How to Start a Group Practice in 6 Months with Cindy Brock | FP 64

Are you in the process of transitioning your solo practice into a group practice? Would you like to make passive income by hiring extra therapists into your practice? How can hiring an admin assistant exponentially boost the productivity of your practice?

In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with Cindy Brock about how she started a group practice in 6 months and her experience in the Mastermind.

Podcast Sponsor

While there may still be a lot of uncertainty about what this year will have in store, there’s one thing we know for sure – your services as a therapist have never been more essential, making it the perfect time to ensure that your private practice website attracts your best-fit clients and gets them to call you.

Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. During the month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year!

From now, until the end of the month, they’re completely waiving all setup fees and only charging $39/month for your entire first year of a new website! Head on over to brightervision.com/joe to learn more.

Meet Cindy Brock

Cindy is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and owner of Grace Family Counseling, Inc. located in Southern California. Her passion as a therapist is to work alongside clients to help them experience hope, healing, and growth in all aspects of their life. Cindy works with all ages and is a certified EMDR therapist, specializing in trauma recovery.

As a Christian, she enjoys integrating Biblical truths and faith in God into counseling, however, she also welcomes working with clients of all faiths and backgrounds. Cindy founded Grace Family Counseling in 2018 and has since welcomed a great team of therapists and support staff. Their mission is the provide a compassionate, safe, nurturing environment for individuals to embrace healing and growth in their mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual life.

Visit her website and connect on Facebook.

In This Podcast

  • Cindy’s process from moving from a solo to a group practice
  • Faith in Practice Start a Group Practice Mastermind

Cindy’s process from moving from a solo to a group practice

I didn’t do this alone, I did this with the help of the group. (Cindy Brock)

Through Cindy’s work in Faith in Practice Start a Group Practice Mastermind with Whitney, she started the process by setting out monthly goals for the year to keep track of her progress. Following Whitney’s advice, Cindy hired two new clinicians simultaneously who she felt fit the feeling of her practice well.

Therefore, in two to two and a half months of being a part of her mastermind group, Cindy had hired two new therapists and had branched out her practice.

Having your solo practice running smoothly before transitioning into a group practice will definitely help you expand it because you can simply adapt the preexisting systems you already have to accommodate the expansion, instead of having to create completely new systems from scratch.

*What is a Mastermind Group? | FP Bonus Episode

Faith in Practice Start a Group Practice Mastermind

Sign up for the Mastermind that starts on Jan 20th, 2021 at $395 p/m, and get in touch with Whitney: whitney@practiceofthepractice.com

  1. Meets two times per month on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 12:30E/11:30C/10:30M/9:30P, starting January 20th. 12 sessions at 60 minutes each
  2. The group will have up to 12 people.
  3. Lessons will cover the step by step process on hiring including the following topics: Identifying your practice needs such as clinical and financial needs,  Determining if you want to hire a 1099 Contractor or W2 Employee, How to write a job description and post the position, etc
  4. You will receive paperwork to speed up your hiring process and save you money such as sample contracts for hiring and an onboarding checklist.
  5. You will have a 1:1 45 minute consulting call with Whitney in the first month.
  6. Discount for additional 30-minute consultation calls priced at $300/call.
  7. Assign an accountability partner within the group that you will meet with 1-2 times/month.
  8. Short phone/text support between calls with Whitney.
  9. Access to courses, webinars, community, and live events hosted by the Practice of the Practice consultants within Next Level Practice.

Useful Links:

Meet Whitney Owens

Photo of Christian therapist Whitney Owens. Whitney helps other christian counselors grow faith based private practices!Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.

Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Podcast Transcription

[WHITNEY]:
Well, we did it. 2020 has finally come to an end. And we have made it out on the other side. And while there still might be a lot of uncertainty about what this year will have in store, there’s one thing we know for sure, your services as a therapist have never been more essential, making it the perfect time to ensure your private practice website attracts your best fit clients and gets them to call you. Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. And during the entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year. From now until the end of the month, they’re completely waiving all setup fees, and only charging $39 a month for the entire first year of a new website. That’s a savings of $240 for your first year of website service with Brighter Vision. All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal. That’s brightervision.com/joe.

Welcome to the Faith in Practice podcast. I’m your host, Whitney Owens, recording live from Savannah, Georgia. I’m a licensed professional counselor, group practice owner, and private practice consultant. Each week, through personal story or amazing interviews, I will help you learn how to start, grow, and scale your private practice from a faith-based perspective. I’m going to show you how to have an awesome, faith-based practice without being cheesy or fake. You too can have a successful practice, make lots of money, and be true to yourself.

So we are now in what, week two of 2021. And I’m just sitting here laughing because honestly, it ain’t much different than 2020. And I find it all very humorous, because today, I’m actually re recording this episode because I recorded it a few weeks ago, and the audio didn’t come out right. Actually, I recorded it in 2020. So the audio didn’t come out right now we’re gonna do a redo. And this is all very humorous, because the platform I usually use for podcasting is down today. And the house that I’m usually at, which would be my house, in a room, recording is now being worked on today, which I didn’t find out till yesterday. So all this to say, in the private practice consulting world, you’ve got to be flexible, and you got to roll with the punches, and you got to laugh about it. And so I’m here to say I have problems too. And I’m laughing about it. And this podcast episode is going to be even better than the one I did before.

So there’s your intro today for 2021. I would love to hear from you guys what your year is like, so feel free to shoot me an email, whitney@practiceofthepractice.com, let me know what your year has been like so far. Let me know if it’s been different. Let me know what some of your goals are. I am excited about this year. Even though I’m rolling with the punches I’m looking forward to all that’s in store. And so today that’s part of this interview that I’m doing is to talk about a mastermind group that I’m launching this year. Actually, it will go out next week. So on January 20th will be our first meeting. And we’ll talk a little bit about that in the episode. But I really love as a consultant helping people start and grow private practices with a faith based component. But really, that group practice option is so much fun, when I hear practice owners that are feeling super overwhelmed and then I can help them see that owning a group practice will really help them, make more money, get their values, get their mission, put in check, helping the community and all those good things.

So on the episode today, I’m going to be interviewing Cindy Brock and she did exactly that. And it’s so exciting to hear her story and I’m really glad to be able to share it with you today.

________________________________________

[WHITNEY]:
So Cindy is a licensed professional clinical counselor and owner of Grace Family Counseling, located in Southern California. Her passion as a therapist is to work alongside the clients to help them experience hope, healing and growth in all aspects of their life. Cindy works with all ages and is a certified EMDR therapist specializing in trauma recovery. As a Christian she enjoys integrating biblical truths of faith in God into the counseling. However, she also welcomes working with clients of all faiths and backgrounds. Cindy founded Grace Family Counseling in 2018, and has since welcomed a great team of therapists and support staff. Their mission is to provide a compassionate, safe, nurturing environment for individuals to embrace healing and growth in their mental, emotional, relational and spiritual life. Cindy, thanks for coming on the show.

[CINDY]:
Thank you Whitney. I’m so excited to be here with you.

[WHITNEY]:
Well, thanks for being here. I know it’s kind of been some ups and downs today and in the past few weeks with our recording so we’re gonna do the best we can and we’re gonna roll with the punches, right?

[CINDY]:
Yes, that sounds good. That’s the best we can do.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, and man that is all about being a group practice owner. It’s so much fun but also so crazy and you just kind of have to laugh while you go because owning a group practice does have some ups and downs. But it’s such a fun ride. Would you agree?

[CINDY]:
I completely agree. Yes.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah. Well, why don’t you first share with people a little bit about your backstory, how you became a therapist and started your practice?

[CINDY]:
Yes. So I started my practice in 2018, I had been working in a variety of mental health capacities and really loved private practice, and was working at a group practice and then decided to go out on my own once I became licensed, and the opportunity opened up for me to open my own practice in the middle of 2018. It was just me. And I was very excited to start my new journey. And have a dream of opening a group practice someday, but really had no idea how to get to that dream. So I just [unclear] myself a solo practitioner and kept growing until I got to the point where it was just overwhelming, and then decided, okay, what do I do next?

[WHITNEY]:
Yes. So, at that point, tell me some of the emotions you were feeling when your practice was really full. What was that like?

[CINDY]:
I remember feeling just overwhelmed every day, because I was loving the work that I was doing with clients. However, I was completely overwhelmed with the number of clients that I was seeing, and feeling like, I was really starting to feel burned out [unclear]. Because I was putting so much time and energy into the number of clients I was seeing that that burnout was coming very fast. And that was scary for me as a young therapist, only licensed for so many years. It scared me to think that okay, I’m about to burn out, what am I gonna do?

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, I think a lot of people can relate to that. I’m sure some people that are listening are thinking that’s totally how I feel, like, you’re managing a practice by yourself. And there’s honestly only so much money that you can make being a solo practice owner sitting in the chair every day. And then you have to take on more clients to meet your financial needs. And if you’re a mother, or if you have extra bills that have to be paid one month, you feel this need to have to see more clients even though you’re exhausted and really just needing that day off. And so that is such a difficult place to be in. I’m sure you felt that way.

[CINDY]:
Yes, very much I did. I’m a single mom and it’s balancing family life and work life. It was very difficult for me, with seeing so many clients, and that that burden of that balance became very challenging for me.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah. And so when did things kind of start to make a turn for you?

[CINDY]:
Yeah. So early last spring, I started to feel that I needed to make a change. And it seems like the oddest time to make a change, because it was the beginning of COVID and everything that was happening in 2020. But I felt like I really needed to do something different in my practice or I would just burn out and have to try a whole nother career or something, something had to change. And so I had actually started to think about what changes can I make in my practice. And I had heard of this webinar, or attended a webinar of yours, and reached out to you and said, hey, do you do any consulting, I need some ideas. I need some help. And that’s when we initially connected.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, I love how God has this perfect timing with things, right, every, every time I start a mastermind group, I spend some time kind of praying that God would just lead the right individuals that really need the group and that it’s the right time in their practice, in their lives, to be focusing on whatever it is the group is focused on. And I love how you reached out to me not really knowing that I was about to start another mastermind group, and I said, hey, let’s jump on a call and wanted to kind of hear about where your practice was. And I know that when we originally got on the call, you were not expecting to be encouraged to join a mastermind group. Is that right?

[CINDY]:
That’s right. It was not on my radar to do that.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, why don’t you share with the audience what that was like on that call? And kind of the advice I gave you and how that felt?

[CINDY]:
Yeah, so as we talked on that call, you really encouraged me and challenged me to consider growing into a group practice and what that would be like and some of the pros and cons of it, the challenges but also the potential blessings of it. And that really excited me, scared me of course, but it really excited me and I remember feeling in that hallway, okay, this deep down inside, I just knew, okay, this is what I need to do, this is the direction to go. And I think that the turning point for me was you said something to me to the effect of you could try being a group practice owner and if it doesn’t work out for you, or you decide you want to go back to solo practice, you can do that. Like, this isn’t a you have to do this forever, but try it. And that really pushed me to think like, okay, I can do this. Let me give this a try. What would I have to lose to try this? That if I just, if I don’t take this opportunity to go in this direction, it could be the best thing ever for me. And it has been.

[WHITNEY]:
Oh, that’s awesome. Yes, I often am talking to people and giving advice and encouragement, obviously, as a consultant, and some people listen and some don’t. And, of course, you have to figure out what works for you. But it just says a lot about you that you took that risk to start a group practice. And it is a very scary thing. And I think we all, group practice owners, all felt that way. I mean, we felt that when we started our solo practices, but when you start a group, now you’ve got all these other people kind of that feeling of depending on you. And it’s very scary. And so you took that risk, and you took the advice, and it ended up working really well for you. So I just commend you for that, because it says a lot about you that you are willing to do that.

[CINDY]:
Oh, thank you.

[WHITNEY]:
Well, so then you start at the mastermind group. And for those of you that haven’t been a part of a mastermind, are not really sure what it is, I actually felt that way. When I started my first mastermind, I remember being on the phone with Joe and him telling me to join a mastermind. I said, well, what is that? And so, [unclear], a mastermind is when like minded people get together for a common goal. Usually, it’s a business oriented type group. And so this particular mastermind that I’m going to be leading starting in January, so just in a couple weeks, is going to be focused on starting a group practice specifically. So everyone joining the group will be solo practice owners starting their group practice. So people come together with a mission. And then we encourage each other, we help one another. Most masterminds last a certain amount of time, this one that Cindy was in was a six month mastermind to really help start group practices, or really work on systems and growth with smaller group practices. And so we had a really special community within that. But Cindy, why don’t you share with people, what was it like when you got on that first zoom call? And you’re meeting all these people for the very first time?

[CINDY]:
Yes, I remember my very first call, I was running late, and I was scrambling to get on it. And then once I got on, I was so nervous to meet these other therapists and felt, you know, all the emotions of what am I doing, is this the best thing, also being excited. And everyone was so supportive, and so kind, and that very first meeting went really smoothly with everyone getting to know each other and coming together with really the common goal of growth. And the neat part was everybody in the group was at a different stage of growth in their practice. And so we could all encourage each other in different ways, some had already done something that can help another person. And so that was a really neat thing. It was just, it was an awesome experience. That very first meeting, I hung up feeling, okay, yes, this is exactly where I need to be, this is going to be good.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, that’s great. And it was a really special group of clinicians. And I love being able to have that faith based component to the work we do in our business, because we can talk about the Lord and we can pray for one another, encourage one another. Talk about our businesses from kind of a faith based component, which you don’t really get in very many groups.

[CINDY]:
Yes, that’s so true.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah. So share with the audience kind of that six months, what was that like being in the group? What were some things that happened in your practice?

[CINDY]:
Yes. So early on in the group, you and I met for an initial phone call and all that, we set up the goals for my practice, the six month goals. And in that, we decided, or you encouraged me, and I decided to hire one to two therapists and do that within a fairly short amount of time. I remember hanging up on that initial call [unclear], okay, this is crazy. How am I going to actually accomplish this amount of growth? But it happened, it happened. So within let’s say, within two months of starting the mastermind group, I had two new therapists hired and completely onboarded. And by the third month, they were seeing clients and building their caseload. And by the fifth month, I had come to the point where I needed to expand even more, and I hired an intake specialist to do the phones and do all the scheduling for us.

And so I ended the first six months with a practice going from just me to two new therapists, and an intake specialist. And growing incredibly, and I look back and think, wow, this is what I accomplished in six months. So, so cool that it happened. You know, it really was the help and support of [unclear] the mastermind group that helped me get to this point. I didn’t know the steps to take, but the group really gave me the steps that I needed to be able to take this journey. And I can honestly say there wasn’t one time where I felt completely alone or without resources. Every step of the way, when I had a question, I don’t know how to do this, I’m not sure what decision to make on this part of hiring or onboarding or processes, I would reach out to the group or reach out to you and I would get responses right away. And [unclear] I’ve got some ideas, I’ve got some guidance and encouragement and support. And I could just keep going from there. So that was the incredible part is, I didn’t do this alone. I did this with the help of the group.

[WHITNEY]:
Oh, that’s so awesome. That’s the community of Practice of the Practice, right? That we have one another, to help each other and to become our best selves, but to become the best practice owners that we can be in. I love your journey story. And, you know, going back to the very beginning there before you started your group, how many clients were you seeing before you started hiring counselors?

[CINDY]:
I was seeing 25 to 30. Yes, it was overwhelming for me. I couldn’t keep up that pace.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, I remember us also talking about you were on some EAPs and you were wanting to come off of those. And so as you were adding your clinicians, you actually started decreasing your client load, but also making, I guess, the same amount or more money, like how has that worked out for you?

[CINDY]:
Yes, financially, it’s worked out wonderfully for me. I am working a third or less than when I was working before, seeing clients face to face, or directly seeing clients, and making more money than I did before.

[WHITNEY]:
Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait. So within six months, you have now seen 30% of the clients you were seeing before, but making more money than you were before?

[CINDY]:
Yes.

[WHITNEY]:
Wow. Yes. And all the time I hear solo practice owners who want to start group practices and they say to me, I am too busy to start one, or I have to see too many clients. I don’t have time for that. What kind of advice would you give to them, Cindy?

[CINDY]:
Yes, I understand that. I was in that position for a long time. And what I had to do was stop taking new clients, carve out the time to start going down that journey of the group practice. And really take that leap. It’s almost like a sense of comfort to have your caseload [unclear] because then you know, eventually I’m going to be okay. But you have to let that go and start to decrease the caseload so that you have the time to put in for building the practice. And that can be a scary leap to make, but it’s so worth it in the end.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, and now Cindy has finished the mastermind group and obviously has a group practice going and she’s a part of the membership community, Group Practice Boss, which is led by myself and Alison Pidgeon, and it’s a membership community with a Teachable platform of courses you can take, but also live events, webinars, where we help group practice owners along. And Cindy, what would you, how would you kind of describe your experience in Group Practice Boss?

[CINDY]:
Yes, my experience in Group Practice Boss has been amazing. Similar to the community experience in the mastermind, it’s a community of like minded therapists that are really there to support each other. And so through the Facebook group, just I think just yesterday or day before I threw out a question that I had, and within 24 hours, I had four or five responses of ideas and encouragement, which was amazing. I mean, where else can you go and get that kind of support when you have questions in your practice, growing your practice? And there’s also just amazing classes and the webinars and everything that you and Alison have, and the guest speakers that you have, just amazing resources. Again, I don’t know where else to find these kind of resources all in one place. So definitely this is a great place to get the help, in growth and maintaining your growth, and encouragement.

[WHITNEY]:
I love it and I also love it just because I get to stay in touch with you and other people that I’ve worked with you know, we get to continue the relationship and encouraging one another, and like you said, all those resources that are available. So that’s been a real pleasure of mine to be able to stay in touch with the people that I’ve helped start group practices. That’s so cool. So I want to talk a few minutes about the mastermind that I’ll be running in 2021. So the mastermind, like I said, it starts a week from this show airing. So if you’re hearing this live, or the day of, please reach out to me, if you’re listening to Cindy, and you’re thinking, I’m feeling burned out, I need to make more money, or maybe you’ve just always had in your heart that you’re going to start a group practice, do not delay. Just imagine if Cindy had said, nah, I’m not going to do that right now. Like, she wouldn’t be making the money she’s making, she would still be working, burning the midnight oil like all the time. And so to live the life that you want to live, starting a group practice can really help with that, as well.

A mastermind group is a great way to get the consulting that you need, to start the mastermind without paying for the individual price of consulting. We will be meeting every other week over zoom for six months. So that’s 12 meetings total. And during that time, I will walk you through the process of starting a group practice. And that can be anything from what’s the culture of my practice, how do I hire my first clinician, how do I market that person, how do I do an interview, how do I integrate faith into the hiring process and explain to clinicians as I hire them what that means to our practice? We answer all those questions and more in the mastermind group. There’s also opportunities for hot seats where you bring discussions to the table and you get feedback from the group on that. And then you also have access to me between groups for quick questions like Cindy was talking about when something comes up that you’re not getting stuck in starting your group practice, that you move forward. And my goal is that by the end of the six months, everyone would have hired at least one, hopefully two clinicians to their practice. And then they’ll be able to join Group Practice Boss.

So if you are interested in that, and you’re hearing this episode before the 20th, please reach out to me ASAP, whitney@practiceofthepractice.com and we can jump on a call, talk about if this would be a good fit for you. The cost of that group is $395 a month for the six months. But as Cindy would probably attest to this, the amount of money that you can make owning a group practice far outweighs the amount of money you’d have to pay to start the mastermind group. Would you agree with that?

[CINDY]:
Yes, absolutely.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah. And if you’re listening to this episode and it’s, you know, I’ve already launched that group, like still reach out to me. If you want to start a group practice, we’d love to talk to you about the steps for that, help get you resources for that. I love hearing feedback from you guys when you hear episodes and you find them helpful. That way I can really help direct you and I get feedback from you. So I love hearing from y’all. Also, if you just want to go to a landing page and learn more about the mastermind, it’s practiceofthepractice.com/faithmastermind. So Cindy, I want to ask you the question that I ask everyone at the end of the show, what do you believe every Christian counselor needs to know?

[CINDY]:
Yes, great question. I think having a faith in God is really a day by day experience for [unclear] whole experience [unclear] that I did it with them. And I personally hired each clinician, really brought before the Lord each decision that I made, and that has been [unclear] credit for blessing me and my practice. And you know, as a faith based practice, being able to incorporate Him into every aspect of practice, of my life. I just [unclear] it’s just amazing. And keeping that faith, keeping that solid ground with Him is most important.

[WHITNEY]:
Amen to that. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really appreciate you and the work you’re doing and I consider it an honor to have been able to work with you.

[CINDY]:
Oh, thank you, Whitney. It’s been such a pleasure and an honor working with you, you’ve really helped me tremendously as I hope that the listeners can hear in this episode. And they can take the steps that they need and I encourage them to do what they really want to do with their practice.

[WHITNEY]:
Awesome. Well, thank you so much.

[CINDY]:
Thank you, Whitney.

________________________________________

[WHITNEY]:
Thank you for listening to the Faith in Practice podcast. If you love this podcast, please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. If you liked this episode and want to know more, check out the Practice of the Practice website. Also, there you can learn more about me, options for working together, such as individual and group consulting, or just shoot me an email whitney@practiceofthepractice.com. Would love to hear from you.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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