Recently I have been trying to find myself a place to start my work out of. This is always a difficult scenario for anyone hoping to start working for themselves. We spend so long becoming experts in our own fields, while learning this and taking instruction from others, that we often don’t learn more practical skills such as how to do taxes, how to sort our accounts and how to approach setting up a business. Sometimes we become so single minded that we often forget that we aren’t going to simply be able to apply to a single workplace and get that job we want or be able to find the perfect place to set ourselves up with the right number of clients and atmosphere in the area.
Starting a business starts with a lot smaller scale work which I actually find much harder. Setting up various contact pieces such as a website, Facebook page and getting in contact with people, handing out leaflets and business cards. So essentially social aspects and foundations to the business itself. I am not the best when it comes to going in to people and chatting to them about business. Not the actual talking aspect but the part in which you initiate the conversation or send off that first message. This is the same for many people who also find these interactions difficult.
Starting this has really made me far more aware of how much more I still have to learn. Dealing with patients and their injuries is now my normality. Dealing with having to find a space to work out of, put funds together to pay for it, pay for necessary equipment, getting a business card put together and printed, advertising and then keeping track of all that while sorting out insurance and deciding what type of business I should become not so much. These were not things that were going through my head as I walked up a small flight of stairs to receive my degree. I had ideas of having a small holiday and the apply to a couple of clinics and teams and start off from there. That didn’t quite play out the way it did in my head. If you are lucky and skilled enough to find work in an established clinic, you are definitely in a good place and your work probably reflects that you deserve it as well. If you haven’t then its a case of finding out exactly where you stand in this industry and what you do with yourself and that’s a big question.
I had never initially intended to go off and try to set myself up from the beginning. I did not think I needed business cards, a website or anything that would be something for myself. I imagined a few years of working in a fairly safe position, working hard and then maybe going off on my own and after a few years of learning everything I needed be able to set myself up hassle free. I was fairly naive when I see it written in front of me. People told me various different things like “It’ll all happen in time” or “Don’t worry these things sort themselves”, these are not phrases that build confidence. Then someone who is now my business partner and pretty much does all the hard slog to allow me actually do what I want to do simply asked me”Why aren’t you setting up your own space and work for yourself”. It was such a blunt and harmless question but I couldn’t think of an answer that didn’t revolve around “Well people normally work for someone established first and then try and sort themselves out”, except that’s what I thought and I was wrong, as much as that pains my ego.
So here I am attempting to establish myself as a real adult, I mean therapist. With my own space and equipment, with all the social media pieces and contact foundations and I still haven’t really started as many people have already told me, who understand how business really is, that “You never stop, you never finish, you merely keep growing or you fail”. Hearing that actually makes me nervous far more than I ever thought because the idea of failing seems horrible but realistically how would anyone learn if they didn’t fail and try again. Or as my business partner said “If you fail when you’re this small at least not that many people will notice”, which made them laugh and nearly made me hyper ventilate. So here I am panicking over things I shouldn’t and then not even being worried about the actual work itself. I am probably going to end up making everyone a nervous wreck around me until I actually have that very first patient and then after that I’ll be hooked.
Yet if I could give anyone who wants to open up their own clinic or some form of work revolving around health care, look into how businesses actually function, look into social media and how to talk to people and if possible find someone patient enough to help and put up with you because and speaking from experience you will freak out and only afterwards will you wonder why. Im still not really in a position to give advice as I am pretty much as big a noob at all this as there could be but its a case of swallowing all that ego and fear and being ok with a few set backs as long as you keep moving foraward.