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About Philippa Kennealy

 

Philippa Kennealy MD MPH CPCC PCC is The Entrepreneurial MD Business Coach who wants to help you build your business!
meet Philippa>>>

 

 

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Tuesday
Jan232007

Do you want to "Open for Business in Ten Steps"?

starupnation_coaching.gifWow - The Entrepreneurial MD's Project Number One for 2007 is about to begin!

I am thrilled to announce my affiliation with Start-UpNation, Pam Slim of Escape From Cubicle Nation and John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing to offer a 12-week coaching program to help anyone who is serious about opening for business (or recrafting their existing business or practice).

Before I share any details about the program, here's my question to you:

When you picture leaving your clinical practice or organizational job to start your own business, what happens?

  • Are you overwhelmed with a sense of not knowing where to begin?
  • Do you procrastinate when it comes to tackling your first steps “to-do” list?
  • Do you experience fear and doubt about your ability to pull it off?

It may be that you're planning a small business to supplement your current income, a start-up that fulfills a change-in-lifestyle fantasy, or a mini-empire employing others and creating a legacy.

All successful businesses start with the basics:

  • alignment of personal and business goals
  • sound business planning
  • viable financing
  • finding the right people, and
  • knowing how to distinguish themselves in their markets and sell their offerings.

For most people, it ISN’T enough to read books or web articles, no matter how comprehensively the authors cover the topics. They need the guidance and insights from actual people with knowledge and experience!

StartUpNation has long been a favorite resource to refer entrepreneur clients to, as it provides resources for thousands of entrepreneurs through its articles, podcasts, and call-in radio show. However, until now, it has lacked a structured program led by experienced coaches to personally guide people through the initial phases of starting a business.

In response to a huge demand for live help, the innovative company has created a coaching program to enrich and deepen its "Ten Steps to Open for Business" module. In this coaching program, as the coaches who designed the course, Pam and I will be addressing all the basics!

My involvement came about as a result of networking (see - I promise it works!), and a cherished relationship with Pam, whom I had met in a teleclass. She had, turn had forged the connection with Rich and Jeff Sloan, the founders of StartUpNation.

As the first of StartUpNation's affiliated Entrepreneur Coaches, Pam and I are committed to delivering the "Ten Steps to Open for Business Coaching Program" to our course participants, taking advantage of the wealth of StartUpNation resources AND providing our coaching expertise and support in real time.

It's a 12-week coaching program that starts on February 14th (Pam Slim's class) or on February 16 (my class) (this is two weeks later than originally anticipated because of a tight timeline to get all the software testing completed). It combines 75-minute weekly group coaching meetings over the phone with a private online forum for your group, and 1:1 coaching sessions with your coach - me, if you sign up for the February 16th series! And, yes, if you have to miss a class (after all who could realistically commit to all twelve weeks as a physician?), you'll be able to catch up by listening to a downloadable recording of each class.

Is this program for you? The answer is YES, if:

    • You have a specific business idea
    • You are intrigued by the thought of going into business for yourself
    • You don’t have an organized process for how to do that….yet!
    • You’re stuck in your "day job" and working on your business on the side, and your next big step is to go full-time in your business
    • You are a self-starter who would appreciate some support and structure
    • You are ready to take action!

 If this is just what you need to help you kickstart your 2007 with a resounding bang, check out the program. I'd love to have you participate in my group!!

Monday
Jan222007

Physician Executive - profile of a physician with an entrepreneurial dream.

PEJournal novdec 3006.jpgI am delighted to be able to share the link to my November-December 2006 article in the Physician Executive, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College for Physician Executives geared towards physicians who are or have moved into non-clinical leadership or business roles.

The article is titled "Have Dream ... Will Prevail" and it profiles the story of Dr. Susan Reynolds of the Institute for Medical Leadership.

I hope you enjoy reading it.

Monday
Jan222007

Networking your way to new entrepreneurial opportunities

1-22-07rolodex.jpgDo you get clammy hands when you think of having to "sell" yourself and your products or services in a networking situation? If you are like most people, the idea of attending a networking event conjures up images of sore feet from standing too long, dread at having to break into established conversation groups, and piles of business cards that live in shoeboxes months after the event.

If you are well-trained, you have ready your 30-second "elevator speech" about what you plan to be doing in your new business, and you have even learned the art of approaching a clump of people. So why does it all feel so artificial and uncomfortable?

It was only when I let go of the idea of selling my services and replaced it with the concept of relationship-building that I began to enjoy and actively seek the chance to network. My biggest realization came when I understood that I wasn't actually selling my coaching services --- that the real product was ME.

When I am with my close friends, I am genuine, relaxed and at ease. I am "in relationship" to them. What if I were to start seeing all the people I was meeting as opportunities to create new relationships? Make new friends? Then I could just relax and be myself. Yes, I want to be able to tell folks what I do in a way that makes it clear. And yes, I want to build my business. But people like to do business with people they know and trust. How many times had I heard that one before?

Now my approach to networking is to view every interaction with someone as an opportunity to create a relationship. My focus is on being interested in and curious about the person opposite me. Most people love the chance to talk about themselves so if I am a great listener, and ask good questions, I will learn a lot about them.

Then I figure out what I can give away. Is it a referral to someone I think she will connect well with? Is it the name of a book he might enjoy? A website where I know he can get answers to his questions? Or a copy of an article I can send her? I consider a successful networking event to be one in which I walk away with more business cards and promises to send some information than I handed out.

Here comes the part that most of us forget about. Follow up!! It is stated in most sales and marketing circles that it takes at least 5 contacts with most people to get their attention, and then their interest in your service or product.

If you have done your job well, you will have collected some business cards and made a few notes on the card --- anything special to remember about that person or to remember to do for that person, such as send a website link or a copy of an article. As soon as possible, and I cannot stress this enough, follow up with him or her. Call, write, e-mail ---- show your reliability and trustworthiness by doing what you promised to do.

Create strong connections with others so that YOU are the go-to person when others need a referral. Slowly build a pool of people who can be a source of referrals, contacts and friendly advice!

The day will come when those people who have gotten to know you, and have experienced your genuineness and interest, will remember you when they need to make a referral or they want your service or product themselves. This is when your networking will pay handsomely.

Go meet people, relax and have fun, remove the stress of having to sell your product or service, and focus instead on building the best relationships possible!

Do you have any other great networking tips to share?

Thursday
Jan182007

Tax tips for your business

10-31-06helpinghand.jpg

Lifehack.org is a cornucopia of resources for your business, leadership role and personal effectiveness - I am amazed and gratified by how Australian entrepreneur Leon Ho manages to scour the internet and turn up the gems he posts daily.

In his post today, Leon highlights the 14 most overlooked tax deductions, from H and R Block, that I thought might be a helpful reminder as that April 15th deadline sneaks up on us.

These tax tips include:

  • Hybrid cars can help you save in taxes.
  • Student Loan Interest Deduction
  • Donate Your Car to Charity
  • Claiming a Loss from a Natural Disaster
  • Deducting Work Uniform Expenses
  • Reduce Your Taxes with Home Ownership
  • Tax Breaks for Higher Education
  • Bunching Charitable Deductions
  • Itemizing for Non-homeowners
  • Less Obvious Donations Add Up
  • Stock or Mutual Fund Donations
  • Keep Track of Holiday Donations
  • Paying More for Charitable Items Counts
  • Home Office Expenses

Read the complete H and R Block article, with detail on the 14 tips, here.

Tuesday
Jan162007

Becoming an entrepreneurial physician partner when you have few alternatives - Dr. Bender's story

1-16-07chrysalis.jpgI love hearing the stories from physicians, who for many differing reasons, have changed careers midstream. A special story, written for me last year, comes from Dr. Bruce Bender who, mid career, discovered he could no longer practice medicine because of a disability.

Instead of wallowing in "woe-is-me" victimhood, he and his wife Laurie, a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, chose to view this experience as an opportunity to become an entrepreneurial team. From being a pathologist and then hospital executive, Dr. Bender transformed himself into a partner with his wife, Laurie, in a franchise business. After some trial and error, they found the business opportunity that most closely matched their Life Plans and professional needs, and have not looked back ever since.

Because we were unable to conduct the interview in person and record it, I offer it to you in its full written form. 

I would like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Bender for taking the time to write out his responses, AND for the candor he expressed about his challenges, as well as his successes. My fondest wish (as I know it is his wish too) is to offer physicians faced with oncoming physical disabilities both hope and encouragement that they, too, may emerge into the next phase of their careers in ways that prove equally if not more professionally satisfying.

Philippa: Bruce, would you be willing to share your story with the audience about how you came to own and operate your first franchise?

Bruce: Certainly. My wife and I were disenchanted with the increasing focus on finance in healthcare and our inability to provide the type of care that we thought people needed. We had also made several moves over the preceding 20 years and did not want to do so again. So we made a decision to look into other opportunities.

Philippa: How did you transition from your clinical practice to your entrepreneurial venture?

Bruce: I had obtained a Masters in Administrative Medicine degree from the University of Wisconsin –ACPE degree in 1990. My positions subsequent to that were all very administrative. This gave me a sense of what business was like, as well as some basic tools.

My wife and I discussed what types of businesses we would like to try. We came to the conclusion that doing something that would help the growing population of seniors offered the promise of providing the kind of fulfillment we were missing, as well as having very significant growth potential. A franchise seemed like a logical possibility. There are a number of books about how to select and start a franchise and many resources offering and rating franchise opportunities.

Philippa:  What made you choose a franchise as opposed to any other kind of business venture?

Bruce: We believed that a franchise organization would provide significant support and make for a less stressful environment. They provide such things as software, Operations Manuals, Office Staffing Manuals, etc. They also develop relationships with vendors for items such as stationary, brochures, etc. We thought association with multiple other owners who would face the same issues as us would be beneficial. The ability to participate in and benefit from national branding was important.

Philippa: How did you get your education about franchising? Who did you turn to for advice?

Bruce: We did it on a wing and a prayer with some “how to” books.

Philippa: You mentioned to me that you could no longer practice medicine because you had developed significant hearing loss. As I feel sure there are physicians in our readership who have had to leave clinical practice for various disabilities, can you tell us how this affected you?

Bruce: Having a disability can make a significant difference in outlook. As a physician and executive, young and in good health, I felt reasonably in control. To suddenly have a disability that might or might not be career threatening made it clear that things are never in control.

Although most people are really thoughtful and kind, some act like a disabled person is mentally deficient or somehow a drag on society. That made me both very angry and much more tolerant of other people. I really wanted to do something useful, and suddenly helping people who are slowly losing their ability to function seemed like a very worthwhile endeavor.

When we decided to purchase our first franchise, I had left a job and was very discouraged by the environment within the health care system. Our kids were in their teens and we did not want to move again. I did not consider myself to be disabled.

We purchased the franchise and opened it in March, 1997. However, it was apparent as soon as the office was open, that my hearing would make it impossible for me to make it a success. We almost lost our first client because I could not hear her on the phone. It was very frustrating to finally realize that there were things I just could not do, no matter how hard I tried or willed it. I was no more used to failure than most physicians. Accepting the need for help was extremely hard.

We hired a person to be in the office, and my wife became more involved in the company. I got my last job in August of 1997. The company had been growing nicely. My wife left her position as a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist and took over the operations of the company.

Philippa: How did you decide to turn your hearing loss into an opportunity to do something different?

Bruce: We wanted to do something different irrespective of hearing loss. However, we thought that I would run the company and my wife would keep working. Ultimately, I had to leave my job due to hearing disability and could not run the company either. That meant a change in plans.

I was finally declared disabled by Social Security in early 1998. So I started receiving disability payments. It really hurt not to be able to earn a living through my efforts, but having the income made things easier financially.

Now I had the time and the motivation to find fulfillment in helping others. I have participated in many Rotary and Habitat for Humanity projects. These included National Immunization Day in India for Polio, building an orphanage after the tsunami, two Jimmy Carter Work Projects for Habitat for Humanity and a Habitat project in Equador. It is amazing how therapeutic it is for an American worried about his own misfortunes to visit a school for rescued child slaves, or visit tsunami orphans, or just see how life is in most of the rest of the world. These projects have really helped me to replace what I lost with my career and probably led to a much more satisfying life.

Philippa: It seems Laurie, your wife, now essentially runs the current franchise you own and operate and you help out. How has it been working with your wife? What have been the highlights? And the struggles, if you care to name any?

Bruce: It has been said that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It was very difficult in the beginning, particularly since I was resentful of her ability to do what I had set out to do. Over time, though, we became much more aware of how each person works, what our strengths and weaknesses were and how to get along. I think that has translated back into our personal lives.

Philippa: What about your identity as a physician? What, if anything have you had to let go of to move away from being a practicing physician?

Bruce: I am a third generation physician. So, my self esteem was hit hard. It took years to overcome that. However, I think my world view has broadened quite a bit. I still miss the world of medical practice, bitterly when I allow myself to. I don’t miss the bureaucratic nightmares that had become my existence. I have discovered that I can make friends, influence people and gain respect without being a physician. That was a very pleasant revelation.

Philippa: Looking back from your vantage point of now, what are two to three key things you have learned about going into business?

Bruce: First, you really need to know what you want to do and evaluate the opportunities carefully.

It will probably cost a lot more money and take a lot longer to build a real business than you will be told, or can imagine.

After a few years, you may be lucky or blessed enough to realize you made the right choice and should have done it years ago.

Philippa: What one thing would you do differently if you were to do it all over again?

Bruce: Acknowledge my degree of disability earlier.

Philippa: For those reading your story who might be interested in your product, could you briefly describe what its benefits are and how it might be used? How could they reach you?

Bruce: We own Home Instead Senior Care franchises. Home Instead Senior Care was the first to provide in home non-medical assistance for seniors. We bought the 51st franchise. Now there are over 500 around the world. Our CAREGivers are our employees, with worker’s compensation, unemployment, bonding and criminal records checks. We train them and provide supervision and replacements when necessary.

As was recently acknowledged by a study out of Purdue University, non-medical support can make a huge difference in the quality of life for seniors and others who are losing their ability to function either physically or mentally. We provide assistance with the tasks of daily living such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands and incidental transportation. Often companionship is a very big part of the help, since many of these clients are very isolated. Having the assistance is also a major relief for family caregivers who may be overwhelmed and depressed.

The Home Instead Senior Care web site offers a directory of all franchises. Each office is individually owned and operated. Each business has posted a short description of themselves. They can be reached by phone or over the internet. A Service Information Request form can be sent directly to the appropriate office.

What an inspiring story - right?

In what ways do you want to "reinvent" yourself, stay challenged and live your life "on purpose"?

I'd love to hear from any of you who are either obligated or inspired to reevaluate your professional existence. Do you have a story to share with your colleagues?

And if you are seeking further inspiration from successful physician entrepreneurs, check out Conversations with Trailblazers Volume 1 here.