April 9, 2024

Episode #135: Ana Workman – Absolute Therapy

Ana Workman is the owner of Absolute Therapy, a company that helps school districts find speech therapists via a proprietary process. I also empower speech language pathologists to become six figure school SLPs and more! My practical strategies show speech therapists make at least $100K in a school and help them scale their way to seven figures. SLPs interested in scaling their career can go to 6figureslp.com and connect there for more information or go to anaworkman.com to book a session.


Intro: You’re listening to the self made is a myth podcast. Make a difference together show with your host coach Tim Campsall where we talk with successful business owners to hear the stories of their journeys in building their successful businesses. And more importantly, we recognize the folks who helped them excel because we know that achieving business success is not something we can do on our own.

Coach Tim Campsall: Hello, this is Coach Tim Campsall, and I’m excited to have a fellow business owner from Indiana with us today. Something unique about my guest is that she was born in the U. S. but didn’t speak English until the age of five, and now she speaks three languages. In her downtime, she enjoys reading nonfiction books with the purpose of learning and growing and becoming a better version of herself.

And she’s most proud of having the opportunity to help other speech-language pathologists break through the financial ceiling that they’re presented with when they’re working in the school system. It’s my pleasure to welcome Ana to the show today. Hello, Ana.

Ana Workman: Hi, Tim. Thank you for inviting me.

Coach Tim Campsall: Absolutely. It’s my pleasure. I look forward to learning a little bit more about you and sharing that with our audience. So let’s start with having you introduce yourself, tell us your full name and a bit of your personal story, like where you were born and live and about your family and hobbies.

Ana Workman: Thank you. So I was born in Chicago. I grew up in Chicago in the South side and I spent most of my childhood and went to high school there. And then went, off to college. I went to university, the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. And at first I wanted to be a teacher, but then I decided to be a speech language pathologist.

And after that, after graduation, you have to go to grad school for that. I worked as a speech teacher. That’s what we call ourselves, speech pathologists in the school system. And then , after that, I decided to create my own business. And that’s when everything changed and life got better.

Coach Tim Campsall: Fantastic.

And what about your family?

Ana Workman: My family, they are from Mexico. My mom and both my mom and dad were both born in Mexico. However, my grandfather came here to the United States in the 1920s. He had five kids. My dad was the second half so he was born in Mexico because they went back. So yeah,  half of them are American, half of them are more Mexican, but he’s been here.

My dad has been here since he was 19, and now he is 80 years old. He’s been here in the country for a very long time, and we just get along. There’s five of us. I have three brothers, one sister, and we’re very close. I see them often every time I go visit up north because they still live in the Chicago area.

I spend time with them, and they are so much fun. They’re the best.

Coach Tim Campsall: That’s fantastic. My wife’s family is originally from Mexico as well. And she’s also was born here up in Milwaukee. Awesome. So Anna, what’s a funny story that your family likes to tell about you that you’d be willing to share?

Ana Workman: Funny story and it can be a little scary story when I was little, very, I was, I could walk and they share this story a lot. I don’t remember this story, but they share it. And my dad, I was really close to my dad. I was a daddy’s little girl and I wanted to be with him at all times. And he stepped out to go somewhere and I guess I went to follow him.

He didn’t lock the door well. I went to follow him, but he was faster because he’s, a grown man and I’m little  and so then  he disappeared and I got lost. Like outside, like I was outside, out on the street, lost and luckily nothing happened to me. Some girl found me, she found walking.

 So then she saw a toddler, that’s what it seemed to her. She took her home, me, she took me home and then she called the cops. The cop had me for a while. My mom, of course, you can only imagine how my parents were like, my little girl disappeared. For hours. I was gone for three to four hours.

And so then they were just, yes, it is, imagine losing your child. She called me, she went up to, she was a little frantic, went up to the cop car and she said, knocked on his window and said, have you seen a little girl? Have you two, this is my daughter. And then he looked at her. And he said, describe her to me and he did and then he leaned back and he said, is this your little girl?

Oh, he’s yes, that’s my, yeah, so she was like, so happy and like they almost lost me.

Coach Tim Campsall: Wow. That’s a great, it’s a great story when it turns out well, so tell us how did the business come about? And at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business?

Ana Workman: The business at first, I think like many people do, they don’t want to rattle, the cage too much.

They’re in this one box and may not even think outside of the box. I think, all right, graduation. school, work, marriage, children, and that’s your life, right? And that’s what I thought my life was going to be like okay, this is very predictable. But then you get into the daily life of work, and you’re not growing anymore.

I think that’s what happens. Like you stop growing. And before that you are you’re like child, Teenager, college, work, you’re growing. And then all of a sudden it stops. And then you’re like, what, something like, what else? There has to be something more than this for the next 30 years. You hear people say, I can’t wait for retirement.

And I’m thinking, why are you wishing your life away, and enjoy life now? No, but when I retire, I can’t wait because I’m going to travel, but that’s 30, 20, 30 years from now let’s enjoy life now. But they couldn’t because of the money, right? The lack of those resources. And I thought I can’t wait to have to start my life in 20 to 30 years.

So I need to make a change. And I just, that’s when I decided to go independent and it’s very difficult in my, what I do in my business as an SLP, speech-language pathology,  in the school system, because it’s really rare. No, nobody does that. And there’s a very small percentage, like 2%, if that, because you’re, you taught, you go to school, this is your salary, this is health insurance.

You need it. You need a retirement. Your 401k, the four, three B in the schools. And then you feel like I can’t live without that. Anxiety also gets in the way. I thought no. I need to make a change. I need to go independent. I’m going to risk it. Whatever happens. I’m young at the time, it was in my early, my twenties, and so I thought, let’s go, this is the time.

And I did. So I became an independent contractor and I made within a year, I went up to It was like a big jump, like I went from at the time I was making 40, 000 a year in the school system and then I went up to 75, 000 within a year. And then after that, I thought, I’m here now, what else can I do?

How can I make more? Because you have to continue to grow. Because if you don’t grow, you die.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yes.

Ana Workman: Indeed.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yes. So tell us more about your company. What’s the name? What do you do? How do you help people?

Ana Workman: Okay. The name of my company, when I started, when I went independent is called Absolute Therapy and that’s the services that I provide.

But now I have, it has grown into more than that because then years later, I wanted to You know, because there are three different levels of growth of business growth and, employee, in my opinion, employee self-employed, which is what I was, and then business owner. And that’s where the freedom starts.

Yeah, you make more money as a self employed person, but when you really start enjoying your life and enjoying the freedom of it is when you become a business owner. And that’s where the power is. And that’s where you start to help people and change people’s lives a lot more than the other two.

And so then as a business owner, now I have employees, but it’s the toughest to go into is not easy. Third step is not easy at all, but that’s what I did. I started hiring SLPs and contract. That’s what I do. I contract them. I place them in school districts. I call, I make connections with school districts around the Indianapolis area.

And now they know who I am. They call me whenever they need an SLP. And I look for that SLP and I connect them and put them together. And so those are my,  one of my tiers of the business. And then once I did that, I was like doing great with that because now with each employee, just 10 employees, that’s, that’s gross, a million dollar company right there.

Because each employee is worth a hundred K in the school system. And so then that’s when I decided that how can I help other people? Do what I do. And that’s when I became a coach. So that’s the other leg of my business that I’m also coach. I coach SLPs like myself, like I was in that, as an employee for them to become empowered and become self employed and also if they want to become a business owner.

So that’s where you start to really change lives and their family. and generations to come. And I’ve seen that I coach my clients and they, I see that change and they’re so much more relaxed and they have a lot more they have a lot more money. They just, now they can travel and go places and with their children.

And so it’s very neat. And I want to continue to help SLPs grow in their But their financial success, so for them to be able to have more freedom in their lives and then start enjoying life now and not wait, not think.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yeah, for sure. Ana, share a story where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it.

And maybe even though you didn’t think that you could, and the impact that person had on you.

Ana Workman: I, there’s so many people, honestly, there’s so many people that have helped me along the way. And even you need those people to help you to guide you and to mentor you. And for me, it started back when I was in college and I had a great mentor who was amazing.

And she was like, she just pushed me and said, this is, It’s something that even like just a speech part, like you are bilingual, only 2 percent of us are bilingual, you should really consider doing this because you’ll be helping a lot of people. I’m like, yeah. And so she helped me and found to find ways to also get into grad school because grad school is very competitive.

And so she helped me find fellowships  one year and then an assistantship another year, which, means everything’s paid for because grad schools can get really expensive. So that was my first step and then later on, it was more other people like you because sometimes you see people that have done it who are doing really well, who are successful and you see them and think that they can do it, but I can’t like they’re, they have something special that I don’t have.

That there’s something about them that makes them unique. I don’t think I have that, but when it’s your own colleague, like your own friend who is doing things and going places, that’s when you’re like, wait a minute, if you can do it, I can do it too. You become a little competitive, like friendly competition.

Let’s go because you, but also you, that’s when I realized too, that you need to be surrounded by people who are like that, who are like you. Where going places who have that drive cause they will get you there. They will motivate you to get you there. Whoever you’re hanging in was just, I know you’re very aware of that because we’ve talked about that earlier.

But yeah, so they, that helped me a lot. And then later on, it was me seeking out coaches. I feel like, I know you’re a coach too, like coaches will get you there. Successful people have coaches.

Coach Tim Camspall: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Ana Workman: You want to be successful. You need a coach.

Coach Tim Camspall: Yes.

Ana Workman: Even though like, even presidents have people guiding them, they have coaches, Tony Robbins has his own coach.

So you need someone like a mentor that you’re investing in to get you to the next level because you can do it yourself, but sometimes we procrastinate.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yep.

Ana Workman: That’s the problem.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yes. Yeah. We have a few of our clients who just, that’s what they said. Hey Tim, I already know what I’m supposed to do, but I’m not gonna do it on my own.

So it’s worth me to, to hire you, to hold me accountable because now I know I’m gonna get it done.

Ana Workman: Yes, for sure. Yes. You know what your next step is, but, I don’t, I won’t do it. I don’t do it for whatever reason. I think I have more time.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yeah.

Ana Workman: Then I do. And time is limited.

Yeah, you can make more money, but you can’t make more time, right?

Coach Tim Campsall: Yep.

Ana Workman: So use your time.

Coach Tim Campsall: And to your point earlier, right? We also, because time’s limited, and we’re on this earth for a short period of time, right? We should want to spend that enjoying the fruits of our labors as well.

And I did not just spend all of our time working, right? So what’s been your biggest learning as a business owner?

Ana Workman: The biggest for me has been to care less about what people think.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yeah. Tell me more about that.

Ana Workman: Yeah. For me, like I have to promote myself, right? And, one of the best ways I promote myself is through social media.

So social media is a powerful tool. When it comes to marketing and just letting people know who you are and where to find you. So in order to do that, you need to be out there in the open and talk and say something, have something to say in public for people, other people to see you, and that’s not easy because you can get shy about that and just a little self conscious Oh, people are looking at me and they’re going to.

Hey, I have this and I have that and I sound dumb when I talk or whatever that is, And they’re going to criticize me. Yes, they will

There are trolls are out there.

Coach Tim Camspall: Yeah,

Ana Workman: And if you edit now I see it more like if people are Criticizing you. You’re doing something right?

Coach Tim Campsall: Yeah. I like the that phrase of what other people think of me is none of my business Yes, I agree, just because yes that fear and anxiety can be paralyzing and stop us from doing the things that we need to this podcast is a good example when I first launched it My first one was not very good. And I was worried about it. The fact that it wasn’t, that I wasn’t polished and didn’t, I was still learning what I was doing at my coach encouraged me, just, just start and it’ll get better as you go.

Ana Workman: Yes. You tweak it as you go. Yeah. As when you start something, it might not. Look good. And that might not be good, but then you learn to tweak it and as you go and it gets better. Yes, I agree. 100 percent for sure.

Coach Tim Campsall: We know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation, but tell us about a challenge that you had in your business journey and someone who came alongside you and helped you through that.

Ana Workman: The challenge that I’ve had, I think that’s a perfect, that for me, the heart.  I am a shy extrovert, right? So again going back to the be putting myself out there. That was really hard. That was a really challenging for me. And so when I hired my coach, I hired someone so I paid someone to Help me get through that because it was really hard Like I didn’t really I didn’t want to and that was my first video and she’s make a video I don’t know make a video you got to start now saying whatever you want.

I want you to post It’s so scary because if you don’t, you’re not going to start, your journey. And so I created my video and I showed it to her and she’s yep, that’s a good one. Yeah. Share it. And I’m like, Hey, it was so painful to press send, but it was her helping me out again.

It was like coaches are wonderful.

Coach Tim Camspall: That’s awesome.

Ana Workman: Everyone else, like family, this is what I don’t share. There was a quote don’t share what you’re going to do, just do it. Because sometimes when you share what you’re doing, your dreams, even your own family will hold you back. But it’s not, it’s out of love.

It’s out of fear as well. Because they are putting themselves in your shoes. And thinking I couldn’t do that.

Coach Tim Campsall: It is out of love of wanting to protect us or save us from whatever the negative things that are going to happen. But what, myself included, right? What we don’t realize in the moment is that we’re holding people back from becoming the next version of themselves because we’re allowing the fear and anxiety or whatever.

To get in the way and go Understanding that. Yeah, there’s there is fear. There is going to be trepidation. There is going to be worry Not going to control me, right? It’s not going to hold me back It’s not going to prevent me from taking that next step and growing and evolving

Ana Workman: Yes, all yeah, so that’s what we need to be careful about because they mean But

Coach Tim Camspall: they’re

Ana Workman: not It’s not beneficial.

That’s why I don’t personally I don’t share when my plans to even in my family I love them. Love them dearly awesome to hang out with but they will share why it’s not a good idea.

Coach Tim Campsall: Yeah. Yeah I love it. Hey i’m gonna put you on the spot here a little bit and ask you to pick three people In your business owner journey that you’re most grateful for them being there As part of your business growth.

So who are those three people and how they help you?

Ana Workman: The three people have been my husband, my daughter, and my mother. My mother is everything to me. She’s the one that has always believed in me, like in terms of going to school and education. And she just knew that I would be going places. And my husband is supportive on what I do.

And he’s my biggest cheerleader Oh, do it, go do your thing. Which I appreciate. And by my number one. And I’m number one is my daughter. Let me tell you why is Miranda because she’s now thought about to be three, but she’s the one that pushed me from becoming self employed to business owner, because she was my, why you need a, why a strong, why, in order to get to the next level.

And she was my, why, because my goal was always, if If I ever were to have a child was to be a stay at home mom, and I am, I’m a stay at home business mom. I’m with her all day, I’m with her all day from like Monday through Friday Friday is just to be honest, I do have a nanny that comes and watches her for one day, but the rest of the week I’m with her being mommy.

That’s always been important. The money was the problem. That was my how do I continue to make money, passive income and be able to stay home mommy. So before she came, before she was in this world, push myself like crazy, like I’ve never had before to go from that switch to self employment to business owner and calling.

And it was like crazy. I’m going to get this. I’m going to be a business owner. I’m going to make a lot more money, make money. And so I did, I made it happen because I knew she was coming and I wanted to be there for her.

Coach Tim Campsall: That’s awesome. Wow. So Ana, as you think about the next one to three years, what’s your number one priority or challenge that you see in achieving your goals?

Ana Workman: The number, I think time’s always we have to like work around time. Time has been my challenge. That’s number one. Just making sure I manage time or use time wisely. There you go. We use time wisely because we think we have more time than we really have, but we don’t. So using that to work on my business one, because again, I’m a stay home mom.

And so when I use that time is when she’s napping or after she goes to bed or in the morning before she wakes up. So using that time to move forward. That’s my main one challenge that I am facing right now. Second is sometimes I have problems with the technology.

Coach Tim Camspall: Yes, but don’t wait long.

Ana Workman: Yeah, I get stuck on that and like the, because right now I have my own course. On a a certain platform that is not very friendly, like user friendly. And have VAs that help me, but I need to learn as well. So I can do it myself. That paralyzes me too. Like it creates this pause. I don’t have this done.

Like I want to do more, but I can’t. And then the other one is that that’s the one, the second challenge. The third challenge is. Make you sure that I continue that momentum, because you do it and you’re like, you stop.

Coach Tim Camspall: Yes.

Ana Workman: So you have to continue to, if you want to grow, you have to continue, right? And so just making sure you’re, even if it’s baby steps, continue to take those steps. Oh, and sometimes I take breaks. I’m like, yeah, you’re gonna go where you want to be

Coach Tim Campsall: You mentioned at the beginning the idea the concept of we’re either growing or we’re dying so yes when we sometimes we have to take a little bit of a recharge break But if we stay in that break mode too long, then we actually start falling backwards because we’re not Continuing to invest in our own growth and development.

Ana Workman: Yes, I agree

Coach Tim Campsall: So speaking of growth and development, Jim Rohn is an amazing guru, business guru. One of his quotes is that we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with. So as you think about that quote, what advice would you have for other business owners who are listening here that are trying to do it all on their own?

Ana Workman: For other business owners who are doing it on their own. They’re just, you can do it. I’m not saying that you can’t, you can do it. It’s quite true. going to be harder, a lot more challenging when it’s on your own, when it’s by yourself, it’s like when you’re working out and you can do it on your own.

People are very successful doing it, working out on their own, but when they have a coach to tell them this week, this muscle, that week, that muscle, you have that education or the proper way of how they did it, how they were successful. So it’s like you’re following someone else’s roadmap, like, why not?

I do it yourself when you can use someone else’s experience, so you can be successful. So like I would say, you can always go back to find a coach. You have to have a coach. Yeah. You need a coach. You need someone that is doing someone that’s, there are three things I feel like you need.

One is a coach. Second is someone that is doing it already and you can hang out and pick their brain or is doing it with you, someone at your level, so you can do it together, have that friendly competition or motivation. And the third is someone you can help, yes I’m doing it, but you want to do it.

Let me help you. Sometimes we, that helping them and guiding them pushes you. Yes.

Coach Tim Campsall: One of the things I hear a lot from folks is I don’t want to bother somebody else and ask them to have coffee with me or to share their story with me or to answer some of my questions because they’re probably busy and they don’t have time for me.

What would you say to those people who are, stopping themselves from reaching out to a fellow business owner and, asking them some questions?

Ana Workman: And I understand that because I used to be that way too, where you don’t want to put annoy them or bother them. You feel like you’re taking time away from their daily schedule.

So I understand that. But like sometimes if it’s they, a lot of the business owners enjoy helping out others, is a coffee, go out and ask questions and they can guide you where they can, get more help. You’re not having them coach you every single week. That’s a whole different scenario.

But, people that are successful, like to help other people, like people, the ones that like, I was thinking about like the trolls when you’re doing something is usually is never someone that is doing better than you. That’s going to criticize you. Never is always someone that was behind you.

Who’s never hasn’t done it. And they’re like, don’t do it. Cause that’s. You’re going to get hurt in the process. And you also, and just thinking about this, going back to the five people, the successful people that you need to hang out, be around. I realized I didn’t completely answer that question, but I actually tell that to people you really need to be careful.

Who you’re surrounded with, because if you, because the person, like you could have four great people, but if you have that one person is like the downer, the Debbie downer, the, negativity and telling you, don’t do this and telling you why you shouldn’t do it, that person is more likely to bring you down than these four people, negativity is more powerful than the positivity in that I feel.

Coach Tim Campsall: You mentioned, don’t be afraid to ask somebody to have coffee with you. What I’ve found is most, let’s call it 99 percent of successful business owners are going to say yes, because they were there too, right? They know what it was like to be, to have questions and to be struggling or to not be able to figure something out.

And there is a generosity of, yep, I was there at one point and I’m going to pay it forward.

Ana Workman: Yes, I agree. Yeah. And that’s what I do now. I help others like myself Hey, and I put myself out there now. I’m like nationwide, I help SLPs. Okay. Cause there’s such a huge need for what I do now as a coach, that part.

Coach Tim Campsall: That’s very cool. So Ana if we if we had the people that have helped you on your journey on the show here today, what would you want to say to them?

Ana Workman: I would want to say that thank you. I don’t think I would have done it as fast as I have done it myself now. And they have helped me pave my way.

And because of that, I’m giving it back. I’m giving back by helping others become successful. So thank you. And I’m trying to pay back pay it forward.

Coach Tim Campsall: I love it. Awesome. Ana, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today. Thank you so much for being on the show

Ana Workman: Thank you so much. Thank you for inviting me and being I love, you know being a guest in your show so this was a lot of fun.

I love being on podcasts

Coach Tim Campsall: Awesome. Have a great day.

Ana Workman: Thank you

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