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Episode 145 Tip Of The Day Taking Imperfect Action



  • Episode 145 Tip Of The Day Taking Imperfect Action 00:00


Taking Imperfect Action

Hi Group Practice Listeners! In this episode, I’m talking all about taking imperfect action in your group practice.

In this episode we cover:

  • What holds us back from taking imperfect action
  • What imperfect action really is
  • Examples of imperfect action taking in my own practice

This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes. TherapyNotes is an EHR software that helps behavioral health professionals manage their practice with confidence and efficiency. I use TherapyNotes in my own group practice and love its amazing support team, billing features, and scheduling capabilities. It serves us well as a large group practice owner.

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Maureen Werrbach

Today I want to talk about taking imperfect action as a business owner. It’s something that’s been really hard for me to embrace as a sort of recovering perfectionist, I really have a hard time taking action when not everything is planned out perfectly and I haven’t figured out ahead of time that I know something’s going to succeed. Obviously, if you guys are listening to this, most of that sentence is impossible to actually have happen, right?

We can’t know for 100% certainty that X or Y, if we do that thing, it’s going to turn out perfectly. But a lot of us do try to control as much as we can and hold on to products or services, or hiring that next therapist or bringing on that nurse practitioner, or bringing on that admin or adding that leadership team member until we have a structure perfectly put in place that we think is going to make it problem free, or issue free.

So today I’m gonna talk about taking imperfect action and really embracing, taking action, when you might not have all the pieces lined up perfectly just so yet.

There’s so much focus on ironing out every single detail every single system before taking that leap. One of the examples I want to talk about is right now with me is I’m looking into opening a fourth location. And we’re not using any of the other three locations we have. Some might say that it’s a crazy idea to even be contemplating opening up a fourth location while we’re still in the pandemic, especially when at the beginning of the pandemic, which was last March, two months prior, I had completed an expansion of office location number one, from six offices to 18 offices.

I then in July expanded office number two, from four offices to nine offices, while no one’s in it, and office three stayed the way it was because it was as big as it can get as a storefront. And now thinking about an office location number four, which would I think have nine offices inside of it.

So, you know, many people might be thinking that sounds like a wild decision to be making when you haven’t been using the ones that you’ve expanded already.

Though, we’ve hired at least 10 new staff members who are ready to use those office spaces when when it’s possible. But I’m really sort of embracing the looking at the pros and the cons my overall long term goals for my business, taking calculated risk, which I think is kind of this imperfect action idea, right? I don’t know how it’s gonna turn out.

And people are asking me, you know, is it a good idea to buy a new location right now, when we’re not quite sure when we can be back in the office? Or, is it a good idea to open or expand a location or hire my first therapist when we don’t have a place to physically train them yet?

And I think this is the perfect time to really talk about taking imperfect action all of 2020.

So far 2021 has been like one big ball of imperfect actions that we’ve been taking all year as business owners. I think that’s really primed us to be able to embrace taking more calculated and not responsive, calculated actions. Because most of the 2020 business decisions we’ve made were in response to COVID. Not, you know, intentional ones that we took. But we had to make decisions on because of COVID, and everything that was going on. It’s really primed us to be able to potentially take an embrace, taking some imperfect action in the future when there isn’t a pandemic.

So that’s kind of my journey right now is thinking about what my business plan is, and what our community needs are and what my leadership team needs are. And putting all of those things together, it is making a lot of sense to open another location. Even though I know most of you who’ve, if you’ve been listening for a while now, know that at one office location, I said I didn’t want more, and at two I said, I didn’t want more. Then at three, I said, I didn’t want more than that. But that’s the beauty of business ownership, you know? At one location, all the steps up to a fourth location seem insane. But one when you’re at, three and really comfortable, and everything’s running smoothly, four doesn’t seem as big of a leap, right?

That’s why it’s just the Dory, just keep swimming thing, right, just put one foot right in front of the other. And when you do that continuously, all of a sudden, you know, eight years later, you can look back and see how many steps you’ve actually taken, which would have been a lot.

So my story right now, in terms of imperfect action is potentially opening up a location, and this location is not anywhere near my other three.

I’ve been really intentional about keeping my locations all within, you know, just one or two zip codes out from the previous one. So that we can pull from our current community as we’re building, you know, our awareness in the new community. But this last one is, like really far away. I mean, it’s just far away from where all my other three locations are. So it’ll essentially be, it’s a whole new business in a way. A new marketing process. We’ll have to get to know the community, they won’t know who we are. So it’ll be a fun journey. And I’m really excited about it.

But all of my thoughts on that all of the information about how my business is running, who is working in the business, what their needs are, is pointing to this being a good idea. And so I’m taking imperfect action by starting negotiations on that space. And hopefully, if they all work out, you know, come July or August, we’ll have that space and can furnish it and prepare it and hopefully have it ready for whenever we can come back. But it’s it’s a really good feeling to not have it all perfectly lined up.

You know, imperfect action means you don’t just take action without having any sort of awareness, it means that you’ve, you’ve thought about the pros and cons, you’ve figured out if it’s if it’s part of your business plan, and you’re maybe just taking a step forward without knowing all the exact details down to the last like millisecond.

That’s really the imperfect action part of it, it’s not being reckless about your decisions, and just making a decision without really knowing if it’s a good one for your business.

It means that you know, it’s a good decision, you just don’t know if there’s going to be a lot of obstacles to being on the successful side of things at the end of the day. So what I see in our industry and really, for most businesses altogether, is that they’re waiting for perfect. And what ends up happening with that is that people never start, right? I see people who have been in my facebook group for years, who wanted to hire their first therapist and are still posting about when’s a good time to hire that first person.

And a lot of that has to do with the fact that they’re waiting for like this perfect moment where all their systems are set up where they feel like they know everything that they need to know as a business owner. Right? And as any of you who have staff now and are on the other side of it know, most of us get into it not knowing really much of anything when it comes to business ownership. And we take the time to learn as we go.

I also noticed that those that are waiting for perfection before they before they make, you know that action is that they’re afraid of being disappointed if there’s a mishap or a failure. And those that are willing to take imperfect action are okay with with a failure.

They’re okay with a misstep, because it just means that they’re one step closer to being in the right direction. They are shifting their mindset to not wanting to fail to being okay to fail, because it means that they now know one more thing about what’s going to work. I know there’s a quote I saw somewhere, and I don’t know who said it, but you always pass failure on your way to success. And I really feel like this is such a powerful statement to anyone who’s trying to do anything from business ownership to parenting.

We can get ourselves stuck in this like paralysis by analysis, right? Avoiding taking action while we continuously and circularly analyze, and analyze and ask more questions, and ask other group members and get more coaching and ask our friends and ask our family members, and never get to the point of actually taking that step forward and opening that location or buying that building, or bringing on that nurse practitioner, or doing whatever it is that is maybe something new to you as a group practice owner.

So I want to ask and this by asking, what have you done to take imperfect action today?

Or recently? Or if that question isn’t coming with an answer? What things are you waiting for perfection for before you move forward with them? And I think that’ll give you a clue as to what you need to do some work on in becoming okay with taking imperfect action on. So I hope you have a great day and take some imperfect action today.

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.


Here are the resources and guides we recommend based on this episode

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For more information about our packages and the different ways to work with us, please visit our website at and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our team members!

Recruiting & Hiring Your Ideal Therapist

Whether you’re a seasoned or a new group practice owner, one thing we all have in common is the overwhelming, sometimes painful process of recruiting, interviewing and hiring of therapists.

* I am an affiliate for some of the businesses I recommend. These are companies that I use in my own group practice, and make recommendations based off of my experience with them. When you use some of these companies through my links, I receive compensation, which helps me continue to offer great free information on my podcast, blog, Facebook group, and website.

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Meet your host


Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


The show

The podcast is structured so that you get practice building tips in small doses, where an episode can be listened to (and a group practice building lesson can be learned) in a single car ride.

Episodes are structured into categories: coaching sessions where I coach a group practice owner on a specific topic, tips of the day by yours truly, real talk where you get to be a fly on the wall while an established group practice owner and I talk about the highs and lows of ownership, and trainings done by experts in the field.

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