Episode 156 | Money Mindset with Tiffany McLain
WITH Tiffany McLain
- Episode 156 | Money Mindset with Tiffany McLain 00:00
Hey Group Practice listeners! New podcast episode out today! In this episode, you’re getting a clip from a training from my Exchange Membership where Tiffany McLain talks about all about money mindset for group practice owners.
In this episode we cover:
→ common mindset issues for therapists
→ common mindset issues for practice owners
→ resentment as a money mindset issue
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Hey everyone, today I am sharing a clip from the Exchange Membership training that happened actually a while ago. But if you’re an exchange member, you can watch the whole training inside the membership site in the library. But this clip is from a training that Tiffany McLain from Hey, Tiffany did on money mindset. And I really loved this training. And so we archived it and pulled out a clip so that we can put it on to the podcast for you guys to listen to. But she essentially is talking about money mindset issues as practitioners and as group practice owners. And so I think a lot of you are going to be able to relate to what she’s going to talk about in this clip. So let’s take a listen.
Okay, here’s what you guys are saying, oh, what about my employees right? About my associates. So when I say put your needs first, it’s not uncommon for therapists to get–group owners included, whether you’re seeing clients or not seeing clients–to get into some form of like, emotional, septic shock and freak out. Oh my gosh, what about my people, right?
So just like you’ve heard about it, when you’re on a plane, or when you listen to the Virgin America song, where they’re doo-wopping while they talk about how you got to put your mask on first, before offering assistance to other people. It’s the same with a group practice. So we’re going to talk about some of the ways that it goes almost against our very nature, to think of our needs first, personally and professionally. Why that is, and also why it’s vital that we do it anyway, even though it’s hard for us.
So there was a study done in the 80s by this woman, I think her name is Ellen. And she found out that 62% of therapists come from a loweer socio economic class than their parents compared to 55% of people from other professions. So if you’re a lawyer or a doctor, you know, some other profession like that, likely your parents were professionals too or had a similar level of education or professional identity. But therapists are actually much more likely to be upwardly mobile. So you’re going to be you have maybe working class family, blue collar parents, you know, the people around you are working class. So you’re the first to get to this particular place their education or your professional career, that’s tends to be the trend.
As of 1981, only 26% of clinical psychologists were women, only 3% were black or Latino. And back then, if you were gay or homosexual, that was considered a mental illness or problem, right. So we’re actually this is the first generation where women and minorities are considered mental health professionals. Up until now we’ve been givers or caretakers just because that’s what we’re supposed to do. We haven’t gotten paid for and we haven’t been recognized for professionally. So in both of these cases, there’s a cultural, familiar and also a social, a social reinforcement of, we should be helpers, because that’s just who we are. And we should give for free.
The idea of getting paid for what we do, actually thinking about the work we do as a valuable service to people that we ought to earn money for. That’s new. And so a lot of us wrestle both with our internal struggles around it. And also cultural and social reinforcement that we shouldn’t get paid or what we’re doing is not actually valuable, it’s not actually work.
And this is also reinforced in terms of personality structure. So this woman also found that therapists more than their siblings or other people in their family–they were the confidant in the family. They were the key peacekeeper in the family, they would prevent a fight often. So we often think about or at least I have, we think therapists come from trauma. And that’s kind of the factor that we have in common. But that’s actually not true. That’s not what this person found. She found that actually, it was this role as the caretaker in the family. So again, it’s this idea that we got our intrinsic value and the family, our worth came from kind of negotiating these family conflicts, and even crossing this generational divide. So we somehow became the caretaker of our parents.
So even then we were getting paid for that we actually got our value from that. So it’s hard for us to imagine, oh, we’re actually doing work that we should get paid for. Right? So it comes from right class, society and culture, and then also our family roles.
Mm hmm. So a lot of us have this idea of we’re givers we just do it. And that’s actually not a way to create a sustainable business. It’s not something new. Unless you’re like Mother Teresa. I don’t know how she was able to do that. But she somehow had this selfless role as a giver of life. Yeah, most people can’t do that. That’s that’s unsustainable.
I think that’s what makes her Mother Teresa. If that was normal her name would mean nothing.
Right? She’d just be Teresa. Hey, right.
That’s right. So there are consequences of neglecting your needs. There are personal consequences, like burnout, overwhelm, stress, lack of physical health. You guys know about this, I hear about therapists saying this all the time. I imagine group owners, is this a similar thing group owners talk about?
Yeah, because there’s the stress of not only seeing our clients and that normal burnout that happens with seeing clients, but also managing staff and managing many staff who all have different expectations, all want different things, all may or may not align with what our business vision is. And then on top of that, taking the business as a whole and making sure that you’re running it in a way that is sustainable and allows growth. So yeah, stress is normal.
Took what I normally do and like made it exponential. Gosh, all this kind of stress way over and above the therapists that I often work with, which means dealing with our caseload, yeah. So we could take all of these things, the clinical implications of resentment and envy towards our clients and associates. So for you guys have feelings of envy or resentment towards your associates, missing transference, or countertransference, for information, boundary violations on sustainable business practices acting out, if we’re neglecting our needs, these kind of things can happen.
Yeah, and what I see with the resentment towards clinicians or associates or clinicians, comes often in the beginning, when group practice owners are taking in less money than their associates are, and they see like, in January, when they’re giving the their yearly, you know, tax stubs, they see that their clinician made, you know, 85,000 working part time while they brought home like, you know, 35,000 trying to set up the group practice. Yeah, so that that’s a pretty common occurrence is, is having in the beginning of starting your practice, those first couple of years is feeling really resentful, that the clinicians, you know, get to bring home a good pay, while they’re still trying to reinvest their money back into the business to help it grow or to, you know, pay for things that were unexpected. Which is why the book Profit First is so good and aligns so well. I’m a profiteer like 100%, because it’s all about you take a profit first, you put on your own mask, as you said, you put on your own mask first, and then you help you know, you help the others then you help your clinicians grow.
I love this. I don’t have that as a resource at the end of that, but I absolutely would say if you haven’t read that book, if you haven’t taken Maureen’s advice, to read that by so read it. It’s fantastic. Yeah. Wow. So also this thing around resentment and envy that we’re going to get into the feeling later. But that’s really interesting. I hadn’t thought about that aspect for group owners. And then I’m also thinking, I had been thinking more down the road, when you actually started to make a good income. And your associates may be frustrated or envious that you are, and we are like I put in all this work into how many years I put into this without making anything right. So all that stuff comes up.
Yeah, that definitely comes up with time too. That’s the other end of the pendulum. Where then when a group owner, it looks like they’re making a lot or they are that then clinicians feel like, you know, they’re taking my money, you know?
Wow, this is–so, so you can imagine you’ve seen it if you’re not taking care of your needs. If you’re not following something like profit first, you’re not going to be able to relate to your own clients or your associates or employees in a way that’s effective because you’ll be drowning in all of these feelings. And then also in the meantime, not able to make ends meet. So all these things get in the way if you’re neglecting your family.
If folks have families, whether you have young kids or you’re in a relationship or even just other friendships, other things get neglected. Again, if you’re overwhelmed and burnt out, all these other things are happening. You’re not actually able to show up fully to these other relationships.
And then finally, this is one that’s really important to me. You’re reinforcing the system.
If you’re not taking care of your needs, you’re reinforcing a system where helpers, particularly women, and minorities, are underpaid and undervalued for the work we do. So you’re actually setting up a system where the system was already against us. And then you are setting that up in your own life, as well. So I really advocate start with yourself, change the system by starting with how you run your business, how you are in your practice, and then it trickles down to how you’re engaging with your employees. Yep.
Okay, so I feel like there’s so much that we can unpack from this. And one of the things that I really want to pull from specifically from that training was this idea of resentment.
As group practice owners, we all know, the historical expectation, things that we learned in grad school that we’re doing this as therapists to help other people, it’s not meant to be a thing where we make a lot of money. We all have had that training and have been taught that in grad school, but I want to focus on really what this means for us as group practice owners, and how this money mindset issue really kind of seeps into business ownership.
And where we see it really the most, and we talk a little bit about it, in this clip, is this idea of resentment that group owners have towards their employees or their staff. And oftentimes, it it starts right from the beginning. Because as most of you know, when you first start your practice, it can take a while, few years, even for some group practice owners to get to a point of profitability where they can really pay themselves. And so this initial point of resentment starts to happen when they see and are paying their employees and see what their employees are making, while they themselves are not able to take a payroll.
And, you know, this whole idea of money mindset is really intertwined with how we kind of prioritize ourselves as business owners and prioritize money in general. And typically, business owners look at paying their employees, paying their expenses, paying for everything, and then taking what’s left over for ourselves for payroll. And what ends up happening is oftentimes, is one, when we focus on paying everything else out and the business before ourselves, we end up with maybe nothing left to actually pay ourselves with. And so this mindset of really shifting and Tiffany talks about this in the clip, of like putting your similar to in an airplane, you know, you put your mask on first before you put on the mask of someone else, if the planes going down, right?
And so similarly with our businesses to make sure that our business is sustainable and can actually outlive us, we want to make sure that we’re putting our own masks on first, so that we actually have the energy, finances and ability to keep the business going, and to keep our employees employed. And so a really good tool is the Profit First book. And I know we’ve talked about this a ton, there’s a ton of trainings on it. But that is really the model that helped me shift my dynamic from pay staff pay for all the operating expenses, pay taxes, and whatever’s left if there is anything, pay myself to profit first to pay yourself first. And then divvy up percentages towards operating expenses, payroll, and taxes and all those things. So that it forces you essentially, to learn how to better manage your money.
And in turn, another money mindset issues this connects with is overpaying people, and often happens in our industry, because, you know, we’re caretakers, and we want to ensure that people are paid well, and sometimes can do that at the expense of actually being able to operate the business long term and profit first kind of turns that emotional piece into a literal process for ensuring that a business can sustain. And so I really appreciated this training with Tiffany because she talks a lot about how our own money mindset issues can kind of overtake our business practices in a way that we can end up harming our businesses if we’re not really paying attention to it. So if you want to watch the whole training, it’s inside The Exchange, which is at members dot the group practice exchange dot com. You can join that video along with hundreds of other videos and trainings inside there. I’d love to see you and I’ll see you next week.
Thanks For Listening
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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:
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