Karen Achtermann is a Colorado native and has been a chiropractor in Louisville for 20 years. She’s had the amazing opportunity to see the city grow and change, along with her practice. Karen offers wonderful insight about the unique rewards and challenges of her industry and inspiring advice for new entrepreneurs.
When Karen was a child, her mom had neck surgery and discovered that a visit to the chiropractor was the only thing that took the pain away. Karen grew up going to that very doctor and witnessed the benefits of chiropractic at a young age. She attended the University of Colorado to pursue a degree in music, but changed her major to human biology after realizing her passion for natural healing. Immediately out of college, she opened her practice, Achtermann Chiropractic, and never looked back.
Karen loves helping people and in her line of work, she gets to do that every day. She has the opportunity to see families grow and builds meaningful relationships along the way. The versatility of her role allows her to assist individuals of all ages and address the unique issues they face through the various stages of their lives. Karen says that she witnesses miracles daily, which makes her career very rewarding.
Karen points out that when she was in school to become a chiropractor, they didn’t teach her how to run a business. (Which seems to be a common challenge for many students who don’t major in business.) So, when she started out, she worked with a practice management group, which taught her her the business side of things. Karen says there are times when it can be hard to balance family and work. But fortunately, her husband, Martin, is the other half of Achtermann Chiropractic, so they have flexibility in scheduling and managing their family activities.
Karen enjoys being part of Louisville‘s tight-knit community. Despite its growth, she says the city is a place where you can see someone you know everywhere you go. One way that Achtermann Chiropractic gives back is by sponsoring local baseball and hockey teams and providing complimentary treatments for team members. They also host an annual coat drive, donate gift certificates to fundraisers and participate in local events, such as the Taste of Louisville.
Karen’s insight for new business owners is to be patient. She says that your day-to-day actions will produce results later on. Success may not manifest in the next week, but you’ll see the fruit of your labor down the road. Karen believes that it takes three to five years after opening for a small business to be successful and emphasizes the importance of having a long-term vision. She is devastated when she sees amazing small businesses close their doors and says that, in most cases, “you have to stick it out to make it.”
Seasoned business owners, like Karen, are great sources of inspiration. They’ve “been there, done that” and made it out alive to share their stories. There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.” Whether you’re a new entrepreneur, or a current business owner going through a rough patch, use the phrase to remind yourself to keep going. If you stick it out and give it your best, you will make it.