School was the easy part.
Four years of graduate school led me to this point.
I spent countless hours memorizing body parts, muscles, identifying herbs in little plastic bags that made me look criminal as well as learning the latin and Chinese names. I spent day after day studying acupuncture points and their meridians, diagnosis and disease prevention. My mind expanded ten fold... yet I still don't know how to do my taxes.
We didn't learn about business in graduate school
I entered my masters program to make a difference, to help people become healthier, feel better and work their way towards a balanced life. Nowhere in that daydream did I expect to learn that Quickbooks has more versions and options than the menu at the Cheescake Factory or which codes I needed to bill insurance companies. I honestly figured I could get away with using a sheet of paper to track finances--- but I quickly realized that the 20th century was calling and they wanted their pencil back. I nod my head endlessly when talking to colleagues about business issues, but in reality I wait for the conversation to end so I can google what was just said.
I didn't know to look at different credit card carriers or how to create excel spreadsheets or look into the amount of money Illinois steals from me to practice my medicine. My school didn't quite prepare me either---instead they taught us how to create herbal formulas and to stop eating sugar. Everything I learned was valuable, but none of it was business.
Sometimes you just have to jump into the deep end.
So here I am, 5 months into my new business figuring things out as I go along. Quickbooks is kind of cool, and taking insurance is still as complicated as it was 5 months ago--- I just figured out what Credentialing means as well as the value of hiring help when you don't know what the hell you are doing. Owning a business causes a lot of headaches, sleepless nights and insecurities that don't occur when you are in the insulated bubble of school or a 9 to 5 job. I'm responsible for myself and my clients, as well as those pesky taxes. I'm the one that needs to get clients in the door and explain to them why my medicine is so valuable. I'm also the one that gets to choose my hours and spend time on a job that I absolutely love. Not many people get to say that. When you are your own boss the pressure can seem insurmountable, but it can also be freeing. So instead of worrying when my next patient will walk through the door, or which service to use for online record keeping, I'm just going to go for a swim in the deep end---and I'm going in with a cannonball.