Motivated to Be Different
Motivation. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something. Synonyms: enthusiasm, drive, ambition, initiative, determination, enterprise. What motivated me to start a Telepractice Company? What makes us different? What are our values and struggles? These questions and the answers I will attempt to effectively communicate are all a part of my experiences and the foundation of Lighthouse Therapy LLC.
My name is Janet Courtney. I am the founder and CEO of Lighthouse Therapy. I am a Speech Language Pathologist of 25 years and a telepractitioner of 7 years. I am also a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a citizen of the USA. When one asks what motivates a person to begin something new, I think, in order to understand this desire, you must take a look at the big picture. No change happens in a vacuum, we as individuals are influenced by a wide variety of factors. My first answer to what motivated me to start Lighthouse Therapy is my faith and an answer to God’s calling. Honestly, when I felt that calling, my answer was, “No! No, you don’t want me to do that. I am not knowledgeable enough to do that.” But here I am. God has been faithful, and we are moving forward. I have also received encouragement from colleagues, friends, and family. More than once a colleague of mine has said, “Oh, you will be so great at that!” and “If anyone can do it, you can.” Those words of support continue to encourage me as we grow. Mike, my husband of 23 years, has been my biggest support both emotionally and financially. The other big motivator for me personally, is keeping people before profit. Of course, we want to be successful and end up in the black, but for me, that cannot be the primary priority in an industry designed to serve students and their needs.
I have always had a passion for serving people. Helping others to be the best that they can be is and has been a major motivator in my career. I enjoy managing and motivating people. When you work for a company, the income you receive is the reason you go to work. But time and again studies have shown, people will not stay in a position where they are not appreciated or no longer trust those they work for. In my career, I have left positions for these very reasons. I have looked forward to growing with the company, but once I got to a mid-management position there was no room for advancement. Companies have also lost my trust due to the way they chose to treat the very people who are their sole source of revenue. My desire is to make Lighthouse Therapy a place where people are proud to work. A place owned and managed by therapists for therapists. Where the students we serve are the number one reason we do what we do. To me, there is nothing better than seeing students improve and be successful. Recognizing the therapists who make that possible is crucial to keeping kids first.
Our mission is to match students with the right therapists to provide the highest quality online Speech and Language, Occupational, and Behavioral and Mental Health Services to maximize student outcomes. We do that by maintaining our five core values: honesty, guidance, faith, growth, and respect. Open communication and a clear and consistent flow of communication are key to our success. We want to provide fair and consistent business practices. We do this by having a billing and pay structure that is defined and transparent. There are no surprises regarding what we will bill for or how our therapists get paid. So, did I get off topic here? Remember, we were talking about what motivated me to start Lighthouse Therapy. No, I didn’t change the focus. When you have experiences with poor business practices, inconsistent direction, and unclear focus, it gives you the determination to do it right and keep it that way.
Are we always going to get it right? Have we been without our own struggles? Absolutely not! I have made lots of mistakes along the way. But I think it goes back to our first value, honesty. You make mistakes and you own up to them. I have learned about the rules and regulations I had no idea even existed before I started this company. We have learned that we need other professionals to guide us along the way. Bill Connors and Eric DeGrove have been a huge help in getting us started, and for that I am grateful. Melissa Jakubowitz has been an invaluable consultant to help me get up and running. Thank you, Melissa! My daughter, Carissa has done amazing work with marketing and our website. My son, Jonathan, has been on the tech side and spent many hours doing research for us that has moved us forward. It is not an easy process to start something worth doing and my own doubts have plagued me along the way. But through my faith in God, and the love and support of my husband, we will continue to travel this road to be a teletherapy company that hopefully, many will be proud to say they have partnered with. And most importantly children’s lives will be changed for the better from what we are doing today.
Janet L. Courtney, MS, CCC/SLP
Lighthouse Therapy LLC
(o) 517-234-0227 Ext. 210