I met a guy who is passionate about cycling,
His responsibility to the community,
His responsibility to the environment,
And his responsibility to his physical therapy profession.
He started a clinic on one of the main cycling thoroughfares in a city of the Pacific Northwest-
Allowing accessibility to cycling commuters -
For physical therapy treatment,
And bike tune ups.
It’s located not far from his home - Allowing the freedom to walk his kids to school everyday.
He has paperless faxing, repurposed waste water, a contract commitment of his employees to bike to work at least 300 days a year - helping fulfill his commitment to caring for the environment.
And last we chatted, he was looking for more personal/organization development content for himself and his workers.
His passion is not for everything. But that which he is passionate for, he looks to fully embrace throughout -
And built his business around.
His business caters to his lifestyle.
Not the other way around.
He knew at least enough of himself and the why behind what he wanted to do.
And went for it.
Yvon Chouinard’s life was all about the outdoors, climbing. Surfing. Early on, he wanted to make himself better climbing gear. So he did. He learned the craft and made his gear. And then started selling it to friends. And a business was born. When the surf was good, they grabbed their boards and closed the shop.
As he continued to grow and learn, he wanted to make more responsible climbing gear that had less impact on the earth (old gear would gouge the rock wall or be set as ‘permanent’ metal in the rock). So he did (removable, reusable, laser durable - last longer, have to consume less product). And his business was learning how to be guided by a responsibility to that which they loved - the environment.
He started making better climbing clothes because sport-specific clothing did not exist for climbers. More functional, more durable - last longer, promoting less consumerism. He started seeing the positive impact he could have on the environment but assuming responsibility for material sourcing, waste-repurposing, and ethical workforce standards.
Yvon also recognized his responsibility was a business owner, taking care of the families of his workers with daycare, paternity leave, maternity leave, etc.
He gave workers the freedom and trust to get their work done however they chose. If the surf was good, they weren’t in the office.
(There is so much more greatness and detail of this story found in ‘Let My People Go Surfing.’ I am doing Patagonia no justice with this summary.)
Yvon Chouinard did shit that he liked and wanted. And built a business around it. Climbing gear. Surfing. Love and respect to the environment. Love, respect, and freedom for his employees. The ability and freedom to support others (NGOs) that have similar passions. The ability for his business to be a model for other businesses beyond the triple bottom line. He created and is creating a way for him and his passion.
What we take, how and what we make, what we waste, is in fact a question of ethics.
These are but two stories of people envisioning beyond our current conventions,
Brave enough to put it into practice.
Leaders created businesses that were trusting, people-focused endeavors around a unifying principle to carry forward. The primary focus was not profit, but their people and their cause.
Your business fosters the cause, the cause draws the people.
You and your leaders take care of the people, their commitment to the business and the cause is bolstered.
The people feel safe, cared for, and poured into, and they will take care of the product and revenue.
With their commitment to the cause and the delivery and quality of the product, with the revenue they generate, your business for the cause perpetuates.
It’s a generative cycle.
For some time, I fostered fulfillment within the construct of physical therapy and the health care industry. Instead of forging a completely unique situation for me, I worked within the confines of someone else’s clinic setting to find my way.
My passions, for a long while, were shown in the process of physical therapy.
The education, the sleuthing, the problem solving, the details, the intricacies of interventions, the details in learning palpation skills and effectively making change to tissue and joint mobility.
Getting people a step or two further along. Promoting health, movement, active lifestyle.
Working as a clinician helped fulfill certain passions of mine-
Deep dive into complex material with continual practice/refinement -
Forward progress and opportunity with people/patients -
The freedoms to pour into ventures beyond the treatment room -
Long training seasons
Health, movement, active lifestyle.
I had a level of balance within it all.
Not perfect. I worked at someone else’s business that had it’s own way.
There certainly were flaws of the business and flaws that I brought to the table.
But I was able to carve out a way for me to navigate my passions and lifestyle.
In other words,
People don’t have to quit their jobs to find a level of fulfillment.
You don’t have to start your own business around the physical therapy, cycling, and environmental responsibilities to find joy.
Nor do you have to work to revolutionize business on a global scale.
You have what you are looking for.
Find your generative lens.
By Dr Adam Fujita PT, DPT, CAFS
8 Years of clinical experience in the physical therapy environment.