green overlay image of a hallway with text Running in the hallway? Managing the many roles of private practice business ownership

Are You Running In The Hallway?

by Dr. Jessica Dolgan
Founder, Therapy Partner

This isn’t a famous quote, nor is it likely the best metaphor, just one I found myself using repeatedly when advising clinicians. It seems that private practice business ownership is no different than any other busy small business owner who finds themselves running up and down a long “hallway” we all call “business” or “practice.” We’re all manning our public reputation and brand, the intake of new business and the customer experience, (in our case the experience of clients) through the “front door,” and running down a long hallway to the backdoor to monitor expenses and cost effectively manage their practice to ensure profits are where they are expected to be.

I like this visual of a busy clinician running up and down this hallway all the while seeing clients in the middle. If we’re all being honest we’re not running up and down at all. We’re spending most of our time in the middle, head down just performing the duties we were hired for and all the front door work and back door work gets lost or managed in any free moment we can find. Most of us know the business marketing or brand need adjustment, and that we really ought to find the time to manage our expenses and really genuinely set a business trajectory.

What happens is life and dedication to the work we love most; which means that finding time to cultivate and craft an amazing practice is going to take most of all a desire to break a pattern…a genuine investment in ourselves, real time, sustained focus, and discipline…Zig Zigler said so wisely “Moving from survival to stability, from stability to success, from success to significance” starts with a directed plan and self-imposed discipline.

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