Launch a group private practice month: How to hire virtual part-time W2s with Dr. Wendy Marsh | POP 853

Launch a group private practice month: How to hire virtual part-time W2s with Dr. Wendy Marsh | POP 853

Is it possible to hire part-time W2 employees? Can you have assistants in other states? When’s the right time to launch a group practice?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about how to hire virtual part-time percentage-based W2 assistants with Dr. Wendy Marsh.

Podcast Sponsor: Level Up

An image of the podcast sponsor, Level Up Week is captured. Level Up Week sponsors the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

March 20th – 23rd is Level Up Week, and we are offering over 20 webinars focused on helping you Level Up totally for FREE.

We have guests like Valerie Harris, talking about how to grow your practice with insurance. We have speakers from the Speaker Lab. We’re going to talk with you about the new public speaking gigs, as well as Experts on how to get a TEDx talk as well as every single phase of practice.

We’re talking about five simple marketing techniques you’d have to master and how to add virtual assistants to your practice. We have Profit First professionals coming in to teach you how to grow your money.

Whether you’re starting a practice, growing a group practice, or expanding to do multiple streams of income, Level Up week is for you. Mark your calendars, March 20th-23rd

See all of the webinars that you can register for over at

Meet Wendy Whitcomb Marsh

A photo of Wendela Whitcomb Marsh is captured. She is an award-winning author and board-certified behavior analyst specializing in autism. She is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Wendy Whitcomb Marsh is an award-winning author and board-certified behavior analyst specializing in autism. After a career working with children on the spectrum, she took early retirement to write books and to provide autism assessments for adults.

Since retirement she has written 7 books about autism, (working on the 8th ) including Recognizing Autism in Women and Girls, (2022) and the upcoming series, Adulting While Autistic (2023). She started a small private practice, Adult Autism Assessment, in 2018, and in 2022 she formed a group practice, which now has 10 employees.

Visit Wendy Marsh’s website and see also Adult Autism Assessment.

Connect with Wendy on Facebook, Youtube, and LinkedIn.

In This Podcast

  • Why Wendy moved to group practice
  • How to work with W2 employees in other states
  • Wendy’s advice to private practitioners

Why Wendy moved to group practice

I was getting overwhelmed. I was seeing people every day, [and] at one point I got up to seven days a week and I said, “That’s crazy!” People don’t do this, even if you enjoy it, people don’t do this seven days a week.

Dr. Wendela Marsh

Even though Dr. Marsh enjoyed her work and seeing clients, it became just too much. There was such a demand that she kept getting fuller and fuller, until she was working every day of the week.

That’s when she knew that she had to switch from a solo practice to a group practice.

I heard [Practice of the Practice] talking about group practices and although I had never considered it, it suddenly felt right, and it’s like “do it”, you know? … I’m too old to think about things for a long time [so] if it’s worth doing, let’s just do it! Let’s jump in with both feet.

Dr. Wendela Marsh

How to work with W2 employees in other states

It is legal to hire part-time W2 employees to work with you in your group practice. However, if they are working remotely from other states, you need to hire an attorney.

They will guide you through the process of filling out the correct paperwork for what it takes to be an employer in each of those states.

If you’re telehealth and you want to hire someone and they live somewhere else … because I employ them, I had to go through that paperwork to become an employer in those states.

Dr. Wendela Marsh

To make the process easier, Dr. Marsh uses a variety of different systems to keep everything streamlined:

It had to be W2s for me because I want there to be consistency across states. You can be [from] anywhere, but if you come to Adult Autism Assessment, you’re going to get [the same] service.

Dr. Wendela Marsh

Wendy’s advice to private practitioners

Follow your heart. If you have to gather a team around you, don’t wait for the “right” moment to start a group practice – jump in! The water’s fine.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Dr. Wendela Whitcomb Marsh – Recognizing Autism in Women and Girls: Opening Doors to Success

Dr. Wendela Whitcomb Marsh – Independent Living with Autism: Your Roadmap to Success (Adulting while Autistic)

Dr. Wendela Whitcomb Marsh & Raun Melmed – Autism Parent Handbook: Beginning with the End Goal in Mind

Sponsors mentioned in this episode:

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

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

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

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] March 20th through 23rd is Level Up Week. We are offering over 20 webinars focused on helping you level up totally for free. We have guests like Valerie Harris talking about how to grow your practice with interns, we have speakers from the Speaker Lab who are going to talk with you about getting public speaking gigs, as well as experts on how to get a TEDx Talk and every single phase of practice. We’re talking about Five Simple Marketing Techniques You Have to Master, how to add virtual assistance to your practice, and we have Profit First professionals coming in to teach you how to grow your money. Whether you’re starting a practice, growing a group of practice, or expanding to do multiple streams of incomes Level Up Week is for you. Mark your calendars, March 20th through 23rd and see all of the webinars that you can register for over at Again, that’s This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 853. I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. All last month and this month, we’ve been covering things around private practice, talking to real people that either own a solo practice or are leveling up or have leveled up from a solo to a group and later on in the month, we’re going to be talking with people that have had established group practices. So really getting back to the roots of why we started this show, learning about how to run a thriving private practice that will mirror our goals in life, will mirror the values we have, will mirror the way that we want to run a business. So it’s really awesome. Today we have Dr. Wendy Marsh. Dr. Wendy, I’m so excited to have you here on the Practice of the Practice Podcast. We’ve known each other for a while and you’re back on the show so welcome, Wendy. [DR. WENDY MARSH] Thank you, Joe. It’s great to be back. This is really an honor and I’m, I’m happy. This is one of the things I love to talk about, so I’m really happy to be here and talk to you today. [JOE] Well, tell us a little bit about your private practice in a few sentences and a little bit about your life outside of work. [DR. WENDY] Sure. Well, I first had a full career. Before I started a private practice. I was in education, special ed teacher for a while, school psychologist, licensed educational psychologist, and a board certified behavior analyst and then I took early retirement and I thought I was just going to write books, which I’ve done and I love writing books. But I started seeing a few private clients just like on a Saturday morning I would see someone and realized I preferred working with adults and especially people, especially women, because it’s difficult for adult women, also trans and non-binary folk to get an assessment, an autism assessment. So I started seeing clients and I didn’t advertise, but by word of mouth, people kept finding me. When the pandemic hit, I went to telehealth and then I could see people all over because my BCBA is a international certification, but I didn’t, I’m still retired. I like to sometimes hang out with my kids. I go to a movie once a week if there’s anything good showing. But I didn’t want to ever say no to anyone who said, “I think I might be autistic. I need help. I want answers.” And I didn’t want to have a waiting list, so I just kept saying yes to more and more people and it was encroaching on my life and my book writing and my family stuff. So I happened to be listening to one of your podcasts actually, and I think it may have been Allison or Whitney who was talking about Group Practice Launch. Now I was driving in the car, so I honestly didn’t know if this was a new episode or if this was one of the past ones. They talked about March being the deadline to join and I suddenly realized this is exactly what I need to do. I need to bring a team together so it’s not all on me and I better find out if they’re talking about this march or if this was some repeat of something from the past. So as soon as I got home, I went online and I made it for the deadline and I got in that Group Practice Launch in March and learned a whole lot because there was a lot I didn’t know. [JOE] I want to dig into some of that. Tell us a little bit about your life outside of work and then we’ll dig into some of the journey of what worked to help you decide on starting a group practice. [DR. WENDY] Okay, well, I have autistic family members. My late husband was autistic. We didn’t know that when we got married. Two of our three grown children, also autistic, all late diagnosed, the people who’ve been masking and wondering why they feel so different. So this population really appeals to me. I love writing books so that’s what I thought I would be doing full-time after I retired. I guess I’ve been a widow for since 2009, so my books, my kids, my practice, I have sisters I have a brother, but I don’t have a lot of other things because I really love my practice and my writing. [JOE] So you have a full life. [DR. WENDY] It’s fun for me. I do. These things are fun, so I’m not going out looking for new hobbies. [JOE] Well, so tell us about when you were thinking about going from solo to group what for you made you think, yeah, this is the time that I’m ready to like start hiring my first person and to really launch that group of practice? [DR. WENDY] Yeah, that’s a good question. I was getting overwhelmed. I was seeing people every day. At one point I got up to seven days a week and I said, that’s crazy. People don’t do this. Even if you enjoy it, you don’t do it seven days a week. So I took off Mondays and, Sundays and Mondays so that I could see people on Saturday that worked. But I still felt like I was just overwhelmed because every time I would do an assessment, I would write a report for them. This is like a 10 to 20 page report. I don’t just do a little, “because I said so” diagnosis. And it was just too much. I was overworked and I didn’t retire to be overworked. So when I heard Allison talking about, or maybe it was Whitney, sorry, I was in the car, I couldn’t see the words, but I heard them talking about group practices and although I had never considered it suddenly just felt right. It’s like, do it just be bold. I’m too old to think about things for a long time. If it’s worth doing, let’s just do it. Let’s jump in with both feet. [JOE] Yeah, so what were some of your first things that you had to get in order to feel prepared for making your first hire? [DR. WENDY] Well, luckily the Group Practice Launch really takes you through the steps. So there were things I wasn’t even aware of, but I got connected with a good accountant. I had been an LLC on my own, and this was something I heard on another one of your podcasts, you encouraged someone to take a phrase that was really meaningful to her and by the website name, there’s technical words for these things. [JOE] The URL? [DR. WENDY] The URL, that’s the one. So I looked and nobody had adult autism assessment. It was available. So I did that and that was my LLC and just slowly I was learning all the about, like between a 1099 and a W2. I had no idea what those were, what does this mean, which is better for me. But after I learned about it was very clear to me that I wanted to hire W2s, but part-time. I also learned that’s legal. You can have part-time W2s. So my thing is, you don’t have to quit your day job, you can come work for us. [JOE] No. Do those individuals that are part-time W2s, do you pay as a percentage of what comes in, is it a flat fee, how do you structure the pay for them? [DR. WENDY] Good question. I do a percentage and I also pay, and this is also, I learned it from the Group Practice Launch, I pay them a stipend for using their own computer and phone because we’re all telehealth, 100% telehealth across the country, spread out. I did, luckily I have a really good assistant, she’s my practice manager now and she knows how to become an employer in many different states. She’s gone through those hoops and done all the paperwork so when we hire somebody in a new state, she just gets back to work on that. Because you do have to think about those things. If your telehealth and you want to hire someone and they live somewhere else, even if your practice, like my practice is in Oregon, but I’ve got people who live in many different states and because I employ them, I had to go through that paperwork to become an employer in those states. That was something I didn’t know about. [JOE] Yeah, and that could just be a logistical nightmare depending on what the state is. [DR. WENDY] That’s true. Some of the states are a lot harder than others, but Megan is just great. [JOE] Are there any systems, so it sounds like you have a great person that oversees a lot of that, other than having a great person that understands it, are there other systems that you found are helpful to not make that a logistical nightmare? [DR. WENDY] Well, the systems that I am using and really love are, I use Therapy Notes. They do telehealth, they do all the note keeping the notes confidential. I use Hushmail for encrypted confidential email. I use Brighter Vision for my website and Gusto and let’s see, Simplified SEO and Green Oak Accounting. When finding people that you really trust and that others like the people in the in the Group Practice Launch had used them and recommended them, really gave me confidence to do that. They’re not cheap but, there are some things that I don’t want to go for the cheapest one. I want to go for the one with the most recommendations. [JOE] Well, I think that’s an important thing to think about if you’re planning to scale a group practice. Sure there’s ways that you could put it all together, hodgepodge with Google, the Google workplace and this and that and set up all these automations, but is it going to be able to scale? When you have something like, like that has such an ability to potentially scale. And you know that you have W2s from a selling perspective, that’s going to make it more valuable also, because they’re employees and so saying yeah, maybe for when you first have two people, it’s really expensive as a percentage of goods sold. But boy, when you start to get to like 10 or 20 or 30, it’s just like going to be so much easier because you can scale and don’t have to switch systems again. [DR. WENDY] Yeah, and you know, when I started this, I didn’t even know what scale meant and I’m still not a hundred percent sure, but I know that it’s a good thing. [JOE] Well, I think that just shows how, sorry to interrupt, but I think that just shows how sometimes people think they have to know all of these things about business before they take a jump into starting a group of practice. Similar story where I really just had enough clients and I couldn’t see them, so I started with a 1099 and then I had a second 1099 and in Michigan and with the way I wanted to run my practice, that made sense. I didn’t know much about business, but you learn as you go and as long as you’re consulting with an accountant, an attorney to make sure you’re not really screwing things up, you don’t have to know all these things until you need to know them. [DR. WENDY] Now for me, the W2 made sense mostly because I’m bossy when it comes to the assessment process. As a writer I have written some questionnaires and some, they’re not tests. We do purchase published tests that have all the standardization and norm referenced stuff, but they don’t necessarily tell me everything I need to know in relation to the DSM. So I’ve written some which is, they’re not published yet, we’re just using them in-house. But I’m particular about we’re going to use these tests on the three sessions. On the first session, you’re going to do these things on the second session. I’m bossy and I can’t be directive with the 1099. So it had to be W2s for me because I want there to be a consistency across the states. You can be anywhere, but if you come to adult autism assessment, you are going to get this service. [LEVEL UP WEEK] Are you in solo practice and wondering how to get things going, what marketing techniques to do and what the order is that you should get things done. Maybe you want to start a group practice because you’re busting at the seams, but you have no idea when is the right time. Or maybe you want a seven figure, multiple location practice that you can grow also, maybe you’re even growing beyond that in building e-courses, podcasts, membership communities. No matter what phase of practice you are in, we have something for you at Level Up Week. Level up week is March 20th through 23rd, 2023. Again, that’s March 20th through 23rd. We have over 20 webinars that are totally free. We have things like how to get a TEDx Talk, how to get more public speaking gigs, how to use Profit First in your private practice, how to pay yourself starting a solo practice panel where we have five successful solo practitioners. We also have essential systems you have to have, how to add virtual assistance, how to add multiple streams of income, supersizing your practice to over 50 clinicians in the Five Simple Marketing Techniques E very Practice Has to Master no matter your phase of practice. It could be that moment that you just said to yourself, I need to leave my full-time job and start a practice all the way up through having a thriving group practice and you are launching something that’s going to go international. We have several webinars for you. Head on over to to see which webinar is the best fit for your time and your phase of practice. If you want the recordings, just register for the ones that you want and we will send you those recordings totally free of charge. Again, that’s, [JOE SANOK] Now, when you think about going from your first hire to then expanding more, what were some of the things on your onboarding checklist of just here’s things that I needed to do with each person? It sounds like you had a very clear way that you did the assessments. What other things were unique to maybe your practice with how you wanted to build the culture and the people you worked with and just knowing just how you wanted the business to run? [DR. WENDY] Well, my best friend who has been my boss in the past and is really smart and she’s really good with like business and money and administration, she’s been like a school administrator and superintendent and that thing, she is my second. She’s my chief happiness officer and she came alongside me for the interviews because that’s a real strength of hers. That first time we interviewed I think five people and at the end of it we just looked at each other on Zoom after we Zoomed them all and we decided we really liked all of them and we hired five people right off the bat, which was maybe not the smartest thing, but it just felt right. What we were looking for was, number one, we are a neurodiversity affirming practice, so we don’t think there’s anything wrong with being autistic or being, or having ADHD. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just a different a brain. So we don’t try to fix it, but we do try to answer people’s questions and give them tools they might need. And when we both really liked all five of these people, oh, also some of them are themselves autistic, it’s a high priority for us to hire people who actually live the experience of having either autism or ADHD or if not that then maybe a close family member so they truly understand it. When we found five people we wanted to hire, we just hired them all. At one point, we had to say goodbye to a couple of them because it wasn’t a good fit and then in January we hired four more. So we tend to do it in clumps and it makes me crazy when I’m trying to get everybody onto Psychology Today or something and that’s slow. But we just feel like if we really have a strong feeling about this person’s going to be an important part of our team, then we just want to go ahead and hire them. [JOE] That’s awesome. Now, when you think about your next phase, how are you thinking through that, what things do you have to change, what are things that maybe are going to stay the same? Like what’s what’s next within the practice? [DR. WENDY] That’s a good question. My next hire that I’m looking for is going to be someone who is a part of the CIP Act. We have several people who are licensed in two or three states, but there’s still a whole lot of states that we don’t have. So there’s one other person who is both a licensed educational psychologist and a board certified behavior analyst as I am. We can see people nationwide. I don’t really want, I haven’t been doing the assessment much myself once I started hiring people, I just came in when needed if somebody’s overwhelmed or something. And some people are not getting enough people so I have to work hard on the SEO. I’m working with Simplified SEO and trying to bring in more people for them because even though they’re part-time, I want them to have all the work that they want. So I’m trying to expand my reach so that people know about us across the country. Then I want to hire someone who is CIP Act licensed so that they’ll have 26 states that they can serve and then see what states are left. My dream goal is by May to have all 50 states covered by someone who is licensed in that state. [JOE] Wow, all 50 states? [DR. WENDY] I don’t know if I’ll make it, but that’s what I want [JOE] That’s amazing. That’s amazing. I mean, I think those, they call them sometimes moonshot goals, you know when Kennedy aligned the whole country by the end of the decade will make it to the moon. To me that just seems like, yeah, every state should have access to amazing autism assessments like you guys. So to say that that’s our goal, to me that seems like such a great thing to align the team around and to have listeners that maybe say, oh, I have a friend who’s licensed in these states. Are there states that you found are harder to find people that are licensed in that maybe a listener might know somebody that’s interested in joining your team? [DR. WENDY] I haven’t broken that down yet partly because I’m still onboarding these people from January, so I’m not quite ready to make another hire. But if anybody wants to email me I’m at drwendy, that’s d r w e n d [JOE] Awesome. Now, when you think about people listening, say there’s a solo practitioner and they’re thinking, I think I might want to do a group practice, I’m not sure like, how much work will it be? They’re really in that contemplation stage. What would you say that they should think through before they decide to join a Group Practice Launch before they decide to jump into starting a group practice? [DR. WENDY] Well, my gut level says just be bold and go for it. But I recognize my place of privilege as a retired person. I can live off my retirement. I don’t have to do this for the money. I want to do this to have legacy for my disabled children but I’m not going to have trouble making the rent if nobody comes to me all month. I can make my house payment. If you, within the, you want to be able to have a house over your head and food on the table, I would say be as bold as you can safely be. That sounds like I’m talking on both sides, but, but if you can be bold, there’s a quote that I love, can I share a quote? [JOE] Yeah, that’d great [DR. WENDY] It’s a gerta and I don’t know who translated it, but the quote is whatever you can do or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. I write that quote in my journal at least a couple times a week just to remind myself to be bold, there’s magic in it. [JOE] Why does that really resonate with you? [DR. WENDY] Perhaps because most of my life I was a cautious person. I was, nobody would have thought of me as bold. I was, they tell me that as a toddler when the little ones are learning how to walk, they’re like, hold onto the couch and then they get to a point where they’ll let go of the couch and go walking. They tell me that I would get to the edge of the couch and then like visually judge the distance and decide if I could make it. If I felt like I couldn’t make it, I would get down and crawl to the next piece of furniture. Other kids are just toddling along, trying their best and falling down. I guess I didn’t fall down as a baby because I was not bold. I think I grew a lot from marrying an autistic man because there were social areas where I couldn’t be the shy one sitting back. I needed to be the one taking charge of the social aspects and then as a widow to step up and be single parent of three disabled children, two with autism, one with some physical and heart issues. They’re all wonderful and they’re brilliant and they’re great company too. It was great. They were like the best people to spend a pandemic with when we were in lockdown. But I have, as I got older, I have had to become more and more bold and just say, yeah, I’m going to put my three kids and two cats into a van and move from California to Oregon because that’s what we’re going to do and we survived the move. It wasn’t easy, but things are not easy, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do them. So now I feel like it’s just time to be bold and I would encourage people who are thinking about it. go for it. [JOE] It reminds me of the first day of when we went on our 9-month road trip. I had never driven any sort of trailer, no boats, no jet skis, nothing and I went from that to pulling this 37-foot pull behind camper and being on the highway for the first time and realizing there’s not a whole lot of times in life as an adult that you learn a new skill that if you do it wrong, it’s going to kill people. There was just a like, seriousness around it, but also a, like I haven’t experienced this and it was in the middle of the pandemic and just showing my girls like, yeah, you don’t always have to follow the script. You can buy a camper and go live on the road and hopefully make it work. You can try those new things. So sometimes it is so easy to play it safe and so I love that idea of making it a little bit more bold. Wendy, the last question I always ask is, if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know? [DR. WENDY] I would say follow your heart. If you feel like you want to gather a team around you don’t wait for the right moment to start your group practice. Jump in. The water’s fine. [JOE] So awesome. Wendy, if people want to buy your book, if they want to read more about your practice what’s the best place for them to connect with you or follow your work? [DR. WENDY] Well, I mentioned my email if they want to just contact me, but my website is, all one word. I’ve also got an author site which I need to update because I keep writing more books and I haven’t added them. I’ve been too busy with my practice, but that’s just that I think there’s a link on my practice website to link back to it. [JOE] Yeah, we’ll have links in the show notes as well. Wendy, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice Podcast. [DR. WENDY] Oh, thanks for having me. This was so much fun. [JOE] It’s always fun to interview people, especially if they’ve been in our programs. I didn’t even talk to Wendy about her talking so much about Group Practice Launch. I knew she had been through the program and had been successful, but to just hear her story. And maybe you as well are interested in starting a group practice. Starting in March of 2023 our next cohort opens up over at The early bird is actually open right now and the cost for that is $650 two times, so you have to pay that twice. So that’s $1300 to be in it. It’s a six-month program led by myself and other consultants here with Practice of the Practice. You get individual videos to watch and then discussions every single week to help you go from a solo practice to your very first hire. If that sounds good to you, head on over to And our big sponsor for today, we decided to not let anyone else sponsor today. It’s going to be us because we have Level Up Week coming on March 20th. This is going to be insane. We have so many amazing things coming up. Let me just list a couple of them. We have over 20 webinars that are scheduled March 20th through 23rd. Again, that site to read all about it is We have how to get speaking gigs. We’ve got people from the Speaker Lab coming, that’s a huge podcast. We’ve got Valerie Harris who’s going to be talking about growing a seven-figure group practice using interns for the most part. We’re going to have five simple marketing techniques you have to master, multiple streams of income, adding virtual assistance to your practice with James Marlin. We’ve got essential systems, we have a virtual happy hour we’re going to be doing, we’re going to have a Profit First professional who’s going to be taking us through how to apply Profit First to your practice. I’m only on Tuesday morning reading this list. All of these places or all of these trainings are going to be listed over at Level Up Week, we do it twice a year where we just pack in a ton of information, guests and trainings to help you figure out how to level up. So that could be leveling up by just coming. It could be that you are starting a solo practice and you want to join Next Level Practice. It could be that you’re leveling up into Group Practice Launch or maybe Group Practice Boss, or you’re ready to start building some additional income through Audience Building Academy. This is when we open up all of our communities and we have a ton of excitement and training around it. You’re going to want to join us for at least one of these trainings. We have so many awesome trainings that are coming, March 20th through 23rd, 2023. Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. I’ll talk to you soon. Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the producers, the publishers, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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