SLP Toolkit Podcast, Episode 34, Transcript

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Sarah (00:10):

Well, hey Lisa.


Lisa (00:38):

What's up, Sarah?


Sarah (00:40):

Not much. How are you?


Lisa (00:41):

You know, just living the dream over here, just working nonstop.


Sarah (00:44):

I always love the living the dream comment. Cause I use that a lot too, but every time I say that to Isaac, he goes, what's the dream?


Lisa (00:51):

If the dream is to stay up too late because you're watching Netflix and not get enough sleep to then roll in and be in meeting after meeting and feel like you're a loser because you have all of these outstanding projects that need to be done, that you could just never catch up on...I'm living the damn dream.


Sarah (01:07):

So you meant it sarcastically?


Lisa (01:09):



Sarah (01:09):

Cause I think my dream would be living a life of leisure.


Lisa (01:13):

Yeah. I mean, that would be ideal.


Sarah (01:17):

When we got to go to Sedona last weekend, now we did work and it was work-related and it was so awesome. But we did have some moments to Zen out. That's the dream.


Lisa (01:27):

Yes. And I actually now need a house in the woods next to a creek that has an outdoor shower, which sounds like an outhouse, but I'm going to tell you that there was nothing back woods about it. It was just basically an amazing shower attached to a cabin that had no ceiling.


Sarah (01:45):

It was amazing. Even though it was freezing.


Lisa (01:47):

But the water was warm, so it was just like, okay, I just need more of this in my life where I'm just chill. You know, I take 19 showers a day because it's just awesome being outside.


Sarah (01:58):

And we needed that kind of reboot. Cause this month in particular has been bananas with a capital B. All caps, actually. Bananas. And part of that was because of SLP summit. And so we wanted to talk about that, but it does not seem appropriate to talk about without having our co-founder of SLP summit. Yep, Marisha's in the house today.


Marisha (02:24):



Sarah (02:25):

We're so excited. Why the heck have we never done a podcast together yet?


Marisha (02:31):

I do not know how it took this long, but I'm so glad that it's finally happening.


Sarah (02:35):

I know. Because we've been doing this-- I think this is our third season and you have been doing one for a couple of years also, correct?


Marisha (02:42):



Sarah (02:43):

What's the name of your podcast?

Marisha (02:46):

It's the SLP Now podcast. Very original.


Sarah (02:52):

Okay. I'm going to link to that too. And anything we talk about I'll link that in the notes so that you guys have it, but I don't think we needed to say that. I know you guys all know who Marisha is. And so we are so excited. One, we wanted to talk about summit, but before we get into all of that-- we have had a working relationship with you now-- gosh, I don't know, a few years? At least.


Lisa (03:14):

At least, yeah.


Sarah (03:15):

Right? Do you remember the first time we met?


Marisha (03:18):

It must've been in like summer 2016. Does that sound right?


Lisa (03:22):



Marisha (03:22):



Sarah (03:23):

Yes. I can picture it like it was yesterday.


Marisha (03:28):

So-- and I'm trying to rack my brain and remember how it actually all came together, and I think I was at a Teachers Pay Teachers conference that summer and I connected with Anne Page from Beautiful Speech Life and she was going to be speaking at this bootcamp that you guys hosted. And then--- and it's so random. I do not know how it all came together, but the conference was somewhere not in Arizona and I was living in Washington at the time, but my parents lived in Arizona. So somehow I ended up showing up at your bootcamp.


Sarah (04:10):

It's so weird because we had just met Anne-- gosh, a few months before then even, and had this idea that, hey, since we're all in Arizona, let's do this day in-person conference for SLPs during the summer break or something. And so somehow we managed to literally pull a conference together out of nothing.

Lisa (04:28):

But we had friends, we had Lacey and we had--- speech geek, which she had all of that cool RTI research. Anneus. And so even the idea of bringing that together, I remember we just kind of were talking about I think we could just do this workshop, whatever, and why not? And then as we started planning it, we're like oh shit, this is a lot of-- it was a live one day workshop where we rented out the cafeteria at the school you were working at and we did it on a Saturday, we mapped everything out and it all came together. But the focus even then was we wanted some cool, practical courses and then it also built in the idea of make and takes. And it was awesome. We had people give-- we had some TPT sellers that gave away products.


Sarah (05:15):

That was so fun. We got to do one. I cannot wait to get back to the live conferences again someday, but yes. So that's where we met. I remember Anne telling us about you, and I think I even was like, oh, who's this? I'll check her out. And at the time you had just started lesson plan membership, Correct?


Marisha (05:32):

Correct. Yup.


Sarah (05:33):

That's right. And so then all of a sudden you're in town at the same time we're doing this bootcamp and we got to meet in person.


Marisha (05:40):

We did.


Sarah (05:43):

Yeah it was so cool. So I think that kind of started our relationship. But then I remember, I think even more so than Lisa, you and I met on a couple of occasions just to talk about our businesses. We were both kind of in baby businesses at that stage.


Lisa (05:57):

Wait, you cheated on me?


Sarah (05:59):



Lisa (05:59):

Oh my gosh.


Sarah (06:00):

I did with Marisha.


Lisa (06:01):

It's all coming out now. That's the confession.


Sarah (06:03):

Yeah. That is the confession.


Lisa (06:06):

Were you working-- when did you decide to move to Arizona? Was it that same year or was it the next year?


Marisha (06:12):

Oh, I don't remember.


Lisa (06:15):

Because you came and worked in the same district that Sarah and I were working in


Marisha (06:19):

Oh yeah. And I worked part time cause SLP Now-- well, and I don't even remember when it changed to SLP Now from Lesson Plan Membership. But yeah, so that was taking off and so it was a little bit hard to do a full-time position. So I knew we were moving to Arizona and I'd heard a lot of awesome things about that school district and so it was awesome that it all came together and I was able to do a couple of days there. And I think that's why we ended up-- like Lisa that's probably why you weren't there, because Sarah was also slightly part time.


Lisa (07:00):

You had Fridays off remember?


Marisha (07:00):

So we would do it on like Fridays or something.


Sarah (07:04):

That's it. That's exactly right.


Marisha (07:06):

At Starbucks.


Sarah (07:07):

At Starbucks. We would meet at the Starbucks. This is-- I think I've told this story before, but now I want you to tell it because I'm sure you think of it of how it all came to be too. Especially now that we just completed our ninth SLP summit. And so I picture us sitting in the Starbucks. So how do you remember this all coming to be?


Marisha (07:25):

Yeah. First of all, how crazy is it that that was that long ago? That's insane. But yeah-- so we would chat, we would meet at Starbucks and I feel like so many amazing ideas came out of that. I would share the materials that I was working on and we would talk through that and I know around Thanksgiving time you had suggested some Thanksgiving books, so I went home and plugged those into the membership, which is awesome. Like I think that one still has the most books out of anything. But in terms of the summit I know that I was listening to a podcast episode that was talking about online summits. And so that had kind of been on my mind. And then we had all been talking about the lack of practical professional development and how expensive conferences were, and then you had also attended another-- a women's online conference too for business. And so I think we were just from those brainstorming sessions it all kind of came together and I don't remember all of the details, but all of a sudden we were putting together this online conference.


Sarah (08:48):

Yeah. I seriously remember leaving Starbucks that day, calling Lisa and saying we're doing a conference and this is the premise and this is how we're going to do it, and this is all of the ideas. And Lisa, thank God for her, she's always just like, cool. Yep. And, you know, I'm just the one who I like to dream and think about things, but I don't know if these things would ever happen if I didn't have an action oriented person. And so thank goodness for you too, because I mean, you're a planner. Even every summit, you've got us mapped out with dates and you'd like-- what am I trying to say?


Lisa (09:26):

The task analysis of everything that needs to happen. And I think I had come at it from the perspective that first time too, that with my role in the district, I was really familiar with designing courses and knowing those kinds of components. So I think we all sort of just merged our skills together and made that first conference come together. And it was like, holy shit this is crazy. Is anybody even going to come? And the idea of presenters that first time around, we were going to present, and you were going to present, but then who else do we get? And so I feel like-- I always say that I feel like Sarah can sell ice to somebody that lives in snow. You know what I mean? Like, she is so great with communicating with people, and her relationship building, and I know you had gotten a couple of people on board and Marisha you had some friendships that you tapped into


Sarah (10:20):

I was gonna say, Marisha had relationships being in the world of TPT. And so we knew we needed strong presenters, right? Because I mean, we might, if it's a free conference we might get some some folks out, but we didn't really have a huge following at that time. We had Marisha but--


Lisa (10:38):

We had launched in 2016, in January. So we were still kind of--


Sarah (10:40):

we were kind of new to the scene.


Lisa (10:44):

Figuring it out. Yes.


Sarah (10:45):

So we got Speech Room News and Crazy Speech World. Gosh, who else? Elise and Hallie.


Lisa (10:51):

and then the two of us. And then... So Marisha and us, and then


Sarah (10:59):

I know we're missing someone. Who are we missing Marisha? Can you remember back that far?


Marisha (11:03):

Oh, they're all kind of blending together. I'm trying to see if I can scroll back.


Sarah (11:06):

Oh Heidi! Did Heidi Hanks do the first one?


Marisha (11:12):

Oh Yeah.


Sarah (11:12):

Yes. So we literally just asked these people if they would be in. Hey, we've got this idea, we're gonna throw this conference together and it's going to be online. Which again, thinking about that now-- that in of itself was a new idea for our world. Really, to have an online conference, which is ironic because now it's the only way any of us are attending CEU's.


Lisa (11:36):

They had-- I always think of-- even ASHA would have conferences that were live in the summer and they would offer a replay version. But to me it was more, the format was you felt like you were listening to a replay version. It wasn't like you were there with everything designed to be online, and so that in itself was unique. Plus the focus, knowing that it was just short courses, that the focus would be about what can we really have people take away in an hour? And it really is filling some of those gaps of a lot of the courses that we were all collectively attending just didn't do a lot for us as far as what can I put into practice? How does this help me when I have students sitting in front of me the next day?


Marisha (12:18):

Yeah. And we get a lot of emails and comments about things. Like I was able to use this in my therapy session today, and I just watched the webinar yesterday. So I love that it's that actionable and yeah, just super practical.


Sarah (12:34):

It is, it really is something magical. And I think we've talked about this even during this last summit, you know, it's a humbling experience to be a part of something that's so impactful because clearly Summit is as successful as it is, is because of these individuals who volunteer their time. I mean, I remember, I think was it the second summit? We got Social Thinking to present? We had Sarah Ward


Marisha (12:59):

Who do we think we are?


Sarah (12:59):

I don't know Marisha!


Lisa (13:03):

Well here's the thing I always think is, and even before we were doing even business things, I would always ask for what I wanted. And I always had that philosophy of somebody could say no, but if you just assume that somebody is going to say no, then you're correct. Because you didn't even try to begin with. So even with-- I felt like Social Thinking-- was that that second conference? Or was--


Sarah (13:25):

I think it could have been, or maybe the third.


Lisa (13:27):

Cause I feel like we got a little bit ignored the first time when we tried. There were a couple of-- or no, maybe it was somebody else. Somebody else that we reached out to-- just some people never responded.


Sarah (13:36):

That did not happen very often.


Lisa (13:38):

I know it didn't happen often, but I can think of somebody.


Sarah (13:41):

Who was it? Spill the beans.


Lisa (13:42):

He has a product that rhymes with Shmee TT. I mean, I wouldn't want to call anybody out, but no, we tried to connect with her. I feel like with Social Thinking, we of course just emailed Michelle because we were besties and I remember her emailing back and basically it ended up being like, you know, connecting us with, she has a whole team of presenters that know her vision and her materials and everything. So it was awesome.


Sarah (14:09):

She did respond.


Lisa (14:10):

Yeah but we did. So people were really kind of I think onboard with the idea of what it's evolved into is and where it started, but even involved into further is the reach that we have because it is a free conference. So it's just equitable that anybody can access it. You don't have to be in a certain city. You don't have to-- I love the ASHA conventions more for the outside the courses than the courses themselves. I just love being in the energy of all of those thousands of SLPs. But you know, it was one of those things we go for business now because we have to exhibit, but as an SLP, it was like, well, crap, how far away is it? Do I know anyone in that city I can stay with? Because when you looked at the conference costs, the hotel costs, your travel costs, your food, your transportation. I mean, I didn't have $1,500 laying around for all of that kind of stuff. So that was the kind of thing I think with this is that people-- even we marketed it early on as lounge and learn. Like--


Sarah (15:09):

Oh I remember the lounge and learn.


Lisa (15:11):

And even the people that when we have music going and you see kids are in the background watching this as their parents are watching them I just-- it really ended up, it's just such a cool way to connect our community in a different way than I think that they've connected before.


Sarah (15:28):

Yeah. Yeah. What's your favorite-- have you ever had a favorite summit or what's your favorite thing about summit?


Marisha (15:35):

Ooh, I don't know if-- I feel like they just keep getting better and better as we figure things out. I was just-- as we were kind of going back in time, I was thinking about the first-- when I was building out the platform for the first summit and it's just so much fancier and easier and more user-friendly now that we have a custom kind of platform built. It's really cool just to see that progression. But my favorite part about just the summit in general is just the community. It was there the very first time we did it and it's still there now that we have thousands and thousands of SLPs showing up and it's just amazing to get to hang out with--we call it-- you guys say this too, your SLP besties. It's just I don't know. It's just like instant friends through the chat and just so many great ideas and inspiration. That's my absolute favorite part.


Sarah (16:40):

I tell you that chat is I think what makes it kind of unique to any other experience I've ever been on too, is it is like everybody's not only commenting on the things the speaker is saying, but chatting with each other and sharing ideas and it is, it's pretty remarkable.


Lisa (16:56):

Well, and that's the benefit of attending live. I think the replays, you can still see the chat transcripts get uploaded, right?


Sarah (17:04):

I was gonna say, for those of you who did not know this, we upload the chat into where you download handouts now.


Lisa (17:08):

But I just think that's one of the cool things is you're able to then connect and listen. Although we always laugh that, you know, when Sucheta did her presentation on just basically attention and executive function and everything, she was like you can't be chatting and listening to what I'm saying at the same time. It kind of is counter-intuitive. But it's that sense of even if you're not chatting actively throughout, it's getting on before it even starts and saying, hey, I'm from here. Oh my gosh, I'm from there too, where do you work? And asking questions or a speaker says something and people will add on to it and say, oh my gosh, I have this kid it's perfect for. I do that, but I also do this. And it is that the sense of community is real. And again, that goes back to where had there been online conferences as a replay? Yes. But not designed for an online experience.


Sarah (17:57):

And to build community. And I think you're so-- I think that's something I noticed with you and everything you do with your business is that same idea of building community which is critically important to SLP Toolkit too. So I think together all of us using our brains, we're really able to create that community in kind of a different way. And it's been super cool. I still can't believe there has literally been several SLPs. I mean, I think we even did a giveaway and counted once, that have come to every single live summit.


Lisa (18:32):

Amazing. I feel like that's like the, you know, how they gave the attendance awards in high school if you came to school every day? like we need to have some sort of--


Sarah (18:40):

Remember Marisha had the idea for the t-shirt and we did a giveaway.


Lisa (18:42):

Yes. Yeah. But I think even the longer we go, it's like more, we need to keep acknowledging these people that come up every time. And I love now that with our new platform, we are not restricted for live attendance. So we used to have to cap it just due to the way that it was streamed and everything involved with that. So now it's thousands of people show up live.


Sarah (19:02):

Yeah. Yeah. It's super cool. I think this was one of-- I mean, they do get better over time but gosh, I loved this one. I love the platform that allows different people-- I mean, we joke that literally we had to start our own conference just because we didn't think ASHA was ever going to invite us to speak at their conference. So we started our own.


Lisa (19:21):

And they still haven't.


Sarah (19:22):

And so I think that's why Marisha, I know when we meet that's what we're always looking for is who can we help amplify a voice for? Or what topics need more attention or you know, so we're always looking for--


Lisa (19:35):

The pulse in the field. And that's where I do think again, when you have-- I think of anything that's big, if you even think of government things, they happen at their own pace. And because they've been around so long, everything's almost so structured that it can hinder the overall process. And ours is really about being connected with the community, not just the summit community, but we get tons of feedback as far as what people want to see and implement that. But just having your eyes open and your ears open and seeing what's going on in Instagram, in the Facebook groups and what are the topics that people either want to and/or need to learn about. So I think this summit particularly caused some mixed emotions. I mean, we've gotten emails too. I'm sure you've gotten them Marisha as well, that this was just-- we had a former professor of ours say that this has changed. You know, she's been a professor and has been an SLP for over 30 years and that this conference changed her and changed her professionally about ways that she needs to move forward and not just stay stagnant. And so to me, that's so powerful that we have the ability to, like you said, find speakers that these speakers then give their time in some of these topics, I love how far along phrased it, that this is very brave of some of our speakers that take on these topics that maybe not everyone's ready to hear. And again, they need to, but yeah, everybody's at their own stage. And so I know one of our speakers get, I watch her stories and her Instagram feed and she gets flack for things that she posts that are real and true. But, you should separate your politics from right. You know, your business there being an SLP and we've gotten a little bit of that too. And it's like, but you can't wear people. So it is what it is. You can't separate the two entities.


Marisha (21:29):

Yeah. And I really liked the underlying theme that came out from this summit. And I think this is something that we can all agree on. And it's just navigating that is super interesting, but it's all about showing up for our students and creating a safe space and supporting them. And I mean, I don't think anyone would argue that that's what we want to do. So it's really interesting providing a platform for the different perspectives just to understand that and kind of see what we might be missing or how we can show up for our students,


Lisa (22:09):

That it's not about you and your feelings, it's about what's best for those students. And that should always be the focus. And sometimes I think it takes a little kick in the butt to be like, Oh my gosh, I had a blind spot there. I didn't see that this might've been a barrier to how I was working with my students. And now I do. So that would be what I hope people go into it with. But I think, you know, some topics just tend to be triggering for some individuals. And so even in some of the chat, there was some comments in different presentations where I'm like,


Sarah (22:34):

And here's what I will say if it triggered you, you needed it more than even I do.


Lisa (22:37):



Sarah (22:37):

So there you go.


Lisa (22:37):

And that, that's absolutely a fact.


Sarah (22:40):

Yep. Yep. Oh my gosh. Okay. Before we move on to any other conversation I want to know, can you think of, I mean, here's the deal too. I always love when we do these podcast episodes because it's totally unscripted. So then we love to put somebody on the spot. So if you can't think of anything off the top of your head, but this has not always gone perfectly, but can you, can you think of a time, like, like one of the biggest SLP summit blunders or, or any funny stories about, again like this, actually, maybe that's the other reason this was our favorite summit as it went the smoothest.


Marisha (23:13):

Oh man. I feel like I always end up with the tech issues. Where we're just scrambiling trying to figure out how to get.


Lisa (23:22):

We schedule it like that. We like you to test it out and then troubleshoot through that.


Marisha (23:27):

So we've had, like, we had a reschedule one session because we had too many tech issues. I can't remember who it was or what went wrong.


Sarah (23:36):

Oh, I remember it was Christina Ristuccia's course, right? That


Lisa (23:43):

The /r/.


Sarah (23:43):

The /r/ course, which is like Summit three. And something was going on, we could not get her live. And again, like you said, you always get these Marisha. I don't know why you always get the really tricky, tough tech ones, but the best is that Marish just comes on. Like, doesn't even break a sweat. And is just like you know we're going to have to work through some things we'll be back in an hour, i don't know but the way you did it, so calmly too. So yes, that was the first time where it was like, we did not go live. On time.


Lisa (24:15):

Well and this was before too I think we weren't registered with ASHA so there was more flexibility in some of that kind of stuff. But we, I think my, my personal favorite that again, Marisha had to field we had our own, this is how the dance party got invented too.


Sarah (24:29):

That's true.

Lisa (24:29):

So we had, that was the social thinking one that they only did a live. They wouldn't they didn't have a replay as part of summit. So if you wanted to attend, you had to be there live.


Sarah (24:38):



Lisa (24:38):

But she had issues with internet connections so we filled the space with some dancing and it just, you know


Sarah (24:45):

That's right that's how dance party came to be.


Lisa (24:45):

But I think this is. Okay. So I remember when somebody had a coughing fit and I felt so horrible on a personal level for her, because I know like I've been there where either you're getting over an illness or something, and then you start to talk and you realize, Oh my gosh, like, I, I, there's not enough water. I could drink to make this better. It's just, it started. And I thought we were going to have our first presenter that died live on screen. And so, but I, again, I just keep thinking back to, Marisha be frickin cool as a cucumber.


Sarah (25:17):

What did she pop in? Remember I missed this one.


Lisa (25:18):

She popped in


Sarah (25:18):

I was in a class or something.


Lisa (25:18):

She popped in she turned off the video and the volume It was just so funny too, because I was like, I felt so bad. But then I also was like, this is amazing. And how you handled it Marisha and like, you literally went into the chat, started asking people, questions, kept the engagement. You were like, we're just going to give her a minute to compose herself and you know, and we'll get back and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so gave her a few minutes and like, okay, we'll turn it back. And so what's funny again, if you don't attend the live ones, you don't even know some of this stuff happens because we'll cut out those pieces for the on-demand kind of replay. But that was, that was a different, like, that was even like tech, whatever. I was like, Oh my gosh,


Sarah (26:01):

Oh, I do remember getting some side text messages in that one. Cause I was, I don't remember where I was. I was not actually watching and having live and I'm getting the side text messages of, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do oh nevermind Marisha's got it


Lisa (26:11):

I know I was like, Marisha's handling it beautifully.


Marisha (26:17):

Then there was one where we had issues with the slides. So the presenter was telling me then Next, Next, Next.


Lisa (26:28):

But here's the deal. And this is what I think I love about everything is that we're a bunch of problem solvers. There are always things that pop up, but man, it always gets figured out. And it, it, I think where people can get up in that is if you put too much pressure on, Oh, it has to be perfect. Like, I don't think from the beginning it was about perfection. It was product over, you know, that we're getting these out and that we're having these courses. And so even we try to tell that to our presenters, like, you know, it, it, it's just amazing that this is all coming together to happen. And so our audience has always been super forgiving, super, just grateful to be there. And so they're like, whatever, like they'll, they'll chat, like they'll even, you'll see those kinds of comments. Like, don't worry, you know, you girls will get it figured. We're just, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so you get encouragement from the people at home.


Sarah (27:16):

Not everybody, there's a few where I'm like, you guys this free, so I'm going to need you to back off a little bit.


Lisa (27:24):

Yep. There are always those couple of people, but I would say that is not reflective of the majority of people are just fricking awesome.


Sarah (27:32):



Marisha (27:33):

I just love when people like step up and it's like, I feel like they're part of the SLP summit team. Like they hop in and answer questions. It's just really cool to see that all come together. And I feel like that happens far more often than people being frustrated with


Sarah (27:51):



Marisha (27:51):

whatever. And I also want it to say, I think it, like, I really love getting to work with you guys on it on the summit because I mean, we've all made mistakes along the way. Like I messed up some tech stuff where like a quiz didn't work or a link was met. Like, I don't know, there's just like little things, but I feel like we give each other grace with that too. And I think that's huge and being able to be part of a team where we're just focused on like the bigger vision and of course trying to do our best, but not like,


Lisa (28:26):



Marisha (28:26):

beating each other down when something doesn't go perfectly. And so


Sarah (28:30):

It is so true Lisa and I have always felt like we really are at an advantage because there's two of us. And so we've got each other, like if I'm really down or freaked out about something, that's usually when she seems to be more optimistic and ready for it and vice versa. And so for something as large as summit, and then all those moving parts, the fact that we get to do this with you. And again, it's always so odd to me how things come together. There's just no accidents. I truly believe that. And so the way we met and how summit came to be in the fact that we do this together is because of our, our each unique strengths that we bring to the table. And so, you know, you've always had your very techie and your static is gorgeous and your marketing is gorgeous and, and you've got all these great ideas.


Lisa (29:13):

I was going to say her ideas too are just amazing.


Sarah (29:13):

But then you're also efficient and organized and like, you know, just a real boss. And, and so the fact that yes, we have each other to lean on. And so like, if something goes wrong, you know, I know you're going to jump in there and handle it. And likewise, so it really has just become such an amazing thing. And now, I mean, nine summits in, it's just getting easier and easier to where we don't have to do too many meetings, too many late nights, like we used to.


Lisa (29:43):

Well but that's almost the fun part because I think like through the years, we've honed the process of, you know, particularly for this conference of what works, what doesn't. So now it's at that, that phase of like, how can we just keep making it more and more awesome. Like we've already fine tuned all of that, your trial and error, all of the things, you know, through our other early conferences about, Oh, definitely need to do this. Or, Oh man that was missing, this is a big thing that we have to do, but now it's just like the cool stuff


Sarah (30:08):



Lisa (30:08):

Like what are the fun things? Like, what are the cool, like little things that we could add on to just make it that much better?


Sarah (30:14):

Yeah. Yeah.


Marisha (30:15):

And I don't think there's anyone. I would rather like work on that with, it's just been so much fun and I feel like we're both, or like all three of us are really dedicated and we can trust that we'll all show up, but it's just, it's just fun. Like I love getting, like, I don't know. I normally, I'm not super excited about planning meetings, but like, I don't know, I have so many awesome memories of us like getting together and like hashing out the details and it's like, that's the best word for it. It's just fun getting to.


Sarah (30:49):



Marisha (30:49):

Work on that and like beyond the same wavelength with


Sarah (30:53):



Marisha (30:53):

people and get to make cool stuff happen.


Sarah (30:55):

I think that's it, I'd love a magical collaboration. And that's kind of the next thing I want to talk about too, is this idea of collaborating, you know, we're, we're in a very small niche you know, of market. And so I always curious, I don't know too many people have ever asked, but I always wonder if they want, you know, if they question it you know, how, how we can have a working relationship when we could possibly have competing products, we both own subscription-based software you know, with a little bit of overlap, but for the most part, you're on the therapy side and we're on the data assessment side. But you know, especially being a woman dominated field and then having such a small niche, you know, this ability to understand the benefit of collaboration over competition and how important that is. But it, it's not always an easy thing to do.


Marisha (31:46):

Yeah. That's definitely something that I've had the opportunity to grow in. I didn't always, I don't know. It's just crazy how, like, just trying to think back to how things used to be and just how my mindset has changed and all of that. It's just really interesting.


Sarah (32:05):

I totally agree. I always say we have grown up so much. I feel like in the last five years, we've grown 10 years in business. Now, fortunately we do have age on our side, you know, just being in our


Lisa (32:15):

Forties I'm still in forties.


Sarah (32:15):

Forties has made us mature a little bit, you know in and of itself. But, but this has been a learning process I think for us. And so I look back and it has not been all sunshine and rainbows,


Lisa (32:30):

But I think part of that is going back to what you said, it's a very niche kind of audience that we are all working with. So not just us as subscription-based software, but you look at teachers, pay teachers and people creating materials. It's, it's a very set audience of people creating kind of similar things. And so I think that's when it feels like if somebody does something you're like, wait, that was my idea. I'm the only one in this little group so that, you know, to me, what's so funny. And I think this is where I know particularly Sarah and I obviously have more conversations about this being together non-Stop but it's that idea of before when your baby business that's not as a parent and it does feel almost like more personal. And then I think that there is a switch where you're like, they could copy me directly. I don't like, I'm not focused on what somebody else is doing. We've got more than enough things to focus on in our own business. And that's all we can do is, is bring our vision to light. We're not copying anyone. I don't know if anyone's copying us, but even if, you know, I, I think we're at the point in business even, and being established that it's copy us. I don't think you'll do it as well as us. And I don't think it will necessarily you know, this has been part of like any business. It's like, it's your vision filtered through your actions filtered through, you know, so many different factors that I don't think it's, replicatable, you know, it's not like somebody is not copying you. They're, you know, something has sparked something that they're doing vague.


Sarah (33:55):

Well they could. They could do that. But I, I think I like what you said more about, like, we just have to focus on ourselves and what we can bring there is enough room in the world for all of our ideas. And I struggled with that in the past with being too aware of everybody else around me and feeling, you know, feeling that kind of infringement or something. Have you had that experience Marisha?


Marisha (34:15):

Yeah. And I think part of that is like, that's partly why I started a membership. I w I started on teachers pay teachers and it just felt like, cause if you're on there, like you're constantly around like the other people and like you're all posting to the same place. So I don't know. It just felt a little bit crowded.


Lisa (34:38):

Crowded. Yeah that's the thing. That's the word in my head.


Marisha (34:41):

Yeah. So I just like, that's part of why. And I was also talking to a bunch of speech therapists at the time. I actually collaborated with Hallie from Speech Time Fun on like SLP blogger live. That was way, way back when


Sarah (34:58):

I remember that.


Marisha (34:58):

And I would just show up live every week and chat with a small group of SLPs. And I kind of got their feedback and that's how it kind of led into the membership. But I went off on a tangent there.


Lisa (35:14):

No, I think that is it's part of that too. Like thinking about to imitation that there are people network and you're talking about things and it becomes, you know, a, a thing of ideas can start to overlap because you're talking about ideas together and it it's like, it's, it's such a, an interesting little niche that we're in.


Marisha (35:36):

Yeah. And I think, I didn't always think this way. But I, I mean, cause sometimes I'll like I have I'm in mastermind groups and I like consult with different people about business stuff and they don't always, like, they kind of questioned me when I explain how we do the summit and like who you guys are and how we set things up. But I've, I don't, I don't know. Like they always ask, are you guys competitors? Like why would you work with them? And I just think it's, I don't know. I don't even think of it that way anymore. I feel like we're all, we all have the same mission. We all just want to empower speech therapists and we want to help those students and like empower SLPs to do the best that they can. And I, I know that's my ultimate goal and I know that's your ultimate goal too. And if someone doesn't have that mission, I don't feel like they'll like they won't, they just won't be as successful because I think that's really necessary to kind of, yeah. To be able to show up consistently and do all the work that is required. And then, I don't know. I think if that's what driving us and I just assume that that's everyone's motive at this point. And it's always been shown to be true, even if there are like in the beginning I would get like a little bit frustrated of like, Oh, that looks a lot like something I made, they caught me, but that's not a thing anymore. It's just like, Oh, that's her way of helping SLPs. And I'm like, you do you, and that's awesome. And we can just all work together. And I think it's like all the different productivity tools out there. Like I swear by click up and I think you guys use Asana and I know some people want to use Trello. And if you're not in the business world, that's probably like, those names are just silly, but like, I'm so glad that there is a click up because that's what I need. And thank goodness, there's an Asana because then you guys have what you need. And I feel like it's the same thing in the speech therapy world, like thank goodness there's different, like versions of, well, not versions, but thank goodness different SLPs made different packets to each questions. Because one of those isn't going to be the best for everyone.


Lisa (38:02):

I had a boyfriend once that actually early on, I was dating him. We started the business and he goes, no, it's good if there's other people doing what you're doing, that's validation that that is needed in this market. So I always think of that. But then also, as you were talking to you about that common goal being to really support this group of, you know, how we've always felt, especially, you know, school-based SLPs is a very underserved population, even though it's the largest you know, a number of members in ASHA, most people are in the school setting, but it's just underserved and resources and everything. So I always think too, like when you were talking about, if we're all have the same mission and everybody is looking at it through that lens, it makes me think of that old friends episode. I don't know if you guys watched friends, but Ross was married and his wife got pregnant, but then when she was pregnant, she left him and got together with a woman that they're all fighting basically at the birth of this child that who's going to spend time with them and who's going to this and I want this role and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And Phoebe's just sitting in the background and she's like, this is like the greatest ever. And they're like, what are you talking about? And she goes, you're all fighting over who gets to love him more like what a great problem to have. Like she looked at it through that lens. And that's how I feel like, you know, all of these businesses and supports it's, we all, we love school-based SLPs and we want them to be supported and have what they, what they need to, to really support the students that they're working with.


Marisha (39:28):

Absolutely. And there's no way that any one of us could, I mean, we have so many needs as school based SLPs.


Lisa (39:37):



Marisha (39:37):

And so we need all the help we can get. So bring on all the new businesses and all the new memberships and apps and all that because we need it.


Sarah (39:49):

Yeah. I will say I, well, I think I already did say I have not always felt that way. I think, you know, especially in the early days too, you know, there's so much risk involved in starting a business and like, I think that's your baby.


Lisa (40:04):



Sarah (40:04):

And so there, you know, you, you do have, if you allow fear and doubt and all of those other things to overwhelm and competition to overwhelm you you know, it just puts you in a really, really bad place. And so I look at that, you know, the impact of what that could have and, and the distraction that has on your own business and then the damage that can do to relationships. And so I know even with our working relationship, you know, there were, there were moments in time where I felt like, you know, I don't know, is there too much overlap? Are we now competition? You know, because for a long time I thought they compl our software complemented each other really, really well. But then it got to the point where now is there too much overlap that we're not complimenting work we're competition. And, and so then you do, you kind of get into a place of I think it's that there's this component of trust. And so I am so grateful that I finally was able to, and it was probably great advice I got from somebody, you know, where it was like, no, you just focus on yourself. No, you need to be aware of what's going on around you. I'm not saying like, completely ignore the other businesses and stuff. But if you just focus on your mission, your core values, the problem you are solving,


Lisa (41:17):

there's no time for anything else.


Sarah (41:19):

Right? Exactly. And so I'm so grateful for that because look at what we're able to do together. And the power of bringing our minds together is such a bigger benefit than any kind of like allowing any hard feelings, you know, to get in that way of that.


Lisa (41:36):

I mean, we're at a point now, SLP summit, how many people show up like 20,000 per summit?

Sarah (41:42):

Oh at least. I think I just Isaac just told me the other day there's been like 4 million minutes of views or some crazy


Lisa (41:50):

Quick you have to write down those stats and it's super fun to like, kind of get that up and out there when we're marketing for our next summit.


Sarah (41:57):

Yeah. Yeah. So I'm grateful that, you know, and, and it's, it's fun to be on this journey with you and to, and to see everything that you've accomplished and you know have, you know, again that like-minded, we need each other, this, this crap is hard.


Marisha (42:15):

There's no one else that gets it. I think, I mean, there are other business owners and there are other speech therapist and other friends, but like you guys, what you guys do is like, we do have very similar businesses and like similar mindsets and backgrounds. So it's amazing to be able to just like, it's just, we can have that shorthand. We don't have to explain all of the things we can just dive into it. And I don't know. I feel like we've come up with so many cool ideas and yeah, it's just, it's amazing.


Sarah (42:50):

Now I know this question gets asked quite a lot, but how many times have we heard that SLP Tool Kit and SLP Now need to get married and it would be SLP Toolkit Now or SLP Now Toolkit.


Lisa (43:03):

How about just Toolkit Now?


Sarah (43:03):

But really the marriage of those two things I do think, I mean, and we've talked about that, you know, the idea of being able to, again, I will collaborate with you on anything, but, and so just, everybody who always asks, I don't know how this would work in business. You know, as far as our businesses being different, but the ability to collaborate and have, you know, as some kind of a relationship with the two products is, is always, we're always down. I know we we've talked about different things that we could do, so we'll just have to see how it goes, but we know you're crazy busy too. What do you have going on right now?


Marisha (43:47):

Good question. So I've been, so I really, my goal for this year is actually to get back into therapy. It's been a goal for a long time, but I've struggled with like building the team and just because it's a lot of work. And so I've tried going back and had to shift back. So I've just been working really hard on being the best like leader that I can be, which is definitely not my natural strength. And I've gotten a lot of coaching and support, but we've been building out the team and it's just really cool to see that all come together and have people with the same mission, like working along side me kind of like what we do with the summit, but it's like every day of the week, which is awesome. So yeah, I'm just working on building that out, making sure like we're always developing new materials and listening to member feedback to figure out what we can do better. But I'm excited to spend some time back in therapy and really like getting to use SLP Now and SLP Tool Kit and just getting back into action.


Sarah (45:03):

Yeah. I was just having that conversation today. I miss being with the kids, I think, more than anything. And so that is the ultimate goal. Like I w w we want to build this in, in a way that, you know, we can pass the baton, let somebody else really kind of run the day to day. Yeah. So that we can get back doing what we love the most.


Lisa (45:24):

But you have to have that strong foundation, you know, you have to have your principles in place and what you expect and all of that kind of stuff. And that doesn't just happen overnight.


Sarah (45:33):



Marisha (45:34):

I didn't realize that. That's what you guys were planning on doing too. That's so cool.


Sarah (45:38):

Yeah. I'd like to, you know, I mean, again, that changes it. You know how, like, somebody always asks you, what's your five-year plan. I'm like, Oh, please, one month plan changes all the time.


Lisa (45:52):

I want to go back to Sedona and take 19 more showers in the outside shower, it was really magical.


Sarah (46:00):

It really was. Oh Marisha we heart you very much.


Marisha (46:05):

I heart you guys too.


Sarah (46:08):

Already, we're going to be talking about the next summit, cause that's just right around the corner.


Lisa (46:12):

I know we've been we actually were having a conversation today and we're like, yeah, we need to start getting this mapped out. We've got some ideas.

Marisha (46:17):

Yep. Let's get it on the books.


Sarah (46:19):

All right. Sounds good. Thank you so much. It was such a pleasure to have you in the Confessional.


Marisha (46:24):

Likewise. Thank you both.


Sarah (46:27):

All right. We'll talk soon.