Rachel Kapp is a Board Certified Educational Therapist and the CEO of Kapp Educational Therapy Group.  Rachel also hosts a podcast Learn Smarter: The Educational Therapy Podcast.  

In this episode, Rachel and Kelsey talk with Danielle about how Rachel was able to plan her maternity leave with her team so that her business would continue to thrive without her and she could still get quality time with her newborn. 

In this episode, Rachel and Kelsey also discuss: 

  • Planning your leave and the emotions behind it 8:05
  • The importance of having a savings in business 13:31
  • Looking at your business metrics and how much revenue you bring in 14:36
  • Why you need to look at your KPI’s before going on leave 23:45
  • Setting boundaries while on leave and preparing your team 28:53

Connect with Rachel: 

Website | https://www.kappedtherapy.com/

LinkedIn | https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-kapp-m-a-board-certified-educational-therapist-735722111/

Podcast | https://learnsmarterpodcast.com/

Connect with Danielle:

Website | https://www.kickstartaccountinginc.net/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/kickstartaccountinginc/

Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/kickstartaccounting 

Twitter | https://twitter.com/KickstartAcct

Things Mentioned in Today’s Episode: 

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Full Episode Transcript:

Danielle  0:00  

Welcome back to another episode of entrepreneur money stories. Today we have Rachel cap on the show. Rachel is a longtime friend, and I’m really excited for her to share her journey on how to prepare for a leave from your business. A little bit about Rachel. Before we dive into our conversation, Rachel grew up in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in sociology and minored. In Jewish Studies, Rachel began tutoring students in high school and eventually choosing to pursue a career in education. For over six years, Rachel was a lead preschool teacher, where she gained a firm foundation in explicit teaching. Rachel has been a tutor in private practice since 2004. Working with students in a variety of subjects, including all levels math, reading, history, and writing. After working with so many types of students over the years, and realizing she was passionate about building relationships with and helping students who learn differently, Rachel decided to pursue educational therapy. She completed her coursework at California State University in 2015, and a master’s degree in December of 2016. Rachel is now the proud owner of CAP educational therapy. In her free time, Rachel loves spending time with her husband Adam and their dog Fritzi watching cow football, cooking for friends or spinning. Uh, you are going to learn so much from Rachel today. She’s very vulnerable and open and really sharing her experience. So take out your notebook and pens. And here’s my conversation with Rachel. Rachel, welcome to entrepreneur money stories.

Rachel  1:40  

Thanks for having me, Daniel.

Danielle  1:42  

We also have Kelsey Chester here. You guys have heard Kelsey, on the show several times. Kelsey, thank you for coming back again.

Kelsey  1:48  

Thank you, I always have such a good time.

Danielle  1:51  

So Rachel and I, and Kelsey, all three of us go way back. Rachel, you and I have known each other since I think 2018.

Rachel  1:59  

That’s a earlier 17 2017. Or it could have even been 2016. Not 100%. Sure.

Danielle  2:07  

Yeah. So I always like to give Nataliel a shout out because she did bring so many amazing people into my life. So shout out to biz chicks and chicks live for bringing you into my world. So we’ve been friends and colleagues and we work together for a long time. And so one question that we get from a lot of our clients that kickstart is how do I plan for a leave, and this can be in your example of maternity leave. However, this can be an extended vacation, a sabbatical, we have a parent, now he’s going on a sabbatical, it can just be a long family vacation, sickness, maybe a surgery. So these are all examples of CEOs who need to take time away from their business. And so we asked you to come out and just share your experience with planning Sure, your maternity leave. So I’m really excited for this.

Rachel  2:54  

So let’s see, I had my son in July of 2021. Actually, he and my husband shared the same birthday, which is so my goodness, they do and but going back a little bit I had shared with Kelsey, very early in my pregnancy that I was pregnant. We were so excited. We were talking about all the things baby because Kelsey and I have worked together as long as I’ve worked with you in this capacity, Danielle, and we meet monthly. And I’m like, okay, Kelsey, tell me what’s going on. And tell me how to pay myself and what’s the payment and let’s look at the numbers. And she walks me through everything that we’ve talked about as being important. So I knew letting her know was going to be helpful rather than sort of her making, like, helping me to make decisions financially and sort of otherwise, too, because her first question was like, okay, so what do you want?

Danielle  3:53  

Yeah, so let’s talk. Let’s time I was sorry, let’s tell the audience what do you do? What’s your business? Yeah, I need some color.

Rachel  4:03  

So I am an educational therapist. I’m also a podcaster. An educational therapist is someone who works one on one with learners with various learning profiles, helping them to become independent and successful learners in school and in life. We are not tutors, and you can go listen to my podcast if you want to learn more about the difference. I won’t go into all that now. I own and operate cap educational therapy group. We’re in Beverly Hills, California, and virtually everywhere. And so at the time that I became pregnant, I was still seeing clients full time and I was still podcasting full time. And so there were a lot of balls up in the air. And there were a lot of things that I was directly responsible for in my business. And my husband, I should say, is an amazing father and partner and he works production. We’re in Los Angeles. And so he goes from working to not working. And which is, I have always said, I loved because I love having a house husband, a lot of stuff gets done. That’s great. And you know that yes, I every time he would, he’s actually starting another full time job now. And I’m like, I’m losing my house. So he absolutely knows that. And so I knew that his show cycle was going to end about six months after our son was born. And so our plan at the time, and what ended up happening was that once he was back, being done working, and back to being our house husband, he would take over more full time with our son allowing me to go back to work in some capacity, we just didn’t know what it was going to look like,

Danielle  5:51  

you have one location or two locations. Now.

Rachel  5:54  

We have one location, but two offices at that one location.

Danielle  5:58  

Okay. And then you serve clients virtually as well.

Rachel  6:01  

Yeah, so one of the virtues of having a podcast is you can work with clients, anywhere. And in our practice, we specialize in learners with ADHD, and or executive functioning skills challenges. And so our work is incredibly effective virtually, and we pivoted like everybody else in COVID. And we’re never gonna go back in person.

Danielle  6:25  

Alright, so you’re seeing clients full time, you’re also have your hand in all the operations of the business. Was that by choice? Because you want it to be doing that? Oh,

Rachel  6:37  

yeah, at that point, I was doing the things that was lighting me up, I like being the first point of contact when a new client is coming into the practice. I liked that connection point. And to be honest, I’m really good at converting the numbers. And so I was enjoying the role that I was having in the business, I knew that I wanted to get to the point where I wasn’t going to be seeing as many clients and pregnancy and having a baby is a perfect excuse to sort of transition out of that. And so gradually, as clients naturally graduated out of the practice, and out of working with me, I just wasn’t replenishing my caseload and was replenishing my team members. case loads.

Danielle  7:28  

Okay, so Kelsey is one of the first people you tell,

Rachel  7:31  

yep. She knew before my family.

Danielle  7:36  

So you knew right away that you needed to get your money team on board, to talk about planning for leave. Let’s talk about some of the mindset pieces that come into this. Because when I hear people say to me, I need to plan to leave. And there’s a lot of emotions that go behind that. So during that initial conversation, what was going through your head? What was the mindset behind that? And Kelsey, maybe if she didn’t remember it correctly.

Rachel  8:05  

Kelsey, do you remember me telling you?

Kelsey  8:08  

Oh, my gosh, yes. On a personal level, I was so excited. I cannot believe what I was hearing. And then it was like, All right, it’s go time. Let’s make a plan. Let’s make sure you’re prepared. But yeah, we knew we were pretty early on. So we had lots of time to get everything ready. But

Rachel  8:24  

yeah, in terms of emotional journey, I am not going to toot my own horn. But I’m going to take a second to do that anyway. Which was, yeah, I had built this team around me that was going to allow me the time that I needed, they were going to protect me from the stuff that was going on. I should say, I also have a business bestie who you guys. I also work with Stephanie Pitts, who owns vi at therapist, and we have our podcasts together. And I knew that her plus my operations by business operations person at the time, were going to be a good team together because they also work together if things came up, I felt comfortable deferring, ultimately to staff to Corey and then to Katie, who’s one of my team members in the practice. And so I had cultivated this group of people that could make decisions on my behalf, but it’s my first baby. And you know, there’s a lot of mindset work that goes into your clients working with somebody else and you know, other people having relationship with your clients and, and stepping away and what was that going to due to the numbers and because the goal was I wanted to take advantage of you know, state maternity benefits. We’re in California. And I’m not sure if other states have it, but I guess it’s a state by state thing.

Danielle  10:05  

It’s state by state money. Okay,

Rachel  10:07  

we know, you didn’t have anything that’s awful. We need to address this as a society people we deserve, like, paid family leave. But anyway, I wanted to take advantage of what California had to offer, which was, I think four months of disability prior to birth. And then six weeks of benefits. I’m not I can’t quite remember anything, but we looked it up. And we, you know, made calls and, and collaborated with the appropriate people to make sure that I was taking advantage of everything properly. And, and then ideally, I would have liked to have continued paying myself without working in the business and just from the profit, am I using the right word? It’s profit, it’s the leftover money. Okay.

Danielle  10:58  

So you’re saying that when you got back, so you your plan was to use the state benefits while you were gone? And then when you came back, be able to pull

Rachel  11:06  

to pay? I wasn’t even. Yeah, I wasn’t even back. Technically, I was just sort of watching the money come in and come out monthly, right, Kelsey?

Kelsey  11:15  

Yeah, if I can step in. So she really wanted to take advantage of this time off and really enjoy the time with her newborn. So the plan from the get go was, she was going to try to step away from the business as she could after the plan was put in place for who’s going to take over what, and then we would continue to send her financial updates on the business. So she kind of had an idea of what was going on. But just once a month, you know, try not to bother with a whole lot else. But just to have that one monthly touch point about it, which I’m

Rachel  11:45  

perfect because my brain couldn’t have handled more. Like, there’s so much tracking going on with my son that I Yeah. Was there

Danielle  11:54  

anything different that that you provided to Rachel that helped you, Rachel be able to keep your just pulse on the business without having to get involved? Was there anything in those monthly reports that you can share with audience that they might want to put in place as they’re thinking about taking leave? Like, what? What worked and what didn’t work? Right? Like, what numbers were you like? Okay, yes, this makes me feel like the business is still healthy and running.

Rachel  12:22  

I have to defer to Kelsey, because sometimes I don’t even understand what’s in my monthly email now.

Kelsey  12:29  

I’m not doing my job, right?

Rachel  12:31  

No, because you point me in the direction when we need. Like, Rachel, this is what you need to understand. And this is like, I will tell you what I think has been incredibly helpful is the long term relationship that you and I have had, because you’ve been through quite a few iterations of the business and the podcast, and which does generate revenue at this point. And so you were able to provide some long term perspective on what was going on with the numbers. Right, Kelsey?

Kelsey  13:04  

Yeah, so something that’s a little bit unique, or not a little unique, but something that’s important to note about Rachel’s business is that she brought in, you know, revenues to the business. So when she stepped out that business no longer had heard revenues. So it was really what is the effect that is having on the business? So gross sales numbers, wages? What’s happening to the bottom line with which our revenue associate with her being pumped into the business?

Rachel  13:31  

Yeah. Which is something that we’re still talking about, and sort of, that’s for sure. Yeah. And we definitely saw the impact of that. But what I will say is that the business, had enough healthy savings, that I was never worried financially, about the business or paying my bills, everything was automated, everything was handled. And there was still absolutely money for me left over when I came back, maybe not as much as I hoped, because I don’t think I appreciated how much I personally was bringing in one on one with the work with that I was doing, but there was absolutely, I mean, it’s the stain to help sustain our family during this year where my son’s about to be one where, you know, I wasn’t working for six months. And then my husband wasn’t working for six months, and we made it a year. And so a lot of that is in part to making wise choices with Kelsey about what to do and when. Right.

Danielle  14:36  

Yeah, I think that’s a really good metric for people to pay attention to. So if you’re somebody listening, who maybe your leave isn’t a pregnancy, right, like right now it’s time to plan or maybe you just found out you’re pregnant. And so you have time to Yeah, to start looking at the metrics of what is the revenue that I’m tied to personally, what is the percent of revenue that is going to pay staff members? Am I profitable? But by clients? Am I profitable as a team member? And what would the business look like without me? And gosh, that even if you’re planning a leave or not, I still think that this is an important metric to be looking at. Yeah. Great. Well, will that metric ever go away for you now that you have it in place?

Rachel  15:17  

I don’t think so. I don’t think so. It’s incredibly informative. I mean, Kelsey, we met yesterday to talk about something specific with a team member of like, how their profitability it helps me to both avoid is something that I know is an issue knowing that, like, Okay, I have to ask the question, and Kelsey is gonna give me the answer. Because once you get the number, you can’t pretend like you don’t know it. But no, it’s never going away. It’s helpful in making hiring decisions. It was helpful recently, parting ways with a team member. And it’s, it’s been a really important metric moving forward of me making decisions about what I’m charging, decisions about what I’m paying people, structure decisions about how I’m paying people. Yeah, it’s been really critical. If you have a team where they’re generating revenue for you. You want to know their profitability for you as well. How much money are they actually bringing in versus what it feels like? They’re breaking out?

Danielle  16:23  

Yeah, one of the things I want to touch on before we move on, you use the word I had a healthy savings. And I think that this is a really difficult topic for people. We have over savers and under savers who listen to the show. Yeah. And neither is wrong or right. Right. It’s just a balance that we’re all trying to strike. I hear from some of our clients who say, I am always scared to spend money in my business, I always feel like I can just save, save, save, nothing’s ever enough. And then we have other people who don’t have enough savings to be able to take a step back from their business. So how did you determine what was a healthy savings? Was that an analysis of a number that you guys picked out? Or was it just time that accumulated?

Rachel  17:11  

Yes. The answer’s yes to everything. Yeah. I mean, and Kelsey, feel free to jump in. But I will just say I default to conservative. And we both do for Yeah. And so there’s a lot of conversation about what I need at that particular moment versus because we’re also conservative financially as a family. So I think at some point to me out, you said, I need a certain amount of months, and I can’t remember it was three or six months of business. What do you Yeah,

Danielle  17:46  

so I, on the low end, two to three, on the high end, it can be six to 12. You know, like, the more conservative you are? And I think it depends on the size of your business, right? Yeah. If you’re just starting out, and you have a smaller business and less operating expenses, it’s a lot easier to have six months worth of savings. Yeah, as your team grows, and your payroll numbers are growing, it might be much more difficult as you have that larger Payroll Expense, that larger team to then go and say, I’m gonna multiply this by six. I mean, that’s, uh, that can be a lot of money as you write. So I think the minimum would be two to three for anyone listening.

Rachel  18:25  

Yeah, I definitely felt like I had more than that. And I was diligent about putting money aside for taxes. And I was diligent about whatever that number was, I would always make sure that that was handled, because I don’t like debt. And I don’t want to feel like I’m working this hard to not be able to do what I need to do personally. But also, like, I didn’t want to get hit with a bill that I just the idea of it makes me like break out in hives. And so making those determined, like, it’s very common when Kelsey and I made and when we were meeting during this time to say, Okay, this is what I need, right? Like, these are conversations I was having with my husband. I’m like, I’m meeting Kelsey, tomorrow. So what do we need for the now you know, like, having those conflicts and Adam, my husband will come into our meeting sometimes and like, Kelsey will have a question like that. I don’t know. And we’ll talk about it, the three of us. So I love it. I love the fact that like the three of us sometimes will come up with ideas of what to do together. But I yeah, I definitely err on the conservative side. And now we’re going to be in a rebuilding year to rebuild those savings.

Kelsey  19:38  

Yeah, so Rachel has a three month savings account, where she has expenses to cover three months and then attack the savings account. So we would always update her average monthly expenses. And then as a business grows, that number grows that we add more to the three months savings account, but when we knew she was going to go on maternity leave, you know, she decided let’s, let’s put a little bit more, let’s put a little bit more. And we kind of used to joke like, all this, you know, all this money is sitting here that never got a need. But I think everyone was really thankful that that money was in there because yeah, what the future holds. And after she came back from maternity, it didn’t quite turn out how she had planned. So having that money in there was really helpful. Yeah.

Danielle  20:28  

What do you what do you mean by didn’t turn out as you planned? Because I think that one of the most important things is to plan for things not working out the way you planned. And I’m not saying have, you know, Scenario A through Z planned out in your head, but maybe Rachel, you can share a little bit of yeah, that experience and how you learned?

Rachel  20:49  

Yeah, it was it was interesting, I’m on a couple of different levels. I also get KPIs from he voted to keep progress indicators, whatever it is KPIs from my team. And there were a couple of issues going on that needed addressing while I was on maternity leave, and I didn’t have the bandwidth to it. First was numbers that we’re converting from discovery calls because another team member was taking over those and I wasn’t loving those numbers when I was when I, I came back a little bit earlier than I expected to start taking over those calls, taking those calls back. And then retention. And so there’s normal cyclical things that happen in my business, we work with learners who are in school. So we’re, we’re not linked to the academic calendar, because certainly educational therapy intervention should not stop over the summer, but reality of life sets in and kids are at camp or they’re traveling. And so it’s inconsistent. And I learned from like a CEO perspective that I needed to coach my team on how to ebb and flow with it better, and how to prepare for it better. So that was one of the things that we are interesting this year, now that I’m back. So in terms of things not working out, I really think both Kelsey and I thought there was going to be I don’t know, Kelsey, you can tell me I, I thought there was going to be like, excess money that I just be able to, like pay myself with. And the truth was, was the business was running on itself. But there wasn’t this, like, extra money, or enough extra money to that we were hoping. So when it came time to when my family needed money. We went into the savings and Kelsey just had to remind me that this is what savings is for. Yeah, this is why we have it. But it’s it’s hard, because I just wanted to sit there and I wanted to look pretty. And just sit there and be pretty, as my dad would say, and I needed to use it.

Danielle  22:53  

Yeah, there’s a lot of mindset work that goes in there. Yeah. sucks. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Kelsey, maybe you could share, like, how did you you coach Rachel through this? Because I love that you say like, it’s meant to be used? Right. I know, I would have the same issue, Rachel. So you’re not alone on that? Yeah.

Kelsey  23:12  

This is what you say, for these types of emergencies. But we looked at the options, you know, we looked at what she needed, personally, what was available in the business and had to move things around based on that. And there really was no other option. But luckily, she had it.

Rachel  23:29  

No, and the business never went into debt.

Danielle  23:31  

We were prepared. How often was your team sending you those KPIs? Monthly? Monthly? Okay, was there anything else that they were sending you, you mentioned, retention, close rate, their KPIs that you can think of?

Rachel  23:45  

There’s a lot I’d like also enrolled comparison. So I like a month by month comparison. It’s really interesting to have all this data to look back on pre COVID. What happened in COVID, post COVID, one of the things we’ve been talking about is do we want to go fully virtual? Do we want to sort of get rid of our impersonal offices because consistently 75 to 80% of our clients are meeting with us virtually. And we all really like it. And I’m sort of just letting it live for right now. I get a like average amount of hours that everybody is booked for versus average amount of hours that are actually working. That’s been informative for us. And then in terms of the discovery calls, I get a lot of information. And it’s been helpful because there were times where I was trying to figure out why these things. Why are these clients that sound like they’re going to convert on the phone? Why don’t they ultimately become a client? Is that we charging too much? What is it that we’re doing? Where are they coming from? And so that’s been informative to figure out like, why they don’t become a client and where those clients are coming from and then why they the clients that we could reasonably predict become a long term client. And so that’s my favorite thing when that form gets filled out, and the person who does it Katrina and my practice she, she is always like, Okay, I’m doing your KPIs. I hate doing this, but I love looking at it after. So it’s,

Danielle  25:18  

I love it. It’s music. It’s music to my ear. Yeah. And I think monthly, it gives you enough time and space out of time to go by, but not so much time that you don’t have time to react to it. Right? Yeah,

Rachel  25:30  


Danielle  25:31  

quick enough reactions. Yeah. Alright, so you mentioned Katrina, who on your team put these metrics together for you while while you were out. And then now that you’re, you’re back, maybe they continue to do that, because I can hear members of the audience and our clients saying, but who’s going to do that for me while I’m gone, right,

Rachel  25:48  

I’d never did the KPIs good. So I’m not detail oriented enough very much, big thing. And I would rather be thinking about how we can support our learners better, and how we can be supporting our audience better on the podcast, then, figuring out how many clients came into the practice. So it was always my operations team that was doing it. So it started with quarry, I can tell you how far we go back, we go back with this to 2019. Nice. And, and so I have the monthly comparison. And I can look at it like year by year. And then the total hours in the business, the monthly amount generated, and then the conversion numbers, because those are important to me. And so there are trends that we can see. And I will say staff also gets pretty much the exact same metrics. If we ask for a different metric from Katrina, because we both use Katrina, we will often say, Hey, do this for Rachel, or do this for staff to like, let’s because Steph and I will have those conversations internally. And if you don’t have the biz bestie, I highly recommend you get one. Because it’s helpful to see that, okay, it’s not just my business, that like has had a really long spring break couple of months, like Spring Break went for like three months this year. And we saw the ripple effects of that in the business and stuff would see it as well. And so highly recommend that you have someone who’s doing all the same things at the same time. It’s very validating, that’s beautiful.

Danielle  27:24  

Yeah, what I heard from you that I just want to reinforce is that you don’t have to be all things to your business know where your expertise is. Right? Your zone. Yeah, yes. And if your zone of genius is not being in the weeds to make sure that you have the right team members in place to be able to do that. Let’s go back to planning. Yeah, let’s, let’s circle back. What else? Yeah, we talked about some of the financial pieces. Let’s talk about operations, and just some of the other, what are some of the other things that maybe came from this initial conversation with Kelsey, or as US continued to talk monthly? What are the things did you guys think of that needed time and space in order to be able to withstand without you,

Rachel  28:07  

from an operations perspective, I was doing the discovery calls. So that was, I think, probably the hardest thing for me to give up. And because I’m good at that, and I also liked doing it, and, and because of the podcasts like people are excited to that I’m the one that answers the phone, so to speak, even though I don’t answer the phone, sign up for a phone call. I’ll never answer the phone. But I that was difficult for me to sort of give that. I will also say it was around the time that I was pregnant that we specialized. And so that was maybe not the brightest time to have a big iteration in the business. But I felt it deeply that that was the right next move

Danielle  28:49  

to choose that timing.

Rachel  28:53  

I had been sitting on it for about a year. And just sort of watching which clients were coming in. There’s a lot of mindset work that goes with specialization, as you know. And I didn’t want to lean in, even though I knew I was going to be taking a break. I wanted to act as if I wasn’t pregnant and do the things that I would normally do. I didn’t want to have like 10 months, and then another six months of maternity leave where the business wasn’t growing. Because of me, and my personal life. Does that make sense? Like I just can’t help who I am. And so just staying in the zone of like what we had been doing just because that’s what we did. Was it working for me anymore and I was ready to evolve. I didn’t understand necessarily the ripple effects that that would have on team members on like retention numbers, like I think that was part of the retention issue is when you’re working on executive functioning skills, you really do have to be like you have to have it Has coming up so you can learn to back man, because you can’t sort of arbitrarily make that up for our learners. So we can’t create that false sense of like urgency for kids. And so we’ve learned, we learned from it for sure not to say if I took another extended leave, which I absolutely would, again, because it was great, I wouldn’t put a throw big change in right before I had the other things that needed to sort of get managed were like personnel issues, which Cory and Katrina could handle, and I trusted them. What I’ll say is like the people who took over had been with me for a while. And I mean, it was strategic I want, I knew I wanted to have a family. But I knew I wanted to get I mean, my husband and I would talk about the business getting to a certain point so that I felt like I could. And we’re so lucky that everything worked out the way that it did for us. But something else that needed to get managed was like the clinical issues that would arise when team members were having issues with a kid or they’re more likely with their parents. And I knew, I knew that Katie, who’s my longest standing team member would be well equipped to handle it. And we had, we had meetings and we sat down and we said, Okay, if this like the buck stops here, and this is what you guys do, if you and Cory, If Katie and Cory can’t come up with a solution. That’s when you go to staff, they actually said to Steph, oh, probably seven. Elliot, this was recently my son was probably like seven months old. And I’m like, yeah, it seems like you’d never had to step in and handle anything, because I would do the same for steps versus if she needed a long leave. And she’s like, No, of course, they came to me, we just never told you about it. I’m like, Oh, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. She’s like, you were giving birth. And there was like a COVID exposure situation in your office. And they came to me, and I’m like, Cool. Thank you, everybody, for protecting me, I had no idea that that had happened. And I didn’t need to know it wouldn’t have helped me give birth to know that that was going on. So

Kelsey  32:03  

Rachel was very clear in that. Don’t talk to me about work while I’m on maternity leave.

Rachel  32:10  

I really wanted that time, I really wanted to be with him. And, yeah, and, um, so

Danielle  32:19  

boundary boundary, I think that’s really hard as a business owner, to put up that boundary, and be able to accept that and accept that your team is going to be able to handle that without you and be able to give the right people the authority to be able to make decisions on your behalf. So

Rachel  32:36  

I think that they felt that I think that’s a really good way of wording it. It’s like people felt like they had the authority and the rest of the team knew that this was the plan. And don’t come at me. And you can always reach out to me personally, although everybody was extremely respectful to the point that I had families when I came back saying they had asked to talk to me and the team had said no, like, they’d asked the team to reach out to me, and they’re like, Rachel’s not working right now. Which was awesome.

Danielle  33:06  

How much notice did you give the team to prepare for all of this.

Rachel  33:11  

So the people that knew, knew for a long time before I told the rest of my team, I was not superstitious, but I wasn’t talking about being pregnant a lot. And you know, we were on Zoom, nobody saw me. So at a certain point, it became clear, I think Kelsey was like, you have to tell them. And Cory was like, you have to tell them. And there’s certain point I just stood up in a team meeting. And I’m like, so everyone was like, Oh, my goodness, it was that was the fun reveal. I think I probably I have my son in July. I think you’re probably told them in April or May. Oh, wow. No, I wait it? No. Okay.

Danielle  33:50  

So the key team members who needed to prepare and who were really going to arm you to get through this time? When did they? When did you tell them? Oh,

Rachel  34:01  

I mean, when I told Kelsey, very early on there. Yeah. And you know, there were a lot of reasons why people needed to know I was napping every day, I didn’t always feel great. And so sometimes things would get canceled last minute or, and it took us a while to figure out like Okay, after four o’clock, Rachel needs to go down for a nap. Like, there were just things that, you know, once if somebody’s in your calendar, and Cory and Katrina are in my calendar, like, they know, I don’t like to do anything before 1030. And they knew when I was that’s always I don’t wait to do anything before 1030. And they knew that. They were the ones were like, okay, it seems like you’re napping every day around for it. And I’m like, yeah, so they’re like, let’s not schedule you for stop then. And so that was really helpful. And as far as the rest of the team, one of the reasons that we had waited, or in my head this was my justification was I wanted to have answers before I wanted to be able to provide them with answers and So I needed to give them enough time to have questions, and us enough time to sort of figure out what we thought needed to happen. And then as things evolved before, I really was like stepping back, like, things would come up. And they’re like, Okay, when Rachel is gone, who’s going to be the one to answer this question? And it helped us sort of make rules about all that stuff, because you can’t predict everything.

Danielle  35:27  

Yeah, let’s talk about some operations. Functions. I’m big on SOPs. So if you’re a longtime Yeah, I want an SOP for everything. SOP is a standard operating procedure. Do you guys

Rachel  35:41  

document them? Danielle? Yes, this document okay. Yeah. All right.

Danielle  35:46  

And Victoria, yes, she takes it to a whole nother official level, right? I’m like, let’s put it in a Word document. She’s like, No, no, we’re formatting them all the same? Oh. I’m high level with you who? Rachel. She’s taking this detail. So what are some of the operational things that you had? And maybe you already had this before? Leave? But can you give some examples of scripts or, or documents or procedures that your team used? While you were gone?

Rachel  36:20  

I will tell you one that I changed and I won’t take back is that I was always the one who was like submitting payroll. And I don’t do that anymore. But I need to know the numbers before they hit pay on it. I just felt like you know, Oprah said she always finds her checks over $100,000 You ever heard Oprah say that? Okay. But I want to be the one signing all my checks, because I’m not Oprah level yet. Even though my husband jokes that he wants to be Stedman one day, not gonna happen. But that was something that I sort of handed off in terms of scripts. I think this is really the value of having long term team members who also have institutional memory, because they had complete access to my email. So if a situation emerge, that it will let me just say this, one of my superpowers is writing an email that’s effective and clear, and boundary. And Corey, and I would joke about, like, how do we monetize this, because I could just write it quickly. If you guys ever need a difficult email written on your gal, and they had, you know, five years of business emails that they could go back. And they often, particularly Katie was really good at remembering. And Katie is my clinic director, and she was the one handling the clinical stuff that was going on with clients and families. She’d be like, Rachel wrote an email on this, let’s go back and look at what she’s written in the past. So giving them permission to do stuff like that. And then also, this is the value of a long term team member. They know how I would think about something. So it wasn’t necessarily that it was documented in that way. But they knew they knew how I would react and respond. And we try with SOPs, I know it’s hard. But I think the more rules there are about how things happen, the better everybody feels.

Danielle  38:25  

Yeah, one last question for you. You mentioned the podcast several times. Yeah. Did you do with the podcast?

Rachel  38:31  

So that was a journey. So Steph, I mean, Steph was absolutely one of the first people that knew. And I told her what I told Kelsey, which is I want six months, I don’t want to think about it. And that meant pre writing emails that I mean, every show knows all the things that go along with the podcast. And I should say we have a team for that as well. We have an editor, but and Katrina is deeply involved with scheduling casts when we have guests, and we hustled like no other until the point where I was like, I can’t record it anymore. And we got through Thanksgiving. So the first quote unquote, new episode that came out was in December of 2021. And my son was five months old. Our audience had no idea that I was pregnant and that these episodes have been pre recorded. And until we had that episode, and it was really cute, our editor put in, like the sounds of my son, like, I was like, Elliot make noise. It was really cute. And Dodd is all the credit to staff because we sat down with sort of a master calendar, and we said, okay, the only way to give me this time is to re air popular episodes. And so we re aired an episode a month and then had three new ones. There were a lot of times we recorded with gas. So we split those episodes into two to give us more time and we Were probably recording three to four times a week for three months. Yeah, it was a lot. I mean, I’m tired. Yeah. Yeah. And like, you know, you get uncomfortable sitting and like it was just, it was so nice to have podcasting on the calendar and not have to be something that I had to do. And even now, like Steph and I are talking about, we’re always ahead on the podcasts. We’re probably three months ahead now. And she’s on vacation right now. But when she comes back, and we’ll let her know, we have to take a couple months off this summer, because I just want to break there you go.

Danielle  40:35  

Sure podcast, you can do that.

Rachel  40:36  

Yeah, but I want episodes to come out. Yeah. But we’ll take a shoot, I will have a little break. I think.

Danielle  40:43  

All right, Kelsey, is there anything else that you can think of, you know, as an observer of, of Rachel going through this process, anything else that you can think of that we that we missed?

Kelsey  40:53  

Well, if you are a revenue earner in your business, and you know, it’s not going to be that way, when you’re on leave, one thing to plan is figure out what the bottom line is without your revenue. So take the revenue, what’s leftover? Your average monthly operating expenses? And does that work for the business? Does that make the business come out of loss? If so, where’s this extra cash coming from? Me to open a line of credit to get you by in the meantime? Things like that. And then for someone taking over those operational duties that you normally would do that someone’s going to take over? What is the additional compensation for them to take over those duties? How long? Those are some of the things that we figured out for Rachel before

Rachel  41:34  

she Yeah, we definitely talked about that. Yeah.

Danielle  41:37  

Awesome. Rachel, is there anything that you can think of that you wish I would have asked you? And I didn’t

Rachel  41:43  

i will just say that I had experiences with other bookkeepers. And I kept hearing from like those strikes, and Danielle, you would tell me like not getting your numbers, you need to be getting your numbers. And I didn’t know how informative it would be, to consistently be able to have these conversations with someone who really understood the business. And personally, I understood my life and my lifestyle and having control over your money. You know, I often say like the work that we do in our practices, we give kids a sense of control over their time, not letting their time control them. I feel like what you guys offer is the sense of control over your money and not letting your money control you. And I feel like I controlled my money the whole time. Even if it didn’t work out exactly as we anticipated. I still felt in control of it, if that makes sense. Yeah,

Danielle  42:39  

absolutely. Well, thank you for coming on and sharing your journey. I know that there’s listeners that are going to be able to take some of the tools that you gave them and nothing else feels empowered. I am powered by hearing your story, I would have had a really hard time doing what you did. And I love that you did that. And you gave yourself permission to do that. So ladies and gentlemen, set some freaking boundaries. Yeah.

Rachel  43:02  

And if you need a difficult email written, you know where to find it.

Danielle  43:07  

All right, where can the audience keep in touch and continue to

Rachel  43:11  

talk? Thank you for asking. So if you are interested in learning more about the work that we do at CAP educational therapy group, you can sign up for a phone call at WWW dot cap Ed therapy.com. That’s K as in Kate a as an apple P as in Peter P as in Paul, Ed therapy.com. And if you’re interested in hearing more about that, definitely subscribe to learn smarter, the educational therapy podcast on all the things

Danielle  43:37  

and I really have learned a lot from your thank you. So Oh, thank you. Yeah, I appreciate it. I’ve told you my my son’s that he’ll appreciate the shout out 13 and has had a lot of struggles in school throughout the years. Yeah, you have been a resource for me as well. So thank you,

Rachel  43:54  

God. I’m glad to hear

Danielle  43:55  

ya. All right. Thank you. Huge shout out to Rachel for coming onto the show and sharing her wisdom, her journey and her experiences. There is so much that we can learn from one another as entrepreneurs. Thank you for your time. I don’t take this lightly. I appreciate you tuning in each and every week. There’s one thing that I can ask if you can please like and subscribe. That is how the algorithm knows to share this podcast with other entrepreneurs. Don’t forget to tune into next week’s episode and thank you so much. If you have any questions, you can as always email us at support at kickstart accounting inc.com or DM us on Instagram at kickstart accounting. Alright, until next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai