Create a Lifestyle Business!
So what exactly is a lifestyle business? It is a business that fits your lifestyle so you can do the many things that are important to you asides from work. When I was a student and I told other therapy business owners that I wanted my own business, many discouraged me and told me all of the cons of owning a business. I was warned that I would have to work up to 80 hours per week and that I would never be able to take time off. It is not what you think it is one pediatric therapist told me. She added that in the end it really isn’t worth it. I stared at her beautiful therapy room which was previously her basement as she set up equipment and went on and on about how her evenings were no longer hers because she had to see children in the evenings because they are in school during the day. “No control!” she exclaimed with her hands on her hips and eyes staring and silently speaking, “Don’t do it.” In spite of her warning as well as the many other caution signs that were thrown my way, I of course started my own business two years after graduating from OT school. In addition to wanting to serve adults with developmental disabilities, I wanted to be available to my first son who was three months premature. I needed a lifestyle business. In the early stages of Therapeutic Solutions, I was home during the day with my son and worked contractually with group homes in the early mornings, late evenings or weekends. I never worked more than 20 hours per week. As the business grew, I hired contractors who took on some of the work which gave me more flexibility. I also learned other ways to bring in income that were not associated with the therapy business, such as real estate investments which bring in passive income. I am not traveling the world and stacking Benjamins while sipping exotic drinks but the business affords a certain type of lifestyle. A lifestyle that allows me to homeschool my youngest son, attend my oldest son’s basketball games and track meets, take off to pick up my grandma from dialysis, have a lunch date in the middle of the day with my husband—you get the picture. I am ok with early morning notes and late night planning if I get to do the aforementioned! I am also able to offer this lifestyle to our contractors. They make their own schedules and they know that if something comes up and they need to take off, as long as the client has been informed, it is ok with me. Most of us health and human service professionals did not go into our profession to become multi-millionaires (although we would not be mad at this option!) but instead we want to live a life of balance while serving others and making an income and fortunately, health and human service businesses allow you to do all three and that is what a Lifestyle Business is all about!