Oct. 11, 2021

E121 Taking Control of your Career with Joe Sanok | CPTSD and Trauma Healing Coach

In this episode, we have a guest speaker, Joe Sanok. Joe is a keynote and TEDx speaker, business consultant, and podcaster. He has the #1 podcast for counselors, The Practice of the Practice Podcast.

See show notes: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e121-taking-control-of-your-career-with-joe-sanok-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes

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In this episode, we have a guest speaker, Joe Sanok.
Joe is a keynote and TEDx speaker, business consultant, and podcaster. He has the #1 podcast for counselors, The Practice of the Practice Podcast. With interviews with Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, and Lewis Howes. He is also a writer for PsychCentral and has been featured on the Huffington Post, Forbes, GOOD Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Entrepreneur on Fire, and Yahoo News. His approach incorporates story, humor, research, and practical application.

We talk about, Taking Control of your Career, optimizing a group practice to free up time to work on big ideas, identifying the best specialty, and creating income from big ideas
Are you sick of exchanging time doing counseling for money? Do you have big ideas inside you?
Let’s come and join us as we dive into this episode!
Listen and Be Unbroken.

Learn more about Joe Sanok at https://joesanok.com/

Learn more about NW Recovery at https://nw-recovery.com/ 

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Follow me on Instagram @MichaelUnbroken

Learn more about coaching at https://coaching.thinkunbroken.com

Get your FREE copy of my #1 Best-Selling Book Think Unbroken: https://book.thinkunbroken.com/


Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world today. I'm super excited to have my guest today, Joe Sanok, who is a keynote and TEDx speaker, a business consultant, and a podcaster.

Joe is an incredible human being comes highly recommended by some of my friends who said, you have to have this human being on your show. So Joe, how are you, my friend? What is going on today?

Joe: I'm doing awesome. It's just great to be here.

Michael: Yeah, man. I'm super excited to have you. For those who don't know you can you give us a bit of your elevator pitch in how you got to where you are today?

Joe: Yeah, so I'm trained as a licensed, professional counselor also as a psychologist and four years had my own private practice and through that, I started podcasting about the business of Private Practice, all the marketing and business side of things we never learned that in grad school. So through practice of the practice, I now helped thousands of therapists every month. I'm just start growing scale, their privacy practices, but through that process, I noticed that a lot of these therapists were highly skilled in their particular areas, but they really didn't know how to look at their time, how to level up, how to really do their very best work, they're really getting into the weeds of their businesses. And so over time, just started to develop techniques to help them work fewer hours to do their very best work with their clients, but then to really be able to live great lives outside of that and that's where the book Thursday is the new Friday kind of came out of that journey of helping entrepreneurs, and I mean we can get to those techniques later. But really for me, it was coming from a place of, if these folks are helping people clinically they shouldn't go home and feel burned out in their families get the scraps, that they should be living a full life, be able to best help as many people as they can while also understanding that they have things outside of that clinical work that they want to do.

Michael: And I think that's so much of what happens for people regardless of industry. Just the other day, I was like, you know what? I'm taking mental health break, I'm clearing my calendar, I'm clearing my schedule, taking care of myself. And, you know, I think it's strange to me that we live in a society that pushes so hard on this idea, right now, of work – hustle, work – hustle, don't sleep, sleep when you're dead and I'm like you cannot practically build anything if you're exhausted, if you're burned out and worse, you're taking away from your family, from your community, from your friends, from your impact. So I know that people listening to this right now are in that place where whether or not they're an entrepreneur, they're working two jobs, it's fucking COVID, life is chaotic, they got the kids, I got the family. How do you start to navigate this thing around time and leverage it to your benefit?

Joe: Yeah, I think before we can even talk about where we're at and where we're going. It's really important to understand just a little bit of the history of time because sometimes we see things right now as being super normal, but in reality, they actually aren’t. So if we go back a few thousand years to the Babylonians, they made up the seven-day week, they looked up in the sky and they saw seven, major Celestial things, the Sun, the Moon, Earth Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Mars, so seven, and that's what they valued, so they had a seven-day week.

The Egyptians had an eight-day week, the Romans had attended a week. It wasn't until 300 that across the Roman Empire, it switch to a seven-day week when the emperor became a Christian, and so this thing that we think is so sacred, the seven-day week is actually completely made up. You know, the year makes sense, it's how long it takes us to go around the sun, a day makes sense because that's how long it takes to spin to get back to having the sunrise, but we could just as easily have had a five-day week and seventy-three weeks in a year. So then fast forward to the late eighteen hundred, early nineteen hundred. People were on average, working 10 to 14 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week. So in 1926, when Henry Ford instituted the 40-hour workweek, that was a huge step forward for the evolution of business and for people.

Henry Ford had this idea that he could sell more cars if he gave people a weekend when they actually could use the car to go somewhere. He's like, they're not going to buy a car to get to work faster if they have time off. Well, they'll definitely buy a car, so is this sell more cars, less than a hundred years ago. So, again, if we think about this as all there's this hustle culture, and you got to work all these hours. Where does that really come from? What comes from the industrialist? The Industrialist said; “We're just machines, your part of an assembly line.”

We do, we actually deep down, believe that still? Like, do we look at our co-workers and so you're just part of the machine? No, of course not. We see the nuance, we see the humanity, we see it. People have a ton of diversity and are passionate about all of that. We don't think like the industrialists in almost every other way, except for work. And the pandemic really, was that final nail in the coffin for the industrialists, where we all stepped back and said, why are we working this way? Like, yes, we all had different types of stress, our kids on Zoom school, and all the things that came with the pandemic, but one thing that it did do is it made a step back and say, do we want to keep working how we were working before this? And I would say no, and so when we look forward, we're the generation that gets to say post-pandemic will least, hopefully, post-pandemic will see what ends up coming out.

Gets to say, how do we want work to look moving forward and we're seeing that large corporations’ country's, small businesses are moving towards that four-day workweek to have more time to slow down to then be more creative and more productive.

Michael: I think that's a great idea and I'm fascinated actually by the history of it. It's so mind-boggling. How many things have been implemented by Henry Ford that continue to carry through and as someone who's an entrepreneur, I always look at that guy, go man! That guy was way ahead of his time in so many different ways, but that's neither here, nor there was just something that crossed my mind.

One of the things I'm curious about, you know, looking at this and understanding yes, there are many companies, many businesses, many countries that are moving towards this idea of adapting a different work-life balance but let's say you work for someone who doesn't, it's impacting your mental health, it's impacting your family, it's like every day you wake up. So I used to work from Corporate America, I hated going to work in the morning and I looked at it, I said, you know, I'm going to go and create the life that I want to have. If you're in this position, you got family, got kids, the whole nine and you're struggling through the mental health, aspects of it, COVID and depression, anxiety, Zoom fatigue, the whole nine, like, what can you really do to take care of yourself in this without just like, straight up quitting your job?

Joe: Yeah, so let's walk through what to do if you have a boss that may be open to this. There are going to be supervisors, companies, corporations that they're straight-up industrialists. They are thinking about just the bottom line; they aren't looking for creativity, they want butts in the chair, 40 plus hours a week. So you may be in kind of a crisis of decision, when you realize, wow! I'm working for an industrialist; this is never going to change; this is the next 20 years of my life if I stay here, you then have different decisions to make them, someone that there might be some wiggle room.

So if you're in that situation, that's just a decision you have to make in regards to staying in that job or not. But let's say that you think that your corporation or your company or your department has some wiggle room is looking at creativity. What we're seeing work is that oftentimes when you engage with a small group so might be six to eight people within a department and you all read the book together, you're, yes! We want to do this. And either engaging, the supervisor within that book club or engaging them after. Do you then talk to that supervisor about what are the common KPIs for that team? So you don't want a team that has an accountant and someone from creative and someone from sales and someone from customer service, you want to try to have that group be as cohesive as possible, in regards to the roles that they're in. So what are the two, maybe three key performance indicators, that team is being judged on, is it purely sales? Is it productivity? If so, was that productivity judged? What are the outcomes that you'll be able to say? Yes, you achieved it or no, you didn't. So then you prefer to make a proposal to that supervisor and say for the next two months minimum or three months, so up to a quarter, we want to do an experiment and in doing this experiment we want to do a few things, we want to see if we can outdo the productivity or creativity that we're being judged on, we want to do that in four days a week and if we're successful that for you as a supervisor is going to help you brag to the company show that your innovative, whatever their particular goals are.

So assuming that supervisor is up for it. Then what you want to do is you want to sit down with that team and walk through what are the clear boundaries that we as a team can all agree to because what can happen is say you all say, we're not going to email each other after we leave the office and it takes just one person, sending an email at 9:30 when their kids in bed, and then it starts this whole thing and you show up the next day at work and you're like I did know that there's this whole discussion going on and then the whole thing falls apart.

If you want to have some common hard boundaries and some common soft boundaries. So hard boundary would be something like alright, we are never going to an email from Thursday at 5:00 until Monday morning at 8:00. Okay. We're just that's going to be nonemail time or maybe you realize. Okay. We're an IT department. If someone's locked out with their password, someone has to be on call. So we're going to rotate through an on-call schedule. So you're going to try to work out all the potential problems of moving from a five-day workweek to a four-day workweek. What are the soft boundaries were areas that will have some reasonable wiggle room? What kind of fires if they happen? Or we can say, we just need to solve the fire, even though we said we're taking Friday off.

Let's not get sucked back in but who are the one or two people that can put out those fires? So then after you set those boundaries, then on Monday mornings or whatever your first day is, you want to evaluate first and foremost, how did we do on the boundaries? Hey! Listen, Jim, you sent me an e-mail at nine o'clock at night on Wednesday, I ignored it but that ended up making me on Thursday morning. Feel like I was out of the loop. I feel like we need to either say we're not emailing or we need to email. So having those conversations to say what is our culture as a team genuinely slow down so that we can have more creativity. And then next what you're going to do is you're going to look at your numbers with your KPI’s and report those out to the supervisor. So is it up 2% is the down 5% and then what are you going to do about each of those numbers moving forward so that supervisors getting weekly analytics that they can look at with this experiment.

Michael: I think those are great points Joe and even my team, we have boundaries here at Think Unbroken and they know when we are and are not working and even in the other companies that I run. And I in many times in my career professionally of set the precedent for being able to establish, you know, how work-life balance or relationships exist including in one of my companies, being the first person to step into remote work and I'm going to say this because a lot of people will hear this and we'll go, well, Joe would be awesome. I'd love to work, you know, four days a week, have Friday's to go take the kids to the park and do those things but I'm gonna tell you right now, the thing going through their mind is two parts;

One, the fear of asking, and two the predetermined idolization that it's not going to happen anyway, so why bother. How do you navigate those two parts of this conversation?

Joe: Yeah. So I think that you know, there are going to be industries that it's dangerous to raise these questions. And that's where we've got to look at a couple of things. We know that Friday is not as productive as Monday. We know, it's a half-lived day, it's a day, where we have birthday parties, we have baby showers, we have cheesy team building activities that it is not as productive as many other days of the week and that's where I think the experiment model can really work.

Also looking at some of the research that's out there. So there's Kalamazoo Valley Community College, it's in Southwest, Michigan in Kalamazoo, and several years ago, this HVAC instructor. So he's teaching about, Heating and Cooling and buildings. He, every Friday went up to the top of the building and took a picture and he looked at how few students were actually on campus. Then he ran the numbers and he said, this is how much it costs in the summertime for us to cool all of these buildings for Friday when nobody is practically in there.

And so he took that to the board and he said, you know if we just closed down on Fridays and just went Monday through Thursday in the summertime, here's how much air conditioning costs we would save per year. So they did it as an experiment for the first summer. Now, they've done it for several years, and they found that, yes, they've saved millions and AC, but there's a lot of unintended benefits, so they found that the workers were happier, they found the students were happier because some of those offices were open later, open earlier, they found that health outcomes were better and that people weren't leaving as much as you think about, if someone leaves a company, how long it takes for them to just to get a new person back up and running at the same productivity.

So there are all these ancillary things. So in your own industry doing as much of that kind of analytical research ahead of time and deciding for yourself, are you going to be the one that sticks your neck out? If you don't feel that, you can influence the company that you're working at, that you can't reshape it, that you can't push it to evolve in positive ways that we're seeing across society happen.

To me, that would be a big red flag. Now, not everyone has the privilege to just like mike drop, peace out, I'm leaving this but I would say that that's something to really think hard about, do I want to be in a business, that can't even help me feel safe to say, I want to try something innovative.

Michael: That's a super interesting thought in your right. I mean, I go back to being very young. I got my first job in Corporate America at 20 years old. I was working for a Fortune 10 company and at that time, I was for lack of a better term, terrified of stirring the pot at all, until I reached the point where I just didn't care anymore and part of that was because I just didn't care about the company. And I think that's a difficult pill to swallow when you have the livelihood of your family to take into consideration but also I think about this all the time, man, like my mental health is way more important than my paycheck and I think people get kind of trapped in this idea and with your experience in your background would love, if you could dive in this little bit. How does someone move through this idea that this job is their livelihood? Where is that fear is so prominent that the idea of there's you know, implementing something like this or just straight up quitting or going, what's next, but putting themselves first actually has become secondary to the corporation. How do you talk to people about that to let them know it's okay to have their mental health be first?

Joe: I would start with that you're paying in some way no matter what. So if you're at a stressed-out job where you don't have influence, where you can't be creative, where you can't bring new ideas, you're probably paying through your relationships. So maybe you have more tension with your spouse than you should, maybe you're not showing up as a dad, or a mom, as well, as you should, maybe you don't have time to be with your friends or to even have your health be a part of what you do, maybe you're eating out more than you should because you know like you just don't have time to cook.

So if you are stressed out and maxed out, you're already paying it may not be financially, but you're already paying and you may pay financially to I mean, divorces are freaking expensive. There are so many things that you're already paying for, so I would start with that.

I would also start with, I think, oftentimes, we underestimate the power of a worker and in regards to our own ability, to level up into other companies and with our experience. A lot of times when we feel so vulnerable is it, workers, when we haven't done our own planning personally. And so that's where even just starting to pay down your debt, starting to be a little bit tighter with your budget, saving up three or six months of living expenses so you can take bigger risks and not be able to have a house the next month, like, of course, we're not going to just kind of rock the apple cart when you have zero financial freedom, but to start to step back and say, like, why am I living on a razor's edge? Like, if you're living paycheck to paycheck, you're gonna have a lot more stress than someone that says, you know what? Let's live in a smaller place, let's not least, four cars or two big cars or whatever. We're going to just reasonably put money aside so that eventually I can push back and maybe recreate this job or job into another job without having as much risk.

Michael: Yeah, and I think there's something really big in the idea of creating the framework for what you want.I would have to assume this has been a part of your experience and probably something that you help people with but what role does having goals and setting goals to play in this entire process for you?

Joe: Yeah. I mean just for me personally, I had the full 40-hour a week job back in 2014. I was full time at a community college and that I had my side gigs going and so it is when I was going to leave that it really took a lot of planning; it took a lot of goal-setting to say financially how many clients do I need outside of this full-time job to be able to feel good about leaving this full-time job, both my daughters had heart issues. So I was bringing all the medical insurance, all of the money, my wife at the time, she was a stay-at-home mom. So it was a time where everything was on my shoulders. So I get it. That you're not just gonna jump because you're frustrated with your work and I actually wasn't even frustrated with my work. I loved the work that I was doing and I had lots of autonomy and it was actually harder I think because it wasn't leaving something I didn't like, it was moving into something that I thought could give me, you know, more satisfaction. And so just even being able to say for me, personally, what do I need to do in order to feel like I could make this jump? So I even made this whole like when to leave your job calculator, put it on a blog post and on my website because I put in my paycheck, all the benefits, everything and then said, okay, how many counseling clients do I need to just have Apples to Apples here to know. And when I saw that it was, I think 13 clients compared to a 40-hour, a week job and I was already 8 clients, we can like, I need five more clients just to make the same amount like that number helped inform me that it wasn't as big of a jump as I thought. I think for a lot of people they think it's this huge jump, but your skillset sometimes when you're independent and not that, I'm not saying everyone needs to go start their own businesses, but even to do something on the side and say so I'm doing this at work getting paid, you know 80 grand a year, so that's $40 an hour. What if I just started a side gig to test this out to see if I can get clients at 150 an hour with my skill set? Okay. What if I had four clients at 150, an hour a week and for a while, I worked every Tuesday night after work, for an extra four hours. What would that do to me to just show me that there are other paths, there are other ways to do it? To just be able to test out some of these different mindsets and realize that I don't have to do things exactly like the world is told me.

Michael: Yeah, and I think in that, you have to challenge yourself a bit, right? Because I go back to being an entrepreneur from a very young age and this audience has heard it, The Unbroken Nation, I'm sorry, you've heard it a million times, you guys know, but being an entrepreneur to me, as always felt like, that's where Freedom truly is, and it's not about money, but it's instead about passion and kind of honoring who it is that I believe that I'm capable of being, and the idea that we're stuck in this corporate environment often feels it's like sieving and sucking from you, right? It's like taking your energy. Let's say for context sake, you do want to step into creating a side hustle, right? Maybe it's just extra money to go for a trip or help the kids, or whatever it is. How do you actually like to balance that? Because I think people get caught up in this idea that you have to do it all the time and I'm always thinking, like, I think you have to do it right all the time. So how do you kind of balance that a navigate that part of it show?

Joe: I think that whether we're talking about a side hustle or even entrepreneurs that are doing things on their own. We have to know the book ends. So when are you working when are you not? And so if you're doing a side hustle, it's really hard if you say outside of work, I'm always side hustling. That's a terrible and toxic culture to set up for yourself versus, you know, what, every Monday night, I'm going to work on this for two and a half hours, or I'm going to step away and work on this. This is where your sprint types really come into play because we found that learning to personality types, we have sprint types, and so the way that we work, we want it to match our brains. So first, we want to look at when you're sprinting, when you're running full tilt towards the side hustle. First, you enjoy batching things whereas the same thing all the time, or do you need variety in the work that you're doing? So you want to look at that? Like how do you do the work?

Then the other question we want to ask ourselves is when so do you do the work every week? So it's every Monday for two and a half hours, you're going to work on it, or do you need to set aside a retreat for yourself?

So some people need to have that intensive sprint, where you go away, and you just go work on the side hustle and then you come back and you don't really think about it and then you go away and so figure out your sprint type and walking through that then allows you when you're going to do the work, you get more done. And so I would say that being able to really figure out our environment using Neuroscience to get more done in a short period of time, realizing that we need to have frequent breaks to reset our brain, all those things help us get the most out of the time we dedicate to a side hustle.

Michael: I love that and I think a word I'm going to add that you didn't use is boundaries. Guys, I'll tell you right now, you got to put boundaries on yourself and businesses and relationships, and career, and family in the whole nine.Joe, before I ask you, my last question, can you tell everybody a little bit more about the book where they can find it? What's going on in your life and where they can find you?

Joe: Yeah. Absolutely! It's the book called Thursday is the new Friday. It's available wherever you get your books. You can pre-order it on Amazon, it drops on October 5th, you can also get it from local bookstores just have them order it, and that'll arrive on October 5th. And if you get five of them, we have access to a digital conference that you get to come to and then if you get 10 of them, then you get to join a mastermind group that I'm hosting for six weeks through November and December. And thursdayisthenewfriday.com is where there's all the information about submitting your retreat, your receipt. If you want access to any of those bonuses, you can just order it wherever you want to get it, we have audio, we have digital and kind of traditional it's through HarperCollins and we have a lot of other details over at JoeSanok.comwhere people are submitting their experiments as they try new things around four-day workweeks. We want to learn from each other. We want to hear what you're doing so you can submit your experiments there as well any book clubs or things like that that are going on will be over at JoeSanok.com.

Michael: I think, I love the idea of the four-day work week, man. I hope we implement it. Maybe we can get to two days. I don't know. We'll see what happens. My last question for you, my friend is, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Joe: Yeah, so I think that a lot of times when people hear the word unbroken, they think that you've never been broken or they think that the highest thing to achieve is to not have pain in your life or to not go through tough things and I would actually argue that the unfolding of your life for all of its good, it's bad, it's terrible, it's happy is uniquely your life. And for me, I've been through a lot of traumatic and terrible things, when I get to the end of my life, I want to relive those things. No, but that's my unique life. And if God, or Spirit, or energy or force, or whatever, said, to me, Joe, would you rather just absorb into the universe? Or would you rather go back and relive this unique one life that Joe Sanok lived?

I think every time I would say, I want to go back and relive it. But to relive my unique life means that I have to go through the broken parts and the unbroken parts and the parts that were messy and terrible, and harmful, and traumatic, and also, those high points. And so for me, it would be just allowing the unfolding of my life to happen and trying to have as little judgment around it, and learning as much as I can for the future to cause less harm towards other people.

Michael: Beautiful, and very well said, my friend, thank you very much.

Unbroken Nation. Please check out Joe and will put all the links in the information in the show notes.

Please as usual, like, subscribe, comment, share, leave a review.

Tell a friend and until next time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you.

Joe SanokProfile Photo

Joe Sanok


I’m Joe Sanok.

In 2012 I launched Practice of the Practice to blog about what I was learning about business, marketing, and private practice. Since then, my income has gone up over 2,000%. In the beginning, I was making around $1000 per month. In 2015, I grossed over $200k!

In 2019, I sold my private practice. I’m a keynote and TEDx speaker, business consultant, and podcaster. I have the #1 podcast for counselors, The Practice of the Practice Podcast. With interviews with Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, and Lewis Howes.

I am also a writer for PsychCentral and have been featured on the Huffington Post, Forbes, GOOD Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Entrepreneur on Fire, and Yahoo News. I am the author of five books and have been named a top Therapist Resource for my podcast, blogging, and consultant services.

My approach incorporates story, humor, research, and practical application.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.