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May 31, 2023

How to Start a Sports Practice with Dr Lyssa Cleary, PT, DPT, OCS

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Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Dr. Lyssa Clearly, who joins us for today's conversation. Has an unbelievable practice that is grown like wildfire out in California. It's called Athletic Lab, and they are a one-on-one cash-based physical therapy practice. You're gonna learn a ton from her in this conversation because I really try to dig into how she started her practice, some of her growing pains and really some of her amazing successes along the way. She's had Athletic Lab rolling for two years now. So plenty to digest and to learn here. Always reach out to us @truesportspt on Instagram is the easiest way to get ahold of us or shoot me an email. You got a lot to learn from Lyssa Clearly.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: This one's gonna be awesome 'cause I've known Lyssa Clearly for a really long time. I don't even remember what year it was that we met, but you're gonna share that and what we're gonna learn about is how you've taken your brainchild of private practice and how you created it and where it is now, and all the things that you learned along the way. So, Lyssa Clearly, tell us your origin story and how you got to where you are today.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. Hey Yoni, thanks for having me on. This is really truly full circle. So you were my PT for, gosh, I had a bunch of surgeries that got me into physical therapy, so you were one of my initial physical therapists and I attribute my just love for the field to you and some other initial physical therapists at the beginning. So yeah, this is really full circle. So yeah, I'm out in California now. I went to USC for my physical therapy degree. That's where I met my current business partner, Lauren, who we were best friends in PT school and started a business together and are still best friends to this day. So, after PT school, went through the USC Orthopedic residency and then worked in an outpatient practice here in LA in Santa Monica for over five years. And then started teaching at USC as well. So, started dabbling in some things just outside of clinical work. And then just recently, two years ago we started, we said, let's do this thing, let's start our own business. And, we're two years into Athletic Lab.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, I can't wait to hear about specifics about Athletic Lab. Where was undergrad? Virginia?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: University of Virginia. Yes.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay, so I remember that. I remember it being a knee that I think I treated you for.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I wanna say MPFL?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yes. MPFL. My kneecap dislocated. I was a tennis player growing up and wanted to play in college. I didn't end up playing in college. It's probably a blessing in disguise, but partially because of some orthopedic injuries I had myself. So, yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. So, it was MPFL and was it the MPFL world that really took you into PT or did you know that before injury? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: I think I knew it before that specific injury. I also had some slap repair and so some shoulder issues as well. But, at UVA I was an English major, so [laughter] as much as I thought I wanted to do physical therapy going into college or like, do what you like, do what you're good at. And that was English at the time. And thought I wanted to go into PR and marketing. And it wasn't until after actually I graduated from UVA with an English degree that I was working in advertising sales and just said, I don't think this is for me. What do I really have a passion in? What do I really love? And went back to actually the community college in Charlesville, Virginia. Took some classes and then applied to PT school.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I love that. You say you're not in PR in marketing, but I bet you you actually are.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yes.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And I bet you're great at it. So, okay. So at what point you said, well, you're working, coming out of your USC residency. Tell me about that job, what was that like? And then what was that moment when you're like, I gotta do this myself?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah, so I was working at an outpatient clinic in Santa Monica, and as far as outpatient clinics go, I think it was awesome. I was there for five years, it said something about the clinic and the business. I was seeing two patients an hour, and I had an hour for evals, which was great for a good blend of volume of patients, which was so important for me coming out of PT school and residency is to get that volume of patient care under my belt. And still felt I could give a decent amount of quality of care. So after doing that for five or so years, I'd been dabbling in some other things. Like I mentioned the teaching, I'd been seeing some private clients on the side, and with those clients, I was able to spend the full hour with them and felt like there was a difference in the skillset that I was able to use and the care that I was able to provide with those clients rather than the grind of needing to see the patients and then finish the paperwork and get to my next one. And, so I was ready for one, to work for myself that was a big driver. And then two, to really feel like I could leverage the skillset that I had to do better for myself and then the patients that were in front of me.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. What were you most scared about before you started Athletic Lab? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: I think I was scared that it would work. [chuckle] You know like I didn't have any business, any formal training in business. Right? So, like you mentioned.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: But no one does, but no one does.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Right. [laughter] Sure. I think I did like an Excel sheet third year of PT school that I wasn't about to dig up about the economics of owning your own business. So I think it was, would people... Yeah. Could I do this? Would people trust me? Would people invest because I was going the cash based route. I wanted to go outside of the typical insurance model, so would people really invest in me and what I had to offer them.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And how'd you overcome that fear? 'Cause I think a lot of times that fear just paralyzes the entrepreneur and it never happens. So how'd you overcome that?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. I think part of it is surrounding myself with people who had done this before and had done it successfully and who had confidence in me or helped me realize the confidence I had in myself and kind of helped me through the step-by-step process that we needed to take to be able to get those clients. And how do I instill the trust in those people? And part of it I was already doing, but I think those people who I surrounded myself with helped me to solidify that or recognize what those tangible things that I was doing were.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Talk to me about the partner route, because that's a different, kind of track than I've taken. So what made you want to start with a partner? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. Part of it was we had just... We were best friends, so we hang out a lot. We have a lot of PT friends, so a lot of the conversation centers around physical therapy as much as we try to talk about other things. And it comes down... A lot of the conversations surrounded, were about like, how could we do this better? What else could we do? And so those conversations that we had together naturally evolved into like, "Yes, let's do this." Yeah. And I'm so glad I did, I certainly thought about, well, if you're in it with someone else and you've gotta split things both ways. But that the downside of that, if you consider that a downside is far outweighed by the camaraderie, the sharing of perspectives, the sharing of the good times and the hard times, and the brainstorming that we can do. So it's been... And the fact that yeah, we're best friends doing it and have similar perspectives is awesome.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: That is awesome, it's gotta be a one plus one equals three situation, right? I've seen where people have started with a partner and they were all... They were like twins.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Right.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And I think it really hurt them because they weren't bringing in skillsets that they didn't have, they weren't complimenting one another. So tell me how your partner, your business partner compliments you?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. I think we could certainly do a better job of formally like figuring that out now that we're two years in, right?

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Because we are very similar and so up to this point we've really been just like supporting each other in very similar ways, and delegating tasks. But I think it's taken time for us to realize, oh, you like, well, like dealing with the backend side of the business or more the finance side of things versus you like getting the marketing aspects done. So we're really still in the figuring that out stage.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. It's so worthwhile considering that, and I think it's a new step. We're gonna get a little bit more into, like the way you started and founded this practice. I know when I founded True Sports, I was coming off of reading a really awesome book called the EMyth. Did you read that?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: I didn't, no.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So put that on your list.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Awesome.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: EMyth is why I started True Sports I'd say, or at least it was a lens through which I saw starting a business. It's all about essentially working on the business and not in the business. And how do you move yourself to become the entrepreneur versus just in our world, the clinician, right? Treating, treating, treating, treating.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Totally.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And I definitely know like when I hung that shingle, I just started treating, treating, treating, treating. But it's like how do we take a step back? How do we extract ourselves to say what is an awesome structure through which people can thrive, both patient and PT, right?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep. Totally.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And so like trying to figure out like how to do that, I think it's so overwhelming when you start taking on debt responsibility, etcetera. You're just like, I just gotta treat.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Right.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Right. And so how do you overcome that?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. And even starting your own business, so much of it is still like, you still have to treat, like you still have to be so good at that. And that takes a lot of your time too. So one, you have to keep the quality up of your treatment and prioritize that quality because that's why people are investing in you. But that's not what makes the business run. That's not what makes the business grow. So that is a constant learning process. And...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: What are you doing now to be good at that? 'Cause you're obviously good at it, right? Like you've brought on a staff PT, you've grown.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: You're around two years. What do you attribute that success to? How are you extricating yourself from just treating?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: It's prioritizing it, coming up with a list of systems really that I think that's... When we... We're actually part of a business networking group that really helped us and gave us a lot of the foundation for the business side of things and they just hammer system, systems, systems from the beginning. And now I always was like, oh, it must be true, but now I know it's true. And so as much as I... That's not the fun side of things, it makes things so much easier if you can break down each system to like the smallest doable step that can get done to then eventually months, years from now, be a working system. So I...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: This is PT, right? It's minimal effective dose.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yes. Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: What do you do to get to where you want to go. So that's awesome. That's your answer, by the way, is, hey, I was a part of this networking group that gave me this outline that when I'm not distracted by patients that are in front of me, I follow. I think that's the answer, right?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Right. Totally. And I think that took what would take... What have taken us, who knows how long? Five years, 10 years to be where we are now, to, okay, we could be in a standalone space. We could hire a staff PT within two years of starting the business. It just... It expedited things. They made all the mistakes for us. We still made our fair share of mistakes for sure. But having a blueprint that leads to successful outcomes for others has been just invaluable.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Invaluable, that is great advice. How did you find that business network?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Through Instagram, I'm sure social media with targeted ads these days, you start to Google PT business and you get ads from the people who have done it.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: And so, yeah, we started reaching out to them. Initially... They have a Facebook group that we just kind of poked around in and got our feet wet a little bit. And then we...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And it's PT specific?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: It's PT specific, yeah. PT Biz. Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Awesome. Cool. Okay. PT Biz. Super cool. And yeah, there are a few out there.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I know I've dabbled with PT specific consultants to differing levels of success. I think it's just like with anything, it's like you have to be a really discerning consumer and customer.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. And you have to know what questions to ask. You have to use the service. And there have been kind of inflection points in our business where we definitely use the service and use the network more than other times. We've... There's times where we dare I say coast 'cause you're never coasting when you're owning your own business, but there are times where things are just kind of rolling and there's less need for that help. But when there is the need for that help you know where to go for it.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, that's an awesome safety net. Okay, so let's back all the way up to when you decide with Lauren, hey, we're gonna start Athletic Lab.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Remember those early days, what is the... What did you do first? Where do you even start? You're still working for someone else, right?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So what'd you do?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep. So we got a website.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: And that...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: You built it yourself? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: We had someone build it for us.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. So that's your first investment?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yes. Was our first investment was pretty much a website. Actually we had started... That wasn't the first thing we did because we had started seeing patients before we did that. But that was certainly something at the very beginning so we could have that online presence 'cause it's so important these days. But we started seeing patients out of a gym and I think... So we started January, 2021. So especially in California, like gyms were hurting at that point because there were a lot of restrictions. They couldn't get the volume and they couldn't get the clientele in there that they wanted to because of restrictions due to the pandemic. So we reached out to a bunch of gyms and just said, hey, this is what we're... We're two physical therapists, we're looking to collaborate with a gym and really elevate both sides of this model, right? The physical therapy side, and then also the fitness performance training side of things.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: And there was a gym, so Training Mate in Santa Monica, they heard our story. I think it helped that we were two female entrepreneurs wanting to start our own business. I think that helped our story. And they trusted us and allowed us to basically rent space in their facility while things were picking back up from COVID. And we were there for, yeah a full... I mean, oops. Whoops.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I still see you. [chuckle] Oh, you got cut.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Is that gone? Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I gotcha.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: And I never... Okay, let me see. Sorry. It's Google Voice and I never know.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I'm excited.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: There we go. Okay, there we go. [chuckle]

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. I can get it edited out. Okay. So you go into a gym, you and Lauren, you start a business now. Okay. Let me ask you a couple of questions that jump to my mind as an employer.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Sure.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: You're still working for someone, right? But you have this side hustle of treating other patients.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah, so we... So at that point neither of us was actually working for a formal clinic.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Oh, okay.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Good move.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah, so I mean, I still had the teaching at USC which was honestly a big... A huge thing for me because it provided some of that stability financially, right? But we had been dabbling on the side with some private patients, but really when we decided like, hey, this is a formal business now, we had quit our prior jobs.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay, cool. And, no worries about non-compete or anything like that? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Right, yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. So that's because it was far enough away?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Not necessarily it was far enough away. The intention was not to take the client caseload from...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Sure.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: You know the current places where we had worked, and PT is a small world, so that's just not a good foot to start your business on. So honestly, we didn't even bark up that tree or ask if that was a thing. It was just... I knew the integrity of my business. That was not my intention.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. So that's great. And then did you sign a longer term lease? How'd you go about really?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: So we... Yeah, our lease was month to month initially and, it actually was month to month the entire term that we were with that gym.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Nice.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: And which was awesome. Again, a lot of times the biggest barrier to entry is overhead, right? So to keep the overhead really low and low stakes initially was very helpful. So yeah, we were month to month, we started with a per patient number, but we had capped that at a certain number and then once we reached that number, we were at that rent for the time we were there.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Genius. Great idea. In order to limit your exposure, that's a great way to get rolling.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And then, so outside of that per patient, and then eventually it really becomes like a flat fee of your rent, right?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Were you spending on anything else? You said website, anything else? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: We dabbled with some advertising once we got our systems and our community networking rolling. So we were spending some money there, but at the time the gym had equipment that we were using, so we really didn't have to... I think we bought a treadmill. That was it. So that was another blessing that we could use their equipment to start as well.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And no build out or anything. Did you have private treatment rooms? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: No private treatment rooms. Yeah. And in fact, it's one of those things we still look back on and smile. So the treatment, the gym, the private training gym room was right next to where they did their classes. 'Cause it was class-based fitness, and the music in the class-based fitness area was so loud, so you'd hear it through the walls and we were at the mercy of whatever music they wanted to play at 7:00 AM in the morning or 7:00 PM at night. So, yeah, no private treatment room. But, yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I've been there. I've definitely been there. And I'm still there. The truth [laughter] in many locations. Okay. And then how'd you come up with the name? And how'd you come up with the design? And who's doing all that stuff for you?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah, we... It was years of brainstorming in those conversations I was telling you about. The lab part, we really wanted to... The lab encapsulates, like you'd take your car into a mechanic and get the parts looked at or make sure the car's running the best. They're like a human lab is. We wanna be those people for our community where they can come.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: That would be a shop. That would be athletic shop.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: A shop. Okay. But shop doesn't sound so good. The lab is the more like scientific side of things. Right?

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. Now we're talking [laughter], that makes more sense. And then logo design. How'd you go up in doing that?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah, you're just taking me way back it's so fun to recall all these memories. So there's a website called Fiverr, F-I-V-R, and it was a total shot in a dark, we were trying to keep our overhead low. We said, initially I think we were like, oh, $20 for two logo tries. We're like, what the heck? We'll go big. We'll do 50. And I think that got us five logos. And when we got back, we loved, so we paid 50 bucks for someone on Fiverr to design our logo.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I love that. And that's a logo you currently have.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Which is awesome. I love it too. And you were always a black and gold girl. Where'd that come from?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: No, we just thought it looked sleek. We love the gold.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Of course. Okay.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: I think it's sleek, it's modern, and part of that is behind what our goal was with physical therapy is, to get rid of some of that outdated perception of physical therapy and make it work for the modern individual.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. I think that's awesome. That definitely comes across. Now, blending this sleek and modern comes thinking back to, like the tried and true. And so I was always told before you launch a business, you gotta have like a business plan. You gotta present the business plan. Like did you go through a process like that?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: My dad [laughter] actually had talked to me...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I know your dad.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yes.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: We're gonna come back to your dad in a second.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Okay, great.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. Your dad... Yeah what did he say?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: He spoke a lot about minimum viable product. And so...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: MVP.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep. Yeah. Yes. It's good to have an idea of where you're going, which would be the whole business plan built out. But like, what is the lowest common denominator or lowest barrier to entry for you to just start and do something? And that's really what we did. So we didn't have a formal business plan. We came up with a mission statement. We started thinking about kind of core values and what the why behind our business was, but we didn't really flush out a whole business plan.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Do you think you missed anything by not doing that?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: I don't, no. I can get paralyzed sometimes. I just know myself by researching things, by reading things, by figuring out what's the best way to start it, what the perfect time is to start. And so I would've worked on a business plan for years before it looked like, right now I'm ready to do this thing or this business plan is good enough. So for me personally, I think it was better to just hit the ground running and start putting one foot in front of the other.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. And then when do you start really reinvesting in the business? So I'm thinking like simple stuff like marketing collateral. When do you decide like, you know what, we're gonna start embroidering our shirts or we're gonna wear something specific. We're gonna invest in drywall and that's gonna allow us to do a low back... Like when do you start doing that?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. We invested in that business group right from the beginning. So going back to startups costs that was definitely our biggest startup cost. So that was a huge investment in ourselves and the business from the very beginning. And I'd say it really wasn't until, six months maybe a year in, when we started looking at paid advertising, we got some shirts just for Lauren and myself initially, but that was really it and that was so we could wear them to workshops we did in the community. So most of it we tried to keep as grassroots as possible, so that we could keep our overhead low and build that foundation. And there was a way to do it without spending that much money. So really now that we have our own space, which was about two years...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: When did that happen?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: That happened about two years in.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. And how big is that space? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: 1500 square feet.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. This is a whole new version or I guess like, I'd say a new stage in your entrepreneurship when you start looking for space. I felt like that was a big deal for me.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Totally. Totally.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So all of a sudden you start learning new languages, like what's a square foot? And what's a CAM payment? And what ceiling heights do I need? And what is tenant improvement? All this crap. Right?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Totally. Totally.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay, so now you're saying 1500 square feet, and the audience is like, I don't know what that means. So how big is 1500 square feet and what else did you consider?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah, so we're in Santa Monica which in LA, one of the more expensive cities. So that was definitely a barrier for sure was price per square foot 'cause we, only wanted to spend so much, so 1500 square feet. Gosh! You know, [laughter] I'm really bad at describing square feet. But it's enough for... We have three PTs treating in there at one time, with clients, so six people, and that works and it's spacious. We have one private treatment room, and we have a back room that actually has a Pilates reformer because our newest PT does some Pilates so we're expanding a little bit into that realm. But...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Waiting room, reception, bathrooms, showers.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. We have a little waiting room. Yeah. And part of that is... No showers, but yes, the bathroom, part of that is the waiting room, that was almost one of the most fun places to design in terms of like, now we're interior decorators too. So just from the moment the client walks in the door right there in this space, so what is this experience going to be like for them? And, having our own space really allowed us to curate more of that experience.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. I love that. It's a totally different mindset. And I think you're all over it. That's a great way to look at it, is what is my patient gonna feel? What is the path of the patient through this rehab process, but through the facility? So as you go to look for space, the first thing obviously is the financial right? And you've mentioned that, I don't want to pay... I know how much I want to pay per square foot. So that's one. And then two, how much money am I gonna sink into build out? So you gotta price that in. And what product am I offering? So I bet on your wishlist would've been, and when athletic lab explodes to 6,000 square feet, the first thing you're doing is I bet you put showers in there. And I'm just thinking like, because you want people to be able to come in, work out with Lisa Cleary, which there's a line, but if they're gonna do it right before work, you gotta hit showers.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: You need showers, totally.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: You need Showers. So, thinking through those things and little known fact, like showers are really expensive to put in, so...

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. I can't imagine. I mean, the space we entered into, luckily the build out was minimal. We didn't really knock down a single wall, we put down the rubber flooring, we painted, but even that, like take the price you think it's gonna be, and triple it. [laughter] And we did it for a relatively reasonable, comfortable number for us. And we think we're very happy with the space, but, if it gets into the HVAC system and you need to change that, if you need to knock down walls, it's just a whole another ballgame that, like you said, going into your own space. Things I never considered before.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, for sure. Now, how'd you find the space? Did you have a broker? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: We had a broker, yeah. Which was highly recommend. I can't imagine doing this without someone who's knowledgeable of the market, the area and it's so region specific, so you need someone to advocate for you with the landlords.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, absolutely. And do they need to be PT specific? Let me ask you that.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: No, we had... Ours was actually an office broker, so he mostly worked with office spaces. And funny enough, we ended up in, street front office space, which I think worked our advantage because a lot of companies don't need street front office space, right? If they're an office, they could afford to be in the fifth floor of a building in the back. So we lucked out, I think, in that. And so he had worked with a PT business in the past, which was nice for us to know, gave us a little confidence, but he primarily had dealt with office spaces.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And How'd you find them?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Through... How did we find him? Through a friend.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. Just like...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: You're really living on that network, right? That grassroot stuff is super important. I'll tell you what jumps out to me is some of the best advice I've gotten. It sounds like you've really employed, which is you gotta build yourself a team of these people that know this stuff, that you simply were not equipped to know. And one is this mortgage, sorry, this real estate game.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And so, when you get into this real estate game, what's helpful for me now is, I have a great broker, he knows our model. So he knows what True Sports needs. He knows we need high ceilings. He knows our budget because he knows our model, he knows what we generate. He knows what types of profit margins there are, and so that's why we can afford X. And because of that, he can then approach a landlord and say, here's what these guys need. Like, do you have it? Do you not? And he just gives him an awesome framework, so for what it's worth.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. And I imagine for you guys now that you're more established, it's like we just felt like such a small fish in a big pond, right? You're a bit of a bigger fish in still a big pond. So having that, the credibility and the financials to show that your business is a legitimate business, right? Is another barrier as you find your own space.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: You Know what, that's true. But remember, like someone looks at like my ever-changing email signature, and they're like, "Oh, you're up to this amount of clinics or that amount of clinics." And I'm like, "Anyone can sign a lease." And my point in saying that is landlords are dying for people like Lisa Cleary. They really don't care that much if you've been in business for 15 years or two months, if you can sign and prove to them that you have a really good chance at making your rent. They're thrilled to have you.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So try not to be too intimidated about like, "Hey, this is my first venture, or this is only my second office or third office, or whatever." They want you in there. They want you in there. And if you get the right representation, like you clearly did, that person should be making the case to the landlord. And that's totally worthwhile. And the great news is he doesn't cost you a dime, right? He doesn't cost you a dime. So now let's talk about people who do cost you dimes.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Sure.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Who's on that payroll Lyssa? 


Dr. Lyssa Clearly: So, well, we've got... As a part of our business, we have a client care coordinator.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Wow. What's that?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Like an admin assistant.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Cool.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: But she just does so much more than admin work. She's really the first voice that people hear when they call in. So she's that first contact point for people when they reach out to Athletic Lab. And she...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: What's her name? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep. Kerry.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Kerry. She's... No offense, she's probably the most important person in Athletic Lab. Right?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: 100%.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. So when do you decide to hire that role?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah, that was a... To say, an obvious decision may be a bit of an exaggeration, but once you get to a point where you feel like you can't keep up with the quality of treating the patients, scheduling the patients, dealing with the rescheduling of the patients, calling this person back. I just felt like people were slipping through the cracks a little bit. And that was not our goal with the model that we were doing. So once we felt like things were slipping through the cracks, we knew we needed someone to help with that. And so she's in...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: When was that? When do you think that was?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: That that was probably six months in.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Six months in? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: That, for me, I don't know how you feel about it. That was the scariest hire for me. I was more ready to invest in a PT than I was a patient care coordinator.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Right. Because they're not visibly generating money for you.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: There you go. Yep. They're not revenue generating. Yeah.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Right.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So if they're... But you're saying it's super important.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Super important.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And I totally agree with you and you're absolutely right. I love the way you phrased that. It's not apparent that they're generating revenue. Expound on that.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. I mean, because they're not the one treating the patient. They're not the one having the client buy the package of sessions to work with you. But they are that first impression for the client when they, like I said, call our office. So that goes such a long way for setting the tone from the very beginning. It is a sales process. It is. We are helping the people who reach out to us understand how we can help them, and why we can help them, and why they should invest their time, money, energy with us. And so that starts with her. And so if that process isn't started well, it's really hard to make it end well. [laughter] You're kind of...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I mean, you're dead on with that. You're absolutely right. I thought where you were gonna go with this was, you get a cancel, right? How much easier and how much is it worth it to Athletic Lab to fill that spot? And so Kerry, right?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep. Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Like Kerry's ability to fill that spot, especially if you're busy, should be very easy and...

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Totally.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And that pays for her week of salary or whatever it is. Especially if it's a new client. So I think that's where sometimes that gets missed. It took me a while to learn that. And I still have that conversation with my head of admin who's like, you're an idiot, like remember, [laughter] it's really important. It's not just about PTs. It's really important that we get those patients in and that's worth, they're worth their weight in gold, right? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. And even nurturing the clients and the patients we do have, I mentioned people were kind of falling through the cracks. Well, one of the biggest challenges is getting new patients in the door. So once we have patients in the door, once we have people as a part of our community and our ecosystem, how can we nurture them? How can we make sure they're getting followed up with? And Kerry has been such a huge part of helping us organize that process, stay on top of those people, know when to reach out to those people. So, yeah, it's not just about the new people, it's also about the current community that we do have.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Great point. How did you find Kerry? And if you say, PT Biz, I'm gonna sign up for PT Biz. [laughter] How'd you find Kerry?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Indeed.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Indeed? Okay.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: So good Old Indeed. Yeah. She's actually in West Virginia, so she's a virtual admin. And she's working 20 hours per week. So Indeed was great. You put your ad for what you need online and now they have questions that you can get the voice recordings in response to. So that's a good screener, especially since all her work is over the phone. So, yeah, we did...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: She doesn't sit at a desk. She doesn't do video interaction. It's all phone? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: It's all phone. Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. So she, yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I have so many questions around this. Okay. So, first of all, how the hell did you know how to interview for Kerry?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: We...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Did you, tell me a horror story around that.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Well, [laughter], yeah. Kerry is not our first admin.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Kerry's never the first admin yet.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: And we didn't realize how good Kerry is or how inadequate our first one was until Kerry. So we had a sense like, Hmm, is this really how it should be? We feel like it could be better. And we actually, yeah, parted ways it wasn't working. And then so found Kerry and we were like, God, we should have done this months ago. But you just don't know because she was the first person I have ever hired in my life. Right? We leaned into the network that we have and people who... That's a nice thing about the network. People are always behind you in business, right? At your level in business and ahead of you in business. So we leaned into those people who had hired client care coordinators or admins in the past. And what did you find helpful? What were the questions you asked? What did you look for? Things like that.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Awesome. So if I put it all on you, what was the mistake you made during that interview process that prevented you from getting Kerry the first time around? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. We had someone help us with the vetting process. We felt like we were time poor. And so we had someone do a bulk of the interviewing and we trusted that person to know what we wanted and know what we needed. And I think as much as they had our best interest top of mind, we should have been doing those interviews. We should have put in the time to do that, especially for our first hire to really get a sense. And we did interact, but it just should have been us from the very beginning, doing those interviews.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: That's a great answer. That's a great answer.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And something I've definitely learned myself, like even with PTs, where it's like however much Facetime you can get with the perspective employee, it actually goes both ways, right? It lets you learn them, but they, the potential employee needs to hear the vision of Athletic Lab or whatever business you're working for from the founder.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Sure.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: In one way or another and I think that would go a long way. So tell me about how you found Julia, who's your first, staff PT hire?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. That was also Indeed.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: We had reached out... We had done social media posts, we reached out to our network. We were really just trying to go... We were trying to utilize the PTs we know. The communities that we're a part of to find a physical therapist and, I think that probably worked in conjunction with our Indeed ad. But she reached out and she had actually been working in a practice also in Santa Monica that was cash-based, but was mostly focused on Redcord with their patients. So Julia just wanted a little more leeway and more flexibility in terms of how she could work with her patients.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: So she liked the model, she liked the one-on-one aspect of things, but was looking for more flexibility in that. So she was... Luckily, we didn't have to go through a big interview process with a lot of people before her, before we felt like she was the right fit.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Cool. How would you improve on your clinical interview process? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: I would... So our initial... We did an initial phone call...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: You're like, it's perfect, I can't answer that 'cause it's perfect.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: [laughter] It's like the kind of thing where you don't know what you don't know.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Right, that's a fact.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Which is so much of this.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: And only having...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, its entrepreneurship, yes.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. So that's like, I think it went okay, but I know it could be better. That's like everything we do.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Lets get... Is Julia around? Lets bring her on.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: [laughter] What didn't we do well? Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. I think especially since there are two of us, me and Lauren, I think it would be nice to have separate interviews with Julia, separate one-on-one interactions with her versus the two of us together with her. We were...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: That's a really good idea.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah, I think...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I like that idea.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Kind of speaks to what you were asking about in the beginning of how can we better utilize both of us. There are two people, so a lot of times we can be better about not just being one person. Actually leverage the fact that there are two of us. I think having her come in and do more shadowing. So far it has worked out, but there was minimal interaction in the clinic with clients, with us, really learning the ropes.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: And I think that to have that part of the interview process so they see the way the clinic works and see if they fit with the culture and the clients and how they interact with people, would be good to see. 'Cause we definitely just took a chance on that. And so far it has worked out, but it'd be nice to say, "No. I know she is good interacting with clients. I know she fits with this versus like, I think so."

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: How did you test her clinically? How did you gauge her acumen?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: We did some patient cases with her. We didn't have her actually treat any of our clients. But we had some discussions of kind of paper patient cases. We see... We specialized in working with runners, so, we just took her through a running analysis we did and asked some of her thoughts on what she would do? Or what she would look at? How would she treat this patient? So it was more of a discussion than an actual watching her, watching her...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. That makes sense. Okay tell me what you would improve on my interview process. On our interview process at True Sports. Ready? Ready?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. So first thing we do is we do a phone screen.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Okay.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And I just wanna see how they are on the phone. General ease of, I guess interpersonal skills. Then if they're decent, we bring them in and I send them a case prior to them coming in. And it's a full writeup of a host of pathologies, with measurements, with whatever it is I want them to have, so that when they come in, they are prepared, they know that I'm gonna be the patient and they're gonna treat me and I'm gonna role play the entire patient case. And all the way through. Then after we... I give them 45 minutes to do that. Then after we do that, if I think they're a viable candidate, I will walk through and then I'll do what you did, which is let's bounce some questions. What does this patient look like at six months? What does this patient look like, you know?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: What if this patient doesn't have realistic expectations, et cetera, et cetera. What home exercises would you be doing? How do you teach that? All these things. And then after that, I'm always saying like, "Okay, what kind of questions do you have? Or what kind of feedback do you have?" And stuff like that. And really gauging their level of interest and where their focus is, right? Like, is their first question... Are we all for Columbus Day? I forgot what movie that is, but that's... Like is that where their head is or is it...

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Right [chuckle]

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Oh, how much loading, stuff like that. And then we make a decision, if I have any other question, you know what else I do? I make sure that they meet every staff member of that clinic, including, and I'm watching how do they talk to reception?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Sure.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: How do they talk to the other PTs? How do they deal with the strength coach? Et cetera.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And just so I can get a feel for what it would look like, but Lyssa, what did I miss in that pop? Like how would you make that better?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Having them ask questions of you and your... Having them guide the process of, does the clinic that they're going to work at fit with their values? 

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So I can get more of a gauge as to what it is they value? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah. And if it aligns with what True Sports values.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I love that.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: I know that's not what you were looking for [laughter]

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: No, I don't know that I had anything in mind that I was looking for. I'm just always interested in... You bring so many things to the table, one of which is where you are in your career trajectory. Like, I am no longer seven years post graduate school. I'm 15 years.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Sure.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And I'm not two years into my private practice. I'm nine or something. Right.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Sure.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So I'm interested in what am I missing, what's the latest and greatest? So I don't have anything that I'm really thinking, like, oh, let's see if Lyssa says this. It's kind of one of those things where I don't know what I don't know, but I'm always interested in that. I've heard other business owners or interviewers do like a work style test or analysis, so you get a feel for...

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Oh, sure.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Kind of what personality they are. I haven't done that. I've had them have multiple rounds. So they meet with me and then they'll meet with another. So that's just another way to hit all facets. We just haven't worked that in yet.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: It sounds like you do the patient cases with them, you have them treat you or do an eval on you. Do you actually have them then shadow and hang out in the clinic and follow therapists and...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So not required. But I would say if you're really interested, you should be doing that, right? I'd say that's on the applicant. Is it something I'm grading? No, but some of our strongest clinicians who have had such a long career with us, I guess, they're the ones who are just like, oh, can I also stick around and shadow or you haven't gotten back to me. Can I come in and check out the Columbia? There's so many top of mind proves that they really want to be a piece of it. So I haven't acquired it, but it's something I look for. Good question.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: The other thing that comes to mind just talking about this is like, could I have dinner with this person? Could I have lunch with this person and actually go to dinner with that person? [laughter]

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Right? 'Cause it takes them out of the work setting and how are they as a person? It's just so different than just asking what they like to do or asking about their values, but take them into a social situation where the stakes are a little lower and just have dinner with them.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. And I think that's super powerful. Before I took my first job, there was an opportunity from an employer that I knew I wasn't gonna take. I wonder. I guess this wasn't the nicest thing to do, but I wanted to get good at that dinner interview. So he said, why don't we go out to dinner? In my head, I'm like, I'm probably not taking this job, but I want to be better at that skill.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Right.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And so I went. It's a really tough skill when you're doing that because they're probably watching everything. I know I would be where I'm watching. How do you interact with the waiter? How do you order? Do you have crap all over your face?


Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Right.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: So, I think there's value there. The thing you're up against is I've learned this also by making mistakes with this is you want to make a decision quickly. I want to meet Lyssa Clearly. She's a rockstar. I want to have everything lined up to say, here's what we pay. Here's the structure. Sign here. Because once I let you out into the ether, it's like, you might forget about me, I might forget about you and I have... Or if I start saying, okay, but let me have you meet this person and that person. Either it's the person or it's not.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And so just making sure that you're ready to commit when you see it, is that what you're looking for. And I think you have to identify what you're looking for. And I think you have to identify what you're looking for. So let me ask you, Lyssa, this is so powerful because it's gonna get you tons of resumes. What are you looking for in your next hire?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah, so we are looking... We treat an active population like formal athletes or not. If you're active, you're an athlete in our eyes. And so we love people who have communities that they want to then be able to help with physical therapy, with performance training. So, for example, Julia, our last hire, she is really she's engrossed in the rock climbing community and outdoor adventure sports. And so that was different from what Lauren and I have kind of niches in. So it's nice if the next PT we're looking for has another sport or activity that they love to do that they can then go out into the community and get some of those clientele through the door. So it doesn't need to be a specific sport, but something that they are passionate about and that they have a community around and then can interweave their work with their lifestyle.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, that's really awesome. Okay, so that's a lot of clinical stuff. Right? Tell me about how did you come up with the contract when you decided, you said, like, hey, Julia is the person I want to be our first hire. Who did your contract for you? Who does that? Who did your lease review for you? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah, a lot of that was through the business group. Honestly, just...

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: They gave you a lawyer?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: No, I reached out to another physical therapist who has her own practice, again, just using my network, and asked, does she have a lawyer that could look over our lease, so she referred us a lawyer. So it's all been through. People we know who are one step ahead of us or five steps ahead of us.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: But the contract was... It's not like it takes a lot to go through. There's not a lot of legal jargon in it. As long as we met the rules of California and the federal rules then that was it. And Gusto actually who we do our payroll through, they have a really good HR system. They have a contract that you could use that is state by state specific that you really don't need. We probably didn't even need to hire a lawyer to look it over because they're contracted kind of PR and payroll firm or HR, sorry, in payroll firm.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. That's awesome. Okay, so that's the legal box?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: That's the HR box? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Talk to me about accounting.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Accounting. So we have our own accountant that helps us with pretty much taxes and kind of allocating money in the business, right? How much... We have this much for marketing, is that how much we should allocate? How much do we need to put away for taxes? And once you get a payroll, which we now have things just skyrocket in terms of expenses that you don't expect. So the account... All these people have been just invaluable to these are things that I don't know what I don't know and I know I don't know a lot. So rather than me spending the time to figure it out, we pay people to do it for us that we trust and we know it's gonna get done right from the beginning.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I think that's some of the great advice that I got early on was to build that team.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And even within that team, I would encourage anyone considering doing this would be to interview those people and just get a feel for how they treat you. Just like you would do clinically. I had a great experience with financial institution where I went in and just talked to them and they just freaking looked right through me. And by the way, probably justified because I had $11 to my name. But I went to the guy and the institution that I currently use, and he treated me like I had $11 million. It was nuts.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And that has just continued to also like pay for itself, so totally worthwhile to go through that process and see the way they treat you.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep. And I think I'm... You get what you pay for. I've learned that time and time again in this process. There's a couple things we've tried to do cheaply or save money on, and you just don't wanna do that when it comes to an accountant, a lawyer, like the people who are gonna be the backbone of making sure your business stays afloat.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I'll tell you, Lyssa, maybe you can help me with this how you dealt with it. Because if you asked me my number one fear in starting my own PT clinic, it would be, who's gonna help me when the printer goes offline? Like I just thought I would be totally lost with that. So why was that not a fear for you and who helps you with those little things?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Google [chuckle], like you can Google, it's like, how to fix the HP 830 printer, right? Like how to plunge a toilet. Like I know how to plunge a toilet, but little things like that you just don't think are gonna come up. So honestly, I Google a lot more than I've ever done.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. And especially you do a lot of Googling when you don't have money to just pay someone to do it.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Someone to come. Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I just remember sitting on my ass behind the front desk for hours on phone with technical support. But also I would say this to the young entrepreneur and then I'm gonna ask you your best advice to a new young PT entrepreneur. My best advice would be know how to do every role within your business. It's gonna help you train.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: I love that. Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And it's gonna help you attract. And so I spent months scheduling. Like running my own schedule, right?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yep.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I spent a long time like arguing back and forth with my biller, and so I learned the billing game and the insurance game and trying to understand that marketing as well. Now you have a leg up on me with your UVA education, but how do you market, right? How do you get them to listen in response? Stuff like that. So I would say really dive into those details and become close to an expert in all facets of what happens in your four walls and supplement everything else on the outside with experts. Legal, accounting, marketing, et cetera. Lyssa, your best advice to the new young PT entrepreneur?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah, consistency is key. Consistency is Queen, King, however you wanna say it. I think it's all about reps and small, but very intentional steps. It can seem... It still seems very overwhelming for me, you know like, "Where am I gonna be in five years?" But if I think about that, then I'm not focusing on those daily processes that have got me to this point in two years. So at this point I've made thousands and thousands of choices and decisions and some good, some bad, it doesn't matter whether they've been good, it doesn't matter whether they've been bad. The thing that matters is that I've... That you make the choices, you make a decision and then you assess from there, you respond to, all right, maybe I need to make more decisions like this. Maybe I need to not make so many decisions like that one, but the consistency of making choices, making those decisions and then evaluating the result from those has been huge.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: You sound like Marcus Aurelius. You sound like that you're really able to stay in the present moment and that you're very mindful about being present. By the way if I had to deconstruct it, thinking back to your right knee, MPFL? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Hell yeah. 50/50. But I remember what side I was on.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Nice.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And I think that's how I knew, and that's why every once in a while before you started Athletic Lab, I would send you a text being like, "Hey, can you please come work for True Sports?" Because you are so good at connecting and that comes from you being present and mindful. And I really appreciate that about you. So good on you.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Thanks Yoni.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. It was obvious to predict that you'd be wildly successful. So with that being said...

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Which I'll tell you is not easy because my... I haven't had very many nicknames in my life, but one of them was Walks ahead, right? So it's... I do tend to... It is hard to say... It's a skill, right? Staying present and working on that consistency its a skill for sure.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, well, you're great at it. So...

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Thank you.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: That brings us to our lightning round. Ready? Please don't think a lot. Just answer. Don't say um. Don't look away from the camera. Just lock in. Stay present.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: All right. I'm here.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: What is a life lesson you learned from your father?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Um.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: What? Don't say um.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Oh, God, there's so many. Take your gifts and your beliefs seriously. So I think we all have gifts and beliefs that if we really dig deep, we know what those are. And take them seriously because that's how you make a difference in other people's lives. I think my dad has probably said that to me at some point, but I see that in how he treats people. He has gifts, and he is true to himself and has encouraged me to be just true to myself and be the best version that I can of myself, because that's how I'm going to make a difference in other people's lives.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, that's awesome. He's an awesome dude. And I didn't spend that much time with him, but he had a really big effect on me as well. I think he's just a wealth of knowledge, and I'm not surprised that it was very easy for you to pull on a life lesson that he passed down. He's a great dude. Okay, what's your favorite book and why?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Infinite Games by Simon Sinek actually was a new favorite book for me. It was recommended to me by a fellow pod member of yours and just awesome human, Kelly Starrett. So I heard him speak at one of our business networking events, and he brought it up. And it's just changed how I think about life, changed how I think about business. Business can be a grind, and it's hard work. And if you are constantly thinking about, I just need to work really hard and then get to this point. If life is a series of games that you need to play and win, you're gonna be grinding your whole life versus thinking about life, business as this infinite game. There aren't winners, there aren't losers. It's just, are you playing the game, and how are you playing the game, and do you enjoy playing the game? And so I think that has just... That has made the work more enjoyable and it really makes you stop and think about, okay, what game am I playing, and do I enjoy playing this game? 

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, that sounds a lot like Kelly, that he would push something like that. That guy's passion is unbelievable. He made me, and he made me enjoy this game. He really did. And I was totally out on the profession, and he totally kept me in. Except he prefers light roast over dark roast coffee, and that makes zero sense and is ridiculous. I hope he's listening to this, which he's not.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: That's funny.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: But it's really absurd. I tried to bring him over to the dark side. It may have worked a little bit. If you were to work in another field, what would it be?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Well, I've always wished I was a Broadway singer, a Broadway actor, Broadway singer. Yeah, I have no talent in that regard, but I am fascinated by that world.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. And...

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: So that's my don't think about it, just answer response. Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Good answer. Okay. What was the biggest business mistake you've made thus far? 

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: I think not getting into a space sooner, our own space sooner. I think we got just comfortable and complacent in the space we were at. And I think if we had done this sooner and taken the risk sooner, it would have led to more growth.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah. Which isn't always a great thing, but...

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: True, true, true.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: But it's a thing. Yeah, I can respect that. But my wife would say everything happens for a reason.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Okay, sure.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: And okay, it's amazing that you would think that hard about a business mistake. Do you know how quickly I could rattle off my business mistakes? It's crazy. I would not be able to shut up if you asked me that question. So don't. Lyssa, serious, serious pleasure. You have been awesome. Tell me where or tell everyone listening, where can we find you?

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: So our Instagram is Athletic Lab PT. And that's our biggest social presence. Yeah.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. How about an email? Do you have an email all the fans that want to reach out to you.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Sure. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So email is Lyssa,

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Okay. Awesome. And you're doing great things. Like I always said, like I probably said at the end of your rehab, you let me know if I can ever help you because after this pod, I freaking owe you. So thank you for your time and thank you for just what you're doing out there. You're doing awesome, awesome things. Say hi to your dad.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: I will. Thank you, Yoni. Yeah, I'm just trying to follow in your footsteps. You've been an awesome, awesome mentor along the way.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: I appreciate that.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: It's fun to reconnect.

Dr. Yoni Rosenblatt: Yeah, absolutely. Let's stay in touch. Thank you. Lyssa.

Dr. Lyssa Clearly: Alright.


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