We had the good fortune of connecting with Claudia Diaz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Claudia, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Two words: time freedom. When I graduated from Physical Therapy school and became licensed, I immediately started a typical 9-5 (except this was 9-6) salary job. In my mind, that was just the order of success: study hard, work hard, have a good 401k etc. Within just 3 months I was miserable. I remember my boyfriend surprised me with a trip for my birthday. After asking for just one day off for this trip and having it not go so well, I quit within the next week. Before I got to the point of quitting, I did my research on other options and working as an independent contractor under my own LLC worked best. Not only would I make more, I’d also be 100% in charge of my own schedule. Since then, I opened my Physical Therapy LLC which I use to work for several private clinics. I also recently opened a second business called Coastal Mold Assessors which specializes in indoor air quality assessments and deals primarily with homeowners insurance. Although I love physical therapy and the kids I work with, my goal is always time freedom, being there for my family and future kids and not missing a single moment. My goal is to do treatments for the kids I currently see a couple of times a week and have CMA running on it’s own eventually.

What should our readers know about your business?
I love what I do as a Neuropediatric Physical Therapist. The population I work with consists primarily of kiddos with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and genetic disorders. As an independent contractor in this field, I have the freedom to see patients wherever they’re available; whether that’s at home, at a daycare or even at school. Building up a full schedule was not easy as only working for only clinic will not provide the caseload needed to maintain 30 hour weeks. When I first began working as an independent contractor, I emailed as many clinics as I could and submitted my resume without even knowing if they were hiring. Surprisingly, most of the clinics I reached out to answered. Since then, whenever I find myself in a slow month, I do the same to maintain the caseload I want. I don’t think there’s anything I would change in this journey. Working as a salary employee taught me why that’s not for me and helped me figure out a way that works. In a way, the situation I was in taught me that if you’re not happy with where you are, there’s always something you can do about it.

Coastal Mold Assessors is a company I opened about a month ago. We specialize in Mold Assessments, Indoor Air Quality and Water Testing in South FL, Central FL and West Coast FL. Working with kids and highly sensitized individuals, I experienced first hand the detrimental effects mold and an unhealthy indoor air quality can cause. We work primarily with homeowners insurance which means the client will never have to pay out of pocket for our services. Through this new venture, I’ve learned to step out of my comfort zone and step into different environments. I never thought after completing a Doctorate degree I would have to learn something again from scratch but the journey has been worth it. For CMA, it’s only the beginning and my main goal is to expand as much as possible. While this is now a party of one, I firmly believe in the next year we’ll have at least 10 of us at CMA!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My idea of fun = being outdoors. Therefore, this probably won’t be your typical Miami itinerary. I love Miami because of our easy access to beaches, great dining spots and bars. Our itinerary would consist of: sunset paddle boarding at Sunset Harbour, beach day at the Confidante, comedy nights at the Miami Improv, Karaoke at Sweet Caroline, brunch at Mayami and roller blading around Miami Beach. I would take them to my favorite spots for dinner + drinks: Bulla, Barceloneta, Via Emilia, Rosa Sky, Mayami, Joia and last but not least: Mary’s Coin Laundry (a Miami MUST)

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My boyfriend, Sebastian, deserves major credit for where I am today. I grew up in a hispanic household with a very traditional way of thinking. My idea of being successful was graduating school, having a good salary job and a retirement plan. When I found myself so unhappy in my first job after Physical Therapy school, Sebastian helped me think outside the box. He challenged my traditional views and helped me encounter new uncomfortable situations such as not having the security that a traditional salary job can bring. Additionally, he also encouraged me and helped open my second business. Sebastian has always supported my passion for physical therapy and encourages my goals however, he has also pushed me to break a lot of walls within myself and challenge myself in a way I wasn’t able to do so before.

Instagram: @claudzzz

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/claudia-diaz-pt-dpt-2765671a3/

Other: info@coastalmoldassessors.com

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