Interview with Scott Harmon about his new Academy

Photograph of Scott Harmon

I get very inspired when I hear of an Occupational Therapist coming up with an innovative idea. A few years ago, I connected with fellow Occupational Therapist, Scott Harmon, in a professional group on Linked In. I have been very impressed to follow some of his pod casts and to learn from his website

Scott is always easy to interact with and shares so much on many levels about becoming successful as an OT who is an entrepreneur. I am very impressed to hear of the Academy of Private Practice (APP) that Scott has started. I could definitely have used such an academy when I first began to explore working privately. I asked Scott a few questions related to how he came up with such a wonderful idea. Enjoy the interview below to learn some of the background to Scott’s Academy.

Q1) Hi Scott, thank you for agreeing to answer some questions related to your new Academy. To introduce this wonderful new service can you share who works in APP, is there a team or is that all your work?

Scott: “The Academy is hosted and run by me. I do use a virtual assistant to help with editing and simple website tasks. One great aspect of the Academy is the therapists who are members all help each other. This happens specifically in our monthly Mastermind meetings and in our private Facebook group. The Mastermind meetings are a video conference with 6-8 other practice owners. In each Mastermind we focus on one therapist and a few of their most pressing questions. I am always amazed at the great ideas and advice that come from the members.”

Academy of Private Practice Logo

Q2)    What inspired you to develop APP.

Scott: “The Academy is what I wish I would have had when I first started my practice and then in the early years as I tried to figure out how to grow and improve on my business. My initial idea was to start a podcast and a website which is what I did. I listen to a lot of podcasts and I thought it would be fun to have my own podcast. At about the same time as I had this idea, a friend who  graduated OT school with my wife asked if she could come to my clinic and ask me some questions about private practice. She and 3 of her friends were going to start their own practice. They visited with me for a few hours and I really enjoyed answering their questions and they really valued my advice and insight. It was at that point that I realized that what I had learned over the years could really benefit other therapists who were interested in starting their own practice. It wasn’t that I knew everything. I still don’t know everything and never will. It was that I was a little further down the road than these therapists who were asking me questions. I had made some mistakes that I could help them avoid. My thought then was to share what I knew on my website at and in a podcast. I was able to do this because I had put systems in my business that allowed me to step back from the day to day tasks of my private practice. I had some time to teach what I was doing.”

Q3)   For those OTs who have an entrepreneurial spirit, how do you find time to write an eBook, develop an online academy and run two private practices?

Scott: “As I mentioned in question 2 above, I started implementing some automating systems in my business. I began to document what day to day tasks I was performing that I knew someone else could do just as good or even better than me. I started with tasks that were repetitive and easy to do but took a lot of my time. I used screen capture tools like Snagit and Camtasia to show how to perform these tasks. You can see how I do this at

Q4)  Who has been your greatest inspiration / role model for OT in general and for working privately in particular?

Scott: “A role model for OT in general is Jean Ayres. I am inspired by the children I treat. I get some of my best treatment ideas from watching children play. I like to notice what they like to do and then put a twist on that activity to make it more challenging and novel. We all learn from novel or new activities.

A role model I have for private practice are some of the business books that I have read. Dave Ramsey’s Entreleadership is a must read. I have put other must read books over at

Q5) Our clients certainly are inspirational. I love the idea of gaining treatment ideas from watching children play. Thank you for sharing that. Before we end, what message would you like to share with readers as to your journey from becoming an OT to being a private practitioner and entrepreneur.

Scott: “Business is about relationships. To the degree that you like people and want to find out how best to serve them will determine how successful you will be.”

Thank you Scott for sharing about your work to help other OTs to gain skills, information and guidance in how to develop a private practice. Thank you also for all that you share on your website.

What are your thoughts about working privately and / or about working from home? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

This post is prepared for you by: Shoshanah Shear, Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, certified Kallah teacher, working privately in Jerusalem. Shoshanah is also a freelance writer and co-author of “Tuvia Finds His Freedom” and author of “Healing Your Life Through Activity – An Occupational Therapist’s Story




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Interview with Aaron Moriarity of Hot Games and Puzzles

Photograph of Aaron Moriarity
Aaron Moriarity

We had the pleasure of interviewing Aaron Moriarity of “Hot Game and Puzzles”. Get to hear about these wonderful board games and puzzles and the person behind them in the interview below:

1) Hi Aaron. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. It was a lot of fun looking at your website. Can you tell us a little about who designs the puzzles and games?

Aaron: I am the one who invents, designs, engineers and markets all of the products. Tetragon2 was featured at Mensa Mind Games.

2) When did you begin designing and manufacturing puzzles and games of this nature.

Aaron: I began inventing and designing of toys and games while still in 12th grade, 1979-80. I started Hot Games & Puzzles in 2012, after working for Hasbro, Tonka Toys and several toy and game inventing firms.

3) What age range are your puzzles and games made for.

Aaron: Our game, Tetragon2 is for ages 8 and up, and our puzzle is for 6 and up.

Photograph of game called Tetra-gon
Tetra-gon game

4) Who manufactures your puzzles / games

Aaron: I manufacture all of my products, some products I subcontract out to other companies, all here in the USA.

5) What inspires/inspired you to design / manufacture puzzles and games of this nature?

Aaron: “I wondered who invented toys and games when I was a kid, I hope that my products can inspire kids of today to wonder the same thing. Also I was a daycare teacher, that was also a big inspiration. And my 2 Children.”

6) Do you have any articles or posts on the benefits of your puzzles and games?

Aaron: Yes, I have posted a number of articles about the benefits of games and coloring.

7) Where are your puzzles and games available?

Aaron: Right now all of Hot Games & Puzzles products are for sale at and select shops in Door County Wisconsin.

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Interview with Children’s Book Author Sandra Lanton

Photograph of author Sandra Lanton

Photograph of author Sandra Lanton

It is always a pleasure to find a teacher or retired teacher who is involved in writing quality children’s books. Sandy Lanton is just such an author. She has a very pleasing website to look at with some impressive information. I invite you to get to know Sandy and her books through this interview.

Hi Sandy, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for our blogs. On your website I was happy to see that you are a teacher by profession and have become involved in writing children’s books. By way of background can you share what age range did you teach?

Sandy: “My degree is in Early Childhood Education.  I taught Kindergarten for 2 years, then taught at the local JCC for three years.  I started in the after school program and then  created their Mommy and Me class.  I taught   the graduates of Mommy and Me (2 year olds ) Toddler Playgroup (2/12, ) and 3’s and 4’s in the Nursery School.”

2) When did you begin writing?

Sandy: “I was inspired to write while I was teaching nursery school.  I was reading to my class and reading to my kids at home.  I thought—“I’d love to create books!”

I signed up for a class in writing for children at a local college in the evening.”

3) What inspires you to write and or where do you get your ideas for the theme of each book?

Sandy: “My ideas come from life.

I wrote  DADDY’S CHAIR, when my cousin died of cancer at the age of 46 and I couldn’t find anything to read to his 6 year old son.  There were plenty of books for his 12 year old  and 15 year old,  but nothing for young children.  I was taking a class with the late Pam Conrad at the time, and she helped with the manuscript.

LOTS OF LATKES was inspired by my writing group, The Long Island Children’s Writers and Illustrators (LICWI).  Instead of the July meeting we always have a gathering in a member’s backyard for a potluck lunch.  I thought “WHAT IF everybody brought the same thing.   (What if is a great story starter).

THE HAPPY HACKERS started in a screenwriting class at Hofstra.  The assignment was to write a monologue for a person  talking to somebody who doesn’t respond.  One classmate wrote about a woman talking to a photograph, and another had a man speaking to a  corpse.  As the mother of teenagers at the time, I wrote about a mother trying to wake her son, who had been up all night at his computer.  I modeled the main character after my son.

STILL A FAMILY: A YOUNG CHILD’S BOOK ABOUT DIVORCE:  was written when my daughter got divorced.  My two granddaughters were three and eighteen months old  at the time.  Again, I searched for appropriate books and came up empty.

THE LITTLEST LEVINE was inspired by my nursery school class.  As part of the Passover curriculum, we had to teach the four questions.  I was amazed that these tiny children, who couldn’t reach the sink without a stepstool, or tie their shoelaces, could memorize the four questions and recite them beautifully.  The idea mulled around for years and the manuscript went through many revisions until KAR BEN published it in 2014.”

4) Are your books self-published or published through a recognized publishing company? Can you tell the reader how you found the publishing process and why you chose either self-publishing or to find a publishing company?

Sandy: “Three  of my books were published by KAR-BEN, (DADDY’S CHAIR, LOTS OF LATKES, and THE LITTLEST LEVINE)  one by an educational publisher, Wendy Pye, (THE HAPPY HACKERS) and one was self-published (STILL A FAMILY).  When KarBen took DADDY’S CHAIR our of print in 1999, I got together with the illustrator, Shelly Haas, and we reprinted it because we both felt it was an important book.  I self-published STILL A FAMILY because I got tired of collecting rejection slips from publishers who said either “well-written, but we don’t want to touch the subject” or “well written, but we have one in the works”.  Again, I felt the topic was too important to let the manuscript languish in a drawer.”

5) I have only seen the covers of your books, but the illustrations seem to be gentle and beautiful. Can you share anything about finding a suitable illustrator for your book and how it feels to have your writing in book form, complete with illustrations?

Sandy: “Part of the editor’s job is to play “matchmaker” for the author and illustrator.  I was pleased with all of them except THE HAPPY HACKERS.  I had described a messy teen’s room and the cover illustration shows a single piece of paper on the floor instead of the laundry all over the room and socks hanging from the light fixture as I had described in the text.  Since I self-published STILL A FAMILY, I was able to select the illustrator  and have input into the finished product.”

6) Which of your books is your favourite and why?

Sandy: “That’s like asking a mother which child she likes best!”

7) Through your experience as both a teacher and an author of children’s books, what message can you share with the reader about the importance of reading to children and enabling children to read? If you are able to add, do you have a preference to children reading books or eBooks and why?

Sandy: “I think reading to young children (starting in infancy) is the best thing a parent and grandparent can do for a child’s intellectual and emotional development.  I know that e books are popular, but I still love the feel of a book and having a child on your lap while turning the pages together is heavenly.”

Thank you Sandy, it has been a pleasure getting to know you and your books. Can you share with the reader where are your books available?

Sandy: “My books are available from Kar-Ben (1-800-4 KARBEN),, Follett, and  my website :  Your local bookstore might be able to order them for you.”

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