Has your son or daughter ever said this to you?
If I hadn’t changed my mindset a few years ago on what was really important to me in my life, then these would have been the exact words I would have heard!
Several years ago in 2005, I was faced with a decision that would forever change not only my life, but the lives of my wife and kids. My PT practice had just literally burnt down, and I lost everything.
At that moment, I had to make a decision. I could reopen and continue to work 60+ hours per week with limited money and limited family time. Or I could completely transform my previous way of running my PT Practice.
Luckily, I chose the latter, and that has made ALL the difference!
Prior to the fire, my practice wasn’t too different than most small PT Owned Practices. My wife (then fiancé) worked as the front desk person, and I had a part-time PT Aide help me with treatments.
This is a pretty simple model until you max your schedule out. For me, my “max” came about 18 months after my doors opened up. The stress of trying to hire and train good employees, marketing to keep the schedule full, staying on top of the constantly changing insurance game while keeping an eye on finances, not to mention treating 75 patients a week, was slowly killing me.
The once, wide-eye, high energy, physical therapist who wanted to help heal the world, was slowly being eaten away by the stress of business.
Believe it or not, treating patients was the easiest thing in the world for me to do, and it was the best part of my day. The rest of the business stuff…sucked!
If the business aspect of owning a practice was bad, the little time I spent with my newborn son, Jack (who was born just three months prior to the fire), was even worse!
When the fire happened, I was already at the point where there was no way I could continue to struggle through building my practice at the expense of not seeing my family.
So, in 2005, after making the decision to stay in the business world of private practice physical therapy, I started doing things differently!
The first thing I did was a search for mentors and coaches who had been down the same road and could help me navigate the pitfalls and roadblocks while keeping me accountable AND still keeping my confidence up.
Next, I started to look at my weekly schedule and quickly realized that I hated most of the “stuff” that was on my plate. I began asking the question “What would have to happen to remove this activity off of my plate?”
I listed out all of the activities that I didn’t like, and I thought someone else could do better. Of course, initially, I thought I could do most of them pretty well – which is why I never tried to delegate them. Plus, I didn’t want to pay someone to do it.
That decision: investing in others to do activities that I didn’t like or wasn’t very good at – proved to be the biggest game changer.
Ironically, every time I completely removed an activity from my plate, such as bookkeeping, a few things would happen:
1. The person I hired did it 100% better than I did
2. My income grew
3. I had more time on my schedule
4. My stress level reduced
No matter the activity, when I removed it from my plate, all 4 of these things would happen.
Well, to make a long story short, in a matter of months, I began spending more time at home and less time in the office. My income grew, and my stress significantly reduced causing my creativity and energy to reemerge!
Today, I have built a self-managed PT practice that does not require me to be “onsite” at all. I coach my kids’ teams, spend lots of time with family and friends and was even fortunate enough to create an entirely new business coaching other private practice owners to avoid the same pitfalls and road blocks while creating their ideal practice. My hope in sharing this story is this – I know there are other hard-working PT Owners who are sacrificing their family for work – I am living proof, as well as some of the clients I work with, that this doesn’t have to be the case.
If you want things to change…then change them! Start by getting a mentor or coach to help you navigate and then delegate the things you don’t like to do. Start here and watch what happens!
Best of all…you will NEVER, EVER hear these words again – “Daddy, I hate that you’re NEVER home!”
If you want to learn how to start delegating and reclaiming your time, CLICK HERE!