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Is It Worth It? Analyzing return on investment for your therapy practice

Curt and Katie chat about different types of return on investment (ROI) for a therapist in private practice. We look at what therapists often get wrong when deciding how to invest their time, money, or energy. We also give some ideas of what can be more effective in getting the highest ROI (of all types) for your therapy business and career.


Click here to scroll to the podcast transcript.

In this podcast episode we talk return on investment

In response to last week’s episode on managing your money, we had additional ideas on the concept of a return on investment.

What are the different types of return on investment that therapists have in their practice?

“Having relationships is how you’re going to get the highest ROI for any of the areas enjoyment, social support, referrals, and by result of that money.” – Katie Vernoy, LMFT

  • The financial ROI of money in versus money out
  • How much time spent versus the benefit to your practice and yourself
  • The amount of energy spent (or saved) or the type of energy you have available at different types of day
  • Connections made while networking and how they can be valuable to a therapist (e.g., referral sources, friends, support system, business collaboration)
  • Learning and expertise, continuing education
  • Enjoyment and fun
  • Supporting mission, vision, and/or values, legacy

What do therapists typically invest time, money, or energy in, that don’t have a good ROI?

“Go make friends with the people at the networking events. If you go to get referrals, you will not make friends, you will be seen as like trying to win capitalism against other people that are also trying to build their practices and get the same kinds of clients that are there.” – Curt Widham, LMFT

  • Saying yes to everyone and every opportunity
  • Going to networking with only financial ROI (getting referrals for your therapy practice) as a goal
  • Insufficient marketing (i.e., not staying consistent through enough touch points before someone refers or signs up as a client)
  • Not assessing return on investment for the different types of activities you perform for your practice
  • Getting additional certifications without a clear ROI for your practice


Resources for Modern Therapists mentioned in this Podcast Episode:

We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance!

Katie’s blog post about how do you decide what to do and when – Making Daily Business Decisions

Linda Thai’s training – Certificate in Somatic Embodiment & Regulation Strategies 


Relevant Episodes of MTSG Podcast:

Don’t Forget to Pay Yourself and Other Money Planning Strategies: An interview with Carla Titus

Topic: Money

Topic: Networking

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish: Thoughts on investing and getting paid as a therapist

It’s About Time

Why YOU Shouldn’t Sell Out to BetterHelp: An interview with Jeff Guenther, LPC

Mission Driven Work


Who we are:

Picture of Curt Widhalm, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcast; a nice young man with a glorious beard.Curt Widhalm, LMFT

Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at: http://www.curtwidhalm.com

Picture of Katie Vernoy, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcastKatie Vernoy, LMFT

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also a former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at: http://www.katievernoy.com

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.

Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:


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Podcast Homepage

Therapy Reimagined Homepage





Consultation services with Curt Widhalm or Katie Vernoy:

The Fifty-Minute Hour

Connect with the Modern Therapist Community:

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:

Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano https://groomsymusic.com/

Transcript for this episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide podcast (Autogenerated):

Transcripts do not include advertisements just a reference to the advertising break (as such timing does not account for advertisements).

… 0:00
(Opening Advertisement)

Announcer 0:00
You’re listening to the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide where therapists live, breathe, and practice as human beings. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, here are your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy.

Curt Widhalm 0:15
Welcome back modern therapists, this is the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide. I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy. And this is a podcast for therapists about the things that we do in our practice, the ways that we go about being professionals, balancing out business with the work that we do. And follow up to last week’s episode where we had a wonderful interview with Carla Titus, we’ll link to that in our show notes over at mtsgpodcast.com. And we wanted to expand on some ideas. We’ve had some time to kind of sit with some of the things that Carla talked about. And we wanted to kind of talk a little bit more in depth about one of the points that she brought up as far as return on investment. And being able to look at that we’ve had plenty of people over the course of our show’s history come in and talk about, you should look at your money and don’t be scared of looking at your money. And and we agree with all of that. Do that. We wanted to maybe bring this particular part of the conversation a little bit more in depth and a little bit more to life, as far as some of the ways that we have experienced this across our practices, some of the ways that we continue to do this, and just add to the conversation. So, part of how this conversation kind of came about is, do we just look at return on investment as far as dollars put in to coming out of it. And Katie and I have largely decided the answer to that is no. So Katie, you could have taken a lot of our ideas, and many of your own ideas that formed our conversation earlier. But you have the list of the things that we talked about. You’ve got lots of different ideas as far as it’s not just dollars in dollars out.

Katie Vernoy 2:10
Sure. I think the big piece that I want to start with just as a a follow on from Carla’s episode, though, and if you haven’t listened, I would recommend. You don’t need to listen to it before you listen to this episode. But it really has a lot of good points. But we do need to pay attention to the ROI of dollars in versus dollars out. Because most of us, maybe not all of us, but most of us need to make a living at being a therapist. And so we do need to pay attention to that. But it isn’t the only thing that’s important. And I think it’s it’s too simple a metric, right? If I make a certain amount of money, and I’m not spending too much of it. I’m okay. And in truth, I don’t think that’s accurate. I think there’s, there are other pieces to this that are important to consider. But but you have to start with the money. And I think a lot of therapists don’t. I have a blog post that I wrote a bazillion years ago, I’ll link to it in the show notes that talks about how do you decide what to do and when and we’ll probably talk a little bit about it as well. But some of that speaks to decision making based on these other types of ROI as well. Okay, so now to your question. The ROI points, the return on investment, not release of information forms, but return on investment that I saw that we talked about, obviously, the first one is money. The second one is time. And I think that’s where the first part, I think that people get wrong. We’ve talked about this before, I’ll link to some of the other business episodes in our show notes. But some people will privilege money over time, and they really shouldn’t. And so sometimes you do need to invest in things that will make your life easier, so that you have more time even if it’s going to cost you more money than you’d like to spend. And there’s ways to figure that out. But we that’s potentially beyond this conversation.

Curt Widhalm 4:00
So yeah, we have talked about kind of that time invested into things before. We’ve, I also remember a really good discussion on this in our Facebook group, the Modern Therapists Group where the question was kind of like, how do you value your time, like, you know, if you have a client cancel, how do you value what you’re doing during that time? So I think that there’s a couple of different ways of even looking at that one as far as like, I’m imagining at least what I’m hearing you say this the first time, I’m imagining, okay, there’s the time that I’m saving by putting in this fancy system, or there’s the time that it takes for me to go out to a networking event. And oh, that was a waste of time because I didn’t make any connections there. So, there’s a lot of different ways to evaluate this. And I don’t know that I have like a Alright, my fee is X number of dollars per hour and that’s how much I’m worth whether I’m driving to my office or I’m sitting in a networking because I don’t get paid her those hours.

Katie Vernoy 5:01

Curt Widhalm 5:02
So I encourage you to listen to all of the episodes in our back catalogue that we’ll link to, as it pertains to some of these different ideas for you to get more in depth on this, but there’s a lot of different ways of looking at time.

Katie Vernoy 5:17
Yeah, I think the side note to time is also energy. And I think that we’ve, we’ve talked about in systems of self care and other types of things where there might be different things you should be doing, you know that you’re gonna get a higher ROI on a creative activity in the morning versus maybe doing your billing in the afternoon, because you have more creativity to spare, or your energy of, of going to all these networking events, if you’re an extrovert, it might be very high ROI. And your your energies on you know, is expanding exponentially. Whereas with an introvert, you have to be very clear on other ROI points, because going to a networking event is going to be draining, for example. And so all of these things are very individual. And so you have to determine what am I getting out of doing this thing? And is it worth it to me? And so you had said a couple of things, and why don’t we go to networking as the next type of activity that typically has ROI. And that’s connections. A lot of people go to networking with the idea, I’m gonna get clients. And if I don’t get clients, and I don’t make money from them then that, that’s a waste. And that is one assessment. But the other thing is, what are those connections worth to you? And what is the other part of the experience that benefits you? So it could be continuing education, it could be learning who you are as a professional. I know you had talked about when you first started networking that you didn’t say no to anybody or anything, and learned a lot from that. So maybe you can talk about that, because I think we vary in that. But but networking has a lot of different elements of ROI, connections, potentially clients, other opportunities, stuff like that.

Curt Widhalm 7:14
There’s a lot of nuance to what I’m going to say. And I don’t know that this applies to all parts of everyone’s path or everyone’s career. But I think in being able to reflect on this, and I’m thankful that you’re going on this journey with me here, as I’m kind of reflecting back on things. I when I first launched my practice, I kind of took the stance of like, I’m not going to say no to networking things, I’m not going to say no to opportunities to go and speak, I’m not going to say no to, you know, anything, that’s the potential to be able to build my network, build potential referral sources. Some of the things that I learned was how to better figure out which ones were actually paying off as far as referrals to my practice, as far as which ones were building my professional network. I had heard all the way through grad school to go to networking events. That’s how you build your practice. And now that we’re in this part of our career, I’ve even reflect, I’ve, I’ve even repeated that to students and supervisees and that kind of stuff before. But as of today, what my advice is changing to is: go to networking events to make friends, go to networking events to be friends with the people who will refer to you. Because we tend to refer to our friends, especially, you know, if we’re in places where it’s a lot of private practice kinds of things. Go go make friends with the people at the networking events. If you go to get referrals, you will not make friends, you will be seen as like trying to win capitalism against other people that are also trying to build their practices and get the same kinds of clients that are there. But what you’re talking about here in this category is kind of the relationships that you develop. And those are the the ones that across time are the people that text me and are like, Hey, are you available for lunch today? When are you available, you know, some night after work? How’s your kids doing in, you know, whatever event that they’re participating in? Those are a lot of people that I have developed relationships with over the years, that also happen to be the ones that sent me the most referrals. And so kind of piecing a lot of this together is I had made some of those mistakes early in my career by not saying no and I learned how to grow into okay, I’m better at sensing okay, this is one where it’s just like, Alright, very transactional, here’s business cards. And I might think of these people for a particular skill set or a particular referral kind of thing. But in general, I found that people largely refer to their friends, and they want their friends’ practices to grow. So, kind of with the wisdom of where I’m at, it’s, I would still go out and meet with people, but I would meet with people in ways that are like, Hey, I enjoy you as a person. Not necessarily like, your practice and my practice match up well, and we should, you know, have a business handshake and do a business transaction here.

Katie Vernoy 10:42
So there’s kind of different stages of that, right. So there’s the the visibility, the connections, and people who might refer to you. So that still, that kind of ROI of money, potentially, or client caseload or whatever. But you’re also talking about, I think, enjoyment or real relationships, because especially in private practice, it can be very isolating. But even in, you know, community mental health, if you’re not trying to walk down the hall or connect with somebody else, if you don’t have that social support network, I think that’s also very challenging to do this work. And so you’re talking about kind of the ROI of social support. I want to add to what you’re saying, because I approach some of this stuff differently. And part of it’s because I’ve had a conference or a podcast or other types of things I’ve done in the world for very many years. And so I also go to some of these networking events to find business collaborations. And so those types of connections, I think, are potentially lucrative, there’s potentially opportunities to do stuff you wouldn’t do on your own. I mean, I met you at a networking event, and we had this whole endeavor that has been created. But when I think about where, whether it’s podcast sponsors, or sponsors for a charity event that I’m doing, or even jumping into different types of work, I’ve been asked to consult on projects, I’ve been asked to come in, as an expert, you know, to to help move startup forward, you know, those types of things. Those types of connections are another type of ROI that potentially in the end have the money or the visibility or the, you know, the marketing, which we’ll go into in a minute. But those connections are also important. The other thing that I think can happen, because like you, I said no to very few people, when I first started out, I was networking. I had the time, so I, I used my time, I leveraged it to meet with a bazillion people. There was times when I literally met with like five or six people just back to back in a Starbucks. And I was exhausted at the end of the day. So I learned what not to do. But I know so many people and my memory is such that when somebody says, Oh, I need a referral for x, I know someone and so I have a lot of people come to me as the mental health provider in their life, who can refer them to anybody. And so then I get all of the joy of referring to people I know, and I know their work. And they think of me because I give them so many referrals. And so then it becomes referral partners in that way. So so, you know, the I think, what is the phrase, it’s like your, your net worth is in your network. Um, I think I actually have experienced that through so much networking. But I did do an assessment at one point of my different networking activities, because I had my professional association meetings. And I also did some just straight ahead, networking, I joined a networking group BNI was what it is, if people know what that is. And it’s Business Networking International. And so it was just people of all different professions. And it was a paid group to be in there was gamification of doing networking activities. So going and learning how to network and going in networking, one on one with people and that kind of stuff. And so I looked at those two different things. I was networking with my quote unquote, competition, and I was networking in a group where I was the therapist or I was the coach. And there were all these other folks with other professions. And I looked at the actual clients I received, I looked at the money that I got, and I and I, you know, there was also the soft assessment of which group I enjoyed being with more, and my professional association when all of those things. And so I think you actually want to do an assessment because just because you’re making friends if you’re not making friends with folks that are situated where they might refer to you because I made friends in my other networking group, but they just didn’t refer anybody to me. I kept the friendships but I moved my my work time into more dedication to professional association.

… 15:06
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Curt Widhalm 15:09
I like your addition. And I think, in reflection, I probably did kind of some of the same things. I tried out one of those, I don’t think it was BNI. But it was a group similar to that. And through kind of my experience, I was like, I don’t feel like this one’s going to work out in the way that the professional organizations did. And I think just, yeah, I’m just gonna be at risk of reiterating all of the points that you’ve already made.

Katie Vernoy 15:40
But I realized that I said one thing, and so I didn’t, I don’t want to discount what I got from the networking group BNI, I actually learned how to network from BNI. And I think that’s another ROI. Point two is the education you receive, because a lot of professional association meetings, you get your CEs, but there’s also learning who you are as a professional, you know. All those meetings that we sat with people that we were, you know, we didn’t say no to, we had to learn about how we talked about ourselves, what would land, what would not. I think out loud, as is obvious, mostly, probably all of our listeners from how I talk on the podcast. But I think there’s that that element of being able to, in real time, figure out who your ideal client is, and and who you are, and how you want to show up as a professional, that happens in these networking meetings if you can get comfortable. So the next one, which is really related to what we just talked about, is marketing and visibility. And I think we started with the relationships, which I think where people should go, but just kind of the marketing lesson is that people need probably at least eight touch points, if not more than that, to think about you and refer to you. And so going to a networking event, handing out cards and leaving is not marketing. I guess it is marketing, it’s not making relationships, and it’s not marketing sufficiently. And so looking at the ROI on marketing is really am I getting clients? Which that may be an assessment, you have to do 8, 10, 12 touch points beyond the first thing. And so, to me, I think making sure that you’re actually measuring your marketing activities, at the point where you should be getting an ROI, I think, is really important.

Curt Widhalm 17:30
I know that I’ve mentioned on the podcast before about sometimes like, I’ll have done a presentation and then like, four years later, someone will be like, my sister heard you speak on this, referred me to you. So, do you have any suggestions as far as like how long afterwards you should measure like was that worth it?

Katie Vernoy 17:53
Well, I think it’s all the different types of ROI. I mean, giving that talk probably initially, there was some sort of ROI as far as visibility in the community, it probably had some immediate client referrals, or at least, you know, kind of initial inquiries that maybe didn’t pan out for another six months or a year. And there probably was a certain level of enjoyment. You like to speak, you like to put together talks. And so there is ROI that happened at that moment. I think, tracking like, hey, somebody followed up with me four years later. That just is a data point, I don’t think you wait to assess whether or not an activity is valuable for four years. I think you probably want to look at it over time. And I actually, I think more about assessing those ROI points in categories. And so I have speaking, and sometimes speaking by itself, you just get money for it. But sometimes it’s the visibility, it’s the opportunities, it’s the number of clients, that kind of stuff. And then I have networking events and different networking groups and try to put that out there. And then there might be other pieces. So, working on cases with somebody, right? And that’s another type of relationship. And I’ll look at kind of who am I getting clients from? What relationship should I nurture on business time, versus what relationships are personal. And so to me, it’s like if you had a speaking category, that four year old referral basically would go in the same category as the referral that you got from the speaking engagement two weeks ago.

Curt Widhalm 19:32
And I know that a lot of where we’re talking about this tends to focus on those who are running practices or in private practice kind of things. But in addition to this, this is still that traditional, here’s how you get jobs. Like here’s…

Katie Vernoy 19:46
Oh sure.

Curt Widhalm 19:47
Where people who might be in hiring positions, I know that I’ve benefited from this as far as some of the teaching positions that I’ve had in the past. But if you aren’t, you know in a private practice track or going into that part of the mental health industry. This is also where being able to connect with people who might be hiring in different agencies or hiring for promotion kinds of things. All of this stuff still rings true for you.

Katie Vernoy 20:16
Oh, sure, I think the more relationships you have, the more people you have in your corner, either looking for clients for you, or looking for opportunities to promote you, to mentor you. I mean, people, I did this, I’m sure you’ve done that people who have sought out mentorship with me, I’m more likely to help them along their path than people who just come to me looking for a job or looking for a piece of advice. And so I think it’s connections, relationships, those types of things should always, I think, be part of how you operate. And connecting in whatever way is, is good for you. I mean, we have a lot of folks who have built their practices on social media connections, right. And so it doesn’t have to be that person to person, you know, looking in people’s eyes thing. It can be written communication. I have a colleague who we send emails to each other. And every once in a while, we’ll get together for coffee, right? Like there’s, there’s different ways to nurture these relationships. So I really want to be clear on that. But I think having relationships is how you’re going to get the highest ROI for any of the areas: enjoyment, social support, referrals, and by result of that money. Another area, and this is one I think you could probably speak better to is the ROI on education. Because I think we have a lot of folks in our profession, who potentially seek out additional competencies, or reassurance or those types of things. So when you think about ROI on education, or the ROI of education, because that is a an endpoint, what thoughts do you have about that?

Curt Widhalm 22:04
I have multiple thoughts. And they, they may even be contradictory. And so I think…

Katie Vernoy 22:11
So many thoughts.

Curt Widhalm 22:12
So many thoughts.

Katie Vernoy 22:13
Thoughts warring in your brain.

Curt Widhalm 22:16
But I think ultimately, my my point, and our point in this episode is you have to look at what’s most valuable for you. We have talked before about, you don’t need another certification.

Katie Vernoy 22:31

Curt Widhalm 22:32
This has, you know, there are lots of people that I see in our profession who also say, you don’t need another certification. I have seen lots of people over the last few years who are like, I have to get trained in EMDR, I’m being left behind in the therapy world because everybody else is getting trained in EMDR. And I provide consultations to people to fulfill their requirements for EMDR. And then I see people stop practicing EMDR, and they just go back to how they were training in the first place. And I think that that leads to, you know, in particular to some of the resentment about, you know, the whole EMDR process, but it’s not a good return on investment, where you’re just chasing, keeping up with the Joneses kinds of things. I practice EMDR, I have found a tremendous, not only monetary value, but clinical value in being able to go to these skills over and over again. And I think that this applies in a lot of different parts of education is it’s looking at why do I really need this training? Is this something that I’m going to be doing? Is this return on investment merely filling the checkbox for my licensing board, and I’m never going to use it, then invest in that appropriately. But when it comes to actually getting some of the education stuff, some of this also comes down to some of the softer wisdom skills that you were describing earlier, as far as how am I now better at being able to communicate what I do? How do I show up at some of these networking events? That’s not the formal education piece, but more of the human growth sort of piece that comes along with being able to put myself out there over and over again. It’s great when there’s learning objectives, as far as did I learned these kinds of things? But part of all of the, you know, wonderful, like, review of am I actually doing things, you know, feedback informed treatment we’ve talked about before, but did you ever do feedback informed was this good return on investment? Did I show up well? What works for me here? And I think that over the course of time, these are skills that I had learned, kind of growing up through some different organizations that I was in, that put me into networking much earlier than I think a lot of other people do. But even some of the softer skills, Oh, I learned in these kinds of environments. This is kind of the format. This is what ends up getting people to respond to things. Shout out to our colleague Ben Caldwell who has talked about like when he first started going to board meetings, that one of the things that he learned early on is there’s kind of a flow that needs to follow, you know, the professional organizations kind of speak first to things and then the general members be able to speak up next. And that’s how people ended up getting heard. And he’s made a tremendous career out of being able to go and adopt and refine himself to be able to speak more clearly to legislative boards and regulatory boards and that kind of stuff. So there are softer skills, education things. But it takes actually reviewing, what did I learn, what was successful as far as how I came across? Not just: what did I do while I was there?

… 26:06
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Katie Vernoy 26:09
Well, I have so many responses. So I want to start with the education one. And then I want to kind of go into more of mission, vision, that kind of stuff, because I think that’s where Ben’s story pops in again. But I think for education, all of what you said, and we just had an episode recently on burnout versus boredom. And one of the pieces of that can also be doing educational things that revitalize your work. And I actually am finding that now. I feel like I feel pretty comfortable with how I work as a therapist, but I continue to take CEs, I enjoy them, I have to for the license, all that stuff. But the the trainings I’m starting to do now are just ones that seem interesting that seem that they’ll add something to how I’m looking at a case or just revitalize what I’m doing. I’m currently taking a somatic training with Linda Thai, that’s amazing. I’ll link to in the show notes that she has, every once in a while. And I’m you know, shout out if anybody knows Linda Thai, we want her on the podcast. But I’m finding that just getting into that space and taking in some new knowledge is refreshing. I think for earlier career folks, it’s the reassurance, it’s the it’s the let me get more competent, because I feel incompetent. And that’s imposter syndrome.

Curt Widhalm 27:36
I’m comparing my one year of practice to people who’ve been doing this for 20 plus years. And I feel behind.

Katie Vernoy 27:42
Sure, sure, sure. But I think that education, in and of itself can be very powerful. And it can have the side benefits of learning how things operate, like what you were talking about, and making some of those relationships and connections. I think the other thing when you were referring to Ben and and how he learned to show up in these board meetings for you know, the licensing board meetings, and I’m assuming maybe other board meetings as well, professors, professional association meetings as well, that he was coming from a place of mission. And so to me, there are times when I choose to do something, and it may have some of these other ancillary pieces, I might get a few clients, I might get some really cool relationships, I might have enjoyment. But the reason I choose to do it is based on some sort of moral or mission kind of principle. I’m doing it to support the profession. I mean, that’s part of why we do this podcast, right. I mean, we do it for other reasons, but but part of it is we want to give back to our profession and to help and support people. And so it’s an assessment I have both to choose an activity, but it’s also an assessment I do to not choose an activity. We have like Why you Shouldn’t Sell Out to BetterHelp and, and other episodes that kind of speak to that as well. But I think there’s that element of getting clear on why you’re doing what you’re doing. And the morals and values that go with it can also help determine is it worth it for me to do this effort, even if it’s a high financial return on investment, or, or whatever, it could be a very, well it could be a very dissonant thing to do. And it might be a negative return on investment for your morals and values.

Curt Widhalm 29:30
I’m hearing a lot of the pieces of a number of episodes that we’ve talked about in the past kind of being brought together here. And being able to look at this from kind of a whole perspective, I think is why we ended up having this as an episode that brings together a lot of things that we’ve been talking about for years. That you know, I think in our prep for this episode, I’d use the term legacy as being kind of one of our reasons for continuing to put out the podcast. Not necessarily from like an ego sort of place of like, hey, we need to have the final say on everything. If that’s where you want to hear us, then go ahead and hear us that way. But I think it was really to have a resource out there for a lot of people to have kind of a values in perspective kinds of things. And if you share them with us, then we’ve got a whole back catalogue of things that are available on a number of different topics.

Katie Vernoy 30:30

Curt Widhalm 30:30
And that was really kind of part of our legacy as far as supporting other clinicians in a way that was not just kind of the one on one if you happen to see us for coffee, sort of thing, but being available in that way. Kind of on demand.

Katie Vernoy 30:48

Curt Widhalm 30:49
But, you know, really being able to kind of take that deeper thinking and be able to be like, here’s what my mission is, here’s what return on investment means for me. And I think a lot of the examples that we’ve talked about through this episode are, what matters to me might not matter to you. There have been things that I have spent time and money on in the past that seem completely out of whack for every therapist business coach out there, but those pieces had meaning for me. And then you it might be a lot longer timeline sort of thing, like you and I became involved with the CAMFT board, you know, several years ago, and being very much at a building point in my practice from my career. Financially, it did not make sense to spend as much time doing CAMFT work as I did. But it fulfilled some of that mission stuff for myself. And eventually it paid off as far as visibility, and speaking engagements and those kinds of things that I think that it made my process make sense. And it wasn’t something that I formally sat down and was like, Here’s step A now volunteer for CAMFT. Now profit, it was really a lot more of being able to look at multiple ways that ROI can show up.

Katie Vernoy 32:14
Yeah. So I want to do a quick summary because we’re getting close to time, because I think that we’ve been a little all over the place, a little bit more, thinking out loud in this episode. And you can tell I’m, I’m the impetus for this one, because I like to think out loud. But what we really have come down to is that the money is the most common ROI that people talk about. And it’s, especially when you need to make money that can feel like the most important return on investment that you have to get to survive. And so I don’t want to downplay it, but there’s also time and energy. There’s also the emotional ROI, am I having fun? am I enjoying it? Am I am I serving my mission and purpose? Am I getting something that feeds my soul? To be a little bit woowoo about it? Then there can be competence. Am I learning something from this process? Am I getting an education about myself? Or about what I do? Am I getting reassurance? Am I getting a social support network around me? Or am I getting another station for a training? Like what you know, am I getting that as part of my ROI? Am I making connections? You know, am I building my network? Am I am I building visibility and and having more of these organic marketing activities? Or am I just having straight ahead marketing? And is the ROI there? Am I building a legacy, whether it’s you know, kind of a an altruistic legacy or a legacy based on I’m gonna die at some point, I want people to remember me and have something of me to go with that. I think these ROI points are not all inclusive, I’m sure there’s other reasons why we do the things that we do and that are valuable. There’s other returns on investment. But I think that they are dynamic, they change over time. Sometimes you really need to worry about getting your money. And sometimes you really want to build your network because you’re feeling isolated. So, I’ll put the blog that I started with, because we didn’t get to it, but it has some ideas on how you assess ROI, and what kind of what order of things might be helpful in in deciding what to do when. And if folks want it, you know, we can potentially do another episode on what do you do when. You know, reach out to us email us put in the social media. But I’ll definitely put that that blog post in the show notes. But I think understanding that there are a lot of different things we can get out of what we do. And that we need to assess that and make sure we’re getting something out of it that it’s not just I feel like I should do it. Or it’s expected of me because of X, Y and Z but then I’m actually getting something valuable from the tasks that I’m doing for my business. I think that is I’m hoping what the takeaway is from today.

Curt Widhalm 35:02
You can find our show notes over at mtsgpodcast.com. We’ll link to Katie’s blog as well as a bunch of our old episodes over there. Follow us on our social media, join our Facebook group, the Modern Therapist Group to continue on the conversation. And until next time, I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy.

… 35:22
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