On Starting an Entrepreneurial Venture in Healthcare (And Loving it!)

2013 was an incredible year for me — I became the proud owner and operator of Executive Care, a home healthcare company in Central New Jersey.  I also received recognition from my peers, winning an award for Entrepreneurial Nurse of the Year by the Philippine Nurses Association in New Jersey.

The valuable lessons I’ve learned about being a caregiver, entrepreneur, and mother come in part through years as a child growing up in the Philippines, watching my mother sell ice cream. Scoop after scoop, she worked to help feed our family.

Her dedication to both us and to her business instilled in me an incredible work ethic and passion to care for others.

My mother’s hard work went toward building a future for our family. We were sent to quality schools and strongly encouraged to embrace our educational experience. I cherished school and loved to learn. I still do.

But the turning point came when I completed my nursing degree in the Philippines and decided to move to the United States with my husband three decades ago.

We embarked on a journey that would lead me to greater things than I ever anticipated.

Here in the United States, I have had an opportunity to pursue my dreams. I completed my M.S.N, and was awarded a grant through the New Jersey Department of Human Services to work with developmentally disabled individuals.

This turned into a project building homes for people with developmental disabilities — homes where people were nurtured, cared for and treated with the dignity every human deserves. Additionally, I began owning and managing residential health care facilities in South and Central Jersey.

Being in the healthcare profession for years, I have a lot to tell.

Here are the tips I would give to other driven women in the healthcare industry who are interested in pursuing entrepreneurial dreams within our healthcare system:

3 Tips on Starting an Entrepreneurial Venture in Healthcare

1. Be ready and willing to embrace the highs and lows of the ever-changing healthcare delivery system.

If Obamacare has taught us anything, it is that healthcare continues to morph and change in the United States. If you’re a budding entrepreneur and want to spread your wings, I strongly encourage you to identify what changes may be on the horizon within your niche (i.e. caregiving or healthcare homes).

Know what has changed recently and what may change as you invest your time deeper into a given area of healthcare.

2. Embrace your many roles.

Like other entrepreneurial mothers, I’ve needed to balance time as a mom, spouse, and business partner. I’ve also balanced being a registered nurse and keeping up-to-date with medical practices.

What has helped me the most is to put all of it into perspective. Realizing and embracing my many roles (and giving quality time to each role) has helped me along the way. It’s about organizing oneself and being confident within each role.

3. Deal with the politics, bureaucracy and social issues in the business world.

Any woman who has ever held a position of power in the business community knows what I mean when I say this: men will never know what it is like to be a woman in the business world. Things have improved, but many women still face that perennial glass ceiling.

Be assertive, confident and know how strong you can be. Deal with the politics, bureaucracy and social issues by meeting them head-on.  Break through that ceiling!

On Loving It!

I love my profession.  I feel as if I can live it and breathe it nonstop.  In my current position as a home care business owner with Executive Care, I have a great synergy with my business partner, Jeff. And I love my family–my wonderful, supportive husband and my two great kids.

I believe that opportunity knocks at the right time and if it knocks, you need to be willing to open the door. When I opened my door, everything came into place.

This is all just the beginning of a long journey. And I can’t wait for you to begin yours.

Are you a trained healthcare professional? Are you already or have you considered becoming an entrepreneur?  Entrepreneurship in healthcare presents unique challenges and rewards–we would love to hear your experiences!  Please take a moment to tell us in the comments about yourself, your entrepreneurial experience, and what kind of content and services you would love to see offered at The Mogul Mom.

 About the Author:

After years as a full-time nurse, Senen Cabalfin, RN, MSN, CNOR, created Special Care Community Services, a nonprofit that provides support, services, and resources to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in New Jersey and across state lines. She joined forces two years ago with Jeff Wolf to develop group homes for the state of New Jersey. They jointly own a nonprofit called Mobility Special Care Housing Inc., which is a housing provider for people with disabilities in New Jersey. She now co-owns and operates Executive Care Central Jersey, a home health care business servicing all of Central New Jersey. Executive Care (http://executivehomecare.com) is growing a home health care franchise based in Hackensack, N.J. 

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4 Responses to “On Starting an Entrepreneurial Venture in Healthcare (And Loving it!)”

  1. Bola says:

    I am a healthcare professional (family physician) with an entrepreneurial itch.

    My good friend and I just started the site http://healthgist.com catering to the health issues of women 25 and over.
    Being in full-time practice as well as being a mom, I would say finding time to do it all has been the main challenge.

    I would love see more interviews from female entrepreneurs on how they balance their multiple roles, how they got their business to profitability and all.

    • Megan Barnes says:

      Hi Bola! Thanks for sharing…I think the challenge of doing it all resonates with all of us. Stay tuned for articles on finding balance and more featured interviews forthcoming in 2014. Here’s to your success in your new entrepreneurial venture!

  2. Melanie says:

    Wonderful post — thank you!

    I’m a 30-year veteran perinatal educator — childbirth preparation, infant care, and breastfeeding are my specialties. I’m hoping to bring my offline profession online in 2014. Most likely, I’ll focus on consulting and possibly developing some online courses. I love working with expectant couples and new breastfeeding moms. My challenge is figuring out “how” to continue following my passions via the internet. :)

    • Megan Barnes says:

      Thanks for sharing, Melanie! Wishing you the best of luck in your online ventures…Would you be interested in a webinar on the topic of bringing healthcare-based businesses online? It’s something we’re toying with.

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