5 Crucial Steps Every New Biz Owner Needs to Take
As the water dripped over me in the shower and I took a deep breath, I remember an acronym coming to me…
…symbolizing strength, truth, and illumination — light comes in as one thing and leaves in all directions as an infinite spectrum of colors. That is what I aimed to help people do.
Then the business name fell into place — Performance Rehabilitation and Integrative Sports Medicine.
Perfect. It covered everything that I wanted to do in my shiny new physical therapy practice, and I could call it PRISM Wellness Center to include more than just PT — so that the name could grow with me on the inevitable evolution the business would take.
I already knew that owning a PT practice would be a stopover.
Knowing the business name and vision and the values I wanted to portray felt SO GOOD.
But ... aside from that, I had no idea what I was doing as a new business owner.
In fact, I didn’t even “own” the business yet … but I already had this sneaky feeling that I was doing something wrong.
ALL the questions flooded through my head, leaving a deep path of overwhelm and uncertainty that brought a feeling of anxiety mixed with eagerness:
How do I build a website?
How do I do marketing to get clients?
Should I talk to physicians? Do workshops? Get referrals from friends?
What if people think I’m pestering and badgering them to get attention?
Should I do a business Instagram? A personal Instagram? What about Facebook or LinkedIn or Pinterest?
What if nobody trusts me or thinks I”m being salesy and pushy?
How would I convince people to pay me cash instead of using their insurance?
How would they schedule with me?
How would I document? Should I pay for a system or make my own?
What’s the deal with Medicare patients?
What if I want to do on-site, in-home, or mobile PT? What rules do I need to follow?
What should my logo look like?
How should I price my services?
Was it legal to collect money from people without being a “legal” business?
What would I do about taxes?
Where would I put this money — in my own personal account?
How would I take a credit card from someone?
….and on and on and on…
I’d flip flop back and forth, jumping from question to question, feeling unease and overwhelm.
I was in the midst of cancer treatment when starting my business — and I KNEW I didn’t want my business to end up like those of so many of my mentors and colleagues — taking over their lives, stealing their precious time from their families, causing them to micromanage their employees (hell, I’d be happy I never had to manage an employee EVER — after the ways I was treated as an employee!)
I realized there were so many “shoulds” out there — things I thought I SHOULD be doing to start a business — and those shoulds were like a virus — infiltrating my mind, brainwashing me to believe that I was going to fail, that my business would never measure up or be good enough.
How these beliefs made their way into my head I don’t even know.
I was done with those voices. They’d dictated my life up until this point. I’d checked the boxes. Gotten all the gold stars. Got to the top of my career — as a sought-after expert in my field, was teaching in PT school, publishing research, publishing books, being invited to speak on national and international stages. Had 2949494 certifications and accolades.
And all of those things were nice, yes. But they would feel good temporarily and then they’d quickly fade. I’d get stuck on the addictive merry-go-round to find the next latest and greatest thing — to feed the hunger of “more, bigger, better, faster.”
And while that lifestyle had earned me a lot of admirable achievements, it also earned me debilitating panic attacks and eventually — cancer.
And — all those accolades did not result in one thing I hoped they would (but didn’t like to talk about) … the giant student loan balance was not going down. At all.
I was exhausted. I knew there had to be a better way. A simpler way. A way to live my life, recover from cancer for crying out loud but still feel the joy I felt when helping others illuminate a path to freedom in their lives.
I wanted that freedom too. I wanted to practice what I preached, keep my needs and my wants at the forefront. Honestly, I wanted to have my cake and eat it too.
I wanted oodles of time for self-care, family time, joy, play, fun, and ease. I was done with the rat race, the overwhelming to-do lists, the “my job is my life” lifestyle.
I wanted to do things differently.
I was the boss, after all. If I could dream it, why couldn’t I do it?
And so, I decided to not only break the rules* but also MAKE MY OWN rules.
*don’t worry, I didn’t break the law.
I decided to let go of all the shoulds — the beliefs and affirmations that owning a business had to be HARD and OVERWHELMING and FRUSTRATING.
What we hold in mind will manifest. If I believe that’s how it’s supposed to be — then it will be that way.
I wanted to short circuit the process. Make it easy and fun. Anything that was not fun or joyful was not added to the list.
Yes, I knew there would be challenges, the occasional tantrum, and all the feels. But I knew I could work through them and keep going.
So, I decided to do more with less. To get a CLEAN Start — do as much as necessary, but as little as possible.
To the recovering hyper-achiever and rule follower in me — the one who once wore the “I WORK SO HARD AND DO WHAT OTHERS WANT ME TO DO” badge of honor with gleeful nerdy pride — this felt like SO MUCH RULE BREAKING.
But that version of me was quickly fading. She still got to have a voice, but she no longer got a vote.
And thus, PRISM Wellness Center was born.
Within 3 months, I had a full schedule — working just 2.5 days a week. I’d tripled my previous PT employee salary. I was co-creating with ideal clients who brought joy to my days and wanted to show up and do the work instead of pouring into clients who wanted me to do everything and thus, sucked the life out of me.
I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw just how simple it could be — how I had been overthinking, overanalyzing, and overcooking things simply because I’d felt unsure or uncertain that they were good enough.
I saw that trusting in myself to listen to guidance from the Universe, to let go of the need to constantly micromanage and control what people thought of me, and to just do the work — was the key to success.
And that process paid for itself in dividends. Within 1 year I was steadily bringing in 5 figures per month (still only doing client work 2.5. days per week) — all with a primary focus on doing what felt fun, joyful, and simple.
I reflected and saw that there were 5 key steps to creating this type of business environment — and they were so simple!
Less was more. More was not more. It was, in a word — FREEING.
In the process of practicing the “do more with less” mentality, I saw that my mindset, marketing, and business savvy not only helped me but so many of my friends and colleagues as well.
I had a bigger impact I could make. I loved helping my patients illuminate freedom in their lives, but I loved helping people just like me to illuminate freedom in their lives and businesses — so they could live more and work less and — in turn — help their patients discover the same.
I realized this was the way to help way more patients as well — beyond the walls of my own business.
Thus, several years ago, I shifted from physical therapy into coaching. Now, I help business owners see that life and business success is not found in a never-ending series of courses, or certifications, or marketing tactics, or paychecks, or full schedules or overflowing waiting lists. No, success begins and ends with the state of mind that we hold.
In fact, the only way to sustain a career and business you love is to do more with less — to take action from a place of doing what you love, not avoiding what you fear. And if you don’t do that, you’ll just continue to struggle — and you’ll feel like your business is bossing you around.
I love to help PT and health entrepreneurs feeling anxious and eager to start or grow a practice to tap into their intuition and illuminate a personalized business path that inspires them and reflects what they truly love.
Sound like you?
Awesome! Congrats on getting started!
And I want you to know that you’re not alone if you’re feeling anxious, confused, or overwhelmed about where to go or how to grow.
I was once there too, and so are so many of my clients. This is completely normal!
If you want to move away from a life of overthinking, overachieving, overdoing, and over-confusion.— then the good news is — there is hope for you!
There are 5 key things that you need to be clear on how to get a CLEAN Start in your business, and by making sure all of these ducks are in a row, you’ll be on the path to freedom and a business you LOVE!
Here is a summary of the 5 things to make sure you are on the right track:
Whether you’ve been in business for 10 days or 10 years, you need to be crystal clear on the amount of money you NEED to make in your business. This number varies from person to person, but includes things like your operating expenses (rent, utilities, software/systems, team members/contractors, marketing budget, etc) PLUS whatever you NEED to make to contribute to your personal or family expenses (mortgage, loans, car payment, kids’ schools, babysitters, groceries, etc).
Then, be clear where this money will come from— Most business owners mistakenly believe this money needs to all come from their business income when they first start. This is a huge misconception — and a recipe for overwhelm, scarcity (“there’s never enough”) thinking, and desperation.
Instead, consider that you may need a “pay the bills” fund — to help finance your business while you’re starting and growing. This money could come from an actual part - or full= time pay the bills job, a PRN or “side” gig, savings, a business loan, a 0 percent interest credit card, or much more.
Either way — you need to be clear on the NEED to make number — it should be a clear number — first. Once you know this, you can plan everything around that number — your hours (how much you actually NEED to work versus CAN work), your marketing projections and plan.
A word of caution: Be careful not to start out your biz with an emotional attachment your WANT to make number. Let’s say you do the math and it turns out you NEED to make $2500 a month to cover your biz and personal expenses, but your WANT to make number is $10000 a month. If you’re constantly shooting for the 10K number, it will feel like an elusive, moving target. The NEED To make number is the one to ensure you cover first — which will keep you out of scarcity and desperation-type thinking.
Once your NEED to make number is fully met by your business income and you no longer need your side gig, savings, or loans, then you can start shooting for your WANT to make number.
Set yourself up for success, make baby step goals, and you will feel infinitely more FREE and confident!
Legal junk just may make you want to crawl in a hole. If you’re anything like most healthcare providers I know — when you were in school — the fear of God was likely put in you to not break the law for fear you would lose your license, be sent to jail, get sued, etc.
Now — add a business to the equation — and that fear may be multiplying by the millions.
Here’s the deal — having your legal ducks in a row is a way to feel safe and secure in your business.
Yet many business owners believe that simply looking into legal stuff for their businesses means they are in trouble.
This makes sense. If you come from a background of being an employee—you likely never really had to consult legal documents or professionals. And if you did — it was likely because either you were in trouble, or your employee was causing some kind of trouble toward you.
But it’s not like that in entrepreneurship.
As a business owner — getting your legal ducks in a row is a GOOD thing, and it’s how to be able to show up and provide your clients the best care — without having to worry.
Legal professionals and legal documents are your FRIEND as a business owner!
You’ll need to consider things like business entity (example: LLC or S-Corp), licensing, professional and/or general liability insurance, documentation systems, HIPAA (if you’re a licensed healthcare provider), consent and intake forms, legal billing options, and much more.
Now — how to make sure you’re covered legally comes with many options that each bring their own levels of risk.
And usually, there is an inverse relationship between the level of risk you choose to take and the amount you choose to invest.
The least risky —and highest investment — approach is to hire your own personal attorney to help walk you through all the steps and ensure you’re in line with your local, state/regional/provincial, and federal laws.
The riskiest — and lowest investment — approach is to make your own or copy other people’s legal documents/language, skip certain steps, or take the “apologize later” approach.
Unfortunately, it’s gray in terms of what you can and can’t get away with legally.
You’re the business owner and you need to decide what level of risk you are willing to take. Nobody else is responsible for your business — even if the advice they give you seems to be “correct.”
Choose based on what’s most important to you, and take responsibility for the consequences of your choice!
When you’re first starting or if you’ve been going for a while, it’s important to do a bit of a values audit. What do you value in providing care to your ideal clients?
And more importantly — what do your ideal clients find most valuable in working with you?
Be clear — we are talking about your IDEAL clients — not every-possible-client-who-could-come-into-your-door.
It’s too common for business owners to invest in way too much “stuff” — too big of a space, too much equipment, too many supplies — only to see no real return on their investment, supplies collecting dust, or equipment only being used on occasion.
Make a list of “HAVE to have” things and “NICE to have” things, and then start with the bare minimum on the NEED to have list.
And no matter what you say — the truth is, you do not NEED bells and whistles to impress your potential ideal clients. You do not NEED a shiny website or fancy business cards for marketing.
You simply need enough to serve your patients … and that’s it.
As you grow, you can slowly invest in those and other things on NICE list.
Spend the rest of your money on things that will give you a solid footing in your business, like legal and accounting coverage!
This is the other area of business that can send business owners running for the hills — bookkeeping, finances, and accounting — YUCK!
But here’s the thing—even if you swear to your grave that “this isn’t really about money for me” — the truth is, owning a business is about money.
In fact, it’s not a business if it’s not making money. It’s a hobby. And that is completely fine — but just be clear what you call it and what you’re telling people it is.
In our world, money is the currency of exchange. Energy and time exchange…unless you’re going to trade bars of soap and cured meats for your services, that is.
And, money is a nice way to measure if all the work you’re putting in is actually — and literally—paying off.
With our clients, we have tests and outcome measures to track their progress. Tracking your income and expenses is how we do it in business.
So, you’ll need a method for tracking sales, a method for bookkeeping, a method for collecting payment that is easy and simple, a method for tracking and putting aside what you owe in taxes, and of course — a way to pay the taxes.
This is another area — like legal — where there is an inverse relationship between risk and money invested.
You could invest in a bookkeeper and CPA to do most of this for you — take the work and worry off of you — but of course, it will cost you.
Or, you could DIY it — with of course far more risk on you (Unless you have a background of knowledge and experience in these areas)
Most business owners fall somewhere in the middle of those two extremes— outsource some things, DIY others. And oftentimes this evolves as the business grows.
The choice is yours— and so is the responsibility for the consequences — positive and negative.
This is the single most important thing for your business growth and marketing.
Your support network.
This includes the people you hire or pay to support you — like a virtual assistant, or business mentor/coach, or bookkeeper.
It also includes your network of referral sources, “business besties” (friends with similar businesses/philosophies you swap ideas with), ideal/potential clients, and more.
And the warmer the people in your network are to you — i.e. the more they KNOW LIKE and TRUST you (and vice versa) — the more successful your business will be.
Your friends, neighbors, local community members, family, former clients, and more — these are going to be more most surefire, warm connections.
Nurturing these connections on a regular basis and having a way to follow up and keep track of all of your interactions with them is the #1 key to business and marketing success.
This doesn’t require anything fancy and no new skills of your own.
You already know how to have relationships with and talk to people.
You know how to tell people what you’re passionate and why.
You don’t need a fancy social media account, 3 million followers, a fancy website, pretty business cards, to be a TikTok or Reels expert, or to constantly be posting online.
Yes, this applies even if you desire to do online business.
You just need to be building relationships with people and warm connections via private communication — organic communication — where you can truly be yourself, and build connection and trust.
And most importantly—you need to be willing to tell people who you help, what you specifically help them with, and WHY this is important to them and to you.
Yes — you can do all the other online marketing things too — and you may get a few clients trickling in this way — but don’t be fooled. This is the do-more-with-more strategy, not do more with less.
And who wants to spend MORE time doing something that won’t pay off as well?
Getting a CLEAN Start doesn’t have to be complicated. Other than getting support from a few key professionals, services, and your community, making a few key decisions, and crunching some numbers — you pretty much have all you need already.
But, you may be reading this and noticing that you’re not sure how to personalize this to yourself.
Or, you may feel nervous about applying it all to your business.
Perhaps you may see some holes and you’re afraid you have been doing things wrong already.
Don’t worry! It’s ok. When you know better, you can do better!
And I invite you to join us in our next FREE CLEAN START Masterclass training!
In this FREE virtual masterclass, you will learn:
Exactly what you need to do to be a "legit" business ... without feeling like you need to have a legal or accounting degree -- or spend a ton of money paying someone else to do it all for you
Be confident that all your i's are dotted and t's are crossed with all the stuff you need to have to serve your clients -- like licenses, insurance, supplies, equipment, technology, platforms, payment systems, and more -- so they'll be willing to pay for your services and you won't seem like everyone else
Gain know-how on the top online and offline marketing techniques for getting new clients right now -- so that you don't have to be pushy, sleazy, salesy, or spend all of your time on social media, in marketing meetings, or sucking up to doctors
Let’s illuminate the 5 simple steps to easily launch your business so you can live more, work less, make what you deserve, and thrive.
I can’t wait to have you join us!
See you there!
In love and healthy CLEAN Starts,