Something Small You Can Do Today | PoP 287

Something small you can do today in private practice

Are you wondering what the next steps are for your practice? Do you know what you can do to optimize your business? Are you not sure what you can be doing in your spare time?

In this episode, Joe Sanok shares 20 small things you can do today to start, grow, and scale your private practice.

Podcast Sponsor

As a listener of this podcast, I know that you are someone that takes action. You don’t just listen to this, you take action, you move forward quickly, and you are rocking it out in private practice. Whether you’re starting, growing, or scaling, I know that you want to take massive action to get things done quickly. So, if you’re not sure what to do next, and you think, ‘Maybe I want to work with Joe, maybe I want to join one of the Mastermind Groups, maybe I want to join Next Level Practice, but I’m not sure’, head on over to Enter your information there and we will meet with you to talk about what’s the next best step for you. Whether that’s consulting, just listening to our free podcast, downloading one of our free resources, or joining one of our Mastermind Groups. We want to help you continue to rock it out!

In This Podcast


In this episode, Joe Sanok speaks about how to optimize your practice and your time by making use of your spare time to do small things that are going to improve your business. For example, make a ‘Today’ list and a ‘Someday’ list in the notes section of your phone. Depending on what phase of practice you are in, the following are some things you can do in your spare time.

Start Phase

Growth Phase

  • Do office / space audit
  • Run the numbers, i.e.: add 1099 / sublease
  • Think about your retirement
  • Look at what fees you are paying
  • Set up meeting with your accountant / attorney
  • Do a HIPAA audit
  • Upgrade your hosting

Scaling Phase

  • Become part of a community of like-minded individuals, i.e.: Next Level Mastermind / Slow Down School
  • Build your systems
  • Remove yourself from your business
  • Take a two-week vacation
  • Outsource something
  • Listen to an inspiring podcast, i.e.: TED Radio Hour, Tony Robbins podcast, Robcast (Rob Bell)
  • Be in nature / spend time with friends

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultantJoe 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.






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Podcast Transcription

File: PoP 287 Something Small You Can Do Today
Duration: 0:24:46:04

[START] Joe Sanok: As a listener of this podcast, I know you’re someone that takes action. You don’t just listen to this. You take action. You move forward quickly and you are rocking it out in private practice. Whether you’re starting, growing or scaling, I know that you want them take massive action to get things done quickly. So if you are not sure what to do next and you think maybe I want to work with Joe, maybe I want to join one of the Mastermind groups, maybe I want to join Next Level Practice, but I am not sure, head on over to and just enter your information there and we will meet with you to talk about what’s the next best step for you whether that’s consulting, just listening to a free podcast, downloading one of our free resources or joining one of our Mastermind groups. We want to help you continue to rock it out.


This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session #287.

[MUSIC] [INTRODUCTION] Joe Sanok: I am Joe Sanok, your host. I hope you are doing awesome today. Oh my gosh, I love the work that I get to do with all of you. I was just in the next level practice community on our private Facebook group and people have such great questions. They are leveling up. They are continuing to grow their practices in such a short period of time and I feel like super inspired. Also, my little three year old had an eye checkup today. She wears glasses. She has this cute little pink glasses and she was super scared, and my friend Jill, who is on my curling team. She is our skip. She is the pediatric eye care specialist and she reported to us that our daughter’s eyes are great. Everything is going exactly as planned. So just that, you know, fatherly like weight on your shoulders when you are parent and your kid has a doctor’s appointment and it goes well. It’s just such a relief to have.

So I am right, on high today. Feeling good about the practice, feeling good about the consulting and feeling good about this podcast and my family. So today I’m going to be talking with you about some small things that you can do every single day when you have little bits of time. Now these are just like little things that you can do today. I am going to walk through when you are at the startup phase and things you can do, when you are at the growth phase, and then when you are at the scaling phase. Different things you can do with each of those. Now, of course there is a ton of overlap. So the things in the start phase, if you are at the scaling phase, that might be an idea for you where you say, oh, I missed that when I first started out. And oh, I just had another one that I just thought of. So I am going to add that to our list.

So one habit that I have been in for a really long time is to make a today list and a someday list. And so in my phone, just in the note section of my iPhone, I have a section that it just says today. And so if I have an idea for the data I need to get done that I put that in the today list, that stuff that I am going to work on today, I am going to achieve it. Kind of get it going. So for example, with Next Level Practice we are bringing together all of these webinars into really a comprehensive start-to-finish training for clinicians that are starting, growing, and scaling a private practice. So over time we are going to be doing all these webinars that we want to have kind of a hub. So we have landed on Teachable as the place where we are going to do, use that. And so today, my one thing was to get signed up there, start to learn how to upload a lot of these videos, start building out that course so that people can really start to go into that course, watch them, understand them, make comments. So that it can be dynamic. The people can get a ton out of it. So every month I have around Next Level Practice things that I am working on. Also with Next Level Mastermind and Slow Down school, there’s things each day that I need to be working on with that. So that I can take things off my plate, but keep moving things forward. So I have those top priorities that are going to keep moving that needle forward every single year, so that I can level up my income, my influence, and my impact on the world because you know if you have tuned in at all you know that it’s isn’t just about making more money for me. It’s about having more time with friends and family. But then also not just kind of selfish happiness things. I want to genuinely help the world in a positive way. And so that’s informed by, you know, travel to Haiti and Honduras and Nepal and Thailand. All these places that I have seen how the rest of the world lives. And so for me this goes well beyond just making more money. But if I don’t keep taking small steps every single day, little things that are really by its size, things that don’t take much time, I am not going to make that progress as quickly.

So today we are going to talk all about some things you can do at every level of practice with literally just minutes. If you have just minutes of time, things that you can do.

[START PHASE] So for the start phase. And this is probably true for every phase. Ooh, probably true. All of a sudden my voice goes up high, “Whoo, probably true.” So at the start phase, just write down what your goal is for your month. Maybe it’s a financial goal, maybe it’s against certain number of blog post [00:04:55.25]. Maybe it’s that you want to just spend more time with your family be home by 4 o’clock most nights. What is your big goal for this month? Write that down.

Next another thing you could do is evaluate your time. I was talking to someone recently and they said that they were working 40 to 50 hours a week, and I was like, that’s great. Your practice is taking off. How many sessions are you doing a week and they said 20 to 25. And I was like what are you spending 25 hours on. You don’t have a group practice. You are paying an assistant to just sit in your front office. What you are doing during that time? You shouldn’t take a hour to write a progress note. And when we really looked at what they are spending time on, we easily could have caught a good 10 hours and just said, you know what, go take a painting class or something. Fill your time with something other than being in the office. So doing a time audit where you are spending your time when you’re first starting up or as you start to grow is a really great thing that you can do when you have those few minutes.

Next, I would say listen to a podcast. Often times, people wonder how I have acquired so much information in such a short period of time. It’s not that I am some genius. It’s not that I have some supernatural ability. I just find time to do those things that matter to me. So for example, I don’t have a long commute. It takes probably 10 minutes to get to my daughter’s school from our new house, and then about less than 10 minutes to get to my office. But you figure if every time that I take my daughters in, we chat in a car, we might have music on, but I don’t have another podcast. I want to be present for my kids. And then I have about 10 minutes between the time that I leave their school, park my car, leave their parking garage, walk up the stairs and then come into my office. So you figure out that 10 minutes and then it’s about 10 minutes or so home at the end of the day. So it’s 20 minutes a day. I work 3 days a week. That’s an hour podcast that I can squeeze in there. And so if I am going for a walk during the day, if I am going to meet someone for coffee and I have a 3 minute walk, what I will do is I will put in my headphones, listen to just a couple of minutes of a podcast and make that quick change in my behavior, so that I am observing way more information than if I just didn’t do that. So I view that really as a sprint towards knowledge so that on the weekend when I kind of PEACE OUT, hang out with my friends, play some board games, it’s a lot of fun because I don’t feel like I need to sprint on the weekend as well.

Also, when you are walking or driving, think about ideas, podcasts or what you could do during that time, obviously be safe as a driver, but what are things that you can do during that time to brainstorm, to let your mind wander, to like think about your business in a different way.

Also, something quick you can do is you could download a resource. So we have 20 or 30 different free resources over at and those are totally free. Things like the book that Roy Huggins and I wrote together. All about HIPPA compliance and digital security. The book that Alison Pidgeon and I wrote together about how to start a group practice and what you need to do. We have check lists galore. We have ways to optimize your Pinterest page. So go over to and look at what would a natural next step. Even just downloading one of those things would be a great step for you to be able to get motivated to keep moving forward in short periods of time.

Next, if you are just starting a practice and you are not sure how to get more community, it’s often lonely doing private practice, especially if you have this kind of entrepreneurial mindset, this marketing, blogging. I want to really amp it up. In most communities, there is only a handful of us. Here in Traverse city, I can only think of a couple other practitioners that think in the way that I think and want to scale at the level that I want to scale. And often as I end up finding people outside the field of field of counseling that are doing coaching or other things that I am more attracted to hanging out with them. So it can be lonely. And so being around other people that really want to amp up their private practice when they are just starting out is really important. So finding an online community of people outside of your area is often better than looking for people locally because at least in most towns that’s pretty difficult to find. So one community would be next level practice. We would love you to join that over at where we have our community of people and you can read more about that over at But in some way, I could be connecting with all people who were in grad school with you, connecting with other people that are entrepreneurs locally. There’s so many different ways to in some way develop a community.

[GROWTH PHASE] Right. So what about that growth phase. You are over that, like $40,000. You’re under a $100,000. You are getting some traction. You probably are solopreneur. You’re getting those like, you know, 15 to 20 sessions a week. You’re starting to rock it out. One thing that you can do is do an office space audit. An office space audit. What is that? Office space audit is just looking at how full your office is. Even if you have just one office, maybe a waiting room. Maybe not even a waiting room. And you look at how many hours a week are free. Look at those hours that you have, an idea of how many hours total there are and then what percent of those hours are free. So let’s do little bit of math. So I am going to pull out the calculator on my phone. So on Sunday you could probably have four or five sessions in there. Then if think about a Monday, if someone started at 7 am and then we went to like 8 pm, that’s about 13 hours if you were to say it’s full. Same for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. May not get people as early or late on a Friday – so maybe we are going to add 10 hours there and then on a Saturday probably you know we could fill 8 hours or so. So 75 hours a week. So if you are doing only 25 hours of counseling which would be full time for most people. That’s only one-third of the potential time. All right. So, something that you could do is say we took that 50 hours per week. And we said, you know what, we’re just going to sublet this to somebody. Fifty hours a week. If we said, we are going to charge 20 bucks an hour, it’s an extra $1000 a week, if it was completely full [00:10:57.17] completely full. Probably not. So even if it was half full, it’s 500 bucks a week of totally passive income, 2 grand a month, 24 grand a year extra. What would you do with 24 grand a year? I know I could come up with a few things that I would spent an extra 24 grand on, either investing in my practice, changing something in my house, going on some vacations that are pretty sweat, investing in my kids school. There’s so many things that you could do with that extra 24 grand just by optimizing your space.

So you also want to look at… you know, if you were to do some math on 1099s. So let’s say that we had a 1099 that came in and we took that potential 50 hours, say they were 25 hours. They worked some evenings when you weren’t there and say they charge $120 per session and then we do that by, say, 48 weeks a year. Now let’s say that you… on the lower side, let’s say you just took 35 percent of that. That breaks down to $50,400 per year extra by having someone else as a 1099, where you only take 35 percent. Now that will pay for your rent. Say your rent is 1000 bucks a month. Now subtract 12 grand from that. You’re still grossing more than 30 grand extra. So running those numbers and thinking about the math is a way that you can optimize your space and really think through it when you have that extra time.

Something else you can do outside of just your business is think about your retirement. Automate your retirement savings. I read a study that showed… I’m not a financial planner, nor do I plan one on TV. So do your own research. But the study said that they found that when people invest on a Monday and then sell on a Thursday over the lifetime of their funds, they typically will make about 1 percent more. Because on Mondays, people often will sell off because they read on the weekend all these news. So they sell a bunch of stuff and if you’re going to just kind of buy and hold which most financial planners recommend, we have to just set up that every Monday we have… I think it’s a $105 automatically going to our Vanguard’s account. And that equals the $5500 per person that you can put into an IRA for you tax advantage and all that. And of course talk to your own financial planner or accountant.

Also another thing you can do is look at what fees you are paying. So if you look at an account like Vanguard or there’s other accounts where you just do a whole market index. You look at your retirement savings [00:13:22.22] and all of that for your retirement setup, you just have that kind of an auto pilot, then you are going to just near the market as it goes up. Whereas if you end up looking at the average investor that’s going to just go with someone that’s kind of oversee that fund, if you lose 1 or 2 percent you’re going to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars over time through that. So evaluating and learning a little bit about that in those spare moments.

What else can you do today? I say just set up a meeting with your accountant. Set up a meeting with your attorney. Just to kind of doing annual review. Where we are at financially. Want to make sure that I’m optimizing everything for tax season and for next year’s tax season. I want to make sure we don’t have any unnecessary risk when you are meeting with your attorney. It’s worth the money to spend you know $500 or so to meet with an attorney or to meet with your accountant so that you know that someone else has some eyes and ears, and [00:14:15.09] professional. So even just picking up that phone for 5 minutes to schedule that or dropping an email, it’s a great use of a couple of minutes of your time.

Another thing you can do is to do a HIPAA audit. So really look at what you are doing. Roy Huggins over at Person Centered Tech has some awesome resources around that. I don’t even try recreate that because he’s so good at it. So whether it’s downloading our free book over at /resources or going over to, I highly recommend taking some time to just do a HIPAA audit. Look at your security, see what you are doing well, see what you need to improve on.

Last, I would say in that grow phase something quick you can do is looking to upgrading your hosting. So I just recently upgraded my hosting to be with Osiris. Right now, it seemed like a great company, but I went them for probably 4 months or so. We were dedicated server which means that Practice of the Practice is going superfast and lo it’s faster than other websites. So if you don’t have a dedicated server, you may not have the level of people coming yet. But that’s one of the factors that Google takes in, it’s how faster website uploads and loads. So it could be upgrading your hosting. It could upgrading your electronic medical records. It could be looking at one of the things that you signed up for free that has a premium level. So maybe Dropbox or something like that. It may be time to upgrade that and reinvest in your business to build that infrastructure so that you can be strong.

[SCALING PHASE] Which brings us to the last one, the scaling group. All of you, all that are at that $100,000 or more all the way up. You got a bunch of seven figure listeners which it’s so cool to have you involved as well. And we have been picking people’s brains and coming up I’m going to have an interview with Kasey Compton. She started a practice and in three years went from no practice to having a $1.3 million dollar practice. So we are going to talk all about that at some time in the future. But something that I continue to learn from the people that are in the scaling phase is that they get into community. They surround themselves with people that are at their phase or above their phase, so they can learn from each other. And so if that’s something that you want to do we have next level Mastermind and Slow Down school which I think at the time of this recording we’ve three tickets left. We are not actually be going to be able to release Slow Down school tickets this year to the general public. It’s only going to be Next Level Mastermind people because of the place we are staying. We could only get those 30 beds for all of those folks. So [00:16:40.18] beaches, hanging out. But if you want to apply for that Next Level Mastermind, you could go over to So being a community though that doesn’t have to be through Practice of the Practice. We would love for you to do that and we think that it’s really valuable, but there’s so many way to do that. It could be that you find people online that are in some of the awesome Facebook groups that are out there. It could be that you hear someone on a podcast that gets interviewed and you reach out to them and say, hey, I love to start a Mastermind group with you. Would you be interested in together co-hosting that? Maybe we charge. Maybe we don’t charge for people to be in that group together or we just have some roundtable discussions on a ZOOM link or something like that.

Another thing you can do with a few minutes of your time is to start to build so many of your systems and do it one small system at a time, just take one bite at a time. How is your flow from start to finish? Probably one of the best ways to start to remove yourself from the business which is really what the scaling phase is about is moving from that CEO that you have to be there every single day to that owner mindset is that you really start to make it that you don’t need to be there as much. So scheduling a two week vacation. Maybe you do that 3 or 4 months out. That’s such a deadline for you to make sure your systems are set up. So having a virtual assistant that’s answering the phones, returning phone calls, doing your calendar, checking your email. All those things that you know at that 100,000 plus level you need to be doing. Each one of those things is a small little bite size, but to plan that two week vacation whether it’s in the summer time or you know in the fall whenever it makes sense for you and your family that’s such a hard deadline for when you need to make sure you’ve those systems in place to remove yourself from the business, when I first did that a few years ago, I went out to Oregon and Seattle, went to Dr. John Gottman’s conference. We were one of the sponsors there and hung out with [00:18:30.12], with Kelly and Miranda and [00:18:32.11], and it was a great time. And I left for, I think it was two and half weeks. And when I left, that’s when I had the [00:18:40.14] consultant podcast and the last episode of that was a I’m leaving, I will be back. We are going to pause this podcast. It was a five-day week podcast I did. And I came back and I realized that I didn’t want to put my time into that 5-day week podcast. I wanted to put more time into this podcast, the Practice of the Practice podcast. So when you get away, it gives you clarity. But also that was one of my clinician’s best month’s ever when I was gone. It forced him to really take ownership of the practice, for him to take ownership of getting those clients and it’s amazing how whenever you remove yourself from practice, you see all the things that work really well, but you also see those areas that need improvement, that you wouldn’t see if you were there every single day. It’s so like when you see a picture of your kid from a couple of years ago and you’re like, when did they grow up. And it happened before you didn’t notice. But by stepping away from your practice, it really allows you to see all those things that [00:19:34.06] set it up in a way that’s kind of long key. At the beginning, it’s time to change or upgrade your systems.

As well as part of that, I say another small thing you can do today is to just move towards outsourcing something, the scaling practitioners that are most successful are ones that when they’ve got to that 100,000 or are approaching that, you know, usually around 60 you wanted to be on your radar. Just start taking those hats off. Things that get you to 60,000 is time is on your side. You are able to put that time into your counting, into your website and to learning so many different things. But if do that and you put on all these different hats, you’ve got to start taking those hats off and giving them to people that are experts in their area. So having your accountant do your book keeping or having it them have a book keeper, having them file your quarterly taxes and having them file all of your monthly taxes and all that. So you could be an S corp. Having somebody do your IT support, having somebody answer the phones. All those little things allow you to have less mental energy, even just thoughts about oh, I got to remember to do that, but then to have actual time, that you could run after the one thing that only you can run after. So when you practice, that may be hiring additional clinicians to your practice, that may be marketing that practice, that maybe coming up with awesome ideas for speaking engagements locally. It might be that you’re even going past your practice. You are going to start doing some consulting or get interviewed on podcasts or do e-courses or write a book or do a keynote. There’s so many of those big things [00:21:05.02] you can do, but you can’t do it if you add more to your plate. So you have to take things off your plate before you start adding those bigger things to your plate.

Also I would say listening to an inspiring podcast – I know my podcast is something that you guys love it, right?… Sorry that’s so pompous I hate that… There’s kind of podcast like this that are helping you grow your business, but then there is also podcasts that are purely for just like your soul. And are just making you a better person. And I think we need to have a balance where we are not just listening to these podcasts that are about our business and always thinking that way. There’s lot of great podcasts out there that help you just become a better person and can also help you with your business. A couple of my favorites are the TED radio hour, hearing these really amazing and inspiring ideas from TED speakers and then behind the scenes of it. That’s a great one. The Tony Robbins podcast, the people they interview are phenomenal, and then another favorite of mine is the RobCast. Rob Bell, he really dives into some interesting issues. I was just listening to this one, is this urban farmer and he was talking about soil and how garlic is one of his favorite things. And he had said that what he loves about garlic is that it has to be cold. It has to be in the winter. And it has to just sit there for it to develop roots. I thought how cool is that for our own lives. You know, sometimes we just need to be out of our element. We just need to sit and that is where our roots are developed. And so hearing that about garlic from a farmer informs my practice but also informs my soul, informs who I am as a person, just slow down, say that sometimes sitting around, drinking coffee for 2 hours and then eating bacon with my family, like that is exactly what I need to be doing instead of writing another blog post or brainstorming another podcast.

So also that leads into not just when you are that six figures or seven figures, but all of the time making extra time to be in nature, to be with friends, to develop social engagements. We know that the research shows that that’s going to make you happier than going after the almighty dollar. And so finding that time. finding those rhythms that kind of light you up is such a great use of your time. So even when you’re just texting a friend right after you listen to this and say, “Hey, I’d love to have you guys over on Friday night for beverages after the end of the long week or I’d love to get together and going to a movie or let’s find a sitter and then go out with some friends.” Those small little things of things that light us up and help us continue to stay alive and excited beyond just making more money.

[CONCLUSION] So thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. We are going to have this entire checklist for you over at so that you can download this checklist and what you can do at each phase of practice in just a few minutes to help you moving forward. Thanks so much. We are having some awesome guests coming up in this coming month. I hope that you’re keeping up with this podcast. We have been doing so many podcasts recently. I want to just continue this [00:24:09.02] and keep up the amazing work. Talk to you soon.


Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your music and this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It’s given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guest are rendering any legal, accounting, clinical or other professional information. If you need a professional, go find one.

[MUSIC] [END OF PODCAST 00:24:45.18]

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