Beth Gustin left her full-time job for private practice | PoP 686

Share this content
A photo of Beth Gustin is captured. Beth Gustin is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Do you want to transition to working mostly in private practice? Are you desiring accountability to help you stick to your goals? How do you maintain your work-life balance?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Beth Gustin who left her full-time job for private practice.

Podcast Sponsor: Noble

A an image of Noble Health is captured. Noble Health is the podcast sponsor to Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Our friends over at Noble have some exciting news to share. Their goal is to help mental health professionals serve more people in less time, support a worthy cause, and earn passive income, and they are on a mission to add 50,000 mental health professionals to their platform over the next few months – and if you join Noble right now, you’ll be able to continue using your Noble account for FREE – FOREVER!

Learn more and join for FREE at noble.health/Joe

Meet Beth Gustin

A photo of Beth Gustin is captured. She is a licensed professional counselor and EMDR certified therapist. Beth is featured on the practice of the practice, a therapist podcast.

Beth is a Licensed Professional Counselor and EMDR Certified Therapist. She has been working in the mental health field for 15 years. Beth works from a strength-based perspective, helping clients to find their unique set of strategies to change the aspects of their life they wish to address.

Beth utilizes a variety of modalities to meet her client’s needs including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Visit Beth’s practice website, Transitioning Through Change. Connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Email her at: beth@transitioningthroughchange.com

In This Podcast

  • Key aspects to move from full-time to part-time
  • Guiding principles Beth used from Next Level Practice
  • Maintaining work-life balance
  • Beth’s advice to private practitioners

Key aspects to move from full-time to part-time

[Have] clients that [you] can see once a week to once every other week. I was working lots of hours … but building up that clientele so that I could maintain them once I went part-time. (Beth Gustin)

Beth was wanting to move from working full-time in community mental health to part-time to start her practice.

To do this, she worked hard to build a solid foundation of clients that she could see sporadically to make the transition easier.

She also kept track of her long-term and big-picture goals to help keep her focused.

Guiding principles Beth used from Next Level Practice

  • Encouragement: the Next Level Practice leaders are hands-on and clinician-focused so that the needs of the clinicians are centered.
  • Accountability: clinicians work in small groups in Next Level Practice. There they can learn together, from one another, and help encourage each other to take the necessary steps forward to grow their practices together.

The small groups and accountability partners [are] helpful … I sometimes struggle to meet the small goals that help me reach the big picture of where I would like to be, so having that consistent accountability [was valuable]. (Beth Gustin)

  • Education and resources: Next Level Practice provides clinicians with lots of information about marketing and how to put their name out into the market which helps them to launch their practice.

Maintaining work-life balance

Make use of scheduling. Schedule your downtime, schedule your appointments, schedule your brainstorming, and schedule your work hours.

Having those boundaries as to when is work [time] and when is not work are so important. (Joe Sanok)

Help yourself out by creating structure around your work habits so that they do not infiltrate your life in an unhealthy way.

Beth’s advice to private practitioners

Maintain your authenticity. Follow what you truly want to do. How can you take the steps to make that happen?

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcast Sponsors:

  • Blueprint helps clinicians enhance client outcomes through the power and promise of digital measurement-based care. Learn more and request your demo at: bph.link/joe
  • Noble. Serve more people in less time, support a worthy cause, and earn passive income. Learn more and join for FREE at noble.health/Joe

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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

[JOE SANOK]
Measurement-based care has proven to improve patient outcomes, but it’s historically been time consuming and costly to implement. At Blueprint, they believe that nothing should get in the way of delivering the highest quality mental healthcare to your clients; not a lack of finances, clinicians, time or technology. That’s why they’ve developed an end to end solution that administer scores and charts, hundreds of symptom rating scales to give you deeper insights into how your clients are progressing. Learn more and request your demo at bph.link/joe. Again, that’s bph.link/joe.

This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 686.
[JOE]
I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I am so glad you’re here. If you just started listening, congratulations, you found us. Well done. Really glad that you’re hanging out today and checking out this podcast. We cover everything private practice on this show from that moment that you think to yourself, maybe I want to start a private practice all the way until you’re leaving it. Maybe you want to start a podcast or do public speaking or sell your practice. All sorts of things in between. I used to own a counseling practice that I sold in 2019. I do consulting, all sorts of other things. So we try to cover everything private practice.

Oftentimes we go pretty far away from private practice to learn some lessons from interesting people, but lately we’ve been also looking at people that are in our community to just say how’s this worked for you? So I actually reached out to our Facebook community with Next Level Practice and just said, “Hey, have you left your full-time job? Have you moved on?” Because I wanted to go back to those basics O of those times when it’s like, how do you figure out when you leave your full-time job? How long do you stay? Should you stay longer? Should you stay shorter? I mean, I remember just hashing through those numbers when I left my community college job and I know for myself, I stayed way too long, but it made sense at the time.

My daughters, both had open heart surgery. I had all the insurance. All the financial income was coming through me. So it made sense to stick around. But today we’re going to hear someone else’s story. Beth Gustin is a therapist who specializes in working with clients experiencing grief and loss and also trauma. She’s a licensed professional counselor, nationally certified counselor, who’s also certified in EMDR and certified grief counseling specialist. She is doing some amazing work as well as launching a public speaking venture, to work with businesses to better serve those who navigate life differently. Beth, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[BETH GUSTIN]
Thank you. I’m glad to be here.
[JOE]
Yes, I’m really glad to have you here. I feel like you’re someone that in Next Level Practice, you show up for yourself. I feel like you, I don’t know if you’ve missed an event since you signed up. It seems like you’re always there.
[BETH GUSTIN]
One of the positives of going part-time at my other job is I actually can attend the events now. So I have been making an effort to not miss one. I find the mix extremely valuable and I’m grateful that I can actually attend.
[JOE]
Well, take us back a little bit to your full-time job. What were you doing? How did you think through leaving that full-time job? Because that’s such a big decision and I’m sure maybe the way you figured that out is different than I did or someone else, but I just love hearing people’s process of when to leave. So take us through that.
[BETH]
It’s been a long time dream of mine to have a private practice and this is not my first attempt, but it will be my last attempt because I’ll be successful this time. But I’ve been working towards it for probably a couple years and I’m not sure my timing was the best in community mental health. It’s really hard to find a part-time position with benefits. So versus taking that huge leap of just going from full-time to no time, I had step down to part-time and that I feel like gives me a bit of a safety net as I’m still growing my practice. There will be a definite challenge, I think when I get to actually go from part-time to no time.

So it’s been in the works for quite a while and I just slowly began getting all the foundational pieces together, getting my practice paperwork together. I’ve had the business name for a very long time. So that piece wasn’t hard, but getting my PLC figured out and making sure everything was legally sound and just sound as far as a solid foundation that I could build from. So once I had those pieces in place, I then just slowly began advertising and getting my name out there little by little and I am really fortunate to have a couple different referral sources that I contract with, which have also significantly helped me be able to make that transition to part-time. And so now here I am.
[JOE]
Now, did you have specific numbers you wanted to hit before you left your full-time job or did you just go for it?
[BETH]
A little of both when a position became open that was part-time. I jumped at it because like I said, those are really hard to come by and I also had a goal in mind of, I want to be able to at least make what I was making full-time with the private practice, so I could have an equal pay to what I was leaving by going part-time.
[JOE]
When you went from full-time to part-time, did you already have a client load going or was it like you had some savings? Take us through some of those nitty gritty details?
[BETH]
I had a small client load as well as savings. So I did a little bit of both again there as well, but I don’t remember how many clients I had. I went part-time in November and it’s definitely grown quite a bit since then, which is awesome. But I think I had, I had probably 10 or 12 clients, I think at the time that I went part-time, so I had that already established and that was what helped me to make that transition.
[JOE]
Now, when you think about the lead up to that, to like get those 12 clients to have that infrastructure, to have that foundation that you referenced, what were some key things that you got in place before you even started considering moving from full-time to part-time?
[BETH]
Having clients that I could see once a week to once every other week. So it was working a lot of hours working weekends, working evenings, but building up that clientele so that I could maintain that once I went part-time. And I think knowing my big picture goals, I’m really good at big picture goals that I struggle sometimes to break them down into short term goals and actually achieving the small steps to get there. But I’ve known for a long time that I want to do public speaking and private practice as my revenue sources. So putting the pieces in place around getting the education around public speaking, getting some education around private practice and what that would take, NLP has been really invaluable around I lost pieces and just little by little piecing it together, like a puzzle, almost just getting all the pieces in place to where I felt like I could take a leap. But it was scary. Like I said, it wasn’t made with the best timing, but I think there is no good timing.
[JOE]
Yes, it’s like having your first child and it’s a big jump to have a kid and for me it was, there’s no great time. I’m sure there’s better or worse times, but I think with business, same sort of thing that there’s never a perfect time to launch a side gig or launch a private practice or to leave your full-time job, because it’s always going to be scary. What were some things, you mentioned Next Level Practice, what were some things within that you found helpful to help guide you through that process?
[BETH]
The small groups and the accountability partners have been helpful, the encouragement piece and the accountability piece. Like I said, I struggle sometimes to meet the small goals that actually help me reach the big picture of where I would like to be. So having that consistent accountability, knowing there’s people that have done this before me and seeing how they made that happen for themselves. I had a lot of the paperwork already in place before I joined NLP. So for me it’s more just been like learning how to blog, which I’m still not doing. That’s in the story though. Still I’ll work on that. But the marketing piece and how to do that is a private pay practice. I don’t take insurance. So learning how to do some of those pieces through NLP was helpful.
[JOE]
I think that supportive community side of just normalizing the journey and not recreating the wheel is something I hear over and over because it’s like we don’t learn any of this in grad school. So then to have other people that maybe are learning with you or a couple of people that are a little bit ahead of you and just to realize, oh, everyone feels like they should be blogging, but they’re not. They know they should, but they aren’t. It’s like, okay, how can we hold each other accountable and say, let’s just get one blog done this month. Okay, great. We took a step or whatever that one thing is to just keep pushing each other to try a little bit more than maybe we’ve been doing is really exciting to see as someone that gets to watch all of you grow these amazing practices.
[BETH]
I think that, and also, I think as I’m thinking back through NLP, all the resources. I mean you and NLP are just a wealth of, you can go here, you can do this, you can check this out. Have you looked at this and just knowing what’s out there, because I don’t think we know until we know.
[JOE]
Yes, it’s like, we just don’t even know what we don’t know.
[BETH]
Exactly.
[NOBLE]
Our friends over at Noble have some exciting news to share. Their goal is to help mental health professionals serve more people and less time, support a worthy cause and earn passive income. They are on a mission to add 50,000 mental health professionals to their platform over the next few months. If you join Noble right now, you’ll be able to continue using your noble account for free forever. Learn more and join for free at noble.health/joe. Again, that’s noble.health/joe.
[JOE SANOK]
When you think about your next phases of practice, how do you conceptualize maybe 2022 or the future years? Do you have specific maybe key performance indicators or numbers or things that you want to hit before you would maybe go fully into private practice and leave that part-time? Or is it, I mean, I know for some people it’s more of an intuition, like I’ll know when I know thing. Are there like specific numbers that you would want to hit first or is it just more intuitive?
[BETH]
I do have a specific set of numbers I would like to hit first. I also do think, I will know when, I’m such a Libra. Like it’s both. I can’t pick on either. It’s both, but I do have some financial goals I would like to hit and just make sure that I have that sustainability in place before I transition to full time private practice.
[JOE]
I think it’s smart to at least have some sense of like, what do I need to be hitting in order to feel comfortable? Because you don’t ever want your business decisions to affect you personally in a negative way or depending on your family structure, kids or people that rely on you. Like you want to make sure that your business is helping you move along in life rather than being a weight or just a hobby. You want to people that have businesses that are not making enough money. I have a friend who owns a brewery. That’s an amazing brewery. He’s like, I haven’t paid myself in five years. I’m like, that is a terribly expensive hobby with a lot of risk. So that idea of, yes, you want to go slow and steady and sometimes we maybe go slower than we should. For your public speaking side, what are some resources you found that have been helpful in regards to that?
[BETH]
So I’m going through The Speaker Lab for that, but it was really nice to, ironically my accountability partner is also going through that as well. So it was really neat to find someone with through NLP that like we’re on a very similar life path as far as our careers. But I think just hearing from other therapists again, who are, and or have made that transition to public speaking and learning about their journey, Killin’It Camp has been good for that. I’ve been there the past two years, and both times have found just again, just the encouragement piece and that, Hey, you can do this too. I find really helpful in just hearing how they did it. I’ve looked at like Help A Report Out for example, which I didn’t know about till Killin’It Camp. So just learning about the resources again, that you don’t know, which you don’t know until you hear about it.
[JOE]
Yes. In The Speaker Lab, that’s Grant Baldwin, he’s been on the show a few times and he’s been one of our experts with Ask the Expert in Next Level Practice. Just great guy that knows so much about speaking. The books I always recommend, I don’t know, Beth, if you’ve read any of these or found them helpful, but Talk Like Ted and the Storyteller’s Secret by Carmen Gallo are two books that I just ate up and have really helped my keynotes and a number of, and even my podcasting, I think in regards to just telling good stories and understanding the science behind it. Talk Like Ted, he looks at the top 200 Ted talks and what they all have in common, which is just fascinating. Then Steal the Show by Michael Port is another one that’s just amazing. Those are the Trinity of books other than the Grant Baldwin’s podcast and work.
[BETH]
What was the storytelling book? I was typing in that fast.
[JOE]
We’ll have all these in the show notes as well. But yes, so The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmen Gallo. Carmen Gallo also has Talk Like Ted. So those two and then Michael Port’s Steal the Show, just three amazing books about public speaking. Michael Port actually has a lot of improv background. So he pulls some of that into your public speaking when things hit the fan, just turning it into something that you roll with rather than it ruining the entire thing. So that’s, I’ve had a few things happen when I was doing talks that were, I had to learn to roll with and I was glad that I had a little bit of improv background to handle those things.
[BETH]
Absolutely.
[JOE]
So Beth, when you think through your goals, like you said, you’re good at the big picture, but sometimes the small ones, like it’s a little bit harder, how do you think through staying motivated, continuing to go after big things but also balancing that with, you know we have lives outside of our businesses too. We don’t want to just be achievers. How do you think through those things in regards to just how you make decisions as to where you spend your time on business versus life and hobbies? How do you sort through all that?
[BETH]
I think I struggle with that to be fully honest. I love to read, I like to learn, so right now I’m trying to work on nicheing into like a pet loss bereavement specialization. So I’m taking a training on that so that I can make sure I feel competent to do that. I have a lot of other grief training, but pet loss is a very different type of grief. So making sure that I have the ability to do that helps keep me on track with that goal. I think since I have transitioned to part-time, it’s also allowing me to step back and actually look at, okay, how do I want to structure things? I do have, I don’t want to say more time, but different time, if that makes sense. So I can use the time differently. So since it is the first of the year, I have been sitting down this weekend looking at, okay, let’s actually schedule blogging, for example, let’s schedule some downtime, just making sure that I actually do those things and allocate my time and my life in a way that works for me.
[JOE]
I think for achiever types that even have a little bit of that bend, which I would guess is a lot of my audience, putting it in your calendar, even the hobbies I think can be so helpful. So for me even just saying every single day, I’m going to do some dual lingo Spanish, I’m going to just work on it every day, a little bit and then it’s just going to be part of my daily routine. For me then helps me know, okay, this is something I have to do every day. Every day that I do it, the days that I maybe don’t do it the end of the day, it’s like, wait, I haven’t done that. Like that’s part of my day. It becomes more and more of just that habit that is part of my day. Even just putting into my calendar specific things I want to work on instead of having a to-do list I really will just like put things directly into my calendar, which is so helpful then because you’re saying no to putting other things in your calendar, when you put the things in that you want to work on.
[BETH]
For me, it is too. I think the other piece of it that I find helpful is I’m very intentional around trying to keep work and personal life separate. So I have a little ritual that I will do where when I’m leaving work, whether it’s private practice or community mental health, I will wash my hands before I leave and just wash everything from the day down the drain or when I get to work, I might wash my hands and wash everything from home down the drain. For me that’s just a symbolic way of separating the two, which helps me keep my brain in a better head space and I think also more effectively allocate not only my time, but just my mental space to be where I need to be and stay more present.
[JOE]
I think having those boundaries as to when is work and when is not work are so important. In the middle of lockdown pandemic March and April of 2020, when everyone was in their houses my daughters, I would say to them, “Daddy’s going to work,” and they would give me hugs. Then I would walk up the stairs to my home office work in there I’d come down when I’m done for the day and say, “Daddy’s home from work.” So it just book ended. Okay, now dad’s done. I’m not going to be dinging around on my phone and wasting our time and making you wonder if I’m working. So even just like that, I love that you wash your hands and that’s just symbolic of saying, okay, any of the stress of the day, I’m washing away, moving into something new. How cool is that? Have you done that for a while? Or is that something you’ve done more recently?
[BETH]
I’ve been doing that probably for, oh gosh, couple, three years. To me water’s very cleansing and healing and meditative and energetic and all those things. For me that just really has resonated.
[JOE]
When I used to wear a watch when I worked for CMH and was in the courts and other things at the end of every work day, I would take my watch off with my keys and I would put them in the same spot. Then at the beginning of each day, I’d put my watch on and then take my keys and leave. For me that was very similar to your hand washing where it was like, okay, keeping track of time in an intense way, a job is over and now it’s time outside of work.
[BETH]
I like that too. That’s good.
[JOE]
Beth, the last question I always ask is if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
[BETH]
I think maintain your authenticity, follow what you truly want to do. I mean, it sounds cheesy, but really follow your heart. Like what do you truly want to do and how can you take steps to make that happen and still be true to who you are? So as a quick example, being totally blind from birth, I tend to work with a lot of clients who also experience visual impairment, which I enjoy doing and will continue to do. My heart is more with, like I said before, pet loss bereavement and other types of grief and loss. So for me, it’s important to maintain that authenticity of staying true to what I want to do, not just what I can do or what I might be good at doing because I have lived experience. So I guess don’t be afraid to step outside what you think you’re good at or you think you can do, but really embrace what you want to do to be true to who you are.
[JOE]
I love that. I feel like when I look back on parts of my career, like at each time in my career, I enjoyed say working with angry teenagers or I enjoyed being a supervisor of people early in their licensure. Like part of moving up or changing my career was having to let go of some of those things that I was good at and that I even enjoyed at times. But I love that you point out that, ye, even if people that have visual impairment are drawn to working with you, that that may not always be your main specialty and you may be drawn to something else and that’s okay. I mean, that’s such a great thing for us all to remember. Beth, if people want to connect with you, if they want to learn more about your work what’s the best way for them to connect with you?
[BETH]
Email is the best way. My email address is beth@transitioningthroughchange.com.
[JOE]
Awesome. Well, we will have that in the show notes. Thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[BETH]
Thank you for having me. I’m really honored to be here. It was a good experience. Thank you.
[JOE]
So what are you going to do to take some action? Maybe you are at a full-time job and you’re thinking, oh my gosh, I want to leave this. Maybe it’s changing the way that you think about your schedule. Maybe it’s changing your specialty. Maybe it’s starting to run some of those numbers and having some of that foundational stuff in there to move into that next phase. Maybe your next phase is leaving the full-time practice maybe or leaving your full-time job into private practice. Maybe it’s doing a group practice. Who knows? Push yourself to jump into something else to continue to grow and expand and serve the world.

Also, we are so excited about our friends over at Noble. Our friends at Noble believe in using technology to enhance, not replace human connection. With Noble, your clients will gain access to between session support through their automated therapist-created roadmaps, assessments to track progress and in-app messaging. So if you want to join for free, just head on over to www.noble.health/joe. Again, that is noble.health/joe.

Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing day. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye
[JOE]
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the producers, the publishers, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.