If your practice volume isn’t as great as you'd like, there's a good chance you’ve given considerable thought to how to turn things around. That search could send you down an unproductive rabbit trail to "causes" outside the four walls of the office and "causes" beyond the space between your ears. While it's convenient to blame the weather, the economy, the HMOs or the cheeseball advertising of other chiropractors, these are NEVER the real cause of slumping numbers.
Similarly, subluxations aren't the real problem patients have. They are merely the manifestations of poorly accommodated physical, emotional or chemical stress. Adding energy to their spine to put wayward bones back in formation is pure folly if you ignore the originating physical, emotional or chemical stressor(s), which may or may not still be present. Subluxation is merely a symptom.
Same with a downward statistical trend.
A dip in patient volume is merely a symptom of something far more important. It can be traced directly back to your level of passion and emotional investment in your practice. Even more telling is your ability to infect your support team and patients with your zeal and enthusiasm. Chances are, if your practice is in a downturn, you don’t have much zeal or enthusiasm. Instead, you’re merely going through the motions and taking things for granted. So everyone else does too.
Leading patients, leading staff and leading yourself is all about your ability to create a vision in which tomorrow appears better and brighter than today. Sure, it’s about communicating hope and promoting a steadfast faith in the healing process. But the real currency of effective leadership is in your own expression of fervor, conviction and certainty.
How long can you maintain your excitement and awe about pain reduction? Restoring spinal curves? Improving posture? Or the other sensory/biomechanical affects that so commonly result from your interventions?
And how long can you sustain your excitement in the face of sabotage from third parties, the doubts of skeptical spouses or the spotty adherence to your care recommendations?
This is the danger of making chiropractic too small, seeing it in its most superficial and physical dimension. It’s the peril of thinking chiropractic is about what you do or how you do it. It’s the hazard of thinking you’re “fixing” patients. It’s the price you pay when you selfishly make practice about you.
The fact is, what patients bring to your table (the ability to self-heal) is more significant than what you do on your table. What their improved health will permit them to be and do, is more significant than how and where you adjust them. Their life is more significant than your pride or reputation.
Set your eyes on them, and your stats will take care of themselves. Set your mind on the chain reaction you set in motion by helping unleash their inborn ability to heal, and there will be no shortage of people to help. Set your heart on loving and serving those who show up, and more will.
You must become authentically passionate about something larger than yourself, your practice or your survival. When you do, the numbers will follow suit. Oh, there may be a lag, but that’s to test your resolve. It’s all about energy. Yours and theirs. Only when you’re able to successfully manage and maintain your own passion, will you be given the opportunity to help more people. The former is the cause; the latter an effect.