Building A Group Practice with your Spouse with Alex and Julian Mayes | GP 138

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A photo of Alex Mayes is captured. She is the group practice owner of Mindful Steps PLLC. Alex is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Do you run a private or group practice with your partner? How do you divide up the work to your strengths? What is a healthy mindset shift to change the way you think about failure?

In this podcast episode, LaToya Smith speaks about building a group practice with your spouse with Alex and Julian Mayes.

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.

It’s that time of year again!

My friends over at Brighter Vision are once again kicking off the fall season with a month-long digital conference event they call ‘Fall Into Cash’.

For the entire month of September, they’ll be teaming up with the top brands, consultants, and coaches in the mental health industry to provide you with the best advice, tools, content, podcasts, and giveaways; all centered around one main goal – helping you grow your practice and make more money.

Plus, in celebration of the 6th anniversary of ‘Fall Into Cash’, they’re also offering a very special discount exclusively for Practice of the Practice listeners.

From now until the end of the month, they’re offering $20/month off of any website service plan for your whole first year plus no signup fees – that’s a savings of over $200!

For more information and to take advantage of this great offer, head on over to brightervision.com/joe.

Meet Alexandra Mayes

A photo of Alex Mayes is captured. She is the group practice owner of Mindful Steps PLLC. Alex is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Alexandra Mayes believes in teaching individuals how to improve their emotional and mental well-being. She has been in the mental health field for eight years now and has worked with children, teens, and adults. In 2021 she decided to open Mindful Steps PLLC, a group practice with the goal to expand access to mental health care, provide psychoeducation, and improve how people view mental health treatment.

Alex’s approach to therapy is integrative and focuses on identifying the client’s strengths, identifying maladaptive behaviors, and teaching healthy coping strategies.

Visit Mindful Steps and connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Meet Julian Mayes

A photo of Julian Mayes is captured. He is the co-owner of Mindful Steps. Julian is featured on Grow a Group Practice, a therapist podcast.

Julian Mayes is the Co-Owner of Mindful Steps PLLC along with his wife Alexandra Mayes. After a long career successful in corporate America, he used his experience and incorporated into the day-to-day operations of the practice.

His goals are to increase visibility in marketing, create new processes to make onboarding seamless, and find new ways to add technology to face the challenges of the business side of running a practice. 

In This Podcast

  • Running a practice as a couple
  • Advice for working couples to create success together
  • Replace the word “failure” with “experience”

Running a practice as a couple

Alex and Julian run their telehealth private practice together.

Before they launched this business, they were both feeling the burn and knew that they needed to help each other to make the practice work.

My husband looked at me and said, “What do we need to do? How can I go about helping you in this process because we are in it together and you don’t have to do it alone.”

Alex Mayes

They had a long conversation together to figure out who was going to do what. Julian spent some time writing out the entire process of the business, from start to finish, to figure out its different parts and how they would divide up the work.

The ultimate goal is to fire ourselves from those responsibilities but also spend time to learn through those growing pains to create a job description where we bring on an admin.

Julian Mayes

Advice for working couples to create success together

  • Set realistic goals together
  • Complete a 30, 60, and 90-day strategy
  • Aim to achieve 1% of the goal a day, and take at least one small step a day towards the goal

Replace the word “failure” with “experience”

[When something goes wrong], okay, now I have experience in this process with this particular situation! In grad school, we [didn’t] have any business classes, so if you are interested in starting your own group [or] private practice, you have to do the legwork to find the education [and] the resources are out there.

Alex Mayes

Many trained therapists received little to no business education in grad school even though running a private practice is the same as running a business!

Whenever you are learning and trying something new, replace the word “failure” with “experience”, and help yourself to take that next step forward without self-judgment.

If you are new to the business, do not be afraid to ask for help.

Teach each other, and I think that’s it. I think that’s anything with teamwork or partnership … there’s going to be times where one of you takes the lead and the other one says, “Okay, got it”, and then it’s going to flip.

LaToya Smith

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

  • From now until the end of the month, Brighter Vision is offering $20/month off of any website service plan for your whole first year plus no signup fees – that’s a savings of over $200! For more information and to take advantage of this great offer, head on over to brightervision.com/joe.
  • Visit Mindful Steps and connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Check out these additional resources:

Meet LaToya Smith

An image of LaToya Smith is captured. She is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling. LaToya is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

LaToya is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency in Fortworth Texas. She firmly believes that people don’t have to remain stuck in their pain or the place they became wounded. In addition to this, LaToya encourages her clients to be active in their treatment and work towards their desired outcome.

She has also launched Strong Witness which is a platform designed to connect, transform, and heal communities through the power of storytelling.

Visit LaToya’s website. Connect with her on FacebookInstagramStrong Witness Instagram, and Twitter.

Apply to work with LaToya.

Email her at latoya@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

[LATOYA] The Grow A Group Practice Podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice Network, a network of podcast seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like the Practice of the Practice podcast, go to www.practiceofthepractice.com/network. [JULIAN] You are listening to the Grow A Group Practice podcast, a podcast focused on helping people start, grow, and scale a group practice. Each week you’ll hear topics that are relevant to group practice owners. I’m LaToya Smith, a practice owner, and I love hearing about people’s stories and real-life experiences. So let’s get started. [JULIAN] Welcome back to the Grow A Group Practice podcast. This is LaToya Smith. I am your host for season two, and so we’re back today with a special guest. I mean, all guests are special, but this guest is, these guests are a little bit different because we did some consulting work together and I knew I wanted to get them on the podcast because I think they do amazing work. I love how they flow. I mean, I loved it from our initial call and chat, so enough of the introduction, but I’m going to let them introduce themselves. I have Alex and Julian Mayes as my guest today. Welcome to you both. [ALEX MAYES] Oh, hi. Thank you for having us. [JULIAN MAYES] Thank you for having us. [LATOYA] Yes, I remember when we first started with the consulting work, Julian, I spoke to you first and I remember being a little confused, like, wait a minute, are you a therapist, your wife’s a therapist? But tell me a little bit about the both of your practice, where it’s located just to fill the listeners in on who you are. [JULIAN] Well, I’m Julian and I’m not a therapist. I’m like a admin, but I have a business of mine. I’m currently working in corporate America. Our practice is 100% Telehealth but we do have, I guess you would say we’re located in Murfreesboro, Nashville area. Yes, I mean, I’m just going with the flow. I just really just follow Alex Lee because I know that it’s difficult just to juggle multiple hats so I’m just there to take some of that concern off her plate and just come up with strategies to make it make sense. [LATOYA] Okay, Alex, tell the audience a little bit about yourself. [ALEX] Well, I’ve been in the mental health field for about seven or eight years now, specifically working with the adult population, helping treat anxiety, depression, and grief and I love what we do. We are located in Tennessee and I enjoy the fact that we are strictly telehealth at the moment and I’m looking forward to expand. In addition to having my own group practice, I’m also a clinical director of four other clinics, basically that treat substance abuse. So I wear many hats, I’m a wife, I’m a mother, I’m an entrepreneur and I love what I do basically. [LATOYA] Yes, I love that you said that part. You definitely love what you do and you’re very good at it, you both are, but Alex, what you said, you wear many hats. Let’s talk about now because I think this is a special part that you two together, husband and wife, you both wear many hats have come together to build this practice. I want to talk about that because I think there’s a lot of people out there where one spouse is the therapist, and I’ve seen a couple practices where the other spouse supports and helps out with building the practice, but let’s talk about how you both, how that has been going for you both like, so the start, has it always been smooth? Have you both always knew your lanes and your gifts to build such a great practice that you have right now? [ALEX] We really had to sit down and have a conversation about division. [LATOYA] How’d that conversation go? What did it look like?? [ALEX] Well, I remember coming home one day and, of course, I was going into office at the time being a director at the other clinics and I was coming home one day just really trying to balance growing the practice. At this time, I was the only therapist, even though I had started a group practice. I remember telling my husband, look, I am overwhelmed because there are so many moving parts to starting a group practice at the systems that you have to create and set in place. So not only am I seeing my own people at Mindful Steps, I’m verifying insurance, I’m making sure I have all the right documentation calls are coming in. My husband looked at me and said, “What do we need to do? How can I go about helping you in this process because we are in it together? You don’t have to do it alone.” [LATOYA] So how did you decide who’s going to do what? How did that part flow? [JULIAN] I believe it was late at night. I basically, did an operational overview of Alex’s start to finish. How does it look like far as onboarding, communication, how much time are you investing doing this and doing that. So after that interview process, I basically took things off her plate to make the operational chains seamless or get it to the point where we can grow the practice the communication chain, the marketing chain. We tried to make it make sense from that standpoint. But it started with the interview. I had to take the husband hat off and be more of a consultant first to understand my job function, if I was going to join Mindful Steps. [LATOYA] I like that. So again, we talking about wearing many hats. I think, I’m not sure, and you all could tell though, this is a question for you both, does this workout great Because Julian, you have that business mindset or does it work out great because you’re like, “Hey, I just I want to support because at the end of the day, I want to see,” you want to see your wife be great? I guess like what type of, if you’re speaking to an audience members who are husband and wife and one of them is a therapist and the other one wants the support, do you have to have a business mindset to be that support that your spouse needs to help them see their practice through? [JULIAN] Absolutely. While Alex was in school, I don’t recall her having one iota business classes in college, in business. So I believe that just having that business mindset or just even if you don’t have a background in business, you can just leverage what you know and see what your spouse is having trouble with and investing too much time and to take that off her plate or take it off your spouse’s plate. [LATOYA] So you guys definitely see, so you guys, you stepped in, you started interviewing and what I love, again, what I’ve seen over the past few months is Alex handles the clinical where Julian, you’re the business, when it comes to the marketing, the structure, the operations, and the setup and it’s fitly joined together, if you will. [JULIAN] Oh, yes. Just what we do now is we just do, we’re starting, we’re in the point now starting to have KPIs, key performance indicators of what we need to improve in because there’s always room for improvement. When we take a look at marketing budget, we’re taking a look at customer or client experience and then also back office how we can, because we currently have clinicians on staff and wanted to make sure that their experience is seamless as well when they’re engaged with their clients. [LATOYA] So would you say your vision, and I think, Alex, you mentioned it when you sat down and had to talk about the vision, it was your vision first, but your husband’s gifts and strengths helped to like illuminate it, or you two together have always had this vision? [ALEX] I believe it was my vision first and then it became our vision. So when I painted a picture, my husband became more, had more of a understanding of, I see the direction this is going and we are in a partnership and let’s work together to fulfill this vision that you have for yourself to provide therapy service to as many people as possible, basically. I love the fact that we can work together on that. We make sure we set time aside maybe two or three times a week to talk about, okay, what areas could we improve in? What is our next step? How can we expand ourselves? But also considering defined details, because that’s very important. Our overall goal is to initially hire someone to do the systems that we currently have right now. We even put in the process of seeking out a business. I think we’ve been, I think for about, what, six months now, basically. So they took something off of my plate, I no longer have to do, which is the billing part, and I can focus my energy on another part such as marketing and creating more exposure basically. [JULIAN] So ultimate goal is to fire ourselves from those responsibilities, but also spend time to learn through those growing pains to create a job description when we bring on an admin. [LATOYA] Because at first, like, I love that. So the ultimate goal in anything, like as you grow, you scale, you build is to move out of the current where you’re in and then hire other people to do the things that you do. What advice, specifically even the starting point and then a couple that owns a practice, what advice would you give them or how they can best work together to see success? Like, say a couple came to you and one of them is a therapist, the other one isn’t. Maybe they’re business minded, maybe they’re not, maybe the other spouse has great strengths, but what advice would you give them to help see their practice to success? [JULIAN] I would say set goals and be realistic with those goals. What we have done was we basically did a 30, 60, 90-day strategy. So can’t think back that far, but I believe our 30 days was to find the systems that we like, learn those systems, convert the clients to get used to engaging with us in those systems, marketing strategy, and then a growth plan. Then on top of that 30, 60, 90 we have a one-year and a five-year goal. [LATOYA] Okay. [BRIGHTER VISION] It’s that time of year again. My friends over at Brighter Vision are once again kicking off the full season with a month-long digital conference event they call Fall Into Cash. For the entire month of September, they’ll be teaming up with the top brands, consultants and coaches in the mental health industry to provide you with the best advice, tools, content, podcasts and giveaways, all centered around one main goal, helping you grow your practice and make more money. Plus, in celebration of the sixth anniversary of Fall Into Cash that are also offering a very special discount exclusively for Practice of the Practice listeners from now until the end of the month, they’re offering $20 per month off of any website service plan for your whole first year plus no sign-up fees. That’s a saving of over $200. For more information and to take advantage of this great offer, head on over to brightervision.com/joe. [LATOYA SMITH] So everything doesn’t have to be, so the main thing about coming together as a couple is really having a plan to support the other one and building the practice up and everything doesn’t have to come together at once. [JULIAN] Yes, we’re big believers in just achieving 1% a day to get closer to that goal. Even though times will be overwhelming, just making that progress, achieving that extra 1% to get closer to that 100%makes a difference. [LATOYA] Wait, how often do you guys have team meetings, you two? [JULIAN] Every day. [LATOYA] Back to the vision board where you guys started, how are those meetings going on? [JULIAN] Every day. [LATOYA] Every day? Are you having them without even being planned? Like you just walk into a meeting, you don’t even know you had a meeting? [JULIAN] Absolutely. But that makes it fun because just working towards the goal of being fully independent is exciting. Because that’s my goal and definitely that Alex is already there. But we have to ask ourselves, what is it going to take? it would take those long hours, it would take those investments, it would take just taking risk, smart risk and just moving forward, being better today than yesterday. [LATOYA] I love that. So where do you, Alex, where’s your practice at now? I know you said it’s 100% telehealth. What are some huge milestones you’ve achieved this year or recently and where do you see yourself going? [ALEX] Well, the huge milestone that I would like to address is that it’s okay to ask for help and understand if you don’t know, you just don’t know. There’s nothing wrong with seeking additional services, especially with the consultation. That was a great investment for us. I grew comfortable with asking for help and understanding, asking all of those questions. As of right now, we do have two therapists on board and I absolutely love it. It was a great motivator and just finding people who wants to be a part of that process with you, because again, it’s new, it’s new for us, and I’ve grown to understand that important to have your vision and taking that first step, no matter how afraid you are, no matter how, you’re not for sure what this looks like or if things don’t align with your timeline, it’s okay. It’s is the process. [JULIAN] But right now, we do have two clinicians on board. It’s good to hire clinicians and this is my opinion that maybe may treat a population that you’re not. Like the other two clinicians I have, they work well with children. One specifically, only one works work with children, and the other therapist works with a combination of children, teenagers, and adults. So we’re in a way treating all the needs. That is my goal. I want to continue to grow, I want to continue to expand and understand that all of it is a learning process. I don’t want, I don’t believe in the word failure. I like to replace that with experience. Like, okay, now I have experience in this process with this particular situation. Because again when you’re at grad school, you don’t have any business classes. So if you are interested in starting your own group practice, your own private practice, you have to do the legwork to find the education, but the resources are out there. It’s more, so how much time are you willing to invest in that? [LATOYA] That’s good. I like it and I love that you were able to hire two people. I know it’s going to keep growing. I love the fact that you’re like, listen, I’m going to hire people that don’t necessarily do what I do. I love that, the experience part because some people say, oh, failure shouldn’t be an option. No, I’m like I’m going to learn like. What’s that quote, I never lose, either I win or I learn. So I have these experiences where I’m growing. And to me, it’s beautiful that you and your husband, you and Julian are able to have these experiences together. You know what I mean? So it’s like, I imagine it makes it even more sweeter knowing that you both have the same vision. You both are trying to build, build, build yourself out of a job because you’re building a business that’s changing lives. I know that the people that are listening, especially the couples, well, one is has started a practice and the other one wants to be supportive. I know they’re going to be blessed by just listening to you all talk about how you’ve grown since that first vision meeting late at night. So I love that part. Any other words you want to leave with anybody starting a practice, but especially a couple, a married couple or whomever that is looking to build together? Any other words of advice that you want to leave with them? [ALEX] Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable and to do something different. It’s not uncommon to have just a little fear, a little anxiousness, but you never know until you get started. Don’t give up pretty much. Don’t give up taking one day at a time. If you have to, one minute at a time, if you have to. It’s okay to dream big, have that big vision, but find a way to break it down into reasonable goals that are realistic pretty much. So if you have a five-year plan create milestones for each year, goals for within the six months, and then break that down into three months to a month or what you could do in a week. It’s more about the little building blocks you create to get the vision and don’t lose sight of your vision despite any type of obstacles. [JULIAN] The greatest thing I’ve learned with working with my husband is that there’s things I can teach him and there’s things that he can teach me. To be open and honest as possible if you are not sure for something and saving time aside to think. Often, we get caught up in the routine of the day, getting ready in the morning, if you have children getting them ready and working and then like, wanting to come home and relax. I’m not telling you not to relax, but also setting time aside or to relax, but also set time aside to think of what you want to look like. Because for the most part, I was working basically two jobs and I had to make sure I kept that fire inside of me to do the work outside of that job to make sure my vision still comes true in order to not lose sight of what I really want to do, the ultimate goal. So I made it basically where at my other job, I come in every so often, not as frequent, and now I can use that time to work on my private practice, my group practice, and it doesn’t feel like work because it’s something I want to do, something I want to learn basically. [LATOYA] I love that. I love everything you’re saying. I love the part where you said teach each other, and I think that’s it. That’s anything with teamwork or partnership. Sometimes there’s going to be times when I hear you saying what I’ve heard Julian say in the past too. There’s going to be times where one of you takes the lead and the other one says, okay, got it, and then it’s going to flip. It’s going to be times when you take the lead and then he says, okay, okay, got it. But that’s the part of the partnership that you’re building this practice that’s a part of the vision. I love it. All in the experience, no failure, but teaching, learning and experiencing and now you definitely are seeing the fruit and I’m definitely proud of you and Julian, and I think you have a wonderful, amazing vision with what you’re building there in Tennessee. [ALEX] Oh, thank you. [LATOYA] But tell the listeners how they can find you. Any social media links, your website, how can people find you? [ALEX] You can find us at www.mindfulcare, mindfulsteps.care. I’m sorry, it’s mindfulsteps.care, that’s our actual website. It features me and the other therapists as well. You can also go on Instagram Mindful Steps for You pretty much. I also have my own individual account, which is Mindfully Alex and Facebook is also Mindful Steps for You as well, because we also release content of little tips and tools, not soup therapy by the way, but tips and tools on these accounts as well. [LATOYA] Awesome, awesome. Well, Alex and Julian, thank you so much for being my guests. I’ve enjoyed working with you the last few months and of course, I’m always going to be looking out and watching all that success, that vision that’s coming forth. But thank you so much. [ALEX] Thank you so much as well. We’ve enjoyed working with you as well, and thank you for the opportunity to be featured on this podcast. [LATOYA] Yes, thank you. Thank you once again to Brighter Vision for sponsoring this episode. Remember to head on over to brightervision.com/joe to get your first three months of website service completely free. [JULIAN] If you love this podcast, please be sure to rate and review. [JULIAN] This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the hosts, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.