Tandem Physical Therapy

Has the Pandemic Affected Our Business?

This past weekend my phone buzzed with a text message from a former patient wanting to know if the virus has “hurt” our business. We get asked some version of this question quite a bit actually, so I think it deserves a thoughtful response.

Early on when Christy and I made the difficult decision to temporarily close our doors, we knew we would be facing a challenge. The grim reality of the situation was that our business had just started to take off and now, we would be closing our doors for an unforeseen amount of time, uncertain if we would even have a business to come back to.

At the time, there was no PPP Loan or government assistance available and I remember one afternoon sitting on my back porch checking our bank account to see how many months we could survive like this (both as a business and personally). It was one of those gut-punching, sinking feelings that makes you want to melt into the floor.

“…but, within every challenge is an opportunity.”

I had just finished reading the book “Good To Great” by Jim Collins and I remember learning about something called the “Stockdale Paradox”. The term originated from Admiral Jim Stockdale, who spent eight years being brutally tortured in the “Hanoi Hilton” POW camp during Vietnam, but never lost his faith that he would one day be released and reunited with his family again.

The Stockdale Paradox says to “retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties AND AT THE SAME TIME confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they may be”.

Collins goes on to explain a valuable lesson – and one that has stuck with me throughout this experience – that “what separates people is not the presence or absence of difficulty, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life.”

Now, back to the original question, “Has the virus hurt your business?”

My response was a resounding “No”, the virus has never hurt our business…

If anything, the virus has presented us with challenges that continue to test our decisions and ability to adapt to this new situation. Our own successes or failures depend purely on us and how we plan for the future.

From a macro-perspective I’m confident to say that we’re better off NOW than pre-COVID. I’ve learned (and continue to learn) so many valuable lessons, both personally and professionally. I would have never had the time to think and reflect on certain things in my life had we not closed all those weeks.

To conclude this month’s edition, there are five major lessons I’ve learned over these last 8 months that I would like to share with you.

1. I can always count on the unconditional love and support of my family to get me through tough times. There is nothing more important in my life.

2. Continue to invest in building and nurturing strong relationships. In my opinion, this is the number 1 reason we have a business today.

3. I have blind spots in my ways of thinking. I must consider the sources I want influencing my thoughts, opinions and beliefs.

4. I need a clear head to keep from making emotional decisions. Regular meditation and mindfulness practice help me achieve better mental clarity and awareness.

5. I CAN live with uncertainty.

Scroll to Top