Productivity

How To Set Priorities In Your Practice With Kasey Compton

 March 30, 2021

By  Uriah Guilford, MFT

minute read

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Uriah: Hello, and welcome to the Productive Therapist podcast! My name is Uriah. My goal is to help you be more productive, to get more done so you can have more fun.

Today, I actually had the privilege of interviewing Kacey Compton, who’s a good friend and a serial entrepreneur, she’s a group practice owner, she has a consulting business that’s amazing. And she’s also a first-time author with a new book coming up this July called ‘Fix This Next For Health Care’.

We have a great interview for you, talking about productivity, gaining clarity in your business and figuring out what you need to focus on. Hope you enjoy it!

Hi, Kasey, welcome to the Productive Therapist podcast!

Kasey: Thank you! Is this the first time or have I been on before? I’ve been on once.

Uriah: We chat so much, it’s hard to tell! But here’s an interesting sort of fun fact: I’ve been doing this podcast for over a year, and this is actually the very first interview episode that I’ve ever done. So you’re the first.

Kasey: Are you serious?!

Uriah: No joke. No joke.

Kasey: Oh my goodness! Hey, I was talking to Julie with GreenOak Accounting yesterday, and it was funny because she said, ‘You are my first second-time guest.’ And it was funny because I also heard that from Kate and Katie: I was their first third-time guest. Same from Gordon and then one other person. So I told her that I deserved a trophy.

Uriah: For sure. For sure. Yeah. I just decided not to do interview shows. I have a co-host and then I’ve had some episodes where people contribute, but they’re not proper interviews. So…but when this came around, I was excited to talk to you as always. Of course. Then of course, you’ve got this book that’s coming out that we’re going to get into and talk about how that can help the folks that listen to the show. So that’s exciting.

Kasey: I feel very special. Thank you.

Uriah: Yes, yes. So Fix This Next For Healthcare is coming out July 2021 and it’s going to explode and help everybody that’s looking for what to do, right?

Kasey: Yes. Yes. That is what is going to happen.

Uriah: That’s awesome. So unfortunately, not every therapist on the planet knows about Fix This Next or the genius of Mike Michalowicz. So I thought maybe we could break down just a quick summary of what that is and and how it can be helpful. And then I’ve got four specific questions for you. First three are easy. The last one is a doozy. That sound good?

Kasey: I would expect nothing less.

Uriah: Awesome. So the healthcare hierarchy of needs, can you explain what that is and how it works?

Kasey: Yeah, let me just preface this by saying I don’t know why Mike called the book Fix This Next. Probably because he talks so fast and slurs all his words together anyway. But I’m bound to do that – it’s very hard to say. And there’s so many acronyms that I’m going to I’m going to get them all jumbled. So the healthcare hierarchy of needs is basically a structure in which we look at our business and think about it just like you would anything that has a foundational structure, like a house or whatever, a barn, a shed….maybe not a barn, they have dirt! But anything with the foundation and the way the hierarchy works for the healthcare profession, it’s different from the books that Mike wrote, but the the foundational level is sales. And that’s basically the bloodline of your practice. That’s the creation of just…we have to have sales, we have to have cash, we have to have money or business doesn’t exist. And then beyond sales, we have profit. And a lot of people do know Profit First. And they read that book and they understand why profitability is so important. And beyond that level, at the top of my pyramid is Order. And that is just where we are really looking at everything with efficiency, because at the end of the day, if we’re inefficient, it’s costing us money and time or both. So in a nutshell, the healthcare hierarchy of needs just helps you look at your business almost like you would anything else with the foundation. And know where to start, where you always have to have a strong foundation and how to build beyond that.

Uriah: I just love the idea of sort of diagnosing – I know use this language – the core need of your business, because you have to know what to focus on in somewhat of an order. And if you get that backwards, all kinds of things can happen, right?

Kasey: Yes. And that was the biggest thing for any of your listeners who have read Fix This Next. When I read the book, of course, I loved the book, but I thought ‘this is just different for health care providers.’ It’s just different. And so one of the things that I notice that happens a lot is – especially doing consulting – is people just have so much to do. Their to-do list is never-ending. It’s so long. And, you know, they’re just a mess. And one of the questions I get asked the most is ‘What do I do first? Where do I start?’ And that’s why I loved this model so much, because when you understand the HHN – or the healthcare hierarchy of needs – and you know how to diagnose your business and you know how to diagnose its core need, you always know where to start and when you know where to start, that makes all the difference in the world. Instead of lingering and analysis paralysis, we can actually work on the one thing that’s going to make the biggest difference.

Uriah: That’s so helpful. Clarity makes a huge difference. It really does.

Kasey: Yeah.

Uriah: I was on a call this morning with some of the folks in my membership program, and one of them just onboarded with one of our virtual assistants and was talking about how great that is, but his question was ‘Now what do I do with my time? I have some actual “free time”.’ And he said, ‘I’ve got twenty projects I want to work on. Maybe only five of those are important.’ And he was talking about what to focus on. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, have you heard of Fix This Next?’ And I literally pulled up the healthcare hierarchy of needs. And I was like, ‘Look, this is what you need to do.’ And it’s super helpful. And personally, I just love these kind of frameworks that come from people like Mike Michalowicz and Don Miller and others that help you really just understand your business in a way that helps you make decisions. Super, super important, right?

Kasey: Mm-hmm.

Uriah: Now, what do you think, based on your experience? Obviously, we all have so much to do, especially if we’re growing a private practice, even more so if it’s a group practice. Why do you think we struggle with figuring out what’s most important?

Kasey: I’ll tell you exactly why. Yeah, it’s because of FOMO. We all have FOMO and we get on these social media places, these big Facebook groups, and we see, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is what they’re doing. Oh, what are you doing? Oh, right. I’m not doing this. Should I be doing this?’ And it just causes us to second-guess ourselves and it makes us think that we have to do more than what really we need to in order to be successful. So I blame it all on the Internet, basically.

Uriah: Are we at that age where we blaming everything on the Internet?!

Kasey: I am.

Uriah: Yeah, I probably am too. Yeah. That’s so funny. You’re absolutely right. I think that happens with a ton of different areas. One that pops into my mind is social media. Everybody thinks they should be doing certain things on social media or whatever the current strategies or tactics are, right? So that’s great. I agree with you 100%. Number two, the second question is ‘How does gaining clarity with, for example, the healthcare hierarchy of needs – that is hard to say, yeah! – How does getting that clarity really help increase personal productivity and efficiency in a private practice?

Kasey: Well, it really takes a lot of the pressure off. It also helps you to decide what you personally are going to do and what you need to delegate out to other people, because, well, for example, I’m in the process of training someone to be – we’re calling her the COO – she’s the COO in training. It’s just funnier to call her COO!

Uriah: You have the best team names, by the way, yeah, you and Mike both!

Kasey: You know, it’s just so much more fun! But whenever I was trying to train her in, trying to help her look at my business like I look at it, she was coming up against all kinds of blocks because all she was noticing was all the things that needed to be done. And one day she was sitting in my office and she said, I mean, she just looked defeated. She just looked exhausted. And I was like, ‘What is it? What’s going on?’ And she said, ‘I just don’t know how I’m going to get all this done.’ And I said, ‘Well, you’re not, first of all, you’re not going to get it all done. But let me teach you something.’ And so I went through the healthcare hierarchy of needs with her, and I showed her all of the core needs on each level and I showed her how to diagnose the business. And I mean, it was instant, instantaneous. She just said, ‘Oh, my gosh, I feel so much better!’ Because she didn’t have the full scope. She’s not as invested in the business as I am. She doesn’t know all the ins and outs of the business. She didn’t create the business. She’s just trying to operate it. But she had no idea how to prioritize. And I think that’s where we a lot of us really get stuck, is we base our prioritization on our feelings and what gets us emotionally stirred-up rather than the rational thing that we need to be doing to keep our business moving in the right direction. So when I saw her actually have this reaction of immediate relief, I thought, ‘Okay, this is really important. And how are we ever going to have a business that can run without us if we can’t teach people how to think like this and just to have patience that you don’t have to do everything?’ What does Mike say? If you’re getting shit done, what you’re getting done is shit.

Uriah: I’ve never heard that one! That’s good. That’s kind of true.

Kasey: So rather than just to do stuff, just to mark it off the list, just to be more intentional and bigger and more confident, because when you’re working on the thing that you know that’s really going to make a difference, you’re going to look at it with a different perspective. You’re going to put much more focus and much more intensity on it, rather than just trying to get it done.

Uriah: Right. I like that. That’s super helpful. And when you were talking, I was thinking – sometimes I think in pictures – I was thinking about trying to reach a destination by swimming in the ocean versus trying to reach a destination by swimming in a canal with defined boundaries. And you know which way to go – you’re either going the wrong way or the right way.

Kasey: Yeah, and he talks about that a lot. And I don’t talk about it as much in my book, but he’s very bold about it and says once you know where you are going, anything that you are doing that is not in that path is actually taking you away from the goal. And that’s true. And it’s the – what’s it called – the shiny thing syndrome or chasing squirrels or rabbits or nuts, I don’t know, but it’s just getting distracted. And that’s what I’m hoping that people can take away from this book is: One, you don’t need an MBA to run a business. You can do this. And Two: you’re not going to be able to do everything and you shouldn’t try.

Uriah: So true. So if you have the clarity to know what you need to fix next, what you need to focus on, you’re going to be more productive. You’re going to be more efficient. Because, you know, when you’re – to use the terms from school – you know when you’re on-task and when you’re not, right?

Kasey: Right.

Uriah: That makes a lot of sense. Okay, the next question – and this gets to the real reason why I wanted to have you on the podcast – is for some free consulting! So I actually took the assessment again the other day just to take a look at it again, because I think I I forgot or I wasn’t focused on what I should be doing specifically for my group practice, right? And I was reminded it’s the same thing that it was before, which is, let’s see, where did it go? Here we go. Core need is actually in the section of Order and it’s linchpin redundancy, which for some reason I just love it. I love that phrase.

Kasey: That’s my favorite!

Uriah: Yeah. Yeah. So that just means basically that I’ve got one or two or more team members that are critical for the operation of the business. But if they were to get sick or move to Mexico on a whim, then I would be in hot water, right? So specifically, I’m thinking about my practice manager who handles all of our billing, she helps me with hiring, she helps me with basically everything. She’s my COO, essentially – and maybe that’ll become a thing! – and so I’ve done some work to obviously document processes and things like that, but I’m a little bit terrified that if something happened, that I would be in trouble. So what do I do next to fix that?

Kasey: Yeah, well, you would be in trouble. Yeah, you would be in a lot of trouble! So whenever we were developing this book and the concept specific to healthcare, when we got to the Order section, which I love systems so that was my favorite chapter to write. And we realized that this happened so much. And that’s why we actually developed Systemizer School, which you’ve probably seen me talk about. Lynchpins, a lot of times you’ll see in these Facebook groups, people will say, ‘I’m searching for a unicorn.’ No, don’t ever search for a unicorn because that is your ticket straight….

Uriah: That’s a mythical creature, that’s why!

Kasey: Yeah. And if you were to find one and they go to Mexico, you’re screwed. So the first thing that I would do in that situation is what I call in this, actually in this next book that I’m writing is Unpacking The Kitchen. And she probably has already done this, but I would want to know every single thing that she does. I want to know all our passwords, everything. This actually happened to me one time. I had someone in that similar situation and something similar happened and it was really bad. And there were so many things that I had never even considered, like where’s the key to the mailbox? I don’t know. Little things that even though they’re small, you’re just going to be chasing your tail to try to sort everything out. So I would first start by having her just document every single thing down. And then from there, I think you have to figure out how to build it in with the culture of your organization. But we did a lot of swapping seats – that’s an activity we do in Systemizer School too where it’s not even okay for only one person to know everything. So we had to swap a lot of seats and we had to have people learn dual roles. Even to this day we do a monthly sporadic seat swap. They never know which seat they’re going to swap and they never know what day it’s going to be on. But they still have to…

Uriah: Whenever the music stops, right?

Kasey: Yeah, like hot potato! But it’s good because it keeps it fresh. It keeps it on their toes. It also helps with quality assurance. So sometimes when, let’s say your office manager forgets to document a new process and then we swap seats and that person has to then fulfill that task, but they have no idea how because she didn’t update her S.O.P. It just brings a lot to the surface and it is very stressful. But in the end, at the end of the day, you’re getting a sense of confidence. And I don’t know, it’s just more of an empowerment feeling and not ‘Oh my gosh, what’s lingering over my head if something happens?’ You know what I’m saying?

Uriah: I think that’s brilliant. Yeah, but what would you do – let’s just imagine I don’t have a team of twenty virtual assistants! – what would you do if you’re a small practice, let’s say a small group practice and you don’t have anybody else to swap in? Obviously, the first part is still the same where you document the processes. And I think like from Mike’s Clockwork book, make video walk-throughs, so somebody could come along and watch exactly how the thing is done. But what if you don’t have a backup?

Kasey: Yeah, yeah. That came up a lot for us too. And I don’t believe that, though. I think you always have a backup, even if it’s yourself, even if it’s a spouse, even if it’s a partner, even if it’s somebody – you just need an extra set of eyes to look at something and say, ‘Okay, what am I missing here?’ Because if it’s something that you are so used to handling, you could very easily just glaze right over something that this person should be doing and you don’t even think about it. So I think that it doesn’t even have to be an employee necessarily. It could just be anyone with a fresh set of eyes like that.

Uriah: And it could also be another therapist in the practice, potentially. Yeah, let’s just say the role was intake, for example. Yeah, okay, that’s good. That’s really good. We do this type of thing for my virtual assistant business because every VA has a backup so that when they go on vacation, the backup is fully trained, already has all the logins, has everything in place so they can step in and do that. It’s pretty easy to do. I’m going to execute on that because that’s the tricky part. I know what to do – I just have to do it.

Kasey: You should. And one thing that we did as an incentive, I always turn everything into a game with my staff, because they’re much more likely to participate if they think it’s going to be fun. So we had a plan and we did all of this. And I said, ‘Look, Mike talks about his four-week vacation a lot, but that only works if you have built-in accountability there because it just is just true. But I did tell all of my staff that are in key lynchpin roles that when someone else can execute your position for four weeks at a time, you can have a four-week vacation. And so they worked really hard to swap out roles regularly on their own, even without me telling them to, because they want a month off. And I don’t blame them.

Uriah: I like that. You know, what’s nice about that, too, is that if you just do some “cross-training,” what’s the incentive to really do it well, to do it in a detailed way, to do it like it really matters, so…

Kasey: That!

Uriah: So that’s interesting. The incentives are good and then also some sort of way to ensure that it happens. Like, we need to rely on this process. Yeah, yeah. Okay, that’s good. Helpful stuff. So my last question is, I think I kind of lied to you – it’s probably the easiest one, but it’s not a hard one and it’s kind of a silly one, so where does bourbon show up on the health care hierarchy of needs?

Kasey: Everywhere. It shows up everywhere!

Uriah: In every stage, in every phase.

Kasey: Yes, that bourbon helped me write that book in five weeks. So it’s in every word, it’s in every line, it’s on the pages. It’s everywhere.

Uriah: I heard a recent podcast you were on where Mike said his nickname for you could be Bourbs.

Kasey: Oh, my gosh, that’s ridiculous!

Uriah: Guessing you don’t like that one.

Kasey: Well, see, he gave me another one earlier that was way better – he called me Compton. Yeah, dude, with two O’s. I was Wonder Woman one time, so I kind of just wanted the Wonder Woman back and I didn’t really like the Bourbs, so it’s not very good.

Uriah: No. Compton is pretty good. That’s here in California where I live. And yeah, you don’t mess around if you’re straight outta Compton.

Kasey: That’s true. You’ll have to tell him that. But no, he loves calling me lots of names.

Uriah: That’s fantastic. So last thing is, where do people go to preorder the book and what do you want to share with my audience?

Kasey: Well, we have lots of goodies on the website under the FTN QuickStart. We add more to that program about every week. There’s a lot of lost content that got cut out of the book there, some interviews that we recorded and there are some things with Mike on there. And we’re just adding more and more and more up until the release point. So that’s free on the website. And then as far as getting the book, there’s a couple of things you can do: by the time this podcast goes live, there will be a page on the website where you can go. Obviously, you can go to Amazon and order. We are going to have some bundles and bonuses. And so if people got together and bought in a group, there’s a lot of extra bundles and bonuses and all of those are on our website, too.

Uriah: Awesome, and I’ll put that link in the shownotes – KaseyCompton.com/FTNOfferings And I’ll have to do a book giveaway too, when your book comes out. I’ll help you promote it. I’ll be on your launch team!

Kasey: Yes, I was going to say I don’t know if I told you that, but you’re going to be on the launch team, so you’ll get a nice little box and you’ll have some books. And we’ve got some cool little stickers and all kinds of fun stuff.

Uriah: I should tell you, maybe after the interview here, what Don Miller did, and I was part of the launch team for his most recent book. And yeah, it’s really cool.

Kasey: Okay, I want to know. Yeah, I need to steal as many secrets as I can!

Uriah: For sure. Well, this was fun. Kasey, thanks for being my first interview on the Productive Purpose podcast.

Kasey: Thank you! It was fun.

Uriah: Yeah. Have a good day.

Uriah Guilford, MFT


Uriah is a group practice owner and the creator of Productive Therapist. He is a technology nerd, a minimalist travel packer, a rock drummer and business development enthusiast.

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