How to transition from an associate to owning your own practice?

 March 24, 2022  

Are you a doctor that’s working as an associate in another doctor’s practice and are thinking that maybe it’s time for you to have your own practice? Do you stress over how to get started on building your dream? Wondering what the first steps are to making it happen? Maybe your perplexed on what the very first step is in the process? If so, you’re not alone. In this video, I’ll discuss what the very first steps are to making that difficult evolution from working as an associate to launching your very own practice.

Before we jump into the first steps to launching a practice are, I’d be remiss if I didn’t make the declaratory statement that practice ownership is definitely NOT for everyone. It’s a lot more stressful owning and managing a practice, including being responsible for every single detail and every single bill than it is working in another doctor’s practice, going home at the end of the day worry free, and that’s a fact. So If you’re certain you’re ready to consider making the leap into practice ownership, then keep reading.

Let’s say you’ve been working as an associate in another doctor’s office for perhaps a year or so, learned what could from the opportunity and now want to delve into building your own practice. What’s next? Before we dive into the mechanics, all the hundreds of details, of creating your own practice, we need to talk much bigger picture. Put succinctly, what is your vision for your practice? What’s it look like to you? What is it you want to create? Where do you want it to be? In what community would you love to work and live, maybe raise a family?

These aren’t esoteric questions. In fact, they are critical to a career that builds both the practice and the lifestyle of your dreams. Let’s start with your overall vision. That’s where the process all begins.

When I say vision, I mean what exactly do you want to have, build or create? Do you see yourself at a one doctor clinic or in the future would you like to have other doctors working with you? Do you want a team to help support you or do you want to be a one person office? What kinds of services do you want to provide to your patients? When do you want to start creating this entirely different reality?

I encourage you to spend a lot of time on the overall vision. Forget about where to put the practice for now. Just concentrate on the vision. In fact, think about it in terms of 1 year, 3 years and 10 years, and work backwards from the 10 year vision first.

What do you want your new practice to look like in 10 years. Think about it. Close your eyes and envision it in your mind’s eye. Is it in a strip center, a stand alone building or maybe it’s in a professional office building. What would make you happiest? How busy is the practice in 10 years? How many team members do you have? How financially successful is it? Does it support you buying a really nice house for your family? What’s your lifestyle look like in 10 years. And do I even need to mention student loans? Of course I do! Did you pay them off by 10 years. Boy I certainly hope so!

Your 10 year vision gives you a target to look at and eventually achieve, though it’s highly likely your vision will evolve as you move forward, and that’s totally normal and expected. So this is about what you’d like to see happening in 10 years as you see it today.

Suggestion, go lock yourself in a nice quiet place and spend an hour or so on your 10 year vision. It’s how you will eventually create the actual roadmap to getting there. You start with the end in mind and then work backwards to get there. Because 10 years is going to arrive whether or not you are actually going to achieve your dream. Knowing that, you are prudent to build the map so that in 10 years, you’ve built something you’re really proud of and happy to call your life.

Have you done this work yet? How far did you get? Are you moving towards it with good speed or are you stuck in space and time? 

But let’s move on. You’ve got your 10 year vision completed and you really like it. You can see it happening. You’re motivated and now you’r wondering what’s next. I’m glad you asked.

Now lets future cast to just 3 years into the future from today. 3 years from now. Of course you’ve got your practice humming and growing well, because it is a long 3 years after all. The question I have for you this. What’s going on in 3 years? What does your practice look like? How many people are you serving in your community? How successful is the practice? Are you paying down any debt you have, such as monstrous student loans?

Here’s how you think about this. You know where you want to be, at least of today, in 10 years. How far along that dream should you be at the end of the first 3 years? Let’s say you want what so many DC’s want in 10 years, which is a million dollar plus practice. In 3 years, is it possible that you can launch your practice and grow it to half a million dollars? Of course it is, with the right plan I might add. If you don’t think of your practice in terms of financial success, and some DC’s don’t, please just know and accept that your practice can be highly successful 3 years from today, even if you don’t even know yet where you want to practice! It can happen if you plan for it and execute with precision a really good plan.

So close your eyes and think about 3 years from now. Let’s say you launch your practice 6 months from today, so you have 2.5 years to grow your practice. What’s it look like? Again, do this in a quiet space so you can dream and think. And we’re not done with the initial planning yet.

Now it’s time to create your 1 year plan. Let’s assume you’re up and running in your own practice in 6 months, which is extremely doable. So now you’ll have been open for half a year. What’s your practice look like now? How many patient visits do you have each week? How many new patients are attracted to your practice each month? Certainly you’ve cruised way past breakeven, so how financially successful is your practice? How many team members do you have? Think, dream and imagine! This is how you get started! This is how you program your mind for a great career you’re incredibly proud of! This is what most people never do. Seriously, this isn’t a dress rehearsal. It’s your life! Put the crucial planning time in so you create something you love doing every day!

Have you done these steps yet? Or maybe you’ve done something different but similar? The most important thing though is to get started on this process. If you don’t know what you want to create, how do you move forward so you end up in a fantastic place? These steps are where the real magic happens, and it doesn’t cost you a single bitcoin to get started!

In the near future we’ll talk about getting financing and a ton of other details, but all that is the mechanics. It’s straightforward and we have a recipe for doing it all. Your vision is all about YOU! Invest the time. You’re worth it. We need more massively successful chiropractors, not more that have incredible difficulty just paying off their student loans. You can be on the extremely successful DC’s IF you put in the time to create a vision and then use an excellent plan to do so.

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