Episode #2: Be of Service to Others With Monica Lowy

Thrive to Serve Podcast - Episode 2 - Monica Lowy
Thrive to Serve Podcast
Episode #2: Be of Service to Others With Monica Lowy

This week’s guest on Thrive to Serve Podcast is Monica Lowy, a speech therapist and a holistic life coach. In this episode, Monica shares her story growing speech therapy business over the last 20 years and starting her brand new holistic life coaching business. The interview turned out to be a heart-to-heart conversation about:

  • Dealing with impostor syndrome that bothers so many of us
  • Why continuing education is important for service business owners
  • How starting slow, part-time can eliminate early headaches
  • Why doing your own website is a bad idea
  • How to get referrals without offering discounts
  • How to charge cash and what you’re worth when everyone else relies on health insurance and government programs

And many more tips to help you run a thriving business. You’re guaranteed to walk away with a list of actionable tips you can apply in your professional and personal lives.

Tune in to today’s episode with Monica, it’s time to thrive!

Monica’s Contact Information

Viktor Nagornyy: Hi, Monica. I’m really happy to have you on my show today. How’s everything going?

Monica Lowy: Well, thank you, Viktor

Viktor Nagornyy: Absolutely, I know it’s a Monday. I hope we’ll have a good time chatting today about your business. I’m really looking forward to learning about you, your business, and the story. I know you’ve been in business for a long time, so you have a lot of good stories and experiences to share with our listeners.

Monica Lowy: I look forward to sharing it with you. I really do.

Viktor Nagornyy: Great, so I wanted to get started with a very simple question. I’m really curious to know what did you do before you started your business?

Monica Lowy: Prior to beginning Bodylink Speech Therapy, I was doing contract work as a speech pathologist, primarily pediatric, and working in a private practice, not my own, but another person’s. Prior to that, I worked at Lutheran Medical Center. I worked on the rehab unit, the neurologic rehab unit. I was working with in-patient and out-patient. That was where I really began, and then I moved forward to doing, as I mentioned, contract work working in another private practice, so that was where I started.

Viktor Nagornyy: Okay, that’s great. What was the turning point to get you in to your own business?

Monica Lowy: I really loved being on my own, and I really did work on my own as a contract worker in the private practice. I had the great fortune to work with a wonderful person who I learned a lot from in that private practice. I was getting tired of all the traveling I was doing and really wanted to reach out on my own, and to utilize other skills, which we can talk about later, in that practice.

Viktor Nagornyy: Okay, absolutely. That’s great. It’s always good to start your own business, get on your own, and do things the way you like. It’s always good.

Monica Lowy: Yeah.

Viktor Nagornyy: Just to make sure that everyone knows what you do. You mentioned you worked as a speech pathologist. What exactly is your business right now, Bodylink Speech Therapy?

Monica Lowy: My business is, primarily, I work with pediatric and adults. I work a lot with people who have voice issues, who are people with stuttering, articulation, orofacial myofunctional therapy, language of course, and I’ve got a pretty good balance between children and adults. I also utilize bodywork techniques including cranial sacral therapy in order to help people in terms of relaxing the central nervous system if they have issues like stuttering or voice issues, which help them relax.

Viktor Nagornyy: Okay, that’s great. I’m really curious when it comes to working with children and adults, are children easier to help them overcome their voice issues that they have or are adults better?

Monica Lowy: Adults, only because adults can self-monitor a lot more.

Viktor Nagornyy: Okay.

Monica Lowy: Yeah with kids, it takes a little bit longer because they really need to follow through with their parent who often have very, very busy lives. They do the best they can, but the practice often is not as frequent or as intense.

Viktor Nagornyy: Okay, and that makes sense. I think I mentioned to you in one of our earlier conversations that I did go to a speech therapist when I was a kid. I don’t remember how old I was. I’m old enough to remember it, but I was born in Ukraine, and in the Ukraine, Russia, the Rs, you have to roll the Rs. I couldn’t do it. I had to go to a speech therapist because every time I would say a word that had an R in it I would replace it with an L, which didn’t sound right.

Monica Lowy: Sure, yeah.

Viktor Nagornyy: I spent a few months trying to learn how to roll my Rs. My mom was a teacher, so she had methodology to make sure that I had a lot of homework, after I went to the speech therapist, to help me get through it.

Monica Lowy: Good for her.

Viktor Nagornyy: I absolutely understand how it is to working with a speech therapist and how much you help people communicate better. I think it’s really important, and sometimes overlooked career option for many people as a business owner, so thank you.

Monica Lowy: I appreciate that. I do find when people make progress, it’s very, very satisfying I have to tell you.

Viktor Nagornyy: Absolutely, I think the other thing about communication is that, especially when it comes to learning a different language, the better you communicate. I haven’t been in the US that long, about 15 years. I have friends who have been in the US 20, 25 years, way before I came here. We went to high school together, and they still have very heavy accents, and have a hard time speaking English. It really comes down to persistence and hard work. That’s all it is.

Monica Lowy: Yeah, you’re right.

Viktor Nagornyy: What I realized was I hated not being able to communicate clearly with others. That drove me to spend time to learn how to speak English properly, as well as write. I think communication is really important for everyone, especially the business owners.

Monica Lowy: Yeah, I’ve worked with quite a few Russian speakers to work on accent reduction. The ones I’ve worked with they work very, very hard, and make it very, very well. I think, perhaps, there’s a very good Russian work ethic.

Viktor Nagornyy: Maybe, I guess Russians come in different shapes, and sizes, and forms because they’re like everyone else.

Monica Lowy: Of course, yeah.

Viktor Nagornyy: What does a typical day look like for you?

Monica Lowy: It depends. I work from 11 to 7. I’m lucky that I can get adults coming in the middle of the day. They take a lunch break, but they primarily come in the evening. I work with people throughout the afternoon, but my busiest times are three to seven. Then, I get the kids after school and the adults coming after work. My day is kind of a combination of preparation, one-on-one therapy, and paperwork. Billing I try to do along with the other tasks. I try to set a time one day a week to do that. I have my free consultations too on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the lunch hour.

Viktor Nagornyy: Okay, that sounds like a busy schedule.

Monica Lowy: Surely, it depends. Summers a little bit slower.

Viktor Nagornyy: Everyone’s on vacation. I know the feeling.

Monica Lowy: Yeah.

Viktor Nagornyy: What keeps you up at night right now?

Monica Lowy: For me, the kicker really right now wondering if the fall will pick up the way it usually does. The summer, always for me, is always a nail biter because no matter how many years I’ve been doing it I have that feeling what if people don’t come back, what if people fall off the radar, and I get no new clients; those kinds of things get me anxious. Then halfway through the summer, I usually give up on that, and know that it usually works out,. Things like rent increases, being able to keep up with my bills because I do a lot of continuing education. I don’t stinch on the materials that I get for clients. I really try to give as much value as I can, and at times that can cost.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right.

Monica Lowy: Knowing that I have enough income to pay two rents, my own rent and the rent to my office, all the bills, and to keep and to have an okay lifestyle. There are times where there are dips that I get a little anxious, and I have to trust it’s going to be okay, and it usually is.

Viktor Nagornyy: Okay, that’s great. I know you’re located in Manhattan, so the rent there is extra high.

Monica Lowy: Yep, pretty high.

Viktor Nagornyy: Is there a reason why you chose to locate yourself in Manhattan or was it just because that’s where you live?

Monica Lowy: I did live there. I lived there for many years, and I lived only four blocks from my office. That really was fantastic, and I was working; I was doing a lot of home care in Manhattan. I could get people to come in, people who were no longer going to work via contract and wanted to come in privately. I only began working two days a week for the private practice while I was doing everything else, so I built it up. Yeah. I wanted to continue there because now I’ve in Manhattan for 10 years. I don’t want to move.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. I’m curious to see what you think. I know a lot of smaller businesses were getting started. A lot of start-ups. They try to get a Manhattan address pretty much for the show that they are located in Manhattan. Have you seen, or maybe not, because you’ve always been there. You might not haven’t seen any difference where people come to you because you’re located in Manhattan, so there’s somewhat of a client trust and creditability in that.

Monica Lowy: I have actually. People refuse to go in their own areas, and for many of them it worked out that they could not come in frequently because it was too far. I really did encourage them to find a competent therapist in their area and they’re out there. There’re great people everywhere.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. Absolutely. If you could fix one thing in your business right now, what would it be?

Monica Lowy: I would like to be, first of all, more on the ball regarding my marketing. Meaning, as you always recommend, more frequent blogging. I get a little bit side tracked and end up not doing that. I would like to have a more consistent flow of people that are furious about coming in to do the work and to pay. I often will spend a lot of time talking to people on the phone, and when we get to the part about, “How much do you charge?”

I charge a competitive rate actually. There’re many people who charge more than I do in Manhattan, and people somehow they don’t really want to make that leap always. Sometimes they do. I would like to have a more consistent ability to show people, along with the marketing of course, that they will true value for what they make it.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. Absolutely. This is especially true for service businesses, because you don’t have a product to get. What you give them is your time, your expertise, and it’s not tangible. That’s one of the biggest challenges for a service business is how do you make your service tangible? That people can wrap their brain around it and understand the value. What are you working on right now? I know there’s some new exciting things that you’re working on right now.

Monica Lowy: Yeah. Over the past years, I became a certified holistic life coach and I utilize that. I do across the board holistic life coaching, and I have a couple of niche areas which is working with healthcare practitioners who are feeling stuck in their career, may want to move on, may want to continue their careers but work differently. Helping them also with self-care, because healthcare practitioners are notorious for taking care of everybody but themselves.

The other niche I have actually is communication coaching which is not speech therapy. It’s for people who really, for whatever reason, they’ve been beat down in their lives, they’re shy, they have no confidence, to help them look at why, and then get beyond that and work on very practical strategies, which will allow them to get in touch with their true voice.

Viktor Nagornyy: That sounds great. I think it’s a very good niche to be in, because the number one fear is fear of dying and number two is public speaking.

Monica Lowy: Yeah.

Viktor Nagornyy: You’re in the really good niche to get a lot people and help them communicate a lot more clearly. You have a lot of experience working in your speech therapy business helping people communicate clearly to help others. Not so much with issues that they have with the voice, but just find their voice.

Monica Lowy: Yes. I do work with a lot of professionals that come to see me who feel like they do not read externally the way they feel internally. Meaning they have a lot of knowledge. A lot of expertise, but they’re not able to relate that to their boss or their coworkers the way they’d like to.

Viktor Nagornyy: This is something I learned recently. I learned recently about the imposter syndrome. Where you just think that not good enough, and that’s why a lot people don’t do what they would like to do. Is that what usually is at play?

Monica Lowy: Yep. Completely. I had that discussion with three people who are really, really brilliant people in finance, over the past month. That imposter syndrome. I think it goes across the board for many types of professions. People feeling that they’re fooling everybody and that if people only knew. If they only knew what they really were, they’d run away. I’m not sure how that began people. but it definitely, definitely factors into how to communicate.

Viktor Nagornyy: Absolutely. Do you have one small tip that you can give somebody who’s facing that, because I am and I know a lot people do to?

Monica Lowy: The first thing is to know that you are enough. That your knowledge will always be enough. The reason I tell you that is it’s always the people who ask that who are the people that do all the research, who are bright, who want to do a good job, always. I can tell you that. I’ve never met a person who was a slacker whoever asks that question.

The other thing, too, the primary thing, or one of the primary things is that you’re key thing is communication. It is not about thinking about how you’re communicating, but really trying to be of service and communicating that. When all you’re focused on is being of service to a person or a team, you’re not going to worry about, or worry about as much, being a fraud. Does that make sense?

Viktor Nagornyy: Absolutely. You’re changing the focus on what you’re focusing on.

Monica Lowy: Yes. It’s not about you. It is about being of service to another person or a company.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. Absolutely. That’s a really good tip. I’ll definitely think about when I start worrying about not being able to deliver value or worrying about I might not know enough and everything. That always comes up. I’m working on a project where I hit a snag, and then I start worrying about it like, “What if I’m not going to be able to deliver on it? What if I’m going to that? What if I’m going to that?” All it takes is just thinking. Looking back and seeing that you’ve done this work before. There’s nothing to worry about.

Monica Lowy: Yes. That’s right. Can I give you an example about you?

Viktor Nagornyy: Oh. Absolutely.

Monica Lowy: Okay. I watched your webinar, and I learned a lot. I watched it and I thought, “Wow. You really know about marketing.” I thought, “I’ve got to call him because some of these things I don’t know how to do for myself.” Even with the road map that you gave. Here’s an example. You’ve always been very, very clear when we’ve worked together. You’ve actually given me such good advice about how to structure my websites. How to include the writing in terms of cutting out all the additional stuff and getting to the meat. I find it interesting. I think you’re a perfect example of that person who feels that they don’t know enough, and yet they know so much.

Viktor Nagornyy: Honestly, the impostor syndrome when it hits me is when I work on my own stuff.

Monica Lowy: Okay. I get it.

Viktor Nagornyy: It’s never enough. I’m trying to be the perfectionist, and it’s partly from my mother, who was a teacher. Who would always be right looking over my shoulders as I was doing the homework, because she was a teacher in my school. All her friends were my teachers. She watched over my like a hawk to make sure that I got good grades. I did everything right because what I did was prove that she was a good teacher as a good parent. From that, I moved onto getting into the military, where attention to detail, everything had to be done by the book, had to be done right. After that, I got a degree in photojournalism, where everything was attention to detail, show this, don’t show that. All my life I’ve been going through different stages where everything had to be almost perfect.

When I look at my work, that’s why I don’t really like trying to find an image for my blog post. It takes me sometimes an hour because I always have my professor in the back of my mind asking me questions, saying, “This is not right. This is not right.” I go through these stock photos, hundreds of them, just to find that one that I like that will fit in there. That’s what I find a lot in my work, specifically that focuses on my business. I have so much clear way of seeing things for my clients because it’s not my business; I have that objectivity. When it comes to my stuff, it’s always not enough.

Monica Lowy: I’m going to share with you a quote from my life coaching teacher, [Alan Cullen]. “Done is better than perfect.”

Viktor Nagornyy: I’ve heard that before. Thank you. What’s funny was that was my reply to a comment on my blog post when somebody commented that I had a typo in the word. They said that I should have proofread before I published it, and I replied, “Done is better than perfect.”

Monica Lowy: Good for you. Words to live by. I have to remember that, too. I find that for my own writing, for everything I do. I have many of the exact same doubts, and I have to work through them. Definitely.

Viktor Nagornyy: You’ve got to run towards your fears and challenges, not away from them.

Monica Lowy: Yep.

Viktor Nagornyy: Let’s move onto our Thrive round, as I like to call it. I want to get as much information and knowledge from you, running a successful service business, as possible to help our listeners learn a few things that might apply to their business.

Monica Lowy: Okay.

Viktor Nagornyy: My first question is what do you think is the number one thing a professional service provider needs to know about running a service business and working with clients.

Monica Lowy: You have to be practical, and you have to really give good service. If you do not give good service for what people are paying for, then you’re not in the right business. I think that you have to know how to deal with finances. You have to know how to deal with PR. You have to know your stuff. You have to know everything, and you have to learn it little by little because it doesn’t happen overnight.

Viktor Nagornyy: That’s a really good tip. Continuous education is very important in running a business.

Monica Lowy: Very important. Mm-hmm.

Viktor Nagornyy: It’s so much more important than even a career.

Monica Lowy: You have to ask for help. You cannot do it without asking for help, and you have to find the right people.

Viktor Nagornyy: Absolutely. That’s a really good tip. When you started your business, the early days, did you make any mistakes that now when you look back, you think, “What was I thinking about?” that it’s so clear in hindsight that it was not the right decision, or something that you did?

Monica Lowy: To be honest, I actually feel I didn’t do that. I began very carefully. I utilized everything. I utilized the fact that I was still working on contract, that I did not put myself in a position financially where I jumped the gun. I let it build slowly. In those days, I took board of education contracts, and insurance, and private pay. Over time, that changed, but I did everything I could to get it growing.

I think my first website was good. Things have changed a lot. The only actual error I made, I tried doing my own website. That was for about a year, and I realized that was a big mistake. That was when I contacted you to redo my website. Because I’m a very cautious person, I think I didn’t do anything nutty. I think I went in a pretty good progression.

Viktor Nagornyy: That sounds good, starting out slow. A lot of people don’t realize that starting a business has a lot of unknown.

Monica Lowy: It does, yep.

Viktor Nagornyy: If you have a steady job, trying to ease into the businesses as a side project and seeing how it goes is a lot better than just jumping into the pool of cold water because sometimes you’re not realizing and there’s no water in the pool.

Monica Lowy: Yeah, definitely.

Viktor Nagornyy: Absolutely. That’s a really good tip. What was the best thing that you’ve done over the past several years to get clients?

Monica Lowy: I think through word of mouth. I think through social media. Yelp has been a big help, even though they take down reviews according to their algorithm. Google reviews have been very good, and my website, having a good website with the call-to-action. Again, you help me with all of that.

Continuing my education, I’ve gone into different areas. I think particularly doing what’s called orofacial myofunctional therapy, which I really enjoy. That was quite a costly continuing adventure, but I’m really glad I did it. I think keeping up with new techniques, getting people, really working with them in a way that they feel that it is highly individualized, I think all of that creates good customer service. That, I think, is what has grown Bodylink the most. All of those combined, I should say, have been part of it.

Viktor Nagornyy: Absolutely. That’s great. One of the things you mentioned was word of mouth. My next question is related to that. Do you have any ideas, tips, or something that worked really well for you to get more referrals from your existing clients?

Monica Lowy: I don’t do anything like offer a free session or a discount if you bring in more clients because I feel that’s not really how I want people to come in. To be honest, it really is from providing people with what they want. I haven’t done anything to really make it happen, except that.

Viktor Nagornyy: Okay, that’s good. If it’s working right for you, that’s always good.

Monica Lowy: Yeah, I mean, it seems to. Of course, I always want more people, always. I know people do it and they offer a particular package, but I find for me it’s not quite like when you go to get a massage or go to the nail salon and they give you a card, or if you bring in new people, you get 15% off. It doesn’t quite work like that.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. I completely understand. Do you have any tips for setting client expectations before you begin working with them?

Monica Lowy: I definitely do. I tell people that they’re there to make progress, and I’m there to be with them every step of the way, but that they have to do the work. I give homework. I particularly tell the adults, “I totally get it in our world today that people have very limited time, but if you are making the commitment, the time, and the money to show up, to come see me, that it makes no sense if you don’t follow up and do the work on your own because you really are your own therapist.” I make it very clear that if they’re not ready to do the work then they don’t want to come and work with me.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. That’s a really good tip. When a client doesn’t do their homework, and they come to you, and you have to have that difficult conversation because, for whatever reason, they haven’t done it, do you have any tips on how to deal with difficult conversations with clients?

Monica Lowy: When a client hasn’t been, there can be a lot of reasons. A lot of times it could be issues that are coming up as a result of working on the communication problem, and the resistance that might come up in fear of failure. We talk about that. There are other people where it actually has to do with they literally had no time. We kind of let it go and go, “Okay. Over the next week, you’re really going to focus on whatever.” Then there’s people who actually are not doing it and they’re not being honest about why.

I recently had a situation with a client who we worked for quite a while. He had made incredible progress. After he made that first big push with the progress, he began coming in having not done any of the work that we had done in prior sessions, and none of the homework. He wanted to come in and chat. Finally, after the fourth session, I said, “We can’t continue until you’re ready to make that commitment. The door is open. Let me know when you’re ready and we will begin again.” I told him for me it was not ethical, for me, to have him come in and it not have it be about doing the work.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. Absolutely.

Monica Lowy: I won’t keep people on case load if they’re not getting what they should out of it. There can be a lot of reasons why people end up not doing it, as I mentioned. There are times, too, in life where people, they need to take a break too. I’m very clear with people about that; very forthright.

Viktor Nagornyy: That’s really good. One of the things you mentioned was stopping the relationship, or stopping doing the work if the client isn’t doing what they’re supposed to do. Have you ever fired a client for that reason?

Monica Lowy: Yeah. Well, not fired. When I first started, about a year into my practice, I had a child that I was seeing; very young, like two and a half. The parents insisted on being in the room every time. It was a small room. I have no problem at all with parents watching. In fact, a lot of times, I invite them in so that they can carry over the techniques at home. I want them to know what we’re doing, but they were directing me. It didn’t only happen one time, it happened two to three times. They were telling me what to do during the session. We had to have that conversation. I had to let them go because I don’t believe that they were the people that had gone to graduate school. I got their concerns, but after a while, it was not working.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. You’re the person they hired for a reason.

Monica Lowy: Yeah. I didn’t like doing that, but I knew that they could probably find another clinician who might be able to work better with them.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. It’s important to realize when that happens and co-align the relationship.

Monica Lowy: Definitely. You have to because then you’re doing the work at that point. Rapport is very, very important. There have been many, many times where it’s been difficult, and communication with families has not been easy on both ends. They’ve got their  lives, and they’ve got their things they have to do. I’ve got my perspective. Ultimately, you want to look at what is best for the client, whether the client is a child, and dealing with the family, or an adult. In the end, it is about them. It is not about me.

Viktor Nagornyy: That’s really good advice. You always have to remember that you’re serving your clients.

Monica Lowy: Yeah.

Viktor Nagornyy: Absolutely. My next question is about pricing and charging. I know you’re in the good position in your business, somewhat different from what a typical speech therapist would charge and how they would charge. How did you get through to a point where you were able to start charging cash for your work from the clients, but not relying on the government assistance and all other programs?

Monica Lowy: Right. I had to jump, I really did. I jumped. I had to take that chance. I thought, “You know if it goes blooey on me, I will go back.” I never had to. I ended up doing private pay only because the insurance companies were eating into my time. I may fill a practitioner with no staff. I had to chase people down. I got bilked out of services by people who were dishonest, telling me that it was covered, and then it wasn’t. People did not really get what their insurance provided. Of course, over the years,  most insurers have cut way back on what they will allow for speech therapy; it is next to nothing.

I also had to just discontinue with the Department of Ed contracts because they have not changed their pricing, their fees, for over twenty-five years. The paperwork has tripled. None of it was cost effective any more, at all. I really made the choice to fish or cut bait on that one. Again, I thought, “Well if I have to return to it, I will.” My business actually grew financially as a result of doing that.

Viktor Nagornyy: That’s really good to hear because I know not only speech therapists, but all other well medicine health practitioners that do have to rely on that have a hard time trying to get paid, or get paid what they’re worth.

Monica Lowy: Yeah. You really do get resentful after a while. You still have to pay your rent. You still have to provide a very good service. Nobody is going to pay your electric bill except you. Ultimately, in in feeling like it’s laborious, you begin to resent the amount of time that you’re spending on the preparation for your clients because it’s not coming back to you.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. When you did that change,when you jumped to private pay, did you see the quality of clients change?

Monica Lowy: Yeah. I actually did. I did. I have to be honest.

Viktor Nagornyy: It’s the clients you actually want to work with?

Monica Lowy: I have to tell you, that for the most part, even from the very beginning, I have loved my clients. I really have been very, very lucky. There have been very few where I did not feel that it was  a good fit. When people called and really wanted therapy for their child, I’m sorry to say this, but there was a good deal of nickel and diming that went on prior to that from, not everybody, but a few people. When the child’s sessions ran out, from insurance, I would do what I could to get them more. If the insurance then told them no, the parent would not follow-up. The child would be without therapy. I’m not talking about  people who couldn’t afford it. I’m talking about people who could afford it, but chose not to.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. That’s an important aspect of running a service business to realize, especially when you do rely on other streams of revenue besides charging clients directly.

Monica Lowy: Yeah. I mean, come on, if a plumber comes to you house, you’ve got to pay what the plumber’s charging. I will be very honest with you. When people call, and they have their free consultation and they ask what I charge, I tell them very directly. Some people are very forthright say say, “I can’t do that right now.” I’ll tell them, “No problem. Shop around. If you want to come back, give me a buzz.” What I can offer clients, and I have, is I will offer a certain percentage off if people are able to pay for sessions ahead, or eight sessions ahead. That I can provide for people.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. How do you try to set yourself apart from your competitors who are charging less because they are taking the insurance, or even the ones who might be charging more? How do you try to set yourself apart?

Monica Lowy: I have a very unique practice in that it is very holistically oriented. I’m very holistic in my approach. My skill set is such that it carries over into all the work I do, the coaching that I have learned. Those techniques are a good fit into the counseling that occurs, particularly with fluency clients, or voice clients. I don’t do life coaching with them, but I learned very good reflective listening skills. I have those skills that I bring, plus, combining the body work with my voice and fluency clients. As an adjunct, I make it very clear to people: that is not speech therapy. Part of speech therapy techniques is doing relaxation. Having those as part of my work, I think, has set me apart. I’ve been around the block. I’ve been a therapist for twenty years. I have a lot of different things that I can do.

Viktor Nagornyy: Right. Absolutely. It all comes down to just be able to communicate that to your customers, your clients.  

Monica Lowy: Yeah.

Viktor Nagornyy: That’s really good. What’s the future for you? I know we briefly mentioned your new venture, your holistic life coaching. What are you planning or thinking about for the future for your speech therapy business, as well as the holistic life coaching?

Monica Lowy: For my speech therapy business, I think that I want to continue growing it with the types of customers in mind that I have already; working with professionals, doing more of the oral-facial, my functional work. I’ve been thinking of doing more outreach in terms of perhaps having small talks at my office, educating people more about what the various things I provide mean; moving in that direction. It’s a good question.

Right now, if I’m being honest, I haven’t made any definite commitments regarding how, and if, I would change anything that I’m doing right now. I do think more in-servicing to people might be a really good way to go.

Regarding the coaching, I’m in the process of putting together an ebook. I want to do a little workshop on self-care from the inside out that will coincide with the ebook.

Viktor Nagornyy: That sounds great. I know you mentioned a few tips for me and everyone else that’s listening. I know that the ebook will be really good, and the workshop will be really good, so I’m looking forward to that.

Monica Lowy: Thank you. You’ve been encouraging me with the ebook type thing. Provide that content, and I’ve got to get on it.

Viktor Nagornyy: Absolutely. One question I want to ask you that I like to ask service businesses. As technology evolves and we get more in-tuned with the digital world, a lot of things replace service businesses and service providers: self-driving cars,  on-demand workforce, artificial intelligence, and all that stuff. Where do you see your service industry going as technology gets more involved?

Monica Lowy: Yeah. I think telepractice is a very big thing. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. According to my national organization, you have got to be licensed in state that your doing telepractice. For instance, I can work with people in New York, but I cannot work with a person in Kentucky. I would need a Kentucky license to do that. Telepractice, I think, is a big thing on the horizon.

A lot of people use apps. I think apps are fine, to a point. I think they will never, ever truly replace what one to one therapy does. I know that a lot of them have been touted as doing your own therapy, but you really need to have a professional working with you if you’re going to utilize apps. I think that ultimately, there will be a very good mix of the technical world and one on one therapy.

Viktor Nagornyy: Absolutely. Those are really good considerations for the future, especially the one about licensing because that’s some people don’t  realize that.

Monica Lowy: Yeah. I know that a few of my colleagues do have multiple licenses for that purpose, for telepractice. I might get there eventually. Doing telepractice, you have to have the appropriate technical set up. You really have to have your stuff together and find a way to get your clients their materials. That’s something I’m definitely looking into. I would like to have more availability with that for sure.

Viktor Nagornyy: Absolutely. My last question is what’s your number one advice? A gold nugget to take away for an entrepreneur building or growing their service business.

Monica Lowy: When you’re beginning, have all your ducks in a row as best you can. Do not jump in until you are ready. Make sure that you have the right financial resources, whether you took out a loan, your parents are helping you, you have good savings that you put away. Ultimately, to be the best provider you can. I think, ultimately too, be very kind to people. Being kind to people, no matter what you’re doing, will help grow your business. I can’t tell you how many times I knew that I could not work with a particular client for logistical reasons. I talked them through what they needed to do, where they needed to look, and where else that they should go for help.  You know what? That person will then tell a friend, who will tell a friend. Knowing your stuff, having ample funds, and being kind; that will all help you.

Viktor Nagornyy: Those are really good tips. Absolutely. Thank you so much. I know that our listeners learned a lot in this interview. I know I learned a lot. Thank you so much.

Monica Lowy: You’re very welcome. My pleasure.

Viktor Nagornyy: The last thing I just want to mention is if somebody wants to get in touch with you, be it for your holistic life coaching practice, or maybe speech therapy because they’re located in New York City, how can they get in touch with you?

Monica Lowy: You can always contact me at BodyLink Speech Therapy. The email is mlowy@bodylinkspeechtherapy.com. My phone number is (917) 538-7187. If you want to contact me for holistic life coaching, you can contact mlowy@speakyourpeace.net. The phone number for that (917) 538-7187.

Viktor Nagornyy: Thank you so much. I’ll make sure that I’ll include that in the show notes for this episode.

Monica Lowy: Thank you.

Viktor Nagornyy: I know that you offer a free session for your holistic life coaching.

Monica Lowy: I do. The first session is definitely for free to see if we are a good fit. I do provide a fifteen minute free consultation for BodyLink too.

Viktor Nagornyy: Okay. Great. That’s always good. I’ll make sure I’ll include links for that as well with all other contact information.

Monica Lowy: Okay. Great. Thank you.

Viktor Nagornyy: Alright. Thank you so much, Monica. I’m really happy I was able to get you to spend forty-five minutes with me today out of your busy schedule to tell your story.

Monica Lowy: Thank you. I’m very happy to chat with you, Viktor.

Viktor Nagornyy: All right. Take care. Thank you so much.

Monica Lowy: You too. Alright. Bye-bye.

Viktor Nagornyy: Bye-bye.