Today it is very clear that, as a Veterinary Doctor, to be satisfied and fulfilled both in the professional and personal life, it is necessary to acquire additional skills other than the technical and scientific ones.
These are largely taught in our Veterinary Schools. Some Universities may be better managed than others, but if you want to learn, you can graduate with a very good technical and scientific background and start practicing as an excellent veterinarian. We also know how much where you begin your post-graduate carrier is important, to acquire good experience and learn the necessary skills that will allow you to provide the best possible services to your patients.
Everything works fine, until you find yourself facing the brutal reality of business where you have to deal with taxes and the government (tax authorities), invoices, bills, accountants, lawyers, insurances, equipment investments, leasing, renting a facility… and at this point we feel overwhelmed and find ourselves in situations that we do not know how to handle in a proper way.
We can make mistakes that can harm the already low profits; frustration, bitterness, misunderstandings begin affecting our daily routine and influence our mood, with the result that we are distracted with our patients and left with the unpleasant feeling of wasting our time and being inadequate. How many of you have been in this situation at least once?
No one has taught us how to build a business and no one has prepared us for this, but we have a professional activity that is officially recognized by the government like a business. Are we going to take responsibility? How can we learn this knowledge, the right skills and start seeing new opportunities, enhance our expertise, create a context that guarantees us the quality of life we desire?
To improve our capacities, we must, therefore, acquire elsewhere the business and personal growth skills to implement our professionality: in fact, our practice will expand only to the extent that we grow. Do you know where are you starting from? Do you know where you want to go? Growing means to be a better person than yesterday, a leader able to educate the community about animal welfare, food quality, public health, environmental preservation and much more. Our role is crucial. Are we ready to take on the responsibility of who we are and who we are becoming?
Why are we doing this? What is the great motivator, the driver that pushes us beyond our fears, beyond that concert of “little voices” that we hear in our head every day?
We need to be able to communicate with the client, who is not our patient, and to distinguish the two identities by managing the situation with the capacity to listen, to manage emotions without taking charge of what comes up for the owner, typical of the empathy that belongs to Veterinarians.
As the number of clients grows, the number of tasks also increases and it becomes urgent to set up systems, we need to simplify, to delegate and this may result in having more employees or co-workers, with all the consequences of having many relationships going on at this point!
How can I make it? Interacting with people is not always easy and all too often leads to additional problems and we may decide to go back working alone, thus limiting our business growth. “Business is a Team Sport” (Blair Singer) and for this reason, it is necessary to create an appropriate context that is based on values and rules. Develop leadership skills becomes a must!
In summary, running a veterinary business requires not only technical and scientific knowledge but also business management skills and personal development. Only by mixing these three components we will thrive and enjoy the journey.