The definition of the word “entrepreneur,” according to Merriam-Webster, is thus: “One who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.”
It is no secret that you are an entrepreneur if you own a private practice, which means that you have continuous responsibilities and wear many hats. But when you realize that one of the descriptors in your title literally says that you “manage and assume risk,” it can be a little unsettling to think about.
In light of Halloween, I’d like to dispel some of the scary ideas that go hand-in-hand with having a career in a private practice setting, specifically healthcare. Healthcare in a private practice setting doesn’t have to be scary. Read on for ways you can thrive in private practice healthcare while remaining calm and confident.
- Become involved in associations relevant to your field: these organizations, such as the American Medical Association or American Physical therapy Association, are there to help you as much as possible. Attending conferences and networking with others in your same field can be the most important learning experience you will ever find. The speakers, exhibitors, and attendees that you meet can help you immensely in your career. Networking at these conferences helps you realize that you’re not alone and that other people share the same challenges and goals as you. Take time to cultivate those relationships and see where they can take you—as the old saying goes, two minds are better than one!
- Become involved in entrepreneur leadership associations (such as the National Federation of International Business or Small Giants): Just as you work hard to hone your clinical skills, these organizations can help you to hone your business skills as well. Being in healthcare, we need to focus on our patients and practices as much as possible; we don’t have a lot of time to worry about the aspects of private practice such as management, recruiting, and other business ventures—in short, the non-clinical aspects of our careers as entrepreneurs. Take on a role in these organizations and you can feel more at ease regarding the management aspects of your private practice.
- Stay organized: this may seem a bit obvious, but unless you make a conscious effort to stay organized in all aspects of your practice, it probably won’t happen. By keeping all of your files and schedules organized, you will have one less thing to worry about. Organizational skills are highly important because they can give you more time to accomplish clinical tasks. Being an entrepreneur also means being disciplined. Set an example for your staff regarding how you’d like your clinic to be organized, and you’ll have more time for your patients. Getting (and staying!) organized will pay off down the road.
- Discover the rewards: working in private practice indeed has its challenges, but it also has its rewards. It is so special that we get to interact with our patients frequently on a one-on-one basis. Through this, we learn about patients personally, and I think that this is the most unique and rewarding part of being in private practice. In addition, remember that your private practice is important because you’re working to grow a small business in your community. You are a community leader for both clinical development as well as entrepreneurial development. Embrace this notion, discover what makes private practice healthcare so rewarding for you, and don’t ever forget it.
Being an entrepreneur in private practice healthcare doesn’t have to be scary if you’re connected and prepared. You can become empowered in your practice when you step out of the dark and into the light.
As always, please contact me if you would like to speak more about being an entrepreneur and what you can do to ease your mind. I wish you the best as your pursue your career goals in private practice healthcare!