Chrissy Lawler Made $5k In Her First Month On Instagram Talking About Sleep | PoP 427

Chrissy Lawler made $5k in her first month on Instagram Talking about sleep PoP 427

Do you have an amazing idea but just not sure how to put it into play? Are you running at a mile a minute and are not sure where to focus your energy to get the best ROI? Would you like some tips from someone who did it and is running a successful business?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Chrissy Lawler about how she made $5k in her first month on Instagram by talking about sleep and how she appealed to her target audience by addressing their pain points.

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Meet Chrissy Lawler

Christine Lawler is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, lover of sleep, and baby sleep consultant. As a clinician and mom of three, she turned her passion for good sleep into a personal crusade to help babies and toddlers and adults optimize their sleep.

She has been practicing therapy for 9 years now, and she slowly started to realize that sleep issues were a common thread among all of her clients. Chrissy got some additional training in advanced sleep medicine and learned that many of the mental health challenges we and (our children) face today stem from inadequate sleep.

Visit Chrissy’s website or connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

In This Podcast

Summary

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Chrissy Lawler about how she made $5k in her first month on Instagram by talking about sleep and how she appealed to her target audience by addressing their pain points.

Transition From Clinical Work

80% of people with a mental health diagnosis have underlying sleep issues. If we can help people get better sleep, we can improve the baseline. And then everything that we do in our clinical work just builds on top of a healthier foundation.

While doing therapy, Chrissy really loved the clinical work. She noticed that so many of her clients who were the most stuck seemed to have the biggest sleep issues. As an insomnia sufferer herself, she hated that. Chrissy felt like she was underserving the clients that she was trying to work with so then she got trained to treat chronic insomnia.

Myths About Sleep

Babies are not one size fits all and parents are not one size fits all.

The biggest myth is that there is a right or a wrong way. The cornerstone of Chrissy’s approach is that prioritizing sleep and getting good sleep is really important for a lot of reasons. It’s more about teaching people the fundamentals and the basics, to be empowered to know the building blocks of good healthy sleep and have the awareness to trust their intuition to know how to make that happen in their family.

Optimizing Sleep

If we can just take our work and our lives and our stress out of the bedroom, and reserve our bed to be the sleep space and only the sleep space, then we keep that conditioning intact.

Two of the biggest things Chrissy talks to her adult clients about is if you wake up and can’t fall back asleep, or you’re trying to fall asleep at night and your mind is racing, just get out of bed. Also keep mobile phones and TV’s off in the bedroom. In that way, you won’t condition your brain to associate the bed as the place where you lie awake at night. You want the bed to be only the place where we sleep.

Taking on Instagram

And so I kind of just got on Instagram, kind of on a whim as like, screw it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be curated. I have a message that is important and I want to preach the gospel of sleep.

Chrissy found the whole world of social media was really intimidating. As a therapist, she is private and did not broadcast her life. She soon, however, realized that her target audience was on Instagram. The moms that are tired and overwhelmed and looking for a break was on Instagram. These moms didn’t care if her life was perfect, they preferred to see her messy kitchen in the background because they know that it’s real.

When she took the plunge and got onto Instagram, she was just there to show up and help people. Her following exploded to 10,000 followers in five months. Once this caught on, Chrissy realized this is a space where people are looking for answers. She has now blended Instagram where she talks about sleep, but she’s also a therapist and a mom. So she talks about mental health, self-love, acceptance, and parenting.

How To Get Going

I knew that I could help people. But I couldn’t help anybody if nobody knew that I was there.

Chrissy took a leap of faith and committed to helping everybody for free all month long. All she asked was that people tell their friends about her to spread the message. She was spending hours a day on Instagram, answering messages on the phone with people but her following exploded. By August 1, she had 500 followers and by December 1, she had 10,000.

A byproduct of this month of ‘Tell me your questions and I will help you’ is that she realized that she was getting the same questions over and over again. Chrissy started writing down these answers and so made troubleshooting guides which she started to sell. In her first month of launching these little five-page guides which she sold for $3-$5, she made $5,000.

Slow Down School

It truly has been not only transformational in my business but transformational in my life. After Slow Down School, I cut out a whole day a week of therapy, I raised my rates $50 an hour, nobody batted an eye.

Chrissy has a 6 figure therapy practice working 1.5 days a week and she is on track to have a 6 figure side hustle that she works on for 10 hours a week. And she has everybody else doing everything for her. She attests this to the fact that she couldn’t have gotten that far without the Mastermind Groups and Slow Down School because she just wasn’t organized enough. And she didn’t have the support in the right direction.

Early bird tickets are currently on sale now! Save $1400 by getting early access, click here.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

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

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

 
[JOE]: This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 427. The work you do as a therapist is important and your private practice deserves the best website possible to allow you to see more clients. As the industry leading company that makes marketing simple for therapists, Brighter Vision understands exactly what it takes to help your practice grow to new heights this year. Brighter Vision’s team of developers will work with you to first understand your business and what makes it unique, then use this information to build you a website centered around attracting and retaining your ideal client. Best yet, there’s never been a more affordable time to get the website your practice deserves. During the entire month of January, Brighter Vision is running its biggest sale of the year. Until the end of the month, pay no set up fees and get your entire first year for just $49 per month. That’s a savings of over $200 on your first year with Brighter Vision. To take advantage of this offer, simply go to brightervision.com/joe. Again, that’s brightervision.com/joe.
Welcome, welcome, welcome. It is a new year. Hopefully you have some great goals for yourself and you’re sticking with them. I’ve been doing Facebook Lives every week on the Practice of the Practice page on Facebook. So, you can see all of those in our events section over there. We just did one yesterday. It was amazing, had a bunch of people show up, ask some questions, we talked about new year’s goals, how to kind of level up some strategies that actually work. You know, this is the time of year to think through if you’re happy with where you’re at with life, with business, with relationships, and to say, “I’m going to make some changes.” And that’s exciting even though secretly we, you know, we’re going to probably give up on it, but you know, what small steps in the right direction. Maybe this is the year and we’ve got so much coming up.
We’re so thankful that Brighter Vision is one of our sponsors this month. As you heard on the front end, they’ve got that killer deal going on for you. So, make sure you check that out. If having a website is in your cards for this year, you definitely want to check that out.
We have an awesome interview coming up, but wanting to just get through a few different things. So, we have, as of today, Slow Down School early bird tickets are open. And so, Slow Down School if you don’t know, Slow Down School is this awesome event that I put on every summer on the beaches of Northern Michigan. You fly into Traverse City, we pick you up in a big yellow school bus, for two and a half days, we just slow down. We sit on the beach, we go for hikes, I bring in massage therapists and yoga teachers and we really, really let your brain just rest. Then Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning, we just run full tilt towards your big goals and to see the kind of things that people get done during that time, whether it’s expanding a group practice, launching a big idea, doing a podcast. The relationships that are formed there are just amazing. Chrissy, our guest today was one of our Slow Down Schoolers this past year and it’s just amazing to see what she has done with her Instagram following around sleep as a mental health therapist. And so you’re going to hear a lot of her story, but I interview every single person that comes to make sure it’s a good fit for you, that I can stand behind, that I think you’re going to get a good return on investment on because of the people and the makeup. We want to make sure that we have the right people there.
We usually have 10 to 20 people, so it’s a micro conference or retreat, whichever word kind of resonates with you, and so if you go over to slowdownschool.com, you can schedule your interview there. I’m doing interviews in the next few weeks for early birds, and so you get about $1,400 off doing the early bird. our real costs for putting on this event are pretty substantial because it’s all inclusive. We include all of your food, all of your lodging. Once you get to Michigan, I’m pretty much everything’s taken care of unless there’s extra things that you want. And so, you know, it’s a little bit more expensive but the people that come, they’re just ready to rock it out at the next level. So again, that slowdownschool.com. I would love for you to go check that out. But without any further ado, I give you Chrissy Lawler.
Well, today on the Practice of the Practice podcast, we have Chrissy Lawler. Chrissy is a licensed marriage and family therapist and lover of sleep. As a clinician and mom of three, she turned her passion for good sleep into a personal crusade to help babies, toddlers, and adults optimize their sleep. Chrissy, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.

[CHRISSY]: Thank you. I’m so glad to be here.

[JOE]: Oh my gosh. You know, you’re a Slow Down Schooler, you’re in my mastermind group, your brother is a friend of mine, thanks to you. We kind of missed each other a bunch of times here in Traverse City. I am so dang excited to have you on the podcast.

[CHRISSY]: Yes, I’m so excited to be here. This is going to be fun.

[JOE]: Yes. So, I want to go back a little bit and talk about that transition from going, from just kind of doing clinical work to then moving into sleep. So, tell us the original story of how you got into kids sleep, adults sleep. Why is that important? Take us back a little bit to when you started to think, “You know what, maybe I could do something beyond just what’s happening in the clinical setting.”

[CHRISSY]: Yes, totally. So it’s kind of a long story that spanned years, but basically as I was doing therapy, I really loved the clinical work and I also noticed that so many of my clients, who were the most stuck, whether they were stuck in resentments with their spouses or stuck in depression and anxiety, the people that were the most stuck also seems to have the biggest sleep issues. And I hated it as an insomnia suffered myself, I hated that it was just like, “Yes, yes, yes, sleep’s a problem, but like, let’s get back to like the real stuff.” And I kind of realized that sleep is this really big piece underneath it all that I didn’t have any training in and that felt like I was under serving the clients that I was trying to work with. So, then I got trained to treat chronic insomnia and it was there that I learned that 80% of people with a mental health diagnosis have underlying sleep issues. And so that blew my mind with this idea that like, “Holy cow, if we can help people get better sleep, we can improve the baseline and then everything that we do in our clinical work just build on top of a healthier foundation.”

[JOE]: You’re speaking my language. Oh my gosh. I feel like when I was doing clinical work, I would start with looking at, and mostly it was angry boys that I worked with and I would start with their parents and say, “Okay, what’s their typical sleep, what’s their eating, what’s their exercise?” And every time it would be like, “Oh, I can’t get them to go to bed before 11 or 1130, and then they have to be up at six to catch the bus, and then they eat junk while they’re playing basketball.” And it’s just, was like, “Oh my gosh. Well no wonder he has symptoms that look like ADHD. He’s an adult that’s acting like a toddler because he’s not sleeping.”

[CHRISSY]: Totally. Yes. And so then fast forward a couple of years when I had babies of my own and then my own sleep went to garbage because I had a newborn that was up all night and I realized for myself like, “Oh I,” like, I had all of this self-awareness from being a counselor for years and I noticed I have all these symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety and although the hormonal impact of having babies was real, it was also so linked to my sleep deprivation. And then I was kind of on this personal mission of, “I’ve got to figure out how to get my baby to sleep well.” Also, she was a way easier baby when she had slept well and so kind of this perfect storm came together that I was so passionate about helping people get good sleep. And then I really wanted my baby to get good sleep so that she could be functioning optimally and I could be functioning optimally.
So, I dove into everything, all the books, all the blog posts, and it just felt so overwhelming. There was so much mom shaming and so much like, “If you do this and you’re wrong, if you do that, then you’re wrong and your baby’s going to suffer.” It just felt like this whole murky world of, as parents, we’re all trying to do everything that we can and we’re functioning on no sleep and we’re tired and we’re overwhelmed and we’re exhausted and our babies are fussy. So, once I figured out the formula and helped friends, then I just realized that my heart was calling me to take this message broader and kind of tell moms, “You can get good sleep. It’s important for you, it’s important for your babies, and you can reclaim the magic of motherhood if you’re well rested.” Because like I dreamed of being a mom for my entire life and I finally had this baby and it was so glorious and miraculous in so many ways. And also, I was exhausted and I was constantly snapping at my husband and I was overwhelmed. And there were some times that I didn’t really feel that magic that I wanted to feel, but when I was rested, I could feel the magic again.

[CHRISSY]: Man, I don’t think I realized how much of what you are saying that we went through, like thinking about Lucia when she was born eight years ago. You know, we’re the kind of people that we research things. We want to do it right, we want to make it easier on ourselves. But there were books that were like, “You should cry it out.” Then there’s other books that said, “You know, you have the happiest baby on the block,” or “Healthy sleep habits, happy child. And you know, oh my gosh, the amount of people that gave unsolicited advice, it was like, I just wanted to punch people in the face, probably because I was tired, but because I was like, “Are you kidding me? Just shut your mouth. Why are you saying all this to me? Just let me parent.” And, and so when people are in that phase, so whether it’s listeners having clients that are in that phase or even maybe they’re in the phase, because I know we have a younger listening audience that are having kids and building families and building their practice, like what are some of the things you discovered during that phase of research? Maybe what are some of the myths or some of the things you’d say, “Just throw this idea out the window. Don’t even care about that,” and here’s some core things that really your kind of the average family should buy into.

[CHRISSY]: Yes. So, I think the biggest myth is that there is a right or a wrong way. Every book and blog post is going to tell you this is what you have to do to do it right. But babies don’t, babies are not one size fits all and parents are not one size fits all. So, I think that’s kind of the cornerstone of my approach; is look, prioritizing sleep and getting good sleep is really important for a lot of reasons, and it’s important to figure out how to make that work for you and your family. And so even the books that I wrote and the video courses that I have, it’s more about teaching people the fundamentals and the basics to be empowered to know the building blocks of good healthy sleep and have the awareness and trust their intuition to know how to make that happen in their family.
So, I say all the time like, “Leave the mom shaming at the door. We’re just going to teach you the basics that you need and you can figure out how to tailor it to your baby, your family, your situation, your parenting style.” What are the other things that I love? I was reading recently a book by Dan Siegel, the Mindful Brain, and he said that ‘the greatest predictor of secure parent child attachment is parental self-awareness,’ which I thought was so huge. Like we have all of these studies, all of this research, all this whatever about how to be the perfect parent. And I know as a therapist I felt a lot of fear. I think like, “Oh, I know all the ways that I could screw up my baby and I want to make sure that I’m the perfect parent and I do it all right.” And just realizing that like, “Yes, we as parents just need to tune into ourselves with what’s going on and what’s going to work for us and do the best that we can in a mindful, conscientious, grounded way.” That’s what our babies need from us. It doesn’t have to be, “Cry it out or don’t cry it out or co-sleep or formula or bottles or breast milk.” Like it, a lot of that stuff doesn’t actually matter.

[JOE]: Yes. So, you start learning this stuff and when does it start to make an impact on your own children?

[CHRISSY]: What do you mean?

[JOE]: Like, when did sleep get better? Like what were some things that you first tried and things got better for you?

[CHRISSY]: Yes, so the biggest secret of all is that sleep begets sleep. So, when we are well rested, everybody is more content, everybody’s happier and babies have an easier time drifting into peaceful sleep. And so that’s kind of my biggest secret, and my method is figuring out how to optimize sleep because optimal sleep will lead to more optimal sleep. So really with my, like my oldest started sleeping through the night when she was 10 days old because her naps were great during the day and you know, we can’t guarantee that for every baby, right? And she was a chubby baby and she ate well and the doctor told me that I didn’t have to wake her up to feed her, but when her sleep was better throughout the day, then the daytime naps got easier and the nighttime sleep got easier. And so just providing that space, I think people with brand, brand, brand new babies can have really great sleep.

[JOE]: Wow. So, what about adults just in general? So, I mean we’ll talk more about babies and toddlers, but I love how you also kind of position yourself as just sleep is really important for the parents or for even college students or adults. What do you say in regards to optimizing our own sleep as adults?

[CHRISSY]: Yes, so there are a couple of secrets for adult sleep. Some of them are just common and we know and some are easier to implement than others, but two of the biggest things that I talk to my adult clients about is if you are not sleeping, get out of bed. So often, and I am a culprit of this myself, if I wake up and I can’t fall back asleep or I’m trying to fall asleep at night and my mind is racing, I just lay in bed praying that the sleep fairy will come and I’m sitting in bed for an hour and my mind is racing or I’m thinking about my to-do list or I’m wishing, wishing, wishing that I will just go to sleep. But if we can just get out of bed when we’re not sleeping, then we don’t condition our brain to associate the bed as the place where I lie awake at night. We want the bed to be only the place where we sleep. And so, then kind of along with that, we need to get everything out of our bedrooms. We need to not be on our phone in bed, don’t be on your laptop in bed, don’t be sitting recording a podcast in bed, which I’m guilty of doing right this second.

[JOE]: Oh, man.

[CHRISSY]: I know. Oh, I’m such a hypocrite.

[JOE]: The sleep expert.

[CHRISSY]: But if we can just take our work and our lives and our stress out of the bedroom and reserve our bed to be the sleep space, and only the sleep space, then we keep that conditioning intact.

[JOE]: Yes, I remember when I used to work at the community college, I would do all these kinds of things. I’m prepping for a test and optimizing your brain and one of the big ones was having people just outline what their dorm room or their apartment or wherever they were living, what did that sleep space look like? And a lot of the students would say, “Yes, I always study on my bed because it’s so comfortable and I just want to be comfortable.” And then we compared that to your typical test taking space and how you’re not preparing your brain to be able to go take that test because you’re studying in a very different space. But then also your sleep’s not as good because you’re right there on your bed and you know it’s then making it harder to go to sleep.

[CHRISSY]: Exactly. Yes, totally. And I mean it’s clear. You can see the association. When we are exhausted, our brains just don’t function optimally. So, if you’re groggy, if you pull that all-nighter, if you’re not sleeping well before a test, the academic performance decreases.

[JOE]: Yes, absolutely. So, I want to kind of shift gears. So, you kind of discover this, you start doing it and it doesn’t just end with your clients. You say, “I think I can go big.” Or maybe you didn’t say I can go big right from the beginning, but you started to then get on Instagram and you got a little bit of traction there.

[CHRISSY]: Yes. So, I think the whole world of social media was just really intimidating. As a therapist, you know, I have all of my life things set to private and I didn’t really want to broadcast my life and boundaries and all of that. And I don’t want to be showy. I’m have a very blessed, fortunate life but I don’t feel the need to brag about my handsome husband and my darling kids and my pretty house. Like that’s just not something that inspires me because I want my kids to buy cheap clothes and dress themselves. And so, I just, I didn’t feel like I had an Instagram-worthy life, but I realized that my target audience is on Instagram. The moms that are tired and overwhelmed and looking for a break, they’re on Instagram. And I also realized that my target audience, those moms don’t actually care if my kids have cute matching bows and actually, they prefer when they see my messy kitchen in the background because they know that it’s real.
So, I kind of just got on Instagram kind of on a whim as like, screw it. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it doesn’t have to be curated. I have a message that is important and I want to preach the gospel of sleep. And when I did and I was just there to show up and help people, it exploded. Like I had 10,000 followers in my first five months, which was super cool. Like it kind of just caught on like wildfire and I realized that this is a space where people are looking for answers. And I think Instagram has kind of shifted. Like Instagram used to be a little bit more like Pinterest where you would go on and see beautiful things and stuff that you wanted and these lifestyle bloggers and influencers that seem to have it all perfect. And now I think what moms on Instagram are looking for is real life and how to handle the real stuff. And so I’ve kind of blended Instagram as like, “Yes, I’m going to talk about sleep, but I’m also, I’m a therapist and I’m a mom so I’m going to talk about mental health and I’m going to talk about self-love and acceptance and parenting and yes, good sleep is the cornerstone of all of it.”

[JOE]: Well Chrissy, we had a couple of sound problems there, so rather than pretend like they didn’t happen, we’re just going to start with, there were sound problems and that’s just part of the podcasting world. I think you were jumping into about how you started to make that transition from just doing kind of the clinical work and applying these sleep issues to your own kids to then going on Instagram and getting some things out there. So, tell us how that transition started to happen.

[CHRISSY]: Yes, so I think, you know, I’d had three babies at this point and I had helped a lot of friends sleep-train their babies and I saw a lot of friends of friends and clients and I just realized I have a skillset and a voice that can actually help people get better sleep for themselves and for their babies. And I just felt this burning passion to make that message global, because I feel like we all just kind of undervalue sleep. Like everybody brags about how tired they are. “Oh, my baby was up like 10 times last night. Isn’t this awful?” So I just, I really felt like I wanted to help and although I was really intimidated about Instagram because I don’t have this like super Instagrammy life, and as a therapist, I like want to have boundaries and kind of keep my personal life private, but I just, I realized that my target audience, these tired, overwhelmed moms are on Instagram. During the day when they’re taking a break from their kids or if they’re up late at night, nursing a baby, they’re scrolling through Instagram. And so, I realized if I want to have an impact, I need to get in front of these moms where they are. So, I kind of had to get over myself and get over my fears and insecurities and just say, “Okay, I have a message. I can help people. If I’m going to help tired moms, I need to be on Instagram so that I can get in front of them.

[JOE]: Oh, okay. So, then you decided you’re going to be on it. What were say your first three steps to get going?

[CHRISSY]: Gosh. So, my story there is probably a little bit unique because I knew that I could help people, but I couldn’t help anybody if nobody knew that I was there. So, it was August 1st last year. I said, “Screw it. I want to help people. I will help everybody for free all month long. All I ask is that you tell your friends about me, repost about me, let’s spread the message.” And so, I was spending hours and hours a day on Instagram answering messages on the phone with people, but my following exploded. And so, August 1st I had 500 followers and then by December 1st I had 10,000, because it just grew like wildfire.

[JOE]: Yes. And I remember, I still remember talking to you in our living room about potentially joining the big ideas mastermind group and when you told me how fast you grew and kind of how you were already building passive income and then you wanted to take some next steps on it. Do you want to talk through your first ways that you made money off Instagram?

[CHRISSY]: Yes. So sorry, real fast. Can you guys hear that dinging coming through?

[JOE]: No.

[CHRISSY]: Oh good. Okay.

[JOE]: No, and we can just leave that part in. That’s awesome.

[CHRISSY]: Okay, perfect. So yes, and actually this wasn’t intentional, but a really cool byproduct of this month of ‘Tell me your questions. I will help you.’ I realized that I was getting the same questions over and over again. So, what I did is I started writing down these answers just in my note’s app on my phone so I wasn’t retyping the same thing over and over again. But after that month I realized I probably had the same 25 questions in different ways, shapes, and forms coming in all the time. And so, I just made troubleshooting guides and I started selling those. So I already had my book, but then I just created these smaller guides and in my first month launching these little five-page guides for 3 to $5 a piece, my first month that I launched those, I made $5,000 and I was like, “Oh wait, I’m on to something else.”

[JOE]: Well, what’s going on here? No, I remember when you told me that that was your first month, I’m like, “You are the type of person that needs to be in this mastermind group because if you did that without any consulting or help, what can you do next? You’re going to take over the world.”

[CHRISSY]: Yes, it was fun.

[JOE]: What did you make? So I want to kind of underline what you did though because you said you were unique, but it’s something I see over and over with people that are successful and that’s that they fall in love with the people and the pain before they ever pitch a product, and so you just got to know that pain, you notice those trends and then you just outlined them and then say, “Okay, there’s probably a product here because it’s the same question over and over.” And I think so often when people do is, they say, “Well, I’m a trauma therapist,” or “I’m a couple’s therapist. I want to build this e-course.” They spend all this energy and time and money building out this gigantic e-course only to have nobody buy it and then they’re trying to squeeze people into an e-course that they don’t want to be squeezed into rather than saying, “I’m just going to help people hardcore for a month, answer all their questions, and then build an audience that way.

[CHRISSY]: Yes. I think the thing about that that has made me successful is that it really was passion first and then product later. And I think especially in something like social media, being heavy on Instagram, I think that was very different. Most people were being, pitched stuff from influencers that you can kind of tell like the influencer doesn’t even really care about, they’re just being pushed a product all the time. And so, I think it was really helpful for me that I came out passion first and then really figured out what the need was and spoke, like you said, directly to a pain point that I knew people were struggling with.

[JOE]: Yes. You know, when I first started Practice of the Practice, I joined this therapist group on LinkedIn and I didn’t even really like LinkedIn at the time. And I wouldn’t say I love it still, but I mean it’s where all the professionals really were at that were wanting to have that kind of professional development. And this group had I want to say like 40 or 50,000 people, and this was a gigantic group. And what I would do is, one of the rules of the group was you couldn’t like promote a blog post unless it was answering someone’s question. And so, I would go in there and someone would ask a question like, “How do you name a private practice?” It’s then that I would go and I would write a blog post answering their question and then I would come back and say, “Hey, I just wrote a blog post today all about that. Here’s a link to it.” And it was a great way to get all this traffic around people asking these questions within a group that was already established.

[CHRISSY]: Yes, totally.

[JOE]: So, I want to talk about kind of the mastermind group and Slow Down School because, tickets for Slow Down School open up in January, 2020. I’m probably not going to do Slow Down School in 2021 just because my wife and I and kids are going to be on the road and the RV. At least that’s the working plan right now. So, a lot of people are going to be coming to this year Slow Down School, but take us through, like when you came to Slow Down School, how did that help you clarify some things? What was it like for you, because I feel like Slow Down School is one of those events that it’s really hard to explain to people? Even if I do some fancy video about it, it’s really hard to kind of show the full impact of it. So maybe just share your experience of Slow Down School, and how that helps transform the direction you were headed.

[CHRISSY]: Yes, so I actually want to back up a little bit to the first phone call that we had. Like I remember I was pacing the floor in my kitchen in my house that was halfway torn apart because we just had a flood and then the house flooded again. So, we moved into an apartment while they were doing the repairs and then the house flooded again and the owners decided they just wanted to sell the house. So, we had two major floods and moved twice in two months and I had three kids and two businesses and I was kind of slowly losing my mind. And I remember pacing the floor in the kitchen, talking to you like so excited and had all of this energy and all of this potential, and I think I told you at that point like, “I feel like I’m onto something and I’ve got momentum and I’ve got connections and I’ve got big ideas and I can do something great, and I’m also just like this whirling dervish like going, spinning in circles and like trying this and then trying that and then trying this and then trying that.”

And so, I feel like what being in the mastermind group gave me and going to Slow Down School gave me, especially Slow Down School was like, “Okay Chrissy, chill. You’ve got a lot of energy, that’s great, but slow down and let’s clarify your message, let’s clarify your action, and then let’s take those steps.” And I really like just the whole idea of slowing down to ramp up. And so, for me like that it truly has been not only transformational in my business but transformational in my life. Like after Slow Down School, I cut out a whole day a week of therapy, I raised my rates, $50 an hour, nobody batted an eye. And I can say like I have a six-figure therapy practice working one and a half days a week and I am on track to have a six-figure side hustle that honestly, I work like maybe five to 10 hours a week and I have everybody else doing everything for me. I couldn’t have gotten that truly without the mastermind group and without Slow Down School because I just wasn’t organized enough and I didn’t have the support in the right direction because I was just like scattered and random and going a billion directions.

[JOE]: I think that’s so common that you know, people would get to five and six figures by a lot of hustle, but then it’s like is that where you want to be hustling? Like do you want to figure this all out on your own versus, “Hey, you know, we’ve done this already. Let’s figure it out, let’s implement it, and let’s get it done”. And I think people like you that have a lot of energy and a lot of passion around something, it’s easy to work 40 or 50 hours a week because it’s something you like, you’re excited, it’s fun to do those things. But then when you look at the bottom line for your hourly that you’re making, it’s like, wait a second, like I’m wasting a lot of time here. You said something quickly that I want to go back to and you said that now a lot of other people do things for you. I want to talk a little bit about what you’re outsourcing, how you’re outsourcing, what helped you through the mastermind group and Slow Down School in regards to getting in that outsourcing mindset? How’d you do it? All those things.

[CHRISSY]: I think really identifying the hours for dollars trade off. And I like one thing that you kind of always come back to is like, what’s your hourly rate? Is this worth it? And so, if I’m charging $175 per session and then I’m also at home spending four hours muddling through something that I don’t really understand and feeling overwhelmed and inadequate and procrastinating and whatever, like it’s just a giant waste of time and money because my time is so valuable. And so honestly, I outsource. I outsource a lot of things. I have an assistant that’s in my home with me 20 hours a week and she kind of, she, I have somebody that writes blogs for me, I hired somebody to do SEO, I have somebody that does my web development, I have childcare providers, I have somebody else that does a lot of the posts and manages comments and DMs on Instagram.

Truly, anything that I can have somebody else do, I do because they’re really my family. First and foremost is my priority and I know what my hours for dollars tradeoff is and because of Slow Down School, I kind of also really created firm boundaries around my time that said, “I am not going to work more than 20 hours a week.” And so, if I’m not working more than 20 hours a week, how do I still grow when 12 of those hours a week are already on therapy? How do I continue the momentum without me having to do it? And there’s a lot of stuff other people can do for you.

[JOE]: Yes, I love Rory Vaden. He has what’s called the Focus Funnel and he says that before you as the business owner do anything you need to look at, should you eliminate it, should you delegate it or should you automate it? And only after you’ve gone through those three things, do you actually consider working on it? And then you have to ask, “Is this the best use of my time?” And for me to just kind of say like, “I don’t want to do this,” and so even yesterday in working with our new sound engineering teams, we have four new sound engineers that are working with this podcast and all of our Done For You Podcasters, you know, I was going to have them like email their hours to me, but then, I forgot that I had set up a Google doc already for it. So now what I have is my director of details, you know, she has a calendar invite at the first of every month to go into that doc to then put into my calendar that I need to pay a certain amount to all the pay files and get the money out there.

And so it’s just like I then spent two minutes doing the payments rather than, you know, having to find all those different things and just figuring out how do I at every single step make sure that I put in as little effort as possible that gives me the maximum reward. I mean the people that really take that to heart, like you are the ones that do have those multiple six figure and seven figure businesses.

[CHRISSY]: Yes. And I think that’s a huge piece of, even just something subtle that I learned from you at Slow Down School is watching you kind of guard your time and what you said you would do. And it’s interesting, like even just being there in the space with you and kind of watching you, you know, watching somebody ask you about something and then you so effortlessly seem to pivot it and like, “Yes, great, why don’t you email this person and she can get it to you.” And it’s like, “Whoa, you just totally took yourself out of the loop and didn’t add another meaningless thing onto your to-do list.” That’s what I need to figure out. And so, I love that principle that you just talked about, like automating it and delegating it and just getting more things off of your plate so that you can do what only you can do and what you find the most value in.

[JOE]: Yes. Well, like even right now, you know, I was talking to Mitch, one of our sound engineers that’s listening to this in the background, like a creeper, but I said, wait, “You’re listening and making sure that this goes correctly, with a new platform. If there’s any books we mentioned, like will you just take some notes on that?” It will be like, “Well, he’s already here. We might as well also get some of the show notes done and kind of double up his time to be able to really get more done,” to always look for those kinds of things. Even yesterday, we do a monthly Q&A with all of our Done For You Podcasters, and so we had eight people in there. And, I went on this riff about how to be a really good guest on a podcast and how to have really good guests and they said, “Well, could you write that up?” And I was like, “Oh, sure, I’ll write it up.”

Then a second later I realized that, you know, Sam, our chief marketing officer was in on that call and I said, “Hey Sam, that was at the 28-minute mark of this call. Can you Kirsti go back and listen to it, have her write it up, put it into a beautiful PDF that we can give all of our Done For You Podcasters. But then we can repurpose that in Podcast Launch School,” the e-course that we’re going to be launching in a few months here. And so, it’s like always thinking about like, why am I doing that? When you do that, you just like pull yourself out of the equation and you can offer higher quality content to people.

[CHRISSY]: Yes, totally. And I really like, one of the books that was super impactful for me this year was the book Present Over Perfect. And she kind of talks about that same principle that like every yes is also a no. So, what are my yeses and what are my no’s? If I say, “Yes, sure I’ll do that,” I’m telling my kids, “Nope, sorry, I’m not going to be present with you.” And realizing like I was so sick of having my phone in front of my face, like, “Hold on sweetie, just one more message and then we’ll play a game.” And it was like, “No, you know what? I’m going to take control of my yeses and my no’s and I’m not going to say yes to anything that I don’t need to say yes to.”

[JOE]: Yes, a hundred percent. Well, I want to ask what were some of the highlights for you at Slow Down School that were big steps forward for your business or big steps in slowing down? Like what were things that really kind impacted you?

[CHRISSY]: Honestly, the biggest thing, and it’s inherent in the name, Slow Down School, the biggest thing for me was realizing that slowing down truly is the key to ramping up because you get to restore your energy and doing less means that you can do more. And so that was honestly transformational and life changing for me that I don’t have to be running around like a chicken with my head cut off to make big impact and to make a big income and to be the kind of mom that I want to be. That the secret to all of it actually does come from slowing down and surrounding yourself with really high-level people. That kind of just like maximizes your effectiveness in your thoughts and in your ideas. And so, you kind of said it a minute ago, but the benefit of the mastermind group, the benefit of Slow Down School is realizing there’s so many things you don’t have to do yourself. And I think part of that comes in who you collaborate with, who you work with, the kind of circles that you run in to realize, “I don’t have to think of all these ideas myself. I can just put myself in a circle of people that are high achievers, that are on a high level and I will just get all of this insight from all of these great people.”

[JOE]: Yes, I mean you think about if any of those people continue to, I mean, they’re all leveling up in new ways, but if they have a podcast like who are they going to invite onto their podcast first as they’re blowing up? It’s going to feel that they went on a hike with in Northern Michigan. People that they hung out with and went and tasted chocolate and worked on their business and they’ve known. It’s not going to be all these random Randy’s out there. It’s going to be the people that they’re closest with, that they trust, that they know are going to offer good content. And so, it’s like as everyone levels up, we all level up. And so, surrounding yourself with those people, I think is just so darn important. I’m going to ask you to kind of the final question in just a minute.

As people, as you’re listening, if you’re thinking, “I think Slow Down School might be for me, you can head on over to slowdownschool.com. I talk to each person that applies for Slow Down School because I want to make sure that this event has the right people there where you’re all contributing, but you’re also getting a massive return on investment for that time and money. And one of the reasons that we make Slow Down School a week long rather than just a couple of days is that science shows that if our brains genuinely slowed down for two days, that we’re going to be maximizing what we can do on that third day. And so that’s why for two days we go hiking, we hang out on the beach, we bring in massage therapists, we have a yoga teacher come in, and then we work hardcore on your business for a couple of days.

So, if that sounds like it might be a fit for you, I want to jump on a phone call with you. Head on over to slowdownschool.com to apply there. Also, if you’re interested in any of our mastermind groups that Chrissy’s talking about, you can apply for those over at practiceofthepractice.com/apply. And again, I’ll jump on a phone call with you to see if it’s a fit because we want to help people get the maximum return on investment for their time and money. It doesn’t serve anybody to have you running around saying, “I gave Joe Sanok money and it totally sucked.” So, we want to make sure that it’s a really good fit for you. So, Chrissy, the last question I always ask is if every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?

[CHRISSY]: I would want them to know that helping their clients get good sleep is going to maximize the effectiveness of every single intervention that you give to them.

[JOE]: So good. If people want to connect with you on sleep, I know you have a sleep course, you have sleep guides, what’s the best way for them to connect with you?

[CHRISSY]: The best way to find me is on my website, the peacefulsleeper.com or on Instagram, @the.peaceful.sleeper. I have a newborn video course, a sleep training video course, I have an adult insomnia course, I have books, I have guides. I have tried to create something for every person with where they’re at in their different stages to just help the world get good sleep.

[JOE]: Oh, so awesome. I’m so glad you’re coming to the 2020 Slow Down School also so we get to hang out in Northern Michigan. Again, thanks so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.

[CHRISSY]: Yes, thank you.

[JOE]: What an awesome interview with Chrissy. You know, Chrissy is one of those people, that she’s a go-getter, she’s a multitasker in the most positive way that you can think about it, and she’s someone that gets a lot done quickly and figured out that slowing down actually helps her quite a bit. She’s in one of my mastermind groups as well as coming to Slow Down School and frequently she will be juggling children, you know, taking children here and there, getting ready for the day, as we’re doing our mastermind group and it’s how she rolls. She tries to get a lot done in a day and also really recognizes that it’s because she wants to have a life with her family. And so, if you’re interested in having that kind of life, if you’re interested in pursuing that, there’s lots of ways this year that you can make big changes.

One of them would be to apply to work with me or one of our consultants. You can do that over at practiceofthepractice.com/apply. Also, you can come to Slow Down School, slowdownschool.com. Also, if you’re kind of getting going and getting ready to scale and want to meet a whole bunch of people, we put on an event in Colorado Estes Park. It’s going to be in early October. It’s called Killin’It Camp. If you go over to killingitcamp.com, those tickets are going to open for a couple months here for you. The founders who came last year to our very first year, they already have the chance to open those, but you know, it’s really a big deal to make sure that you’re around those people that are going to help you get to the next level.

I want to really think Brighter Vision. Brighter Vision is amazing, they continue to help us grow, they continue to serve therapists. They are industry leaders and we couldn’t do this without them. So, make sure you go over to brightervision.com and let them know that I sent you. They’re going to be able to help you kind of get to that next level. Remember that’s brightervision.com/joe. We’d love for you to get those discounts if you’re starting a website this year.

Next time, that’s actually in two days, on the 16th, we’re going to go live, we’re going to have LaToya Smith who’s going to start talking about starting a group practice and launching her big idea. So that’s just right around the corner. We’re doing a lot more episodes. Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing day.

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 this subject matter covered. It 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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