4 Signs You’re PT Entrepreneur—Even If You Don’t Yet Know It

You’ve heard me say it before: if you’re treating, you’re hurting your practice.

If you’re a private practice owner who is logging significant time every week treating patients, your business is likely stuck in one of two gears:

  • Committed Clinician. You’re a solo practitioner, handling all the treatment work yourself, with a small support staff. You’re interested in growing your practice, but you don’t know how to market or hire. The idea of expanding is exciting, but also makes you nervous.
  • Overwhelmed Operator. You have other clinicians in the practice. But you’re still seeing patients regularly and play many roles– treating patients, managing staff, overseeing billing and insurance, and handling the countless other responsibilities of a practice owner. This leaves you stressed, overworked and a lack of energy.

Changing your role from an overworked clinician to an in-control owner can help you overcome these obstacles.

But for a lot of Physical Therapists letting go of treating patients is hard. Let’s face it, it is what we have trained and practice for our entire adult lives.

Here are FOUR MYTHS that keep practice owners from letting go of treating patients:


Nobody can do it better than I can


You’ve worked hard to master your clinical skills! Given all that you’ve invested, of course it’s not easy to think about stepping back, and allowing others on your team to handle patient care.

Too often we attach our identity as a clinician to thinking I’m-the-only-one who-can-do-it. And that mentality limits you in building your business.

The truth is you weren’t born with your expertise, you learned it, just like we all did, through a combination of education, practical experience, and guidance. And you can transfer all that expertise to other clinicians who share your vision for how to deliver great care.

Shifting your role from clinician to mentor is where success lies, if you want to grow your business and become more profitable. It’s also where you want to be if you’re looking to get balance back in your life outside of work.

(Mentorship also happens to be a key to retaining great staff. A 2016 survey by Deloitte found millennial employees who planned to stay with their organizations for more than five years were more than twice as likely to have mentors.)


  • I don’t have time


No physical therapy practice owner has extra time on their hands. Yet some practices grow and expand, while others don’t.


Growing a physical therapy practice requires an owner who invests their time in activities that deliver the most significant return on their time investment…and spending significant time in patient care is nowhere near the top of that list.

“I don’t have time” is probably the number one objection I hear from practice owners, when I talk about the prospect of scaling back on treating patients. With all they have on their plates, they can’t imagine finding the time to recruit, hire, train and manage additional employees.

They’re looking at their problem backwards.

As a business owner, the time you’re spending treating is taking you away from the time you could be devoting to training, mentoring, and empowering your staff, ensuring they can deliver consistently great results–without your constant presence and involvement


I can’t afford to stop treating


To whatever degree you hold on to the responsibility of treating patients, your revenue is limited by what you can generate as an individual clinician. When you begin re-directing your time toward supporting and mentoring others, your revenue will expand exponentially.

Hiring additional clinical staff is sometimes the right next step—but not always. Before you think about hiring new people, make sure your current staff is being fully utilized. Often, practice owners who want to step back from treatment don’t need to hire new staff at all—they need to start using their existing staff more effectively.

Whatever particular path takes you there, shifting your role from a clinician to an owner, helping and mentoring others, enables your clinic to see more patients—and make more money.


  • If I’m not treating, I’m not helping


Many practice owners feel guilty about the idea of pulling back from their role as direct providers of care. The desire to help and serve others is at the core of what you do, and what led you to become a Physical Therapist in the first place.

Your mission of service hasn’t changed—but as a practice owner, your role in fulfilling that mission has. When you make the shift from clinician to owner, your ability to help people grows exponentially. It’s the difference between treating 12 patients a day yourself, or mentoring three clinicians who can each see 12 patients a day.

Often, our ego gets in the way of seeing the bigger picture, and realizing our full potential to serve. When you look at the numbers of people you can help by changing your role within your practice, suddenly the decision to keep treating looks like the selfish choice, not the altruistic one.

Are you ready to play a bigger game and build an exponential practice? Help more people and generate more revenue? Free yourself from the constant demands of working as both clinician and owner? Then it’s time to think seriously about spending less time treating patients.

Schedule your free, 30-minute Laser Focus Call to discuss how you can transform your role from clinician to practice owner.