top of page

From Staff Physical Therapist to Solo PT Practice Owner

Are you a full-time physical therapist or healthcare provider considering making the leap to working for yourself? If so, you're not alone. Many of us long for the freedom and autonomy that come with entrepreneurship but are unsure of how to make the transition to becoming a solo practice owner. In this blog post, I'll share my own experience and offer insights into the steps you can take to navigate this exciting yet challenging journey.

Recognizing the Need for Change

Back in 2019, I found myself caught in the daily grind of a full-time position at an outpatient clinic. Despite my commitment to helping patients, I sadly felt burnt out and overwhelmed by the demands of the job. 

It became clear that continuing down this path was not beneficial to my professional or personal well-being. Recognizing the need for change, I decided to speak with my supervisor to discuss my concerns and explore potential alternatives to help improve my situation. Speaking with my supervisor initiated a time of self-reflection and ultimately set me on the path towards entrepreneurship.

If you’re interested in learning more about if you’re actually ready to start your own practice, check out my blog post here.

Exploring Alternative Paths

One misconception about transitioning to self-employment is the belief that it requires a sudden leap from full-time employment to running your own business. However, I quickly realized that there are alternative paths that allow for a smoother transition and improved financial stability. Keep in mind that everyone’s path is different, so no one path looks the same. It has to be what’s right for you in your current situation and what you feel most comfortable with.

Part-Time Employment Opportunities

When I began pondering the idea of starting my own cash based practice, rather than making a drastic change overnight, I decided to explore part-time opportunities as a stepping stone towards working for myself. Although this option wasn't available in my current workplace, the process of exploring alternatives opened my eyes to a different approach to making this transition to becoming a solo practice owner.

Working Per Diem While Building Your Cash Based Practice

Because part-time opportunities weren't available at the clinic I had been employed at, I started looking into per diem home health options. Thankfully, I was able to secure a couple per diem contracts with home health companies. This gave me the opportunity of improved financial stability during this transition period, while also providing me the time and space to work on my business as I needed.

I'd also like to mention that during this time, every employer that I worked for, whether full-time or per diem, always made it very clear that if I ever wanted to come back once parting ways, they would gladly take me back. This is an advantage of having a specialty license and an occupation that is in-demand. It's important that no matter the situation or how you feel about your employer, maintain good standing just in case you do ever decide to go back into the traditional clinic setting.

Navigating the Transition

Transitioning from full-time employment to entrepreneurship is not without its challenges. It requires careful planning, clear communication, and a willingness to take calculated risks. 

For me, this journey involved securing per diem positions in home health while gradually scaling back my hours to focus on building my own practice. This approach allowed me to maintain financial stability while pursuing my entrepreneurial goals. It also provided me with the flexibility to gradually transition into working for myself, rather than making a sudden and overwhelming change sacrificing financial stability. 

What I’m hoping to communicate is that the journey from staff PT to solo practice owner can be gone about in a variety of ways. When I am working with business coaching clients, I typically will provide them with this tentative path that seems to work for most people. This path can look something like transitioning from full-time to part-time, part-time to per diem, and then per diem to full time practice owner.

Embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirit

As I reflect on my journey from full-time employment to self-employment, I want to point at the importance of embracing the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset. When considering this transition from staff clinician to practice owner, It's about more than just starting a business—it's about taking ownership of your career and shaping it in a way that aligns with your personal and professional values. 

While the path to entrepreneurship may have its challenges, it's also incredibly rewarding. By taking small but actionable steps towards your goals and remaining open to new opportunities, you can pave a path towards a more fulfilling and sustainable career that will carry you through your life in the working sector.

To learn more about the number one mindset shift you need to be successful as a practice owner, check out my blog post here.


In conclusion, transitioning from full-time staff PT to successful business owner is a journey filled with many different challenges and opportunities. By first recognizing you’re in a situation that calls for change, exploring different routes to get there, and embracing the excitement and fulfillment of entrepreneurship, you can navigate this transition with confidence and clarity. Remember, you don't have to make the leap all at once—take it one step at a time, and trust in your ability to adapt and grow along your journey to self-employment.

If you’re motivated and ready to take the leap after hearing my journey and these words of encouragement, I want to urge you to consider our DPT to CEO coaching program. During this program, I will walk side by side with you on your journey to become a solo practice owner and give you valuable advice to help the transition be as smooth as possible. 

You can learn more about the DPT to CEO coaching program in my blog post here.

Or if this sounds like something you’re interested in getting started with, apply to the coaching program here!

Listen to this episode on my podcast

DPT to CEO the podcast


find more
bottom of page