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What's Your Trademark?

Do you have a trademark? 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.

What’s yours?

Comments (3)

CB Nelson DC:

I'd like to share a true story......

My first year in practice in the 1970s I met an elderly woman that I treated. She was a delight...always smiling and deferring attention to me and others rather than focus anything on herself. She was always interested in others and busied herself with hand crafts and needlework and even hand wrote all her Christmas cards. She was 96 years old and proudly revealed to me that she had given birth to and raised 13 chIldren. Her 73 year old daughter brought her to me for help with balance and gait problems she was concerned about. I was intrigued to learn more about how anyone becomes 96 years old and still appeared to be active and enjoy her life and others. During her period of care from me I asked her repeatedly what her secret was to a long and apparently healthy life. She always politely redirected my requests to ..."nothing in particular!" Following repeated requests to learn her secret she eventually gave in and told me there was "ONE THING"...... Well, what is it, I asked? She gently leaned forward in her chair toward me and said "...I never had a problem accepting change!" Wow, I thought, what a gem! The story however doesn't end there. Not only did she raise 13 children and continued to find joy in everyday God gave her she further told me that she was married to a black sharecropper. Can you imagine the prejudice this woman saw raising a biracial family around the turn of the century?
Needless to say she changed my entire personal and practice life. If she could......"never have a problem accepting change" I needed to re-evaluate how I was going to direct my ambition and my future in chiropractic and my personal life right then and there. What a difference these generous words of wisdom were and I only wish she could have learned how it has impacted my life. Take some time to think about it!!!

Steve Kloster:

My trademark for 25 years in practice has been Motion Palpation. And thanks to a weekend in Denver at The Conversation, I am developing a new, improved trademark: the humble-servant motion palpator.

I visited chiropractors in Australia and New Zealand in 1995 and can say that they were some of the kindest people that I have ever met!

By the way, my trademark is being a great chiropractor!

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From August 20, 2006 9:37 PM

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