I had the honor and pleasure of being asked to be a panel of professionals for a group of students recently and it was an eye opening experience. The credentials of the others on the panel far surpassed mine and their experiences were all so unique. The organizer of the event did a phenomenal job of pulling people in from very different backgrounds and experiences in order to give the students a variety of perspectives.
The students asked some really good questions and I was impressed with how far ahead of me they were in their stage of learning than I was at that moment in my journey. I came away thinking to myself that the physical therapy profession is in very good hands with this generation and invigorated to continue my journey of learning and self improvement.
As the professionals answered the questions posed to them there seemed to be a common thread underlying every answer that someone gave. No matter if the question was business based, education or practice based there was always an underlying tone of passion for the path they were on.
Passion, Love, Desire, these are words that we commonly associate with our significant others or other areas of our lives rather than business and careers. But the people on this panel were very successful and inspirational to me because of their passion for what they were doing.
As some students asked about situations they may come across in the clinic and how to make decisions some brought the idea of thinking about money or losing money into making a decision about a patient or career move. While you certainly need to make sure you have enough to live on, if you let money be your guide in terms of directing you towards what you are going to do for a client or for yourself you will at some point end up being unfulfilled, lonely and if even potentially out of a job.
One student approached me after the session and asked me if he could focus just on what he loved in a cash based model or if I would advise him to be open to everyone and just be a generalist with some of what he loved. My response to him was quick and short, “do what you love.”
In the entrepreneurial world there are a lot of lows and crucibles that you are going to face that you will not overcome if you are chasing the almighty dollar or don’t love what you are doing. Money can NOT be the reason why you get out of bed every day. If you first are able to look inside yourself and identify what drives you and then look at your skill set honestly and decide what your strengths are then you have an opportunity for a juggernaut of a business and life.
I love waking up every morning and heading to my office because I know that I am working with people who get up for the same reason I do every morning. We share a common “why” and a common goal of improving the service available in our local ecosystem for our clients. When times are tough, we all still love our work and make sure we do not lose sight of our goals and the reason why we are here.
So if you are thinking of starting a business or are in a job that you could care less about I strongly encourage you to stop and take a look within yourself. Explore what makes you tick and what your strengths in life are as well as your skill set. Where can you allow your “why” and your skills/strengths to intersect. If you can find this intersection, then look for the opportunity in the market to turn it into a business.
When you are able to do that, the you will love what you do. You will be the guy or gal that everyone looks at and says, “wow, I wish I could have that.” At that moment, it is your responsibility to turn to them and say, “you can, what is your why? What do you love? What are you great at?” And then encourage them to go get it as you did.