In this episode, Founder of PT Crab, Luke Hollomon, talks about the importance of reading, dissecting, and understanding research.
Today, Luke talks about how PT Crab can help PTs, the most common research-reading pain points, why reading the abstract isn’t enough, and how to make the whole research process easier. What does it mean to keep up with the research?
Hear about how to find exactly what you’re looking for, how to understand what the research says, and how to apply the research to your clinical population, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More about Luke Hollomon
Luke Hollomon is a writer, teacher, and student from Richmond, Virginia with a special interest in sharing complex information with those who need it. Using his background in physiology and education, he started PT Crab, a newsletter that brings physical therapy clinical research, awesomely brief to the inboxes of thousands of physical therapists every week. His true passion is helping people understand and use scientific information.
When not writing The Crab, he writes science and technology articles as a freelancer and is currently finishing his degree in physical therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University. Afterward, he plans to pursue a PhD in exercise physiology and study the limits of human endurance. When not doing all of that, he’s a bikepacker, rock climber, and trainer of his deaf adventure dog, Kiwi. If you’re ever in Richmond, look for her in her trailer behind Luke’s bicycle as they explore the city together.
Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, PT Crab, Physiotherapy, Research, Papers, Reading, Keywords, Critical Thinking, Science, Knowledge,
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In this episode, Managing Director of Sagesse Lumiere, Dr. C. Adam Callery, talks about small In businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today, Dr. Callery talks about the implications of the pandemic on future business strategies, the importance of agility, and understanding cashflow. How often should a business of any size check their financial status?
Hear about some emerging trends, three critical activities for success, how Dr. Callery helps other entrepreneurs, and get his valuable advice, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More about Dr. Callery
Dr. Callery is an entrepreneur and higher education educator. For the past eleven (11) years, Dr. Callery has worked directly with the start-up and emerging business communities at a national level. For ten of the eleven years, Dr. Callery has held the roles as facilitator and trainer for two (2) nationally recognized small business growth programs, the US Small Business Administration’s Streetwise MBA Program in Chicago and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. His company, Sagesse Lumiere, a small business coaching and consulting firm, was established seven years ago to complement the work he was doing in these programs. To date, Dr. Callery has advised over one thousand small business founders while participating within the national programs cited above.
Dr. Callery, as a coach and consultant, works with small business owners on approaches to effectively build value by deploying new business practices and processes to improve financial performance and operational efficiency.
Prior to working with small business owners as a business coach, Dr. Callery worked for several Fortune 1000 companies such as IBM, Dow/Dupont, Pepsi, United Airlines, and First National Bank of Chicago. His broad industry experience has prepared him to be a capable business consultant. Since leaving the corporate arena, he has become a trusted advisor for many small business founders. As a higher education educator, he has served as an Associate Dean for workforce development programs and currently works as a tenured faculty member for Harold Washington College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago.
Dr. Callery has earned a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology; a Master of Business Administration from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and a Doctorate in Higher Education from National Louis University, Chicago.
Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Small Business, COVID-19, Research, Success, Cashflow, Entrepreneurship, Mentorship, Finance
To learn more, follow Dr. Callery at:
LinkedIn: Dr. C. Adam Callery
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Read the Full Transcript Here:
Hi, Dr. Callery. Welcome to the podcast. It's an honor to have you on. So thanks so much for joining me.
I'm so happy to be here. And so glad you invited me to attend your podcast.
Oh, this is great. And you know, like I said in the, in the intro, you were our lead instructor for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program. So I owe a lot of my being a therapist and having to be a business owner to now being a business owner who happens to be a therapist to you and the rest of the staff and business advisors. It was really life changing. So thank you so much.
Well, I think I thank you for being a participant in the program. It's a hard program, we asked a lot of you for an extended period of time. And I have to say, I cannot do it solely by myself. It really is just a good strong team that covers so many different areas of business management that's needed for most small business owners. So I'm just having to have good people around me, that helps make the process very smooth.
Yeah, absolutely. And today, we are going to talk about sort of small business owners, and the effects of COVID-19, which we have been in for the last 18 months and doesn't look like it's ending anytime soon. But we are back to work. There are mitigation factors in place. But now, how do we position ourselves for the long term in this new world? So my question is, what are some of the lessons you have learned over the past 18 months? And what are the implications for your future business strategies?
Well, I think that's a great question. Because myself, I'm also a business owner, I am a small business coach. And I would have to say for the last 18 months, that's been a question that's been raised many times, I can think back to March, when we first moved into COVID. Everything shut down. And to be honest, it seemed very dark at that time. And then for the next three to four months, I was working with a lot of small business owners, and we were having those discussions, what are what's next, you know, how do I get out of this. And in fact, if you started to look at the newspaper, you'll see headlines saying this is the worst crisis since the depression or behind closed doors, there's calamity. And when you read those phrases, it actually diminishes your ability to be a leader, and organizer of your business. And so what I had to do as a coach started having different discussions and say, we must look forward. And the way I did that was having a time with individuals to stop and say, Hey, if we take a look at the Great Depression, or the great recession of 2008, those same phrases were being said then, yet, we were still standing in 2020. So we have to believe that we're going to pass through this period as well. And so the discussion became, how do we do that, and in most cases, and then bring back or I should say, shorten your horizon from looking out two to three years, to just make it now bring it down to three months down the six months, make it manageable, it was easier for you to see out three months, it's easier for to see how six months, and then just be very tactical. And so during that last quarter of 2020, through the beginning of the initiation of 2021, many of the conversations with business owners have centered on that, how can we focus on some short tactical goals that keep the lights on, they keep my current employees satisfied, so they stay with me to make sure the customers I do have still like the services are providing or the product that they're buying from us. Therefore, we have to maintain the same level of quality. So just being very tactical that way. And then hopefully, when we're on the other side, we can then return to a posture where we're thinking longer term.
And all that, to me just sounds like a small business owners that we have to be really agile, and we have to be able to pivot. And so can you speak to a little bit more about agility as a business owner, and how we can foster that if it's something that we're not used to?
Well, agility, you know, it's a strong word, right? So it means that we're flexible. But again, coming through this COVID period, it didn't seem like flexibility existed. Everywhere I turned, something was shutting down. So I've seen closer to the end, then something that was gonna be an opportunity in the future. And I came across a quote, it came out of the book called Good to Great. That was written in 2001. And I wrote it down someone just read it verbatim because it's a unique quote, but I think it addresses issue. It says never confused. That you will prevail in the end. So that saying this thing of, I have faith that I'm going to win, I have faith that my business is going to win, it's going to be successful, and I'm gonna make a lot of money from it, or I'm going to be fame, I'm going to become famous from it, you have this faith, you got to have this confidence, that's probably a better word, I got to have the confidence that I will make it through. But here's what the rest of the quote says it says, I can never lose that confidence. However, I must have the discipline to confront the most brutal acts of your current reality. So the current reality of 2020 was, everybody's impacted at the same time, my competitors, my peers, people across the ocean, everyone is getting hit with this calamity. So now I have to think out of the box, and I also have to think very practically, so that's where the agility comes in, I didn't have a lot of time to wait six months to see if it's gonna work, because I may not be here. So I may have to take some cost cutting measures that are going to be very draconian, but necessary, I may have to talk to my staff and negotiate with them, and maybe get them to take a cut and pay, letting them know I'm trying to keep everyone alive here, I may have to talk to my customers in a different way and find out, are you still here? You know, are you still viable, because my customer is also impacted by this. So then I can sort of forecast what my sales potential could be. Because many of the customers went out of business for many of my clients. So agility means that you are being sorry, that you're focusing on today. And you're being very practical, very tactical, you're using your experiences, from your I should say, your past experiences as a business leader, and a business owner. But you also are willing, and here's the key, you are willing to take in advice from subject matter experts who are in your industry, and also outside your industry to help you navigate this because this was so unknown, a lot of unknown territory that we were crossing through.
Absolutely. And I would also think that in that time, I'll use the example of the physical therapy profession, but kind of acknowledge acknowledging emerging trends during this time. So for the physical therapy world, certainly here in New York City, we were close, literally shut down ghost town from March to almost June or July of 2020. So what do you have to do to keep things going? So the emerging trend was telehealth? Yeah, telehealth has been a trend and it has been coming up and coming up. But I think as a PT, if you didn't acknowledge that that trend existed, and didn't hug that trend, like it's your best friend, you you were in trouble, right? So what other kinds of trends Did you see within the small business world that people had to acknowledge and embrace in order to not only bring them through 2020. But I'm sure a lot of those trends have continued well into this year.
I agree 100%, the hardest trend, and I don't know if I can call it a trend, that's probably more of an action, the action that I may have to return to what I was before. And what I mean by that is, maybe we're a sizable business, you had 50 employees, or maybe employees and contractors working for you that accounted for about 50 people that you're responsible for, had a fairly good customer base that you're working with COVID hits and everything shuts down. Now, you may have to go back to what you were three years earlier, that's when you started the business where you were a smaller company, not as nimble because you were smaller, but you were very focused and very targeted. And that was the trend, I was saying that people say I'm at the roll back to where I was before. And that by rolling back doesn't mean I'm failed, which is another trend element. It doesn't mean I'm failing, it means I had to adjust, you know. So it's realizing that businesses aren't always going to go up with hockey stick and grow, grow, grow, grow without interruption, that there will be these troughs. And if I hit a trough, I may have to back up a little bit. In this case, people have to back up a lot. A great example of that would be the restaurant community. Here in Chicago, I've seen it all over where people physically had to change the menu, they may have 30 items on the menu. And they just took duct tape and started covering over things and reduce the menu down to something that they could manage based on staff based on a cost of the ingredients based on just pure demand, because now they're doing just takeout services, no longer doing to sit in services. why they do that, because I have to still pay the rent, I still have to pay some utilities, I still have to pay something. So I have to have some money coming in. And I want to be here for the next day. So I may have to swallow deeply. And Take another deep breath and say I have to go back to where I was maybe when I started the business so I can survive this period not knowing if you remember not knowing back in April, how long is this going to go? Because the predictions were two months, six months, two years, five years. Nobody knew. So You had to be very specific and very intentional about how far you will go back in time in order to survive and be here for the future.
Yeah, I mean, gosh, back in March, when New York City shut down, I was like, ah, six or eight weeks, we'll
be back up and running. Let's see, 18 months later,
not quite back to where we were. But getting closer. But to your point, yeah, I thought it would just be like six or eight weeks. And this will be a little adjustment that I'd have to make in my business. But it, it actually turned into a long term adjustment that I love. And I'm glad now that it's part of my business. So that ability to pivot quickly actually turned into a big positive for my company, because now I can actually see more people because I don't have to see them in person.
I agree. I agree. And I stole something else out to you. It's not so much of a trend, but it's probably a revelation. So we know a lot of business owners have different backgrounds, and they come from different walks of life. And so if we put an academic hat on, we have individuals coming out of MBA programs, and they have knowledge around business. The key is what does an MBA program teach? What MBA program teaches is that you need to go out and look at the environment that you're in. So that means you research on what some of these latest trends are. When we have a situation like COVID, I know many business owners typically don't worry about what the trends are, they worry more about what's going on in their daily environment in their community, and their marketplace, and they're just focused on can I sell something tomorrow, I think COVID has opened up a new reality that if you want to be successful moving forward, you have to be ready for these unexpected change as well. How can I reduce the number of unexpected changes, I start to do some research, I start to do some reading in my industry and also outside of my industry. So I can see those trends that you were talking about earlier. So telemarketing has been or tele health rather, has been around for a long time. People talk about it, but it wasn't economically feasible. Then when I need it, those who knew about it jumped on it. So but I had to know about it, I needed to have that information. So this is an important time as business leaders now to say, what else do I need to know? Do I need to join my industry associations? Do I need to go out and and go to conferences, go to particular training programs, where I can start to learn about what is going on around me so I can be better equipped for the next situation may not be a pandemic? Or it could be droughts, if you're out west? Who knows? It's going to be something so how can I be prepared for the next something?
Yeah, because you know, something that you had brought that you brought up in our kind of communication before we recorded this is and I like this phrase you put in quotations, you can't be afraid to act fast. But you don't want to be reckless. Yes, yeah, right. And so by doing the research, you can act quickly, and not in a reckless manner. Because you know where you are, you know, what the industry is holding, and you've got that research. So you can act quickly with authority. And with some sense of operation.
I agree. And ask where, you know, we want to say, you want to be intentional. And that's what that word really means. And especially when we're in our programs, we use that word a lot. But it's good to unpack it. So you just mentioned and that reckless, and I'm not trying to be strong willed. So when I'm talking to my employees, I'm trying to hit them over here with a club, but I'm intentional. So I have I know where I want to go, I've taken the time to do some research. So I've set a goal in mind, I've also decided on a path that we can take, but I'm also willing to ask around to see if that's the best path. So that's where I'm not being reckless, I'll go ahead and qualify it by talking to other subject matter experts, talk to other people in the industry and say, This is what I want to do based on my capabilities. What do you guys think? What do you people think? And that can help me then to minimize risk? Because we'll never eliminate it. We're just trying to minimize risk. So we can be successful.
Absolutely. And so now, we've we've sort of identified research we have we spoke to people, we got advice. Now we want to move forward. So we need some sort of formal operations. So these operations, as you said, they kind of revolve around three critical activities. So can you share with the listeners what those critical activities are, to make that those formal operations successful?
So I can that'd be beautiful. We've met through the Goldman Sachs program and what I've learned over the last 10 years in that program, is that you have to take a step back sometimes and attack a problem formally. And so we start off with the purpose, what is your business purpose? And what that means, of course, is what do you think? to do in your marketplace, who you're trying to sell to, why you're doing it, why are you actually involved in this work? The second thing we try to do is examine how we actually do the work. And this is the operational piece. So how do we actually do the work? How do we earn our revenues? How do we manage our team? How do we actually produce the product or service? Are we doing it efficiently? And then the last piece I call her reflection, but that's the research piece. I've been doing this for five years, I've been doing it for 10 years, is this the best way to do it now, based on the changes in the business environment, changes in government regulations, changes in social trends, changes in the number of competitors, or the type of competitors that so the three pieces are looking at my purpose? Why did I get into this business? Why do I want to do this or continue to do this kind of work, I look at my model my business model in general, and think about how I currently conduct business and see there's a better way I can do it more efficiently, more effectively. And then last but not least, I have this reflection or research activity that I do continuously continuous learning to make sure I understand my marketplace, understand my industry, understand what's happening with competitors around me also start to probe and find out are my customers still satisfied with what I'm doing? And if not, what do I need to do to reach them?
Yeah, and I'm glad that you said that you're continuously looking at this, because this isn't something that you do when you start your business, you assess your purpose, your model and solutions and reflect. It's not like you just do it once. Yes. Like how often would you say do you recommend even the business owners that you work with, kind of go through these three critical activities?
Well, I think we can take the model from the corporates. Now you understand corporations are huge, billion dollar places, but they are billion dollar places for a reason. And that is because they do take the time to annually look at what they do, and assess whether or not is making sense. So if I was any business owner, I don't care what size you are, I would make it a point to say maybe in the fall, that November period, Christmas period, when it's kind of quiet, people focused on vacation or focus on the holidays, you take that time, sit down with your management team and say, hey, let's think about how our last year went. Is there something that we want to do better, right doesn't mean that you did anything wrong? Is there something that I can improve upon? Or are there some new things coming down the pipeline that I need to be aware of, or we'd need to be aware of, that we need to plan for starting in January. So doing an annually isn't a bad practice. And if you do it formally, and you do it every year, it just becomes part of your routine. And you'll start to think about the questions you want to ask each other during those sessions. And you'll be able to flesh out what is happening with the business. In fact, you probably want to go ahead and bring in some of your key employees that sit them around a table, get some insight from them on what they're experiencing, when you're engaging your clients, when they're engaging your suppliers, or if what they see, in general, they may see some things in the market that you have missed. And it's a good time to sit back and get their feedback as well.
And how often would you say suggest to a business owner small of any size, but let's say a small business owner, to really look at the financials of their business once a quarter every month, every week, every night before you go to bed? Like is there overkill? Or? Or what? What are your thoughts on that?
That's a tough question is a tough question, right? Because Is there any should you have any limit on when you look at your numbers, because for instance, everybody will tell you, you need to know your numbers. So if I'm sitting in front of an investor, or a banker, they're going to say you need to know your numbers. But I guess the question is, what are they really asking me? They're probably just asking, do you know enough about your numbers to tell me whether or not you're profitable? That's really the question they want to know. And they want you to be able to tell them that, tell them you're profitable in a confident manner. And they can easily see if you're sort of dancing around the question, right? Because you really don't know your numbers today. They can sense that in the way you respond, your eye contact, and so on. So to your direct question, how often should I look, if I put on my accounting hat, we typically look once a month. So every month we take a step back, and we see how the business is performing financially. In order to do that, we probably need to have some type of system in place. That could be a QuickBooks system, or it could be a cell spreadsheet. It depends on the complexity of your business. And that's when we have to define a small business. So small business can be defined as any business with less than 500 employees. That's a big business. But let's say I'm a mom and pop I have less than 10 employees. In fact, I am the key employee and everyone else is a contractor. If I'm that size, once a month is probably still appropriate, I need to take the time to stop. And look, I cannot just assume that because my bank account has money in it, that I'm actually in a good position. So if I take the time, look at it once a month, that's probably enough. The furthest I would like to go out is probably three months, you know, quarterly, but want to go beyond that. Because a lot can happen to a business in two days, let alone in 90 days. And if I'm not keeping track of my numbers, I may find myself in a very dire cashflow position, and maybe find myself going out of business fairly quickly.
Yeah, excellent advice. Excellent advice. Thank you for that. And you know, as we start to wrap things up, what would be if you could give one or two pieces of advice to let's say, a new small business owner, so their business is less than a year old? What is your best advice for those business owners?
I think it's extremely important for the person just getting started to do some of the things we're talking about earlier, you have to position yourself or maybe carve out specific time for you to really learn your industry. So that could mean joining an industry association, going to those industry association meetings. So that's gonna take time, read some of their white papers that they generate about your industry. So for instance, I was at one time I was looking at buying a limo service, I love this guy service used to take me to the airport all the time, all his drivers were professional, his cars were clean, well maintained. And all I knew about the business at the time was the fact he took me in a limo to the airport. But that's not knowing the business. So I went ahead, I contacted limo Association, they sent out to me information on the business, you know, on the industry, the cost factors, the maintenance issues, some of the trends in the industry. After reading all those materials, and learning that it was a very highly capitalized business, I realized that it wasn't for me, at that time, still like the business. But I knew I was not in a position where I had enough capital to keep the cars up to spec to meet the requirements of running a limo business. So if I'm starting a business, whatever it is, I need to know as much as possible about that industry and the business model itself. How's the business make money? What are the cost factors? What are the what are the cost influencers, I need to know that like the back of my hand, then when I'm running the business on a day to day, I need to be in the business to see how it really operates. I've met some people that have started a business. And I've started another one that started know when I started another one. And I now ask them I said, Well, how do you possibly run three businesses at the same time? Well, I got people working for me. And what comes to mind is something someone told me many years ago, is that you have to smell the people. And what this is gain from Business School, and the professor was saying, you have to be close enough to the operations to know what's going on. And if you're too far away from it, there's too many things that can happen to the operations that will shut you down. And so if you're just getting started, your focus needs to be in the business and getting the business to a place where it's stable, and is sustainable. That usually means creating cash reserves, that usually means bringing in solid employees, it usually means having a great understanding of your customers so that you know you have returning customers that'll help keep the business afloat.
Excellent. Thank you so much. I know a lot of people that listen to this podcast or maybe budding entrepreneurs, they've been in business for maybe a year or two. So I think that advice is really great for that group. Now, is there anything have we not covered something that you were like, I want to hit this point during this podcast?
I think it's important, we haven't used that key phrase. And that's cash flow. It is extremely important whether you are a existing business owner, or a new business owner to truly understand what cash flow means. And so when we talk about cash flow, what it means in general, is that we're talking about the money that's coming in. And that's where most people focus is, Hey, I'm making revenues, things are going well. But you can't just stop there, you got to think about the cash outflow. And people say I write the checks every day, I know how much money is going out. The third piece is timing. You have to think about when the money has to be paid out. When does that liability has to be paid out, and whether or not I'm going to have enough cash on hand to pay it on time. Because once I default on that payment, I'm now in trouble. The bank is knocking at the door. My creditors are knocking at the door, my investors are knocking at the door and I'm going to have problems paying my employees so on and so on. So cash flow is very important. And it's important from the standpoint of you have to truly understand the definition of it. And what it means is inflow is outflow. And it's also timing. When is the money coming in to pay those current debts that I have? Will I run into a situation where I don't have enough coming in to pay those debts? And if I do, what am I going to do about it? Am I going to reach into my personal account and pay it? Am I going to run down to the bank and ask for a line of credit? Do I need to run out and find investors? Who can give me additional cash to help me close that gap? So cash flow is critical?
Yeah. And I think, as you were saying that the thing that popped into my mind is, ooh, this is why Ponzi schemes ultimately fail.
Yes, yes. Because the money stops coming in. And their commitments outweigh our Yeah, extend beyond the, the amount of money that's coming in.
Right. Right. Yeah, that is why a Ponzi scheme fails. And, and I agree that cash flow is so important. And it's something that I didn't really wrap my head around fully until the Goldman Sachs program. You know, I knew like, yeah, money's coming in. But once I started doing cash flow statements, I was like, Ah, okay, yeah. Now I got it. No, I know, I can now I understand this as, as one of the three sisters, you know, your cash flow statement, your balance sheet, and your income statement.
Exactly, exactly. And it's the cash flow statement, and we never talk about, you talk about it. If you again, be school, we talk about all the time, but most people just stop at the income statement. In particular, they stop at the income side, then when you introduce the balance sheet, I don't see why I really need it. I don't have any assets. But they don't combine the two to come up with the cash flow. And that's what you really want.
Yeah, yeah. Excellent. All right. Now, where can actually let's talk before we before I asked, Where can people find you? Why don't you talk a little bit more about your business? And how you help other entrepreneurs, your coaching business and what you do to help entrepreneurs?
Well, what I do is I focus in the business development area, as well as the operations or organizational development area. And what does that mean? So I come in as a business coach, not as a consultant, I sit down with my clients, and we have discussion. So it's like we're doing now and we focus on the issues that are facing them. So in a business development side, for instance, such as a marketing issue, we're not talking about social media, what we're talking about is more around a target market. Have they identified the right persons, or the right audience? When it comes to marketing? Also, you got to think about the delivery of the product and service. Are there some challenges in terms of quality, some challenges in terms of delivery, that they're facing? And then we start to peel back a little bit? And this is where we get into the operations? Why are you having those challenges? Is it a capability issue is a capacity issue, these things have to be fixed, or the marketing, social media really won't matter? So I focus on a business development sort of working backwards? What are you trying to sell? What are you servicing? How are you working with your clients? And what are your business capabilities, what is what is your business capacity, in order to essentially achieve the goals that you've set for the business or to meet your current demand for your customers, those are all very important pieces, because most businesses will suffer or in a trough when they get to that third and fifth year when they try to scale up. And they always find, hey, I have this resource deficit. And I usually think it's money but it's not so much money, it's really capacity and capability, they may not have the right people on hand, they may not have the skill themselves in order to scale up and they need to go back, build up those skills so that they can grow. And that's where the coaching comes in and sort of help the build up those skills.
Awesome. Now where can people find you?
Well, they can find me right on the internet. I have a website out there, my, my company has a very unique names, it's called suggests luminaire and will suggest and stores wisdom, and then luminaires light. And so right out there on the internet, I have a web page where you can contact me through that or you can come back contact me through LinkedIn. So I do have a LinkedIn profile out there. That's probably the best way most people will contact me through LinkedIn. And then we'll set up an appointment and we go from there.
Perfect and we will have direct links to all of that at podcast at healthy wealthy, smart, calm and the Show Notes for this episode, so don't worry if you didn't have a pen you can take it down. totally get it we will have one click direct links to all of that. And now, Dr. calorie for the last question, which is a question I asked everyone, knowing where you are now in your life and in your business, what advice would you give to your younger self
so what I would tell my younger self I'm fully invested in entrepreneurship, I would tell my younger self is that you can do it, you can actually be an entrepreneur. To be honest, when I came out of school or coming came out of undergraduate, my mind wasn't there, my mind was I had to go through this career track, because that's the only possibility that entrepreneur thing, or that small business thing was just too far out there. You have to literally be born into it. It has to be a legacy relationship in order to start a business. Today, I recognize after meeting so many people in this space, that's really not it is really tied to have any interest. People use the word passion, but I go beyond the same passion, you really have that ambition that you're willing to give all in order to accomplish this. And so I would tell my younger self, that you do have that ability, you do have that ambition, just go out and do it. Bring people around you who have the knowledge that you need, because you're not gonna know everything. And if you adapt that knowledge, you'll be successful.
And I think that's great advice. And especially for a lot of the physical therapists who listen to this podcast, because so often we graduate, and we think, well, I'll work at a clinic, I'll work at a hospital, I'll do that for 40 years, and then I'll retire. You know, it's like, it's never it. Because in school, we're not really given any entrepreneurial mentorship or classes, you really have to seek it out on your own. And so I think that's great advice for any students listening or newer graduates, who think, Well, my mom wasn't wasn't an entrepreneur, my dad or I don't, I don't have any real role models in my immediate family, but that you can do it if you surround yourself with the right people, and you have the ambition and passion to do it. So I think that is excellent advice. So thank you for that. Well, and thank you again, for coming on the podcast and for being a great instructor in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program, I can put a link up to that too, if people are interested in learning more about the program because it is a life changing program. It was for me and I'm sure as an instructor, it must have been for you as well.
Oh, it hasn't. It hasn't, I have to say, I never, I never thought I'd have this experience. It's been now going into my 11th year and I've actually set before 1000 business owners never thought that could happen in my wildest dreams and having the ability to have conversations like we're having now. Again, it's opened up my mind to say the The possibilities are limitless in this country when it comes to being able to create something that you want to create. And that's the beauty of it. So it's it's a fantastic opportunity. Fantastic country fantastic. Time, even though it's difficult time, it's a fantastic time to to do something that you want to do.
Excellent. And on that note, I will wrap things up by saying thank you again and thank you to all of the listeners for tuning in today. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.
In this episode, Managing Partner of XPAN Law Partners, Rebecca Rakoski, and Senior Account Manager at Contango IT, Schellie Percudani, talk about cybersecurity, especially for small businesses.
Today, Rebecca and Schellie talk about business privacy and security practices, cost-effective steps that you can take to protect your business, and the importance of cybersecurity insurance. Why do small businesses have to worry about cybersecurity?
Hear about ransomware attacks and how to react to them, data privacy laws and how they impact your business, and the value of hiring lawyers, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More About Schellie Percudani
Schellie is a Senior Account Manager at Contango IT located in Midtown, Manhattan. With 75 people, Contango IT services their clients through 4 key areas of technology.
IT Service/Support - We offer unlimited onsite and remote support for all covered users and devices with up to 60-90 second response time. In that same fixed monthly price, we also include asset management, budgeting breakdowns, disaster recovery planning, compliance requirement review and planning, technology road mapping, and a lot more.
IT Infrastructure / Cabling - Moving offices? Contango IT handles the technology side of the move through Cabling and IT setup.
Cybersecurity - 45 people strictly in Cybersecurity keeps Contango IT on top of the biggest buzz In technology. Risk? Compliance? Reach out, looking to help in any way possible. Even if it is just second opinion or advice.
Custom Programming - Front-end or Back-end development, Android, iOS, Web-based and much more. Winners of the Microsoft Best Use of Technology Award and the NYU Stern New Venture Competition
Any technology questions, reach out! With hundreds of clients over 4 services, Contango IT has seen it before.
More About Rebecca Rakoski
Rebecca L. Rakoski is the managing partner at XPAN Law Partners. Rebecca counsels and defends public and private corporations, and their boards, during data breaches and responds to state/federal regulatory compliance and enforcement actions.
As an experienced litigator, Rebecca has handled hundreds of matters in state and federal courts. Rebecca skilfully manages the intersection of state, federal, and international regulations that affect the transfer, storage, and collection of data to aggressively mitigate her client's litigation risks.
Rebecca is on the Board of Governors for Temple University Health Systems, and an adjunct professor at Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law and Rowan University.
Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Cybersecurity, Small Business, Privacy, Security, IT, Insurance, Legal, Hacking, Ransomware, Malware, Data, Technology, Data Breaches, Encryption
To learn more, follow Schellie and Rebecca at:
LinkedIn: Schellie Percudani
Subscribe to Healthy, Wealthy & Smart:
Read the Full Transcript Here:
Hello, Rebecca and Shelly, welcome to the podcast. I'm very excited to have you on to talk all about cybersecurity. So welcome, welcome.
Thank you for having us.
Yes, thank you. And
so this cybersecurity this for me as a small business owner, is brand new to me. Although it probably shouldn't be, but it is, but that's why we're talking about it today. But before we get into it, can you guys give a little bit more detail about yourself and what you do so if the listeners understand why I'm talking to you guys today?
So I, Rebecca McCroskey, I'm a co founder and managing partner of x Pam law partners, we're a boutique cybersecurity and domestic and international data privacy law firm, which is a really fancy way of saying we help organizations with their cybersecurity, and data privacy needs, right? I have been a practicing attorney for almost four years. I hate to admit that sometimes I'm like, I'm dating myself. But what's great is we really help businesses, small startups, all the way that big multinational corporations because right now businesses are it's, it's really a brave new world that we're facing today. And businesses are getting attacked literally from all different sides. And so we started x pant to really help businesses understand what their legal obligations are, and what their legal liabilities are. And I tell my clients, my job is to avoid those problems for you, or do my best or put you in the best position to address them if and when it becomes an issue. So that's
what I do in a nutshell. Great, thanks, Shelly. How about you?
Yes, my name is Shelly perky. Donnie, I am an account manager with contango it and we help businesses and our end organizations if I could speak, we help them manage their day to day it to help build a strong security posture. We also help them with cybersecurity, we have 45 people strictly in cybersecurity, we have 25 penetration testers, eight ethical hackers. So we have a strong, you know, posture to help businesses build a posture so that they at the end, I wouldn't say that they're not going to be attacked, but they are prepared for anything that could happen. And so we help them with that. Got it.
Well, thank you both for being here to talk about this, because we are seeing more and more things in the news lately about ransomware and cyber attacks. And so oftentimes, we think of that as only happening to the big businesses, right? So why should small businesses, which a lot of listeners that listen to this podcast, are entrepreneurs or small business owners? Why should we have to worry about this?
So, you know, from a legal perspective, obviously, anybody who's ever come into contact with the legal system knows, it's not just for large businesses. So from a legal perspective, you're going to be subjected to liability from your people who whose information you're collecting, call them data subjects, you can, you're going to have contractual obligations with your vendors and third parties that you use and share data with. So put that and then just put that aside for a moment, then you also have small businesses have a reputation. And in the small business community, I am myself a small business, I'm a small law firm, Chief law firm. And you know, your reputation is everything. And so part of your reputation nowadays is how you're handling security and privacy. What are you doing the data. And so it's really important for small businesses to realize it's not just the big guys, we hear about them in the news, the colonial pipelines and the JPS foods and the Equifax is of the world. What you don't know is that every single day law firms like mine are getting a call from small businesses going help. We just clicked on a bad link, we just got ransomware, what do we do? And that happens all the time. It really you hear about the big guys, but it's the little guys that are really, you know, bearing the brunt of it, I think.
Now, I would agree. And what we all have in common between the small businesses and the large businesses is we're all human. And like Rebecca said, it's human error. Somebody clicked on an email, and they didn't know you know, they weren't trained. Hey, this is a spoofing and phishing email. This is what they look like, this is what you need to look for. And so that's where we come in, and it's we're all human and we all make mistakes. It's just no Like, you know, you this is what to look out for.
Got it. And so what are some of the issues facing businesses today, when it comes to cybersecurity?
What ransomware is obviously one of the biggest issues, right. And for your listeners who don't know what ransomware is, it is, what happens is somebody clicks on a bad link, download the bad, you know, attachment to a file, and the ransomware is downloaded to the system. Depending on how sophisticated the hackers are, they can either deploy it immediately, which means your system starts to, they start to encrypt your files, or it can be that they sit in there and wait for Oh, I don't know, the most inopportune moment that your business has. And then they deploy the ransomware. I've had clients where they deploy ransomware, or they first delete backups before they deploy the ransomware to really add insult to injury there. So but so that's one of the big things and then the your entire system gets encrypted and you can't unencrypted it without the encryption key which you then have to pay for the ransom part of it. And, you know, we hear about the big ransoms, again, the 4.4 million from colonial the 11 million from JBS. But you know, I was speaking with a colleague the other day, and a law firm got ransomware for $50,000. Now, that's a lot to a small business, it's a lot to any business, but they try to make it it's almost like it's commercials with what they think that they can afford and pay and so that they'll pay because they want you to pay the ransom. So that's I think, I think that's probably the
number one I would say so too. And then you now you're on their list, because you've paid your
SIR now. Wow, they paid
from now you're on a list of this hacker of like, Well, you know, was easy to get in before. Yeah. So let's see how we can get in again.
Right? Oh, my goodness. Hang in and you know Rebecca's right.
And that's where you know, also patching and monitoring your systems having a good strong it. posture is important. Because they see that stuff, they see little inklings of, Oh, well, something's going on here. somebody's trying to get in, you know, so they can see that. And you know, you're only as good as your last backup, and where is your backup being stored? And you know, is that in a secure location? Because if not, guess what? It doesn't matter. Because your information is gone.
Oh, my gosh, yeah, that makes so much more sense. Now, even just explaining what ransomware is. I didn't realize so they hold the encryption key ransom. And that's what you're paying for.
Correct you in order to get your data back, you have to pay to get the encryption key. And people think Well, okay, so I'll pay the ransom. And I'll get the encryption. I'll get the encryption key. And it's like, like magic? Yeah. You do, to some extent, although there used to be honor amongst thieves. It's not always the case anymore. No. But the other thing is to keep in mind encryption is not perfect. So you're not going to get it back exactly the way it was before. And a lot of laws have been changed now. So the fact that you were ransomware, it is in and of itself, a reportable event for a data breach. So that's another aspect to it. I mean, we're talking more about the technical aspects with the ransomware. But this is the other part where you know, I always say like, ransomware is like three explosions. The first one, oh, my God, my computer has exploded, but yeah, my computer's, what do I do? And then the second one, which is how are we going to, you know, get back up and running. And then the third is really the legal liability that flows from it and holding it together.
Also to I mean, Rebecca, are you finding that now, too, they're not only holding it, they're selling the data? Yeah. So they're still older data copied it, they're giving you back access to it, but now they're gonna sell it?
Yes. So what it comes down to is yes,
there's a lot to do. At that point to now you've got to tell your clients, hey, I've been
hacked. And that's where that whole reputation part comes in, you know, where you're, you know, these are people who are interesting information to you data. You know, I mean, as a law firm, we obviously hold our clients data. But you know, if you're a business, you could be holding personal information of your clients and business partners. You could be holding sensitive data on your employees or social security, financial information, information about their beneficiaries, which could be kids and things like that. So it really is a problem that just expands exponentially. It's a rabbit Well, I guess you're falling down that rabbit hole for a while.
You're like Alice in Wonderland.
Right? Oh, my gosh. Well, now you mentioned Rebecca about laws? And does that? Could you talk a little bit more about like certain data privacy laws and how that works? And if you're a small business, what does that mean?
Sure, so different. So there are two sets of laws that you need to really be businesses need to be concerned about, right. So one of them are your your data breach notification laws, which won't really be triggered unless and until there is a data breach, there are 50 states, there are 50 different laws, it's super fun for businesses who have to deal with us, then you have data privacy laws, and because nobody can seem to get their act together to come up with a federal law, we are stuck with, again, a patchwork of laws. So different states have passed different laws. And that is in and around a data subjects rights, about the data that's being collected about from them. So for example, California has a law, Virginia passed the law, Colorado passed a law recently, I know there's a proposed one in New Jersey in New York, Pennsylvania, Texas. So you name the state, and it's probably considering Washington State has tried to have made several passes into data privacy law. And what's interesting about this privacy laws is it they're usually, there's usually a threshold, sometimes small businesses will meet that threshold, but you need to understand that and it's all about the data that you're collecting. So the data you're collecting is going to trigger or not trigger requirements under some of these laws. That same data is the attractive nuisance, if you will, to the hacker they want to, they want to so you know, I always say you can't have privacy without security. So they really do go hand in glove.
What would be like an app if you know this at the top of your head, but an example of data privacy law from one of those states that has them on the books like what would be an example.
So California has the California consumer Privacy Act, the ccpa, which was amended in November, when the good citizens of California had a ballot initiative to pass the California Privacy Rights Act or the cpra. And those types of so in and around that you have different rights, the right to deletion, the right to correction, or right to a ratio of three, you know, the right to be forgotten is what's commonly known as, or just some of the rights that you're entitled to. And so businesses that fall under the within the purview of the ccpa, which is in effect right now, the cpra, which will go into effect in 2023. And so if you are a data subject, and the business is is under those laws, you can, you know, say to the pay, I want to know what you're doing with my data, hey, I need you to correct or delete my data. And the business has a set statutory period of time to respond to that data subject Access Request. It's about transparency. So anybody who saw all those updated privacy policies online, that's all driven by privacy laws, there's one in Europe called the GDPR, the general data protection regulation. And it really is in and around transparency, and data collection, storage and sharing practices. So that's, I could go much deeper, but I don't want to put anyone to sleep as I talk about loss.
I think I think that's really helpful just so that people get an idea of like, well, I don't even know what that is, you know, and if you're a small business owner, you've got a million other things on your plate, because you probably don't have a dedicated IT department, you don't have a dedicated cybersecurity department, oftentimes, you're a solopreneur. Or maybe you have less than 10 employees, you know, so all of a sudden, all of this stuff has to come on to somebody. So I think just getting an awareness out there that it exists, is really important so that you can maybe look it up in your own individual state.
exactly. You definitely were Rebecca Sade is absolutely correct. There are people that do that they try to manipulate it and do it themselves. What they don't realize is once you're hacked, it's not just, Oh, no, they've got my information. Now I have to pay this ransomware. But guess what, oh, if you weren't following those privacy acts, you're also gonna get fined on that data, too. So you definitely don't want to be fudging any kind of information. You definitely want transparency.
Yeah. So hire lawyer. I'm a big fan of lawyers. I hire lawyers for for everything, because I don't I'm not a lawyer. I don't know how to do any of it. And I want to make sure that I am protected. So I 100% get it. Now, what? So we're talking about the pitfalls of what could happen if you have a breach, or issues facing businesses. So what can businesses do to help with cyber security? What are some things we can have in place to give us some protection and peace of mind?
Well, I would like to answer that this is Shelley, I'm someone who's there for simple and very effective basics that you could do as a business owner. And they're very cost effective. In fact, you know, you already have some of them in hand, as far as like Microsoft Office 365, all you have to do is enable your multiple factor authentication, that's a huge one, it's like leaving your light on in your house, if you're going out to dinner, they're gonna move on to the next house, because you have that layer of protection. And then, you know, security awareness training, educating your employees, educating yourself a lot of spoofing and phishing email looks like, that's huge that you know, it, it makes them aware. And that also, you know, it shows your employees that you're protecting them, you're protecting your clients, you know, it shows stability. And then also, you know, monitoring and patching your systems, you know, making sure that someone has an eye on what's going on. I'm looking for those little ticks that someone may be trying to get into your system, because a lot of people that you can have websites, you can tell by is your website going slower, that's usually a sign that someone might be trying to hack into your system. You know, so it's little things like that. And then also, you know, software and hardware encryption, that's a huge one. A lot of people, I know we have all our devices, it's our fingerprint or face that opens it. But if your hardware is not encrypted, they could just steal your laptop, pull out the hard drive, plug it in somewhere else, and guess what the data is theirs. And it's just the simple things that can help a business.
Yeah, so So to recap, the multiple factor identification that I get, and I do security awareness training, what what are these emails look like? What not to click on? monitoring and patching systems? So when you say patching systems, what exactly does that mean?
Well, that's where someone is patching in and they're, you know, they're making sure that your system is secure. And it's going somewhere in that secure like firewall, everything like that. So that is exactly
the basic there. There are systems like so for example, the Equifax data breach was a vulnerability in an Apache struts operating system. And when they found this vulnerability, it was it was a problem. People write code, people make mistakes, you need to fix it. Once they discovered the problem. They went, they were like, Oh, you need to apply this patch. It basically fixes the code. Well, if you don't apply the patch, if you don't have somebody who can help you do that you're not you're leaving your back door
open or even Yeah, or even like software, like it needs to be updated. So they're patching and updating, they're constantly monitoring, updating any software so like have you ever had where your phone doesn't work and because you haven't upgraded your system? Well that's kind of like it is for monitoring and patching. They make sure that everything is up to date everything is to code
right because if you're not patching and updating like Shelly said, you can actually leave a hole Yeah, and you're not the it's a lot easier for them to get in because you would not that system isn't being supported anymore by the Microsoft's or the Googles because they've moved on. You got to move on with them. Otherwise, you're you're gonna have a problem.
Got it. Got it. Okay, that makes a lot more sense.
They could do that themselves. Like oh, I can do this. I can do this. But as they're growing Their business, they don't have time to focus on that. And that's how little cracks happen.
Got it? Okay, that makes a lot of sense. And number four was making sure that your software and your hardware was encrypted. Right? And does that. I mean, this might be a stupid question. But does it come that way?
No, that's not a stupid question. I mean, a lot of us think that because, you know, I mean, we're on a computer right now that if I shut it and locked it, I opened it again, I could put my finger on it, it would open it, I wouldn't have to type my password in. But if my hard drive wasn't encrypted, didn't have that same protection on it, where someone could steal it, and then just pull out the hard drive, because these people are very talented, plug in the hard drive. So you need to make sure that your hard drive has that same protection with your fingerprint of code that, you know that if they would have to, they wouldn't plug it in somewhere else, they're gonna have to know that code, because it's not going to work.
Keep in mind, too, that encryption, like we're always talking about is, in most jurisdictions, if you have an encrypted hard drive, if even if they get it, they can't access it. It's not a data breach. So I like to say encryption is your get out of jail free card in most jurisdictions, okay. There are 50 of them. There's a lot, but in most of them, that's your get out of jail free card. So it's one of the biggest, that multifactor I guess, are probably two of the biggest bang for your buck. There they are. And how do you
know if your software and hardware is in is encrypted? Again, perhaps another silly question, but I just don't know.
So first of all, I don't encrypt my own hard drive. I know a lot about technology. But I, you know, I don't go to my dentist for brain surgery. professionals, who are IT professionals, like Shelley's company, and I say, here, encrypt my hard drive, and they take care of it for you. So having it's really important
night. Yeah, I can. And does that literally mean you hand your computer over to someone and say, encrypt my hard drive? Not necessarily No, no, okay.
No, no, no, a lot of times what you know, like our text can do, they can come in, they can work in remotely in and you know, just like when they have when we monitor and patch, they do it remotely. You know, if you don't even know what's going on. It's just and it shouldn't, it shouldn't interrupt your day, it should then to wreck your workflow. It should be seamless. And usually, you know, it's something that, you know, our techs are very, you know, highly educated, I love text, I always think, Oh, my gosh, what they do is so cool, because they can just, they can fix everything, and they just go in and they're they're magicians.
Got it? Got it. Okay, how it should be you.
I mean, a lot of times, and this is true, too. I think Rebecca, a lot of rules now are making sure that you actually have a credible IT team. Because if you don't, you can now get fined. Or
Yeah, there are different laws where you can if you're not doing the things you're supposed to be doing, if you're not monitoring if you don't have your asset, you know, management, those kinds of things. I mean, one of the classic examples of that is is HIPAA. Now they don't say you have to have it on teaching but they do say you have to encrypt your heart you know, encryption, or they say you show it or they say you have to monitor monitor your devices and let's face facts, do you want to be I don't want to be monitoring my devices, I want my IT guys or gals to be monitoring my devices, I want to be practicing law. So that's the beauty of it is that it's it's Charlie says it's running seamlessly in the background, and you're doing what you should be doing much with running
your business. Got it? All right. Now let's move on to so let's say you have all of this in place. You've done your basics for cybersecurity. Do you have to have cyber security insurance? Or can you just say, Well, I did all this. So what do I need the insurance for? No,
that's like driving around without your seatbelt on. Like, you know, I, I frequently wanted to ram the car in front of me, but I don't I don't do that. So cyber insurance. When I will tell you this as when I started my own law firm. The first thing I bought was malpractice insurance. The second thing I bought was cyber liability, a separate standalone cyber liability policy. They are getting more expensive, but for a small business depending on the data you're collecting, they can be very reasonable. But I sleep at night because I know that if something goes horribly wrong, it's there. All of the things you're doing. me that all The good cyber practices that Shelly and I have been talking about that just means they're going to cover you when the when the stuff hits the fan. Because if you're not doing all of that, you've probably told they've sent you a questionnaire with your cyber liability policy and you filled it out and you're like, Oh, do I have multi factor authentication? Oh sure. I encrypt my hard drive. If you lie to them, they don't cover you. But if you're doing all these good cyber practices, and you have insurance, it's you know that every single one of my clients first thing I ask, Where is your data? What is it doing? Where is your cyber liability policy? Those are the
those are the big three Yeah. Okay. To help you too, because how are you going to get that money out? Right, how do you get that money back? How do you recoup your business? I mean $50,000 is a lot Oh yeah. And you know, you're a small business and yeah, you you could take a hit you can take a loan but wouldn't it be better if somebody covered it for you it's kind of like you You get a car accident you know, it was like that rental car where your car is getting fixed. You would like to get a new car that new car smell
Yeah, cyber liability insurance is absolutely critical for small business every this statistic might be a little bit old, but I will pull it out anyway for just as an example 60% of small businesses will go out of business within six months of a data breach without live liability insurance. So that's an I know that statistic has gone up it's a it's a little stale, but I think that's about a year old and every year they put out new stats I just haven't brushed up on my statistics today. But
well that is true because as many business owners as I talked to in everything, you would not believe how many of them I've had friends that had successful businesses and everything was going great. They got hacked, and they just couldn't recoup the money that they need it breaks my heart because they never thought it would happen to them because they weren't trading money they weren't doing anything like that. It was just common goods like e commerce that they were just like, yeah, and then something happened.
I mean, I get a call at least once a week from a crime business person literally tears I don't know what am I going to do? I have a little bit of a policy or something. It's like a rider on my my general liability policy, but now it's going out because it runs out like that and so quick, and they're like now what do I do? I don't I don't have an answer for them. They're gonna have to you know, they have to pay for it out of pocket. A lot of them can't It is really heartbreaking.
Yeah. Oh my goodness. Well, so you know, we talked about some issues facing businesses today. basics for cybersecurity, the need for cybersecurity liability, which I am in the process of getting after speaking with Celli a couple of weeks ago, so I'm there I'm doing it I'm in. You don't have to I You don't have to tell me twice when it comes to important insurances, I will get it. So is there anything else that you guys wanted to let the listeners know when it comes to cybersecurity for their businesses?
Um, I think the first thing that businesses need to do is take a proactive posture. So doing the technical things that Shelley's talking about, shoring up some of their legal obligations, like I'm talking about with, you know, appropriate privacy policies, contract language and things like that. The other thing is, they have to also be aware of their vendors, which I think is another big issue facing organizations if you look at data breaches, it's not caused by an employee in the company it's caused by an employee at one of their vendors. And so you know, it's a big issue and so I would say that for all small businesses, all of the technical aspects and then make sure your your legal, you put yourself in a legally defensible position because unfortunately, these things are going to happen. And you want to make sure that you not just survive but thrive after after an event like this.
Yeah, and I agree with Rebecca, those are the key things that you need to do as a business owner, but it's also helping yourself to educate been growing your business and I know at times it can be scary because like, Oh my goodness, I got to talk to a lawyer. That's more money. Oh, I gotta have someone you know, outsource it person. When I've had my cousin, he knows computers, he knows everything. You know, everything's going but if you're looking to move your business to that next level, and you're looking to flourish, you really just like anything else, you need to make sure you understand and you are doing what is required of you to do to help your business flourish.
Got it. Well, this was great. I mean, hopefully people listening to this, it will set a match under them. To get them to really take a look at this in their business because like you said when you're a small business owner you've got a million things going on. But this is super important and I think something that people really need to focus on so I thank you for bringing this topic to me Shelly and for bringing Rebecca on because I think this is really great and I do hope that all the listeners out there will now start to take a better look at their businesses and are they protected Do they have the right things in place so thank you thank you now where can people find you? if they have questions? If God forbid they have a breach and they need a lawyer or they need someone to help do an IT assessment of their business so where can people find you? So
I obviously have a website expand law partners com Also you can follow us on Twitter and on LinkedIn please connect you can connect connect with me personally and my business we put out for small businesses out there who have a lot of questions we are constantly pushing out different topics raising issues bringing attention to different ones so please act x Pam law partners connect with us and hopefully will will provide you with some of that information that Shelley was talking about
excellent Shelly Go ahead.
You can reach me at contango it calm is our website I can also link in with me you know I love to meet new people and I always like to offer any kind of advice or second opinions I can help with if I if there's anyone I can point you into the direction to you know help your business I would love to do that.
Excellent. Shelley is a great super connector for sure. So definitely reach out to them now ladies one last question and I asked everyone this is knowing where you are now in your life in your career. What advice would you give to your younger self?
see somebody asked me this I'm gonna have to steal from my prior answer was start my law firm earlier. I wish I had done it earlier. I cherish the time I spent at a large law firm but I love what I do now. I love helping businesses so this I would do it earlier. So amazing. I would become an ethical hacker. Love that. I want to change my answer. That's a great answer. I love it.
I love it. Well, ladies, thank you so much for coming on the podcast sharing all this vitally important information. I do appreciate it. Thank you so much for having us. Pleasure and everyone. Thank you for listening. Reach out to these ladies if you are a small business because you may need some cyber help. Thank you for listening, have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.
In this episode, Physical Therapist and Educator, F Scot Feil, talks about understanding and eliminating student loan debt.
Today, F Scot talks about the different kinds of student loans, his different revenue streams, and the value of having a diverse set of skills. How does the debt-to-income ratio affect student loans?
Hear about eliminating student loans, managing multiple revenue streams, and get F Scot’s most important piece of advice for students with debt, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More about F. Scot Feil
Dr F Scott Feil is a husband, a father, a physical therapist, a professor, and, most recently, an amazon best-selling author. F Scott is also a business coach and mentor, despite starting his journey as an English major before landing as a Physical Therapist.
He is one of three co-hosts of the Healthcare Education Transformation Podcast, which aims at breaking down the silos between healthcare professions and trying to find best practices in teaching and learning throughout healthcare academia.
His goal is to help at least 222 professors (one from every PT School at the time of publication of his book) and clinicians pay off their student loans quicker by using multiple revenue streams. If he helps some others with terminal degrees, or other healthcare clinicians, along the way, then it’s a bonus!
Student Loans, Student Debt, Financial Planning, Education, Skills, Income, Revenue, Profit, Opportunities, Physiotherapy, Healthy, Wealthy, Smart
To learn more, follow F. Scot at:
Facebook: PT Educator
LinkedIn: F Scott Feil
YouTube: PT Educator
Subscribe to Healthy, Wealthy & Smart:
Read the full Transcript Here:
Hey, Scott, welcome to the podcast. I'm happy to have you on. It's great to see you and to speak with you.
Yeah, Karen, thank you so much for having me. I'm a longtime listener, first time caller here. So this is exciting. I've been waiting to do this for quite some time now.
Yeah. And I'm happy to have you on. And today we're talking about a topic that is near and dear to many, many physical therapists. And that is we're talking about student loan debt, and not only talking about it, but how to maybe understand it a little bit better, and how to eliminate it. So let's start with some definitions. And what is the debt to income ratio? And how does that affect your student loans.
So, you know, I'm not a student loan expert, by any means. I'm more of an elimination expert. That's that's where, you know, my specialty comes in. So I've had to learn this stuff, too. And, you know, one of the best ways that I've gone about doing this is going to certified financial planners, especially once you understand student loans, and talking through, you know, where I'm at what what plan looks like, it's going to work for me, what are my plans in the future? What is, you know, my vision look like? You know, do I want to start a family, buy a house, buy a car, all those things kind of factor in to your big plan. And then from there, you've got to come up with a foundational blueprint or a roadmap that you're going to follow based on what your student loans are. So the debt to income ratio is very simple, you know, it's the amount of student loan debt that you have, right? over your current income, and you just, you know, do the math and divide, right? So, realistically, the highest that you would want your debt to income ratio to be is approximately 1.01. To one, right. So if you had $100,000 worth of student loan debt, you're making $100,000 salary. That's not a terrible debt to income ratio, right? Unfortunately, especially in the field of physical therapy, we're finding that students are graduating with 150 175 200,000 plus worth of student loans, and they're coming out and they're getting jobs at 65 75,000 a year. And those are some pretty risky debt to income ratios, right? those, those get a little heavy, because, you know, if you don't know anything about it, and you you have all this debt, and you've accrued this debt, that's just massive, your payments are going to be massive, right, your student loan payments, if you just do the standard repayment, mine started out at 1700 a month, right. And I only had 140,000, when I graduated, that was with two doctoral degrees. So you know, it was one of those things where I got a little nervous at one point, because I didn't even know that I wanted to use the doctoral degrees, the way they were kind of meant to be used. But then I kind of settled down talk to a couple people both both on the business side of things, and on the Certified Financial Planner side of things, and created that roadmap, I went from the generic, you know, repayment plan at 1700 a month down to the income driven repayment plan, which for me, looked like about 700 a month. And then again, after really doing a deeper dive with the Certified Financial Planner, where I was at in my life and how I was planning on attacking my student loans, we've finally got it down on the repay plan or the revised Pay As You earn plan. And that's about $135 a month. And that stretches it out over 20 years now. So the difference that I'm making between the, you know, 135 a month and the 700, I was paying, I can now take that and have more liquid assets to do something with right I can have more cash in hand to invest or to start a new project or, you know, to make payments on other stuff, you know, so it's taken me some time to kind of learn this stuff. And again, like I said, I'm by no means a student loan expert, but I am learning through the bumps and the bruises and going through it and being in the thick of things there. And realistically, like I said, the best way to learn about this stuff and what's right for you, because it's going to be different for everybody is to talk to a certified financial planner that knows about student loans. So that would be my first recommendation.
Yeah, and that is great advice. Great advice. I've been working with a certified financial planner myself. And it really, it's really great to have an outside view of your finances and everything that surrounds them by a professional who can go in and not be emotional about it, and not have biases built in because we all have emotions around our money and around our debt and our loans. And so it's great to have that outside perspective. Yeah, you
hit the nail on the head there, you know, especially when it comes to business and money. We tend to be very emotional beings and you really have to be objective when it comes to that. And that was that was you know, a big takeaway that I found when when starting up businesses and you know, figuring things out. I've had a bunch of deals in the last couple months kind of crumble and fall through and it's like, Man, that's a bummer. But at the end of the day, you realize it's just business like, it's not a big deal. Not personal, that, you know, can't get emotional beat up over, you just got to move on it's business, you know?
Absolutely. It's it. But I mean, it does suck.
It does. It does. And it's okay to kind of recognize that, you know, you know, exactly, but at the end of the day, okay, it's business. What's my next step? How do I pivot? How do I recover? What comes next? You know, I think that's really what entrepreneurs are doing these days is trying to figure it out, you know, just keep rolling with the punches until they, they get it right. Yeah,
absolutely. And now, you spoke a little bit about those different kinds of student loans. And so I'm assuming there are different approaches one can take, can you speak to that?
Yeah. So you know, again, like I said, I'm not exactly a student loan expert, there's several different kinds of student loans out there, the biggest thing to try to do, if possible, is not to privatized your loans, right, try to keep as many of your loans federal as possible, because the federal plans are the ones that work with you a little bit more, there's a little bit more give to them, right? You can restructure them a little bit. Like I said, I went from just basic repayment plan to income driven repayment plan, which is based on, you know, the amount of income that I would make as a new grad, down into the revised Pay As You earn plan, which, like I said, that one kind of starts you at a lower bracket. And year over year, as you make a little bit more, it creeps up a little bit, you know, but it also, again, it stretches it out over a longer period of time. So you know, they're their differences are time dependence, you know, how quick you have to pay him back. But you know, things happen, like COVID, right, and all of a sudden, the Federal plans have all kind of stopped, they put a, you know, a pause on them until the new year. So, you know, that's one of the ways that they can give you grace, you can go into a deferment plan, if you need a month or two, you know, though, they'll work it out with you, and they'll tack it on to the end or whatever, you know, there's just a lot of forgiveness. And then at the end, there's a big forgiveness. But with federal loans, you just have a lot more grace, right? Once you privatized the loans, you're stuck, that's it, they are what they are, and you've got to pay him back, there's, there's no getting rid of them, right. Because, you know, student loans are loans that we just, we can't go bankrupt on we can't, you know, get out of there just gonna be there forever until you pay them off. So, you know, it's super important to recognize the difference between a private loan and you know, a federal loan. So big takeaway there is try to keep as many of your loans federal as possible for as long as possible, because those will have the most options for payoff and forgiveness and forgetting, you know, you know, any sort of programs that are available that may come and go, right, there's the one program where if you work for a nonprofit for 10 years, right, X amount is forgiven. Now, there's been kickback on that saying that, like 99% of people don't get approved for it at the end, they cross the finish line, then all of a sudden, the finish lines moved, right. So you know, there's some fine, fine print, you've got to read there with all these. But you know, at the end of the day, most of the federal loans will give you a certain time period. And as long as you make your payments all along that time period, at the very end, there will be some form of forgiveness. Now, the only caveat with that is the way you're forgiving those loans is you get taxed on the amount of forgiveness as if you made that income that year. So, you know, for me, it'll probably be a 20 year repayment plan, at the end of those 20 years, I'll have $100,000 left, it'll be forgiven. And then it'll be like I made that extra 100,000 on my salary that year, so I get taxed on it. So in those 20 years, I have to come up with some sort of plan to save up and to make money to repay that one year, when I have that influx in salary, even though it wasn't there. It was a loan forgiveness. So just something to think about there, too, when you're planning out your loans and your repayment plan.
Yeah, yeah, I don't think people realize that you have to pay taxes on that loan that is left. So each year, you want to make sure that you're putting money aside and putting money aside so that you're in an account that maybe you can't touch so that when it comes you're not like, Oh my gosh, where am I gonna get this money from, but you're like, Oh, I know exactly where I'm gonna get it from. Because I have this account of money I haven't touched for 20 years, you can pull it out from there. And that can be like, it doesn't have to be a savings account at the bank. Exactly. That could be an account that is actually generating, maybe, you know, 4% or something like that, right? So you're making money on it, especially if your loan is only like 2.3%. So you could take that money that you would be paying toward that loan, put it into an account that's maybe making even if you're making 4% You're still making money on on that money in there so that when the time comes to pull it out to pay your taxes, is number one, you're not penalized. So it's not like you're putting into a 401k plan or an IRA or something like that, but just putting it into some sort of an account that can make you some money on the way.
Exactly. And that's where a certified financial planner comes in, because they can set you up with a savings plan over those 20 years that can get 810 12%. So you're actually saving a ton more money, and you're paying way less when it comes to it. And the you know, the rate the APR is, is even lower. So I don't, I don't want to throw out a bunch of like, you know, terms and, you know, definitions and stuff that are just kind of boring and not very sexy, to be honest with you. But we do have to kind of know a little bit about this stuff. You don't have to be an expert. Again, I'm not. But I know enough. Now I'm educated enough, because I took the time to talk to that certified financial planner and figure this out and sit there, it only took maybe an hour or two, to sit there with them and go through the plan and look at it and say, Alright, here's where I am. Here's my goals and plans. Which program is best for me. Okay, great. Let's get on that program. And then you know what, now let's figure out how we're going to pay it out. You know, and there's several different ways to do that, too. Right? You just have to come up with that number at the end of those 20 years. So how do you want to do that? And, you know, that's where my expertise kind of comes in? Is the elimination part of it? Yeah.
Yep. So let's talk about that. Let's talk about how do you eliminate that debt. And I know one thing that you speak about is having multiple income streams, I'm sure that's part of this conversation, but I'll throw the mic over to you. So you can talk about the elimination part. What does that mean? Yeah, so
originally, when I wrote my book, right, peak educator, student debt eliminator, I thought I could just start a side business or to write and make a bunch of money, and then throw all that money that I made toward the student loans and pay them off in a year or two and be done. That was my plan. And realistically, I probably could have done that, I probably could have knocked them out in about three to five years total, and been done. But that's kind of what the banks want you to do. Right? That's what these loans, processors wants you to do. They want you to pay all your loan off as quick as possible. So they get all the money and make all the interest, right? Well, after talking to the Certified Financial Planner, I said, Okay, well, if my loans are gonna go down from you know, 700 a month and 135 a month, that leaves me a good extra chunk of money that I can do stuff with, right? And he's like, Yeah, absolutely. He's like, in truth be told, as long as you're putting your a lot of money every month into your savings plan, or whatever, you know, investment plan, if you will, to pay off that 20th year, you can do anything with the money, right? So I figured, okay, well, could I invest it in stocks? And he's like, yeah, you could do that. I said, What about crypto? And he said, you could do that? What about real estate? Can I do that? Yeah, absolutely. So that's been kind of my plan is like, Okay, let me start a couple of side businesses that generate income and revenue for now. So that I can put it toward investments that don't kind of take me on the long term. Right. And I think realistically, you know, I think almost every millionaire has several different streams of revenue, right. And I think that we need to start thinking about that, as soon as we either enter grad school, or immediately after we finish grad school, you know, what is our plan for long term wealth? Right? How are we going to take care of ourselves, as well as our family, you know, that might not even exist yet. As well, as, you know, future generations, you know, we're talking generational wealth here. And it's not like, you've got to be a millionaire, right? But you know, a couple of six figure incomes, that can help a lot of people, right? I mean, you can take care of a family, or two or three down the line, even, you know, making several six figures over the course of many, many years, you know, and then if you invest it, right, you can put it in places, like we talked about, like rental properties, or something like that, where, you know, once those pay off, the mortgages are done on those in 15 or 20 years? Well, now you're going from making two or $300 a month in rent, up to, you know, 18 or 2000 a month, per per house, right? And that's where you get into that generational wealth. So, you know, for me, it started out as a simple mobile PT practice, right? I was by myself in a car with a table and some sheets and a bag with some equipment in it. And I was just driving around, you know, Waco, Texas, just kind of helping people in their homes or their offices or the gyms. Because I knew I could do that. I knew I could start that business, right? I had enough expertise in the physical therapy world to be able to run a small practice on my own. And I didn't really want to be tied down to the brick and mortar. I didn't want to have a high overhead. I didn't want to do any of that, you know, so I just started my own little business. And it started out with a crossfitter, too, you know, and that was not my demographic. It was just people in the community that I knew that asked if I can help, and so I did. And then Luckily, one of the women that I worked with, her husband had some shoulder and elbow issues and he was a big tennis player. So she said, You treat the arm in the elbow and choice it. Yeah, absolutely, I can do that. So once I started talking with him, he's a CEO of a small business in Waco there. We got him better, we got him back in the tennis court, he was feeling great. And so then he started referring me to all his other CEO buddies, and the CEO buddies and C suite level execs, right, and all these busy businessmen and business women. And it was great because I was I was selling them time, right, it wasn't so much about the physical therapy, or whatever it was, it was, I was buying them back time because I could come to their home or their office or their gym, and they love that. So it was just the right niche for me in the right, you know, they had expendable income, most of them because they were, you know, own their own business. So it was a really good group to get into, and a really good niche to break into. And, you know, word of mouth spread. And that kind of took off? Well, once that kind of happened, I really started having to figure out how to like market myself better, and how to do some, like digital marketing, you know, Facebook ads, Google ads, stuff like that. And I just didn't know that I didn't have that skill set, you know. And so I had to take a course in that and learn from it and kind of invest in myself. But once I did get better at that, you know, I even took a copywriting course and read a bunch of copywriting books as well. And once I started getting better at that a bunch of my buddies that I graduated PT school with saw what I was doing with Facebook ads, and they said, Hey, could you do that for our business? And I was like, yeah, I'm sure I could probably figure it out. They said, We'll pay you and I was like, Okay, great. That sounds awesome. You know, and that's where my agency kind of started, right. But one of the second pillars of revenue for me. You know, I kind of started a little bit of a digital marketing agency unintentionally. And so I did that for you know, that a year or so. And that even brought me outside of the field of physical therapy as well. I did it for a couple local businesses, some home renovations, some roofers, pool builders, stuff like that. And it was really working pretty well.
And then, you know, COVID, started hitting and things kind of got a little crazy. And I was still working full time in the clinic, too. And so with my wife being a type one diabetic, and already being immunocompromised, I had to kind of step back from that a little. And I stepped away from the clinical side of things. And that same week, the head of the program at university, St. Augustine emailed me and said, Hey, are you still interested in teaching because I spoken to him at the ETD graduation in 2018. And, you know, I said I wasn't, but now it's actually looking like a pretty good option. So I stepped out of clinical work, I headed into academia. And while I was doing that, you know, it really became a good fit for me, because, you know, I talked online most of the time, and then I had to go up and be there for labs. But it also gave me a lot of free time to work on my side hustles, and my side businesses, you know, and that's kind of how I fell into the consulting gig as well, like, that wasn't something I ever thought I'd be doing either. But I worked for workman's comp company as well up there in Waco. And I said, Hey, we should be educating these businesses to injury prevention and wellness and how to properly lift and ergonomics and all that. They said, Oh, no, we're not going to do that, you know, that's gonna eat into our PT numbers. And I said, No, it won't. Because I can't stop somebody from running over someone's foot with a forklift, it's gonna happen, accidents are gonna happen, you know? And they said, Well, no, we're not going to do that. So I said, Alright, fine. I'll do it myself, you know. And so I just went around to all the companies locally there that were sending us workman's comp people. And I said, Hey, would you like to lower your workman's comp numbers? And they were like, Yeah, sure. And so I go in, and I educate the workforce. And, you know, you can charge good money for consulting. I mean, I was able to charge you know, 1000 bucks to 1500 bucks an hour for two hours worth of work. So now it becomes a matter of, Okay, do I want to see patients at $200 an hour, which is a pretty fair rate for physical therapy, right? Cash pay at a network? Or do I want to work two hours and just, you know, educate these people and use my add my education background combined with my PT background, to kind of help them with injury prevention and wellness. Right. So again, it just kind of one of those things that fell into my lap, that wasn't ever something I thought I would do it just the opportunities were there. And I just kind of sees, you know, it was like, seeing like these opportunities out there and just realizing that holy cow, this is where I knew I was fine. Having a PT, you know, DPT and an add, not necessarily wanting to use them even though now I am, you know, more traditionally. But being able to leverage those degrees into other opportunities. You know, I'm not a huge believer in luck, I kind of feel like you make your own luck, you have to work hard and you have to network and leverage, you know, with the right people at the right times about the right things. And then you'll start seeing those opportunities, you know, kind of open up and you have to be ready to jump on those opportunities when they present themselves. So, you know, that's, that's kind of where a lot of these streams of revenue started from. It just kind of happened, you know, and I fell into them and I got better and better and better at it. I went, and then I was able to help more people with them as well.
Yeah, it sounds like you've gone from one to the next to the next to the next, which is, which is good. You're sort of keeping yourself open and you're learning and, and understanding like, Hey, I don't know how to do this. So I'm going to educate myself and learn a little bit more, and be able to do things that may not be at face value, what you went to, quote unquote, school for, but yet they are.
Yeah, I mean, we learn so many amazing skill sets throughout grad school, you know, whether it be the DPT program, or the ed d program, systems, right processes, standard operating procedures, things like that, like clinical development, and, you know, clinical thinking skills, critical thinking skills, all these things that we learn, are a lot higher level than a lot of the general public already know and deal with. So we can help by kind of bringing those things down and simplifying them, just like we would talk to a patient, right, if you're using layman's terms, you know, and I think the key here is to realize that we have a lot of these skills already, you can keep one foot in the healthcare boat already. Or you can diverged and go a different route. And you know, some of these skill sets, you're gonna have to learn because not everybody's, you know, born a natural with a lot of these skill sets. And that's okay, I've done that. But it's a good combination of taking as much as you already know, and pushing in on that. And then adding and supplementing a little bit here and there, when you find that you need it. You know, and that's where I think taking courses and paying for mentors, and doing all that stuff speeds up your timeline a little bit. You know, and that's why I'm a big believer in that I've had many coaches, many mentors over the last couple years, and they've totally sped up my timeline and showed me mistakes that they made and made sure I didn't make the right, you're still gonna make your own mistakes, there are a lot of them are going to be different than what your mentors went through, right? That's totally normal. But it's, it's realizing that they're not failures, they're just learning opportunities, you know, and I think we as pts are really good at being lifelong learners. And so it really shouldn't be a problem to dive into a skill set you're not familiar with, and just, you know, put your ego aside and being like, Alright, I don't know this, I need to learn it, here's a good resource, here we go, you know, just keep kind of attacking it until you get it right. You know, and I think at the end of the day, these multiple revenue streams now that are kind of growing are great, I love them, I'm very passionate and energized about them. They're definitely like passion projects for me, you know, and zones of genius for me, but it's a good way for me to get an outlet of creativity, I think, because I was an English major before I was a PT, right. So, you know, that to me was was a big transition in itself. But that's also helped me monetize blogs, monetize my book, right? monetize, SEO, and email sequences and copywriting. So, you know, again, all those things kind of fall into that consulting, revenue stream. But, you know, I had to learn how to adapt that English major into copywriting or into email marketing, or whatever it may be, you know, and I think the one key takeaway that I've had with all these revenue streams, is you've got to do one at a time, and you've got to get it flowing. And then you can step on to the next stream of revenue, then get that up and running, then get that flowing. And then step onto the next one. And again, you know, if you don't do that, you're going to fall for that shiny object syndrome, right, and you're going to be kind of chasing around, Ooh, that looks cool, that looks cool. I could do that, oh, I could do that, oh, that person's doing that, Oh, that looks really good. They all work. And you can do all of them, for sure. But you've got to get one down first, and then move on to the next and there's going to be you know, arguments and debates over what number is the right number to walk away from the first one and go on to the second one. I don't think it matters, I really don't just get it up and running, make sure it's making you some money, make sure it's profitable. And then when you're ready to step on to the next project, you're still gonna go back to the first one, you know, you're still who knows, you may even hire somebody to take over that portion for you. You know, but just knowing that there's multiple opportunities out there for physical therapists for healthcare providers, I think it's a great stepping stone for you to kind of open your mind a little and get out of that nine to five clock in clock out clinician mindset, you know,
and where are you now with? How many streams of revenue Do you have at the moment? And if you could put it in a pie chart, what is what makes up what? Because I think people would really be curious as Jeff, you mentioned a whole bunch. So where are you now? And what does it look like?
So I essentially what I teach, you know, all my students, I have what's called the feelgood method, right? Which is not just a clever play on my last name. It's also you know, how I make my students feel good about staying organized with their streams of revenue, right. So there's an umbrella on top and that's your holding company, right? For me, it's feelgood industries. pllc. Texas recommends if you have a professional license that you get a pllc it's different for every state. But, you know, doctors, lawyers, dentists, they all have pllc Alright, so since I started as a mobile clinic, I started as a pllc. then underneath that I had about four or five different revenue streams or tubes of revenue, that each of those was a DBA, or doing business as underneath the pllc. Eventually, I'm probably gonna have to turn some of those into their own individual LLC and make the pllc an actual holding company, but I'm not there yet. So, you know, with each stream of revenue, like I said, I have a couple little numbers next to each stream. And those are the checklists, things that you have to get done in order for that stream to start running. So I made a shift recently, because of my changing career, you know, like I said, the goal is to try to, you know, kick the bucket of the nine to five and do your own thing, you know, and go all in on entrepreneurship and your own business eventually, right? That's the hope. For me, my story's a little bit different, because my wife is a type one diabetic. And we need not just medical benefits, but good medical benefits, right? My nine to five might always be there. And I'm okay with that. I've learned how to kind of find the best possible job with the best possible benefits. and academia has afforded me that right now. So I'm able to do that, you know, at a little bit lower rate of like 32 hours a week instead of maybe 40. And that gives me more time then to work on the businesses. So while I was doing a lot of the mobile PT at first, that's kind of decrease now, because like I said, it's like, do I want to treat patients for $200 an hour do I want to do consulting at 1500? An hour, right. So I would say overall, you know, I've got the mobile business, I've got my online business and PT educator Comm. And then I've got my consulting, business, FTI consulting, and those are kind of the three main revenue streams. Now in those revenue streams. There's probably, I don't know, three or four different services, if you will, that are offered. You know, the consulting can be anything like injury prevention and wellness, because I've got that systemized. And I've got templates for that now where I can just come in, do the tour, see what's what, and then put together a presentation overnight. And then that also will have my copywriting little digital marketing. It'll have you know, Facebook ads, Google ads, it'll have copywriting, email, all that stuff underneath the consulting. And those I can charge, you know, for just one little piece, or put together a package where I'm like, Hey, here's what you need, here's what I recommend, you can go ahead and do it based on my outline, or if you need my help, here's my price, right, my fees. And then PT educator comm is just like I said, my online site where I do a lot of my blogs, I have a lot of the courses for sale and stuff like that. And that's just really to kind of keep me up to date on my writing. And, you know, my blogging skills and stuff like that just recently passed them the mark for 1000 subscribers and 4000, watch hours for YouTube. So I cannot monetize that as well. So the vlog cast, which I do one episode a week of an interview with somebody who's done that particular side, hustler side gig, starts out on YouTube, and then eventually makes it to the podcast in audio form. And that actually, the podcast hasn't even come out, that'll start September 1. With the first few episodes, I'll probably release three or four and the first one, and then do one a week after that. So if you want the new fresh content, you go to YouTube and watch the video if you want to catch up, you go to the podcasts. But if we're if we're giving it a breakdown, you know, I would say we're probably at about 60% of consulting at this point. And coaching, I kind of put coaching underneath that as well. And then I would say, you know, the the online business is probably about 30% at this point. And then treatment is just at this point, word of mouth, close family and friends here in the Wimberley area, you know, 10%? If that?
Yeah, got it? Yeah, I think that's really helpful for people to hear so that they're like, wait, I don't understand how, how is someone doing all of this at one time? Do you know what I mean?
Yeah, and let me make this clear, too. So 32 hours a week is still dedicated to my full time job and Right, right. So that gives me maybe eight hours extra to get to a 40 hour week, and then I work 50 or 60 hours a week, there's you know, I love that stuff, though. I would do that for free if I could all day every day, because that's what gets me excited, you know, the passion projects, helping people figure out a business model. So you're, you know, figure out what they can do for side hustles and side gigs. Even if it's just making an extra 500 bucks, you know, a week or something like that, you know that that could be huge for somebody who's having to pay 2000 bucks a month for student loans, right or 1500 bucks a month for student loans. So if we can figure out a side hustle or side business to get you started, at least, maybe you grow it big enough to the point where you can walk away from that nine to five and that's great if that's what you want to do. You know, but but I'm also to the point where I was working 60 or 70 hours a week for someone else and trading time for money and just wasn't cutting it. So I've scaled back, I've been able to, you know, increase my value on certain things and, you know, raise the prices on things enough to where I'm working less time and making more money. So it's like PRN rates don't even, you know, don't even cut it for me anymore. It's not even something I would look at. It's just not worth my time, because the money's nice, right. But the time freedom is really what you're looking for, I think, you know, I think people are, are looking to claim back a lot of that time with their family, not having to work weekends, not having to stay, you know, all hours at night at an outpatient clinic, doing notes and trying to, you know, stay on top of things. So, I know I've been there, man, it's a grind. And, you know, it's nice to be able to use my add and teach and to use my DPT and use that knowledge toward you know, something as trivial as a fantasy football injury course, right? That was one of the first courses I ever made. And then, you know, video gamers eSports, I did an Esports ebook on injury prevention for gamers, right? Like, that stuff is just fun to me, you know, I love that stuff. And we can use our knowledge to help those people and solve those problems. So why not do that? Right? Why not find a hobby or something you like? And just go all in on it, you know, and use your knowledge to help people. You know, so that's been a big a big finding for me over the last year or two, it's just that, you know, you don't have to work as hard. You know, you can scale back, you know, charge what you're worth, and make a lot more money in a lot less time. You know?
Yeah, that all makes sense to me. And what would be your says, we kind of come come to a close here, what, what is your biggest, your most important piece of advice for people listening, if they could take one, if you were like, oh, man, if you just took one thing away from this talk, this would be it.
Yeah, I think physical therapy or your profession, your career just has to be the tip of your iceberg, right? I mean, again, like I said, we as physical therapists can do so many things, we can help so many people, and it's like, if I go and treat a patient, you know, one on one, that's great, that one person gets better in that hour, maybe times eight hours a day, there's eight people, right? If you want to have a bigger impact, and you want to affect more people, right? Then maybe you coach somebody or teach somebody, you know how to start their own business. And now that person's treating, you know, 50 people a week. So now you're impacting 50 there, and the few that you were teaching, then you coach somebody else on something else, and they're helping, you know, 20 businesses, you know, with their patient intake model, and they're, you know, they're doing things, you know, at a higher rate. So now you're helping 20 businesses with 50 patients each, right. And so I think more impact can come if we realize that we're more than just a physical therapist that goes in and treats eight people a day, or 20 people a day, or 30 people a day, or whatever you're treating, right? Like we can do so much more. And we just need to think outside the box a little bit, you know, and be a little bit more than that nine to five clinician that clock in and clock out, you know, and then again, by having a bigger impact by helping more people, right, and then coming at it with a servant's heart. Money is just a byproduct, you can then take that money and pay off your student loans quicker if you want or invest in things that are going to make you more money down the line so that you can pay off the student loans, should you want to do it over a longer period of time. Either way, you know, it's just about opening your eyes and seeing that there's a whole lot more out there than just you know, going to outpatient clinic every day and seeing your patients.
Excellent, excellent advice and great takeaway. Now, where can people find you if they want to learn more about you what you're doing and how to get in touch with you?
Yeah, sure. So all of my tags are pretty much at p key educator on all the social medias. And then the book is on Amazon. It's available in softcover. And in Kindle, it's called PT educator, student debt eliminator, multiple streams of revenue for healthcare, academicians and clinicians. definitely have a second edition coming out pretty soon. So check it out, out while you can. You know, I'd love to see people hop on the second edition as well, because there are a couple of key changes with all the stuff that's going on nowadays, with cryptocurrencies and, you know, all sorts of investing strategies and stuff like that. So I'm still learning, you know, lifelong learner for sure.
Absolutely. And last question, what advice would you give to your younger self, knowing where you are now in your life and in your career? Yeah.
Don't Don't worry, as much, you know, just leverage the heck out of your, your career and your degrees. You know, use them to do what you want to do and what you enjoy doing, you know, leverage the heck out of it, you'll be fine.
Excellent, great advice. I've heard that many times on this show. So, Scott, thanks so much for coming on. This was great. I think you really gave people a lot to think about and some inspiration on maybe how they can use their passions and and think outside the box a little bit. So thanks for coming on.
Absolutely. Thank you, Karen. It's been a pleasure.
Absolutely and everyone, thanks so much for listening. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.