I decided at the early age of 13 years old that I wanted to be a Physio - slightly sad but happily a decision I have never regretted. My alternative of a ballerina was squashed fairly early on by a lack of ability and talent!
I trained at Kings College Hospital and then worked at Guys rotating around the different specialities. People often assume we just do sports injuries, but physios are also involved in areas like neurology, respiratory, care of the elderly and cardiothoracic care.
I then travelled to Australia and enjoyed working in Brisbane mainly treating patients in a private hydrotherapy pool.
On returning I worked at St Georges in London where I specialised in the musculoskeletal area where I stayed for 9 years eventually becoming an advanced practitioner in Orthopaedic clinics and being involved in training physio staff and students. After leaving London I set up my own private practice in Sussex.
PhysioFast Online (PFO) came out of my passion for people to be able to access accurate and evidence-based advice. On discussing it with a patient (who had run a successful business and had investor contacts) he got it and before I knew it, I was pitching to investors for an early fundraise to get going.
The vision for PFO was to make quality physiotherapy advice, education and management accessible via a video appointment. Highlights have been setting a website up and the service being up and working!! Also how many people think it is a good idea validation is essential!
The main difficulties we have faced at that pre-Covid time is that there was a barrier to the thought of a physio consultation via a video having any sort of benefit or validity. Also, my knowledge of the business world was limited so this part has been a very steep learn- ing curve.
Initially the plan was to offer the service to the NHS and direct to customers, but the barriers were a lot higher and harder than we initially thought. So, the focus had to change towards a more B2B model.
This meant a change in mindset and to begin the slow but steady networking to gather contacts to enter the business world. We are still not quite there but things are looking more positive.
I had started becoming more focused on learning about leadership requirements and found individual coaching sessions run as part of the accelerator programme really useful to keep sight of the bigger picture!! Simon Sinek and his 'Start with Why' was great, plus trying to understand emotional intelligence and Daniel Goleman’s insightful book was useful. I also attended a leadership course which was really beneficial.
My advice for any budding entrepreneurs is that you need passion and drive and to genuinely believe in what you are doing, but also be realistic and grounded - a tricky mix!!!. Often things will not go as you plan but picking yourself up and learning adds to the whole “journey”.
I have learnt loads and met some amazing fellow entrepreneurs and certainly would never regret giving it a good go.
I am pushing myself to do things that I would have thought were beyond my capabilities and skill set.
Each month the leadership team at Brighton’s NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator select a founder of the month to recognise the individuals that have demonstrated a growth mindset and entrepreneurial spirit to overcome challenges and accelerate the growth of their business in a short space of time.
To find out more about the Accelerator hub, email BrightonAccelerator@natwest.com