How do you get over the delegation hurdle? Why is it important to calculate the value of your time? How does being aware of the value of your time help you to decide which tasks to tackle and which to delegate out?
In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with Uriah Guilford about 5 simple steps for getting the help you need.
While there may still be a lot of uncertainty about what this year will have in store, there’s one thing we know for sure – your services as a therapist have never been more essential, making it the perfect time to ensure that your private practice website attracts your best-fit clients and gets them to call you.
Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. During the month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year!
From now, until the end of the month, they’re completely waiving all setup fees and only charging $39/month for your entire first year of a new website! Head on over to brightervision.com/joe to learn more.
Meet Uriah Guilford
Uriah Guilford, LMFT is the owner of Guilford Family Counseling and the mastermind behind Productive Therapist, a business that provides world-class virtual assistants to therapy practice owners. He is a technology enthusiast, productivity nerd, and a pretty rad drummer.
Uriah is always searching for creative ways to provide counseling to youth and families as well as help therapists to get more done while working less.
In This Podcast
- Admit that you need help
- Calculate the value of your time
- Accept that done is better than perfect
- Use trusted resources
- Start small and delegate something this week
1. Admit that you need help
To get started with this step, grab a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, and write down all the tasks you do on a daily and a weekly basis. On the left-hand side write down which of these tasks you dislike or do not enjoy doing, and on the right side write down the ones you look forward to and enjoy completing.
Then, start sifting through those tasks on the left and select which ones you can begin to delegate out.
The real challenge for most of us, myself included, is the things that we continue to do that we kind of enjoy but we shouldn’t be doing. We like it, we may be good at it but it’s not a good use of our time. (Uriah Guilford)
2. Calculate the value of your time
When you spend too much of your time on low-value tasks, you compromise your potential. You make excellent money when you focus your time and energy on the right things.
By calculating the value of your time, you can see the value of hiring out or delegating tasks to other people that can complete the task for you, and so it is both a smart use of your time and your money by knowing which tasks are better spent being done by you or by others.
However, when there are specific tasks that do bring you joy when you do them that could be delegated out, it is alright to keep one or two of those things. You do not have to run your business totally by the numbers because you should also get to enjoy it as well.
3. Accept that done is better than perfect
Often business owners, who have the vision of their companies, think that no one can do the things that need to get done as well as they can. However this is not the case, and often times when you delegate tasks out to others instead of demanding to do them yourself, more things get done.
So with having a virtual assistant or somebody in your office handling that task, they’re just the intermediary and they’re the connector. (Uriah Guilford)
4. Use trusted sources
You probably know somebody who knows somebody who can do the thing you need help with, so reaching out to your inner and outer circles will yield connections you did not realize were there.
Getting solid recommendations from your connections will also help you feel more at ease, knowing that someone you are working with or considering hiring is also known to your friends and colleagues.
5. Start small and delegate something this week
Get started. Do something small, which is better than nothing.
FREEBIE: $10 off monthly insider at www.productivetherapist.com/insider discount code is ‘faith’
- How to Start a Group Practice in 6 Months with Cindy Brock | FP 64
- Grow the Books
- Faith in Practice Start a Group Practice Mastermind
- Group Practice Boss
- Faith in Practice Resources
- If you are new to Faith-Based Private Practice, click here to sign up to receive helpful emails.
- If you have and established Faith-Based Private Practice, click here to sign up to receive helpful emails
- Practice of the Practice Podcast Network
- Email Whitney: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Faith In Practice Facebook Group
- Apply to work with Whitney
- Consult With Whitney
Meet Whitney Owens
Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.
Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.
Thanks For Listening!
Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!
Well, we did it. 2020 has finally come to an end. And we have made it out on the other side. And while there still might be a lot of uncertainty about what this year will have in store, there’s one thing we know for sure, your services as a therapist have never been more essential, making it the perfect time to ensure your private practice website attracts your best fit clients and gets them to call you. Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. And during the entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year. From now until the end of the month, they’re completely waiving all setup fees, and only charging $39 a month for the entire first year of a new website. That’s a savings of $240 for your first year of website service with Brighter Vision. All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal. That’s brightervision.com/joe.
I hope everyone’s having a good start to 2021 and doing some awesome things in your practice. If you are new to the podcast, I want to welcome you. Thanks for taking the time to listen, I know there are a lot of other great podcasts out there. So you taking the time to listen to this one, that is awesome. And I am honored that you would do such a thing. I want to encourage you to share this podcast with other practice owners that you know have faith based practices. I love when I hear from people that listen to the podcast and they tell me, boy, I was looking for a consultant or podcast that talked about integrating faith in your practice, but also focused on the business side. And then I found your podcast and it helped me so much. And that just blows me away. I’m so humbled by that. And so if you know someone that would benefit from the podcast, please take the time to share the podcast with them, send him a text message, put it on your Facebook, whatever is going to be helpful for more people to grow this community so we can do our job in integrating faith and integrating the Lord into the work we do.
Other ways that you can get involved in the Faith in Practice community, I do run a private Facebook group that is free. And it’s for practice owners that integrate faith in what they do. So we talked about the business side, we talked about the faith side, we have conversations such as how do we connect with churches? How can I ethically hire contractors or employees to see clients in my practice? We address a lot of these questions that come up specifically for faith based practices. So I want to encourage you to go and look for that Facebook group or look in the show notes and we’ll have the link for that. And you just answer a few questions and get involved. I also have an email list where I send out information throughout the year, relevant to you growing your practice, that’s free information that you can use immediately to get more clients into your business. So to get on that list, you can go to practiceofthepractice.com/faithinpracticeresources. And there you can download a free PDF on five pitfalls between counselors and churches to give you some information immediately. And then you’ll get added to that email list, not only will you get content from me, but you also will hear about different webinars that I might be running or events going on with the faith and practice community.
So love that you take the time to listen, like I said, and I want to get involved with you. I want to hear from you. If you’re thinking about consulting, or you’re thinking about integrating faith in your practice, you’re not really sure how to do that, send me an email, we’d love to hear from you, email@example.com.
Well, one of the things I get consulting about often, or questions really, is about delegation. As our practices grow, it’s so important that we delegate out responsibilities, or we will be totally burned out. And especially in a world like now with COVID our clients, I was just thinking about this yesterday, boy, it’s just like, my clients had so much going on in their lives that I just had this heaviness on me in helping them, and then the heaviness of my practice, you know, with with the administrative part, with my employees. We’re having some issues administratively that we’re trying to work through, which is very normal in a private practice. But there is absolutely no way I could get to all that on my own. Like I have to have a team beside me that helps me in that. So I am excited about today’s episode because we’re going to talk about delegation and how to get things off your plate. I also want to just throw this in here and I have not been paid to talk about this but I have to talk about it.
So my mother is notorious for silly Christmas gifts. She also gives good gifts too, but she does give kind of silly gifts. I think sometimes it’s what’s on sale at the store and she thinks I like it. So for example, when I was right out of college, legit, she gave me a rain gauge. So that would be something you put outside so that when it rains it fills up the container and you know how many inches of rain came. And then another year she gave me a CD case when it was past the time of CD cases. And another time in college she gave me an aqua globe. So you put the water in, you stick it upside down and it waters your plants which by the way, I didn’t even have any plants. I was in college. Come on. So she gives me funny gifts.
So every time and it’s Christmas, and my husband says the same thing, one time actually, she gave us, this was actually pretty recently, she gave us Yeti cups and they were like the big, 32 ounces. And we were like, wow, Yeti cups, like we didn’t have a Yeti then and let me tell you, Yetis are fantastic. So we got the Yeti cup and not only is it monogrammed in cursive, my husband was like, hmm, like, I’m not wanting to carry my monogrammed water bottle around. But then she calls us two weeks later to let us know that she got it really cheap, and now they’re being recalled and not to drink out of it because it could be poisonous. So we never know what kind of gift we’re going to get, myself or my husband for Christmas.
So this year, though, she gave us a knockoff Roomba. And I’ve always kind of been interested in a Roomba, never really wanted to spend the money on it, never thought it was fully worth it. I mean, why don’t I just sweep myself, or vacuum myself? So anyway, my kids love it. And I was like, okay, I guess we’ll try this out. So after Christmas dinner, I turned it on. And man, it was so cool. And even the other day, I was doing a consulting call, sitting in the other room looking down, and there’s my Roomba going around picking it up while I am doing work stuff. So I delegated out sweeping and vacuuming. And it has been fantastic. So I don’t know if I’d still buy one on my own. In fact, I haven’t even looked up the price of them. But I am glad that my mother bought me one. And if you’ve ever thought about delegating out for vacuuming, it’s a good way to delegate. So there’s my little example of delegation and how it has been helpful for me, it really does save me like 10 minutes every single day that I’d be sweeping up after dinner or even 20 minutes a week where I would be vacuuming the other room or something like that. So something to think about.
Anyway, we will jump into the episode because I really enjoyed interviewing Uriah. Not only does he have a faith based approach, you know, faith based background, but we had a lot in common. And we got some good laughs and he was just great on the interview process and really enjoyed getting to know him within my community. I hear a lot of names of different consultants and people doing great work. And I had always heard Uriah’s name come up over and over again. So I was really happy to get the opportunity to connect with him. So you will really enjoy this episode. And I want to encourage you to check out his website at the end. He’s going to talk about that as well and stuff he’s offering us today. So let’s jump in. This is Uriah Guilford gives five tips on getting the help that you need.[WHITNEY]:
Today on the Faith in Practice podcast, I have Uriah Guilford. Uriah is an LMFT and the owner of Guilford Family Counseling and the mastermind behind Productive Therapist, a business that provides world class virtual assistance to therapy practice owners. He is a technology enthusiast, productivity nerd and a pretty rad drummer. Uriah is always searching for creative ways to provide counseling to youth and families as well as help therapists to get more done while working less. Thanks for coming on the show today. [URIAH]:
Absolutely. It’s a pleasure to talk to you. [WHITNEY]:
Awesome. Well, I want to know more about your drumming. [URIAH]:
I was just, I was just thinking, as you read that I was like, is it obvious that I wrote that? So I will tell you a little bit about that, if you’re interested. Actually in the fifth grade, I played the clarinet. And I was terrible at it. And I kind of hated it. But I admired the drummers. And I was like oh, that seems so cool. And I had a couple friends that were, that started a band and they had, you know, electric guitar and they had bass guitar. They had a singer. And I approached them one day and I said, hey, I would really love to be your manager. Little did I know that I’d be a group practice owner down the road. But they said, you know, actually, we don’t need a manager, we need a drummer. And I was like, well, I can do that. Sure. So I asked my mom for a drum set. And I think it was about two weeks later, or maybe a little bit more, she bought me a drum set. And then I was playing in the talent show just about a month later. And so I’ve been playing the drums since then, was in several bands and then ended up actually for the last, yeah, I think about 20 years or so, playing in church. So it’s been fun. [WHITNEY]:
Cool. Awesome. So are you in an actual band still, or like can I find you online drumming? [URIAH]:
No, I mean, on YouTube, for sure. But no, I haven’t been in a band in a while. But if you know, if anybody’s looking for it, the original version was called the Soul Tacos. So it’s on YouTube somewhere in the dark recesses. [WHITNEY]:
That’s awesome. Wonderful. Well, there’s where you got your beginnings in understanding systems, delegation and productivity. [URIAH]:
Exactly. There you go. Yeah. But I’ll tell you what is not a good idea is being a traveling drummer. So it’s kind of good, so much work. So it’s kind of good that I took a different route. But maybe in my 50s, or 40s, I’ll be a traveling rock drummer. We’ll see. [WHITNEY]:
That’s right. That’s right. Well, why don’t you tell the audience about yourself, kind of how you got started as a private practice owner, and kind of how that grew and your journey, your story? [URIAH]:
Sure, so I’ll tell a little bit of a different version for this podcast just because of the faith in practice, which I love, by the way. So I actually didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I won’t tell a super long version of this, I promise. Um, because we all have this story that, you know, goes on, for days and days in therapy sessions. But I didn’t know what I wanted to do outta high school, I was kind of just had no clue. I was like, maybe I’ll be a teacher, maybe I’ll be a graphic designer, maybe I’ll be an archaeologist, like, I didn’t know. So I ended up actually landing at a small Bible college and took an intro to Christian counseling class. And like the lights just went on, because I was deep into studying theology. And it was very interesting. But it was pretty heavy for me. And I just, it just didn’t feel like the thing that I wanted to do with my life, for sure. And I took this class and had an amazing professor and the application of psychology to people’s lives. And then interfaith context, as well, just kind of turned the lights on for me.
And so I charted a course to become a therapist. And then, as we all know, that took forever, and then I had no inclination about what I wanted to do afterwards, and was not going to do private practice, honestly. And then I had encouragement from a supervisor who said, have you thought about starting a private practice? And I eventually decided to do that. So I got licensed in 2008 and started a practice that same year, and then haphazardly, like most things in my life, but in a wonderfully, what’s the word I’m looking for, a serendipitous way, I found out that I love business and marketing, and I love private practice, all aspects of it. So I started that. And then, years later, I started a group practice and then eventually, Productive Therapists. It’s been a really fun journey.[WHITNEY]:
Love it. So what school did you go to? Just curious. [URIAH]:
It’s not even on the map. But I ended up transferring to a couple different schools in the East Bay. I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area. And then also ended up in graduate school at a school called Dominican University of California, Dominican University of San Rafael. And it’s actually a Jesuit university. So I got a good master’s degree there. But the other two schools actually closed down since. And I didn’t have anything to do with it, I promise. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, yeah. So your current group practice, tell me a little bit about the dynamic and types of clients that you serve. [URIAH]:
So this group practice really just grew out of my specialty, which has always been adolescents, teens and families and young adults. And so that was also sort of an unmet need in our community. There’s a lot of therapists here, especially, you know, I don’t know about Georgia, but in California, we have got tons and tons of therapists, but for some reason, not a lot of folks want to work with teenagers. I think they’re amazing, but not everybody does. And so I just saw the need, I couldn’t, I was so busy, right. And I couldn’t see all of the clients. And I also worked, I’ve always worked with a lot of young men. So that’s a need there. And expanded the group practice slowly, over the last five years, to eventually we got to about 10 clinicians. And then we are down to seven now, but the right seven, if you will. And we really do just focus on teens, young adults and families. And then we’ve also added people to the team that have other specialties. So we do some couples counseling, we do some, you know, eating disorder treatment, some younger kids, but the heart of the practices is youth and families. [WHITNEY]:
That’s great. That’s that’s actually how I started my practice in Savannah, was working with teenagers, like, saw that I was pretty good at it. And there was a real need for it. I went on Psychology Today, there was hardly anyone that was really specializing in teens. And yeah, there’s just such a need to work with teens, but boy, it’s draining. [URIAH]:
There’s so much collateral work. And sometimes, as you know, you are working harder than the clients. But it’s necessary, right. So I also before getting into private practice, I spent about six years in residential treatment facilities, so I learned a ton there, and I grew as a person and as a clinician there so I was really grateful for that. But I still love teenagers, and now I have two. [WHITNEY]:
Really putting your skills to work. [URIAH]:
I’ve got a, what’s that quote? You know, before having kids, you’ve got a ton of theories. And then after having kids, you’ve got none. But I love my teenagers. Talking about two girls, and they are now 12 and 14. They’re fantastic. [WHITNEY]:
I love it. Mine are seven and four. So I still like chasing them around. [URIAH]:
Excellent. Love it. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah. Okay, so the Productive Therapist. Tell me more. [URIAH]:
Yeah, so just in case anybody’s wondering, this is not like named after me, I’m not the guy on the top of the mountain, the Productive Therapist. The intention behind this is that we help other therapists be productive. But I just over the course of time realized that I love marketing and business, like I mentioned, and then I’ve also always just been kind of a productivity and without knowing it, outsourcing kind of nerd. I’ve worked with virtual assistants for a long time, I had the same virtual assistant for about five years and had a fantastic experience there. And long story short, I lost my virtual assistant, and hired somebody to work in my office, and they wanted to work full time, and I couldn’t afford to pay them. And so I started to realize that other colleagues of mine had a similar need for administrative support, part time. And then it was hard to find. And at that time, believe it or not, this is about three and a half years ago or so, there weren’t that many virtual assistant companies serving therapists. So it was not a common thing. So I started contracting his time out to my therapist friends, and it was going really well. And then it grew just a little bit, a little bit. And it started out honestly as a kind of a solution to my own problem, and a side hustle to pay off my student loans. And then it just developed in this wonderful thing that’s become very mission driven. And actually a lot of fun. [WHITNEY]:
I love that. I mean, I feel like with consulting, I was actually just on a call before we got on here today. That is one of the biggest things that come up, is should I hire an assistant? And where do I actually find one? And then people finally find one, and then they don’t do their job, or they don’t actually take the calls, or they don’t convert the calls. So the assistant part is so huge to private practice, like I feel like my assistant is like the backbone of my practice. [URIAH]:
Absolutely, absolutely. And if you’ve got a dream, you need a team to build it, you can’t do it yourself. And I think most therapists that achieve some success have experienced unique challenges. And those are the things that we’re trying to solve for, which is essentially overwhelm and burnout at the end of the day. And so if you don’t delegate at some point, you’ll lose your momentum, right? Because you can’t do all the bookkeeping, all the marketing, all of the direct services, all of the insurance, billing, and everything. It just doesn’t work at some point. [WHITNEY]:
Sure, yeah. You’re the one getting in the way of your growth of your practice. And, and, you know, I have to remind people that you’re getting in the way of people finding out about your services, like more people getting help. [URIAH]:
Absolutely, yeah, the common problem is, if you’re busy, and you’re seeing 20 plus clients, you can’t return phone calls while you’re in session. And then for most of us, when you get out of session, whatever time that is six o’clock at night, eight o’clock at night, you don’t want to most likely, right? So that’s kind of how I built Productive Therapist, was on that, solving that problem and that need of therapists to have an intake coordinator, essentially. And, and that’s still to this day, one of our core services and what people really, really love using us for. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, there’s definitely a need for that, that’s for sure. So I know today we’re going to talk about five simple tips for getting the help you need. We need those. [URIAH]:
We need the tips to get the help. Yes. And so if you’re listening to this podcast right now, and you’ve got a to do list that is bursting at the seams, and if you feel like you’re constantly buried in neverending tasks, like there’s not enough days in the week and hours in the day, to get things done, and you feel like you’re all alone with that, it’s time to get some help, right? I’m here to tell you that you need to build a team even if you’re a busy solo practice. At some point, you need to have some other people on your, what analogy should I use, on your ship. And I mean, that could be a bookkeeper, that could be an insurance biller, could be a virtual assistant. It could be any number of things. So we’re talking about delegating. But we’re not talking about just the idea of using a virtual assistant, necessarily, but leveraging other important people to support your dream and your mission. That’s the goal. [WHITNEY]:
I love it. I love having a team. I remember so vividly what it was like when someone else finally answered the phone or when I had someone else to send a client to or someone else did the billing. It’s just, it was marvelous. [URIAH]:
How long into your group practice journey did you go before getting some of those things, some of those roles filled? [WHITNEY]:
Oh, good question. So I did not hire my first assistant till I was six months into my group practice. [URIAH]:
Okay. That’s not bad. [WHITNEY]:
I had two clinicians, oh boy. But it was so overwhelming taking calls to schedule for three different people. And yeah, that hustle where you get done with a client, and you have to hurry and call somebody back before the next client and then that client is waiting because you’re still on the call, this person won’t stop talking. [URIAH]:
Mm hmm. Those first few years of group practice are intense. [WHITNEY]:
They sure are. And I got lucky, lucky, like, my assistant is fabulous. I interviewed her on one of the episodes, I think it’s episode nine of this podcast. But she is spectacular and has stayed with me now for [unclear] two and a half years and has really made it into now she’s my office manager, actually. And we’ve hired someone else to take calls as we’ve grown. But when she started, I was like, yeah, you’ll get three or five calls a week, you know, you can like watch your kids at home and take a few calls. It’ll be great. And then, you know, it’s like 15 calls a week. And it just kept growing. And she was like, oh, this is too much. And that was when we had to start hiring extra help for her. And yeah, but she’s kind of been my sidekick, I guess you’d say. [URIAH]:
Little did she know that you were gonna take off. [WHITNEY]:
That’s right. That’s right. We’ve actually become very good friends. So I feel very grateful to have her in my life. [URIAH]:
That’s so cool. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, well, I’m anxious to hear these tips. Because I have a list here beside me of things I need to get done, so. [URIAH]:
So do I. Yeah. So I’ll just run through them quickly and then we can dive into them, and then expand on the ones that seem more interesting to you or your audience. So tip number one, admit that you need help, harder than it sounds. Number two, calculate the value of your time. Number three, accept that done is better than perfect, also challenging. Number four, use trusted resources, and I’ve got some ideas for you, for your audience. And then number five, start small and delegate something this week, ideally. [WHITNEY]:
Oh, good. [URIAH]:
Those are the tips. And this is something I put together recently, because I realized that even though we get a ton of therapists getting in touch with us, and we’ve onboarded so many new therapists this year for Productive Therapist, there’s certain steps that people need to go through to understand how to delegate, right? How to work with a virtual team member, a virtual assistant. And so I’m trying to help therapists understand how to get good at this stuff, because it’s not enough to just get an assistant. Because, and we’ll talk about this in one of the tips. But you can have a team and you can have an assistant and not use them well, and then lose out on all the benefits of saving time and money. And that’s honestly a tragedy. So I’m trying to just convey these ideas that are simple, but powerful. [WHITNEY]:
Definitely, and people need it written down. Like, people want a plan, they want a guide, they want to know what to do. So having those five tips is really helpful. Because people are always asking, am I ready for an assistant? Do I need one yet? Right? And usually that means, yes. [URIAH]:
Right. I usually say, if you’re thinking about it, you’re probably ready or you’re almost there. And if you’re not sure, go check out productivetherapist.com/quiz, we’ve got a quiz that tells you if you’re ready for a virtual assistant or not. So there you go. [WHITNEY]:
That’s cool. So let’s go ahead and hit the first one, because that’s super common. [URIAH]:
Admit that you need help. And if you’re listening to this podcast, and all the lights are going on, you’re there. The answer is yes. But the problem is that we think we can successfully juggle all the roles and tasks in our business. And the reality is that doing everything yourself for too long, is just a recipe for burnout. There’s no doubt about it. And I’m sure, I don’t know, I’ve been there, certainly. I imagine you’ve been there at different points in your career. And even though we’re brilliant, amazing people, and we can juggle a lot of things, we’re also human, we have limitations. And in order to grow our businesses, we have to delegate. [WHITNEY]:
That makes me think about being a mom. And at home, I feel like I have to juggle so much with kids schedules and oh, you need this for this day of school or this outfit needs to be washed or you know, you want to drink out of this special cup. Oh, well that’s in the dishwasher. You know, so many things that you have to remember that, we hired a nanny this year, like when [unclear] came around I was like, we’re not just going to have, we usually have a nanny for like 12 hours a week just for like essential stuff. And I was like, forget it. I need someone 30 hours a week that’s going to help me with the laundry, that’s going to do the dishes because it was all those things, right, that you were saying add up. Late at night I’m doing it, feeling overwhelmed, can’t focus. So now I can enjoy being at home a lot more. [URIAH]:
That is so cool. Good, good job. That’s like next level because these things we’re talking about are not just for your business. They are for your life and it is kind of a mindset and a muscle if you will, to delegate and to realize that there’s lots of people that love to do certain things you don’t love to do. And it makes sense to use those folks. And you can just accomplish more, if you look at anybody that’s, that’s successful, no matter who that is, if you know them personally, or if they’re just somebody that you follow, they get so much done, because they’ve built a team, right? So it’s just, you got to come to that place where you realize, yes, I need help. And I’m gonna commit to myself and to my business to take that step.
And something simple that you can do on this one is grab a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle. And this is a really simple version of this, we have more complicated ways to kind of map things out. But write down all the tasks that you do on a daily and a weekly basis. On the left hand side, write the ones that you really don’t like, or that you really dislike. And on the right side, write down the ones that you look forward to, the things you love seeing on your calendar, and the ones you enjoy. And that’s just a quick visual to see kind of, okay, where should I start? Spoiler alert, it’s the stuff on the left. So that’s a good exercise if you haven’t done it.[WHITNEY]:
Yes, that’s awesome. Yeah, I recommend that a lot. And it is super helpful. And even sometimes in my own life, I have to stop and kind of do that on my own, make my list and start looking at, okay, what can I give my assistant this week? [URIAH]:
Yeah, the real challenge for most of us and myself included is the things that we continue to do that we kind of enjoy, but we shouldn’t be doing. Right? We might like it, we might actually be a little bit good at it, but it’s not a good use of our time. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah. I think that was one of your points, right, knowing what’s the right use of your time? How did you say it? [URIAH]:
That comes, yeah, that comes at number two. Thank you for setting it up. Perfect. Calculate the value of your time. So the problem here is if you spend too much time on low value tasks, without realizing it, then, you know, you compromise your potential, essentially. I didn’t realize it, but in the beginning, and even in the last couple years, if you spend 20 hours a week blogging, just for example, how much are you getting paid for that? Probably not much. How do you make money? You see clients, most likely, that is the highest value thing on your calendar, or your task list, right? And it’s true for all of us, no matter where you’re at in your business, but you make excellent money when you focus on the right things.
So calculating the value of your time is something that I’ve actually done from the very beginning, I ran across a coach, like 12 years ago, who said, who taught this metrics tracking thing that I’ve done for literally the last 12 years, and it’s very simple, you just write down, I put it in a spreadsheet, the number of clients I saw that week, the amount of money that I collected, and then do a simple math problem and figure out the average fee. And I literally, kind of impressed that I did this for so long, but I literally tracked my average fee for 12 years. And so I could see it go up from $75, all the way up to $200 over time. And now, I’ll be honest, like not every hour of my time in a day is worth $200. It just isn’t. So I’m not inflating my sense of self importance here. But realizing that if I can get somebody else to, like you said, fold my laundry, mow my lawn, you know, do my bookkeeping, do my insurance billing, for less than $150 or $180, whatever that number is, that’s probably a smart use of my money, right? And so what we all find that we do is we spend too much time on the low value tasks. And that’s where we need to kind of start to shift those things.[WHITNEY]:
I mean, the other thing to consider there is you may not want to mow your lawn, you might enjoy seeing clients more. [URIAH]:
That is so true. Yeah, I have had moments of, not so much recently, but moments of guilt for having like lawn services, right? Not necessary, do I really need to spend that $60 a month, which actually is pretty low for lawn services? But I don’t have to do that task. It gets done. And I’m very, very happy. And those things take me longer than they do professionals. [WHITNEY]:
That’s right. You know, for us, we hired a maid a few years ago, and I grew up with a maid, my husband didn’t and he was like, what are you doing? And I’m like, Honey, do you want me to spend four hours every weekend cleaning the house instead of with the kids? I would rather be with my kids. And if I can hire someone to clean the house, let them come clean the house during the week so that we can enjoy the weekend together and that’s what did it and it made a huge difference. [URIAH]:
I gotta tell you, it’s so great for me to listen to you talk about those things, because it’s given me ideas. And I think my wife would say, hopefully she doesn’t listen to this, but she would say, we’re overdue for housekeeping services. I’m gonna put that on my list for 2021. There you go. [WHITNEY]:
It’s funny because we talked about the lawn, my husband will not let us get a lawn service. I’m trying to convince him, but you know, his parents never did stuff like that. So he’s all about doing the yard. But then in the summer, he’s got to do it like every week here. And I’m like, I don’t want you out there. I want you doing something with us. I have to watch the kids while you do that. [URIAH]:
That’s so funny. Yeah, it’s, it’s a mindset thing. And, and I think there’s value in holding on to tasks that you really get a lot of pleasure out of. And so I would never tell anybody to delegate something that you really like doing. For me, it’s writing all of our email marketing newsletters. I enjoy writing, I enjoy communicating in that format. So I tried to hand it off, and it didn’t work. Because that’s something that I want to own. So keep those things, right? Keep those things. [WHITNEY]:
Well, I’m glad you have that gift, I definitely do not. What is number three there? [URIAH]:
Number three is accept that done is better than perfect. And this is a challenge for most of us, I think. I mean, we’re not all, for lack of a better word, control freaks. I am a little bit, you know, I’ll admit it. But I know what I want done, and I know how I want it done. And if you started a private practice, you probably came from agency work or some other nonprofit or some kind of environment where you didn’t get to call the shots. So now that you’re in private practice, or have been for a long time, you get to have control over all those things. And so having somebody come in, or inviting somebody into your business to help you with any of these tasks, is a little bit challenging. And it involves letting go. It involves a good amount of acceptance and adjusting expectations.
But the thing is that often a lot of us think that no one is going to do it as well as we do. I’m sure you’ve heard that from your coaching clients.[WHITNEY]:
Oh, yeah. [URIAH]:
Yeah. I mean, an intake coordination is a great example of that, right? We, of course, we care deeply about our clients, and we want to match them with the right therapist, and we want to connect with them. And we think that we are amazing, and we are. But here’s a little tip that I found, that I discovered over the years is that actually, when I first handed that off, I assumed that the numbers would go down. So, less callers being converted into clients. Because I’m so great, right? How could my assistant possibly do better than me? And the numbers actually went up to my great surprise. And part of that equation was that people could not get connected with me. So what I thought was a strength and an advantage was now, as a group practice owner, a disadvantage. People wanted to work with me, even though I talked about how great Jim is, they said, well, I really like you, you know. And so with having a virtual assistant or somebody in your office to handle that task, they’re just the intermediary. And they’re the connector, if you will, right? So they can do that. And it works out better. [WHITNEY]:
I mean, you’re so true on all that, like, when my assistant got used to it, it was like her conversions were better than mine. [URIAH]:
Is that right? You had that experience too? [WHITNEY]:
Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. And she can spend a lot more time with people, like, I felt like I was trying to hurry and get them to the scheduling part. And like, we gotta get past all this to get you scheduled, because I’ve got people waiting, and my, you know, I’m stressed, you know, I’ve got so much to do. And, you know, if somebody’s total job is to respond to these calls, they’re just a lot more present with the client than we are. [URIAH]:
Mm hmm. And it’s actually much, much better customer service, too. Because people get responded to quicker, which we all know, you know, the therapist, or the practice that responds the quickest is most likely to get the client. So that’s a huge advantage. And they can, like you said, they can spend more time and they’re not going to be so worried about getting on and off the phone quickly. [WHITNEY]:
It’s funny now because I got so used to taking the calls and now I don’t take them anymore that occasionally, like if the assistant is not available, or like we had an after hours call one time and it was like a really important referral source so I wanted to call the guy back and like, didn’t know what to do. I like, knew how to talk to him but it was time to schedule and like, wait. What do I fill out? Because they are just, the systems are in place and they know them better than I do. [URIAH]:
Mm hmm. That’s so funny. Yeah, you get out of the rhythm of doing anything. And then it’s a little bit difficult to get back into. I did an intake call not too long ago. I think my assistant was out and then I realized later like, why don’t I have a backup? Because I have a team of 18 virtual assistants, but now I do. I know, isn’t that funny? [WHITNEY]:
That’s very funny. [URIAH]:
Yeah. But I got on the phone with this mom and had this great conversation with her and she was crying by the end and I connected her with a wonderful therapist and I honestly just felt so good and I remembered why, why I built Productive Therapist and why I love being a therapist as well. And there’s just something so satisfying. So we now hire people who have the values of wanting to help, not just doing an administrative job and checking boxes, but actually have compassion and empathy, and really get a lot of pleasure out of connecting people with those life changing services. And so we provide jobs for virtual assistants that are very meaningful. And I think that makes a difference. [WHITNEY]:
It sure does.Alright, we’ve got two more, right? [URIAH]:
I gotta say real quick, though, on this one, the insight is that you can find amazing people that will share your values and do great work for you. And so, one simple step you can take is grab a notebook, write down your worst fears about delegating, and disaster, maybe you’ve had some bad experiences too, some of us have. We tried, right? And it didn’t work out. But take that, put it on paper, and then read it aloud to somebody that you trust, and do some self therapy, and see if you need to make a shift there. Because if you’ve had a bad experience, or if you’re just worried that if you’re constantly running through the worst case scenarios, that will hold you back probably more than anything, to actually taking the steps that you need to take. And so work that out, see what you need to do about that, and then move on to the next.
Alright, so tip number one is admit that you need help. Number two is calculate the value of your time. Number three is accept that done is better than perfect. And number four is access some trusted resources. We all do this. So it’s not you know, it’s common sense. But you probably know somebody that knows somebody that can do the thing that you need done. Whether it’s a, you know, a bookkeeper, an accountant, a house painter, we’ll expand it right, a maid, whatever that thing is, you know somebody through Facebook or through Instagram or just through your local networks. And that’s oftentimes the best place to find the right person for the job. And we have a master list that I’ve been putting together and sort of cultivating for a couple of years. And it’s over at productivetherapist.com/master. And it’s got all kinds of people, it’s got business coaches, it’s got insurance billing companies, it’s got digital marketing companies. And the unique thing about this list is that these are all individuals or companies that specifically help therapists. So I don’t put anybody on the list that doesn’t say, we exist to help therapists. And so not not everybody’s on, in fact, I think I need to add you.[WHITNEY]:
Sounds like a good idea. [URIAH]:
I’ll have to go check and see if you’re on there. But if not, I’m going to add you. So the problem is often that you just, you know, you’re like, okay, I know that I need help. I’m kind of ready. I’ve gotten over the mental and the emotional, psychological hurdles to delegating and getting some support. But who do I find that I can trust? So asking your community is the way to go. And getting those solid recommendations will help you just feel a little bit more confident and comfortable with making this step. [WHITNEY]:
I’m glad that’s out there. I’ll definitely look at it within our… Alison Pidgeon and I run a Facebook membership, or like a Teachable platform, all this kind of stuff. It’s a community for group practice owners, and always getting questions about delegating out and third parties and all that. So I’ll have to look at it because that’ll give me a lot of ideas. [URIAH]:
Terrific. Yeah. It’s wonderful what you’re doing with Alison, I’ve seen that, and it looks like some awesome services. And when you’re doing business coaching, you’re figuring out strategy, you’re figuring out how to grow the business and what needs to happen next. And there’s always that question, like you said earlier, like, okay, well, who’s gonna do that? Right? You gotta have some go to people. Just to put in a couple plugs. If you don’t mind, this is not for me. But I personally use and love Greg Higdon from Grow The Books, which is a bookkeeping company that, they don’t only work with therapists, but they work with a lot of therapists. So love them a ton. [WHITNEY]:
Yes, I’m gonna guess that’s Kelly’s husband, right? [URIAH]:
That is Kelly’s husband. Yes. Kelly’s [unclear]. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah. Yeah, I had her on another episode. I can’t wait to one day meet her in person, because she seems so cool. But I hear great things about the two of them. So I’ll have to get him on the show, though. [URIAH]:
Yeah, definitely. And then the last one here, we got one more. Tip number five is to start small and delegate something this week. So just get started, right? And I think people delay getting help, usually, because of some mixture of ambivalence, avoidance, or fear, some of the things that we’ve already talked about. And honestly, you don’t have to feel bad about that. These things are hard, and you just have to get started and do something, which is better than nothing. [WHITNEY]:
Mm hmm. So true. Yeah. So if y’all are wanting access to those tips, Uriah’s got a really cool handout. So you can just go to productivetherapist.com/five-tips and you can get access to that. And then you’ve got a freebie for us today, right? Or a discount here? [URIAH]:
Do you want me to remind you? $10 off the monthly membership program for Productive Therapist Insider, okay. And the discount code is faith if y’all want to go to productivetherapist.com/insider, and I’ll have that in the show notes. But can you tell us more about that monthly membership? [URIAH]:
Yes, I appreciate that. I did have a momentary lapse there. But it’s all good. Yeah, so Productive Therapist Insider is something I’m particularly excited about. And like you, I’m just always trying to figure out ways to support therapists and meet the needs that they have to solve the problems that they have. So it’s a very straightforward membership community where we have, we give people access to a bunch of courses, there are about seven courses in there. And then I also do a monthly print newsletter, which has been a new and really fun thing where I write this newsletter, I call it curated content. So I’m pulling together book reviews on books that I’ve read, I’m pulling together technology tips and productivity hacks, and some Business Made Simple insights. And then I actually mail that, I send it in the mail to them, it’s, it’s this amazing thing. And people so far are really loving that. And then we also have discounts on coaching and we’ve got some other benefits. We have like these pop up work groups that we do. Like this week, we’re doing one on business planning for 2021. And it’s like kind of a mixture between a training and sort of getting work done together, type of thing. So I’m excited about that. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, well, that’s fantastic. So if somebody is listening to this, and they want to maybe hire a virtual assistant or hear more, how can they get in touch with you or your company? [URIAH]:
Yeah, all the info is over on productivetherapist.com. And on the master list, I have also collected, there’s honestly about, I think 17 or 18 different virtual assistant companies that work with therapists. So there are options out there. I’d like to think we’re one of the best. We’re trying to be not better than anybody else, but we’re trying to be the best that we can be. But there’s other options out there, obviously Move Forward Virtual Assistants with Alison Pidgeon, awesome. So go check that out. [WHITNEY]:
Cool. Well, I’m gonna ask you what I ask everyone at the end of the show. What do you believe every Christian counselor needs to know? [URIAH]:
That’s a great question. And I have not been able, I did not know about that until right now. So this is off the cuff. [WHITNEY]:
I like off the cuff. [URIAH]:
I think, so I actually just recently went through the process of becoming a certified coach for Business Made Simple, which is Don Miller and Story Brand, and all of his sort of proven frameworks. So I think messaging is huge. And we all kind of know that, but especially as a Christian counselor, depending on how much you work that message into your marketing, I think making sure that you tell a compelling story to your potential clients and integrate how faith, bringing that into the room, makes a difference for them on their journey. And then along with that, making sure that you position yourself as the guide and the potential client is the hero of the story. I think that’s an amazing thing that you can do. [WHITNEY]:
Awesome. Well, thanks for sharing that and thanks again for coming on the show. [URIAH]:
Absolutely. It was fun. Thanks. [WHITNEY]:
Thank you for listening to the Faith in Practice podcast. If you love this podcast, please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. If you liked this episode and want to know more, check out the Practice of the Practice website. Also, there you can learn more about me, options for working together, such as individual and group consulting, or just shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Would love to hear from you.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.
Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.