Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Heather Hodgins-Chan, Co-Owner of On the Ball Pediatric Physio and Occupational Therapy, located in Kanata, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I co-own On the Ball Pediatric Physio and Occupational Therapy in Ottawa, Ontario. My clinical partner, Liane Norman, a pediatric physiotherapist, and I decided to join our private physio and occupational therapy practices to help more children in our community. We provide therapy services for children from birth to 18 years of age. Children with a diagnosis of Autism, Anxiety, ADHD, developmental delay, physical challenges, learning disabilities, and other behavioral/emotional difficulties are among those seen at our clinic. We also serve to educate the community on the importance of physical fitness and wellness for the developing child through our social media platforms and by giving various workshops in the Ottawa area and online.
Tell us about yourself
When I was a young teenager, my mother developed cancer, and I spent a lot of time in the hospital. I developed a keen interest in health and the biological sciences from this young age. I enjoyed learning about the human body and pursued a degree in Anatomical Sciences at McGill University. I later went on to complete my degree in Occupational Therapy and found my passion for pediatric occupational therapy while I was working in Edmonton, Alberta, several years ago. What motivates me each day is seeing the children smile and become more independent in their daily lives. I love helping parents and caregivers find solutions to everyday physical and mental health struggles that impact their child's quality of life.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is the development of our professional mentoring program at the clinic. I meet weekly to mentor new therapists and share knowledge from the extensive post-professional training I have attended over the years, and I get to learn from our team too! Learning is ongoing, and I highly value this opportunity to learn and grow in this profession.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the most difficult things about being a business owner is that I always seem to be working! It is important to me that I continue my clinical practice, as that is why I entered this profession. Finding a balance between work and leisure is sometimes a challenge. I am always working on this part of myself. The COVID-19 pandemic placed a great deal of stress on me as a business owner, and there were constant changes to cleaning protocols, public health guidelines, and staff layoffs due to closure; the past few years, it has been like running a marathon! Hopefully, we are going to emerge from this pandemic stronger.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My top three tips I would give someone would be to write things down on paper (doodle your ideas), meet regularly with your team, and set goals for yourself.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Thank you for reaching out to me. Occupational therapy, in particular, is a relatively unknown profession. Even though this profession has been around for over 100 years, the public knows little about how we can help children. We address the daily occupations that children may have difficulty with, for example, paying attention at school, learning how to ride a bike, handwriting, improving sleep habits, overcoming eating challenges due to sensory processing difficulties, and self-regulation. Our team uses exercise, games, and activities to work on the skills that children need to improve upon in order to learn and be independent in daily activities. We work closely with physiotherapists, physicians, psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, and educators. For more information, the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy is a wonderful resource. www.caot.ca
Where can people find you and your business?
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