Sarah is an Occupational Therapist, a lover of travel, has a great time in life, and helps people while having a great business. Dustin met Sarah Putt at a podcast conference and then again at another where he recalls having a great time with her and her husband Ryan. 

How Sarah Putt Makes Money Being Successfully Unemployed

Sarah Putt runs a private Occupational Therapy practice. Around five years ago, she started her business for early intervention, which is birth to three years old, Occupational Therapy.

She currently has one employee where they both see patients in their patient’s home. They conduct evaluation and administer treatments. Sarah loves her career and profession because she is able to give back and is able to travel with the flexibility her business has created. 

Experiencing Five Months of Traveling

Sarah met Dustin Heiner three days before she left for five months to travel with her husband. She said it was a lot of work.

They took a month driving from the west coast to the east coast, spent three months in Europe and then another month going from the east coast back to the west coast, again.

She had assumed her physical absence from her business would be stressful but it went well. The trip, even though hard work, was beautiful. Sarah called it a five month stress test, and she passed, as did the business in her absence. 

Dustin knows how stressful travel can be but he definitely knows its benefits as well. He says that a lot of people are nervous to take even a small break or “stress-test” and that he is impressed and happy she was able to take as long as she did.

What Sarah Putt Did Before Occupational Therapy

For Sarah, she always just followed the traditional path. She graduated from high school, then went to college, and then worked. While she was working, she was introduced to Occupational Therapy.

At the time she graduated, people only needed a graduate degree for Occupational Therapy. She got that degree and a job from an internship she was already affiliated with.

Everyday for five years she went to work, met with and worked with the kids and then went home. She had a unique opportunity four to five years later when a company wanted to bring Occupational Therapy into one of their sites but they didn’t have one yet.

She questioned whether she could do this task at the time with working so much at her current job. However, Sarah approached her boss about the opportunity and how she wanted to restructure her schedule to do both.

Then independent contracting came into Sarah’s life.  

Dustin believes that an employer who is open and willing to work with employees like that is fantastic and he applauds that quality. 

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How One Opportunity Led To Many Others For Sarah

The company Sarah was an independent contractor for referred her to another company looking to have Occupational Therapy as well. Now having two independent contracting jobs, and her full-time job, she needed to get rid of the full-time job.

During this time, she was getting pretty frustrated with one of the companies she was working for were as they were not inline with her values. They were taking money from her paycheck and not holding up their end of the bargain. 

While talking with her husband, he mentioned maybe Sarah should start her own company. She found it humorous as she didn’t feel she has ever had the entrepreneurial spirit to start her own business.

Fortunately for her, the seed was planted in that moment even with her reservations. Sarah realized her life was good, not great and decided to try it out.

Sarah’s mentality was that if she failed, she would at least be able to go back to what she was doing before with independent contracting living a good life, not great. She believed it was worth the risk to see if she could do it.  

Dustin Heiner believes entrepreneurs and people who are determined, will always have a fall back. People like that know that if something like this fails, they will still be able to find a job because of their determination.

He also believes taking the leap takes a lot of nerves and guts and you have to have faith in yourself and what you’re doing.

What Happened After The Company Launched

Sarah felt that it was a lot of stressful situations and it was challenging. She said it is one of the hardest things she has done, but she wouldn’t change it because of where it is now and what is happening with it.  

Reflecting back to the first couple years that the company was trying to get it off the ground, Sarah said it was so hard. There were a lot of external and internal pressures. There was a lot of self doubt. 

She couldn’t believe it was happening to her or that she knew what she was doing. Sarah doubted what she could bring to the table and what would set her apart from other Occupational Therapists.

A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Sarah felt she was held back on doing all of this sooner. She thought she had to know everything before getting started.

People would say negative things about how she would fail by not doing things their way or the traditional way.

Dustin is incredibly competitive. If someone tells him he can’t do something, he will tell them to watch him do it. He believes people project their own limitations on other people. 

Dustin tries to weed out these feelings in his coaching students. On a recent coaching call, a student, who had previously been told investing was a bad idea and that he will lose money, asked Dustin when he should tell his family he was doing this.

Dustin believes it is a personal choice and you just have to own it. Imposter syndrome is a real thing that people deal with. He encourages his student to try to cut down on limiting doubts and realize they have so much to offer.

What Occupational Therapy Is And How To Build A Business

Anytime Sarah is at other types of conferences, she is asked more about the topic of her podcast than the podcast itself. A lot of people think occupation is a type of employment or a job.

It is actually daily things that people engage in that are purposeful and meaningful. Things that people need and want to do and how you occupy your time.

Occupational Therapists are experts on occupation; the how and why people engage in these activities. We all have different things we need and want to do in life.

Something could happen where it could get in the way of engaging in these purposeful activities. That is where Occupational Therapists comes in, they utilize these meaningful activities to help to get people back to health or to a point if they have not already learned these skills. 

How An Occupational Therapy Business Works Locationally Independent 

Dustin assumed that in order to carry out Occupational Therapy, the therapist would have to be physically in the room. He also wonders how it can be done when the therapist is absent.

Sarah explains that because of the current climate, a lot of things are changing. Typically, the therapists actually work with clients in one-on-one, in person, in the client’s own home.

It is typically very location specific. Sarah and her employee are both physically there. 

How Sarah set up her company allowed her to manage the administrative aspect of the company from wherever she is, which makes it more location independent.

The actual work is very specific to being there. Now, because of Covid, health care has been able to utilize tele-health. This is the first time they have been approved for this and how they can continue to do the work over the computer or over the phone for their clients. 

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Sarah says they can even record the therapy and let the clients watch the videos later. There have been a lot of changes, but Sarah has still been able to manage the business and get the clients the help they need.  

Dustin tries to focus on the good things that are changing right now instead of the bad. He does not have to be in person to teach about real estate.

Since he is the expert and has everything for his students to learn, it doesn’t mean they are not able to learn the information he is offering just because it is virtual. 

Starting Your Own Practice Like Sarah Putt

From Sarah’s experience, the most impo