"The Book that Blew Up my Practice"
I've always loved to read. As a kid I enjoyed fiction books, as an early adult I forgot what a book was, and now I love reading books on leadership, business, and entrepreneurship. As I sit here typing this blog, behind me stands a wall of shelving, full of books. I have everything from Tribe of Mentors, Originals, The Ideal Team Player, Top Secret to Twilight. If you were to look at my bookshelf, you would notice one thing right away; that's the twenty-five copies of Profit First directly in the center of the shelf.
2017 was a big year for me and my group practice. I learned a lot about myself and even more about others. I learned that I was stronger than I ever thought I was. I learned that I was more stubborn than one human should have the capability of being. I learned that I was too open and needed to guard my heart and my business more. And most importantly, I learned that my purpose was so strong that I can make it through anything.
Let's go back to 2015 when I opened my group practice, Mindsight Behavioral Group. It felt like a long time coming and boy was I excited! I was mentally and physically prepared for what would lie ahead. I planned like nobody's business. I developed systems and processes for a workflow that didn't even exist yet. I created spreadsheets, tracking documents, made financial projections; you name it, I did it. I was ready to take on this business owner role!
I worked so hard to develop, implement, modify, and repeat, that I lost touch with the culture I was creating in the company. When I thought about my ideal practice, high stress was definitely NOT on the list of wants! Despite not having the culture I'd hope for, my systems and processes were still going strong. I was able to scale my practice from a total of two employees to twelve in less than a year. My top line revenue more than tripled my second year in business. All I needed at that point was to create the culture that would attract quality clinicians and clients who felt like they belonged.
Early on I had always been told to duplicate myself. In order to do that I fulfilled crucial roles within my company. I taught each person how to carry out their job and the company was basically able to function without me. This is the point that most group owners dream of. You've worked so hard and finally achieve success and freedom. Then you begin to reap the rewards of your labor. For me, this was the most pivotal time in the history of my company.
Early in 2018, While I was duplicating myself, others were duplicating my business. What does that mean? That means that a few of the employees' I'd worked hard to train was now duplicating my practice by starting their own. Every emotion that one could possibly have, I had. I knew I had a choice; a big one. A pivotal decision. How was I going to react to this? My gut told me that my reaction would set the path for the direction my business was about to take.
And it did.
I won't tell you how I chose to react because I think you'll be able to figure it out by the end of this post. In the Fall of 2017, when I felt as if things were starting to go haywire, I made the most important decision of all. I made the choice to book a cabin in the mountains of Gatlinburg, TN. I made a choice to read a book that within a few short weeks would blow up my practice and clear the way for all the good that's come since. On that strangely warm weekend back in December, my dog Deca and I read Profit First, cuddled up on the couch in front of a fireplace. Not once but twice. In a beautiful but isolated cabin, I found the clarity that I needed to take my business where it was meant to go.
I came back to south central Kentucky with a new outlook. At this point in my business owner career I had probably read close to 100 books about business; leadership, hiring, motivating, but this was my first purely on finances. My first day back to work, I knew was going to be a big one. Not only did I need to discuss the changes that were about to take place, I knew I had a lot of work to do to get those PF accounts ready!
When I spoke to the sweet lady at the bank she looked at me utterly confused. She had to make six calls and leave the desk four times before she started the process of opening my twelve accounts. I assessed my business while in the mountains so I knew how much I wanted to put in each account to start. Although up until this point, this was the most scared I had ever been (with my business), I pushed through and left that bank the proud owner of twelve new accounts.
From that day forward I followed the Profit First System to a T. I can’t even begin to describe the weight that I felt had been lifted off of me. Now that all of the revenue was going in one account, and only transferred twice a month, I felt like I always knew where I stood. I didn’t have to worry about outstanding payments, checking my Quickbooks multiple times a day or wondering if we were going to make payroll. I was able to look at my accounts and in a matter of seconds (literally) know that my business was in good standing.
The Profit First system then allowed me to scale my business even more. I went from two employees to 80 in less than three years. I’ve never had to go into debt. I’ve never had taken from one account to pay bills out of another. When I fully committed to this model, my practice did exactly what Mike said it would, PROFIT.
This system worked so well for me I was asked to start helping other practices through consulting. I’ve helped owners implement Profit First along with other crucial systems in their practice. Because of Profit First, I have been able to blow up my practice and focus on the designing which is what I love to do. As the designer of Mindsight Behavioral Group, I know the direction I want my company to go. I see Profit First as a key financial system to get me there!
It’s 7:23 pm on the 28th of August and I just finished Mike Michalowicz’s most recent book, Clockwork. The most awesome thing is that I have been using a variation of the steps outlined in his book for the past eight months without even knowing they were “a thing”. In two days I have a meeting with all of my office staff to begin the process of identifying our Queen Bee Role (read the book and you'll understand). Profit First launched my outlook on business and my implementation of a workable system for private practice owners to effectively manage their finances. Clockwork is going to amplify how I’m already helping people just like you capture their systems and scale their business to reach maximum profitability!
BTW- As I finish up this blog, my newfound hero, Gordon Brewer, with The Practice of Therapy, has arranged for me to meet Mike Michalowicz tomorrow morning on his Podcast. I’m not sure how to behave right now but I feel like I’ve just won a million dollars. Truth be told, the knowledge that I got from reading Profit First, is worth more than that times five! Thanks Mike.