Meet the Founders

Lee Sowerbutts

Spa City Therapy

Lee Sowerbutts

After working for 7 years at three different outpatient facilities, I decided to launch out on my own as a private practice owner. Up to that point, I had worked for two hospitals and the largest PT chain (at the time). I learned a lot at each stop along the way but always had a dream of one day owning my own practice. Fittingly, I saw my first patient on July 4th, 2002. Kinda cool. Breaking free from the corporate culture… becoming independent from hospital- owned physical therapy. 

The first few years were great. A honeymoon of sorts. We were meeting payroll, paying the bills, and paying a lot more in taxes. We never had more than 4 employees. Life was pretty good with minimal drama.

Well things started to slowly change. One of my biggest referral sources retired. Another orthopedic group opened their own POPTS… Then a large family practice followed suit. One of our hospital systems changed ownership. They started buying up all the remaining physician practices which made it difficult for the physicians to refer out of the hospital system. This was 2014. Probably nothing new that you haven’t experienced or maybe heard from another owner.

I needed new patients… fast. We were sinking. Revenue was dwindling. Credit card debt was rising. I started looking at different marketing programs and pulled the trigger on one.  I started implementing these strategies… even tweaking them. Things seemed to be turning around.  I was seeing record monthly, quarterly, and even yearly patient visit numbers. 

But things weren’t right. I was drowning in paperwork. I spent my Sundays trying to catch up on notes from the previous week. I had no life outside of my clinic. I had no systems. At times I felt like I was running on a treadmill going nowhere fast. I was searching and noticed owners who seemed to have figured out some things. I reached out to them. We would share ideas that were working in our practices. We were solving many of the same issues we were struggling with. This continued for about 6 months. We decided to meet in person… in Chattanooga. 

Our first mastermind in Chattanooga was eye opening for me. I began to slow chip away at processes & systems that I needed to put in place. That was 2017.  Three months after Chatanooga we did something we had never done… we broke 100K in monthly revenue. I developed a solid hiring process. We were able to hire a staff who bought into our newly developed core values. Our meeting rhythm improved and was productive. We were tracking our metrics and holding our staff accountable. In 2018 we broke through with 1.2M in revenue breaking our previous years mark by 500K. 

In April of 2019 I stepped out of treatment… continuing to implement and improve our systems as we grew to 3 clinics.  Now I work from home, only going to the clinics for meetings or to check in on our staff. Having time freedom is amazing. I can’t tell you how valuable it is to have the ability to spend more time doing the things we love with those you love! Thanks to my other NLPT founders for this gift! 

Travis Robbins

My path into the world of physical therapy will probably sound familiar. I played a lot of sports in high school and college and had a bunch of injuries. When I went to physical therapy I thought to myself “I could do this for the rest of my life and be pretty happy.”

Less than two years after I graduated, I opened up my own practice. This was after working for nine different companies in 18 months. I guess you could say I am unemployable.

I always wanted to have my own practice. I knew this even when I was in college. I’m not even really sure why, I guess it’s just what my family does. I’m a 4th generation entrepreneur… just in a much different industry. 

I think the desire to run your own show comes from the desire to improve on the current situation.  You are working at a place and you look around and say “If I was calling the shots, this would be a lot different.”  Even today, this thought process drives a lot of what we do.  The potential impact physical therapy can make in our society is huge. We want to make sure our profession reaches its full potential. 

The first decade of my private proactive career was no picnic.  I have more stores than we have time for but here are the highlights…

  • Saw my very first patient at 8am on April 21, 2003. Her first words to me were “Do you accept my insurance?” and I had no idea. Turns out I didn’t… or anyone else’s insurance. I didn’t know you had to talk to insurance companies to let them know you were interested in being a provider for them. 
  • Opened up my second location a few years later and my friend and number 1 referral source for that location dies in a car accident.
  • A few years later, in a desperation move to keep my practice open I purchased 150k worth of vestibular testing equipment in partnership with a doctor that left a month after the purchase and disappeared off the face of the earth leaving me with equipment I couldn’t use. 
  • Shortly after that I started using a payroll company who a top referral source’s son worked for and watched him steal 40k from me in payroll taxes that he said he was paying to the government but was really putting in his pocket. 
  • I opened up a location with an urgent care doc that said he could get me 10 new patients a week easy if I paid rent for his basement space.  After 100k in build out, he sent me 12 patients in a year and I had to close it down. 
  • Partnered with another doc to do inpatient rehab with an out patient clinic at a small private hospital he built spending 40k in software development for the project only to have him sell to a larger hospital a week after we completed the project. 
  • Had my #1 referral source open up his own PT practice in the same building as me and try to steal all my patients. 
  • Had to split my practice after a 15 year partnership with my twin brother. 
  • During the split, I had my outsourced billing and financial management company try to buy me out knowing I was in a vulnerable sitionat.  Oh, here i the fun part… he partnered with the doc above to help him open up the PT practice in my building… and then shortly after sued me for breach of contract after I thought that getting out of any billing services agreement with a guy that was part owner in another PT practice in my building might not be a good idea. 

So as you can see, there has been a lot of adversity since that first day I opened my doors.  Luckly, during the hardest part of that journey, I had the founders of NLPT with me. In the fall of 2017, everything changed.  I have had some of my most difficult challenges since starting NLPT but it was a lot easier to get through them knowing I had Lee, Arlan, Kevin, Robbie, Pancho, Frank, Jeremy and Chuck in my corner.  

Fast forward to today…

I have 4 locations at a current volume of over 2M in revenue and growing with a 10 year vision of 10 locations.  I no longer treat patients and get to work on my business instead of in it like 94% of private practice owners.  I love going to work every day and have built an amazing team that I plan to sell the business back to in the years to come so that they can reap the same financial and career benefits that I get.  All of this in the face of a global pandemic that has crushed small businesses in my area.  And guess what… I am still learning and growing!  Who knows where I will be in the future?  What I do know is this is a LOT more fun with the right people around you. 

I have learned one big thing about private practice in the last 20 years.  It’s hard. Really hard, but it’s a lot easier and a lot more fun when you are not doing it alone. 

I want to provide that sense of security for as many private practice owners as I can.  That feeling of knowing you have others in your corner, on your team that will help you through whatever private practice throws at you. 

Thank you for the opportunity to give you what these guys have given me.

Jeremy Pittman

Growing up in a tiny town in Mississippi was not luxurious, but it did teach me that you have to work for what you want.  Watching my parents work 3 jobs to put me and my two brothers through school was enough motivation to make me want to not do that when I grew up.  

I threw myself into school and sports and excelled in both!  

After graduating as valedictorian, I went to several colleges finally ending up at the University of Mississippi for PT school.  

After getting my degree, I moved to Memphis to work at a POPTS clinic for 3 years.  I felt like a hamster but learned a lot.  Three years in, I was passed over for a promotion that I thought I deserved.  

This led me to look for a different opportunity.  I found it with a chain organization.  Things went really well for the next 5 years.  I opened 2 other clinics for the chain but quickly began to understand the corporate culture.  

Stockholders don’t care about people, they care about revenue.  After meeting with the CEO, COO, and my regional director, I finally understood that in order to become who I wanted to be, I had to do it for me, not a man I met once a year in an office in Texas.  

In 2007, I founded Pittman PT.  I thought I knew it all.  I was a good clinician, a good marketer (so I thought) and had a good work ethic.  I also had a wife and 2 young children (that I never saw) because I was busy building a business.  

I started a business to have more freedom, but I quickly got trapped.  I was working 60 – 80 hours a week.  I didn’t know how to get our of the rat race.  Business quickly jumped up and I began hiring.  I had no policies or procedures.  These were all in my head.  So I made all the decisions, marketed, treated, scheduled, hired, did payroll, etc.  

After riding the roller coaster of private practice for 10 years, I finally met (by the grace of God) the other founder’s of NLPT.  We quickly gelled and began to help each other realizing that each of us had unique strengths.  

I finally began to see what I didn’t know.  That AHA moment was key to helping me over the next 3 years.  In a house by a lake in Chattanooga, we finally got in the same room and BAM!!  Lightning in a bottle.  

My business, over the last 3 years has tripled. 

 I finally realized that I was the problem.  I hired people to do things that I didn’t like to do or need to do. I have stopped treating and am now running a business instead of it running me. 

 It hasn’t been without conflict or trials because I still work with people.  

But having the team to help me learn how to lead has been the key to achieving my goals.  We are on track to see 400 patients in a week for the first time next month (Oct 2020) and I will not even be here.

I am able to spend time with my family and know that I have systems in place that allow me the freedom that I was looking for in 2007.  

And…my golf game is getting better.  

Arlan Alburo

I grew up on the other side of the world. The Philippines to be exact.

Grew up with abject poverty in and around me. People living on dirt floors…barely eating twice a day.

I knew at a young age that I wanted something better.

Physical therapy opened that “better world” for me.

On Monday, August 22, 1994, at 7:22 AM,  I arrived at Chicago O’Hare’s International Airport with $150 in my pocket…in fives and ones.

It was the beginning of my American dream…or so I thought.

I worked for a staffing outfit for my first 2 years, where they sent me on short 3-6 month assignments all over Indiana.

As fate would have it, I ended up settling in NW Indiana, an hour drive from downtown Chicago, specifically a small town called Valparaiso.

Valparaiso is what I now call home with my wife Jane, and our 2 kids…our daughter Alex and our son AJ.

After working for 9 years for somebody else (while waiting to get my permanent resident “green” card), I decided to open my own practice. We opened our doors in April of 2003.

At that time, my daughter was 3 and my wife was 7-months pregnant with our second child.

It was an exciting and stressful time in our lives.

I kept a full-time job while trying to get my practice going. I was putting in easily a 70-hour week between the two.

I realized after 4 months of opening that I am either fully in or out. I quit my full-time job and gave my practice my best shot the way I knew how (which I knew very little on how to run a private practice at that time).

We somehow got busy enough to have a schedule for 2 PTs.

But then we got stagnant pretty quickly within 2 years of opening. Then a slow downward drift started from year 3 to all the way to the end of my 7th year in practice.

It got so bad that by the end of 2010, I seriously considered shutting down my practice. I was barely paying myself and had to take on a home health side job just to make things work for our home finances.

But nobody wants to lose. 

And I was losing badly.

I felt I failed myself but more so I failed the ones I love. My wife…my kids…my parents…and everyone who looked up to me thinking I was living the American dream. Deep inside, that dream is getting shattered.

There were many sleepless nights…the kind of nights you can’t turn off your mind when all the negative thoughts and fears seem to come out.

On New Year’s Eve 2010, I promised myself one final year to give it a go. It’s either I make 2011 my best year or it’s the final year for my practice.

I knew though that something’s gotta change.

I can’t keep doing what I was doing and expect a different result.

So I sought help. Help meant “business coaches”.

I learned how to become a true executive. I learned to get the right things done right.

And it got me started on the right path.

2011 was our comeback year.

We opened our 2nd practice in 2012. We were humming.

And for the first time in 2013, I felt the practice was set up enough that it allowed me to go on a 2-week vacation.

And what a vacation it was. Nothing extravagant, but the feeling of being away and not worrying that the practice might crumble was so liberating. It allowed me to be “present” with my kids and my family. They had my full attention.

The second night after coming back from our trip, I got this call right around midnight. It was the town’s Fire Chief. 

“Mr. Alburo, your building is on fire!”

That fire in June of 2013 shut down our practice for a full 7 months!

We re-opened in February of 2014, and to my amazement, patients came rushing back. Physicians referred more patients compared to before the fire.

People love an underdog…and we were a true underdog story.

In February 2015, we celebrated our 1st year anniversary of re-opening. Hundreds of patients and a number of physicians attended our celebration.

I thought to myself…” now we’ve got some great momentum to take it to the next level.”

A month later…this happened.

Yes, that’s an SUV right in the middle of our therapy gym.

It was a brisk morning on March 6, 2015, when this drunk driver plowed into our gym, pinning one of our patients under it.

Thankfully she survived. She ended up coming back to us for rehab.

That incident shut our practice down for 7 weeks. Just when I thought we got some momentum going.

But amazingly, after each catastrophic event, our practice continued to zoom.

And I thought we were close to having all things figured out.

Until I met my 8  co-founders at NLPT. They helped open my eyes that we were still missing quite a few pieces that would revolutionize our practice.

They have been instrumental in helping me take my practice to the next level.

I have been out of patient care since May of 2017.

We have grown to 6 locations and 36 teammates as of the time of this writing in October of 2020.

More importantly, I enjoy being a true executive after having put systems and teammates in place to handle the daily whirlwind of running a private practice. 

Despite Covid-19, we are profitable more than ever and have a solid team to carry out our core purpose of helping patients achieve their unhindered life.

And that same core purpose has framed the way I approach our clients here at NLPT.

How can I help you achieve your unhindered life?…

…a life where you enjoy time, choice, and financial freedom.

Let’s get started today.

Frank Garza

Private practice owner and PT for 6 years with little to no progress and absolutely no experience with how to run a practice much less grow it to where it could run itself without our presence.  We almost quit after the first three years as we had twins and my father n law past in the first two years of opening up and we just didn’t think we were gonna make it.  But my wife and I had a come to Jesus meeting and we embarked on a mission to complete what we had planned all along.  To build a successful PT company that could run itself without us.  

Our internal desires have always been Time and Family.  My wife and i both wanted to be able to give our kids a much better life than we had.  We wanted to be able to go on vacation whenever we wanted.  We wanted to be able to attend our kids school and sporting events at any time.  And we wanted to be able to be present and support our kids in anything they embarked on.  We also wanted to be able to have something that could generate revenue for us passively.  

Some external desires were that we wanted better stuff.  We wanted a bigger better house, we wanted our own building, we wanted to expand and have multiple locations.  We wanted to be able to help other people through consulting.  And we wanted to be able to travel and explore the outdoors more as a family.  

We went down several paths. At first we just believed everything people promised and were let down time and time again.  Then we hired people without truly knowing what we wanted or needed and again were continually disappointed.  We even did all kinds of marketing but never really had any true consistency in any areas.  It took a lot of failures to realize that we needed to change something.  That change boiled down to our “MINDSET”. Once we changed that and fully committed to ourselves and the business and its growth then we started to see small shifts for the better and we started to build momentum and then we just never let our foot off the gas.  We continued to learn and implement new things from new people.  We masterminded with other professionals in our community and in our profession and over 3 years we were able to get a point where we are now true CEO’s and our main focus is to continue to build and recruiters champions to continue to scale our organization.  

We were met with constant barriers along the way.  Mainly with resistance to change as we implemented new strategies or processes every month.  As we grew and scaled we were faced with the typical communication problems and lack of trust issues within our team.  These all however empowered us to fix these areas within our practice and as a result were better able to handle them in the future.  

Once we hired our first TRUE A+ player we knew that if we could just clone them again and again we were onto something.  So the idea was to create a process and system that would weed out all the non qualified people for our organization and only talk to people that would make it through all the steps and possibly be a good fit for our company.  When we saw  the difference it made in our practice with putting the right people in the right spot that were the right fit and how that positively affected the bottom line and also freed up our time we knew we had to replicate it over and over.  

The game plan going forward has now been shifted to a major focus on finding the “WHO” not the “WHAT”.  We sharpened our interviewing skills and are finding more qualified cultural fits for our organization that match our scorecard for each specific job.  

No major barriers.  Just constantly having to tweak and refine our hiring funnels to match the right message for what we looking for.  

Our biggest achievement is being able to remove ourselves from treatment.  In the last year we have really focused on empowering and building a great team.  We grew from 3 licensed therapists to 6 in a span of 7 months from dec 2019 to July 2020.  

Currently we are in a new home which we spent the last 7 months remodeling.  We are spending more time with our kids.  We have developed new online programs for our community.  And we continue to build our team and expand our reach by recently adding an external marketer to our team to help boost our referrals and get to our goal of 300 visits a week by the end of 2020.  If we reach that goal we will have increased our visit per week by 125% in 12 months. 

Kevin Kostka

I knew I wanted to be a physical therapist since I was a freshman in high school. I started volunteering at the local hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and remember my first patient as a volunteer. The first patient that i ever saw as a volunteer, was a burn patient that had lost both of her legs. I can still smell the burnt skin to this day.  Our job was to progressively sit her up because she had been on her back for two weeks. I’m in the background watching a physical therapist and physical therapy assistant slowly bring this patient to a seated position and then that is when she passed out. I remember the nervous energy in the air and the adrenaline rush that I got. They broke open one of the ammonia packets and put it under her nose and she came to almost immediately. Now this was a scary moment for me as this was the first hour of my experience but it was also exciting as well as challenging.  This was scary yet kinda cool at the same time.  I even remember them giving me my own ammonia packet to put on the back of my volunteer badge. I felt the same adrenaline rush and energy that I would get from playing sports.  From this experience forward I knew I wanted to see what else was available to learn in the physical therapy arena.   I continued to volunteer in the summers in different settings.  Neuro, orthopedics, pediatrics and sports medicine.  As an athlete myself, I found a passion and familiarity with the sports patients.  I knew what they had to get back to doing in practice and in games and this made me comfortable being around them and getting the opportunity to work with them so this is the direction that i started focusing my energy and experiences around. 

Also going on at this time, there were people trying to put me down. I remember people telling me it was too difficult to get into physical therapy school. I remember them telling me it would be too difficult to play sports and to make the grades needed to get into PT school, both in high school as well as in college. So that just drove me even more to make the grades and focussed me even more to make sure that I was doing everything I could to get into PT school. I double majored with honors of Cum Laude on my way to applying for PT school. Out of 450 applicants they only took 22 of us. I had finally achieved 1 of my goals.

During PT school I knew that I wanted to start my own practice. My goal was to learn everything I possibly could to try to start my own practice. I spoke to my advisors and they recommended that I at least go out into the field for at least five years in order to gain some experience in the clinic. This wasn’t what I wanted to hear but I did take the advice of my fellow advisors and that is what I did . In my initial tenure in an outpatient setting I had wanted to learn as much as I could.  I was still so raw.  I didn’t communicate well.  I didn’t understand the psychology behind working with others or with other people.  I had the mindset that it was them and not me if something did not go as planned.  As I started figuring out some of my flaws and putting more responsibility on myself rather than others, the world started opening back up to me.  I began reading with a different mindset.  Not to learn if for a test, but to learn it so that I would understand it and could use that information for the betterment of my patients, myself, my family and my community.   I began learning more clinical skills, communication skills, learning how to work alongside other people  including medical doctors.  I partnered with others in  writing a book and writing a peer reviewed journal article to gain experience in something that I thought I could never do. As i was checking off the boxes that I thought i needed to start my own practice, opportunities began knocking on my door.  I turned those opportunities down and I began looking for a partner. But just like high school and people trying to tell me that i couldn’t become a PT because it was too hard, i had similar experiences with people telling me that I couldn’t start my own business.  Again, this just drove me and pushed me to succeed. 

I partnered with a friend from high school and PT school.  It was 2007 and the housing bubble had just burst.  Banks were not loaning money for startups and we needed to come up with a solution that was cost efficient.  So we went old school and  started a concierge house call business. As the business began to grow we had to LLC in 2008 and began hiring more staff.  We were still working 60-80 hours a week. We were doing everything in the organization and it depended 100% on us. This is when we realized that we had no idea how to run a business.  We thought the only way to grow our business was by seeing more patients.  By seeing more patients we had to hire someone to run the practice.  This proved to be a huge mistake, especially without any processes or procedures written down.  Or anyway to track how the practice was doing.   So we hired a practice manager.   We had a practice manager that we completely trusted and empowered to run our practice while we saw more patients.  This methodology ultimately did not work as it almost  sabotaged our practice. A lot of he said, she said was going on.  There were items that were not getting completed and tasks that were completely falling off.  So this led us down the road  to start studying how to run a business and after 2 years of studying (really still studying and looking on ways to improve) we started pulling out of practice and working on becoming more organized.  We started creating systems, writing them down, creating policy, creating procedures to match those policies and started keeping statistics to help with managing the practice.  Years later in 2015, we ultimately won our local chamber of  commerce’s small business of the year award for a medium sized business.  Then we started to grow even more.  This had its own challenges as we started adding more clinics and even more staff.  More chaos started to ensue. We always thought…if we could just duplicate ourselves, then things would run more smoothly.  So we started training our staff with the mindset and framework that we were operating on.  This worked and didn’t work.  Through trials and tribulations we ultimately were able to re-create values and a culture that we all wanted to operate around by engaging with our staff to help us come up with values.   This propelled us forward once again and started attracting people that could once again take us to the next level and that wanted to grow the organization in order to help more people. Now we have a full function organization with everyone working on the same mission, vision, have the organization’s values, and are working towards a common goal of helping people. 

Frank Cawley

I was born and raised with my parents and two older sisters in north eastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) 100 miles north of Philly and 100 miles south of NYC.  Other than a small stint in Toms River NJ, I have spent nearly 42 of my now almost 48 years of my life here.  I am the youngest and only son born to two hard working parents.  Dad (Frank) was a prison guard and mom (Kathy) an administrative assistant.  I attended the local Pittston Area public school district.  Go Patriots!!  I participated in basketball, football and baseball.  Of the three, baseball was my passion and best sport.  In little league I had one game with 17 strikeouts!  Fun Fact…I am a southpaw and only one that anyone can remember in my family for at least 3-4 generations!  Being an athlete most of my life and enjoying lifting weights, I got involved with natural bodybuilding.  I competed in a natural competition when I was 19 years old and placed 1st in my division and 2nd overall for the teens division!  My passion for sports and exercise (weightlifting) combined with my ongoing desire to learn more and become better educated lead me down the path of wanting to understand how the body worked at a deeper level.  I decided I wanted to go to college for something related to the body and exercise.  Physical Therapy albeit was an obvious and simple choice!!  I attended the local community college (LCCC) for 3 years and then obtained my Bachelors in Bio. degree (Pre PT) from East Stroudsburg University.  After being rejected my first year applying to PT school I worked 2 jobs.  One I was a full time PT Tech in a local outpatient company and the other was at a local pool company doing sales.  I re applied to PT schools the second year and was waitlisted and eventually accepted into the PT program at Hahnemann University (now Drexel Univ) in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, PA.  I attended Hahnemann from June 0f 97’ until graduation in May of 99’.  Upon graduating I was offered and accepted a staff PT position in Howell, NJ with one of the largest corporate PT companies in the country, Novacare.  After working here for just 3 short months I was promoted to a Clinical Manager role at a facility in Freehold, NJ (about 20 minutes from Great Adventure).  I worked there for 9 months.  Upon receiving some life altering news regarding my dad who at the time was only 59yo, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic and liver cancer with only months to live.  I resigned from my position and moved back home to assist my mom in caring for my dad and to enjoy as much as possible the remaining time I would have with my father.  I was offered a staff PT position with a local smaller private practice PT clinic just 5 miles from my home.  It was great to be home but difficult and challenging to deal with the decline and pending death of my dad.  My dad died roughly 6 weeks after I moved back home.  I am eternally grateful that I was able to get back home and enjoy the remaining time I had with him and help out my mom!  Also, I am certain you have heard that bad things happen for good reasons!  Well,  this was definitely the case for me.  Just 6 short months after my dads’ passing I met (on a blind date nonetheless) my wife Courtney of 18 years and mother of our 4 children (Rose 16, Juliet 14, Francis 12, Beau 10),   After working for this company for a little over 1 year I was offered a clinic manager position which I accepted and ran the clinic for nearly 2 years at which time I developed the itch for something more.  Fun Fact…My wife was the real driving force and motivation behind pushing me (us) to open our own PT business.  Quite frankly, I did not think we could do it!  I wanted to be an entrepreneur but simply did not think it was financially or physically possible!  I could not even spell entrepreneur at that time but I knew I wanted to be one.  So with the love and support of Courtney we began the journey of becoming business owners in December of 2002.  April 1st (no this not an April Fool’s joke) 2003, Cawley Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation (CPTR) was born!  Roughly 2 months prior to this I left (well was kind of forced to leave my position when they learned I was working on my own business) and began working full time for a local home health agency.  When CPTR came to fruition I reduced down from full time to per diem work and began seeing patients at CPTR.  Our first week we saw a grand total of zero, zip, none, nada patients!!  Yikes!!!  We knew it would be tough, but this is not what we had expected.  I knew Courtney and our soon to be first born child were counting on me so we had to make this work. Boom…We got our first patient!  An OT who I had worked with at the home health agency was in a car accident and needed PT.  We were finally in business.  It certainly was not all rainbows and unicorns from there.  I distinctly remember being down to our last $700 from our $80,000 bank loan, which we had no business being given, and the next monthly payment for nearly every damn thing was just around the corner.  We were working on and waiting on insurance checks to start rolling in and thank God they did!  Just in a nick of time too!  It was just Courtney (still pregnant) and I for almost the first 12-15 months.  We finally hired an aide and Courtney was able to cut back a bit and get off her very swollen and sore feet!  We opened our second clinic roughly two years later.  Again, this was all new to us.  Balancing 2 different locations and running between the two.  We did not have good systems in place and struggled to make it work.  The good news is that we figured it out.  The bad news is that we took the long hard road without any shortcuts.  Fast forward to the development of clinics 3-6!  NLPT and the founding members have assisted me and my staff in the development, implementation, execution of, and ongoing improvement of the strategies and systems I need to handle day to day business ops and scale our business.  CPTR currently has 25 full time employees, 3 part time employees and currently see anywhere from 650-750 visits per week.  None of this is possible without a few essential items: strong team, tracking of metrics, accountability, leadership, NLPT and proper coaching and mentoring of all involved in the organization!

To provide for my family

To be someone known and respected for what they do in the community

To give back

To make my family proud

To enjoy family time and watching my children grow

To become a better person

To build multiple businesses

To love what I was doing

To buy a cool sports car 

To go on exciting vacations

To show my kids/family new things

To send my kids to private school

To volunteer and donate time, effort and money to valuable causes

To build a legacy my family, wife, parents, kids would be proud of

To leave the world a better place 

If you are reading this, call, email or text me and we can sit down over a cup of tea and I will gladly share my journey with you and discuss how NLPT and its’ founders helped me become a better PT, businessman, owner, father, and husband!!  Simply too much to chat about in 1 session and jot down on paper here! Ha…










NLPT!!!  Assisted me in the development and ongoing growth and implementation of the strategies and resources necessary to help CPTR meet and exceed our Mission!!

Work “On” my business not “In” my business in order to scale and grow.

Insurance cuts

Staffing issues


Cash Flow

Chuck Schultes

Like most PT’s I got ‘High” on helping people for as long as I could remember.  Sometimes I wondered if I wasn’t getting more personal pleasure from helping patients than the actual patients I was helping.  This was always a thing with me.  As a kid it ranged from helping friends and relatives to… yes even being a boy scout (Eagle Scout no less).  I have come to call it the “Help” bug.

I started my career as an athletic trainer, working at the NCAA div I level.  I prided myself as being a team player, doing whatever it took for the athletes I was responsible for as well as the staff I worked with.  I really had a passion for helping athletes get back to competition after an injury.  But deep down I was never keen on answering to others who didn’t have the same passion, or the same mission as mine.  I realized there were a lot more people I could help besides athletes, so it was back to PT school for me.  The Help bug grew.

When I started my practice in the early 90’s there were lots of Debbie Downers telling me, “It’s really not a good time to start new PT practice”, but I forged ahead with the help from a partner. I was determined to help people my way.  Like many partnerships there can be lots of room for confusion, misunderstanding and a lack of recognition as to a mutually agreed upon Vision or Mission.  I was no exception and quickly found myself running the show a one, an “Accidental Owner”.  

Early on my practice had a great reputation for patient care and a strong loyalty for our previous patients. But for a number of years I failed to run my business in a way I considered financially successful.  Working ridiculous hours and being more absent from my family that I had ever dreamed. (Side note: It wasn’t until after I transformed my practice and operated as a true executive I realized I had for many years been operating on the subconscious level of “Just don’t fail”.)  Not exactly the blueprint to success, would you agree?

We have all completed vigorous programs to become PTs, not business owners. I reluctantly accepted the fact I didn’t know much about running a business. So… I started looking for that knowledge. The transformation took a lot of work and a lot of trial and error which made it take much longer than I would have preferred but I eventually grew as a business owner and executive.  

So the Help Bug is remained strong, but I needed a new game.  I felt I needed to create a way to help more than just the patient in front of me, I wanted to help my staff pursue their passions as well and I have done that by creating a viable and independent organization.  

What next game was there?  It was seemed obvious, help other private practice owners attain what I had.  And with NLPT I found it.  The relationship with my fellow co-founders of NLPT has strengthened my knowledge and ability as a private practice even more.  Finally, I found others who had the same Help bug as me.

Helping other private practice owners to become successful in their business and operate as an executives but with all the short cuts the nine founders have to share is our combined mission and desire

NLPT has become the tool to help other practice owners learn what it takes for the success they are looking for.  That “Help Bug” just isn’t going away.

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