In this episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Eric Connor about how he is making six figures running groups.
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Meet Eric Connor
Eric is a clinical therapist with advanced training in trauma resolution, sexual addiction and other compulsive behaviors. He seeks to use modern technology and evidence-based approaches to facilitate healing and growth. He has a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Chicago and earned his Masters degree in Counseling from National-Louis University. Eric is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) trained directly under Patrick Carnes and the International Institute for Trauma & Additional Professionals. Eric is also EDMR trained.
- Website: http://www.recover-restore.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/recoverrestore/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/15640883/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/RecoverRestore
Eric Connor’s Story
Eric has been on his own since 2015. Before then, he worked for another practice part-time. When he started my practice, he was networking and growing his practice one client at a time. It took about two years for him to cross the $100 000 mark.
“Everyone can choose their own path.”
Eric considers himself an entrepreneur at heart and love to start / grow things that have my mark on them.
In This Podcast
In this podcast, Eric Connor speaks about how he has grown his solo private practice to where it is today, a six figure business. He emphasizes the importance of networking as well as how he developed the concept of running therapy groups. Eric goes into detail about these groups and why they have worked out being a very profitable venture for him and his practice.
“There is this mindset that ‘I can do things best’ but, ultimately, this is going to stand in the way of you scaling your private practice.”
Networking Is a Must
You have to maintain this mindset that people don’t know who you are and what you do until you make an effort to make yourself known. Whether it’s sending someone an email, or arranging to speak at events, you need to always be networking.
Instead of having a group practice, Eric has a solo practice, but runs intensive group therapy sessions which is what has made his private practice a six figure business. He addresses therapy with three different facets:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
“It’s hard to fill groups by just marketing them. There has to be cohesion.”
Eric fills groups through referrals from other clinicians, or by scanning his own clients. Ideal groups are between six to eight people. Also, they should be around a specific product, i.e.: men recovering from sex addiction. Eric charges $2000 – $5000 per intensive group session. He runs these by himself as well as together with other clinicians.
- Next Level Mastermind Group
- Dr. Mark Mayfield On How Nametags Made a Multi-Six Figure Practice | PoP 247
Meet Joe Sanok
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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File: POP 248 – Eric Connor is making six figures running groups
This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session #248.[MUSIC] [A STARTING – WITH INTRODUCTIONS] Joe Sanok: I am Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. I am live here in the radio center two building in downtown Traverse City, and it’s a great day. My coffee has kicked in, roaring to go, having lunch with a new consultant friend today. Hope your week is going just amazing. One thing I want to just talk about real quick is a mindset that gets in the way of so many people when they are ready to go that next level. And that’s the mindset of I can do it best. And I addressed this in that opening intro to this series couple weeks ago. But I want to go a little bit more in depth before we get into the interview with Eric Connor. There is this idea that I can do it best. And so it can be answering phones, it can be converting people into your calendar. It can be that, hey I need to jump on the phone call to get every new client into my group practice. And that may be true. But that is going to stand in the way of your ability to scale. And also when you think about it, you are going to be the thing that slows down your business because if everything needs to go through you, your own time is going to be limited. And as it’s limited, you are going to be this linchpin that slows things down. So if all the calls or scheduling or whatever has to go through your approval process, it’s a really big deal because you aren’t able to scale and grow beyond yourself and you are setting up a situation where all of the growth is based on you. We really want to start to remove yourself from the business more and more, so that the cogs can keep moving even if you are on vacation. If you go to Mexico with your significant other or if you are in a soccer game for your kids, if you are out for a run, did those cogs keep working? And the value in that is immense in that you can have your own lifestyle that you want. You can then keep making money when you are on vacation, but also if you ever decide that you want to sell your business, if you can prove that you are not the main source of income or insight into your business, it’s a lot easier to make the case for why is this a turnkey business that anyone can take over. Because you have created systems of automation that make it easier for someone to come in and to start making money off of your business. So often what I see is people want to sell their businesses or buy business, and really the value is in like a website or a public image. But the clinicians, they could just pick up and leave. The clients, they could just pick up and leave. There is now systems of automation that are getting people on the door, getting them quality and awesome therapy, teaching the clinicians, kind of the method of your particular practice. These are all things that you don’t have to deal with. You can have other people do, that you can outsource. So the more that you start asking yourself why am I touching this, why is something that Joe Sanok is spending his time on, and the more that you can do that, it’s going to help you grow and scale your practice into multi six figure practice.
So today on the show, we have Eric Connor. Eric is an amazing podcaster, as well he has a solo practice which is really unique within the series that he has been able to scale and grow in a way that most people really can’t slipped up there because it’s so uncommon to see someone at his level that’s just done it and not killing himself as much as kind of the average person. So without any further ado, I give the one, the only, the never replicated Eric Connor.[MUSIC]
Joe Sanok: Well today on the show we have Eric Connor. Eric is a clinical therapist with advance training in trauma resolution, sexual addiction and other compulsive behaviors, and he seeks to use modern technology and evidence-based approaches to facilitate healing and growth. Eric believes that our brains and emotional selves will always seek healing and growth, given the opportunity. Eric, welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast.
Eric Connor: Thank you Joe, glad to be here.
Joe Sanok: Yes, nice to see your face again.
Eric Connor: (laugh) I don’t hear that a lot.
Joe Sanok: (laugh).
Eric Connor: Thanks.
Joe Sanok: Yeah. Eric was in one of my Mastermind groups and just rocks it out. So why don’t we start with… tell us kind of your story of your private practice, how it grew. This is part of our six figure practice series. Take us through your beginning phases, because so many of our listeners are in that starting phase and are even close to that 100k. How did you start at… what worked for you at that phase?
Eric Connor: Well so, a little just… so I have been on my own since 2015. Sort of like about two and half years now. Before that, I worked for another practice for maybe, you know, four to five years, kind of part time. So this is actually my second career. I worked lot in business and kind of technology entrepreneurship before and then kind of did my own personal work, and then out of that own personal work decided to like make, you know, switch careers and started to do this full time. So launched about two and half years ago. And I did initially like anyone else. You know, you’re just trying to kind of get lof of the bases together. So what’s going to be your niche, like where you are going to set up shop, how you are going to network, and initially like anyone else, it’s kind of one client at a time. I remember my first couple of clients that the calls came in and you are super excited and you are your own. And it feels like you almost like willing to kind of get any price that they want to pay (laugh).
Joe Sanok: Yeah, your are happy that you have clients.
Eric Connor: Right, you just want to get going. But over time things naturally grew, and so probably the first year, you know, you’re definitely under like the 100 thousand mark, but you are building clients and what not. Then I would say it took about two years of like real hustle and trying to get out and really often good clinical service and with a desire to serve as a kind of crossed that threshold, and then since then it’s kind of been up there. Now it’s about kind of like where to kind of grow from there.
Joe Sanok: Yeah, now, what was going on in 2013 or so when you started to move towards, “I think I am going to start a private practice,” because lot of people never even say, “I am going to start a private practice.” What was going on in life that you launched it?
Eric Connor: Yeah, you know, a typical question, and I think it will help little as people listen to this that everyone can choose their own path. I mean lot of people want this state of private practice and there is nothing wrong with that. I mean there is nothing with being at a private practice and it’s not your own thing if it’s working out for you in terms of your life goals, financial goals etc. But I think for me I’ve always just been entrepreneurial at heart. And so I just kind of like starting stuff. I wanted to feel like I could grow something and to kind of have a little of my brand and my mark on it. So you know even back then I knew I wanted to start my own thing and also to I just think for just the growth in what I want to do with my life. It seemed like really the only, the main option for me. But that’s just kind of how [Inaudible 00:07:53.23] up. I loved to start things. I loved to kind of grow that. So I think that back in 2013 I was thinking about it. And then some providential things happened where it just made the most sense, and I knew that this was kind of what I was going to do.[NETWORKING IS A MUST] Joe Sanok: Yeah, yeah. It’s funny. I was on a road trip with my wife before I moved back to Traverse City in 2009. We did this big six-week road trip [Inaudible 00:08:14.25] and stay with friends, and I read the book Guerrilla Marketing which was one of the first like real business books that I read. And I found it, maybe a year ago, and I sketched out how within three years I could make a $100,000 because at that time I was like agency work, like 40k a year. And it was like, “I’ll never get to a 100k.” I found those [Inaudible 00:08:37.13] and it’s like I never went back to them and so like here’s my plan, but so much of what I had like planned out just during that. It was like deep in my subconscious where, it’s like adding clinicians, slowing adding a practice, and all the things that worked for me. Now, when you were first starting out what helped you really move from just, I got to get the logistics, like find a place to [run 00:08:56.12], get a website, those sort of things. What helped you really start to amplify that and get some traction?
Eric Connor: Well, a few things. First of all I work in a area where there’s a lot happening. So I’m the CSAT therapist. So I work a lot with sexual addiction, I work a lot of with pornography addiction, I work a lot with infidelity and it just happens to be a lot of that going on right now. So for making supply and demand, there is kind of plenty of supply because there are lot of people that are struggling with this. So I think kind of know what you niche is before you are going to focus is really important. So that was one thing that I… you know, I have got a… it all relates to addiction, all relates to [Inaudible 00:09:31.20], all relates to [Inaudible 00:09:32.20]. So I like working with that population. Then the other thing is I really tried to build connections around here. So you may call, you try to meet other therapists. I speak at some churches in the area. And you have to do those things to make yourself known. So you have to kind of [Inaudible 00:09:50.11] this mindset that, you know, people they don’t know really who you are until you really make an effort to make yourself known out there. You don’t need to do over the top things. I mean just simple emails to people, to introduce yourself. It finally plays…
Joe Sanok: Maybe we pause right there. That’s one question I didn’t expect to get from lot of my consulting clients, but they are like what do I put in the email. What are you putting in your emails when you want to network with somebody?
Eric Connor: The email is just simple. Hey you know, my name is Eric Connor. I moved out here recently. Here is a little kind of like my story. This is the population I work with and I am really passionate about it. It’s a complicated type of population. If you ever want some education around that or if you need any consultation, please let me know. So I don’t necessarily even ask directly for the referral, but it’s just… and honestly, I try keep my heart in the right place. I truly want to be out here to serve both my clients, with the other clinicians. And there’s a lot of clinicians that are encountering cases and they realize it’s a little bit over their head and then they are happy to call me, and over time they can trust me, and then they do kind of want to refer.
Joe Sanok: Mm-hmm. So you are not even asking hey, let’s get coffee. It’s just, hey, just want to let you know that if you ever need some consultation around this, let me know. I will serve you in that way.
Eric Connor: Sometimes we might have a phone call and I love to get coffee, but everything takes some time. So you got to kind of be judicious about how you use your time. That’s okay, but lot of times it’s like hey, you know, we have a shared friend in so and so, and I just wanted to you introduce to myself. Or hey, I know that you are part of like this kind of church network. I have been doing some speaking there. I just want to introduce myself. Great to meet you, heard great things about the work you are doing, and if you have a need around this, here’s where I am focused.
Joe Sanok: I love that it is authentic. It’s something you genuinely care about, and then you are also serving and saying, hey, if you need help in this area or need a referral, like, I am here for you. I am your guy.
Eric Connor: Yes. And I mean that’s us taking [Inaudible 00:11:39.16] medicine about how we…Like I work with a lot of people in recovery. I have been kind of part of recovery myself. So that is like a real mindset about like I don’t want to be just be about me. I mean it will come back to me, but it is also how do I be here to kind of serve with my goals in place.[RUNNING GROUPS] Joe Sanok: Yeah, yeah. And what I think is unique about Eric’s practice that you shared with me is that you haven’t added clinicians to your practice and you’re still 100k practice. So you’ve got to fall outside of that traditional like to scale up you really have to add clinicians. Talk about maybe some of the ways that you have done that outside of adding clinicians to your practice.
Eric Connor: Right. Yeah. I love talking about this because you know clearly like one path [Inaudible 00:12:17.20] take and it’s a great path I will probably take at sometimes point too as you just go add clinicians and you can hire. So we know that that’s only one way to scale. And there is other ways. So we think about scalability, that’s the key for any business that kind of wants to grow. You have to find ways to scale. So we need to do this if we want to kind of grow. So for me I try to think about what’s some other ways to scale that don’t necessarily mean adding clinicians because the reality is managing lot of clinicians is also a lot of work. And you’re dealing with personalities. And if you work in a pretty specific domain such as I do, there is certain trainings and stuff like that that I am looking for, and not everyone has got them. So for me I focus on groups and we can talk little about that and I also focus on creating intensives with other clinicians. Okay? So groups [Inaudible 00:13:08.25] they can meet weekly, maybe bi-weekly, sometimes monthly, and I have done all of them. And there is also intensives where you can get people together for say three or four days. This is not an IOP. So it’s not something like register with the State, but this is more of an intensive program that you’ve created to help kind of excel the rate growth [in your 00:13:27.26] clients. And if you create some of these things, you can fill them, you can definitely get above kind of the 100 mark if that’s your goal in conjunction with seeing individual clients. So these are ways you can do it, groups, but then also begin to collaborate with other clinicians because in some ways if you collaborate with lot of clinicians, it’s almost like you have a group practice. But you don’t need to actually be all working under the same umbrella.
Joe Sanok: Yeah. So take us through groups. I have heard from a lot of practitioners, I tried to launch a group and it didn’t work. What you use to market it? What you use to try to get the word out? Do you try to get your own clients in the group? Do you try to find other people’s clients? Like, take us through how you started up, marketed, and then monetize the group.
Eric Connor: Yeah. So four of my clients, I would say like very successful [Inaudible 00:14:15.16] sobriety is usually like a three-legged stool. So you are looking at individual therapy, you are looking at some form of group therapy, and then some recovery work. Okay? And yes, I am always scanning. When I know a group is launching, I am always looking at my individual clients to say who would benefit from being in the group. And you know the reality is sometimes I am looking at the clients we are like a little bit stuck in our individual work or not quite get into where I think this person can be, and in that case I’m like let’s go like maybe every other week with individual and let’s do the group. Then the group becomes the catalyst, the kind of like restarts someone’s path or it infuses kind of new life, new energy. So I am always looking at own individual clients and that’s huge. I think the reality is it’s hard to fill groups, just kind of marketing them because to join a group and to have a group work well, there’s got to be cohesion and there is no better way to do that when they are also your own individual clients. They know you, they trust you, and you know that they are going to be a good fit. So I have filled groups on my own and there has been times that I have done big marketing emails out to either clinicians [Inaudible 00:15:24.13]. This group is filling, one which [Inaudible 00:15:27.03] if you could add people that can be a good fit. And I can definitely fill them this way, but a lot of times people that come in that way they are not like the right fit or it’s hard because maybe they have worked for some of the people in the group for long time and this person I don’t know that well and yet kind of bring them up to speed. So, yes, we always try to do it through other clinicians in any other channels, but definitely will be scanning your own individual clients. Who could be a good fit, and it it’s a good fit, they are going to be grateful that I made the recommendations for them.
Joe Sanok: So how big are your groups? Usually are they 6, 8, 12?
Eric Connor: Well, over the course of my career I have led groups as big as 11, as 12, which I won’t recommend.
Joe Sanok: (laugh).
Eric Connor: That was too big and I was kind of like had to do my little practice, but it ended up in working really well. But I would say you are looking at 6-8, and I would say get 9-10 sign ups and usually, you know, last minutes someone tends to drop out. So 6-8 I think is the sweet spot, that’s the ideal number. And then you wanted to be around a particular kind of topic. So for me I have always been leading group for men that are recovering from sex addiction. Not the kind of women’s would do, but that’s has been common ongoing group and a lot of guys will stay in for one, two, three more rounds. Each round is about 12 weeks and then I typically have a two week break where people can leave and enter, but they are generally ongoing. So that’s one group that I get going. And then the other groups I do is I do an inter-child group where… and that can be same sex or it can be co-ed. We are looking a lot of kind of development or family of origin. We are looking at the beliefs we all have. And that’s another kind of powerful group. And so it kind of depends. The other thing too is most people in their practice they have kinds of [Inaudible 00:17:09.26], like you have some clients who feel so strongly about the work that you are doing and about what your practice is trying to achieve that they would just be natural marketers for your services. So for me there is a few people that when I say hey, this group is launching they love telling other people about it because they know it’s going to be a good experience. And so that’s kind of… I don’t kind of ask clients directly to market for me, but they would just naturally begin to talk about the other groups that they are part of, or the church group that they are in, and then before you know it they have some recommendations. And that’s really effective because you can trust a lot of times that people that your client are going to bring in, because a lot of them have shared stories.
Joe Sanok: So of those eight people, how many do you think are current clients, how many are referrals from clients, and how many are typically referrals from other, just a kind of breakdown, so people have appropriate expectations.
Eric Connor: Yeah, I would say for my groups at least 50 to 70 percent are current clients. Okay? So I would say at least half of any group, they are already individual clients of mine and I am trying to get them into group, and then I would say from there anywhere from say maybe 2-3 members of each group that are probably coming in [Inaudible 00:18:19.05] firms and outside source.
Joe Sanok: Okay.
Eric Connor: But usually I get some sort of connection into the group or they know someone pretty well that’s going to be in the group.
Joe Sanok: Which I think, this really also underlines why you need a specialty if you are into groups because if you are a generalist and you are trying to form a group and you have two people that are parents of kids on autism spectrum , and then two people that are doing addictions and two people with depression like… you can’t form a group from that because you haven’t specialized to clarify who is going to come into your practice. Whereas if you specialize as much as you have, it makes a lot easier to then launch these other things.
Eric Connor: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. That essentially is one of important things.[A WAY WITH INTENSIVES] Joe Sanok: You said also that you are doing intensives and then do collaborations. Talk about the intensives a little bit – kind of structure that out for us, how you market it and what it looks like?
Eric Connor: Yeah, so I regularly offer intensives again for men, they are kind of new to the recovery process [Inaudible 00:19:09.22] anything around the sexual spectrum. And these can last from three to five days. Generally, they go five days. That’s kind of the structure that I have. That’s the format that I use. So with this same kind of things, sometimes I get clients that are having a hard time. They are relapsing or they need some sort of kind of kick start and I will recommend intensives for them. But a lot of times too, as part of my intake clients who are calling in, I will get [Inaudible 00:19:34.24] assessments. I give them, I probably get a sense of kind of you know the history of the addiction and if I think that they are good fit for an intensive or that’s how they should start the process, I will make the recommendation. But sometimes I need more significant treatment, I might recommend, like a 30-day program in a place like the ranch or the meadows or something like that. But for some of my clients, I will say probably the best way to start is do you want these intensives. And I have led those by myself and then I can also lead them with other clinicians. And you same kind of thing, a lot of times they come in these intensives, and the intensives like they are not cheap. You can discuss, I can talk with you individually about, you know, possible price point. But I spend hundreds of dollars in the materials I give each client, a lot of work goes into this, whether we do it on-site or off-site, it’s some other kind of retreat center. But the goal is that they will get [Inaudible 00:20:24.03] intensives also with groups. You want to create win-win all round. So intensives are a win-win because they are great use of time and effort for the clinician, they can bring in significant income, and done well it’s absolutely the best thing a client can do. Because that can [Inaudible 00:20:42.03] become the foundation for a long period of growth.
Joe Sanok: What’s the range that a typical intensive will bring in, if you had one that was kind of smaller one versus kind of one of your larger ones. Just a [Inaudible 00:20:53.05]. You don’t have to say exactly how much every single one costs, but what’s the range for those typically?
Eric Connor: Yeah, and there is some other intensives going on in the area [Inaudible 00:21:00.25], but I say intensives, you have anywhere from say 4-8 people, okay? And I have seen them go from maybe say like a 4-day intensive, can be anywhere from say $1500 to $3000. But I have seen, you know, 3-5 day intensives… I should say a 5-day intensive anywhere from $3000… I have seen all the way up to $8000. And this is not at some place that you are flying into, I mean this is at, you know, someone who has a small private practice, but they just kind of know how to do it and as long as people think that it’s value for what they are paying, they will do it, you know. I have got $8000 a bit on the extreme side, but I would say $2000 to $3000, $2000 to $3500 [Inaudible 00:21:41.22] absolutely because (crosstalk)…
Joe Sanok: Yeah. For the typical intensive is that like they leave and they spend the night there or they just show up each day and they go home or… Well, see providing beyond just the therapy and the presentations and group work.
Eric Connor: For me I typically don’t provide much else. Like, we will provide maybe some snacks and things like that, but when I do intensives, clients, they get to go home at night, and so they come back. So it’s kind of more like a 9-5, 8-5, or longer all day type of thing and then they go home and they can recuperate. But usually, it’s pretty intense, for something like 5 days, how have you structured, where it’s a course of one week or a couple of weeks, there is lot of homework. So I say treat it as if you have gone somewhere and this is not a time to be doing a lot of business work at night. It’s not a time to be, you know, seeing some movies. So we are going to work really hard, so you get the most value during this time. Now, that being said I am working with another therapist right now. We are thinking about what it means to move it off-site. So I want to take some of the format… and, you know, I am in the Chicago area. We would love to have more of a intensive where people can [Inaudible 00:22:46.05]. So we are thinking what that means from like a lodging standpoint and everything else. But for right now, you know, people that could be kind of travel for the day and then they go home at night. And that’s how I have done it and that works well.[COLLABORATIONS WITH THERAPISTS] Joe Sanok: Yeah, yeah. That’s great. So talk about maybe how you have collaborated with other therapists. You said that was kind of another one in the legs of income that brought in.
Eric Connor: Yeah. So there is a [Inaudible 00:23:06.00] of therapists out here. There is CSATs like me. They do a fantastic work and we just get along great. And we just, we talk and we think about services. So I am planning one intensive with another therapist right now where we are going to kind of do it together, same format, kind of 5 days. We bring in both different expertise and different specialties, so it can be a better experience for the people doing it. And then, there is another therapist as well that we [Inaudible 00:23:31.21] monthly couples groups for couples that are in recovery from sexual addiction. And so same thing. We got a lot of the same kind of experience and so that’s a monthly group with [Inaudible 00:23:40.29] couples in and we need three to four hours and it’s a great experience. So you just kind of like… it depends on what your specialty is. But just think about who else is doing your work. And I think a lot of times as clinicians we feel, well, it’s competition you know. Well, this [Inaudible 00:23:56.19] mindset. There is plenty of people that need to be helped. So reach out and offer, hey, would you want to do this together, and it’s so much easier from a sales standpoint and then just from like a support standpoint. You know, it’s too awful you get people kind of coming, they are paying a good amount of money. You want to provide a good experience for five days. But if you can deal with someone else and you enjoy working with that person, it can be great and it can [Inaudible 00:24:19.20] the reach of who you can market to.
Joe Sanok: Now that’s awesome. I often talk about how private practice is like sushi. You think about 10 years ago and small Traverse City, with one spot that you can get sushi and if those people had this like oh, there’s only enough sushi clients for this one shop to survive. But it’s like when people understand that sushi is delicious, now every supermarket has somebody that’s making it there. There’s tons of sushi places even in small towns. If somebody had that kind of limited mindset that there is only one [part 00:24:51.24] we can divide up versus hey, if we let people know how delicious sushi is, we are going to be only grow here. And the same thing with therapy where if we continue to just show the results of therapy and especially think about this out of the box ways of doing it, whether it’s intensives or groups or just like how do we keep meeting that client need, then the clients are going to want more therapy, but then we are also going to serve the community more and there is going to be more work for everybody.
Eric Connor: Absolutely, absolutely, yeah. I have always kind of felt like let’s have kind of like an abundance mindset with this totally [Inaudible 00:25:21.04] need to like, you know, there is plenty of work to go around yet.
Joe Sanok: When I first was looking at moving back to my hometown, I emailed probably five different therapists and three of them emailed me back and said there is enough therapists here. You shouldn’t move back, and I was like… I wish I saved those emails and like had on my wall.
Eric Connor: Right. I know.
Joe Sanok: I don’t know. My vindictive side [Inaudible 00:25:41.00] want to like go buy them dinner.
Eric Connor: Yeah. [Inaudible 00:25:43.13] idea. Go buy then sushi.
Joe Sanok: Yeah. Exactly. I get a can [Inaudible 00:25:47.26] like I took over (laugh). So as you said that you kind of grew over the last few years. Take us through whatever numbers you feel comfortable with. Like what did your first year look like numbers wise, then how did kind of your next year look. What do you feel comfortable sharing with us?
Eric Connor: Yeah. So I mean as a business, I would like to say I work for myself, but you know I will hire and contract as need be, and you know I have an office manager that I work with – which by the way I highly recommend. It’s made some scheduling and all these so easy, particularly [Inaudible 00:26:20.20] work by yourself. You don’t know some big practice. I have someone help you with lot of the scheduling and intakes.
Joe Sanok: And I have found that having an assistant do that isn’t a [00:26:28.22] from the amount that we make, that it’s a multiplier because you are scheduling and getting people in while you are in session, and so it makes, I found it makes more money rather than takes money away.
Eric Connor: Yeah. And just, yeah. And just for me to own [Inaudible 00:26:41.02] care and peace of mind. It’s so nice. So, yeah, I mean that’s a first year. You know you are under the 100 mark, maybe there’s a business where I made 50,60, but then really by the year two as the groups get going and individual clients kind of ramped up, we’re like in the mid six figure range. So probably as the business grows [Inaudible 00:27:03.15] you know 150 to 170, you got to take out expenses and rent and stuff like that//. But we are above that mark and so that was really encouraging and as I can think as a clinician, I was like wow. I got no idea that we are doing okay. But it’s true like you just you know if you can see say 25 clients, then that’s considered a full-time or up to 30 and you are [Inaudible 00:27:27.11] you take and you charge correctly, you do one or two groups and they once in a while are doing intensive, you know, I don’t think it’s that bad to get there. I mean, now underneath it all, there’s got to be a specialty, you got a passion of what you do. I think there is a real sense client get it when you are really there and your heart is in the right place, and [Inaudible 00:27:47.15] good clinical work. But I think if you put that stuff together, you know then things just kind of start [Inaudible 00:27:52.13] roll. At least, that’s been my experience. And you know, I get it and like, and it’s scary at first, and you know first years like wow. This is the right choice. Should I go back to the old practice. But as soon as some traction happens, you know it’s great. Now, where you want to go from here. You best probably the next level and you know Joe they should probably contact you about that, (laugh) you know because at some point you do kind of he had a little bit of a ceiling which, hey… if you kind of like where you are at, keep going with that, but if you want to keep growing at some point you probably do need to think about other clinicians, do need to think about possible multi-site practice, whatever that case kind of made be. But I think the big take away is if you don’t want to manage all clinicians, you can still do very well by yourself if you just kind of think out of the box which basically needs [Inaudible 00:28:39.19] individual clients.
Joe Sanok: Okay, for people like your phase that have more than doubled after their first year, what advice do you have for them that want to keep growing? So if you want to keep growing maybe even double in the next year, what kind of strategies are you starting to implement now that you are just under 200k mark?
Eric Connor: Well, so it’s like you are saying that kind of where we are at from today and where we want to be in the future, so [Inaudible 00:29:06.08] [crosstalk]…[CONCLUSION AND LINKS] Joe Sanok: Yeah, yeah. So if you want to keep growing over the next couple of years and not just say, okay, we are happy with just under 200k, which is totally… many people would be happy with that and just would be fine staying in there. If you want to keep growing, what kind of things like you said having an assistant, you may be adding clinicians… what else would you add to that to keep scaling?
Eric Connor: Well, so clearly other clinicians that’s again natural step. So I would just think about that. I kind of believe in thinking about even some products, okay? You could add clinicians. You know, one thing that I am thinking about doing is to put some thought in content around is I want to help coach other individuals that want to build intensives, okay? So you could think is, is there some sort of coaching that could do that help other therapists. And when you get into that, [Inaudible 00:29:57.12] limited by say insurance or by other things, but there is a whole coaching spectrum the pricing is different. So that’s one thing that we are looking at. I need to start doing my own podcast and that’s just the way of, it’s a passion of mine, but I want to begin to kind of [Inaudible 00:30:11.27] audience there and [Inaudible 00:30:13.05] the audience there, there might be some really need like online classes that you could do. I am working little bit on kind of some speaking engagements as well and lot of my speaking is in pro bono thus far, but there could be a point where some of the speaking could be, you know, paid. I am speaking at some schools in the area for example the coming year. So I kind of feel like the sky is really the limit. It’s just about where do you shine. Do you like being in front of people. Well, then, great. Go look at some speaking. Do you want to coach? Go coach. Do you want to write a book? That’s completely possible as well. I mean none of these things are kind of overnight, but you have to begin to think about wider. Now, groups – [Inaudible 00:30:49.12] you can do groups that are 6-8 people, but could you do an event that reaches, say 25-30 people and do that once a month. You just got to be thinking about that whole scalability type of dynamic and do it in away where it can scale. It’s kind of more money for your time, but also it’s got to still serve people in kind of up level kind of way.
Joe Sanok: Yeah. Well, I think even just teaching other counselors how to do intensives like that alone… that’s going to help them make more money. Like how much [Inaudible 00:31:19.24] someone pay for that, whether it’s an e-course, a mastermind course, or a live event. When we are teaching someone how to grow their business, serve more people, and do it in a way that’s authentic to who they are, I think that’s great that we can make money doing that because we are doing in an authentic way, and then giving some quality content on helping them help more people. So I love that point and I can’t wait to see you start doing one of that coaching with people. Let’s [Inaudible 00:31:45.20] [crosstalk]. So Eric, if every practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
Eric Connor: Stay true to who you are, know where you shine and you thrive as a clinician. Don’t follow someone else’s path for kind of the shadow side reasons, but think out of the box for what that means for you.
Joe Sanok: Awesome, if people want to connect with you, Eric, what’s the best way for them to connect with you?
Eric Connor: Yeah, so my website is www.recover-restore.com and you can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and those are probably the best way. [Inaudible 00:32:26.06] if I can help anyone out there with intensive work or whatever the case might be, feel free to contact me in… just again, kind of one of my missions is just trying to be of service to however I can be.
Joe Sanok: Oh, thank you so much for the work you are doing and thanks for being on the Practice of the Practice Podcast.
Eric Connor: [Inaudible 00:32:40.14] thank so much buddy.
Joe Sanok: All right, see you.
Eric Connor: See you.[MUSIC] [A NOTE FROM JOE SANOK] Joe Sanok: So many great takeaways there from Eric, and so excited to see his continued growth. If you want to join my next level Mastermind, I am accepting applications right now. You can head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/nextlevelmastermind. It’s awesome. We meet twice a month and we start by having everybody have a win that they have achieved since our last session. We then have a 20 minute hot seat where one person is on the hot seat. They frame out their question of what they are working on. We give them rapid fire ideas. Then somebody else is on the hot seat. We have a note taker, and then I take about 10 minutes to talk about whatever I think is really the next level for that group, as well people will be getting accountability partners that they are paired up with that’s around their same level of practice as well as their personality. And we have a bunch of other add-ons like you get access to all of my digital products for free. So the consultant school if you are looking to become a consultant and get that. That’s usually $1200 and a paperwork packet. You can text me [Inaudible 00:34:01.01] five minutes phone calls between sessions. It’s really to help you get to that next level so you know where to focus your time with a group of people that are going to that next level to you. Seeing how fast people grow. Even just from the one week at Slow Down school last year, it’s just incredible. Slow Down school is also included as part of this Mastermind, as part of the price. And so if you head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/nextlevelmastermind, you could sign up for that.
And the other thing is if you bill insurance and you are still doing your own billing, it’s almost always not worth of your time for you to be doing that. Outsource that stuff. Jeremy and Kathryn over at Practice Solutions are awesome. They keep finding money for the clients that are referred to them. They are fully transparent, and they just like the nicest people in the world. Head on over to www.praticesol.com/joe, and they will transfer all of your current system into their system totally free. So it’s www.practicesol.com/joe. Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain.
Next we have Ginny Mills who has a group practice and she has moved away from 1099 into W-2 and she is going to tell you why. We will talk all about that soon. Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. See you.[MUSIC]
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for intermusic, and this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered, is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guest are rendering any legal, accounting, clinical or other information. If you need a professional, you should find one.[MUSIC] [END OF PODCAST 00:35:52.12]