Begin with a purpose

People embark on the pathway to becoming an allied health professional for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it seemed interesting and offered good job prospects at the end. Maybe you had exposure to the practice through an injury or illness and it caught the imagination. Perhaps it looked exciting as you watched the physio for your favourite sports-team tend to injuries.  It may have been due to family influence or expectation or the pathway that one of your family members had taken.  No matter which avenue you took initially, usually at some point the real reason “why” will have distilled by the time you have graduated or in the early years of your career. Certainly there will be some who come in with expectations that are not met, either during study or within a few years of graduating, and they will exit to other endeavours. 

For some, it may take a lot longer and they will leave later, disillusioned.

By the time that you decide to start your own allied health business, you will have a clear picture of your purpose. Your business is the vehicle for this purpose.

There is investment in money, time and reputation. You will probably have to borrow money with security provided by your personal assets to fund the lease, equipment, insurances, marketing and initially day to day running expenses. Beyond the financial risk, there is also the risk to your personal expectations of success and reputation along with the shadow of potential failure. (60% of small businesses fail in Australia within the first 3 years). Taking this into account, of course there is an expectation by all business owners that they aspire to be financially comfortable (at the least) and financially successful (at best). You can define what this means to you.

Balancing the risk/ reward with the purpose is the key to creating a successful business where you are both personally and financially fulfilled. If the primary focus is to “make money” and the main metric of success is how much money you make, your business will “feel” like this is your purpose. This feel will bleed through every pore: from the way that your reception staff communicate, to how your consultations are conducted; your marketing style, all being pervaded by the “sell” mentality.

Most young allied health professionals will tell me at interview that their purpose is “To help people”.  

If you consider the words “caring for people” extolled by the young health professionals as the authentic purpose. If you adopt this purpose in your practice, how will this impact on how it feels?

How would it affect the way that your reception staff communicate and how they feel about their jobs? How would the “helping” come across in your communication, consultations and marketing?.

Would it detract from your financial success or enhance it?

If your purpose is to make money and to be recognised this will be your Monster or when you vacillate between the money and the care, your Jekyll and Hyde..

If your purpose is to “Care for People”, this will be your anchor when the inevitable tough times arise.

Consider and reflect on your purpose. The purpose is the key to soothing the Monster.

Dianna Howell

February 2021

Here is one of the most “watched” youtube clips.

Simon Sinek and “Start with Why”

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