule with me. So that saved not just me time, but also Jess, all that back and forth time. So to even just be cognizant of how much am I including other people in emails as a FYI or things like that. Yeah, I love that idea of touching it once. Like my flow now that I have had someone that checks my email is she goes through it, she answers what she can. If she can’t answer it or it’s mostly for me, she stars it in my email. Then I go in there usually only twice a week or so. So I don’t want there to be more than 48 hours between things, but, she’ll text me if there’s something urgent like a consulting client or something that’s like even from my kid’s school, she’ll do a screenshot and say, “Hey, I don’t know if this is important, but there’s a choir practice for your daughter.” But then to know, like this morning I went through 28 starred emails, but they’re all high level emails. It’s not wasting my time on all these like FYI type emails. So even just having someone that a few times a week is going through your email that obviously signs a business associate’s agreement, obviously is like trained in HIPAA and all of that and knows when to contact you can be so helpful. So yeah, I love that idea of making sure that you don’t have your email tied to your phone. I have mine hidden away in folders so I have to intentionally go in and there’s no notifications, so Just keeping it out of that top of mind area. [DANIELLE] Yeah, I totally agree. Do you do the stars in terms of like, these are the things that need to be answered right away? Is that how your system is set up? [JOE] Yeah, so we just, we have Google Business and so it’s within Gmail. So she’ll go through and reply and then archive anything that I don’t need to touch. Then, so ideally if I see something that’s not starred in my inbox, that means that Jess still has to touch it. There shouldn’t be anything that’s red and unstarred unless she just happens to be in there when I’m in there and she’s reading it. Most things in the inbox are unread and unstarred, meaning that that’s Jess’s responsibility and things that are unread and starred that would be for me to work on. So I know okay, I can just do all the starred ones or a starred one might be an ongoing conversation with someone where then she sees it come back through and knows, okay, Joe’s taking care of this. For example, that sponsor discussion that’s going to be starred for me. If that person replies, she doesn’t even need to spend her time reading it because she knows that it’s in Joe’s category of what I need to work on. [DANIELLE] Such a good system and good thing for like therapists to know too, because eventually we do want someone in your email helping you out with this and — [JOE] This is, it’s so simple too, I mean it’s just like really basic. You don’t have to do all, I mean she does, Jess does all these folders for her to keep herself organized, but I don’t look at all those different folders she’s created. [DANIELLE] Yeah, keeping it simple keeps it organized too. [JOE] I like what you said about your client that contacted you on a Saturday. I think it’s important to have, what’s the procedure if someone has a crisis. Because if you are responding to email regularly, especially if someone’s in crisis the ethics around that is that person has come to expect that if you email them, then you will respond. And is that what you want to create for yourself versus does someone get your text or after a certain time maybe there’s a local crisis line or, so really thinking through if I’m going to be off on vacation, what’s the plan for my clients? How do I articulate that in my autoresponder in my email or on my phone so that people know, hey, if you’re in crisis, you’re not just out there but you need to as a clinician, put out something that’s going to make it clear how they can get the help they need. [DANIELLE] Right, I think a lot of therapists miss that going into private practice. We want to do a really good job helping our clients, especially when we’re first opening but sometimes what I’ve seen is like, in the informed consent, it says to do this if you’re in a crisis on a weekend, but you instead do answer the email on vacation or do make a phone call. So we do want to make sure that you’re setting the boundaries that you’re following it so you’re not creating a practice that’s expecting you to work 24/7 because that’s not why you know you’re going out on your own. We want to you to go out on your own. So you do have the freedom and flexibility to live a beautiful, abundant life outside of your practice. [JOE] So awesome. Well, what’s your third organization tip? [DANIELLE] This one is my favorite, but it’s really organizing your schedule. There’s four main blocks. Going into private practice you might not expect that you need on your calendar outside of being in session. So it’s an admin block, which we’ve already talked about. But I like having that on my EHR so I know when I am in email, Joe mentioned checking email like every 48 hours, and so having, I like to be in my email more on Friday so that I make sure I’m not missing anything. So having an admin block, a marketing block, a move the needle block, and a finance block. One of the ways I like to structure this is if I am looking at my week, I normally do a move the needle Monday because I am most energized and refreshed come Monday mornings because I’ve had the weekend off and I haven’t had to think about work or do any work. I like 90 minutes on Monday mornings to do whatever’s going to move the needle the most. If you are just opening your practice, this most likely will be working on your website, doing the marketing. Maybe it’s writing up your informed consent, like doing, building the things that are going to bring clients in. Also, I’ll give people a tip a lot of times, even today when I’m doing move the needle Monday, sometimes the move the needle activities are things I don’t actually want to be doing. So they don’t always excite you. But if I can get that over and done with on a Monday morning, it gives me so much momentum for the rest of the week. That way if my daughter is sick or something comes up and I’m not in the office on a Wednesday that thing is done with on Monday and my energy and my mindset is just so much higher for the rest of the week because I did that. I like to do the heavy lifting Monday morning and then do like a finance Friday where you’re looking at your bank account. You might be in QuickBooks looking at the books, but you’re just looking at your numbers, seeing if any payments didn’t go through, seeing what came out, what came in. A lot of therapists going into private practice are either scared or are not super educated on the financial piece of private practice. I was one of them. So really forcing myself every week to make sure I am looking at the numbers and it does give me that opportunity to think how can I increase the profit If money came out this week, was it going in the right place? It only takes like 20 to 30 minutes to do this every week, but it really makes a big difference in terms of your income, your revenue, and you’re treating your practice like a business because it is. So you need to be looking at it holistically from all these different areas but if you can schedule those four blocks in, it’ll help you feel less overwhelmed. It’ll make sure that you’re hitting all those points. Then the last component of that is really looking at asking yourself regularly, what would your dream work week look like? I don’t think we give ourselves enough time to dream being in private practice of what our ideal schedule would look like based on where we’re at in our life today. So is it going to Pilates on a Wednesday? We don’t have to be working nine to five, like maybe you are doing at the college counseling center or wherever you came from. So give yourself all like, leverage the flexibility that you came into this world for, don’t forget about it. I need to be reminded of this all the time still because I’ll be in the mode of, no, I need to be in the office for seven hours working nonstop and I’ll forget, oh, I can go out to lunch with a friend and actually that’s going to make me more productive and energizing coming back that afternoon if I do that. So asking yourself that question a few times a year, like, is this the right schedule for you based on the season of life that you’re in right now. [JOE] So awesome. I love that idea of thinking through your ideal week. For me that’s been something I do regularly just to think through are the things I’m doing, what I want to be doing, and even just starting to think through what would bring me a different type of interest or curiosity or happiness. Like even recently I went back to my account and was, I went through this whole pasta making thing. I’m like, I’m going to try to make some high-end delicious pasta and just to have something different in my world than maybe what I normally do and to teach my girls, hey, we can learn new things even as an adult all the time. So awesome. Well, Danielle the last question I always ask is if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know? [DANIELLE] I would want them to know that it’s totally possible. To give people a flashback, I was driving to my full-time job and I heard, Joe, I heard you on the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast years ago, and that’s how I found you. I never thought that I had doubts about do I have it in me to have a successful private pay practice? Am I too young? I was 28 at the time. All these doubts about is this possible for me and my life or is this just for everyone else? So anyone that’s listening that struggles with that imposter syndrome or self-doubt, just know it’s absolutely possible for you too. A lot of people have gone before you and done it and there’s absolutely no reason that you’re not able to do it as well. [JOE] So awesome and crazy that just three episodes go, we had John Lee Dumas on the show, did that, that you just, I have to let John know that you found me that way. He’ll like that. That’s awesome. So awesome. Well, Danielle, if people want to connect with you, if they want to do more with you, if they want to take next steps, what should they do? [DANIELLE] Yeah, so you can find me at I’m on Instagram at Entrepreneurial Therapist. I also have a free guide, which is five Ways to Get Organized and Productive in Private Practice. I go over some of the things I didn’t mention today, so you can download that and go through it. It’s like a little workbook that helps you get organized so that you feel alive and abundant in your practice. [JOE] How can they grab that five downloads or they download of Five Ways to Stay Organized? [DANIELLE] The link will be in the show notes. You can just go to the show notes and click on it and it’ll be right there to download. [JOE] Sounds great. Danielle, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice Podcast. [DANIELLE] Yeah, thank you Joe. [JOE] I feel like I’m pretty organized in life, but then sometimes with my business, I’m such a big ideas person that I realize I’m not and that’s where eventually getting like a COO. Recently, about six months ago, we upgraded Sam R, we had two Sams, Sam R to be our COO and to go through a process of organization. I talked about that in January on the podcast of just thinking through where are we headed with this business. Whether you’re just getting started or whether you have a thriving group practice or you may even be leaving your group practice getting to that next level can be really difficult if you’re not organized. I wanted to let you know that in March kicking off March 20th, we’re doing Level Up Week again. We actually did a lot more organization this time. We have a team where we’re talking about it. The first time we did that in September of 2022 we just tested it out as an idea to see if people were into it. We had hundreds of people that came to these webinars throughout a four days and things on group practice on starting a solo practice on leveling up beyond practice into big ideas. Make sure that you register over at We have all sorts of different things that are coming in and at the point of this recording we have a lot of feelers out with potential guests coming too but by the time this goes live, we will have all of those dates up for registration for Level Up Week over at 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 your intro music. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the producers, the publishers, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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