7 Deadly Mistakes Made By New Practice Startups

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50. Keep Doing What Your Doing & You’ll Get What You’ve Got

Welcome to Episode 50 of the Speech Therapy Private Practice Startup Podcast! This episode is all about doing things differently to achieve maximum results in business and your personal life. To celebrate my 50th birthday this Christmas Eve, I decided to accomplish another one of my life goals – That is to earn a private pilot’s license 🙂 In this podcast, I talk about something that I realized while I was soloing a 172 Cessna in the pattern at KTUS (Tucson International Airport), speech therapy private practice just is like flying a private plane – when all else fails, use your checklists, get the right training, get over the fear and don’t give up!

In this episode:
02:09 – Taking some time off
05:12 – Taking up flying
06:52 – Learning how to fly a Cessna 172
08:49 – If you don’t change, nothing is going to change
10:08 – Take your checklist, follow your checklist
10:45 – Remember the checklist
14:58 – It’s kind of like in traffic
16:15 – Learning how to start, grow and scale own Private practice
17:01 – Big FIVE O thing


We have a checklist in the All access community, PrivateSLP. There’s a checklist for referrals. There’s a checklist on how to get paid. There’s all kinds of checklists that I’ve documented along the way. When it comes to staying airborne, I was thinking I’m freaking out. I’m sure you guys freak out too when it comes to your business. I mean I’m sure some you do but I know a lot of the people I work with on a daily basis they’re always up to something and there’s always something to learn. So my instructor gets out of a plane and he says remember the checklist.


Well, Hello everyone you’re listening to the Speech Therapy Private Practice StartUp Podcast. This is episode number 50. My name is Kyle Meades and I’m a Speech Pathologist since 1993. And these podcasts are designed to help you improve your business and your life one Podcast at a time.

Welcome back to the show everyone. Thanks again for all the emails and all the questions. As of today, today is Friday, November 8, 2019. We have well over 57,000 listeners to the show and I’m super glad you guys are out there, getting good valuable information because you know me. I say it every single time, value is what you get in the absence of money, and these podcasts who absolutely free for you. So if you wouldn’t mind please do your part and go to the iOS or Android platform of your choice and leave some five star feedback. That way other people just like you can get the same valuable information that you guys are getting.

I hope you guys are doing well, and I’ve had some listeners reach out to me recently and they’re saying things like, “Hey Kyle, where you been? or are you alive or hey, when’s the next podcast coming out?” All right I got you. So I have been taking some time off to myself. When I first started the Speech Therapy Private Practice starter podcast, I always said I was going to do these at least once a month. Sometimes try to do two a month but life is life, and unlike other podcasters that I know I’m actually running a full time clinic. We have two locations in Tucson. We just opened our second location. We offer speech and occupational and physical therapy services to many people here in our community. And we just do a lot of great work. On top of opening our second location and purchasing a new commercial building, it’s a little over 7800 square feet. We’re using all of that space too for Speech and OT, and one of the locations we’ve got PT.

On top of that, we just had our Annual Trunk or Treat where we had a ton of kids come out we gave them tons of candy with a cakewalk and we got a D.J. and face painting. And if you think I’m doing all this there’s no way, I mean I am not that smart. We’ve got some really great people who work here for our practice and our clinic and they come up with all these ideas. I just pay for these things and just supply the canvas and let them do the painting. So that’s what we’ve been doing.

We also did our annual Halloween employee night out. We went over to Old Tucson studios. If you Google that, it’s an old movie set out here in the mountains outside of Tucson, Arizona. I mean back in the day I was way out but because of our population growth here in Tucson it’s not too far out now. But John Wayne filmed a lot of movies out there and like the Three Amigos with Steve Martin was filmed out there. And for those of you who are a little bit dated if you remember the episodes and show Little House On The Prairie was filmed out there, parts of it. That’s where I took all the employees. They turned that whole movie set into a haunted house. So that’s my favorite time of the year. My son and his friends they like to do all that, and I get tickets for everybody, and the employees, their kids & families and we just give tickets and go out there and have some fun.

That’s what we’ve been doing lately and just keeping it real. And like I said earlier I’m actually doing this, I’m running multiple locations and paying health insurance for the employees 401K profit sharing dental vision for our employees. We’ve got many people that we see some running an operation, so sometimes I just may not feel like getting behind a microphone and podcasting. But today I have been really wanting to get back into it. But there’s another reason I haven’t been behind the mic and that’s because I am pursuing something that’s really important to me personally not really professionally. But I’ve got a little bit of time to myself during the week so I’m taking up flying and when I was at LSU, Louisiana State University, I was there from ‘87 to ‘91 and when I was graduating I was also in the ROTC program at LSU and I was supposed to be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force, and I was supposed to fly planes. But because of growing up around guns and shooting things in the bayou. You’ve all seen Swamp People that’s where I grew up. So shooting guns and just not taking care of my hearing and playing drums and things like that, I had a mild noise induced hearing loss in my left ear. I couldn’t get a waiver. It’s kind of cool having a speech therapy audience base because you guys get it. I couldn’t get a waiver for my left ear so I had to scrap the idea of being a pilot or a navigator in the United States Air Force. I mean it was all set. I was supposed to go Lackland Air Force Base and do my Officer training.

So for the many years that I’ve been a Speech pathologist I always said when I get a little bit of time I’m gonna start flying. I want to get my private pilot’s license and so back in June and July, which is the hardest time in Tucson. And that’s when the air is the most bumpiest in Tucson, because the heat rises and it causes thermals and you get thrown around. I said I’m going to do it. And so that’s what I’ve been doing. I have been studying and getting in a plane two-three times a week I’ve been working with a couple of instructors and learning how to fly a Cessna 172 and recently I soloed which is when you get in a plane and you go up by yourself with a student pilot license and now next Thursday, I’m supposed to fly from Tucson to a place called Benson, and then a little bit north to another place called Safford, Arizona. And that’s kind of going towards North E sort of close to the New Mexico area border of Arizona. So that’s part of the private pilot training, you have to do Solo in a plane without the instructor.

And that’s what I wanted to talk about today because when we’re starting, growing and scaling our own Speech therapy private practice, this stuff can be so overwhelming and so mind boggling because you have to not only deal with scheduling a patient, you got to see the patient and then after you see the patient, you got to document what you did and then you’ve got to take that information and put it into a billing system or have somebody bill it for you.

And then once you bill it, which anybody can do really but it’s the AR the accounts receivable, that really helps you get paid. That’s when you go through and because it’s probably going to be denied. Right? And then you have to send your notes and things like that to the Insurance company. So you’re doing all this work just to get paid to see one patient and then if you want to have a real true Speech therapy private practice, you have to multiply that. You got to rinse and repeat, and do this over and hopefully you can build it up to 100 or 200 or 500 people a week. I mean that’s the goal. Why wouldn’t you want to be in business? Why wouldn’t you want to just do something, the best you can do and be the best you can be?

Let’s think about it. If you don’t change nothing is going to change. I mean if you keep doing what you’re always done you’re going to get what you’ve always got. That’s what I’m trying to say. So this stuff is mind boggling and that’s what we’re doing at All Access Community. We talk about these things, these systems in Private Practice and that’s why really it dawned on me one day and when I was on the plane because I’m sitting there and I’ve always got my instructor with me, and finally one day he says, “Hey, I need to get out of the economy.” I want you to get out because I want you to solo. I don’t want a solo because it’s time you need to do this.

So he gets out of the plane and he shuts the door and the engine’s humming. I’m sitting there, what do I do? There’s nobody in here to yell at me. There’s nobody in the cockpit to tell me what to do. What if I crash? What if the engine goes out? What if there’s no fuel? What if there’s oil burns up and I crash? I know we’re talking Tucson International Airport there’s Alaskan Airlines as FedEx planes taken off all day long here at Tucson International there’s United Airlines is American Airlines. There was a big Hawaiian Airlines jet, they got diverted from Phoenix to Tucson recently. There’s F16 is in and C 130 is in. Like how am I going to do this? And I just remembered, he says, “Take your checklist, follow your checklist.” I’m like, “Oh, yeah the checklist. Oh yeah”. We have a checklist in the All access community, PrivateSLP. There’s a checklist for referrals. There’s a checklist on how to get paid. There’s all kinds of checklists that I’ve documented along the way. When it comes to staying airborne, I was thinking I’m freaking out. I’m sure you guys freak out too when it comes to your business. I mean I’m sure some you do but I know a lot of the people I work with on a daily basis they’re always up to something and there’s always something to learn. So my instructor gets out of a plane and he says remember the checklist.

So what do I do? I grab my checklist and I go through it. Okay, the avionics (the radios) are on and the lights are on, the strobes are on, the fuel is on, there’s a fuel tank selector it’s turned on both, engines running, air pressure is good, everything’s in the green and here I’m on the West ramp and I’ve got my Bose noise cancelling headset on and I’m really freaking out. At one point I said I’m just going to wait till tomorrow and do this. And I said I can’t wait till tomorrow. I gotta get this done. I got a solo I gotta do this myself. If I can start a Speech Therapy Private Practice, surely I could fly a plane. I supposed to do this years ago and then I start doubting myself and I know you guys doubt yourself too sometimes with what you’re doing.

And I said I gotta do it. If I Crash, I crash, right? But I’m gonna do it. So I get on the radio and I say, “Hey, I’m on the West ramp. I’m with Charlie,” which is this code they give out. It’s called ADAS and it gives you the weather and all this blah-blah-blah and I’m sitting there, and I went through the checklist. I told him where I wanted to go in the pattern and fly around and do some pattern work, and take off and land. That’s what I wanted to do and they told me what to do and I did it. And so I’m sitting there by myself on a runway Tucson International Airport and he says you’re clear for takeoff. I’m like holy moly, I ease that to our land and we get up to about 55 or 60 and I pull back on and there I am I’m flying. I got overwhelmed with happiness, joy, and fear, and just the same stuff I was talking about in episode one. You can hear it my voice scared to death.

I went up and I took a right turn, and I went all the way back around, watch my speed and do what I was told. I watch my checklist there and I put my flaps in, I brought the throttle back and it started to coast in, and there I am looking at runway 1-1 right. Because 1-1 left is where all the big planes are and I’m on runway 1-1 right which is parallel and there I am just kind of gliding in. And look there it is. I landed, I didn’t bounce. I didn’t crash. The prop still on and I hit my flaps. I slowly increase the throttle and I did it again. I’m sitting there and second time I’m thinking. Okay, I got this-I got this. So I go around and I go down when I’m looking at the runway on my right and they told me I’m clear to land, and touching goes. And I just did it again and I’m looking at the runway and 1500 feet and 1000 feet and 500 feet and 250 feet, and whoop, did it again. It has a good landing.

My God this is so much fun. Well I ease the throttle and through the flaps up and I take off again and this time the controller, he tells me to do something I wasn’t expecting. He says, I want you to extend this and take a ride here and go way out over here and I’m thinking, come on, I said, “I’m a solo student pilot” and he said, “Keep doing what you’re doing”. And so I kept doing it and it just threw me off. But I went back to the checklist. I went back to my little trusty checklist and next thing I’m looking at the runway again and 1000 feet, 750 feet, 500 feet, 250 feet, boom, touched down again. It was so cool and then I exited the runway on Alpha 11 and I was waiting on holding short of runway when I left and next thing, Four F16 just go, they took off. I’m like Wow, check this out. And then I got permission across that runway and hangar left and I’m going back to the hangar on the West ramp.

And I got this F16 fighter jet, looking right at me. He’s in my way. He’s on my yellow line, and the tower says he’s going to yield to me and this guy wasn’t going to yield to me. He’s looking at me and I’m looking at him. It’s an Air Force pilot and he looks at me he waves. I think about it folks. Here’s an F 16 fighter pilot waving at me and a little Cessna plane. And I just motioned him to go ahead he can just go around and I’ll let him up. So it’s kind of like in traffic you let somebody in let the guy in.

And then as I passed him, there’s four other planes ready to take off. There they’re waving at me because I guess back in the day they had to train in one of these planes. This kind of cool waving at the pilots and everybody’s happy. Next thing the airports kind of shutting down. All these fighter jets are taken off and Vice President Pence coming into Tucson on that Thursday. He was going down to do some work on the border. So I got caught up and the vice president of the United States on the day I solo go figure. But I listen to what I had to do. I did what I was told and I got over it. So now I’m all fired up and ready to fly again. So next Thursday I’m going to Safford, Arizona and I may get a private pilot’s license and I’m gonna start flying around the United States and come in to see you at your clinic. So if you want me to fly up there and let me know and we’ll start seeing if we can carve it out and make it happen.

But anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to for the last 60-70-80 days. Sometimes I just don’t feel like making a podcast but I tell you what I have been doing I’ve been showing up and the private SLP all access communities we’ve got two more members in there and it’s really great because I’m meeting with these folks on a weekly basis. They’re getting their checklist, they’re learning how to start and grow and scale their own Private practice from somebody who’s actually doing it. And everything is good and I show up and you’ve got direct access to me and you can reach me on the All Access Community. There’s a place where you can ask privately and if you want to have a private coaching session with me online you can do that or if you want me to call you during the week I can do that or if you want to throw something out there to the community you can do that.

So there are some options for that private coaching section of the All Access Community. But I just want to give you guys a heads up and let you know this is episode number 50 and guess what. I’m going to be 50 this year Christmas Eve. I’m going to be 50 so this is kind of that big FIVE O thing for me. And I’m just so grateful that I can help you guys grow, scale and learn. So if there’s anything I can help you out with, all you have to do is reach out to me, go to PrivateSLP.com/contact, you can see how to get in contact with me there. And as always thank you for listening.

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