Escaping “Practice Prison”: A Journey from Accidental Entrepreneur to Business Freedom
I became an entrepreneur by accident.
Perhaps your story is similar to mine?
It all started when I fell in love with horses. So, I decided to become a veterinarian.
About 5 years into practicing veterinary medicine, I felt the logical next step for me was to own the business.
I believed that owning the practice would not only give me better financial returns but also a greater say in making influential decisions. As a smart cookie, I knew we could do better.
In my excitement, I somewhat naively jumped in with both feet.
I forked over the equivalent to what many would spend on their first home – and quite honestly, I felt privileged to do so. Owning my own practice! It felt like winning the lottery.
And because I’m such an overachiever, I did all of this while navigating the challenges of new motherhood. Working 6 or 7 days a week and looking after my 1st child.
Initially, the challenges felt like a jigsaw puzzle – all about figuring out the logistics.
However, as time progressed, I found myself buried under the pressure of constantly trying to do more and work harder. And that worked fine for a long period of time. Working harder led to making more money. I was a success!
Then we had the economic downturn of ’08 and I found myself wrestling with an industry that was shrinking and grappling with strict regulations.
This had a big impact on how we operated our business and what services we could offer. It created a lot more work and I realized at that point that I really didn’t know a whole lot about what I was doing.
This is something I see in my advisory business all the time.
Accidental entrepreneurs eventually get in over their heads.
The business starts to feel like it’s getting out of control.
Your confidence may take a hit because what you’re doing isn’t working as well as it used to.
Perhaps you have trouble sleeping because you’re worried about the business.
All of those were true for me.
The usual entrepreneurial reflex kicked in: work harder, do more.
Yet, the more I pushed, the more it became apparent that sheer effort wasn’t the key.
It seemed like I was constantly putting out fires and I thought there had to be a better way.
That’s when I decided to get my MBA.
By this time, I had two kids and was in the process of getting divorced.
And still working 6 or 7 days a week.
This is what I learned:
Burnout is a real thing.
It was time for a different approach.
With my newfound business acumen, I was able to lean out our business a bit and be a little more forward thinking about what we were doing.
Yet, the real problem persisted.
You see, even with all the knowledge, strategies, and enthusiasm, I hit a wall.
I could envision fantastic ideas and even understand their potential impact on the business.
Yet, there was a missing piece: alignment and clarity.
Most of our people were not on the same page.
We didn’t have any clarity over what our long-term game looked like.
We didn’t know what we were really trying to accomplish.
Not everyone who was an owner of the business even felt that it was important for us to have a long-term plan.
I learned the hard way that no strategy would ever work if I was the sole believer in it.
Many business owners fall into this trap.
We dive deep into tactics, firefighting problems as they arise. We might even enjoy the handsome returns.
Yet, we remain trapped in what I call Practice Prison.
We work tirelessly, juggling all the tasks, many of which we shouldn’t even be touching.
The result? Zero time to relish our achievements.
If there’s one vital piece of advice I’d like to offer, it’s this:
Before strategizing, seek clarity and alignment.
What do you really want out of your business?
What’s your ultimate goal?
And if you have partners like I did? Do this work together. It’s vital that everyone gets on the same page.
Without this clarity, you’re just floating in a sea of tactics without a strategy.
Would you like some help breaking free?
I’ve been where you are.
I’ve felt the overwhelm, the weight of expectations, and the sheer fatigue of trying to make it all work.
Now, I dedicate my time to helping business owners like you break free.
It’s time to create a business that operates without your direct involvement, one that stands resilient amidst challenges, and one that has a clear exit plan.
Take the first step towards freedom.
Book a strategy call with me, and let’s realign your vision with actionable steps that bring real results.
Don’t let your passion become your prison.
Let’s unlock the doors together.
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