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Adding Revenue Streams with Gordon Brewer | STP21

 Starting a private practice can be daunting, but with the right mindset, it can become a successful business. In this conversation, James Marland interviews Gordon Brewer, a licensed marriage and family therapist and the owner of Kingsport Counseling Associates in Tennessee. Brewer talks about his journey from starting a counseling ministry in his church to owning a successful group practice. In this blog post, we will highlight the key takeaways from the conversation.

The Journey to Private Practice

Brewer began his journey by starting a counseling ministry in his church, where he saw the need to provide counseling services to his community. As he became more invested in providing care, he decided to open a private practice. At first, he was seeing clients part-time while working at an agency. He used some office space at his church to see his clients and eventually moved to his own office space. "Ultimately I just wanted to provide care to people. And I don't think that most people would care whether it's a nonprofit or not within the context of this." - Gordon Brewer

The Transition to a Group Practice

Brewer eventually transitioned to a group practice when he saw that he had reached his maximum client capacity. He wanted to provide more opportunities for other clinicians to work alongside him and also increase the services offered to clients. He started his group practice by bringing in other clinicians, and they shared the cost of renting an office space. As the practice grew, Brewer hired an admin person to handle intakes, phone calls, and billing. "I was reaching kind of the maximum number of clients that I wanted to see, and then also I was just looking at from a profit..." - Gordon Brewer

Challenges Faced Growing A Group Therapy Practice

Starting a private practice comes with its set of challenges, and Brewer faced his fair share. One of the challenges he faced was the lack of knowledge about running a business. He had to learn how to manage his finances and handle the administrative tasks that came with owning a private practice. Another challenge he faced was managing his time between seeing clients, managing his practice, and his personal life. "I think just learning about the business side of things was a challenge for me, just figuring out how to manage the finances and all of that sort of stuff." - Gordon Brewer

And then a Podcast for Therapists 

Podcasting has been a growing medium over the years, and many have found ways to monetize their podcasts. James suggests using affiliate marketing, where the host talks about a product and receives a commission if a listener buys it. Additionally, creating a community of like-minded individuals can increase engagement and income. James notes, "when you have an audience, there's ways to reach out to people, and you're creating thePsychCraft Network with a community of people that are willing to help each other...the community's a really good community."

Learning from Mistakes when Growing a Private Practice

Gordon emphasizes the importance of trying new things and learning from mistakes. He shares his approach to starting new projects: "I'm gonna build the airplane as I fly...that's how we learn anything. We have to be willing to make mistakes and learn from our mistakes." However, he also notes that it's essential to be persistent and consistent in your efforts.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

One of the challenges of starting something new is feeling like an imposter. Gordon shares his experience with imposter syndrome and how it can hold you back. James suggests being open to learning and seeking validation from others. "Being able to 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 not? And so being able to think about things in that way, that mindset is really critical."

Advice for Beginners

When asked what advice he would give to someone just starting, James emphasizes the importance of consistency, patience, and having a positive mindset. "You have to be persistent and consistent with what you do. You have to just kinda keep at it...being able to listen to others...being able to think about things in that way, that mindset is really critical." Gordon adds that it's essential to be open to learning and making mistakes, but also recognize when something isn't working and be willing to pivot.

Links and Resources

Quotes to Help the Growing Therapist Practice Owner

  • "Persistency and consistency are key to growing any business." - Gordon Brewer
  • "Put things into action and be willing to make mistakes and learn from them." - Gordon Brewer
  • "There's a lot of opportunity to monetize your business and create other sidelines." - Gordon Brewer
  • "Branch out and try new things to see what works for your business." - Gordon Brewer
  • "Listen to your audience and validate your ideas with them." - James Marland
  • "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...from a profit standpoint, it made sense to bring other people on board." - Gordon Brewer
  • "We were just kind of sharing the experiences...we were operating independently. In other words, we weren't, there wasn't any sort of...entity at that point with far as the counseling office." - Gordon Brewer
  • "There are obstacles to overcome, there are challenges, but that's part of the process." - James Marland
  • "It's always easier to do things when you're part of a team." - Gordon Brewer
  • "Don't be afraid to take that first step...just get started and see where it takes you." - James Marland