Learn and Grow
By Stacy M. Menz, PT, DPT, PCS
I recently attended the APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) and had the benefit of meeting and interacting with many people. In addition to reconnecting with established colleagues and past classmates, I had the opportunity to connect with quite a few students. One theme that was apparent in our conversations was the topic of mentoring. As students are about to springboard from school into their professional careers, they are seeking to surround themselves with people that they consider to be mentors. There are many ways to find and interact with mentors and additional methods are surfacing. Leveraging technology is one of those methods as it has opened up the concept of mentorship without the limitations of geographical boundaries.
The topic of mentorship excites me. I am constantly seeking out people who I can learn from and share or vet ideas with in an effort to better all of our business and clinical practice. About two years ago, a group of pediatric physical therapy business owners, who were spread across the country, began meeting via conference call quarterly, and in person once each year. I look forward to these “mastermind” group meetings with peers who are facing similar challenges in physical therapy private practice. The great thing is that we all run our businesses differently, are different sizes, have been owners for varied lengths of time, and operate in different geographies so we have the opportunity to hear and discuss various perspectives.
Outside of the physical therapy profession I try to surround myself with other mentors as well. My parents owned a business for 35 years, and while owning a campground is vastly different than owning a physical therapy practice, my dad has been one of my trusted mentors through my journey as a business owner. It is from him that I got the idea to start a mastermind group for private practice pediatric physical therapy practice owners. He had adopted the idea from the automotive industry! We can learn much from those outside of the physical therapy industry. All areas of business have challenges and innovation that may bring new ideas for private practice physical therapy. As the world continues to move and change at a faster pace each day, we have a vast group to draw on for counsel and input. Surround yourself with people inside and outside of our profession, specifically those that think and act differently than you do. Who can you surround yourself with who you can both share information with and learn from?