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10 Tips For Building Your Private Practice with Veteran Clinician and Entrepreneur Steve Lackey
Get the Key Tips for Building Your Private Practice
Watch the replay with Cory Miller, CEO of All Counselors as he interviews veteran entrepreneur and clinician, and treatment center founder Steve Lackey. Steve shared the key tips from his decades of experience in mental health for the rookie clinician looking to start and grow a private practice.
Steve obtained his Bachelor’s in Science (Business Administration and Accounting) from Wiley
College and a Master’s of Arts in Psychology from National Louis University. He is certified in
sex addiction and multiple addictions.
In 2008, he became co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of a leading counseling center in the
Chicago area. Steve is a collaborator. Bringing multifaceted teams together in and outside of the
mental health community increased visibility and accessibility to quality programming for
treating trauma and addiction. As a result the counseling center has grown exponentially, since
You can connect with Steve on Linkedin.
Machine Generated Webinar Transcript
Cory Miller, Steve Lackey
Cory Miller: Sure. Everybody welcome back to another all counselors.com webinar I’m with my friend and all counselor advisor. Steve Lackey. I’m going to let him introduce himself a little bit and tell us about his background, but I’m excited. This has been building for months because back in, like, what was it, Steve?
[00:00:18] January? I think we talked about this. We have so many clinicians inside of all counselors that are just starting to practice and nobody better to talk about how to start one. Then Steve, he and his wife, Lisa have been, how do you call yourself partners and businesses? It
[00:00:36] Steve Lackey: was co-founders co-owners if you will.
[00:00:40] Cory Miller: So you’re in store for a tree. We’re going to have a conversation today about starting your practice. Things Steve’s learned over the years wants to pass on to you. If you have questions for Steve right underneath our video here is a Q&A button, and that’s where you can ask questions and I’ll be watching that as we go.
[00:00:55]So Steve and I say, we just jump in here, but first, could you tell us. Those of who are on the webinar, who haven’t heard of you or don’t know who you are. Could you give us a little bit of your background and what led you to today? Sure.
[00:01:08] Steve Lackey: Sure. Thank you, Cory and it’s really good to be here with you.
[00:01:13] I’ve been looking forward to this since we met and talked about this and and we’re here. So yeah, my wife and I, Lisa Started out in private practice, 15, 18 years ago, actually. And at that time we had no idea what the heck we were doing. We just knew go to school. We knew what our passion was. We knew what we wanted to do, but we had no clue how to do it.
[00:01:40] And what we learned was that being in school teaches you how to be a counselor. It in no way teaches you how to run a business, how to start it, develop it. So we literally just got in there, put our heads down and started really roughing it out. Not understanding the need for cultural support, a networking system, a mentor tech support and all of these kinds of things.
[00:02:10] We, so we basically did everything wrong and. Thank goodness. We’re still here. We’re still thriving. And we learned from those mistakes, which is how I was able to crystallize it into these 10, 10 tips and how to start a private practice. But we were successful and we were able to launch eight individual clinicians to start their own private practices.
[00:02:35] We know that. Doing agency work versus private practice is a big bill and a lot of people want to start. And so we were part of our passion was to get people into their passion. And so that’s kind of what we did. And again, we made every mistake and we learn from them and W we just, we’re a good team to console agenda to hug each other.
[00:03:01] We must stop here. Let’s get up and try it again. And that’s what we did.
[00:03:06] Cory Miller: I, there’s two things that stick out to me is when we were saying you made all the mistakes when I was running mine and I’m not a clinician, but when I was running my software business, Over 10 years. And we exited in 2018 when people would ask how reflect back and look back.
[00:03:21] I said, if we wrote a book, it would be called stumbling successfully, not making mistakes that would just do must, you know, fall flat on the gut. But at that point we, weren’t not like running like this. Right. And that’s what stuck out to me
[00:03:36]Steve Lackey: Yeah. Yeah. We I coined a little moniker for us and it was bubble gum, grace, mercy, and spit.
[00:03:43] That’s how we sort of held our practice, but also how we held our marriage together because being in business with a partner. It sounds ideal and how to speak an idealistic, but it’s really challenging on a lot of levels themselves. Yes. We made those mistakes and we’ve gained and profited from them and I’ve learned a lot.
[00:04:08] Cory Miller: I mean, that’s the first thing is one is just creating and running and growing a successful business is tough, but second also managing. Marriage relationship, you know, Lindsey and I, you know, my wife, Lindsay worked together for several parts of my past software business. And then now we work together, but I say she’s definitely the boss.
[00:04:30] How did is that helpful advisor when I can, but there is some navigation there. So that’s part two down the road for us to talk about, get Lisa on here and talk to you and her and navigating business together. All right. Well, okay. So I want to jump in because you’ve got a wealth of experience to share and I want to make some comments as we go too.
[00:04:50] Cause I know I’ve seen your outline your list and it’s fantastic. And I think, Oh, this was the second thing I want to say. Donations, you all spend so much time in an academic work. And get these advanced degrees. Didn’t have to go through licensure and a good reason for all that. And then supervision and then continuing education credits.
[00:05:13] And I’m not disputing any of that. I’m just saying it’s a lot. It is to add all that, but there’s no. Here’s how you run a practice. Here’s how you run a business training at all. And I’m glad we can help fill some of that gap for our clinicians looking to do that. So, okay. That was my second observation.
[00:05:29] Now I just want to say what’s the first thing you want to talk about. If you want to share.
[00:05:33]Steve Lackey: What I like to do, Corey, I love talking to you. And I like how we kind of pull from each other as I’ve always said, but what I want to make sure I do on the front end is get the nuts and bolts information to emerging and new clinicians, things that we wish we knew how to do on the front end, being in business 18 to 20 years.
[00:05:54]I just wanted to go right into that. And the first thing is to maintain hope confidence. And belief in yourself by having a community real important, to become a part of a network of people that are active in your area of interest. And you want to marry yourself with organizations that will continue to stretch you and help you grow example where members of the international Institute of trauma and addictions professionals.
[00:06:26] We’re also members of. The association for group and psychotherapy association, where members of the C-SAT community, which is the certification for sex addiction therapy as well as multiple addictions therapy. Then we’re also members of the society for the advancement of sexual health. So I’m spouting these acronyms, these organizations, but it took years to learn that we needed to be a part of them.
[00:06:55] And thankfully we had people to help kind of direct us there when we. Yeah. What I failed to mention that naturally was we worked at a private practice together with a different private practice for five years, which is where we cut our teeth and learned about our need to be in community. So that’s one and the second is to become properly licensed.
[00:07:20] To know what licensure requirements for whatever state that you’re in. You want to make sure that you are properly licensed, three is to get or find your national provider number. And that’s the NPI number. And that number identifies you to your health care. Including all payers and they comply with HIPAA scandals and transactions.
[00:07:48] So there’s a lot of anonymity and protections in that regard, but you need an NPI number. And then get malpractice insurance will important make sure it covers you and your business. If it’s a corporation and you’ll want at least a million dollars to $3 million coverage, give you an example real quickly.
[00:08:13] If I can, about a breach that we had, we have a new intern. And so again, we had a demographic of sex addiction. We had betrayal partners, trauma survivors, and all of that. The intern inadvertently did email blast to everyone in our practice. So she literally, he literally blew the cover to the trauma and partners of betrayal and exposed.
[00:08:43] Our clients that were recovering sex addict and boy, Oh boy, the phone start ringing. The lawyers were calling and we were, you know, we were scared to death. Actually. We thought we were going to lose the business. We’re going to go bankrupt, but it didn’t happen. We hadn’t shared rights. There was an honest mistake and we were able to rectify that with each client on 150 or 200 of them.
[00:09:10] So make sure you get that. Now practices, and then you want to get your employee identification number. So that will be used instead of your social security number, but just the thing you definitely want to have. And
[00:09:24] Cory Miller: it’s like the social security number for. Your business gives you another set of liability, potential liability protection also puts thing in Nate’s buckets, expenses, your business expenses, personal stuff, and keeps separation between us, which I’m glad you mentioned that EIN number.
[00:09:42] Steve Lackey: And it also identifies you as a business. That’s in good standing with the state, always. So healthcare providers, payers, people will recognize. Through your EIN number that you’re in good standing. So that’s real important. Also, if you want to take insurance start that process as soon as practice, as soon as possible, real important.
[00:10:06]We are a fee for service since the very beginning. We don’t accept insurance. And there’s a lot of pros and cons to that. The pros to having it sitting on an insurance panel and having insurance is that. You can appeal to a broader audience, a larger demographic and get more clients. Some of the cons to that is what insurance companies, insurance panels are willing to pay.
[00:10:34] So you may charge $150 an hour, but they’re only paying $60 an hour. So you have to be mindful that represents. Sort of a sliding scale kind of scenario. So we’ve been fee for service since the beginning in Korea. I’m real fortunate to be able to say that it’s worked for us, but it’s also scary because there’s cancellations, there’s acts of dye, the health issues, you know, and people don’t come or show up or call, then you don’t get paid and they, you can’t eat.
[00:11:04] So it’s a compromise.
[00:11:07] Cory Miller: Well, maybe come back at some point because I have worked primarily with independent professionals and I completely different profession, freelance web designers. And when I find doesn’t show up or some, if time is your money and there’s boundaries that you got to put around those types of things, because even though you all are doing some amazing work in the world, you also deserve rightly to be paid for people to show up and to pay you promptly.
[00:11:34] Steve Lackey: Absolutely. Absolutely.
[00:11:37] And also have a nature you want to have a physical virtual space. That’s HIPAA compliant. Well, important to find out your space that you’re running from is HIPAA compliant.
[00:11:51] Cory Miller: You’re talking specifically the office space.
[00:11:53]Steve Lackey: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So everyone’s migrated to tele-health and 95% of our business transferred to telehealth with us and all of our clinicians that work for us.
[00:12:07] So we were real fortunate with that as well. Having email plan, a HIPAA compliant email you may have to pay a small fee, but it’s real important to have a practice management system and to automate as much as possible, you know, in all of your features within your practice will be within that management system.
[00:12:32] And that includes, and I’m sure some of you have heard of this simple practice. And therapy notes. They separate out, they correlate bait, they correlate and they put things in order for you in such a way that when Lisa and I approached Daria, we were doing all the people work with intake forms on clipboards.
[00:12:52] I mean, assessment sheets out of the lobby. It was really difficult until we joined simple practice and learned about therapy notes. Also you want to be aware of informed consent. Because informed consent gives you the opportunity to know what treatment you’re getting. You know, what services ahead of time and gives you the option to accept and or decline.
[00:13:21] So it’s important that you sign and have your client sign, the informed consent, and it also offers you an opportunity for service and health providers should communicate with each other through a release of information, as well as your informed consent. Real quick. And I’m gonna go through this real fast Corey so we can get through our discussion release of information.
[00:13:43]Superbills superbill are just the bills that health CA health providers receive for reimbursement. And that’s done monthly. So that’s where the client submits to their insurance company. The super bill that has colds diagnostic holes from the DSM and that sort of thing to make sure we’re in compliance intake paperwork.
[00:14:08] Or now everything is online written practice policies, assessment forms that are needed to be completed during a session for your clients. Have a way to keep track of your money. You know, because we’ve had a lot of money hanging out there because we were submitting and charging all the time because that, you know, doesn’t become the most important thing is helping the client.
[00:14:33] And sometimes over weeks you forget the charge. So make sure you have to have a way to keep track of your money. Have a telephone script for your voicemail. And for your new client calls, make sure that you have that up to date and ready. So now you’re ready to see your first client. Those were the nuts and bolts.
[00:14:51] Now you’re ready to see your first client. So you’re going to open a business bank account with lower fees and promotions. You’re going to decide with an accountant or lawyer, which kind of corporation you’ll be. If it’s an escort, which get creases, the amount you will pay in taxes and your accountant will set all this up for you and guide you.
[00:15:12]Compare practice management systems with reviews from colleagues, get feedback from your feedback from other clinicians on what they do and how they do their management system. Choose your business cards. And then the best is either build a website or outsource this. And what I’m going to do is welcome everyone to become a member of the all counseling, our recovery and all counseling family.
[00:15:43] We’re talking state-of-the-art. State of the art technical support that we had no idea about. You know, we had no idea how to do webinars, podcasts, eBooks can have coaching, but the idea is you want to be found everywhere. And that’s what all counselors does. We make sure that you’re exposed on a lot of different platforms.
[00:16:09] And so you want to look that up. Because that will offer you maximum exposure, maximum traffic and maximum support that will be there with the 24 hours a day. As long as you need that support. And then lastly if you’re establishing a. Sliding scale plan, be clear about what the parameters of that.
[00:16:35] So for instance, with interns, we can’t charge clients before fee because they’re. Being seen by someone who was still trying to get their licensure and they’re being supervised. So we can’t charge clients the full fee. So just be aware of the parameters of that. And and so there you have it. I hope.
[00:17:00] You got a lot of those nuts and bolts. Those are the things that we didn’t know we had to learn. And we had to do ourselves.
[00:17:08] Cory Miller: That’s a lot drank from the fire hose. And if you paid attention and you wrote down three things, your score as someone who’s started a business to not in a therapy business you’ve covered some really key things.
[00:17:19] I want to go. I want to scroll back for a second and emphasis and things, everything you said is amazing. But the first is a community of people. That’s something that I didn’t have first couple of years of my business. And I found a group local group that I met with. They became my best friends over 10 years.
[00:17:36]My success and my struggles, I got to share with them and vice versa. And I can’t. Underscore what you said there, and I’m so glad you led with it. Is that so much being a business owner? Entrepreneur is like living on an Island by yourself. Yeah. My parents have had jobs. Their whole lives haven’t started businesses.
[00:17:58] You’re going to be in this different thing, even though you’re thinking therapists, I’m a therapist, I’m a clinician counselor. But you’re a business owner. Right. And that’s that you’re parked in the majority of the population. And it’s not easy so that, you know, that’s having a group of people, like-minded people on the same path to meet with regularly.
[00:18:17] I appreciate you said that first and foremost. Yeah. The other thing I wanted to say too is I cannot, you said this close to the end, the two people, besides your, if you’re in a relationship, serious relationship, the two allies you need are a lawyer. And an accountant. Absolutely. And I’m so glad you said that too, because as you’re prepaying your practice, there’s a tendency to try to go save as much money as you can do it all yourself, you will be better off.
[00:18:45] And I bet you Steve’s got the same thing. Find experts to own those areas. Or as an accountant, you’re going to talk to every month, that’s going to help you with things. I mean, for instance, tax day was yesterday. I was calling mine. I bless five, six years. I’ve been doing extensions. How about you have to, and like, you know, and because that’s part of restaurant business is just, you know, trying to do all these things at once.
[00:19:07] It a good CPA. Second is have an ongoing relationship with the lawyer when stuff happens like this. I mean, if you know, I don’t know if he had a lawyer at the time, Steve, but being able to just go. Oh, this just happened. What do I do? And having somebody, if not, even on retainer, just a good relationship that you can call and ask for, you know, The questions are so vital when you’re starting growing a business.
[00:19:33] Thank you for those three things.
[00:19:35] Steve Lackey: You’re welcome. I strongly reiterate that because remember I talked about that email breach. That’s when we got a lawyer, we got one on retainer and it’s just worth the money. I can’t tell you how much money we spent. Unnecessarily without the advice of a good attorney, as well as the an accountant.
[00:19:59]So yeah, I implore you to do that really important.
[00:20:03] Cory Miller: I want to get to your pin real quick. Melanie had a question. I have an attorney. I still need to get my materials together and request. They review my paperwork and business foundation. What would you suggest? I have the attorney review for my practice.
[00:20:17] And I wanted to say for my 2 cents, even though you could probably likely in your state create your foundation as the, you start, you know, filing with your secretary of state, most likely, at least in Oklahoma here, and that will help you trigger your EIN, which is the IRS, by the way, in the United States, for something like this.
[00:20:36] I would suggest that I’m not a lawyer to have the lawyer do that for you. It would probably cost I’m going to guess between 600 to $1,500 to do that with an attorney. But that way they’re, they’ve done everything. And it’s all baked in from the beginning to know industries like yours, that. Are highly licensed and certified in there.
[00:20:57] You know, you want to get all those things dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Steve. I don’t know what you think about that, but before we go on, I want to give you the chance to respond
[00:21:06] Steve Lackey: yeah. So what we found out. Well, is that there are attorneys that specifically address what specialized and private practices and counseling centers.
[00:21:19] So you want to make sure you know who those are and get, you know, introduce yourself to one. Cause they specifically deal with. Everything that you asked and your question, they go and they sort of help frame and put a, some architecture around your practice that will protect you. But also have you thinking about growth and thinking about selling and thinking about a lot of types of things.
[00:21:44] And so it’s real important to get an attorney that knows the clinical world.
[00:21:52] Cory Miller: Okay. I know if we don’t keep going, we’re gonna run out of time and you’ve got a lot to share. So this minority, I can already predict Steve, we’re going to have part two of this.
[00:22:00]Steve Lackey: I know because I have like five pages here that I’m so anxious to get to new clinicians.
[00:22:06] That’s real important. Real quickly. If I can go through this again also. I want you to you all, to understand that, to prioritize during your own work, prioritize, to not let down your need for self-care real important. We learned this early in the game, my wife and I would both be burned out. Stop exercising, stop boring on walks.
[00:22:35] And we come home, we bring the office here and we’re doing work and we’ve never really continued to develop this deep self-care practice. And that needs to be there. Whether it’s therapy, whether it’s meditation, whether it’s a consult group or whether it’s just an accountability group. Real important to, you know, for your spiritual development or emotional development exercising.
[00:23:01] I, at my age, I’ve gone back to the gym the last couple of months since COBIT and and then also to work on your business and not in your business, it’s one thing to, to know how to be a counselor. It’s another thing to know exactly where you want to go with your practice. Do you want to continue the daily, hourly grind?
[00:23:26] Do you want to hire additional staff? Do you want to train them? Those are things to really continue to consider. Not guess working in your business would work on the business because you want to grow it. To be able to transfer it, sell it or whatever else you want to do. But we were able to launch, as I said earlier, eight clinicians and Karen and private practice.
[00:23:49] And so that became a thing for us to bring qualified people on board as interns teach them as we were taught then. So that’s working on it. So now we have this amazing. Support system of people we’ve launched. So they in turn become a great referral source and vice versa. So that’s really important. And then you want to tame the inner critic and try to eliminate the shirts and embrace, adjustment, and change, embrace it like it’s supposed to happen because when you try to resist, you’re gonna.
[00:24:27] Fall down a rabbit hole that you don’t, that you don’t want to go down. And that’s the term that I call him Korean. It’s called X scary. When you don’t embrace change and adjustment, it’s scary. It’s exciting to start the practice, but it’s also scary and it’s okay to walk through that fear because that’s where your power.
[00:24:48] Yes. That’s where your power is going to come from. You embracing that fever and walking through. So again, I have a ton. I know we need a private tutor, so I don’t want it. I don’t know how long or how far you want me to go, but I have a turn here.
[00:25:05] Cory Miller: Yeah, let’s start. So let’s start with your first big PIP and let’s see how far we can get in the next 30 minutes.
[00:25:11] Steve Lackey: Okay, great. So here’s the other thing learn how to take toxic showers and understand that your autonomic nervous system know what the messaging is of your autonomic nervous system. We know it clinically as fight flight freeze or collapse, but you need to know what’s messaging for you. For instance, guys, terms that we know.
[00:25:42] Transference and transference, you have to know what triggers you and know the things that are limitations for you example. We didn’t know we were going to be dealing primarily with sex addiction and codependency. And so first of the few clients that we had were offending. Offending behavior. We didn’t know I was taking on all commerce, but what I didn’t know is when I started hearing about underage kids and trading cars and porn for underage, it really hit me really hard.
[00:26:21] And I realize that’s the limitation for me. So we learned of a group called the center for contextual change. That deals specifically with offenders. So doing the assessment. Is really important to find out what your limitations are and to know your demographic know who it is. You want to be your client real important.
[00:26:44] If you want to do trauma addiction. Be specific about what that is and you want to learn and grow, whether it’s EMDR, somatic, experiencing there’s so many different types of modalities that are available. I chase and follow neural science. I love it. I like to know how the brain works. I like to know that’s the one thing.
[00:27:08] And a lot of you will agree that in school, we studied everything, but the thing that’s wrong with everything about it, but not it. So that’s important. And then another thing is what’s your passion, you know, what’s the reason you’re really doing is it to help others? Is it to make money or is it to create a well world?
[00:27:33] Is it to create a world that’s our marching orders. It all counts phase. We want to make a will world. How do you do that? You do it one person at a time, but it has to begin with yourself, your own healing, your own recovery, your only system of support for health for yourself.
[00:27:53] Cory Miller: Cause that’s how I’ve worked more closely with clinicians. I’ve heard the do in your own work. You got to do your own work so well, I’ve adopted from our own self I’ve. I’ve been in therapy for six years now and on a very regular basis and the doing your work. I love that, but let’s say for clinicians, I w I mean, I want you to do as a potential client.
[00:28:16] I want you to do your own work, right? I’m doing my tough work right now at 45, and I hope you’re doing your own work. And I love that phrase so much. We put it on a mug.
[00:28:27] Steve Lackey: Yeah. Yeah. Here’s the second part to it. Every great therapist has a therapist. I went to so many people and even in my own recovery journey for decades, going through clinicians, psychologists.
[00:28:46] Yeah, just had the credentials, but they hadn’t done the work. They had no idea. There were no cultural considerations. There were, they were absent of the experiential part of this. And so it’s important. And Lisa and I, and we shared this, make sure you have a therapist that has a therapist. They need to continue to do the work no matter what.
[00:29:10] Cory Miller: That’s a great question for us to ask on our all counseling. We’ve got this in play for our directory. Is, do you have a counselor? Do you have a, your own therapist? That’d be a great question to ask. I appreciate it. I want to quit every great therapist has a therapist. I love that
[00:29:26] Steve Lackey: every great therapist has a therapist and the keyword is great.
[00:29:31] So you don’t want to just be good and Monday, and you want to stick out what is it that will have you stand out where people were refer you word of mouth within their family, their community, their business environment. And we get a lot of referrals. For family members, what do we fix that?
[00:29:47] Well, we all do our own work. All of our clinicians, Cory, do their own work. They had their, it’s not a mandate, but it’s something that’s for us in our culture that we require that everyone has a therapist find out. You know, as I said earlier, real briefly, as what led you to pursue this? Was it your family of origin?
[00:30:12] Was it your personal history? Or did all roads lead to you going in school to become a clinician? I have a corporate history. I was in the corporate arena for 20 plus years. I worked in state government as a bureaucrat. And then I got the social service bug. I just happened to take this part-time job, working for misplaced displace workers for ITT.
[00:30:37]The now gone international Telegraph, the telegrams service and teaching them communication skills and interviewing skills and the like, and then I worked for a family focus group. For at-risk youth where I would do case management at schools. And then I worked for, I have a dream, which is a mentoring and tutorial program to follow kids from junior high through under you after school.
[00:31:06] And then for the state, I worked as a non-custodial parent program manager that rolled out non-custodial services throughout the state. Well, all of those experiences. One led me to know I have a passion for helping people. You know, people have come to me, family members and friends have shared secrets all of my life, but I really got the bug in those environments.
[00:31:32] And I say, you know what, maybe I need to follow Lisa back to school and become this counselor. And I’m so glad that I did And also last two. One is sometimes you got to walk around the world, just the cross, the street. In other words, you will learn what not to do for the nuts and bolts that I’ve given.
[00:31:53] You will help you all to cut across. The field, so to speak. So you don’t have to make the same mistakes or hinder yourself or throw roadblocks or self-inflicted wounds. You don’t have to do that. You don’t have to walk around the world to cross the street, but we did. So learn what not to do, learn what you’re not capable of doing what you’re not interested in doing, and what’s not helpful for others, but also helpful for you and your practice.
[00:32:22] And then lastly, and it goes along with self care, have healthy outlets to be stressed and enjoy your life outside of the business. And I will reiterate this in closing. All counselors are recovery. All counseling is the one stop shop. That will help you be stressed, take away a lot of struggle and trauma will help mentor and support you technically.
[00:32:56]Yes, hugely important. The importance. If you’re open for podcasts, webinars, eBooks, and the light, you want to make sure you have a steady of the technical team that will show you how to do that. We’ll design a website for you and help manage it. So you don’t have to do that. I can’t even tell you how many thousands of dollars I’ve spent having guys that had website design as a hobby, and we didn’t have a professional.
[00:33:26] So. That’s a bonus. Yeah. It’s to become part of the family.
[00:33:31] Cory Miller: Well, thank you for that, Steve. And all of this that was drinking from a fire hose. So do you have questions for Steve, please post those in the Q and a button right below, but in the meantime, while you’re posting your own questions for Steve, I have a couple for you.
[00:33:43]How do you get your first clients? You came from private private practice. But you know, like, you know, Lindsey, my wife’s going through this right now. She just graduated in December and now needs to get her date for her exam. And you know, it’s a big question is I want to do this out, you know, and she has a long road with supervision and all that, but like, I’m ready to go move from agency work.
[00:34:10] And to my own private practice, how would you recommend those thing now start defined and identified and get the word out about your practice?
[00:34:22] Steve Lackey: Yeah. One is what we offer is the digital marketing, which is huge. But in that culture of support that I talked about early on is where others will become aware of what your strengths are and what your interests are and what your practice is all about.
[00:34:39] So it’s through networking collaboration. And just putting yourself out there, like, as I said, be found everywhere. So once your name, your practice is out there, people will know that you’re available, this declined. But what we did is we went to every symposium, every seminar, every group function, even in different States and introduced ourselves to people and make sure that our name.
[00:35:09] And our practice got out there. So again, it’s the networking that’s the most important to get your first client
[00:35:16] Cory Miller: when you talk about two and then networking? I think about like my wife and her just finished her degree is staying in touch with colleagues, people that are already in agencies.
[00:35:26] Professors. She has had a great mentor professor that she’s continued to stay involved in. And then as I’ve gotten deeper, you’ve helped me understand a ton of things about the industry about this particular profession. Supervising clinicians. My, my assumption is the one that’s not the therapist here is supervising therapists do that because they want to help people even more than just their clients.
[00:35:51] And so that’s gotta be a great. A wealth of information, but you mentioned way back in our conversation about business cards. It’s just having sent to one people saying, what do you do? I’m like, well, I’m a counselor, I’m a therapist. I’m a clinician.
[00:36:04] Steve Lackey: Yeah, definitely. You want, and now there’s digital cards.
[00:36:07] So. I have, as you and Ani both know, I have a box full of cards, which are very helpful, but you also want to combine that with digital cards so that you can email and send to as many people as you possibly can because of COVID we’re not needing like we normally do. So make sure cards are real important.
[00:36:33] People have called me that said I got your card four years ago. I had a guy just called me a few days ago. I, you gave me a car four years ago. So you never know people. Remember when you share with them, when you’re giving you information, they keep it. And when they get in trouble or they need some help, they’ll call.
[00:36:52] Cory Miller: Well, as I’ve talked about my personal publicly, for things that haven’t well in the past that have healed from when I share my own mental health story, people often say, first question is, how do I find the therapist? And so my therapist here in Oklahoma city had on his desk, or, you know, right where you walk in the business cards.
[00:37:13] No. I was say easy, I’d say two or three, because I, all the time people ask me and having that ready resource with, like you said earlier, attached to a website and a phone number and an email that they can contact you or easily forge your information is absolutely vital. We talk a lot about this at allcounselors.com. You know, just the beef found everywhere strategy. You’re talking about where website. Phone number, email address all Lincoln back to you is the best way to get your word out. And then we also talked about listings. I mean, it’s further down the priority scale for me when I make recommendations, but having your profile on things like therapy, dan.com who has three listings, psychology today is paid, but you know, those are great ways to be found everywhere for sure.
[00:38:00] Steve Lackey: Yeah. And I know for me, Corey and I shared with you are an AMI, my recovery story that so how I found that therapist was because of my specific issue and partly it was grief and loss of losing five members of my immediate family. I went around for years. Not knowing that trauma was stuck down there.
[00:38:27] And I was in a corporate arena and my tie untied. I had a cigarette in my mouth at the time I had the phone and I was sweating and I just started crying all of a sudden, well, I found a grief and loss therapist and she said, Steve, it’s been 12 years and you haven’t greed. And that. Really led me to this long journey of healing around grief and loss which still requires check-in and maintenance.
[00:38:56] Because, you know, as you all know, as clinicians, the body remembers every experience it remembers. So you want to always be in a process of healing more and more going deeper and deeper. And so I just looked up those that deal with grief and loss, those that dealt with specific addictions, those that dealt with.
[00:39:18]The trauma of grief and loss, but any trauma story that you have find trauma specialists, everyone can’t treat trauma. As thoroughly and as effectively as you want it to do that, you want them or need them to do,
[00:39:34]Cory Miller: I mentioned therapy, Dan, put that therapy, den.com. I put that in the chat and also make sure you’re in our free membership that Steve alluded to appreciate that a free community membership allows you to.
[00:39:46] Get in and get access to all this stuff. And then we’re also working on a therapist directory to, of our own, to help you get more light and that you, with those that are hurting. So, someone asked, is there value, you mentioned conferences. And I love that. Cause I’ve seen that in industry that changed first conferences and networking groups, but is there value in joining networking groups that require a membership fee or that requires you to bring referrals to other businesses such as BNI international and by the way, just.
[00:40:13] I heard about this, like two weeks ago, it’s a group that you would only have one counselor per networking group, but I would be required to bring a Pearl to other members as well each week. Or are there others that are free?
[00:40:26] Steve Lackey: That one I’m not as familiar with, to be honest. But anything that requires you to bring a client or a referral, I’m not sure about.
[00:40:36] But there are like for Aqua, for instance, I talked about American group psychotherapy association. There is a minimal fee to participate, but what we did was over a year or two, we put in a proposal to present. And so we presented and as a result of us presenting, we’ve got the membership. For free. So there’s other organizations that you can join that are free, just starting out.
[00:41:05] You don’t want to get too top heavy with paying membership fees and dues. And if you do you want it to be. At the minimal cost for the one-stop shop that I talked about with all counselors in our recovery and our counseling, because it’s it’s not going to cost you a Harmon and leg, but it’s a one-stop shop.
[00:41:26] So be real aware of what’s being offered. And is it cost effective for you?
[00:41:34] Cory Miller: That’s a that’s great information. And so I appreciate you. They said be careful the overhead of a lot of the fees. I appreciate that so much. As of now I do marketing and technology, but so when I think about how to best position therapists there’s gotta be free groups in your area.
[00:41:54] Like. Let’s say B and I, for instance, but one that doesn’t charge, like there’s rotary in Oklahoma city. That’s very renowned a way to now you have to have a friend or whatever, but yeah. I like if you have time, you being a part of those things as a clinician budding from this specifically, because you’re swimming in circles that aren’t just clinicians for support.
[00:42:14] I think you need clinicians, but you’re also in these that you’re giving back. So find things that are interesting to you, and it’s a great way to bring your business card, you know, and now we’re instilling the pandemic here. So I know in-person stuff is a little bit harder, but if you have more time than money, beep be known.
[00:42:33] You can start building these relationships. I know I’ve known Steve for almost a year now, and I know one thing you always get from Steve Lehman is he is all about building relationships with you. And so that is such currency capital for your business or your career. And there’s a reason why Steve talks about that first and foremost is I want to build long-term relationships because.
[00:42:54] The ripple effect that I’m here today, Steve, and you know, my story because of people, I can’t claim all my success at all born on third base. I don’t think I hit a home run. I know I was born on third base, but like, but my relationships from past employers leaving every place that I ever worked at better than I left that when I got there and being good quality person in the world who has such big benefits.
[00:43:20] Steve Lackey: Absolutely. Absolutely what I didn’t know, Corey, and by all means what we shared today, what I shared is by no means exhaustive or panacea, but eluding to what you just talked about. We didn’t know that becoming a part of your local chamber of commerce. And part of the Evanston department of health and mental health services.
[00:43:44] So we’ve reached out and created relationships across the board with the mayor’s office. Who’s about to do a round table around race and and so. The chamber of commerce, the school system here in Northwestern university, we’re known up there. So the referral sources there are amazing and it’s been kind of a good high school.
[00:44:06] And what I didn’t say is that we have two offices. One is downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue. And another office is here in Evanston, which is a suburb North of Chicago. And so whatever business or office you may be in, look at the legend as well. And know who’s the psychiatrist, psychologist, therapists, clinicians that are there.
[00:44:28] They all see us values and develop relationship. Relationship building is the social equity for your girl.
[00:44:39] Cory Miller: What you just named. And I mean, when you’re talking about university of Chicago be found everywhere. So think about your purpose, your passions, your interests in life, have your business cards in your pocket at all times.
[00:44:51] He, he pulled us the first little chitchat question people ask is what do you do for a living? You know, you’ll have your little one-liner if you don’t want to just say, well, I’m a psychotherapist or whatever, but those that’s perfect. And you have the cars. Oh, needs just asked me about this. You know, one thing I was thinking about too, Steve is as so many people over the years, and you’re not working on a project together with this have asked me, how do you find a therapist?
[00:45:16] And I go, well, my therapist. That’s been almost 10 years ago, 11 years ago now actually came to me as a referral, by the way, I’m a lawyer. But as I started to, you know, get the ass, this question more often, I started going, there’s not a lot of resources for this. And one thing I always go back to is your primary care physician.
[00:45:38] So on the flip side of a therapist is great relationships with doctors in the area that need analysis say, okay, this is not just something we need to prescribe medicine to something you need to also be talking with a trained licensed practitioner.
[00:45:54] Steve Lackey: Yeah. Yeah. I again, Lisa, my wife, she’s the social butterfly.
[00:46:02] He’s the one that gets out there literally recommended and referred a therapist to me as we have with other family members and friends itself. It’s just important, as we’ve said, over and over is building relationships and allowing yourself to be known. To be found to be known and expression, eat don’t hide, isolate, or think that it’s something wrong with needing to get help or having support.
[00:46:31] Because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t still be married. We just celebrated 30 years in December. And trust me, that was a long journey. But. We both do at work and we both get help. We both refer out, people know us, they know that we’ve probably processed that we’re both in, but also now comes to trust.
[00:46:52] Now people can trust because they know you’ve been vulnerable and transparent about your life. And people are always willing to help when you’re honest and above board and transparent
[00:47:05] oh, I lost your audio.
[00:47:13] Cory Miller: That’s me. I try to mute when I’m not telling you. But. Hey, all, we have another 10 minutes here with Steve. I want to make sure you get your questions answered by this veteran therapist and by the way, congratulations on you. Lisa’s 30 years impressive.
[00:47:27] Steve Lackey: More than, you know, it’s more impressive than that.
[00:47:32] Cory Miller: So true. Yeah. Well, if you have questions for Steve with the last couple of minutes we have here, be sure to post those, anything he’s covered in he’s covered a lot. Recording will be up on all counselors.com shortly afterwards. Steve’s here and you heard his heart. He’s trying to help you learn from his own mistakes, but also I’d say the wealth of experiences he’s had building practice and the treatment.
[00:47:52] Yes. So I asked the survey real quick in the chat to Steve, a quick survey. Do you have a website? Website is your virtual business card. Yeah. Right.
[00:48:08] So if you could put post that there, how can I find okay. Kesha ask how can I find a mentor? I’m an LPC
[00:48:18] Steve Lackey: again. Yeah. Again, the networking, the organizations, but also. All counselors are recovery. I can’t say that. Not all counseling, be aware that there’s mentorship opportunities there, but any association that you.
[00:48:39] Connect with you. We’ll find someone you’ll hear someone speak or moderate or facilitate a session and you’ll be drawn to them. And you could just go up and ask, would you mind in the interim while I get my licensure mentoring me, it’s as simple as just asking someone, but you gotta be seen and know to do that.
[00:49:02] So any agency at you, any organization, any related collaboration that you could find, you will find a mentor in those environments. You really will.
[00:49:14] Cory Miller: I liked how you gave the examples of the associations and different things from certifications and things like that. I know we’ve talked a little bit about brainspotting for instance, and.
[00:49:25] You know, specifically if there’s somebody not in your direct area that we have zoom, we have the internet to be able to do that. And I found by and large, I don’t know about your experience, but other successful business owners and entrepreneurs. When you asked, I’m just starting out. Can you give me some tips like you’re doing here are so gracious and generous with your time.
[00:49:47] Steve Lackey: Yeah, it is. And you know, and I think we, we spoke about this a while about an upcoming opportunity was a panel of, or a summit for number. We talked about doing a summit, so there’s going to be some really exciting things coming on board as we grow and go. But in the interim, the associations, and I mentioned the C-SAT community.
[00:50:10] I mentioned. You know, some of the certifications that Lisa and I have, she’s a part of them, Julia Shiva, EMDR trained, second level of training. She is a sematic trained. She does Reiki. So it does a lot of different things and she has to, so we’re both in session all the time in our marriage. We’re checking each other out, but we share a ton of information.
[00:50:35] She exposes me to so many people and so many things and vice versa. I share a lot with her and which has led her to grow in certain areas as well. So exhaust your list, exhaust your community, but above all, be proud of one really important.
[00:50:57] Cory Miller: All right. If you have any questions for Steve Lackey, veteran clinician. Practice and treatment center builder visionary, let us know in the Q and a there. So I think there’s some excellent stuff you can go back and record. It will be an all cancers. DICOM. You give a fire hose of information. Stevia. I would say in our partying in there partying thought, I would just try to say, okay, this is the lot.
[00:51:23] Now you covered your bases, everybody. If you’ve, if you listen to what Steve’s statements you, this is gold for you. You could have the tendency though. If you’re like me to get her overwhelmed, just start one baby step at a time, layer these things in. If you have a full-time job and I want to hear your advice and coaching stay for a full-time job, you can work on these on, you know, piece by piece as you go get your LLC limited liability corporation or company, depending on your state.
[00:51:52] Get your website going on the side, make sure you’re doing right and not jeopardizing your job, but you can layer in these pieces as you work in an agency or a full-time job. But that was just my thoughts. Steve were in, in our partying comments here. What advice were you would you have for those have been in attendance today
[00:52:10] Steve Lackey: is to not let anything stop what you’ve dreamt.
[00:52:18] What’s in your heart, what’s the passion of yours and what you want to contribute to this planet. With the time that you have here, don’t let anything impede your pursuing that exhaust all avenues are exposures, all collaboration’s, everything you possibly can, but don’t ever stop. I don’t care what the setback may look like.
[00:52:41]Cause we’ve overcome so much. I know that you we’ll not have to deal with all of the things that we did on the front end. So do not let anything get in the way of what your passion is and what’s in your heart and what it is you want to do to help others on this planet to create a world really important.
[00:53:02] Cory Miller: So I want to tell you real quick in the closing minutes, unless anyone has a question, but something we’re working on with Steve is a whole series of Webinars like this on how to be an inclusive therapist. And I’m so eager to get to that series one as just a student and to listen. Stephen Lisa taught me so much about race and helped me look in the mirror and go.
[00:53:26] I have my work to do for sure. And it’s been, they’ve been so incredibly gracious about that, but we were Steve’s great direction assistance. We’ve got a list of things and now we’re touching base with some key people, including Lisa and Steve to come in. You’re not going to want to miss that at all.
[00:53:44] counselors.com by the way. So if you want to be a more inclusive therapist, Stay tuned with how much we’re going to be rolling out some things in the very near future. And I’m pumped about that. Steve. I am too.
[00:53:57] Steve Lackey: I really am. Thank you.
[00:54:00] Cory Miller: All right, everybody. Thank you so much for being here today. And I know you’re you can’t stay at, I don’t think Steve, but everybody’s just gone.
[00:54:06] Thanks. Thanks. Thanks for a great webinar. So have to go back and replay everything because what’s your giving and I’m sorry if I rushed you. I didn’t mean to. I just wanted to make sure we had appropriate time for everything. You’re going to need to go back and watch the replay. Steve gave you some gold and just start making check marks some things I made progress on this.
[00:54:24] I made progress on that. Yeah. Steve, my friend. Thank you so much for today.
[00:54:28] Steve Lackey: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you everyone. Hope that was helpful.
[00:54:35] Cory Miller: All right, we’ll see you back at allcounselors.com the next time. Thank you.
[00:54:38] Steve Lackey: All right. Bye-bye.