Laura Long Helps Badass Brands | PoP 326

Laura Long Helps Badass Brands

Are you stuck with an idea and not sure how to execute it? Do you feel like you may have some analysis paralysis? Do you want to propel your brand into the realm of success and tap into your inner badass?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Laura Long about helping brands successfully grow their businesses.

Podcast Sponsor

Part of the mission of The Gottman Institute is to empower therapists to provide this help to couples and families. Accordingly, the Institute offers accredited training in research-based assessment techniques and intervention strategies for professionals who wish to serve today’s couples and families.

The Gottman Institute is dedicated to combining wisdom from research and practice to support and strengthen marriages, families, and relationships. It brings the knowledge of research to therapists — and the insight of therapists to researchers. This link between research and practice reflects the collaboration of John and Julie Gottman, whose combined research and clinical experience is extensive, and incomparable.

To save $50 on the level 1 training click here!

Meet Laura Long

Laura Long is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is the owner and lead bad ass at Your BadAss Therapy Practice.

Laura was tired of hearing the same bad advice that’s handed out to therapists who are struggling to grow their private practices, so she decided to start creating content to dispel the myth that you have to lose your mind in order to gain clients.

She helps driven, type A therapists build successful practices by unleashing their badass. Laura offers business, individual and group coaching as well.

You can find out more about Laura here:


Laura Long’s Story

When Laura was 37 weeks pregnant she got the idea to do some coaching, but at 6 weeks postpartum, she struggled to sleep and was quite anxious. Suddenly the whole idea of going back to work 3 months postpartum and starting coaching on the side, got turned on its head.

Laura then ended up taking 5 months maternity leave and during those nights she was struggling with falling asleep, this is when Your BadAss Therapy Practice was born!

In This Podcast


In this episode Joe Sanok speaks with Laura about how she helps therapists build successful practices by unleashing their inner badass.

Bad Ass Practice

There is only so much information you can consume before taking that step. Even if you don’t know how to get to where you’re going, take one step there and see how it works.

There are 2 types of therapists:

  • One who has everything together
  • The other who doesn’t even know where to start

What changes the game between these 2 therapists is that one is willing to try stuff and take some risks.  Being a badass is a total mindset and how you show up in the world.

Slowing Down

When you focus on the one thing that you’ve got in front of you right now, that is allowing you the time and space to be really engaged.

Even though therapists should have a tenacity and drive that keeps pushing them forward, they also have to slow down so that they don’t burn out.

Lessons From Laura

  • Instead of half assing multiple things, haul ass one thing.
  • Create a schedule of exactly what you want to have happen in the hour blocks you want them to happen, and do it without any distraction.

Goal Setting

We have a tendency to create these goals but we don’t know how to get there.

Wanting to see x amount of clients a week is not a goal, it is a result of many other things that you need to do to get there. Maybe this could be blogging and being consistent with this task.

When you are up in the middle of the night and you can’t sleep, you need a ‘why’!

Do the best version of you and you will be successful.

Laura’s next cohort opens in February 2019 and if you’d like to join you can enter the coupon code ‘Joe’ and get 10% off.

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!

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!

Podcast Transcription

POP 326

[The Gottman Institute has delivered over four decades of research, training, workshops, and thought leadership. I personally love their approach in my own marriage, and with the couples that I worked with. Now, for the first time, you can train with them online. Their new online courses include everything you need to adopt the Gottman method to your practice. Earn CE hours, improve outcomes, build expertise, and grow your practice from anywhere on any device. To get started today, save $50 on the level one training online course when you visit] This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, Session number 326.


[JOE] Well, I am so excited that you are here with me today. I hope your day is going awesome. I hope your practice is rocking it out. I hope you’re going after big ideas and they’re all doing in the context of life. That’s where we start. What’s the life you want to live? And then, let’s reverse engineer the kind of practice and big ideas you’re going to go after. I’m thrilled that the Gottman Institute is now a sponsor. I mean they’ve sponsored other things. But, now, they’re coming on as a big-time sponsor which is super cool.
Really excited about that. I’ve respected, you know, Dr. Julie and John Gottman’s work for a really long time. My wife, Christina and I, went to the Art and Science of Love Workshop and it’s really helped us. And even my clinical work, seeing people kind of go through that process, it’s pretty darn amazing. So, we’re working on so many cool things here over at the Practice of the Practice that are probably going to help you out. We’re kind of visioning out Killing it Camp.
That’s going to be our big conference we’re doing in October 2019 like a mini-Slow Down School, where you’re just going to run full tilt towards your practice. The first access to those tickets are going to be for Next Level Practice people So, if you are not yet a part of Next Level Practice, you can request your invite at But, you know what, it’s just so fun to see how many of you are just growing your practices and have amazing things happening for you.
I’m so proud of you, guys. Keep it up. Keep letting us know how we can support you. It’s so fun to, you know, coming to work. When I come into work and I was going to say every day. But, I don’t work every single day. But, to come in and think, “Wow, I get to think about what really helps private practice owners to grow and to scale?” And it’s really amazing to do that every single day. So, thanks for being a part of the Practice of the Practice community.
Well, today, on the show, we have Laura Long. She is really well-known in so many of our circles. She and I may say some naughty words. So, if you do have kids in the car or if kids are around, this probably isn’t one that you want to be blasting it through your speakers. It’s not like we go crazy. But, I do think we may say a word in there that may be a little naughty. So, I just want to let you know that. Put the headphones in. Go for a run. Go have some mommy or daddy time, or you know, just, you know, don’t be around little kids.
Alright. Without any further ado, Laura Long. Well, today in the Practice of the Practice podcast we have Laura Long. She’s the owner and Lead Badass over at where she helps driven Type-A therapists build successful private practices by unleashing their inner badass. Laura offers business– I screwed that up. I’m going to keep going because I’m going to be a badass and fail. Laura has this individual and group coaching as well.
Laura, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast!

[LAURA] It is an honor to be here, Joe. Thank you so much.

[JOE] You know, I’ve known you online. I’ve seen your work. But, we’ve never had a chance to hang out.

[LAURA] I know. It’s a travesty, really.

[JOE] It really is. Humanity is worse off that we haven’t talked before now.

[LAURA] 100% agree.

[JOE] Yeah, well, let’s just start with tell us a little bit about your backstory. How did you get into this badassery?


[LAURA] Oh, that was a good one. I like that. So, when I’ve been on other podcasts, I’ve kind of given the really nice version of how I got to do this, you know, the whole– I started. And I just helped a few people and I realized that this is a really great thing. And the world needs to know about it, yadda-yadda-yadda. All of that is true. The more that I’ve given that story, though, Joe, I feel like I have neglected some really important parts of it. So, this is the first podcast where I actually want to talk a little bit more about that story.

[JOE] You’re actually revealing something that you’ve never shared. I love it. Thank you for saving it up for me.

[LAURA] Well, let me tall you. It was inspired by you did a podcast episode I don’t know how recently it was launched. But, it was with Robin Waite. Am I pronouncing his last name, right?

[JOE] Yeah.

[LAURA] And you were talking about how businesses can sometimes be created or reinvented when a new child is born.

[JOE] Yeah.

[LAURA] That really resonated with me. So, I wanted to talk a little bit about the other things that were going on in my life when I started Your Badass Therapy Practice. Because I think, Joe, when I talk about yeah, I helped people and then it grew, and then it grew, and it grew, that almost makes people feel like, “Well, everything just feel into place perfectly.”

[JOE] Lucky you, Laura.

[LAURA] Yeah. Oh, how great that you just, you know, touch the Golden Goose at some point.

[JOE] And then, I just kept being awesome. That’s the best story.

[LAURA] I’ve become even more awesome and now here I am. I’m making six figures and it’s great. No, that’s not how it started. So, I’ll kind of skip. I know you and I don’t know each other all that well. But, when I first got the idea to do coaching, I was about maybe 37 weeks pregnant. And I thought, you know, that’d be a really cool thing because I’m going on maternity leave when I come back to my private practice, I don’t know if I’m going to really have the time, the energy, to really devote to seeing 20+ clients a week. So, what else can I do to leverage my time? So, that’s where I got the idea to do some online coaching, to perhaps launch a course which I have since done. And so, it sounded like a great plan. But, let me fast-forward to being six weeks postpartum.
You have how many– is it two children, Joe?

[JOE] Kids, yeah. Lucia’s seven and Leikin, by the time of this recording will be four.

[LAURA] Wow, yeah, I think they grew up superfast. So, when I was about six weeks postpartum, my child was sleeping just great. She was doing exactly what she needed to do like six hours at a time. She was awesome. Mom, however, over here in row aisle four, was suddenly stopped being able to sleep. It was so anxiety-provoking for me to know in the middle of the night that I’m just like wide awake, not worrying about her. My body just decided it wasn’t going to sleep anymore. And so, I would be like looking at the clock and I’d see, “Okay, well, she’s been asleep for four hours and she’s probably going to wake up in an hour.” So, if I fall asleep this exact moment, I’ll sleep for an hour.
It was that sort of thing. And it compounded and compounded. So, the whole idea of returning back three months postpartum and doing some coaching on the side, and seeing clients, it kind of got turned on its head because I was so anxious and so sleep-deprived that I ended up having to take a bit of a longer maternity leave. So, I was out for five months. And during those, I don’t know. I can’t do math. But, during those three or so months where I was up all night long sleeping maybe two hours at night, that is ultimately when Your Badass Therapy Practice was born. And I haven’t actually told anyone about that.

[JOE] Yeah. I mean that’s going to be disorienting to have, you know, you have this perfect sleeping child and you can’t sleep.

[LAURA] Yeah. And if people– when I’ve told people that story, you know, it’s so hard. Like my closest were around me during that time. They clearly saw how exhausted I was all the time. Like, they get it. But, I guess until you see someone or until you’re the one going through it, it’s like a totally different level of all of that.

[JOE] Do you think they gave you an edge in launching it? Like, you had a different rawness to yourself? Or, do you feel like it was like my best work was not done when I was sleep-deprived?

[LAURA] Yeah, so, I definitely wasn’t putting out the best stuff. But, this was back in 20– this was in 2016. So, no one knew who I was. So, this wasn’t about like creating amazing content. This was about structuring the bones of what was going to become Your Badass Therapy Practice. So, I was up in the middle of the night doing research, I was looking to see what this– what this would be like. I enrolled in Ramiz Satie’s programs here. And so, I was going through his modules. So, it wasn’t that I was like putting out blog posts.

[JOE] Yeah, Facebook Lives at 4 in the morning.

[LAURA] Yeah. I’m not putting out quality stuff when I’ve had like two hours of sleep. But, it was something to put my mind, like to focus my head on something else other than the fact that I was so tired. It gave me something to do, essentially. And it was almost like sleep became this like long-lost friend that I couldn’t find again. So, I was like, “Well, if I’m up all night long miserable and I can’t sleep, I’m going to start brainstorming an idea for what this online business could be, what this coaching business could be.” So, it wasn’t even called Your Badass Therapy Practice.
It was just this like little Apple in my Eye.

[JOE] Well, it’s funny how– when you have those things going on, how much these big ideas can really be a positive distraction. And I don’t want to assume you know my backstory. But, in 2012, my daughter was going through like heart issues after she was born and then, I had thyroid cancer, and it was one of those years where it was like, I need a distraction here. And I don’t want that just to be drink. So, I mean, that’s the year I launched Practice of the Practice. And then, in the following year, launched the podcast. And I think that there are those times where you know, when Lucia was sleeping, you know, I was a nap-preneur, where I was an entrepreneur while she was sleeping, and got some things down in podcasting.
Christina was often sleeping. I’m during that time too. And it’s like, I don’t want to just sit here, and I don’t want to fold any more laundry. I’m sick of that. So, I’m going to go podcasting. And so, I think sometimes we put pressure on ourselves to say, “Well, I have to have this perfect sleep cycle, or I have to have this perfect eating or whatever.” But, sometimes, just doing the work in spite of yourself is even more important. Like, there’s this infographic I made right when I started.
It was like 12-month– your first 12 months of private practice. And it’s like color coded based on like marketing and logistics, and clinical, and these other things. And I remember I woke up in the middle of the night and I’m just like this piece of paper sketched out the basic idea. And I’m so glad I got up when I had that idea because I don’t know how many times it’s been repaired. But, it’s like that’s been one of the best lead magnets that’s out there. And sometimes, we have these ideas as entrepreneurs and we push back and try to have this great life, and say, “No boundaries.” But, there’s other times you just got to go with it and say, “I’m in the flow now and I’m sorry but I’m going to keep in the flow.

[LAURA] Yeah. Well, and at that point I was like, I’ve got nothing left to lose. Like, I’m so tired. So, what I often will tell like my close friends is that Your Badass Therapy Practice was born between the hours of 11PM and 4AM. It’s the basic structure of it, the idea of it, or the concept. And then, it was a little later on, my sleep wasn’t great. But, it had improved by the end of 2016. And so, I think it was right around December is when I launched a 60-day challenge which later became and grew into this e-course that I now have. And it’s grown significantly in terms of the content that’s in it. But, it did start in a coffee shop in December of 2016 after almost an entire year of not sleeping and just being on the computer. I’m like, “Well, if I can’t sleep I might as well be doing something.”

[JOE] Yeah, you know, when you’re training other people that either are becoming a badass therapy owner or are people that, you know, are definitely kind of meet the criteria, what are like things you notice about practices that you would say, “Get that label of being a badass practice.”


[LAURA] Oh, I love that question. Okay, so, there are a few things that come out for me. So, first of all, the ones that make it versus the ones that don’t. On the surface, don’t usually look that different. So, if you had a therapist sitting in front of you, Joe, who really had their– can I curse at all or no?

[JOE] Yeah. I already gave a warning at the beginning that this would be explicit. Just because if I introduced like I think about if my kids were around like maybe I wouldn’t want the word ‘badass’. But, because we already said that, feel free. I’m going to have Christopher Lockhead on again and that man is– he’s beyond a saint. No. He’s like a pirate that has killed other pirates. And so, yes, I’ve already done that. Hey, you know what, you’re in for so suck it up, buttercup.

[LAURA] Well, and it sometimes it just flows out so I’m glad that I even thought to pause myself.

[JOE] Thank you. I appreciate that.

[LAURA] So, if I’ve got two therapists standing in front of you and one has they’re supposed ship together. Maybe they have a business plan, maybe they have a mission statement. Maybe they even have like a niche and an idea of who their ideal client is. And the other person maybe doesn’t know these things, the first person isn’t necessarily a badass. Maybe they just listened to a few more podcast, they’ve read a few more blog posts. Maybe they feel a little bit further ahead. But, on the surface, they don’t look all that different.
What changes the game for me is the fact that they’re willing to try stuff even if they don’t have 100% of the information. They’re willing to take some risks. Imperfect action is something that I preach a lot about and your kind of did it when you’re– we’re announcing me earlier. You like, you slipped up in some way. And you’re like I’m just going to go with it. Like that to me it’s like, “Dude, just go with it. Just try something.” And then the therapist who I see being completely stagnated, there is analysis paralysis.
They’re consuming information left and right. But, it’s putting them in a state of fear where they just do nothing. That to me is the make-or-break. Are you taking steps, taking some risks? Now, calculate address. Don’t just like go free-for-all doing whatever. But, there’s only so much information you can consume before you just need to take a step.

[JOE] Yeah, I feel like I’ve seen that over and over with my consulting clients or Mastermind groups that kind of the Giants of the field that really make it are the ones that they’ll try something, and they’ll experiment, and if it fails, that gives them information. And if it succeeds, it gives them information. And so, rather than having that mentality we have in grad school where we write the draft, we turn in the final polished paper, and then, we get the grade. That is not at all business works.
Business works where we try things. It doesn’t work. We iterate. We add something. We take something away. Even at Slow Down School this year, my idea going into it was to have Slow Down School be in a new location and shorter. So, having it out in Estes Park, Colorado next year and a different time of year. And I asked people like, “Do you like Slow Down School being here or do you want it changed?” And everybody was like, “No. I want it here.”
And I had already announced that we were moving the location. Well and they were like, “No. Keep it here. We love Northern Michigan. The water’s blue. We like it small. We don’t want it to be big like this other thing.” So, then, I iterated that and now, Slow Down School is now part of Next Level Mastermind will be in Traverse City in July of 2019. But then, we’re going to do this other event that’s going to be called Killin It Camp, oh in Estes Park, Colorado in October of 2019. And so, it’s like, you still even– if you’re a “successful person” like you and I, we still have to learn from our audience. We still have to change. We can’t be stuck. We have to continue to adapt and change throughout.

[LAURA] Well, here’s the thing, Joe. You wouldn’t have even gotten the idea for this Killin It Camp had you not gone to your audience and said, “This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to move it.” And then, they said, “No, no, no. Keep it here.” You could have just been like, “Oh shoot. That was a bad idea. Okay, let’s just forget the whole thing.” But, you– you transformed it, the whole concept. And now, you’re doing a second event, right?

[JOE] Yeah. Yeah. It’s going to be an awesome three-day event and we hope hundreds of people come and it can compete with ACA. So, we’re going big.

[LAURA] That right there is total badassery. You didn’t get that and go, “Well, that idea failed. I had already announced it. And now, my people don’t even want it. I’m such a failure.”; You could have done that. Now, you didn’t. Thank goodness.

[JOE] I forget that I’m thinking what it would be like to have 300 therapists doing a silent disco. That would be pretty awesome.

[LAURA] So, I think about that being a badass is all mindset. It’s not how accomplished you are. It’s not how many trainings you’ve had. It’s how you show up in the world. It’s how every single time, maybe you’re told, “No. That’s not going to work, or you can’t do it that way, or I’m sorry the network is closed. We can’t have you in.” You find a workaround. You take that imperfect action, whatever that next step is, even if you don’t know how to get to where you’re going.
Take one step there and see how that works. And if that doesn’t work, try something else. So, there’s this tenacity that I see badass therapists have that those who maybe are not badass.

[JOE] Well, tell me if this is something that you notice in these badass therapists also. Like, you just said, you know, paralysis analysis and imperfect action, and I teach, you know, experimenting and don’t be paralyzed by perfection. So, someone on the outside would say, “Well, you two are saying the same thing.” But, it seems like those that really move forward are the people that understand what works for them. And if it happens to also be what someone else is saying, they don’t take it personally.
They don’t say, “Oh no, I ripped off Laura. Or oh no, I ripped off Joe.” That it’s like there’s good ideas out there. Let’s all grab them and put our own spin on them.

[LAURA] Yeah. I think there’s probably like 50 ideas in the entire world and all everyone is doing is just repackaing them, using their own like, mind, how we think of it.

[JOE] Yeah. Well, it was– I was listening to Rob Bells podcast, the Robcast. And he was talking about how for a long time, he would say, “I’m not saying anything new. I’m not saying anything new.” And then, a friend of his said, “No, you actually are. You’re putting old things together in a new way.” I mean it was on this podcast where he was talking about how in LA, there’s these like little scooters people rent. I think they’re called Nest, or Birds. And then, there’s this new one called Lyme and it’s basically like those razor scooters. But, they’re electric. And you can kind of like you can rent them in the morning and then leave them wherever you want. And then, they come and pick them up and so, people are using them to commute. And how, it’s a new idea of bringing things together. But, it’s the first time they’ve all come together. So, you look at Uber or things like that.
It’s not new to have a cab. It’s not new to have a car. But, it’s new to have them all to be together in the way that they are. And that’s where I think ideas like you and I and other people have been so much profound when you aren’t attached to that idea, or worried about, “Well, did someone else say this first?”

[LAURA] Yeah. Well, this is a perfect segue into translating it to therapists, though, because Carl Whitaker made up experiential therapy and here we are thousands of therapists doing experiential work. Do we just say, “Well, you know, Carl Whitaker actually is the one who made up all this.” So, I might as well not to do it. It’s like we’ve learned from people if that works, therapists are– our clients aren’t coming to therapists because you are a version of Carl Whitaker. They’re coming because you’re you.

[JOE] Yeah. Absolutely. What else do you notice in kind of badass therapy practices.

[LAURA] So, that was probably the biggest one is that they take that imperfect action. It is more mindset. There’s a tenacity there. There’s a drive. I’m starting to notice now that if we talk so much about tenacity, if we talk so much about determination, and we don’t also talk about– you’re going to laugh at this. If we don’t also talk about slowing down, what we end up getting is hundreds of therapists who are burned out.

[JOE] Totally. I mean, I feel like the more I help these six and seven-figure practices at Slow Down School, the more that I want to preach it more. Like, just seeing how people slowed down for two days, you know, they get massages, we hang out on the beach, and then in a 20-minute sprint, they end up naming and outlining an entire consulting practice in 20 minutes. These things that would have taken them months like, “Oh, you know, the “him and ha” through the name of things. Or, like, one guy, he outlined seven pages worth of like his whole book that he’s going to write.
In 20 minutes, how often do we do that. But, it’s like when our brains slow down enough, we can actually get so much more done.

[LAURA] Yeah. It’s like the whole, the one thing concept that Gary Keller preached.

[JOE] Yeah. I went to hang out with Jay Papasan at TEDx this year.

[LAURA] I hate you.

[JOE] I gave him a ride back to his hotel and we’ve been texting back and forth about his trip to Europe. Not to just rub your face in it. But, I’m going to rub your face in it.

[LAURA] Yeah. So, when we do focus on the one thing that we’ve got in front of us right now and that one thing can be, I’m writing this blog post, I’m writing this page of copy, or whatever the thing is going to help propel your business forward, and also understanding that when I also focus on doing nothing. When I focus on enjoying my morning coffee on my screened-in porch, and not checking email. That is allowing me the time and space. So that when I go back to being focused on writing an email to my list, I’m really, really engaged in that.
As opposed to saying, “God, I’ve got 20 things to do today and one of them includes writing an email to my list.”

[JOE] How do you decide where to spend your time? Like, do you have a formula for that? Or like, what’s the way that you decide here’s what I’m going to work on today?


[LAURA] I would never say I have a formula. It makes it sound so structured and organized, which I am in a lot of other ways. But, okay, so here’s the beauty of my consulting business right now is that it is ultimately a fun thing that I’m doing. It may in the future be the only thing I do. Right now, I also do therapy. So, it’s like I do therapy. I do supervision. I teach. And then I have this Your Badass Therapy Practice. So, I get to dedicate whatever time I want to and a pace, and at the end of the day a fun thing I get to do.
It’s not paying my bills. It’s not keeping food on the table. It’s a little bit different for me because if– my full-time business. Sometimes it feels that way. But, if it were my full-time business, I think maybe I would be more structured and regimented about it.

[JOE] Sure.

[LAURA] What were you going to say?

[JOE] Oh, I just said, “Yet” at the end of your sentence when you said it’s not putting like all the food on the table. And I just added “yet.”

[LAURA] Yeah. Yet. Well, you know, it could if I wanted it to. It’s just– it doesn’t so it’s just kind of my long-term investment kind of money that I get from it. So, that’s a true blessing that I have. I’m very– I’m not only lucky but I’m also– I don’t want to be one of those people that’s like, “Oh, I’m so lucky. I got this awesome thing.” It’s like no. I’ve worked my ass off for a very long time for this. In my mind, a very long time, in Joe Sanok’s world, not a very long time.

[JOE] So, how do you– so, the things you learn in what you’re teaching people, what are some practical ways that you implement that in your own practice? So, for people that have a practice, they’re like, “Oh, give me some takeaways, Laura.” Like, what are a couple of those things that are kind of quick and easy things for people to implement to just take it up a notch.

[LAURA] The first thing that I teach in my course is the concept of whole-assing which is basically what we were just talking about, you know, the one thing and you’re focusing on the thing that you’ve got in front of you. So, I tell people, instead of half-assing multiple things, you’re going to whole-ass one thing, whether that’s one marketing strategy, which is usually what it turns out to be, whether it’s one– trying to think of other things that they figure out sometimes.
Oftentimes, therapists get so overwhelmed by all of the things they have to do. And so, they end up just doing a really piss-poor job on all of it. So, if I could help your listeners take away one thing from this, it’s looks at your to-do list for today. Look at your to-do list for this week and just point out one thing that you really, really want to focus on. The other things we’re going get half-assed anyway. So, putting it off for a day, or an hour, or whatever, is not going to be the end of the world.
You’re going to do so much better work if you do whole-ass, the one thing you’ve got going on. Study number one is just the idea of whole-assing. Two would be to actually create a schedule of not you want your week to look like because that’s usually how our schedules go. Like, when we think in our mind, I’m busting out my planner right now. When I look at my planner, I see what I’ve got going on for the week. And then, in my mind, I have these like, “Oh, it would be really great if I could get this task item done right here, if I could write this blog post during this little two-hour chunk of time.” But, what happens is that other things get in the way. So, instead of writing, or jotting down things that you want to have happen actually put the sounds. But, I promise when do it in my course, people are like, “Oh, my god. I didn’t realize how ineffective and unproductive I’ve been this whole time.”
Actually, put down what you want to have happened in the hour blocks that you want them to happen and only do that thing. So, that means, no getting on Facebook, no checking your email, no doing any of these peripheral things. If it’s on your to-do list, whether or not that’s working on something for your practice, or if it that is doing nothing, like from the hours of 1:00 to 2:00, I’m going to take a nap. Okay, do that. Don’t half-ass it by laying down on your couch. But, also kind of reading a therapy book, and also looking at Facebook because then you’re not getting anything done. So, I’m a little tirade.

[JOE] No. Don’t apologize. I thin it’s important to go deeper into those things. So, often, there’s just like surface level questions and answers that’s to go into like how you think through it. And I think that for me, what was really helpful was that book– the one thing that you spoke about earlier, to really ask myself what’s the one thing that will make everything easier. So, a few years ago, it was when I wanted to leave my full-time job, I just need more clients. I need my clinicians because I had a group practice.
I need them to have more clients. And so, if I can just get more clients overall. Great. And then, the next year, it was, I need a handful of consulting clients that are two to three times the rate of what my counseling clients are. And then, after that, it was, okay I need some mastermind groups that, you know, people are paying less than they do in one-on-one consulting. But, my overall hourly goes up and I’m impacting more people. And then, after that, it’s okay, now, I want to do bigger events like Slow Down School and Killin It Camp so really, we can get the message out in a much broader way while still having those things that we’ve really nailed. And so, so often, people say, “I need to do this. I need to do that. I need to do all these other things.” But, they do all of them in a really crappy way rather than what’s one area you can really niche into. And I know like our mutual friend, John Clarke.
Holy cow. Like, the last year, what he’s done with Unconditional Media, he niched into help people with Google Ads that are in the therapy space. And now, he’s saying, “Well, how do I automate that more and move into my brand?” Or, your brand matters and all these other things. When you do that sort of focused attention, you’re going outpace everybody else and eb able to grow so much faster and learn so much faster to make an impact and stand out more.

[LAURA] Yeah, well, and I like how you’re talking about even having this goal. Okay, so, I want to– I to want to increase my impact. I want my therapist to get more clients. I think many therapists listening to this, I think their goals, potentially, are a little bit more on the vague side. Like, yes, I want to fil my practice with self-pay clients. Cool. Now, what? Right? So, what I also encourage people to do especially when they go through my program, the first week, we do talk about niche ideal client, your ideal schedule. So, I have them do that weekly calendar actually putting things down and following the calendar.
Again, sounds silly. But, you guys, try it and you’ll see that you’re not doing the things that you thought you were doing. But, the other thing that we talked about is goal-setting because I think that therapists often will all of mankind has a tendency to create these goals. But then, we don’t really know how to get there. Maybe the goals are a little too big, too broad. So, if my goal is I want to see 25 clients a week, well, that’s great and all. But, that’s not a goal.
That’s a result of other goals that you attain. So, that could be like I’m going back to the blogging thing. By the way, I’m not someone who says that very therapist has to have a blog and has to blog weekly. There are definitely benefits to it. I’d rather someone blog well and be the best. Then, half-assed blogging because someone told them that they need to blog and improve their SEO. So, that’s just like a side note. I’m just using the blog as an example. But, if your goal is I want X number of clients per week.
To me, that’ s not a goal. That’s like– that would be the result that I’m looking for. The goal here is maybe I am going to blog every week and it is going to be consistent because that is something that you can say, “Did I accomplish this goal?” Yes.

[JOE] And I would even work back from both of those and say, “Well, like why? What’s the big goal that you’re going for?” So, I want to take an extra $5000 home per month. Well then, why do you need 25 people? Why don’t you double your price and have 12 people? Or, like our people responding to blogs. And so many times I think back to people doing a million things. They don’t really look at why am I doing this? Like, what is the…

[LAURA] …the meaning behind it all.

[JOE] Right. I did this exercise that slow down school that I just did in next level practice this morning on a Facebook live where we looked at, kind of, where you’re at now. And then where you want to be in a year. And then working backward from the amount, like if you want to go from five thousand dollars a month to ten thousand dollars and working back and saying, “But I want to work less.” And then running those numbers and looking at, well, then what do your prices need to be?
Do you want to add clinicians because often times those things that seem like a big goal? So, for a lot of people, having it ready themselves a check for ten grand in a month just is mind-blowing when you actually run the numbers on. Okay. So, say you only brought in three thousand dollars there. How do you bring in seven grand? And you look at how many clinicians you would need oftentimes. It’s just a little bit more than what you have now. So, it might be two full-time people and that can cover if you run your numbers.
And so, then you have a very focused goal on. Okay, I need to add people to my practice and help them get full. Then I can have a 10-grand check and that’s a super exciting time when you can write that first check that’s that level. And then, it’s super focused in on the exact thing that you need to do and then why you’re doing it.

[LAURA] Yeah. Well, in and what you’re basically talking about is the meaning behind the goal is so important. It’s less about the cold and the why. Why am I doing this? Because when you are up in the middle of the night and you can’t sleep, you need a “why” that’s going to keep you going, you know.

[JOE] Getting a fancy car is not going to keep, is not going to help you feel motivated.

[LAURA] No. For me, my “why” for your badass therapy practice was I had student loan debt and I wanted to get those suckers paid off. They were becoming like my roommate. They were just following me. I paid them for 10 years and I somehow mysteriously owed more on them than 10 years ago. And so, that was my why so I’m up in the middle of the night anyway, right? I can’t sleep. I’m trying to brainstorm an idea for this for this coaching business and I don’t even know at the time if I was thinking of coaching therapists.
It was just I wanted to do something where I’m not just trading time for dollars. And my why was paying off sixty thousand dollars of student loan debt. So, when things got really really scary for me, when I wasn’t sleeping, when I didn’t know if I was going to make it when I tried something and it failed miserably, that was the thing that I went back to. Okay, why do I need to keep doing this? Why don’t I just quit and go back to only doing therapy? Oh, right, because this is going to give me freedom.

[JOE] Right. And freedom is way more compelling than just paying off a debt because like what does that represent. I remember when we paid off our student loans and we bought a fancy coffee pot as a celebration. And now when I look at that coffee pot, it’s like, “Yes! We got that when we paid off student loans.” And yeah, having that freedom side and really identifying that and drilling into the why like, what would your life look like if you didn’t have to worry about having as many clients come in?
What would your life look like if your consulting practice was thriving? We, oftentimes in next-level mastermind, will start with what’s the life you want to live and then how do your practice and idea fit into that life? And then run the numbers from there because oftentimes people will start a practice and then it’s often running and then they have a terrible life. And they just don’t think through what do I want this practice to do to my life. And then it’s very clear what boundaries you need to set up when you do that first.

[LAURA] This is like the most beautiful transition into the other component of being a badass.

[JOE] Alright.

[LAURA] It’s getting to love what you do. Like actually enjoying going to work and choosing to go not being like, “Ah crap! I got to pay the rent.” Right? It’s like I get to work because I love doing it. And for me, that, like, I feel like a badass when I walk into my snazzy new office and I get to see clients. I do my best work with. And then I get to hop on a coaching call and then I get to see another. Like, then I do supervision. This is all amazing like I feel so.
Gosh, I’m trying not to say “lucky” here because I know that it wasn’t just luck. I think luck was a small part of it. But I do feel like a badass. And I want every therapist that I come into contact with to have that feeling to get to look forward to going to work, to just enjoy it, and not approach it with a sense of dread or fear or scarcity.

[JOE] Yeah, yeah. Well, Laura, if every practice owner in the world we’re listening right now, what would you want them to know?

[LAURA] Holy moly. What a loaded question. I would want them to know. I’m trying to hesitate to not say like a Seth Godin quote right now because he’s a man. Don’t worry about trying to be like me. Don’t worry about trying to be like Joe because your clients don’t give a shit about that. They care about you. So, everyone else has taken, do the best version of you and you will be successful. It will come. Stop trying to be like everybody else.

[JOE] I love it. Laura Long, if people want to connect with you, I know you have your course, and you’ve got your website, and you’ve got some discounts for folks, tell them all about that stuff.

[LAURA] So, you can find me over at You can also come and chat with me. I’m just on Facebook. I try to avoid all the other social media avenues so right now, it’s just Come to chat me over there and follow my intakes. And for listeners of the Practice of the Practice podcast, if you want to enroll in my next cohort, we’ll be opening enrollment in February of 2019. And if you enter the coupon code “Joe”, you will get 10% off.

[JOE] Sweet! Well, Laura, thank you so much for being in the Practice of the Practice podcast.

[LAURA] Thank you so much for having me. It was good to finally meet you.

[JOE] Yeah, you too. See you.

[LAURA] Alright, bye.

[JOE] What awesome advice from Laura and I would love to know what are you going to take some action on? You know, tag us on social media. Let us know what you’re going to do to take some action on what Laura just kind of walked us through. And in the next episode, we are going to have Angie Morgan. Angie is the New York Times bestseller of Spark. And she’s done some really interesting things in regards to leadership. And she’s just an amazing woman. So, here’s a little bit from that episode.

[ANGIE] … which opened the door for a lot of client opportunities because we were able to say, you know, soon-to-be authors. Even though we know in our minds that this book was like two years down the road and who was going to publish it? But it was that confidence, right? It will happen. You will do it. And then we started just, you know, cold calling into businesses. And at the time, leadership development wasn’t what it is today. It wasn’t such a, you know, robust industry with a lot of competition.

[JOE] Thanks again to the Gottman Institute for being today’s sponsor. Again, you can go over to to get $50 off of that level one training. It’s amazing that they now have all their training online for you to access and get CE credits. So, again, go over to And thanks for letting us in two years and into your brain. Talk to you soon.

[This podcast is designed by accurate, authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It’s given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find. Also, thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. It’s awe.]

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