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Becoming the CEO of Your Practice Coaching Session

“I think it’s funny, actually, you said CEO, and that was sort of an unexpected bonus byproduct of your course: I definitely left feeling it was more than just the financial piece. I really started to understand that shift from therapist to CEO. And I think it’s still a mindset I’m working on. It’s not always, always present, but that was a really nice shift also. And thinking that, as the CEO, yeah, what are your tasks? What are your visions? What do you want to do? I think I like that idea of him buying back my time. I’ve really enjoyed sort of diving into some of those other things that we often don’t get to do.”

– Erin Iwanusa

Meet Erin Iwanusa

Erin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, grief and loss, fertility, and pregnancy loss. Erin specializes in working with clients from adolescence to adulthood. She is a certified Daring Way™ Facilitator, a highly experiential methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, focusing on self-compassion, shame resilience, and vulnerability.

Erin has extensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, both evidence-based practices shown to support anxiety, mood regulation, eating disorders, and depressed symptoms. Erin is also trained in mindfulness-based practices, and specializes in working with individuals coping with recurrent pregnancy loss.

In This Episode…

Have you been wondering when to take on staff and the best way to financially prepare for and then leverage that cost? In this coaching session, Linzy and Erin discuss the factors to consider as you take on more staff and hire people to help you free up time to do the things that only you can do for your practice. Erin shares her concerns about her finances during this growth period in her practice, and together Linzy and Erin strategize ways to manage the discomfort that can come during periods of growth while also making financially savvy decisions to support Erin’s business. 

Listen in to hear practical tips about how and when to spend money on staff and how to have peace of mind when navigating those decisions.

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Ready to get your finances really working for you in your practice and your life? This episode is brought to you by Money Skills for Therapists, my signature course that takes therapists and health practitioners from money shame and confusion, to calm and confidence. Get on the waitlist for the Money Skills For Therapists course, and lock in the 2021 rate before the price changes on January 1st!

Episode Transcript

Erin [00:00:01] We’re just not at that point right now, which is great, and we will get there, but for a foundational place, the financial piece of it is fine. It’s OK right now. It feels really good to think about it that way. 

 

Linzy [00:00:15] 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 to today’s episode. Today’s episode of the Money Skills For Therapists podcast is brought to you by my course, Money Skills For Therapists. Surprise, surprise. This is your chance to get on the waitlist to lock in 2021 pricing. We are increasing our price in 2022, as I suggest all therapists and health practitioners do from time to time. And if you’ve been thinking about Money Skills For Therapists, if you’re curious about the course, get on the waitlist now so that when we open the doors with our 2021 pricing, you have a chance to get in. The link is in my bio. This is my step by step course that walks you through my signature framework to take you from money confusion and shame to calm and confidence. I walk you through setting up an actual system that you’ll actually be using to make your private practice work for you, as well as giving you lots of support and mindset work to help you shift your emotional relationship to money. So if you’re interested in the course, get on the waitlist now. The link is in the show notes. 


Linzy [00:01:30] So my guest today is Erin Iwanusa. Erin is a grad of Money Skills For Therapists. She’s a group practice owner, and today we dug into the coaching topic of when do you decide to bring more staff into your group practice? Now, although Erin is a group practice owner and a lot of what we talk about might seem specific to group practice, it absolutely is not. This is a great episode to help you think about how bringing on help, whether as a group practice owner who’s hiring therapists or an administrator, or as a solo practitioner who might be hiring a VA or contracting out some work. How to think about those financial decisions when you’re trading your money for somebody else’s time and freeing up time for the things that only you can do. We get into some CEO mindset pieces of making sure that you are focusing on only the things that you can do. This is a great episode if you find yourself struggling to spend money, but also a great episode if you find yourself really uncomfortable with where you are right now in your practice, if you’re in a growth stage, you feel like you’re like a little bit midair, you’re still putting down the foundation and you’re not sure if this is going to work. This is a great episode in learning how to tolerate those feelings, but also making sure you’re making the strategic moves so that your discomfort is going to pay off. Here’s Erin Iwanusa. 

 

Linzy [00:03:07] So thank you for coming on today, Erin, welcome. 

 

Erin [00:03:10] Thank you. Of course. 

 

Linzy [00:03:12] So Erin, you are a grad of Money Skills For Therapists, going back a few months now. Tell me, if you can take yourself back to that time, what made you decide to join the course? 

 

Erin [00:03:23] I joined- I think I joined November or December of 2020, and I was growing from an individual practitioner into a group practice, and I had already made my first hire- hiring a therapist. And I think I really just kind of wanted that clarity around how do we manage our money in private practice? Am I even just doing it correctly? Because we don’t get any of those courses when we’re in grad school. And so that’s really kind of what inspired me to join the course was to make sure that I was just sort of managing the money correctly and having a sense of money that was coming in, money that was going out, and then how do I navigate a group practice financially as well. 

 

Linzy [00:04:06] Yeah. So you were kind of at this transition point. Like you both wanted to know that you were doing it, but also you were growing. And then coming into what you want to talk about today. You’re still growing. 

 

Erin [00:04:17] Still growing. Yes. So since finishing up the course, I’ve hired another therapist. She’s been with me for a bit now. I have a full time assistant. I took on a grad student intern. We’ve actually just rented another office, a second location. I mean, we’re sort of going to see what happens. One of my therapists doesn’t live in New York City. And so it just sort of made sense to give her her own office space. And so we’re looking to hire a couple more folks out there. So we’re growing both office space as well as numbers of of employees. It feels like a lot. 

 

Linzy [00:04:53] Yes, those decisions, Erin, just so I kind of understand your process. How did you know it was time and how did you decide to make your next hire and get that office space? 

 

Erin [00:05:03] That’s a good question. I love working with younger therapists and providing education and training and support because I think we obviously get a lot of that in grad school. And then you sort of get thrown into the real, the real world, and you’re expected to still learn. But I think there can be more learning opportunities early in our career. And so my sort of vision of the practice was to provide those opportunities to therapists. And so my goal is to really kind of step back from the therapist. And I’ve been doing it for a while and I’m really kind of I’m enjoying the supervision and training and consulting and that sort of side of it. And so ultimately, my goal is to be able to take on that role and have therapists see the clients and work with them. So that was sort of the vision. But you know, as a sole practitioner, we want to have a family. I want to take ample maternity leave. And when we take that time off, it’s just sort of unpaid time where you have to save for it properly. And so maybe it was even a little bit out of my own anxiety, if you will, of ‘I don’t want to not get paid for X amount of time’. And so can I hire people who can kind of keep the practice going while I’m doing some personal things? 

 

Linzy [00:06:24] Yeah, like I’m hearing two sides to that. One is that you really enjoy like the mentorship and consultation, and that’s work that feeds you. And so like kind of maybe moving out of therapy works, which I’m sure also feeds you. But I know I’ve made this switch myself. I actually just shut down my private practice two weeks ago. Sometimes you kind of just grow in different directions and you can’t do it all. So I’m hearing that is kind of part of your professional trajectory, but then also building an income stream for yourself that’s not just “butts and seats” is kind of the term, right? Not just you see clients one on one. 

 

Erin [00:06:53] Exactly. 

 

Linzy [00:06:54] So that’s kind of what has led you to this place of growing this business the way that you are. Tell me about kind of where you are now in terms of decision making and what’s challenging. 

 

Erin [00:07:03] Right now, I know that we’re in a place where my expenses are a little bit higher than I would like them to be because we’re in sort of that funny growth phase. And I know that bringing on a few extra people down the road will mitigate that. But I think part of it, too, is I do all of my own bookkeeping. I actually still, I use your spreadsheet from the course. And I keep seeing that number of, you know, your target operating expenses should be 30 percent, but mine are higher than 30 percent. I think I look today and for the full year it was, I’m at 42 percent. And so that number makes me feel uneasy, right? Like, am I spending too much? And then if I bring on a new hire, of course, that’s- you have to spend money initially to bring them on board. And so maybe it’s also understanding, how do you really know when you’re ready to make that next step? Like, how do you sort of know financially? I recently made- my assistant went from hourly to full time and I thought, you know, and I think I will have enough money as the time goes on, but it’s that worry and it’s that anxiety. Do I have sort of the reserve right now? And especially since summer is often really slow, having that faith that things will pick up in September. But yeah, I think that’s the big thing. How do you know you’re ready to have a new hire? How do you know you’re ready to, financially, to have a new therapist? 

 

Linzy [00:08:37] Yes, right. And I would think about kind of having a new therapist differently from having like a VA or like an H.R. support person or something else you mentioned thinking about. Because they have a very different kind of impact in your business, right? Your VA is also going to help you to bring in more revenue, but not in the way that a therapist would like having a new therapist working for you, they’re going to have some sort of income arrangement with you were basically every time they work an hour, they get some money and you get some money. Where your VA is more of that like foundational fixed expense and they’re kind of helping you run the machine. But they might also have some duties that are about helping you get more money in the door. So that’s I guess my first question to you. Thinking about this full time promotion that you gave to your VA is: does your VA contribute at all to helping more money come in the door? What is their role for you? 

 

Erin [00:09:26] You know, that’s actually- yes, that’s a good question. So I mean, he doesn’t actively seek out potential clients, but he will do sort of all of the onboarding if we get a new referral he sort of links them to the right therapist. He does all the scheduling. He gets them uploaded into Therapy Notes and all that stuff. So he he takes care of all of that administrative onboarding. But that’s actually a really good question. I don’t know. I hadn’t thought about that. Like, what is the money that he’s bringing in into the practice? Because I guess other than that right now…

 

Linzy [00:10:02] Yeah, and that might be fine. But you know, with those full time hours that he has, are all of his hours filled up or are there more tasks that he could be doing that could help him bring a bit more money into your practice? 

 

Erin [00:10:15] There are more tasks that he could do, and I made him full time because he certainly has enough to do. But also very little of it is sort of urgent, like you have to do this now. It’s it’s more things that we can just get done when we need to get them done. Like one of the tasks I gave him this week is I sort of had this giant stack of papers that I have been sitting on literally since grad school. And my goal has been, I want to create, you know, sort of this therapist library, virtual library almost of I need a great example of a safety plan. Go there. I sort of handed that to him and said, create the virtual library. Doesn’t have to be done tomorrow, but it’s also something to do. So I guess that’s a long winded answer to say that he does have hours we could do something, but I don’t even I’m kind of drawing a blank even on what he could do that would bring money into the practice. 

 

Linzy [00:11:05] Yeah, there’s this question, Erin. Like, I think as you’re thinking about growth and we do get to these uncomfortable places, and I’ve been in one many times this year, we’re kind of like, Shit I’m really putting money in right now, and I hope that I get the money back, right. And I think that’s the way to think about is kind of like your return on investment. Right? We’re putting money out in the business with the anticipation that it’s going to help us bring more money in so that we’re like paying for that person or paying for that expense, plus getting extra money on top of it that we could use to then like run the business or pay ourselves more or invest in another way in the business to help the business grow. Right. And so whenever I’m thinking about kind of expanding my team, it’s about like, are they going to be bringing in more money into the door than it’s costing me to have them right? And that doesn’t necessarily mean directly, like I said, like a therapist is very direct. It’s like, they work an hour, they make money for your business. Your VA is not going to be so obvious. But in terms of being at this place you are now where you’ve put out this money, that would be one question I have is how can you make it so that this promotion of your VA also helps to grow your practice? What are the tasks that he could be doing that would make it just so obvious that that extra time he’s putting in is good for your business? 

 

Erin [00:12:18] Right. I’ve thought of it more in terms of the amount of free time that he has given me that I don’t have to do. It’s actually- we were sort of joking the other day that I forget what task he was doing, but I think it was just sort of getting consent forms and order. And he was like, This is a lot. Or organizing insurance information. And I sort of laughed like, Yeah, I used to do this kind of by myself when you started. Thinking about the hours that we put in early on. And so I’ve sort of thought of return on investment of what he has sort of given me personally. And so then what I can do. That frees up my time to make more money for the business. 

 

Linzy [00:12:56] Yeah. Thank you so much for saying that because that is the other kind of more direct is he’s buying back your time. So what are the things that he’s taking off your plate, which means that you can either see a client and and bring that much more money in, or you can be doing the other things in the business that only you can do right, like consulting with your staff, growing the business, being the visionary, appearing on podcasts. There’s all these things that when we run a business, when we’re more like in that CEO role and there are people who are working for us, there’s things that only you can do, right? So that is something that he’s obviously giving you by being full time is giving you the time to do those things that only you can do. So same question then, Erin, but looking at you, now that he’s given you back this time, what can you be doing to help the business be growing in the way you want it to grow? 

 

Erin [00:13:45] I think it’s funny, actually, you said CEO, and that was sort of an unexpected bonus byproduct of your course was I definitely left feeling- it was more than just the financial piece. I really started to understand that shift from therapist to CEO. And I think still a mindset I’m working on. It’s not always, always present, but that was a really nice shift also. And thinking that, as the CEO, yeah, what are your tasks? What are your visions? What do you want to do? I think I like that idea of him buying back my time. I’ve really enjoyed sort of diving into some of those other things that we often don’t get to do. I think, often, this was at least a mindset that I had before group practice is, as a therapist you’re fee for service, you only get paid for the hour that you’re seeing somebody. And any other time, it always just sort of felt like I’m just giving of my time. And even though I sort of knew logically like, no, this is part of the fee. This is part of the work. It felt, I think, so much more draining. And so then I didn’t kind of have that energy to, say, learn more about marketing or do things like be on a podcast, or start a podcast, or work on a blog, or do some writing, work on some trainings that I’ve always wanted to kind of work on, and whether or not I actually give the training right, it’s just kind of getting those ideas out there. So I think really being able to sort of have the energy and the mental space to look at, what do I want my practice to really look like, what is sort of my practice message, if you will, to my community? How do I market? What does marketing look like other than, you know, sitting on an insurance panel and talking to your neighbors in the in your office space? And so I think that’s been really helpful to think about. That’s the time that I’ve gotten back. I can kind of grow in ways that I hadn’t thought of before. 

 

Linzy [00:15:42] Right. Yeah. And I think then, Erin, you know, in terms of this question of getting your return, it’s like doing those things. Because then, as we know, what there is to do and I think you’re doing a lot of those things, but thinking about if you’re noticing this kind of discomfort in yourself and part of it is the summer slowdown, but you’re seeing like, OK, you just outlaid this like extra expense, you’re thinking about maybe bringing on some more therapists. It’s like, are you doing the things that you need to be doing as as the CEO of your practice to make sure that you are getting return on investment and your business is growing in the way that you want it to grow? 

 

Erin [00:16:15] Right. And I think what’s also kind of scary about that is, in order for me to do that, I do have to get rid of clients. And so there’s this funny balance almost of, OK, well, I’m putting a little bit more money out, but I personally am also going to be bringing in a little bit less. And so, that can be sort of a scary number or whether or not it’s actually you see it sort of in the numbers or you just kind of feel it like I am actually bringing in a little bit less money and my expenses are going up with the hope that I will be able to fill my therapist’s case loads and they’ll end up doing all of that work and bringing in that money. But in that sort of funny transition period, it’s a little scary. 

 

Linzy [00:17:00] It is. It is. Yeah, and like a visual for that, that one of my business friends and I talk about is it’s kind of like when you’re, if you’re like an acrobat on the trapeze and it’s like you’ve had this way of doing things, that was the trapeze you were holding onto. But now you’re ready to transition to, in your case, group practice and having it where your therapist, who you’re supporting are the ones who are really generating the revenue for the business. And so you’re having to let go of that trapeze of you being the income generator, you being the one who drove money coming in the door, but you’re not quite at that place yet where your employees are replacing that. And so you’re kind of mid air. 

 

Erin [00:17:38] Yeah, that’s a great image. That’s exactly how it feels right now. 

 

Linzy [00:17:42] It’s not comfortable being mid-air. 

 

Erin [00:17:44] No, it’s it’s not. 

 

Linzy [00:17:46] And I think a lot of therapists and health practitioners, when we do try to make these kinds of transitions- because there’s something very safe about therapy, it’s like especially when you’re an established therapist, like when I was running my practice, it’s like I knew I could be full all the time. So it was just depended on how many sessions a week I wanted to work and how much I wanted to charge, and that was basically a fixed income. Once you’re established, but now you’re moving into this new space where it’s learning, right, and there’s sometimes like a slog that can come with newness. It’s not your natural, comfortable way of being. And there is a gap in income. Yes, in that bit of space. 

 

Erin [00:18:21] Yes, there is. There is. Well, and I will say, I think I am grateful that I have a partner who has a full time job, who has a salary, who has health insurance. And so he and I have talked a lot like worst case scenario, it would be tight, right? But we have his salary, we have his income with that intention of knowing that, you know, over time, my business will grow and will expand. But we have been able when the business was financially – personally, when I was an individual and sort of making more to set aside in savings and do all of that – I have that to lean back on right now, but it also makes me really- I don’t like dipping into it, you know, I’m like, No, that’s my it’s not an emergency yet. That’s my emergency fund. And it’s not. I know it’ll be just fine. But I think even seeing that, like if I need to even dip into it a tiny bit and seeing that number go down just a little bit, it brings up some anxiety. For me, it does. 

 

Linzy [00:19:16] And are these your personal savings you’re talking about or savings in the business? 

 

Erin [00:19:19] Both. 

 

Linzy [00:19:20] Both? 

 

Erin [00:19:20] Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:19:21] Yeah. And I think that’s, you know, something to be to be curious about because this this is also part of growth. It’s not linear. That’s it, basically, growth is not linear, especially when you’re doing what you’re doing. So, you know, getting an office for your employee, promoting your your VA. What you’re doing is you’re essentially you’re increasing your fixed business expenses each month. Even though the income hasn’t quite caught up yet. And by increasing those expenses, you’re laying a foundation. There’s supports there. And then there’s like literally a room, right, that your therapist can work in. There’s resources to make your your business really work, but there’s a bit of lag on return, and that’s pretty normal. So my question with this, Erin, is what are you doing or what can you do to make sure you get the return on these investments? What are your key action items that you know need to happen to make this work financially? 

 

Erin [00:20:14] I don’t know if this is quite the answer, but one of one of the things that I think is kind of getting me through is I know that come September, after Labor Day, things really, really pick up. And so I’m thinking about three new hires – three new therapists – and they’ll all start after September, you know, because we’ll be able to actually easily kind of give them a full caseload if they want it. Whereas right now, I think bringing on someone now would be, you know, the cases just aren’t there right now. August is very slow. So that mindset is sort of helping me get there. But actually, though, maybe that does kind of answer your question because I think what I’m doing right now is I’m actually for the first time taking like a mini sabbatical that actually starts in two days and it’s really just a sabbatical. It’s through Labor Day, so it’s just about a month, but it’s really just a sabbatical from seeing clients and instead sort of doing that work of onboarding and marketing and really kind of thinking about kind of the larger vision of the business and thinking about what are those ways that I can actively grow and bring in revenue and bring in clients. So having that time and that space to just be able to do that. 

 

Linzy [00:21:26] Yeah, which is awesome. Like, that’s a huge action step you’ve taken already, like taking that much time away from client time. What I’m hearing and when you’re in your practice, the thing you do need to do, is you need to fill up your clinicians. That’s the business you’ve built. You know, your group practice is based on your clinicians being as full as they want to be, or whatever your agreement with them is, and then bringing on more clinicians as you have more demand. And so if you think about the fact that you’re about to take a month off to focus on that, on your marketing, and I would also think too like coming into September and knowing that you might want to bring on three more therapists and things are very busy. I also wonder what kind of foundational work you and your VA can be doing to just kind of like, be ready. If there’s anything that needs to happen. There might not be. Your systems might already be ready. But is there anything else to kind of like prepare for the September influx? 

 

Erin [00:22:19] I mean, I think that’s been kind of a big thing that he and I have worked on is we have the system in place, but I think it’s just that final step of really solidifying it. I will every so often still get that, you know, that email or that text message of, what are we doing here again? Or how do I talk to this person? And it’s rare, but I think really kind of using this time to solidify, here are all of our protocols, here are all of our procedures, here’s an employee handbook. I think things like that will be really helpful. 

 

Linzy [00:22:51] They are really helpful. So it’s like getting your SOPs in place, your standard operating procedures, so there’s a way that things are done. And even if your VA is not available, or even if your VA stops working with you, somebody else can just pick those up and do those things. Yeah, it’s those systems, Erin, that like your brain power, you and your VA together, building those systems. The word I keep using is foundation because you are, you’re at this stage of really building up the foundation. But once you have that foundation, then it’s just like, just follow the system. Use the marketing systems that you’ve developed. When clients come in, you know exactly where you go. You know exactly how they’re assigned to somebody. You know exactly how they get on their schedule and having that flow in place. When you think about this idea, first of all, does that resonate with you, the idea that you’re in this kind of foundation building place? 

 

Erin [00:23:35] Yes. Yes, absolutely. 

 

Linzy [00:23:37] You know, when you think about that, that that’s kind of your project right now. How does that make you feel about the possibility for growth? 

 

Erin [00:23:45] It actually makes me feel a lot better. It sort of takes the pressure off a little bit and it sort of feels like right. We’re not there. We’re just not at that point right now, which is great and fine, and we will get there. But for a foundational place, the financial piece of it is fine. It’s OK right now. It feels really good to think about it that way. 

 

Linzy [00:24:04] Yeah. You are in a different role now. I know you are still also seeing clients and doing that therapy work, but you are now building something much bigger than a one on one practice. So there’s more kind of like stages to that development and more of that work that only you can do. Erin, I’m curious, how much time are you giving to like running the practice and being the CEO of the practice versus seeing clients at this time? 

 

Erin [00:24:25] So I’ve decreased my caseload. I’m now seeing- I’m probably seeing about 10 clients a week. I love seeing clients and that was sort of one of my- my goal in building a group practice was not to stop seeing clients completely. You know, whether that looks like 2 clients, whether that looks like… well probably never, I don’t know if it’ll be up to 20 clients again… but you know, no matter how sort of small it is, I do always want to see clients. I enjoy that work, so I’ve really cut back, I will say, over the course of the summer. Or finding ways to even transition some of my clients to the therapists on my team, knowing if it feels like a good fit. And so far, everyone who has switched to a different therapist has been a good fit and so they stay within the practice, but they’re just not seeing me. So, yeah, I’ve cut it down to about 10 clients and then the rest of the time during the week is spent doing the other stuff, all the other stuff that comes with that. 

 

Linzy [00:25:21] Great. The next thing that I would encourage you to think about is actually running the numbers to understand when you add a therapist to your practice, how much do they cost you and how much could they be potentially bringing in to the practice itself, like after they get paid, what does it mean and understanding those numbers. Do you have clarity on those numbers right now? 

 

Erin [00:25:39] I actually, I don’t. I did it once, I ran those numbers with my accountant. I had just hired my second therapist, and so she hadn’t yet brought in any income. And I know we were still in the positive, which was good. But that is something I actually don’t have a lot of clarity on and often even sort of kind of struggle with how to do that. What do we- this might sound like a silly question, right? But like how what do we count as expenses, right? Or how many expenses are there because I’ve hired you? Or even just kind of getting clarity on, you know, I paid my malpractise insurance yesterday and as you add clinicians, of course it goes up, but how much do I cost right to insure myself versus how much does it cost for us? I don’t have a lot of clarity on that. 

 

Linzy [00:26:25] As a CEO, that would be an excellent use of your time is to take the time – and asking your VA for help on that project because when we do projects like this, we don’t have to do all of it. You can say to your VA, Can you look into that malpractise insurance and see how much does it cost when and I add each clinician? And start to understand what are those kind of variable expenses? And then also what are just like the fixed expenses? So it’s like you’re getting an office for the three new clinicians you’re bringing on. So those three people that cost of the office is kind of split between the three of them. And running those numbers on a spreadsheet and playing with them too. And seeing like, OK, so if my clinicians are seeing 50 percent of their caseload, how much do they bring in? How much do they cost me? Like, what does that mean each month? Because it’s helpful to see that, Erin, because I think with group practice, there can be this, what is like a false belief of more is better. Adding people is definitely profitable, and I’ve definitely worked with group practice owners before – and thankfully I don’t think you’re one of them – who are losing money on group practice, right? And so getting super clear on those numbers is going to help you make those really informed decisions to understand. And what is maybe like the sweet spot in your practice were like, OK, if I get up to six, I have the perfect amount of offices. This is what it costs me when I expand and I get up to seven and I have to add more office space, suddenly it gets more expensive again. Like there might be some some kind of like almost little plateaus like that, that you can notice, but you’re going to get that through playing with your numbers and like really getting real and taking that little bit of time to do the research to understand what are these therapists costing you and what are they bringing into your business? 

 

Erin [00:27:50] It’s really helpful. You know, it makes me think of, this is sort of a slight tangent, but early on in the course, you talked about having sort of that money time or that money date with yourself and scheduling it. And so I made my Friday mornings and it’s funny how quickly that becomes a habit in both sort of a really helpful way, but also I could be using that time more effectively. I’m at a place where I’m just sort of it’s routine, great. Do my money time, OK, move on. And this is sort of really getting me to think about how else I can use that time. Like I already have that time blocked in my schedule. So why not use that for what is the income versus output? So that’s that’s very helpful to think about that and already knowing I have time set aside to do that. So adding that into my money time. 

 

Linzy [00:28:39] Yes, because your money time, you’ve now got the foundational things in place. You’re doing the basic moving around and you set up your system and, you know, kind of what dollars you need to assign to what jobs. But now, as you think about growing, yeah, this is putting on your CEO hat. And thinking about because you want to go somewhere really projecting forward to understanding what would it mean if… dot dot dot. That’s my homework I’m giving you. 

 

Erin [00:29:03] I like that. It’s good homework. It’s very good homework. 

 

Linzy [00:29:07] So, Erin, coming to the end of our podcast recording today, what are you taking away from our conversation? 

 

Erin [00:29:12] I think the big thing I’m taking away is I’m feeling much more grounded and less worried, both in that sort of naming where I am in my growth and kind of building the foundation, and what to expect when we build a foundation. And I think I’m leaving feeling like if we do take time building that foundation, then return on investment right down the road, it’s going to look so much better. I like thinking about the tasks: what can my VA do to make it very clear that he is bringing in money. And then really understanding what does it cost to have an employee and what are they bringing in to the practice? That’s very helpful. 

 

Linzy [00:29:51] Great. Thank you so much, Erin, for joining me today. 

 

Erin [00:29:53] Thank you for having me. 

 

Linzy [00:30:10] In that session with Erin, there are a couple of things that stick out, which are both analogies. One is Erin is at a foundation building place in her practice, and that is where so many of us are in private practice, where we are putting money out. We are putting the things in place that will make the practice work and thrive. But it may not be quite working and thriving yet. That’s where that second analogy comes into play about being mid-air. It can really feel uncomfortable to be in that place. Truly, it is a lot to tolerate. And that is really the emotional side of this piece is tolerating those emotions of being in a little bit of a riskier position, spending money and hoping that that return comes back. And that’s where really making sure that you’re making decisions that will make that return on investment happen are important. But largely it’s just making sure that you’re going to be making decisions that are logical and not emotional decisions because you’re uncomfortable. Sometimes we can make quick, anxious decisions when we’re in these uncomfortable places trying to fix the situation, and we’re really trying to fix the feeling by making financial decisions. But learning to tolerate the feeling, acknowledge the feeling, taking care of yourself within that feeling, can go a long way to make sure that, like Erin, you feel more grounded again and like you can make these decisions from an informed and grounded place. That’s where the other piece comes into play, which was that piece about getting more clarity on our actual numbers. That emotional piece is the being mid-air. But there are actually tangible things that Erin and anybody who’s in this kind of growing, building, is-this-going-to-work place can do, which is start to really get familiar with their numbers and think through, OK, if this plays out this way, what does this mean? If I put in this money here and reasonably give me this return? What would that mean for my business? Really getting grounded in the numbers means that rather than making emotional decisions, you’re making decisions that are strategic and make sense for your business. 

Linzy [00:32:14] To get more free private practice money content, you can follow me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. And if you are interested, like Erin, in really digging in and building a different relationship with money, the waitlist for Money Skills For Therapists is the place for you to be. I’ve got the link in the show notes. We are going to be raising the price of the course in 2022, as I suggest that all therapists and health practitioners do from time to time –  you need to raise your fees. And this is your chance to get on the waitlist and you’re going to hear about it when we open the course at the end of 2021, so you can lock in 2021 pricing. We’re even going to let you start the course in 2022, so you don’t need to worry about starting it over the holidays because that’s a chaotic time. I want you to get the most out of the course, but you’re going to be able to get it at our 2021 price before we raise the cost of the course, on January 1st. So if you’re curious about the course, you can get on the waitlist through the link in the show notes. Thanks for joining me today. 

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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