With Christmas just a few weeks away and 2018 coming to a close (and before I dive head-on into planning for 2019) I did take a moment to reflect on 2018 so far—what has happened for me, my family, and Personal Best Physiotherapy. I’ll be honest with you, running a small business is hard work (those of you who share the title of small business owner know what I mean . . ). Part of my brain tells me that because of my efforts I should be rewarded, but driving home this week from work I reminded myself that effort by itself does not guarantee results. It is only effort in the right direction that produces results.
That got me thinking about what we do with our patients every day in our practice . . .and I realised the same rule applies: it isn’t treatment per se that makes patients better, only the right treatment for the right problem and the right person. I’d like to think we get this combination right more often than not, but we aren’t perfect and our strike rate is not 100%, in which case we go back to what we know, what we don’t know, what has happened so far—and come up with a revised plan to help you.
So, if we have helped you in the past—great, we might take a little credit for that! If you are still struggling with a problem, don’t be afraid to tell us so—we need to know how you are responding to treatment to get the best result for you. Between Natasha, Rob and I we have nearly 30 years experience in helping people . . . That is a lot of knowledge, skill and tools available to help you get better.
Getting back to my point about the right effort in the right direction, we need to look for small positive changes. For me, running a physio practice is exactly the same: Between seeing patients, running workshops, talking to doctors, hiring and training physio’s, looking at the finances . . . it doesn’t take long to clock up some serious hours at work —and that doesn’t leave much time for bike riding! I have to check regularly to make sure my efforts ARE in the right direction. If I have evidence that they are, then I need to keep going in that direction. Small, positive results add together over time to create larger and lasting change. This is true when solving a stubborn problem like a painful shoulder, sore hip or sciatica—we need to look for small but definite changes and build on those.
If I continue my analogy about running a physio practice, it is important to separate results from how I feel about things, as the two are not always in sync with one another. At times I get frustrated, angry or depressed about how things are going in my practice. I have to remember that these feelings are internal and may or may not be related to what is going on outside! So I go back to the results and look at what is actually happening . . . And make the best decisions I can with the information I have. If you are frustrated with your progress, by all means air your concerns, but just check this frustration against what is actually happening to see whether it is justified.
On a positive note, 2018 has been a very rewarding year for me and Personal Best Physiotherapy. With Natasha and Rob both joining the practice this year, plus Mary and Alicia handling the front desk, I really feel I have a great team working with me and I am immensely proud of what we do in our practice. As I look forward to 2019, I can see that I will have to invest more into my practice—in financial terms, in people, and in resources so that we keep our promise to help you, our past and present patients to move, function and feel better . . . so the rewards for my efforts may still be a little way off, but I am confident I am going in the right direction!