STP 21 | Gordon Brewer
James Marland: became
Welcome to the Scaling Therapy Practice. This is James Marlin. I am so glad that you joined us. I'm here today with a special guest, Gordon Brewer from the Practice of Therapy. Hello Gordon.
Gordon Brewer: Hi James.
James Marland: Uh, probably a lot of people know you, but why don't you give yourself, uh, an introduction.
Gordon Brewer: Sure. Well, thanks for having me, James. I'm real excited, uh, about this and, and, uh, the fact that you've got this podcast, cuz I think it's, it's a much needed topic. Oh, thank you. Um, for the folks that, yeah. So for folks that might not know me, I'm Gordon Brewer. I'm, um, Licensed Marriage and family therapist.
I'm have a private practice in Kingsport, Tennessee, um, which is the northeast corner of Tennessee. Um, Kingsport Counseling Associates. It's a small group practice. Um, when I say. Small. I usually think of a practice that has 10 or less clinicians mm-hmm. As being mm-hmm. More on the small side. But anyway, um, I've got that, I've been been in private practice for, oh gosh, since 2006 or so, uh, the group practice since 2014, but also I have a podcast.
That, um, is part of the Site Craft network along with James called the Practice of Therapy Podcast, and, um, been doing that since 2017 and really just, um, Work on topics. Um, there, on that podcast, we just delve into topics around, you know, what it takes to run a private practice, both on the clinical side and the business side of things, and just sharing all of that with folks.
Um, yeah. And so, uh, I've, um, um, One of the other hats that I wear is, uh, I'm also a clergy person in the, in the Episcopal church. Um, and, um, Yeah. And so I, with the practice of therapy, in addition to the podcast, I've got, uh, a few courses out there with it. One being Google Workspace for Therapist, another one called Money Matters for Private Practice.
And then, um, here, just to, to put in a little plug here and also some motivation is, uh, gonna be releasing a course on how to do podcasting in the mental health. In mental health context. I've got that. I know, I know about that one. Yes. James knows about that one. So that's one of, gonna be one of our collaborations, but So that's exciting.
Yes, it is. It is. And so, uh, yeah, and I'm married, um, have one daughter who is adulting now. She's, uh, she's uh, um, she's a, a environmental educator. She works for a place called the LaHaie Forest School down in Chattanooga. And she. Teaches first graders and kindergartners about nature and all of that kind of stuff, and she's outside with them every day razor shine.
Really? Mm-hmm. That's
James Marland: interesting. Yeah. Was she always into that? Was she always into like nature
Gordon Brewer: and teaching? Well, she, well, she was an environmental. Environmental and sustainability major in college. Mm-hmm. And so, uh, she went to the University of South and also known as Suwanee. Um, and, uh, she just kind of happened into that.
She's a, she's, as I like to tease her about, she's kind of a camp kid rat. She's spent most of her summers do doing church camp stuff. And, and it just, uh, absolutely formed her. And so she's still doing that vicariously through those kids. Can't,
James Marland: I, I was a camp counselor for, well, I think it was only one season.
Mm-hmm. And it was like the best, I don't know. It was the best experience of my life. I still have some great, really great memories from that. So she turned it into a career. Right.
Gordon Brewer: Right. That's cool. She's, she's having a ball. Yeah. So we
James Marland: met, uh, in one of the conferences in Colorado, like, uh mm-hmm. I'd known you from afar, you know, your podcast mm-hmm.
And, and whatnot. And we went to, um, uh, killing at camp. Uh, the first one, actually. The first killing at camp. Mm-hmm. And you, um, you know, sometimes you're not sure, like what are people like when they're real. Mm-hmm. But you're a genuine, like what you see is what you get. Like you're a genuine kind. Uh, person that's trying to help people.
And I remember just sitting, um, I think it, we were, I think everybody had gone and we just sat and talked about like, Hot sauce and whiskey or something like, yeah. My Does that sound like
Gordon Brewer: you? Yeah. Yeah. Or or cigars and whiskey. Cigars
James Marland: whiskey. Maybe it wasn't hot sauce, it was just, uh, yeah.
Gordon Brewer: Yeah.
James Marland: Just, uh, different, just, just some interests and, uh, that you were, um, an early part of your career.
You were, were you a mortician?
Gordon Brewer: Yes, I was a funeral director for union director. That's what they're called. Yeah. Yeah. Mor and a mortician too. I was a licensed. To do both, uh, embalming and funeral directing. And so I did that for like 18 years. And so, um, well, lots of, such a, lots of stories around that.
James Marland: But, but you were just real and genuine and we sat around and chatted. Uh, you took my picture in front of the, uh, the, the ro i, they, what mountains are out in Colorado? I don't The Rockies? Yeah. Rocky Mountains there. Uh, it was, uh, it was a great time. Mm-hmm. And, uh, that. And it's been a few years since then, but you've just been a great friend and just somebody who gives back to the community.
So I'm really happy that you're on the show today. So thanks for, thanks for joining us.
Gordon Brewer: Yeah, yeah, my pleasure. And thanks for your kind words.
James Marland: Okay. Yeah. Well, it's all true. So, uh, so, um, let's talk about our tool tip or Tech of the week. I'll go first. Uh mm-hmm. If you're on the video podcast, I have the, I have this book I'm showing up.
It's, uh, go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham and one of, uh, it, it's a wonderful, uh, book about using what you're good at to, uh, do more like don't try to. Make up for your weaknesses and like put all your energy into your weaknesses. It's like, focus on your strengths. What are you good at?
What is the. What's the, the, the 80 per the 20% that you can get do better than anyone else? That you get 80% more value out of it, or whatever the ratios are. I'm sure they're in the book. Mm-hmm. It's been a few years since I read it, but one of the tools I remember from that, that I did for a while is in the, in the book there's some red, and you can see on the video there's some green cards and some red cards.
And the green cards, you would go through your week and write down the things that really made you feel strong, the things that were, that energized you and like you kind of lost your time. You lost time in, like you lost, like what was going on. And you wrote down what those things were. And then, you know, uh, on the other side you had the red cards.
What were the things that drained you? What were the things that like sucked the joy out of your week or life, right. And, and write those down. And then there, there was an exercise in the book, and I don't quite remember it right now, but it was basically evaluate those things and rank, rank what you're good at and, and try to maximize those things.
And over time, Try to make your job description, just those things that you can benefit from and delegate or delete the, the red cards as much as you're able to. Mm-hmm. And so maybe as somebody who's trying to scale their business, you're like, why can't I, why can't I generate some momentum? Well, uh, you might be, Not maximizing your strengths.
You might be trying to do everything. And, uh, just that was one of a great lesson for me. Like, you're, you, you're gonna produce the most when you work in your strengths.
Gordon Brewer: Right, right. One, one, I think, um, that ratio you're talking about, if I, I'm, I'm gonna paraphrase it, but, uh, something like, it's actually only 20% of what we do accomplishes 80% of what we Oh, right.
Yes. Have to accomplish, yeah. Yeah, so figuring out that 20% that's really gonna move the needle forward. And it's usually like you, like you like the, the book you, you said alludes to is that really we do our best work when we are focusing on the things that, number one, energize us mm-hmm. That we enjoy doing versus doing those things that are just kind of drudgery for us and that we probably don't do well.
I mean, in, in the context of, uh, a little, little quick, quick kind of, um, Anecdote to that, um, James that I think about is that, um, one of the things that, uh, early on in my career I worked for, I, in my counseling career, I, I worked for a nonprofit where we mainly worked with at-risk children and youth. Hmm.
Mm-hmm. And learn, learned a whole lot from that job. And, uh, I wouldn't give it away for anything that, that experience that gained there. But one of the things I figured out is that I really don't like working with children all that much. Right. Yeah. And I remember, I remember, uh, again, we, we talked about my daughter, uh, my, my daughter always said that I sucked at playing Barbies when we, when she was little.
So, you know, I just don't have a natural. Now for connecting with children and doing the play stuff and the imagination stuff. But, um, yeah. And so I think you really have to find what it is that you really enjoy doing and, and it, and it energizes you. And that also speaks to just on the clinical side with therapists.
If you know what that is, what kinds of clients you enjoy working with. Mm-hmm. And what energizes you. There's your niche right there. Yeah, for sure. And so if you can come up with an avatar of what that ideal client is, that's I. That's what, um, where you need to focus.
James Marland: Yes. Who's your, who's your dream client?
Who's the one that you can connect with the most? Mm-hmm. Give them the benefit, the quickest and that you can, can win with. Like, those are the people that, that make you wanna keep coming back. It's, mm-hmm. It's the, the other ones that make your. Your life.
Gordon Brewer: Tough. Yeah. If you think about your caseload, um, yeah.
And the people that, when you look at your schedule that day, you think, oh no, you know those,
James Marland: that's a red card. That's, yeah.
Gordon Brewer: Those are your red card clients. Yeah. Your red card clients.
James Marland: There's people that you love to take their calls from cuz you, you just take their calls and then there's other people you see their numbers show up and you're just like, oh, not, not again, like they're the drainers.
Mm-hmm. That's mm-hmm. That maybe that's a, maybe that's a way to adapt that, uh, the go put your strengths to work thing is mm-hmm. Use red privately. Mm-hmm. Right. Use red and green cards, or just a check, you know, a check system mm-hmm. For who are your preferred clients and try to maximize that. That's a great, that's a great, uh, angle for mm-hmm.
For therapists. So, uh, great. Well, what's your, uh, tool or tip or tech of the week?
Gordon Brewer: Yeah. So, um, folks that have known me or whatever know that I, I love using Google Workspace and mm-hmm. Um, you know, I think one of the things that, um, really kind of the, the thing that I love about Google Workspace is it's so versatile.
Uh, and there are, there are some, there are some people. Quite a few people. As a matter of fact, I've, when, when I created the course Google Workspace for Therapists, um, a few years later I thought, well, I'm gonna start a Facebook group. Well, that I, the Facebook group, I kinda started probably around 2019, something like that.
And, um, Then Covid hit and that group just exploded. Right? And there's like over 9,000 members in that Facebook group now. Um, just sharing tips on how they're using Google Workspace and um, you know, how they're using them in their practice. And so Google Workspace, if you're not familiar with that, if you have a Google account, there's a whole set of tools.
That you have availability to in the background. So like Google Docs, Google Sheets, um, Google Drive, Google Forms, uh, just to name a few. There's, uh, another application that I love, it's called Google Keep, which is kind of like a, a light version of something like Evernote or OneNote, uh, on and that sort of thing.
But one of the things about it, and then of course, Gmail. Um, is another big one. And how I kind of stumbled upon Google Workspace was I was, when I was getting my practice going, and particularly when I started my group practice, I wanted to have my, um, website url. Be my we, my, um, my email address. So instead of having gordon gmail.com, I [email protected].
So I started looking at different ways that you could do that. And lo and behold, and it ha also had to be HIPAA secure. Right. Uh, was the other, was the other part of it. And so lo and and behold is that if you get a paid Google Workspace account, they will give you the b a A, the business associate agreement, which is the big thing that you need in order to make things.
I've got you. If you hear that in the background, that is my, um, My Google Home that picked up my voice saying Google. And so, oh Google. So I dunno if you wanna cut that out or not. But anyway, I've got a, a Google home. You know, which is kinda like
James Marland: the, so you, so you're, you're, you're, you're living in the future with your automated
Gordon Brewer: home.
Yeah. So anyway, I did need to get sidetracked there, but I kept hearing, uh, I thought, who's, who's in there? Um, so, so anyway, um, so I wanted to, so with Google Workspace, the, um, um, the paid version, which is only even, even now, it's really $6, $10 a month. Yeah. They, they've gone up. So it's probably. I would say around $12 a month, uh, for Okay.
For the basic and then $18 a month for, which gives you a little more storage and that kind of thing. So it's per user. And so with my group practice, I've got everybody in my Google Workspace account and all of them have emails that [email protected]. So that was really. How I got started in using Google Workspace.
But there's, you know, with Google Workspace, there's a whole set of add-ons that you can use it. Um, the other thing that I love about it is that it, um, it is, um, uh, what's the word I'm looking for? It is compatible with a lot of different. Other applications? Yeah. I mean, so you can, um, there's one application that a lot of people are using called Jot forms.
Mm-hmm. Which is a separate kind of third party application, but it, it integrates with Google Workspace very well. And so all of your storage can be on your Google Drive, which is, um, Which is you can make HIPAA compatible. So all of that is just, it really works well in, in kind of our context. I will say though, if you are more of an insurance based practice, um, you probably want to do kind of like what I do, which is kind of a hybrid of Google Workspace Plus I use a, a, a platform called Therapy Notes as my, mm-hmm.
And so I, the way I think about it is Therapy Notes handles the, the clinical side of things, whereas Google Workspace handles the business side of things. As far as the, the, the, the management of stuff and the systems and
James Marland: processes. Well, well even getting your own email address, you know, and the, the HIPAA compatibility of that and all the storage.
It's, it's, it's really tough to beat that value. Yeah. It is just a great value for a little bit of money and Right. People. I, I, when I was doing the, uh, virtual assistant company, people therapists didn't know, they didn't know that you needed a, have a compliant email, or they didn't know that Gmail, just your [email protected] wasn't HIPAA compliant.
Mm-hmm. So having those types of, The resources, it's very important when you're dealing with, um, you know, the, the data.
Gordon Brewer: Right, right. And, and you have to, the, the one thing I will say here is, is that, um, the Gmail, the Gmail with Google Workspace, Just right out of the box is not necessarily HIPAA secure or HIPAA compliant.
Right. And not to go too far into the Tech James, but you have to recognize the difference between data at rest versus data and transit. And so if you're sending an email from somebody, From yourself, which most email com major ones use this thing called t l s, which is, uh, transport layer security encryption.
Mm-hmm. Um, um, which is it? Most of 'em use that, but if somebody else doesn't have that, Technically that is not a secure thing. Mm-hmm. So a lot of people will get a third party, um, application. Uh, two that I'm um, familiar with is VER two is one, and then there's another one called Paw Box, which provide true end-to-end encryption.
So if somebody were to somehow or another snag the email in transit, um, A person couldn't read it. So been a lot of debate about that aspect of it on the Facebook group. Um, I've got my opinions about that, so,
James Marland: so if somebody wanted to follow up on this conversation, they could ask the question in your Facebook group.
What, what was that group
Gordon Brewer: called again? It's just, uh, it's just called the Google Workspace for therapist. Okay. Um, Facebook group. Yeah. I belong
James Marland: to it. I've asked a couple questions and, and just follow it for, mm-hmm. For general information, cuz there's people asking questions you don't think about until you see it and you're like, oh.
You know that, that's a great question. So it's a, it's a great resource, a good, good thing to belong
Gordon Brewer: to. Right? And there are people that, particularly a lot of people that have just cash based sys, uh, cash based practices, in other words, they're not dealing with right third party payers, like insurances that they just use that exclusively for their Google workspace, for their electronic health records, uh, system.
Um, because again, like Google Calendar, again, that's another really powerful tool there. Handle all their appointments there and, uh, you can send reminders to people and all of that kind of stuff, um, through, through that application. So a lot of different uses there. And the course I put together just really kind of goes through each one of the.
Kind of applications available in Google Workspace and tells the different ways that you can use them in the context of a private practice. Cool. Yeah.
James Marland: Well, let's get into the main part of our interview. Mm-hmm. Uh, we, you are, I want to hear your story of, maybe you can start of where you are now, like what mm-hmm.
What your, where your practice is now, and then tell about some of the obstacles you faced going through. So just, where are you now and where did you start and what were some of the obstacles.
Gordon Brewer: Yes. Well, that's good. Good. Um, great question. Uh, where I am now, as I mentioned, I have a, I'm the owner of Kingsport Counseling Associates in Kingsport, Tennessee, Northeast corner of Tennessee.
I. And, uh, it's a small group practice. I have six, uh, six other clinicians working for me. I still see clients on a limited basis. And then also we have one admin person that works part-time with us here, handles the, the intakes and the phone calls and the insurance and billing and all of that kind of stuff.
But, um, yeah, so. That when I first started, I really started into private practice, just part-time. I was still working for the agency I'd been with and was just seeing clients on, you know, on on in evening, on evenings and weekends. Um, in the context of my church where I started, uh, a counseling ministry at my church.
And, um, is that something,
James Marland: is that something they asked for? Is that something you saw the need of, like how did you
Gordon Brewer: I saw, I saw the need of it, and also it was kind of, It kind of was a, a gateway for my kind of desire into going into, into private practice full-time. And at that time I was actually thinking of, um, really starting a full nonprofit, um mm-hmm.
You know, counseling center. And so I started looking into that. And started, you know, really kind of thinking about, okay, why would I want to do that? What, what is it that I'm looking for with that? Part of it is, is that I wanted it to be, you know, there's this idea that if something's nonprofit, it's, it's better, you know, is more, more caring or more mm-hmm.
Um, what's the word I'm looking? More philanthropic. Mm-hmm. All of that sort of thing, but, You know, ultimately I just wanted to provide care to people. Um, and I don't think that most people would care whether it's a nonprofit or not within the context of this. So made the decision to kind of go the for-profit route.
Okay. Um, And so I was seeing clients within the church context. I was using some office space at the church at the time to see folks and was paying them a, a donation, so to speak, to use the office space. And then they decided the, uh, the office building we were in, well they decided, okay, we've gotta tear this down.
It's too old. So had to go find my own office space. And I had a, um, At a, uh, at the time I was supervising somebody for licensure. I'm okay. I'm a, I'm an L M F T a licensed marriage and family therapist, and also an approved supervisor for that licensure track. And so I had somebody that I was supervising and so, uh, she was seeing folks, uh, in my office, you know, as part of meeting her a licensure requirements for, mm-hmm.
Clinical hours and that kind of thing. And so when I moved, she came with me and so I kind of had, we, we were really kind of operating more on a, what I refer to as a co-op model. We were just kind of sharing the experiences. Oh, co-location and of the location and that. Did you share the costs and everything
James Marland: too?
Gordon Brewer: pretty much. She was okay. She would, I would, um, Essentially what I did is came up with what, uh, what we did is we just split the cost of what it cost to rent the office. Mm-hmm. Um, office space at the time, which was, it was just a small office space on the second floor of a, of an insurance, insurance practice.
And it was, uh, you know, just had two, two. Two rooms, and that's where we, we started and we were just, we were operating independently. In other words, we weren't, there wasn't any sort of, I hadn't formed a, an entity at that point with far as the counseling office. And, um, but then, um, Had somebody approach me about maybe joining in with us.
And so that's when I started thinking about starting a group practice. And so, so
James Marland: you weren't necessarily looking to start a practice, but you had this opportunity to mm-hmm. To do it. What, what made you decide to do a group practice?
Gordon Brewer: Well, um, again, there was just a need there. Mm-hmm. I was als, I was filling up, I mean, I was reaching kind of the maximum number of clients that I wanted to see, and then also I was just looking at.
You know, um, from a, from a profit standpoint mm-hmm. Of, of being able to diversify my income mm-hmm. With what I was doing. Because the, the one thing about being a solo practitioner, um, you can, you can certainly do that and be profitable and you can, you can make a good living at doing that and that sort of thing, but eventually you reach kind of this ceiling with that, or glass ceiling.
Where there's only so many clients you can see, and there's only so many hours in a day time. The
James Marland: the limited resource of time catches up. And so
Gordon Brewer: and so when you reach that point Yeah. Then you've kind of, kind of stifled your potential for growth with your income now. So now you, you,
James Marland: you use this phrase like, trading time for dollars.
Is that what. I think you've used that with me before. Yeah.
Gordon Brewer: Well it's, uh, you know, the, um, yeah, the one, the one, um, The one product, and I'm using air quotes here, the one product that we have to offer as therapist is, um, number one, our knowledge and expertise, but also our time. And so that's what we, that's our product, is our time and our expertise.
Yeah. And so in a one-to-one model where you're doing traditional therapy, trade that
James Marland: time for dollars. Yeah.
Gordon Brewer: Yeah. And so, um, and there's a limit to that. I mean, there's, yeah, like I said, there's only so many hours in a day and only so many clients you can take on. And so, and emotionally
James Marland: too, like yes, you, I, I only did intakes, like in my therapy career.
I was just listening to people's problems, writing them down. That drain, that was very draining. I wasn't even doing any therapy with people and, and I, it it's just a draining emotional, um, practice. Like, anyway, I'm just, time is one limitation, but you're like, how much can your heart handle is also a limitation, right?
Yeah. So, so you, you were thinking. There's, there's only so far I can go, I could see 30, 40 people or whatever. You know, that's a lot of people. Mm-hmm. Yeah. But there's a limit to that. Right? So, so that was one of the d determining factors for starting, right? A
Gordon Brewer: group practice? Yes. Yes. And that's a, if you think about I in the context of diversifying income, um, when you're, if you're solo practitioner and you're full.
The lowest hanging fruit is to bring on somebody into your practice. And you know, if you've got two of you, you've got a group practice. And so what what I did is, um, I just hired somebody as a contractor, okay. Um, and then did a fee split with them, um, on that. So, um, you know, so I, I want to clarify here the, about.
Because there's one, there's, there's been a debate in the past about fee splitting being unethical, but um, the truth of the matter is if you work for somebody else, if you're working for an agency, they're splitting the fee with you. I mean, you're getting paid a portion of what they collect. And so same concept with fee splitting.
So you know, typically, With, um, group practices, it might be a 50 50 split or a 60 40 split somewhere in there. So the clinician keeps 60% of the what is collected and the, and the practice owner keeps 40%. So that's kind of the model i I moved into next, rather than splitting their cost of expenses, which that, you know, that adds to the bottom line, um, as far as the profit that I keep.
But it, it. It doesn't grow anywhere from that. And so when you add a, you start adding multiple, multiple clinicians, that's when the money starts to kind of multiply in terms of getting, getting really passive income from, from those people. And so it's a, and it's a win-win situation because you're providing them a place to work and a place to create income for themselves.
Um, and you're, you know, getting the benefit of that as well. Yeah. You, you
James Marland: take on the risk mm-hmm. Of owning a building or all the expenses and mm-hmm. They get shielded from that and you get some of the, you know, the compensation for doing that.
Gordon Brewer: Right, right. So, uh,
James Marland: so that was one stage of growth. Um mm-hmm.
Do you have another, uh, stage where
Gordon Brewer: you scaled? Yeah. So, yeah. Um, You know, one of the things that happened, uh, around that time when I was starting my group practice, I realized that, okay, I understand the concept, but I really don't quite grasp all the, the ins and outs, and particularly the financial side of things and the business side of things of really knowing that, you know, as mental health providers or clinicians, we get.
World's a great training on the clinical side of things, but there are, there are little, there is little to none. Uh, training on the business side, the business things. Sure. Yeah. So I started, I started listening to some podcasts, just there were starting, starting to be some, some podcasts that were out there.
Um, kind of a shout out to Melvin Raese selling the couch and mm-hmm. There was practice at the practice, Joe Ox mm-hmm. Was out there. Mm-hmm. And that sort of thing. And I was listening to their podcasts and I was just getting a lot of information and I'm thinking, okay. I know a lot of this stuff, I mean, I learned a lot from, from those podcasts, but I know a lot of this stuff.
I'd like to share this as well with what I've learned. Mm-hmm. And so that's when I started the practice of the practice, uh, mainly, uh, I mean, excuse me, prac, the practice of therapy. Uh, free advertising there for Joe. But, um, this, uh, uh, I started the practice of therapy and, and the way I went about it is I started thinking, okay, what could I call this blog?
And, um, I just start, started looking at domains, which was the way that I kind of approached it. And lo and behold, practice of therapy.com was available. And so I snatched it up. And I started the blog as a blog in 2016. And then in 2017 I thought, well, you know, I'm hearing all this stuff about podcasting being the next big thing.
I'll give it a shot. You know, let me stick my toe in here. And so I bought a mic and started putting things together and figuring out how to be a pod, how to do podcasts and produce them, and all of that sort of thing. And then that boom from there, it just kind of, it grew. Mm-hmm. And, um, you know, um, probably my first episodes, um, you know, I think I got first episode, maybe got 50 downloads or something, you know.
Mm-hmm. You know, just nothing there. But, um, it's grown, uh, since that time. I just got through recording. Or getting out episode number 2 65, I think. Oh, wow. And so, yeah. And so now the downloads are, you know, well over 5,000 a month. So it just really, k kind of took off. And, um, you know, again, not to go too down, far down the rabbit hole, but, um, you know, the stages of growth were.
Moving really from the one to one mm-hmm. Way of doing business and creating income to going to the one from one to one to the one to many. Mm-hmm. And so with, with podcasting, there's a lot of opportunity to, to, um, Monetize the podcast and then also, um, create other sidelines that are with that. So I created, you know, as I mentioned, the Google Workspace for therapist course.
Mm-hmm. And the now I've got, you know, the Money Matters course, and then I've got a, uh, course that I. Collaborated with David Hall. Yep. That you all have heard on this, this podcast on, um, uh, starting a group practice and so mm-hmm. A lot of different avenues there for, for teaching and sharing information and that kind of thing.
And all of that can be monetized in a way that, um, feel, feels good for, for most of us. Mm-hmm. Yeah. A
James Marland: lot of, a lot of the, um, some podcasting, you do some affiliate marketing mm-hmm. Where you talk about somebody else's product and if they buy it, you get a piece. If they don't buy it, it's not, you know, nothing happens.
Right. But when you have an audience, there's, there's ways to reach out to people. And I think, you know, you're creating the, um, Cy Craft network with the community of people that are mm-hmm. Kind of like. Similar interests, talking about the same things? Yes. Mm-hmm. Like willing to help each other. Like the community's a really good community.
I mean, I'm a part of it, so, you know, take that for what it's worth. Mm-hmm. But there, there's been a lot of generous people in the Cyra network, you know, helping each other, promoting each other. And that just, just is, uh, Uh oh. Another way to grow your audience and increase your impact, which also increases your income.
So yeah, it. Yeah. So you're, you're branching out a little bit and you seem to be sort of the, I'm gonna try it and see if it works kind of person. Mm-hmm. Is that sort of like one of the Yeah. That, that would
Gordon Brewer: be, that's that you have true. I mean, it's kinda like, uh, uh, one of, one of the lines I use a lot is I'm gonna build the airplane as I fly.
And so, which doesn't sound, it sounds kinda risky, but, uh, yeah. But that's, uh, that's how we learn anything. I think we. We have to be willing to make mistakes and, and learn from our mistakes. Um, but I think it, it's putting things into action is the big thing. And I'm, the other thing I would say about any of this stuff, whether it's going into private practice, starting a podcast, or doing, creating courses or mm-hmm.
Any of that is you have to be, as I like to say, persistent and consistent with what you do. You have to just kinda keep at it. And I think, um, you know, over time with, with persistency and consistency, things will grow. Um mm-hmm. And, and then also being able to listen to others. I mean, being able to, um, kind of validate from your audience or from people that are involved.
Okay, is this a good idea or not? Or is this something that resonates with you or, or not? And so being able to think about things in that way, Yeah. That mindset
James Marland: is, is really critical. Can you imagine if you had like a, a, a negative mindset when you just got 50 downloads or something? Mm-hmm. Like. You'd be ready to quit.
Like, right. Like, like that's, that's like, oh, I put all this work into it. I bought this fancy microphone, you know? Mm-hmm. And now, and now nothing happened. I mean, could you imagine? So let's let, one of the questions I wanted to ask you kind of relates to this. What, what do you wish you knew? What do you wish you knew now or back then, what do you wish you knew when you were started?
Gordon Brewer: Yeah. Well, well, I think one of the things, well, there's lots of things I wish I had known, but, um, yeah. But I, I think as much as anything, I think, um, being able to get away from kind of an imposter syndrome mm-hmm. Uh, to some degree. Mm-hmm. Um, uh, being able to have a little more self, you know, confidence in what I'm doing in that, um, Really, it's about, it's really about connecting with people, which, you know, for those of us in the mental health field, that's what we do is we connect with people.
And so being able to, to really have more confidence in, in my ability to do that. And I think too, um, the other thing too is that I think a lot of times people have this idea that, well, somebody else is doing that and it's not an original idea. Um, mm-hmm. You know? Mm-hmm. You know, it's kinda like, well, there's, there's several other podcasts on this, on this topic.
I don't, you know, why, why stick my toe in the water? And the thing that I wish I knew back then, uh, is that whatever your voice is that's gonna resonate with people in a unique way. And so what I do, Um, resonates with some folks, whereas what somebody else does might resonate with her more. And so, um, but the other thing too is, is that there's plenty, there's plenty to go around and, uh,
James Marland: generous.
The generous mindset. Yes.
Gordon Brewer: Yes. And so, um, being able to, also being able to collaborate more. Mm-hmm. One other thing I will mention too, James, that I wish I had known. Known back then mm-hmm. Was not to try to bootstrap so much of learning to, okay. Now I
James Marland: feel like you're, I feel like you're trying to tell me something here, Gordon.
I feel like Yeah, I, I'm connecting with what you're saying, so yeah, put it out late on
Gordon Brewer: me. What's that advice? Yeah. Yeah. So, no, but I think, I think in, you know, in the beginning stages of any kind of venture. I think it's good to bootstrap because you're teaching yourself kind of the backend of mm-hmm.
You're learning some good lessons. Yep. And you're learning some good lessons, you understand how it works, that sort of thing. But I think one of the things, um, you know, I think about, you know, with, with therapists, One of the things, particularly with a lot of solo practitioners, make this mistake of trying to answer the phone calls, set appointments with people.
Oh yeah. Doing all of this stuff. Call the insurance back, company back. Yeah. All of those things. Yeah. Do the social media. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Is not a good use of their time. And so being able to let go of that and recognize that when you let go of those things and you actually hire. Hire somebody else to do some of those things.
Going back to what we talked about at the beginning, getting rid of those red card things Yes. And hand them off to somebody else. Yeah. Is a good return on your investment and it will probably pay for itself in the long run. Yeah, I'm not talking cuz I'm thinking
James Marland: so. Yeah, yeah. Like, I'm like, maybe I need to redo this exercise again for myself.
Cuz I find myself, you know, you know my story, but I uhhuh, uh, six months ago the company I used to work for got sold. Mm-hmm. And the position was eliminated, you know, so, so now I'm trying to, I thought like, what do I do? Well, I do tech well. I, I do, um, Like information sharing. I help people. What could I help people with?
I'll create this course business, but I'm, I'm bootstrapping it, you know, you know, I don't have a ton of savings, so I am bootstrapping, you know, the course creation and some of the social media and the blog, like all the, all the little things. What I like to do is connect with people, interview people, do marketing.
And maybe do some teaching. So what are like the 50 other things that aren't marketing, teaching and like tech mm-hmm. That I need to write some red cards down and maybe not tomorrow, but mm-hmm. At some point in my future, find ways to delegate those things that really drain me or that I'm putting off or that I'm not answering the calls.
Uh, that, that is, um, Yeah. You know, really, really great
Gordon Brewer: advice. Thank you for that. Yeah. The oth the other thing I'll say real quickly about bootstrapping is, um, You know, as you're learning stuff, it's a good idea to start documenting kind of your steps and your systems and processes. Mm. Or doing those things that you're learning because, uh, eventually you will want to hand those off.
Um, and so if you document 'em along the way, you've already got your, kind of your, uh, user manual already created, so to speak, so that you can quickly Wonderful. Teach, yeah, teach somebody else what to do. Yeah, when I was
James Marland: doing the, um, the virtual assistant company, we had a, uh, we used loom. Mm-hmm. It's, that's a video program.
I'm sure there's other ones out there, but we use Loom and like a spreadsheet. And if you did something, you recorded it. And, uh, I did it a lot for my manager, you know, re uh, responsibilities. You just recorded it and, and put, if you had steps, you wrote it out and then it was there for the next person.
Mm-hmm. And when you're doing something that is very, you know, process oriented with a beginning and an end. Just document the process eventually. Mm-hmm. When it's time to let it go, you're gonna have that and it's gonna be much easier for the person to pick it up. Sure. And if they find a mistake, this was from, um, run like clockwork, uh mm-hmm.
I took a course from them. If you find a mistake or they find a better way to do it, now it's their responsibility to record the next video Yes. For the next person. Like, you don't have to rewrite it, just mm-hmm. Give that away to everyone. And that, uh, That is a, a great, another great gem of a tip. Sure. Uh, we're we're, uh, Gordon, we could talk for another hour, but we're heading Yeah, I'm sure we could, we're heading into the end, like, I have two questions, two questions left.
Uh, you, you, maybe you can combine 'em. One is how do you use your story now to help your, your, your clients? And, uh, two is what are solutions you're offering now to help your customers scale? So maybe you can kind of smash that into one question, but, uh, what's your story and how are you helping people now, you know?
Yeah. Is, might be a good question for you.
Gordon Brewer: Yeah. So what, one, one of the things that I, I learned along the way, again, and this kinda goes back to the other question, is not to do too much of it alone. I think you need to mm-hmm. Have mentors and you need to have mm-hmm. A community of people around you that can support you along the way and, and Bo also people you can bounce ideas off of.
I think one of the most important things I think is a, for, and I would say this is true of any business owner, is to have a group of trusted colleagues that you can, in some ways confide in and be able to share ideas. And learn from them and they can learn from you and that sort of thing. Um, is is something that I think is just invaluable and every time I've gotten involved with like something like a mastermind group or focus groups, that kinda thing.
Mm-hmm. It has actually. Projected me for forward faster by doing those things and awesome. And having people that you can be accountable to through all of that. And so, yeah, so that,
James Marland: that was doesn't always change you, but support and accountability does.
Gordon Brewer: Right. And so that was really, um, you know, part of my, um, kind of my impetus, I guess that's the correct word of, um, starting the site craft network.
Mm-hmm. Of which James is a part of, of really just being able to share ideas, cross promote, being able to, um, learn from each other. In the context of a community. Mm-hmm. Uh, because I think one of the things that we learned from Covid, if nothing else, is that community is important, and that to be isolated too long is just detrimental to us all, very emotionally, physically, spiritually, all of that kind of thing.
James Marland: So rolling that to the business context, being isolated without a group of support, accountability, and trust. Is you're, you're not gonna grow as fast or be as strong, um, by your, by yourself. Somebody, somebody once, um, I wish I remembered the, the, the book or the podcast. They, they ti they, they, uh, their example was like a wolf pack.
Like a lone wolf gets. And get attacked by other wolves or whatever. But a wolf pack achieves more together. Like it's mm-hmm. Like, you know, who is your pack, I guess was the, was was their, their, their story. Cuz you can do more together, uh, with a group that supports
Gordon Brewer: you. Right. And as human beings, we're social creatures anyway.
Whether, whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, we need others.
James Marland: Great. Well, that's a good place to, to end a little bit. Um, where can people, before I ask, the one thing that you want people to know, uh, or remember, where can people find you and what is something you're offering?
Gordon Brewer: Yes. So they can come to just my website, practice of therapy.com, and I've got tons of great resources on there.
I've really kind of build it, continue to build that out. I do, if somebody's in those beginning stages of, uh, going into private practice, I've got a private practice startup guide. You'll see mm-hmm. Plenty of links there on the page. And, um, If you go to my resources tab, um, or button there, you can get, see all the different things that I offer and, uh, the things that are available for, for people.
And then you can always reach out to me. Email me at gordon practice of therapy.com.
James Marland: And what's your, uh, do you know off the top of your head if they sign up for your newsletter, what's the freebie that they get?
Gordon Brewer: Yes, they get the, get the, well, it depends on which way they do which freebie you want to.
Yeah. Yeah. So there's lots of different ways to do that, depending on your interest. Like I've got several kind of PDFs, downloads, like I've got a, a Google. A Google Workspace hacks sheet. Okay. That they can get. Cool. That sounds useful. I, I would say here, here would be a good thing for people to do the, a free talk about a freebie.
I've got several free webinars that are automated. Mm-hmm. And they can just simply go to practice a therapy.com/webinars. And so you got some free training right up, free training in there. Practice
James Marland: of therapy slash webinars. Okay. Yeah. All right. So what's the one thing that you want people to remember from this episode?
Gordon Brewer: Oh, wow. I would say, um, being, being willing to, to some degree take a risk. Hmm. Be willing to build the airplane as you fly it. Um, and I would say be persistent and consistent with what you do. And, um, And do it in small steps. Mm-hmm. Um, you don't have to do the huge, big things, but the small steps add up over time.
Um, and get kind, going back to my, the, the podcasting thing and my, my job when I started that podcast was I told myself, I'm just gonna get it out every week. Mm-hmm. And, um, do what I need to do to do that. And that was my only goal with it, is to get it out consistently.
James Marland: Great. Well that, that, that's those four or five things sound like a, uh mm-hmm.
The start of a good book, Gordon. Okay. Okay. The chapters of a book. So, my one thing would be, uh, be willing to give things away. Like be willing to maximize your strengths and give things away, highlighted by some of the advice that you had given in this, like, um, uh, and write, write stuff down. Start documenting.
What you do, and someday you're gonna give some of that away. So that, that was awesome advice.
Gordon Brewer: Okay. All right.
James Marland: Well, uh, we're gonna end the show. Thanks Gordon for joining me.
Gordon Brewer: It's been great. I've enjoyed being, enjoyed our conversation. So
James Marland: this is James Marland with Gordon Brewer. Thanks for joining us.
We'll see you next time. And,