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Profit By Design

110 EpisodesProduced by Dr. Sabrina Starling and Mike BrunoWebsite

You work hard in your business.On the Profit by Design Podcast, we ask the BIG question: What has your business done FOR YOU lately?Join your co-hosts, Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist™ and author of the How to Hire the Best Series, and Mike Bruno, CEO of Contractor Business Solutions… read more


52: Insights and Discoveries from Taking a 4 Week Vacation with Dr. Jennie Byrne

What’s it like to leave your business in the capable hands of others while you take a 24-hour break? What about a week’s vacation? Can you imagine being gone for 4 whole weeks? 

We’re going to talk to a fellow entrepreneur who shares interesting insights and surprising discoveries that evolved from simply deciding to take a 4 Week Vacation and her coaching with Tap the Potential. Our guest today, Dr. Jennie Byrne, will be discussing going on that vacation and actually having that experience, The Pumpkin Plan process, and how it has impacted her strategic decision-making.

Dr. Jennie Byrne, MD, Ph.D. is a board-certified adult psychiatrist who focuses on high-quality, convenient, and innovative care for patients in the 21st century. She is the Founder and Owner of an Outpatient Psychiatry Group - Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill, PLLC. Her business focuses on seamless delivery of high-quality, convenient mental health and substance use care with outstanding customer service.


Show Highlights:


  • While working toward the 4 Week Vacation, the biggest issue Dr. Jennie encountered in the planning stage was deciding on, arranging, and documenting the procedure for the person who would be monitoring the monthly billing cycle and paying the bills. 
  • While away, Dr. Jennie planned to take this work back upon her return to work. On further consideration, she had an “A-ha!” moment and realized that accounting was a psychologically burdensome task and that leaving it in the hands of someone else took a load of mental energy off of her, that she wasn’t even aware had been there in the first place.
  • Another obstacle that Dr. Jennie encountered in preparation for her vacation, was with her patients. She needed to know if they would be okay without her for four weeks. Overall, she found that her patients were concerned for her and supportive. 
  • Dr. Sabrina shares some preparation tips:
    • Set the expectation that you will be gone and when.
    • Have multiple team members involved in service delivery.
  • Team members stepped into different roles during the time that Dr. Jennie was away from work, and this allowed for more definition of roles when she returned.
  • “Clarity” is the word Dr. Jennie chooses to describe another epiphany. This was the first opportunity in a long time for her to examine such issues as what it was she wanted, re-defining goals, where was the business going, where was she in her personal life, what does she really want and what are the distractions that are pulling her away from that.
  • This new-found clarity made her feel uncomfortable!
  • Dr. Sabrina strongly encourages listeners who are doing the 4 Week Vacation or who are in that situation where you have the opportunity, to step back, persist and be in that discomfort. Don’t distract yourself and pull away from it; there is good on the other side!
  • Dr. Sabrina divulges her personal experience with her 6-week vacation.
  • Dr. Jennie shares other takeaways from her vacation, including her discoveries about her way of “being” in the world and understanding her value.
  • What Dr. Jennie is now working toward is the day to day operations running without her, and the monthly operations, as well. She discovered that her being in the business so much was paradoxically hindering it.
  • Dr. Sabrina discusses Mike Michalowicz’s next book, Fix This Next, “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”, and how she sees it applying to Dr. Jennie’s experience.
  • Predictive Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) versus historical KPIs and the importance of having action steps.
  • The importance of understanding how your top patients (or clients) view your business.
  • Identifying core values and how they apply to your clientele.
  • The snow-ball effect of attracting the patients or clientele that share the same core values: stacking the deck for their success by clarifying who is most likely to be successful with you in the way that you run your practice, being more intent on attracting those folks to the business, and once they’re in, they have a better chance of succeeding with you, and getting better results. They tend to get better faster because they are effectively utilizing your service. When you get good results with your clients, word gets out and feeds that word of mouth.
  • Dr. Sabrina recalls the recent interview with Wayne Mullins (Episode 51), concerning “Building a High-Performance Culture”, on how he finds that A-players who do well on his team have a characteristic in common. That characteristic is having leadership experience, whether it’s in a school activity or a leadership role out in the community. Dr. Sabrina illustrates how this discernment aligns with identifying your ideal clients and The Pumpkin Plan process. 
  • Don’t discount the importance of environment and space with respect to how your clients experience your business.
  • Don’t discount the importance of the way that your administrative staff cares for your clients.
  • Dr. Jennie endorses the Tap the Potential Program and prepares prospective clients that there are challenges, but you come out stronger on the other side, and there is ongoing support so that you never feel alone.

Links and Resources:

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The Pumpkin Plan, by Mike Michalowicz

How to Hire the Best, by Sabrina Starling

Fix This Next, by Mike Michalowicz


If you missed Episode 50 with Mike Michalowicz (or want to catch it again!), 

you can listen to it here:


Don’t miss last week’ss podcast with Wayne Mullins from Ugly Mug Marketing, on “Building a High Performance Culture”! 


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