Written by: Brian Gallagher, PT, President & Founder of MEG Business Management, contact: [email protected]

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with a physical therapist who has been out of school for three years and has been an avid listener of my podcast, “PT Private Practice: Secrets of the Top 10%“. It made him think about his life, especially when I asked, “Is a snapshot of you today going to look much different than a snapshot five years from now?” I questioned further, “Are you currently living up to your maximum potential in life?”

There is something to be said about the saying, “The soil is most fertile after a fire.” I think we should reflect on 2020 and ask ourselves: Is now the time to make the changes in our life that we have always wanted to make? Is now the time for us to pound our fists on the table and demand change for ourselves?

Time actually can be within your control, and you can choose what you do with it. If you want to make time, do it by being more efficient throughout the day – writing your daily schedule and sticking to it, getting up one hour earlier and cutting out two hours of TV a week – or simply delegating more to others to save your energy and capitalize on your strengths.

When I think back to over two decades ago and recall why I decided to go into private practice management, the answer is more meaningful today than it was back then. I wanted to live my life in a balanced state of freedom and stability, while at the same time reaching my maximum potential as a person and a professional.

Was it tough at times? Yes, of course. There were times that I worked all night at the office and never came home (my wife had to bring me a change of clothes so the staff wouldn’t know). There were multiple times we had to borrow money from our home equity line of credit to make payroll and pay our bills.

But in the end, we learned from our mistakes and began to recognize how much there was that we didn’t know about running a private practice – even though we were constantly being reminded what great therapists we were. It was my wife who told me, “Taking that next Con Ed course is not going to make this a better, more viable practice.” She was right (as she usually is).

The reality is, we were not prepared to run a business coming out of PT school. We lacked the skills of an executive leader, recruiter, personnel manager, billing manager, compliance officer, marketing director and digital media coordinator. I remember putting my head in my hands and saying to myself that I would pay anyone, anything, if they would just come and show me what needed to be done, and in what order.

After my minute of self pity I realized that no such person was going to walk in and save the day – if this practice is going to make it, that was going to be because of me and my decisions, and if it’s going to fail, that is going to be on me too. I was demanding that things change in my life because no matter what, I was all in.

Flash forward all these years and I am the proud Founder & President of MEG Business Management, and since 2006, we’ve helped thousands of therapists reach their maximum potential in private practice through our robust physical therapy virtual training platform, private practice billing & credentialing services.

Luckily, we make key elements of our training available through Allied Health Education in our 4-Part Practice Management Startup series, which includes the pre-open, roll-out, open & scaling phases & a Leadership, Management & Marketing course to help enable owners to break even in as little as 3 – 6 months of their first patient coming in. And the best part – you get CEU credit for these courses!

We train on incorporating innovative technologies to make the process run even smoother with advanced tools such as proformas, Business Strategic Plans, GANTT charts, post-training checklists, billing stress tests, and up-to-date policies & procedure manuals for new owners to implement and customize to fit their needs.

The most important advice I can give anyone is that whenever you embark on something brand new, you lack significant knowledge in that area. It is a human tendency to fear the unknown and think the worst, which often brings you to pause and stop in your tracks. So many great potential owners will think about it and talk about it, but when you look closely, they are doing very little to move forward in private practice.

Let’s face it: You run circles around the office with your clinical skills compared to how you operated fresh out of school. This is because you have more certainty in the area of patient care. So it would stand to reason that once you achieve that same level of certainty in practice management, you will thrive there as well. 

I want to encourage every reader to be honest with themselves. If you feel that you are capable of doing more and the only thing holding you back is what you don’t know, then take action to get that knowledge today.

The data is out there, all you have to do is find a group that is willing to train and coach you side-by-side, every step of the way so that you have no choice but to succeed. If being in the driver’s seat of your own income and time with your family matters to you, seek out the knowledge that PT/OT school failed to provide and find a group that has a proven track record of success helping others just like you.

As experts in private practice management, we understand first-hand the value of continuing education for the physical therapist and private practice owner. Explore how we and Allied Health Education provide the training you need to win in private practice.

Now is the time. The forest fire of 2020 is over and the pent-up demand for PT & OT has never been greater. Take control of your future by living the life you have always envisioned for yourself.