A Father’s Day Blog – If you’re not going to build an awesome business for you, at least do it for your kids

I’m sitting here writing this blog while my wife and 4 month old baby son are asleep.

It is a Friday and I have been home with them since 2pm.

Every day since my son James was born I have had a goal – to spend 3 hours of his waking time each day with him. So far I am on track.

Growing up in a poor ( I think everyone was poor in the 80’s) family in a working class suburb in Toowoomba I remember my Dad was always worried about losing his job for the local council. I think this anxiety spread through our household, and consequently we didn’t spend as much time with our Dad as we would have liked. Our Mum didn’t go back to work until I was 12. Growing up as one of 4 boys life was very simple, but great, and we didn’t really want for anything, mainly because we didn’t know what we were missing out on.

I craved more time with my Dad, but I didn’t get it. Would you believe he worked for the Toowoomba council for almost 20 years, and he didn’t lose that job he was worried about.

My parents did however place a massive value on education, as they both had completed university. Mum went back to work purely to put me and my brothers through the local private school. Our parents gave us every opportunity possible – sports, music lessons, and every camp our school offered that cost extra money we went on.

In grade 10 I was offered an opportunity to go overseas for a year on exchange. I remember discussing this around the dining table, and I just felt sick. I thought I would bankrupt my family by taking this opportunity, so I knocked it back.

Fast forward to now.

The is the 14th year of my business. Since my wife giving birth I have managed to find an extra 3 hours a day to spend with my family. Despite this in August our business had a record month for revenue. This morning when I went to work and analysed my figures what I could see was massive contributions from everyone. This is what a high functioning team looks like. The even better thing is that I don’t have to motivate them. This has been 14 years in the making and the vast majority of my team has been at the clinic for 2 years or less, but they are performing in the way their training should reflect. They are inspired.

I know from previous experience that team stability doesn’t stay like this. The only constant is change. But now I am the one pulling the strings. We have undergone some regeneration in our admin team, with 2 juniors stepping in (both young Physio students) and one fading star stepping “off the bus” for her next adventure.

This week I had one day off to attend an event interstate, I did one full day and 3 half days of consulting, spent about 10 hours working on the business and mentoring my key team members one on one, and plenty of time with my wife and son.

You see, my love language is time.

My burning desire is to give my son the time with his father that I didn’t have. He was restricted by a fixed mindset, which is easy to have when you come from a conservative family, where the main aim of your upbringing was to get a good job, working for someone else. The problem is that most people’s happiness at work is significantly driven by their interactions with their direct superior – and in large government or corporate organisations the person directly above you does not necessarily have your best interests at heart.

You want to know the best thing about private practice? Our people can leave us at any time, for any reason.

Why is this good?

It keeps us as clinic owners on our toes. It keeps us honest, and it forces us to build great businesses if we want our people to stay. Build a great business, look after your people and they will be loyal to you and help you build an empire. Drop the ball, only focus on treating your own clients, don’t mentor and help your people grow and they will leave.

I have personally calculated in my business that losing a really good physio costs between 1 and 1.5 years’ worth of their salary in opportunity and replacement costs. I am only sitting here writing this blog because of the relationships I have with my key people at the clinic.

So I have my key people to thank for my ability to watch my son grow up.

What is your motivation for growing a great business that gives you choice? Of course it is hard work, takes years, will give you plenty of anguish (especially when your people don’t like the changes you make and resist), and costs time, money and plenty of sweat.

But the rewards are immense. I am testament to that. I am looking forward to having the best business I can build, but also the best family I can grow as well, and watching my son go through the highs and lows of childhood – but I will be there beside him.

If you want to know how to achieve results like this for yourself and your clinic check out my new book Becoming The Ultimate Physio

It is the game changing book the private practice physio profession needs.

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