The Impact of Prioritizing My Business Over my Health

In July 2016, having working in many clinic in Canada and Ireland, I decided to take the big leap and open my own physiotherapy clinic. I always wanted to do this as I had always found it frustration working in clinic that did not match my philosophy for treating patients. Over the years, and in the many clinics that I worked for, I have only ever felt comfortable in one clinic in Canada. However I decided to leave Canada, and this clinic, to return home to Dublin.

When I returned to Ireland, I found that the standard of care in Ireland was lacking. While Canadian physiotherapist had progressed with the standard of care they provided to all patients, Irish physiotherapists were slipping behind. It was for this reason that I was driven to open my own clinic. However I didn’t realize how much work was required.

From assembling the intake form and receipts, to creating a basic website – all the things I previously took for granted – I found that I had little to no time to rest in the first 3 months of opening the clinic. I found myself at wedding taking photos of business documents to send to other companies to get the initial set up of the clinic together. My laptop was with me at all times. On a pre-planned holiday to France I was on and off the laptop constantly, fixing web pages and getting phone lines set up.

It was safe to say my life was consumed by my new business.

Prior to committing to my new adventure I had taken part in marathons, triathlons and cycling sportifs. While I was never one of the top class athletes, I had a few decent personal bests. I could run 5 km in 21 minutes 30 second, I cycled up Alpe d’Huez – a famous Tour de France climb – without stopping.

By the end of the initial three months of the business, where exercise was the last thing on my mind, I struggled to complete 5km runs without a rest, and even then I did the times were closer to 30 minutes. A cycle up a slight incline had become a struggle. A weekend cycle in the Dublin Mountains – a relaxing cycle three months prior – required a lot of break. My weight had increased during this time too. I had gained the 2 kg each month.

There’s no need in going into the exact health implications of all of these changes but I think it is important to mention they to anyone who is considering opening their own business. In the early stressful stages, exercise is hugely important in regulating that stress. Having a bit of free time to yourself, for a cycle, run or relaxing walk will do you wonders in keeping yourself calm and focused. As the stress piles up, we tend to lose focus and get trapped by all the work to be done. Some light exercise will help to calm the body and relax the mind, allowing you to prioritize the work to be done.

It is easy to get absorbed by your business in the early days due to financial and timeline constraints. It is important to prioritize yourself in these early days too. Dedicate some time to exercise, create a health diet plan and find some time to relax. If your business is prioritized your body will suffer greatly!

My name is Daniel Quinn and I am a Physiotherapist, exercise physiologist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). I was the owner of ReBalance Physiotherapy, located in Dublin, Ireland.I am internationally trained and educated having worked in both Canada and Ireland, prior to opening ReBalance Physiotherapy in Dublin.Professionally, I’ve treated injuries ranging from mild ankle sprains to advanced surgical reconstructions and most everything in between. I am certified in Dry Needling and Pilates. I also hold a post graduate certificate in clinical exercise – using specific exercise programs to treat medical illnesses such as anxiety, depression, cardiac and cancer conditions.

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