a sonographer's guide to entrepreneurship

Talking tech

Ep 37: Celebrating 20 Years in Business: 20 Takeaways, Part 1

Join Jennifer as she celebrates two decades of transforming from a healthcare professional to a thriving seven-figure entrepreneur. Listen in as she imparts the first ten of twenty invaluable insights gathered from this remarkable journey. She peels back the layers of growth and entrepreneurship, sharing her personal leap of faith into the business world and how stepping out of her comfort zone was pivotal for success. She’ll take you through the moments of fear and uncertainty that paved the way for the empire she and her partner built, and the courage it took to repeatedly face discomfort. 

This is a heartfelt reflection on the promises we keep to ourselves when no one is watching, and a call to her fellow sonographers to seize their own growth opportunities. Tune in for an honest conversation about the life lessons that have shaped her entrepreneurial spirit.

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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/advancedimaginginc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdvancedImagingUltrasound 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-aic/ 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBpSP6v–s4xXXx2tH362ng.


00:08 – Jennifer Lindsey (Host)

Hey, sonographers, grab a seat and a cup of coffee. Welcome to Ultrasound Business School. I’m your host, Jennifer Lindsey, employee turned seven-figure entrepreneur, and I am teaching you the tips and strategies we’ve used over the last 20 years to not only build our own business in the ultrasound industry, but help hundreds of other Sonographers build theirs. This is Talking Tech a Sonographer’s Guide to Entrepreneurship. Welcome to the Talking Tech podcast. I am so excited that this month marks 20 years in business for us. I still cannot believe that it was 20 years ago that we incorporated our business, took the leap of faith, had a moment of clarity that like, yes, we are going to do this, and the fact that now, on a daily basis, I get to work with other Sonographers making that same leap, helping walk them through the steps, the trials, the errors, keeping them from having to make all the same mistakes we made when we started our business 20 years ago, is just an absolute joy, and so I thought it would be fun for the next few episodes of the Talking Tech podcast to go through 20 insights that I have learned over the last 20 years. So today I’m going to go through the first 10. These are in no particular order. It was so funny because I thought this is, I think, a good idea for the podcast. Right? Wow, like 20 insights over 20 years. I thought it was going to take me a while to put together, but I literally opened my phone and just started typing away and I have come up with 20 things that I’ve learned over the last 20 years. I hope it’s insightful to you. I hope that if you’re considering starting your own business or you’ve started and you’re nervous about upleveling or nervous about that next step or the next thing that you want to accomplish, I hope that this speaks to you today. So, number one I said these are in no particular order, but I think this might actually be number one Growth never happens inside your comfort zone. Never, ever, ever. 


I heard someone talking the other day that said you know, you never see people that say, oh, I’ve had the easiest last you know three years of my life and I learned so much and grew so much as a human being. Right, we learn through adversity. We grow through adversity. We grow through getting out of that comfort zone and learning to do the thing, getting better and better at it the more that we do it right when we first started our business, of course, there were a million things that were outside of my comfort zone. What I remember, though, most vividly, is when we started our mobile ultrasound division, I was tasked with marketing to our potential physician clients, which just scared me to absolute death because I had never done sales before, ever. Right, I come from healthcare, just like 99% of our clients. I didn’t go to business school Like. 


This was so far outside of my wheelhouse, and I remember sitting in my car before every single meeting, mere tears, thinking, oh my gosh, I don’t know if I can do this, I don’t know if I can do this. I am so uncomfortable right now. This is so far outside of my comfort zone. What if I mess up? What if I say the wrong thing? What if they ask a question that I don’t know the answer to? 


I’m here to tell you that I mean today, 20 years later, right, my capacity has grown, and this is one of my 20 points. Our capacity has to grow. We are not the same person that we were I mean, even a month ago, sometimes, right, and so my capacity had to grow for the things that were uncomfortable, and guess what? After a while, I got comfortable with them. It’s just like everything else in life. I grew to that next level self that I needed to be to be able to handle going in and catching our service to physician practices. But it was so uncomfortable. And I’ll tell you the thing that I have learned over 20 years in our own business, working with hundreds of sonographers coaching, mentoring them on starting, operating and growing their ultrasound businesses that when you step outside of your comfort zone, that’s when growth happens. 


But the bigger point here is the difference between people who make it and those who don’t are the ones who are willing to do that over and over and over again. I am not anyone special. Like I said, I didn’t go to business school, right. I didn’t go to sales training. I didn’t work for a company where I was doing sales. I come from healthcare, so patient care was in my wheelhouse, right, you know. But my college degree is not in business and it’s not in sales. 


So I had to get out of my comfort zone and the difference between me and anybody else is that I just did it, and I did it over and over and over again, even when I didn’t want to, even when no one was watching. Right, the promises that we make to ourselves and follow through on when nobody else is watching, like as a business owner. We don’t have a boss, right? So if I didn’t want to go into these physician practices, did I really have to? No, would anybody know, but me no. Well, they might. When my business went under, right, people would know at that point. But it’s the promises that we make to ourselves and follow through on when no one else is watching. And this can be small things and it can be big things, but when we do this for ourselves over and over and over again, we grow our capacity. We see that we are the kind of person who follows through right, and the more we do on the uncomfortable thing, that thing then gets comfortable. Now, over the last 20 years, I’ve up leveled right Myself multiple times. We become different iterations of ourselves over the years, no matter what we’re doing right that’s not exclusive to business owners we’re always up leveling. We always should be, we always should be growing, and so what was uncomfortable to me 20 years ago is no longer uncomfortable. But I have a lot of things that are currently uncomfortable for me as we are continuing to grow our business that in five years are gonna be old hat, right? So we have to understand that growth never, ever happens inside our comfort zone, and the best advice I can give you there is do it anyway. 


Number two get really comfortable at being bad at something new. When I first started pitching our services, did I do a great job? Certainly not. I guarantee you that I didn’t. Right, we have to be okay with being bad at something new before we get good at it, and that is something that’s so hard for so many of us. We feel very uncomfortable. It goes back to that comfort thing. We feel very uncomfortable doing the things that we’re not comfortable at because, for a lot of reasons, it’s the knowledge gap, right, and knowing what we’re doing, but it’s being bad at it at first before we get really good at it. But think back to ultrasound school. Right, you weren’t great at scanning the first time you held a probe and put it on someone, right? You had to practice over and over and over again. You had to get comfortable with being bad at something new until you got good at it. 


Point number three never stop learning. There’s always something to learn, no matter what level you are in business, and I think this is something that I’ve had so much fun with as we’ve grown our business is up-leveling our knowledge, our knowledge in business, our knowledge in coaching, our knowledge in working with patients I mean just all of the things. Our knowledge in leadership right, we have a team. Can’t grow a business over 20 years and have it be at the level that we’re at now without a team in place. I can’t do this all by myself. My business partner and I I mean we have a team working the magic on the backend, right? So never stop learning. There’s always something to learn, no matter how long you’ve been doing something. This goes for business, this goes for life, this goes for our careers. This is for anything. 


Number four invest in yourself and lean in to mentors. Find someone who’s where you want to be and Pay them to help you skip over all of their trials and errors. Right, this again, I feel like you know I’m doing this for a business owner, but I feel like this is like life lessons right, skip over someone else’s trial and error. We do this for our Ultrasound Business Academy clients on a daily basis. They come work with us because they can skip over the 20 years it took us to learn all of the things that you need to do to start, operate and grow your business at an accelerated rate. Right, I Pay business coaches to teach me how they got from point a to point z over, you know, 10, 15 years, so that I don’t have to do all the trial and error right? Lean into mentors. Find someone who’s where you want to be and and you know, it’s your horse with them. Can you tell I’m from the Midwest? It’s your horse with them and get a move on right. Use their knowledge and expertise to accelerate your growth and your expertise. Hop over their trial and errors. Number five this is so important and I’m still working on this to this day. Don’t think this is maybe anything that I will ever get perfect at. 


Grade yourself on your focus, and what I mean by that is there are multiple levels of life. Right, there are multiple facets of our life business, home, social, physical, mental and spiritual. Okay, those all need our attention and our focus. You hear it all the time, right? Someone and I am guilty of this. I love to work, I love what I do. I want to create a life that I never want to retire from like. That is my absolute goal is To create a life that I never want to retire from, and so for me, working is something I have to like, rain it in on. 


Sometimes I did this really big when I had my son. I was 37 when I had him. I mean, I was working tons and tons and tons of hours, not because I had to, because I loved. I loved it and I didn’t have anything else to do, right? So I was working a lot. And I laugh nowadays because I look and say, like what was I doing before I had my kid? Any of you who have kids, especially probably more than one what did I do with my time before I had this amazing human being in my life? Like I feel, like I thought I was super busy and boy was I not busy with other things? I guess right, but we have to understand that there are multiple facets to life and that if we are not grading ourselves on our Focus in each of those buckets of life, we can end up in some real trouble. 


I’ll tell you personally, for myself Sometimes I focus way too much on business and I have to rein it back in Because the social bucket of my life is completely drained. Right, I realize I haven’t been out to eat with a friend in two months, right, you know, or you know I have it. I haven’t been, you know, doing my morning routine, which actually now is like just a thing, like I cannot get away from it, but like the mental part, that’s a huge thing for me. So in the morning I wake up, that’s the first thing I do. I set my alarm for before my family wakes up. I go in and this is my just mental time, right. I journal, I read my Bible, I have some coffee House is quiet. You know, it’s dark outside right now at this time of year, like nobody’s awake and it’s just is. So Such a great way to start my day. And that, for me, is my mental bucket. Right. 


And sometimes, if I’ve had, you know, crazy we do these workshops right or if I’ve had, you know, a ton of Client calls, you know, sometimes I need a reset right, because that’s being on a lot right, that mentally can get a little bit exhausting for me. I may decide, okay, that bucket needs filled a little bit. I’m gonna take a few hours off and go, you know, hang out at a coffee shop and listen to a Podcast or read a book or something. Right. So understanding if we’re grading ourselves regularly on the buckets of life and you can put these buckets wherever you want, the main one should be business right or your career, home, your home life, social being with friends, being with family, doing those kind of things. Physical, that’s another part. 


I have to make sure that I am scheduling in times for me to work out, times for me to eat. I don’t do that sometimes. Actually, today is one of those days. I have one of those chicken sriracha bars for lunch. That was not enough for me, and right now it is 2 30 as I am doing this. So I’m telling you these things and also telling you that I am not perfect at them. So I’m always working on all of these things for sure, mental and then also spiritual, right, whatever that looks like for you. So you can’t work on making a million bucks a year and then look back and see that you did that at the mercy of your family, right? Money isn’t everything. We have to make sure that the buckets that we’re putting our time and effort into are Spread out across those things that are important to us in life, because we don’t want to get to a destination and realize we Didn’t really make it right. And I say that because there’s so many people that work so, so hard and they do it for their family, right only to end up at the end of the day Realizing that they missed out on so many years because that was the bucket they put all of their time and energy into. So grade yourself on your focus on those buckets. Do it every single week, and if you’re lacking in one, make sure you’re making up for it this next week on your calendar, right? Number six this is so important. 


You guys define your own definition of success. Society tells us what they think success is. I Don’t want any part of half of what society tells me I should do, but I definitely don’t want the definition of societal success for me, right? So you know, looking at the home that costs millions and millions of dollars, like designer clothes, a Maserati In the driveway, we see all these people posting all these things about all their successes all over social media. And if we work towards what we think success actually is, we’re never gonna get to the actual level of success that we want in our lives because we’re not defining it for ourselves, right? 


So figure out what your definition of success is. Delete all of those things out of your mind and say for me, what is success? I mentioned a minute ago Success to me is creating a life. I don’t want to retire from Right. I want to do what I love, I want to spend time with my family, I want to travel. Like. Those things to me are my measure of success. 


And so figure out what your measure of success is and get real specific. I’m not getting specific on mine, I’m just giving you an overview, right? So mine looks a lot different from society’s level of success, right? So figure out what that looks like to you, and then that’s the dream. That’s the dream that you go after. And then you figure out from that, like, what does my perfect week look like? Right, in my vision of what success is to me? And then Figure out how to, right, when we know what our destination is. I say this to my clients all the time right as far as like, where do you want to be with your business in 12 months? Let’s use that as an example. You can do the same thing for, like your level of success, and this may be years down the road, but if you don’t know where the destination is. There’s no way for you to map out how to get there If you have just this vague idea in your head. Right, there’s no way for you to map out the actual actions you need to take, the person you need to become, the capacity you need to have if you would get to that actual place right. 


Number seven this is a business thing. Revenue diversification is the way to build a scalable, profitable business. I talk about this all the time Throughout one business model that you are going to go into, one or a hybrid of a few that make sense, that go together. Start with that, pay attention to what your market is asking for and then do those things right. On our workshop a few weeks ago, I invited multiple clients to come hang out with me and it was so much fun. One of which has hit seven figures a year in her ultrasound business Could not be more proud. 


I remember when she sent me a text with the picture of her signature on the contract. That was the contract that set her over that seven-figure earmark. We were doing a dance. I wanted to fly out to her house immediately so we could pop a bottle of Champagne or something and celebrate. It’s so exciting and that’s what I love, what I do so much watching her build what she has built and being a part of the guidance, mentorship, being with her through the highs and the lows, because there’s always highs and lows in business. There is in life, right, but there is in business as well. It’s just been so fun to see her reach that huge, huge level and be there with her throughout the past nine years as she’s been building that. 


The way she did it was revenue diversification. She has multiple ways. She provides services multiple ways. People are paying her for those services. She has a mobile fee for service option. She has a clinic herself. She does 3D there. She does screenings there. She does diagnostic ultrasounds there. She’s added in a few practitioners that actually work out of there. She has a staffing business. She has taken the ultrasound business model and diversified the way that she is providing services and the way she’s getting paid from her market while serving those in her community. It’s like the best win-win situation of all time. 


All right, number eight team. You are nothing without your team. I cannot tell you how much I love, love, every single person that we have on our advanced imaging team. They work day in and day out to help us build the dream that we have. We work day in and day out to make sure that they are loved on that. Their goals can be met inside our company. We want to keep people for the long term. It’s just so incredible to see when you put together that perfect team and, trust me, there’s a lot of trial and error with that. We’re dealing with multiple humans, multiple personalities, multiple different ways of working and doing things. When you get that perfect mesh with people, it’s just absolutely incredible Understanding where that line is when you need to hire that first, second, third, fourth, fifth team member. However big you are building your business, team is going to be required. We only have 24 hours in a day. There’s zero chance I would have the business I have today without a team of people doing things so that I can be that next level leader, my partner and I can build the business that we’re looking to build and work on the things we need to be working on as the business grows without team taking things off of our plate at each iteration. Team is so important in understanding when to hire your team and who you need to hire on your team is also so important. 


Number nine. Obstacles will come your way. There is zero way around it, and we can come out of this and look at obstacles in two ways. Be a mindset right. We can either have the mindset of now this goes for business and life, my friends. We can either have the mindset of I cannot believe this happened. This is the absolute worst thing. I’m never gonna get through it. This is terrible. Right, that is a victim mentality. Or we can have an overcome mentality, right, an overcomer, like we are going to look at that problem and say, okay, we might say this is terrible, this stinks, but the mindset is what do I need to do to fix it? Have it around it? Who do I need to enlist to help me with this problem? Right, we can look at it. With that, I’m going to overcome. 




Rather than that, I am a victim. This happened to me. Mindset, because the problem is going to be the same. It’s our mindset and how we choose to come at that problem that’s going to ensure that we get around the problem as fast as possible, and there’s always a way to figure it out. Always, always. 


I haven’t come across a problem in my life or my business, and y’all, I’ve been through a lot in my life. That’s 15 podcast episodes in and of itself. Okay, I’ve been through a lot of things that were terrible and devastating. Okay, and everybody goes through terrible and devastating things on a wide range of a scale. Right, the mindset part is the only thing we have control over. We do not have control over what happens to us in our life, right, we have control over how we react to it. And so, coming at those obstacles with an I will overcome mindset is absolutely key and absolutely crucial and it’s going to get you to the other side. Every failure, problem, obstacle, devastating thing that happens. Right, we can look at them as the stepping stones to that next breakthrough. 


And also, going back to capacity, which I’m going to talk about as number 10 here, it increases our capacity to handle those situations. So, number 10 is capacity continuing to up level, your capacity for what you can handle and what you can take. Right, I am not the same person. This Jennifer sitting in this chair right this minute is not the same. Jennifer started a business 20 years ago, I can tell you that. And if you put that Jennifer from 20 years ago in this chair right here, with the level of business that we have, with the issues we got to deal with on a regular basis right With the team that we lead, and all of that Jennifer from 20 years ago would be in the fetal position in the corner right. 


I have had to up level my capacity multiple, multiple, multiple times over the years and I look back on that and I’m so grateful for all of the tough situations that we’ve been in, all of the things that we’ve overcome, just all of those things that we have allowed ourselves to be able to pivot around, work around, make the decisions on what we do next, worked well together on what we could do to make something better, to pivot around the problem right when problems arise, we need to take a deep breath, determine how to solve it, because everything can be figured out All right. That is my number 10. I’m gonna come back for 11 through 20. These are my 20 tips I’ve learned over the last 20 years in business. Thank you guys so much for listening today. We’ll be back. Thank you so much for tuning in to today’s episode. If you enjoyed the information, make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode and help us reach other sonographers by leaving us a review. We truly appreciate it and until next time I’m over here cheering you on.

your strategy-obsessed ultrasound business coach.

I'm Jennifer -

Welcome to the Talking Tech podcast, where we answer your questions about legal, marketing, admin, sales, and so much more. After nearly 20 years in the industry running our own mobile ultrasound business and helping techs across the country do the same, I'm so excited to bring you industry insight, mindset, productivity, business tips, and inspiration to help you design the business of your dreams.

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