advantages of using external consultants

Am I Sending the Wrong Message to Health Professionals?

I received an interesting email from a very well respected health business owner and educator that I wanted to share with everyone – as it raised some interesting questions about the future of our health care businesses.

Here is the email I received:

“Dear Paul, While I appreciate all the work you do in guiding those who require it. And certainly over the years i have gained some good ideas from listening and reading your material. I wonder if your material is giving the wrong messages to new grads in our profession. There are considerable problems with the work ethic of many of the younger professionals right now…”

” If everyone was to read your material, no one would knuckle down and just get the job done..which has to be done at times. Not everyone can be a business owner, nor should they be, but we certainly need a strong workforce for us all to achieve our goals in work, life, business. But so many new professionals simply don’t want to work for lifestyle-they want it from day dot!”

“I recently had a new grad after working with us for 6 weeks ask for a pay rise, i asked why he felt he deserved one, he said “because he had bought a new car and his lifestyle required more income”. After i gave him a few lessons on life we decided to part company..”

“I just wonder if the young and naive read your material – will practice owners who have worked their knuckles away ever get what they deserve from their years of toil..if i cant find a workforce prepared to step up…”

“Anyway, just thought id throw that at you…” An interesting take on the end result of professionals undertaking some training in the area of business development and marketing – don’t you think?

Here was my reply – see what you think:

“Hey – don’t shoot the messenger”.

“I really understand your thoughts – however my material is really most applicable to those in business or looking to start a business in the near future.”

“We all know that as an employee the best thing you can do is work your arse off – make yourself invaluable – and learn everything you can from your current employer – BEFORE – you go into business.” “I believe that is what 99% of current health business owners have done“.

I welcome your thoughts on this topic – am I giving the srong message to health professionals?”

Best Wishes

Paul Wright



11 thoughts on “Am I Sending the Wrong Message to Health Professionals?

  1. Anthony

    I feel for this practice owner as at time we have all had staff that ask for things they don’t deserve, and we as owners have worked tirelessly and with risk to acquire our practice and financial rewards. However I certainly also support Paul continuing to promote his business development ideas. There is nearly no chance that someone who truly learns what Paul preaches would ask for a pay rise to fund their new car. This sounds like another case of an employee asking for more than they deserve, and not understanding that “the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary”.

  2. Kyle

    It is true that the best thing to do is work for someone else before working for yourself, this gives you a chance to improve your skills and establish your reputation.

    However, this is NOT “what 99% of current health business owners have done,” it’s only what 99% of SUCCESSFUL business owners have done.

    When I do my continuing education courses, I meet lots of other trainers.
    “Where do you work?”
    “I’m self-employed.”
    “Train people out of your garage?”
    “Um, yeah.”
    “Got a lot of gear?”
    “How do you like to train people?”
    “Uh, I like to mix it up a bit.”

    Most “self-employed” trainers are UNemployed.

    I recently met a soon-to-graduate PT, she asked me what equipment I had in my garage, asked me to write it down so she’d know what to buy for her own business when she graduated.
    “Just buy what you like to use when you train people.”
    “Could you write it down for me?”
    She didn’t have any preferences, because she has never trained anyone. She cannot even coach a pushup, but thinks she’ll run a successful fitness business.

    This is actually very common. So no, we DON’T all know that you should start your career as a fitness professional by working for others and learning skills. This is something which you should emphasise in your articles, if you want to be honest about the prospects of success for readers.

  3. Simon Turnbull


    Totally agree with the “respected business owner”. So many new graduates
    now simply have no work ethic or integrity. After years of mentoring
    programs, training programs, leadership education, my new business
    strategy is to not employ them and not train them. I am not happy with
    decision but nor am I happy with the way younger individuals have sought
    to trainwreck parts of my business for self profit.

    I had to laugh at the comment from the business owner reminded me of the
    new EP who told me he deserved a pay rise because he needed prettier
    wheels for his car and he had hit targets for a whole week.

    Someone please tell this generation to pull their head in and work for
    things rather than stealing!

    Simon Turnbull

  4. Ted Jedynak

    The reality of private practice is that it needs to be profitable. If it is not, the the owner and the public lose out.

    May I commend you Paul, on providing a valuable service which is sadly lacking in most health professions.

    Profitable practices mean greater resources to provide higher quality services and client outcomes.

  5. brendon jones

    I do not think you are sending the wrong message….I have the same problem with new grad physios that I employ and they HAVENT seen your material. I believe that the material that I have read and seen presented is very much aimed at the existing business owner and not a new grad or relatively new physio.
    I believe that the issues are ingrained a long time before they ever read your material. We live in an age where younger/less experienced workers believe they should be earning maximum dollar for minimal input….. sadly I believe it is simply a sign of the times and they are going to have to learn the hard lessons of life.. the hard way …. keep your information flowing Paul it has been invaluable….

  6. LJT

    Interesting comments all around. My take on this is that for us to do a good job clinically- and for new grads to develop sound reasoning skills, manual skills and handling capabilities and treatment progressions we need to create effective business systems and service delivery models that facilitate their growth and development. If we’re doing this as business owners then guess what- they want to work, they want to engage with us and they want to partner us in our businesses because they’re growing and developing as both clinicians and as humans. our role in developing work ethic is creating the environment for this to happen- and if we lead from the front as business owners in running good businesses and being both accountable and responsible in all we do then we’re setting the standards for our staff to reach towards. I am Gen Y, and I see some of the Gen Y problems in the workforce but really, if as business owners we step up and realise that the world is a different place to what it used to be, and that in health care we need to celebrate the opportunities we have from a business perspective, then harnessing and partnering with Gen Y is our key to success.

  7. Mark

    While I’m sure many of us have had similar experiences with impatient and possibly undeserving new grads I think there’s a couple of things to take into consideration before we lump them all into that category.

    But leaving the Gen Y, Z etc issue aside for the moment I think the some of the points in the person’s question to Paul represents exactly why more knowledge of business practices is important to all who work in health, or any other field for that matter, and that it is important for new graduates as well as business owners.

    For example they said “If everyone was to read your material, no one would knuckle down and just get the job done.” But surely part of “the job” in a business is to help grow the business itself, and if they demonstrate that they are doing this then there should be a bonus structure that rewards those efforts. Not that I think you should necessarily have bonus based payment systems exclusively from the outset, in fact I think it’s fair to remind new employees that for the most part they will be relatively unproductive in the early part of their employment as they learn the ropes. But even without bonus systems having employees who understand more about what running a business really involves is a good thing as (a) they are more likely to understand that the capacity of the owner to continue to employ them at all depends on their contribution to a making the business successful and (b) they will also realize that starting up their own business is both tougher and more expensive than they probably thought.

    Another thing I noted “Not everyone can be a business owner, nor should they be “. While not everyone may have actual shares in the business I try to develop a sense of ownership for what they do and feel that it is valued, as well as being valuable. This goes beyond financial reward. To put in the inverse if employees don’t feel any sense of ownership they wont feel they are part of the business and you’ve probably lost them already.

  8. Nick Efthimiou

    I think that the message you are sending out, would only benefit associates/employees.

    If a clinic is well run, profitable and busy, then those practitioners that want to earn a salary, and not go into business (of which there are many) will be busier (job satisfaction), and making more money for both themselves and the clinic. For me, that’s a win-win.

    I think that someone asking for a pay-rise as mentioned in the post, is more about the kind of person they are and their attitude in general, than the result of teaching health professionals how to become more business savvy.

  9. PD

    Hey mate,

    “If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll end up being nothing to no one”

    The “Million Dollar Health Professional” can be everything to a health business owner.
    It can be a one stop shop if used to its full potential.
    …but is not a one size fits all, roll it out to all your therapists kind of model.

    Your colleague is right about one thing though.
    There is a hole in the market for postgraduate education in Management of Client Expectations and Ethics for employee’s.

    M.D.H.P. is fantastic for the self employed.

    …but where is the training/education for the EVERDAY STAFF MEMBER on how to:

    Maximise client satisfaction.
    Retain regular clients.
    Have so many referrals from existing clients that you don’t need adverts or promotions.
    Increase you weekly take home without even asking for a raise.
    Attain maximum job satisfaction.


  10. Elizabeth

    I think all business owners have been in this position with a new grad. I’m happy to tell them what is required & how to do it, but you know that 80/20 rule, only 20% of the population will ever do it. It’s too hard for them.

    I would have put him on a path to increase his productivity on how he can get that pay rise, & then see if he falls within that 20%.

  11. David Peirce

    Hi Paul et al..

    Sentiments above reflect my overall view – the messages are right on the money, so to speak. I would say to the well respected practice owner this – why did the new employee not have a very clear understanding of how long he would work before he should even think about that conversation. I know some people will have a go anyway but I think part of Paul’s message is very clear to establish the business ethos – selecting the right people and looking into the crystal ball is very hard but signing off on an employment agreement which states clearly states the pathway to more $$ would be an essential part of this I would feel – if in doubt….throw out!