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Arcadia and Utopia – A Dream and A Beginning

To say that the last four weeks of setting up Arcadia Physiotherapy have been full on would be an understatement. The list in my head rolls continuously like the Matrix, any cash coming in seems afraid of me and flies away almost immediately, and sitting in my clinic, composing the next email or plotting the next move to tell the world ‘I’m here!’ sometimes I feel very small and overwhelmed.

But here is the strange thing: my eye-bags (or ‘ocular luggage’ as my sister calls them) have actually shrunk. I fall asleep generally swiftly and deeply. I wake with a busy mind, but happy. My days are long… but I don’t really mind. Every day reinforces that despite these very precarious, very early weeks, that setting up my clinic is the right thing to do. Everything is ahead of me.

Why Arcadia?

It’s not the most obvious name, I’ll grant you, without a whisper of weights, exercise, or rehab inherent. I’m breaking the top rule of marketing – be clear! To be fair, it does begin with an A, which should help with the old-fashioned listings at least. However, to me, the name is more about my brand, my ethos. My logic is that authenticity will take me far further than following a template. (Thanks Alexia at Blossoming Brands!)

Arcadia is part of my history and my idealism: the name of a family bungalow, a region of Greece where I spent some of my childhood, described during the Rennaissance (the subject of my first degree) as “an unspoiled, harmonious wilderness“. It is synonymous with Utopia: congruence with nature and the natural order of things.So, when planning a physiotherapy service that encourages and enables people to understand their injuries, to reconnect with their bodies and to achieve harmony again, well, it felt like it couldn’t be anything else.

So Many Thank Yous

Without wanting to delve too deep, it has been a wonderful experience getting out there to promote my wares. The enthusiasm and generosity of people has been astonishing, and it has really kept me afloat to receive such selfless encouragement and advice. It has also been a huge learning curve – email marketing, Facebook ads, tweeting-tastic. And, of course, to SMILE. I realised it is counterproductive wearing my branded t-shirts walking through town if I am frowning deep in thought or chewing over the next problem. Or my lunch. This has been hugely helpful in learning not only that I am my brand, I am my business, but also the basics of going with the flow: to pull a silly face at adversity if I possibly can, an essential tool if I am not going to freak out about the whole new business thing.

Big thanks to my new neighbours Photo Nottingham, and to the personal training gym RB5 – I hope in time to be able to return the many favours you have done for me. And my friends and family (you know who you are), you would probably get sick of all the massive hugs I want to give you for supporting me and believing in me.

Enough of this award ceremony speech talk. I’m only just getting started, and there’s still the endless list ticking away in my head. Who knows what’s coming next? However, finally, after all this work and before much much more, I’m starting to agree with you: things are going to be good.