Does PT School Set Us Up for Failure as Private Practice Owners?
Does PT School Set Us Up to Be Lousy Managers and Bad Practice Owners?
Looking to automate your practice?
I thought you’d want to know…
I’ve been working with a select group of Private Practice Owners from around the country.
They’ve studied and implemented my Killer Marketing System and have diligently been sealing up their Patient Funnels with the 7 Step Killer Exam, Green Ink Letter, Killer Testimonial Machine, and The Greatest Promotion Ever, patching all leaks and maximizing their marketing investments and profits.
In fact, some of them are reporting almost impossible-to-believe results.
Like Derrick, who went from 120 visits/month to 472 visits/month in 10 months (remember my blog on PTs I’m willing to be in the trenches with? Same guy – unreal study ethic and super hard worker). Learn more about how Derrick did it here.
Anyhow, we’ve moved on to some higher level concepts in a more advanced training program called, “24 Months to All-Star”.
Last month we covered “How to Hire Rock Star Personnel”.
This month, I was to move on to another marketing system but a few key conversations with Practice Owners led me to stumble on that most of us, as Private Practice Owners, have no clue how to train someone and ultimately work ourselves out of a job.
Why’s that important?
Over the past year, I’ve had 12 Practice Owners fly in for a day of coaching with me.
We usually cover:
- Where they’re at now…on a personal, family and business level.
- Where they want to be.
Inevitably, nearly every owner at some point has said, “Well, I want to be like you.”
Now, they don’t mean, “Hey, I’d like to be 5’ 8”, have hairy arms, and a receding hairline.” (At least I don’t think so)
But I believe what they intend to say is: “I’d like to get to the point where my practice doesn’t rely on me. So I can step away and invest more time with my family or work ON my business and expand it or purse other interests. All without it crashing.”
So why’s this such a BIG deal?
Why do so few Private Practice PT Owners ever learn how to accomplish this?
I don’t know for sure but here’s why I think we’re set up for failure.
What Happens In PT School Should Stay in PT School…
When we’re in PT school (graduate or undergraduate), we are given problems. Usually by a professor in the form of a test or practical exam.
It’s then on us to come up with the “right” answer.
And when we do, we’re rewarded.
Usually with an “A” or “B” (or C+ if it’s Organic Chem…ugh!).
And What Happens When We Graduate?
Well then, after graduation (if we had enough “right” answers) we sit and take our license exam.
Same deal – get enough of the “right” answers or enough solutions and we’re rewarded with a PT license.
And What Do Most of Us Do Next?
Well then, we study for a specialist certification, like the OCS or similar. And again, same game.
Someone gives us a problem,
We give the solution.
Then we’re rewarded with more letters after our name.
By Now We’re Working as a PT…Seeing Patients…
Oh, and this game is WAY different (tough to type sarcastically).
And what’s that look like?
Patients tell us about their problem.
And we’re paid to solve their problems.
So by now, our inner Pavlovian dog is so conditioned. So ingrained in the habit of people bringing problems to us, us having the solution. We’re set up for massive success as a Private Practice Manager or Owner, right?
Not Even Close. And Here’s Why It’s Just the Opposite and Why Most of Us Struggle as Private Practice Owners…
Especially if we’re trying to scale, expand or automate our business.
See, most of us enter into Employer – Employee relationships where we’re still the “Problem Solver”.
And because we’re the “Problem Solver”, we attract employees who are the equivalent of Problem Basset Hounds.
You know the type the staff member who can’t handle what’s right in front of them (Like a patient, hey, that People Magazine article is way too important).
But are amazing at bringing problems to you.
And will gladly watch you dance your Irish Jig as you try to juggle yet one more problem, one more fire.
Super not cool.
Yet that’s where most of us end up in the first few years of Private Practice.
Being the Problem Solver.
Waiting for the fire to be found, so we can run and put it out.
What usually ensues is crazy high stress levels.
Regret and antagonism at our staff members.
Long work hours.
And a Practice and business life that is going nowhere fast.
And is light years away from our original Private Practice Dream.
And It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way…
Unfortunately, most of us have had to hit rock bottom before we resolved to figure it out.
And the reason I’m sharing this is to hopefully save one or two of you from having to go through this.
Because it sucks.
The cognition, .the realization is life changing.
And here it is:
You’re paying your staff to be Problem Solvers and bring solutions to you.
NOT to be “Problem Finders” and bring problems to you.
And guess what we’ve been training our staff to do?
You got it!
Most of us are actually training our staff to be “Problem Finders”.
So the next time a staff member brings you a problem, here’s what to do:
- Ask them to write down the problem (There are lots of companies that do this. Most notably Amazon).
- Then ask them to write down a possible solution.
- Then you approve it or don’t approve it.
That’s it. Doesn’t have to be more tricky than that.
What this does that is truly magical is it 100% empowers your staff.
They may resist at first.
But your best staff will catch on.
Case in Point: The Staff Meeting
Just last week, a Practice Owner, Stacey, flew in for the day (I know, hard to believe someone would actually fly in to spend the day with me but it happens).
Stacey hung out at our Weekly Staff Meeting
And noticed how little I actually did or said at our staff meeting.
I shared that for years, I felt it was my job to “talk at my staff” and tell them where we’re at (via metrics) and where we’re going (our goals and plans).
But after being fed up with the staff backlash, one day I changed it up and had them tell me and more importantly the rest of the staff where they were at, what they had accomplished in the past week, what they were going to accomplish in the upcoming week and how they were going to do it.
The result has been a pleasant one.
I’m much less stressed.
No longer have to prepare long weekly plans and solve all of my staff’s problems (literally impossible to do with 30 + staff now).
The result is a team who is accountable and achieving their goals.
Our morale is high and we continue to attract awesome staff.
You can do this too.
And you can have the Practice of your dreams, automating your business by having your staff build systems for your company.
You can do the same.
Just don’t do what you did in PT school.
Hope this helps you,
PS – In almost every article, I mention some other training I’ve done for other owners. In a few months, right around the time of PPS in Orlando. I’ll be opening enrollment for the next Killer Marketing class. As you know I’m super picky who I work with and right now we’re interviewing for the “Early Bird” access. To date, we have 9 Owners who’ve made the cut and are in. If you’re looking to take your practice to the next level and build scientific marketing systems with me, then Killer Marketing may be your answer.
There’s only one way to find out…
If this sounds like something you’d be a fit for, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line write, “Early Bird”. Include the best number to reach you at in your email…and someone from my office will be in touch to set up a phone interview.