CollabOasis Clinical Consultation Groups

New Groups Forming Now!

12. Exploring Money Mindset As A Therapist with Megan Hale

“And a lot of times, you have to make some hard calls and some value based decisions on what’s going to be best for the sustainability of your practice. And I think the other mindset piece that goes into that is oftentimes it’s helpers and healers, there can be a lot of responsibility on our shoulders that we have to be available for every single person in need. And I think the greatest shift that I’ve made in therapy, and also as a coach is realizing that it’s not my responsibility to carry the weight of the entire market.” – Megan Hale


Welcome to the colleague down the hall podcast. This episode is sponsored by the collab Oasis clinical consultation groups. Hi, I’m Janine Wolf, and I’m your colleague down the hall, I have a passion for helping fellow therapists get the clinical and collegial support, we all need to do this work. And wow, it just keeps getting harder every day. I’m the founder and facilitator of the Collaborate basis clinical consultation groups. I have been a social worker for almost 30 years, and I own a successful solo online private practice, more of us than ever are practicing and solo or online practices. And we all need colleagues to process cases with commiserate with on those really hard days and also to celebrate our successes with in this podcast, I’ll bring you insights about trends and changes in our field and sit down with amazing therapists who are doing amazing work will discuss fictionalized cases, ways to practice sustainably and of course, there will be plenty of laughing. I love laughing with friends. I’m so glad to have you as one of my colleagues down the hall. Hello, everyone, you are listening to another episode of The colleague down the hall podcast. I’m your host Janine wolf joined today by Megan Hale. Megan is a former therapist who is a business strategist and money mentor. I’ve taken some of her courses and done some money coaching with her as well. Today we’re going to talk about money mindset for therapists and how it shapes our view of our work the value of our work and ways or money mindset as therapists can hold us back and underserve ourselves. So welcome, Megan. Yes, I’m


so excited to be here. Thanks for having me. Yes, absolutely.


It’s been quite a while since we’ve worked together more directly. So it’s good having you here today.


I know. I know. Yeah.


So in some of the early days that I was working with you, you were doing a lot of training for therapists and private practice around. Well, the very first thing I remember doing was learning about my own money mindset and sort of my money baggage or my origin story of my money views. Yes. I think that’s really important work to do, especially for private practice owners. And a lot of us these days are solo private practice owners. So it’s really, it’s our work our income, and we have to make a lot of decisions, not necessarily in our own best interest. turnout.


Definitely, I remember actually, money mindset was not even a topic that was on my radar, it was actually starting my own private practice and starting to learn more tools of growing a practice that I started to come across this concept of money mindset. And then once I started diving into this whole rabbit hole, I was like, I think I probably have so many things that I need to unpack for myself. And I had no idea that that would lead me on the path that, you know, I’ve been on for the past eight years now. So it’s been a pretty wild ride. But I think having a nourishing relationship with money, a supportive relationship with money, a personal relationship with money, like meaning you decide what money means to you, is just so incredibly freeing, and it’s not typically an area that we might not pay attention to it as often, especially when there are more pressing things that we’re really coping with, with our mental health, our relationships and all of those things.


Absolutely, yeah. And we did some really useful exercises where we kind of delved into what some of our values were around money and where they came from, and then kind of diving into Okay, are these things we are happy with? Or do we want to change some of these things? Yes,


yes, I’m so big on that. I think the interesting thing is, I think therapists in particular, are so well poised to really do a lot of deep work around their relationship with money because we can pull from so many theories and philosophies and like our background as therapists, and apply those same tools and skills to how we’re viewing money relating to money, thinking about money interacting with our money, even. So I think this conversation is going to be really helpful and really exciting for everybody who’s listening. I hope


Me too. Me too. So tell me what are some of the themes that you have seen when working with a therapist or even in your own self around moving beyond just like what our personal view is, but has therapists show up thinking about money and the profession and what we should Get paid and how hard we should work for that money.


Yeah, I mean, I think that’s probably one of the biggest things because we’re all swimming in a larger macro culture, right. And I can even remember, like verbatim being told in grad school, like, you don’t get into this field for the money, which already kind of set the foundation that to want money and be a helper and a healer, those things couldn’t coexist. And so I think when I started my private practice, of course, I had, you know, financial goals that I wanted to reach, I wanted to be financially supported by my practice. But then there was also all of that conditioning in my background of like, the not okay to want. And so there was a lot of cognitive dissonance around wanting money and needing money. And that also being okay, and one of the things that I oftentimes see with other therapists is that I’m not the only one that’s gotten not conditioning, right, a lot of us have gotten the same conditioning. And I think that there’s a lot of layers that we have to work through to give ourselves permission to want to be financially supported by the life changing work that we’re doing in the world, right. So I think that’s probably the most common thing that I see. And then the other thing is, I don’t know about your grad school program, I got no training on business whatsoever. And I would say that that’s probably par for the course when it comes to most graduate programs. And so when we start private practices, we don’t have the business acumen, to understand numbers and margins. And all of those things with the money side of your business is really important for us to understand, because money is like, the air our businesses need in order to breathe in order to thrive and to grow. And all of those things, I think I was really kind of behind the bar on even understanding a lot of those concepts, which was really no fault of my own, right. It’s no fault of any of ours, but it’s definitely a skill, like, it’s a gap that we have to close, if we’re gonna go into business for ourselves. And that’s what most of us are doing. And we started private practice, we’re starting a business.


Yeah. And that’s such an important point. I mean, I’ve never met a therapist who had any training in business, or who got the message in grad school, that it’s okay to make money and to help people. Yeah, so we’re sort of marinated in this idea that our job is to work hard, do whatever the client needs, everything’s in the best need of the client. And that’s where the helpers, that’s what we should expect. And you see that reinforced over and over and over in therapists, Facebook groups and other social media platforms where someone will be asking a question about money, and they get all this shaming about, you know, well, I didn’t get in this field to make money. I don’t know about you. So it’s self perpetuating. And there’s this righteous indignation that, like, how can you want to make money, you know, but Well, I do have bills that I have to pay, I get tired one day, you know those things?


Yeah, I think it’s like super fascinating the way that we attach, there’s just there’s so many layers to money, I think that’s why I just find it so fascinating. Because one, like money is connected to literally every single area of our lives, every single aspect of our lives in some way, shape, or form. And when we have this very narrow view that money is bad, or money is good, like it’s very black and white thinking very quickly. And money is very, very nuanced. But I think even going one level deeper, like just to expand past the conditioning that we get in grad school, past the lack of business training that we get as therapists, but you also layer insurance companies on to this who are dictating how much an hour of your time is worth. And it’s really a lot to work through. So I just want to normalize that. Because work any therapists out there who is like on this journey of understanding what their relationship with money is, and they’re doing that work. There’s a lot of us out here who are like, there’s layers to move through. Right, right. So it’s not something that’s super easy to do. And it’s gonna take some time and some dedicated practice, but it’s also so incredibly worth it. Right.


And therapists are among the lowest paid masters levels jobs out there.


Oh, yeah. I remember. I mean, I remember when I was in managed care, I was just as an intern, it was like my first job, you know, after I gotten my license, and I was working for under supervision. And I think I was making 24k a year, I made more waiting tables in grad school than I did actually doing the work that I was trained to do. And that’s, that’s not right.


No, no, it’s not right at all. It’s part of the bigger problem of, you know, once they’ve trained us to sort of accept that we’re going to be poor and tired. Then we end up in community mental health, where we’re working ridiculous hours with case loads that are unbelievable and making next to nothing. And the thought of even going into private practice is really scary thinking about can I support myself? And then additionally, if you’re a practice that takes insurance, I don’t think a lot of people realize that when I show up to work, I know that I’m going to give a good session for my client, but I don’t know for sure that I’m going to get paid hate for that session, because insurance might say, oh, sorry, we told you they were covered, but they’re really not. So now you have to get the client to pay you, or two years down the line, they can say we just found out and even though you didn’t know they had another insurance, they did have another insurance. So now we’re taking the money back. And you’ve got to track down that other insurance company and see if they’ll even allow you to submit the claim at this point. And if not, you have to track down the client and get money. And it’s a whole, I mean, there’s so many ways that it comes into our work and shows up when I first went into private practice, remember having the shocking experience that I really, for the first time learned that I was getting paid different amounts for different clients, depending on their insurance. Yeah. And all of a sudden, I was on a session, and I had this thought creeping into my head about the amount that I was getting paid by this particular insurance. I was horrified. I was disgusted with myself. But the bottom line is, we’re human, you know, that is going to come into the room. So you have to make values or realize I had to make values decisions around that. If I was going to be unhappy with that amount of money, then I needed to not take that insurance. But I can’t hold that against the client. That’s not fair.


Yeah, no, absolutely. And I mean, I think that the same shows up with sliding scale fees to if you’re doing private pay, because because of the intimacy that exists and the therapeutic relationship, like your client, likely is going to tell you when they’re making more money, and then you’re having to figure out how do I adjust their fee based on this information that they’ve shared with me in confidence? And like, there’s layers to that dynamic? For sure. It’s ordered


a sliding fee client coming in and showing you their brand new pair of shoes. I mean, it just it’s so many layers. So many layers.


Yes, yes. And I think like that’s part of the like reasoning of doing some work on money, because it allows you to advocate for yourself and to ask for more when there can be more given and all of those things. And I think it could also give you the confidence, if you didn’t want to take insurance, then you could pursue private pay only. And trust that there’s an abundance of clients out there who are willing to pay your private pay for Yeah, and


I also sort of discovered for myself a values based so I’m a hybrid practice, I do take three insurances. And the way I sort of came to this was I live in a huge military community in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and lived here my whole life. So I knew I wanted to take TRICARE because I understand and hola Terry families? Yes,


I am.


Yes, you’re welcome. So I wanted to take that Optima is a health insurance in our area that most of the teachers and city employees have I come from a family of teachers, again, I understand that, you know, type of work. So I knew I wanted to take that. And I enjoyed working with seniors. So I take Medicare, and I decided it was really scary. But I went off all the other panels because I was like, I can’t have this conflict of do I want to bring on this new client, because they have this insurance and it’s lower rate that I want, if they’ve reached out to me, that shouldn’t be my decision making. It’s my appropriateness of my skills. So for me, I was like, Okay, I’ll go, I’ll narrow down to those three insurances. And then that opens up room for me to bring on more private pay clients, that are people who want to work specifically with me, and can afford to pay out of pocket.


I think that that is so so smart. I’m so glad that you did that. I mean, a lot of times, therapists are working with me like one of the things that we’re looking at is all the insurance panels that they are taking, which ones are the highest paying, which ones are the lowest paying. And a lot of times you have to make some hard calls and some value based decisions on what’s going to be best for the sustainability of your practice. And I think the other mindset piece that goes into that is oftentimes as helpers and healers, there can be a lot of responsibility on our shoulders that we have to be available for every single person in need. And I think the greatest shift that I’ve made in therapy, and also as a coach is realizing that it’s not my responsibility to carry the weight of the entire market. But I am a part of a larger market, right. And so if I want to carve out this niche, this is, this is who I’m available for, this is who I’m here to help serve. That also means that there’s other people in the market who are going to serve the people that you aren’t. So I think it’s gonna be really, really helpful when you’re feeling that ethical dilemma of like, Is this really okay? Am I going to be leaving somebody out in the cold? It’s like, right, it’s not on your shoulders only, like you cannot carry that responsibility on your own. Yeah, we have to share that with one another.


Absolutely. And therapists set the bar for themselves. So very, very high, you know, wanting to meet these ideals and the standards that they’ve set for themselves or that have been set for us. And I talked about this in lots of other clinical ways, but does that serve me like continuing to work with this client who’s exhausting me? And I don’t feel like I’m giving them the best treatment but I was never really trained about referring out under a situation like that. And you know, understanding that that is someone else’s ideal client, someone else is going to do an amazing job with that. entity. Now I’m saying I’m not the best person for you.


Yes, absolutely. Yeah, it’s such a great way to approach things. It really, really is. And realizing that we’re part of a network. And yeah, the more we can like be a part of that network and be clear on what our part of that network is, right? I think the more permission we can really give ourselves to make those decisions that are right for us.


Absolutely. what other things do you see showing up for therapists in private practice around money?


Well, I definitely think like negotiating fees can be a challenging conversation, because you might have an idea of how much you want to I mean, we wouldn’t use this language in clinical but like pitch, or offer or write in fears that maybe you’ll lose the client. But I think really building in some skills and confidence of having financial conversation, that’s also going to come down to your comfortability, talking about money. And money is a very taboo topic. It’s something that a lot of us are conditioned to not talk about, because it’s not polite. It’s not proper, and whatever that is, but that’s one a part of running a business. We have to be able to negotiate fees and have those conversations. But I think the thing that really supports that is you having a comfortability around speaking about money, like in general. So what do your financial conversations look like outside of the therapy practice before you’re bringing those conversations into the therapy practice, right? Because we can practice those skills in different containers that might have a different level of felt safety for us before actually having those conversations with a client or a potential one. That’s such


a good point, looking at it and other settings as well. And it’s so funny, I will see someone post in a Facebook group, like, you know, I’ve been really struggling with the fee that I charge and is it too high, but I went to the hairdresser today, and they charge more than I do, and I’m doing life changing work. And it’s like, yes, we’re not trained to own that, that the work we do is life changing. And it’s also high risk in a lot of ways. There’s a lot on the line, and it takes from us, personally, it takes from us as humans, that takes a toll.


Yeah, I mean, I would much rather see, you know, private practice therapists having a manageable caseload of clients. Yes. And in order to do that, we have to be charging a certain amount for that to be doable. Because if we’re seeing 30 clients a week, you are holding so much exceptional space for somebody like that will eventually take a toll on your capacity. At some point, we can’t just talk about money without also talking about time and energy, like those three variables are very connected, right? So I leave when we’re clear on the money that we want to be making, and more importantly, what is full for you, what is booked out look for you like what does the lifestyle look like for you? And then what does your average hourly rate need to be where those two things can really align. And I also think, too, that thinking creatively beyond the private practice can open up a lot more possibilities to you know, our financial well being doesn’t have to rest only on our private pay clients. Like there’s a lot of other ways we can build in revenue streams, and really get our wisdom out into the world in a more accessible way. So that’s another avenue to explore. But I think as you and I both know, it’s also like a lot of work. So it’s not like this passive, like open your computer on a beach and blue like money, like, it definitely needs to be an intentional decision. Because it will take time, either away from clients that are paying you money to build out this other thing, or time after you’ve closed the doors on the you know, in the evening time to build something else out. But I think there’s some additional opportunities or avenues to explore for sure.


And love that so many therapists are looking for alternative income streams, therapists in general tend to be really creative people. I also believe that there I don’t have any research behind this, but I think there’s probably a high percentage of us who are neurodivergent I ADHD, and I see that and so many other people. And so we kind of fall into this category of people who are natural entrepreneurs as well. Yeah. So with there’s lots of possibilities out there. And it can be really exciting. Yeah, but there again, yes. You don’t like say I have this fabulous idea. You put it out there and money comes rolling in that.


I believe that definitely not that I would say like if that was something that you wanted to explore, doing money mindset work, now will only support you and other endeavors that you take on because I think when you start to move beyond the therapy practice, there is a whole wide world out there and it’s very easy to under charge for the wisdom that you hold. And there are people with far less education far less training than you who are charging, you know, way more. Right and so I think it’s just it’s an interesting experience to put yourself out there like and just see what else is happening out there. But I I see it as possibility, you know, of what could be possible. I also think the other thing I would like to share on just like the money mindset piece is my approach to money as we like it. Yes, we have our beliefs. We have our transgenerational money stuff. worries that have been handed down from generation to generation, we have conditioning, we have modeling, we also have all of these layers, boom from our macro culture, like you think about spiritual religious beliefs that are associated with money, we think about even gendered beliefs that we have around money. There’s so many things to start diving into. But I think taking a Relational Approach to money is such a different segue of really looking at how you’re intentionally like relating to it. And so what I mean by that is, I’m sure a lot of your listeners are probably familiar with The Five Love Languages, yes, by Gary Chapman, right? That book changed my relationship with my dad as a teenager. And I really credit that to so much of our healing. But when I was doing my earlier stages of money work, I started leaning on that book a lot for thinking about how I was personally relating to money, because I realized I wasn’t spending quality time with my money. And that’s a really big love language of mine, right. And so I was wanting to feel like I had this intimate connection with money, money felt supportive and nurturing to me, but I wasn’t actually showing up to my relationship with money through how I like to be loved. And so even just having that frame, I was like, oh, so if I want to love money, and I want money to love me, like, what does that look like? It means spending quality time together, right? It means words of affirmation, words of praise, it means gift giving, not only to organizations and causes that I care about, but allowing my money to gift things to me, because I would not spend money on myself, right? That was a really big disconnect. Like my money doesn’t support me. It’s like I wasn’t letting my money support me. Yeah, I think it’s really, really interesting, kind of like thinking about money through that relational lens. That has been really, really helpful for me seeing behaviors, seeing mindset, seeing patterns and things like that.


Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And that brings to mind for me a conversation actually wrote a blog post about it, I something I talked to, fairly regularly with the therapist in my consultation groups, is that we are sort of tasked with the idea that if we’re in practice, we should be doing pro bono work. And I’ve been trying to get people to understand that that’s a financial decision. If you are going to give up an hour of your time for pro bono work, but you’re not able to pay your bills, then that’s not a good business decision to make. And this just isn’t that you’ve got the helpers heart and you want to do these things, or everyone says you should. But get, make sure that you are stable financially, first and on a good path before you bring that in. And you don’t have to use therapy as a way to give back to your community. You know, you can say I give back by service, or I give back by donating to a cause it’s important to me. But again, that’s one of those areas that we’re sort of tied in with our conditioning that we should do pro bono work, and that we’re obligated to do that. And if we’re a therapist, we absolutely need to be helping in some way with our therapy skills. But those are all very separate issues.


Yeah, no, totally. I think that that’s such a good point of thinking about the give back. Because there’s lots of different ways that we can contribute to this world that maybe you are running a group therapy session for people on a bi weekly basis or something like that, that you’re able to serve more people in just an hour of your time. Maybe it’s donating money to organizations or causes you care about maybe it’s donating time. But maybe it’s something that’s not related to therapy at all, I would maybe get even more specific of like, what’s the impact that you’re wanting to make here? And what are the different ways that that could show up for you?


Yeah, yeah, that’s a great perspective for sure. And we’ve talked a little bit about, like, identifying these beliefs and learning when we need to shift them. what are the steps for someone who wants to say, Okay, I’ve done the work, I see where I’m perceptions that I want to change. Where do I go? Now? Obviously, you have programs that people can learn that kind of stuff?


Well, I mean, I think the most important piece is, money is not something that can only be approached through just one lens. I think having a multi lens approach is really, really key. And what I mean by that is, I’ve done money mindset work for years without it necessarily creating a financial shift in my business, right? And I think feeling safer with money, that’s one thing, but also translating that safety into asking for more is another. And also having the practical skills of working with your money, I think is really, really important. And so I would say if you want to do this work, one, do your transgenerational money work for us. That’s where I think the easiest place to start is look at what your own stories are, that have been modeled to you and pass down through your family line around what money means all All of us have some sort of story that we’ve been told around what it means to be smart with money good with money responsible with it wise, whatever that looks like. And so I really think even just getting clear on what those conditions are for you, and then get curious, is that what you believe to be true? Or is that just what you’ve been told to believe? Right, right? Because I think for us to ever create a sense of safety, there has to be a level of ownership of this is, this is what I’m choosing to believe this is what I want to believe, versus this is just something that somebody told me. So I think getting clear on the story first challenging that story. And then I think it’s like, okay, so if I had a more supportive relationship with money, what would that look like? How would I know that I’ve arrived there? And that’s probably one of my favorite questions that I asked my clients, like, when we’re doing values work, or we’re doing clarity work around their biggest visions, I asked them the question, if I was able to peer down into your life, and know that you are living these values, right? what would I be able to observe you doing? And know that that was something that you cared about and valued, right. And so I think the same is true. If you were to ask this question about your relationship with money, if I knew that you were rock solid with money, if I knew that you felt safe with money, you felt confident with it? How would I know that to be true? Just by simply observing what you do with it?


Oh, that’s such a great perspective. Yeah.


So I think even just dreaming about that, and dancing with that question, can spark some areas where you might want to do some intentional work? Yeah. And I think you know, that I’m going to have to say like, we have to know our numbers and our margins. Yeah, running our business. Because a lot of us, there’s different attachment styles that we have with money, just like we have different attachment styles developmentally. And a lot of times when we have more of an avoidant style, we don’t want to look at numbers, we don’t want to look at the truth, we don’t want to look at what’s really happening with our money, because we might not have a lot of confidence of what to do, if we see what’s going on, or whatever that is for you. If there’s one thing that I would really, really encourage you to do, it’s to start meeting with your money regularly, because there’s a level of just exposure therapy baked into that. And that’s really how I started shifting a lot of how money felt is having a daily practice of meeting with my money. And I didn’t know that at the time. But meeting with it every day, I would notice some days, I’d sit down and I would feel anxious. Some days, I would sit down, I would not want to look at that. And I was like, I just got curious with that. I was like, has something changed with money? Or has something changed in my life that I’m stressed out about? And I’m projecting onto money? Because we project a lot of things onto money. Yeah. But the daily practice is the thing that allows you to simply get curious to where the what’s present for you what’s showing up for you. And then asking yourself, how much of this is money’s fault, I’m feeling this way, right? And how much of this is actually not related to money at all. So I just I think it’s just so fascinating, but we have to build in the time and the space for that curiosity to be present for us.


Yeah, when you reference money, the way you do it, it’s so much easier to take ownership of this is present in my life, like you said earlier, every aspect of my life every single day. And so we really need to have that more top of mind than most of us do. And the other thing I feel like that underlies all of that is that whenever I do trainings with therapists, I have one particular training and I’ll say, raise your hand, if you run a small business, and no one raises their hands, the therapists just kind of look at me. And I’m like, if you own a private practice, yes, you run a small business, you feel like you just like, rented a space, and you’re doing therapy, but you actually run a small business. And so I recommend to therapists all the time, go to your Small Business Association, they have free resources, they will give you a free mentor, possibly like there’s so many things you can do. But you need to understand this is a business first, and you are bringing a product, which is your brain and your heart and your experience. If you don’t even start looking at as a business to begin with, then you’re really going to struggle and I don’t know if you’ve encountered that a lot, but I’ve seen that so much.


I mean, I’ve lived that. Like when I opened my private practice. I was like, Oh, wait, like I’m a business owner. And I don’t know why it didn’t dawn on me. It didn’t dawn on me until I mean, I found myself sitting in my private practice, and I just opened it and I’m like, Okay, so now what do I do? Like, so I have to do marketing. Oh, okay. So that’s something I have to figure out. You’re like setting up all of these different pieces of your business. You know, I remember that being like a pretty big lightbulb moment for me like, oh, I actually said yes to something that I have no idea what I’m doing. Now. I will say during supervision. I was lucky enough my supervisor was in private practice. And so she allowed me to build like a really small private practice in her practice, and learn the row stuff running a small business. And so I didn’t go into it completely not knowing anything. When it comes to marketing, like there were so many more things to learn there. So I would say, yes, if you are in private practice, you haven’t gone to science. And the thing that I will say all day long is the therapists who come in to the money map specifically, and they implement Profit First and their private practice, it is such a game changer for them for how they’re thinking about money relating to money, managing their money, it gives them like a tool, a process, a methodology for really understanding, like what healthy margins even look like inside a business. And I really highly recommend, like, even just starting with the book would be a great, great starting place for you for really thinking about what does a sustainable business look like when it comes to the numbers in the margins?


Absolutely. Yeah. And because we’re coming in opening in private practice as a whole kind of crazy story. But I didn’t intend to open up needing a place to see my clients that I already had. So anyway, there was literally no planning for running a small business when I got started. And I think so many of us just like, we just don’t put two and two together, I see the homework and up. So I see therapists on Facebook that will say I’ve had my private practice open for two weeks, and no one has called, what should I do?


I mean, there’s so many hurdles to figure out for sure. But I think that’s the other thing. Like if you do decide to build a daily money practice, and you sit down and you noticed that you’re anxious, like what is creating the anxiety for you is that because no clients have called right like get under the root of like what you’re really wanting to see more of to create that sense of felt safety for you. Because that often will give you the clarity needed of like what action steps you really need to take. Because if no clients are calling, then we know that we need to put out more visibility, more marketing in order to elicit that response, right. And so I think a lot of times we’re, we look at money, and we’re like we’re not doing what I want you to do. And please like I am here to do everything that you want me to do. But I need a way to do that, right. And you have to partner together with your money for all of those things to happen. And I think oftentimes, we’re not thinking about it from that perspective. We’re like, well, I did all the hard work, I opened the private practice, I created the website, I did all of these things. And like now it’s all supposed to be rolling in. And then when it doesn’t do that, we can get resentful very fast with our money, right? There’s all kinds of fun layers of like, I feel abandoned by money, I don’t feel loved by money, I don’t feel supported by money. When Money loves you, money, supports you money wants nothing but the best for you. But it also needs these other bridges to be built. So it has a way to come in.


I love that. Yeah, and profit. First is amazing. There’s a new one out that’s written someone wrote just wrote one specifically for therapists, you know, because we don’t come in with most of us with any sort of money skills, having a framework around the margins, and how the money is being used and making sure you are paying yourself. First, you know, all of those things are so important. And I think it can really create create a great framework for someone who, who really didn’t even intend to run a business like me.


Yes, definitely. Absolutely. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s been life changing. For me, I’ve been certified for three years I’ve been I’ve been using it in my business for five. So it’s just been such a helpful tool. And I recommend it all the time.


what are any other tips or thoughts you would share with therapists who are out there either thinking of opening a private practice or have one opened just to I think I’m thinking in terms of like work life balance with your money? what are some good thoughts there some suggestions or insights? Like, you


know, when you open a private practice or any business, for that matter, there is such a high level of agency for you to decide how all of this looks? Yes. And I think oftentimes, we carry a lot of corporate conditioning into our businesses and just assume that it needs to run that way we duplicate a lot of the things that we’re actually trying to get away from. And there’s a transition period, a very intense transition period for most of us, when we’re trying to figure out how do we want to spend our time how do we want to structure our time organize it? And I think that the more you can really do that work, first of like thinking about the lifestyle, thinking about how your ideal day goes, like what’s the earliest call or session that you would put on your calendar? What’s the latest? Do you want to have a lunch break? Do you want to go to yoga and have lunch over your lunch break? Right? Like really think about the lifestyle first, build the business around that? Because if we don’t do that foundational work first, then we’re trying to build our lives around our business, which is likely the thing that we’re trying to get away from. So I think if you can do some good clarity work around how many weeks off do you want a year, and what is your ideal day look like? what does your ideal week look like? I usually like to do like a four week planning session, because that really kind of gives you like more space to move. So if you don’t want to see clients one week out of the month, then you can kind of look at how does that function with all these other things, right. But I think doing that piece first, then thinking about what is booked out look like for you around all of that, then starting to do the anchored Money Goal piece of like, what are your good, better? basketballs? You know, I’m all about good, better best. Yeah. So really thinking about what do those numbers look like for you, and then starting to layer the money on top for what you need to be charging each each session. And if you’re taking insurance panels, then what I would really recommend is maybe you have a cap for how many insurance clients you can take, and then you’re building in the private pay. On top of that.


There’s lots of nuances of how we can create a practice that supports the lifestyle that we want. And we don’t have enough exposure to that usually early on. I think that’s why networking with other therapists and private practice is so important hearing what’s working for you what’s working for this other person, people will talk about, I haven’t raised rates in five years. And I feel like I need to do that now. And that’s really stressful. How do I roll that out to my clients? And does everyone get the raise or did just the new people get the raise. And something that I heard years ago that I started implementing is that January 1 of every year, I have an automatic 5% cost of living raise. And actually my form consent says, between five and 10%, actually, because I want to have a little bit of leeway there. But that way, I’m not realizing, gosh, I haven’t raised rates in five years, and I’m now I gotta feel like I need to raise it by like $30 $40 $50. And that feels unfair to the client to all of a sudden say, you’re gonna get this giant bump, you know, so even looking at ways that you can manage those types of things. There’s so many options.


I love that so much. And like that actually sparked something that I remember one of my therapist clients saying Is she was really, really struggling raising her rate. And I asked her Well, are you going over the fee section in your informed consent in your first session? And she said, No, I just skipped over that part. Right. It’s like, so we need to start there, like making sure that y’all are both on the same page. So even with this piece, being in your informed consent, you know, yes, every single year, there’s a five to 10% increase, I want to make sure that we’re really clear on that, and why that exists, if you have any questions about that. So it’s not just written, and you’re just assuming that somebody reads it, but you’re actually making space for you also really get on that same page as part of the therapeutic relationship beginning, I think even just weaving that in can be such a solid foundation on which to build.


Yeah, another area that there’s so much controversy in our field is the late cancellation, no show fees, we could talk a whole hour on that. But as as I get older in life, and in my business, I’ve really learned that and I know you you embrace values so much in your work, I’ve really learned that I have to tune into my own values with any policy I set for my practice. Like if I can’t imagine sitting in front of somebody and speaking this policy to them, then it’s not gonna work for me. And I have to figure out what is going to work for me in that there’s lots of different ways to manage that. Some people say they charge the fee no matter what, some people never charge the fee. There’s a hybrid model where you have a conversation about what happened and I openly tell my clients it didn’t take if your baby’s been vomiting all night, and you need to cancel and first thing in the morning because you’re exhausted. I’m not really going to charge you for that. Because I was a mom, I am a mom, I know how hard that is. But but if you decide you want to go Christmas shopping at the mall with your friend instead of your session, I will absolutely be charging you for that. Because


your choice. Yes, but I think one of the things that you just said I love it so much like if you can’t speak it, if you cannot say it confidently if it doesn’t feel a lines coming out of your mouth. That’s a policy that might need some revision. Because I think that’s such a big deal. Like if we can’t speak these things out loud, in a way that’s like, Yes, this is what I believe this is what I stand by, then something needs to shift there. So you can absolutely


yeah, yeah. Well, Megan, this has been wonderful. So let me ask you my end of interview question that I like to ask everybody. Can you share with us an analogy or a metaphor that you like to use in your work?


Well, it’s more of an affirmation. I work with a lot of business owners these days. And one of the things that can be really, really challenging is because we’re building online businesses that there’s this pressure that the show goes on, no matter what it’s like, online businesses open like Vegas is open, right? It’s like always open. So one thing that I really ground my clients into is you are a human first, always on forever, and you are CEO second, but in my company we use Elio language meets is LEED executive officers that have Chief Executive Officer. So we say human first Elio second, and what that means in practice, that means that when you’re human capacity shifts, your business needs to shift to adjust, timelines might need to shift to adjust. Things need to be working that support your humanity. And I think oftentimes we forget to prioritize that. And especially as helpers and healers, we are notorious for putting our needs on the backburner to prioritize somebody else’s. And it’s not to say that that’s not okay. Sometimes, you know, but I think for the long run, really practicing this human first approach, even like when you’re in your mindset stuff, right, like, because we can be the worst like beating ourselves up because we didn’t stand our ground in a therapy session, or we back down from negotiating a higher rate or whatever that is, and we can beat ourselves. I was like, You’re human, you’re human, and you’re learning a new skill, you’re building confidence, like give yourself some grace, you know, so right, human first, Dalio second all day, every day. I


love that. That’s great. That’s wonderful. Well, this has been great. I always enjoy hanging out and chatting with you, can you please tell the listeners where they can find out more about what you offer, how to connect with you all those good things?


Definitely. So I am at Meghan Is and company there’s a couple of ways that I work with people, I typically work with therapists who have been in business for at least a couple of years in the online space and like moving into the coaching arena. And my work is really helping them create a framework that holds their wisdom and really starts to build their body of work beyond the therapy practice. And so I’m there to help you build out your offers and your offer flow that delivers your wisdom to the world. And I’ve also developed a profit planning tool called the money map, which is very holistic in the sense that it brings your business and your personal financials together all in one place. It helps you understand how to calculate healthy, anchored money goals based on your needs and your dreams. It leaves in profit first, because I am certified. So we talked about healthy margins, and then how to actually manage your money and plan out the business that can actually reach those those numbers so you can fund your dreams. So if you are interested in that, you can definitely check that out. And I have a podcast. It’s called TV podcast. Yeah, do you deal. So I just started into a trademark. And I decided I’m going to launch a podcast called TBD, to be determined, because this is the season that we’re in. And we’re only a few episodes in, but I’m having a lot of fun creating content over


there. Oh, good. That’s wonderful. So we will put your contact information in the show notes. And for everyone listening there are new episodes of The colleague down the hall podcast released every Thursday on all major platforms. Please remember, our work is hard. It doesn’t have to be lonely. Thank you so much for listening to the colleague down the hall podcast. For show notes, links and downloads, head over to colleague down the where you’ll be able to learn more about getting the clinical support you need and resources to help you work in a supportive sustainable way. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share with your therapy friends and colleagues. subscribe to the podcast and if you love this episode, please leave a review.