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“You can get past the dead end. You can break through the ceiling. I did and so have countless others.”

Failures Pave the Path to Success

Tree Park Autumn Nature Season  - jplenio / Pixabay

Many nurse practitioner entrepreneurs who venture down the path of operating their own business and obtaining financial freedom believe that it will be easy streak, rainbows in the sky, care bears dancing, and a piece of cake. Well, let me tell you something: you will fail multiple times in many aspects of being a nurse practitioner entrepreneur.

Welcome to business and making a living for yourself.

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Thankfully, everyone does not do it so the few Elites out there that want to pursue entrepreneurism can. You need to have a thicker skin than most to succeed as a nurse practitioner entrepreneur. Why?

Because the road to success is paved with FAILURES.

That is right. No one, and I mean NO ONE who is a successful entrepreneur has done so without failing in multiple aspects of their business startup. We are talking about billionaires down to the person who owns an ice cream shop. Failures HAPPEN and it is what eventually makes you successful.

Failures LEAD to success!

So, before you begin venturing down this path or before you begin to scale your current business in any meaningful way, you need to ensure that you are OKAY with failures. You need to ensure that you can brush them off and keep going. When you fall, you need to have the ability to get back up.

If you can’t, then you will give up. You won’t fail because of the failures and mistakes you made. No no… It doesn’t work that way. You fail because you GAVE UP.


This is critically important.

Now, I am not trying to scare anyone. That is not the point of this article. The point is that I want my nurse practitioner sisters and brothers to be prepared for what WILL happen (not if it will happen). You need to expect failures during your nurse practitioner entrepreneurial journey. You will have countless speedbumps and roadblocks along the way. You will experience an emotional rollercoaster that you have never experienced before in your life.

Listen though, the failures aren’t going to be life ending okay? They are usually just an accumulation of small speedbumps and failed attempts with a couple big failures thrown into the mix.

You will not be going to go to jail.

You aren’t going to go bankrupt (unless you take out a massive amount of business debt… so DON’T!)

You aren’t going to kill patients.

You will not be living on the streets begging for money if you fail.

Chances are, you might be out a couple thousand dollars and waste some time. THAT IS IT.

But remember, you only totally fail when you give up. THAT is what the worst-case scenario truly is. If you give up, then the road will never be completely paved. You will never reach the end of that road and be successful. You MUST fail to succeed. That road MUST be paved with failures during your journey.

I couldn’t even tell you how many times I have failed during my entrepreneurial journey. Seriously, there are too many… I honestly think there were more failures than successes! But guess what? The successes were TRUE successes.

It is like fishing: you throw out hundreds of casts (failures) before you catch a fish (a success). But you must throw out thousands of casts (failures) before you catch the trophy (a TRUE success… the million-dollar idea folks!).

Failures that have led to successes that Justin has experienced:

Throwing away $5,000 on a failed radio ad campaign. Jeez, what a waste of money… But I would have never known this without trying. So, my marketing strategies are more dialed in now and they are successful.

Hiring the wrong staff. This led to successful hiring practices later.

Accepting insurance when I started my first practice ever (opioid addiction). But guess what? This failure showed me the light: CASH ONLY! That failure led to a BIG success!

Spending $10,000 advertising a telemedicine practice the month leading up to his opening. Guess what? A TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY. It seriously generated 2 patients… Successful outcomes though? I learned to never market a practice before it opens (a week MAX before you open) and I received a HUGE payout. Sure, I wasted money marketing the practice before it opened but a year later, I sold the practice for a HEALTHY profit. So, a big failure led to a big success!

Offering various services in my men’s health practice that my patients were not interested in. This will happen. You will offer new services in your practice and sometimes, no one is really interested in them. Big deal! I scrapped the idea and moved onto the next one. After 3 years of doing this, I have DIALED IN what my patients want and what they will pay for. So, a big success!

Writing countless articles on The Elite Nurse Practitioner and never receiving a like, comment, or a single engagement. A failure in my eyes, but guess what? A few articles have changed the lives of countless nurse practitioners. That my friends are BIG successes. I received an email the other day from a nurse practitioner that said I inspired her so much to start a business, that one year later she is 100% self-employed and that her family’s standard of living has changed significantly. That brought enormous joy to my heart.

Making some bad investments in the stock market and even real estate that ended up costing me a lot of money… It really hurts to make an investment and see it plummet in value. But you know what? That is just part of the risk of investing. Lesson learned. On the other side of the coin, I have made some killer investment decisions that offset the bad ones.

Those are just a handful of the many failures that have paved my road…

Remember, the road to success is paved with failures. You must fail to succeed. It is part of this journey. The key here is to NEVER give up. Giving up = ULTIMATE FAILURE. Getting back up = EVENTUAL SUCCESS. The nurse practitioners that get up are the ones that succeed. Unfortunately, too many throw in the towel and give up. Don’t do that. Your success will come, but it will come with the failures you must walk on.

24 Responses

  1. Just curious, why was taking insurance such a bad thing? I am cash based now and seems like I’m turning away lots of folks because they want to use their insurance. Yes, they can use it and I would be OON, but most won’t because they won’t get much if anything by way of reimbursement. And yes I understand that it’s a pain to take insurance and then wait for your payment, however it widens the pool of potential patients, particularly with Medicare.

    1. When you accept insurance into your business, you are accepting a third party into your business that is in control of the MONEY. You have to play by THEIR RULES. If they don’t want to pay you, then they won’t. Insurance is such a nightmare and adds on another layer of complexity to your business. It slows things down really. You can read this article: Insurance vs Cash Practices

    2. Insurance also widens the cost of getting your money. That takes staff which means you need to see more patients to pay that staff. CASH all the way.

  2. Thank You for this write up. It is very encouraging as I also experienced a huge failure 2 years ago, spending over $60,000 from my savings on a trucking company in hopes of gaining more $ to use in establishing my health care practice ( cuz when I first did a research about opening a practice, it showed that I will need above a $100,000 to do so). I ended up losing everything , closed down the company and sold the trucks ( 2 trucks) for abt $30,000. I was so broken and almost gave up in becoming an entrepreneur. But after joining the Elite Np group and following your advice, I became encouraged again and one thing I learned was to NEVER invest in a business that I have no control over. Thank You so much in taking out time to encourage others. You are God sent in the lives of many. I pray you continue to have many more successes in your business.

    1. Thank you for the warm words. Listen, that failure taught you so many invaluable lessons that no one could ever teach you otherwise. Take those lessons and apply them for the next venture. YOU WILL SUCCEED!

  3. You are such an inspiration! I love reading all the weekly post. Thank you for your honesty and encouragement. I am a new NP and have a side gig with my husband in wedding events. It is a fun gig but takes up a lot of time on the weekends. We are still trying to figure out how to work smarter and not harder.

  4. This article stopped in my tracks while eating my fish and chips!…Thank you for posting this !! True inspiration, Justin!!

  5. Was a need to read this morning, in the process of start up & everything seems to be going wrong but I know it’s just the process but it really helps hearing your journey as well, thx!

    1. You are very welcome. Keep pushing forward and do not let hiccupts prevent you from getting started!

  6. I needed this reminder right now… I’m resonating with EVERYTHING you write about!
    You have given me confidence to do my own thing, it’s scary but you’ve made it so easy!
    I appreciate you sharing your wisdom and insights, KEEP IT COMING! You absolutely are making a difference!
    FYI, after 8 months in my own space, I just hired an NP to help relieve the burden as I’m 5-6 weeks booked out! I’m thrilled and sometimes can’t believe THIS is where I’m at!
    Thank you Justin!

    1. A pleasure to help Carolyn. I am so happy to hear about your success! You have already hired another NP after just 8 months. That is so awesome! If you want to talk about your success, then seriously let me know and we should do a podcast episode. Other NPs would be motivated by YOU also!

  7. Thank you Justin! I enjoy reading your articles & have taken several of your courses. I find your work to be very helpful, informative & empowering to me as I continue to navigate through my first year of 100% solo private practice work.

    1. A pleasure to help Megan. I hope your first year is profitable! Just keep your head up and be prepared to pivot if necessary (adding new services, changing prices, trying new marketing avenues, etc…)!

  8. It’s been tough but with your guidance, I started an LLC while killing myself working two jobs. I finally quit one job and now am gradually adding more clients each week to the business. I had a few bumps in the road: the credentialling process was long; babies were born and I became ill. Thankfully, I kept expenses related to the business down but will need to pay down personal expenses FAST. Currently working on applying your recommendations from past articles by cutting out as much as possible.

    I will be so happy when I can quit the job working for a group of doctors. I feel they are severely taking advantage as they know my history of illness and other financial stressors. They don’t pressure me or dictate when or how I see patients but they don’t contribute any benefits and the pay vs the liability is really not good.

    Thank you so much for your help via podcasts, articles, and courses. I appreciate your dedication and guidance

    1. A pleasure to have helped Lucy. You are taking the right steps and doing exactly what I did. It took a few years to become 100% self-employed, but the journey was WORTH IT. Keep your head up and keep hustling. Trust me, their is light at the end of the tunnel and the grass is MUCH MUCH greener on the other side!

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