I was struck by the hat she wore throughout the seminar while sitting in the second row on Saturday during my presentation at the New Zealand Chiropractic College Lyceum. She wore a different one on Sunday. We don’t see women wearing hats these days so I was intrigued who this chiropractor was. Naturally, I was surprised when she approached me after the seminar and invited me to join her and her husband for dinner at their home. Even more surprisingly, I accepted!
Later, in the car during the 20 minute drive to her cozy suburban home, I revealed that I don’t normally receive such invitations and on those rare occasions when I do, I normally turn them down. She practically squealed with delight and went on to explain how on a recent visit to the United States that she and her husband had been impressed by the hospitality of the Americans they had encountered. “I just want to return the favor," she concluded.
There was a pause in the conversation as we were winding our way through the rainy night to her Western Auckland home. “So, what’s with the hats?” I blurted out.
She proceeded to explain that her mother had always worn hats and that when she opened her practice she had looked for trademark; something that could help create an identity for her new business. Hats seemed to fit the bill.
“Well, how many hats do you have?” I asked.
“That’s a carefully guarded secret,” she smiled.
With a bit of encouragement and promising not to reveal the number, she surrendered the count.
“Wow,” I said.
It got me thinking. What’s my “trademark”? What is it that I hang my hat on?
Later, on the drive back to my hotel after a delightful evening of food and conversation, it occurred to me that my identity is the patient’s point of view. That’s really my mission; trademark.