Fail to Plan is Planning to Fail

I want to talk about planning your career and planning out your life.

A friend of mine named Ben Fung gave me some stats on what the top 10% of physical therapy make.

I realized that I am doing quite well in the field. I believe that it’s not just because I have a business. I just don’t believe that’s true.

People that work for me are winning as well. In our profession, we just don’t really know what to do it.

We don’t understand what it is that we are doing. Physical Therapists think we have this value at a certain level. Click To Tweet

I just want to train people on how to do it the right way.

I wasn’t an excellent student in high school. I had a weighted GPA of 3.05.  Compared to my two other brothers, I didn’t get as much scholarships as they did. I got one scholarship that was a $250 scholarship/semester.

When I talked to an orthopedic surgeon that my mom  worked for, he told me not to do his job, he actually told me to look into physical therapy.

At that time in 1995, physical therapy was hot.  To get into physical therapy school it was apparent that it was going to take about a 3.8 GPA for me to get in and even that wasn’t a guarantee.

The average person that had got into the PT school had to wait a year and a half, meaning that they either got rejected the first year or the second year – and that was just the norm at the time.

I knew that I was a 3.05 GPA person, and to get into PT school I was going have to be at a 3.8 level.

I knew what I needed to do.

I had to step my game up.

If I was going to get into PT school, the crap that I was doing in high school wasn’t going to cut it.

Even at the age of 17, I had a goal. I told myself, “Okay I have to take myself to the next level” my first semester of college.

I was working at TJ Maxx in retail and my first semester in college I got a 4.0.

It’s the first time I got straight A’s since the 4th Grade.
I wanted to become a physical therapist. It wasn’t hard for me to work hard because I knew this is what I wanted.

That’s the thing about failing to plan.

Now, if I didn’t know what I wanted, why would I go that hard and push for a 4.0 in my first semester?

I think many of us in the profession; we don’t know where we are going. If you are reading this right now and you are in college, you need to sit down and ask yourself, “Where am I going?”

Physical therapy school trains us to be a generalist, meaning that we can do a lot of things okay. You can do acute, a SNF, work in an ALF, or do home health.

Just a little bit of everything but nothing definite. What is happening is most of us come out of school and we are like, “I don’t know, I just want to work wherever…”

We are not even asking ourselves “What do you want to do, and who do you want to serve.”

Once you know this is what I want to do, it’s straightforward to say “You know what, this is what I gotta do” that doesn’t mean you should have a private practice right out of  school. But if you know this is what I want, this is where I am going, then now the path is clear.

Watch the full video here: Physical Therapy Tip – Planning Out Your Career


Reverse engineer your career

Yesterday I got a message from a young lady who reached out to me. She’s a relatively new physical therapist, and she got this gig, and negotiated a decent salary.

Here’s the issue…she still wasn’t happy.

This is what she asked me via FB messenger.

“I have to ask you a question, how did you know when was the right time for you to take that leap? I don’t think I can do it anymore.”

She was defeated already and it just goes back to a lot of times we are just not focusing on this is what we want, this is our goals.

When I was at my last corporate gig, I already made up in my mind that I needed to have my own place, and I got to a point where the way that we were treating at that company was not in line with the way that I wanted to treat at my practice. I had the goal of having my own thing. It was there.

So I am like, “Okay, the jobs I had before this, it was leading me up to having certain skill sets. I was going to need to be able to start my own business. It got to the point where we are seeing too many patients, too many people per hour; I wasn’t able to give the care that I wanted, the way that I wanted. I wasn’t able to help people beyond what insurance was allowing them to come, and this is not in line with my goals.”

That’s the answer I gave her.

It wasn’t in line with my goals. But if you don’t have goals, how would you know if it’s in line? That’s what I teach in my second module in my SSPT course. It’s how to get your goals in line.

Most people have no clue what their goals are because they are not asking themselves the right questions. They don’t know the questions to ask. So they are just aimlessly wandering thinking something is going to poof and it doesn’t work like that.

Every single one of you can have whatever goals you want for your career, physical therapy or not, but you have to start asking yourself the right questions. Well, what are the right questions? Well, it’s in my course… 🙂

It’s all about reverse engineering. You have to work backwards. Click To Tweet This stuff is essential. It’s so important to make sure that you have clear goals.

If you think that you don’t have goals, you aren’t being honest with yourself.  You just don’t know how to reverse engineer what you are thinking. You just have to learn how to do that.