Your Podcast Hosts
Kathleen Mills, LPC-S,
Phillip Crum, JP
This Week's Guest Mentor
Creator of EOFire Podcast
Planning Your Practice
Planning Your Practice
(Chitchat until 1:02)
Phillip Crum: I am Phillip Crum with Contentmarketingcoach.us
Kathleen Mills: Hello, Phillip.
PC: And that – hi – is Kathleen Mills, the Practice Mentor. And this is your show, the Practice Matrix, which is about and for
KM: Mental health professionals who want to learn about how to protect, equip and defend their business and their new startup practice and keep align with all the new business things that we need to know in our health care field these days.
PC: So why do we have the elusive but always popular Kate Erickson lined up for today?
KM: Well, for many reasons.
PC: Why not?
KM: Why not Kate Erickson?
PC: But what’s the specific reason?
KM: Well let me introduce to you all Kate Erickson. And I’m just going to read her bio and we’re going to get started because Kate, you’re timely Kate’s Take episode number 44 was spot-on and you were… I hope you heard some earthquakes from Texas because I was shouting really loud when I heard episode 44 because you were speaking my language. But Kate Erickson is the content creator and community leader over at EntrepreneurOnFire, which is a seven-day/week podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs. And Kate partnered up with John Lee Dumas, the founder and host of EntrepreneurOnFire. After leaving-
PC: She’s married to that Dumas guy, right?
KM: (Laughs) She is the better half I think of EntrepreneurOnFire.
PC: Looks like he married up to me.
KM: I think he did.
PC: All right. Carry on.
KM: (Laughs) After leaving her position as an executive, account executive at an advertising and marketing agency in 2013, and she joined John Lee Dumas in being an entrepreneur and kind of said goodbye to corporate America and, Kate, I am so excited that you’re here. Thank you so much for giving me some time.
Kate Erickson: Kathleen, Phillip, I’m stoked to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me.
KM: You’re very welcome. I want you to tell us a little bit about you personally before we dive right into our topic today, which is going to about trying to grow your business before you create a logical plan. Kate, tell us a little bit about you.
KE: I can definitely do that. I am a California girl. I grew up in San Diego. My parents still live one mile down the road from me in the house that I grew up in, which is very, very cool and I’m so grateful for that. I have one sister and her and her husband and their two beautiful children live one mile in the other direction from me, which is also amazing. And yeah, I grew up very SoCal lifestyle, definitely had a lot of great opportunities. I went to college in San Francisco and got to experience that, which was awesome. I majored in English and then went off to get my graduate degree. I lived in the Los Angeles area for a couple years while I was earning my graduate degree to follow my dream of being a college English professor. And that didn’t work out so well for me. I graduated with my degree in 2008, which was kind of what California would consider pink slip nation. And there were tons, they were making so making so many cuts in the educational system. It was a really bad time for me to try to go out and become a professor. So I went ahead and jumped into corporate – what I knew best. And that’s what I thought I was supposed to be doing, so I just kind of followed the crowd and was miserable for the next four years of my life and a job that was going nowhere for me. And then finally took my first entrepreneurial leap when I met this crazy guy John Lee Dumas.
KM: Well, I think you guys make a great team and you ventured out into a place where people needed to hear the message and you guys are on fire. I want to talk about today and I want you to talk about basically there’s a lot of entrepreneurs as mental health professionals that want to get into the business of owning a private practice. And your episode 44 pretty much hit it for me in trying to figure out how to grow your business but yet you also talked about- you can’t skip having a logical plan in developing that. Can you tell us more about that?
KE: Sure. So the first entrepreneurial leap I took was actually over a year before I joined the team at EntrepreneurOnFire. I was out to create my own business, just solo, all by myself. I was going to call it Kate’s Copy. Well, I did call it Kate’s Copy, and it no longer exists because, (clears throat) excuse me, it no longer exists because I failed miserably with that venture. But in failing with that venture, I learned so much about what it means to create a business. And I learned very intimately first-hand that when I was creating that business, I was already in growth stage before I had even started. I skipped over the core building blocks of creating a business, which is the stuff like identifying your passion and covering your zone of genius, what you’re best at in the world, what you have to offer people. Marrying your passions and what you have experienced doing, I think a lot of people tend to skip over that. And defining my avatar, discovering my niche, starting to build relationships and network with the right types of people. I wasn’t surrounding myself – Jim Rohn would have been very disappointed in the five people I spent the most time with. And that ruined my business. I was trying to grow my business before I created it. I thought that if I could just get a client in the door that everything would fall into place and then I could figure it out later. And in doing that, I discovered that there was no way I was going to ever get a client in the door because I didn’t even know what that client looked like. I didn’t even know who I was supposed to be talking to. And I was trying to talk to everybody. And something I go back to all the time is if you’re trying to talk to everyone, you’re going to end up talking to no one. I think it’s so incredibly important to zone in on your one perfect customer – your avatar – who is that ideal audience member for you. And what is it that they want and need from you? A lot of entrepreneurs I think also get stuck with thinking that they have like the weight of the world on their shoulders, that they need to come up with all these ideas and all the building blocks of their business. But if you have your avatar, they’re going to come up with that stuff for you. If you know who you’re speaking to and you know what their pain points are, they’re going to tell you exactly what to create. It makes it a lot easier.
KM: It really does, doesn’t it? You know one of the things that you said in episode 44, and it’s a quote because I wrote it down because it was so amazing that you said it. You said, “Starting and growing a business is tough and it can get frustrating real fast if you don’t have the right tools and support in place.” Can you tell more about that?
KE: You know, I’ll go back to Kate’s Copy - when I tried to start that business, I had no clue what starting a business was all about. I had no idea. All I knew is that I did not want to be in the corporate world anymore. And discovering how much work goes into creating a business, I mean it might sound silly but for somebody who’s never tried it before and has no idea, you think, “Well, I’ll get a website up and then people will start coming to my website, and then I’ll bring a few clients in the door and then I’ll be ready to go.” That is actually the frame of mind that I had and I think a lot of other people have who don’t really understand what goes into creating a platform and promoting yourself and getting the word out there about what it is that you’re doing. Actually reaching the people that you’re there to help. And I did not have any of the tools in place to be able to create that foundation to create a platform for myself. And the support is so integral. If you don’t surround yourself with like-minded people when you’re starting out, it is going to be so hard. You’re going to hate it if you don’t have people around you who are supporting you and who understand what it is that you’re going through. Because you’re going to feel like you’re on an island real fast, and that’s no fun.
PC: You need people to bring something else to the party because there are things that you already don’t know. What do you need them for?
PC: I like the way you went about things: Edison made 1,000 mistakes one after the other before he figured out the lightbulb. But you sped the process up and made all those mistakes all at one time. I like that!
KE: I managed to make all of them in six months’ time.
PC: Very good.
KE: Fail fast.
KM: The takeaway I’ve got on this, Kate, is that you had a decision to make. Were you going to be so frustrated with the failures, perceived failures, or did you view them as learning tools to just pick yourself back up, learn from those moments, and re-tool yourself and acquire the things that you need to. I mean, talk about the discouragement and I think you have a choice of you can either be discouraged and go home, or you can just pick yourself up and work the steps.
KE: When I realized that Kate’s Copy was not going to work, I was devastated. Anybody who’s trying to start up their own business never wants to go to their family or go to their friends or go to those people around them and say, “What I’m trying to do isn’t working.” It’s a horrible feeling. And that’s the way that I felt. I mean, the only thing that I could think to do at that point was to go back to what I knew. And if I knew what I know now then, I would have never done that. I would have stuck with it and I would have kept going. And whether that meant sticking with Kate’s Copy or trying to find something new would have been the difference. I don’t know if you all are familiar with Seth Godin’s The Dip.
KE: But I was definitely in a dip. I definitely needed to get out of it. That was the time to leave Kate’s Copy behind. I did everything wrong and in doing everything wrong, I just needed to start over. It was really tough to do that, but the reasons and the feelings behind why I was able to get back up, why I was able to try again, is because I knew that there was something bigger out there for me. I knew that even if I failed with Kate’s Copy that that was not the end of the road for me. That was the beginning of the road for me. That was the start of my journey. And John and I talk about journey a lot here at EntrepreneurOnFire and enjoying your journey and living your journey. It’s not about the destination. It’s not about creating a business and having that business become successful. It’s about everything that you do every single day to create what you’re creating. And that’s what I wanted. I knew what the vision was and I wasn’t going to let a failure or my business going under stop me from finding out what that was.
KM: There’s always ways to defeat the fear factor, isn’t there?
KE: Absolutely. I truly believe that. And I don’t know that a lot of people believe that, but I wholeheartedly do.
KM: Me, too. And I want to go back and ask you a question. Why do you think it is prudent for any new entrepreneur to acquire business mentors to achieve their particular business goals? Why is that an integral part? Go ahead.
KE: Kathleen, it really goes back to having that support in place. And I think mentors are a huge source of support. When we talk about support, it could be an accountability partner. It could be a mastermind. It could be an online community that you’re part of. There’s so many different places to go for support, but when you actually enlist a mentor to help you, you’re not really gaining insights from somebody who’s doing what you want to be doing. That’s kind of how I envision a mentor. They are doing things that you want to be doing at some point in time. And being able to learn from those people – you’re not going to get that anywhere else. If I would have enlisted a mentor when I was doing Kate’s Copy, I would have had a lot easier time getting through all the muddy stuff that I was trudging through by myself because I had no idea how to pivot when I hit a road block. If I would have had a mentor – somebody who had been through that before, somebody who knew what I was going through and who was speaking my language – then I would have gotten through that a lot easier. I just think mentors are so integral to helping us get to where we want to be because they’re the ones who have already done it.
KM: And it’s paramount and pivot, I mean it’s a baseline of surround—I always like to be the lowest man on my totem pole at all times. And I think that that has definitely helped me in the 23 years that I’ve been in private practice and my own boss.
PC: Surround yourself with people that know more than you do or how will you get any smarter?
KM: Right. I always want to be the lowest man, always. And if I’m not then I need to realign and reposition and all that kind of stuff. This is kind of maybe an odd question, but the economy is changing for many entrepreneurs in my mind, particularly in the health care field, and that’s where I am. Being a health care provider and health care professionals wanting to cultivate their own business, what kinds of things have you seen that would be helpful for new clinicians to… what kind of encouraging things could you say to the new mental health professionals out there that want to live the dream, if you will?
KE: I mean, you know Kathleen, you referred to episode 44 several times and I’m not trying to tell anybody that they need to go listen to that, but what I talk about in that episode is what’s at stake for you. And if anybody out there is listening who is getting ready to start their own business, or who is already in the process of starting their own business, and doesn’t understand what’s at stake for them if it doesn’t work – that is the encouragement that you need. That is what I encourage everybody to figure out for themselves. That’s what I encourage everybody to turn to when they’re feeling frustrated or alone or like, what they’re doing doesn’t matter, or like what they’re doing isn’t good enough-
[Kate’s voice disappears at 16:23]
KM: Uh oh… I think we just… hang on.
KM: Kate? Uh oh. Help!
PC: Hello? Hang on.
KM: Something weird happened.
PC: I paid the bill.
KE: Yeah, Skype dropped.
KE: If you guys tell me where I cut off, I can just start back up again.
KM: I think, and I’m going to point to our listener to your episode 44 about understanding what’s at stake. And that’s where I want the mental health professionals to really have that dialogue with themselves. Kate, tell us about that part in episode 44 where you’re really honing in on asking that brutal question: What is at stake?
KE: I just think it’s so important for people who are just starting out and even people who have already started in their business to really understand what’s at stake for them if their business doesn’t work. Because when you’re feeling frustrated and down and like you’ve been beaten way too many times and you feel like giving up, what’s at stake for you is so much bigger than any of that. And that has definitely been true in my experience and I’ve never talked to any entrepreneur where that’s not true. Because what’s at stake for you is why you’re doing what you’re doing. And if you’re willing to give up what’s at stake, if you’re willing to give up things like your freedom, things like your time, things like time spent with your family, things like not having to go into a corporate job and sit in a cubicle – if you’re willing to give up not having those things, then go ahead and create your business. But that has been something that I’ve turned to so many times when I’m feeling very frustrated and defeated. What’s at stake for me is so much bigger than those feelings. What’s at stake for me is going to keep me going regardless.
PC: Miss Kate, we are out of time. So our last question for you is, is it true that Johnny boy never rolls out of the sack in the morning until 10 or 10:30?
PC: Can we settle that right now, please?
KM: He’s going surfing, man.
KE: That could not be further from the truth.
KM: I didn’t think so! He’s up and running at 5 o’clock. Where can people find you, Kate? I think you are a wealth of information and you are one of the mentors that I think people need to get a hold of. But tell us about your podcast and where can people get a hold of you?
KE: First of all, I’m so grateful that you feel that way, Kathleen. I really, really appreciate that and I would love to connect with anybody in your audience who is listening right now who resonates with what we’ve been talking about. You can find me at EOFire.com. The blog is just /blog and that’s where you’ll find all my writing and my podcast episodes. My podcast is called Kate’s Take and you can find that on iTunes or Stitcher. And again, I would love to connect with your audience.
PC: And you can find Kathleen at
KM: Lifetreecounseling.com and you can email me at [email protected] and
PC: I’m still Phillip Crum, content marketing coach at Contentmarketingcoach.us and we’re very glad to have had Miss Kate Erickson here with us today.
KM: Thank you so much, Kate.
PC: And you, too, Kathleen. And thanks for listening everybody, and make sure you plan your work and then
KM: Work your practice.
PC: That’s right. So we’ll see you next time.
KM: Thank you.