Nurse practitioner entrepreneurs are NOTORIOUS for having what I like to call “shiny object syndrome” when it comes to starting and operating a niche practice. In fact, it is prevalent amongst many entrepreneurs during the first 1-3 years of starting and operating a business.
What is shiny object syndrome (SOS)? SOS means you have business ADHD and squirrel syndrome. You bounce from idea to idea because you don’t have true direction in your business. Essentially, you don’t have a FOCUS, a TARGET, and ultimately a GOAL.
When a nurse practitioner entrepreneur experiences SOS, they go from one business idea to another. One service or product to another service or product. Instead of focusing on the CORE services/products they have, they continue to experiment implementing new ones into their practice NEGLECTING the core services/products that truly define their business. What happens?
THEIR BUSINESS STAGNATES OR EVEN BEGINS TO FAIL.
SOS is dangerous… and it can ruin a small business. I have seen it multiple times.
Let me give you some personal examples:
My men’s health clinics: Our CORE service is testosterone replacement therapy. 98% of our patients are on testosterone replacement therapy. It is what makes our practice, well, our practice. Sure, we offer accessory services like erectile dysfunction therapy, peptides, vitamin injections/infusions, and weight loss, but our CORE is testosterone replacement therapy.
When I first got started, I decided I was going to be “cool” and add all types of different services like direct primary care, aesthetics, dating coaching, and so forth… I spent all this energy learning and implementing this into my practice. Guess what? It was a total FAILURE. No one cared… they were there to get their testosterone and tadalafil. This really hammered into my brain about delivering what your customer wants and not shoveing stuff down their throat. Remember, ALWAYS listen to your customer, and deliver the need.
There was another time that I was going to partner with another nurse practitioner in my area and open a stand-alone wellness practice focused more on IV infusion, aesthetics, cosmetic skin care, and female HRT. We began the startup phase as I wanted to start another business so I could have another one (I already had 4 at the time). We got the LLC, the website designed, vendor accounts created, and so forth. Essentially, we created the shell of the business. What happened?
IT TOOK MY ENERGY AND TIME AWAY FROM MY OTHER BUSINESSES… what did this result in?
My other businesses beginning to decline because I could no longer put my time, energy, and love into them. Shiny object syndrome got me!
I quickly shut that business idea down. I just handed it off to the other nurse practitioner and said, “good luck” and I backed out. It was a good decision.
The same thing has happened in almost every single other one of my businesses, including The Elite Nurse Practitioner. I began to focus on other services and products that took me away from my CORE. I began to focus on other businesses that took me away from my other businesses. Shiny object syndrome has gotten the best of me multiple times.
In fact, my medical cannabis clinic has suffered the most from SOS. My medical cannabis clinic has stagnated. Why? Because I am focused on my men’s health clinic and The Elite Nurse Practitioner now. Those are more CORE businesses. Medical cannabis is nothing more than a side hustle that I do 1 day a week now. I simply can’t love and grow 3 businesses and maintain my SANITY. It is impossible if I want any kind of life.
That was a hard lesson to learn, so learn from my struggle:
You need to FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS.
Do not succumb from SOS.
You need to have a CLEAR target and goal for the future. This will help you stay focused and directed and will prevent SOS.
Now, I am not telling you that you shouldn’t implement additional services and products into your practice. You should, as it is a great way to grow your practice and increase your revenue streams, but those additions should ALIGN with your CORE services.
Providing opioid addiction therapy out of an aesthetics practice does not align…
Providing BHRT pellets out of an aesthetics practice does align…
Providing ketamine infusions out of a men’s health clinic does not align…
Providing weight loss services out of a men’s health clinic does align…
Essentially, the service you want to add needs to align with your CORE service and product. That core service and product should be your bread and butter for your practice, everything else is just another cherry on the top (which will increase your revenue!).
If you TRULY want to start another business, then do so. I am all for multiple income streams. It makes you financially redundant, but just be careful that SOS doesn’t get you. Pick a few core services and STICK TO THEM. Don’t be like your dog that sees a squirrel and forgets about everything else going on in their life to chase it. Don’t be like the baby that sees a shiny object and forgets the entire world around them. Don’t be the nurse practitioner entrepreneur that hears about another “cool” service everyone else is doing and drops the profitable CORE service that they should be focusing on and should be growing instead.
Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you the same thing: the reason why they are successful is because they FOCUSED on those 1 or 2 core services/products.
Because being the BEST at that core service/product is what will separate you from all the other mediocre businesses around you.
So, don’t get shiny object syndrome. Try your best to avoid letting it get a hold of you during the first 1-3 years of going through your nurse practitioner entrepreneurial journey. You can integrate multiple services into your practice, but just be sure you don’t step away from the CORE that makes your business: your business!