We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Zach Harmon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Zach, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I became a physical therapist to help people move and feel better, so they can enjoy life to the fullest. Good healthcare depends on spending the time to build trust and deliver positive results for every patient. But today, insurance companies emphasize quantity over quality, so patients often don’t get the high quality of care they deserve. When people are in an injured or vulnerable state, the last thing they want to feel is like they aren’t being heard or aren’t being prioritized. Our communities and patients deserve more from their healthcare experience. That’s why I started my own practice. We focus on the patient’s entire healthcare experience. Because we don’t directly contract with insurance companies, we can take the time to treat you as a whole person. We can ask questions about sleep, stress, and the workouts you do. We can collaborate with other health professionals to ensure that we address both your body and mind to ensure you get the results you’re looking for. We address pain, nutrition, sleep, stress management, and fitness to help you fully recover from an injury and go on to become more resilient than ever before. I want to guide my patients to become stronger in every way, so they can enjoy all aspects of life without giving anything up.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I had the vision for my business while I was still a PT student in my last clinical rotation. I was studying for my board exam to gain my license, finishing my last clinical rotation, and starting all the nuts and bolts of my business (website, business license, etc). It wasn’t easy juggling all of that at the same time, and still performing well, so I’m most proud of accomplishing that. Because I funded my own business, I knew it had to start as a part-time side project while I worked full-time. I averaged 10 hour days every Monday through Saturday. Sunday was for business development, including workshops, exercise classes, etc. I worked 7 days a week for almost 2 years before I was able to quit being an employee and finally start my own business. This wasn’t easy, and it certainly wasn’t work-life balance, but it had to happen in order for me to be where I am now. Today, I work 5 days a week doing healthcare in a way that I’m proud of and that patients enjoy. And I have an employee now, too. I was once told that life is lived in seasons. There will be times that it’s a grind, and times where you get to relax. My grind just happened to be two years. Everyone has a different path to their own success. Being a business owner is like riding a roller coaster. You have ups and downs, but what’s most important is that you stay calm during all of them. I’ve had partners come and go, employees move, and locations I’ve had to leave and start anew. It’s all a part of being a business owner. Being adaptable is key to surviving it all. There are a few things that set us apart from other sports medicine and health clinics. 1. We are located inside fitness gyms. We collaborate regularly with strength coaches to modify exercises, so you never have to take time off because of an injury. 2. We don’t just get you out of pain, because we care about your long-term success. Because we don’t want the injury to come back, we provide you with good options to ensure long-term success. 3. We don’t make you give up any hobby, sport, or exercise. We can modify your exercises and teach you how to keep training even with an injury. 4. We practice what we preach. We work out intensely in various sports, whether it’s weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit, or field sports. 5. We demonstrate every exercise and let you record the video on your phone to ensure there is no miscommunication about how to do the exercises at home. 6. We stay up to date with current research, and we are constantly expanding the services we perform. We can order prescriptions like MRI, X-Rays, etc. Also, we can use diagnostic ultrasound in our office. This can save you time and money.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Denver is wonderful, but if you can get out of the city, I would say my favorite place is the mountains. I’m especially biased toward Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge. There’s nothing better than spending the day skiing or snowboarding, and then visiting any of the local restaurants in town. Fish Creek Falls is a cool place to see, especially if you get the chance to go snowshoeing. Telluride is another great destination if you can make a trip out there. My favorite place that we visit often is Gnar Taco. Honestly, considering how many outdoor activities you can do in Colorado, the possibilities are endless. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My first shout out goes to my wife, Brit Harmon, who is a PT as well. She has supported me through the ups and downs of owning a business. She is accepting of the long hours and short weekends that come with being a business owner. Whether it’s editing my emails to patients, setting up workshops, or designing T-shirts, she has been supportive throughout the process. I love you so much, Brit. I have had two very great mentors in my life: Dan Pope and Aline Thompson. They taught me the technical skills to excel at PT. But they also showed me a great example of being a good human in all aspects of life while being good at your job, too. Those don’t always go hand in hand. Thank you both. My Mom and Dad took a risk opening a fitness gym when I was young, and they operated it for almost 15 years. It was very tiring work, but they introduced me to a world of human movement which changed how I live my life. It helped me understand the value of hard work, that exercise is both for your body and your mind, and that a community is vital for human health. Those teachings are the pillars of how I run my own business in the service of others.