This week I have a meeting set up with my office landlord to discuss next steps since the term ends in 2020. I can hardly believe that it has been five years since we moved into the current office (top photo). Many of my consulting clients who come to the office of Therapeutic Solutions compliment the space and express how eager they are to move into their first office. I can also tell that some clients are actually frustrated with their small in home office. There is no criticism for that frustration because once upon a nine-year time frame, I was operating Therapeutic Solutions from my yellow 1958, low ceiling, exposed pipe basement (bottom left photo). My next office was walking distance from my house but was not in a healthcare complex. It was what I called, a “what I can afford” office. It was brown and dark and there were no other healthcare businesses in the complex (bottom right photo). Although both of the aforementioned spaces were not ideal, I was still thankful to have a business and intentional about future growth. Having occasional frustrations versus being ungrateful are two different things. Don’t despise small beginnings. Have you ever noticed how fruit and plants grow from tiny seeds? How babies who are nourished and cared for grow up to be strong and healthy people—like my oldest son who was born three months premature and was only 3 pounds but is now almost 6’3 and 185lbs and a senior in high school! The beginning of course is not the end. So you might not start out with a multi-disciplinary practice, a 2000 square feet clinic, benefits for employees, etc, etc but those things can be part of the VISION from the BEGINNING! Have you seen the picture of Amazon’s first office? Talking about small beginnings and having a VISION! Below are three tips that helped me with small beginnings while working towards growth.
Tip #1-Being a good steward. If you are not in love with what you have, it may be easy to become slack with those possessions but I believe ,as the Bible says, that if you are faithful with small things you will be rewarded with larger things. I decorated my offices with photos of my kids and their art work which made me smile. I also created a cleaning schedule and weekly to do list for improvements. Take a look around your small office, small practice and come up with a list of ways to brighten and spruce up your space, including a photo of your ideal space that maybe you plan to some day own!
Tip #2-Minimizing complaining. Complaining is contagious and it is fairly easy for my human nature to default to complaining. “This space is too small!” “I can hear everyone in the house and there is no privacy!” “I feel like I look really unprofessional!” When I stopped complaining and gave gratitude, not only did things start to move more in a positive direction—opportunities opened up that seemed not to have any concern with the size or type of space I had—but I also felt better. I believe that complaining results in negative energy and who wants to work with a company that is giving off negative vibes!
Tips #3-Connecting with others who have moved from small beginnings. I think there are many people in the world who have moved on up like George and Weezie (The Jeffersons—it’s an old TV show in case you have no idea what I am talking about). Because these business people know what it is like to start out small, they may be willing to help you move to your next destination. I have met many people on my journey who have given me great advice and encouragement. A support network and knowing others who have accomplished what you want to accomplish can serve as amazing inspiration when you are in your small beginnings.
Last but certainly not lease, don’t forget you have started a business and there is nothing small about taking that first step in entrepreneurship for a business is a business, no matter how small (Thanks, Dr. Sues for the reminder of the relevance of all things regardless of size!)
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