Headed Out On A Limb


Well, we’re having our first official meeting on Thursday night to brainstorm for our new business venture. We have quite a few things to straighten out. K. put together a very preliminary proposal with numbers based on experience and some case studies that we’ve put together on our own based on some of our current cases.

He put the plan together in ‘worst case scenario’ mode. Although, there were a few statements in the plan that I had to call him on straight out. I gave him a call after C. and I reviewed the report and asked him straight out what his true intentions and goals are. He said, “I’m not looking to kill myself over this to make myself rich. I’m just looking to make a comfortable living – – perhaps $150K per year – and stop working my ass off putting the profits in someone else’s pockets.” He asked me why I asked such a pointed question?

One whole paragraph of his report included the plan to strip our current employer of key staff members – – and also to try to transfer as many of our current patients over to us, as possible. It said if we took the three of us away (three full time RNs), plus about 5-6 other key staff members, it would make it near impossible for the current office to maintain quality patient care – and impossible for them to remain compliant with state regulations.

I told him that was a real sticking point with me. See, K. is a bit disgruntled with our current employer. He didn’t get a raise that he recently asked for. He’s had ongoing personal issues with our RDO (Regional Dir. of Ops.) and he grumbles quite a lot about working too hard and being taken advantage of.

So, I told him that if part of his goal was to try and undermine our current employer – – that I feel that kind of motivation is doomed to fail. K. is sort of a ledged in his own mind – – and he has yet to learn the lesson that no one – – absolutely no one is indispensable to any company. In addition – I told him that there are certain business ethics that I feel strongly about, there are lines that I just won’t cross. None of us were required to sign a ‘No-Compete’ clause with our current employer. Typically, I’ve been required to sign a form stating that I will take no action in the recruitment of the company’s employees and will take no action that will financially compete with the company for a full year after my leave from the company. Our current employer did not require that of us.

K. pointed that out to me. So, I pointed out that if I were to go into business for myself, ever – I would do it with integrity and ethics. Aside from the fact that this is a small community – – and try as we may, I do not believe that we’d put our current local office (owned by a national corp.) out of business. If that ever happened as a result of our ability to provide a higher quality of service, creating a higher level of customer satisfaction – – then that would be a bonus, but I didn’t believe that should be a part of the plan; something we should bank on; or our main intentions on this venture.

K. agreed. He said he didn’t mean it to sound the way it, apparently, did. I told him that I didn’t want to blow it out of proportion and make a mountain out of a molehill – – but I just wanted to clear that issue up from day one, so that we’re all on the same page on our mission and goal.

Maybe I was just being too sensitive. Our current office has a very good reputation in the provision of hospice care in the community. The local doctors refer to our office first, ahead of any other competitor, because we do very good work. Our office has very solid relationships with the local docs and hospitals – – that is something that is going to be difficult to overcome with this new business – but not impossible. K., T. and I have extremely good working relationships with these doctors, clinics and hospitals. Between the two of us – we have enough relationships and contacts that I believe will benefit us greatly.

However, I feel that we’d be putting that at risk if there was even a whisper of poor ethics or underhanded business dealings. I think that would go a long way in discrediting us before we even got out of the starting gate.

K. understood. He said he just threw that in there as an aside – – basically saying that when he wrote the report – – he just included whatever ideas bounced out of his brain.

Fair enough. I don’t believe that K. meant it as such – however, I think it’s good to get these things out in the open and discuss them so that everyone is on the same page.

So, we’re getting together Thursday night for a BBQ here, at my house. T. and her husband, K. and his wife, and C. and I will sit around and toss out ideas, problems and brainstorm and begin the process.

I’m excited and scared to death at the same time. Sometimes I think I’m crazy – – other times I wonder why I didn’t try something like this years back.

Wish me luck!

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1 thought on “Headed Out On A Limb”

  1. You are just to cool, I too am in the health care profession. I now work in Bulgaria. (yeah)I’ll tell you all about it sometime. I work in the area of transplant. I would love to chat with you sometime about starting a business as well. I would like to pick your brain about this. If you have time, shoot me an e-mail.
    Chao! Jerry

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