Alison Bids the Grow A Group Practice Podcast Farewell | GP 127

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On this therapist podcast, Alison Pidgeon bids Grow a Group Practice Farewell.

What can you do to work through fear to reach the next level in your business? What is the best piece of advice that I can give you? What is awaiting you – and me! – on the horizon?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon gives her farewell as she moves on from hosting the Grow A Group Practice Podcast.

Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision

An image of Brighter Vision Web Solutions is featured as the sponsor on Faith in Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Brighter Vision builds all in one websites for therapists.

Are you looking to build your brand, but don’t know where to begin when it comes to marketing your practice online?

Whether you’re a seasoned clinician in need of a website refresh, or just out of school and need to build your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution for you. From building your brand and designing a beautiful, customizable website to reflect that, to helping you rank higher with search engines, all of Brighter Vision’s online marketing tools are created specifically for therapists.

If that piqued your interest, keep listening… Right now, Brighter Vision is offering one of their biggest discounts ever during their 4th of July Sale. Sign up for any website package by Friday, July 8th to receive their exclusive tiered discount of $5/month off the START Plan, $10/month off the GROW Plan, or $20/month off the FLOURISH Plan during your first year with Brighter Vision!

All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal.

In This Podcast

  • Thank you and farewell, guests and listeners!
  • Where am I going?
  • My last consultation with you

Thank you and farewell, guests and listeners!

Over the past two years, we have had some incredible guests on the show that provided invaluable insights and wisdom from their personal experiences.

[To] all of the folks who have listened, we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from you all about the fact that you’ve been listening to the podcast and what you liked about it, and I really appreciate that. (Alison Pidgeon)

Where am I going?

I will be stepping away from podcasting and consulting to spend more time on my group practice and making sure that is running smoothly.

Over the last two years, my group practice has expanded tremendously, and I will be there to make sure that the next transition goes well.

Now, I think this fall, we’ll probably have almost 50 employees, which I can’t even imagine as I’m saying it out loud! (Alison Pidgeon)

Sustaining accessible and valuable mental health support within my community is something I am passionate about, and I want to focus my time and energy on that again.

My last consultation with you

Over my years of consulting, the main problem that I have noticed that holds people back from achieving their dreams, pursuing their passions, and becoming successful is that they are afraid.

They have a lot of fear when it comes to starting or growing a business, and that is the one thing that holds them back. (Alison Pidgeon)

Often these people have all the tools, wisdom, and consulting that they can get. So, it is not about a lack of knowledge but rather that fear of putting themselves out there and just trying it out.

If this sounds like you, I have some great tips for you:

1 – Be as prepared as possible. Do your research, ask the experts. The more knowledge you have, the more prepared you can be because you know what to expect.

2 – Remember that your body’s default is self-preservation. Your body likes what is known, and avoids risk. However, as a business owner, you will need to take risks.

It is normal to feel scared, and you can still do it anyway.

Accepting the [fact] that, “Oh, I feel scared and this is normal. I’m just going to go ahead and do it anyway”, is what I would recommend doing, and that’s what I do. (Alison Pidgeon)

3 – Always have a safety net. What is the worst-case scenario, and if that happens, what is my plan B?

Remember to think of risks as calculated risks. Think of them as things that are likely going to help you grow your business.

4 – Practice exercising your risk-muscle. You can exercise your tolerance for taking calculated risks as you would when you work out a muscle. The more you use it and do it, the easier and stronger it becomes.

5 – Remember that the worst-scenario case is unlikely to happen. Use your CBT skills to reframe your thoughts.

6 – Understand the difference between making an investment in your business versus paying expenses.

Making an investment means that the money will come back to help you and your business somehow, whereas making a payment is money being paid.

If I put money into the stock market, I am investing my money now [and] over time we know that the stock market yields about a 10% return … and my money now is going to grow by 10% … the same thing with your business. (Alison Pidgeon)

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

  • Check out Alison’s practice at moveforwardlancaster.com
  • Right now, Brighter Vision is offering one of their biggest discounts ever during their 4th of July Sale. All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal.

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Alison Pidgeon, Group Practice Owner

An image of Alison Pidgeon is displayed. She is a successful group practice owner and offers private practice consultation for private practice owners to assist in how to grow a group practice. She is the host of Grow A Group Practice Podcast and one of the founders of Group Practice Boss.Alison Pidgeon, LPC is the owner of Move Forward Counseling, a group practice in Lancaster, PA and she runs a virtual assistant company, Move Forward Virtual Assistants.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016.  She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

Transformation From A Private Practice To Group Practice

In addition, she is a private practice consultant for Practice of the Practice. Allison’s private practice ‘grew up.’ What started out as a solo private practice in early 2015 quickly grew into a group practice and has been expanding ever since.

Visit Alison’s website, listen to her podcast, or consult with Alison. Email Alison at alison@practiceofthepractice.com

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[ALISON PIDGEON] You are listening to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. Whether you were thinking about starting a group practice or in the beginning stages, or want to learn how to scale up your already existing group practice, you are in the right place. I’m Alison Pidgeon, your host, a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a large group practice that I started in 2015. Each week, I feature a guest or topic that is relevant to group practice owners. Let’s get started. Hello and welcome to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. I’m Alison Pidgeon your host. Today is my farewell episode to all of you. I will not be the host of this podcast any longer. I will be handing the reins over to some of the other consultants at Practice of the Practice and I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank all of you for listening over the past two years. This podcast actually came out March 12th, 2020 so right before the shutdown associated with the pandemic and I was recording a few months ahead of time, but then obviously when the pandemic happened, it just feels like everybody had their world turned upside down and we kept on recording and kept on having guests and just trying to provide information to navigate everything that was happening and changing. What started out, podcast started out was one thing and turn into another, but that’s okay. I wanted to take a minute to thank all of the guests who have come on the past two years, all of the folks who have listened. I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from you all about the fact that you’ve been listening to the podcast and what you liked about it and I really appreciate that. You might be asking yourself, where is Alison going? I am actually transitioning away from business consulting. I decided that I really need to spend my time expanding my group practice and really making sure that is running smoothly. We have expanded tremendously during the pandemic. My practice Move Forward Counseling, which is based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where I live, when the pandemic started, we have about 15 therapists and we had just transferred everybody over to becoming W2 employees. So we were navigating all of that and adding benefits and trying to build our culture. Now I think this fall we’ll probably have almost 50 employees, which I can’t even imagine that when I’m saying it out loud, but we have grown that much in the past two and a half years. So it has been amazing to be at the helm as the CEO and be able to see all of the good work the therapists are doing with the community. Obviously now more than ever, we know people need mental health treatment. So that is what I am really passionate about and what helps me to get out of bed in the morning is knowing that we’re making such a huge difference in our community. Really at this point it’s going to be across Pennsylvania. We’re going to be opening offices in other parts of the state and yes, I’m not exactly sure where we’re going to stop growing. But I just want to be able to spend my time doing that and make sure we’re doing it right. I also have an idea for a new type of counseling practice that I’m not going to say too much about now, just because it’s really still in its infancy stage, but I think within 18 months to two years, I’ll actually be able to launch that. So if are interested in seeing what happens with all of that, I guess you could always follow along with what I’m doing on social media. I’m really excited about that as well. I have been doing business consulting since 2016, so it’s been almost six years now and it’s been such a pleasure to work with practice owners all over the country. I have met people from, at almost every state in the United States. I have worked with people in Canada and Australia. It has just been such an amazing experience to walk alongside people as they’re trying to start their practices, or they’re trying to grow their group practices. I’ve learned so much from all of you. I probably learned as much from you as you did from me. It’s been really cool to see just the patterns of what the challenges that people have and figure out, oh, okay, this is the step-by-step by step for starting a group practice, for instance. After I worked with enough people, I was able to put together a whole training program. I have a whole e-course called Start A Group Practice e-course that really leads you through step-by-step. So yes, it’s just been super cool and I really enjoyed it. I feel like now it’s time for me to take a break. I don’t know if that break is going to be forever or just temporary, but I am really trying to be mindful as an entrepreneur of spending my time how I want to spend my time and being very I don’t know what the word I’m trying to think of is, but I guess just trying to be really mindful about the fact that I do have a choice of how I can spend my time. Obviously, I’m not working for someone else so I can make a decision about how I want to spend my time, what things I want to do, what things I want to delegate. So, yes, I just feel like it’s time to really step into my CEO role and make this practice much bigger even than it is now. That’s where I’m at and wanted to share a little bit with you today about something very important I have learned from the past six years working with all of you. When I would do consulting calls with folks, so folks would call when they wanted to do consulting, and then they would ask questions about all the things so that they knew exactly what they were getting and they would ask about, okay, what’s the outcome? I would say, well, okay, the outcome is this. Then a lot of times people would say, well does everybody succeed? Does everybody meet that goal or the outcome? I would say, no, not everybody does. A small handful of people don’t. They would ask me, well, why, why do some of those people not succeed or reach the goals at the end? I’d say, honestly, what I see is that people are afraid. They have a lot of fear when it comes to starting or growing a business and that is the one thing that holds them back. They will work with a consultant, they will get all the information, they will get all the step-by-step, so it’s not a lack of knowledge. It really is just fear and they know what to do, and they’re just not doing it because they’re scared. So I put together some tips for you, if you have ever been there, if you are there now, which many people are, I talk to people all the time in our membership communities about they’re scared to take the next level or they get to one level and it doesn’t go exactly as bland and then they just they quit or give up. [ALISON PIDGEON] So here are my tips about working through fear to get to the next level in your business, whatever that is for you. So here’s what I’ve learned. Number one is be as prepared as possible. Do your research, ask the experts. If you have as much knowledge as possible that’s going to help you to feel prepared. That’s helps me to feel prepared and so I know what to expect. I know you know what it looks like if things go right, I know what it looks like if things aren’t going right. If I don’t get the right answers from people or my research, then I’ll just keep asking and keep trying to find the right people or the right books or whatever resources I’m using to try to get that information. [ALISON PIDGEON] The second thing is our body’s default is self-preservation. We all know this right as therapists. So our body doesn’t want us to take risks. It wants us to do things that are safe. So when you are building a business, you inherently have to take some risks and it’s going to be normal to feel scared. Just because you feel scared, doesn’t mean that is your brain’s way of telling you, no, don’t do this. It’s a bad idea. It’s your, think of it as your brain’s way of telling you it is normal to feel scared because you’re taking a calculated risk. You’re sort of rising up to the next level and so it’s going to feel uncomfortable. You’re growing. So accepting that, oh, I feel scared and this is normal, I’m just going to go ahead and do it anyway, is what I would recommend doing. That’s what I do because every time I level up, I feel scared too. But then I just realize if I wasn’t growing, if I wasn’t taking good risks that I wouldn’t feel this way. [ALISON PIDGEON] The third one is always have a safety net and think of risk as calculated risk. I’ve used that term already a couple times. What I say when I talk about a safety net is that I always think about, okay, what’s the worst-case scenario and if that happens, what would be my plan be? When I started my solo private practice back in the beginning of 2015, I just thought, okay, I could start this practice. Let’s just pretend it’s a horrible failure. I never get any clients. What could I do? I could go back to work anywhere that needs a licensed therapist. I’m a licensed therapist. I have good references for my past employer. There’s no reason why I just couldn’t go out and get another job. [BRIGHTER VISION] Are you looking to build your brand, but don’t know where to begin when it comes to marketing your practice online? Whether you’re a seasoned clinician in need of a website refresh or just out of school and need to build your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution for you. From building your brand and designing a beautiful customizable website to reflect that, to helping you rank higher with search engines, all of Brighter Vision’s online marketing tools are created specifically for therapists. If that piques your interest, keep listening. Right now, Brighter Vision is offering one of their biggest discounts ever during their 4th of July sale. Sign up for any website package by Friday, July 8th, to receive the exclusive tier discount of $5 per month of the start plan, $10 per month of the grow plan or $20 per month of the flourish plan during your first year with Brighter Vision. All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe, to learn more and take advantage of this great deal. That’s brightervision.com/joe. [ALISON PIDGEON] So that was my safety net in that situation and that made me feel better, because I think a lot of times people think, oh, well, what if my practice fails and then pretty soon you are going down this spiral of the worst-case scenario, like me and my whole family are going to be homeless, living on the street? That’s not going to happen. But a lot of people think that way. So think about what is your safety net, because that might make you feel a little bit more comfortable. Then the second part is, think of risk as calculated risk. This means that we’re taking risks in our business that is something that is likely going to help us grow our business, is going to help us make more money all kinds of things. So when we talk about risk, we’re not just talking about doing something totally reckless like you wouldn’t jump off the roof of a two-story building without a parachute or a bungee cord or something like that. We’re not just going to do something totally reckless. We’re going to be prepared. We’re going to do our research. We’re going to ask the experts. We’re going to think about what is our safety net. I know that when I hire on more therapists, that is a calculated risk. I’m putting out some money in the beginning to hire these therapists and have them come on board but I know because I’ve perfected the process at this point that they’re going to get filled up with clients and my hiring process is really sound and so that’s going to be a great risk for me to take, is expanding the practice because I know that it’s going to help me meet my goals, my income goals, my goals to serve the community and provide really excellent mental health services, all of those things. We’re not taking risks that are reckless, we’re doing things that are calculated. [ALISON PIDGEON] The next one is practice exercising, your risk muscle. What I mean by a risk muscle is that you can sort of exercise your tolerance for risk just like you can exercise your muscle. Like, so if you go to the gym three times a week and you lift weights and you progressively lift heavier and heavier weights your muscle’s going to get bigger, you’re going to get stronger and you’re going to be able to lift even heavier things. Same thing with your risk muscle, if I’m a very risk adverse person, which I am not, but if I was and I knew that this fear was really holding me back from building my business to the next level, I might start out taking little risks and try to build up to bigger and bigger risks. For me one of the risks that I took in the beginning of my practice was hiring an assistant and that felt like a risk. I had never had an assistant before. I wasn’t sure how that was going to work out and it worked out great. It was invaluable to have an assistant. So I just thought, okay, great. Next time I had to hire somebody that I wasn’t quite sure, do I really have the money for this, do I really need this person, it felt like taking a leap of faith to hire somebody to fill in the blank. I think having that earlier experience of seeing how well things worked out helped me to then take the next leap of faith when I wasn’t quite sure how it was all how it was all going to work out. You have that sort of temporary time where it’s like, you can’t quite afford that person, but you need them to get to the next level. So I took more and more risks and started exercising my risk muscle more and more, and now to take a big risk doesn’t feel huge to me. Obviously, I’m still thoughtful about it and still do my homework and all of those kinds of things but I’m going to go out and rent an office in multiple cities across the state. That doesn’t feel like a big risk because I’ve had all of these experiences along the way of these other risks and I’ve built up my risk muscle. [ALISON PIDGEON] The second to last thing is the worst-case scenario is very unlikely to happen. Use your CBT skills. We all know what CBT is, reframing our thoughts. Again, therapists, people in general really good at thinking about what’s the worst case scenario and convincing themselves that that’s probably very likely to happen so then they don’t do anything about working towards their goals. Take your own negative or rational thought and use your CBT skills and try to reframe it into something more positive or rational. Yes, I think that’s enough about that one. [ALISON PIDGEON] The last one is understand the difference between making an investment in your business versus paying expenses. So this is huge and that’s a reason why I put it last because this is something that I had to work through for many years before it finally made sense in my brain. I talk to so many people who say, oh, wow, I want to build a group practice, but it’s really expensive to get it started. Am I expensive? I’m talking about a few thousand dollars. We’re not talking about a hundred thousand dollars. You’re talking about maybe $5,000. It’s really expensive to start a group practice and I think a lot of times what people have in their minds is that you’re spending this money and it’s just money going out the door and it’s not, they don’t have that mentality of like, no, it’s money out the door right now, but it’s helping you to grow your business and then earn more money and become more profitable in the future. I’ll explain that a little bit. So when we pay our cell phone bill, we get the use of our cell phone. We pay the bill every month, but then that’s not making me money. It’s just money going out the door. I get a service in return. That’s the end of it. Versus if I put money into the stock market, I’m investing my money now. Over time, we know that the stock market yields about a 10% return over a longer period of time. My money now is going to grow by 10%, let’s just say over 10, 20 years, whatever. Same thing with your business, just because you’re spending $5,000 now to start a group practice doesn’t mean that money’s just going out the door. You are taking your money and multiplying it many times over to build the group practice and that’s going to be able to increase your income for as long as you have the practice. That is something that I wish more people realized and thought about is that you are making an investment when you are building your business. It’s not just money going out the door that you’re never going to see again. Hopefully that all made sense. I’m just going to summarize what we went over and give you the summation of the last six things that we just went over. The first one is be as prepared as possible. Do your research, ask the experts? The second one, our body’s default is self-preservation. It’s normal to feel scared. Three, always have a safety net and think of risk as calculated risk. Four, practice exercising, your risk muscle. Five, the worst-case scenario is very unlikely to happen. Use your CBT skills and number six, understand the difference between making an investment in your business versus paying expenses. I hope that was helpful. If you’re feeling stuck because you’re scared, I hope that gets you unstuck. Really that’s the only thing that’s holding you back. You know how to do it. You know who to ask to get help if you’re not sure how to do something in your business and you really just need to work through your fear to get to the next level. That is my episode today. Again, just wanted to say thank you to everyone for listening over the past two years. It has been a pleasure. If you want to keep in touch, you can always find me through my counseling practice, Move Forward Counseling in Pennsylvania. Yes, I think that’s all for today. Thank you so much. Thank you so much again, to Brighter Vision for being our sponsor for this episode. Again, if you’re interested in their 4th of July sale, check out brightervision.com/joe to learn all of the details. If you love this podcast, will you please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player? This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.