Yeah, I am still here. Sorry I left you with Bob the Llamaturkey as my last post to see. That is very thoughtless of me.
Many who have been reading my blog adventure as I build my new practice have noted a bit of a down mood in my writing. Yes, that has been there (not Bob the Llamaturkey, other stuff). The past two years have been quite a but more than I expected. They have definitely been more rewarding and fulfilling than I could have hoped, but they have also been far more anxiety provoking and exhausting than my worries could have conjured. The medical side of things has been wonderful, but the burden of starting a business from scratch is heavy.
Hence the absence of recent blog posts.
The good news is that things are really looking up now, and the emotional fog seems to be lifting as well. This past year was one of consolidation and organization. We hired a new nurse (Jenn) and continued to grow the practice. We also figured out ways to give top quality care as things have gotten busier. It's much easier to start a practice than to grow it into a sustainable and effective business. I could have grown faster than I have, but doing so could endanger the wonderful relationship me and my nurses have with our patients. So we've worked hard to try to give people care that makes the money we charge seem small. Given the continued growth and the almost complete absence of people leaving the practice, I think we've succeeded.
There is no way I could have done this without Jenn and Jamie working as well as they have. They not only are good people to work with, dependable, and trustworthy; they truly believe in the mission of the practice and see it (as I do) as an honor and privilege to be able to take care of our patients in a way that far exceeds expectations. This is one of the uncontrollable things when starting something like this: finding people who understand your vision and are moved to buy in and help in important ways. Perhaps I had a small hand in choosing them, but mostly I am just grateful they chose to follow me.
So this year it finally looks like I can take a decent salary. Once I have enough to pay my bills at home without fear of emergency, I can turn and reinvest in the practice. We have a whole lot of work that still needs to be done to make this thing better than it already is. We also need to continue growing. That appears to be the easy part.
Thank you to all who have sent encouragement through this time. Do not forget that everyone has a story. We are all people, and there are usually good reasons things are the way they are. My own struggles with this business have made me all the more sensitive to people I meet who are dealing with uncertainty and feel overwhelmed with life. I know what it's like, and I know that no platitude of "It will all work out" ever helped anyone. It will only work out if it does. Accepting anything more than that is to invite trouble. Things seem to be working out, but I still say that with breath held. The vision seems to be taking root, but many things could choke that root and harm or kill the dream of what care should be for people.
I do still believe that what I am doing is the best way to give care. Over the next year and beyond I hope to make it even better, more efficient, and into something that gives hope in a time when there is little of it for healthcare in our country.