As healthcare practice owners, we all have a large degree of perseverance and an insane ability to delay gratification. We went to college, studied like crazy, racked up a ton of debt, starting working professionally, and eventually, open our own practice. The whole process to become a practice owner requires years of dedication and delayed gratification; this is an extremely long and arduous road.
However, we’re sold this lie that once we opened our practice, it would become easier; we would start living a life of purpose and expect financial gain to boot – but for many, this doesn’t happen. We’ve found that many practice owners have much enthusiasm and are willing to do just about anything to succeed in practice – until about two or three years into practice. Once they have started their practice and worked hard, they think (hope and pray) that eventually it will just turn around and begin to become prosperous- this is a lie.
The problem is, if the right systems are not in place in your practice, then it will never be genuinely successful. We’ve met and spoken to many practice owners that are stuck in this spot for the majority of their career, only to wind up struggling once they retire.
How does this relate to delayed gratification?
Running a successful practice is extremely difficult and requires heaps of delayed gratification. Many practice owners retain their delayed willingness to “do what it takes” when they first open their practice, but then, after a few years of grinding away, they’re burnt out. This struggle is typically compounded by the general trajectory of one’s life at this stage – buying a house, getting married, having kids, student loan payments, medical expenses, etc. When all of this adds up, most practice owners stop investing in their practice and try to make due with what they have because they can’t risk losing ANY money investing in their practice.
Growth in practice
We hate to break it to you, but to build your practice, you will need to dedicate time and money. The money needed will vary depending on each practice and its needs, but it will require financial investment- just like any other asset. If you want to build your practice, you need to beg, borrow or steal to get the money and make it happen. If you have an excess of time, then you might be able to save some money and do more of the work yourself in the beginning, but either way, you will need to invest an appropriate amount of time into building your practice the right way. This point of struggle is where the rubber-meets-the-road with delayed gratification; you need to be able to work long and hard hours, invest every bit of spare money into your practice and learn as fast as possible to grow quickly. At this stage in practice, it might still require some of you to stop eating out, wait on buying a home, drive an old car, not take vacations, spend more time in the office, give up your social life for six to twelve months, etc. Giving up on the luxuries that we’ve already gone years without to open our practice might sound hard, and it is, but it’s absolutely necessary for a STABLE AND PROFITABLE practice.
What needs to happen?
If you haven’t figured it out on your own after the first couple of years in practice, then you need help – immediately. There is no easy way around it. We help our clients with the business side of their practice so that they don’t spend money on the wrong things (inefficient marketing, excessive labor, etc.). It’s important that your practice is built in such a way that is sustainable, predictable and profitable. Every practice owner should be able to focus on doing the work that they enjoy in practice. Every practice owner should be able to take two weeks of vacation every quarter. Every practice owner should know that when they retire, they will have built a stable future for them and their family. ALL of this is possible; it just requires the right type of dedication.
To build a practice that thrives, many practice owners need a ‘business sherpa’ – someone that will help them get to the top of the mountain. Our clients are given a “paint by numbers” end-to-end system for success in practice, and we work with them ONE-ON-ONE along the way to ensure that they can implement everything necessary for their practice specifically.
If you’re ready to take your practice to the next level and are willing to delay short-term gratification to put in the work required, you can schedule your Breakthrough Session by clicking here: www.theartofpracticeprosperity.com/talk