How to Start and Grow a Group Practice with LaToya Smith, Ashley Mielke and Joe Sanok | GP 128

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On this therapist podcast, LaToya Smith, Ashley Mielke and Joe Sanok talk about how to start and grow a Group Practice.

What are the ingredients to skyrocketing any group practice to success? What are some of the shared anxieties that nearly every group practice owner struggles with? Why do you need to learn to “build the plane while you are flying it”?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok, LaToya Smith, and Ashley Mielke speak about how to start and grow a group practice.

Podcast Sponsor: Heard

An image of the Practice of the Practice podcast sponsor, Heard, is captured. Heard offers affordable bookkeeping services, personalized financial reporting, and tax assistance.

As a therapist, you’re probably too preoccupied with your caseload to want to think about bookkeeping or tax filing. Heard can help you out with that. Heard is a bookkeeping and tax platform built specifically for therapists in private practice that helps you track and improve your practice’s financial health. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned clinician or are in the first year of your practice, Heard will help you to identify areas for growth and streamline best financial practices for your business.

When you sign up with Heard, you’ll work directly with financial specialists to track your income and expenses, file taxes online, and grow your business. You’ll also receive financial insights such as profit and loss statements and personalized monthly reports. You can say goodbye to poring over spreadsheets and guessing your tax deductions or quarterly payments; focus on your clients, and Heard will take care of the rest.

Plans begin at $149 per month and can easily be tailored to fit your business’ financial needs. Sign up now at www.joinheard.com.

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

Meet Ashley Mielke

A photo of Ashley Mielke is captured. She is a Registered Psychologist, Founder and CEO of a large group private practice in Alberta, Canada called The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre Inc. She is featured on Grow a Group Practice, a therapist podcast.

Ashley Mielke is a Registered Psychologist, Founder, and CEO of a large group private practice in Alberta, Canada called The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre Inc. She is passionate about supporting heart-centered practice owners in starting, growing, and scaling their businesses.

Ashley was called to start her company after the tragic death of her father by suicide in 2010. It was the purpose she found through her healing that inspired the ‘WHY’ that drives her 7-figure company today. It brings Ashley great joy to support other heart-centered leaders in building successful practices that are aligned with both their business goals and their deepest calling.

Visit The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre and connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Connect with Ashley Mielke on Instagram and LinkedIn.

In This Podcast

  • Shared troubles of current group practice owners
  • The ingredients to rocking out a successful group practice
  • When should you add the first clinician to your practice?
  • LaToya and Ashley’s advice to private practitioners

Shared troubles of current group practice owners

Being a therapist can feel isolating, and being a therapist that runs a group practice can feel even more so!

What can bring you together is the knowledge that almost every group practice owner goes through the same trials and tribulations that you do. Find community in those that have shared your experience and allow them to inspire you to keep moving forward.

Some common struggles include:

  • Hiring
  • Finding the best fitting clinicians for the practice
  • Creating the best structure and process

You have a whole list of 10 things that you feel need to be done today, but what’s most important for this day? That’s going to get you to the vision that you want to go to. (LaToya Smith)

  • Breaking down a big vision into manageable action steps
  • Searching for support and encouragement

One way that I enjoy supporting my consulting clients is [by] sharing my journey and my stories as a group practice owner and they often feel so relieved … because they’re reminded that they’re not alone. (Ashley Mielke)

The ingredients to rocking out a successful group practice

Even though there are shared struggles, there are also simultaneously shared top tips that almost every group practice can do to skyrocket the business to sustainable success.

Some top tips include:

  • Becoming a go-getter: they desire and appreciate momentum without worrying about how it will turn out. They trust the process and continue to take action.
  • Letting go of the negative “what-if?”: consider the fruits of your labor, and how they could turn out for the best instead of for the worst. What great things can happen from your efforts?
  • Focusing on progress instead of perfection: you will never have all your ducks in a row, and those that succeed more than usual know this, and continue on their journey despite the occasional setback.

You just have to start, and you have to let go of that need for perfectionism and having everything in place, or you will never feel ready. (Ashley Mielke)

When should you add the first clinician to your practice?

You should consider hiring your first clinician when:

  • Your waiting list is growing
  • Your professional calendar is nearly full
  • You have to turn clients away

[With] hindsight looking back, I really wish I would have hired [earlier], even when I was three-quarters full to where I wanted to be. (LaToya Smith)

Hire your first clinician before you reach panic mode. So, it may seem unnecessary, but hire before you think you need it.

LaToya and Ashley’s advice to private practitioners

Go after it. There will be some fears and some what-ifs, but continue to try and pursue your goals.

If you have a calling and you come alive when you think about your practice, then trust that guidance and take the next right step forward.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

  • When you sign up with Heard, you’ll work directly with financial specialists to track your income and expenses, file taxes online, and grow your business. Sign up now at www.joinheard.com.

Check out these additional resources:

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok. Welcome to the Grow A Group Practice podcast. Well, welcome everybody to the podcast today. As you just heard, this is both the Practice of the Practice podcast and the Grow A Group Practice podcast. We are doing a cross-pollination between podcasts today, and I’m really excited about why we’re doing this. Alison Pidgeon has been such a pillar of our teams and has helped us grow so much. She was the very first consultant that I hired with Practice of the Practice, and she’s done an amazing job. Alison is stepping into more of her entrepreneurial journey. She just starts companies over and over and she’s doing more of that, which is awesome. We want her to go with our blessing and our excitement. But we have two people that have been with us for a little bit now. We have Ashley and LaToya who are consultants with us. They’re friends, they are people that have worked with practice of the practice and I’m really excited that we’re shifting a few things with the Grow A Group Practice podcast, and just continuing to grow and streamline just the different services that we offer. One big shift is that we’re going to have the Grow A Group Practice podcast, have a season where someone takes over. If you’ve been listening to the show, you know that LaToya’s taking over for a bit. She’s going to do a season, then Ashley’s going to do a season and then we’ll talk about, well, what do we want to do after those two seasons? There’s some consistency, but there’s also some diversity in our voices that there’s some diversity in our perspectives and the ways that we think through things so that we can really address that idea of growing a group practice differently. So Ashley and LaToya, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I’m so glad that you’re here today. [ASHLEY MIELKE] Yes, thank you so much for having us, Joe. [LATOYA SMITH] Yes, thank you Joe, for having us on. [JOE] If this is the first time that maybe people have heard your voices LaToya, why don’t you just give us a quick summary of what do you do for work? What do you do for fun? What’s your life look like? What’s your group practice look like? Just share a little bit about yourself. [LATOYA] Okay, so I am an LPC. I’m here in Fort Worth, Texas. I always, when people say where you’re at, I say, yes, I’m in Fort Worth, Texas, where my practice is, but I’m from South Jersey. For some reason I always make that clear where I’m from. So yes, we have a group practice here. I started in 2016, learned a lot from practice of the Practice along the way and I always say, because I think it’s really a big deal. It’s important to my heart, we are made up mainly of therapists of color. That’s a part of our niche. We serve people of color that call in and it is just a great feeling knowing that when I grew up, this therapy wasn’t talked about much. I run the business for fun, which is a good time. I’m also in ministry, so I spend a lot of time with the church, the church community. I always love sports. I grew up with three brothers who are very big sports fans of Philadelphia team, so I can always, my sister didn’t play any sports, but I can always be active. I try to work out, I try, that’s the key word in that to work out like three times a week. Other than that, those are the things that I really enjoy. I like eating, I like trying new foods, I like laughing. I could probably laugh all day long. I was told I laugh at everything, but I guess I do [JOE] What new foods have you tried recently? [LATOYA] Oh man, this may not be new to anybody else, but when it comes to Thai food, I ventured out to the noodles, which I only would eat like fried rice, but I ventured out to different things and I’m like, this is good. That’s important to me. Then in being in Texas, Mexican food is really, really big. Somebody yesterday told me about a noodle food truck that I want to get to. I just got to get over there. [JOE] Oh, we have a huge food truck scene here in Traverse City. There’s this place called Little Fleet. They have like six or seven food trucks, and then they have a liquor license, and they always have awesome bands playing, and it’s dog-friendly. So there’s always just like families kicking it there at the food trucks. One of my favorite burger places came back this year, and I’m just like, “Yes, thank goodness they’re back.” [LATOYA] Sounds good. [JOE] Ashley, what about you? Tell us a little bit about your life, about what you’re into, about your practice. [ASHLEY] I live in Beaumont, Alberta, Canada with my husband and five-year-old son. I own a large group practice called the Grief and Trauma Healing Center and we’ve been in business now for almost nine years, which is really hard to believe when I reflect on that. Sort of the journey that led me to starting my practice was the result of a really tragic loss in my life. My dad died by suicide in 2010 and a few years after he died, I really felt called to serve grieving people. It’s been honestly just the greatest blessing to be of service to people who’ve experienced loss of any kind. Outside of business, I have found a new passion in life, which is playing hockey. I really feel like a true Canadian now because I finally pursued a childhood dream of playing the sport and so that has been a really amazing journey for me this last six months since I started playing and has just given me a new level of inspiration and aliveness in my life. Yes, so that — [JOE] I didn’t realize that the hockey was a new thing. How long ago did you start playing hockey? [ASHLEY] I literally started in December. [JOE] Man, when you were on that Ask the Expert yesterday for Next Level Practice, you sounded like you had been playing hockey for years. That’s awesome. [ASHLEY] Well, I think I’ve probably gotten in like, the number of hours that I have played since I started probably equates to years for some people. I mean, that’s how much I’m on the ice these days. Yes, I’m just absolutely obsessed. I signed up my son yesterday for his very first hockey season in the fall. My husband also plays so now we are truly a hockey family. [JOE] Oh my gosh. Do you guys curl at all? [ASHLEY] No, that is one thing I have never gotten into, [JOE] I love curling. Actually, we have the only private curling facility in the nation, in the United States. It’s right here in Traverse City. It’s this, and they have this bar that’s connected to it. It’s this guy who just loves curling that he, out in Boulder, Colorado in the nineties started this organic food delivery business that he sold for a bunch of money. Then he was so mad that there wasn’t dedicated ice that he just built his own private curling facility. It’s awesome. He’s just this total like hippie with this giant beard and total Boulder, Colorado type, and he just made it and now we have all these leagues and it’s awesome. I love curling. [ASHLEY] That is very cool. Well, and I wanted to say something, Joe. You had talked about this famous burger place. I am a burger connoisseur. I’m obsessed with hamburgers, and that is like the one thing that I will order at every single restaurant and whenever I travel. So I have to make sure I have a burger when I come out to see you. [JOE] Yes, for sure. Are there certain things that you always want on your burgers or do you like to try different things on it? Or what’s your Burger gm? [ASHLEY] I’m pretty classic, pretty classic cheeseburger. I don’t really step out of the box. So yes, I have to go, wherever I am I have to at least try a burger. Right now, my absolute favorite in the entire world is Cheeseburger in Paradise in Waikiki, Hawaii. [JOE] Oh yes, that’s a great place to visit too. I go for my burger and I guess we’ll stay a while. [ASHLEY] Oh, exactly. That’s my excuse, why go there? [JOE] Well, for today’s episode, part of it is talking group practice, but also, I think that to, show LaToya and Ashley your uniqueness, who you are, and not just to get people to work with you, but just to know that there’s successful people out there that think about their group practice in a variety of different ways. This is going to be part interview, which is part conversation. We’ll just see where it goes. We didn’t really talk through exactly where we wanted to go, but I think in transitioning the Grow A Group practice podcast, it’s just fun to. So here’s who the voices are behind this. When LaToya, when you think about this first season of the Grow A group practice podcast for you, so taking over podcasts from Alison and doing a season, how are you thinking through that? What are you wondering, just what’s your creative process of entering into taking over the podcast for a season? [LATOYA] I was, it’s funny because yesterday I was jotting down all these ideas for the podcast because you know what Alison launched and started, I think it’s amazing. It’s great to listen to a lot of valuable information and I always love hearing people’s stories and I think the more I grow with my own practice and going through like the bumps and the bruises, the highs and the lows, there’s such a creativity to it. I think there’s a lot of putting your own self in there and your own voice. I was told years ago by one of my friends, like, we’re all creatives. I was like, yes, I am even though I’m not artist or I can’t draw or paint anything, but man, I can cast a vision and I can make them come to life in my heart and that’s what I want to hear from people. However, they did it, whether it be the structure they used to hire, setting up other locations, how they started from scratch. I’m just interested in hearing people’s voices and stories and then the similarities and then also what makes their practice unique. What I’ve been saying to people too, find that little bit of difference from your practice or what makes you stand out as small as it may be, but then blow that up. I think that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to hearing that tiny difference or what makes that person unique and then what makes them so dope when it comes to work in their practice. [JOE] Yes, I love just, me not setting any really vision for you around this because I just trust that both of you are going to be creative and add your own flavor to it and your own energy and to just follow your own curiosity. So it’s just fun to like, I have no idea what this is going to look like, and I think that’s really exciting. [LATOYA] That’s good to know. [JOE] Yes, follow your curiosity. For me, as a podcaster to be able to do a deep dive in whatever I’m interested in, assuming it somewhat aligns with why my audience tunes in, obviously, if I did a whole series on curling, someone might find one episode interesting, but if I did like two months of that, I would lose my audience. But to just say what are things that I’m interested in? So throughout June and July doing the How I got Through It series and interviewing so many interesting people that have just been through horrific things, but got through it and are getting through it and have made different life changes because of that and LaToya, you interviewing me about my story for that series, and Ashley, you were on talking about your dad. I mean, there were times so many times that I just like teared up and had to mute myself and to join people in their pain and to just realize that I’m going to have a much different perspective on my life situation in five years or 10 years, which I know in my head, but I don’t think I really felt in my heart. But just to have that freedom in a podcast, to just explore things and to dig really deep into something I think it’s just so fun to do. Ashley, when you think about, and I know that you aren’t going to start recording for a number of months but are you thinking about ideas about the podcast yet? Or are you really, because I know you’re wrapping up some clinical work. Are you more focused on that wrapping up side right now? [ASHLEY] Yes, I would say both, but I really echo everything that LaToya said, that what really lights me up and makes me feel alive is that opportunity to hear people’s stories and for people to share their stories and their journeys, like you said, LaToya, the bumps and bruises and the ups and downs. I think that’s what group practice owners are really interested in hearing. They want to find something in a story that reminds them of themselves. So that really is my intention as well, really creating a space that feels safe and supportive and also provides a lot of hope and inspiration on people’s journeys because as all three of us know it can be really lonely and isolating at times. So I think this is such a beautiful platform for people to really feel heard, even though they might be just listening to it on their drive to work or on their way home, that it’s an opportunity to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. [JOE] Now LaToya, you’ve been running some mastermind groups. Ashley, you’ve been doing one-on-one consulting with people and you’re both helping lead Group Practice Boss all these different things, when you think of the average group practice owner what are some of the struggles, LaToya, that you’re seeing that people are dealing with now? I mean, it’s 2022 inflations through the roof, hiring’s really tough, there’s all sorts of world problems going on. What would you say you’re seeing group practice owners really struggling with right now, LaToya? [LATOYA] I think what I’ve been hearing the most, a few things, one is hiring, finding the right people to hire. I think there has, I would love to have the statistics on it, but I don’t like how many practices started, especially since 2020 in the pandemic, but also like, people looking to find people that want to be team players on their team. So that’s hard. Then really trying to find the right person too, is another part that goes to it, as far as like a character that fits their team. Then really people need a lot of help with like, structure and processes. Like, you have a whole list of 10 things that you feel need to be done today, but what’s really most important for this day that’s going to get you to the vision that you want to go to? So I think a lot of times it’s helping people know they’re on the, on the right track. It’s going to be some bumps and bruises. But it’s going to be well and then helping people see that this is your baby, like your practice so you put into it what’s important and you don’t have to mimic somebody else, but encouraging them to know that no, you can do it and you have what it takes. And I think that’s it too, a lot of people don’t realize they hold a lot. Yes, you have your license yesterday ready to go, but man, you have all this great stuff working. So it’s like encouraging them to say that like, yoh, you’re already doing such great things. Don’t you see? Then when they can see that now they want to go forward. I don’t know, I’m hearing a lot of those that with a little bit of struggle, like really just the hiring, where to find the people and then how to get in front of those people to get them on board [JOE] Well, and to see that transformation in individuals when they feel like everyone else has their act together, I don’t know what to do, I feel so lost and I can’t do this even though I have a Ph.D. or a master’s degree to, wait a second, I’ve been organized before. I got through grad school, I did a thesis, I did my dissertation, whatever. I have the skills and now I just need to apply them to my private practice, to my group practice, or I interview clients all the time so interviewing people and finding a good fit, like I can trust my intuition. I can say that person’s probably not a good fit. I love seeing when that just starts to click for people where they realize that the skills that they really need, most of those, they pretty much already have. There may be some learning that has to go in, but just that most of the skills that they need, they already have inside of them. [LATOYA] Oh, definitely. I think what I’ve learned in life, like learn the hard way is when I get that nervous feeling, that imposter syndrome, I am in the process of leveling up anyway, like in the midst of it. It’s hard to think, here I am leveling all up, but I’m feeling nervous or what have you. Then it’s like, okay, I realize, I was going to another level. I’m already in motion. So helping people see you’re already, you got what it takes and you’re already in motion. So I think that that part is good. [JOE] Ashley, what are you seeing in regards to what group practice owners are struggling with worrying about, what else are you noticing beyond what LaToya said? [ASHLEY] Yes, I so resonate with what you shared LaToya. A lot of questions around organization and structure and breaking down their big vision into manageable goals and chunks. And just some of those simple processes, like you were saying, Joe just really propels them forward. Sometimes that’s really all they need. On the other hand, there’s been a theme of sort of what you were saying around just a lack of confidence and needing that support and that encouragement that they’re doing a great job, that they do have all of the tools and really believing in themselves as they take the next steps because there’s often so much fear and hesitation and worry about scaling a practice because it’s so unknown and it’s unfamiliar. So one way that I really enjoy supporting my consulting clients is just sharing my own personal journey and my own stories as a group practice owner. They often feel so relieved and grateful that I’ve shared because they’re reminded that they’re not alone. That in many ways, my journey really parallels what they’re going through. So I think just having someone to walk with them next to them on this journey just gives them that extra boost of confidence to take those next steps. [JOE] When either of you see people that have been more successful than maybe you expected, like it’s fast forwarded or they just really rock it out quickly are there any either character traits or things they do or mindsets or habits or anything you can point to that you’d say these are some of the ingredients that it really takes to rock out a group of practice faster than maybe the average person? [ASHLEY] I’ll go. I would say in my experience so far, it’s been really the individuals who are the go-getters. I always set up Trello Board as a part of our consulting and so when they’re in the Trello Board and they’re breaking down their goals and they’re working through all of their homework, I find that they just, they experience such great momentum. When they aren’t really worrying about how is this all going to turn out, really just trusting the process and taking action, I think that’s so key to that movement forward. [JOE] What about you, LaToya? Any things that you’ve noticed that people really do to keep moving forward or doing it faster than maybe they would expect? [LATOYA] Yes, I think that’s a great word, like the go-getters, the ones who know the course of action they want to take, but they don’t spend too much time thinking about the worst case. It’s like, they just go get it as opposed to the other side, like there are like blockers in their mind. And we’ve all been there like of what’s stopping me from reaching my next, but man, the ones who just, you can see things working, it’s like you’re just going after it and hey, listen, I tried so we’ll see. What’s that quote, I never lose, I either win or I learn. So we going to see what’s up. Either it’s going to be immediate victory, or I’m going to learn the lesson on the way and I’m going to try again. [ASHLEY] Yes. I love that. That reminds me of the quote that I share every single day, I’m like a broken record. It’s from Dr. Brené Brown, and she says, you have to build the plane while you’re flying it. [LATOYA] That’s good. [ASHLEY] That is one thing I lead with every consulting client and they say, oh my gosh, Ashley, that’s exactly how I feel. I’m like, that is what it’s supposed to feel like. You’re not going to have all your ducks in a row that doesn’t exist. You just have to start and you have to let go of that need for perfectionism and having everything in place or you’ll never feel ready. I feel like that’s really validating for our clients and even for myself as I continue to scale my company. [LATOYA] Yes, I was just thinking that, when you said it, I was like, ooh, that’s good I was like, oh, that’s scary. I want to build it as I go but that’s how this feels sometimes, like, woo, got to be the pilot, then I’m going to sit down and chill and I’m trying to get a snack all that in one, but it’s a lot [JOE] It’s so funny LaToya to hear you say building the plane as you go. Literally yesterday I was meeting with Simon Sinek’s people. So Simon wrote the book, Start With Why. It was an amazing meeting. I’ve been teaching to their community for the last six months or so, and they asked me to be one of their like, official Simon Sinek keynote speakers. It’s a huge awesome opportunity that’s going to be happening. But to hear this company, I mean, Simon’s one of the probably top five business writers of our generation. I mean, the guy is insane. But to hear them talk about as they’re launching things, they used that exact metaphor. They’re like, we feel like we’re building the plane as we go and I think that’s one of the things that so often people think that they have to have all their ducks in a row before they take any action. I would much rather see companies or individuals say like, we’re going to do our best. We don’t want to just to mess around and screw things up. We’re going to try to have, say the insurance panels lined up and our electronic health records or our website, and realize that oftentimes we’re so paralyzed by perfection that we’re months or years behind out of a fear of playing big, out of a fear of doing it wrong, out of a, like unnecessary fear of liability. There’s all these things that like, if we don’t do it perfect then all these things are going to fall apart and it’s going to ruin my career forever. It’s like, is that really true? I mean, or are you just delaying because you’re scared? [ASHLEY] Yes, yes, exactly. I love reassuring people that that is precisely how I’ve done it and how I’ve made every big decision, and not irrationally, but making sure I have peace around and it feels aligned with my vision, mission and values. But then you have to just take that leap of faith and trust that if it’s not going to work out, there’s going to be something better. As you said earlier, LaToya, like, you’re either going to, what is it learn or something, what was that? [LATOYA] Or I learn, yes, that’s the quote [ASHLEY] Yes. It’s like that that’s the only way. Sometimes some things don’t work out and that’s okay. You’re going to be led to something even more aligned with your greater purpose. So we don’t have to be afraid of taking those jumps. [HEARD] As a therapist, you’re probably too preoccupied with your caseload to want to think about bookkeeping or tax filing. Heard can help you out with that. Heard is a bookkeeping and tax platform built specifically for therapists in private practice that helps you track and improve your practice’s financial health. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned clinician or in the first year of your practice, Heard will help you to identify areas for growth and streamline best financial practices for your business. When you sign up with Heard, you’ll work directly with financial specialists to track your income and expenses, file taxes online and grow your business. You’ll also receive financial insights, such as profit and loss statements and personalized monthly reports. You can say goodbye to pouring over spreadsheets and guessing your tax deductions or quarterly payments, focus on your clients Heard will take care of the rest. Plans begin at $149 per month and can easily be tailored to fit your business’ financial needs. Sign up now at www.joinheard.com. [JOE SANOK] So awesome. Well, I wanted to make sure we talk a little bit about Level Up Week. So September 12th through 15th, 2022, we’re doing Level Up Week where we’re doing just a ton of webinars. Even as you’re talking, we haven’t talked about this, but hearing you talk about processes and people, I’m like, LaToya, Ashley and I should do a webinar about processes and people in group practice or maybe how to manage your time to get more done. Like, oh, we could add that to Level Up Week. We have a ton of different webinars we’re doing in this week. I think we’re going to probably have 10 to 15 webinars and teachings that are just open for anyone, totally free to just educate you to help things. That week is all about leveling up your learning, but also leveling up your support. For folks that are just even thinking about private practice we’re opening up Next Level Practice that week. We’re only taking 50 people this cohort. We decided that we’re going to just limit it to 50 people. In the past we’ve had sometimes more than that, sometimes right around that, but to just say, we’re only doing 50 people, so that if you’re in, you just jump in. The people that are in Next Level Practice a bunch always level up into Group Practice Launch, which is a six-month program that we’ll talk a little bit about in a second to help people go from being a solo practice to their first hire. Then people that are in Group Practice Launch are leveling up into Group Practice Boss or Group Practice Boss owners are going to be able to jump in to Group Practice Boss that week. Then lastly, for the Group Practice Bosses that want to do things outside of their practice we’re going to be opening Audience Building Academy for that six-month program, which I’ll talk a little bit more on a full podcast later on in the month about that. But I want to talk a little bit about Group Practice Launch, because that jump from solo practice to your first hire can be so scary for people. I know that so often in Next Level Practice I’ll hear individuals say, I just don’t want to be a group practice owner. Then in four or six months when they’re full after following our advice they’re like, well, I’m just leaving money on the table. How hard really is it to start a group practice? So let’s just talk a little bit about those people that are solo practice owners. When would you say, Ashley that people should start considering adding their first clinician to their practice? [ASHLEY] I think a really good time would be when their personal calendar is overflowing with clients and they’re finding that they’re having to turn away new intakes and inquiries because they just can’t manage that grade of a caseload. I think that’s a really good time to look at onboarding another therapist onto the team. That’s essentially how I did it. I didn’t hire a VA or an admin person right away. I onboarded my first contracting psychologist and managed both of our schedules. I actually did that until I was a team, we were a team of four, four therapists before I actually hired my first admin employee. For me, that’s when I realized that I could no longer sustain all of the roles. It always feels that way, even as at the group, the level of practice that we are now with as a team of 24, I always know that feeling of like, okay, now my bucket list is overflowing and it’s time to hire again. So I’d say that would be my advice to anyone. [JOE] What do you think LaToya? [LATOYA] I think it’s good, I agree with what Ashley said. I’m the same way. I hired therapists before I hired any admin or support, but for me personally, I realized that man, I was working myself just too hard just exhausted from the start of the day to the end of the day. That’s when I realized I got to do something with it. So for me, even I would say like hindsight looking back, I really wish I would’ve hired even when I was like three quarters of the way full to where I wanted to be. That way as I continued to get to where I wanted, it really lined up when that other person’s starting. It would’ve been like the smoothest transition. It didn’t happen that way, but I’m realizing along the way it’s like to do it a little bit before it becomes like panic mode or like it needs to happen now. So I’ve learned over the years to plan a little bit better about when I want to start hiring. [JOE] Now, Group Practice Launch we’ll just talk a little bit about that, it’s a six-month program, so the people participating in it, in the small group it’s not a mastermind where you have like a hot seat and you go through that process as much as you watch videos ahead of time so that you have the learning and then you come weekly to a session where there’s Q&A. The two of you are going to have different guest speakers come in on various topics. Really the main outcome is that someone goes from a solo practice owner to their first hire in six months. We also have the commitment that if someone doesn’t do that they can come through the next cohort until they do their first hire. We know that life comes up, we know that sometimes hiring markets, it doesn’t work. We see it over and over work, but also, we want people to know that we’ve got your back if for some reason you don’t make that mark in the first six months. When the two of you think about Group Practice Launch, what gets you excited about it? [ASHLEY] You want to go ahead LaToya? [LATOYA] Yes, I think for me, like you just said, the cohort, I like learning. I like team. I like hearing what somebody else is doing. Like when I work out, I work out in team. If I had to work out by myself, I wouldn’t go. So just knowing that other people are in there, they’re showing up to those teaching moments. I can ask questions, I can see what they’re doing, it’s going to get me motivated. So for me, that’s the stuff that I know that’s going to boost me, is seeing somebody else get it and now I’m like, man, I got to get it too. I don’t want to be left out there. I love that part and I just love learning. So when you tell me you’re bringing in different voices and different people I can hear from I like that part. [JOE] Ashley, what about you? [ASHLEY] I love the sense of community and support that this program provides and offers because again, it can feel really isolating and scary when we’re thinking about starting a group practice. So having others in the group to motivate and inspire and encourage really excites me. Then of course, being witness to them as they crush their goals like that, I think that’s going to be really the most rewarding piece, is seeing them transform over those six months and launch their group practice. [JOE] Yes, it’s so fun to see people in just such a short period of time, level up in that way. Well on the main page of Practice of the Practice by the time this airs, you’ll see a link to Level Up Week to be able to see all of the webinars we have. We’re bringing in some special guests as well. It’s going to be LaToya, Ashley, myself, and other members of our team that are putting on the webinars as well as some external people. Make sure you go sign up there, just go to the main page, Practice of the Practice. It’s right there, front and center above the fold. You can click on Level Up Week. Registrations totally free for all of it. One question, LaToya and Ashley that I always ask at the end of each show is if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want him to know? LaToya, why don’t with you? [LATOYA] Man, when Ashley gave that quote that got me going. So just go after it. Like, we’re going to have the fears, like the what if, and if I open a door who will come, but I know me and I have that part in me that if I don’t try, that’s going to make me more bothered than having to learn, bump my head and learn the lesson. So don’t be afraid to start and don’t be afraid to rework the plan and then start again. Again, and then the other part that I mentioned before, just the idea that you have to put yourself in it. As much as we, you have to do what’s best for you and you are a creative and your practice can be exactly what you want it to be. [JOE] Ashley, what about you? [ASHLEY] I would say something very similar to LaToya, that if you have a calling in your heart and you really come alive and you feel expansive, when you think about starting a group practice or growing a group practice, really trust that guidance and take the next right step forward. [JOE] So amazing. Well, thank you both of you for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast and the Grow A Group Practice podcast. The next episode for the Grow A Group Practice podcast is where LaToya’s going to be kicking off her season. Make sure you tune into that next. Thank you so much for being on the show. [ASHLEY] Thanks for having us. [HEARD] I wanted to say thank you one more time to Heard who is our sponsor for this podcast episode. They can help you with bookkeeping and tax filing and all of those things we as therapists don’t really like doing. If you’re interested in learning more about their plans and how they can help you, go to www.joinheard.com. [ALISON] 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.