Are you looking for tried and tested business advice? What are some best-selling tips and tricks for running a group practice? How can you increase your knowledge about the business aspect of group private practice?
In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon talks about 10 business books that have changed how she runs her group practice.
In This Podcast
- The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace by Ron Freidman, PhD
- Playing Big: The Unsexy Truth About How To Succeed In Business by Kim Flynn
- The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues by Patrick Lencioni
- You Are A Badass At Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero
- The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape The 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
- Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself by Mike Michalowicz
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk
- Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
- Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin
- The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership by Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel
The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace by Ron Freidman, PhD
This book is all about how to create a workplace where your staff want to stay and are happy to work. Dr. Friedman discusses the things that contribute to good work culture, such as smaller, more frequent rewards throughout the year as opposed to the typical Christmas bonus or a similar large once-off reward.
Kim Flynn writes about how you, as a business owner, can work with your employees and set good boundaries with them. Chapter 10 lays out seven questions for you to do with your staff in meetings, which I used to do every month before bringing my managers on board. These questions encourage feedback and constructive criticism for both you as the boss and your employees, as well as making it possible to talk about smaller issues before they develop into big issues. Take about 30 minutes in your next staff meeting to ask your employees these questions:
- What is working for you (the employee)?
- What is working for me (the boss)?
- What is not working for you?
- What do you think we can do to fix that?
- What is not working for me?
- What is your goal for this month?
- What is one thing I can do to manage you better?
The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues by Patrick Lencioni
In this book, which reads almost like a novel instead of a typical business guidance book, the author gives advice on how to hire the right people for your business or “team” by finding those who are humble, hungry, and smart – the three essential virtues referred to in the secondary title:
- Humble – The author defines humility as the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player. You want to hire someone with humility as opposed to a narcissist who only wants the job for relentless personal gain.
- Hungry – Hungry people are those who almost never have to be pushed by their manager as they are self-motivated and work diligently.
- Smart – This refers to people’s common sense when it comes to dealing with others, such as their interpersonal skills and conflict resolution.
The narrative for most therapists – encouraged by a fair amount of brainwashing at grad school – often tells us that we should only be doing this work because we love it and because it’s interesting and that it’s okay to not make much money from this line of work. This often leads to us struggling with our money mindset and not shooting our shot when it comes to taking bigger leaps for our businesses. This book is all about working on your money mindset and helping you figure out where to start if you’re wanting to make more money. The author gives exercises at the end of each chapter, and I particularly liked the one on page 114:
- Write a fantasy about a typical day in your ideal future as the “richest, happiest, and most successful version of yourself”.
– Be very clear about what you want
– Write from the feeling and emotional part of your brain rather than from the analytical
– Give yourself time to write it
– Write in the present tense
– Think about what would be fun, not just reasonable
– What would you be most excited about giving back or leaving as a legacy?
- Write down the five strongest emotions that you feel when reading through this fantasy.
- Figure out how much this fantasy life would cost you.
- Boil this fantasy down to find the most exciting details, then combine them with your cost estimate and the emotions associated with them and create a mantra, such as “I love making $300,000 a year as an interior designer.”
- Read your mantra every night before you go to bed and feel it.
- If you’re not sure what you want to do, write a list of the things you do know that you want. Be very specific. Write down 5 action steps for you to take in the right direction.
Written in 2002, this revolutionary book points out some ways in which you can cut down on your work hours each week and free up some time for yourself. I specifically liked the part on page 109-110 when the author discusses how he handled outsourcing some of his customer service responsibilities in order to free up time. At first, when Tim outsourced the customer service for order tracking and returns, he was still handling product related queries and receiving over 200 emails per day. However, they were mainly queried from the outsourced reps asking for guidance for a lot of different situations. Instead of writing a manual (which would likely have been impossible, given the extent of various situations for which the reps were asking advice), he sent an email as written permission for the reps to handle the situation themselves if the solution would cost under $100. Tim’s emails went from over 200 per day to fewer than 20 per week, and the first month cost them about $200 more than when Tim was “micromanaging”. Tim also saved about 100 hours of his own time per month, and customers were receiving faster responses and solutions. Overall, outsourcing the customer service and cutting out the micromanagement led to rapid growth, higher profit margins, and happier people – customers, reps, and Tim alike.
The author of Profit First is back with some more fantastic business tips, this time focusing on how you can set your business up to run itself. I happened to read this book around the same time as I found out that I was pregnant with my third child, so it really helped me use those eight or so months before the birth to get everything running smoothly. One cool thing that he talks about is the Queen Bee Role, or QBR, where he translates how queen bees run their hives into business terms. The QBR in a hive is to lay the eggs, which is the most essential thing for the colony to thrive. All the bees know how crucial egg production is for the colony, so they do everything they can to keep the queen bee fed, protected, and focused on egg production. For your business, you need to find the QBR – the most crucial thing for the success and functioning of your business – and make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of keeping that role going. Take note that the QBR is not one person, but rather a mission for the business to achieve.
This book gives some tips for social media from a business perspective, and the author uses a metaphor of how boxing is like social media. Until recently, traditional marketing used to be a one-sided boxing match with businesses “slamming right hooks onto the same three or four platforms: radio, television, print, outdoor”. Later, the Internet joined the marketing game, but it was still a very one-sided boxing match until social media came along, where marketers can now rely on their brands and companies to “spar with them a little, pay attention to them, let them voice their opinions and concerns, and make the brand their own before giving them a shot at the hard sell.” Since the book was written in 2013, some of the specific information about social media and popular platforms is potentially outdated, but there is still a lot of useful information regarding the concepts of social media that can definitely help you out.
Released towards the end of last year, this inspiring and positive book talks about how no matter what obstacles you face in life, you can figure it out and make it work if you’re determined enough. I’ve definitely found this to be true, such as when I wanted to buy an office building for my practice. I didn’t have the down payment for it, but I knuckled down and figured out a way to get the money for that down payment. On page 131 the author talks about a study done by Dr Gail Matthews, a psychology professor in California, which was completed by men and women between the ages of 23 and 72 from all around the world and in different walks of life, and it concluded that people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals if they write them down. The book talks about how this study could be interpreted as saying that if something is important to you – even if you don’t know where to start in achieving it – write that goal down because it does something to your brain and you’re 42% more likely to succeed.
Also from 2002 and way ahead of its time, this book talks about niche marketing and how you should be making yourself and your business as memorable as possible. The purple cow in the book title refers to an analogy Godin uses to explain how your marketing should make you stand out.
“Cows, after you’ve seen 1 or 2 or 10, are boring. A purple cow, though, now that would be something. Godin defines a purple cow as anything phenomenal, counterintuitive, exciting, remarkable. Every day, consumers ignore a lot of brown cows, but you can bet they won’t ignore a purple cow.”
The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership by Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel
What with everyone working from home and my whole team working remotely, I started reading this book to help me figure out how to manage them better, there are some differences between how I used to run the practice and how I run it now, such as having Zoom meetings instead of staff meetings in person. The author talks on page 118 about being seen, and how people develop their worldview based on the things they see around them. The people who work with you and see you as important so they are often playing very close attention to the things you say and do, even if you don’t realize it, so you need to be aware of how you are being seen and how this influences your staff.
“If people know you mostly as a signature on an email and not a real person, you are constraining their ability to get a positive, accurate impression of you and what you’re trying to accomplish and why. In the absence of hard evidence, people tend to fill in the blanks and often not in positive ways. If the leader isn’t visible to people, it leaves plenty of room for rumor, gossip, and misinterpretation of messages.”
- Dr. Rachel Needle on Buying an Office Building and Running a Group Practice | GP 29
- Killin’It Camp – Virtual Conference
- Move Forward Virtual Assistants – Scale Up Summit
- Email Alison: firstname.lastname@example.org
- PoP Group Practice Owners Facebook Group
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- Work with us
- Consult With Alison
Meet Alison Pidgeon
Alison 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.
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