How To Grow Your Practice While Working 60 Hours a Week with Dr. Jamey Schrier, PT

PTO 59 | Growing Your Practice

 

How do you work 60 hours a week and still grow your practice? This is an issue at the heart of PTO Club’s target audience, and Dr. Jamey Schrier, PT joins us to talk about it. Jamey is the Founder and CEO of The Practice Freedom Method, a business training for physical therapists who want financial prosperity and a better quality of life. Running a practice involves a ton of responsibilities and demands on you, so how could you possibly achieve your dreams? Join Nathan Shields and Jamey as they identify the steps to achieving your goals and dreams. Listen to the end to get a discount to attend Jamey’s first conference later this year. Put the discount code “ptoclub” when registering for Jamey’s conference to get an additional $100 off of your registration fees. It’ll be worth it!

Listen to the podcast here:

How To Grow Your Practice While Working 60 Hours a Week with Dr. Jamey Schrier, PT

I’ve got a returning guest, Jamey Schrier, from Practice Freedom U. Jamey and I were talking last time and discussing some of the challenges we face, him as a long-time coach and consultant, me as a relatively new coach for PT practice owners. We started talking about what keeps owners from achieving their goals and dreams and decided to have a podcast about it. It’s more of a stream of consciousness in a view compared to other interviews where we have a little bit of structure and have an idea of what we want to talk about. We decided to talk about what is the typical private practice owner, independent, maybe single practice, private practice owner dealing with that we can help with or what can we talk about? What keeps them from progressing and achieving their goals and dreams?

We came up with about three tangible things that need to be worked on. Jamey mentioned this towards the end. A lot of it’s tactical. A lot of it is the mindset. A lot of it is taking the time to put your purpose, mission and values in place and being a leader and mentoring. It’s a lot of stuff that we never learned in physical therapy school. It’s not that we got a diploma for it at least. We talked about a number of things there that you’ll find valuable. Also, note at the end, Jamey has a conference coming up in October that a lot of people can benefit from. He was generous enough to share a discount for my audience. If you use a code that he mentioned, you’ll get $100 off his conference price, which is already discounted for early bird rates. Take note of Jamey’s insight. I’ll share a little bit of mine as well. Hopefully, you get a lot out of it and recognizing that a lot of this is a mindset and what we need to do, think of ourselves and fears that we have to overcome. Let’s get to the interview and see what Jamey and I have to say.

We got Jamey Schrier back on with us again on the show. If I had one, I would put Jamey Schrier on the Frequent Flyer Club for the PTO Owners Club. We had you towards the end of 2018. We had you earlier 2019. Now we’ve got you again, Jamey. Thanks for coming on.

It’s my pleasure, Nathan. I’m always happy to be here.

It’s cool to have you. As I was talking to you the last time, we were discussing what are our typical audience dealing with? The target audience has always been the guy who maybe like me, about many years ago, who had a clinic that had been going for a couple of years and had a family at home. I know this is your story too as well. Maybe they’ve got a little bit of money, maybe they don’t, but they’re running ragged. They’re treating full-time. They’ve got aspirations maybe to do a little bit more. They enjoy their work, but they’re not necessarily enjoying the business aspect of it but they know there’s something more out there. There’s another way to do it and they’re wondering what resources are available to them.

That was my story. I know yours is much more dramatic and impactful. It’s cool that we get to sit here and talk a little bit about how to grow your business when you’re working 60 hours a week. Sometimes it’s more. It’s as many hours as it takes because it’s Saturdays and Sundays. It’s finishing your documentation. It’s in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping. You’re thinking about the conversations that you need to have with your employees, who you need to fire and who you need to hire and the stress that comes along with that. It could be definitely more than 60 hours a week. It’s awesome to talk to you about this because many are in this situation. What do you think it takes for someone to grow their practice and take that step towards achieving all that they want while all this is going on 60, 70, 80 hours a week?

First of all, I honor you for even having this show that is imparting knowledge from different people. I’ve heard so many of your guests come on. It’s such great stuff to help the private practitioner. That’s so important to even acknowledge that, “We have some issues. There are things that we want in this life. There are things we want in our practice and we don’t know how to get there.” You’re providing this platform that people can read whenever they want and engage. That’s great. I wanted first to say that. You’re one of my favorite people, which I love coming on. This is great because it’s a raw and real conversation. It’s not contrived. For your audience out there, I don’t have a list of questions that I gave Nathan. He has some ideas that you wanted to talk about. I’m always like, “The more real and raw we can be, the better it is for the audience because it’s a lot.”

I remember working in my practice. This was after the honeymoon period. I always call like the eighteen months to two years when you start your practice and all of a sudden the patient comes in, another one, and they refer another one. You’re like, “This is the greatest thing. I’m treating people the way I want and I’m keeping all the money.” You hit that little bit of a ceiling and that ceiling is like, “I’m so busy, I’m working more. I’ve got to hire some people.” You start to hire some people and thinking that your people are going to work as hard as you do. At least that’s what I thought. You hire them. I had no training in hiring. I have no idea. I assume everyone was like me. They got it. They got the gist. They don’t. The stress starts because now not only are you worrying about your business and patients coming in, you’re worrying about how other people are going to treat them because they’re not going to treat them like you.

You’re phenomenal at rapport. You know those nonverbal communicating signs that people give you and you do things. You start to realize, “Other people aren’t doing this.” It starts to affect your business. You’ve got to go out and market. You’re not sure what that is. I never knew how to market. This was the cycle that I went through for years. This is frustration. The only asset you have, the only thing you have to offer is time. That’s the only thing you have. What do we do? I’m a fighter. I will do whatever it takes. I started putting more hours into it. When you asked me what would be a great title to connect with people, I said, “60 plus hours a week.” I didn’t work 60 hours a week. I worked every single day, every waking hour and some non-waking hours because I was dreaming about this stuff. I may not be the only one. There might be a reader that’s saying, “That’s me,” because I can’t remember when I wasn’t thinking about the business.

I’m at my kid’s soccer game, I’m thinking about something that’s happening. I’m meeting doctor so-and-so at a party and I’m like, “How can I talk to doctor so-and-so and try to maybe bring him lunch and get doctor so-and-so to refer me to people?” I can’t remember when I wasn’t thinking about the business. We say 60 hours, come on, this is what we do, this is our lives. It’s a valid point that we are overwhelmed to say the least, because we are trying to get to this Shangri-La of having a business that can run in such a way that we’re not thinking about it 24/7. That’s what this is about. We want a business that gives us a better life.

That’s the plight of any small business owner. It’s not specific to PT. It’s the bane of the existence of the small business owners, the beauty of America in allowing the independent worker to do their own work and keep their own money. Not only is it difficult, hard and take up your time, but there’s also some beauty to it that you can do this.

I love that because it’s like the American dream is we have the ability in our capitalistic society to start our own business. We can do it. If we’re willing to put out the money and the time to make it happen, we can do it. Since most of us, if not all of us, are some type of immigrant, we have a strong work ethic and that is the beauty of this American dream. I’m taking that dream a step further because I’m like, “Yes, I’m appreciative and I love American. I love the fact that I was able to start up my own business and I want more.” I struggled with this, Nathan, of wanting more.

It’s okay to want more than just having a business. Click To Tweet

Did you struggle with it?

Yeah, I struggled with it. I want more.

You’re saying you struggled and that you wanted more. You didn’t know how to get it. I thought you were saying I struggled with it like that was a bad thing that you want more. It’s not a bad thing.

That’s what I’m talking about. I’ve struggled to accept that it was okay to want more than just having a business. I wanted a business where I didn’t have to be there 24 hours a day. I wanted a business where it gave me money to send my kids to private school. It gave me money to go on vacations. It gave me resources and time to be with my family. I wanted to go to the next level of this American dream. I felt conflicted because I looked around in our industry of physical therapy. I looked outside of our industry, but specifically, in our industry and Nathan, I didn’t see that. I didn’t see people with the lifestyle that I wanted.

I felt bad a little bit because I started questioning, “Am I asking too much? Do I want too much? Is this something unrealistic?” I had people telling me, “Jamey Schrier, PT, it’s your name on the door. People are only going to want you. You should be there. Your staff is going to resent you.” All these stories started being shared with me by other people who did not have what I wanted. They were working the same amount of hours I was. They dialed it in and said, “That’s a way you can do it.” For some reasons, I said, “No.” I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s. My dad worked six days a week. He was a small business owner. He worked his tail off. I heard the stories around money, the fights around money and my dad’s never home and all that. It’s not his fault, it’s the way it was. That affected me when I had my own business and I was doing the same thing, fights around money, fights around, “Jamey, you’re not here. You’re missing your kid’s soccer game because you’re working all the time.” I don’t know if I’ve shared this story quite like this. I don’t know if it’s in the book, but it was affecting me deep inside that I was turning into the same situation as I grew up in. That scared the crap out of me because I was like, “No, there has to be a way to do this. There has to be a win.”

What the saving grace was is technology allowed me to create the business that I wrote about and now help other people win. Technology allowed that. You couldn’t do this 40 years ago because there weren’t the efficiencies. You can get someone to help you with something that you pay $20 an hour and you only need three hours of their work. By the way, they’re in another part of the country or another part of the world. You didn’t have that. With the internet and all that, it allows that. There are other PTs that are talented out there. There are other things that are in place.

PTO 59 | Growing Your Practice
Growing Your Practice: Technology has allowed us to create the kind of business that we couldn’t do 40 years ago.

 

What do you promote as the first step to, “I’m in this situation, I want more, I know I can do more?”

The first step in any American dream is believing it’s possible. I can give you tactical stuff to do as the first step. What I realized in my experience, that never worked for me because if I didn’t believe it, if I didn’t want this, I’d get easily scared and afraid to move forward. It wasn’t the tactic, the strategy that was the problem. It was me and what I thought. I’ve seen that so many times in other business owners who have the talent. Their business can help many people in their communities. They have these dreams and that fear, that what if, that worry rears its ugly head and prevents him or her for moving forward.

Having a strong desire of wanting what you want is first. Simon Sinek wrote a book, Start with Why. It’s a well-known book and people have read it. What I gathered from that is asking yourself, why do you want this? When people say, “Jamey, I’m looking for more referrals.” I say, “Why?” “I’ll get busier.” “So what?” “I’ll make more money.” “So what?” “I’ll make more money and I’ll be able to send my kids to school.” “Why is that important to you?” “I want them to have a better education than public schools, for instance.” Now we’re at your why. Your why is going to keep you moving forward because things are going to challenge your thoughts, your previous mindset, your belief structure, your worldview and your perception. Things are going to challenge that. They have to because if you already knew that, you would move things in place.

You challenge how you think. By getting clear on that, it keeps you moving forward. I’ll share this with you. I started getting scared when I had this revelation or whatever you want to call it one day about I’m creating the environment in my own household of one that I grew up with. I had a fantastic childhood. My parents are awesome. There were no issues there. I distinctly remember the fights around money, which a lot of people have. I wanted something different. I wanted to be home with my kids, not being home all day necessarily. I wanted to take them the practice. I wanted to be maybe one of their coaches. I didn’t want to have to worry about not doing the things of what I was doing this for. I want my kids and my wife, to have a better life but I want to be a part of that life. I wanted the freedom of time and freedom to me was choice. It’s not like I didn’t want to work. I love working, but I love doing what I love doing at work.

There were a lot of things I didn’t particularly love doing. This motivated me. This idea of being there for my kids, be able to take them to school, having my wife say, “Can you attend this meeting?” Providing her the type of life and doing what she loves to do. I knew when I met her, working 9 to 5 was not her gig. That’s not who she was. She’s fantastic at being a mom, taking care of the house and volunteering. I wanted that life. That was my why. That’s what motivated me in spite of the fire when it burned down my clinic, in spite of the ten doctors that said, “No, I’m not interested in meeting with you,” or the 20 or 30 doctors or all these pitfalls that were in front of me. That’s what motivated me to overcome that. For someone working 60 hours a week to get to that other side that gives you the type of business that you want. This is all about what you want. There’s no set thing you have to have. You get to choose how many hours you want to treat, how many hours you want to take off, what team you want to build and how many clinics. You get to choose that. You’ve got to have a deep why or you’ll give it up when the first challenge comes up and it’s hard. That’s where I suggest people start.

It’s clarity of purpose and having a clear vision of what you want is huge. A lot of the burnout or the overwhelm comes because there’s not an alignment to that vision and that purpose that you have. You think you’re working in a certain direction and you’re getting there, but it’s not aligning. That’s when you get into a lot of overwhelming. I noticed that with a friend of mine who I was talking to. He was part of my peer to peer group. He’s not been PT a long time. He happened into PT ownership for a few years. He’s already talking about burnout just for a few years of doing this because he is the guy. Everybody’s got to see him. He’s built this practice that he’s got 30 new patients. Referrals aren’t an issue for him. He’s got this amazing reputation and a busy clinic, busier that he wants to be, but he’s talking about burnout because that’s not what he wants. That’s not the life that he envisioned and what he wanted. What it comes down to is he didn’t see a path to get there. That’s where I think a lot of us get stuck is because we did not see the path to get there. We don’t know what it takes. Yet there’s also a fear to reach out. That’s why my mantra is step out and reach out because someone out there now has been there before.

I could teach all the tactical things you need to be successful in 15 minutes, but it won't get you anywhere until you change your mindset and overcome your fears. Click To Tweet

There are resources and that’s why it’s necessary to reach out and say there is a path. You can do it and I’m going to hold you accountable to your vision, not my vision for your clinic but to your vision for your clinic and make sure you get there. It’s going to be hard because you’re going to have to do some work. On the other side is going to be the lifestyle that you want. That’s where a lot of it comes into play. This friend of mine, now that he’s caught that vision and it’s a little bit clearer and he sees a path, now he’s excited. He immediately added 1,000 square feet to his office. He immediately got that traveler that he was scared to hire before because he needed someone to take on those patients. In the past, he was worried about paying that much money, but he’s like, “Forget it. I need the time to work on this business.” Now there’s a little bit of a spark and energy.

That’s the mindset and the process you have to have. Once you have this vision, you understand why this is important. You have to align your actions to your vision. I like to relate it to the spine. What is a healthy spine? A healthy spine is a spine that can move all different directions that’s lined up on each other. That’s what a healthy spine is. When you start getting all these problems and disc problems, your segments move and the spondylus and all these things. You’ve got the spine that’s not aligned. When it’s not aligned, it causes pain.

When your actions day in and day out, your communication day in and day out is not aligned with the vision that you want, why would you be surprised when your results are not what you want? When you treat your spine like crap and you don’t exercise it appropriately, you don’t do the appropriate stretches and the strengthening and you sit and posture is terrible for years. Then you try to do something with it and it doesn’t respond the way you want and it causes pain. There’s no surprise. We treat that every single day. This is about alignment and alignment is about aligning your actions to get what you want. I don’t know when the last trip you had. Share with me. What was the last trip you took?

I went down to the Kenai River and did some salmon fishing.

The first thing you had to do before you took this trip was to decide the destination. Based on the destination, did you fly there? Did you drive? You chose how you’re going to get there. Could you have taken a bike? Could you have walked or maybe taken a plane? There are a lot of ways you could have gotten there. Because you knew the destination, you’re also going to pack appropriately because not only did you know the destination, you knew what you were going to do there. You started packing. If I told you you’re going to go to Key West, it would be different. Most likely you would take a plane. You would pack differently. When you start describing your vision about what you want, it allows you to make decisions right now to start putting in place and aligning your actions to get there. The story you shared of your friend, the clinic owner, is very straightforward. Once he’s clear on what he wants and he’s ready to do what it takes to get there and that’s the work, overcoming your fear and having that grit.

The natural decisions were, “I need time to do this. In order to get time, I need someone to help me treat.” The decision is simple. You hire someone. You choose what kind of person. It could be part-time. It could be PRN. It could be a traveler, but at least you’re making a decision on any one of those choices would be fine. If you’re not aligned, even thinking like that scares the living crap out of you. You start looking for shortcuts to try to get past this situation you’re in but the shortcuts will never last. The shortcut isn’t aligned with what you want. That’s why when I was looking at my business and people that I’ve known and clients and business owners we’ve worked with, it’s amazing.

PTO 59 | Growing Your Practice
Growing Your Practice: When you start changing your perspective and your mindset, your actions start to change and your results start to improve.

 

We’ll sometimes spend days on getting clear on what do you want. Many of us are trained in this problem-solving. I ask them what they want, they start trying to solve it. I go, “What are you trying to solve?” “I need more patients.” I go, “What do you want?” “I don’t know. I need more patients.” This is a reactive scenario that plagues small business owners. It plagues us. We start reacting to the immediacy of now instead of stepping out of this whole craziness of this 60, 70-hour work and start looking at this thing a little differently. When you start changing that perspective and that mindset, your actions start to change and your results start to improve. Once you have that vision, you add that alignment that allows you to start focusing on the most important thing right now because you’re overwhelmed.

You don’t have a lot of time so you better choose what you do carefully. That’s the second biggest thing that you can do to start breaking free. You’ve got to focus on whatever time you have. An hour a week, focus on the thing that’s going to get you time to focus on the thing that’s going to get you what you want. If it’s referrals, focus on the thing that gives you time to focus on referrals. If it’s hiring, focus on the thing that allows you time to hire. Obviously, there’s always knowhow and there are tons of know-how out there.

That’s where a lot of physical therapists get distracted is because they’ll say, “My path to freedom is going to be this niche offering, maybe this balanced program or if I do this if I spend $80,000 on a piece of equipment that’s going to open you through another clientele. When they’re already overwhelmed thinking that’s going to be the answer. That’s not in alignment. I want to say take that $80,000 and spend it on a physical therapist to give you the time to work on your business. You will quadruple your investment in that compared to buying the piece of equipment.

Buy yourself some time, we’ve talked about it. I say step out, number one, you’ve got to get out of your clinic treating full-time first off so that you can do exactly what you’re talking about, to work on your business. You probably don’t know where to go first. You might have some ideas, but that’s why you reach out to a coach or consultants like you and get some help to give it some perspective and give you some guidance. We’ve been there, done that. We can help you. It’s important to recognize that you’ve got to align your actions to get the life that you want or the business that you want.

It’s easier said than done. It took me years before I reached out to a coach. The reason it took me years is I thought I could read a book or a few books and I could just implement it because I’m a hard worker. I’ll implement what I read in a book. That was one of them. When I was doing this, there weren’t as many webinars and podcasts and all that stuff. There was similar stuff. There are different articles you can read. I had a fear of money, spending money on something that I thought I could do on my own. That prevented me from asking for help. The biggest thing that prevented me from asking for help is my ego. My own ego prevented me because I’m smart.

I got A’s in school, that’s how I got into PT school. I’m good at what I do. I spent tens of thousands of dollars perfecting my craft. I was good at treating. Why wouldn’t I be good at business? I’m a smart guy. My dad was in business, so that should somehow translate to me. This was my thinking. It wasn’t until I had some very close yet, very honest mentors of mine said, “Jamey, get over yourself. Tell me how you should know the business, school to teaching business.” I go, “No.” “Where would you learn? You’re in business right now, but how do you know what you’re doing well? How do you know to go left instead of right? Why wouldn’t you get someone to help you?” I said, “It’s my own ego and I don’t know if I’m going to get a return on investment.” They were like, “Get over yourself and you’re losing ten times more money than it would ever cause the highest-level coach or consultant.”

The biggest thing that prevents us from asking for help is our ego. Click To Tweet

I started looking at how much I was losing having 18% cancellation rates. My productivity was in the low 70% instead of 85%. I can measure the overwhelming stress I was having. It was amazing because when I wrote that check, I felt relieved, not worried that I have someone who can guide me. I’ll bring energy and effort. They bring the roadmap and the guidance and together we can make this happen. That’s when things started to change in my business. It wasn’t like the shiny toy syndrome. It wasn’t like, “The solution to all my problems is I need one of those underwater treadmills. I’ll drop 50 Gs on that.” That’s not the solution. That’s the emotional reaction.

What I realized about myself and I’ve heard this so many times, Nathan, is when you are in this overwhelmed, high-emotional state, it is the absolute worst time to make decisions about your business. Those decisions cost you much money, much time and add so much frustration. All of us, and I did this so many times, make decisions out of these emotional reactions of places we’re in. There are talented people out there who know this, who prey on that fear and all industries they pray on that fear. It makes you seem like this is the answer, this is the magic shiny toy and it puts you in a more of a spiral.

I’m tired of seeing that. There is no quick fix. I’m not selling you any quick fix. There is none. There’s a way to do this of where you’re at. It starts with this vision. It starts with aligning depending on what you want, aligning what actions you have to take. Depending on your specific situation, how you start step-by-step, creating the time for you to focus on the most important things. Let’s get important but not critical, let’s start moving those things away. It’s hard because we want to do it all. That’s where we get in trouble. When you’re able to do that, you can get over that and start reducing your hours and getting this idea of the type of business you want.

The hard part and again this isn’t PT specific, but as you take the time to get the most important things done, that most important thing that you want to get done every day and that leads to something greater during that week. That goal that you have for the year, that gets overwhelmed sometimes by the number of tasks and to-dos and the emails you’ve got to respond to. It’s important that you stay focused because I recognize this as guys are pulling out of treating full-time. They have, number one, a little bit of a fear because they’re not sure how their actions now are going to translate into revenues because it’s easy when you’re treating.

“I know if I treat, I’m going to get $90 an hour for treating this guy. If I see more than one hour, I’ll get more.” There are an easy cause and effect and it’s obvious. They’re unsure, “If I take time away from my business, how is that going to translate into money? How am I going to be able to afford another salary and take my salary still when I’m not “producing” patient visits?” There’s a fear in that. It comes down to, “If you could see how many times your efforts will be multiplied if you focus and align your actions towards the things that you need to get done.” That is doing the dirty work of policy and procedure making or doing the assessments and creating values.

I did an interview about how to create values for your company. It’s something simple, easy but hard to implement and necessary. Those are the types of things that need to get done for your company to grow and build. You’ve got to step aside and find things to do and someone typically needs to hold your hand. The knowledge from the books will get you someplace, but it’s always better to have someone who’s holding you accountable to it. To make sure you’re doing it in the proper order or sequence and holding your hand because you’ll get there faster.

PTO 59 | Growing Your Practice
Growing Your Practice: By you working more and trying to do everything, it’s only going to frustrate everyone and not meet their needs and the needs of your client.

 

There are coaches in every sport. Can you imagine a team not having a coach? It rarely does a player-coach work because it’s a different perspective. We’re all player-coaches right now. We’re treating as a clinician and we’re trying to be the owner. Somehow, we’re trying to manage all of that. I’ve never met a small business owner that was a good manager. We are terrible at managing because we have ideas. We want to grow. We have all this stuff that’s terrible. Managers manage systems. They support people and manage systems. What I’ve realized, I got off the phone with a client of mine. She’s a small business, one location, a few PTs and we were talking about this exact topic. She’s making amazing progress. The way she’s making amazing progress is simple.

Every problem she has in her business becomes an opportunity to put it in a system. A system or process is nothing more than a way to do something. Think about that, if you have a way to do something, it takes the pressure off the person doing it first of all, assuming they’re trained. Let’s say it’s a way to intake a new patient for instance. You have a way to do something. They’re trained on that. Now it also takes the pressure off and let’s say the office manager overseeing the person who’s doing the intake because now they’re focused on the process of doing the intake and not the personal characteristics of the front desk person, which is easy to attack a person individually. Now look at the owner, the owner now has lots of pressure off of them because there’s a system that the person is trained in.

There’s a manager that oversees the system and supports the person. What does the owner do? The owner doesn’t have to worry about answering the phones. The owner doesn’t have to worry about teaching anybody to answer the phones. The owner is now the mentor of the manager and that creates freedom because you don’t need to be a mentor 40 hours a week. You now have time to focus on other areas of your business that most likely need systems in place. Here’s a hint, if you’re not sure where they need systems, ask your staff where the problems are in the business. Every problem that you have, 94% of the time, this is from Edward Deming, will be solved by a system. If you look for the problems and I guarantee there’s not a system in place and if there is, there’s no training or clarity.

That is the only way. I will go out on a limb for you, small business owners out there with one to three to four clinics, who are working a ton both treating and doing admin thing. I guarantee if I went into your business, you would not be able to show me clear systems. I guarantee it’s those systems or lack of that’s causing your frustration. You clean up and fix the system, you get clear, you get a training process and I guarantee your life becomes better and the lives of your patients, the lives of your staff, the lives of your management and leadership team, everyone gets better. You have to work less for your business to grow and that improves everyone’s lives. By you working more, trying to do everything, trying to keep the plates spinning in the balls in the air is only going to further frustrate everyone and not meet their needs and the needs of your clients.

When you invest that time, it’s not a lot of time when you think about it. When you invest in time on getting clarity on your systems and your practice, the freedom that comes from that and the alignment like we were talking about earlier. Now that things are getting done the way you expect them to be done and you’re developing a culture. This is how we do things. This is how you answer the phones. This is how you approach a new patient. This is how you address the plan of care. All that stuff gets systematized. It’s a matter of managing the people who are managing the systems as you said. The return on investment is huge and what you’ll find then is productivity goes up, revenues go up, profits go up. That’s when a lot of the freedom takes places that you’ve got systems in place, a systematic way of increasing profits.

It’s a systematic way of thinking about your business. You’re thinking about instead of emotionally, “This person’s terrible.” I used to blame everybody in my business about a problem. There was one year that I had 25 people come in and out of my business. It was like a revolving door. I only had a staff of seven people. That means I almost went through my staff four-fold. People are either quitting or getting fired. Do you think I had good systems in place? Of course, not. I didn’t have systems for hire. I had zero systems for training. I was not operating as an owner. I was basically doing drive-by delegation, changing my mind and being the worst possible mentor to everybody. I had to get my mind around who I am, what is my identity. One of the things you said earlier about the challenges that we have and growing the business and having alignment and being clear about what we want. One of the biggest fears that we have aside from will it work is what happens when it works?

94% of the time, every problem that you have will be solved by putting a system in place. Click To Tweet

This has been part of my unofficial research that asking people and working with hundreds of other owners, one of the deepest fears that we have that I’ve gotten from lots of people, once I get past the superficial of, “I want a business. I want to make lots of money and have time.” Once you get past that, one of the biggest fears is what happens to my identity if I do remove myself? You became a physical therapist. That’s your identity. Here comes Jamey saying you’re more than that. You’re a business owner. You chose to be a business owner, but you have the identity of a clinician, a business owner manages a business, owns a business that delivers the service and that has to do with a team.

You start building this culture this value and you build it in your own way. The American dream, you get to do it however way you do it. What happens when people start judging as they did me, “What are you retired now, Jamey? You don’t come in anymore.” You get crap from people. What happens when one of your fears of your referral sources says, “I’m not going to refer you. You’re not even there.” That’s a fear. It never happened to me. It was a fear that people said might happen or your staff gives you crap because you’re there. Believe me, your staff doesn’t want you there. The only reason they want you there is because they don’t know what to do because you don’t have any systems in place. You are keeping them all. My staff loved it when I wasn’t there. Not all the time, I was there. I came in and I did some mentorship and some meetings, but I wasn’t there over their shoulder every two minutes. Who the wants to be micromanaged like that? Exploring on a deeper level this idea of losing our identities, that’s a big thing because we’ve been identifying with a physical therapist our whole lives or at least it’s in school. Now, we have to come up with this different identity. That scares the living daylights out of people.

Especially as a physical therapist, when you get to that point, there’s a point where you need to start extricating yourself in order to grow the business. When you get to that point, you’re typically a good therapist that gets results. That’s what strokes your ego. There’s no guarantee on the other side that you’re going to be a business owner that gets results. There’s no guarantee. As you said, you’re losing that identity of something that you’re good at, “I’m stepping away from something I’m good at. I can be productive at and I can see my revenues and my profits when I do that to something where I don’t have any training in this and you’re telling me that I needed to go do it. You’re giving me the hope that if I did, things would be better. There’s no guarantee I can’t see the immediate return on investment. I’m simply going on hope and faith right now.”

It’s the same hope and faith you did to open up your business, but you didn’t look at it as hope and faith. It’s the same hope and faith that you’re going to put all this effort and energy to try and get into PT school with no guarantees you’re going to get in. That’s what being an entrepreneur is all about. You have such faith and idealism in yourself. Sometimes we get caught up in our head with this idea of, “If I’m going to remove myself from some of this treating, who am I?” One of the exercises that I did and feel free to steal it is I started to change how I introduce myself to people. When people said, “What do you do?” I used to respond, “What do you do? I’m a physical therapist.”

Even when I had my business, I’m a physical therapist. It was ingrained in me. It was a habit. What does that say on a subconscious level? I’m a physical therapist. Is that what I’m doing? No, I’m a business owner. I’m an entrepreneur. I started to change when people pass me. It took a lot of practicing to get out of that habit, “What do you do?” “I’m a business owner and I own a PT practice.” What was interesting when I started to say, “I’m a business owner, I’m an entrepreneur and I help people with injuries and stuff like that.” When I started to play with it and I said something a little different every time, I play with that statement, it did a couple of things.

One, it got me to start to believe that’s who I am. Two, people started to respond back to me differently. They didn’t say, “I’ve got a pain in my shoulder. Can you fix it?” Because the first thing I said is, “I’m a business owner.” They started to ask me, “That’s so cool. How long have you been in business?” I started to attract people that liked business and we started having deeper conversations around business and referrals. It was a wild thing because I believe in the power of like attracts like, the power of attraction. I started to attract different people that started to reinforce that, “Jamey is a business owner.” It was so powerful by stating when someone says, “What do you do?” You start changing that. My identity, I started becoming more comfortable with it. It took time. It’s possible.

PTO 59 | Growing Your Practice
The Practice Freedom Method: The Practice Owner’s Guide to Work Less, Earn More, and Live Your Passion

That’s huge when you put that out into the universe. When you ingrain that I’m a physical therapist into your mind, I still do it. I need to change that. I need to go through this exercise, but I’m so much more than that. I’m a business owner. For me, I have a podcast. You’re a business owner. You’re a coach. You’re a consultant. I started doing some coaching as well and all these things. You’re more than a physical therapist in the title and the certificate. There’s so much more to you when you recognize that. You take on that mantle, your perspective changes. I’m a business owner. I’m the one responsible for molding this into my vision as we talked about. I’m the one responsible for that. There could also be in there a little bit of fear of success. If I’m successful with that, I’m responsible. I can’t blame my things like I used to. When things went wrong, I was able to blame people. Now I’m the one responsible for it and there could be a few in there too.

It’s interesting what you’re saying. I don’t know if you follow Seth Godin. He’s a big marketing guru out there. They won the 50 Most Influential People in the World. I had an opportunity to have them speak in a small intimate environment, not too long ago. It was off the cuff. It wasn’t a planned talk. He said it’s going to be a, “You ask me questions and I answer.” It was so interesting his perspective around marketing, who you market to and how you market. He talked a lot about this saying, “People liked us.” When you’re marketing to people, you’re marketing to what their perception is of how they see themselves. I started taking that perspective is people like us, physical therapists like us. When we start to look at ourselves only as physical therapists, we’re not looking at ourselves as business owners.

It starts to change how you see yourself. If you start calling yourself, “I’m a physical therapist by trade and now I’m on business and I have a couple of locations in the area.” Even that will start to change, your mindset is people like us is, “I’m a business owner.” My service happens to be physical therapy or whatever service it is, but I’m a business owner. Business owners can connect with other business owners. Does it scare you? Yeah because you’re stepping out of what most people, most colleagues are, they’re physical therapists. They don’t see themselves as you. That’s what’s great about this.

When I did this, I was in the rarefied era. I was in a place where nobody with too small locations was able to take 137 days off and make $300,000. They thought it was something wrong and I go, “No. This is the way to do it.” Now I was like, “I need some people to hang out with. I’m going to help other people do this.” Plus, it’s my purpose to do this because there’s no reason why we can’t. It’s not for everyone. Not everyone wants that. Not everyone wants to do that, which is fine. To be able to be authentic and reach this level of success in your mind, it’s possible with technology. It’s possible because you’re not reinventing everything. It’s all been done before. I learned from other people who have done it.

It’s a matter of is what you want important that you’re willing to change who you are now to become the person you have to be, to be this successful business owner? Are you willing to do what it takes? Tactically it’s not complicated. I can tell you what you have to do probably inside of fifteen minutes, but it’s not tactics that have you succeed. It’s you overcoming all of this stuff in your brain. It’s you improving that operating system. It’s your operating system that has to be upgraded. You’re on IOS 1, we’re on IOS 15. Improve your operating system. Everything else is fine. Improve how you think about things and that will change your actions.

Much of it is around mindset and getting focused on clarity. It’s something that we all have difficulty dealing with or sitting down and taking the time to get clear. It’s important to do that. We spend plenty of time on what it takes for those people in that situation who are working so hard to get to the next level. What can you share with us? What’s happening in Jamey Schrier’s world? What’s coming up new?

Be willing to change who you are now to become the person you have to be. Click To Tweet

I have never been more excited in my entire life about what’s happening. Up until now, I work primarily privately with clients who pay anywhere from $13,000 to $20,000 to be a part of our program, to teach them and help them discover this type of thing. I’m like, “I’ve always wanted to bring it out to the masses. People that want this idea of practice freedom, they want something more and they want a place to learn how to do it. Now, I’m excited because we are launching our first inaugural Practice Transformation Summit, October 25th through the 27th in beautiful Gaithersburg, Maryland, which is a short ride from the Reagan National Airport. It’s going to be for the private practice owners. There are no big corporations. These are small like-minded private practice owners that are way too busy. They’re overwhelmed. We’re not taking more than 100 people. I’m keeping it very small. They wanted an environment to learn, to discover how to go from where they are to the type of business they want.

We’re going to go over the marketing strategies that I teach that are not fancy. They don’t cost you a fortune and they’re highly effective and anyone can do them. We’re going to go over some hiring stuff and how to build your team because without building a team, you can’t get all of this. We’re going to touch on financials and the key financial things you have to look at all from the perspective of you like this business owner and you’re connected with like-minded people. You’re going to walk away with a plan. It’s going to be more of a workshop environment than a conference where you get talked at and you take a bunch of notes and then those notes start collecting dust. It is not going to be like that.

It’s going to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen, 100 like-minded people. They’ll be lighthouse leaders, which is what we call our tribe, our clients. They’re going to be a lot of lighthouse leaders there who want to be there. They already know this information. They want to be a part of it and share their success stories and their failures too. You’re going to be able to hook up with people that are doing this. It’s going to be special. I’m excited. One of the things that I’m going to offer your audience is a discount. We have the regular price which is $997 for two and a half days. The early bird special right now is $497, which is ridiculous. If they use the code, PTO Club, they can take $100 off. The whole thing is only $397 for two and a half days. You’re going to learn all of this from myself as well as some other people that have done this. No BS and no fufu. You’re going to get real stuff open, transparent and it’s going to be an absolute blast. It will be a game-changer. There is no doubt about it.

$397 for two and a half days’ worth of work and support is awesome. That’s a business expense. You should be able to write off quickly and take advantage.

I always expect when I create how much the thing is, I always look at ten to twenty times return. At $1,000, I expect people within the next less than 90 days easily to make $10,000 back, $500 or $400. You’re going to learn how to do it. You’re going to learn what I wrote in the book, but we’re going to go deeper. You’re going to learn a lot of things. Those challenges that you have right now, we’re going to remove this fluff. It’s going to be engaging. You are going to not walk away with what to do. You’re going to be able to do some of it at the conference. You’re going to be able to start putting things in place and look at your business in a way you have never ever looked that up before. When you change that mindset, game is over because your actions will stem from there. You’ll start seeing the results that you want and it’s going to be a phenomenal thing. I want to make a shift in this industry. I’m tired of hearing how much people are suffering. It’s ridiculous.

You made reference to the book. What’s the name of your book?

The book is called The Practice Freedom Method. I wrote the book a few years ago. It goes into my story and what I did and all the different strategies, all the failures and how I overcome them. You can certainly look and get the book. You can go on Amazon and get the book. I’m excited for The Practice Transformation Summit. If you wanted to engage with this information, you wanted always to do this, but you weren’t sure. Maybe you’ve gone the other conferences, maybe you’ve even been to private practice section and you’re like, “This wasn’t for me.” You’re going to be around people that have done it. You’re around people that are like you that want this bigger vision. The dream is starting a business. The dream that I have is creating one that serves the community but allows you to have a life and the financial stability and resources that you want to have a higher quality of life. That’s what you’re going to learn at the Practice Transformation Summit October 25th through the 27th.

Number one, congratulations on your conference. Number two, thank you so much for providing an offer to our audience. That’s a huge benefit to them. I appreciate your generosity. Thank you.

You’re so welcome. I hope they come because that’s what it’s all about. You learn you discover. As one person said to me a while ago, this isn’t rocket surgery. It’s for people that believe that they’re destined to have something more than what they have. They want the authentic, real trusted nature of how to do it without the fluff, without the upsells and all this other stuff. Tell me what to do in a real environment. That’s what this is about. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. We’re going to finally do it. Hopefully, they come out and learn.

Thanks for your time, Jamey. I appreciate it.

You’re welcome. Thank you, Nathan.

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About Dr. Jamey Schrier

PTO 59 | Growing Your PracticeDr. Jamey Schrier is the Founder and CEO of The Practice Freedom Method, business training for physical therapists. After growing and then selling his multi-location PT business, for a price often reserved for businesses quadruple his size, he began teaching other PT owners of all clinic sizes how to grow and scale their practices while improving their quality of life.

Jamey now shares his proven methodology with other PT owners using timeless business principles combined with his “best practices” he has learned in over 20 years in business. He has personally coached over 70 private practice physical therapists create their dream practice, and through his book, The Practice Freedom Method and signature programs, he has helped hundreds if not thousands more. Now it’s your turn!

 

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