Developing and Growing a Business is an Art Form.
I am a fan of good music. I love how music can grow up in an individual artist. The growing up being reflective of the artist aging and the need that the political, social, and technological climate require. Art is fluid. Business should be too. Like you, I have worked and seen business’ stuck and stagnate…this is what we do and how we do it. I remember interviewing for a Chief Clinical Officer position at an ABA Company and not wanting to relocate my family. I found the company attractive because they were multi-state and seemed progressive. But in peeling the layer and speaking to current leadership and former employees…a few things stood out:
- Therapists shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads about business;
- and Clinical and Business leadership had a distinctive visual picture of an old guard while the people doing the work were younger and more diverse.
The onion pulled back lack of fluidity in diversity in thought and leadership. Isn’t therapy, art? Isn’t business building an artform? Isn’t branding yourself and creating business identify,art?
I certainly think that like any good piece of music…there are retakes, rewrites, retooling, listening, understanding the pulse of your audience. What true artists are unafraid to do as they develop and grow or “come into themselves”…is daring to be different. Like true artistry, the call the grow requires distinction and the signature of different can feel lonely, challenging, and cyclical self-reflection that. To NOT be different would be a contrast to the call of understanding and knowing that the clinical therapist will eventually make your best leader. They understand two things…the therapist perspective, the client perspective…the business’ two major important customers: employees and families.
For therapist’s that feel the call, the pull, the nudge to clinical leadership and/or therapy business ownership, here are some tips from my Landria experience.
- Keep your circle small enough to count filled with encouragement and accountability. You will need people. And they don’t have to all be therapists. The people that have encouraged me the most and held me accountable were those that were “For Me”. I think TD Jakes adds clarity to distinguishing Comrades, Confidantes, and Constituents.
- Work Backwards. Write down the vision then connect your plan to the vision. The plan is the step by step how to. I like to create plans in pencil. For me, it’s symbolic of plans and PLANS. It allows me room for recreation, erasing, and starting again. My desk is filled with colored pencils, markers, crayons, dry erase boards, and vision journals.
- Understand Timing and It’s Gift. Timing is everything. I had a vision years ago as I closed my 14 year multi-state clinic and really wanted my new vision to meld into the clinic(s) that I had. I kept trying to make the two fit…change culture (all by myself) and grew tired. I worried that the the time would pass because I really had no energy left to execute and I wanted to give more energy to myself and my family. I remember discussing this with a confidante and her words were “when you re-enter, what you seek and who you will serve will still be there…it’s okay to take a break”. And I did…I developed my plan, I retooled, found a second love niche in therapy business strategy coaching, and then had a second baby. All of this happened in a span of two years…and goal-plan-vision is even more stronger and necessary.
Being an entrepreneur of any kind is tough no matter how much financial backing you have or not. Certainly, funding takes pressure off. But creativity, planning, and the internal drive to succeed is innate to the entrepreneur. The added pressure of the direct impact to our clients and the call to serve is a pressured duality. The business of therapy has many internal thoughts:
- I need to market to get more clients and/or staff;
- I need to make sure I have systems in place when they come;
- I must make sure I budget and making a profit is very important for me and my business;
- And when my clients and staff come, I must monitor clinical progress, etc.
Whewwww…remember Time. All things take time. That’s the eventual promise of what happens when you work the plan and stay committed to the vision. It’s Inside-Out work. I even stayed focused…I stopped interviewing, I created what I needed…Momentum Autism Therapy Services.
Stay the Course and Remember this Therapy Business is Masterful work! Get your tools and start creating 🙂
~Landria Seals Green, MA., CCC-SLP, BCBA