From Practitioner to Physiotherapy Empire
Chana Ross is the Owner of Vital Physiotherapy & Wellness, a women’s health and pelvic floor physiotherapy clinic. She is also one of Kim Ades’s Frame of Mind Coaching™ clients! Listen as Chana shares how she made the switch from physiotherapy practitioner to successful business owner.
In this episode of Resilience Radio, we explore:
- Stop running your business and start growing it.
- Go from making haphazard progress to rocking a plan.
- Get the word out and gain new clients.
- Find amazing employees and trust them to run the show.
- Finally live guilt-free as a parent and business owner.
Kim: You went from being a solo entrepreneur to starting to hire people. How did you manage to start trusting them with your clients?
Chana: Well, the first person I took on was actually my sister. She’s in physiotherapy as well. All of my practitioners shadow me and I mentor them for months before I am willing to put them out onto the floor. I look for people who are on-brand. People who create the level of care or the feeling of the level of care that I was always trying to provide, and then I train them.
Kim: Could you define that, “the feeling of care”?
Chana: When somebody comes into talk about pelvic health issues, there’s this inherent level of safety that has to be created because these are very private issues. Most people are actually really embarrassed to be there for the first time. And it is 100 percent my job to make sure that that person feels safe enough to talk to me, that they feel cared for from the second that they walk in the door, that they can breathe a sigh of relief. This weight that they’ve been carrying, they know that whatever’s going to happen here, it’s going to help them.
Usually it’s us helping them figure it out for themselves, but they know that their issues are going to be addressed. It’s very different than walking into a regular physiotherapy clinic where they’re like, “Okay, your shoulder’s hurting you. Move your shoulder 20 degrees that way and 40 degrees this way.”
We have to approach them as a whole person. There’s a lot of psychosocial stuff that happens. We have to look at them as a full human, not just a pelvis. There are a lot of soft skills that are involved that you don’t learn in physiotherapy school.
How to Build the Right Team
Kim: How did you assess them? When you’re interviewing someone, how do you screen for that and how do you teach that?
Chana: The answer to both is I don’t. I’m looking for people who have that inherently. I’m not really doing job interviews. I teach pelvic health training courses, so I’m always looking for people when I’m teaching those courses. I have a lot of people who contact me to mentor them. And so every time [I come across] somebody new, they don’t realize it, but it’s essentially a job interview at the same time. And whenever I go to any conferences, seminars or courses, I am always on the lookout for somebody amazing. I’m almost constantly searching for terrific people, and then I figure out how to bring them on board.
Kim: How do you know that they’re amazing? What are the indicators? What are you looking for?
Chana: You know when you meet somebody and they just make you feel comfortable? It’s a quality where you feel comfortable talking to them. I really can’t articulate it in words. It’s just a vibe. Do they have that in business books?
Kim: They do. In business books, they say, “You can create a whole criteria that you’re looking for, but if the instinct says, ‘No, I don’t feel it,’ that trumps all. That has veto power.” And what you’re saying is, “I do it the opposite way. If that’s not there from the get-go, I don’t even go through with the rest.”
Chana: Yeah. It’s a non-starter. And then if that’s there, then I can train you on upping those skills, I can teach you the fine motor stuff that we have to do, teach you how to assess all that stuff. But I don’t even bother if there’s not that sense of the personality that I’m looking for.
Finding Balance as a Parent and Business Owner
Kim: Right. So let’s go back. You’re a business owner, you’re a wife, you’re a mom. Every podcast that I’m on, when they hear that I have kids, I get asked this question, “How do you balance it all?” I have a theory about that, and I’ll share my theory with you, but how do you balance it all?
Chana: I think it’s the act of always being okay with being imbalanced.
Kim: You mean being okay with being out of balance?
Chana: Out of balance, yeah. When I’m rocking it with my business stuff, sometimes that means I’m going to be away from my kids for a little while. When I’m with my kids, I want to be with my kids.
It’s something that we’re working on [during coaching] − feeling less frazzled. And not feeling like I have to be 100 percent everywhere, all the time. Sometimes, I’ll be 100 percent in one. And sometimes I’ll be 100 percent in the other.
I also recognize that my husband doesn’t feel bad when he’s at work, so why do I feel bad when I’m at work? I’m understanding that the concept of mom-guilt is a decision that we make ourselves. So if I can decide, (and this is something I’m working on), if I can decide that I’m not taking that on, I’m not taking on that guilt and that I can be proud of what I’m doing at any point in time, then there’s less of a need to balance.
Kim: My philosophy is this. You know how people say, “How do you balance things?” I respond this way: When you’re on a seesaw with a friend and the seesaw is in perfect balance, what’s happening?
Kim: Nothing. There’s stillness. So is that how you want to live your life? Not so much. It’s not that much fun when nothing’s happening. Do you want moments of balance? Sure. Moments. But not long moments. Not eternal moments. Just moments. So for me, personally, I’m not necessarily after balance per se. I’m after the ride. I’m after the experience. I’m after the ups and the downs and the bumps. It’s a high to be on the ride. You’re really on the ride.
The other part of it is, if we go back to the conversation about energy, that guilt is misused energy. It’s a waste of time. Who has time for that? You have too much to do. I have so many clients who have that feeling of guilt. And I’m like, “Does that make you more productive? Does that make you speed up? Does that make you more efficient?” Their answer is “No. Actually, it really seriously slows me down because it creates self-doubt. When I’m in a state of self-doubt, the work is compromised.”
Chana: I would add to that also that I want my family to see me thriving in different areas of my life. Also, my husband never gets asked how he balances!
We now expect ourselves to be the worker bees a hundred percent. But also, we have to be the moms, and the stay-at-home moms. “I need to have everything home-baked and fresh and be at every single school event.” And I think that that is setting a precedent for unrealistic expectations. And so part of it’s also deciding what is important to me as a mother, what’s important to me as a business owner and then being more selective in terms of what I’m choosing to do for each of those roles.
Kim: Right. And where you could cut some corners, right? I think Duncan Hines is just fine.
Chana: You should do a podcast on that.
Kim: If you need to bake a cake, Duncan Hines works just as well as homemade.
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