Burn out almost took Debra Muth out of her industry, but instead she has used the experience to help others avoid it.
What’s your story?
Running a functional medical clinic was my dream. But after 10 years I found myself completely burnt out. I no longer loved what I did, I dreaded dealing with another employee issue. I became so irritable and disconnected from my team and my patients. I hired an office manager because I thought that was going to be the answer but it created more drama. One day I woke up and didn’t recognize myself. I sought out help to restore the woman I was before I went into business. Now I love my business and myself!
What excites you most about your industry?
My industry has the opportunity to help people live the life they want! Healthy, strong, and without disease! While creating a business that provides themselves and other providers a place to treat patients with a focus on individuality. Using nutrigenomics to guide their care. We have an opportunity to have private practices in this country again without being controlled by large organizations that only see us as machines. Private practices can be financially successful ;we just need to design them properly.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
I have a desire to impact 59,000 functional medicine practitioners by 2035. Having gone through burnout myself, I was ready to walk away from my practice. I don’t want another provider to go through that and give up their dream. We have so much to give our patients; they are who drive me. I want to ensure that they have someone to continue to care for them and others when I no longer can.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Building a business cannot be done alone. You have to develop people on your team that support and compliment you. You want people who are strong in areas that you are weak. I learned that downtime is necessary, if I don’t take time to play I cannot provide good care to the people I serve. My practitioners have to be seen as experts, it cannot just be me. Growth is easier than we believe but a plan has to be developed early to achieve the growth desired.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best advice I ever received was “get out of your own way”. I was the problem in my business when I was burnt out. I needed to change myself before I could expect everything and everyone else to change.
Who inspires you?
Dr. Sherri Tenpenny inspires me to be a better provider. A practitioner that steps out in front of issues. Someone who speaks for those that cannot speak for themselves. She inspires me to do more research and create support groups for my patients and other practitioners so they can grow their businesses.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
Just because you build something in your business that you think others will find beneficial doesn’t necessarily mean people will buy it. It is better to enlist a group of people that you want to work with and have them pay you to develop a program that they really want and need to be successful than build it. I believe the health industry is going toward telemedicine and online education.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have not been afraid to launch things earlier and I would have worked harder to find solutions to the obstacles. I had ideas for an online supplement dispensary years before it was popular and easy. I couldn’t get past some problems launching it so I gave up. Now there are companies that have made big business out of this. I would connect with other people that could have helped me grow my idea.
How do you unwind?
I spend time in the outdoors every weekend. I keep Friday evenings sacred for date night with my husband. I schedule a week every quarter for a business catch up and I take a vacation 3 weeks a year.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
It’s not about me! It’s about everything else and everyone else that I serve including those that work for me. Once I understood this I made better business decisions and it was no longer emotional for me. Removing the emotions allowed me to be a better business person and be objective about things in my business. This helped me grow my business and develop new tools to be successful.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Plaque of Corruption by Judy Mikovits and Kent Heckenlively; this book takes a look at the corruption that is involved in our medical research. How things get established and why only certain things in the industry come out to the public. It is a political game that is played and they play for keeps.
Shameless plug for your business:
Doctors that are either looking to start a functional medicine practice or grow a practice should reach out to me. I can help them develop or scale their practice without being burnt out and feeling like everything depends on them alone. Starting out doing everything alone is frightening and you make mistakes that are not necessary. Working alongside someone who has been there allowing you to grow quicker without losing the time and money.
How can people connect with you?
They can reach me at 15kadaydoc.com
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.