Another week, another Hassl Chat! As part of our in-depth interview series with fellow Hassl users, we’ve got Natasha onboard today. She runs Private Practice Alliance, a health practitioners consultancy; coaching and mentoring and virtual assistant to health psychologists to help them run their own successful practice.
In the wake of COVID-19, a lot of healthcare services had to move online, especially for psychologists and psychiatrists. This meant that a lot of healthcare professionals (dieticians, OTs, speech pathologists, physios, etc.) were instantly thrown into the deep end, trying to manage their own online practice. That’s where Natasha comes in. Natasha has been helping healthcare professionals manage their practice for 20 years over a decade and now, there is even more of a demand.
She was also one of our early users of Hassl, signing up over 3 years ago when we first launched! It was so great to gain some insight into her business and how she uses Hassl with her clients.
Hey Natasha! Let’s jump right in. How did your Hassl journey begin?
I’ve been using Hassl actively and recommending it to all my clients ever since I came across it. I use it internally for my team. It has come a long way, because in the very beginning it was basically a really good to-do list, and now it’s got so much more.
I create a project for each client and then I add all the action items for their business. We set up goals, smaller goals, big goals, brain dumps and everything is accountable.
We make a strategy (where they want to be in the year) and then break down that into months. Break that down into all their practitioners and then give the practitioners individual tasks on how they can get there.
Oh wow, that’s a well-knit system. Could you elaborate on how you use Hassl internally?
Well, for example, internally, when you do placement, we’ve created a series of internship templates with a list of tasks that they need to do. We can then replicate that project, so when they are onboarding placement students that have guidelines to meet, we assign it to the students. We can upload documents, or link to documents. This is a 2-year program, so they use their Hassl project for 2 years.
We love to see Hassl being used for multiple functions! Back to your industry though, what common issues are your clients facing currently, due to lockdown? Has Hassl helped ease that transition?
Personally, I’ve gone from working 60 hour months to working 80 hour weeks. Lockdown has made things go gangbusters, which is good but very tiring. I think the most common problem irrespective of lockdown is that there are so many amazing health practitioners but they might not be as good at running their business, you know? And if you’re working for yourself, you need both. I help spot gaps in their workflow process, and help them realise how small changes can make a big difference.
It could be as simple as, they’re working long hours but not making enough money. Maybe they need to increase their fees, maybe it’s changing the workday structure. Sometimes people don’t even have a structure!
What do your planning schedules, boundaries, rules, systems, and communication look like?
Automation. I hate emails. I have an autoresponder for my emails so whenever someone emails me, it replies with, “If it’s urgent my PA will sort it out.” All my clients know to only contact me via Hassl. No emails.
If my team needs me to do something, they just add it to Hassl. It’s the only way to get me to do something now! I don’t even have to talk to them most of the time, because it’s all in a task.
Respect your boundaries. I generally don’t work on Mondays and Thursdays. I need that time to be creative. I’m actually studying for my MBA as well, so at the moment there are Uni assignments. So there are not really days off at the moment.
How should others take control of their weeks and tasks?
Use a tool that works for you. I love Hassl, so I use that. But if you have other ways, use that and stick with it. Find what works for you.
If you like pen and paper, use that. You don’t need a fancy tool or a crazy specific system. Spend time on actual work, not planning and admin. Obviously, if you work in a team (especially remote) you need tools that are digital.
What about goal setting?
Set goals for the year and then break it down. If you reach your goals by October, take a breath and relax. If you want to push forward then it’s above and beyond, rather than feeling burnt out workinglooking week to week.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own practice?
Leave your ego at the door. Get paid while you’re learning and work for someone else. I started working with a psychologist when I was 19. I’ve spent my entire career with practitioners, working on how they scale and grow. I love it, but it’s very challenging at times.
You can learn from other people’s mistakes and build from what others have learned. Thinking you know better before you have ever learnt anything is a big call to make.