As a physical therapist with his own practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Rob Collewijn had big dreams and he knew that he would need management skills to achieve them.
“When I started my own practice I knew from experience that I was a good therapist,” says Collewijn, “but I had some problems in running a new business. I had personnel and expansion problems, management problems–because they don’t teach you in school how to run a business.
“If I wanted to expand to meet my own expectations, I knew I would need more business skills. So I started doing research and Sterling kept coming up. They sent me a video and I liked what I saw, so I called them and we got hooked up.
“I went out to California to do the Sterling training and it was a life-changing experience for me and my wife.
“When I went, I brought my wife and three children,” says Collewijn. “When we first got there I didn’t really know what to expect. The beginning of the first day we got a good introduction and met our consultant. We went over the materials we had put together — the information about the practice that they have you gather together–and they immediately started saying things that made sense.
“They said, ‘Alright, what course of action should we take with this?’ And that’s what I liked best of all. They help you set a course of action and said. ‘OK, what you’re going to need to know is on this course and this course….’ So, a couple of weeks later we were all trained and it seemed simple. By that time we also had a step-by-step program written for the practice which we left with.
“So we did the program and applied the methods, and within three months there was a 50% increase in production.
“Currently,” says Collewijn, “being with Sterling for two years and having much more information, I have more than doubled the production of the practice.”
Collewijn says Sterling had an excellent effect on his family life as well. “One of the tools I was given I could apply very much to myself. I was aware of certain of my shortcomings in life, why I would do very well and then fall, again and again, like being on a roller coaster. Sterling gave me the right tool to identify why this happened and gave me the information so I didn’t have to do that anymore.
“Everybody has his own purpose, but in a company there is a common purpose that people join in. Now we have started playing games related to the common purpose with rewards and goals which also relate to the individual purposes.
“As a result, the staff have fun and enjoy working with people, which is important as this is and always will be a people business.
“It’s also nice to be able to evaluate personnel with a statistic,” says Collewijn. “I used to have to evaluate according to their attitude, which wasn’t always right. Now, if I can look at their statistic and if I see their production increase, I can see that improvement.
“I guess the trend in our profession is that everyone is afraid of managed care. If I could speak to physical therapists, I’d say don’t become a victim! If you have a passion for working in this profession, Sterling can help you have and succeed in your own clinic despite anything government or managed care can do.
“Sterling taught me that there are tools so you can deliver great, passionate care. So don’t become a victim of the fears of society!”