Virtually all success literature reminds us that we get what we want after we help others get what they want.
What do patients want?
Sure. Most patients merely want relief from their symptoms. These are the patients who reward your emotional investment by discontinuing care without notice once their symptoms subside or someone else stops footing the bill. If you don’t access something deeper or more significant, you'll find yourself in a pain clinic.
But what about patients who have a bigger goal than just pain relief? Do you know who they are? Do you know what they want?
At a time when many are finally seeing the appeal of a cash practice and want greater security than afforded being civil servants as we make the move into socialized medicine, it’s seems odd to me that so many chiropractors are either clueless or disinterested in what patients really want.
Don’t sell the symptom-treaters short! Even the patients who merely want pain relief want something more. Even if they’re not present to it: live a long productive life, avoid being a burden to their children in their later years, travel, see their grandchildren get married, improve their golf game, etc. Everybody has something they’re shooting for.
Except those who don’t.
Far too many of us have become mere consumers. Consumers of food, entertainment, television and the distraction du jour. What else explains the popularity of the Internet, the iPad, Facebook and reality television? Most of it is merely “busy work” to keep us from spending time with ourselves. With our thoughts. With our challenges, opportunities and apparent “stuckness.”
If you have any hope of attracting (and keeping) a tribe of cash-paying wellness practice members, you must explore the uncharted territory that lies beyond their admitting complaint. It’s a messy, complicated world to be sure.
What do patients really want? Hope. Hope of a better tomorrow. Hope for greater intimacy. Hope for deeper connections. Hope for even the smallest notion of control. Hope that their life has significance and meaning.
That begins by you having hope. As in the airline safety demo "...put your mask on first before helping others."
Chiropractors should be among the happiest, most upbeat, optimistic and confident people on the planet. Why? Because chiropractors know the true nature of health. Because chiropractors have the knowledge and skills to unleash health in others with nothing other than their hands. (A valuable skill whose significance is sure to increase as the culture wakes up to the lies of the medical-industrial complex.)
So snap out of it!
Maybe you’re in the lives of patients to inspire them and realize new possibilities. Maybe you’re in their lives to simply reconnect them to their bodies—so it’s not seen as merely a means of moving their brain from place to place. Maybe that’s a higher calling than reducing subluxations!
You and I are going to die. And what we do before that inevitable closing of the book of life can degenerate to the collection of money and things, or the freeing of souls; to the viewing of every American Idol or inspiring others to take flight and run the marathon, lose the weight or simply be all that they can be. When patients feel "big" by being around you, they want to be around you all the more.
There’s far more to this grand adventure than paying the bills, fitting in, knowing the news and keeping up with the trends. You, because of your influence, are in a unique position to enlarge, expand and inspire greatness. I hope you don’t miss the opportunity.