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Episode 209 | Creating an Authentic Brand for Your Practice with Katie Read


WITH Katie Read

  • Episode 209 | Creating an Authentic Brand for Your Practice with Katie Read 00:00


Hey Group Practice Listeners! Are you thinking of outgrowing your practice and having authentic branding? Are you overwhelmed by this step? It is just the right feeling that will push you toward taking the action and evolving into a more confident version of yourself!

We are pleased to have Ms. Katie Read, the creator of The Clinician to Coach® Academy, and the Six-Figure Flagship™ Program. She has a great fondness for assisting therapists in making money while carrying out the authentic work they are inspired to do! With this goal, she will share her journey of how she stepped up and realized that overwhelming is a gift!


Episode Highlights: 

  • What has changed from their starting years to their current practice profession?
  • How is storytelling more effective than step-by-step instruction to help others to form their brand authenticity?
  • Why is being overwhelmed considered as the gift to surpass the possibilities and in creating your own brand?
  • When does a CEO’s time fuel creating a brand identity?
  • How does the concept of no endless time push you to take action despite being overwhelmed and unready?


To connect with Ms.Katie Read:


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.

Do you ever wish for a financial therapist who could relieve you from the last few months of bookkeeping, talk you off the edge when you’re running into issues with Quickbooks, or help you work through a profit plan for growth? GreenOak Accounting does just that! GreenOak Accounting is an accounting firm that specializes in working with group practices. Their value goes WAY beyond bookkeeping; they can help you get on track for financial success. Schedule a free consultation by going to


Maureen Werrbach

Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Group Practice Exchange podcast. I have a friend of mine, Katie Reid on and, uh, funny enough, as we were talking before I hit the record button, we had this topic to talk about marketing, but we were chatting about. Sort of what we’ve been going through in the past year or so in business and we’ve completely shifted what we decided we wanna talk about today,

So you guys are gonna be flies on the wall as she and I just sort of wing it in discussing this new topic that we’ve come up with. So, hey Katie, how are you? Hey, I’m so excited to be here. Yeah, I’m glad we shifted to the topic. Cause similar to what you were sort of saying, marketing was what we were gonna be talking about today and you were talking about.

you know, both of us are speaking at a conference that’s coming up and what our topics were for that and sort of, you know, how throughout the years we evolve, our identities evolve who we are and what we find interesting evolves. And that sort of led to this idea of why don’t we talk about that because.

Obviously all of my listeners are entrepreneurs and business owners. Yeah. Who also have evolved beyond, you know, doing one-on-one therapy and, and hiring and having teams. And a lot of people that listen are evolving now even beyond that and wanting to diversify services and see who they are now that they maybe have stepped back from doing clinical work.

And so I think this is a great topic to sort of focus on. I. Can I do something? Can I flip the script and ask you the question first? Okay. Okay, bye. Yeah, it’s, I’m excited. Okay. Cuz I don’t have a podcast, I’ll pretend. Oh, there we go. Katie Reed for you. , I’m curious for you, because if you look back, you know, there’s a point I assume years ago where you were a private practice therapist, you know, you had your own solo practice.

If. could put yourself back to where she was looking at you now. Mm-hmm. . What has changed for you on the inside? What is different about how you show up in the world, or the confidence maybe that you carry with yourself? Like what do you see as the biggest changes that have happened to you? I’ll say number one is definitely confidence.

I remember going into solo practice and feeling. Who am I to be doing this? And I think it’s a very common thing. We sort of put up this front initially when we start our solo practices, like, you know, we’ve been trained, we should be ready. And even though we, we might not feel ready, we assume we’re the only ones that feel like a fraud in doing it right.

And that’s definitely evolved a ton. I’m now at a place where I embrace taking risks. Okay. Not knowing what I’m doing because I enjoy the journey and sort of the growth over perfecting things before doing them. And that’s a huge shift I think for me. What about you? I love that. I love that. It’s funny, so, and I haven’t like thought this out in advance.

We were just talking about it earlier and I think you’re absolutely right on the confidence piece. I think what I’ve discovered along the. So for people who don’t know me, I help therapists who want to outgrow the therapy office, outgrow their practice and add coaching or consulting, or course creation as additional income streams.

And I will tell you when I first started, I really, really, really thought I need to learn and study all the tactics. I need to understand online business. I need to understand exactly how coaching and courses are different from therapy, and I need to learn all the little things about marketing. And I was so focused on that deep learning and I loved it.

Like most of us, you know, I’m sort of, I love learning. I was all excited about it. And over time, what has evolved for me is the realization. , all of it, no matter what you’re learning. The most important piece is that sort of evolution of just yourself as a human being. That’s underlying, I feel like I learned, I shouldn’t even say realized.

Um, maybe two years ago I hired a speaking coach to help me craft, um, my sort of like keynote talk that I’d be able to give if I’m doing any larger talks. Historically, all of my master classes and training and things I do are very content-heavy. Like how-tos? I feel like similar to what you were saying you need to know the nuts and bolts of things.

I put myself in this space as a group practice coach where I felt like I had to always be teaching people the how-tos of things. And it wasn’t until I met with her and I kept wanting to go to that whenever she would, part of her coaching style was to like bring things out in storytelling and I was like, that’s not my thing.

Like I’m not a storyteller. I know that is what is. The thing that everyone talks about is storytelling and story, all that stuff, but like, that’s just, I’m not good at it. I’m much better at telling people like, these are different steps that you can take. Not necessarily my steps, but these are all the different ways of doing things.

And then, you know, based off of your style or your, your leadership style or your personality, you might, you know, pick a certain way to do things. But it wasn’t until I met with her that she really was like, you need to stop telling people. The steps, the 1, 2, 3, the things you don’t have to teach people.

Instead, you need to learn how to shift into the storytelling because that allows them, people that you’re talking to be able to, one, actually do a little bit of the work, right, to like grow their business without sort of copy and pasting. And it also challenges them to. You know, really reflect in on what you’re saying and figure out how they can implement things on their own.

And so what you’re saying really resonates with me because that’s something that she really pushed and it was so hard for me because I’m so like you said, Step like I feel like I need to teach people how to versus talking about, you know, me or humans who are entrepreneurs and what that emotional process is like.

And that tends to, what I’m noticing in the past two years of doing that, that tends to resonate more with people than like, here’s how you do this thing. I love that we’re like the same person. I so identify with that because my comfort zone also is here are steps one through seven in this order.

Let me demonstrate on my computer how exactly you should do this. And like what my program, my big program, six-figure flagship, it is all completely like step, step, step, step, step. And so we have it all laid out really care for people. But when people come into the group and come into all their coaching sessions, I’m telling you, , 98% of what they actually need help with are the mindset shifts.

Yeah. And the identity shifts and overcoming the imposter syndrome and overcoming the terror and the fear even of like putting your first couple posts out on social media saying, Hey, I’m doing something new, or I’m growing in this way. It’s terrifying for people. Mm-hmm. . And so what we end up working on so much and the people who.

Kind of do the best are the people that are willing to look at it and be like, oh, I actually need to begin to shift my identity here in less comfortable ways. Like you were saying on stage, like actually telling some of your own stories, actually bringing pieces of yourself in there, which is so much more fricking vulnerable.

Yeah. For me at least then being like, no, no, no. Click this button, then you’ll be fine. . I would be like, nobody cares about me. Like they want to come and they’re paying. So that they can implement shit in their own business. They don’t care about me and like where I was at emotionally when I got to, you know, the place that I’m at in my business, no one cares about that.

They wanna know how do I do what she’s doing? And so it’s a huge shift and, and I think a lot of people struggle with that just as entrepreneurs feeling like they need to, like, they don’t work on the evolution of self and focus more on the evolution of the business as like, This entity that they just need to focus on versus realizing.

That entity will grow when you’re growing. Right, right. Well, it’s funny, one of my more popular, I have a whole like a mindset series of videos that I teach, and one of the more popular ones that people are always coming into our group and being like, oh my gosh, that helps so much. It’s called the end of overwhelm or the Gift of Overwhelm or something like that.

And what I talk about in there was a realization that I had one day because all therapists who are trying to grow a group practice or grow a coaching business or anything at all, . It feels overwhelming in the beginning, like period. Full stop. We all go through it. And what I realized one day I was obsessing about this, I was like, I have got to help them not be overwhelmed.

And I would journal about it and I would write about it, and I would create worksheets and I would create materials, and I would create all this stuff trying so hard to help people avoid or skip over that feeling of overwhelm. And it finally hit me like a lightning bolt One day I was like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

every single time in my own growth that I have been like painfully overwhelmed, that has sharpened the sword. . Yeah. It always forced me to go deeper, to maybe work harder, to maybe look deeper, to maybe get more honest with myself about some aspect of whatever I was doing. But it sharpened the sword, and when I realized that, I was like, oh my God.

Overwhelm is the gift. It is a sign that like you’re climbing up that mountain. You can see the peak and overwhelm is here and you’re either gonna be the person who keeps going through it or you’re gonna be the person who tumbles back down. But that, that is a choice point, and that the overwhelm is the gift.

Yeah. Telling you this is the way. . Yeah. It reminds me of Glennon. I think it’s what Glennon Doyle talks about like the messy middle. Um, and I feel like that is synonymous in a lot of ways, is like you can’t avoid that. And that’s usually where the magic happens. And that’s usually where the creativity gets sparked too.

And for those that have that grit, it usually comes up because we’re feeling like we’re outside of our comfort zone. Right, right. And then, you know, for some it’s imposter syndrome and, and things like that. But if for those with grit and who feel like the road that they’re going on is aligned with where they should be going or where they wanna go.

Once you push through that, usually you kind of get into this new kind of universe where everything is new and fresh and unknown and, um, Filled with so much opportunity. Um, yeah, which I think is, for me, I, I think, I don’t know if I said this at the beginning of the recording or if it was pre-recorded, but that’s my favorite space to be in, is sort of that overwhelm space for me.

It’s like I love the unknown and challenge and you know, a little bit of me as problem solvers, so I can step back sometimes from the emotional side of it, like, and not get overly overwhelmed. I can feel it coming on and then I think, This is, this means I’m gonna get into some of the fun stuff and I get almost excited

Oh, I love that. Because I know that like I’m pushing myself past my, you know, zone of safety where I tend to get really bored and I’m pushing myself. Yeah. That, uh, yes, that border. Well, it’s funny too cuz we were talking before we hopped on about how you and I both kind of like to take on creative projects outside.

Totally outside of our comfort zones. Totally. Outside of like anything we’re doing in work. And I do find. More and as my business has grown, the need for that creativity that has nothing to do with the, it’s weird. I’m like, how does my brain need this so much more than I did before? What do you think that’s about?

I was just gonna ask you, because as you’re saying this, I literally, wanted to like pause this recording really quick and be like, you just touched on something I haven’t even thought of. I spent up until I got an email saying, Katie Reid is on your zoom call. Organizing shit because I am redoing so much of my house and I was like, I gotta do it all.

I gotta get it done to the last minute. I get a little bling thing you’re in and I’m like, okay, Maureen, stop it. You need to go to your computer to do this podcast recording. I think that’s so true and I actually haven’t recognized that, but you’re right. I think when there’s a lot that I’m working on in the business, creativity-wise or leadership-wise, Visionary wise because I like creative work, I tend to almost push myself outside of the work zone almost as if it’s like filling my cup.

You know, it’s like pouring into that cup so that I can go back into the workspace and have that rejuvenated sense of like, I’m ready to, to tackle the creative side of my business because I’ve been filling it up in ways in the house, which for me, Like my fun creativity is like how, you know, you and I were talking about you’re doing your kitchen and your design.

It sparked so much excitement for me to do any sort of house-related or craft-related work, and that fuels me to feel excited and happy, to do the stuff in my business too. I love that I, it’s funny for me, exactly the same. And it’s so funny that you were doing that because Maureen’s right, we’re redoing our kitchen right now, and literally, I set an alarm on my phone to be like, this is when you have to stop playing with your kitchen, and go shower because you’re gonna talk to Maureen soon.

It was so funny that we did the exact same thing, but I have felt the same way, and I’ve really recognized for this year especially, I think a lot of people, you can be at a stage in a business whereas your business grows, everyone’s like, get out of the weeds, get out of the. You know, da, da, da. Just hire people.

But as you and I both know, it’s not this perfect line that comes up where you’re out of the weeds. And certainly, much of the work that I still do in my business is super active in the weeds. And yet, for this year, Recognizing myself, I am so much happier. Literally, when I’m like looking, we need a new couch in our living room.

When I’m like looking at pictures of couches and trying to, you know when I’m trying to figure out like what’s gonna go here, what’s gonna go there? I love it. And giving myself permission to know that, and I hope anybody out there listening who might have that creative streak, here’s this message, like, give yourself the c e o day.

Give yourself the time. And if maybe all you’re doing that whole time is organizing your kitchen and listening to great. Like this one that you’re doing because that is fueling everything else. It’s not that you’re away from the business or that you should be working harder, it’s that you, your brain actually need that.

You need that creative outlet. You said something that I wanted to go back on, which was this idea of like people saying you need to delegate things to get out of the weeds and that you’re, you know, in some ways you don’t ever really get out of the weeds. And I feel like for me at least, I need some weeds to not be bored.

I’m easily bored. Yeah. And I think it’s just being able to choose the weeds that I like to be in. You know, like I don’t mind a lot of things going on. I’m still young-ish. I couldn’t imagine if I retired right now, I would be doing fun things in a weedy way. Like I would need a lot of it to like be happening at once.

I would need some deadlines and things to get done right. Even if they’re fun things. You’re right. Like in my business as at least in my group practice, that’s been pretty much fully delegated. The way I keep myself sort of activated, you know, and not bored, is to have my version, of weeds in some way.

That keeps me alive in, in some ways in my business. It’s just that I get to choose the weeds that I like. And I think that’s maybe a problem some business owners and entrepreneurs have is that they’re kind of in the weeds in a way that they don’t wanna be. Like answering calls. Yeah, still doing the billing.

That stuff, right? You don’t last very long, wanting to do those things as an entrepreneur and it’s finding a way, to, to choose your weeds. I. I love that. It’s so funny and I’m thinking about an employee of mine who’s awesome and she’s super high performing and I’m always looking at her and going like, oh, I wanna help her get outta the weeds.

But what I’ve realized over watching her work for the past couple of years is she actually does better when there’s too much on her plate. When somebody else would look and say, how the hell are you gonna get through all of that? That’s when she actually is happy. You know, she doesn’t mind a million tasks and she doesn’t mind a million little follow-ups and callbacks and things like that.

She’s great with it. Mm-hmm. , and as you said, I find the things that I enjoy, but I can’t be fully out of the weeds or I would be kind of miserable, but like I think about it sometimes. I’m always like, oh, wouldn’t it be a dream if I could just write and create content all day? The truth is it. I agree.

I say this to myself so often and it’s in this conversation, realizing how much I do like the weeds, I would turn book writing into like, have you ever seen, um, the meme of the guy from, it’s always sunny in Philadelphia and he has like 8 million post-it notes and he’s like pointing everywhere. It’s like supposed to be like a conspiracy theory, like, uh, meme.

I feel like that’s what I would turn book writing into. Like it would be way more just to like stay. Alive and energized by it because you’re right, it would, I would snooze through it, I think, and be like, yeah, boring. Right, right. It would become like another task. I know. It’s funny, isn’t it? It’s funny how we have that going and maybe all of us too, like maybe we’re so multi-passionate.

A lot of us who become entrepreneurial, that’s just where we end up. I remember getting lectured in the beginning, like in the early days of business, like you just need to hire for every single thing and you just need to be out there being like the face of your business and writing. Like big, deep-level blog posts, and I at the time was like, okay, that sounds amazing, but it doesn’t actually, once you get far enough into it, it doesn’t.

Even giving up like social media posting and handing all of that over to somebody else, I’m like, but I kind of like that stuff, you know? Yeah. I just actually recently got back into posting some of my own stuff in the group practice exchange, Instagram, because there’s just, you know, no matter how.

Perfect of a person you find who can kind of replicate you until it’s never you. And so I have a team and they post all the important things, but when I, when that part of my creativity. Get sparked. I go back in there and you’ll see any ones of me, like where I’m posting a picture of myself and usually has a lot of personal stuff in there that’s me.

That’s not someone else trying, you know, writing that stuff. I love that cup. I love that. I love that. Okay, so what’s our big takeaway? I say I have a question, like a wrap-up question for you. Okay. As I’m gonna ask, you help a lot of people like you mentioned in the beginning. Go from being therapists to, um, diversifying their services, whether it’s by becoming a coach and me, you have, I think you’re like the only person that has a coaching certification program certification, right?

Yeah. Yeah. And then, or if it’s like creating courses and things like this, so going outside of providing therapy, so obviously you’re the go-to person for that kind of things, but taking. The how-tos away from that? Like what feedback would you give to, a person? Looking to diversify or to shift outside of their one-on-one work from uh, an identity space.

I guess that’s kind of where we’ve been talking about most. So less on like when you have this and this and this done less of that, but more of like what advice would you give for someone who’s thinking about it in terms of the identity or the personal space that they’re in? I’m kind of leaving it a sort of open-ended question cause I think you get where I’m trying to go with this.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, totally. I love it. Okay, so a couple of things. . If there is a therapist out there who is thinking about outgrowing the office in some way, whatever that is, you wanna write a book, you wanna lead a retreat, you wanna, um, have a thriving coaching business, whatever it is. The reality is if that thought is inside of you and you are not acting on it right now, then you are not fully stepping into who you could be as a human being.

Yeah. You are leaving some of your life force laying on the table and it’s dragging you down more than you know. So to me, and this is something I’ve realized slowly over time, we, I was telling Maureen, I just. Just finished going through a breast cancer scare. And when something like that happens, of course, what you are thinking about is, oh my gosh, I don’t have endless time in the world.

Mm-hmm. , it’s that thing that pops up that we all know in the back of our mind, but we, I. Ignore, you know? Right. Yeah. 99% of the time. And so it’s that thing that happens where you suddenly realize, I do not have endless time to do all the things I dream of doing. I think about doing, I want to do, and I will say this, everyone wants to feel ready.

And ready is bullshit. We can swear, right? Ready is bullshit. Oh, ready is bullshit. There’s no ready. And one of the biggest struggles by far for all therapists, Let’s put it this way. I don’t personally know a lot of arrogant braggadocious therapists, like, I don’t know, therapists who are, you know, raging narcissists running around the world.

Usually we tend to air more on the other side, where we tend to have a lot of imposter syndrome, and we tend to never feel that what we do or what we offer is good enough. You know, we all tend to go in that direction. And so if you’re feeling like. Well, who am I to write a book? Well, who am I to become a coach?

Well, what do I know? Just know that’s how every single person feels. That’s the normal way to feel. There’s not a moment. You’re not gonna wake up next Tuesday or Tuesday, 10 years from now, and suddenly feel like you know what you’re doing and you have it all together, and now you’re gonna go out and become the leader.

Space. You do not have the experience of confidence until you freaking do it. You have to take the action toward your dreams. That is the only thing that builds confidence. And until then, just welcome in that imposter syndrome. It will follow you around like a little puppy. Maybe it’s like an aggressive little puppy, biting your ankles, but it’s supposed to be there.

It’s supposed to be there because you’re doing something amazing and scary and you’re stepping towards the fulfillment of your potential, the fulfillment of what you were put on earth to do. And any step you make in that direction is gonna feel scary in what you will look back and see was the most wonderful way.

Yeah, as long as you take the action, that fear was the gift to you in the most wonderful way because you’ve taught yourself, oh, I’m a person that can feel the fear and keep moving forward anyway. Feel the fear and identify my values and what I love and what I wanna do and what I wanna be, and keep moving forward anyway.

And it’s all supposed to be scary. It’s supposed to be scary. and the only way is to buck up and say, okay, it’s supposed to be scary. This sucks sometimes. But here we’re, it’s not scary. I think you’re not pushing yourself enough. Yeah, yeah. If it’s too comfortable and you’re not afraid, then you’re really not doing anything too amazingly different than where you are now.

I feel like, you know, I feel that. Totally. Yeah. Absolutely. How about you? Um, if I turn that question, what do you think? In a lot of ways I’m agreeing with you and wanna add the piece of kind of wrapping back to my thing of confidence. . You know, a lot of people ask, how do I become a more confident leader or entrepreneur?

Similar to what you were saying, trying to find the cure to overwhelm was me trying to figure out how to help people become confident in their leadership skills quickly when a lot of it is just. Doing, getting to the other side of the muck of situations and being like, well, I did that. That GI, I think gives you five confidence points and the more like, you know, little bits of muck you go through and.

Survive, the more points and confidence you get. And so that’s kind of my thing, I think is just if, if it’s a part of something that you feel like you are, you’re drawn to do, whether you think it’s now or in 10 years from now and you think you’re gonna be ready, my 2 cents is, you’re probably never gonna feel ready and you can still do it anyways and you’ll become confident throughout the process.

I love that. Yeah. I love. Well, I totally appreciate you coming on. Where can people find you? Sure. So my website, I have one of those names that are so common that I have to spell it. So it’s just Katie, but it’s K A T I E R E A D. Read like read a, and if you are a therapist thinking about outgrowing your practice in some way, we have a whole series of free guides.

You just put your email in once and you can get actually our four best free guides. And there. Long, like give yourself some time. , they’re meaty. So then you can go there and you can get started. If this has made you curious, you can just get started on the idea of exploring what it might be like to step into more and more potential.

Ah, thank you so much. And I hope you have a great rest of your mon say Monday. I don’t even know. Yes, Monday. Yes. . . It’s post-holidays. Nobody knows what day it is anymore. , you have a rest of. Thank you so much. This was awesome. Bye. 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. Join the Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of training ready for you to dive into. Visit See you next week.

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.


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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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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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