An interview with Tiffany Stone, a 6-figure practice program graduate. Tiffany is sharing her incredible journey: She went from just 3 clients to 27 clients a week in her counseling private practice in just 4 months, during the pandemic, all while working full time and raising 2 small kids.
About the 6-Figure Practice Program:
The Six Figure Practice with Sasha Raskin, is an online program and community for helpers such as counselors and coaches, who are building their private practice. If you’re looking for a clear, step-by-step road map for creating and marketing your private practice, you're at the right place!
Free resources to grow and market your counseling private practice or coaching business:
Free 22 minutes crash course - "How to Create a Thriving Counseling / Coaching Private Practice": https://www.the6figurepractice.com/free-22-minute-crash-course
Free resources about marketing for therapists and marketing for coaches: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/blog
Free 30-minutes strategy session with Sasha Raskin: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/schedule-a-free-30-min-strategy-session/
Our accelerator program for creating a 6-figure business:
The 6 Figure Practice Program: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/the-6-figure-practice-program-accelerator/
More ways to connect:
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Chat with me on messenger: https://m.me/the6figurepractice
Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCITSmYvj-vpwuWrOuwqYr5w
My name is Sasha Raskin. I’m a Number 1 Best Selling Co-Author in 12 Countries, a Doctoral student in Counseling Education and Supervision, a coach, a psychotherapist and an adjunct faculty at a graduate counseling program at Naropa University.
One of the things I’m enjoying the most is helping other therapists and coaches build their successful private practice so that they could actually help the clients they were taught to help, and thrive themselves. I’m almost always fully booked, so my ability to work with individuals is limited. That is why I’ve created this program to deliver powerful results and create a community where you will feel supported by each other!
This program's primary goal is to help you build a thriving private practice, in a fun and authentic way. Counselors and coaches invest an incredible amount of time, money, and effort into building their helping skills. However, when their training ends, they usually find themselves lacking the business skills that are needed to start and run a successful private practice, feel isolated, discouraged and not knowing where to start.
I believe that to be truly helpful to others, therapists and coaches have to learn to thrive themselves and definitely know how to get clients whom they can help.
This is where this program comes in. If you're willing to learn and work hard, a 6-figure private practice is within your reach in a year - 2 years. This program will give you a clear outline, and detailed instructions on how to get there.
Case Study: How Tiffany Stone Filled Her Counseling Private Practice In 4 Months
Sasha Raskin: Hi, Tiffany.
Tiffany Stone: Hi, Sasha.
Sasha Raskin: How are you doing?
Tiffany Stone: I'm doing great. How are you?
Sasha Raskin: I'm doing very well. Had a good day so far. I'm glad that the spring is here. And I'm excited to talk to you about your incredible journey in your private practice.
Tiffany Stone: I'm so excited.
Sasha Raskin: So you joined our private practice accelerator I think it was four months ago or so.
Tiffany Stone: I think so, yeah. Around that time.
Sasha Raskin: And what we will be talking about today is your journey during those four months. And some things that maybe were challenges, how you overcame those challenges. And I think your journey is just extremely inspiring in terms of how much were you able to do, how fast with pretty incredible levels of success and how well you were able to work in a team with a special person you have, if you want to tell about this as well. And being a very, very busy person and still filling your practice in such a short time.
All right, so let's begin with where were you in our first conversation before you joined the private practice accelerator?
Tiffany Stone: So right before you and I had talked I was an owner of a group practice and I had three or four clinicians that were working for me. And that day before we talked my very last clinician had given me notice that she was also going on her own. So Covid hit and as a result all of my therapists had decided and rightfully so that it was going to be easier for them to do their own telehealth practice than be part of a practice. I fully supported that of course, it was right for them. So I was scared and devastated because it was such a huge change for me.
When we had talked that morning I had just taken on a new office, so I had gone from an office with four ... or a suite with four offices down to one office. And I was trying to figure out how I was going to make rent that coming month when I had three clients at the time, one of which was pro bono because I had just come off on maternity leave. And I had our second daughter in September and we had talked in October so I was just kind of getting back into the groove and was terrified.
Sasha Raskin: So that's a pretty scary situation. There's the pandemic, you're a mother, counselors are leaving and you don't have a lot of clients.
Tiffany Stone: Exactly. I was terrified.
Sasha Raskin: What made you think that the program might help?
Tiffany Stone: Honestly your name of the program really resonated with me because I'm a dreamer and it had always been my dream to have a six-figure practice, it's something my husband and I had talked about frequently. And so when I saw the name of the practice it just kind of clicked. And I also knew that I had nothing to lose. I mean, I was terrified, I didn't know what I was going to do, I felt like I had tried everything up to that point so I needed some guidance. And so it all just kind of fell into place and felt like the right time, the right moment kind of a thing.
Sasha Raskin: What do you think were the biggest challenges in terms of, well, obviously the big goal was to fill the practice, right? Create new clients.
Tiffany Stone: Absolutely.
Sasha Raskin: What do you think the main things that were missing at the time?
Tiffany Stone: That's kind of hard to say. There's a few things. So first was I wasn't putting time into my practice. Like I said, I had a newborn at the time and a young child, we've got two under two, so it was busy family-wise, I was going back to work full-time. So I didn't have the time to put into my practice like I wanted to. And then I also didn't have that guiding knowledge. And so looking back through what I've learned through the program, I think the number one piece that I was missing was the Google reviews because I cannot tell you how many clients have contacted me and said, "I found you on Google and you're awesome according to the reviews and I want to work with you." So that Google review piece was huge for me.
Sasha Raskin: And to anyone who's listening or watching this, we have in the program a few lessons called quick wins and those are the ones that are designed to create new clients as fast as possible because this is so important to have that initial cash flow into your business, and also psychologically-wise, right? It's you see those wins, this is possible, it gives you more momentum to do the first thing that you said I didn't have or I didn't put time into building my practice, but once you see those clients coming in and you see that it's possible it's just so much more motivating, right?
Tiffany Stone: Absolutely.
Sasha Raskin: Tiffany, you said something very interesting about being drawn to the name of the program. I know from different conversations that it's a polarizing name, right? It's a program for counselors and coaches that the goal is to help us help others, right? But the name talks about money. What do you make of it? And this dichotomy that sometimes counselors have and coaches with helping others and making a living.
Tiffany Stone: Well, I kind of put that into our self-care box.
Sasha Raskin: Interesting.
Tiffany Stone: And I know you and I have talked about self-care extensively through the Facebook page and all of that, but we can't give to others if we can't give to ourselves. And with that being said, we can't help others if we're not bringing in income to take care of and support our families and ourselves. And so I embrace that part of the whole private practice because it allows me to do what I love doing which is helping people.
And of course, I've got my pro bono slots as well because I do want to get back to the people who can't afford private practice on their own. But I think it's a balance, you can't be all pro bono and you can't be all for profit in our profession.
Sasha Raskin: It's interesting. I actually did a podcast about that, recorded a podcast episode yesterday about the math of a six-figure practice. Real quick math was one scenario - 20 clients a week for 110 bucks a session, working just four hours a day in your private practice, and taking one month off would be 104,000 a year. Now if I don't work ... if I don't have any other engagements it's pretty easy to add another hour a day as a pro bono or as a sliding scale, right? So again, it's not either/or - either you make a good living or you're really helping everyone that can use your help, right? You can actually charge what you're worth and also charge your full fee from the people who can afford that and the people that can't you're actually not very frustrated with the fact that you're working pro bono with sliding scale because the majority are paying your higher fees.
Tiffany Stone: Exactly, I couldn't agree more with that.
Sasha Raskin: So fast forward to today, four months ago - overwhelmed, not putting time ... Oh, that's a big smile.
Tiffany Stone: It's crazy.
Sasha Raskin: So what's happening today from three clients, two of them are pro bono, being overwhelmed, what's happening today?
Tiffany Stone: As of today I have 26 clients. Almost all are at my full price. I have three pro bono I think. And one or two sliding scale. But everybody else is full pay. I'm busy. My husband and I are kind of going back and forth because I do work full-time currently outside of the practice, so we are kind of wondering if we can make that next step to private practice being my full-time income.
Sasha Raskin: Oh, we should totally talk about that later on after we're done with this recording. I think it's the next step for sure. And just for, again, for anyone who listens, that's a really good trajectory, right? You have your full-time job or part-time job, this is kind of what brings in the cash, you're growing. And I think we talked about that in our first ... in the call we had with you and your husband, and then growing your private practice to a level where the revenue kind of matches your full-time job or gets close to it. You quit your full-time job unless you really want to work there, usually people who go into private practice is because they're not ... one of the reasons is they're not very happy doing the full-time job anymore, or at least not just that. And then you also have time to invest in growing your private practice too, right? So that's a really good trajectory.
And I think it's kind of head in the clouds, feet on the ground, right? It's like, "Okay, I have my vision." Just like you said, "I had a dream of creating a thriving, sustainable private practice." And feet on the ground - bills need to get paid, family need to be fed - I grow that with using some strategies that work well. And then you can think about the next stage.
Tiffany Stone: That sounds right.
Sasha Raskin: I'm sure it would be fascinating for people who are listening or watching to hear a little more if you want to share about your collaboration with your husband because you work together. And how do you make that teamwork work?
Tiffany Stone: My husband is amazing. I couldn't do it without him honestly> He does most of the business side for me and then I take care of the clientele portion. So any type of correspondence with clients I do but as far as setting up our PLLC and doing any tax-related things, visionary stuff - he does. So he is always dreaming and looking for new ways that we can grow. And we recently started a YouTube channel for our private practice where we put out relationship tidbits and coping skills and things of that nature, and that was his job, but he also takes care of making sure that all the videos get posted and scheduled and all of that for me.
And I just I couldn't do it without him. I always tell everybody that if you have a partner who is involved - use them, use them, use them. Especially if your strengths kind of help each other out. He's strong where I'm weak and vice versa.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, totally. And you even have another business, you're actually providing incredible service for therapists. And I'd love for you to share a little bit more about that because the therapists who are watching and listening and coaches would probably benefit a lot from joining you.
Tiffany Stone: Absolutely. So our other service is called therapy connections today, and that is a directory service for therapists to go on and advertise themselves and then also for clients to come on and find it. And we're different from other directories like Psychology Today and Good Therapy because number one I'm a therapist so obviously I kind of know what other therapists
are looking for. We took some of what my frustrations with Psychology Today were and we use those to improve it. So with therapy connections today we help advertise for you. So with other programs that you go and you list yourself there and you just hope and pray that a client comes and finds you.
Sasha Raskin: And they don't.
Tiffany Stone: And they don't, yeah. With us we're actually going to be putting your name out there, we're advertising you on our Facebook group, we're doing Facebook ads for you. And we're allowing you opportunities to write in post blogs that will be connected back to your website so that you get that traffic as well.
Sasha Raskin: Incredible, that's huge.
Tiffany Stone: Yeah. We're always looking for new things and new ideas to add to it so we're very receptive to everybody's feedback to it. And as of right now, the time of this recording, we have I think 20 spots left for our free membership and then after that the price will go up.
Sasha Raskin: Oh, wonderful. So what would be the URL for people who are watching to go right now?
Tiffany Stone: Sure. It's www.therapyconnectionstoday.com.
Sasha Raskin: Sounds like a great opportunity especially knowing that your site is not populated with other therapists as other directories, right? So the competition is not that stiff.
Tiffany Stone: Exactly. It's so new, it's great, it's a great opportunity for your therapists I think.
Sasha Raskin: Incredible. Can you talk a little bit more about ... so those are the external wins, those are the trophies, right? Having a full private practice, working with your husband on building two businesses and providing so much impact. And obviously seeing your revenue grow and now being able to quit your job with some planning if you want to and focus fully on the private practice. So those are the external incredible wins that you were able to achieve in just four months which, again, I have to say it's unbelievable, it just shows your work ethic and probably that you're a pretty good therapist, otherwise, your clients wouldn't be voting with their feet or with their Zoom cameras.
What are the internal shifts that you noticed maybe in the mindset, beliefs, anything like that during those four months?
Tiffany Stone: So number one that I could do this. I guess I always kind of had a little bit of imposter syndrome and felt like I didn't really know what I was doing or maybe I wasn't a good therapist because my group practice had failed and here I was alone. And I had to work through that and realized that there were lessons that I needed to learn from the first go-around and things that I could refine and do better. And I think ultimately it was a shift in knowing that I can always improve as a person and as a therapist if I look around and I watch the lessons that are being taught.
And then I think another lesson that was a real shift for me was that I'm valuable, my time is valuable. And I'm worth charging the rates that I do charge. And that, again, we touched on it earlier, until I had that shift of what I do as being self-care and what I charge as being self-care for me it was hard to tell a new client my rate. And I lifted my rates as I was working with you, I went up by I think 20 bucks. And I was terrified.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, it's scary to say it, right?
Tiffany Stone: It is. And I'm private pay only, I don't accept insurance. And so being able to put that out there and to put out the fact that this is my rate, are you good with this? It was a real confidence shift for me.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, that's huge. I'm curious what were the responses. I remember the first response I ever raised my price, I think it was by 25 bucks for existing clients and new clients, for the existing clients I just said, "Well, in two months I'm going to raise my fee by $25." And of course, my mind was playing the worst case scenarios like, "You're fired," right? That's what I was imagining. And it was so relieving to hear my client, that first one that I asked, say, "Okay." And the second one say, "Oh, thanks for letting me know," right? And it was that simple.
How were the responses for you on your clients?
Tiffany Stone: So I didn't raise any for my existing clients, I kept that contractual rate. But for my new clients, as I would say it, I was terrified and I thought they would say, "Okay, goodbye." But instead they were like, "Oh, yeah, that's not a problem," or, "Yeah, I can do that." And with each yes it got easier and I became more confident.
Sasha Raskin: What do you think that's about? It's such a common theme for therapists, being underpaid. Underpaid is ... well, there is a big I guess scale here with different fees that therapists charge. But what I'm talking about is about the gap between what therapists and coaches want to be charging and what they're actually charging. So what do you think that's about?
Tiffany Stone: I think it goes back to what we were talking about earlier with wanting to help and feeling like it should be free. There's that internal conflict there. I don't think we value what we do. And I honestly wonder if there might be more imposter syndrome going around than we think, because I know personally I thought I could never charge this rate or given my small community, we talked about this before, I'm in such a small community and it's a lower SES and I'm not accepting insurance, how on earth can I charge this rate? I'll alienate everybody or I won't get anybody.
But that was all internal. And because that was my belief system that's what I was seeing. And so when I started to change my beliefs I started to find other clients who my rate's not a problem for them. So I had to change my own doubts and my own negative beliefs and then everything else just kind of followed.
Sasha Raskin: And it helps seeing real life results, right? Because I can tell myself, "Well, this is my new belief forever," right? But until I apply it and see that the world doesn't collapse, right?
Tiffany Stone: Yeah. Even amongst the pandemic.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah. Isn't that interesting? You were able to completely fill basically a new private practice during one of the worst crises that humanity ever faced.
Tiffany Stone: Yes.
Sasha Raskin: I kind of want to send you a diploma just saying that.
Tiffany Stone: I'll take it.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, that's wonderful. How do you decide on the right balance between full pay clients, sliding scale, pro bono? How do you know? What is kind of your boundary with that?
Tiffany Stone: That is a really good question. I don't know that I've actually figured out a balance as of yet. And right now I've got I think three total that are pro bono or sliding scale, and that's over 10% of my clientele. And I'm Christian so I kind of look at how I can give back the Christian way. And so that's over 10%, so that would be almost like tithing some of my time. And with those three that also allows me to still pay my bills and pay myself. And so right now that feels like it's a nice balance for me. And then of course as numbers grow that pro bono amount will also grow to stay in alignment if that makes sense.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, I love it. Tiffany, what would be ... if you would choose three tips for therapists who are just starting out, what would those be? From the top of your head.
Tiffany Stone: Oh, gosh. First one that comes to mind is believe in yourself, challenge yourself and don't give up. I don't even think I mentioned this part but when we were doing our call I had just had a conversation with my husband do I stop private practice.
Sasha Raskin: Oh, wow.
Tiffany Stone: Am I going down the wrong path? Is this not meant to be? Am I a crappy therapist? Like, is this what I'm supposed to do? And I wouldn't have done it without his encouragement and you because I really was about to just throw in the towel and just work my full-time nine to five, but I've got two little girls and I want to show them that they can do anything that they set their mind to and I want to be home with them as much as possible to see them do that.
Sasha Raskin: Incredible. So you're growing your business in a way despite the challenges. This is modeling for them what's possible.
Tiffany Stone: I hope so.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, I love that. What would be your three ... well, and I just need to say that I'm glad we had that call at the right time.
Tiffany Stone: Yes, me too. Absolutely.
Sasha Raskin: And that you took the leap of faith. I'm sure there were reasons you were contemplating not joining the program, I'm curious what were those.
Tiffany Stone: So again, time.
Sasha Raskin: Do I have enough time? I'm working so hard.
Tiffany Stone: Yeah, working hard. Another one was I had kind of joined another program a few months before that, and I didn't feel like I was getting the information that I needed because I had been in private practice for so long the information that was given through that program seemed to be too fundamental and so it wasn't helpful for me, so I was paying out money but I wasn't seeing the growth. And so that was a concern. And then I think that limiting belief again of am I going to do this and actually have time to follow through and see improvement or am I going to do this and want to quit after a couple of months because I'm hitting my head against a rock and not seeing any change?
Sasha Raskin: So the questions you were asking yourself - will this program work, right? And would it provide value because the other program doesn't really? And will it work for me?
Tiffany Stone: Yes, I think that was the biggest one.
Sasha Raskin: It's interesting, you're not the only one who joined our private practice accelerator after being a part of other programs. We have a member who had a bad experience with other programs, and again, the problem I see is giving counselors and coaches just general information that is available for free anyway, right? It's kind of like you need the website - well, great, I already knew that, right? Well, how do I actually rank it higher in Google, what specifically do I do or how do I get clients in the next month or two, right? Versus just building it for two years. And she just reached 25K in February.
Tiffany Stone: Oh, nice.
Sasha Raskin: You two should connect for sure, we'll talk about this in a moment after we're done with the recording. And what are the answers to those questions you were asking yourself that made you, maybe almost made you not join the program?
Tiffany Stone: So the answers that I ultimately learned is what you put in you get out. So I do have time if it's important to me and I make time for it.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, you make the time.
Tiffany Stone: I make the time. And I say that as someone who, I'm just going to lay all this out here because I know somebody else has a similar journey, I work full-time, I was trying to build a private practice, I had a newborn and a 10-month old or I think she was 15 months old at the time actually. My husband's working on finishing his master's degree and he works full-time. So we had a lot of things on our plate, and that was part of why I kept thinking, "Do we have time?" But if we can do it, you guys can do it.
Sasha Raskin: Oh, good. Nicely said, nicely said.
Tiffany Stone: Yeah, so I just I had to make that time. And so that was important. I had to make sure that this was something that I valued and it was something that I wanted. And then I guess the other ones just kind of fall in line with that, it was important to me so I had to make it work for me, and I followed the steps. Some of them, like I said, we had already had a group practice at that point so we had some of the things already in place like the website and all of the blogging and things, but some of them I hadn't even thought of so it was really, really helpful for me.
Sasha Raskin: Wonderful. What would be three tips from where you are today that you could give to therapists who already grew their practice to a point, right? What would be important for them to know do you think?
Tiffany Stone: So somebody that's trying to grow their practice or somebody that's already?
Sasha Raskin: That's already grew. Let's say they already have 10 clients a week, right? From that point what should they be focusing on?
Tiffany Stone: Oh, goodness. Advertising and marketing, number one. And I can't remember what you term it in your program, but there's the marketing and the advertising.
Sasha Raskin: We have hunting, farming, so those are just a few categories that in the program we divide different marketing strategies based on how much they cost or they're free and how much time do they take to get results, right?
Tiffany Stone: Yeah. So that was huge for me, trying to make sure that my marketing was dedicated to those areas so that I could have that marketing that I wasn't paying for but I was still getting clients. That was I think honestly the biggest one that I would tell somebody. I don't know if there were two more or not.
Sasha Raskin: There is battering and there was also ... what's the word I used? Gathering.
Tiffany Stone: Gathering, yes. So that was extremely valuable.
Sasha Raskin: Wonderful. Tiffany, what's next for you when you think about the next year? What feels like the next natural progression for you and for your two businesses?
Tiffany Stone: So we are contemplating, again, like I said, me making that my full-time which is nerve-wracking.
Sasha Raskin: It totally is. And you said you just got a new office, right? That was scary.
Tiffany Stone: Yeah, it was a huge payment and I was sitting with no clients and we were in a newborn, so we were like we're going to take this out of our personal budget.
Sasha Raskin: Exactly.
Tiffany Stone: That was scary, but it worked out. And so we're contemplating that. And then I'm going back and forth on possibly bringing on another therapist at some point in the next maybe year. And I don't know if you remember, but when we had originally talked our goal ultimately is to have ...
Sasha Raskin: Center.
Tiffany Stone: Exactly, a center with nurse practitioners and other providers and wellness modalities. And so that's not in the next year but hopefully within the next five.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, incredible. And it's gradual, right? It's step by step.
Tiffany Stone: Yeah, absolutely.
Sasha Raskin: I love it. Thank you so much, Tiffany.
Tiffany Stone: Thank you.
Sasha Raskin: I'm excited to see what's next for you.
Tiffany Stone: Thank you. Me too, Sasha.