The clinic can be a stressful place. On a typical day, a practice owner can make dozens of decisions. From what type of exercise to give a patient, to give raises to employees, or how to handle an insurance denial.
But not all decisions have the same impact. Some decisions, like how times per week you want to see a patient, are easy.
While others, like whether to hire an employee who is asking for a 10K sign-on bonus, require more thought.
This was the problem for Karen, a practice owner with multiple locations generating about 3.2 million in revenue.
Karen had a sudden growth spurt in her practice. But because she lacked the infrastructure to handle it, she became overwhelmed and stressed out.
She was in desperate need of a systems upgrade. And since she didn’t have an effective management team in place, the countless questions and decisions all came directly to her.
Karen’s lizard brain (the part of the brain that deals with emotion) was on high alert, while her logical brain was being hijacked. This caused her to make one bad decision after another.
She began hiring employees out of desperation. She promoted internal people to managers who were not ready. She worked 70+ hours per week trying to stay on top of everything.
When I met Karen, she was over a half million dollars in debt. Her interest payments alone were in the tens of thousands of dollars per month without the ability to consolidate or use a home equity line of credit.
She was ready to give up.
My initial goal was to help Karen stop making costly, irrational decisions. She had to get a handle on her lizard brain.
I had Karen focus on 3 things to help her reduce emotions before making crucial decisions. I figured if she was able to “stop the bleeding” of poor decisions, we could tackle the issues.
- Take a break: Step away from the situation to give herself some space to calm her emotions. I suggested to take walking breaks and deep breaths to help clear her mind.
- Get the facts. Analyze the situation with an objective eye. Write down the outcome you want. Be aware of biases or assumptions that could influence her decision.
- Reach out. Before making any major decision, I asked her to send me an email of the situation and what she was thinking. This helped Karen slow down and use objectivity rather than reaction. As an outside observer, I was able to see where she was using emotion and not logic to make decisions. This halted the bad decisions and gave her time to fix the problems.
In less than 6 months, Karen turned her business around. She moved past the 4 million mark and was on pace to be debt-free in less than 12 months. She built an amazing management team and reduced her in the office work hours in half.
As practice owners, it can feel as if the world is on our shoulders. Having a process to calm your emotions before making important decisions is crucial. The above steps helped Karen turn her business around…and they can help you too!
Are you ready for a coach? Join the hundreds of physical therapy owners who are building the practice of their dreams with the support, guidance and direction of a Practice Freedom U Coach. Take the first step towards creating a business that sets you free by scheduling a Discovery Call HERE