Thursday, October 29, 2015

Finding the "Ideal" Person

Finding the right, ideal, perfect, etc. person in the context of a relationship is often the goal for many. We have our lists, our requirements, our deal breakers, certain must haves, certain would be perks. But here's the thing, relationships (despite what TV may tell us) isn't to be approached as one does a meat market.

In fact, by doing so, we make the experience of finding our special someone all about us. What about them?!

If everyone is only look for their own desires, who is looking out for your future and/or intended beloved's?

My advice is this: Don't pursue the ideal person. BECOME the ideal person.

There are so many people in the world -- and -- being that the world has gotten so much smaller, it's not about finding the right person. It's about becoming the right person.

If you like character traits A-E, then you must become the type of person that character traits A through E would be attracted to.

After all, what good it is to find your perfect person and have them NOT be attracted to you?!

I find that typically guys have more issue here than gals. So, I'll hammer the fellas for just a moment. Say you like girls who do this, do that, look a certain way, have certain goals in their lives. I mean, they sound more than pretty awesome -- that's just hot marriage material, right?!

But, are YOU marriage material? Do you fit their bill? Why would they be interested in the likes of you? If they are so amazing, you better be just as if not more amazing if you wish to hope to and/or even dream to come across as attractive to them.

That's the secret. If you want to be with your ideal mate, you must first become it.

And, that is actually the secret sauce in terms of attitude for any successful relationship. It's not about you. It's all about them. By making the entire relationship process and path from finding, pursuit, inception, cultivation, even to maturation -- all about your significant other... the relationship becomes that much stronger because it's not based on egocentricity. It's based on what relationships should be on... RELATING to the beloved, the one you care about, the one you love.

So, that's it. Finding the ideal person is all about being the ideal person and having no hesitation about it when your lives cross paths.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Behind The Movement: GetPT1st

Hi everyone, so we're back to healthcare advocacy & physical therapy. Today, I want to dig into something I'm sure you've noticed... GetPT1st. While our profession has the APTA, all the state associations, special interest groups, PAC, Move Forward, etc. -- I was rather impressed that a separate and private entity went out of its way to further the cause of improving the lives of others through physical therapy.

As GetPT1st developed, I took joy in noticing a very unique aspect in both their focus and methodology. The focus was outreach from the perspective of the consumer and the methodology was primary engagements via social media from provider to consumer.

And, what better, than to have front line representatives interact with their market's end-users.

Well, it is happening again, GetPT1st is planning another internet takeover and I'm happy to share excerpts from an inside scoop behind the movement.

Behind The Movement: GetPT1st

GetPT1st started with the early realization that the majority of Physical Therapy information available on the web was too technical and inappreciable by consumers. And, if the information about physical therapy was not technical or free from clinical terminology, it was far too shallow that consumers would still not be interested.

As the digital marketplace grew, the founders of GetPT1st notice a global trend in Physical Therapy (PT) business.
  1. With no true marketing plan, PT businesses had no active budget for paid marketing or advertising.
  2. As a result, the financial health of such businesses would inevitably start to suffer.
  3. Finally, PANIC -- business owners would realize the need for change and reach for anything.
  4. Unfortunately, they would throw money in any and every direction in hopes it would somehow bring in clients and give business a boost.
The GetPT1st founders realized there was a big need for affordable marketing solutions for the average PT business owner. Most of the available marketing services at the time were too expensive to be used and were better suited for large chains and corporations. And, since outsourcing marketing initiatives was out of the question, small PT businesses either haphazardly filled this need internally or not at all. 

After some networking via APTA's Combined Sections Meeting and through social media, the idea came to the point where the founders felt the need to contribute to the profession on a much larger scale.

Once a team was officially gathered, there were three goals for GetPT1st.
  1. Creating an engaging community of PTs, PTAs, and students via social media to generate both interest and support with the idea of GetPT1st.
  2. Expansion. The creation of consumer friendly and shareable content that both prospective customers and clinics could use on their websites and in social media.
  3. Destination. To become the first choice destination website for consumers as it pertained to physical health concerns which physical therapy is best equipped in serving -- and, in essence, to drive a majority share of mind as far as the physical therapy brand is concerned.
It is in this final goal which Get PT 1st aims to make it's ultimate contribution; to convert healthcare consumers who would otherwise see another provider before a physical therapist. And, to expand the profession's brand equity and share of mind to which, if there is any physical therapy needs as we the profession knows it, they the consumers would also identify in the same way.

These are the words from one of the founders: "We need to focus on reaching the public instead of fighting and using all of our collective resources on the "fringe." We need to major in the big things. It might not directly help all the subspecialties of PT immediately (peds, aquatics, women's health), but it will help raise our profile and benefit all over the long run. But, that's one thing we (the PT profession) are terrible about - the long term plan and vision. Which is why we are also horrible about marketing, advertising, and branding. We don't realize that immediate, short term gains are great, but we need to look further down the road."

Personally, I feel that the GetPT1st movement is one of the best examples of end-user marketing to date for any discipline within healthcare. It meets customers from their perspectives, their opinions, and their interests. Rather than focusing on what providers find interesting and intriguing, it converges on consumer engagement to what the customer needs and wants most... to Get PT 1st for all their physical health concerns.

This type of approach benefits our profession as a whole. And, what benefits us as a whole will summatively benefit the parts as well.

Great work. Awesome strategy. Get PT 1st.

For more about GetPT1st please visit:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

5 Ways to Make $6-Figures as a Physical Therapist

Making $100,000 or more is and has been a big benchmark for years now as the "You've made it moment." Being that the median income in the United States is currently about $52k circa late 2015, making twice as much as "the middle" definitely has a nice shine to it.

However, one begs the question: Can a Physical Therapist make Six Figures a Year? After all, it was reported that the average PT makes about $80 annually...

My answer: YES!

Today's post is all about .........!

5 Ways to Make 6 Figures as a Physical Therapist

It starts with attitude!

PTs will never make 6-figures if they keep regarding their job, position, career, or profession as a 9-5 gig. Physicians, surgeons, attorneys, and accountants who make their 6-figures work 50, 60, 70, sometimes 80, or 90 hours a week. The earning potential is there! PTs need to reach out and grab it, own it, and grow it out.

Take Away Talking Points:
  1. Home health should easily be at $100-$110k per year of either total or just direct paid compensation. In fact, I've heard as high as $250k but that was with a PT grinding out 60+ hours a week... probably more.
  2. Location based facilities such as SNFs or government facilities can pay minimum of $45/hr. It isn't a stretch for them to pay $48/hr to get you to 6-figures. Many can easily afford $50/hr and I know of a local one in the boonies of San Diego that is $60/hr!
  3. Travel, Registry, and Staffing Agencies contract with companies for human resources to be available at a moment's (or short time's) notice. About 10 years ago, new grad PTs were making $90k a year with these contracts. Add the sign on bonus of $10k+ a year, and you've made it.
  4. Supplementing your income with any of the 3 above by shortening your 40 hours or simply adding to it is a great strategy.
  5. Making a director level management position is a sure way to make it to $100k. However, make sure companies don't low ball you during the initial offer.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Why Your Relationship is Lonely

Loneliness in marriage means the relationship stopped growing the day you said, "I do."

Wow... harsh, huh? I bet most everyone didn't expect me to put the brutal truth right up front. But, here is the thing... I didn't purpose the answer up front to knock the wind out of you and keep you down. I put it up there as an exercise of introspection and honesty.

The thing is, it is normal for relationships (formal, informal, labeled, legal, etc) to go through certain swings and cycles. However, a good relationship should look like this, a long trend of growth:

A less than healthy one... a bad one, looks like this... nothing but ups and down without growth:

So, what do we do? How do we live out healthy relationships like the first graph and not like the second? It's all about growth. If you grow together, you will grow closer. If you grow separately, you will grow apart. 

Think on how much time in your day you are with or apart from your significant other. This is the start. Then think on how much cognitive time you are with or apart in your interests, hobbies, career, family, and values. Are they convergent or divergent? Certainly, not every couple can converge on the stereotypical interests of their significant others. However, there are three ways to make best the situation into something even better.

First, find a new common interest. What I find that many healthy couples develop is a 3rd interest which becomes the new them. Neither person of the couple had an interest in this third option. Yet, because this has become their new normal, it becomes part of their definition of who they are and how they spend their time together. This concept of new normal is very important.

Secondly, there exists at least ONE interest of the other which is acceptable and welcome. Pursue it. And, encourage mutual reciprocation on this. I personally have found that things that didn't used to interest me but has always been interesting to my wife are now my shared passions. The best silly example of this is behind the scenes content for movies. My wife loves behind the scenes for anything and everything. And, I didn't start out that way. In fact, I hated them at first. But now, I really enjoy them!

Thirdly, consider what is more important. Is your hobby more important? Or, is your relationship? If you've known me for some time, you know that I used to be an avid surfer. There were winters in San Diego I used to surf those waves where news reporters and life guards told you to stay away for your own safety. Those were the waves I craved. Well, after a while, it seemed that surfing only really benefiting me -- a self experience. What was more important to me was my time with my wife. My safety and my quality time with her were more important than my short time in the water. So, I gave up surfing... for now. After all, someone needs to teach my son ;) But, that's another bit for later.

Some Closing Thoughts
If you are finding yourself lonely in a relationship, remember the core of the issue isn't that the love has gone dry or you're going through a phase. What has happened is that the two of you have and are continuing to grow apart. You must take intentional, action oriented steps to mutually find your way back to each other. This must be done on all levels of life's interests: Intellectual, Physical, Emotional, and even Spiritual.

Converge on these four dimension, laboring to ensure that the beloved is upheld far above your own needs, and I can guarantee you unbound success in your relationship going forward.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Truth About Millennial Careers

Welcome to another honest conversation. Today's topic: Careers. It used to be the case that people graduated high school, chose either college or work, then progressed their careers in a linear fashion. However, this just isn't applicable to the millennial age. In fact, it is more likely that not only do people change jobs and companies in due frequency compared to prior generations -- it is even more common now for people to change their career path (and industry of profession) several times throughout their working years.

To this, there is some real benefit to it. One of my favorite Forbes articles covered this little known fact that Employees Who Stay In Companies Longer Than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less. I can tell you this, I've experienced this personally and it is absolutely true. I've been paid better and better each time I moved on from a job.

As I've mentioned in other blog posts, this isn't me advocated that millennials start quitting on a whim. There needs to be a strategic approach to that move.

Rather, the truth about millennial careers is that careers are no longer about longevity and stability. Rather, it is about a multi-dimensional balance and sense of value in the work we do, in the compensation we are given, and in the opportunities available to us throughout the journey, which includes not only promotions but lateralism and lifestyle flexibility.

The truth is this: Millennials, as the highest credentialed and lowest paid generation in 21st century, will walk a career path that resembles a road trip which is more about the journey than the destination. The old school thought of destination obsessed career strategies will only leave millennials discouraged, frustrated, and dejected. Agility, flexibility, and mobility will replace longevity, stability, and linearism. It is through this manner of approach that millennials will experience success in their careers and in their lives.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nerd Hour: 10 Video Games That Changed My Life

Let's face it. I'm a big nerd and I love geeking out. For many years and to this day, I'm a big fan and appreciator of digital entertainment in the form of video games. So, I thought, why not write up a blog post on this? Now, chuckle as you may, I'm sure many of you will identify with the emotional content and life experience surrounding the way we spent time having fun as kids.

So, without further ado, here are...!

PS. The life lessons are at the end of the post. Feel free to skip on if its too nerdy for ya ;)

10 Video Games That Changed My Life

1. Aldo
Aldo was this ridiculous Super Mario type game which was actually ridiculously addictive. No sound. No real ending. Just changes in background and levels that were the same which got increasingly harder until you finally died with the game ending. It was the closest thing to Nintendo I could get my hands on waaaaay back in the day which meant Aldo was my first at home video game experience.

Captain Comic was definitely a level up from Aldo. However, it was such a hard game! It was truly linear and you could only beat it by going through the world in a step by step fashion. Without doing it in exactly such a way, you wouldn't have the inventory, tools, and weapons required to beat the game and would die very quickly. It took me ages to beat this game. And, a few years back, I tried to play this game again. Suffice to say, it was just as hard as it was when I was a kid.

Commander Keen was the hero alias for kid genius Billy Blaze. He was thought by some to be the grandson of the hero in Castle Wolfenstein. Whatever the case, this kiddo wearing a purple shirt, blue jeans, and a Green Bay Packers football helmet goes on the save the galaxy a number of times over. I was such a nerd I ended up finding the secret island with the Vorticon Alphabet.

4. Warcraft 2
For many, WC2 doesn't need any introduction. I found my first RTS experience here with Warcraft 2 and played this for hours during my early teen years. I even went onto a local college campus for a LAN battle before I could drive, just to get a good feel for what real multiplayer RTS was all about. There were many great memories with this game, especially with the crafting of my own missions in the map editor.

5. Starcraft (original)
SC is another game that doesn't really need any introduction. It was a game play that was still good over 10 years later. Some even argue the original game play remains superior to StarCraft 2. Regardless of how it all pans out, I remember many great hours of Starcraft both in high school and in college. No wait... I even played this with modified maps on Battle Net during the months when I met my wife. Yeah... good times.

6. Rainbow Six (and series)
Rainbow Six was one of the first 1st Person Shooter games which involved a fair amount of realism by which players couldn't run around and Rambo the levels. Doing so would mean immediate failure. I loved this game because of the tactical planning required during the campaign. Online play was a lot of fun as well as it was so easy to dominate with grenades and having a keen sense of surroundings. Either people never played paintball before or just appeared to tunnel vision when playing multiplayer. For me, it only meant an easy win with the heartbeat sensor. Years later, I would go on to play many of the Rainbow Six games. Even just as recently, it actually remains a favorite game between my wife and I. Just remember to pie your corners ;)

7. Counter Strike
Counter Strike was my game of choice between my senior year of high school and college. I got way too good at this game to which I was even invited out to a west coast LAN tournament. Of course, I was too young to go and wouldn't have been allowed to. It was also one of the first games to teach me a lesson. It pays to win because the more you win, the more money you get and the more weapons you could buy. So, just keep winning and you won't ever lose!

8. Halo
Halo and the Halo series basically changed 1st person games forever. For me, it turned into a guys night activity into a true interest in digging deeper into the stories of game play. I feel, especially with Halo 4, that the franchise did an excellent job of creating a deeper story while leaving plenty of gaps to fill for future games. After all, Halo Reach came about just because of one sentence in the opening scene of the first Halo game.

9. Rome: Total War
Alright, we're about to get hardcore. Rome: Total War was my first experience with the Total War series. It was also an excellent play as it dealt with historical battles of the ancient times along with the history, geography, and even some cultural contexts. Believe it or not, I actually learned a lot about history by playing this game. I got so into the game play that I started digging into the code and text files to see what I could do to optimize the play for myself. This included customized characters and army units which, personally, felt more accurate what we know of history.

10. Chrono Trigger
Finally, Chrono Trigger. This game is a game I played to death. I got every ending and every sequence and every level up I could. All my characters became truly maxed out to which I still need to dig back to see how many hours of game play this actually took. What was really fun about this game beyond the conceptual genius of it all was the story about a young group of people trying to save the world as they know it. Later, I would tell my wife about one of the healing spells called "Aura Whirl." It became a thing in our early marriage times; I told her that I'm the tank, you're my healer. I need you to stay strong.
The spell is basically a duo combo where the tank character is charged up by the healer and then everyone in the group gets healed. She thought it was romantic when I showed it to her =)

And, apparently, there's a lot to be said about guys asking girls to play games with... I'll agree!

Honorable Mentions include:
-Empire: Total War
-Earthbound (SNES)
-Final Fantasy(s) - 2, 3[6], 7
-Mario 64
-Original Mario
-Super Mario 3 
-Duck Hunt (never shoot your buddy, he'll only laugh at you for trying)
-Zelda (some puzzles in life are meant to be solved by the book)

And, a final uncategorizable honor to:
-The Lego Games including that of Star Wars, Pirates, Lord of the Rings, Marvel Superheroes, and Jurassic Park.... for the simple reason that my wife and I have played way too many hours of these together to even begin to discuss the significance. Suffice to say, if one player wins, we both win.

The Life Lessons I Learned:
  • Life is ultimately like an RPG. So, it is your choice to make your life the best character you can. You can be your own hero, your ultimate fantasy if you make that choice to grind XP.
  • Duck Hunt taught me to never shoot at your buddy. He's there to help you and he'll only end up laughing at you for trying.
  • Zelda taught me that to solve certain puzzles in life, you simply NEED the book.
  • Super Mario 3 taught me that sometimes, sitting back and playing a musical instrument is the best strategy.
  • 1st Person games taught me to keep my head on a swivel and pie my corners.
  • RTS taught me that the devil is in the details; strategy is great, but to get to strategy, you need tactics.
  • Finally, the retro games taught me that it doesn't have to be the most complex game to be the best. Personally, I miss the old stuff... there was so much intellect behind it. The game was driven by the play, not the graphics.