*Important: Our Lancaster Rd location is open and going strong. We’re not going anywhere :)
Ten years ago this month I opened my clinic doors for the first time. I grew a team and a practice here.
And now, after a decade, I’m wrapping up this chapter and closing the doors.
I have lots of feelings about this, naturally. Whole Therapy Queensview was a place I poured myself into. It was a transformative agent: I went in naive, green, young. I came out stronger and more experienced than I ever thought I would be. More importantly: I came out with a sense of self that superseded the walls I’d built.
I recently saw a post that said, if you love your business, you’ll keep on pushing, because that’s what dedicated people do. At first I felt ashamed; I am dedicated! I wanted to shout. My motto is fucking persist! And I do love my business.
But one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over these ten years is to remove emotion from business decisions whenever possible.
Have the emotion, yes, feel the swirls and gusts and vibrations of it all, but then act from facts.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over these ten years is to remove emotion from business decisions whenever possible.
As Ben Shapiro so famously said, facts don’t care about your feelings. Harsh, but he’s not wrong. So here are the facts, which build upon one another:
Covid smashed us all.
Closing down a small business like ours for 3 months in 2020 was devastating. Even more devastating was re-opening amidst the fear and uncertainty in the world, when most people were being ordered to stay home (or doing so out of a sense of duty).
You can’t predict all the bad stuff.
We had just opened our Lancaster location in October of 2019. All our extra pocket change was invested in the new venture (which was a great business decision, global pandemics notwithstanding). This contributed to the financial piece of our puzzle immensely.
The holistic health care industry has changed.
It was already challenging to acquire therapists of all kinds, especially ones who fit into our model and mission. After the pandemic hit, people everywhere sought more stability, and for many that meant changing jobs and careers. Where we once had zero turnover, we lost almost half of our staff across both clinics in The Great Resignation. And replacing them all was basically impossible (though it was definitely not for lack of trying).
Evil Landlords make a huge (and terrible) difference.
Our Lancaster landlord, Urbandale, was a shining example of integrity within professionalism. During Covid they spoke with us, worked with us, and essentially helped us get through it with compassion and grace.
On the other hand, our other landlord, Metcalfe Realty, rose spectacularly to the occasion as the villain of the hour. They made our lives hell during and after covid, not only demanding full rent during the shutdowns, but also refusing to put even one drop of humanity into the mix.
As Ben Shapiro so famously said, facts don’t care about your feelings.
So. Despite my tenacity, despite my desire, despite the solidity of my resolve and my massive actions these past three years to ‘pivot’, regroup, and move forward, the facts are against me. And I’m tired.
And so I choose to close the doors.
I could wish (and in moments, I do) that things were different. That I had known ahead of time what was coming. I could wish for a more compassionate landlord, or more backup cash in my account. But in the end, with my eyes wide open, I made the choice to close our doors. And while I am deeply saddened by my choice, I know it was the right one.
I like to believe that things happen for a reason. Ascribing meaning to events like this helps me to move forward. And because I didn’t quit on a bad day, and I tried my best to change things, so many times, I feel like maybe this is just the right path. The universe has something else in store for me, and for the members of our west end team. I can control some things, but definitely not everything (a fact that my brain hates, most days).
Here’s what I can control: my own thoughts and actions.
So I choose to shift my focus now to our east end location on Lancaster Road. My practice will move there. I will do all of the things I need to do to wrap up our Queensview spot. I will regretfully give up some dear clients who won’t want to make the longer drive. I will hug my team and cry some tears and wish them well. And I will continue to pursue the mission I always have had: to bring people together who want to help others.
Whole Therapy definitely lives on. We’re still here. Still amazing. And we are so much more powerful than the walls of a clinic can contain.