Do you have some big ideas that you just don’t have the time to work on? Where are you focusing your time? Want some tips on how to get started on making your passion a part of your business?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Megan Chapa about making a business out of your passion.
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Meet Megan Chapa
Megan Chapa’s Story
Megan is currently living in Oxford, UK while my husband finishes his DPhil at Oxford University. Her children think she is super “cool” for having a podcast and will do anything to sneak onto the show.
In This Podcast
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Joe Sanok speaks with Megan Chapa about making a business out of your passion and some actionable steps you can start taking today.
Following That Spark
If you’re starting your quest or your research based on something that’s already demanding on your time and that other people are already asking you to do, that might be an indication that there is and if there’s not, you need to find out why there’s not.
- Get a personal support network setup as well as find a mentor/guide who has done it all before.
- Starting the podcast came about as a result of realizing that there was there wasn’t that demographic or that audio option being offered.
Why You Should Niche
People will always assume that a specialist will be a generalist, but they won’t assume a generalist will be a specialist. If you go to a fancy restaurant, if they’re going to make a burger, some cheap burger, it’s probably going to be delicious. Whereas if you go to a burger place and you want crème brulee, it’s going to be gross
Where to Start
Well, I think make a list. Because who doesn’t like crossing things off the list.
Make a list, because who doesn’t like crossing things off the list. This is a business is plan, you need a business plan, whether it’s to make money, or if it’s just to get things moving, you need to make a business plan. And often that’s going to include a list, and you can look back and check off the list.
- Make a list
- Have a business plan
- If you already have a business plan, go back and read it then tweak it by adding the things you want to do
- Go through the motions of what needs to be done to get those new things up and running and see if it is something you can handle timewise.
- Look at where you are spending your time and put some systems in place so that you can follow your big idea if you don’t have enough free time.
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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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This is The Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 391.[JOE SANOK] Welcome to The Practice of the Practice Podcast. I’m Joe Sanok, your host. I hope you are doing amazing today. For the last probably three or four months or so, I’ve been transitioning to a new accountant and also hired Greg Higdon as my bookkeeper. He’s been cleaning everything up and organizing it and been working to get everything set up in Gusto. It is so awesome to have other people do kind of the basics of your business, all of those things that, you know, every year, it’s like you do a little bit more to make it even better, you learn new things. Recently, after meeting Mike Michalowicz in late 2018, we first met and then I was on his show – he wrote this book Profit First. I’m recording this, obviously, way ahead of time from when this goes live, but just got all my bank accounts set up. I have a profit account, I have a tax account, I’ve got my conferences account, because you know, putting on things like Killin’It Camp, we have a lot of expenses that are due at different times, and you’ve got to make sure that the money can all stay separate so that you’re not surprised and owe money to the YMCA of the Rockies and then they’re like ‘You have to pay’ and you’re like ‘I don’t have the money’. Each year just making sure it’s a little more organized than the year before. And when you do that, when you see it as the long haul, that’s where you start to make really big steps forward. I see so many consultants and private practitioners out there, and they are just going full tilt, and there are times that you’ve got to sprint, you’ve got to kill it. But really, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul and to say ‘How am I going to build upon what I’ve already built upon every single year and make it even better?’
I was being interviewed on a podcast recently and they said ‘How did you get so many things from starting, growing to scaling a practice?’ Because you know, we have tons of free opt-ins for people to help them with resources, we’ve got our 1-year practice plan that’s $17 over at www.practiceofthepractice.com/plan. We’ve got Next Level Practice, Mastermind Groups, one-on-one consulting, conferences, all these things that basically starts from the moment you think you want to start a practice all the way until you’re scaling a multimillion-dollar practice. We want to have something for you at every single phase, that’s at a great price point, and also a great return on investment. So, he was asking about that and you know you just build it over time when you listen to your audience. Whether you’re building consulting or things outside of your practice, or you’re doing it within your practice, listening to the people that are already giving you money and that are already involved, is where you find business opportunities. It may be that you only do couples counseling, you only want to see people from the Gottman certified approach. But maybe they have kids, they’re fighting at home and they want their kids to be able to debrief with someone. So, you hire a play therapist, maybe part of it is that there’s some trauma, and that’s one of the places that things stem from for that couple. And so, you hire a therapist that does EMDR. And then you’ve got an empty office, and you’re like ‘Well, what if I sublease that office out to a massage therapist or a naturopath or someone who does acupuncture?’ And then next thing, you know you’ve got all these different income sources, and you’re helping a bunch more people. People are going to give their money somewhere, they’re going to go to therapy, they’re going to go see a massage therapist, they’re going to go do these things, it might as well be within your practice. And you can then say these are the values we hold. This is the kind of business we have. And it’s amazing and we can serve you. And so, I want to encourage you to continue to listen to whoever’s already giving you money. What is it that they want more of? What is it that they hope for, dream for? Where do they want to transition? Make sure you’re listening to them?
Well, we’re not just talking about this. Today, we’ve got Megan Chapa, I was on her podcast a bit ago. And we talked about that, and then now she’s on mine. She does travel stuff and really the things she does are so interesting and the business concepts we were able to bring back into private practice. I just love when we find people that on the surface, you say, there’s no way that even connects, that’s just crazy. But it’s amazing. So, she talks about all sorts of different ways that she found her passion. And she tells a really interesting story about people who dress up like mermaids. And there’s just so many nuggets in this podcast. So, stick around to the end, and I’ll talk to you soon. Without any further ado, here’s Megan.
I started to get into listening to podcast myself and really for learning about destinations while I was walking my dog and all these sorts of things. But most of the podcasts that were out there, and they’re needed, but they’re mostly on how to travel on a budget or something along those lines like scrimping like how to travel on $10 a day. But those aren’t my clients, my clients are young professionals or older folks, or however you want to say that, but people that have money to invest in a vacation. And I realized that there was there wasn’t that demographic or that audio option being offered. I started interviewing the people that I know that offer these really interesting trips, and help them create a mark. It’s really that I’m helping them create a marketing product for themselves, at the same time, it’s really interesting content. And you might just discover either a new destination that you didn’t know about, a type or style of travel that you didn’t know about, or figure out a way to check off a bucket list item that you didn’t know how to do. Like I have a guide for hiking to the base camp of Mount Everest, he also does all the summits. So, there’s a lot of options. [JOE SANOK] Oh yeah, I did that. [MEGAN CHAPA] I AM sure that you found us when you’re looking. [JOE SANOK] Oh, my word, try to do that in 2000 vs now. [MEGAN CHAPA] And now you go on these web pages. And there are concerns for both your safety and being good to the local community. Who do you choose? And so, I know this guy, and he has a great reputation, he’s very, in touch with the local people, and being good to their community. I interviewed him, and that means a wildly successful episode. And I hope that it’s a resource for someone that might have chosen one of these very budget level trips, to choose to go on one that costs more, but that benefits the community you’re going into. And also, with using a guide, who cares for you, and has whatever your goal and motivation for traveling to Mount Everest is, he wants to help you accomplish it. So anyway, I hope that it’s [JOE SANOK] I want to hear other interesting travel, what are a couple of other trips that you’ve interviewed people that they planned. [MEGAN CHAPA] I have one couple that I know that plans these golf tournaments for couples around the world. They take 20/30/50 couples,
they book out an entire golf course for a weekend. And they do these couple tournaments all around the world. I also have burlesque and pole dancing competitions, which end up actually being like a sport, very competitive. Some of the burlesque does get provocative, but the pole dancing is almost like ballet/gymnastics kind of thing. Yes, it’s incredible. So, we have we have people that do those. And then this lady that does all Italy trips is incredible. She loves Italy so much she learned the language, and now she only takes people to Italy. And she knows the region so well, that there are people that will only go to Italy with her. There’s a lot of culinary options out there, there are culinary clubs that travel. One club is all for women, so women whose husbands maybe are travelling or working a lot, and so they don’t have a partner to travel with. Or just maybe your spouse has died, or maybe they just are single person, they want to travel with a group of ladies, I have one of those clubs. And then on the single front, there is a group called Singles International Travel, and that’s a travel agency in Florida, and they only travel with single people. And they have had as a result, many marriages happen, but they specifically are for single people to travel and meet other single people that like to travel. And they do, they might do 20 trips a year where they have different locations that they’re taking people to. And then, of course, Scuba and Golf are popular.
One thing that is maybe appealing to you is a river cruise through Europe. I interviewed a guy, but it is co-branded I should say with the Whiskies of The World Group. Even though you’re not in whiskey region, the entire cruise focuses on whiskey, scotch, bourbon education. Each night, you have your wine pairing at dinner, and then post-dinner, you have whiskey education, as all included. But if you hadn’t gone with this specific travel professional who’s planning it, you both wouldn’t know about it. And even if you just showed up on that cruise, because you booked it directly with the river cruise company. It’s only included if you go through this through Whiskies of The World and this guy, Matt. Then there’s like eco-travel, there’s just so many options.[JOE SANOK] One of the questions I always get from people and I can’t talk about it enough is, why should I niche, why should I have a specialty, I want to help everybody? And what I often say is, people will always assume that a specialist will be a generalist, but they won’t assume a generalist will be a specialist. If you go to a fancy restaurant, if they’re going to make a burger, some cheap burger, it’s probably going to be delicious. Whereas if you go to a burger place and you want crème brulee, it’s going to be gross.
I imagine that your friend who focuses just on Italy gets more repeat customers. I’m not sure about her profit structure and how that works but I imagine she makes more money than the average person because she specialized. I imagine that she enjoys it more because it’s what she enjoys anyway.
So, even though we’re talking travel, when we talk about business, we’re talking about business. And so those of you listening saying ‘Wow, someone figured out how to make a living off of helping people be merman and mermaids. That’s incredible’. The amount of creativity that we can have in our careers is immense. And even just how I put on Slow Down School, this event in Northern Michigan where high achieving therapists come and hang out on the beaches and we go hiking to my favorite places…. Just yesterday, I was talking to one of our Slow Down Schoolers and she’s a repeat person. She said ‘Can’t we can’t just come to Traverse City right now. I just want to be there. I wish it was time for Slow Down School’. It’s so much more fun as a professional to do the stuff you love.[MEGAN CHAPA] I have one girl, speaking of doing what you love, she’s very a passionate Catholic and she exclusively plans, pilgrimages. So we have a couple of episodes on different pilgrimages she’s planned around the world include including Oberammergau, which if you look at it spelled out, it’s crazy because the Germans just bought all their words together. But Oberammergau is this every 10-year Passion play that they put on and the entire town is involved? [JOE SANOK] Oh, yeah. [MEGAN CHAPA] Yes, and you cannot participate in the Passion Play unless you’ve lived there a minimum of four years. And once you get assigned to the role, you have to live in character for an entire year. And so, they’ll send Jesus and His Apostles to Israel, to study and learn the history and the life of their character. And that’s all she does, is planning these Catholic pilgrimages. And you might not think that there was money to be made there. But she’ll go into a congregation and say this is my passion. And if you wanted to go to Israel, or to do the walk in the steps of St. Patrick, I would love to help you plan that out. So, she took this passion and when she ended up being a stay at home mom with her kids, she still wanted to work a little bit and so this is what she brainstormed to make her passion meet her profession. And it’s been very good for her. [JOE SANOK] So what do you think that people need to know about travel, podcasting going after big ideas? Where would you want them to kind of take the first steps? If someone’s saying, wow, this is really inspiring. I want to go after something. Yeah, I can go watch some YouTube videos, I can get started. But what else would you encourage them to do so that within a year from now, they can at least have explored their big idea, if not, have started to launch something? [MEGAN CHAPA] Well, I think to make a list. Because who doesn’t like crossing things off the list. This is a business is plan, you need a business plan, whether it’s to make money, or if it’s just to get things moving, you need to make a business plan. And often that’s going to include a list, and I like to look back and check off the list. Even if it’s read 10 books on the subject, you get to cross that off. So, I can make a list and then look at how to make a business plan, which I’m sure all the people listening to your podcast have already done, they’re probably somewhere in there. But if they haven’t, maybe go back and read their business plan, tweak it and add on to it, podcast, blog, whatever it is. And then maybe, just the act of going through creating an episode, creating a blog, to see if it’s going to fit into their business plan. Because, again, we talked about outsourcing, there are lots of people that can write, and there are lots of people that can run businesses. But just because you like the idea doesn’t mean you’re talented, it’s time-consuming. So, you might just partner with someone who’s excellent in writing, that can interview you, and take your words and put them into the blog post. So, I would say go through the motions once to see if it’s something that you can handle time-wise. [JOE SANOK] With a lot of things you’re going to get better at it too. About a year ago, I went back and listen to Episode One of this podcast, and the amount that I was like trying to prove myself or kind of say, like, yeah, I should be in this space and listing accomplishments… I annoyed myself. You’ve got to start somewhere. The only thing I would add is, especially because our listeners are private practitioners, in your private practice if you are so busy, that you can’t carve out two to four hours a week to work on your big idea, you really have to evaluate why am I that busy? If you have this passion, you need to start outsourcing things, create systems – that can be through technology or virtual assistants. Just in the last month, there are two jobs that I had posted through Practice of the Practice, one was for a personal assistant job to help us kind of take a little bit more of an effort there. And then we also hired an Airbnb cleaner for our Airbnb. And I was shocked at how easy it was to post a job through Facebook. I probably got four or five quality applicants, and probably 10 decent applications within 24 hours. And so, and they’re not a sponsor, I don’t think Facebook sponsors anything because they don’t need to.
But I feel like it’s so easy now to say, here’s what I want, I want someone to check my email so that I can free up an extra two hours a week, and just say I want someone that’s going to hop into my email for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, that you can sketch that out. And that can free up that time. So, you’ve got to look at those systems so that you can actually put that time into those things that help you really get to that next level. I would definitely add that in for our particular audience so that you free up that best quality time for your big idea. And it doesn’t just get the scraps when you know you’re burned out and tired at the end of the week.[MEGAN CHAPA] Can I jump on that? Here’s my own personal feeling on this as far as direction that I would love your private practitioners to venture out in. There was just a survey that was put out, I think it was on military.com and it said that the most underemployed demographic in the United States is the military spouse. And because this is something that I’m passionate about, I would say, could you call your local Air Force Base or go on, you know, military installation and say, I’m looking for someone who has five to 10 hours a week, because that’s my probably what one of these military spouses who’s moving with her children constantly has. They have some nighttime hours to do to this sort of thing, or maybe some daytime hours while their kids at work. Or there’s also a website called the Military Spouse Employment Partners, MSEP and they’ll talk to you about how-to best interface with military spouses. Because a lot of gals, like myself are coming out of college, they have been working a couple of years, they married their wonderful military husband and then they have this degree that they just can’t use, and they want to be valuable, and they want to use this degree. So, if you have the option to reach out to a military spouse, please do that, because they want to work. And they need someone with a little bit of flexibility to work with our crazy lives, but they have valuable skills. And they want to, they want to use the skills that they have. So [JOE SANOK] That’s such a great point and I’m going to go off at that point because there are so many things that a private practice owner thinks they’ve got to get done. And so, you think about even writing regular blog posts or checking your email or making sure your calendar has all the details you need for a meeting. Or if you’re starting to explore going launching a podcast, maybe you want to get interviewed on a podcast, these are all things that don’t need a location. There are very few things with a private practice that needs a location-dependent person, we’ve never had an actual front desk person that says, Hey, welcome to Mental Wellness Counselling. In fact, our very first assistant, she was down in Texas and our practice is up here in Michigan and so what’s great about a military spouse is that they can be anywhere doing this work. And actually, we have three assistants now in Cape Town, South Africa, I love that I can send a message at night as I’m going to bed if I have an idea or something, and they’re six hours ahead of me, and so I’ll wake up and they’re like, we got it all done. Can you review it? The time change is awesome for me. [MEGAN CHAPA] That’s incredible. And well, I appreciate that plugin, because I do know women who had degrees in psychology and sociology and when you move as we move, you can’t use it. So, if you want someone to write a blog post, you might just have a resource in someone who already has a degree, but has the unfortunate situation of moving and frequently. [JOE SANOK] The last question that I always ask is if every private practice owner in the world, were listening right now, what would you want them to know? [MEGAN CHAPA] That the world is a big place, and that travel helps make the world smaller and that we have much more in common with people in other countries than we realize. If it’s in your heart to encourage a client to travel, yeah, it’s good. It’s good. I feel like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality where she says, you know, with all the contestants are answering world peace. But truthfully, through identifying with people in other cultures, I think that we could have a little bit of world peace. [JOE SANOK] Megan, if people want to listen to your podcast, or connect with you more, what’s the best way for them to connect with you? [MEGAN CHAPA] Yep, it’s www.travelradiopodcast.com. And I am Megan@travelradiopodcast.com. And I’m on Twitter as chapatravel CHAPATRAVEL. And I do love Twitter. [JOE SANOK] Awesome, and we’ll have links to all of that in the show notes in case you missed any of those references or websites. Megan, thanks so much for being on The Practice of the Practice Podcast. [MEGAN CHAPA] Alright, thanks so much for having me. [JOE SANOK] For me travel has been one of those things that I just can’t get enough of. Whether it was when I was in the Boy Scouts in High School, going Scuba diving places or right after my first year of college, traveling Europe for six weeks just on my own meeting random people, going on mega road trips with my wife or you know, this thing that we are sort of loosely planning. I’ll keep you updated in regards to getting a camper and just traveling the US. Travel is one of those things that the memories, the experiences, it just keeps on giving. And so, I want to encourage you to take some time to slow down, to put vacations on your calendar, have those adventures with your kids or your friends or your partner. It gives you a perspective on life that if you just keep working and saving money, it just doesn’t feel as lively as full of life. So, go do something interesting and I want to hear about it.
I want you to tag me on Instagram with some cool pictures and it’s just practiceofthepractice, tag me, I want to see these amazing pictures of you having adventures. Super huge thanks to Gusto. Gusto is an amazing payroll services, I use them, they help with making sure all my payroll and taxes and things get pulled out like they’re supposed to. Go over to www.gusto.com/joe and you’re going to get three months free. I have loved using them and especially if I hadn’t sold my practice, if I had W2’s I would totally use it. It would save me so much time and money compared to using a typical accountant. It is awesome. So www.gusto.com/joe. Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain have an amazing week.
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