Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in career development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Lyon, owner of OT Potential, located in Aurora, NE, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is OT Potential. And I am honored to serve occupational therapists from around the globe.

Our mission is to help occupational therapists incorporate new evidence into practice. This is a complex process, so we provide multiple supports and tools within our ecosystem of support.

Our core product is The OT Potential Club, which is where we review and discuss new influential OT-related research. Within the Club, we have multiple support tools, including an assessment search, documentation examples, and the ability to take courses that count towards continuing education. Members also have the option to join our new OT Directory.

Tell us about yourself

I never envisioned myself as a business owner. I feel like I just kept taking the next logical step in my career as an occupational therapist and somehow ended up here!

That being said, I have always been interested both in business and in thinking big picture about problems. Being a business owner really allows me to leverage my strength of thinking big picture. And I love that I can hire people to cover my weak spots. (For example, I love writing but always appreciate help with editing.)

Do you have daily rituals for work / wellness / fitness / mindfulness?

I once heard a trainer say that as you lift heavier loads, it really forces you to focus on your form—and teases out what you might be doing wrong.

I think about that all the time as an entrepreneur, as it can feel like you are lifting increasingly heavy loads. The challenge has really made me examine my daily habits and rituals and think critically about whether or not they are nudging me toward giving my best.

Habits like walking to work and making sure I drink two bottles of water before lunch and two in the afternoon seriously make all the difference! I also have dedicated times each week when I completely step away from both home and work to spend time with other people.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

This impact we’ve made on the occupational therapy profession is our biggest accomplishment. I feel like we’ve taken up an important mantle that no single entity has focused on historically in making evidence-based practice more accessible for OTs around the globe. The stat I am most proud of is that we have members in our Club from 44 different countries. I never dreamed we would have such a global reach!

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

I am so lucky because our business has grown enough to support both my husband and me. This has been an incredible opportunity with a young family. But, at the same time, it brings an extra weight of being our sole source of income. We’ve navigated several ups and downs since the Club launched four years ago.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Take the self-compassion test by Kristen McNeff. Running a business involves lots of failures. And honestly, if you don’t have a high level of self-compassion, this may not be the right pursuit for you.
  2. Get smart about money. At the end of the day, your business needs to generate money. Reading Profit First by Mike Michalowicz is a helpful starting point to get in the right mindset and provides practical help for the early stages of business ownership.
  3. Be sure to pursue something you love!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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