Five Mindsets to Master in 2020 | PoP 423

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Five Mindsets to Master in 2020 | PoP 423

What 2020 mindset do you need to level up? Are there New Year changes to be made? How can you make 2020 the most successful year yet?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about five mindsets that will make 2020 a game-changer for you.

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In This Podcast


In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about five mindsets that will make 2020 a game-changer for you.

Lifestyle first

What does your current lifestyle look like? Are you burnt out, with no time for yourself? As therapists starting out, we tend to take on all the clients we can, even doing the evening sessions we don’t want to do. Before you get to that point in 2020, design your lifestyle first. Perhaps you want to work from 10am to 4pm and take a month off every year. Now do the numbers and figure out your pricing, to see how you can design your lifestyle.

Have one project to automate and one that is risky

We need to keep going with projects that scare us as it’s the only way we’ll grow. Is there one thing you’ve always wanted to do? For me, it was to publish a book. It’s a risk in my time, but if it works out, it will be awesome. You’ve got to take some risks to go bigger and level up.

Now think about what you can eliminate, automate and delegate. There are tons of resources available to help you complete tasks to free up your time. Pay someone to do the things that are taking up time, and that you’re perhaps not good at.

You have specialised skills that the world will pay for

Think about your skills and interests that come naturally to you. Have you been in conversations lately where people value what you’re saying and would like to use it in their own life or business? Create a one-page sheet on yourself and put it out there to test out whether you like talking about speciality topics. People are always looking for new talent speakers, especially ones with a great 2020 mindset.

Money is not evil

If you want to level up with a new 2020 mindset, you have to be unashamed to make money. Money isn’t evil, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Money can really open doors to expand growth, and help others and the economy too.

Someone else has done it

That thing you really want to do, someone else has done it before. Find professionals that can help you get there. The brainstorming can really help you level up so much faster. There are also hundreds of podcasts you can listen to and that you can get so much information and motivation from other people. Fill up your brain so that you can do it yourself.


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Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

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.

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE]: There are many ways to keep your practice organized, but Therapy Notes is the best. Their easy-to-use, secure platform lets you not only do your billing, scheduling and progress notes, but also create a client portal to share documents and request signatures. Plus they offer amazing unlimited phone support, so when you have a question you can get help fast. To get started with practice management software trusted by over 35,000 professionals, go to and start a free trial today. If you enter promo code [JOE], they’ll give you two months for free to try it out. Again, that’s, promo code [JOE].
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 423.
Well welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I hope that your end of year is just going awesome. I know that mine is and spending time with family and with friends and we’ve got some, some big new year’s plans coming up. It’s so exciting to be kind of landing this ship for 2019. The decade is over. It just feels like yesterday I was on Navy pier waiting for the countdown for the year 2000. And it’s just crazy to think that that was 20 years ago. Man, I feel old. But it does feel like just yesterday. Those of you that are in my same age demographic, I’m sure you remember when there was the whole Y2K thing when everyone thought the world was going to just end, and explode and that there was going to be, you know, massive meltdown because of the computers and nothing happened.
My grandma at the time, she’s no longer with us, was a bit of a prepper, and it was funny, but it also was awesome because she really prepared and she had all these like really low temperature sleeping bags and she gave us all crank radios, so that we didn’t have to rely on battery power if there was any sort of problems. And she gave us all like these high energy food baskets for Christmas, and Boucher was just, she was such a fun lady, but she did some wild things sometimes. And she bought all these extra beds so that she could help all the other older ladies in her condo community that didn’t care about Y2K. You know, I still have those sleeping bags and they’re super warm. So, you know, the end of the decade, it’s weird to think about.
As we talk in the coming weeks, about 2020, we want to kind of look back on 2019, but also want to look forward to how do you change things, how do you improve things, how do you keep getting to that next level? Every year I set a big goal for myself and say like, “What is something that’s going to really move the needle forward?” I take that from the book, The One Thing, and they ask the question, “What’s the one thing that if you did that, that it would make everything else easier or kind of not even important anymore?” And so, I go through this exercise each year, really thinking through what that’s going to be. And so a number of years ago it was, “If I have some really high end private pay clients that would be really awesome.” You know, if I can break the 175 an hour mark, that’d be insane. Then the next year it was, “If I got more consulting clients that were at least $500 an hour, that’d be really good.”
And then the next year it was, “If I can have a mastermind group where I had six people paying $500 a month, and did that, maybe two mastermind groups each month, that’d be a big jump in my hourly and I could do a lot more of the podcasting.” And then the next year, I said, “If I could host a conference that brought people together…” So that was Slow Down School. And then, “If I could start a membership community where we had predictable income coming in,” and now we’re on our second year of Next Level Practice. And that brings in probably 15 to $20,000 a month. And then, you know, recently we started the Done For You podcasting, which we haven’t really even talked about here on the show. We wanted to test it out first, but now we have this whole audio engineering team and we’re coordinating.
So, I mean the Practice of the Practice team, now we have four sound engineers, we have two people that are in South Africa, we’ve got just down in Florida, and then we have all three of our consultants. And so it’s amazing to see it growing and we’re growing this Practice of the Practice podcast network where we’re going to be kind of coming up here talking about some of those podcasts that we’re helping support and launch. And, you know, they’re really important things there. They’re really important topics the world needs to hear about. And so we’re trying to get behind people that we know are doing great work for the world, that need the support that they just want to show up and do the podcasting. So each year I kind of think through like, what’s that big push for me?
So last year, I said, “If within two years I could have a New York times bestseller, that would be a game changer to be able to have a book that is out there. And so, what’s going to be happening soon here is I’ve been working since, I think April is when I met Greg, my agent. And so, April of 2019 and so throughout early 2019, I was interviewing agents, that went way faster than I thought to find an agent that wanted to work with me. Then after that, he connected me with Nancy, my book coach, she’s been helping me get the proposal done. You know, I thought you just kind of put together a proposal, send it to publishers and then boom, that’s how it goes. But there’s a lot of science to it and people know what they’re doing.
Speaker 3: And the same way that, you know, people consult with me, I’m consulting with Nancy and Greg and you know, I’m paying them quite a bit for that. And so it’s really important to have experts come alongside me. And today we’re going to be talking about mindsets and what you can do to really make next year a game changing year for you. and so, we’re going to be shopping that proposal around and who knows if I’m going to get picked up by a publisher. I’m sure I’ll tell you about the journey either way. It’s really important I think to have those professionals alongside of you that have done the work, that know what they’re doing, whenever you try something new. And so I’m going through that process and I’ll be sharing with you kind of what happens once we shop around the proposal.
If I do get picked up by a traditional publisher you know, one dream I have is to be in an airport and see my book there. I think that would be just an amazing accomplishment. But also I feel like my message is one that goes beyond even just therapists. And so thinking about what is that big next level to go, you know, two or three times bigger than where I’ve been. I’m pushing myself and then as I learn that I’m sharing it with you.
So today I’m going to take you through five mindsets that to me will make next year a total game changer for you. It will help you in so many different ways. I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a podcast episode, just a solo show, but I wanted to go back this week and then in the next one also I’m going to do a solo show as well. But I took a bunch of notes because, I wanted to kind of stay organized and stay focused.
The first mindset of 2020, well actually before I talk about that, I do want to let you know that on January 14th, so January 14th, 2020, that will be when Slow Down School tickets open, and I’m going to talk to every single person that signs up or that wants to sign up to make sure they’re a good fit for it because I want the right people there. The plan in 2021 is that our family is going to be on the road with an RV visiting national parks. So we’ll be doing a lot of events that are out and about. So we may bring Slow Down School to you, we may do some kind of smaller events, we may do some larger events. We’re definitely going to still do Killin’It Camp, but want to make sure that, you know that if you’ve been on the fence about Slow Down School, if this is something that you’ve said, “I’m at that, almost to six figures or past six figures and I really want to grow and scale. I want to go big, I want to go for the big ideas, I want to go after growing my practice in a profound way,” Slow Down School’s for you then.
We spend a couple of days slowing down, I bring in massage therapists and a yoga teacher so that we can really genuinely relax. We have an executive chef that cooks amazing food for us. And then on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning of that week, we just run full tilt towards your business and people get so much work done in the right direction rather than, you know, just kind of spreading all their ideas all over the place. So, we do that, and then after that we celebrate. We go, last year we went chocolate tasting, then we went to Cherry Republic and had a bunch of cherries and cherry wine. So we have a lot of fun kind of landing the plane for the week and the people that come are high achievers doing really big things. So if you want to be surrounded by those kinds of people, Slow Down School should definitely be on your radar.
So, first mindset, mindset number one; lifestyle first. I remember back when I was in Kalamazoo and I was just getting started. I had just left an agency job and my wife got a job as a manager at a coffee shop and we just wanted to kind of get out of Michigan’s upper peninsula and either get back to Kalamazoo or Traverse City. We had a lot of friends in Kalamazoo. So I got a job back at Catholic Family Services. I think I made $25 per session, which at the time seemed like a mind blowing amount of money per hour. We didn’t have kids at the time. And then I also got a job at Child and Family Psychological Services, I’ve interviewed Larry Beer a couple times on the show. That was my first introduction really into private practice where we got a 65, 35 split and that seemed like an amazing amount of money, but I didn’t know anything about marketing myself, and then I got picked up at a local residential treatment center too.
So, I was working all over the place, just trying to make ends meet. And it really was one of those things where I remember I put so much time and energy into, especially the private practice of just finding the right people that could see me my ideal client. And then it started to take off really quick. I went from like zero to one and then one to five within just a couple of weeks. And with all these jobs, I remember just being so burned out so fast, just like, “I don’t have any time for myself. What am I doing? Oh my gosh.”
And that’s so common. When people start a private practice, you know, they get things going, they take all the clients and they do evenings, they don’t really want to do long term, and then they fill up and they’re like, “I’m just giving myself another job. I’m hating this lifestyle.” This is the first mindset that I really want you to embrace. Design your lifestyle first before you really kind of get too far into your practice. Or maybe you need to step back a little bit and say, “Is this really what I want? Do I want this?” And so for example, maybe you want to work from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, maybe your kids get out of school a little after four or you want to work out in the mornings and you think, “I want to work Monday through Thursday, 10 to 4,” and so that equals about 28 clients a week unless you did kind of 45 minutes sessions and did a couple back to back. So you could always do like a 10:00 AM, a 10:45, an 11:30, and then 12:15 to 12:30 take off, eat some food real fast, go to the bathroom and then do a 12:30 if you really want to power through and get some extra sessions in there. But say you did 28 a week and you said, “I want to have a month off a year, so 48 weeks I’m going to work and I need to take home $100,000.” Okay. So we want to multiply that by a factor of 1.5 or 1.6 depending on how conservative you want to be, you know, with your taxes and with your expenses, you want to just make sure that you have a good idea of how much you need to bring in.
So, let’s multiply that times 1.6. So a hundred K becomes $160,000. We’re going to divide that out by 48 weeks. So we’ve already defined the lifestyle we want. So 48 weeks, that breaks down to $3,333 and 33 cents per week. All right? So, if we then divide that by 28 sessions that we want to do per week, that breaks down to $119 per session. That’s a really reasonable counseling session fee. And for a lot of people, if you charge $119 per session, you would get a lot of people out of network, you’ll get some private pay people. I’d actually say you could probably do even better than that. But that’s the basic way that you’re going to figure out what you need to charge, figure out the lifestyle you want first, and then your pricing and everything else comes after that.
So, the second mindset is I want you to think about having one project that you’re figuring out how to automate and another that is risky. All right? So we want to be taking risks that give us a good return on investment for our time or has the potential to. So this book thing, I may have just spent the last year just working with Nancy, working with Greg working probably two to three hours a week on this thing. That’s a big risk. I may have totally just pissed away that time, or it may land me amazing speaking gigs in the future. I may make tons of money off of the book. Who knows? I feel like we have a good idea, but who knows what’s going to actually happen with that? Because that’s the risky thing. And then the automation thing, that’s figuring out what’s already happening, that you can start to automate.
Rory Vaden, he has this thing called The Focus Funnel, and he says, “You want to think through? What can you eliminate, what can you automate and what can you delegate before you ever touch it? And then when it comes to you to figure out, is this the best use of my time?” And so doing that one thing that’s going to take the minimal effort and asking yourself, “Why am I the one that’s doing this?” You can probably find someone for, you know, 14 to $20 an hour. They can work really hard and love doing the work that they’re doing while you go off and do these bigger things that can get a much stronger hourly. Also, we want to be able to take some risks to go bigger and test out things before you launch it, before you dedicate too much into it. So take those risks in this coming year.
So, the third mindset that I want you to really think through this year is, you have national skills. You have skills that the average person needs to hear and that they would find mind blowing. You know, we know that 9% or so of the United States has a master’s degree or higher. That means in a room of a hundred average Americans that what’s happening is that you are most likely one of nine people that has a master’s degree or higher. And what are the odds that you’re one of those individuals is a lawyer, one is a doctor, one’s a dentist? Most likely you are the only mental health clinician in that room of a hundred, in an average kind of American room of a hundred people. Now when you start to see things through that lens, you then say, “Okay, well, I have some skills beyond just having a master’s degree. I specialize in sleep or in trauma or in couples.”
The things that you know intuitively that you are just, it’s a no brainer for you. Like, it’s a no brainer for me that I was trained at Western Michigan University where there are strong behavioral school. I had a rat lab, positive and negative consequences drilled into me. So coming up with behavior plans for my kids when they won’t go to sleep, it’s super easy to make a token economy. Now I have to then kind of push back on that and say, I don’t want my kids to just have these external reinforcers. But also there’s times when you just need to go to sleep. You need to just like go to sleep. And so creating a token economy, that’s super easy for me. Now the average parent probably would love to learn that sort of thing. Now I don’t want to spend my time teaching that to people because it’s not a passion of mine that I really want to put out into the world.
I want to do this kind of work, but it’s really, really important to know that your skillset, that there’s lots of skills you have the world really wants to pay for. I mean even just thinking about getting your name out there a little bit more, even before you have a website or anything like that to see if you like it. You’ll put together a one pager. A one pager is just you know, basically a bio sheet, a one page sheet that has a good quality headshot on it, has your name on it, has a quick bio of some of the things that you’ve done, your ideal clients that you work with, three or four topics that you could talk about on a podcast interview and how to contact you and follow you on social media. That’s a really good way to just test out whether or not you like talking about a certain subject.
Put yourself out there, try to get on some podcasts, talk through your specialty area. People are always looking for undiscovered talent and if you can pitch yourself and get yourself out there, it’s a great way to test whether you want to level up and in kind of a national way. We also want to think about when you’re doing that, how would you speak to clinicians? So if you’re on like the Practice of the Practice podcast, like how do you speak to clinicians, but then how do you speak to the average person? And so when I’m on podcast interviews about clinical work, I’m talking about your private practice, you know.
My big call to action is usually either joining something like Next Level Practice or coming to Slow Down School because that’s really aimed to kind of that clinical group or coming to Killin’It Camp whereas if I’m talking to a regular podcast, they only have a small percentage of people that are really interested in private practice. So we have Podcast Launch School that we’re launching in 2020, which is our e-course on how to start a podcast that you can actually make money on and you do a good job at. And you want to be able to have those things that you can talk to the general audience or kind of the therapy audience.
Mindset number four, money is not evil. I was so surprised at Killin’It Camp. I did this activity, it’s called comfort zone, growth zone, panic zone, and we had this big room and I said, imagine one side of the room is your comfort zone in the middle is your kind of growth zone, makes you feel nervous and worried, and on the far side is your panic zone. I’m going to say some things where you’re going to put yourself on that range. And so, I said things like skydiving and a whole bunch of people would move to the panic zone, some would go to the comfort zone, some would be in the growth zone. Eating sushi. A lot of people, you know, over on the growth zone or maybe the comfort zone and you know, so throwing those kinds of things out. But then I said, making more money than your peers. And I thought there was going to be a bunch of people that were growth zone, a little panic zone, almost, I would say a good 80 to 90% of the people were in comfort zone. And I thought, “Oh my gosh, Killin’It Camp is the place where my audience has come together. This is the place where people that are unashamed about making money and then doing good for the world with that money come together.
So, you don’t, money is not the root of all evil. It’s not the money that makes it evil. I would say, when you’re always going bigger and bigger and bigger for no reason at all, think that, that’s to me the motivation behind it. It opens doors to expand all sorts of things like security, growth, helping more people join your practice, hiring clinicians, helping the local economy. These are all things that you can do when you have those financial resources.
All right. Mindset number five, the last one. Someone has done what you want to do. Someone has done what you want to do. You know, I want to traditionally publish a book. I want a publisher to say, “Yes, Joe Sanok, that’s a good idea. We want to pay you to write a book.” I don’t want to pay some ghost writer to help me write a book that I then self-publish. I want to try to go the traditional publishing route. And so someone has done that. Nancy has helped tons of people. Greg has helped tons of New York times bestsellers. And then once I go through that process, I can say, “Hey, I’ve done that once. Here’s what I’ve learned from it and let me point you in the right direction to these people.” I mean, when I look at Slow Down School, the people that are coming to that, they each have a unique skillset.
Jessica Tappana who in a few weeks we’re going to hear more about SEO. She was sitting on a couch with a bunch of people helping them optimize their website and, at Slow Down School figured out, “Oh my gosh, the things I know intuitively about ranking in Google, people would actually buy,” and she now makes more money off of her SEO business than she does off of her private practice. She makes more money off her big idea than she does offer private practice. She spoke at Killing’It Camp, knocked it out of the park, was also one of our keynotes over at Slow Down School last year and just knocked it out of the park. You know, those things, someone has done it before you. I’m thinking about Killin’It Camp when we had all these people together, where they collaborated, they had great ideas as we ate together and we had these sessions together. A bunch of us did goat yoga together. When you’re together with people that have done it, that brainstorming helps you just level up so much faster. I think about the Next Level Practice folks where we have all these folks starting a brand new practice and being guided by myself and Alison and Whitney and you know, Sam and Jeremy and all these other people that have done it before.
Jeremy Zug from Practice Solutions, he’s helped collect over $100 million in insurance claims and he knows how to do billing with insurance. He knows how to fight with insurance, he knows how to do contracts with insurance and he’s someone that, whether it’s through practice solutions or whether through Next Level Practice, he can help people. He’s done it before. There’s no reason to bang your head against a wall. You know, it can be books or podcasts that you can do. I listen to probably two podcasts a day. I listen to them at one and a half speed, almost always when I’m driving somewhere if it’s a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. I try to have my mind in that kind of mindset of thinking about business. When I go to the gym, you know, and I ride the bike for half an hour and then I do some sit ups and some pull ups and some stretches and all those things, you know, I can listen to usually two 40-minute podcasts at one and a half speed in the time I’m there, between my drive there and back.
So, I get so much information from people that I’m constantly putting into my brain and deciding, “I could do this. This is awesome. I could do this.” And so make sure that you’re filling up your brain. So these five mindsets, again, let’s just go through them again. So the first one is lifestyle first. Second is have something that you’re automating is something that you’re taking a risk on. Number three is you have the skills. You have skills to go national. Fourth, money is not evil, it’s opening doors for you. Number five, someone else has done it.
So, I mentioned a bunch of things, Next Level Practice. If you’re interested in that, we only have three cohorts opening in 2020. So make sure you head on over to,, If you’re interested in consulting, you can go over to and we have a ton of resources over on the website too. And honestly, if you’re ever stuck, if you’re like, “I don’t know what to do next, help me out.” Just go to the website, our director of details, Jess is there live all throughout the week answering questions. So you can say, “What’s the best podcast about this? What’s the best resource around this? I want to start a practice. Do you have any ideas?” She has all those resources. She’ll tell you live. And so it’s this new service that we’re offering through the website where you can get live help. Anybody that’s, whether or not you give us a dollar, we want to help you be pointed in the right direction.
You know, one thing, that I am so grateful for is our podcast sponsors. Our largest sponsors Therapy, Notes, Brighter Vision, and Gusto have been long-term sponsors with us and I want to give a huge shout out to Therapy Notes. Therapy Notes is the sponsor of this episode. They’ve committed to more sponsorships next year. They are the best electronic health records out there. If you head on over to and then you use promocode [JOE], they’re going to give you two months for free. I mean, you don’t see that deal anywhere else. They even gave on black Friday of this year a code for me to send out to give three months for free. What’s really nice about it is that their head of marketing, Chris, it’s great because I’ll hear feedback on what people like or things they would like to have added to it. I’ll say, “Hey, you know, a bunch of listeners said they would love this feature.” I send it to him, he sends it off to the IT team because so many of you have signed up for Therapy Notes. They are so good at listening and adding features that you give me to pass on to them.
So, to have that kind of relationship with our sponsors where we can reach out and we can say, “Hey, you know, someone said this, that’s positive or negative. What are you doing about it?” We genuinely see it as an affiliate, as a connection, as a partner that we trust. So head on over to, use promocode [JOE]. Make sure you sign up for the right electronic health records for next year so that things are all signed up for your correctly. Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an awesome wrap up to the year and I’ll talk to you soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard 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 other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.