Starting a business from scratch is not easy – it takes time, preparation, and a lot of dedication.
While most people would crumble under a certain level of pressure, Erika allows herself to thrive in somewhat stressful environments, allowing her to position herself forward and leap ahead of others in the game.
Starting with one audiologist in 2017, she has seen her business improve year after year, acquiring staff along the way and honing her knowledge to ensure she is always prepared for whatever happens next.
No one said it was going to be easy, but Erika is a shining example of how patience and persistence make an unbeatable combination for success.
“I know that there will always be things for me to learn. I will never stop trying to be better than today than I was yesterday, and I will never stop learning what I need to be even better tomorrow.”
Some would say the past year went down in history.
As businesses quickly had emergency meetings, panicking over what to do next, Erika’s history of leadership set her apart from the rest.
But what is it about Erika’s character that allowed her to adapt so well?
There’s No Rest For Success
As an undergrad student, Erika was a single mom with a young daughter. Keen to not let anything get in her way, Erika had a goal, and she went for it.
She had all the dreams of being a journalist with National Geographic and traveling all over the world. Around this time, she was experiencing a “mini-crisis” over her life goals.
One day, Erika was in a survey course on communication disorders as part of her linguistics minor. There was a section on the anatomy and physiology of the ear and the importance of hearing in communication. At that moment, a spark was lit.
After a year of uncertainty and confusion over her career pathway, so many things suddenly fell into place.
She switched from her major in Journalism with a minor in Linguistics to Speech, Language Pathology, and Audiology with minors in teaching English as a Second Language and Development Disabilities.
Like many others, she envisioned which direction she would go, but her career took her elsewhere.
Over the next 10 years, her career continued to develop. Her daughter was going off to college, and her best friend became her husband. Traveling became her life, and she was living out of suitcases.
In 2016, she bought a practice of a close partner in Le Oregon and left the hospital in 2017. She remodeled it and opened her clinic in her vision in 2019.
Up to now, she has 2 full-time front office staff, an audiology assistant, a referral coordinator, and a second audiologist who has just increased her coverage from 2 days a week to 3.
Having had to adapt to many changes in her life has given Erika a somewhat thick skin, and she is always prepared for whatever happens next.
Where many businesses crumbled, the pandemic allowed her to step back and reflect, which ultimately refined her vision and allowed her to grow her practice exponentially.
“I used to have dreams that I ended up in a coma and was suddenly removed from the chaos of my life. The start of the pandemic was sort of life that dream, only I didn’t total my car, lose my memory, or break an arm.”
It’s fair to say that Erika’s life has been non-stop since her younger years, giving her not much time to rest.
However, unlike many others, the pandemic opened up a window of opportunity for her to sit down and reflect, allowing her to envision a plan for the next year.
In years past, she was tied down by time, meetings, and travel commitments, which meant she was juggling far more than one person could handle.
But when the quietness arrived, after many years of turbulence, she sat down and remained present. Here, she developed more than ever before.
The 3 Things That Allowed Erika To Grow From Strength To Strength
In Erika’s own words, she shares the secrets of reigning her success.
#1 – Time Management
“Before the pandemic, I was booked out for 2-4 weeks. I had a lot of external commitments, including traveling for conferences, consulting gigs, and presentations.
But when the world was switched off for a few months, it brought everything to a halt overnight. Suddenly, I had time. Unplanned and unexpected, time was just there.
I used that time to analyze everything about my practice, my mission, my vision, my goals, and objectives. I used that time to review my appointments, my engagement with my staff and my patients. I made sure the patient stayed at the center of everything from the second they initiate contact through the rest of their journey with us.”
#2- Closing Her Waiting Room
“Closing our waiting room has allowed me to hire more staff, improve patient care and overall customer service. We were able to grow without shortening appointment times or decreasing our time to sanitize and safely turn over a room. I was able to add staff because I had room for them by changing up our flow.
So now when a patient arrives, they ring the doorbell or call to let us know they have arrived. This is just like when I have friends over at home!”
#3- Staying Available When Closed
“When the world shut down, I just had to walk upstairs to go to work. I was able to answer the phone, check emails, respond to remote hearing aid programming requests. Resound had launched their live assistance just before they shut down, so I had a bunch of new hearing aid folks that I could connect to with video capability.
I immediately started researching telehealth options and ended up changing my entire medical record and practice management software to a company that had built-in secure telehealth options that kept us available. I ordered all 3 of the boothless audiometer systems available and started testing people in their cars, like so many others, we started offering curbside services. We upped our curbside offering and turned it into a desirable drive-in clinic that is still popular today.”
The Number One Way The Inner Circle Contributed To Erika’s Success
“When I first signed up with O&G, I thought I was hiring a firm to manage my social media and website, along with some marketing support. When the shutdown happened and I reached out for help on a press release and a letter to send out to my patients, the response I received was spot on to what I needed.
The way that O&G stepped up during the pandemic went beyond anything that I could have ever asked for. When Phil started the weekly fireside chats where he brought us all together to talk, it was like I found my haven during a really scary time.”
“I belong to a couple of Audiology Business owner groups, but not one of them stepped up the way that O&G did in forming the Inner Circle. Inner Circle has become my professional growth team, my business support, my sounding board.”
“The relationship has been invaluable to my growth and success. O&G and the Inner Circle are hands down the best business development partner that could exist.”
Erika is a huge role model to everyone in the Inner Circle. She is passionate about what she does, and she listens and helps others wherever she can. Her vision isn’t just on herself, but it’s supporting others and watching them thrive.