Kim Nartker, PTA of the Rehab to Wellness BOSS podcast (and Stretch Mobility Coach) had Physical Therapy Owners Club host Nathan Shields on her podcast. Listen to the interview where they discussed what you need to consider BEFORE starting up your next side hustle or revenue stream. Discover how the Impact Filter will help you decide if you’re ready. There is a lot to consider here, yet much of it is necessary and will set you up for a successful launch. Join Nathan and Kim as they coach you on how to start your next business venture, especially in the PT space.
Listen to the podcast here:
You Must Do These Things Before Starting A Side Business With Kim Nartker, PTA Of Rehab To Wellness BOSS Podcast
I’m sharing in this episode an interview in which I was interviewed by Kim Nartker of a soon-to-be-released podcast named Rehab To Wellness BOSS. She’s going to release her podcast on March 8th, 2022, with a focus on adding wellness and cash-based revenues to your business. She brought me on so we could talk about what you need to consider if you are not only starting a business but, in this case, where you might add an adjunct or a side hustle to your physical therapy practices. Read this if you are considering those options in the near future or distant future. Great wisdom was shared between the two of us so I thought I would share it here on the show. I hope you enjoy the interview.
I want to welcome a very special guest, Nathan Shields, to the show. I am so glad that you came on with me.
Thank you for having me. This is exciting.
Nathan is the host of the Physical Therapy Owners Club Podcast. Nathan, I met you through Robbie Walker. When I reached out to him and told him what I was doing, he goes, “I think you need to connect with Nathan.” You blew me out of the park with your podcast. It was new to me. I listened to it and I’m referring it out to other PT owners. It’s awesome. Nathan is also a PT owner business coach. A little bit about Nathan, he’s been married for many years and has seven children. He’s been a PT clinic owner for many years. You sold your practice in 2018. In 2016, you moved to Alaska. You’re a board-certified electromyographer, a podcast host, and a PT business coach. Tell me a little bit more about how you started and a little bit about you.
Professionally, I was a PT graduate of Northern Arizona University Physical Therapy School and pretty much an Arizona native. I like saying that because now I live in Alaska, the other end of the spectrum when it comes to weather patterns. It’s weird and a different story. A few years after that, I started my own clinic, typically small business entrepreneurial trials, you name it. I had to deal with a lot of stuff that we were never taught in school. I struggled being an owner and wearing that owner hat for a long time. The business was good, but you could ask me business questions and I had no clue what was happening.
I did not know how to read my financials. I did what people said. I was so unaware of what to do that even in my interviews, I would tell people, “What you are going to do for me is whatever I tell you to do.” I thought I was so smart coming up with that, but it showed my laziness and unwillingness to organize and structure my business to create job descriptions. At the same time, it was not completely being conceited. It was being unaware and naive. You don’t have the knowledge.
Ignorance is bliss.
It was a headache for me. I don’t know about you, but I’m a business owner and when I go on vacation, all hell would break loose at the clinic. I’m getting calls, interrupting my vacation and good times. It was 4:00 AM and I’m waking up to finish my treatment, then coming home at 8:00 PM. I’m doing that a few days in a row. I would miss seeing my newborn awake for days at a time. That lifestyle was not fun. As I grew, those issues became more exacerbated and worse. They don’t get the business necessarily better financially. Maybe a little bit better, but is it worth it?Coaching is number one, an investment, and number two, tuition. Click To Tweet
At some point, the dream of a 9:00 to 5:00 job was so compelling. This is not what I wanted. It took a lot of that pain for me to go through those trials, especially my business partner, Will Humphreys. I finally said, “We need to help. I got to do something different.” I remember he said, “I’m going this weekend to a consulting company. I can bring a guest for free. Why don’t we go together and check it out? They were selling their business coaching.”
As I sat there, the cost was huge. It’s a lot of money in some of these places. I sat there and told my wife. I was on the phone with her. I’m like, “We are going to make this $60,000 investment. I don’t know what else to do. I can’t keep doing what we are doing now. I have got to do something different.” She’s like, “Do it. Let’s go.” That was part of the beginnings of what launched us to be significantly more successful, pull ourselves out of the clinic, work on the business, develop some strategy and structure, grow to more clinics than we had, develop leadership teams, and build an amazing culture that was super fun and exciting to be a part of.
The money there was a big nugget because you are a new business owner and making money. You are like, “I want this to go into my pocket. This is supposed to be my money. I don’t want to spend $60,000,” but the accountability for a new business owner and the education that you get, you would not be where you are now without that.
That was not the end of my coaching outlay. We had multiple coaches over the years. We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on coaching, whether it’s for me personally, with my business, with my partner, you name it. We even had a coach for our leadership team for a period of time to help them develop. I consider it now in investment and tuition. How much did you pay for your PT or OT degree? Whatever degree, in most cases, you paid a significant chunk to become technically adept at your profession. There’s no reason to think that you should be adept at being a business owner. You have no foundation for that. You have got to pay the tuition to do it. It includes time, money, effort, blood, sweat, tears, reading, education, performing exercises, workshops or whatever. You got to pay the money and do it. Hopefully, I’m not going on too long here.
This is great stuff because they need to learn this. If you go into business already cash-strapped, you are done. You have to invest in the business for the business to grow.
It’s inevitable. I recognize that it’s hard. I don’t know about the OT and speech side of things, but I know on the PT side, reimbursement rates are not increasing, and the profit margins are not great. If you are not a good business owner, they are even worse. The general rates for coaches could be more expensive than other places, but just sharing numbers and whatnot, you are spending about at least $1,000 a month to talk to someone one-on-one and get some education.
If they are worth their salt, they are going to show you how to 10X that money pretty quickly. You are going to get the return. The beauty of all the coaching and whatnot is when we sold, we were able to say, “We could sell and keep it. We don’t care. If you are going to buy it from us, this is our number. You got to hit it.” That’s where the beauty of this all comes into play. That’s where it’s significantly paid off. Not only did it increase my profit margins when we sold, but we also had profit margins that were better than anyone else that was selling on the market at the time. We sold for 3 to 4 times what other PT clinics of our size were selling for. It was easy to say, “We can sell.” We think we are aligned with the buyer, and they hit our number. It paid off in spades.
You hit something important that I want to make sure they understand. It is understanding your exit strategy. I’m sure you did not have that when you started. I was told that I needed to have an exit strategy. I’m like, “I’m just opening a business. Why do I need to consider an exit strategy?”
It’s a topic that I have covered in one of my episodes with a guy who’s not in the PT business. I have covered it a couple of times with some financial advisors. You got to start with the end in mind. That’s a common Stephen Covey phrase. I know that it’s not blowing steam. It’s important to recognize that you are going to exit sometime. It’s either on your terms and the way you want it to go down or it’s not. You might as well be prepared.
You are either going to be forced out one way or another. You are going to be pushing up daisies or competition or bankruptcies. You could be forced to close or leave on your own terms. You can create something that perpetually generates an ATM for yourself, or be available to sell something that has an amazing impact on your community.
You start with that and you don’t have to be detailed about it. It’s part of that vision mission statement. You got to have a goal. What does this look like? Is this going to be long-lasting? Am I going to pass it on to my children? Am I going to sell it off to the employees? Am I going to sell it to someone on the market for a certain number? Going through all that stuff and coming back to your original question, going through all those headaches, and generating this network of other owners that I met through my networking and the consulting that I got, I thought, “This needs to be broadcast to the world.” That’s why I started the podcast.
Through what I have learned over the years through multiple coaches and my own personal experiences, and interviewing hundreds of PT owners for the podcast, I get a lot of fulfillment out of coaching PT owners specifically. I’m open to the other professions but I’m a PT and I know those numbers. That’s been fulfilling to talk someone through major issues in the PT sphere. Getting out of patient care to work on the business is a real hurdle for PT owners.
There’s a whole mindset switch there. It does not happen overnight.
Some people are more open to it than others. The fear behind dropping a low-paying insurance contract is overwhelming. Letting go of someone that’s been with you for fifteen years, how am I going to handle this? These are a conversation that I had with one PT. All three things have happened to him in the two years that I have been coaching him. At the end of it, he’s like, “I can’t thank you enough for helping me through this and holding me accountable.”
There’s your word, accountability. We get so busy in the day-to-day. We are back in that hamster wheel and don’t know how to stop it, to take a step back and look inside the business to see where the problems are. Our audience are rehab providers. They could be PT/OT speech therapists and ATCs. There are chiros that would also feel the same way, but let’s talk about how would you start a business? What are the basic things you would need for even a side hustle, start a business as a solo practitioner, already a practice owner or you own a business and want to start a wellness business? What’s your advice on that?
There’s a lot of legal stuff that needs to happen. I can speak to this because I’m doing that a little bit myself now. I have got an idea for a “side hustle or side business.” I have a clinic where we perform strictly EMGs for the local community, whoever refers. There are days in which the office is not being used. I’m thinking about things. I have ideas and I’m making calls. Even before you generate this legally organized entity with an LLC, a tax ID number, a business license with the states, and trademark your name if you want all that stuff. It starts in the thinking phase. There are a lot of little works and research that needs to be done. Will this fly?Realize that you're going to exit your business some time, whether it's on your terms or not. So you might as well be prepared. Click To Tweet
One thing that I like to use is called The Impact Filter. It came out in 2021. It’s part of Dan Sullivan’s coaching program. Dan Sullivan is an international business coach and has been around for decades. His book came out in 2021, called Who Not How by Ben Hardy. The Impact Filter in there is a great way to sit down and start thinking about why am I doing this? What is the ideal scene? What does that look like? What is the payoff if this goes well? What’s the worst-case scenario if it does not go well? Who benefits? Who do I need to consider?
I love The Impact Filter. I think it’s something you start doing before you build out your business plan to get some thoughts on the page and get it down. I have started with that. To take it a step further, there are many one-page business plans that you can find online. Business plans can get detailed and scaled back. Start with something like a one-page business plan. At least start asking about how you are going to market this? What are you expecting out of it? What should your revenues be? What are you going to charge your customers? Is there a demand? Is it going to fly at all?
Once you start doing some of that homework, get some numbers and some real-world data if you can, and build on a proforma. If you are a business owner, you should already have a CPA that you are working with. Ideally, I recommend you meet with them monthly to go over your financials and teach them how to read financials and the numbers of your business. You have that CPA or a bookkeeper and ask them, “I’m thinking about building this out. Will you help me build out a proforma/budget? What could it look like if I were this busy versus this busy? What could the potential profit be?
With as much as you know, you are not going to know all the details, but you can have a significant part of them and see, “What is this going to look like? What could the financials look like?” Those are good places to start and recognize that these one-off ideas may not fly and be okay with that, but let’s get some of that stuff on paper.
You hit the nail on the head. There are going to be startup expenses. You can’t expect to open up your own practice, whether it’s PT, OT or wellness, and not have some money in the bank to pay for things.
That’s one thing. Thinking about these side hustles or side businesses that I’m thinking about, I called a mentor and said, “I have opened businesses before. What am I not seeing? What do I need to consider?” His first question was, “How are you going to fund it?” I had ideas. I was prepared for that, but I had not thought it through. Is it going to be a small business loan or an SBA loan? If you are going to get an SBA loan, be prepared for a long haul and lots of paperwork.
Your credit unions and local banks are probably a little bit more forgiving and willing to work with you than the larger companies. Sometimes there are state funds like here in Alaska. If you are willing to invest in the Alaska business, you can get some great loans with awesome terms. It’s a little bit of a long process but probably not as involved as SBA.
Some people can get a home equity loan too. Those are also ways of doing it and maybe a cheaper interest rate. If you have got some equity in your home, that is one way that you can go if you need it.
Some of those “No payments for a year” credit cards, I would never recommend those personally, but they are out there and people have done it. I’m saying that it’s there. It’s probably your last resort. You got to consider funding. If it’s a new company, family and friends, that’s how I started my clinic personally. I got some money from my father and my father-in-law. That’s how I got started. Inevitably the expenses that you are predicting are going to be more than what you predict. I had that myself. I opened up a clinic and the expenses turned out to be $10,000 to $15,000 more than I expected. It was better to have a cushion.
If you have got a clinic and it’s running, then you are thinking, “I want to add this adjunct and do this other thing,” I would never recommend anyone do that. If you are doing the same thing but you’re in a second location, or if it’s a side hustle or you want to stay in one location but find a bigger space, I don’t care what the growth pattern is or what you are thinking about, you don’t start doing it until your bread and butter is solid. You don’t say, “I will open up a second location,” but if you were to look at your financials, you are barely breaking even. That’s not a good time to open a second location.
Just because the doctor says, “You should open up over here,” it does not mean you should open up over there. The general rule of thumb is to make sure your productivity numbers are at least 85% of capacity before you even consider some of these other things. If that’s not there, whatever this second thing is, it needs time, attention, money and energy. If you are then splitting that, your bread and butter are going to get damaged. Things are going to get worse. Both things are not going to go well.
With the exception, the one cool thing that I’m seeing right now in two different ways here is you know our funnel and how we have leads coming into the funnel. That PT part is the first section of the funnel. We discharge a person and there’s nothing after that. Sixty percent of those people come back in to see you as PT because they know, like and trust you. That’s all good, but it’s golden if you bring in a service that is not going to cost you extra money.
Let’s say you have a clinician you are not utilizing as you should. This is another service that’s an easy service to sell that’s perhaps cash base, and you feel that back-end funnel. That is an extra income that can come into your clinic. However, you have to do it the right way. You have to prepare, have all the things in place, and be ready for that to happen. You also have to make sure that PTA is able to do that entire part. You don’t want to go, “I want the PTA over here today and the PTA over here tomorrow.” It has to be a dedicated system there.
What you are talking about is adding that adjuncts can be huge. What I would highly recommend is to have someone to guide you through it to keep you on track. Can I at least say that you are tracking your statistics on a regular basis?
If you are not doing that on the other side, you don’t need to be starting something else on this side. I think you hit the nail on the head, having a supportive guiding person that is going to set you up for success and be there to support you so that you succeed.
Get your crap together. If you don’t know if you have your crap together or don’t know how to get your crap together, then get somebody. It’s heart-wrenching to talk to owners, and then I tell them I’m coaching and how much I’m charging. They are like, “How dare can you possibly charge that much?” I want to say, “You have not been there yet. Hopefully, you don’t.” The story behind a lot of successful owners and PT owners that I interview is they get to the point where they are about to burn out. They are like, “Screw it all. My marriage is a wreck. I’m not making any money. I will close the doors. I don’t care anymore.” It’s at that point that they finally reach out. You don’t have to get to that point.The expenses that you're predicting will be more than what you predict. Click To Tweet
If you are doing okay or you could be doing so much better, don’t keep your head in the sand. Keep your head up out of the sand and have someone to help you. Hopefully, this does not sound self-serving. Whether you do it with me or with someone else, I don’t care. Get some help. My mantra on the podcast is to reach out, step out and network. Read some books and listen to podcasts. Don’t just read and listen to them, implement some of the crap.
The implementation is one of the biggest things and accountability. Reading it does nothing for you. It’s just storing it.
That’s what the coach does. You reach out and get some help. Step out. You can’t be treating full time to start up some of this stuff successfully. You start with preferably two half days of admin, and sit down and wear your owner hat like be an owner. Once you open a clinic or a business, you are no longer the physical therapist or the occupational therapist who owns a company. You are a business owner who also happens to be a physical therapist/OT/speech, ATC or whatever.
You are an owner first. You will never lose that. You are always the owner. You are always where the buck stops. If your business is no good, it’s your fault. You can read Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink if things are not going well in your business while you are the number one. When I truly put on that owner hat and said, “I’m responsible for making this better. It’s up to me to do something about it. I need to set aside the time. I need to get some help,” that’s when things change.
People have to recognize that the business comes first. The care you provide comes second. The decision generally tends to be what is best for the business, the owners and the employees. If you are coming up against some of these business decisions, you got to keep that filter. Otherwise, the priorities get messed up and turned upside down.
You have to do that, for sure. We also talked about in our pre-launch some supportive resources or thought processes that owners should have if they are new owners.
Going into this as you have established your business plan, you also need to consider, what are my key metrics? What are my key performance indicators, KPIs and statistics? Whatever name you want to put to it, you need to know what your key metrics are. That tells you the health of the business. It is your dashboard, how fast and well you are going, is this good or bad? You need to track it and know.
Preferably, before you start any entity, you recognize what those key statistics are. That’s a key resource or tool that you would use going forward. Part of that mantra that I said is to reach out, step out and network. The last one was network. One thing that business owners need to do is network somehow. Find a network. I prefer a mastermind group, but there are EO, Entrepreneurs Organizations, throughout the United States. You can meet up with other business owners, not just PT.
I highly recommend that, even if it’s other business owners. If it’s a group of PTs, we tend to have all of these same fixed ideas in our heads. When I brought those fixed ideas to a small business group or an accountability group that I was a part of, they would question me on it. They are like, “Why does it have to be that way? It does not have to be that way.” I’m like, “That’s what all the PT say.” They nod their heads. I never get kicked back on this fixed idea that I have. That kind of networking can be helpful and help you get out of that, “I’m alone on an island. I don’t know who to turn to get help and support.”
Those small business networking groups can help out a lot. Those can be huge resources and tools for you. Find podcasts like this that you like and appreciate. Listen or read the books that they are telling you to read, whether it’s in book form or listen to them, then utilize the tools. When they are saying, “Do a proforma or a business plan,” they are not saying that just because you are supposed to and that’s what the syllabus says. We are serious. That’s what people want to see.
If you want to get funding, they want to see a business plan. You should have a map of where you are going. These are the key metrics that I’m going to follow to see if I’m getting there. You should have some of that stuff. We say that because successful business owners do that. If you want to be a $1 million business, you start acting like that from day one. You don’t wait until you are a $1 million business to act like you are a $1 million business. You start setting up your business now as a $1 million business owner would set it up. Those are some of the tools and mindsets that you need to have.
We think that just because we came out of school and it’s the therapy world and therapy is everywhere, that it’s going to be successful. Realistically, some of those therapy clinics, even if they are hospital-owned, may not be profitable because they are a lead into the surgical component of the hospitals and such. Because PT is out there does not mean it’s profitable. Honestly, owning a PT clinic right now is very difficult because the profit margin is so little when you are talking about an in-network clinic. Are you going to be in-network? I was there once. Never will I go back. Will you be out of network and what are the challenges there? What has to happen? Are you going to be a cash-based practice? What does that look like? If you are looking to be a PT clinic, you have to decide what that is.
On the wellness side, where we are looking at things is so much more generic, but you have to have the same indicators. You have to follow the same steps. It’s more in line with a cash-based practice. You have to provide value and understand your client and your customer to be able to make money and continue making money.
I realized early on as a business owner that a majority of the time, patients either don’t know or don’t care how good you are as a provider because they don’t know. A majority of people are still mistaking me for a massage therapist or a chiropractor. They don’t know what physical therapy is. What are they basing their experience on when they come to your clinics? It’s not the care that you provide. It’s how they feel and the customer experience.Reach out, step out, network, and get some help. Click To Tweet
I had Steve Line. He’s a successful PT owner in Oklahoma, Nebraska or whatever. He has a book out called The Feel-Good Experience. He says it in the book. The 80/20 principle can be put into so many different things, but 20% of the patients’ experience are the care that you provide. You can mess up the great care with the other 80% if that’s not put in place. Make sure your care is good. I’m not going to minimize that. Everyone should have great results and promote that they are the best therapist, but what sets you apart is the customer experience. You can have some niches and provide some services, but even those only go so far if your customer service experience is not great.
If you spent 80% of your time focused on that customer life cycle like Jerry Durham spells out eloquently. He was on my podcast as well and spelled it out. Make sure to read Steve Line’s book, but focus on that patient experience. You will retain patients longer. Your marketing efforts when you get a new patient are going to triple because the patients will stay longer. They will complete their full plans of care and refer family and friends to you if you focus 80% of your time on that customer service experience.
We hit on a lot of things there. We went through a whole business thing, so just to recap some of the starting things because we love business, definitely establish your LLC. Make sure that you got your legal entity complete. You need to pick a name even before your LLC. You have to business search that name to make sure that you can get a name that is available out there because a lot of them are already taken. Once you get that LLC, get a tax ID. In some states, that may take a long time but in some states, the turnover maybe a few days. It depends on your state.
You can get that tax ID number now.
That’s 24 hours.
That’s easy and so much of it is online nowadays.
One of my owners and our licensee in our Stretch Mobility coaches in Pennsylvania, hers did not go fast. I think she’s still waiting. Some states may be a little different than other states. Once you get those two items, you are ready to roll and you can open a business banking account. It can’t be your private account. You totally have to open a business account.
Business name, you have to make sure that you have that. Your business plan that you are talking about. We need to know some basic information and do a Google spreadsheet. You can search Google for a business plan, and it will give you a basic one-year business plan. You can get that template anywhere. Don’t forget about how you are going to market and what your avatar is going to be.
Those are some of the key things. I love how you said The Impact Filter. That’s a good thing to start with as well. He said that was from Dan Sullivan. Read that book because we can all put into our calculators what we can make, but if you don’t have the right people, you are not going to get there. Whether those are employees or a mentor that is going to help you build and grow your clinic successfully, those are key components of a successful business for any startup practice owner.
I love that you mentioned the marketing stuff because the avatar is like, who’s your ideal client? I talked about that with most of my marketing episodes on the podcast. I think the fear is if I market to this ideal client, I’m excluding everyone else. That’s not what people see. When you target a certain audience, they start telling other people how great you are. They also see, “He’s good at that. Maybe he will help me too. If he helps those people, he can help me as well.”
For example, I have a friend in Florida. They got wiped out by a hurricane and had a chance to reopen their clinic in any way they wanted it to. Before that, they were open to all comers. Whoever wanted to come to be treated for a musculoskeletal condition, they do it. They then said, “Forget it. We are going to focus on marketing and our advertising on 30 to 40-year-old CrossFit women athletes. That’s what we are going to do.” That’s what one of the owners was. She’s like, “That’s all we are going to focus on.”
They are 3 or 4 times busier than they ever were before. They are more fulfilled. They enjoy what they are doing. They are known in the community. They have social media pages as the place to go. They don’t just see 30 to 40-year-old CrossFit women. They are seeing Major League baseball pitchers and stuff like that because they have gained notoriety for that. Know your avatar and then have a marketing plan. How are you going to get business?Most of the time, patients don't know or don't care how good you are as a provider because they don't know. Click To Tweet
You have to stick to marketing that niche for three months. If you don’t get anything there, you get jumped in with a mentor because it’s so important to see what you are missing. If you go for three months with the same and get your name out there through relationship building, you have a huge chance. If you have got a good product or service, you are going to make it if you give somebody value.
For PTs, I’m sure it’s the same for anyone who has a clinic, OTs, speech, there are four buckets that you need to consider. There are the local community physicians. They are going to send referrals your way. You market to them. If you got an established business and are trying to start this side stuff, especially with your Stretch Mobility coaches, you got past patients. We are not tapping into them as much as we should be, most of the time. There are thousands of names on your past patient list that mostly know, like and trust you already. You just need to promote them and find ways to do so.
You have people who are coming in your door if you got an established business and want to add something else that is ready marketing. They are sitting there and getting treated. That’s the perfect time to market to them, put posters up, talk to them, and give them all the information. Lastly is direct to consumer. That’s your community events, local gyms, social media pages and all of that. Your marketing plan needs to have specific action items in each of those buckets. You need to have a plan for how you are going to address and get leads from all of those areas.
Know that you are going to spend the most money on direct-to-consumer stuff. If you are going to be doing social media marketing, that’s the largest investment. It’s the most difficult to determine if you are getting a return if you don’t do it well. The easier low-hanging stuff are past and current patients, and next is developing relationships with your local community, physicians, and other healthcare providers.
Understanding what their products and services are, and showing that you will collaborate with them goes a long way too. Never compete and take away. Reciprocity is a big thing. Lots of nuggets here. Is there anything else you think our readers should know when they are opening a new business or a side hustle?
We have covered a ton of stuff. I hope it’s not too overwhelming. I would go to some of these conferences for business owners and it was like drinking from the fire hose. I’m like, “I got so much to do. I don’t know where to start.” Start where you are and consider it baby steps. Take 2 or 3 things from this conversation that Kim and I have had. Listen to her podcast going forward and take a couple of things from there and then implement. As I’m working with my mastermind groups of PT owners and my personal coaching clients, it’s not so important the number of books that you read. I told this to a client, “Let’s pick 1 or 2 books and let’s focus on implementing those things throughout the rest of this year, and we will go ten times further.”
Take a couple of nuggets here and there. You and I would say, “You have to do all these things.” You have to do all those things eventually, but take where you are at right now. What’s the first baby step that says, “I do this and I’m moving forward.” Put it on your calendar once a day. If you can spend fifteen minutes per day taking the next step, reviewing your next steps, where am I again? Where are my priorities? Where do I need to go next?
I use my Google calendar to tell me what to do. All my to-do items are on my Google Calendar. I schedule them. If it’s write out checks to so-and-so, it’s on for Wednesday at 10:15. I don’t have a to-do list anymore. I just look at my calendar. Looking at the calendar every day and saying, “What’s the most important thing that I have got to do here to move this forward today? Can I spend fifteen minutes on it?” If I have a two-hour chunk of time, I’ll take advantage of it. Let’s go and get some work done. Little baby steps consistently and putting effort into it will move you far.
One thing that we did not touch on that we probably should at least put in here is don’t forget about yourself, self-care. You can’t go 90 hours every week and not take care of yourself and make sure that you are eating right, relieving stress, and stepping away completely for the business because your mind can go a little crazy in the beginning stages. You are making sure you are getting that good sleep and exercising.
Can I recommend that people get hobbies? I’m almost talking to myself at that point. It’s something to take your mind off, even if it’s cooking. I took advantage of my wife buying me a Traeger in 2021. I have never had a smoker before and we barbecue much. I need something to hit different parts of my mind. In the summer, the golf season in Alaska is pretty limited but I was going to hit the driving range every day no matter what because I wanted to. I love golf. It’s things like that that take your mind off and allow you to separate and decompress. Find something to take your mind off. Also, the stuff you are talking about regarding sleeping better, taking care of yourself, and putting some limits on your time. One thing that you can’t get back is the time.
There are many owners out there that have put themselves in a hospital room, trying to build their business and doing the right thing. If you are working that hard, it’s not serving you.
I have had people close to me, business owners in their 30s, that have heart conditions that are not necessarily biological nature. That’s unnecessary. That’s one of the beauties of networking, and having a business coach is built off of their experience. You don’t have to do it yourself. Trust them, trust the process, and recognize that you are not going to get this time back. Give yourself some limits and be as focused as possible during that time, but then turn it off and move on with the rest of your day. See your family.
Lots of good stuff here. Nathan, I appreciate you and all that you brought to the table. We hit on so many things that new owners need to consider and think about before they dive in. We hit on how to start a business, some things you need to think of while you are in the business, exit strategy, and some other things. I want to thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate it. Everybody, look up Nathan’s podcast.
It was great to be on with you, Kim. As I mentioned in the preview to this, it’s weird to be on the other end of it, but it’s natural because this is how my show goes as well. It’s very much a discussion. When you are talking about generic business stuff, I could go on forever and I get tangential. Sometimes I wonder if my thoughts are even linked because I have got all these things pinging through my brain.
Hopefully, it came across rather clear but if you have questions, feel free to email me at Nathan@PTOClub.com or go to PTOClub.com. You can schedule a time to chat if you like. I’m happy to talk and elaborate and share. I got a pretty good network of PT people and business owners throughout the country. If I don’t have the answers, I can hook you up with someone who does.
You are such a great resource. I so appreciate you and hopefully, we will have you back on the show. We will see how it’s going as I get this started. We will circle back and maybe dig deeper into after business owners have started their business and what they need to look for.
I’m excited to be on it now. I can only hope that we can get together in another 6 to 12 months or later. Even if you are going on that long, it would be hugely successful. However long it is, the material that you are going to put out there is going to be super-helpful. You can take solace in that. What you are doing is great.
Thank you. I appreciate it. Goodbye, everybody. Thanks for joining the show. I appreciate you joining.
- Kim Nartker
- Physical Therapy Owners Club Podcast
- The Impact Filter
- Dan Sullivan
- Who Not How
- Extreme Ownership
- Steve Line – Past Episode – The Feel Good Experience: Growing Your PT Practice with 5-Star Customer Service with Steve Line, PT
- The Feel-Good Experience
- Jerry Durham – Past Episode – Improve Your Metrics And Culture By Improving The Patient Experience with Jerry Durham, PT
About Kim Nartker
With more than 20 years of experience working in the field of Physical Therapy, Kim Nartker, owner and founder of Stretch Physical Therapy and Total Wellness in West Chester, Ohio, recognized clients who were caught up in a cycle of re-injury and reoccurring pain.
This cycle created a lot of frustration, both for the patients and for her, as their caregiver. This frustration led Kim to create TSM, a comprehensive program that would identify and fix the root cause of her patients’ pain and tightness, as well as improve flexibility and provide regeneration to heal the damage for full recovery.