TTE 25: Growing a Private Practice Through Workshops, Online Advertising & Networking with Local Non-Profits
Jason Polk started seeing his first clients on the weekend while working full-time at an agency. 13 months ago he left his full-time job to focus full-time on his private practice.
This is his Therapist Experience about how he grew his private practice through workshops, online advertising, and networking with local non-profits.
We also how he has used Kudzu for online advertising, and drill down into his real business metrics for his Cost of Acquisition, Lifetime Value of couples, and how to determine how much he needs to (or can) pay to acquire a couple for counseling.
Best Marketing Move for Business
- His Brighter Vision website
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
Previous The Therapist Experience Episodes Mentioned
Thanks to Jason for joining me this week. Until next time!
TranscriptClick here to read the Transcript
Perry: In this episode of The Therapist Experience, I’m speaking with Jason Polk from Paramita Counseling. This is The Therapist Experience episode number 25. Welcome to The Therapist Experience. The podcast where we interview successful therapists about what it’s really like starting and growing a private practice. I’m Perry Rosenbloom, the founder of Brighter Vision, and I’m so excited to introduce our guest today Jason Polk from Paramita Counseling. Jason, are you prepared to share your therapist experience?
Jason: Yes I am, Perry.
Perry: Alright, let me give our audience a little overview of you here. Jason has been a therapist in full-time private practice for 13 months. It hasn’t been easy but he loves his job and the profession. He works primarily with couples experiencing years of discord and those seeking preventative pre-marital counseling. He also works with individuals he can help with relationships, addictions, anxieties, as well as existential and spiritual issues. As a licensed addiction counselor he also provides drug and alcohol assessments for businesses and courts. And as a side note from Jason, Brighter Vision rules. Hahahaha.
Perry: That was great there, Jason.
Jason: Yeah, I know you would like that Perry.
Perry: I did. I’m glad I read that for the first time right now. I gave a little overview of you there but take a minute, fill in the gaps from that introduction and tell our audience a little bit more about who Jason Polk is as a professional and personally?
Jason: Okay. First of all, thanks Perry for having me on. I really appreciate this. And I’ve listened to other therapists podcasts and they have been immensely helpful and enjoyable. So I appreciate all your doing. And this really helps out, I know for myself, it really helps out therapists. I’ve got a lot of good ideas that I actually applied to my practice.
Perry: Fantastic. We love hearing that.
Jason: Kudos to you.
Perry: Thank you. Kudos to my team, actually, here back and also up. Because we couldn’t be doing it without all the great team that’s behind the scenes here at Brighter Vision. And the front scenes that you guys interact with on a day-to-day basis.
Jason: Yeah. So to answer your question, filling in the gaps a little bit. So I’m pretty new in my experience as a full-time private practitioner. As I said in the bio it wasn’t easy but I’m finally in a place where I’m comfortable, I’m not in the red.
Jason: Which is great. And I know you said successful therapist in the intro. I’m at a point I consider phase one of my private practice where I hope to move to the next phase of primarily where I would like to be, as far as clientele, as far as appointments, as far as income. But part of this is a journey.
Perry: It most definitely is, the entrepreneurial journey that we are all on here. Everyone I’ve spoken on the show and myself included. We’re all on this entrepreneurial journey together and it’s got those ups and downs, highs and lows, and it’s just a roller-coaster. As, I’m sure you would agree with, we wouldn’t have it any other way, right?
Jason: Yeah, exactly.
Perry: So one thing we’ve been doing with the show recently in the last few episodes is interviewing therapists who have not been in private practice for so long. The first 20 episodes or so we really focused on– We had some people on the show who have been in private practice for 10, 20, even 30 years and there’s so much great value there that you can get out of it, but what gets lost, I think is those early days. The struggles and the obstacles in those early days that so many of our listeners are just getting started and like, what on earth do I do? So you’ve been in private practice for 13 months. Before that, were you in a group practice or did you go straight into private practice after getting your license?
Jason: Well, so I kind of eased into it a little bit. I was at a drug and alcohol treatment agency before and I started to see clients on my own on the weekends, on my day off, so I was slowly building it before I let go of the agency work. And just like anything, I was at a point where I was seeing more clients on the weekends, I was becoming more busy but I was still having this full-time job. So I was at a point where I was super, super busy and I had to do something. So I left my agency and then in May of last year, that’s when I left, and I decided to become full-time therapist.
Perry: Love it. I love hearing that story. We hear all the time that people start off by dipping their toes into private practice, starting to see clients on the side, and eventually they start seeing more and more success with it and they’re like, man, I can leave this agency and really focus on my practice full-time. And I think that stepping stone is so effective for so many reasons. Personally, that’s how my business got started with Brighter Vision. Way back in the day I started a website on Glacier National Park. And that’s what my background is in, it’s in SEO and marketing and writing. And over time I launched another website from there, and another website, and eventually the website income started outpacing my full-time job income which allowed me to leave and start what became Brighter Vision. And we see that path so often with therapists who move into private practice, of sort of that stepping stone approach or stair-stepping approach. To go from full-time agency, starting to see a client on the weekend, a few more clients, a few more clients, all of a sudden stop working for the agency, focus full-time on private practice. So I’d love to know how did you get your first client when you started seeing clients on the weekends, do you remember how you got that first client?
Jason: Yeah. I remember this so vividly too. I’ve gone to Psychology Today, which I think is a great resource, and I set up a profile and it took me a while. I would painstakingly go over what I wanted to say, I spent hours on this.
Perry: And that’s important though. That’s your potential client’s first impression of you, right?
Jason: Yeah, yeah, I know, exactly. And it was actually quite fun doing that too. And you also learn a lot about yourself and you continually write about yourself and put yourself out in different places on the internet. But never than less I did a Psychology Today profile and then, it was funny, that night I got an email.
Perry: Oh, wow. That’s amazing.
Jason: Hahaha. It is so funny because I was like, oh wow, this is really easy. I can see how people can do this. But the funny thing about it is it didn’t flow that quickly. I didn’t get a pouring in of clientele obviously just from the Psychology Today profile. But that’s how I got my first client and it’s exciting, doing your own thing. I mean, you understand as well, getting your own clientele, building your own thing, it can be very exciting to get that email. Even if it doesn’t come through, you know, hey, someone’s interested in working with me. So that’s the fun part.
Perry: I remember the first time I had a paid advertisement work. So we started buying traffic on Google for our websites and it was before we started working with therapists, it was just sort of this idea I had of why don’t we build a website and charge 59 bucks a month for it and see what happens. And over time we started working exclusively with therapists and that’s all we work with now, pretty much. So I was just buying traffic for the words website design, and I remember the first time, it was within 24 hours we got an inquiry off of this landing page and I called her right away and sold her on the phone and I was like, alright, cool, this is easy. Just like you thought. But obviously there’s so many more challenges and struggles when it comes to growing a business and client or customer acquisition is just one of those struggles and that’s just so key. But you mentioned, you just finished phase one in your private practice. You’re no longer in the red, you’re already moving to the next stage. What does that phase look like for you?
Jason: Yeah, so kind of something to mitigate the lack of income. Because basically I was working two days seeing clients, but obviously that’s not enough to sustain your stuff as far as rent, and food, and cable. You have to have cable. So the thing about it, I started doing groups, kind of like contract work, through different agencies. I’m a licensed addiction counselor so I was doing some substance using groups, some drug and alcohol groups. And that pretty much kept me going because it was a huge gap. I have five days to fill for clients but I only have two days filled. So that’s kind of what I have done to kind of lessen the scariness of it, lessen that I’m not getting any money. So that is what I’ve done, so as phase one, I’m getting rid off of groups. There was one point I was doing eight groups and it was a little ridiculous. So I’m phasing back, and ideally I still like to do groups through agency. I like the group process, can able to test out theories on relationships with the group members, learn different stuff about– Kind of like, keep fresh on the addiction aspect of my practice. But I want to– Phase two, I’m doing less groups and I’m seeing more private clients. I mean, that’s what I love. There’s no middle man, I get more money doing that, more fulfillment within my office, so that’s phase two is this increasing the clientele. And ideally I kind of view as phase three is that I have a waiting list. I’m not there yet but that’s my goal.
Perry: So what do you envision as sort of steps you’re going to take to go from phase one and successfully navigate the waters of phase two and grow to phase three to get those clients? What are some things that you plan to initiate and use to get to that next stage?
Jason: Yeah, and that’s a great question and I feel like there is a lot of stuff you can do, and obviously too in all honesty, stuff I learned from this podcast as well. So what have worked for me get private clients is I’ve done a workshop and it was basically a workshop on helping families deal with someone who was struggling with an addiction, someone in a family who has an addiction. But a lot of my training is in couple counseling so I couldn’t help but include that into the training, and behold I got a couple who’ve been coming in regularly as a result of that.
Jason: Yeah. So for me, I’m going to continue doing the workshops. Not only is it an opportunity to clients get to know, like, and trust you, but it’s also you are teaching so you learn as well. So it kind of like hones your message and your skills a lot.
Perry: This workshop you did, tell me more about it? Was it free for the workshop?
Jason: Yeah, it was free and it was actually through the People House of Denver. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the People House, it’s a great organization. But basically, it was free except a donation to the People House. But those two hours that I did has definitely paid off and I also should note too, I did it with my fiance. She’s also addiction counselor as well. So it was a cool experience for us as well.
Perry: So I have People House of Denver pulled up right now. It looks like they offer affordable counseling services, is that correct? So they don’t have their own workshop so you went in and basically said to them, hey, I’d love to lead a workshop on this topic, how I can get in? Is that correct?
Jason: Yeah, that is correct but also, one thing I forgot to mention, I’m also a practitioner. I’m a private practitioner through the People House and that means I’m basically under the umbrella of the People House so I’m able to offer workshops there.
Perry: So is that separate from Paramita Counseling? So you have Paramita Counseling seeing your own clients but you’re still doing a few clients through People House, is that correct?
Jason: Yeah, not– It happens. Like, I still have my own business but if someone– I’m on the People House website so if someone contacts or sees my profile on the People House they’re coming to my office. So basically it’s just like another avenue to be out there.
Perry: So I just want to make sure that I fully understand this and so our audience can. So you have Paramita Counseling as sort of a separate entity. But then you’re on the People House as one of their trusted practitioners and if somebody contacts you through People House you’re offering a discounted rate, like the negotiated People House rate or– Is that correct?
Jason: Oh yeah, no. There’s no rates. The People House is affordable counseling program but that is for the interns, people in training to work with affordable counseling clients. I see clients at full price if they found me on the People House, if that makes sense.
Perry: Okay, so People House is probably a non-profit potentially and they have their own directory of therapists that are in the area. Okay, I see. Very fascinating. So if somebody’s listening to this podcast right now and they want to try and replicate your success with People House and getting the workshops through People House, what they can potentially do is look for a non-profit center in their area that might have a directory of practitioners and offers workshops, and could approach them to either be on their directory or to lead a workshop there.
Jason: Yeah, sure. And I think even churches too. That’s going to be my next avenue for workshops. To reach out to them and be like, hey, we have this cause and this expertise and can offer it. So even churches too.
Perry: Fantastic. So what we’ll be looking at then is churches getting in touch with your local spiritual leaders, leveraging your network and leveraging other communities’ networks to be able to pitch a workshop and get in and have a workshop which you can then offer for free, and you can use to potentially grow your client base?
Jason: Yeah, exactly. And the next one I do too, I’m also going to video record it. So that’s another thing I can put on my website.
Perry: Fantastic. That’s exactly the right thing to do, provided that there’s no, of course, privacy– We want to make sure you don’t have anybody videotape that’s attending there.
Jason: Exactly, try not to show any faces, just videotape myself and no one in attendance.
Perry: One thing that we’ve heard that’s successful and we also recommend this to people is also using Meetup, you can leverage the audiences on Meetup to create workshops that you hold once a month or once every other week, to get people in the door. You have to obviously find a space to lease, you can always do it in your office. To get people in the door and start having these workshops going. But you’re offering for free or for a very, very low cost, pre-sell people on who you are, get them to know, like, and trust you, provide value and help them. And then when they’re ready to see further professional help you are the person they’re going to contact.
Jason: Yeah, that’s a great idea.
Perry: So Jason, one thing we love to chat about is finding out your pricing model because we often find out that therapists really struggle in the early days of pricing themselves well. Can you share with our audience what your current session rate is to see clients and what your journey to that rate has been?
Jason: Yes, my current rate is 100 dollars an hour. It has been a journey. And obviously, in Denver that’s still pretty low compared to other therapists in Denver. But my journey there was, hey, you know, when I– My idea was when I said, hey, I’m a therapist. I want to see people. I was on the low range, about 85,65 and didn’t say, hey I can do a sliding scale. The thing about a sliding scale in a low range, it’s good. I think it’s good to be an option for people suffering or have financial difficulties, but nevertheless I have learned that keeping it at a 100 and saying that I don’t have a sliding scale is that, A, I’m more invested, but B, primarily is that the clients are more invested too. Instead of, hey, I’m paying 65 dollars, I’m paying 100 dollars so I’m going to use this time wisely. And, hey, I’m going to take the recommendations or I’m going to take what Jason says with more– I don’t know the right word, with more kind of– What’s the word I’m looking for? I’m going to be more engaged because I’m paid more.
Perry: There’s more skin in the game, right?
Jason: Yeah. Exactly. And I’ve also found that too with couples as well is that charging– And sometimes I do two hour sessions, on the intake I do three hour sessions so it can be 200 to 300 dollars. So we may have, exactly what you said, more skin in the game. I have found it provides more pressure for them to work. To not act out, to, hey, we’re here to work. We’re spending a lot of money doing this so let’s get to it. And I found that I charge 50 dollars for a two-hour session, it doesn’t have that extra pressure on the couple to, hey, we need to work on this. This is for us. This is not to look in front of Jason. This is for us to do well and to be a couple. So I’m more interested and I feel like it brings more pressure on the couple. Exactly what you said, they have more skin in the game so they’re more willing to work.
Perry: So Jason, you’ve had some really great success at marketing your practice already and you’ve mentioned a few tools. Psychology Today you got your first client, you’re using workshops to go from phase one of your practice to completing phase two, which is to get up to a full waiting list. And to have that innate marketing drive is kind of unique in this space. Therapists seem like really struggle marketing their practice or can find marketing sales to sort of be this dirty word or dirty concept. What do you feel like was the single best marketing move that you’ve made for your private practice so far and why do you feel like it worked so well for you?
Jason: Well, I guess in addition to Psychology Today– And this is all, honestly I’m not trying to boost your ego but I must say the website that I got through you guys, through Brighter Vision. I get a lot of compliments on my website from colleagues and also too, in the beginning I spent a lot of time trying to do the WordPress website on my own and I’m not an expert. And I spent probably weeks. I’ll be like, I need to get my website, trying to figure out the code and let alone coming up with content. And then I got a call from someone at Brighter Vision. No, it was an email, are you happy with your website? And I was like, no, I’m not.
Perry: And I don’t want to do it anymore.
Jason: Exactly. It can be such an ordeal. So when I started working with you guys, wow, it was easy, you respond to emails, I have a lot of input.
Perry: So wonderful to hear.
Jason: Yeah, I want to tweak this, I assume the supporting is kind of annoying.
Perry: Most certainly not, that’s why our support team is there. We want to be able to provide that support. The support desk is some of the most fun work for us because it makes clients so happy. People are so happy with their website but then once they move on to the support and they see how fast and prompt and responsive we are it brings so much joy to our team here. So yeah, I’m so glad. And thank you for giving us a shout out there, we always appreciate that, of course. One thing you mentioned though is you had compliments on it from colleagues, and we talk about this not nearly enough. A website, if you think of all of your marketing as sort of like a spider web, your website is like a center of that spider web. And because any sort of marketing you do your website is all going to pull back to your website. So whether it’s trying to get a new referral source, the first thing they’re going to do is google you and go to your website. Before they even sit down for coffee or lunch with you. They want to make sure they want to see your website. And if you’re presenting yourself in a professional way and you have a really clear professional website they’re going to trust you more. If a potential client goes to your Psychology Today and clicks off to your website and it’s a mobile responsive website, meaning that formats perfectly on device, they’re going to be more likely to click your phone number on your website than they’re otherwise would be. So having a website that functions well for you is such an integral part to your website in making sure that it’s so successful, your private practice that is. So again thank you and I’m glad that everybody on our support desk and website design process has been so successful and so easy for you and so enjoyable.
Jason: Yeah, it’s been great and part of me is like, oh, everyone’s going to find out about Brighter Vision and have these awesome websites, I’m not going to be apart anymore. Hahahaha.
Perry: Hahaha. You know, that’s something that we haven’t fully considered. We try and release new themes about once every two to three months. That way if a theme is getting really popular, the number of people who are actually going to be on that theme will be reduced because we’ll have more great options for them to choose from. But that is something I didn’t think of, the fact that if your colleagues start getting all great websites and potentially your competitors it’s going to make it more challenging.
Jason: That’s a fun part of business.
Perry: Yeah, and that’s a bridge we’ll have to cross when we get to it, I guess.
Jason: Yeah, but you know what? The thing I wanted to mention too, another thing I did with marketing is to do a pay-per-click campaign.
Jason: I know you interviewed Eddie Reece. That was very influential podcast for me. And he mentioned Kudzoo and his point was like, therapists are afraid of spending money for advertising, and I took that. I was like, you’re right. Why don’t I spend more money advertising? So I got hooked up with Kudzoo and they have a pay-per-click campaign for Google and I’ve been really impressed. Got a lot more calls, even the first month it paid for itself. So that was amazing, I got more people visiting my website too. And had since tapered down a little bit but nevertheless I think that’s an excellent idea. And therapists, I think, he’s right, they don’t like spending money.
Perry: But you have to.
Perry: So Kudzoo, I remember an Eddie Reece’s episode. And of course we’ll have, I think it’s session eight, but of course we’ll have all the links in this week’s show notes which you’ll be able to find at Brightervision.com/session25. I remember on Eddie’s interview which is still our most popular episode far and away. Every month it’s the most popular episode. He mentioned that he buys traffic on Kudzoo. So are you using Kudzoo to buy traffic on their directory or are you using Kudzoo to have them manage a Google pay-per-click campaign for you?
Jason: Yeah, I’m having them manage a Google pay-per-click campaign.
Perry: Great. And what’s happening is you’re buying traffic on Google and sending them to Paramitacounseling.com, correct?
Jason: Yes, that’s correct.
Perry: Would you mind sharing with our audience how much you spend in a month on average for your pay-per-click campaign?
Jason: Yes, I did the low route but it’s still relatively not very low. So I’ve spent 600 dollars per month and some of that goes to Kudzoo, they send a grave report. Another good thing about it, they said that couple therapy was performing really well last month, we’re going to try cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s really calming, they’re doing a lot of marketing stuff that I don’t have that much time for. So it’s a great resource. So I do spend 600 dollars. And it was funny, one of the colleagues at Kudzoo said, Eddie spend more but I want to disclose that. She actually knew him. That was funny but yeah, 600 dollars.
Perry: So you’re spending 600 dollars a month, do you know how many clients you’ve gotten from that so far?
Jason: Yeah, I want to say about– And I’m primarily doing it towards couples. So I got four couples.
Jason: And I charge– Like I said, I do two hour session, a 100 an hour, so that’s 200. I got one three hour session, that’s 300 dollars. So these two sessions right there have pretty much your money back.
Perry: How many months have you been doing this with Kudzoo so far?
Jason: So it’s two and a half months. I just started so I’m pretty impressed.
Perry: Okay. So you’ve spent about 1500 dollars with them on your pay-per-click campaign and you’ve gotten four couples booked out of it. Three of them were two hour sessions so 600, and one was a three hour session, another 300. So you’ve made 900 dollars off of that and you spent 1500, that’s pretty good. That shows a loss of only 600 dollars but those couples are going to see you for more than one session, I would imagine.
Jason: Yeah, yeah. And they come back. And nevertheless too, there’s also a benefit of it as well is that way more people are visiting my website but as far as the taxes advertising, you can write it off towards the end of the year. So I feel like it’s a good investment.
Perry: So what I’m doing right now is just some basic business math. The cost to acquire a client. That’s such a key part of knowing and running a successful marketing campaign, and running a successful business. So you’ve spent 1500 dollars on Kudzoo so far and you’ve gotten four sessions booked out of it, four clients booked out of it. So that’s a cost of an acquisition of 425 dollars. So basically you’re acquiring a client for 425 dollars there. Now so long as your lifetime value, which is how much revenue you will be able to generate from a client, isn’t greater than 425 dollars that’s a profitable marketing move. So if on average– I’m not sure if you know these numbers yet but let’s say on average couples see you, for how long do you think?
Jason: Yeah, so on average it’s about– And it depends on the couple too. It’s about anywhere from like two to six sessions. And again, my sessions are longer, at least two hours. So it’s about that. Couples with more distress, there’s little more to work on.
Perry: So if on average your couples are seeing you four sessions and they’re seeing you for four two hour sessions, you’re making on average 800 dollars for a couple. Which means that you acquire them for 425 dollars and on average some will be less and you only make 200 on, some of them you might make a 1000 on, on average you’re making about 800 dollars. So that’s great, that’s a successful marketing move and that’s something that when you find a channel like that, that’s something that’s going to allow you to get to that phase two. So much of business is finding marketing channels for you, for successful business, and being able to use that to add to a greater base of clientele. So using this channel for a while, growing your base clientele, and those clients then are also going to be referring to you. You do a good job with them, they are going to refer you to their friends and their colleagues.
Perry: So yeah, that’s fantastic. So great to hear, Jason.
Jason: Yeah, thank you and thanks for breaking that down. That’s obviously something I need to get better at.
Perry: Most certainly. Yeah, it’s something that you just you don’t know what you don’t know. And hopefully, anybody who is listening here, there’s just a recap of few numbers you want to make certain with any marketing campaign. Your CAC, cost to acquire a customer, your LTV, which is your lifetime value, and then you can basically figure out if you’re profitable or not from it. Great, so now that we just did a little bit of an MBA lesson there, one thing I love to learn from you is what you wish you would have learned in school about starting your own business that you were not taught?
Jason: Well, basically this was what you said. I never learned about CAC or LTV but that’s valuable. I did a master’s in social work and several addiction counseling classes is that we don’t even go there. We don’t even talk about marketing stuff. It’s not even on the conversation, there’ll be a private practitioner but they don’t get into the ins and outs of the business aspect. So I would have loved some, at least of the business– Even like maybe a weekend class or something but something where we can learn all this stuff would have been super valuable.
Perry: Yeah, and at least now there’s so many great coaches out there that can help guide you. But even still it’s like, if you’re paying to get your license to go to school and become a therapist and get all that important education. Kind of it would be nice if they gave you a little bit of a business education as well.
Jason: Yeah, for sure. And I think Eddie mentioned this too. You are not only the therapist which is what you went to school for, but you’re also the marketing person as well, I’m also the person who does the billing as well. So you have to not even be an awesome therapist, but you have to know all this other stuff, which is not even taught in grad school. At least in my program.
Perry: I don’t think it’s taught anywhere unless you’re getting an MBA. The way you learn it is the school of hard knocks. Maybe you’re fortunate enough to join a small group practice where the owner can share this with you if they’re even aware of it, because sometimes you just stumble into it and aren’t just really lucky. Otherwise you got to learn it, and there’s no other way to learn it than by jumping and seeing what the water feels like and learning to swim. And just to clarify, Eddie’s exact same, and I know this because we named that the title of the episode. You’re not a psychotherapist, you’re business owner. If you’re in private practice you’re a business owner and your mentality needs to shift to be a business owner, which you’ve done a fantastic job of, Jason, in these last 13 months here.
Jason: Oh, thank you.
Perry: So we’re going to move on now to my favorite part of the interview. The part we like to refer to as Brighter Insights. And what I love about this Jason is that we really get to distill your answers down into quick little sound bites and answers that therapists can use to motivate and inspire then throughout their week and help them grow their practice. So Jason, are you ready?
Jason: Yes, sir.
Perry: What or whom inspired you to become a mental health professional?
Jason: Well, basically my own journey through my own personal suffering and distress. In my early 20s I thought the end to suffering is through alcohol, through drugs. But surprise, surprise, that doesn’t have a lasting solution. So I became very involved to Zen Buddhism and I started to meditate. And as you do meditate, the mind painfully unwinds. I mean, not painfully is the best word. But you start to open up and you start to move beyond your small self and you realize that there’s a lot of suffering in the world. Especially if you’re meditating, if you’re able to find some degree of peace on your own. I was like, well, I could really apply all this stuff to helping others. And it took me a while, I started out joining alcohol counselors, started as a therapist in residential center. So it took me a while to get to private practice but basically my own suffering and my own meditation practice is what inspired me to be a therapist.
Perry: Great, thank you so much Jason for sharing all those details. I really appreciate it, I’m sure our audience does as well. Based off of your last response I have a feeling I know the answer to this but what is it that you do to clear your head and get a fresh start in your day?
Jason: Haha, yeah. I mean, meditation is key. For me it’s very important. It’s almost like if I don’t meditate it’s like I didn’t have a cup of coffee in the morning. Just little bit off. But in addition to that I also exercise. It’s really cool, my office is a block from the gym so I really don’t have an excuse. So it’s convenient. So in between like maybe a session I can try to get a quick workout if I’m feeling stressed or maybe the last session the couple was pretty tough so I’m going to go unwind at the gym. So I think exercise is great as well.
Perry: What are some tools that you’ve used to leverage the power of technology in your private practice so that technology is no longer a hurdle but instead an asset for you?
Jason: Yeah, so exactly what we talked about, having a quality website. And also too having your name on different places on internet, different resources like Psychology Today, Good Therapy, like I mentioned the People House. So the more you can have your name out there on the internet the better.
Perry: What’s a quote that you hold near and dear? Something that has helped formulate your perspective on life or has motivated or provided guidance for you?
Jason: Well, so this one I actually heard pretty recently but I think it’s great for private practice and my journey. Pema Chodron, she’s an American Budhist nun, when she did a commencement speech at Naropa University not long ago and there’s sounds through audio recording of it. But the title of her commencement speech was Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better, and for me it’s the kind of the journey of being a business owner. Especially with the marketing, a lot of it trial and error, and a lot of it you have to know and face the face with some of your stuff and some of your own failures, and be okay with that and move on. And for me, I kind of take it when things aren’t going right or maybe your calendar is a little more open than it should be, is to not take it personally. It’s like, hey, the marketing guy just needs to work harder. So that quote has helped me a lot. And her perspective on the speech is like, hey, you don’t always get what you want and you fail. You need to learn to be able to be okay with that, and it’s not the end of the world, and it’s not personal. Fall down, get back up.
Perry: Exactly, and as an entrepreneur we’re going to fall down many, many, many, many times.
Perry: Jason, if you could recommend one book to our audience, what would that book be?
Jason: So the book would be Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin. And Stan Tatkin is a couple therapist, he’s a researcher, he’s a teacher. And I’ve done two years of his pack training, his psychobiological approach to couples therapy. And that book basically is made for large audience but sums up a lot of what works well for couples. So reading it for myself, I’ve been lucky enough to apply what’s in the book, not only to clients but also to my own relationship. And I reap benefits from that.
Perry: Alright Jason, last question. If you moved to a new city tomorrow, knew nobody and all that you had with you was your computer and 100 bucks to start a new private practice, what is it that you would do on your very first day?
Jason: So, my very first day I would get a website. Like you said, the spider web, everything you comes back to the website. And then second of all I would buy Psychology Today, Good Therapy ad, and if there’s money left over I would drive to local communities or non-profits where they’re into healing spiritual and try to do a workshop. Try to provide value to them to get my name out there in the community.
Perry: Love it Jason. Any parting advice for our listeners?
Jason: You know, being a therapist is a really cool job. Not only is it a great time as far as the breakthrough in research in neural science, and attachment theory. But you being in private practice you’re your own boss and it can be isolating but the rewards are exponentially better than that isolation. You’re your own boss, there’s no middle man, making your own money can be a great job.
Perry: And I couldn’t agree more. Where can our listeners find you to connect and learn more about you?
Jason: So my website is Paramitacounseling.com and also an email is [email protected]
Perry: Fantastic. Well Jason, thank you so much for all your time, your expertise and your knowledge. And of course, everyone listening, you’ll be able to find out all the great resources Jason has mentioned here at Brightervision.com/session25. Jason, thanks again for being on the show. We loved to have you, I think we has such a great chat here and thank you so much for sharing your therapist experience.
Jason: Okay, thank you Perry. I really appreciate it and thank you for this resource. I know a lot of other people will benefit as well.
Perry: Thank you, Jason. That’s why we do it and we love doing it here. So yeah, everybody, thank you so much for tuning in today. If you have a question for us you can email it to us at [email protected] and, of course, if you’re interested in a website reach out to us. Brighter Vision is the worldwide leader in therapist website design. For just 59 bucks a month we’ll build you a website that’s as unique as your practice, provide you with unlimited technical support, and complementary SEO so people can find you online. To learn more head on over to Brighervision.com and drop us a quick note through one of our contact forms. That does it for today, thank you again for listening and we will see you next week.