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The News From Lake Woes Be Gone

lakewoebegone.jpgTalked with a chiropractor who is going through a rough patch. He’s tried all the obvious things, such as reestablishing contact with his inactives, hiring the cheaper of the two recent new front desk CA candidates, putting his house on the market (bad timing on that one) and most recently, eliminating the monthly expense of the practice management coach that he’s had for the last seven years. These and similar strategies fall into the “save-yourself-into-success” category.

They don’t work.

Oh sure, reduce unnecessary drag on the aerodynamics of your practice by eliminating needless expenses. But doing so won’t turn things around.

We talked a bit longer and he revealed a thoughtless luxury that he has been indulging in each day that alarmed me. It began to partly explain why he’s been unable to get sufficient traction recently to extricate himself from his growing financial difficulties.

Before I tell you what he’s been doing that is poisoning his chances of pulling his practice out of the ditch, let me offer a couple of suggestions that you could implement if you find yourself in a similar predicament:

Be optimistic. It’s a decision. You may not be able to control what comes your way, but you can certainly control your reaction to it. Your acting may not earn an Oscar, but it may need to be of that caliber. Stay upbeat. Remain hopeful. Rise above and become oblivious to the mainstream angst. Be known as the most positive person that patients know.

Be thankful. This is the time to express your gratitude. Whatever your situation, count your blessings. I guarantee that whatever you’re going through, there are patients experiencing something far worse. How many thank you cards have you sent this month?

Clean up your act. Are you exercising? Increase your workout. Eat better. Get enough rest. Get adjusted regularly. It is imperative that you not only practice what you preach, but you must increase your ability to stand up to and accommodate physical, emotional and chemical stress.

Embrace a larger perspective. Your practice (and the economy) cannot grow without an occasional contraction. Step back and take a birds-eye view of your circumstances. Then, consider your difficulty in the context of the thousands of years of recorded human history. There have been far worse situations. Know that this shall pass!

Trace subluxation to stress. Help every symptomatic patient understand that their health issues are merely manifestations of the stress in their life. As long as they have stress in their life, they’re going to need chiropractic care. (This, by the way is why chiropractic isn’t seasonal. In fact, if patients really understood this, the upcoming holidays would be the busiest time of the year.)

Remain present. Realize that your life isn’t in danger. Yet, your shallow breathing and overall physiology seem that of someone suffering from impending doom. All that fear and dread? You’re creating them in the future. Create something else. For starters, consider how this could be the watershed for cultural shift away from artificial to things natural. It’s always darkest before the dawn. Are you ready for a flood of new patients? Stay here. In the present. Where you can actually do something.

Those are some things you can do and things you can be.

If my chiropractor friend had been doing some of these he wouldn’t be raiding his retirement IRA and taking the losses and penalties for early withdrawal. That may be because of something he has a habit of doing every morning while getting dressed.

He’s watching CNN! Each morning he’s infecting himself with countless "thought viruses" based on fear, doubt, uncertainty, worry, scarcity and related negativity. How can he expect to rise above the same cultural hypnosis that his patients are suffering from when drinking the same Kool-Aid?

If you were sucked into the political debates, the talking heads, the doom and gloom newscasts and the pundits shouting at each other, stop. Stop reading the news, listening to the news and watching the news. At least for the rest of the year. Avoid all media designed for public consumption. Period. Disengage. Detach. If you need to be entertained, rent some classic DVDs with stories that are affirming and uplifting. You may need to change your browser’s default home page away from the various news portals with their lurid headlines and stock market ticker. Take back your life. Refuse to play.

You must become a brighter light in the lives of patients. Incandescent in your certainty. Beaming with optimism. Laser focused. It’s your turn to shine.

Comments (5)

"Rent some classic DVDs" you say? What a coincidence. I've been watching old Brando films the last few months (not exactly uplifting, but better than CNN) and just rented Citizen Kane. It's instructional to see how the older movies are paced when compared to current fare. There is a slow build up as the story reaches a peak as opposed to today's fast cut editing designed to maintain interest (instead of a good story). It's akin to my practice.
I was always looking for the best way to get new patients, new patients, new patients! Now it's about offering service and building (slowly) to a peak and then (slowly) riding down the other side into semi-retirement.
I guess it's working. I've posted my best 12 month statistic since 2002 (and since The Conversation in '07) and there's no particular procedure or gimmick to point to as the cause. What was it you said? Something to the effect of "Grow yourself and let your practice come along with it." It's both very simple and very hard. Thanks again Bill

chad mckeel:

I can't believe someone would watch CNN! Of course that's going to mess you up. Everyone knows Fox News is much better!!


The previous posts are absolutely correct!
Practice management gurus regurgitate the same old school non-sense and drain the profession dry. How many other professions rely on practice management? To have a mentor, to read and study business lessons on your own is mandatory.

Tony Russo:

Precisely what I did about six months ago. I witnessed a gradual change in the office tone and spirit. Instead of looking at how few patients came in, I focused on the appreciation for the ones that did. And what did I get? More patients to appreciate for coming in. I practice in Windsor, Ontario, one of the hardest hit industrial cities in North America. If others would take Bill's advice, we'd have a much better time of it. Emblazon these suggestions on your office walls. They work!... and not with some practice manager sucking your veins of all your profit. Or you can always do another mall screening.

Bob Wagner:


Times are tough for sure. Chiropractors need to live within their means and that may mean that little TV in your picture as a starter. Practice management for 7 years? Wow, if he had all that money he wasted he wouldn't be struggling right now. Manage yourself and life becomes much easier. I hope and pray that practice management goes away because everyone except them will be better off! Not a bad thought!

Bob Wagner

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From October 24, 2008 5:27 PM

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