Episode 10: Making Sacrifices for Long-Term Business Goals- Mindset Matters!

This was my first impromptu solo episode where I share an epiphany I had in a random conversation with my sister about sacrificing as an entrepreneur in order to grow your business.

Delaying immediate gratification does NOT have to feel like a sacrifice if you keep the end goal in mind! Mindset matters.

If YOU need help figuring out what is needed to launch or grow your business, I can help…now that I have more time for more business coaching clients! :) Click here for info on how to book a FREE 15-minute consult call with me to get started taking ACTION!

Cheers to your growth and success as an entrepreneur!

Episode 9: Adventuring into Nature-Based Therapy with Bradley Williams

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Bradley Williams: Adventuring Into Nature-Based Therapy

Bradley Williams is an occupational therapist in Adelaide, Australia. His fabulous business, Naturally Gathered, offers pop-up nature playgroups for children and families. Brad is also venturing into offering nature-based occupational therapy services for children, and he had some questions he wanted to ask me about business start-up of a nature-based OT practice. So OF COURSE I asked him to come on the podcast! And he graciously agreed. You’ll hear about Brad’s nature-based practice, and then we turned the tables and he asked me a bunch of questions. I hope our conversation may help all of YOU who are interested in nature-based therapy!

Here’s the rundown of some of what we covered!

  • The three goals of Brad’s nature-based business, Naturally Gathered

  • How to slowly start your business on the side of your current work

  • How to focus in your nature-based therapy work

  • Why you need a theoretical framework for nature-based therapy

  • Tips for screening kids for group placement in nature-based therapy groups

  • Why a mix of kids with different needs in a group is best. (Look up Pamela Wolfberg’s research on Integrated Playgroups for children with autism.)

  • I again mention Occupational Adaptation theory...my favorite OT theory because it applies to all of LIFE!

  • The assessment and intake process at Outdoor Kids OT

  • Why you need to focus on 1-2 goals for children who are in nature-based OT small-groups

  • Goal-attainment scaling- why it helps you focus on the ONE most important thing you’re addressing in therapy

  • Liability insurance for nature-based therapy (it’s a “community setting” everyone!)

  • How to help parents understand healthy risk-taking in nature play

  • Why training is valuable when starting out in nature-based therapy 

  • How to get awesome, engaged volunteers to help you with your nature-based therapy groups

  • Brad recommends Seth Godin’s books on marketing- focusing on the customer and offering VALUE to them. (Why it isn’t bad to make money while serving people!)

  • Last tip: I highly recommend Meet Edgar for social media management. It frees up SO much time as a business owner, especially in the early days of managing it all on your own! Use this referral link to get $10 off of Meet Edgar.

Go learn about Naturally Gathered and read Brad’s blog- good stuff there! www.naturallygathered.com.au

You can also connect with Brad on Facebook and Instagram @naturallygathered

🌿P.S. If YOU want specialized training to begin offering nature-based therapy in YOUR practice with children, join us at the inaugural Therapy in the Great Outdoors Training Retreat, Nov. 2-5, 2019 in Soquel, CA. $100 off early registration until July 15 with code EARLYBIRD. 🐦



Episode 8: Serving Others by Starting a Podcast and Membership Site - Interview with Mandy Chamberlain!

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Mandy Chamberlain, MOTR/L


“It’s those connections with people that get lost sometimes because we’re in business mode…it really comes down to serving from the heart…really trying to be a good businesswoman…serving my clients…and being true to myself.”

OT Entrepreneurs! This was the BEST interview. Sooooo many great business tips from Mandy Chamberlain of Seniors Flourish and the Learning Lab!  I simply can’t list how much I learned from this rock-star online OT business owner.

 Here’s a run-down of what we discussed:

5:00 The start-up story of Seniors Flourish 

6:20 Mandy dispels the online business myth of “if you build it, they will come!”

7:10 How building a relationship online and supporting others can boost your business…and possibly make you start podcasting. Don’t be afraid to just try!  Everyone has doubt in new endeavors!

10:45 Why you must figure out who your audience is, speak to them, and know where they hang out on social media.

13:40 Amy Porterfield’s trainings were helpful.

16:50 How Mandy started the membership site by focusing on connections, building an email list, and SERVING OTHERS. LISTEN to the questions your customers are asking when you are first starting out! Be open to feedback, growth, and change.

23:40 Pricing- why she decided to price her membership site at a low rate for the extremely high value it offers her customers. [Laura oohs and aahs over the site at this point and encourages everyone to go check it out.  Crazy deal for the value she offers.  Unbelievable!]

29:00 She built her own website!!!!!!!  Mapped it out on paper first and then taught herself to code and used Wordpress plug-ins to design what she wanted.

31:09 “The Membership Guys” podcast was helpful.

32:20 How you can build your business by thinking about who you’re serving and what THEY want. 

35:00 Why doing online business is STILL WORK (ie, not “passive” income).

36:15 How Mandy organizes her time and tasks each week. 

37:14 Why entrepreneurs truly love working and have a tendency to over-work.

39:00 Mandy spills the beans that she hates marketing. [Laura’s comment: What?? But she’s SO good at it!]

40:00 Mandy’s marketing: email lists, free webinar with an offer at the end, FB lives, “challenges”, Instagram.  (Focus on connection!)

42:15 The webinar that didn’t go as planned…and what Mandy learned from it.

45:06 Discussion about email funnels

48:15 Mandy gives tips for doing Facebook Live.

50:25 Why you should let people see behind the scenes of your business on social media. Get outside of your comfort zone! 

51:45 Tips for scheduling Facebook Live [Laura’s comment: I gotta start doing these!]

53:45 Why you may not need a super pretty logo and website…

56:40 Why you should take one small step and just do it!

57:45 Why you should listen to your customer and hold your own ideas loosely.

59:45 The one thing that most improved Mandy’s effectiveness as a business owner.

My favorite quote from the interview: “It’s those connections with people that get lost sometimes because we’re in business mode…it really comes down to serving from the heart…really trying to be a good businesswoman…serving my clients…and being true to myself.”

 I love Mandy. I was a fan of hers before this interview but now I just feel connected to the heart behind her business.  Don’t you?!  After the interview I found out she has like 13,000 followers on Instagram. So now I feel like I need to have her back on to do another episode JUST about Instagram and OT business!

Connect with Mandy at www.seniorsflourish.com and check out the Learning Lab! You can also find her on Instagram @seniorsflourish and Facebook.

Pick an action item from this episode!  I’m going to try a FB Live (am terrified but I’m going to do it!)…what small step are you going to take? Comment below in one sentence or less!

P.S. If you’re looking for information about the Therapy in the Great Outdoors retreat that I announced at the end of this episode, click here.

Episode 7: My $10,000 Mistake (a.k.a. What NOT To Do When Starting Your Business)

You know that old show “What NOT To Wear”? Well this episode of MYOTBiz is the OT business podcast version of that show. Here’s my list of what NOT to do when starting your business. A few of these I learned from experience (you’ll hear about my 10K mistake…I’m SO embarrassed to admit this one…and honestly, thought about editing it out of the recorded podcast more than once. But I kept it in to stick by my promise to always be honest with you all, even if it makes me not look good.)

(Links are Amazon affiliate links- MYOTBiz is not monetized right now- it is a labor of love, so if you purchase any of these books, please go through the link! Gives me a tiny bit of income at no additional cost to you. Thanks!)


Drum roll please…..the 9 Things NOT To Do When Starting Your Business:

  1. Don’t offer too many types of services. The riches are in the niches, folks...and so is your sanity.  Start by offering ONE really good service and DON’T start another until that one is successful (or totally bombs).

  2. Don’t hire quickly.  Sometimes we are growing (a good thing!) and get desperate for help.  Hiring quickly just to fill the opening will usually be twice as much work in the long run.  Slow growth is not bad.

  3. Don’t think you can do your books on your own. YOU CAN’T.  Run, do not walk, to hire the nearest bookkeeper or accountant who can help manage your finances.

  4. Don’t price your services too low.  People value what they pay for.  We are all helpers by nature and want to help people.  If you want to give away services, offer scholarships...but keep your prices high so people will value your services.

  5. Don’t pay for an expensive website or logo.  I spent way too much on mine and almost immediately regretted it, even though I love it.  There is no way to tell if it was helpful to my business, but in retrospect, I think learning good copywriting is MUCH more beneficial than a pretty website or logo. Read “Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller and “This Book Will Teach You How to Write Better” by Neville Medhora. DIY website builders work great. I recommend Squarespace for aesthetics and for ease of use.

  6. Don’t wait to manage your cash flow. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.  WISH I had done this when starting out!!

  7. Don’t buy expensive equipment you don’t truly need. Constraints make us more creative.  Ask yourself: “Do I really NEED this?” before every business purchase. (Which, you might notice, I SHOULD have done before paying designers for a fancy website and logo.) :)

  8. Don’t be afraid to consult a lawyer. You must ask a lawyer if you’re in doubt about any legal issue. Get a good referral to an honest lawyer, ask your question(s), cough up the $300/hour, and move on with confidence that you’re legally in the clear. Here’s the NOLO Press book I used to set up my California corporation.

  9. Don’t be afraid to spend money on a business coach when you are just starting out. This was extremely helpful to me in the early years (and NOW…just did a session last week with a business consultant to advise me about scaling and expanding my business to multiple locations in different states.)

Will you be honest and share a mistake you’ve made in your business start up? What did you learn from it? Comment below!

Episode 5: How You Can Maximize Your TIME as an Entrepreneur- Part 3 of 3!

Make sure to listen to episodes 3 and 4 for the first two parts of this series on Time Management Tips for the Entrepreneur. Today we have our final installment in the series with 4 more tips, so let’s jump right in!

7.  Don’t try to be an expert in things that you aren’t or that you don’t enjoy doing. Delegate!*

*None of these are affiliate links- just services I use and enjoy.

Canva- free graphic design site to make your own logos, social media posts, flyers…IF you’re good at it and enjoy it!

Here are some online places you can outsource almost any design, editing, or administrative work:

Fiverr

Upwork

99designs

·   Don’t try to do your own bookkeeping (unless you were a bookkeeper before you were a therapist!).

o  Affordable bookkeeping, accounting, & tax preparation: Mazuma

8.  Know when to hire help.

Here’s a photo of the list my business coach helped me make when I was feeling completely overwhelmed as a business owner! 

AHHH!! How was I even doing all this? (Probably not very well…ha ha!)

AHHH!! How was I even doing all this? (Probably not very well…ha ha!)

One thing you can try (that I didn’t mention in the podcast) if you are at this point of business ownership, is to do what Christina had me do on this poster: Make a BIG list of everything that you could outsource. This will help you get started to actually finding someone to do the work, because you’ll be able to tell them what exactly you need help doing.

The genius admin brain and business manager behind Outdoor Kids OT is Nicole Storms of Your Admin Solution. Call her if you are drowning and need help! She is so much more than gifted at administrative business tasks— she has the brain of a business owner, is relentlessly positive, and really partners with you in growing your business.

9. Work smarter, not harder.

I know this is kind of a catch phrase, but there are definitely ways we can do this…and Occupational Adaptation theory explains how!

Occupational Adaptation (OA) theory proposes the primary aim of occupational therapy is to increase a client’s relative mastery and adaptive capacity.

Relative mastery = effectiveness, efficiency (which we’ve been talking about in this series!), and level of satisfaction to self and others in completion of occupational tasks/challenges.

Adaptive capacity =

  • Noticing the need to change.

  • Sufficient psychosocial, cognitive, and sensorimotor skills and resources to meet occupational challenges.

  • Ability to problem solve to meet future occupational challenges.

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A summary table of Schkade & Schultz’ Occupational Adaptation Theoretical Constructs of Primary & Secondary Energy (We NEED to know when to use each to be efficient business owners!)

Schkade, S. & Schultz, S. (1992). Occupational adaptation: Toward a holistic approach for contemporary practice, part 1. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 46(9), 829-837.

I LOVE that OA theory applies to our work as business owners and as occupational therapists. I could go on and on…but the main takeaway from this review of OA is that our efficiency affects our relative mastery as business owners! Putting one or more of these tips into action can make you a better entrepreneur…and improve your ability to adapt in the face of future challenges as a business owner!

And finally:

10. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

Do not…I repeat, do NOT….let your work take over your life so much that you lose your health or happiness. That is NOT why we became business owners. This is an efficiency tip because if we take care of ourselves, we will be more effective in our work. So decide what healthy habit you want to start doing and get started. Personally, for me it is exercise. I must move my body every single day and I do this consistently (even though I’m not an athlete by any means). I could be better at 1.) eating less sweets and 2.) giving my husband and children the love and attention they deserve for supporting my crazy endeavors. Prioritizing those changes would likely make me more efficient as a business owner because I’d be happier and more balanced.

So here is the final list in all its glory. What are YOU going to take action on today?

Time Management Tips to Empower & Equip YOU as a Savvy & Successful OT Entrepreneur 

1.  Get it all out of your head! Have a SYSTEM for managing to-do’s.

2.  Establish your top 3 must-do’s each day.

3.  Time block your schedule.

4.  Do the right task at the right time of day.

5.  Use a timer to track how long tasks actually take.

6.  Shut off notifications on your phone and computer while you are working.

7.  Don’t try to be an expert in things that you aren’t or that you don’t enjoy doing. Delegate!

8.  Know when to hire help.

9.  Work smarter, not harder. (OA theory tells us how to do this!)

10.  TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

Episode 4: How You Can Maximize Your TIME as an Entrepreneur- Part 2 of 3!

Make sure to listen to episode 3 for Time Management Tips #1-3. We’re diving right into #4-6 on our Time Management Tips list this episode!

4. Do the right task at the right time of day.

·     When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Dan Pink

5. Use a timer to track your time so that you stay honest about how long tasks are taking you.

·     Toggl Time Tracker app

6. Shut off notifications on your phone and computer while you are working.

·     Brain hack: Shut off notifications, then do focused work, and reward yourself with the dopamine hit of checking Facebook, Instagram, or your own preferred social media or technology reward. J

I’ll be back in 2 weeks with the final episode in our Time Management Tips series…in which I may or may not have applied an OT theory to time management as a business owner. If the word “theory” scares you…DON’T let it! I promise it is NOT boring! ANNNDDD….I’ve scheduled the first interview for the MYOTBiz podcast! But it’s a surprise who it is…so stay tuned!

Episode 3: How You Can Maximize Your TIME as an Entrepreneur- Part 1 of 3!

This week's episode starts a 3 part series on how to manage and MAXIMIZE your TIME as an entrepreneur.  Learn tips and tricks to become more efficient in managing all the to-do's as you run and grow your business.

Here are the resources discussed in this episode! (Some are affiliate links at no additional cost to you):

  1. Get it ALL out of your head!

  • TRELLO Project Management App. I seriously don’t know how I ran my business before I had Trello. There are SO MANY applications for this useful tool in our businesses. I use it to organize everything in my life.

Here’s an example of some of my monthly lists for managing my business. Each card can be moved, edited, have attachments, checklists, notes, etc. Check out the short video below for how I use a weekly calendar in Trello.

Here’s an example of some of my monthly lists for managing my business. Each card can be moved, edited, have attachments, checklists, notes, etc. Check out the short video below for how I use a weekly calendar in Trello.

2. Establish your top 3 must-do’s each day.

For me during the start of my business, one thing was SELF-REFLECTION. Here are the questions I used:

  1. What went well? (POSITIVES)

  2. What went wrong? (PROBLEMS)

  3. What will I do differently next time? (PROACTIVE SOLUTIONS)

3. Time block your schedule.

Here’s a link to a calendar-creation site that I use to create a color-coded time-blocked schedule each fall and spring semester.

And here’s an example of what my fall semester looked like:

This was an example of an IDEAL week. I almost never hit the mark perfectly, but it served as a compass to guide me back to what I needed to do when I got off track! (And reminded me of priorities.)

This was an example of an IDEAL week. I almost never hit the mark perfectly, but it served as a compass to guide me back to what I needed to do when I got off track! (And reminded me of priorities.)

That’s it for this week! Jump in and take action on one of these things to help you manage your time better! Comment below if you’ve used any of these strategies or have other tips to share!

Episode 2: How YOUR Business Can Stand Out in a Busy Market

In episode 2 of Mind Your OT Business, we discuss 3 ways you can make your business stand out in a crowded and busy market.  You'll learn how to establish your unique SERVICE proposition to customers and how to ignite your passion for what your business is uniquely gifted to offer customers.

Please leave an honest review wherever you listen to podcasts so we can reach more OTs and get this OT entrepreneur party started! Want to come on the podcast? Contact me!

Episode 1: Mind Your OT Business Podcast!

Welcome to the Mind Your OT Business podcast! In this first episode, I tell the story of my path to business ownership and share why I’m starting this podcast FOR and BY occupational therapy entrepreneurs. We talk all about what it means to be empowered and equipped to be a savvy and successful entrepreneur as an occupational therapy business owner…and what exactly this podcast will be all about. Please subscribe, comment, and let me know what YOU want to hear on the podcast. This is all about getting you the info you want and need as an OT business owner!

Here are the links for you to take ACTION on any of the content from this first episode:

March 2011 American Journal of Occupational Therapy article- Wanted: Entrepreneurs in Occupational Therapy by Anderson & Nelson

April 2017 Australian Occupational Therapy Journal article- Learning Management by Self-Employed Occupational Therapists in Private Practice by Milsteed, Redmond, & Walker

Get your FREE resources (SUPERBILL template + ENTREPRENEUR CHECKLIST) from Laura here.