What to Do at Every Stage of Private Practice with Lisa Mustard | POP 877

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What to Do at Every Stage of Private Practice with Lisa Mustard | POP 877

Insurance or private pay? Why should you always be experimenting with your schedule, especially when launching your private practice? When’s the time that you start to hire clinicians into your private practice?

In this reverse podcast episode, Lisa Mustard chats with Joe Sanok about what to do at every stage of private practice.

Podcast Sponsor: Therapy Notes

An image of Therapy Notes is captured as the sponsor on the Practice of the Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Therapy Notes is the most trusted EHR for Behavioral Health.

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Meet Lisa Mustard

A photo of Lisa Mustard is captured. She is a LMFT and podcaster. Lisa is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Lisa Mustard is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in South Carolina. When she turned 40, she had a wake-up call. Lisa was tired of going through the motions of her life and career as a therapist and wanted to pivot her skill set and do new things. Yet, she didn’t know what those things would be, so she began testing out ideas and business opportunities. Some were busts, while others were successes!

Her Midlife Magic for Moms Coaching Program helps midlife mamas who are family-focused move through midlife challenges with ease, find joy, have happier relationships, and experience better emotional health.  The Therapy Show With Lisa Mustard helps talk therapists learn clinical information and skills, introduces them to others who are doing incredible work in the field, and teaches them professional development and much more. 

Visit Lisa Mustard’s website, listen to her podcast, and connect on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

In This Podcast

  • Where to spend your time when opening a private practice
  • Always be experimenting!
  • Insurance or private pay?
  • When to hire a clinician
  • Truly be the owner

Where to spend your time when opening a private practice

Right at the beginning, you have to figure out the mindset that you want to work with going forward:

  • A hustle, “keep things cheap” mindset for starting completely fresh, or
  • A practical approach that can build off of any pre-existing savings or capital

Both of these approaches are valid and can be beneficial but for different reasons. You might opt for the “hustle” approach if you want to test out private practice and see if it is for you without investing too much at the get-go.

Or, if you know that you want to quit for a full-time job and invest in private practice, then you can start methodically and lay the foundations fully, piece by piece.

So the first decision that you need to make is [about] how much of your time and hustle are you going to put in? Or, are you going to pay somebody else for some of those things?

Joe Sanok

So, essentially, at this stage you are figuring out where you want to spend your money and where you want to spend your time.

Always be experimenting!

At every phase of private practice, experiment with what you like. Maybe you really love numbers and want to do the bookkeeping! Or maybe you tried it but honestly cannot stand it.

Do what you like and outsource what you don’t, within reason and budget.

Maybe you need to bootstrap it in the beginning, but once the income starts to equalize, get to focusing on doing what you like and are good at, and giving what you don’t like to someone else to do – they may even be good at doing it too!

[It’s] probably the advice that we’d be giving to our clients if they were struggling with time management.

Lisa Mustard

Insurance or private pay?

No matter which one you choose, you can always change later, so don’t feel like you need to decide which one to use for the next 40 years.

To help you decide, start with your personal goals and what is possible for you right now. Do you have the time, energy, and capacity to handle insurance billing now? Do you want to leave your full-time job and do private practice only?

Remember that with private pay, you will be spending more time and effort in your marketing efforts compared to insurance, even though with private pay you tend to earn more. So, evaluate the pros and cons and choose what best suits you.

When to hire a clinician

Joe Sanok’s golden rule: start the hiring process for a new clinician to join your private practice and/ or raise your rates when you are 60% full.

Every October [or] November when people are thinking through their annual deductibles … you’re going to want to say, “I’m charging $175 for private pay, you’re at $125, so as of January 1st I’m going to be raising your rates to $150” … assuming you’re doing that and you’ve got people coming in, that’s when you want to start to look at starting a group practice.

Joe Sanok

When someone joins your practice, they are bringing some of their network with them, so you don’t have to stress about filling up their schedule by yourself!

Truly be the owner

Once you start hiring clinicians and your private practice is developing into more of a group, you need to start taking hats off, and truly become the CEO of the practice.

Have everyone, yourself included, in the practice complete this list:

  • Things that you absolutely hate doing and shouldn’t be doing
  • Things that you love doing that you know you shouldn’t be doing
  • Things that you love doing and should keep doing

Depending on these lists, start to structure your business, so that people can do what they are best at and enjoy, which is where the success starts to come in and flow sustainably.

Whatever your skillset is, we want you to do more of that and we want the clinical oversight, the supervision, and the operations to be with people that are really with those things.

Joe Sanok

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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.

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