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Welcome to episode #69 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this episode I spoke with Joe Sanok, the owner of Practice of the Practice and author of Thursday is the New Friday. He enjoys spending his free time with his daughters.

Top Talking Points

  • The importance of doing something that stimulates your creativity every day.
  • How to use improv as your personal growth hack.
  • Stepping back as a director and allowing others to be creative.

Resources & Links

Connect With Joe at thursdayisthenewfriday.com.

Find The Books Mentioned on Kindle or Audible

Thursday is the New Friday by Joe Sanok.

Sam Harris meditation app

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Episode Transcript

Ryan  

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the Morning Upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that are also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20 minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development, upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morningupgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share. And now on to the show.

Announcer 

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan  

Hey, Joe, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Joe

I’m doing great Ryan, how about you?

Ryan  

Doing fantastic. Yeah, I had a great weekend, my cousin got married. So there’s a lot of fun seeing family and friends and dancing the night away. I’m excited to speak with you. Let’s start off with you telling the audience who you are what you do for a living and maybe some of your hobbies, like one or two hobbies.

Joe

Yeah, so my primary work is helping therapists, counselors, psychologists, and coaches to start to grow and scaling their private practices. So I have the practice of the practice podcast where we put out three episodes a week, and also have a number of membership communities, masterminds, and consulting calls to help people level up their practices. And then I’ve also written a book called Thursday’s the new Friday. That’s all about why the four-day workweek is better for society, creativity, and productivity. But I’m glad you asked about hobbies. Because that’s really, I think, where we’ve undervalued so much in the business world is the fun things outside of our work. And so for me that’s often stand-up paddleboarding, I’m raising two wonderful daughters that are seven and 10. So, most days, I have glitter in my hair at some point. And really, I think just building a community here in northern Michigan and connecting with other people and finding ways that we overlap in our interests.

Ryan 

Excellent. I love the title of the book, too. I mean, that’s a really catchy title on top of that.

Joe  

Thanks. Yeah, I had to push back with the publishers. They wanted it to be a work less, make more. And I just thought I have heard that a million times. Like that’s not the title I want for my book.

Ryan 

Yeah, I love it’s very catchy. Let’s start off by talking about your morning routine. And what does that look like? How do you start the day off?

Joe  

Yeah, so I’ve recognized that waking up before my kids is just like my personal health. So for me to be able to, like get the kids out the door first before I get into my morning routine is something I’ve recognized as a priority for myself. So the alarm goes off every single morning at 7;20. We have our first news where I say to my daughter Hey, first news, you’re welcome to come to cuddle with me or you can stay in your own bed. Then at the second snooze, I say to them, Alright, time to put on your clothes. Once your clothes around, you can go back to bed or come cuddle or do whatever you want. And so they hop to it right away. Then I go make their breakfast and they get all going for the day. And while I’m taking my shower in the morning, and then my daughter heads out. My older daughter heads up a little bit earlier because she does morning announcements at the school talks about meteorology and kind of special things for the day for the morning announcements at the elementary school. And then I walk my youngest, who’s seven down to the school, and meet my sister. And we chat on the way to school and I see my nieces and drop them off. Because I’m like two blocks away from the school. And to me, I think those that just like getting my kids out the door, having it feel settled, and then going back and having my green tea for the morning. At that point, it’s easier for me to do kind of my morning upgrade rather than trying to fit it all in knowing that I have to get kids out the door. So then I go back to the house and do a morning meditation. I love Sam Harris’s waking up the app. To me, just the way he teaches meditation really aligns with just what I feel. Then I’ll frequently do just a morning reading of something, usually in Taoism or in just kind of personal development. And then I start my day, I usually start with after my green tea with a cold brew smoothie, put in chia seeds, flax seeds, greens, banana, cocoa powder, peanut butter powder, so I have some good protein, but also that caffeine that I just can’t give up. And then I’m off and running. And that’s usually Monday through Thursday, my schedule, and then Friday, Saturday, Sunday. It’s a much different schedule.

Ryan  

I imagine that you’re right. If you wrote the book Thursdays and Friday, you have to not work Friday, you know, right, right. So I have daughters too. And I’ve noticed what we’ve been doing is making them pick out their outfits the night before because if they have to pick out the outfits the morning of it, just the chaos. It just doesn’t work. And so that’s one thing that my wife and I have.

Joe 

Yeah, no, I’ve actually done that since I was a kid. I picked up my outfit the night before and in our family. We do the exact same thing. It just alleviates any of that decision-making fatigue and just you know, just make it as easy on ourselves as possible in the morning.

Ryan 

Yeah, and the Sam Harris, I will link that up. I’m not familiar with that app, so I’ll take a look at it.

Joe 

Yeah, it’s great because he has a daily meditation that’s either 10 or 20 minutes. And what I like about it is that it’s not just, you know, you sit there and kind of listen to music, he really walks through some teachings of how to think differently, and you learn different ways of meditating. And then within the app, he’s got, man, probably 30 courses on just different modalities of meditation. So he’s a very scientifically oriented person, which I appreciate that he brings in a lot of kind of that neuroscience into the meditation and kind of learning beyond just your typical kind of just sit there. And you don’t know if you’re doing the meditation, right?

Ryan  

Yeah, very, I’ll take a look at it. So you’ve got your morning routine, you’ve got a meditation and making your tea and everything you just described any other habits that you maybe do throughout the day that are worth sharing?

Joe 

Yeah, so I have a standing desk, so I’m always moving. I don’t sit hardly at all during the day. So I think for my body and for my posture, and especially for my back, I had back surgery when I was 19. From a really bad snowboarding fall, I found that that just makes my body feel better. And each day, I usually walk a few miles. Oftentimes with a neighbor, sometimes just listening to music. But during the day, either before I pick up the girls, or after they’re home, I’ll make sure to do some loops around the neighborhood, to just make sure that my body is moving at least once a day several miles. I would say one of my habits, it’s more of a menu than a daily thing is to find things that really light up my creativity. And so recently, I’ve been learning to play November Rain on the piano and found a YouTube video. I like that I do it quarter speed, just slowly learn it, and wanted to learn this epic Guns and Roses anthem. And then also, you know, I started doing watercolors, I used to do acrylic paint painting. But for me watercolors are just, I really like how the water has a personality of its own that can totally change what I had is my vision, which I think is really good for kind of an achiever type to have something outside of myself screw it up or change it and have to adapt. And then the last thing is I do improv every week, on Wednesday nights, my parents watch my kids, and I just laugh harder than I do the rest of the week. It’s like a full ab workout. And it’s just so fun. And it’s like this thing that happens for the six to eight of us and is never replicated again.

Ryan 

And you’re the second guest that said mentioned improv I’m gonna have to get over the fear of doing that and just try it, you know,

Joe 

Oh, I’m still terrified. We had a show last week, and you were entering into and we were all talking about how we have no idea what’s going to happen and if it’s going to be successful or not. And part of it is trusting kind of the process of improv, but also the players that you’re with and in the audience, and it’s just you have no idea what’s going to unfold. And I think that’s part of the thrill. But also, you have to kind of you recognize your own limitations, where maybe you instead of saying yes and blocking one of, your players, and it’s just I don’t know, it’s a very interesting thing to be a part of.

Ryan  

Yeah, it’s like you’re getting, you’re getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. So there’s sort of it’s almost like a personal development hack, given the product imagine not that I’ve done it, but I can imagine.

Joe 

Yeah, like during the show, last week, we were doing this, this one scene and the whole scene was around that someone’s read a novel. So one of the audience members describes this novel, and then we’re going to act out this novel that they’ve just read. There was a guy named Okie, who was from Oklahoma. So I ended up playing this guy, and I have this is accent and I’m moving these giraffes across the country like poor what the book is about. But somewhere in the middle of it, I lost my accent that I was playing. And I just named it I said, Oh, my gosh, you draft I’m so in love with you, you’ve taken my accent away. So just to name our flaws publicly, is such a good thing that I took away from that scene. And there’s always these little life lessons that I do improv because it makes me laugh, not to learn life lessons or be better at business. But it has all these ancillary benefits for me, too.

Ryan  

You mentioned being better in business. That’s a good transition. Let’s talk about your business? What have you had the most success with? In terms of growing it?

Joe 

Yeah. So I would say, instead of having the most success, I would say the ongoing success. And what I mean by that is kind of the process that I use is I look at everything that’s on my plate. And then I say what can I take off of my plate to free up time and energy into bigger things. And so I’m in this constant back and forth of removing things from my plate and creating processes and people that will take that away from me so that I can do bigger things then going into something that’s riskier, that will double or triple sales, doing that for a period of time and then adding that to my plate and then creating processes to keep that new thing going outside of my own time. And so I’ve gone through this iteration process over the last five years where you know, at first, it was adding higher-level consulting And then eventually automating that off of my own time and then starting a membership community, and then eventually automating that out of my own time and then writing this book, and right now I’m fully into the whole launch here doing 200 Plus media appearances. And then at some point, most of that is going to be off of my plate, I’ll still show up for interviews, but the hustle side of getting things scheduled and connections, I’ll hand off to my team. And so to me, that process of continually saying, what’s something that’s really big that I can go after that is risky, and I may fail at, or it may not have the outcome that I expect? And then slowly moving that and just someone else’s kind of work and time.

Ryan

And so when you say you’re delegating you have like a team or virtual assistants, or how does that look like for you?

Joe  

Yeah, so over time, we’ve built up a team, we have eight people in South Africa, in Cape Town. They’re doing all sorts of backend work. So web design, social media management, marketing, management, podcasts management, we oversee 17 podcasts of professionals that have launched podcasts. And then here in Michigan, we have a sound engineer team of five. And then I have four consultants that also work for me. We have a director of details in California, who oversees everyone’s emails and kind of keeps everything together. And then we have an accountability coach for a membership community that’s out in Colorado.

Ryan  

Wow. Yeah. Very, the very large team all spread out. It’s pretty cool. Do you enjoy this part of it? I know you used to have your own private practice. Now you work with you exalt with private practices, define what you do now more fulfilling?

Joe 

Yeah, I think that each thing had its purpose at the time. Right now I’m really enjoying what I’m doing. And even within this, I’m still pretty involved with next-level practice our membership community for people starting a practice. But then on the other side, I’m helping people exit their private practices to sell them start podcasts, do keynotes. So to be able to kind of be on both sides of people that are brand new to private practice, and people that are leaving private practice, I really enjoy that. I think what I enjoy most about the work I do is that I don’t take that kind of industrialist, here’s the one size that fits all blueprint for my career. Instead, it’s an evolutionary model, where what I’m doing now could be totally different a year from now, and even my team members, we walk through three questions, you know, several times a year of first, what do you love doing that you want to keep doing? Second? What do you hate doing that you want to take off your plate and hand off to someone else on the team or to someone that we hire? And third, where do you want training to level up yourself in a specific area that might help the team. And so even the team members are constantly evolving. Sam, who’s our chief marketing officer. And five years ago, she was just doing social media posts and design, and then over time has learned video marketing and YouTube ad campaigns and just keeps leveling up in a number of ways. And so for me, I don’t have to stay stagnant. If I ever don’t like what I’m doing. I can continue to add kind of new ideas to the mix and the business that evolves over time as well with the audience.

Ryan  

Love those questions. Can I borrow that? 

Joe

You know, please do. Yeah, steal them.

Ryan

Where’d you learn all this? Obviously, you were running your own practice. But all this other stuff you’re talking about, like the questions to ask and the frameworks and processes you’re building out? Is that something that you’ve just done by doing it, you’re in it, you’re learning it and just trying to make it better?

Joe 

Yeah, I think it’s been a combination. early on. When I started practicing the practice in 2012. A lot of it was co-learning, just saying to the audience, hey, we didn’t learn any of this in graduate school. We’re highly underprepared in the business world. Here’s how I’m learning. So I read a book like guerilla marketing, and then I would do a podcast about here’s how I’m implementing chapters one through four. And here’s a way that I’m thinking through this and was really just a cold learner for the first probably 50 episodes or so. And then over time, it started to shift for people wanting to hire me as a consultant and mastermind groups. But I think that, especially those three questions and discovering some of these processes, there are a couple of different factors. I think part of it is really learning that when I stepped out of my own way, and let the team move forward in the way that they wanted to move forward, more times than not, it moved faster and was better quality than what I would have come up with. So we have a saying within practice the practice of proceeding until apprehended. So keep moving forward until I say, Whoa, what happened, I’d rather we lean on the side of creativity and innovation, then approval by Joe. So that really stepping back and allowing people to just let their creative juices flow and say, Hey, I’m going to try this. We’ve had some crazy ideas come out of that, that I never would have come up with. I think also just really recognizing when people left early on. I felt like I had to have all this control and power and make sure things were done my way. And you know, you hear people say, my business is my baby. But that’s just not true. Like we would never leave our kids in a back alley, but there are times we need to kill our businesses. There are times we need to kill a product or let go of it. And so moving away from all this as my Babe, my egos wrapped up in it and all those things to be able to say, Okay, there are things that don’t work at times, so we’re just going to kill that, that’s not gonna be a part of what we offer anymore. And so when that happens, for example, when someone says, Hey, I don’t want to do show notes anymore. So that was one thing that Sam said, you know, a year or so into it, that she just didn’t want to do that anymore. And then empower her to go do the hiring for a new shownotes person, do the interviews, create the process and the systems of what she’s been doing, then do the handoff training to that new person, monitor that handoff training, and check in on that person. And then at some point exit doing the show notes. And so she’s completely responsible start to finish, you’re handing it off. And she has an incentive to make that happen because she doesn’t want to do it anymore. And so then I now have two people that are cross-trained, that I haven’t done more than five minutes of approval for the most part of that new person getting hired. And so I think stepping out of my own way and then allowing the team to help create those systems and allow the team to say, hey, this, I’ve been researching this about shownotes, I think we should add this, that’s great. I don’t have to then go listen to podcasts and make that work, my team then creates a better and better product with me.

Ryan 

Great leadership advice. It sounds like you’ve got a very specific process for how you train the team and communicate with them and just grow them and strengthen them. That’s pretty cool. So this is, uh, this time flew by, I appreciate everything you shared. What’s the best way if someone wants to reach out to you or buy your book, what’s the best website we should send them to?

Joe 

Yeah, so wherever they purchase books, it could be through your local bookstore having people order through there or Amazon or Target wherever you get your books, typically, you can get it there. Thursday’s the new Friday is the name of the book. If you purchase 10 of the books, we have a mastermind group that’s going to be six sessions in a row that you can get access to, it’s gonna be a live mastermind group, where for the first portion, we’re going to go through kind of behind the scenes of the book, then we’re gonna move into practical implications of it and how to implement it with some hot seats. But then the last kind of 20 minutes of those mastermind groups is going to be networking with other people. We’ve got some top podcasters coming in, we’ve got some top entrepreneurs, it’s going to be an amazing experience to meet six to 10 new people that are kind of at your same level. So once you buy your 10 books you can just go to thursdayisthenewfriday.com Then you’ll get access to that mastermind group. 

Ryan

Perfect. Thanks, Joe. Appreciate your time.

Joe 

Thank you so much, Ryan.

Ryan  

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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