A little over a year ago (in the midst of my husband’s year-long military deployment), I started feeling this growing desire to do something different with my life. I have been a physical therapist for 12 years, and absolutely LOVE what I do. But at the time I couldn’t shake the sense that I wanted something more. For months I tried to make sense of that feeling. Was I burnt out from being a PT altogether? Or did I just need a change of scenery?
I should note that A LOT of self-growth happened in the year my husband was gone. Struggling through that year made me more introspective than I have been in my entire 38 years on this earth. It made me realize what I truly valued and loved about my life, and it made me acknowledge the areas where I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. Even more, that year gave me the courage to let go of those things that were no longer serving me. And in turn, I believe it benefitted the things I let go of as well (because honestly, I wasn’t serving them anymore either).
Taking The Plunge
So, after MONTHS of introspection, I did one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life. I opened my own Physical Therapy practice. I still have days I can’t believe this is my real life. I still have moments where self-doubt takes over and says “You can’t own a business. You don’t know what you’re doing.” Admittedly, I’m learning as I go. But I also wake up every morning with a renewed sense of purpose and pride.
Mostly I am proud of believing in myself and not letting fear of failure limit me. I truly jumped into this venture head first, with no real experience. And considering the fact that I have ZERO business experience, I have been able to bring my vision to life relatively easily, but certainly not without the help of amazing friends and family. One of my dearest friends owns her own marketing company, and she has helped bring my vision to life better than I could have dreamed. My husband has been an unwavering cheerleader, never doubting my ability to be successful. And my colleague Jenny, who took a leap of faith in coming to work with me, has been instrumental in helping the practice grow. (Just to name a few).
Is This Real Life?
Certainly, there are days when I still question what I am doing. There are slow weeks where I wonder if we will be able to keep growing. And there are many long nights handling the admin side of owning your own business. But there is also an immense joy that comes from having something that is truly mine. There is a passion that has been re-ignited in me to use my God-given gifts to help people heal, and there is an excitement I haven’t felt in a long time. And the ability to be there for my kids’ school activities is priceless. Well worth every second of self-doubt, late-night handling the admin side, and every ounce of hustle it has taken to get where I am.
I think it’s also been good for my kids to watch the whole process unfold. For them to know that you can do anything you dream of … you just have to go for it. I have to believe that by witnessing me doing this “scary” thing, with no promise of success, and having to work my tail off for it will be a hugely important life lesson. I hope it teaches them to not let fear or uncertainty limit their potential. I hope it helps them realize that anything worth having requires hard work and determination. I hope it helps them realize that no one can set a path for them, they have to make their own way. And I hope it inspires them to go for whatever dream they may have in life.
It Takes A Village
Lastly, I hope it teaches them to surround themselves with people who will support their dreams, but also hold them accountable. To be grateful for the friends and family who believe in their crazy dream, and don’t allow them to doubt themselves. To those people in my village … know that your support has been immeasurable, and I hope to have the opportunity to support you in the same way. And to anyone considering creating something that is all your own … GO FOR IT!! Yes, there will be moments of uncertainty, but if you don’t try you will likely always wonder “What if?” And what if (just maybe) your business is successful in ways you never could have dreamed?! Wouldn’t that be spectacular? I sure think so … and I believe in you!