LIVE from the WCPT Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, I welcome Efosa Guobadia on the show to discuss entrepreneurship in physical therapy. Efosa L. Guobadia, PT, DPT, is the founder of the integrated wellness company FFITT Health; President and CEO of Move Together, a 501(c)3 for purpose organization dedicated to improving access to quality rehab medicine around the corner and around the world; Co-Founder of the initiative Global PT Day of Service, which has spanned 60 countries since its inception; Founder of the informational website PT Haven; and also developed and led the international volunteer program ATI MissionWorks for ATI Physical Therapy.
In this episode, we discuss:
-Efosa’s entrepreneurship in underserved communities
-How to approach roadblocks and tackle them head on
-Three qualities of inspiring leaders in the entrepreneurial space
-Exciting ways you can get involved with service through PT Day of Service
-And so much more!
For more information on Efosa:
Efosa L. Guobadia, PT, DPT, is the founder of the integrated wellness company FFITT Health; President and CEO of Move Together, a 501(c)3 for purpose organization dedicated to improving access to quality rehab medicine around the corner and around the world; Co-Founder of the initiative Global PT Day of Service, which has spanned 60 countries since its inception; Founder of the informational website PT Haven; and also developed and led the international volunteer program ATI MissionWorks for ATI Physical Therapy. In 2017, he contributed a chapter on sustainability as well as the closing afterword for the book ‘Why Global Health Matters”, edited by Dr. Chris E. Stout, and with a foreword by Nobel Laureate Jody Williams. He received his BS in Kinesiology from the University of Massachusetts in 2007 and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Scranton in 2010. He is recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Young Alumni Award given by the University of Massachusetts/Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences and is a 2018 American Physical Therapy Association Social Impact Award Recipient. He is currently based out of Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Read the full transcript below:
Karen Litzy: 00:00 Hey everybody, I'm coming to you live from the WCPT conference in Geneva, Switzerland. And I have the distinct pleasure of sitting next to Dr Efosa Guobadia who is a physical therapist from the United States now based in Guatemala. And he has also the cofounder of PT Day of service and move together, which we will talk about during this interview. But first, what I'd really love to talk about Efosa is you were on a panel today about entrepreneurship and physio therapy. So can you give us the highlights?
Efosa Guobadia: 00:34 Yes. Well, Karen Litzy is such a high pleasure to share time with you. The only time I get a chance to hang out with you, you put a smile on my face. I love the energy and all that. So yes, the panel is about entrepreneurship. So one of the things that I certainly talk about, I said entrepreneurship is a mindset, you know, it's about bringing the vision and the vision of your heart and the idea in your mind into actuation, you know? And with that being said what I also said, I think everybody has, it has the potentiality and the capacity to be entrepreneurial or you sometimes talk about product market fit or passion market fit and where does your passion, your idea slash your product meet the market. You know, and I think that's also very important. A friend of mine recently we're having a concept about what's an entrepreneur? He says an entrepreneur is the intersection of your idea, fundamental value and the wants, desires, desires and the understanding of the client and consumer. And that sweet spot is so important. If it's just about your ideas, you may be a starving artist, you know, but if it's a too much about the client, you know, you may be selling out a little bit. So find that great amalgam and that sweet spot and I think that's very important.
Karen Litzy: 01:37 Yeah. Thank you for bringing that up. I think that's great. I usually tell people when they're like, not sure if this idea can actually turn into a business. And I'll always tell people like, make a list. Like, what are you good at? What are you really passionate about? And what would someone be willing to pay you for? And if you can find that sweet spot, and again, it's like you just said, it's your passion where it intersects with what the consumer needs or what the consumer doesn't know they need yet. And that's where entrepreneurism really comes into, I think, a great place for the person. So let's talk about what you're doing as an entrepreneur.
Efosa Guobadia: 02:16 I love that so much. And I agree. To piggyback on what you just said, Karen, it's about fundamental value. And I think this is true in any industry. So whatever this thing, this fundamental value, your product service, after a person comes into contact with it, are they better off? And then well, we can talk about marketing or this or that, but that should be the first thing that you curate. So that's very foundational. I'm living a pretty interesting existence right now Karen Litzy so this past November in 2018, I actually decided to move to Guatemala and now I'm doing two different things. So I feel a part of my bandwidth is for the global health sector. You know co founding, you know I lead the organization move together and our mission there is to increase access to quality rehab medicine around the corner and around the world.
Efosa Guobadia: 02:56 I've been going to Guatemala now for the last seven years I've been doing this global health work for the last seven years. I moved together under that umbrella. We've been doing some pretty interesting work there for the last three years of amazing partners on the ground and amazing participants and volunteers that have joined us from the US and other places around the world. We help to build the development of rehab clinics in underserved communities. And the keyword there, this is the keystone where there's the operization, the local PTs and students on the ground. They run these clinics that we co set up throughout the year and on the ideas that it thrives uder them and we are glad to say it has been so. And then we have other programs under them, the nonprofit move together, PT day of service, which you mentioned, we have a program called that pro bono incubator and that's US based in which we dispense funds to pro bono projects in clinics in the US over the last two years we just spent $20,000 to a 11 different projects and a mentorship and resource to many more than that as well.
Efosa Guobadia: 03:53 So that's been pretty fun. So that's one part of my existence. The other part of my existence is entrepreneurial. This past I officially opened this March, but I did some ramp up work to it this past march. I opened up a clinic in Guatemala City and it looks at three verticals. It looks at mobility, which is Rehab. And I do some movement analysis with the movement three d camera. We do look at nutrition. I'm hiring some nutritionists to look at because nutrition is important for a few reasons, right? For pain. It's relationship with inflammation and with energy and a certainly with weight management, weight management is predicated on nutrition. I think above all cardio and then lean muscle mass. So it's looking at it through that portal has been important. And the third vertical has been mindset that, you know, a routine and breathing and sleeping and all that good stuff. So creating a team that helps me do those things in an ecosystem systematic way has been fun. You know, the early part of it has been mobility and people have been responding so very well to it in Guatemala. They're telling me now I can't leave, but you know, some of my clients and it's been fun.
Karen Litzy: 04:56 Awesome. And now, you know, your version of entrepreneurship is let's say different than maybe some traditional entrepreneurship where you're setting up shop in a very developed country and it's certainly different than what I do as an entrepreneur. I think from a practical standpoint, different, but I think from a fundamental standpoint and where our mindsets are and what we're trying to do for our clientele, it's pretty similar. Would you agree?
Efosa Guobadia: 05:23 A hundred percent fundamental value around the world. Its fundamental value in each industry needs to know their fundamental value. Let's say for us, our fundamental values as healers is help people move better so they can live better. That exists and is needed anywhere in the world. So again, know fundamental value, build the architecture and fit it to the market into the behavior and the knowledge and the awareness of your customers or customers to be and that's how you make it make sense wherever you go.
Karen Litzy: 05:47 And for maybe listeners out there who would like to replicate what you're doing in an underserved area or in an underserved country, what were some of the biggest roadblocks you experienced in the beginning that you would like to advise people on? Maybe how to avoid or at least how to minimize?
Efosa Guobadia: 06:07 Oh, interesting. I think it's so important to identify roadblocks and barriers. I sometimes say this with my clients now you need to know the dragon and sort of delineate the dragon so you could slay it. You know, so it's the transcend another general thought. Anytime Challenging things happen. I cheer this in the panel as well. It's information, you know, it's that when a situation happens, good or maybe not good to the way you want it to happen, it's situation. What's good about situations, it leads to solutions. So once you figure out how to handle something, now you have this tool of this extra solution. Now you can play defense and prevent that from happening again. Or if it does happen, you can handle a quicker, and actually turn it into a good, et Cetera, et cetera. So that mindset, that paradigm shift, the mindset.
Efosa Guobadia: 06:50 If you're an entrepreneur of how do you engage with things that don't necessarily happen the way that you want to have it on the, for me and some of my experiences, every country has its own things. And one thing is you go through the legal process is setting up your business. What I just had to learn is a little bit different from the US so tagging in this is a truth for all entrepreneurs and all projects, you know, identify and tag and the right people who could best help you with what you need to do. And then that saves time and that maximize your efficiency as well as your effectiveness.
Karen Litzy: 07:18 Yeah. So when you kind of hit those roadblocks, I love the way of reframing it as not a, Oh my gosh, I'm so stupid. Or how did I not see this coming? Oh great, now I'm sunk and I'm going to go sulk into a corner. But instead you're saying to reframe it as, well, here's this roadblock, but guess what? Now we have a system in place to avoid this from happening again. So being very intentional about how you're thinking of roadblocks or I don't want to say failures or things like that in your business, but being intentional so it doesn't happen again, and then you can go out and help others do the same.
Efosa Guobadia: 07:54 You said that perfectly. Nothing to add to that.
Karen Litzy: 07:55 Okay. All right. So let's talk a little bit more about entrepreneurship, specifically leadership. So if you're an entrepreneur, you're a leader, right? You're either leading yourself, you're leading others. So what do you feel like are qualities of, let's say leadership within the entrepreneurial space?
Efosa Guobadia: 08:15 Yeah, I can say a few of both. They overlap and they're interrelated like you're saying. But on the leadership front, I think, there's three things that are important. You know, maybe I'll break it down to three C’s. So one C is courage, the second c is compassion, and the third C is credibility. So I'm gonna explain what I mean by those. But first of all, with those three things, you start with yourself. You need to serve yourself. You need to lead yourself first, before you can think about leading people. So on the coverage piece that then set on your heart or the things that you believe in, do you pursue them or do you stand up for them? And the micro moments and the macro moments. And it's like a muscle you have to cultivate and you’ve got to work it out. You know?
Efosa Guobadia: 08:51 So expressing when things are more macro and big and where things are really intense. You've had this muscle, I'm going to be strong, I'm going to be courageous. I'm going to be dictated and guided by what I see is right and righteous. So courage is important. The other part is credibility. Again, starting with yourself. Do you do the things that you set that you intend to do we get the to do list. Have you written out 20 things consistently for the last month. I've only got three things done. You're telling your conscious and your subconscious, you can't trust what you write down. So start there. Create credibility and trust with yourself and then it’s metaphysical it transmits to your team, you know, you can't really have credibility with others without having credibility with yourself. And then caring and compassion. You know, one of the most important words in my life, caring, you know, caring about yourself, being compassionate about yourself.
Efosa Guobadia: 09:33 To be able to do that with your team. You need to be able to do it yourself. There's one politician and I heard say it as a couple of years ago, the best thing a leader could do for his team, his or her team is to care about them. You know how you do that by actually caring about them, you know, so actually care about yourself to take care by yourself, actually care about your team, to care about your team, on the entrepreneurial realm. A lot overlaps with say consider our focus decision making capabilities. And I will also say reasoning, you know, able to multidimensional think a lot of entrepreneurism is problem solving and thinking ahead and thinking what's coming down the pike. So that's the critical reason. A lot of the decision making, whether you've got to make quick decisions or deep decisions.
Efosa Guobadia: 10:14 What's your prototype, what’s your paradigm, how do you handle that? How do you stay calm under pressure? Maybe that goes to a curse a little bit. And then in focus, you read all the greats, you know, whether it was old school philosophy or current CEO's, one of the most important things that they talk about is the ability to focus on your task at hand and to chop wood on your task at hand as their old quote. I forget who said it now, the way you do anything is the way you do everything. So for me to close on this, I enjoy doing dishes. I don't do it that much, but when I do dishes, I'm locked in. I've tried to clean it as best as I can and I know that it's going to transmit to my clinical treating and my leadership or building your footing. So those would be some thoughts there.
Karen Litzy: 10:56 Yeah. And I loved the compassion I had a woman on a couple of weeks ago who talked about having compassion for yourself and forgiveness for yourself and how can you even make a decision if you can't even give yourself compassion? So, those qualities of leadership, courage, caring and compassion, and credibility. Yeah. So if you can't give that to yourself, then how can you give it to your business and be a successful entrepreneur? And courage by the way, this year was my word of the year on my vision board. So when you said that, I perked up and said, oh, courage. Yes. So that's something that I'm working with and I've been in business for a while. So I think another thing for everyone out there who's an entrepreneur or wants to be an entrepreneur is it's not like, oh, I have courage one day and then that's it. It is for ever, you are forever working on it. At least that's my view.
Efosa Guobadia: 11:56 I agree. Excuse me. I agree. It's a muscle and it's not this goal to achieve and that you're good at. It's an attention and intention really has to do a behavior and courage and you’ve got to be smiling in this world. It's so much about courage is a call to adventure. What is it in your heart, what do you feel pulled to and are you willing to answer that call and say, heed that call. Even if it's a small step, even if it's a big step, even as a small step that leads a big step. If you do, if you heed the call, if you go for it, if you stand up for the things that you believe in, you will live a life in full. You know? And it’ss be a certainly an interesting one.
Karen Litzy: 12:32 Wonderful. I have nothing to add to that. Now before we went live you were talking about how it's such an exciting time in physical therapy and we're here at WCPT with 4,500 people from around the world. And I have to say it is exciting. So what is your version of now is an exciting time for physical therapy?
Efosa Guobadia: 12:51 It's a combination of things. You know, there's so many exciting and interesting people doing exciting and interesting things you with your cash based practice you with this podcast. So many other people. The prehab guys, you know, I don't even know those guys, but I admire them from Afar, how they're growing, how they're fitting something in the market, how they're influencing and inspiring clinicians and clients have like so many others. So many exciting people doing exciting things. So that's one variable too with technology. You know, technology is allowing us to do a multiplication of things that we couldn't do six months ago, 12 months ago, and then certainly two, three, four, five years ago. So understanding where the tech is now or where the tech might go, it's a variable that leads to a multiplication. And then the consumer that, you know, they're more intentional with where they spend their time or where they spend their dollars, how they engage with health and health care and all that good stuff.
Efosa Guobadia: 13:39 So they're becoming more of a partner. That's how I treat my clients and my consumer, my patients as a collaborator in the journey. So you play with those different variables of technology ideas of different people, a consumer that's wanting to be healthier and then wanting to be fit. And intentional in that healthiness in that fitness, we're at this place really where anything is possible and everything can change. And I think in the next 10 years Karen the next 10 years, we're going to see an evolution slash revolution of efforts and actuations within our profession. And certainly the other step is how we collaborate with other verticals and other industries and other professions as well because not just about what we could do alone by what we could do is by what we could do together.
Karen Litzy: 14:21 And on that, that is just the perfect segway because the next thing I want to talk about is move together and PT day of service. So let's give a plug to both of these, well move together, the parent organization of PT day of service. So let's talk about that a little bit so that the listeners know what the heck you're doing.
Efosa Guobadia: 14:42 Yeah, sounds good. So move together is a 501©3 that I cofounded in 2016. And the way we define mission is that we measure everything that we do and say by. So the mission for the organization is to increase access to quality rehab medicine around the corner around the world and access being the keystone word and the keystone structure cause with access that we've seen in some of the places that we've been to, the place doesn't exist for people to go to or the place does exist. They don't have the means to go there of it does exist. They have the means that placement, I have the things that that community member that community needs. So it was a multidimensional challenge, so it needs a multidimensional approach. So that's been pretty exciting.
Efosa Guobadia: 15:18 I smell inside and out every time I think about our vision first. But the way we defined vision, vision is Simon Sinek talks about this a lot. Do you need to be able to see it? You know, that's why we call it a vision. And then when I think about it, I think about it as a guiding light or the northern star that's shining the way forward. I also think about it as the horizon. There's always going to be necessary distance between your horizon. That's the definition of horizon and so it becomes this pursuit and then you're pursuing the doing of good and doing and what your vision is, which I'll share in a moment, but also how you enjoy the journey. You're able to turn around and look at the shore, see how far along you've gone and also set up beacons and objectives along the way to measure your progress.
Efosa Guobadia: 15:58 Our vision for the organization is a clinic in every community and a sense of community in every clinic, a clinic in every community speaks to the horizontality of where we want to go, the geographical breadth of where I want to go. Community in every clinic speaks of punctuating depth and the verticality of what we do and the places that we do go. So a clinic in every community and community in every clinic. And that really drives what we do. We have three pillars in our organization, one that looks at increasing the quality and quantity of clinics. We do that. We have a program, PBI in the US and other clinic development program around the world or work with municipalities and mayors. And, and our community leaders to build development operationalized clinics. We have a second pillar called empower local clinicians. You know, not just a going and leaving going and leaving something behind and power and local capacity.
Efosa Guobadia: 16:42 Mike Landry talks about that term about local capacity. So most of our projects abroad we usually teach, you know, and learn and do labs things of that nature and we partner with other kinds of organizations to start doing it more in an architectural way for sustainable change. And then the third pillar, which ties into PT day of service is catalyzing servant leadership. What we've seen about our profession, certainly beyond our profession, PTs and PTAs and students, they like to serve we are a profession of heart and compassion. You know, so many people have been doing so many good things already, but for many people they don't know where to start, you know, so how can we create this junction of Bi directionality where people can be fulfilled while fulfilling other's? We see path for academic leadership and association leadership and corporate leadership and those are great.
Efosa Guobadia: 17:25 It was very important for us as an organisation. Josh and I, we talk about this a good amount is creating a path for servant leadership. You know, so we have two programs right now in that pillar program. We're very excited about anybody listening that is interested in our mission and vision. This would be a good portal to join, call the catalyst club and it’s all family for the organization. It's a critical mass to volunteer team that's going to help us fulfill the vision and pursue the vision. And then of course we have PT Day of service. Just an amazing program, really driven by amazing, amazing team which Karen, we love you so much for being on our team since really the beginning and then amazing people around the world participate in a PT day of service when we challenged students, clinicians to do an act of service on the same day and around the world.
Efosa Guobadia: 18:07 Year one we had 28 countries participate. Year two we had 42 countries participate. Year three we had 55 in year four we have 56 give or take, we're in year five which the big year for us and we're very excited and we’re looking to grow not just for the sake of numbers but to grow in the sake of service and showing that service can grow at the end of the day. What that program is about PT Day of service. It's about local service for a global effect and a global impact in your backyard in multiple places.
Karen Litzy: 18:35 Yeah. So this year it's October 13th and if you want more information you can go to PTDayofservice.com or move together.org
Karen Litzy: 19:01 And we'll have all of the links to everything, under this podcast at podcast.Healthywealthysmart.com. So one link can take you everywhere. So Efosa before we finish, I have one last question. I cannot wait to hear your answer. I'm like super psyched about this as a question I ask everyone and it's knowing where you are now in your life and your career, what advice would you give to yourself as a new Grad fresh out of the University of Scranton, right?
Efosa Guobadia: 19:27 So were you saying I'm having a conversation with a 24 year old, Efosa that guy was interesting. I wish I could have a conversation with that guy. So what I will say, I'm actually gonna say, he's gonna be interesting. So are you asking me to look back and what advice I would give that person will be to actually look ahead. So there's an exercise that I do sometimes called futuristic retrospection. I came with this term several years ago. And what the exercise you actually do is visualize yourself as an older person and this is similar to other activities but futuristic retrospection, it goes to visualize yourself as an older person. So 24 year old me is talking to 90 year old me, maybe I'm hanging out in pajamas, you know, and a cat is just doing whatever I'm doing.
Efosa Guobadia: 20:10 And in that conversation I would tell my 24 year old self do this. In that conversation, ask your older version of yourself, what do you wish you did? What do you wish you did at 24, 25, as soon as you graduated, what do you wish you did? Where do you wish you were at? Who do you wish you where? et Cetera, et cetera. And then, certainly you have to extrapolate what you think that answer might be. And then whatever that answer is, you've got to let it guide you. You know, there's an article I read at slate a couple of years ago that said, when we think about an older version of ourselves, the same part of our brain lights up as if we're thinking about a stranger, at least in the Western world, right? When we think about an older version of ourself, the same part of our brain lights up as we're thinking about a stranger.
Efosa Guobadia: 20:47 So this exercise allows you to get feedback and thoughts from your subconscious. The person who really knows you the best, and it's pretty powerful. Jeff Bezos, he utilizes something similar called the regret minimization framework. You know, think about an older version of yourself and what then do you think you regret not doing, you know, and then to make sure you do that. And then the other thing at least the character Togo has this quote, we're presented with insurmountable opportunities. So there's a never ended amount of opportunities in the world, you know. So with that being said, it becomes about being essential with your time. You know, people going to ask you to do things, you know, which is good, which is fun. And the better you are at things hopefully the more that you’re going to get asked. The honor is the ask, you don't have to say yes sir. So be essential about what you're doing so there’s this balance of knowing your measures, knowing your markers. Know you're vision and let that guy that didn't create or the things you accept and you multiply that by being adventurous as well. You know, trying things, finding that sweet spot will allow you to maximize yourself. Your time. 24 year old, they feel similar.
Karen Litzy: 21:54 Wonderful Advice. Thank you so much. Where can people find you if they want to ask you questions or find out more about you? Where are you on social media and all that kind of fun stuff?
Efosa Guobadia: 22:03 All my handles on social media or my first name followed by my last name, @EfosaGuobadia. I do a lot of mentorship talks with folks that are certainly a lot of folks, new professional folks, students and all that good stuff. I take much joy in that and is very conversational. A lot of the answers are within you and I guide you to some thoughts. So somebody is interested in that, shoot me an email and we'll find a time in the schedules, they can shoot me an email address. That's my first name, firstname.lastname@example.org and you know, so whether it's email or whether we do a 30 or 45 minute talk, that's one of the ways I enjoy serving. So, be intentional reaching out cause I mean that.
Karen Litzy: 22:46 Well, and for all those of you listening, take advantage of that because to have Efosa mentor you or just talk to you about anything, you will walk away knowing more and feeling I don't know better about yourself somehow. I don't know how that's even possible, but that's the sense that you get after speaking with him, you're going to walk away with value. So take advantage of that. So folks, so thanks so much for coming on and taking time out of WCPT.
Efosa Guobadia: 23:15 Karen, thanks so much. I think this may be the third time between Josh and I are hanging out with you, we have so much love for you, I thank you so awesome. Thank you for this, another way for you to serve this information.
Karen Litzy: 23:26 Thank you. And everyone, thanks so much for listening. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy, and smart.
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