Live Consulting with Dawn Gabriel: How Should I Expand? | PoP 562

Are you considering hiring or renting additional office space for your group practice? Is it possible to expand your practice without even taking on additional space? How can you transplant the backbone of the culture of your practice into a new location?

In this podcast takeover episode, Alison Pidgeon does live consulting with Dawn Gabriel about how to expand her practice.

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Meet Dawn Gabriel

Dawn Gabriel is the owner of Authentic Connections Counseling Center, private practice consultant, and host of Faith Fringes podcast.

She is passionate about helping people achieve freedom from what’s keeping them stuck and specializes in creating space to look deeper into our spirituality and faith free from judgment and shame.

Dawn is a wife and mom of 2 boys who all love living and adventuring in Colorado.

Visit her counseling website and podcast website. Connect on Facebook and Instagram.

In This Podcast

  • Do I open up additional locations?
  • Building culture in a new office
  • Transitioning into hiring an office manager and becoming the CEO

Do I open up additional locations?

You might not need as much space as you think you do because many therapists and clients may continue with telehealth indefinitely simply because they enjoy it while appreciating the added bonus of reducing the risk of contracting an illness.

I think it depends on what is happening in your area in terms of what are the expectations of clients in terms of being seen in person … [ask yourself if this expansion] was part of your original business plan or something that has come along and so now you are considering it? (Alison Pidgeon)

If in your state clients prefer to come to counseling face-to-face, then you can structure your business around that need.

In terms of expanding, depending on where the additional location may be, you will be drawing on a different population which means that you may need to tailor your marketing to an audience that is similar to the one you have been working with already while being sensitive to potential differences.

[for our new location] we’re actually creating a whole other website because it will still be the same name and obviously under the same entity but it’s going to be its own standalone ecosystem, so to speak, so it’s going to have it’s own administrative staff and it’s own set of therapists. (Alison Pidgeon)

If your new location is far away enough, you can consider creating a new website where the SEO will be more effective when it is linked to the town where the new practice will be closest to.

Building culture in a new office

When you start to own multiple offices, it can become difficult to get each office to follow a certain pattern. Instead, each office can become its own ecosystem where the new location follows the guiding principles of the overall practice, but it has its own flair of going about them.

Keep in mind that adding on the additional locations is not as difficult to do as it was to sort out the first office space. Stay in touch with your admin staff and your accountant to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

Essentially you are replicating the system you have in your previous office space into another new location.

Maybe take some time to think through if this is really a part of my business plan … now that you have gotten into it, you’re seeing how it goes and what you enjoy and really what you want your role in the business to be, maybe this is an opportunity to really think strategically about “what will my business look like in three or five years, and is opening another location a part of that?” (Alison Pidgeon)

It is also possible to have expansion without purchasing or renting a new office location. You can keep expanding depending on if your clientele is wanting to keep doing telehealth.

You could hire more telehealth clinicians and work to fill up their schedules with virtual clients instead of looking for physical office spaces and having to deal with a whole bunch of other expenses that come with those.

Transitioning into hiring an office manager and becoming the CEO

It is a slow process that does not happen overnight. Hiring an office manager allows you much more free time to focus on being the CEO of the group practice while they handle the day-to-day situations at the physical office.

As we grew between 15 to 20 clinicians you have to really start looking at changing the structure because of the volume and the size, you just can’t keep that [old] structure anymore. (Alison Pidgeon)

The working relationship between the COO and the CEO:

  • They meet on a regular basis and discuss expansion and upcoming possible projects,
  • The CEO handles most of the financial piece while the COO handles finances pertaining to the office space or the clinicians,
  • The CEO plays an active role in the hiring process alongside the COO.

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Meet Alison Pidgeon

Alison Pidgeon | Grow A Group Practice PodcastAlison is a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a 15 clinician group practice. She’s also a mom to three boys, wife, coffee drinker, and loves to travel. She started her practice in 2015 and, four years later, has two locations. With a specialization in women’s issues, the practices have made a positive impact on the community by offering different types of specialties not being offered anywhere else in the area.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

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[ALISON PIDGEON] This is the Practice of the Practice podcast, episode number 562. I’m so glad you joined me today. I’m Alison Pidgeon your host. I’m one of the business consultants with Practice of the Practice and I have taken over the podcast from Joe to bring you a five-part series all about consulting with our Group Practice Boss membership community. We have established group practice owners in that group and it’s so cool to see them expanding their practices and learning how to do things better and freeing up more of their time so that they can do more of what they love doing.

So today I’m talking to Dawn Gabriel. She is the owner of Authentic Connections Counseling Center in Colorado. She’s also a private practice consultant and she just launched a podcast called the Faith Fringes. She is someone who’s been in group practice ownership for quite a while, I think about the same amount of time as me. I think she told me about six years, and so it’s great to talk to somebody who has that level of experience and is now looking at expansion and you know, she’s looking at ways to free up more of her time so she can pursue these other things that she likes to do. So I had a great conversation consulting session with Dawn and I hope you enjoy it.
[ALISON] Hi, Don. Welcome to the podcast.
[DAWN] Hi, Alison. Thanks for having me.
[ALISON] Yes, thanks so much for being here. So before we kind of get started in your questions that you have related to consulting, could you just give us a little bit of an overview of yourself and your practice?
[DAWN] Sure. So I own a counseling center named Authentic Connections Counseling Center in Castle Rock, Colorado, and we’re going to be coming up on our sixth year next month. And I first started out, kind of fumbled into it. I was wanting to have my second baby and I was trying to figure out how can I make money and take three to six months off? And so I thought, wow, I love working with therapists and I was already part of a group practice where we kind of all sublet it together and networked together, but we didn’t really work for one another. And I thought, why don’t I just start a group practice? So I just kind of had two or three therapists join me and we like just fumbled along for a few years and then when I came back from maternity leave, I realized I got, I need to figure out what I’m doing on a business sense. And so by year three I started getting more consulting. I started getting more of a business plan and I realized I really loved it. So I have 1099’s and I know that’s different viewpoints for everyone, but I love doing that. It’s pretty common here in Colorado to have 1099’s. And I have nine therapists now. Some are full-time, I would say half are full-time, half are part-time and I consider full-time 20 clients a week and we are self pay.
[ALISON] Nice. That’s great. So obviously we’re here today to answer questions that you have related to your business, and I am going to answer them to the best of my ability. So what’s your first question?
[DAWN] Yes. So I was really excited to talk to you because I know that you own multiple businesses and that you have moved into the CEO role at your practice. That’s what I just did last year, or this last six months. I moved into CEO with the help of Group Practice Boss, shout out to Group Practice Boss. You guys are awesome.
[ALISON] Yes, thank you.
[DAWN] So it’s helped me really define what CEO looks like, but I’m also, my main question today is I want to talk with someone who knows about getting maybe a second location or do I expand, do I not expand and also run multiple businesses. It’s just, I’m trying to wrap my head around. Do I stay, do I go, do I expand? So I don’t know if that makes sense.
[ALISON] Yes, definitely. So those are a few questions in there. So let’s kind of take one at a time. So it sounds like the first one is, do I open up additional locations, right?
[DAWN] Yes. That’s the main one.
[ALISON] So you have one right now or you have more than one?
[DAWN] I just have one and it’s a cute little house and we have five offices and we’re full. Like we can’t add any more clinicians. I don’t want to at this office, but I do feel like 20 minutes south of us, 20 to 30 minutes south is a great area that they need therapists. And I have three therapists on my team who live actually closer to that and I was thinking of opening a practice there.
[ALISON] Okay. So I think this question gets even more complicated because of the times that we’re living in with the pandemic and telehealth. I have found that I don’t need as much office space as I did because the therapists are liking telehealth and obviously it’s a win-win because you can cut down on your overhead and paying rent but at the same time, still expand and hire and, and serve more people. So I think it kind of depends on what is happening in your area in terms of what are the expectations of clients in terms of being seen in person? And I think too, we’re obviously on the cusp of being in a place in the United States, hopefully where we can start doing a lot more in-person therapy just because of the rate at which people are getting vaccinated and that kind of thing. So I guess my question for you is, a few questions, one would be, was that part of your original business plan? Or is this just something that kind of came along and so now you’re considering it? Like, was it always part of your plan to expand and expand into that area?
[DAWN] No, but I am a visionary. It wasn’t, like I said, when I first started my business, I didn’t even envision what I have now. I mean, maybe three years ago, that’s when I started figuring out, but I never thought of expanding until this last about a year ago when I saw the need and also, but then COVID hit and I just put it on the shelf. But now in Colorado, I like what you said that telehealth has given us so much more options. But in Colorado I would say 80% of clients want to be seen in person right now. It’s very different than other parts of the nation. And so I do have one therapist who is completely telehealth and I have one who does half and half telehealth, but the rest are private, say 80% in office.
[ALISON] Okay. Yes, that’s helpful. So then obviously that’s like one sort of pro for getting office space sooner rather than later if that’s kind of client’s general expectation that they’re going to be able to have the option of being seen in the office. So I guess the other question I would ask too, is is that far enough away from your current office that you’re going to pull from a whole different population that may perceived that your current office is too far for them to travel to?
[DAWN] I believe so, because the area I’m looking at is actually, so I’m right in the middle between Denver and Colorado Springs, which are two big cities. So Castle Rock is kind of a smaller town, like a suburb. And then the place I’m looking at is actually closer to the Springs and so I feel like that would be more, I’d be pulling more from the Springs.
[ALISON] Okay. So I think in terms of that, that makes sense because I know in my own practice, for example, like we’re looking at expanding into the county next to us and it’s a whole different kind of population center that wouldn’t necessarily travel to our current office to seek services. But since it is closer to that bigger population center, I think we would definitely be pulling from a different population. So I think again, that’s probably another vote for the yes quorum so to speak.
[DAWN] Yes. That’s a good point. I just realized yes, it is in a different county even. So now I’m thinking, so how do you do that even on your website, like with SEO? Do you just have that, do you have two separate websites or how do you do that?
[ALISON] Yes, yes, yes. So, I mean, I don’t know all the ins and outs obviously of your geographical location, but like for example, the expansion we’re doing into the next county, like we’re planning to grow it to a size of our current practice. And so we’re actually creating a whole another website because we want it to be sort of its own. Like it’s still going to be the same name and obviously under the same entity, but it’s going to be sort of its own standalone ecosystem, so to speak.
[DAWN] Oh, okay.
[ALISON] So it’s going to have its own administrative staff, its own set of therapists. Like people aren’t going to be like traveling back and forth between the two offices. So we are going to have its own kind of separate website and then I think that will help with SEO because then we’ll be using the name of that town in the website whereas right now we’re not using it in our current website because it’s not located there, if that makes sense.
[DAWN] Yes. Okay. So what have you thought about with like team culture? I’m just curious what your plans are. I don’t know, that’s been such a passion of mine is to keep my culture tight and my team loves meeting. Are you planning on having two separate meetings or are you going to meet with all of them together?
[ALISON] Yes. So it would be all separate. I think there may be times when it’ll be, maybe there’ll be like a company-wide holiday party or something, but I think on a day-to-day basis, like everything is going to happen separately. Like you’re going to sort of be on a based on your location and so then you’ll have the opportunity to get to know your coworkers and still feel like it’s a small organization, both for the staff and the clients so that it doesn’t feel like this huge organization that gets lost, like things start to get lost in the shuffle when a business grows too big.
[DAWN] Yes. Okay. I’m trying to think, how does that work for you as the CEO? Like when I think of that, I’m like, “Okay, I have to do everything.” Like, I think back to when I first started and it was so exhausting, so many hours, I’m like, “I can’t go through that again,” but I am trying to remind myself, I have so many systems in place now and I have admin. I just, that’s what I’m like, I need to process. I’m an external processor, obviously and like I just need to process like, is it as hard as starting over?
[ALISON] It is not as hard as the first time because you’ve already done it all before. So if you think about you didn’t even know where to go to find some resources. Like you didn’t know which EHR you wanted, you probably needed to do the legwork to like find an accountant and find a lawyer and all of those kinds of things and now hopefully you have all of those things in place. So it’s just as simple as saying to the accountant, “Hey, I’m opening this other location. So just wanted to make you aware and let me know if there’s anything from an accounting perspective I need to know. Or like can you help me set up so maybe we have like a whole separate QuickBooks account for this other location so we can track everything separately?” Yes, I don’t think it’s going to be as hard as the first time because you already have a lot of those things figured out. So you’re just replicating what you’ve already done just in a different place.
[DAWN] That’s true. I think, as I said that out loud, I don’t think I had ever said it before. So I realized, oh yes, it is not starting over. This is just changing an address and doing the same contracts, the same EHR. You just set it up, like you’re hiring three new people or, because I would start with three people there, is what I was thinking.
[ALISON] I mean, as long as you feel like your systems and your processes that you currently have are really solid, then that’s perfect because you can just say, this is the model for what we’re going to do in this new location. So you’re not reinventing the wheel.
[DAWN] Okay. Have you heard of people who, because I always wanted to start small. I don’t want to like go purchase a building down there or anything, but I was thinking, do I, have you heard of people starting small and like maybe subletting an office and then growing from there in a second location? Like, it sounds like you’re going all in for yours.
[ALISON] Yes. I think, obviously with again, what’s happening with telehealth and COVID, we’ll probably start, like we’ve already started making this website and trying to do some marketing in that area, even though we have no physical location.
[DAWN] Oh, wow. Okay.
[ALISON] So one idea for you might be just starting in on those things and even just like renting a mailbox, just so you start to kind of establish like yourself in terms of an address there, like for Google My Business and that kind of thing. But maybe holding off on the actual physical space until you get closer to like having people who actually want to start working.
[DAWN] I love that idea. Okay. I never would’ve thought of that. That’s great idea. And do more telehealth.
[ALISON] Yes. And you could start hiring people and have them start doing telehealth and then if you need time to look for a space or if for example, summer time things tend to slow down and you are like, “Okay, well I’m just going to be ready to hit the ground running and have an office space open on like September 1st,” or something. You could plan to do it that way.
[DAWN] Yes. Summer does slow down. I feel like I have to remind myself and my team every June, here it comes. Slowing down.
[ALISON] Right.
[DAWN] Okay. This is helpful. I mean, is there, let’s talk about reasons why not to open. I just have to look at everything, like not to open a second location. Like, sometimes I feel like I’m just doing it because well, honestly I had two therapists approach me who lived down there and said, “Would you ever consider opening an office down here? We could add more days if it was closer to our house.” They live in Springs. So they’re the ones who put the bug in my ear and then I hear it in all the business groups I’m in. It’s like, “Expand.” And so sometimes I’m like, I don’t want to give into that if it’s not, I’m just kind of on the fence right now. So yes, why wouldn’t I expand?
[ALISON] I think that you have to expand. It seems really convenient, especially in your situation, like your current contractors are coming to you saying like, “We could work more if it was closer to our house.” It just seems like, oh, this isn’t the next logical thing to go open this other location, but we don’t want to make decisions based on like one or two people. We want to make a business decision about what’s best for the business and what our goals are for the business. So if that doesn’t make sense from a business perspective, then I wouldn’t let one or two people’s sort of thoughts or opinions weigh you. I think too, maybe take some time to think through like, “Is this really part of my business plan?” And I know you said when you got into it, you weren’t really sure what the eventual business was going to look like, but now that you have gotten into it and you’re seeing how it goes and what you enjoy and really what you want your role in the business to be.

Maybe this is a good opportunity to really think strategically about what will my business look like in three years or five years and is opening another location part of that? I think you could probably do quite a bit with expansion without having a physical office space. Like if you wanted to keep expanding again, depending on if clientele is willing to continue doing telehealth you could certainly put some money into SEO and advertise to other parts of the state to get more telehealth clients and hire more therapists just to do telehealth.
[DAWN] That’s so true because we have a lot of mountain towns that don’t have a lot of services. But people love living in the mountains and yes, telehealth would be super convenient for them and if we marketed those mountain towns.
[ALISON] Right. So I think those would be the reasons why not. Like, I think our situation right now it’s not, we don’t really need an office space to continue expanding and providing services. So why take on that extra expense if you don’t have to?
[DAWN] Right. And would you say on a financial business snapshot, like, do you wait until you’re full at your first place before you expand or does that matter? You know what I mean? Like yes, I just hired a new person and she’s not full yet. Like, is that a factor that you would look at?
[ALISON] I think if the locations are far enough away, I don’t think that matters as much. Like you said, you might be pulling from a whole different population. So if you haven’t previously marketed to them, then I don’t think it really matters because you’re not pulling from the same population to fill up that clinician.
[DAWN] Okay. Thank you. This was super helpful. I just think I had to process it out loud and get some of your thoughts.
[ALISON] Yes. So, I mean, just all that being said, obviously there’s a lot to it and there’s pros and cons and I don’t think there’s necessarily one right or wrong answer there, is this conversation making you like lean one way or another?
[DAWN] It makes me say I have to run numbers and sit with it and I need to make a decision soon and I need to spend more time looking at it than I have. I think it’s just been like on the back burner and then it keeps coming up and this is the first time I’ve sat down and said, “Okay, let’s discuss it. I need to start doing my research.” But I feel like you gave me so many good ideas and regardless of what I choose, I’m definitely going to market that area for telehealth. That’s main takeaway for this discussion. I’m like, “Oh my gosh, yes. I want to switch my SEO for mountain towns and this town south of us.”
[ALISON] Yes, I think that’d be really smart. Well, good. All right. So do you want to move on to your next question?
[DAWN] Yes. It actually goes right along with this, because as I’m thinking of this, I know you’re a mom of kids, elementary kids and younger, and I am too. And so just how, I’m just curious. I love hearing other people’s perspective on how they balance it all, because I know one time I was, I think it was on Group Practice Boss. I was watching a video and you’re like, “We’re on the beach and I’m working on the beach.” And I was like, “Okay, I need to talk to her.” So like, you run how many businesses, Alison? You have so much going on.
[ALISON] Yes. So I have three and then I have, technically it’s a business, but the building that the practice is in is its own business, but I don’t do much for it because it’s just a building sitting there right now empty most of the time. I think such a big piece of that for me has been delegation. Like I have an operations person running the virtual assistant company. I now have an operations person running the counseling practice and so really my time has been dramatically reduced because those people are really dealing with all the day-to-day stuff and have become the point person for almost everything. So I’ve really backed out of that those roles and so that is the only way it works. You have really good people working for you that you trust and that are a good fit. And you know, like I’m not sitting here worried about what they’re doing. Like, I trust them. I know they’re making good decisions and I don’t have to be involved in every little thing.
[DAWN] Okay. So what did you call them? The chief operating officer, like COO?
[ALISON] Yes. COO, chief operations officer for both the businesses.
[DAWN] Okay. So I’m not there yet. Like, can you talk about the transition as you were training them? Like, did that feel like, oh my gosh, like, because even as I was training my office manager who I now love, and I was like, “How did I manage five years without an office manager?” But as I was training her, it was like way more stressful because I was tasting what the freedom felt like and then, but I wasn’t there yet. So I feel like I’m kind of in that weird in between. Like I’m still trying to like train my team. Like that would go to the office manager, that question would go to the clinical director. I’m in that phase my team’s not used to it.
[ALISON] Yes, and it’s a slow process. It’s not something that happens overnight. So what I started out with was like, you’re talking about an office manager and then I had somebody who was a clinical director and how we started was she was the person in charge when I went on a vacation. And so that was sort of how we tried it out and then as she liked it and obviously was showing that she was good at it, I gave her more and more responsibilities on a regular basis, not just when I was on vacation to the point where over a period of maybe a year and a half or two years, she was essentially running the practice. And that’s how I was able to go on maternity leave.
[DAWN] Wow, for your youngest?
[ALISON] Yes. So I was off for three months.
[DAWN] That’s awesome.
[ALISON] Yes, it was a huge blessing because obviously your business feels like a baby and you —
[DAWN] It totally does.
[ALISON] One of your babies and you don’t want to just leave it with anybody.
[DAWN] It’s so true. I said that, I say that all the time. I’m like, “I feel like it’s my third child.”
[ALISON] Yes, for sure. So then we kind of, as we got bigger and this is just so many, keep in mind, like, as we grew to between like 15 and 20 clinicians, you have to really start looking at changing the structure because of the volume and the size. You just can’t keep that structure anymore. So essentially what the structure is now is there’s kind of two clinical supervisors, both over a team of therapists. So there’s going to be about 10 to 12 therapists in each team and then the clinical supervisors are reporting to the COO and then the COO reports to me.
[DAWN] Got it. Wow.
[ALISON] So she’s like managing the managers so to speak.
[DAWN] Okay. So when did you make that switch? At what level or how many clinicians did you realize, “I need two supervisors here.”
[ALISON] I would say probably, I’m trying to think how long ago that was. Maybe like a little over a year ago we started doing it that way. And then I was sort of functioning as the COO until we hired her and that was actually just a few months ago.
[DAWN] Oh, cool. Oh, okay. That’s awesome. Is that when you went to the beach?
[ALISON] No, no, no. We actually went to the beach before then. My kids were going to virtual school and my husband and I were both working from home and we were like, “There’s no reason why we need to stay here. We could go live at the beach.” So we went to North Carolina for a month. That’s on like the end of September to like the end of October.
[DAWN] Yes, that definitely inspired me.
[ALISON] It was was so good. It was awesome. We’re so glad we did it.
[DAWN] Yes, I know. And that’s what, I’m tasting some of the freedom. Like my sister and her family are coming in town next week. And I realized, I recently went down to just like three clients a week and I kind of semi-retired from seeing clients. Like I’m kind of slowly phasing them out and I’m like, “I’m not working next week and it’s awesome. I’m just going to be around.” I almost felt guilty at first, but I’m like, “No, I’ve worked this hard for 15 years in six years on this business. So do it.”
[ALISON] Yes. That’s a good to reframe it for sure.
[DAWN] But wow. Okay. So another level of COO, I’ll have to think through that one too. It helps to know structure. That’s why I love having you guys around to like, “Oh, they’ve done it before I can ask people and not do this alone.”
[ALISON] Yes. And that was actually something I didn’t realize until I actually was going through it that I was like, “Oh wow, we need to change something here because this is getting kind of unwieldy.” I mean, obviously you’re not there yet. You have nine clinicians, but if you keep growing, you’re really going to have to think through, like, what does that look like from a structure standpoint and what’s the additional pieces you have to put into place to make sure that that all is running smoothly?
[DAWN] Okay. So what does your role look like as a CEO? Like, as far as your team, how, and what does your involvement actually look like?
[ALISON] So I work most closely, I would say with the COO. So like we meet on a regular basis and if there’s projects or new ideas or expansion, we’re discussing that, but then she’s actually implementing the steps. And then I still am involved in the financial pieces for the most part. Like she does do some things with the budget, but I still have total control over the financial piece. And then I still do get involved quite a bit with the hiring process, although she is slowly kind of taking that over.
[DAWN] Okay. So do the team members know you? Like, do you show up at like event, like, do you have team meetings that you show up at or anything?
[ALISON] Yes, I come to staff meeting and everybody knows me because I hired all of them because like I said, the COO is relatively new. So I do actually make an effort to, every time somebody new joins the practice, like the first week that they’re working, I will call them and just say, “Hey, how are you doing?” You know, just to have that like kind of personal touch of like, “I may be the CEO, but I still want to get to know you and thank you for coming on board and all of that kind of stuff.”
[DAWN] Okay. I love that. Lots to think about.
[ALISON] Yes. So any other questions in the last few minutes we have left?
[DAWN] More so, this one’s a little more personal. As you were transitioning into CEO level how did personal relationships or did personal relationships change? And the reason I’m asking is I’ve kind of watched some of that change with me and there’s pros and cons to that, but I was just curious.
[ALISON] Yes. So I guess I would ask you another question. What have you seen change related to that?
[DAWN] Yes, I mean, I would say sometimes not to overuse it an expression, but sometimes leadership can get lonely. I watched that I had to kind of distance a little bit, but then I also needed people in my circle who understood what running a business as a therapist was like. And so, it just changed. It was more change and I don’t know if it was good or bad. I’m not going to like judge it. It was just things, relationships changed to where I needed people who understood the level I was at.
[ALISON] Yes. Yes, I agree. I have that experience too and it’s funny because I don’t know if it’s the area I live in or maybe other people can relate to this too, but just, there’s a lot of moms of my kids’ friends and that kind of thing and they may work or they may not work or they work for somebody else or they have a job that’s obviously suited to being a mom. Like they’ll do something at the school just so they can have the same hours as their kids and like, that’s all great. Obviously not the path that I chose, but like, I feel like I have some trouble relating to those women sometimes.
[DAWN] I’m so glad you brought that up because I was in a moms group when both my boys were young and I had to phase out, because I was like, “This is just different.” Like, even though I’m working, like if you looked at my hours, it looks like I worked part time, but it feels like full-time, and I’m like super hardcore. I love my business. And so it was like, “I’m just not relating with moms who aren’t.”
[ALISON] Yes. Like they would all talk about like their kids and their husbands and not, I mean, like, it was sort of like after a few minutes I was getting bored.

Yes, I know. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, is this being recorded?” But it’s so true. I just felt like relationships had to change. But then even another shift when I felt like I was super close with my team of therapists, but as I’m shifting to CEO, some of that is changing too, because I want them to bond with each other more and I’m bonding with more group practice owners and that’s what I need. And so I’ve just, I wouldn’t say I’m sad. I’m just noticing it’s different. Maybe a little sadness or maybe just noticing the loss, but I’m still embracing the change.
[ALISON] Right. Yes. I think it definitely is like, it’s so interesting about entrepreneurship. I feel like it really changes you personally as well as professionally.
[DAWN] Oh totally.
[ALISON] And then it’s yes, obviously then your relationships with people change, or you may change your friend group because of it or whatever. Yes, I would say definitely, like Whitney Owens and I work so much together in Practice of the Practice, but we actually have gotten to be very good friends, I think for that reason, because we understand what it’s like to own a practice and do business consulting. So that’s definitely, I’m glad that I have her too.
[DAWN] That’s so cool.
[ALISON] To talk to you for those reasons.
[DAWN] Yes, and being a mom. Like, it’s just like, are you doing everything?
[ALISON] Right. Yes. That’s when she, like, well, we have Voxer. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that app, but we talk pretty much almost every weekday. That’s about work or just what’s going on in our personal lives or she says, “Oh my babysitter couldn’t come today.” I’m like, “Yep. I totally get it. ”
[DAWN] Oh yes, Like I said, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, we had a snow day and it like threw me off.” Like, “I have to be on this podcast.” And I do think it is just so important to have people in the same spot as you. S it’s been cool even getting to know you better and Whitney. I knew Whitney from before, but it’s just fun talking about stuff that we’re all passionate about.
[ALISON] Yes, yes. Very cool. Well, it was so great talking with you, Dawn, and I really appreciate the questions that you brought today. I think they’re really great. And I’m glad that we have this opportunity to talk.
[DAWN] Thank you. Thank you for taking the time and it has been super helpful talking through things with you.
[ALISON] Awesome. All right. Talk to you later. Bye.
[JOE SANOK] What an awesome show. Hey, if you have not yet tried therapy notes, you need some help around your notes, your billing, your scheduling in now telehealth telehealth has never been more important than now, and it’s totally integrated within therapy notes. So make sure you go over to therapy,, use promo code Joe. You’re going to get three months for free. We’re giving you three months free and if you’re in another EHR, they will take all of that data and bring it over securely. Why not try it out if you’re frustrated with your EHR or you just want something better, you’ve got to check out therapy, Use promo code Joe at checkout.

Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing week by special. Bye .

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. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, 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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