Why Money Is Not A Dirty Word, Not Even In Healthcare

Are you a practice owner struggling to achieve consistent success? If that’s you, you’re not alone.

There are over 30.2 million small businesses in the US. Chances are you know the statistics, and for the most part, they’re not encouraging.

According to the SBE Council, less than 80% of small businesses survive year one. Of the ones left, 50% make it past year five, and about one-third exist past year ten.

Should those numbers dissuade you from starting your practice?

No, but they should get you thinking. What does it take to thrive in business, and not just survive?

And I have one word for you… Mindset!

Specifically, your mindset about money.

While the reasons for small business failure are many, mindset is right up there. How you think about money impacts your success in business and life more than you know.

Got Head Trash?

Let’s face it, most of us do. And it may be more pronounced amongst healthcare workers, who are 80% female.

To some extent, the blame lies with our culture.

We have this unrealistic expectation of people working in healthcare; it’s deeply ingrained and runs below the surface. Healthcare workers (mainly women) are to give and serve selflessly, regardless of their own needs.

And this belief goes hand in hand with the prevailing notion about money. Money is considered a dirty word, not worthy of discussion or pursuit.

Is that how you feel about money too?

If so, you suffer from “head trash,” and it may stand between you and success!

But why the negative attitudes about money?

Don’t we all need money to live, so we can:

  • put a roof over our head
  • put food on the table
  • put gas in our car
  • send the kids to school
  • and pay for our healthcare

Of course, we need money, because barter is a thing of the past. Today it takes money to pay for goods and services.

The reasons many of us have limiting beliefs (aka head trash) about money are multifactorial. They include religious beliefs, sentiments passed down through generations, and plain old misinformation.

Money Simply Is…

Here’s the thing: Money is not dirty or evil.

What someone does with money maybe dirty or evil, but money itself is neither. It’s not good or bad. It simply is!

Money is nothing more than a tool for us to use. And each individual must decide how to put it to use.

We all need money to live. While for some money may not be the sole reason to work or start a business, for many it is.

And that’s why your thoughts and beliefs about money are critical.  They will either move you forward or hold you back because money impacts everything in your life, including your business.

It time to examine your beliefs about money:

  • Do you have a scarcity mindset? Is your glass half empty or half full? Is there a lack of opportunity, or do you see opportunities everywhere? If you think in scarcity, work toward adopting an abundance mindset, where there is plenty for everyone to go around, because there is!
  • What are your feelings about money? Do you feel comfortable talking about money, or do you feel guilty focusing on it? Work toward getting comfortable talking about money and discussing it freely with others.
  • Think back to growing up… what was the predominated tone around money? Was there never enough or always enough to go around? Were you told that money doesn’t grow on trees or encouraged to save up money so you could make the purchase? Were the rich viewed as greedy, out to take advantage of everyone else, or not mentioned at all?
  • How do you feel about spending money on yourself or your business? In general, do you view it as an expense, or do you see it as investing in yourself?
  • Do you tend to think in terms of “I can’t afford it,” or do you think, “How can I afford it?” It’s the question brought up by Robert Kiyosaki in Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
  • Do you feel guilty about “profiting” from the illness of others? If you do, don’t discount the need you fill, your expertise, and the value you provide while “profiting.” Get to the point where you feel comfortable about making money in your practice, watching your bottom line grow.

Money has a bad reputation because, throughout history, it’s been used deliberately to cheat, deceive, and steal; to influence and hurt people without scruples or conscience.

But that’s not the fault of money! It can be used to create good or evil. It’s all about how people choose to use it.

In Summary…

Examine how you think and feel about money. If you’re battling negative views, meet them head-on.

Work toward adopting an objective and open mindset, because limiting beliefs act like stepping on the brakes to success in business.


Struggling with head trash? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.


By Johanna Hofmann, MBA, LAc; regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog and author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians.


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  1. Great article, Barbara! My practice is in a tiny rural town and everyone knows me or is related. It’s difficult sometimes to ask for money from those who have less. Once, someone with more money than most (and ER muse no less) told others that our office was a “money racket” because we required labs every six month for those on bp meds. I quickly let her know this money racket adventure had cost me a $100k salary for two years before we made any money at all. I received a letter of apology shortly after.

  2. Hi Kim,

    It’s amazing how people and even other providers will view practices as being “in it for the money” and yet think nothing about all their concerns about the salaries they make (or don’t make).

    Yes, a practice is a business and there are costs to the owners. And eventually, like in any business…money will be made – but it’s not always the riches some imagine.

    I’m glad you received an apology.

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