We had the good fortune of connecting with Tracy John and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tracy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I needed a change from the traditional physical therapy setting and began intermittently looking for alternative careers over the span of 2 years. I went on interviews for several staff and PT manager positons and even applied for jobs in case management and insurance authorizations eventhough they specified they were looking for nurses; I thought hey, I’m qualified for these positions as well, maybe it could be a good fit and an interesting change in life. None of the positions were a good fit because I don’t want a desk job! I love treating patients, being active with them and helping them feel better. I wanted to be able to treat my community without restrictions, without being micromanaged, without always feeling anxious about not giving my full attention to one person and wondering if my intervention was enough to get them through their issues so they can tolerate their daily activities without agony. While scrolling through social media one day, I came across a chat that was giving steps on how to start your own cash based mobile physical therapy practice. I started taking notes for a colleague that mentioned she was thinking of venturing into this realm and as I was jotting the steps down, I realized that I could do this too!! I was looking to help someone else and ended up finding what is now my passion – providing quality care for people in the convenience of their home or office, they get better quicker and have lasting results because I am focused on them only, not on 3-4 other people in a busy clinic. i thought if other physical therapists can be successful by taking this route, then so can I!!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I originally set out on the Pre-Med track in college but realized that wasn’t the route I wanted to take after sitting in doctor’s waiting areas for 2 hours and being seen for 5 minutes without my concerns being fully addressed. I also did not want to be in school for another ten years and come out with a crap load of debt! While I was struggling to figure out what career path I wanted to take, my father ended up having major heart surgery and I learned about physical therapy while visiting his hospital room as he recovered. A young lady came in to address any pain concerns, show him how to get out of bed properly and how to walk safely in the room, I said “Daddy, who is that?” ( because clearly she was not the physician or nurse). He replied, “That’s the physical therapist, you can do that” ( you have to read that in a Grenadian accent for the full effect). That evening I went home, looked up physical therapy and the next day went down to the hospital’s HR office and signed up to volunteer. I absolutely fell in love! I get to play with toys while helping feel better and they bring me cakes and cookies to say thank you, what more can a girl ask for, sign me up for PT school!. I was fairly quiet growing up and often one of few black persons in my classes; in fact, I was the Only black person in my PT class and kept to myself until I found commonalities with some of the minorities in my class. Since becoming a PT I’ve worked and traveled in so many cities and various settings that I can honestly say made me a more social, cultured and well rounded person – now no one believes me when I tell them I used to be super quiet and a homebody LOL. I still found myself being the only person of color at most jobs Until I came to Atlanta Ga – so this is where all the melinated healthcare professionals have been hiding! Eventhough I live in mecca city for black professionals, Black physical therapist only make up 5% of PTs in the US, 5%!!! Sometimes I struggle with what I call “little black girl syndrome” and think to myself, are people really going to pay this little black girl to come to their house? Can I really have my own practice and be successful? I have to pull myself out of the rabbit hole of negative thoughts and tell myself YES! I have a great personality, I am an awesome therapist and anyone should be happy to work with me as long as I provide valuable quality service

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ooooo, I usually take my family and friends to Kirwood for brunch at Sun in My Belly – that food makes my tummy shine; the wait is worth it. For lunch, I like Ms.Icey’s Kitchen for some Caribbean fusion food and Rum Punch, yum. Besides caribbean food, I love Asian food and my favorite spot is Surin of Thailand in Virginia Highlands – their Lychee martini is nice and strong. Another favorite place to hang out is Ponce city Market – I love the foodhall and the ability to hang out and play games on the rooftop with the Atlanta Skyline as a back drop. Also, 9 mile station on PCM rooftop is amazing, I had my birthday dinner there.
Walking or riding bikes on the Beltline is a great way to enjoy the outdoors – I’d do this during the week because it tends to get very crowded on the weekends. Hiking up Stone Mountain early in the morning always gets me energized and focused for the rest of the day. For a nice trail walk with greens for a picnic and food truck on site, Lilburn City Park is fun – I love the Agavero mexican food and margaritas on site, its double decker bus turned into a restaurant, how cool is that!!. For nightlife, hmmm, I haven’t been anywhere since COVID began but I did like showing visitors the historic Clermont Lounge – good energy and dancing while amateur strippers figure out their best routines in the background, then we would go up to the rooftop for drinks and views of the city. For an authentic Caribbean party, Vibes Restaurant and Lounge in Decatur on a Friday is good spot – don’t show up before midnight. For a real Atlanta vibe, Suite Food Lounge is a must – always a good time!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, I would love to Shout Out my little sister Diana for being my biggest supporter. She gives me great encouragement and critical feedback. I’d also like to shout out two coaching programs that have helped me develop my business mindset and unleash my self doubts – The UnCaged Clinician and The Black Female Foundation

Website: www.getbalancedpt.com

Instagram: @getbalancedpt

Linkedin: Tracy John

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlana is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.