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

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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.

Thanks For Listening!

Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] Providing great therapy day after day can be challenging even for the best of us. At Blueprint, they believe that nothing should get in the way of you doing your best work, which is why they created a platform that provides therapists with an array of clinical tools, things like therapy worksheets, intervention ideas, and digital assessments that are designed to help you and your clients stay connected and confident throughout the care journey. Even better, Blueprint helps streamline your documentation so you can spend less time on your notes and more time on the things that matter. To learn more and request a 30-day free trial, visit blueprint-health.com. [LISA MUSTARD] Well, hey friends, welcome back to another episode of The Therapy Show. I am so excited to have my friend, Joe Sanok on the podcast this week. Welcome, Joe. It’s so awesome to have you back. [JOE] Oh, Lisa, I’m so glad to be back. [LISA] Yeah, and for those of you who don’t know, I’ve already had Joe on the show at least two other times, and I’ll put the links to those episodes in the show notes. But it’s always great to have you. So what are you up to these days? What’s new in the world of Practice of the Practice? [JOE] Oh, over probably the last couple years, we’ve really built out our membership communities so that from the moment that somebody says to themselves I think I might want to start a practice all the way through when I’m sick of private practice, I want to launch e-courses and membership communities, that we have a supportive community all the way through. So we’ve been working really hard on that. I think since I was on last, my book launched, Thursday is the New Friday, so that was published by Harper Collins all about the four-day work week, Simon Sinek brought me on as one of his speakers, and the book’s doing well. And I get to raise two awesome daughters that are eight and 11, and so we play outside a lot and play board games, so life is good. [LISA] Yeah, I love it. You have been so busy and I love to see your growth over the past couple of years. It’s just, it’s so cool and I know that you are, you have a mission and a heart for helping therapists have the business of their dreams, whatever that looks like for them. I know that we want to spend some time today and talk about what you should be focusing on in each phase of building your business, whether that’s solo private practice, or starting a group practice or growing a group practice. And for those of you who don’t know, I don’t have a practice, and maybe we can talk about that as you go through and the reasons why. However, I am a huge fan and advocate for therapists too, have a solo practice if that’s something that they’re itching to do, maybe get out of agency work or leave the, set their own schedule and have that lifestyle freedom, because I am all about those things. Alright, so where should we start when it comes to where you need to spend your time when you’re considering growing or opening a private practice? [JOE] Yeah, so right at the beginning you have to look at, are you going to take a hustle, keep things cheap mindset, which is definitely valid when you’re first starting something new, or do you have some savings or some capital where you can put some extra money into it to save yourself time? Both are valid, but for different reasons. So the hustle side, this may be that you just want to test out private practice. You don’t know if you’re fully buying in, you’re not going to quit your full-time job and mic drop and walk away. Maybe you have financial responsibilities. There’s a variety of reasons why someone would say you know what, I’m going to give this some effort both in my time and in my money, but not everything. Then there’s other people, maybe they have a partner that brings in the primary income, maybe they’re just burned out in their social work job, whatever the reason, and they’re just ready to jump ship and they’re going to just dive full in. So the first decision to make is 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? It could be on one side you’re going to figure out how to file the paperwork in your state. In most states, that’s going to be an LLC or a P LLC, not California, but you’re going to figure that out on your own versus maybe you just hire an attorney to file all that or have your accountant file all of that or go through a higher-end service to do it. So those initial decisions on your time then dictate where you’re headed after that, so that’ll go into how you decide to do your website. You can bootstrap it, you can learn WordPress or any of these other platforms, you can do that or you can hire a company to do it. Then you look at SEO, search engine optimization. Through all of it, that initial phase you’re looking at how much of my operations do I need to get this thing going? There’s some very simple things like having your legal paperwork, having your bank account, having your liability insurance, and then how people will find you, so your marketing, your website, all of that. Then there’s the actual clinical side of it. With all of it, we want to say, where are we going to spend our money? Where are we going to spend our time? [LISA] Gotcha. So I have a lot of questions as you went over that because I am definitely, I’m stuck in the middle, like the, if I was going to bootstrap things and then if I had some savings where would I spend my time and my energy? I know there’s this idea of working in your business versus working on your business. I’m the person that if it’s technical and it’s going to include like coding and HTML, then I’m going to hire somebody. I’m going to outsource that. But if it’s paperwork or filing for my LLC, those are things I feel like I can do. So would you recommend, like how do you know if where you stand with all that, is it really take a look at your finances? Do you look at your strengths? What do you think [JOE] I’m a big fan of at every phase of practice, experimenting with what you like. You may start doing bookkeeping and QuickBooks and realize, I love this. Holy cow, I didn’t realize I liked numbers this much. Maybe I thought I was bad at Math, but I’m actually really good at it and I enjoy seeing those numbers. So if you experiment and say, I’m going to just see how this goes, and then you may discover, actually, I hate this so much. Like, I want to like pierce my eyes out. Then you might say, okay, I’m going to outsource this, or I’m going to figure out how to automate it. So to be able to stay organized with a checklist of what should you do at the initial phase of practice, what are those initial steps for operations? Same with when you’re starting a group practice, when you’re growing a group practice to start to dip your toes into areas. There’s nothing wrong with learning things and then handing it off. So as an overall guiding principle, we want to look at the plate and how full it is for you, not just with your business, but with your life. There’s some people that maybe their kids have disabilities or maybe they’re helping their parent who’s older, and so your plate’s already full. Then maybe you also have a full, full-time job on top of it. So the sliver of your plate that actually can put time and energy into your private practice might be really small. In that situation, we need to say, do we need to make more room on that plate, so that could be, I’m going to have a cleaner come clean my house once a month so that I have time to put into my practice. Maybe you can’t afford a cleaner. So then you say, okay, I’m going to give myself permission to just work on this a few hours a month and maybe it’s not going to launch as fast as other people. But the idea of just filling up our plates and then being stressed, like that’s not going to serve anybody when it comes to starting a practice. So freeing up that time and then with that time, allowing ourselves to say, I’m going to now give it a whirl, see how it goes, and observe how I’m feeling in this process. [LISA] That’s really wise. Probably the advice that we’d be giving to our clients if they were struggling with time management and things like that. So what about insurance panels? Is that something we need to be thinking about too? [JOE] Yeah, so that’s a decision that right at the beginning you probably should think through. I mean you got to decide, are you going to be fully private pay, fully insurance, or somewhere in the middle. None of those decisions have to be permanent decisions. There’s no insurance panel that says you’re signing for the next 40 years to be on our insurance panel. So there’s different processes to leave them. It’s a longer process to go through CAQH and get paneled and all of that, but I would say start with what are your personal goals? So if you have a full-time job and you’re thinking, I really want to leave this full-time job and I can just do five sessions a week, I’m going to do evenings twice a week for two or three sessions, you’re probably not going to want to put a whole lot of time into adding an insurance panel because you want the amount of time that’s going to go into that to get a lower rate, like you’re are, you’re going to fill up really quick if you only have five sessions a week, whereas if you are leaving your job and you’re in a rural community where 95% of people have insurance and you know you need to fill up in the next month, that’s probably a great reason to join some insurance panels. So looking at the market and then pairing that with your own family situation, your own life situation allows you then to decide what do you want that ratio to be? Because either way you’re going to be putting time into something. If you go insurance, you’re going to be putting your time into the systems, into the EHRs, into following up with billing and pre-authorizations and all of that. If you go on the cash pay side, then you’re going to be putting more time into the marketing, you’re going to be putting more time into the networking and to really being able to articulate your value as to why someone should use out of network benefits instead of in-network benefits. [LISA] Gotcha. Makes a lot of sense. I appreciate the explanation there. So if you are considering, let’s say you’re in private practice and you’re just busting at the seams and it’s now time to bring on another therapist. Oh my gosh. Like where do you even start? I don’t even, yeah, I have no idea. [JOE] I would back up a couple steps from that moment. When you’re 60% full, if you have any private pay at all, you should be raising your rates by $25 to $35 for new people. Most folks will be slightly above their insurance rates. So if insurance is paying somewhere between 90 and one 15, they might be at $125. Then they’ll say, I’m full. I have a wait list, they’re really proud that they’re that full, but it’s like you’re leaving money on the table. So to say, well, let’s bounce up to $175, let’s do a major jump here, and the next private pay person that calls, we’re going to start them at $175. When that person says, yes, you are going to crap yourself, you’re going to be like, oh my gosh, my value is so much higher. Whereas if you went from $125 to $130, there’s going to be zero emotional reaction there. So Anna’s going to bring up a whole bunch of money issues for you where you’re going to say, am I even worth $ 175? Why is my plumber getting $175 and I don’t? It’s going to bring up all sorts of stuff. That’s good to work through. So when you’re 60% full, that’s when you really want to raise your private pay rates and to do that throughout the year and then each year seek to get closer to alignment. Now, everyone’s going to have a different way that they do this. Some people want everyone to be aligned completely exact same rate for private pay, other people want to look at people’s situations. So every October, November, when people are thinking through their annual deductibles, things like that, with their HSAs, 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. So it’s a jump in. Maybe you don’t go all the way to $175. Assuming you’re doing that and you’ve got some people coming in that’s when you want to start to look at starting a group practice if that’s what you want. Some people just don’t want that. So a couple things that are myths of when to bring on your first clinician, one myth is definitely that I have to have the intakes coming in to fill that person up. When someone joins your practice, they bring their own network, they bring their own skills, they bring their own value. So you don’t even need to have people calling you saying, I want to work with someone beyond you. The other thing is that looking at your own clients and saying, okay, I mostly work with couples, they all have these kids, these couples are fighting or maybe even divorcing, and these kids want therapy, and I’m referring these kids out all the time. Maybe there’s an opportunity there to bring in a play therapist. So starting to think through where are you referring out, but then even where are you at with your practice? [LISA] So how does that work? Walk me through what the, what it looks like when you bring somebody into a great practice. Like why wouldn’t you just refer people all day long? Like, what’s the benefit to you to having these people in your group practice besides, I’m pretty obvious — [JOE] Well, I love taking the heart side of a practice and pairing it up with like the numbers side of a practice. So say you’re referring out four people a week, that’s a pretty robust practice doing. It’s not stellar having 10 or 20 a week, but four is legit. That means that within four weeks or so, assuming they all convert that would be about 16 clients that you could fill someone up with and say, we gave ourself two months, so within two months we can have this person at 16 clients a week. So let’s take a really conservative number of 16 clients per week and say it’s $125 per session that you’re getting on average between insurance and private pay. That’s $2,000 per week of gross revenue that’s coming in. Now, say that person worked 48 weeks a year, that’s $96,000 in gross revenue. Now on average between all the different benefits, if they’re W2 or if they’re at 1099, they’re probably going to take away around 50% to 60% of that, meaning that with taxes and other costs, most likely you’re going to take home 25% of this amount. That means that 25% of that $96K is an extra $24,000 a year for a part-time clinician coming in. So if you had four people that were seeing 16 people a week in your practice, whether that’s online or whether that’s in-person, that’s an extra $96K a year for you. So if we broke that down even by month, that’s an extra $8,000 a month. Now Lisa, I don’t know about you, but I would love an extra $8K a month. I sure can think of lots of ways to spend an extra $8k a month. And so it’s, for most of our codes of ethics, it’s unethical to refer to someone else outside of our practice and get some sort of compensation from that. So we’re just going to do it because it’s a good fit. But if they’re in-house, then that money is staying in-house. Assuming you have good clinicians that are doing the work that pairs up with what people want [THERAPY NOTES] Is managing your practice stressing you out? Try Therapy Notes. It makes notes, billing, scheduling, and tele-health a whole lot easier. Check it out and you will quickly see why it’s the highest rated EHR on Trustpilot with over 1000 verified customer views and an average customer rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars. You’ll notice the difference from the first day you sign up for a trial. They offer live phone support seven days a week so when you have questions, you can quickly reach out to someone who can help. You are never wasting your time looking for answers. If you’re coming from another EHR, they make the transition really easy. Therapy Notes will import your clients’ demographic data free of charge during your trial so you can get going right away. Use the promo code [JOE], J-O-E to get the first three free months totally free to try it out, no strings attached. Remember telehealth is included with every subscription free. Make 2022, the best year yet with Therapy Notes. Again, use promo code [JOE] to get three months totally free. [LISA MUSTARD] Yeah, makes a lot of sense. Yeah, I can think of a lot of things I’d like to do with extra $8,000. It’s funny because I was actually thinking the other day that I don’t necessarily want to go into private practice. I just want to have a group practice. Like, I just want to start and create a group practice and not do the clinical work. I think that’s just where I am in my career. Maybe that’s coming. Maybe I’ll get it in me and I’ll start a group [JOE] It’s so funny you say it because recently I was looking at top cities in the US and I bought those top cities plus the term onlinecounseling.com. So like, I bought newyorkonlinecounseling.com and I’m like, I’ll just buy it. I’m like, maybe I should just start a group practice there. Who knows? I’m like, I could test out what I’m talking about. So we’ll see if that’s to come. But I was mulling the same idea as you. [LISA] I mean, oh gosh, just dreaming about that, but yeah, I think so. I mean, I feel like that’s the next thing for therapists. There’s just such a need for good clinical work and yeah, this is super helpful in thinking this all through. So when it comes to what you need to be doing, where to spend your time when you’re starting a group practice, what does that look like? What are those things that need to happen first? [JOE] Yeah, so when you’re in that startup phase, starting a solo practice, most of the time people are wearing a bunch of different hats, they’re the bookkeeper, they may be the biller, or they’re at least doing a lot of checking of the billing. They’re doing the marketing, they’re doing the social media, the website, the blogging, like everything falls on that person’s shoulders. When you’re moving into a group practice, you want to look at that, you’re growing a clinical team, but you’re also starting to outsource things so that you can genuinely be the owner and boss of this practice and not just the solopreneur mindset. So you’re going to start to aggressively take hats off. I recommend that people write down what they’re doing into three categories. The first one is things that you absolutely hate doing, and you really shouldn’t be doing. The second is things that you love doing, but you shouldn’t be doing. Then the last category is things that you love doing and that you are doing and should be doing. So things that you just hate doing and really shouldn’t be doing, that’s going to be easy to outsource. So maybe like you said, when it comes to coding, you’re like, there’s no way I’m going to do that, so really early on, you’ll want to have someone that can help if your website breaks can help install certain HTML onto your website, things like that. That’s usually things that people already are like, I don’t want to touch my books, I’m going to outsource that to a bookkeeper. That’s the easy stuff. The next category is where people at this phase really have a hard time giving things up, and that’s the things that they know that they are really good at. They like doing it, but they really shouldn’t be doing it. The phrase I hear over and over is, no one can do it like me. Like, I don’t want them to screw up my practice. I’m a perfectionist. It’s my baby. Things like that. First your practice is not your baby. Like, there’s times you need to kill parts of your business and you should never kill your child. So let’s just start with it. We can love our businesses, but there’s times that we need to be brutal with them as well and say, that’s just not working anymore. So then it’s saying, well, what can I do to train other people to grow in that competence. Yes, maybe no one can do that intake phone call like you, but let’s start to just document that or have your executive assistant start to listen in on those see if you could record examples of that. Obviously, you’re not going to record it if someone’s just calling your practice. That’d be super weird, but to do even just practice recordings of how that should sound so that that executive assistant or intake coordinator can start to sound like you. So over time, starting to outsource different hats and slowly take them off and say, I need to free up that plate to be able to do the bigger things. I need to now get more intakes coming into the practice. I need to get more clinicians coming into the practice, boost our SEO, work with local organizations that will refer people, maybe partner with an EAP or a larger business in town. That’s the things that owners should be doing at that stage, whereas answering the phones, responding to intakes, rescheduling people, that’s where that hat needs to come off. [LISA] Really, really good. That’s really wise. I like the three buckets of where things that you can do, like to do, shouldn’t do it. Makes sense. Makes complete sense. Then as you’re growing your practice, at what, I mean, I know it’s going to look different for everybody, but how do you know when it’s time to grow again? [JOE] I would say for most people that we have in Group Practice Boss it comes pretty unintentionally. They just have two or three people and then they see a need and they see that there’s people calling and they can start adding more and more and next thing they’re at 10 people. I don’t necessarily think that’s the best thing to just be like, oh, how’d I get here but for a lot of people, they didn’t even set out to be a group practice owner, let alone a mega group practice owner. A lot of times what happens is the systems we set up as a solo practice owner, or even as a young group practice owner can’t scale with us. So an early question we want to start to ask ourselves is, if I got 30 more clients this week that called us, like could we handle that? Or if I had 30 more clinicians that were working for me, could I handle that? Now, you may not want a group practice, which is fine, or a mega group practice, which is fine, but we would still want to have something that’s scalable to be able to move with us. So even things like how much is your intake coordinator doing things manually that a lot of these EHRs could really do, could really do well without it? Like, are they manually entering in credit cards when that person could have entered it themselves? Are there emails we could send to our clients to help with an onboarding? Could we have an onboarding video that says, “Hey, welcome to the practice. I’m Joe Sanok, I’m the owner. You’re going to be meeting with your clinician. All those details are below in this video. Make sure that you fill out the paperwork online.” Otherwise that’ll delay your practice. Like what are the things that happen over and over that we can systematize? And that’s where we want to start thinking through as the owner of us not coming up with those systems. So having the executive assistant, having the intake coordinator, having an operations person, be the one that creates those systems because most likely they are much better at it than you are. You’re probably an ideas’ person. Like you can rile people up, get them excited, or bring people together, whatever your skillset is. We want you to do more of that and we want the clinical oversight, the supervision, the operations to be with people that are really good at those things. [LISA] It’s getting my wheels turning. Lots of ideas here. I love what you said about the video. I never thought about sending a video to a new client and letting them know. I mean, that’s a really cool idea. Do you see that? Have you seen people do that? [JOE] Yeah, I mean, I’ve had chiropractors that had things where even so much that before you even go into your first appointment, they say, please come 15 minutes early. We have an onboarding video for you to watch before you go in to meet with this person. Things that are just really creative ways to do it. Anything that you’re repeating, you want to try to automate as much as possible with technology and outside of a person manually doing it. Because anything manual that can get screwed up. Not that technology can’t, but if we set it up that once person’s added here, then they’re removed from this email list or a trigger to enter their insurance card or any of those things, we want to be able to, start to finish, be able to have as much of that be automated as possible so that it’s easier on the client. I mean, because if there’s less friction, they’re like, oh, I feel taken care of. I’m going to therapy and I don’t have to enter my insurance card six times because it’s automated correctly. So they have a more positive experience, but then your clinicians don’t have to deal with stuff that they don’t want to do. They want to do therapy, like, so let’s let them do therapy. [LISA] Yeah, that’s great. Is there, I mean, I don’t know much about EHRs, but is there something out there that has all of these things? I mean, I know there are different ones that exist, but can you think of one that has all of this? [JOE] Full disclosure, Therapy Notes has been a sponsor for years. All the billers that we work with say that they just use Therapy Notes. So my understanding is that they’re the best one in regards to both the billers and the clinician being able to see both sides really accurately. I haven’t kept up-to-date on different ones that have come out because our members really like Therapy Notes. So that, for any email service provider, you want to make sure that there’s a business associates agreement if you’re doing specific just for your clients. If you’re doing general psychoeducation, you don’t need to worry about that as much. So using something like AWeber, that’s what we use for our email service provider. Then the other thing that can really help is Zapier, that’s Z A P I E R, you can create all these, what they call Zaps, so if someone pays for something in Stripe, then they’re automatically added to this email list. If they’re added to that email list, they’re taken off of the interest list. So you can automate a lot of those things. So maybe you have a Teachable course that’s all about depression and all new clients get to watch that course for free that you can then have an automated email sequence saying, “Hey, by doing therapy with our practice, you get access to this free depression course. It’s going to teach you some of the basics of overcoming seasonal effective disorder.” You can have that sort of thing then just be automated in your intake rather than someone manually like hand entering in someone’s email to get in there. [LISA] That’s cool. I like what you’re saying about the way to automate and to make things easier for yourself. Now, for me that kind of, that brings up a little bit of, so like, I don’t, and I understand like I have AWeber too, and I have a Zap, but I’m so scared and like that to me is like a foreign language. So that’s where I would be. I shouldn’t be touching that. I’m going to outsource it. But is that part of your new, programs that you have? Do you teach these things or is that something that’s included? [JOE] Yeah, so with Next Level Practice, we have a weekly call. So we have one that’s just a straight up Q&A with our consultants. We rotate through our, all of our consultants with that. Two of them I run. One of them is called What’s Working, so people that are in solo practice and group practice come to that and we really just survey the people that are there live. I say, what do you want to talk about? So if a bunch of people are like, I want to talk about private pay, I want to leave insurances, I’m sick of that, other people might say I want to talk marketing. So then we’ll put them into small groups for 10 minutes to talk about same marketing and then come back and say, what were the best things you just heard in the last 10 minutes? It’s a way to curate a lot of good ideas very quickly. We do that once a month and then we bring in experts every single month for Ask the Experts. So for the first 10 minutes I ask that expert all sorts of questions and then for the last 50, it’s just asking questions. Like Julie Schwartz Gottman, we brought in to talk about couples work, Pat Flynn, we brought in to talk about passive income. We bring in all sorts of other people around just private practice issues. So we ask our members like, what do you want to learn? And if someone said, we want to learn really emails and doing that well, then we would bring someone in for Ask the Expert around that. But we also have 40 plus e-courses on a variety of different things with, actually AWeber recently has been something a lot of people have been asking for. So we’re in the planning stages of putting together a course around that. That’s just included in the membership. [LISA] I feel like AWeber is up in their game recently. I don’t know if it’s because, I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m now subscribing to a lot of substacks. I’m getting a lot of newsletters coming at me and I feel like they’re going in that direction just a little bit to make it more, looks like a newsletter thing. I think it’s pretty cool. Well man, is there anything else that you would like to share that I missed that I didn’t cover with where to spend your time in in each phase of building and growing these different business models? [JOE] Yeah, I think there’s just a couple guiding principles that no matter what phase is applicable. So Parkinson’s Law, a lot of us have heard of that. So Parkinson’s law, one side of it is that work expands to the time given. So if we give something a week to get it done, it’ll take us a week. Will it be as perfect or polished as a month? Probably not. But then we can get some data and some testing with it to see how it works. So the idea of getting things out there is more important than having it be perfect. The other side of Parkinson’s law that is rarely discussed is that systems get bloated over time, and once something’s put in a system, it’s near impossible to pull back out. So what Parkinson’s found was with the British Navy, if they had some sort of rule or paperwork that got added in, it was near impossible to pull that paperwork back out once it was in. So we want to have ways that we shed a lot of the systems we’ve set up. One way to do that is to, again, give yourself less time to do things because you’ll work on the very best things and then the things that really you should be either delegating or eliminating will become very apparent. Doing that fierce audit of why are we even doing this? Like, is this, so sure we we’re posting on social media five days a week, how many people are coming through social media for intakes? Zero. Zero people say that our Instagram is the reason that they came to work with us. Why are we spending this much staff time on social media then? That is a guiding principle. Then the second one I would say is that so often we compare someone else’s 10-year journey to our starting point. I forgot who first said that. It wasn’t me. I know that. But just building one thing at a time, you know we built Next Level Practice first. As people started leaving that we asked them why and they said, well, we want to start a group practice. We had nothing to give them so we started Group Practice Launch, and after that they were like, well, we want to have support as a group practice owner, so we started Group Practice Boss. So now we have start to finish programs to help people, but it didn’t start that way. It was just, what’s that next reasonable step for me and for my audience? That’s true in private practice as well, to be able to watch those numbers and see what’s working and then do more of that. [LISA] Nice. Oh, I love those principles. Thank you so much. This has just been a phenomenal interview and I’m grateful for your time. So thank you. I can’t believe there are people out there who have not heard of Practice of the Practice. So Joe, tell everybody where they can find you, where they can find all your different programs. [JOE] Yeah, so Practice of the Practice is a podcast, it’s a website. We get about 70,000 to a 100,000 listens a month on the podcast. Feel free to check that out. We have lots of different phases of practice advice. It’s mostly the business, but we’ve been putting in even more of the clinical as well. We’ve actually put together a course specifically for people that are either growing a solo practice or growing a group practice over at pillarsofpractice.com. Then you just choose if you’re in or starting a solo practice or if you’re in group practice. We have these eight-minute expert videos that are in there where we literally start a timer and say, let’s talk websites, let’s talk bookkeeping. There’s checklists in there for starting and growing your practice. We’ve brought together all of our opt-ins into one spot so that you can have a ton of free paperwork over at pillarsofpractice.com. [LISA] Well, I’ll definitely put all of that in the show notes. Is there anything else that you would like to share? [JOE] I would just say go get them. I mean, seriously, like the world needs more competent, thriving practices that match the heart that you’re putting into the world. So like we get to create something that doesn’t exist. We get to create practices that match our quirky weirdness. We get to have practices that are so niched in into the people you want to help and we get to do this work. So savor it, go after it, don’t get paralyzed by perfection. We’re here to help you if you need some extra handholding. [LISA] Well, awesome. I think you’ve inspired me once again to dip my toe in the pool. Every time I talk to you, I’m like, I should do it, I should do it, I should do it.. Oh, it’s so tempting. But all right. Well, thanks so much, Joe for being here. It’s just been awesome to have you on again. [JOE] Lisa, thank you so much for having me. [LISA] Oh, you’re welcome. [JOE] We could not do this show without amazing sponsors like Therapy Notes. Therapy Notes is the best electronic health record out there. We would absolutely love for you to go check them out totally for free. You can get a discount if you just use promo code [JOE] at checkout. Again, that’s therapynotes.com, use promo code, Joe at checkout. 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. It 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. 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