The Side-Hustle

Side Hustle

Some PT entrepreneurs are serial entrepreneurs — enter the side-hustle!

By Lynn Steffes, PT, DPT

Private practice physical therapists are true entrepreneurs.

They are dedicated to treating patients and building clinical excellence in their practices. But over the years, I have also seen a growing number of private practice physical therapists who could be called “serial entrepreneurs.” These are individuals who love building new businesses and seek personal growth opportunities by constantly coming up with great new ideas. Our profession certainly offers opportunities to share these ideas across practice settings.

Recently at the Private Practice Section (PPS) Annual Conference in Colorado Springs, an energetic group of these folks gathered to share ideas about playing entrepreneurially through the development of a “side-hustle.”

What Is a Side-Hustle?

Chris Guillebeau, author of Side Hustle: Build a Side Business and Make Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job, describes it as “a money-making project you start on the side, usually while still working your day job.”1 Forbes Magazine recently reported that as many as 1:4 adults will have a side-hustle at some point in their career with some projections that side-hustling might double in the next decade.2 Millennials are fearless side-hustlers.

Why Side-Hustle?

What might be some of the benefits of building a side-hustle? Why work more in additional areas related or unrelated to your business?

  • To create extra income for a specific purpose
  • To create an additional sustainable income source
  • To create an opportunity to replace current regular income
  • To offer revenue diversification/security in tumultuous times
  • To experiment with new skills or deliver something meaningful
  • To apply unique talents, knowledge, skills

What Are Your Side-Hustle Options?

Side-hustles are generally classified into three different broad categories: products, services, or serving as a middleman. Keep in mind that there is a difference between a hobby, defined as a side interest, and a side-hustle, which actually generates profit on the side.

A few examples of therapy side-hustles might include:

  • Selling products such as therapy equipment, tools, home exercise tools and programs, books or guides, data or needed information, or virtual apps and tools.
  • Services are frequently in the form of consulting, accounting/legal services, speaking, teaching classes, or providing coaching services.
  • Middleman options might include services such as hosting a podcast that sells advertising, functioning as a distribution channel for products/services, or creating online communities that require subscription fees such as compliance consultants often offer.

Your Side-Hustle Idea-Check

Keep in mind that a great side-hustle idea should be feasible, something you can create and execute without extraordinary time and money invested. It should also be persuasive, something that adds value or solves a problem for your desired target market. It should also have the ability to make a profit, not just by generating one-time income but by generating recurring income that exceeds the cost of your time and material investment. Think of the questions that the “Shark Tank” investors might ask entrepreneurs about ability to generate profit! And last but not least, do you have the skills and resources to execute your idea without major investments of time or money?

Stay tuned to Impact magazine and future PPS presentations on the nuts and bolts of building your own side-hustle.


1 Side Hustle: Build a Side Business and Make Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job, Chris Guillebeau, 2017; Macmillan.

2 Forbes: August 30th, 2018 David Howell.

Lynn Steffes

Lynn Steffes, PT, DPT, is president and consultant of Steffes & Associates, a national rehabilitation consulting group focused on marketing and program development for private practices nationwide. She is an instructor in five physical therapy programs and has actively presented, consulted, and taught in 40 states. She can be reached at

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