Building a Group Practice That Reflects Your Values Coaching Session

Building a Group Practice That Reflects Your Values
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Building A Group Practice That Reflects Your Values Coaching Session

Building a Group Practice That Reflects Your Values

“Is it possible to have a sustainable group practice that is also value-aligned in terms of being anti-oppression oriented? It’s just challenging to strike that balance.”

~Leah Cohen

Meet Leah Cohen

Leah Cohen, LCSW (they/them) is a psychotherapist and the owner of Kindred Therapy LLC, a private therapy practice serving queer, gender expansive, and neurodivergent clients through an anti-oppressive, trauma-focused lens. Leah supports people who feel constantly overwhelmed and “different” to embrace their innate strengths and adapt life to fit their needs; instead of trying to mold themselves around their environment. 

You can connect with Leah on Instagram @kindredtherapyllc or at https://www.kindredtherapyllc.com.

In This Episode…

How do you manage the numbers when starting a group practice? In this practical coaching session, Linzy and Leah dig into real numbers for a new group practice to figure out how to make the finances work for both the group practice owner as well as the clinicians within the practice. They also explore the importance of aligning with your values as a business owner and providing benefits to employed clinicians. 

Listen in to hear how to think about everything that goes into establishing and running a successful group practice and how the developmental stages of business impact the decisions we make. Don’t miss these concrete tips if you’re looking to expand your practice. 

Want to work with Linzy?

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Episode Transcript

Leah [00:00:04] But is it possible to have a sustainable group practice that is also value-aligned in terms of like being antioppression-oriented and it’s just challenging to to strike that balance. 

 

Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question: How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today’s episode is a coaching episode with a current student in the course – they’re about halfway through Money Skills For Therapists – Leah Cohen. Leah is a psychotherapist, they’re the owner of Kindred Therapy, which is a private practice therapy that serves queer, gender expansive, and neurodivergent clients. Today, Leah and I really got into this kind of ethical dilemma that I think so many therapists feel when they want to be really good group practice owners of How do you balance taking care of your therapists who are working with you and running a healthy, sustainable group practice? I know this is something that so many of us struggle with because therapists tend to be caring people and we usually don’t want to be exploiting other people. The best group practice owners don’t want to exploit other people, I should say. We think about other people’s experiences. Sometimes we overly think about what’s happening for other people, maybe try to do a little bit of mind reading and it can be really nerve wracking when you’re starting a private practice and you’re trying to set it up well, make sure that your folks are paid well, make sure that you’re taking care of them in the way that you want to, but also needing to make sure that you’re not driving your business into the ground and you’re not setting things up in a way that is unsustainable and will mean that you go out of business and can’t serve anybody. So Leah and I get into their numbers today, but more importantly, we get into their values and the ways that they can be supporting their first employee that also go beyond how much they are paying that employee. Here is my coaching session with Leah Cohen. Leah, welcome to the podcast. 

 

Leah [00:02:44] Thank you. 

 

Linzy [00:02:45] So, Leah, you are a student in Money Skills For Therapists. Are you still with us now or have you finished up? 

 

Leah [00:02:51] I am. I’m still in the middle of it. 

 

Linzy [00:02:52] Yes, in the middle. Okay. So that’s where you’re at in terms of course content. And with our time together today, what do you want to dig into during this coaching session? 

 

Leah [00:03:03] Well, I think that the most pertinent issue that’s been coming up lately in the practice is the fact that I just hired a, well, my first clinician. As if money wasn’t complicated enough when it was just me. Now I’m adding to the picture. Somebody else who’s an employee and trying to reconfigure some of the financial piece to support other therapists. 

 

Linzy [00:03:33] Yeah. Okay. 

 

Leah [00:03:33] And wanted to just get your thoughts on that. And if you have worked with other people who’ve made that transition from solo to group. 

 

Linzy [00:03:41] Oh, absolutely. Yes. Yes. Okay. So this is your first hire. And how long is this person been working with you now? 

 

Leah [00:03:47] Really not very long. Like their first day was June 20th, so that’s a couple of weeks. 

 

Linzy [00:03:55] Okay. Well, yeah. Really fresh. Okay. Yeah. So tell me, you know, with bringing somebody else into the practice, what do you notice coming up in terms of financial questions or feelings? Thoughts? What’s going on? 

 

Leah [00:04:07] Sure. Well, I can imagine that other therapists that have joined your course did so because there’s this avoidance that you talk about. Right. With regard to like looking at the numbers, sitting down with making those plans. And I’m not immune to that. I think early on in my practice, I was a lot more on top of it. Had some of those routines in place already that you talk about in the course that sort of like fell to the prioritization of everyday life. But now that it’s not just me, I really want to almost reestablish some of those habits. And the big question that’s been coming up for me is- so in doing some other work around money mindset, I raised my fee about three months ago and the question of fee setting has been challenging in general, more specifically because – I think it is for all of us – but I see, you know, like I sort of specialize in a very particular population. So I support mostly queer and gender expansive and bipoc individuals who are healing from trauma and who are often neurodivergent or highly sensitive. So given sort of a lot of the multiple marginalizations that I see coming through my office, fee setting is complicated, you know, wanting to make sure that I’m making enough to support myself and that this question of accessibility is still like within reach, which is really just a challenge that I’m grappling with every day, but now with like additional expenses of being a group, I’m concerned about like how to make sure that I’m not hemorrhaging money, I guess is like a big concern. 

 

Linzy [00:06:05] Right. Yeah. How do you have a group that’s sustainable? 

 

Leah [00:06:07] Right. 

 

Linzy [00:06:08] Also honoring your values and the folks that you serve and thinking about accessibility. Yeah, those are a lot of things to try to balance. 

 

Leah [00:06:15] And is it possible I mean, I’m sure that it is, but is it possible to have a sustainable group practice that is also value-aligned in terms of like being antioppression-oriented and it’s just challenging to to strike that balance. 

 

Linzy [00:06:34] Yeah, absolutely. And with your own fee, and the decision you made about your own fee, tell me, first of all, what fee did you end up setting for yourself when you did that fee increase? 

 

Leah [00:06:44] I set a full fee of 200. And it’s probably on the higher end of what’s available in my area. You know, we’re always sort of talking about location, but I am EMDR trained and you know, I’m a multiply marginalized therapist myself. 

 

Linzy [00:07:05] Yes. That’s right.

 

Leah [00:07:06] And so I figured that that was a good decision. You know, I do have a like a reduced fee program. So most people are not paying that full fee, but setting it there felt good. 

 

Linzy [00:07:20] Yes. And financially, what have you noticed the impact has been for you of having that higher fee as kind of the full fee that you have? 

 

Leah [00:07:27] Well, it’s so it initially had an impact where, you know, I kind of immediately increased my revenue. But that lasted maybe one or two months before I decided I actually needed to reduce my caseload to be able to do some of the more administrative things. 

 

Linzy [00:07:49] Like running a group. 

 

Leah [00:07:50] Yeah. And so I have been sort of slowly, not super intentionally, but slowly reducing. And so I won’t say that there’s been like a financial benefit from specifically that fee raise because I then like reduced the number, right? Yes. 

 

Linzy [00:08:10] But I’m curious if you had not done that fee raise and you did those reductions, would you still be in the same place financially or would you be making more than you are now? 

 

Leah [00:08:18] Oh, I’m sure that I’m making more than I would. 

 

Linzy [00:08:20] So although you’re not like- it’s not like a huge abundance that’s come upon you because you have decreased. It’s still had a financial impact for you. Yeah. So with your clinician who’s come in, what have you done so far in terms of the numbers that you’ve set with them? 

 

Leah [00:08:34] We had a lot of preliminary conversations about setting fees and about how they were going to structure, like balancing their caseload of people who they would see with reduced fees versus full fee. They did not feel comfortable with a $200 full fee, even though I think that they could definitely have that fee and justify it. It just wasn’t comfortable, being somebody who was coming straight from community mental health, which I can sort of understand. You know. They have a full fee of 150, which I feel fine about, particularly because we’re trying to fill them versus me. 

 

Linzy [00:09:18] Sure. Yes. That is strategic, you know, to have them at a lower fee than you. So their full fee is 150 and yours is 200. Okay. So, I mean, with these numbers, what have you noticed so far in terms of how well these numbers are working? Like, first of all, how much is your clinician making? Are they making a livable income? No. Okay. 

 

Leah [00:09:40] And I mean, they’ve been with me for only a few weeks. 

 

Linzy [00:09:43] Yeah, that’s true. Yes. 

 

Leah [00:09:45] I think I anticipated that they would have more of a caseload waiting for them than actually, like, ended up being the case. 

 

Linzy [00:09:56] So they’re taking a while to fill up, which is normal. That usually takes a little while to fill a caseload. So have you done the math here to see, based on the split that they have with you and their fees, the way things are kind of falling for them so far, what they will be able to make once they’re working full time. 

 

Leah [00:10:14] Yeah. So if they were seeing the full time caseload then they would make… I have a spreadsheet for this. 

 

Linzy [00:10:24] That’s one of my favorite sentences. 

 

Leah [00:10:28] Essentially, like, let’s say 20 sessions. Times 50. Times 4. 

 

Linzy [00:10:35] Because they get paid $50 a session. 

 

Leah [00:10:37] They’ll be $50 a session. Yeah.

 

Linzy [00:10:39] Yep. Okay, so let’s just do that math. Yeah. So that’ll be $4,000 is what they. So $4,000. 

 

Leah [00:10:46] Gross. Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:10:47] So 4000 gross. And then are they like a W-2, like an employee with you? 

 

Leah [00:10:52] They’re an employee, yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:10:53] Yeah. Okay. So there’ll be some taxes taken off of that, and you’ll also be paying some taxes on their behalf as the employer. So 4000. So that would make their kind of salary like if you were, you know, a company offering a salary. 

 

Leah [00:11:06] 48, right, is what it comes out to?

 

Linzy [00:11:06] That’s right. 48,000. 

 

Leah [00:11:08] And I think it’s probably with taxes like more like 45. 

 

Linzy [00:11:12] Yeah, I would expect it to be actually less than that. Yeah. Yeah. Like generally income taxes, I mean, a safe number to assume is like 30%. That’s high. Most people I see pay somewhere around like 20-25%. So but 30 is kind of like that safe number. But let’s just say 25 and let’s say 20 because 48,000 is not a high tax bracket. So times point eight. So about 38,000 is what they would take home. If we divide that by 12, that’s a cash paycheck of about 3200 a month. 

 

Leah [00:11:43] Yeah. See, I don’t feel good about those numbers. 

 

Linzy [00:11:45] Yes. That’s important. 

 

Leah [00:11:46] And I think that is what I’m struggling with. 

 

Linzy [00:11:48] Yes. Okay. Okay. 

 

Leah [00:11:50] I really don’t feel good about those numbers. 

 

Linzy [00:11:52] So your gut reaction is not a good one. 

 

Leah [00:11:54] That’s not good enough. Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:11:56] Yeah. Okay. Okay. So that’s important, right? Because that’s a- probably that’s a values feedback from your system of like, no, that’s not what I’m going for. 

 

Leah [00:12:06] There’s a part that’s like, Uhhhh What? 

 

Linzy [00:12:08] Yes. Okay. 

 

Leah [00:12:09] So I knew these numbers when I was setting the fee. I did sit down with an accountant to do this. And we had established this flat rate specifically because they wanted a flat fee. So we sort of negotiated that. Yeah, because the sort of stability of that felt better to them. But we talked about it as being something like with the potential to grow. 

 

Linzy [00:12:33] Right. And that $50 a session that they’re getting paid, they get paid that do they get paid that for full fee sessions and insurance sessions or how does that work in your practice? 

 

Leah [00:12:43] We’re currently not in network with insurance. We’re in the process of credentialing with one insurance company. Currently it’s a flat fee for- depending on where the- it’s this weird hybrid pay model that I- that we sort of came up with together, frankly, because it’s my first employee and we’re colleagues. We’ve known each other for several years, but so we just decided on a flat fee for sessions that where they were charging $100 and up and anything that they wanted to do on a slide lower than 100, that we would do a fee split for those. It was sort of a way of compromising, whereas I wanted them to do less sliding scale. They wanted to do more. 

 

Linzy [00:13:29] I see. Okay. So if they do more sliding scale, they can do so, but. 

 

Leah [00:13:32] They can do it. But it’s a 50- 

 

Linzy [00:13:34] Yeah. That will impact their split. 

 

Leah [00:13:36] Yeah. It would be a 50% split for anything under 100. 

 

Linzy [00:13:41] Okay. Okay. Okay. Interesting.

 

Leah [00:13:42] And then anything above that it’s like- 

 

Linzy [00:13:44] I can see totally see the wisdom of that. 

 

Leah [00:13:46] Does that make sense? Does it? 

 

Linzy [00:13:48] Absolutely does, yeah. Okay, great. 100. And so the number that you gave me then is that assuming that they’re doing 20 kind of like non sliding scale sessions that are above 100 sessions. So they may also be doing some below 100 slides depending on their clients. 

 

Leah [00:14:05] Yeah. And I would imagine it would be not that much lower than 100, maybe 85. 

 

Linzy [00:14:11] Okay. So, yeah, so they could be getting paid less than that 48,000, depending on how they’re choosing to manage their fee. Okay. Tell me that sigh that just came out. What was that? 

 

Leah [00:14:20] There’s definitely parts that come up that are like, this is not what you wanted. 

 

Linzy [00:14:25] Yes. 

 

Leah [00:14:26] From being an employer. Yes. And there’s definitely this huge like polarization between the part of me that feels really crappy about that number. And then the part of me that, like, sees the reality of what I’ve been able to do so far and what the expenses look like and everything like that. And it’s just. 

 

Linzy [00:14:52] Yes, because this is, you know, the kind of this puzzle of trying- in some ways, you’re trying to do it all. Like, how do you do as much as you can? How do you be a good employer? Right. And take care of a clinician who I’m assuming is within the folks that you serve, who’s also a queer, gender expansive, bipoc person. So you don’t want to be exploiting somebody. They’re supporting folks who, through marginalization, are not going to be earning as much as folks who are privileged and favored by the system. And at the same time, you have to be covering business expenses and making sure that you have a sustainable practice. 

 

Leah [00:15:27] And one of the reasons why we said, you know, that I decided to set the fee at where it is, is because something that was important to me as an employer was to have the potential for employees to get health insurance through my practice, which is typically a benefit that people do much later, but that I did first. 

 

Linzy [00:15:52] Okay. Right. So does your employee have health benefits? 

 

Leah [00:15:56] Yeah. I mean, the applications processing. Yes. 

 

Linzy [00:15:58] Okay. But that’s under in the works. Okay. Yeah, because that’s something else to think about as you think about your values on building a practice that is like, yes, this is why I’m doing this is what are the other nonfinancial benefits that folks are getting or that you’re providing that make it a good place to work and that in some ways might be more valuable to folks than earning, you know, $500 more a month. Right. I’m hearing one of those things is health- 

 

Leah [00:16:22] People don’t generally join group practices to make the most money that they can. Right? It’s sort of, you know, well-known that you can make- do you want to make the most money you can that means solo is probably the best way to go. 

 

Linzy [00:16:36] For sure. That’s the most lucrative path because you’re not sharing the money with anybody else. Yes. Okay. So what I’m hearing then is your clinician didn’t join you to make as much money as they possibly could. 

 

Leah [00:16:46] They join the group practice intentionally. We talked about the differences. 

 

Linzy [00:16:50] Yes. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And why did they join the group practice? What was their actual motivator. 

 

Leah [00:16:55] For the stability, for being able to like share responsibility, I think, or not have as much responsibility for like aspects like administrative tasks and all of the sort of back end stuff that I do. 

 

Linzy [00:17:14] So you’re creating that, that structure that they can plug themselves into. They don’t want to be kind of running the more business-y admin parts. 

 

Leah [00:17:20] Right. They’re not really like interested in business so they’re able to just be a clinician and that’s what they really want to do.

 

Linzy [00:17:29] Okay. And you’re providing health benefits. Is that something that was important to them or is that more something it’s important to you? 

 

Leah [00:17:36] It was something that was really important to them. 

 

Linzy [00:17:37] Okay. Okay. 

 

Leah [00:17:39] And it is to me, too. I mean. 

 

Linzy [00:17:41] So they’re getting the support of the structure. They’re getting health benefits. What else are they getting by being part of your group practice? 

 

Leah [00:17:47] So reimbursement for like certain licensing fees, like application fees and some reimbursement for CEUs. There is also a paid earned sick time. 

 

Linzy [00:18:03] Mm hmm. Okay. Okay. 

 

Leah [00:18:05] Because New Jersey actually has some regulations around that and Pennsylvania doesn’t. But because we’re a two-state practice, I just sort of made everything across the board. 

 

Linzy [00:18:14] Okay. Yes. So I’m hearing that there are lots of what would have some financial benefits, like paid sick time is a financial benefit and health insurance is a benefit that if you weren’t paying for it, they may eventually pay for their own out of pocket, that are coming along with this $48,000 salary. When you notice that, what does that do for your feeling about the number? 

 

Leah [00:18:36] Well, it’s why I was able to get here, number one, because we’re talking about one person. I’ve talked to them in depth about what’s important to them. Right. And so I feel confident that the things that I’m offering are the things that they have said. This is what I’m looking for in a job. 

 

Linzy [00:18:53] Okay. Okay. 

 

Leah [00:18:54] And also, big picture wise, I think that people come to group practices. I created a group because I wanted to be supportive. So I want clinicians to be able to focus on clinical work if that’s what they want to do in an environment that isn’t exploiting them and you know, like not providing any amount of security. 

 

Linzy [00:19:23] And it sounds like you are doing that. 

 

Leah [00:19:26] Hopefully. I mean, I. I think so. 

 

Linzy [00:19:29] Yeah. Yeah. 

 

Leah [00:19:31] So I fear, I guess, is that I will over commit. 

 

Linzy [00:19:35] Mm hmm. Yes. 

 

Leah [00:19:36] And then it won’t be very stable because then it won’t be sustainable. 

 

Linzy [00:19:40] Yes. And so this would be the next piece of it. Right. Is starting to understand your practice numbers, not just in terms of the fee, like your clinician’s fee, that they’re getting paid for the work, you know, which is one equation. But the cost of the benefits, assuming like let’s say they did take all their sick time. You know, what would that cost your practice on a monthly basis since they’re going to be paid for that time? Do you have that information anywhere yet, Leah, where you can see the full cost of running your practice? 

 

Leah [00:20:06] I do. 

 

Linzy [00:20:07] Okay. 

 

Leah [00:20:08] So the employer. Yes. Do you want those numbers is not what you’re. 

 

Linzy [00:20:12] Yeah. What is the total per month. If you could give me an overall number. 

 

Leah [00:20:17] And so the sort of like cost per clinician between expenses and benefits is- not including like salary. 

 

Linzy [00:20:28] Okay. Yep. 

 

Leah [00:20:30] Is  969.50. 

 

Linzy [00:20:35] 969.50. Okay. Yeah. And that includes assuming that they’re taking sick time. 

 

Leah [00:20:39] So I think I included like one sick day per month because of the way that the hours accrue. 

 

Linzy [00:20:47] First of all, it’s great that you have these numbers and I’m hearing you sat with an accountant, you know, to to set the fee. And that shows. Right. Because this is actually really concrete information that you can work with to see not just what happens with this clinician, but what happens when you add a couple of conditions, right. Like what that would do and I don’t know what your your plan is. Do you want to grow a group practice that’s a certain size? You want to stay small? What’s your vision? 

 

Leah [00:21:12] I would like to bring on a few more therapists. And my vision, I suppose, is to become whatever size I need to become to be so that it’s like a mutually beneficial arrangement for everyone. And I don’t know what that is right now because I think there is more control of the numbers than I could do there. Right. Sort of what you’re getting at. Like I won’t say that I’m, like, looking to expand greatly. But I would like to bring on a few more people once I have, I guess, like some of these things more in place. 

 

Linzy [00:21:49] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I wonder if, like, that you’re being very thoughtful and strategic about this. That’s what I’m hearing is like a lot of, like, thought in terms of like, you know, thoughtfulness about your values and who you want to be as an employer and the environment that you want to create. But also thinking about your numbers and like what is sustainable and what will build a practice that can last and keep employing, you know, other clinicians and yourself and like serving your folks. I can really hear that in the way that you’re talking about this. 

 

Leah [00:22:19] Appreciate it. 

 

Linzy [00:22:19] And, you know, thinking about kind of where you’re going, I would say, you know, you probably could run those numbers for a little bit. There’s always going to be the growth and costs that come. But one way you could think about that is like, you know, your cost per clinician and then figuring out your operating expense cost of like what are those other costs that go with running a practice? And then especially if you’re an online practice and there’s not rent involved, which rent is like a big stepping expense where you’re like, I was paying for one office and it was 1400 and now we’re paying 2800 because we’ve got a second office. Those are big steps. But often online practices have like kind of simpler expenses where it’s like you just add another person to your simple practice or you add another Zoom subscription. They tend to be smaller. And so something that you could play with as you’re thinking about numbers and kind of where would the numbers start to shift and changes. Running these numbers forward and assuming that your operating expenses will kind of like grow proportionately with the folks that you hire unless there are any big step up expenses. And then just start to be curious of like where does there get to be a point where there’s kind of extra money left over after operating expenses and after you cover staff based on them working a certain caseload? Because, as you say, like profitable practices become more profitable as they get bigger. And that’s where you have kind of the ability to be an even better employer because they’re just you’re generating more resources among you that then can be shared between your staff. Right. And there’s kind of like an equation there. And it’s figuring out based on how you set it, you know, what that number is. But, you know, going back to where we started in terms of like setting your fee and what you’re paying your clinician, what are you noticing now that we’ve talked about it and talked about kind of those other pieces of what you’re you’re providing as an employer and as a culture in the work that you’re creating, like the workplace you’re creating. 

 

Leah [00:24:05] I think that one thing that as I really examine some of this money values and barriers like mental blocks to certain things, I think about how I am just one of those people who feels like it’s never enough. And I don’t think that I’m alone in that. As a therapist, there’s I’m like, We’re not doing enough. We’re not helping enough people. We’re not. And I don’t want to perpetuate that mindset. Like, part of why I became a group practice owner was because I wanted an environment where therapists, like, didn’t have to be steeped in, you know, Be as productive as possible and do as much as you can for other people. And just this like continued narrative around us being essentially like public servants or almost like- I had a coach who once referred to it as like we treat our profession like we’re monks, almost like in a monastery, that are having all their expenses paid for, that are having their meals and lodging taken care of so they can focus on their work.

 

Linzy [00:25:18] Doing good, right? Yes. 

 

Leah [00:25:20] That’s not the reality that we live in. Certainly not. So whenever I sort of hear like parts come up, or stories come up around not doing enough. First of all, I usually have to say to myself, like, okay, it’s one step at a time. And I think that’s the the hardest thing for me is to start at one and to start, okay, what can I do for this one person? And then to think, okay, more resources means I can offer more. And it’s just that ability to hold myself back, which has just always been an issue. 

 

Linzy [00:25:59] Yes. Right. Yes. Yes. And also, as you progress through the course, through Money Skills For Therapists, and you get into module five and get into profit first or creating those separate accounts, you’re also going to start to see over the course of your practice in the next few months what the money’s doing, how much money is building up, is there extra that’s building up, is there room to pay your clinician a little bit more, or is there room to offer a different kind of benefit that you can’t offer right now but that, you know, like your next benefit on the list, you’re going to see how the numbers shake out as they shake out. Right. But right now, also, you have such like a a baby private practice. 

 

Leah [00:26:33] I know it’s such a baby. 

 

Linzy [00:26:34] We can’t ask too much of a baby. You know, like the baby’s still, like, crawling along, trying to figure out how to stand up. You know? And so as your numbers start to solidify, you’re also going to get a lot of feedback as to how the system. It’s kind of like in a way I think about it when we build a business or building a machine in some ways. You’re setting up, okay, when this happens, this gets divided like this, the money goes here, you’re going to see how your machine starts to work as your clinician starts to fill up and find their folks and, you know, see people regularly and you’re seeing folks and there’s money flowing into the business and it’s flowing out. You’re going to start to see basically how well it’s working and where there’s room to add things or where there’s room or where there’s requirement to be like, okay, we actually have to hold back on this thing that I wanted to do for a while, or we actually do need to bring on another clinician because that’ll change our numbers in the following way, which will get us closer to where we want to be. 

 

Leah [00:27:24] It’s a good reminder that having to change things as you go along isn’t that it doesn’t mean you did something wrong. 

 

Linzy [00:27:31] No, no, no, no, no. Absolutely not. And I think especially when you’re building, when you’re building something that’s bigger than just you and you’re bringing in other people and you’re figuring out how to work with those folks. Like I certainly know in my business, it’s not a group practice, but you know, like things like H.R. policies, like, you know, benefits, all these things have kind of evolved as we’ve gone along and we’re like, Oh, we’re like kind of standing up and working now. Maybe we can think about official policies around these things that maybe informally we’ve done some things, but you start to grow up right, like businesses do grow up. And it does make me think about this thing that Joe Sanok said when he was on this podcast, just to counter this maybe a little, like, don’t call your business your baby, because sometimes you have to like kill your business and you don’t wanna feel like you’re killing your baby. So we don’t want to be too precious about our businesses, but at the same time, they do go through developmental stages. 

 

Leah [00:28:20] Developmental stages. I’m getting that point there. 

 

Linzy [00:28:21] Yeah. So it’s just being in the stage that you’re in and thinking about what are your values at the next level, the next developmental stage. Because when we first start, we can’t give somebody an amazing salary and health benefits and all the vacation time. And like all of these things that we want to do when we want to be good employers, the money’s just not there. But it’s thinking, being really aligned with yourself. And I think you already are. And clear on what’s next. You know, as the business grows, what are the next things you want to be offering? Maybe it is a raise, maybe it’s a different type of benefits. Maybe it’s some other kind of beautiful thing you’re going to bring in. Like I don’t even know, as some one of my coaches said the other day, like giving people like a book fund where it’s just like every month, like-. 

 

Leah [00:29:03] Oh! I love that! 

 

Linzy [00:29:04] -and it’s like but it’s like, yeah, finding those things that light you up and that are going to light up the folks that work with you. Because for some folks, those things are more valuable than money. People who really want to earn a lot will either go into private practice right away or they’ll get there as soon as they can because, you know, maybe they have to be. Maybe they’re a breadwinner or maybe they live in a very expensive place. 

 

Leah [00:29:22] I’m sure there’s many reasons. 

 

Linzy [00:29:24] So many reasons. But folks who are more interested in being part of a community and having supports and having like support both like interpersonally and business support, they’re often looking for other kinds of benefits that are not just a salary. 

 

Leah [00:29:38] Sure. Because also the salary in some ways stays pretty stable around the same kind of setting. Right. You have group practices. There’s a range, sure. But it’s it’s not anything like it’s not like another practice. 

 

Linzy [00:29:51] Wildly different. 

 

Leah [00:29:52] So much more, right? Or so much less. So what kind of sets the workplaces apart, I would imagine, would be the different things that you offer. 

 

Linzy [00:30:01] Yes. And something that I’ve noticed for our business as we’ve gone through some developmental stages and grown up a little, is how good it feels to also think about like, what do you really want to offer? Like when we looked at our benefits for Money Nuts & Bolts, we looked at Scandinavia because even though in Canada we have much better benefits than in the US, I was like, I want to do so much better than Canada. 

 

Leah [00:30:21] Scandinavia! 

 

Linzy [00:30:24] And we looked and like truly all of our policies. And my partner is really good at policy. He’s a politician and he works in Money Nuts & Bolts and he wrote our policies are based on Scandinavian leaves and we have all sorts of leaves that have had to do with things that have happened in our business, like we have bereavement leave and caregiver leave because one of our employees has a loved one who has a terminal illness. 

 

Leah [00:30:46] How do you kind of create benefits? From one system while operating in the Canadian system, because some of the ways that Scandinavian benefits exist are also like I would imagine the structure that exists around. 

 

Linzy [00:31:04] Yeah, there’s some governmental structure there and that’s the thing like you have to think about what can you actually sustain as a business? But for us, it was just offering more than the minimum. 

 

Leah [00:31:13] More than the minimum. 

 

Linzy [00:31:14] Yeah, we’re like the minimum is not even remotely good enough. So minimum vacation time to two weeks a year, like fuck that. 

 

Leah [00:31:20] Two weeks a year is not enough. 

 

Linzy [00:31:21] But that’s also like thinking about the values of your business. And as your business grows up, your values will also become clearer and clearer. And one of our values is live to work, not work to live. So we live that out by having a lot of vacation time and being like, No, go on vacation, don’t talk to us. We will see you when you get back. Have a life, right? Like we don’t want this to be your life. And so we’ve cut that in because those are our values. But for another business, that might not be as important, right? But you get to do these things and then you get to think about them strategically, right? Because of course, we want to give the moon in the sky, to the folks that work for us who we love and we want to support and we want them to be well and you get to roll- that’s why the gradual rollout makes sense. As you see your numbers and you see kind of the buffers you have to work with. You get to decide how to use them to take care of yourself and take care of the folks who are working with you. How does this land with you, Leah? 

 

Leah [00:32:12] Great, great. I think it comes at a good time. Like, really. I know we had to sort of move things around a couple of times, but this is I really appreciate it because I do think that as as solidified as you can be in your values day to day, you know, imposter syndrome starts creeping in or like not good enough-ness starts creeping in. And it was just a it was great to talk to you and remind myself why I am doing what I’m doing. 

 

Linzy [00:32:45] Yes. Yes. And not you know, I think, Leah, like not everyone who goes into group practice comes at it from the heart, heartful place that you are. Like the whole hearted place, I will say that you are coming at it from. And I think that that is going to show in the ways that you build a practice that really is about creating good environment for the folks who work with you. And if you create a good environment for the folks who work with you, that’s sustainable, you know, balancing these things, folks will stick around. They will want to be there because most group practices, unfortunately, are not like that. So, Leah, what are you taking away from our conversation today? 

 

Leah [00:33:18] Oh, wow. Well, I am taking away the fact that I am doing things better, technically, logistically, financially, I guess, in terms of like at least knowing these numbers than I thought, because the voice that says you have, you know, dyscalculia, like you hate math and numbers and everything that has to do with like that, but want to be a responsible and good boss, but also business owner. And I’m not doing as badly as I thought I was doing. 

 

Linzy [00:33:56] No, not even close. 

 

Leah [00:33:58] And and also just that like roll out slow is important. And it doesn’t mean that I’m not ahering to like an ethical business or a value based business because I’m not able to give everything upfront. Because it’s so new. The business is a baby. 

 

Linzy [00:34:17] Business is a baby. And babies can’t give everything.  

 

Leah [00:34:21] No. And they’re not supposed to, right? 

 

Linzy [00:34:26] Well, thank you so much, Leah, for joining me today. 

 

Leah [00:34:28] Thank you. 

 

Linzy [00:34:42] One thing that sticks out from my conversation with Leah that is maybe true of many of us is I think that Leah underestimated just how well they’re doing at this. They already had spreadsheets that had numbers. They had sat down with an accountant to work things out in the first place. They had been very thoughtful, not just about the salary and making sure the numbers were sustainable, but already including health benefits and sick time and all of these things that so many group practice owners don’t think about till much later down the road. Leah’s values really showed in the way that they prioritized those benefits upfront and made those available to their employee from the get go, even when the practice was still getting off the ground. And I think it’s so easy as therapists and business owners to underestimate ourself or downplay how thoughtful we have been about something. Right. Or the efforts and the strategy that we’ve put into things. And I definitely saw that with Leah. They were way further ahead than they thought they were. And also that piece that we got into about developmental stages. I do just find that such a helpful way to think about business in general, because it’s so easy on day one of our practices to want to be like a ten year practice and to have everything established, you know, whether you’re in solo practice and it’s that you want to like have that full caseload, you know, have that perfect way of speaking about things, have all of your policies perfect. It’s so easy to want to be ahead of where you are. And so much of business and life is a process that we’re figuring out as we go. And that’s okay, right? You put the foundation in place from the beginning and doing things like Leah has done and is doing of like running her numbers, getting the support through Money Skills For Therapists and working with other coaches to build a healthy foundation from the beginning is so essential. And also our businesses develop as they go and has kind of new levels and new problems arise. We can solve them and we can trust our future selves to solve them and to be able to change and adapt things as we go. We don’t have to figure it all out today. So if you feel like you do, I encourage you to release yourself of that burden. Let your business grow naturally, like everything grows naturally. Be thoughtful and strategic about it. And with your clarity about your values and clarity about your numbers like Leah has, you will be on the path to build a great place for other people to work if a good practice is what you want to do. If you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. We are posting emotional and practical money content on there all the time and if you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please jump over to Apple Podcasts and leave me a review. It’s so helpful, such a good way for other therapists to find me who want to be having these conversations alongside you and I. Thanks for listening today. 

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Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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How to Create an Online Course with Nyssa Brown

How to Create an Online Course with Nyssa Brown
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How to Create an Online Course with Nyssa Brown

How to Create an Online Course with Nyssa Brown

“You are actually the perfect teacher for your perfect students, which has nothing to do with being perfect. It just means that your unique constellation of experiences, trainings, degrees, and humanity, your natural gifts and personality… when all those things come together, you are actually the best teacher for the people who are made to learn from you.”

~Nyssa Brown

Meet Nyssa Brown

Nyssa Brown is a course and curriculum design specialist who helps busy therapists stop trading time for money by channeling their expertise into a profitable online course.

Over the last two decades, Nyssa has empowered therapists, educators, and course creators on six continents to share their expertise, expand their impact, and grow their businesses through their bespoke courses. As a career-long professional educator, she has served nationally and internationally as a teacher, state-level curriculum coordinator, graduate professor, and global curriculum consultant. Nyssa has certifications in coaching, curriculum design, and learning leadership. Since 2020, she has created and released 7 online courses that have served thousands of people, including multiple 5-figure launches. Outside of curriculum nerdery, Nyssa adores cats, espresso-roast coffee, caramel-sea-salt gelato, global travel, hiking pilgrimage trails, meditation, and yoga.

In This Episode…

Have you considered creating a course as a way to share what you know with more people? Would you like to grow your income without stretching yourself too thin with one-on-one sessions? In this practical episode, Nyssa Brown outlines the actionable steps you can take today to help you get started creating a course or program  for the people you love to serve.

Nyssa and Linzy discuss how to start outlining course content, common barriers to getting started, and how to overcome those barriers to build a course that will best serve you and your audience.

Connect with Nyssa Brown

You can learn more from Nyssa at: http://bespokecurriculum.com 

Find Nyssa’s free resource “Mini-Course Magic: Serve Clients, Save Energy” here: https://musicedforward.mykajabi.com/offers/WLtKLgLk

Want to work with Linzy?

FREE Money Momentum Challenge 

Are you avoiding your private practice finances, because you feel completely overwhelmed by them, and you have no idea where to even begin?

I’m hosting a FREE, live, 4-day Money Momentum Challenge from June 18th to the 21st, where you’ll get my support and guidance to step out of avoidance, take real action, and create ease and flow around your private practice finances.

In just 5-10 minutes each day, you’ll complete one small task that will help you move from money avoidance to financial clarity. And as a bonus for participating and completing the simple daily tasks, you’ll be entered into a draw to win daily prizes. Plus, one lucky therapist or health practitioner who completes the challenge will have a chance to win the grand prize of $500 cash!  

Are you in?

I can’t wait to see you inside! Sign up for the FREE Money Momentum Challenge HERE.

Try Mentaya for Free 

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Mentaya. Mentaya is a tool that allows American clients to easily claim their out-of-network benefits when they work with a therapist who does not take their insurance. Mentaya is here to help.

Discover Mentaya with one month free access. Click HERE and use the code “LINZY”.

Episode Transcript

Nyssa [00:00:01] You are actually the perfect teacher for your perfect students, which has nothing to do with being perfect. It just means that your unique constellation of experiences and trainings and degrees and humanity and just natural gifts and personality – when all of those things come together. You are actually the best teacher for the people who are made to learn from you. 

Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question: How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. My guest today is Nyssa Brown. So Nyssa is a teacher by training and now she has turned her teaching superpowers to helping busy therapists increase their impact and get out of that 1 to 1 time for money equation by turning their expertize into profitable online courses. She’s been a teacher for more than 20 years, and she’s coached therapists, educators, and course creators on six continents, sharing their expertize and creating courses that transform them, their students, and their businesses. And I think you’re really going to see and feel Nyssa’s expertize come through in our conversation today. We really got into the how of turning what you know into a course, not just kind of the what and the options, but really that kind of like embodied experience and the steps to go through to actually turn what you know as a therapist or health practitioner into a course. She talked about why therapists actually make great teachers. Some of the overlaps that we have that make teaching very natural for therapists. And how imperfect is exactly what your students need from you when you’re creating a course. And then at the end of our time together, we get into the actual steps of turning what you know into a mini course very concretely. So some really helpful action steps to take away. Very thoughtful, interesting conversation with Nyssa. Enjoy my conversation with Nyssa Brown. 

Linzy [00:02:29] Nyssa, welcome to the podcast. 

Nyssa [00:02:30] Thank you, Linzy. I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for having me. 

Linzy [00:02:33] I’m so glad to have you here. So your zone of genius, your expertize, is in helping therapists turn what they know – they’re gifts – into courses, which is something that probably some therapists who are listening have probably thought about a little bit before, because as therapists, we do run into this problem where it’s kind of like there’s only so many people we can see in the course of a week. So we might have like our gift, our thing that we do really well, that we’re really passion about. But one on one, there’s only so much work that we can ever do with folks in that area that we’re so experienced and skilled. 

Nyssa [00:03:08] Absolutely. 

Linzy [00:03:09] You help folks then turn that into courses. Is that correct? 

Nyssa [00:03:13] Courses and programs. So helping therapists take their their zone of genius, their expertize and increase their impact while hopefully conserving some of their energy and potentially increasing their income as well. 

Linzy [00:03:26] Yeah. Okay, beautiful. So we were chatting a little bit beforehand that we’re going to have another episode this season that gets more into like the what of like different options. So today we want to lean more into like the how of like, what does this look like? 

Nyssa [00:03:39] Awesome. 

Linzy [00:03:40] You know, how do therapists kind of like become teachers? And I know that you have this idea that actually therapists are natural teachers. Can you tell me a bit about that? 

Nyssa [00:03:49] Yeah, absolutely. So we have a pretty strong research base within education. So I’m a career long teacher. I’m a good 25 years in at this point, working with pre-K through grad school and a lot of teacher education. And the research that we have on relationships being the foundation for learning is compelling and therapists are incredible at building relationships. So when that relationship is in place, people will learn almost anything from us, right? And I’m sure therapists, any therapist who is listening, has been in that situation where you realize, wow, this person and I really are connecting right now. And the transformation because of that is exponential. If that connection weren’t there, the transformation couldn’t be there as well. And so from my perspective, therapists build on that skill of transformation via that super power of relationship. And so that’s- it’s just such a naturally honed piece of being a therapist. And I should say natural, but also a practice to skill, not to be taken for granted. So when I when I say therapists are natural born teachers, that’s what I mean, because the relationships are the foundation of that transformation. 

Linzy [00:05:04] That’s really interesting. I mean, that makes my brain go in all different directions. But certainly I remember when I was in grad school, there’s this research on kind of the common factors of what makes therapy successful. And like one of the top factors is just like trust and connection. Right? Like that’s such a big part. Like regardless of what models you’re using or the language that you’re working on, if there is that like real authentic connection, right, and trust between you, that’s very transformative. And it sounds like teaching is very similar in that way. 

Nyssa [00:05:33] Yes, absolutely. I always say that people will learn anything from you if they trust you. It’s pretty powerful. 

Linzy [00:05:39] Right. So then as therapists, like with that skill set that we have of building relationships, knowing how- I think also like we know how to maintain and repair relationships because that’s also part of relationships. Because, as a therapist, you know what to do when you’re like, Oh, I said the wrong things on the wrong direction, you know, like we have the skill to kind of keep people online right in various ways. And that’s something that very naturally I’m hearing can be beneficial when we want to expand and start kind of teaching what we know, not just doing the therapy work that we know how to do. 

Nyssa [00:06:09] Yes, absolutely. 

Linzy [00:06:11] What I can hear, though, some therapist saying is, like when you’re in that one on one space with somebody, there is that connection. And like, maybe there’s room for mistakes because you have like so much time with something. Right. So I’m just kind of thinking through like the folks that have taken my course and like people who I know are like so skilled and so amazing what they do, but they don’t necessarily know that, right? Because like we sit in rooms, kind of like by ourselves having these private conversations. And I think there’s all sorts of ways that like a therapist can make up stories about how like, well, you know, it works, but it’s only because of this or it’s only because of that. Like, well, we’re pretty hard ass, is what I’m saying. Yes, we tend to be achiever types. We notice what we don’t do well and we probably fixate on that. Yes, we probably disregard a lot of what we’re good at. And something that I notice is sometimes that’s a barrier for people to kind of honor or think that they can do this work in some other way. Right. Think that they could have a course or workshop. So what is your thought on that? Like for therapists who struggle with kind of their imperfection or being perfectionistic, not being where they want to be, that being a bit of a barrier sticking out their neck a little bit? 

Nyssa [00:07:17] Yeah, absolutely. I fully and completely understand that sort of leaning towards perfectionism. It’s something that I definitely deal with on a daily basis. So I have a lot of empathy for it and a lot of compassion for it in others as well as I try to in myself. So I totally get that and I think I try to because it is a daily practice. I think the thing that I notice in everyone that I work with and that’s – this is true of whether I’m working in professional development with teachers or if I’m working with therapists who are creating courses or programs – we tend to completely take for granted what we know. And there’s this sense that if I know it, then everyone else knows it. 

Linzy [00:07:55] Yes. 

Nyssa [00:07:55] And I’ve done it to myself and I’ve seen it for decades. I’m not kidding you. I’ve been doing adult professional development and teacher leadership for decades. And I watched people do it before they present workshops. Before they present courses. Everyone always assumes that everything they know, everyone else knows because how could they not? It’s so familiar to us. And therapists are, you know, in my experience, notoriously self-aware and able to say, Well, of course that doesn’t make sense. Just because I know it doesn’t mean everyone else knows it. But that’s a cognitive response. When we’re in that moment of I don’t know if I have anything to say in the course. I mean, I don’t know if I’m good enough, frankly, or I don’t know if my constellation of experiences is course worthy. And my response to that is usually just to mirror that back, first of all, and just say, this is such a common thing to take for granted. What would we know? But let me say to you, and it’s usually by this point, we’re usually relatively at least knee deep in their content as I’m coaching them on how to organize their content. And I’ll be like, Listen, the number of things that you’ve said already that I don’t know is like a mountain, and we’ve just gotten started, so you can assume that, right? And that’s an authentic reflection from me. And then the next piece that I usually talk about is that we take for granted not just what we know, not just our degrees or our various trainings or certifications, but also the experiences that we’ve had that make us uniquely able to create a network of ways that things connect in ways that are transformative to people. And I think in the therapy space, that probably seems maybe more approachable, right? Like I understand when I put things together for for my clients in certain ways based on their background experiences, they can experience healing or transformation. But the same thing is true when we’re teaching as well. Teaching is transformation in its own way. It’s transforming learning. It’s building on what people know and helping them move further. So I always say that you are actually the perfect teacher for your perfect students. Yes. Which has nothing to do with being perfect. It just means that your unique constellation of experiences and trainings and degrees and humanity and just natural gifts and personality, when all of those things come together, you are actually the best teacher for the people who are made to learn from you. And as a matter of fact, I’ll take it one step further and see that other people who may have more degrees or more trainings would be worse teachers for your perfect teacher because you are the person who will resonate with them most because exactly of who you are. And that’s my experience time and time again in working with people is that that’s where people learn. It goes back to that relationship piece, right? When we connect, we can be open enough to learn and transform. 

Linzy [00:10:54] Yeah. And I mean I love hearing you say that. And I’m hearing echoes of I’ve said that phrase before, but more to teach a therapist when they’re in Money Skills For Therapists and we’re kind of looking at like the value of their work. And like I see someone who is so passionate about a certain topic, but not only that, they’re educated on it, they have certain experiences, they have a certain energy and way about them. And it’s like nobody can serve the people you serve in the way that you do. Just literally nobody on Earth, because nobody on earth has your unique combination of traits and experiences. 

Nyssa [00:11:23] Yes. 

Linzy [00:11:23] And so I completely agree with you. And I think that I see how therapists struggle with sometimes owning that in the therapy space, which in some ways is very private, safe space, I would say. That’s certainly been my experience of moving from being a therapist to like an online course creator and like kind of more of a public teacher is like it’s scarier to do it in front of everybody. 

Nyssa [00:11:43] Yes! 

Linzy [00:11:43] It’s scarier to do it when you have like 50 students in your course at one time or when you’re teaching public facing, you know, like on Instagram or a podcast or you’re running some sort of public event, you know, like there’s a lot more exposure there, but it’s, it’s the same thing where it’s like that unique combination that you have, literally nobody has. And for the folks who connect with you and find you, and they’re like, Oh my gosh, this person is the person I’ve been looking for. There literally isn’t anybody else like you, which also means that if you’re not offering it and if you’re not putting it out there, then – I say this to my students sometimes – you’re depriving people of the opportunity of having a- if we’re kind of hiding and staying small because we’re waiting to be perfect when what I’m hearing from you is being perfect is actually not at all what needs to happen to be great teachers and to have folks. Probably the opposite actually. 

Nyssa [00:12:29] Being real and vulnerable. That’s what people resonate with. Right. If you if you’re kind of a stone face, everything looks great from the outside, you know, perfection. I personally, that’s hard for me to resonate with because that’s not me. Right. And so and I find that when people- when I’m real, people say, thank you for just being honest about that, that’s harder. Thank you for just being real about that didn’t work for you the first time or that it didn’t go well the first time you tried that. And that’s- there’s just something so permission-giving and beautiful in that. 

Linzy [00:12:58] Totally. And it makes you think too. Like for some of the topics that folks who are listening, that might be their course topic that would make sense for them, often too we are working with folks around vulnerability right? Like we’re working with folks around pregnancy loss or caregiver fatigue or, you know, raising a kid with complex needs. Those are very vulnerable experiences where we feel our human failings and where we tell ourselves that we’re not good enough. And I think when we show up as a as a therapist or a teacher – and we’re putting these things side by side right now, they’re so similar – as perfect, and we don’t let a little bit of our authentic self come through as appropriate, right, it’s not your therapy session. That’s not your course to learn. It’s their’s. You know, but when we all share those things kind of thoughtfully, we do kind of in some ways reinforce the story that they might have, that they’re the only one who’s struggling with this, that they’re never going to figure this out because you obviously have to figure it out from start and you’re perfect, like it actually can reinforce and blocks connection and relationship. 

Nyssa [00:13:55] Exactly. Yeah, exactly. 

Linzy [00:13:57] You had just mentioned earlier one of the key ingredients of folks learning where the key ingredient is relationship. Like if they can’t authentically connect with you and see themself in you and feel safe with you, they can’t really learn from you. 

Nyssa [00:14:08] Yes, absolutely. And one of the things that I dive deeper with than anyone has ever asked me to dive deeply when I start working with clients, is is a series of questions about who are you? What were your most transformative experiences? What makes you unique? Why are you here? And then ask sort of similar questions about who do you serve and who are you uniquely qualified to serve? Who learns from you? Who comes to you naturally already? And then ask some questions about and how do we put those two things together in a way that you uncover and own the gifts that are yours? And that’s pre-work for the VIP days that I offer. But people show up on those VIP days almost 100% of the time and see those reflections are changing. How I’m looking at this course that I want to create because I know me better, I own me better. And I also have seen the people I’m trying to serve through a different lens. So I think there’s something really, really important, the work that we do before we think about the content even, right? That helps us to know how we can serve in a way that no one else can. And that’s our gift, right? 

Linzy [00:15:21] Yes. And I can see how having that as your foundation that you build your course on is so powerful, right. Because you’re getting out of- in some ways it seems to me like you’re starting with heart instead of with head, which is very much how I like to teach. And what I do in Money Skills For Therapists is like we start with the body and the heart because like there’s so much wisdom there. And there’s also – in the case of what I teach with money skills – like there can be so much like shame or overwhelm there that that locks the head, right? Like we need to take care of all of these things. And I’m hearing from you, by really connecting with that and that kind of like embodied wisdom and that like who you are, what matters, then you can build content on top of it that is going to be so much more effective because you’re really connected to kind of like the deeper meanings or the, you know, the deeper importance of it rather than just facts and information, which facts and information can bounce off if the soil hasn’t been prepared properly. 

Nyssa [00:16:12] That’s such a beautiful way to say it. I think one of the other stories that we tell ourselves as well, I mean, if I have a course to create or a program to create, somebody else has already done it. 

Linzy [00:16:20] Yes. Yes. 

Nyssa [00:16:22] And and that’s a safe story to tell ourselves. Right. Like, that’s a way to let ourselves off the hook from something scary. But if we take that step back and we say, who am I and who am I uniquely qualified to serve? How do those things come together? And then we put content on that. There’s nobody that will ever have a course like yours because it came from a place that is so authentic to you that only you could create it. And I think that that’s a powerful place to stand. I’m kind of like putting my feet on the floor, as I say, that that’s a powerful place to stand, as a facilitator of learning when that can come through you, because it’s the most authentic thing to you. And when our students receive that, it feels completely different than something that was just simply crafted between our ears. 

Linzy [00:17:10] Absolutely. Yes. Yes. Because I think like learning also needs to happen on that level. Right? Like, yeah, intellectual information – especially like when we’re talking about the types of courses that students are going to building like this – is not astrophysics that we’re talking about courses about. Right. This is going to be courses that are very much probably about like human experience, and human emotion, and human abilities, as we said. So that seems like such an essential component, which I’m sure can get missed a lot if you don’t really intentionally bring that into building your course. 

Nyssa [00:17:40] Yeah, it’s easy to go to the intellectual. It’s also safer. 

Linzy [00:17:44] It is safer. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. 

Nyssa [00:17:46] Not necessarily the most impactful and not necessarily the most powerful. But safer. So it takes some courage on the part of a course creator or a learning facilitator to go there and ask some of those questions. But if there’s anybody who’s up to the to the challenge, it’s therapists hundred percent. 

Linzy [00:18:03] So, yes, and that’s I mean, that’s interesting to me when you say that it’s safer because like I’m a trauma therapist by training. That’s the work that I did before I stopped practicing and just do Money Skills For Therapists now. And it makes me think about, you know, there’s this concept of like wise mind or like being in a window of tolerance and that’s when you’re rooted in present. And for that, you both your body and brain need to be online. And I think what’s safer about just jumping to facts when we’re teaching, trying to teach, just the best of the information is it’s a bit disconnected. Right. We don’t- we’re not feeling that like vulnerability of it, which is part of learning and it’s part of life. And so I just got to thinking about like, right, that’s wise mind. That’s when we are really in self is when we have both the emotions and the embodied experience and the brain online. And that’s where like integration and learning happens as much as sometimes it’s harder because it’s you feel more of the feelings, right? We’re not just like letting people hide in their intellect. It’s not intellectualized, right? It’s actually like a fully present experience. 

Nyssa [00:18:59] And where synergy can happen. 

Linzy [00:19:01] Right? Yes. Yes. 

Nyssa [00:19:02] That’s when more than we thought was possible can happen is when we’re aligned like that for ourselves, but also for our students. 

Linzy [00:19:10] Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. So for folks who are listening and they’re like, okay, this sounds good, I’m kind of convinced that I have something to offer and that I should bring, you know, like myself to the table and like my emotions and experiences when I’m crafting this curriculum. How do folks get started on like thinking about packaging up what they know is for many course, what are what are the steps for that? 

Nyssa [00:19:31] Yeah, I think starting with that, those questions about who am I and what am I meant to teach, why am I here? What matters to me? If I were to ask someone else what makes me unique? And that’s a great question. By the way, it takes a lot of courage to ask someone, how do you perceive me in terms of my unique abilities or my unique combination of abilities? Obviously, ask a person who’s going to be a safe distance. 

Linzy [00:19:59] Don’t ask your mean neighbor. You’re not going to like it. 

Nyssa [00:20:03] Exactly. But it’s really starting with some of those questions about the self and having some courage to say, you know, if I were going to create a course, what would matter enough for me to put together a program or a course? Right. And, you don’t have to start with the most vulnerable part of yourself on your first course, I’m not saying that. But, you know, just so you can show up with the kind of energy that will make you want to finish creating the course and will also be most transformative for your students. Right. And then also taking a look then also at who our students are, which I said earlier as well, who in your experience, have you had the most synergy with? Have you had the most transformations with? Who can you help the best and who are those people? And then where does who you are and who they are come together? And then that’s the heart sort of space that we want to start in. And once we have a sense of that and we can get a little more tactical, this is where my curriculum nerd comes out. My curriculum design nerd, are you ready? Start to think about, you know, what would be the goals of a program or a course that you would teach. And so we talk a lot about backward design in the education space, and that’s certainly not unique to education, but thinking about what are the goals like what’s the finish line, right? Like what, what will people know differently, be able to do differently, understand differently? And perhaps most importantly, this is sort of one of my broken record things is what will they be able to apply after they’re done? Like, what will they actually be able to do in their real life outside of this course as a result of the course? 

Linzy [00:21:35] Yeah. 

Nyssa [00:21:35] Those get to be sort of the end goals. And once we know what those end goals are, I really recommend sort of with those end goals in mind just doing a – and this is a challenge even for me – a non perfectionistic brain dump of everything that you know that relates to those things. So in relationship to the goals, just start writing or typing or whatever works for you or drawing or painting, whatever it is that gets all of these ideas. What do you know? What frameworks do you use? What resources do you use? What online quizzes could it could be helpful. Who are the guest speakers? What books have you read? How about articles? Any journals that are on this? Like literally just get everything that could be helpful in the service of those goals in one place and then start to look for chunks like if I could start to put those ideas, activities, topics into some kinds of chunks. Those chunks can become modules. 

Linzy [00:22:35] Mm. Yes. 

Nyssa [00:22:36] And it could be like start here, then do this next, then do this next. Like module one, two, and three. And it often is. If it’s more sort of just knowledge based, it might be like module one is one topic. Module two is another topic. Module three is another topic, right? And that’s a more sort of knowledge based or I want you to know these three frameworks, but then at some point you probably want to teach people how to apply them. So maybe module four is application, right? So basically once we know our goals, we dump out everything that we know in service of those goals and then we start to organize them in chunks. We have a decent outline for what- a course that could start to take shape. And then, you know, how we organize within those modules and potentially lessons. How people learn gets to be a bit more granular, but those first few steps are pretty powerful in empowering because people say, Oh gosh, I first of all, I know something. I know way more some things than I thought I did. Yeah. And hey, look, they kind of fit together in a way that might be helpful to people, and I know what I want them to take away in the end. Yes. And once you get that, you’re kind of vulnerable up over Boulder downhill at that point, right? You’re like, hey, maybe I can do this, right? And that’s usually what people need in order to say, yeah, when the time is right for me to create a program or course, yeah, this, this will work, right? So those are my introductory steps recommendations. 

Linzy [00:24:00]  But I mean, I love what that brings up too, because I think that as long as you let yourself flow with that and like don’t censor yourself and just like let it truly be just like put it all out, you will see that you probably know a lot more than you think you do. And I will say for a lot of folks listening, you probably know more than you can fit in one course. 

Nyssa [00:24:19] 100%. 

Linzy [00:24:20] Because I think that’s something that I’ve seen and certainly that I’ve worked on and thought about as I look to build other things after Money Skills For Therapists is it can be tempting sometimes to put everything, you know into like a six week course. And the reality is you probably know way more, way more than can fit in a six week course, right? So it’s almost like you might realize, okay, I know this much and I can actually only teach a small portion of that. What’s the starting point, which I would hope if people do this process – and I encourage people actually do it – would be also a good reminder of like, you know a lot. You have a lot to teach. You could do more than one course in you by letting yourself just like see everything that is in your brain. 

Nyssa [00:25:00] Well, and what usually happens is once people get on a roll a little bit, one of the first questions I always when I work with people, I always ask is, what’s the green size of this? Like, is this going to be a workshop is going to be a 90 minute workshop that you’re working on? Or are we talking about some kind of like a signature course that could be six to 9 to 12 weeks depending on. And then, you know, obviously we craft according to that. But what people then start to see is they start to see more than like, oh gosh, I do have more than one course in me. And then we start to see transformation not just from session to session with clients, but we start to see through that idea of like a more of a customer journey, right? Well, I could create a 90 minute workshop that would help people get to know how I work and what’s important. And then maybe I’ll do some kind of a mini course. And those two would be related, but not the same. Yeah. And that mini course then really could prepare people for that bigger signature, six to 9 to 12 week course. That would be the most robust transformation. But then after that, there are certain deep dives that could be like advanced trainings on things that we could really only sort of touch on in the signature framework. And so now after that, in the customer journey, you start to have more advanced trainings and deep dives, and people who used to think they didn’t have a course in them are all of a sudden looking at a customer journey that looks like that and like it feels like a whole new world. It’s really exciting to be a part of. 

Linzy [00:26:19] Yeah. So I mean with this Nyssa for folks listening, to kind of make it feel more tangible, like we’re kind of talking about the how. Yeah, what about like examples for therapists like folks who are listening to this podcast are going to be mostly mental health therapists. We also have acupuncturists, physios, massage therapists, coaches. What would be some examples of some topics that you’ve seen or you would possibly see being really great for therapists to create kind of outside or in addition to the therapy work that they do. 

Nyssa [00:26:49] The best topic for people is going to really depend on who they are, of course, it kind of comes back to right. And so I fully respect the question and I don’t mean to evade it, but so let me kind of let me walk that balance between giving some examples and also wanting to empower people to really stay reflective on what’s unique to them. So, you know, if we’re thinking about wanting to invite more people into our practice and maybe having a short training or something on our website that’s available, you know, thinking about like what’s our specialty, like you mentioned being a trauma therapist or a somatic therapist or an EFT therapist. And so what is it that you want people to see from you before they’re likely to book some kind of a consultation call or a discovery call of some kind, to potentially consider being one of your clients. So thinking about, you know, what is it that is a representation of who you are and how you work, not just in the techniques that you use, but also your approach that they can kind of see, see who you are and how you work with the techniques that you do. Right. So, you know, so that would be one example of sort of a way to to invite people into the practice. If you’re trying to build either your own practice or you’re trying to build a group practice to sort of help people see like, what do we do here? Who are we and what do we do? Right. I’ve also heard so many therapists talk about if I have to say the same thing one more time. 

Linzy [00:28:10] Yes. 

Nyssa [00:28:10] And it’s there’s sort of like this a body of knowledge that you want your- or a set of skills that you want your clients to have because you know how transformative they are. So creating a course that matches whatever that is that your clients could have access to, that would be a way for them to do that asynchronously, not during the 1 to 1 time, but that they could do outside of that time. So that, again, would go back to your specialty, would go back to, you know, is it about guided meditations? Is it about a somatic experience of some kind? Is it about just understanding the techniques that you use and where they come from? So that would be, you know, another approach. And then I work with group practice owners who have talked about, you know, just simply having courses that are onboarding courses. So that we don’t have to spend 1 to 1 human time of training for things that, you know, we just it’s the same for every person. So that’s a completely different approach than a therapeutic or supporting a therapeutic approach. Right. But it’s it’s very time saving and energy saving. Right. So I feel like there’s there’s a huge gamut of things that just give you. But I hope it triggers I hope it’s open enough for people that it sort of triggers in their mind, like, well, what would that be for me in my practice? 

Linzy [00:29:22] Yes. Yeah. 

Nyssa [00:29:23] So I hope that’s helpful. 

Linzy [00:29:24] Yes. Because I’m hearing like those are all kind of examples that to me seem like those are different ways for folks to use like courses or workshops kind of in your clinical work that you’re currently doing, right. Like in your group practice, rather than training folks one on one, have like a course which really encapsules your approach as a practice and your practices and whatever. So that you know, when folks are being onboarded, they’re all going through the same quality training, right? So that sounds like a way to almost like streamline a process and probably a great quality of a process, right. You know that your new hire is going to get the same quality as your old hire. Even though you have the flu this week, they’re still going to get the same quality of training as the person you hired or having like as you say something on your website for folks to see can give them a sense of of how to work with you. What about people who are kind of thinking about doing something different like they’re kind of me, what is the course inside of you is like not your clinical work that you do, but you’ve got some other passion and or you want to expand. Can you speak a little bit to how you’ve seen therapists manage that situation? 

Linzy [00:30:23] Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve worked with therapists also who are creating a second business really outside of their therapy license. Right. So I guess it now is probably a really good time just to say, you know, before creating any courses or any content like this, you definitely want to check in with your attorney and make sure that your what you’re creating works for your license and keeps your license safe and all of these things. So what I’m what I’m talking about right now is outside. And I think this is what you’re asking me, right, is something that we outside of a therapy license. So I’ve worked with folks to create like second businesses. So, for instance, I have a dear friend who is a therapist and also a copywriter. So she has created a copywriting course for therapists, actually. And so this this course is is brilliant and getting rave reviews. And she also separately in her other business under her therapy license, still sees clients a few days a week in addition to her separate copywriting business. So that would be an example of of how to do that separate from your therapy practice. 

Linzy [00:31:22] Yeah. And I think like for mental health therapists, we were talking a little bit off mic before we started recording about how there are specific considerations for us when you’re doing mental health therapy because our licensure is- our colleges or regulatory bodies are stricter because we do have so much influence over clients. There’s like stricter code of ethics in terms of what we can do. So I know for me, when I made Money Skills For Therapists, I created a separate corporation for businesses. To be very clear, I am not being a social worker right now. This has nothing to do with my social working license. This is me being a business coach and a business consultant and having to keep that super clear. Because if I didn’t keep that very clear, the things that I do to actually promote Money Skills For Therapists are actually in violation of my social worker code of ethics. That’s also something for you to consider, folks who are listening. Like if you know that the courses in you is copywriting or teaching finances to therapists or something that is outside of what you do, making sure that you speak with a lawyer and set it up so it’s very clear if something that does not fit with your license is very distinctly separated from the work that you’re doing under your license because you have to keep mindful of that in our particular field. 

Nyssa [00:32:30] Absolutely. Yeah. And I just I think that I’m sure that the people listening would also feel very comfortable to know that that was taken care of well. Right. That would be a comfort to you, that person involved. Exactly. So. 

Linzy [00:32:47] Right. Well, Nyssa, for folks who want to get further into your world. Where’s the best place for them to find and follow the awesome? 

Linzy [00:32:54] So my company is called Bespoke Curriculum Design and you can find that at Bespoke Curriculum dot com and there’s lots of information there and I am open to any questions along the way. If people have them, just, just shoot me a message. The contact information is there. 

Linzy [00:33:10] And you mentioned earlier that VIP days are the main way you’re supporting folks right now. Yes. So if you want to do some deep dive work with Nyssa, help pull your brilliance out of you, which I feel like is this is the vibe I’m getting from you is this is part of what you do is you help to assess people’s brilliance and help them to see it’s both their kind of embodied experiential brilliance and their brain and their intellectual brilliance. So that is a way that you can get Nyssa’s supports. And is there anything- any freebies that you have or anything you’re offering that you want folks to know about? 

Nyssa [00:33:41] Yes, absolutely. So I do have a freebie that has gotten really, really positive reviews. And it’s it’s a video training that’s similar to the process that I outlined today for outlining a mini course. And it’s called Mini Course Magic: Serve Clients, Save Energy. And I’m happy to give you the link and you can pass it on to folks. So 45 minute training and there’s a PDF that goes along with it that really sort of helps organize the things that we talked about today if you’re interested in doing that work. 

Linzy [00:34:09] So thank you for that. So we will put the link for that in the show notes. So if you want to have a taste of working with Nyssa and kind of some support in organizing your your brilliance and our expertize, that sounds like a great resource. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. 

Nyssa [00:34:23] Thank you for having me, Linzy. It was truly a pleasure to talk to you. 

Nyssa [00:34:39] In my conversation with Nyssa, that piece about kind of bringing your embodied experience, your imperfections to creating, of course, I think there’s just so much wisdom in that. As I talked about, I really do believe that all of us just have something extremely unique to offer that literally nobody can offer in the way that you do. And Nyssa and I are definitely on the same page about that piece. And I think that by starting with your experiences and your imperfection and starting from who you are and who you want to serve, I can absolutely see how her approach that way creates this great foundation to then layer knowledge on top of, right. So much of what we do with our clients is so much more than like facts or information. It’s really about how to integrate these things in. And I just totally see the wisdom in what she’s talking about. A kind of like start- she didn’t say it like this, but the way that I’m thinking about it is like, start with the heart. And from there, you can build something really powerful for the folks that you love to serve. So I hope that this conversation today has been inspiring for those of you listening. Expansion has been a theme that I’ve been thinking about a lot as I’ve been building and launching a mastermind for folks who are graduates of Money Skills For Therapists and just how much we have to offer and how much impact we can make when we do start to build things out beyond 1 to 1 therapy. And that’s why I’m taking the space to talk about it in this season of the Money podcast, because I think money is so much more than just our private practices. There’s all these other ways that we can start to generate income by sharing the gifts and the knowledge that we have in ways that go beyond 1 to 1 practice. And then I’ve seen it happen for folks. When you do commit to really teaching what you love and finding those folks who need to hear it and making that connection, not only do you get to transform them, but you also get to be transformed. And your business gets to be transformed by having this whole new way of serving folks that goes beyond just those 1 to 1 treatments or 1 to 1 sessions. It’s really powerful. So, so appreciate my conversation with Nyssa today. If you want to hear more from me, you can check me out on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts. We are sharing free practical and emotional content on there all the time. And of course, if you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a minute to jump over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review. It is the best way for other therapists to find me. Thanks so much for listening. 

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Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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Expanding a Group Practice Coaching Session

Expanding a Group Practice Coaching Session
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Expanding a Group Practice Coaching Session

Expanding a Group Practice Coaching Session

“It’s a two-fold process for me right now, since I am losing a clinician’s income from one location and moving her to the second, where I am going to increase my expenses… I’m really just looking at how that can happen.”

~Courtney Fields

Meet Courtney Fields

Courtney has been in private practice for 10 years and started a group practice specializing in high-conflict divorce/child custody support services. She took Money Skills For Therapists as her group practice began to grow because she had always avoided deep diving into financials as a solo practitioner related to her own “money issues.”

In This Episode…

How do you move effectively into growth mode within your practice? When is the right time to expand, and when is it better to gather? In this coaching episode, Linzy and Courtney dive into a big change coming Courtney’s way as she looks to expand her group practice to a third location. They discuss the financial and emotional resources it takes to grow and consider different options that can make that growth more manageable for everyone in the practice.

Check out this practical episode full of useful tips that can help all of us in private practice stay grounded during times of change and transition. 

Want to work with Linzy?

FREE Money Momentum Challenge 

Are you avoiding your private practice finances, because you feel completely overwhelmed by them, and you have no idea where to even begin?

I’m hosting a FREE, live, 4-day Money Momentum Challenge from June 18th to the 21st, where you’ll get my support and guidance to step out of avoidance, take real action, and create ease and flow around your private practice finances.

In just 5-10 minutes each day, you’ll complete one small task that will help you move from money avoidance to financial clarity. And as a bonus for participating and completing the simple daily tasks, you’ll be entered into a draw to win daily prizes. Plus, one lucky therapist or health practitioner who completes the challenge will have a chance to win the grand prize of $500 cash!  

Are you in?

I can’t wait to see you inside! Sign up for the FREE Money Momentum Challenge HERE.

Try Mentaya for Free 

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Mentaya. Mentaya is a tool that allows American clients to easily claim their out-of-network benefits when they work with a therapist who does not take their insurance. Mentaya is here to help.

Discover Mentaya with one month free access. Click HERE and use the code “LINZY”.

Episode Transcript

Courtney [00:00:01] It’s a twofold process for me right now, since I am losing a clinician’s income from one location and moving her to the second where I’m going to increase my expenses, really just looking more so at how that can happen. Perhaps if she needed to do telehealth before signing the lease, just to have that time to create the equilibrium between two offices. 

Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question: How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course, Money Skills For Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast. So today’s podcast episode is a coaching episode, which always makes me so happy. I love recording these coaching episodes. And my guest is Courtney Fields. So Courtney is a therapist in private practice. She started a small group practice a few years ago, specializing in high conflict and divorce, which quickly grew into a large group practice specializing in high conflict, divorce, and child custody support services. And our conversation today is around this decision that she is in the process of making around expanding into a third location. So we dig into, in the ideal scenario, how to make decisions around expansion and taking on a third location. Or this really applies to making any kind of big investment in your business where there’s kind of an outlay in advance. And you need to think about: would it be worth it? But we also, of course, because it’s this podcast, get into the mindset and emotional pieces of also the seasons of a business and being grounded in your decisions of when to expand or when to kind of gather together, is the language that we used. So if you have a group practice or if you have a practice where you’re thinking about branching out, making a big investment, maybe taking a bit of a risk upfront to grow your business, this episode is for you. Enjoy. All right, Courtney, welcome to the podcast. 

Courtney [00:02:27] Thanks for having me. Linzy, it’s good to see you again. 

Linzy [00:02:29] It’s so good to see you. So, Courtney, you took Money Skills For Therapists. 

Courtney [00:02:35] During the pandemic. 

Linzy [00:02:35] I was like, where are we in time? Two years ago.

Courtney [00:02:36] About the beginning of the pandemic. 

Linzy [00:02:39] Yes, very beginning. So 2020. So it’s been a couple of years since we worked together. So this is exciting for me because I also get to hear, you know, where you’ve landed since then. So tell me, what would you like to have more clarity on by the end of our conversation today? 

Courtney [00:02:52] Well, when I first took your class, I was in the middle of building a group practice, and it had grown really fast before I really knew how to even assess financial health of it. So I was really winging it. I was putting the cart before the horse. I was trying to pretend I knew business, had a business mindset. I never even heard of profit first before I took your class. And so it was something I had not thought about at all. I had put the mission and the services and the idea out there. It was successful. It grew really fast, but with great power comes great responsibility. And I was the only person. I was doing all the admin, seeing the clients, to supervising and marketing and doing all those things. And so I tended to avoid the things that I did not enjoy, which were the numbers.

Linzy [00:03:47] Yes. 

Courtney [00:03:49] You’re in at all the numbers. So what’s happened since then is that COVID did not slow us down. I think I got like a two week break to chill because the whole world was in shock. 

Linzy [00:04:00] Yes. 

Courtney [00:04:01] Yes. The shock wore off and business was booming because I do specialize in divorce and many of the courts shut down during that time. So we really had to help people navigate very long limbo transitions. And so I started hiring and I went from just myself and two other people to a year later I was up to six therapists, went up to eight plus interns. I would stress every time payroll came around, I wasn’t paying myself. I didn’t know what I could pay. So on the surface, I really had to make my team feel really comfortable with what they were doing. But on the inside I was very anxious and uncertain. 

Linzy [00:04:44] Kind of like parenting that way, isn’t it? You have to be like, Yeah, that’s fine. 

Courtney [00:04:48] Right now everything is fine. Dumpster fire behind you. Exactly. Exactly. That was my my mode. So once I got some – and I’ll just I’ll just chalk it all up to your brilliance with spreadsheets. Spreadsheets. I feel like really just it was like a way to organize my brain. And so I was able to answer business, like open ended business questions, with a spreadsheet. What can I afford here? If I want to pay myself, how can I do that? So really started diving into the numbers and was able to – wasn’t planning the timing of my second location, but I went through a personal change and had to relocate myself to a different city from where my practice, my group practice had been. So I’m like, Well, now we have a second location because I’m in a different place. 

Linzy [00:05:41] Here I am. 

Courtney [00:05:42] Here I am, and put a lot of forethought into it. It just had to happen. And that’s when I really realized how much more these type of services, that I did, was needed. There’s a great response to the second location and now I’m in- it’s kind of a similar situation. I have a wonderful therapist that’s been with me since she was an intern and she has gotten licensed since then. She’s been with me from the beginning. She’s very invested and she’s relocating. And so now it’s like third location that’s been thrust upon me by her life change. 

Linzy [00:06:21] Yes. Gotcha. 

Courtney [00:06:21] So each time I’ve done this, I’ve had to, like I said, put the cart before the horse and just hope and pray it works out. Some of the numbers in advance- You know, when you go to a different community, we work a lot with the court system and there’s a lot of subjectivity to different jurisdictions, and so you don’t know where you’re starting. I’ve learned since I’ve opened a second location. So I really haven’t had a chance to figure out a way to make a strategic decision to grow. And so here I am again, in the same- in a similar situation, and I just wanted to kind of get some feedback on, if I had had the choice to time it and choose the right location and all that, what could I do? What kind of information would say yay or nay, right? 

Linzy [00:07:07] Yes. Yes. Because at this point, is this location happening no matter what? It sounds like it. 

Courtney [00:07:11] If I want to keep this amazing therapist. 

Linzy [00:07:14] Yeah. Okay. So there would be a high cost potentially to not having this third location, which would be losing this therapist. Okay. Right. So, yes. This is about strategic decision making. Is what it is. It’s like, when do you make a move like expanding? This is an expansion move. And what information do you take into account to know if it’s the right move or how to make it a good move? 

Courtney [00:07:37] Yes, absolutely. 

Linzy [00:07:39] The first thing with this, Courtney, is your solution, you may be happy to hear, is spreadsheets. 

Courtney [00:07:46] Great! 

Linzy [00:07:47] And it’s running the numbers to understand, you know, two things. First of all, what does it cost you to open a location and to run a location? This is going to be an in-person like a physical office that she’s going to have. 

Courtney [00:07:59] Going to build a team. So part of her task is going to be not just clinical anymore. She’s basically be expected to do outreach and… 

Linzy [00:08:08] So you’re not like- this third location is not going to be just her. This is going to be another hub of therapists. Okay. So the first thing to think about is looking at how much baseline, how much is it just going to cost you to get started? Right, because there’s always startup costs. It’s very different now with online therapy where like the startup cost is like opening your laptop up, there’s your startup costs, but having an actual physical location.You know, there’s any deposits that you need to make, there’s like furnishing the space, there’s decorating, there’s all this front end money that goes into opening a space. Do you have a sense from your previous locations of how much it costs you to furnish like a single therapy office, let’s say? 

Courtney [00:08:45] Well, I am very thrifty. They also do play therapy, and I’ve found it’s been a wise investment to have a storage unit as I stumble upon great old fashioned wooden toy kitchens and other good kind of vintage things and just take advantage of sales when they happen. Knowing this concept of growing this particular office that we have found, it gives you the option of furnished versus unfurnished, and so I do- I have found a way to lower the cost of furnishing by collecting over time.

Linzy [00:09:21] Great. Okay. So in some ways that’s money you’ve already spent. 

Courtney [00:09:24] Yes. 

Linzy [00:09:25] Okay. So that would be the first thing that I’d want to figure out, because that’s kind of your lump sum upfront, is I do hear that you have collected a bunch of stuff, which is great. That thrifting, I don’t have that bone in my body. I wish I did. It seems very handy to have the thrift thing. 

Courtney [00:09:38] Yeah, it has to feel like fun. It didn’t always feel like fun when my mother dragged me around as a child.

Linzy [00:09:44] Yes, but as an adult, you get it? 

Courtney [00:09:46] Seeds were planted. 

Linzy [00:09:47] Yes, yes, for sure. What I’m hearing is that is going to reduce your startup costs because you already have some of those the furniture or the toys. You might already have some of those things that you need. So the one number that I would want to know is what is the rest of it going to cost? Right. And it’s going to be an estimate because it’s kind of like construction, like we’re we’re building a cottage in our backyard right now. And it’s just laughable when you throw a number at the wall because who knows where it’s going to land. You’re going to have a much smaller range with an office, but you’re going to think about, okay, how much does it cost to paint a space? If I know I have to paint these spaces. If I have to buy a couple chairs, what does it cost? You know, putting a certain dollar amount to give yourself at least an estimate of that initial outflow of cash. Because at the beginning, when you’re starting a location, money goes out. Long before money comes back. Right, like there’s that initial push, setting it all up, and then you’re set up for folks to come in and actually do sessions. 

Courtney [00:10:37] That makes me think of the question of it sounds like there needs to be a cushion. You need to have some money set aside as part of this timing decision. 

Linzy [00:10:47] Yes. Yes. And so, yeah, in that optimal scenario, you would be setting aside that money specifically bookmarked for like, new location, right? So you would say, okay, I’ve run the numbers and to open a suite that has four offices, it’s going to cost me about $6,000 to get carpets and furniture and paint it. So I’m going to start my third location startup fund in my budget. And in addition to having a couple of months operating expenses set aside just for, you know, if life happens, I’m going to have the specific goal that every month I’m putting aside $500 and you know, until I hit that goal. Or I’m setting aside $800 a month. So that would be the optimal. Right, is like you’re really planning it from this really grounded place of like, okay, in November we’re going to set up this third location and in order to make that happen and have it be no skin off our back, we are funding that goal well in advance. Right. That would be like the really kind of grounded long term view, not quite exactly where you are, but that would be, you know, thinking about your fourth location and your fifth location, a way to do it so that you’re not putting yourself in kind of financial stress or risk right off the bat. 

Courtney [00:11:51] Yes. Yes. 

Linzy [00:11:51] Right. So that would be the first thing to look up is that startup amount. But then you also have, you know, rent to pay as you go, and it’s just taking a look at the data that you already have, Courtney. So that kind of planning is what you could do for like your fourth location and your fifth location, right? Of like really settling and being like, okay, by the end of this year, we’re going to open our next location in this place. And you’ve thought through why that location makes sense either because there’s quite a demand there or you know that there’s a need, that would be kind of the long view. Right. But with it is as it is now, you’re going to not necessarily have the full runway to save all that money, but it’s starting to understand how much it’s going to cost you to start and then how much you’re going to be able to start bringing in and kind of mapping that out and figuring out how you’re going to fund the startup. So there’s two sets of numbers. The one that we just talked through was the expenses, right? What’s that initial start up? What’s the monthly rent? How much does it add to your subscriptions, your dues and subscriptions, like your software to have that location? And then you get to do the fun part, which is start to project forward income, right? Client sessions. So the way that I’m picturing this, Courtney, and this is how I would do it- and in the next little program after Money Skills For Therapists, Money Boss, I teach this skill because it’s a really important skill, right? It’s financial projection. The next thing is projecting forward reasonably how much money you’re going to be making a month one, month two, month three, month four. Right. Starting to map out what that road can look like. And again, it is projection. We don’t know the future, but it’s starting to understand even like what would need to happen for you to start to become profitable at that location because you might look at it and realize like, Oh, I actually need three clinicians working pretty fast in order to start to cover everybody’s wages and the expenses and have any money left over to pay me for running this group practice. And you should have profit as well. Right? So it’s running forward those numbers. Can you visualize kind of what I’m describing when I’m talking about what that would look like on a spreadsheet? 

Courtney [00:13:46] I can. I actually consulted I think around the same time I was working with you, I consulted with the Small Business Administration locally in Athens. It was through University of Georgia. And they gave me some financial projections spreadsheet. 

Linzy [00:14:01] Yes, exactly. 

Courtney [00:14:02] You know, one of the issues I’ve had with this, though, is that, you know, I’m basing it on, okay, so this person works full time. And then in this business, it’s so hard to predict what- how long it’s going to take to do that full time. You know, there’s so many other variables that can happen. And so I can get the numbers and they look great when everybody’s full. And I’m fully you know, I’m fully staffed. But really, there’s then still a lingering effect from the pandemic to get fully staffed. I really saw that happen in the second year and that difficulty hiring, it’s just now started getting better. Yeah. And then this person is leaving. The first location’s her place. 

Linzy [00:14:41] So that’s a loss. Yes. Yes. Okay. And with that, I mean, the way to offset that is to have conservative numbers. And you could start to pull those conservative numbers based on – in worst case scenarios before – when somebody’s taking a while to fill up. How long has that taken? Right. And it might be that you don’t project on them being full in three months. Maybe you project on them being full in five or six months to understand for yourself, even in that kind of like baseline scenario, what needs to happen to make this profitable. So I’m not losing money on this third location and really understanding like what is the minimum that needs to be happening, how many sessions need to be happening, whether it’s between two clinicians, three clinicians, four – what needs to be happening. For me to be paying everybody’s wages and paying for this location and not losing money, which I think is an experience you’re familiar with, right, is like we can go the other way without realizing it when the numbers don’t work. 

Courtney [00:15:34] Yes. We’re just not just doing it and not knowing. I’ve definitely had- I appreciate now having this abundance mindset because knowing how to run the numbers helps you have more of that mindset. But I have erred too far on that leap of faith. 

Linzy [00:15:51] Yes, yeah. 

Courtney [00:15:53] Not enough. 

Linzy [00:15:54] Yeah. And I mean-

Courtney [00:15:56] Run the numbers, then take the leap of faith, not the other way around. 

Linzy [00:15:59] And sometimes the way that people think through these scenarios is like good, better, best, you know, like what is your good? What is like, what has to happen for it to run? Because then you can also understand it allows you to make informed decisions quickly. Like if you realize looking at your numbers after you map this out thoughtfully that you need to be seeing 50 sessions a month happening out of this location to – because you’re paying your therapist for those sessions. So in order to have enough to pay the expenses and have enough money to make it worth your time and some profit in the business, and you have a clinician who’s like just really not not getting clients and there’s a lot of resources going to them. And for some reason it’s just not working. Like as hard as that can be, it does let you really understand the minimum that needs to be happening in order for this to not be like a drain on your business and potentially put financial stress on other parts of your business that are working because it’s kind of like you make this ecosystem and if one part starts not working, it’s going to be pulling the other parts, right? So having that clarity can help you make informed decisions faster rather than waiting to figure something’s really not working and you’re not sure what it is. 

Courtney [00:17:03] I love that you use the word ecosystem because that’s a perfect analogy for what I’ve seen happen already. With the office in the second. And even right now, I have people that I’ve brought on with the expectation to reach a certain caseload number and it hasn’t happened for various reasons and so it is like, well, now I need to strengthen and take a closer look at the types of contracts that I use. You know, so strength in that area as well as the projections as well. So it really is an ecosystem. I love that description. That really helps comprehend. 

Linzy [00:17:39] And it allows you to understand as a boss, like what are – the kind of corporate language for this would be metrics – what are the metrics that you need to see from your clinicians to know that they’re actually doing their job and contributing to the business and allowing the business to run and be well? And if they’re not, you know, what are your steps? How do you support them? How do you address it? What language you use to talk about it? Like how do you lead, to either support and empower them to work on the things that aren’t working and get full and retain clients or, you know, convert consultations like whatever, wherever the issue you’ve identified. Or if it’s just not a fit, what is your process for saying goodbye to someone and setting them on a path that will be a better path for them? 

Courtney [00:18:19] It all works together, and it all has to to be able to have those accurate numbers. 

Linzy [00:18:22] Yes. Yes, absolutely. So coming towards the end of our conversation today, what are you taking away? What would be your next steps coming out of this discussion? 

Courtney [00:18:30] Okay, this is where I have to settle my brain down because I get excited about having strategies and knowing what to do and then figuring out how to prioritize them. You know, I really think that it’s a twofold process for me right now, since I am losing a clinician’s income from one location and moving her to the second where I’m going to increase my expenses, really just looking more so at how that can happen simultaneously. The timing would be- it would need to be simultaneously. So even perhaps if she needed to do telehealth before signing the lease. Just to have that time to create the equilibrium between two offices. That’s something I hadn’t thought of before as strategy. 

Linzy [00:19:16] Yeah. Because I think sometimes, you know, our businesses can feel like forces that are pulling us along. It’s like, oh no, no, I have to open a third location because I love her and I can’t lose her. And, and we end up making moves that actually are not strategic, because the other part of it, Courtney, is thinking about your energy and your focus. Are you in a place where you’re ready to, like, grow and support a clinician in recruiting other clinicians, training them, expanding your brand in that direction? Does that make sense for you right now? Does that make sense for the business? Or I mean, this path that you’re describing, this kind of transitional path of maybe she moves there and for a while she is on telehealth until X, Y, Z falls into place, the money falls into place, the time and energy falls into place. You’ve replaced your income at the old location. And so you’re not kind of taking a loss over here while you’re trying to grow over there, asking yourself, like, what needs to be in place so that I have the stability to branch out and grow again? Because with business too, there’s this concept of expansion and contraction or gathering. I like gathering more, you know, as a more neutral. And so there’s times when it makes sense to grow and you’ve positioned yourself to grow and you’re like, Yes, let’s do this. I’m going to like- because grow times are tiring, takes a lot., You know, you’re putting yourself out there, you’re trying things. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. You get you interview a new clinician, they seem great. They don’t take the job. Like there’s rollercoasters that come with that. Right. So when is a natural expansion time for you? When are you really ready to lean in to expansion and take risks and do what it takes to make a location work? And when is it more of a gathering? Time to kind of get your ducks in a row, think it through, set a plan, and then move into expansion when the time is right. 

Courtney [00:20:48] That’s it. Because I definitely see that with all these- even just asking you about these questions, I’m obviously in a gathering time. 

Linzy [00:20:55] Yes. 

Courtney [00:20:56] That I need to really focus my mind on that type of activities before picking out furniture. 

Linzy [00:21:06] Totally. But yeah, furniture is fun. Yeah. Yeah. But we want to make sure you’re furnishing a location that’s set up to succeed and thrive and make your business better. Not become a stressor. Or a liability. 

Courtney [00:21:18] Don’t we all need less stress? 

Linzy [00:21:20] Yes, absolutely. And the image that comes to mind for me for that is just like getting your feet firmly on the ground, you know, like being planted before you reach. I don’t know. Is there another image that is more resonant for you? Like, what do you think of this gathering space? 

Courtney [00:21:37] Oh, well, when you said grounding my mind immediately, but immediately went to just like grounding techniques that we help clients from. Yeah. You know, it’s even like settling the anxiety, like getting your- my own anxiety about this decision to a more manageable level. And so working on both the emotional gathering and the informational gathering at the same time. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:22:02] Wonderful. Thank you so much, Courtney. 

Courtney [00:22:03] Thank you, Linzy. 

Linzy [00:22:19] So in this coaching episode with Courtney, that metaphor that we ended up spending some time on – of the time to expand and time to gather – was really powerful kind of shift, right? I think in our businesses it’s so easy, so often that it feels like business is happening to us, life is happening to us and we’re reacting, right? We’re just responding to what’s happening rather than us sitting down, gathering together, looking at the information and deciding when we want to grow, how we want to grow, if we want to grow. Having that grounded center as we’re intentionally growing our businesses, whether it’s a group practice or whether it’s a practice where you’re expanding into courses or workshops or or making maybe that first hire, you know, these are things that sometimes an opportunity comes along and it feels like we have to jump on it. You know, our anxiety ramps up, we get kind of activated and we feel like this is now, it’s now or never. And so rarely is it actually now or never. And as Courtney came to in our discussion, there was actually this other kind of middle path that she hadn’t even thought about yet around, you know, having her clinician who’s moving to another city work online for a while, which means she doesn’t have to make a big move at this very second and can be more intentional and thoughtful about expanding into another location in a new city. So really helpful image around that expanding and gathering. I’ve always liked that one and I’m glad that it landed here. I’m excited to hear what Courtney ends up doing. If you are enjoying the podcast, you can get more free content from me on Instagram, you can follow me at @moneynutsandbolts. We put out practical and emotional Instagram content on there all the time. About private practice finances. I’ve also started to do stories. I’m not really a social media person, but you might sometimes catch me in stories hanging out on my hammock or talking about something. So if you’d like more from me @moneynutsandbolts on Instagram and if you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a minute to jump over to Apple Podcasts and leave us a review. It is the best way for other therapists who would benefit from these conversations about money and private practice and emotions and money stories and capitalism and all of it to find me. Thanks for listening.

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Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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Using Online Programs to Grow Your Private Practice with Stephanie Clairmont

Using Online Programs to Grow Your Private Practice
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Using Online Programs To Grow Your Private Practice With Stephanie Clairmont

Using Online Programs to Grow Your Private Practice

“And there’s this aspect that we just can’t give our clients one to one, which is probably why you’re carrying the burden on your shoulders is because it’s just you. You’re all they have. And when you can build out communities as a part of your service offerings, you don’t have 100% of the load anymore. They can share that with other people. It’s also an interesting way to create boundaries, too, but still provide ongoing, consistent support.”

~Stephanie Clairmont

Meet Stephanie Clairmont

Stephanie Clairmont, MHSc, is a retired Registered Dietitian, entrepreneur, founder and lead facilitator at The Leveraged Practice. She has been delivering in-person and online education since 2012 to health professionals and health clients and has been a part of national conferences, television shows and online symposiums. After creating 20+ online programs and launching (to-date) over 100+ times, has enrolled over 5000+ students through her programs. Stephanie is passionate about helping other health practitioners create an online program for their practice. She combines her unique expertise with the best practices and research in online education to help others leverage their experience, see more clients and make a bigger impact on the health of the world.

In This Episode…

Are you looking for ways to simultaneously grow your practice while also making it more sustainable with less one on one interaction? Do you want to reach more people and also make your work week more manageable? Stephanie Clairmont specializes in helping people in private practice build out course programs that they can integrate into their practice to enable their practice to grow without burnout.

Listen in to hear Linzy and Stephanie dig into how course programs can be beneficial to your private practice and to the people that you serve. Stephanie shares tips about how scalable assets within your business like programs can drastically strengthen your private practice.

Connect with Stephanie Clairmont

Check out Stephanie’s podcast, The Leveraged Practice, wherever you like to listen to podcasts.

Watch her free training at leverageyourpractice.com.

Find her on Instagram @theleveragedpractice

Want to work with Linzy?

FREE Money Momentum Challenge 

Are you avoiding your private practice finances, because you feel completely overwhelmed by them, and you have no idea where to even begin?

I’m hosting a FREE, live, 4-day Money Momentum Challenge from June 18th to the 21st, where you’ll get my support and guidance to step out of avoidance, take real action, and create ease and flow around your private practice finances.

In just 5-10 minutes each day, you’ll complete one small task that will help you move from money avoidance to financial clarity. And as a bonus for participating and completing the simple daily tasks, you’ll be entered into a draw to win daily prizes. Plus, one lucky therapist or health practitioner who completes the challenge will have a chance to win the grand prize of $500 cash!  

Are you in?

I can’t wait to see you inside! Sign up for the FREE Money Momentum Challenge HERE.

Try Mentaya for Free 

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Mentaya. Mentaya is a tool that allows American clients to easily claim their out-of-network benefits when they work with a therapist who does not take their insurance. Mentaya is here to help.

Discover Mentaya with one month free access. Click HERE and use the code “LINZY”.

Episode Transcript

Stephanie [00:00:01] And there’s this aspect that we just can’t give our clients 1 to 1, which is probably why you’re carrying the burden on your shoulders is because it’s just you. You’re all they have. And when you can build out communities as a part of your service offerings, you don’t have 100% of the load anymore. They can share that with other people. And it’s also an interesting way to create boundaries to but still provide ongoing consistent support. 

Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach, and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast. So today’s guest is Stephanie Clairmont. Stephanie is the founder of The Leveraged Practice, which supports health practitioners to grow their private practice with online programs. Today, Stephanie and I dig into how to supplement that one-on-one work that we do with online programs. We talk about this bind that we can get into as health practitioners and therapists where we are already at the max capacity of the amount of clients that we want to see each week. And we’re both maybe feeling that like edge. Maybe we’re seeing more clients already than we need to see. But financially, that’s where we’ve kind of landed. Maybe you’ve already increased your fee and you’re sitting in kind of the highest fee that you think is feasible or that you feel comfortable with. And now you’re starting to think about other options for how do you bring more revenue into your practice, but also how do you get more of your gift out into the world? There’s a natural limit on the amount of folks that we can support, regardless of what type of work that you’re doing, when we’re just doing one on one. And so if you have really honed a niche and you know, you have a real gift to share with the world, this is also a way for you to start to think about how you can reach even more people and affect even more people’s lives far beyond any amount of one on one work that you would ever be able to do. As you can tell, I’m a little passionate about this topic, and Stephanie really digs into some specifics today of how different online programs can look or what kind of people they would best serve so that you can reach more folks and share the gift that you have and help more people solve the types of problems that you solve. Here’s Stephanie Clairmont. Stephanie, welcome to the podcast. 

Stephanie [00:02:48] Thank you so much for having me, I’m really excited to be here. 

Linzy [00:02:50] I am so excited. I think that what you offer, which we’re going to dig into more about what you do, but so many students that I teach in Money Skills For Therapists, folks listening to the podcast can feel so exhausted and trapped in the work that we do. That’s basically like, to put it really bluntly, right? Like the work that we do can be hard. So, you know, a lot of folks listening to the podcast are mental health therapists or physios or acupuncturists or massage therapists. And I feel like when we’re in healing professions, as you are, there’s such a love for the work. But also the work can get exhausting. It can be a lot to see clients week after week after week for like years and years and years. And I’m so excited to have you here today because you have some other models that you can share with us, some other options that we have available as health practitioners. 

Stephanie [00:03:36] Yeah, absolutely. And I come from dietetics for those of you listening and don’t know who I am, but I was a dietitian for 12 years and I was doing 1 to 1 and then started my practice very quickly. So I had that private practice. I saw people in person, I did the 1 to 1, and I never thought I was going to get into the 1 to 1, but I just ended up getting in there. And I loved I love how you just said we have this love and passion for the work and the change and seeing people when they when they get cross that line to the other side, that’s where the love is. And very quickly, I just found myself repeating myself over and over again. It’s driving me crazy, like very early, you know, I just repeating it over and over again. And so that’s when I started to explore, Gosh, what else can I can I do to serve my population? And very early got into online programing myself as a practitioner in 2013. So I get where you guys who are listening are, because I was in it. And in a different way though, in dietetics, we are all a little different. We do a little differently. But if you feel that you can feel something kind of in your soul that you like, you love the people and you love the work and the outcome. But it’s also just too much to do it all the time. And I was there and I get it. And that’s why I get so excited about the work that we do here at The Leveraged Practice is because we work with you, those practitioners, to help you break out of that. A lot of our people still love to do the 1 to 1, like they have that 1 to 1 and it’s not that you let go that completely, but you do less of it and still make an impact. So I totally get that that problem area that we lie in where you’re looking at your heart and your soul is almost like, Gosh, I got to be able to impact lives and do this work, but there must be different avenues or ways to do it. 

Linzy [00:05:16] Totally because yeah, a lot of folks listening, Stephanie, they probably also resonate with like the idea of being highly sensitive or just kind of lower energy or they do really heavy work, you know, like you do work that it’s like it’s really hard to have that same conversation 20 times a week or to like deal with heavy subject areas, you know, for 20 hours a week. And I think for a lot of folks, they might feel that they’ve kind of hit their wall like they can’t see any more clients in a week or they’re already seeing too many already. They can feel that like this is not sustainable, even though they love the work. It’s like it’s starting to take too much and you have some options for us when we find ourselves in that place. 

Stephanie [00:05:50] It’s like you can see it coming, like they’re not burnt out. Like you’re not burnt out, but you should see it coming, right? You’re like, Oh my gosh. Like, I don’t want to end up over there. You know, that’s primarily who you’re probably listening and that’s where. 

Linzy [00:06:04] You’re on a path that you know is not sustainable. You can’t do this for another 20 years. 

Stephanie [00:06:08] Absolutely. We work with quite a few eating disorder therapists and dietitians in the dietitian field because that is such heavy work and it’s such a loving work, like they love it. But we’ve built a few amazing programs with our clients in that area because there’s so much room for group conversation, community, or supporting parents. Like if you work with pediatrics, you know, building a support program for the parents is really, really exciting and fun and it fulfills a different side of you that wants to do that good work. So yeah there’s hope, just know that there’s hope. 

Linzy [00:06:45] I feel hopeful and something that you mentioned that I think is also a neat part of this is the problem is not just that like we have our own limits in terms of how many one on one folks, but it’s like there’s so many more people out there who probably need to hear our message or experience our gift and our approach and our way of dealing with whatever topics that we’ll just never be able to serve in a 1 to 1 model. Like we’re always going to be serving only a fraction of the folks who can benefit from the gift that we have in the work that we love to do. 

Stephanie [00:07:11] I had someone refer to me today, a therapist. I know this is a variety of people listening, but especially for you therapists like she had such a good therapist, she’s like, Please go call Stephanie like the world needs what you have to offer. So whether you’re a therapist or someone else and you feel that power in the work that you do, I’ve had a therapist forever. Love it. So important to my life. But you know, when you’re around someone who’s really good at what they do, whether it’s therapy or dietetics or acupuncture, whoever you are, and you’re around their presence, you’re like, Oh my gosh, can you share this with the world? So if you feel that inside of you, that you have this light, but it’s still going to kind of get dwindled with all of that heaviness of the client load. The world is your oyster. There’s so much for you to be able to do that. 

Linzy [00:07:52] So if that is our situation and if folks listening already feel like, okay, I’ve hit my capacity, I need some other way to make money, or I have this thing I want to share, and I want to share it with more than just 16 or 20 or 30 people a week. Tell us our options. What are different things that we can do to expand beyond 1 to 1 work? 

Stephanie [00:08:10] Yeah. So let’s start with our models here at The Leveraged Practice. So one of the things is you’ve probably heard about courses, or programs, DIY, like, you know, maybe, maybe you’ve even written a book or you’re thinking of writing a book, but you’ve thought about transferring your knowledge in some other way. I have been in online programing since 2013, a very long time, and so I built everything from DIY self-study courses to memberships to mentorships to masterminds, professional development and clinical, because they come from the digestive health world. And where we land in The Leveraged Practice, and what we’ve really focused on in the last four years, is helping our clients to build comprehensive and results driven programing. So less about that book on the Internet, that course that people just watch or videos, which, to be honest, right now people aren’t really paying for anyways. There’s so much free information that your people don’t need more information and you probably already know that like they don’t. They come to you with information and be like, Which of these three things is right? You know, I don’t really need a lot more of that, but what they need is a supportive, organized, step by step program. And so that’s what we teach with a lot of practice. We have four core models, actually, three core models and some secondary models that we teach our clients. I’d love to share that with you guys here on the podcast. If that sounds interesting for you, it’s going to help you visualize what it looks like. And I find that’s tricky for most people in the 1 to 1. What does my program look like? Like, how do I even do that? And so let me share with you the three core models. So we’ve found after working with hundreds of people, that a collection of technology and deliverables and ways to support people together, now formed three models with the work we’ve done with clients. Super cool, something that I’ve developed, but in in partnership with the clients they work with, here’s the three models. The first one, which is exceptional. If you are someone who finds yourself repeating yourself like I was in my practice just all day long is a 1 to 1 hybrid style program. And so this program blends the 1 to 1 work that you’re doing but helps you reduce it so it’s needed less often, or your appointments are shorter along with online education and digital programing. So what we have is, let’s say, a six month program where instead of seeing someone weekly, you see them biweekly, or instead of seeing them for 45 minutes for a follow up, you actually only see them for 15 minutes of a follow up because all of that repeatable education component is available online and is dripped out over those four months or six months and they’re accessing it in between your appointments and your appointments are purely for customization and not for the education part. We can also build in a community, or guest experts, email support, other features into that style of program. But generally it can very quickly, like if you build this into your practice today, it can reduce the 1 to 1. You start to have the same amount of clients. You still have 30 clients, but instead of spending an hour with them every week, it’s like half an hour every week or it’s every other week instead of that. So the your time, you can cut your time in a third, like right now, by implementing a program like that. And then with that time you can take it back, you can go make more money, do whatever you want to do. So that’s one model. We call it the hybrid model, and it integrates 1 to 1 in. And it’s for that practitioner that still wants to include or feels like they need to include a 1 to 1 private session with their clients. What most people find is that with that model, there’s also room for another model because there is a group of clients and maybe you’re not seeing them right now in your practice. So if you’re just providing 1 to 1, what we have found is there’s a whole other group of people that want to give you money and want to work with you, but just don’t want that high level of 1 to 1 ness. Maybe they don’t want to pay that money. Maybe don’t have that money. They don’t want to pay it. They don’t want that intensive work. And so with one of the other two models, our clients will implement both of them and then have a whole new group of people coming in for services. So the next model is something that we call small group cohort model, a small group cohort, and it’s just as it’s described as a maximum number of participants. Our clients find that between five and ten is about the average number of people that you can have in a small group. These small groups generally meet every week and in small group they get enough attention from the facilitator and practitioner, but they also benefit from the group setting because so many of their questions overlap or problems overlap. 

Linzy [00:12:39] Oh, always. 

Stephanie [00:12:39] And our clients use this cohort model to facilitate. So quite a few of our clients use it for a group that they facilitate conversation and discussion. And it’s less about teaching, less about kind of giving those lessons, and more about presenting experience or exercises or options or teaching a concept and then allowing people to integrate or implement their lives. So that’s a model for all of our clients that all of our clients that use that, it’s so close to their heart. They just they love facilitating a small group. Still can be super profitable, like we’re not talking about the biggest scalable model. It’s still super scalable. Still a model you could build six figures, multi six figures with our clients that are moving and scaling up and growing their programs in that small cohort have hired or trained other colleagues to help facilitate the programs. So that’s our small cohort. That is something like a weekly group, small group max, ten people with one practitioner. And again, we have an online education library. We can have resources online. Some of them will have a monthly guest speaker that comes in so we can still integrate some of those features. 

Linzy [00:13:48] Right. Yes. 

Stephanie [00:13:48] And then the third model is more for that practitioner that wants the biggest impact possible. How do I help hundreds of people or thousands of people? And that is with a community group coaching model. So we call it a community group coaching model because the community is so powerful and you really are growing a large community of people. And in this model we have more recorded education. So you’re not teaching live, you’re really having recorded bite-size lessons or modules that people are working through. And then you have some sort of office hours, which would be maybe live Q&A. It could also be pre submitted questions and recorded Q&A. It can also be email support or a forum or community where people are asking questions. So you always want to have a way for people to to get that private support and ask questions when you’re having such a volume in there. I think in health it’s important to have a privacy option. So I really encourage email support in that option. But no repeating yourself. It’s all recorded. And then you come in and offer these great calls that are group dynamic and conversation. So this is what I eventually scaled to with my IBS business, had hundreds of people, actually thousands at one point, into the IBS program, and I found really beautiful experiences that I wouldn’t have guessed with the community sharing different like recipes or sharing things that were working for them. And there’s this aspect that we just can’t give our clients 1 to 1, which is probably why you’re carrying the burden on your shoulders is because it’s just you. You’re all they have. And when you can build out communities as a part of your service offerings, you don’t have 100% of the load anymore. They can share that with other people. And it’s also an interesting way to create boundaries too, but still provide ongoing, consistent support. So those are three main core models. The fourth model I was talking about, we call it our secondary model. And where we find that program comes in is we call it a maintenance membership model. So after your initial program, whether that’s a group or 1 to 1, so if you’re seeing clients right now and they have a problem and it takes four months for them to kind of get through that initial problem, but you find that they want to see it forever because they really just need to either keep the change or they have like a new level of the problem that kind of just keeps coming up in life, which is literally everyone who comes to a health practitioner, you can build an ongoing model that’s more like a membership. But after that initial service, ongoing on a monthly basis, they have access to things like the community, like email support, like office hours, but it’s a lot less. It’s not as much about comprehensive program. 

Linzy [00:16:25] Like their maintenance package. 

Stephanie [00:16:26] Totally. Less of your time, those people don’t usually require any 1 to 1. They just have access and they don’t want to be alone when they’re stuck. So those are the four programs that our clients are building into their practices to really do more than one thing. The first thing you and I talked about was to decrease your 1 to 1 facing hours so you don’t get exhausted, you don’t burn out, and you still have that passion for work and life. But also the models help them increase the profit of the practice. And you and I were talking about money a little bit in that we have a certain maximum we want to charge or we’re allowed to charge or it feels reasonable in our area. And I think there’s this difficult mindset thing that I’ve seen in practitioners is like going above that rate. For me, it was 150 when I was in practice and once I hit 150, I was like, I can’t go over 150. Like, who am I. 

Linzy [00:17:16] You’re at the ceiling. 

Stephanie [00:17:17] Oh, my gosh, yeah. Like forever till you die. And so, you know, I was like, what else am I going to do? And so if that’s, you know, that you can still keep your rate at 150 or whatever it is, but you can have another stream of revenue with your programing that you can charge for, and that people are willing to pay for, because it’s more positioned as a program, not a service. And sometimes people do have in their mind like, one hour you want me to give you $200 for an hour of your time? Like, sometimes there’s kind of like a separation there. But once we’re selling a program, a three month program, a six month program, it feels different. And so, one, we can charge different amounts for that. But two, it’s so much more profitable to your bottom line revenue, which I think is so important, because if you have a practice, it costs money and maybe you’re charging 150 or 130 an hour or whatever it is. But the profit you get to take home, you’re probably looking at your salary going like, Is this enough? It’s probably not. And so that’s how you act to increase your profitability of your business, which is incredible. 

Linzy [00:18:22] Yes. Yeah. And in like scalability, I mean, there’s so many thoughts that I’m having as you’re talking because I’ve I’ve walked some of this path. Right. And first of all, creating Money Skills For Therapists, which first I started doing one on one and realized that it was obviously not scalable to do one on one work. But also I found that it wasn’t as effective. Right. Because as you say, you can’t give somebody community. Right. And so I think especially when you’re teaching something that people might have a lot of like emotion or shame or whatever around, unless in mental health you’re actually doing like depth work with them and you’re helping them process those feelings. Those can actually be a barrier, I think, to them making progress with you, it was just the two of you. But when they’re in a group, suddenly you have this magic that’s added where they see like other, in terms of the folks that I serve, in terms of therapists working on money, you see these other amazing badass therapists who are so good at so many things, but they struggle with money and you’re like, Oh, wait a second, maybe I’m also a badass, and maybe this doesn’t mean that I am failed because I’m not good at money. But just like, ha, I’m learning about money and I can learn like about money. Just like she’s learning, right? And it gives you something that a practitioner or a coach individually just can’t give you, right? Which is that experience of walking with people and being peers with people and growing together with people, which I think is so powerful and can help people actually, like stick to making changes and motivate people to make changes in a way that an individual practitioner is just never going to be able to do with you. Like they can’t replace a community. 

Stephanie [00:19:44] Yeah, absolutely. It reminds me of my very first job as a dietitian and I developed into a kid’s cooking program. And so for anyone who has kids, this may hit you. 

Linzy [00:19:53] Yes. 

Stephanie [00:19:54] Now I have three kids and they’re all 7 and under. I don’t know if you will know this or not, but for me, I was the cooking instructor, so they came to the after school program or they came to the summer program and I taught them how to cook. Well, I was a dietitian, so it was a secret, healthy cooking here. But what I found was, in community with nine or ten of their friends, those kids will do anything good or bad. You got a lot of good or bad. But parents would come in and be like, she ate a tomato, like he had a broccoli. Like their minds are blown. And I didn’t even know tomatoes or broccoli was a problem for them. We just made pizzas and I made them put one vegetable on it to try, or we had salad with like fishy crackers in it or something, you know, like we just did some fun things and they watched other kids put a tomato in their mouth and they did it. And so there’s something about that power, that we can use for that evil or for good. I prefer good use, good when we’re around our peers and we’re around our colleagues and it’s motivating, inspiring, and it keeps that energy going, especially in health, when you can get so down. Like you can get so damn down on making change in your life because change is so hard or it’s it’s rocky, right? You fail. You’re going to succeed and you’re also going to fail one day, or you’re not going to work out at some points. But to be around people who are like, that was me last week or last month, like, here’s what it looks like on the other side, is just so powerful. Like if we all just included online programing. Oh my gosh, the better off- Linzy. 

Linzy [00:21:30] Is that your dream for the world. 

Stephanie [00:21:32] We could learn in community. We could stop repeating ourselves. We could have these accessible ways for our clients to remember. They’re not going to remember what you say when they leave your office, right? Then they are going to actually do the work and they’ll watch it. Like when I was a dietitian and family health team, like in local practice, government paid for. I’d see people every four weeks. And when they came back in four weeks, they were like, the first week was great. I did all these things and then I don’t know what happened and I haven’t done anything for three weeks. 

Linzy [00:22:00] Right? Yes. 

Stephanie [00:22:01] And I think part of it is memory. They care about so many things that were their lowest priority. So when you put things online, people can go back to be like, wait, what was I supposed to do? What was that exercise, or what was that reflection journaling thing, that prompt. And so it’s just like such a better way to learn and remember the poor people. So I truly think every practice could have a program, even if it’s just removing the repeatable stuff right now. 

Linzy [00:22:27] Right? So giving a program that has like some teaching content because it also makes me think about how Money Skills For Therapists, my course, has recorded teaching content. A lot of that content I made in 2018, I don’t remember exactly what I said in all of them, but people will quote me back to myself and I’m like, Well, that was good. I don’t have to be actively teaching it. It’s kind of like you get to bottle up. In some ways, you’re best teaching material, right? Because you’re teaching it in a very intentional way. You’re really thinking about, What’s my best way to explain this? You’re saving your best take. And then they get to watch your best version and absorb, like, your best explanation of the information, not the explanation that you gave on like a Friday afternoon when you were tired. And this was like your 20th time saying this this week, and you’re like trying to, like, make it fresh, but it’s just not feeling fresh. 

Stephanie [00:23:09] So funny. I’ve never heard it put like that. And you know what’s funny is my team’s always like, Oh, do you remember how you said it like this, exactly like this when you did this, you do that over here. And I was like, No, I have absolutely no memory of what I said. It is gone, but I love that. So for me, I do really well. I’m not a morning person, but for some reason, like in the morning, like I’m talking ten, guys, not six o’clock. 

Linzy [00:23:30] Right. Okay. Yeah. 

Stephanie [00:23:32] But I like ten or 930. That’s when I feel the freshest. That’s when I do my hair and make up. That’s when I do my recording. That’s when I make my training. Like four, or five, six at night is not the best time. So I love that you’re talking about like get it out of you in those situations on Tuesday morning. Before you feel dead on Friday. Like that is perfect because it’s it’s not always the same. It’s not always consistent. We can capture that and we teach our clients to outline it, you know, kind of script it out, make a couple slides if you want to that are going to trigger you or remind you, but don’t teach over a giant slide deck. That’s not what you do in practice. Like be personable about it, but highlight some of those specific things that you want to cover, like you said in that kind of best version of it. I love that you said that. I’ve never heard it like that before. It’s so true. It’s so smart. 

Linzy [00:24:19] Yeah. I love what you’re saying about, kinda do it in the way that you would do it in person? So like something I know with teaching and video that I’ve very quickly realized is like little short videos. I have videos, my videos are like 5 minutes. It’s only if I’m deep diving into something and teaching how to do something that it might be up to 20. That’s like Max, Max, Max. Right. Because I know too, like you got to think about your audience and like, what where they’re at when they’re watching it, how much are they going to be able to actually absorb? Right. And when we’re talking to somebody in a session, we don’t just talk at them for 45 minutes. We know that’s not effective. Right. And so you get to translate that over and record it in a way that people are really going able to receive it. Knowing what you know about the folks that you work with. 

Stephanie [00:24:55] The industry type wording is mic learning and that’s you get between two and 8 minutes. That’s like standard. However, I’m always telling my clients like, how are people learning right now? All they’re looking at is 15 seconds. Like, so, I’m not saying make 15 seconds lessons. 

Linzy [00:25:10] TikTok has changed us forever. 

Stephanie [00:25:12] But that 2 to 5 minute is even more important. And my team just had me rerecord like I just restructured our entire course. One of our courses we have three core courses on three core areas that you need to build a leveraged practice. One of them is that scalable asset. So it’s that product like we’re talking about with the models. So I just redid the course training this all under 6 minutes, all of it, even if I wanted to deep dive, I broke it up into like three or four videos. Like, Stephanie, stop telling all the stories. So some of my videos are two and a half minutes. And that’s what we need to give our clients. That’s how they’re learning. That’s what’s helpful when we think about one hour appointments to listen, to assess, to coach, to instruct. I just think like probably less and less people are going to book that and more and more people are available and willing to do programing that they can learn in 15 minutes a week or half a week instead of these one hour consults that they’re going to drive to. So the one thing that I want everyone to remember about programing is that what we’re talking about today is a scalable asset for your business, a program that you can scale into the hundreds of thousands or more if you want to, that’s helping you impact people. But it’s not just a course on the Internet. It’s not just information. It’s truly support, feedback, and a smart way to educate people. That is really the key and that is the future. It is here right now in 2022, but it is the future for the next years of people learning how they’re going to access health care, how they’re going to want to learn. They’re going to still want 1 to 1, or they’re going to still want customization. So if anyone’s listening who is has tried to launch a program and it’s failed, it’s probably because of the offer. You know, if you try to just sell a course now, and you’re like come buy my program, or come buy my course, no one’s going to buy it. They need to know that there’s still assessment and customization and someone who knows their name and they’re not just a number. That’s really important and we will need to do that. We can leverage so much expertize and technology to make it easier to help people that, like you and I were talking about, we don’t have practitioners burning out and changing professions because they just can’t do it anymore. 

Linzy [00:27:21] Yeah. So to give some examples for folks who are listening, who are like, that sounds great, but I’m a I’m a trauma therapist, I am an eating disorder therapist, I’m a physiotherapist. Can you share with us some different examples of programs that you’ve supported folks to make or seen folks make that might replace some of that clinical work that we’ve been doing? 

Stephanie [00:27:38] So let’s talk about manual people. So someone like the physiotherapist who’s listening and I think you also said acupuncturist, and quite a few massage therapists, you’re a physical therapist. This is what I would encourage you to think about. I’m closing my eyes, I know you guys aren’t watching me but I’m closing my eyes. This is what I want you to think about what is the problem that your client comes to you with? Let’s say you’re in massage or physio or any of those, and it’s back pain. Probably the most common pain, right? We’re coming to you with back pain. So you do some physical work on them and they feel a little bit better and they’re going to come back a few times. Now, you know, there are some reasons why they got that back pain in the first place. And you might take a couple of minutes to explain it to them, maybe sitting in the chair, maybe like how they lift things. Like there is actually a lot of education to either prevent that. Maybe there’s some treatment where they can go home and do certain things that you can build a program around. So one of the physiotherapists that we worked with during COVID, so she was like, Ah, I got to get online right now. And we were like, okay, let’s do this. Was on ergonomics. So as a physiotherapist, she has a magical gift of healing the back and healing the body. But she had information and knowledge that she could put into a program that helped people to reduce that back pain and even prevent that back pain with the way that they work and the way that they sit in all settings. So that’s an example of a program that one of our clients made, Sasha, sets an example, but for all of you listening, if you’re in that physical space, the question is what are people coming to you with? What’s that problem and what- how can you support them in that way? Another one I think of is for me, when I was pregnant, I always had back pain. I did lots of physio and now I’m doing pilates and I’m all good. But so other people have taken my money and taught me different courses to make my back better, no one wants to have that forever. But pregnancy and like that group of human beings who are doing exceptional work, probably have a lot of different issues and pain. So if you’re physically supporting them during pregnancy, imagine what you could be teaching them that they could be doing at home to keep that change or to feel good in their bodies. So that would be the way that I would look at that. In therapy, again, I think I mean, we could talk about eating disorder, we could talk about trauma, we could talk about the intuitive eating space. There’s quite a few people over there. Some of that is needed 1 to 1. So that hybrid program works really, really well. But actually, when I was working with one with my therapist, I know that she she taught me a lot about parts work. She gave me a book like there’s like a whole bunch of stuff, I don’t even remember. 

Linzy [00:30:10] Internal Family Systems. 

Stephanie [00:30:12] There was no program on it. 

Linzy [00:30:13] Yes, yes. 

Stephanie [00:30:15] Think about those educational pieces in therapy, especially for those of you in trauma or those of you that are in like disordered eating or that like those kinds of things where there’s underlying issues you do teaching on that, right? So you could be sitting with a client for 30 minutes unraveling what’s going on and then prescribe them a training on parts work or on like what you were saying, like family. And there’s a family thing, right? 

Linzy [00:30:41] Internal family systems. Yeah. Which is parts work. 

Stephanie [00:30:44] Which is parts work. 

Linzy [00:30:44] Probably the parts work you did. It’s the most popular right now. Yeah. 

Stephanie [00:30:47] I am not the expert on the subject matters. That’s you wonderful people. I am the expert on the putting it all together into a structure that will sell. But those kinds of pieces, no matter what health practitioner I’m working with, but in therapy, specifically, understanding is like crazy, right? Like that’s changes your life is someone who understands to you some kind of system like you were explaining about the family. Like that influences why you’re acting the way you are. It’s just it’s amazing. And so with, I would think, like with some of our programmers that are doing, I mean, even weight loss, but intuitive eating, disordered eating, trauma. We have some individual consults, but then we have the learning underneath, which is dripped out either on a weekly or monthly basis or it’s prescriptive where the library of resources, and in that you’re saying, okay, this week I want you to look at this chapter. This week I want you to look at this chapter. We’ve also had, like I was saying to someone, not just one person, but several people create parental programs. If you’re working with a teen population around again, like I’m thinking of disordered eating, but any kind of any kind of trauma or any kind of behavior issues. Having a program that educates and supports the parents so the child is in the 1 to 1 work, but the parent is in a comprehensive program that supports them in how to support the child. That has been really well received by our clients, clients who have bought into those parent programs. That has been amazing as well. 

Linzy [00:32:19] Saying something that’s coming up for me and like I don’t know if there’s any basis in this, but I guess one question I have is, Stephanie, have you encountered any professions where in their like licensure or with their college – we’re both Canadian, in Canada, we call it college – your regulatory body doesn’t allow them to sell courses to clients. 

Stephanie [00:32:37] Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s a good time to ask this question because you may be thinking, yes, I’m going to do this. I’m excited. Oh, no – my college. 

Linzy [00:32:46] Oh, yes, I’m from the College of Social Workers in Ontario and I’m like, I don’t think I would be allowed to do that. 

Stephanie [00:32:51] So we’ve worked with a lot of people, especially in Canada, who start within their own province. So if you’re in the province of Ontario, for example, you can practice outside of just your own city, right? I’m in the city of Hamilton. I can practice. I mean, if you’re just going to drive. Actually, I was in Kitchener-Waterloo when I had my practice and I had people drive up to 3 hours to visit me. Now, they wouldn’t have driven from Ottawa or from Sault Ste Marie. Way too far. And we weren’t doing virtul back then. So your practice could at least expand to your provincial lines. That’s the first place to think about it and look at it. You could help more people that are just in your city and you could even help the people in your city in a bigger capacity. So some of our clients are literally just practicing in their state and increasing their profitability, decreasing their hours, and growing their revenue just within their state or province lines. So I would first start you there. 

Linzy [00:33:44] Yeah. 

Stephanie [00:33:45] Yes, you’re right. The licensure for mental health professionals, dietetics, physiotherapy, for many of them, it’s going to be you are licensed in that province or state for that particular title. Okay. And so you can still do some of this stuff and work larger than just your local city. So that’s where a lot of our clients will start. Outside of that, what I have found and I know everyone has a different licensure, so here’s just some thoughts for you now. Disclaimer: My lawyer says I cannot give legal advice, so this is not legal advice. Always go and talk to your own college and your own lawyer. But some other ways that people are doing this is they get licensed in more than one state or province. We see this in Canada, we can do this in the US. I find it’s more affordable for our U.S. friends, for them to get licensed in different states. And also in the US, there are some states that don’t require a license. I know that, especially for dietetics. 

Linzy [00:34:37] Oh, interesting. 

Stephanie [00:34:38] That you can practice dietetics and it’s just you don’t need to be licensed in that state. So every country, every state, every province, every industry has some different rules. So you want to talk to your college that you’re governed by first and then talk to a lawyer and understand it. So another, like I said, is that you can be licensed in different places. Another way to do it is some of my clients have partners in different prep in different states. So one of my clients right now has this goal of going national across the US. So she’s licensed in a few states and she’s just hired two professionals who are licensed in other states and together they’re licensed in 12 states right now. Right. So as you grow and scale them, you can actually grow your model because you don’t want it to be just you anyways if you’re serving all of the United States of America, so you’re going to need to grow your team. And that’s an amazing and very cool, very innovative way to do it that people are doing it. So that’s why I always say like, start in your own state or province or I know some of our American friends, they might be registered in New Jersey and New York and like a couple of them and build that up and get that working. And then once that’s working? The sky’s the limit. You can get bigger. Other clients might function with a different title, so they may be a registered whatever, but in their program they are a consultant, or they coach. That’s another legal question, ask your lawyer about that. 

Linzy [00:36:00] Yes. Ask your lawyer. Ask your lawyer. But what I’m hearing is there are creative solutions. Right. And like finding ways to do it creatively and then, you know, also thinking through for you and what you’re doing, what is ethical, you know, like what are the ways that you can expand that, you know, are meeting your client’s needs and ticking all the right boxes? 

Stephanie [00:36:17] I think it’s really easy to get overwhelmed. It’s really easy to leave this podcast and think of five reasons why you can’t do that. You know, it’s really easy to look at your schedule and think like, where am I going to find the time to build this out? It’s so- it’s it’s too easy to go that way. Which is sometimes why- and you know this because you’re a coach, like you need to hire a coach, you get into a program, you need to just do it. 

Linzy [00:36:37] Give yourself a structure. 

Stephanie [00:36:38] Yeah, give yourself that. But other times, like I just think with practitioners it’s so easy to give ourselves all these reasons and I want to encourage you to start at the beginning. You have too many clients. You can’t see people 1 to 1 for 40 hours a week for the next 40 years, like you cannot. 

Linzy [00:36:54] Right. 

Stephanie [00:36:55] They should have taught us in school, online programs are great and because this is not sustainable and you have the ability to build a sustainable practice, even if it’s local within your own city, I’ve seen it be successful or in your own state or province. Even if you don’t, even if you give me those excuses, you can absolutely do it locally at the local level. Because remember, one of the things I said, I know I’ve talked a lot on this podcast, but one of the things I said was the 1 to 1 clients that come in and do that face to face or Zoom 1 to 1. There is a segment of clients that will never do that work. And when you create another offer for them, another, you open a window, another opportunity for them to work with you. You will get more sales than you ever have, even if it’s within your own city or within a three hour area. And, you know, three states that you’re registered in. So it can still help you decrease your hours and increase your profit. Locally, the other part of it, is it can literally just- what if you just made the same money but you worked half the time? What if you just work like 2 days a week? But you made the same money because you stop repeating yourself. You leveraged community and online technology and you just worked less. Like that is absolutely possible. I just want to add, I can’t hear what you all are thinking, but I do. And I know there’s some reasons in your head that you can’t do what I want to offer you a few things to think about. Like what if all it did was decrease your hours? What if all it did was bring in an extra $10K a year and decreased one day in your schedule? Right. To me, that is totally worth it. That is incredibly worth it. 

Linzy [00:38:34] Yes. Like this doesn’t have to be your plan to become a multi-millionaire. It can still have very positive impacts on your financial life and your ability to reach people, even if you decide to make it something relatively small. 

Stephanie [00:38:46] Yeah, and it can be, but that’s a conversation for like once you do this and you’re killing it and you’ve reached six figures, then then we can talk about the million. That’s a different- bit of a different model. We definitely need a lawyer then, that like that’s a different- 

Linzy [00:38:59] At least. 

Stephanie [00:39:00] Start where you start. And you start with that first goal and then you keep going. 

Linzy [00:39:04] Well, thank you so much. I’m sure you’ve planted seeds with folks of like, oh, and that’s what I want to encourage is like, as Stephanie said, like I know sometimes, especially mental health therapists. I don’t know, Stephanie, if dietitians are a certain type of human, but mental health therapist we tend to be over thinkers, over functionaries. And it’s possible that folks are like, well, I can’t because X, Y, Z and I, yeah, I am with Stephanie. Like be creative. Start to think about like, well, but what if I just this little thing or what if this thing that I say all the time, what if I did just have a few videos instead that I, you know, shared with folks or sold as a little package, or educational materials for parents I love because therapists talk about that. Like you’re working with the kid, you really don’t want to actually have like, necessarily a ton to do with the parents, depending on what the situation is. And yet, you know, what happens to the parents is everything. So having like a course that those parents are going through at the same time as you’re working individually with that kiddo, like that seems like a huge added value, you know, to what you’re providing for that family. So many possibilities. 

Stephanie [00:40:01] Everyone I work with is feeling overwhelmed and they’re also struggling with perfectionism. I think I could have a whole show on overwhelming perfectionism. 

Linzy [00:40:09] Oh, yes, yes, yes. 

Stephanie [00:40:10] So, yes. And I’m recovering. I was a dietitian. I’m recovering perfectionist. And I think the biggest thing for me and I think you would probably have great advice on this as well, it’s overwhelming to grow a business. It’s overwhelming to shift from a health practitioner to an entrepreneur. It’s always been exciting for me, though, like, I like chaos, so I’m okay, but it’s still overwhelming. And you have those overwhelming days. So having people around you, like you were saying, you have a community in your program, having that being around people who dream big like you and want to be an innovator and want to be a leader and having someone that gives you that structure and support, for me, that is how I changed my life. I don’t think I was there without all those supports. 

Linzy [00:40:51] Oh, Absolutely. 

Stephanie [00:40:51] So if you really want to do this, you know, do it, but like get some support around it. 

Linzy [00:40:56] Yeah. I mean, there’s that expression of like you are, you know, kind of the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. And I think that’s absolutely true. Like who we surround ourselves with really defines what’s possible and what we think is possible. And so if you are listening to Stephanie and you’re like your interest is peaked. I would say get around her and get around other folks who are doing the kind of stuff that you want to do and you might be surprised what possibilities open up for you and what becomes suddenly possible and might even seem like a no brainer once you get those right support. So Stephanie, on that topic, if folks want to get further into your world, where can they find you? 

Stephanie [00:41:29] Yeah, the easiest thing to do is check out my podcast. So my company’s called The Leveraged Practice, you can find The Leveraged Practice podcast on iTunes, Spotify, all the podcast places. And if you’re listening to this, then I know you’re podcast listeners, so you cannot, you cannot, you can’t. I’ll find you. No, you can find me, you have no excuses. So The Leveraged Practice podcast, find me there. We do episodes every week. There’s lots of really great stories. We have clients sharing what’s worked for them. So if you need a little more underneath to inspire you, it’s a great place. I share strategy and what’s working now as well. And then we run a free training. And so if you go to leverage your practice, go to leverageyourpractice.com, you’ll sign up for our next training. Sometimes it’s live, sometimes it’s just available right away on demand. So you go on over there and you’re ready to understand more about the frameworks that we teach and the different systems that you need to build into your practice so that you can do this. That’s a great place as well, but you can find me in either of those places or you can find me on Instagram @theleveragedpractice if you want to send me a message or you have a question. 

Linzy [00:42:29] Great. Awesome. Thank you so much, Stephanie. 

Stephanie [00:42:31] Oh, my gosh. This was my honor, everyone. Thank you for letting me jump into this podcast you listen to regularly. It’s just such a pleasure to share what I care about and I hope that it makes a difference for some of you. 

Linzy [00:42:42] Awesome. Thank you. I was so impressed in my conversation with Stephanie about just how many different kind of distinct models they have clarified and support people with creating for their online offers. And of course, I definitely recognize some of those models as Money Skills For Therapists has been a couple of those things over time. And I love that Stephanie specifically is for health practitioners and therapists because it is a little different for us. The work that we’re doing is a little different. There’s different considerations that need to be made of how to either translate what you do online or even thinking about how to integrate that effectively into the work that you’re doing. And ethically, you know, there’s there’s rich territory there. But if you did find yourself getting caught up as Stephanie and I thought that maybe you might be in thinking about why you- this can apply to you. I really do encourage you to almost put that aside for a second to think about if you could offer a program online, if that’s something interesting to you, what would it be about? What is that thing that you talk to your clients about over and over again? Or what is that topic that just lights you up that you would love to be able to talk about and just create specific content and space in your schedule to be digging into that with people? Being curious, letting yourself be excited is a really good place to start. Before we start to stop ourselves and tell ourselves why it wouldn’t work or why our college or licensing body would not allow it. And there are certainly lots of different options and creative options. And you could always talk to lawyers or talk to colleagues who are doing it to see how they are making it work, so that they can have different ways of supporting and helping people besides one on one. They can point you in all the right directions, but I hope that it got some of your wheels turning today. If it’s something you’ve considered before about what it might look like for you, if you decided to expand beyond 1 to 1 practice. If you enjoy the content that I’m putting out, you can check me out on Instagram. You can follow me @moneynutsandbolts. I am sharing free – of course, because it’s Instagram – practical and emotional private practice money content out there all the time. And if you’re enjoying the podcast, please head over to Apple Podcasts and leave me a review. Even if you’ve heard me say this like 20 times and you haven’t done it, let this be the time that you do it. I would love, love, love to hear your thoughts and feedback and get a review from you about the podcast so other therapists can find me. Thanks for listening today. 

Picture of Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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