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Monday-Morning-Motivation Archives

10/20/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Undeterred By Fear

How well do you tolerate fear? Being undeterred by fear is a characteristic of high-performing chiropractors.

Fear prompts many to avoid the truth. We talk too much, preventing others from expressing a contrarian view. We neglect to ask questions for fear that what we learn will shake our confidence or catch us unprepared. We refuse to take post X-rays for fear that chiropractic is merely a philosophy that doesn't produce real change. We claim we're too busy to call a new patient after the first visit for fear that we won't like what they have to say. We tolerate incompetency among team members, fearful that someone new will be worse. We fail to discuss the dismissal process in advance, fearing it will jinx patient follow through.

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10/13/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Personal Growth

I recently reread As a Man Thinketh and noticed I had highlighted a sentence during a previous reading:

"Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound."

This is part of the human inclination to look "out there" for the solution to our particular challenge. However, practices don't grow, numbers don't increase and satisfaction won't intensify until the practitioner grows. Yet, many no longer read books. They resist learning how to use their computer. They fear the challenges of mastering public speaking. They protect themselves in a cocoon, shielding themselves from the unknown. They oppose change, anything new or something that might upset the status quo. Yet, they insist they want their practice to grow.

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10/06/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Are You a Talker?

Do you talk too much?

The easiest way to reduce your impact and diminish your influence is to talk too much. That may not be your intent, but it's often the result. Talkers imagine they're educating, explaining and annotating what's going on. They chatter on and on about this and that; filling the air with their words.

In the process of verbalizing their internal dialogue, they produce two very unhelpful effects. First, they reveal far too much about themselves, including their fears and insecurities. Second, when they dominate the airways with their own voice they often prevent patients from asking questions, sharing their hopes or expressing their concerns.

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09/29/14

Monday Morning Motivation | You Have To...

The words we use reveal who we are, our motivations, how we see the world and our role in it. This week be mindful of three common phrases that are often used in patient communications and their deeper implications:

"You have to..." Telling anyone with free will agency that they have to do anything is the height of hubris and frankly an example of exaggerating your social authority. It's actually a form of bluffing.

"You need to..." Another example of prescribing a particular set of patient actions designed to produce an outcome you want, not necessarily what the patient wants. Imposing your expectations can set you up for disappointment and produce shame should patients later choose not to fulfill your imposition.

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09/22/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Telling the Truth

To invoke the confidence and hope so essential for healing in your next new patient, you must supply evidence you can be trusted.

High-level trust is unlikely if you have the habit of exaggerating the severity of their problem. Or need to be the hero. Or need them as a friend.

Instead, meticulously tell the truth.

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09/14/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Driving the Speed Limit

When you got your driver's license you made a promise. Do you remember it? You promised to drive safely, obey all the traffic laws and respect the rights of other drivers. Most of us break this promise within days of making it.

If you'd like to enjoy a radical sense of ease and peace of mind, drive the speed limit this week.

Granted, you may need to leave a couple of minutes earlier. And you'll be driving slower (and legally) than everyone else, becoming the target of various hand gestures from stressed out drivers. (That was you last week!)

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09/08/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Walking on Eggshells?

If you're afraid you'd lose the patient if you compassionately told the truth, then you don't have the patient. They have you. Chiropractic works best when it is a partnership. When either party withholds, lies, exaggerates or bends the truth then the partnership fails to flourish.

Playing small, walking on eggshells in the mistaken belief that being liked is the key to a successful practice, may be one of the biggest lies among chiropractors in under performing practices. It leads to a lack of certainty, reduced confidence and, as a result, fewer people helped. It's a costly belief that holds far too many in bondage.

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09/01/14

Monday Morning Motivation | B. J. Palmer is In Town

Heads up! Dr. B. J. Palmer is in town and has made an appointment.

You'll probably want to spiff things up a bit. You and your team will organize the reception room, straighten the magazines and even pick up the cigarette butts in the parking lot. If you have time, you might get out some paint and do a little touch up work. At the very minimum you'll make sure the carpet is vacuumed, your bathroom sparkles and your adjusting tables are immaculate.

You might even give some thought to your adjusting room conversation. The weather and last night's sports scores? Or something more significant? You might even practice your toggle.

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08/25/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Generosity

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who are generous.

We're surrounded by abundance. The busiest chiropractors know there is no shortage of new patients, money or ideas. Less successful chiropractors believe in a zero sum world in which their success can only occur at the expense of others. So they don't share. When new chiropractors drop in to introduce themselves, they give them the cold shoulder accompanied by a good helping of discouragement.

Of course it doesn't work. It merely reveals their own fear, doubt and unfamiliarity with the truth.

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08/18/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Disciplined

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who are self-disciplined.

When you lack discipline, it's easy to become distracted by shiny objects and countless opportunities. When you lack discipline, you become famous for your disheveled desk and embarrassing closet. When you lack discipline, you tend to be a good starter but a poor finisher.

Some chiropractors attempt to buy discipline by signing with a management company. Paying someone to nag you can be an expensive fix. A far more affordable solution is pairing up with an accountability partner for a monthly breakfast.

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08/11/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Visionary

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who attract a great team.

Many chiropractors complain that they can't find quality individuals to contribute at their front desk. This observation is especially odd when many jurisdictions are experiencing high levels of unemployment. Perhaps part of the issue is the vision being cast about the opportunity you're offering.

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08/04/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Talented

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who sell their talent rather than their time.

Many put needless limit on the number of people they can help by believing that patients are buying a certain amount of face time. Even worse, they allow this belief to go unchecked among patients.

Careful that you don't blur the difference between effort and outcome; work and result. This confusion can result when chiropractors either lose the majesty and significance of the adjustment, allowed it to become too casual or feel like they're being overpaid. Not surprisingly, patients don't value the adjustment unless you do. If you find yourself stuck selling your time, start by explaining the truth with your next new patient.

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07/28/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Fearless

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who face their fears.

While incremental improvements in procedure can grow a practice, quantum leaps occur through self-development. A practice grows only as the chiropractor grows. The surest way to do that is to shed self-limiting beliefs. Uncover them by taking an inventory of your fears, worries and concerns.

Perhaps it's the fear of calling patients after their first adjustment. Or asking for a long-term commitment at the report of findings. Or the tolerations you endure by not confronting a team member. Or taking a post-X-ray to see if you're delivering on your promise of making spinal changes. Or an audit letter from an insurance carrier.

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07/21/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Leadership

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who give a formal report of findings.

Forget about any notion of the perfect report of findings, if such a thing even exists. When you give a report of findings, you are exercising your role as a leader. Without laying out the evidence and making a case for your recommendations, you're surrendering your practice to the symptomatic, let's-give-it-try whim of each patient.

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07/14/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Curiosity

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who show up curious, asking great questions.

The typical chiropractor has a well-developed examination room patter. "Do you feel the restriction here?" "How many hours of sleep do you typically get?" "What makes it worse?" You know the drill.

Yet, after five or six visits as symptomatic improvement runs its course, probing questions are reduced to the weather or last night's reality show.

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07/07/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Punctuality

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who get to the practice early.

Many chiropractors act like spoiled NBA players who don't want to do the wind sprints or layup drills. They just want to play (adjust).

If you arrive within minutes of your first patient you aren't in an optimal healing state. Especially if you listened to the news on your drive to the practice. Muscle memory will get you through the first couple of patients, but you're not fully present. You cheated them out of that "adjustment with that something extra" that others received later. In a sense, you stole from those first few patients. Consider the spiritual implications of handling the day's "first fruits" this way.

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06/30/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Strangers

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who are comfortable among strangers.

Many chiropractors isolate themselves in a social cocoon, especially after becoming successful. Unlike the early days when they would willingly introduce themselves to strangers, telling the story and making a ruckus, established chiropractors often turn inward, hoping to protect what they have acquired. The risk of small talk with strangers, explaining chiropractic, defending it and subjecting themselves to judgment is avoided. This causes certain "communication muscles" to atrophy since they are no longer exercised on skeptics or doubters.

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06/23/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Boundaries

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who create and honor clear boundaries. Knowing what's yours and what is theirs is an important distinction between chiropractic and medicine.

In the medical model, the doctor, surgery or drug is the hero, giving the medic the "professional" distance and emotional detachment for which they are frequently criticized. However, in chiropractic where the ability to arouse the patient's ability to self-heal is dependent upon so many things outside the chiropractor's control, boundaries easily blur. As a result many chiropractors are inclined to blame themselves when patients don't respond as expected.

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06/16/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Decisiveness

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who are decisive, making decisions quickly.

Decide comes from the root word meaning "to cut off from." (The words homicide and suicide share this root.) Being decisive requires that you have a macro view of the world rather than a micro view of the world. In other words, have an overarching plan for your life and avoid getting caught in the weeds.

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06/09/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Purpose

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who know their purpose.

Knowing our purpose and putting it in writing may be among one of our most important tasks. This is especially true when attempting to practice vitalism when you're surrounded by an allopathic culture. Without knowing your purpose it's more difficult to say no to off-purpose opportunities. The result is confusing for the patient and the practitioner alike.

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06/02/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Understanding

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who have a clear understanding of chiropractic.

Chiropractic isn't necessarily defined by what you learned in chiropractic college, what an insurance carrier will pay for or even what you're permitted to do based on the scope of practice laws in your particular jurisdiction.

Rather than fashion chiropractic in their own image or what serves their selfish purposes, the most confident chiropractors adapt their practices, procedures and patient communications to chiropractic. That means they understand chiropractic isn't medicine. Not superior or inferior. Different. With a different language, different purpose and different objective. Knowing this distinction provides clarity, simplicity and an attractive fearlessness.

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05/26/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Are You Waiting or Acting?

Are you making the classic small business mistake of cutting back when times get tough? As uncertainty abounds and chaos prompts many to reduce their marketing expenses, this is the precise time to redouble your efforts. If you have openings in your schedule, you have work to do.

Invest in quality patient education that explains essential chiropractic principles. Send newsletters to cultivate and deepen patient relationships and maintain top-of-mind awareness. Conduct in office seminars and lectures on topics you find interesting, providing a no-obligation way for prospects to meet you. Conduct a brilliant report of findings and package your findings in such a way as to impress the spouse who couldn't attend. Send periodic reactivation postcards to dormant patients inviting them back.

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05/19/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Not Enough Time?

I frequently hear chiropractors observe that they don't have enough time to implement some surefire strategy for growing their practice. I remind them that they have a full 24 hours in a day--the same as Da Vinci, Edison, and Einstein.

Rather than a shortage of time, what they're really saying is, "It's not a priority for me."

No problem. In fact, being able to say no to off-purpose opportunities or avoid getting seduced by non-essential pursuits is a challenge we all face. But claiming there isn't enough time is merely a cowardly way of saying no, without acknowledging what you're saying yes to. What are your priorities?

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05/12/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic expectations often lead to disappointment.

When you expect patients to abandon a lifelong belief in symptom treating, it may be unrealistic.

When you expect patients to always act in ways that would enhance their health and longevity, it may be unrealistic.

When you expect patients to care about their health the way you care about yours, it may be unrealistic.

These are tensions faced by most professional caregivers. How you handle them determine whether practice is an exciting opportunity or an oppressive burden. Same patients. Different attitude.

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05/05/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Three Emotional Triggers

Patients tend to take action based on one or more emotional triggers:

Fear. This is the strategy used by chiropractors who feel the need to be in control. Fear of loss. Fear of worsening. Fear of being abandoned. Unfortunately, fear rarely has staying power beyond the cessation of symptoms.

Hope. The ability to paint a picture of a better tomorrow is the cornerstone of effective leadership. Hope that I'm in the right place. Hope that the chiropractor can help me. Hope that my life can return to normal.

Love. This emotion is found amongst those rarest of practitioners who show up as humble servants, avoiding even the slightest hint of judgment. Patients are loyal. They sense the doctor's love doesn't have any strings attached.

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04/28/14

Monday Morning Motivation | That Wee Small Voice

You won't see TV commercials for that "we small voice." Or reminders to pay attention to that uncomfortable tug at your conscience. Or an "app" to regularly remind you to be still and listen.

If you hope to see yourself as God's agent or at least His hands, it's essential that you show up as a conduit rather than a vessel.

A conduit transmits and conveys. A vessel is closed and contained. In other words, are you single-handedly doing the healing, fixing and interference reduction (vessel)? Or are you merely an emissary, facilitator or partner (conduit)? You'd want to be mindful of this distinction. Not only so you can communicate it to patients, but so you aren't seduced into accepting responsibility for that which you cannot "ably respond."

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04/21/14

Monday Morning Motivation | More Life or Less Pain?

If it's true that "laughter is the best medicine," then laughter is something you'd want to hear a lot of in your practice. Yet sadly, some chiropractic offices are somber environments able to combine the hushed tones of a library with the solemnity of a funeral.

Ultimately, this is about the "tone" of your practice. Is your tone tight, focused and serious? (High tone.) Is your tone soft, forgiving and inviting? (Low tone.) Or something in the middle? Or have you thought about it? (Tone deaf.)

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04/14/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Relationships Based On a Lie

Two things about relationships that begin based on a lie: they tend to be brief and they tend to end badly.

I raise this because there are chiropractors who accept new patients under the pretense that they are treating the patient's ache or pain. It's a lie. Instead, chiropractic depends upon reviving the self-healing capacity of the patient by reducing nervous system interference. Which, as it manifests from patient to patient, is impossible to predict or control.

The expectation of reducing the patient's symptoms is based on several unhelpful assumptions:

1. The stressor that produced the patient's problem is no longer present.
2. The patient is willing to reform lifestyle choices that could impair their ability to heal.

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04/07/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Hang In There

Much of the innovation we take for granted was first rejected, ridiculed and resisted.

Electric light bulb? "What's wrong with my kerosene lamp?" Automobile? "My horse gets me everywhere I need to go." Telephone? "Who would I call?" Overnight delivery? "Why would I need it?" The list is endless.

I remind you of this because of the popular ignorance surrounding chiropractic care. "Thankfully, I don't have a back problem." "Muscle relaxers are more convenient." "Once you go, you have to go for the rest of your life." You know the list.

Someday, perhaps in our lifetime, the genius of D. D. Palmer will be recognized. As will the wisdom of enhancing function by reducing nervous system interferences resulting from our attempts to accommodate physical, chemical or emotional stress.

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03/31/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Slow Down Cowboy

When most patients consult a chiropractor, they have one objective: get out of pain. Yet, there are still chiropractors inclined to offer patients the choice of different types of care at the initial report of findings. How generous.

Sometimes they will even ask outright on the admitting paperwork whether they are interested in patch care (which stupid, unattractive and shortsighted patients choose) or fix care (that intelligent, attractive and enlightened patients choose).

Nonsense!

From the patient's point of view, you must "prove" yourself by resolving the symptomatic issue prompting their visit to your practice, before you're valid for anything else. In other words, talking about marriage and kids on the first date is, well, off-putting. Slow down cowboy!

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03/24/14

Monday Morning Motivation | What Do You Desire?

It is desire that moves us from simply thinking, to actually doing. What do you desire?

Many who choose health care as a career path desire optimum health and well-being. That desire has prompted them to learn much about the body and to share it with others. But make no mistake. There is a huge distinction between desiring optimum health for yourself, and desiring a busier practice!

Consider the downside of having a busier practice. The added responsibilities. The increased discipline required to stay focused. The burden of better staff hiring and training. More accountability. Balancing practice and home. Paperwork. Leadership.

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03/17/14

Monday Morning Motivation | What Patients Really Want

We don't see the world as it is, but as we are. In other words, believing is seeing.

What do patients believe about you, their symptoms, your adjustments or when it's appropriate to see a chiropractor? Until you know what they believe, you can recite the touching story about why you became a chiropractor; even light your hair on fire, but patients will merely nod and rebuff your overtures for them to embrace chiropractic as an ongoing lifestyle adjunct.

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03/10/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Patients Aren't Broken

You can't fix patients. You can't change their beliefs and you can't save them from themselves. But that doesn't stop some from trying.

First, the fixing piece. You can fix a cat or a car, but you can't fix a patient. If there's going to be any fixing, the patient is going to do it.

You can't change what patients believe. Oh, you can create the circumstances that make it safe to abandon an old belief and embrace a new one. But if there's going to be any belief changing, the patient is going to do it.

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03/03/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Breaking Someone's Heart

What's the best way to break someone's heart?

If you must fire someone, let someone down or disappoint them, is it better to do it quickly or slowly? Sooner or later?

Employment consultants often suggest to "hire slow and fire fast." Similarly, if removing a bandage is going to be uncomfortable, you should do it quickly and get it over with. Yet, most of us, when we have to communicate bad news, not only tend to wait, but we often parcel it out in pieces, thinking that will somehow soften the blow.

It doesn't.

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02/24/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Do You Have a Checklist?

At the controls of the next commercial airplane you board will be a highly trained pilot who has logged hundreds, maybe thousands, of takeoffs and landings. Even with this experience, he or she will not be allowed to "wing it," performing these tasks from memory. A checklist will be used. Everytime.

Do you have a checklist?

Your consultation and report may not risk the lives of passengers, but they are critically important. Yet, most chiropractors leave these vital tasks to memory, expediency or their unpredictable creativity. A checklist reduces the chance of overlooking something or needlessly chattering on simply because you have the time and the patient doesn't signal their impatience.

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02/17/14

Monday Morning Motivation | An Issue of Timing

Comedians know the significance timing can make. Same set up. Same delivery. But if the timing of the punch line is off, the joke bombs.

You have a timing issue too. You see the needless, long-term degenerative effects of spinal neglect. But the patient appears in your practice with the urgency of relief and the desire for immediate, short-term results. Patients want a “diet” of care. You appreciate the benefits of an ongoing chiropractic lifestyle. You trust the recuperative abilities of body, knowing that the pace of each recovery is based on the patient. Yet, the patient assumes you control their recovery since you recommended a “dosage” of three visits a week.

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02/10/14

Monday Morning Motivation | You Reasons or Them Reasons?

Scripture teaches that the spiritual world is as real as the one we can detect with our senses. Everything manifests spiritually before appearing physically.

This is especially true of new patients. Before new patients show up in your practice, your heart must be right. In other words, why do you want more new patients?

Wanting new patients for selfish "you" reasons (I need to make more money, I prefer it when I'm busier, I want to reach a statistical goal, I want more people to adjust, etc.), means getting new patients is about inducement, seduction and motivation (outside in).

When you want new patients for generous "them" reasons (rescue them from risky drugs or irreversible surgery, help children reach their full potential, offer hope, etc.) getting new patients is about gratitude and inspiration (inside out).

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02/03/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Service As Art

Most of us who give (or receive) service forget that producing extraordinary-incredible-beyond-the-call-of-duty service is entirely discretionary. It's a choice.

Some service providers think, "I'm not going to knock myself out unless I get some acknowledgment or appreciation." In other words, providing service based on the attitude, enlightenment or social skills of the recipient. This shortsighted strategy surrenders our power to those we serve, allowing them to control how much we choose to invest.

The higher road acknowledges that serving others is the highest calling of all. That providing extraordinary service and exceeding expectations is the "art" that you do to affirm yourself, making our service a spiritual experience rather than just a mechanical one. Some will notice. Many will not.

But you will.

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01/27/14

Monday Morning Motivation | The Pain-Free Life

While you meet patients with physical pain, far more people suffer from emotional pain. Even chiropractors.

Many aim for a pain-free life, avoiding confrontation, shirking responsibility and shunning risk of any kind. One of the more pronounced tactics of this absurd way of living is trying to get everyone to like us. We do it by biting our tongues, walking on eggshells and raising a wet finger to the wind. This chameleon strategy is not only exhausting, but laughably ineffective.

Even with all the energy you and I have expended in this pursuit, there are still people who dislike us!

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01/20/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Who is Your Enemy?

Scripture admonishes us to love our enemies. While Michael Corleone in The Godfather recommends that you "keep your friends close and your enemies even closer."

Who is your enemy?

It's not the stubborn vertebra that won't move as you wish. It's not the insurance carrier who fails to see the wisdom of your care plan.

I assert that your real enemy is the beliefs and habits of patients and prospective patients in your community. They have been deceived, believing that germs cause disease, drugs produce health and that symptom suppression makes sense. In other words, they've been hypnotized by the live-for-today, take-the-path-of-least-resistance herd mentality. That's your enemy! And it's a formidable one.

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01/13/14

Monday Morning Motivation | You Never Forget Your First

You never forget your first.

Your first kiss. Your first car. Your first adjustment. And all the other firsts. Firsts happen when you are either forced, or better, choose to take the risk of doing something poorly, making a mistake or temporarily looking foolish.

This is a self-limiting belief that constrains far too many of us from experiencing the full bandwidth of being human. We find ourselves in a rut, and firsts become increasingly rare. Life is reduced to a burdensome routine and this grand adventure becomes something to merely endure or get through.

Experience some firsts this week! Try some sushi. Attend a Toastmasters group. Go to the opera. Volunteer at the soup kitchen. Introduce yourself to a stranger. Attend a different church service. You get the idea. Put yourself into as many new situations as possible.

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01/06/14

Monday Morning Motivation | Telling the Truth

Relationships that begin with a lie are likely to end with one.

It's scary to tell an unpopular truth. It's tempting to sugarcoat things. Sweep it under the carpet. Ignore it. And just be grateful that someone is in front of you who thinks you can help.

It's an error of omission, not commission. Not telling the new patient the truth. Of allowing the patient to believe something that's not true. Of "going along to get along." It reveals your fear, uncertainty and need for acceptance. What is this scary truth that is so rarely disclosed on the patient's first visit?

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12/30/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Sharing Secrets

Chiropractors who are helping the number of people you'd like to be helping, have different beliefs, boundaries and habits.

Beliefs. Don't become distracted by copying what busier practitioners do. Those are simply the outward manifestation of acting congruently with what they believe. Find out what they believe about patients, adjustments, healing, responsibility, leadership and purpose.

Boundaries. Impeccable boundaries mean they don't get sucked into micro-managing patients, nor do they take the behaviors and choices of patients personally. They may take note and adjust their communication approach, but they honor the free-will agency of each patient. They know where their responsibilities end and the patient's begin.

Habits. Their strong work ethic, willingness to delay gratification, high levels of discipline and positive self-talk produce an infectious optimism and sense of certainty from which patients find hope and possibilities.

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12/23/13

Monday Morning Motivation | See More Miracles

Healing, like everything else, occurs spiritually before it manifests physically. And the spirit follows different principles then the linear Newtonian realm we're all familiar with. So don't overlook the spiritual in your adjusting room procedures. After all, you're taking care of spiritual beings, not spines; hopes and dreams, not lordotic curves.

First, seek to learn about each patient's life. As in, "So, what's worth celebrating?" or "Tell me something wonderful!" Create an opportunity for patients to become present to how their life is improving and changing. Keep in mind that their goal is a better life, not better posture!

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12/16/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Your Next Holiday Vacation

Have you set your next holiday vacation?

Two common productivity myths are the "I'm-too-busy-to-take-time-off" myth and the even more popular, "I'm-not-busy-enough-to-take-time-off" myth.

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12/09/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Your Practice Legacy

Are you creating a practice that matters?

You can reduce symptoms and improve biomechanics or you can have far greater significance.

You could cause someone to think twice before opening the medicine cabinet to fool their body. You could give a patient who thinks of themselves as their diagnosis a new meaning for their symptoms. You could help children grow up unencumbered by the self-esteem-robbing pain of lacking bladder control. You could influence two and three generations of the same family. You could inspire a support team to grow, become more confident and have the courage to reach for their dreams.

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12/02/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Sticky Patients

I've heard many chiropractors observe that some of their very first patients are still with them. I wonder why. Could it be...

Playing offense. Back in the day, you were out there taking names and capturing territory. Now, you're playing defense, trying to hold on to what you have.

Optimistic. Back then you were hopeful about chiropractic. Bright-eyed and bushy tailed, you were inspired by what was possible.

Enthusiastic. Before you encountered a stream of dream killing insurance companies and irrational skeptics, you were energetic, committed and deeply passionate.

Grateful. Your appreciation was obvious. Today, after hundreds or even thousands of patients, it's tempting to think of patients as spines. Or cases. Or car payments.

Continue reading "Monday Morning Motivation | Sticky Patients" »

11/25/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Spiritual Subluxations

Can you recognize signs of spiritual subluxations?

Cloudy thinking - A mental fog makes it difficult to think clearly, obscuring opportunities and solutions.

Procrastination - Postponing a needed action is often a sign you're off-purpose or unsure what it is.

Lack of concentration - Succumbing to the distraction of the Internet, email and other shiny objects can be an effective tactic.

Worry - Rehearsing what you don't want is not only counterproductive, it squelches your creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Fear - A spiritual oppression that can only exist without faith, seducing you to live in a future that hasn't happened. And probably won't.

Depression - Anger (without enthusiasm) is a gold mine for drug companies, allowing the anger to go unforgiven.

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11/18/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Unfriending

Do you have some "unfriending" to do?

If you want to be influential and a source of inspiration to others, you can't afford the luxury of a single negative thought. Whether it's the talking heads on television or your chiropractic buddy who habitually commiserates about his latest experience as a victim. It's got to go!

That means jettisoning fear as well. The slightest whiff of it means you've forsaken the present where you are powerful beyond belief in favor of living in the future where you are powerless.

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11/11/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Your Spritual Pulse

Scripture reminds us that the unseen spiritual world is more real than what we detect with the five senses. Yet, this rarely prompts a practitioner who is languishing in "just-getting-by" mode to take his or her spiritual pulse.

However, that's where many of the breakthroughs lie.

If practice isn't turning out like you hoped, you might want to take an inventory of your heart. Not the muscle for circulating blood, but your intent, your purpose and even your motives for wanting more new patients. Is it to solve your problem, or theirs?

Many who are having a tough go don't have their heart invested in service. Instead, a cloud of anger or resentment is hovering nearby. Often, this lack of forgiveness is directed at an ex-spouse, an associate or the indiscretions of a staff member. It's an invisible form of new patient repellent.

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11/04/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Practices

Everything a chiropractor would need to break free and get his or her practice unstuck is readily available.

In fact, when forced, most chiropractors, even those who are struggling, can name a handful of things they could do that would make something happen, change the game and create some movement.

But the problem isn't knowing what to do. It's doing it!

"I could never do that." "That's not me." "That won't work in my town." "I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that." "A doctor shouldn't have to _____." "I tried that already."

Rejection of accepted success practices comes in five flavors:

Pride - I insist on doing it my way.
Fear - What would others think?
Guilt - I should have.
Risk - What if it doesn't work?
Blame - It's not my fault.

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10/28/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Helicopter Chiropractors

Are you a helicopter chiropractor?

Hovering over each patient, paying inappropriately close attention to each patient's health habits will keep your practice small. It's why many struggle in underperforming practices. They invest their life spirit in something they have no control of: what patients do or don't do.

This falls in the "caring too much" column, and with it, the propensity to invite resentment and burnout.

The busiest practitioners have little time to micromanage each patient. Instead, they provide affirmation and inspiration with a healthy dose of detachment.

Examples of affirmation: "It's great to see you! You're in the right place. We've helped a lot of people with problems just like yours. I'm seeing some improvement here."

How they provide inspiration: "What's the next big project you're going to tackle? What's worth celebrating today? Tell me what's great. How can I help you today?"

Care, but don't care too much.

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10/21/13

Monday Morning Motivation | My Town Doesn't Get Me

"People in my town just don't get chiropractic."

Guess that takes you off the hook. Nicely done!

The fact is, the majority of the Western World lives in allopathic land, exposed to the instant gratification of Madison Avenue and the effortless symptom suppression of Big Pharma. Most are so disembodied; their body has to scream to get its owner's attention. If patients speak English, their first inclination is to look for a medical solution.

That's true of patients who consult struggling chiropractic practices and patients who frequent booming chiropractic practices. Same media. Same culture. Same superficial notion of health. Same lack of self-esteem. Same financial pressures. Same time constraints. Same.

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10/14/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Practice Success

Just as health and healing doesn't come from the outside in, so too with practice success. If you're inclined to look outside yourself for some "secret" or shortcut that will open the floodgates of success, you will search and never find.

You already know enough. Yes, continue the pursuit of self-development because your practice grows only as you do. What it takes to be successful is already well known and widely available.

You don't need some new gadget. Master your adjusting technique, deliver it artfully and explain the principles. But you don't need "thingy's," "whatchamacallits" or "doodads" to be successful.

You don't need insurance companies, a highly visible location or eloquent report of findings. These are merely convenient excuses distracting you from facing the real issue.

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10/07/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Are You Waiting?

What are you waiting for?

Waiting for circumstances to perfectly align before taking action is a classic technique of procrastinators. The thinking goes something like this: If I wait until (fill in the blank) then the change I want to make is more likely to be successful.

It's not true. It seems true, but it's not.

Disrupting the status quo produces so many consequences you can't possibly imagine them all. Turns out, simply due to your intention and determination, circumstances are likely to conspire in your favor. Abandon your glass-is-half-empty thinking!

Turns out, you're probably more fearful of your likely success, along with its new obligations and responsibilities. Your desire for perfect alignment is merely an easy-to-justify stalling strategy. (I should know. I'm the poster child of this technique.)

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09/30/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Patient Management

It's called "practice management" but much of it is actually patient management.

Patient management attempts to get patients to do certain things. Considerable energy is invested in an agenda to persuade, scare, motivate or "educate" patients into making certain decisions about their health.

Besides a profound mistrust of patients, attempting to overpower a patient's free will and install the behaviors of those who value their health, is exhausting and largely ineffective.

Instead, managing patient relationships holds far greater promise. That means establishing clear boundaries. That means explaining what you're responsible for and what the patient is responsible for. That means presenting the "rules of engagement" describing missed visits, paying for care and all the rest. That means making sure every patient understands that they're doing the healing and they control the pace of their recovery.

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09/23/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Careful or Careless?

I've suggested the importance of caring, but not caring too much. Striking a healthy balance is the key:

Careful -- When you care too much it's easy to fall prey to an energy-sucking vampire that prompts you to constantly hover, making sure patients don't make the "wrong" decision that would impair their results and your precious reputation.

Care -- This is when you show up in an adult relationship, offer advice, make suggestions and present your recommendations. Your self-esteem isn't invested in what patients do. Instead, your objective is to neutrally present the truth, trusting the patient's free will choice.

Careless -- When you care too little you show up with an unhelpful emotional distance that makes it difficult for patients to connect with you. Interpreted as aloofness, disdain or indifference, patients find your coldness to be off-putting.

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09/16/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Convince or Persuade?

Many overlook the simple distinction between persuading patients and convincing patients. Many reports of findings are designed to convince when all that is necessary is to persuade!

Those inclined to convince patients often use the evidence of their X-rays, sEMG reports or research in the hopes of winning over the skeptic or cynic. If you've tried this left-brain approach you know that you can rarely present enough evidence or evidence that is of high enough quality to satisfy them.

On the other hand, attempts to persuade take on a softer, emotional overtone. Here, you're working with beliefs, feelings and perceptions. Angles, degrees, phases and the millimeters, while helpful, don't connect with the patient's limbic system. Instead, you'll want to share your track record, emphasize your experience and if permitted, testimonials from others with similar conditions.

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09/09/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Believing in Chiropractic

I used to open my speaking gigs by saying, "My name is Bill Esteb and I don't believe in chiropractic." And then after a dramatic pause I'd add, "Because I know in chiropractic."

Some believe that chiropractic requires faith. Not true. (Witness the many infants or animals that have benefited from the application of chiropractic principles.) And while believing that a particular intervention can be helpful can harness the power of the mind-body connection, it's not absolutely essential.

More problematical is that for chiropractic to work, it makes a lot of the medically-influenced patient decisions of the past, wrong. In fact, the fear of being wrong prompts many to go with the herd. (Ask any parent who has felt the guilt of having their child vaccinated.)

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09/02/13

Monday Morning Motivation | TNT

Most practices could use some TNT. As in Today, Not Tomorrow.

Ask chiropractors what they could do, should do or used to do that would most certainly grow their practice and they can list a dozen or more action steps. So, it's not a lack of knowing that constrains struggling practitioners, it's a lack of implementation.

Because it's outside their comfort zone. Or it's too much work. Or it's too emotionally risky (what would others say?). Or it won't produce results quickly enough. Or doing such and such is beneath me. Or "real" doctors don't have to do that, why should I? Or the area I practice in would never get it. Or you name it. There's always a reason why this or that won't work or some action step isn't perfect enough to implement.

What busy practitioners know is that it's action, not intention, that's the key to success.

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08/26/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine by Outperforming

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine others is they: outperform.

Many are deceived, believing that ultra-successful chiropractors possess some secret procedure, script or personal power over patients. They don't. Unless these three characteristics are considered secrets:

Purpose - To be on purpose, you must know your purpose! Outperformers know their purpose (reason for being) and it isn't to adjust patients. They know that adjusting patients is merely a means to a greater end, helping fulfill, advance or achieve their real purpose.

Boundaries - Being fastidious about establishing and honoring the social covenant governing the doctor-patient relationship reduces friction, clarifies responsibilities and serves both parties.

Discipline - By being strict with themselves, even when no one is watching, they earn the respect of others. They walk the talk. They do what they say they're going to do. They don't look for shortcuts—there aren't any.

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08/19/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine By Being Outgoing

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won’t. One way they outshine others is they’re: outgoing.

This is where having an expressive personality may help advance one’s practice. Because chiropractic is a highly personal service, within limits, extroverts seem to have an advantage.

If you tend to “live in your head” and lean toward the analytical side of things, it’s easy for patients to misread your emotional distancing. If patients see it as aloofness, judgment or even contempt, it’s as unhelpful as when they assume it’s a lack of confidence or certainty.

There are pitfalls at the other end of the spectrum too. Too much talking, besides slowing you down, is often seen as a sign of insecurity. The most outgoing frequently have the unhelpful habit of getting their social needs met from patients.

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08/12/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine by Outplaying

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine others is they: outplay.

Taking time off will grow your practice. It's a spiritual law. You can break it for a season, but eventually "all work and no play make Jack a dull boy." Lose your mental sharpness and the quality of your adjustments slip.

Regular time away permits introspection and a way to see the forest, rather than just the trees. With your head down for too long, it's easy to lose context and perspective, succumbing to being little more than a "meat computer" knocking down high spots.

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08/05/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine by Outloving

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine others is they: outlove.

If you're a little crispy around the edges and the behaviors of patients produce a draw on your emotional checking account, chances are you've overlooked the distinction between caring and loving.

As a professional caregiver it's important to care, but not care too much. Care too much and you'll produce an "overdraft," characterized by fatigue, exhaustion and a "is this all there is?" sign of resignation. It's the occupational hazard of all caregivers.

But you can love without such burden. No strings. No expectations. No quid pro quo. No judgment. Just simple acceptance and the willingness to honor the free will choices of each patient without attachment.

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07/29/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine By Outrespecting

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine others is they: outrespect others.

It must be one of the greatest challenges of being a professional caregiver: to avoid caring about a patient's health more than the patient does. Mess this up and you'll find yourself investing your life spirit in something you can't control, in other words, what patients do.

What patients do is based on how they prioritize their health amongst the other demands on their time and money. Everyone prioritizes their health differently. And in my three decades of tracking patients, there doesn't seem to be anything you can say or do to change their prioritization.

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07/22/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine by Outsmarting

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine is they: outsmart the competition.

Many chiropractors have been misled into thinking that their competition is the chiropractor down the street. Or the MD. Or drug manufacturer. Or even the shortsighted mentality of insurance carriers. If you're seduced by these minor players you're likely to overlook a far greater adversary: the health beliefs of the typical patient.

Turns out that if you're interested in creating a long term relationship with individuals and families who value their health enough to willingly pay for it out of their own pocket, you're actually in the belief changing business. Not the spine straightening business. Not the cervical curve restoration business. Not even the pain relief business.

Don't show up at a gunfight with a knife! Know who your actual enemy is or you're likely to use the wrong weapon or tactic.

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07/15/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine by Outinvesting

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine is they: outinvest.

When you think of investing you probably think stocks, bonds and real estate. Regardless of their return, there are far more lucrative investments!

Your mind. The skills you learned in chiropractic college are amongst the most valuable you could acquire. Whatever your outstanding loan amounts are, it's a bargain.

Your team. Those who support your efforts and keep things organized and flowing are more precious than gold. Invest in them and their confidence and certainty will produce a 100-fold return.

Your practice. Reinvesting in your table, equipment and infrastructure are critical. Having the best tools and keeping up to date reveals your optimism for the future.

Your patients. The patients you're currently seeing know enough people who need your help to fill your practice to overflowing! Investments here can produce a profound return.

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07/08/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine by Outleading

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine is they: outlead.

One aspect of leadership is to help others see the promise of a better tomorrow. This means overcoming the appeal of the instant gratification promised by drug makers. It means persuading patients of the wisdom of fixing, rather than patching. It means inspiring others to shun the temptation of the path of least resistance; to look long term not short term.

This is unpopular, but also difficult and challenging. Which is why there are so few leaders. Which is why your willingness to embrace your multitude of opportunities to lead and inspire can be significant and fulfilling.

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07/01/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine By Being Outspoken

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine is they are: outspoken.

If you're constrained by what others think (why did you choose chiropractic?) or you're inclined to fit in or be accepted, speaking your mind appears far too risky. Yet, the confidence displayed by chiropractors who are willing to confront the mass hypnosis of our culture or the blindness of the herd mentality are handsomely rewarded.

It's so counter intuitive. Yet, when you take an unpopular stand based on the truth, you benefit two ways. First, you tend to attract a tribe of like-minded individuals who can resonate with you once they know where you stand. Second, you broadcast a confidence and comfort in your skin that lets others know that you can be trusted.

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06/24/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine by Outplanning

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine is they: outplan.

What's your plan to get new patients in October? Or March next year? Besides the care plan you create for each patient, the second most important plan is your marketing plan.

Without one you're likely to experience the stress of a classic roller coaster practice, promoting your practice only when you need new patients. While this childlike level of faith is admirable, when you're motivated by your needs (more new patients), rather than your desire to serve, your overtures exude a selfish aroma making securing new patients even more difficult!

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06/17/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine By Outfocusing

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine is they: outfocus.

Struggling chiropractors are easily distracted—by the news, the mail, the Internet, worries and countless shiny objects.

Being fully present is essential because patients are distracted too—by something more convenient, by doubts, what others think and the demands on their time, money and attention.

If you have any hope of being influential you must strive to be 100% present when you're with patients. When you surrender to them, making your interactions entirely focused on them, shunning your worries or other personal concerns, you're able to detect the smallest nuances and that "wee tiny voice" that only the best healers can access.

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06/10/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine By Outadjusting

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine is they: outadjust.

These are chiropractors who hold the adjustment in high esteem. Their profound respect for the majesty of the adjustment means they have become masters at delivering their chosen technique. They have turned their adjustment table experience into high art—without succumbing to idolatry or hubris.

How? By having 100% presence, crystal clear intention and clarity about what an adjustment does and doesn't do. In other words, they know that adjustments don't treat headaches or back pain or other symptoms. They know that what the patient's body does with the energy delivered by the adjustment is outside of their control. They know that it is not necessary to adjust every articulation of the body.

They are profoundly respectful of the wisdom of the patient's body and strive to remind its owner of the same.

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06/03/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Outshine By Outlistening

Editor's note: The Monday Morning Motivation theme this summer is the 13 ways the busiest chiropractors outshine their colleagues. Previous summer themes.

Chiropractors who enjoy great success do what other chiropractors won't. One way they outshine is they: outlisten.

One of the biggest myths about effective communicators is that they are especially knowledgeable, eloquent or possess a deep inventory of well-crafted statements. (Or recite a well-practiced script that used to work back in the day.)

It's not true.

Effective communicators are profound listeners. How? By showing up "empty." They trust themselves enough so they don't feel compelled to have their answers ready in advance. They are available to receive; to take in. By showing up in this confident, nonjudgmental way, patients feel safe to share details that other chiropractors miss, gung-ho in getting down to business.

Without effective listening you can rely on your superb diagnostic skills like a veterinarian must. But in the process, you miss the all important emotional channel that modulates trust, respect and eventually follow through and referrals.

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05/27/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Share the Metaphysical

Far too many chiropractors suffer from the illusion that they will be more attractive by smoothing the sharp corners and showing up politically correct and noncontroversial. But it's a lie. If you wish to have disciples, you must accept that you will have detractors. You can't have one without the other.

Many chiropractors avoid planting their flag and taking a stand for fear that someone will be offended. Yet, its being so yielding and chameleon-like that is offensive!

Chiropractors used to be the feral ones. What happened? When did so many switch from offense to defense? The fact is, more and more thought leaders are proclaiming the truths that chiropractors used to place center stage. The Wayne Dyer's, Andrew Weil's, Dr. Oz's and Deepak Chopra's seem quite happy to explore the tenants of vitalism and the metaphysical in front of their considerable audiences. Don't be deceived. Boldly tell the truth.

Chiropractors used to be the feral ones. What happened? When did so many switch from offense to defense? The fact is, more and more thought leaders are proclaiming the truths that chiropractors used to place center stage. The Wayne Dyer's, Andrew Weil's, Dr. Oz's and Deepak Chopra's seem quite happy to explore the tenants of vitalism and the metaphysical in front of their considerable audiences. Don't be deceived. Boldly tell the truth.

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05/20/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Slave or Servant?

Do you see yourself as a slave or a servant?

The difference is profound and your choice makes practice a heavy burden or a glorious opportunity. Which is it?

If you choose to be a slave, then you feel impeded by your obligation to document your care, your imposed duty to get patients feeling better as soon as possible and the responsibility of doing all the heavy lifting.

If you choose to be a servant, you're thrilled by the opportunity to help others, you're humbled by the prospect of advancing the truth about the nature of real health and you're moved by the trust others place in you.

Slave or servant? One makes you bitter, angry and resentful. The other forgiving, loving and compassionate. Remember, it's a choice. You get to choose. And you can change whenever you wish. While you may not know which you've chosen, everyone else does.

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05/13/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Folly of Quick Fixes

"What's something I could do that would give my practice a shot in the arm?"

When I'm asked a question like this I can't help but hear the medical reference to a treatment designed to produce a temporary, short-term improvement to the chiropractor's practice situation. I'm assuming the practitioner has overlooked the implications of the particular turn-of-phrase used to communicate his hoped-for solution and that it's this mindset that's actually creating his problem!

Employing short-term strategies to produce a temporary bump in the numbers is a common tactic. In fact, it's an addiction. No one asks for "...something I can do now that will produce a stabilizing, long-term benefit to my practice that may not pay off for months or years."

Like their typical patient, some chiropractors are looking for a quick fix that ignores the underlying problem. Ultimately, this "diet" mentality is unhelpful for patients and practices. Even governments.

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05/06/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Playing Infinite Games?

Do you tend to play finite games or infinite games?

Finite games have a beginning, middle and end with winners and losers. But the objective of infinite games is to keep the game going.

Keep this in mind as you market your practice, set your fees, make care recommendations and handle missed appointments. When your actions tend to serve your immediate needs, they are often finite games. As in "I-need-some-patients-so-let's-do-some-recalls."

When you merely show up as a servant, unattached to the decisions patients make and use procedures and set policies that are more likely to cultivate a long-term, eternal relationship, you're playing the infinite game. Sure, you'll periodically keep in touch with inactives, but the agenda is to cultivate and maintain a relationship during the dormant stage of their care, not necessarily to produce immediate reactivations.

Finite games are about conversion and closure. Infinite games are about conversation and connection.

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04/29/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Are Adjustments Strong Enough?

Many so-called "compliance" problems are the result of neglecting to explain what chiropractic is and what it isn't at the very beginning of the relationship.

Let's say a patient shows up with chronic headaches. After exhausting medical approaches they end up in your practice. That's great. But they think their problem is their headaches. Worse, they think your interventions will be treating their headaches! (The practice of medicine.) Because you're thankful someone wants your help, you accept him or her as a patient without effectively making this distinction.

Neglecting to explain (and confirming, that they understand), that you don't treat headaches is where many chiropractor/patient relationships derail before your drug-free care has a chance to invoke their healing potential.

It's no wonder patients can become disenchanted when relief isn't instant. They thought you were treating their headaches with your adjustments and apparently your adjustments (or recommended dosage) aren't strong enough!

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04/22/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Lies Patients Believe

Thinking you can convince or "educate" patients into the importance of maintaining their health is a fool's errand.

Whether or not someone attends to their "soul package" and invests in habits that advance their health is not because they don't know what to do! Most are keenly aware their sedentary lifestyles, poor diets, negative thoughts and dysfunctional relationships are not conducive to their well being.

Instead, they are deceived. They act in unhealthy ways because of who they think they are. Because of what they believe about themselves. Because of what they have chosen to prioritize above their health. Because of the lies they choose to believe from the drug-soaked media.

Until you recognize that a patient's physical health is merely the manifestation of their spiritual health, you will be relegated to mere symptom treating. When will you muster the courage to confront political correctness and tell the whole truth?

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04/15/13

Monday Morning Motivaton | Three Ways to Convince

Using rational arguments to persuade irrational patients is... irrational. If millimeters, degrees and phases don't convince patients, what does?

Support - First seek to understand, as in "stand under." Show up curious about why patients believe what they believe. Discover that the barrier is often a lack of critical thinking about how their body works or what their symptoms mean.

Patience - Embracing a new health paradigm takes time. It makes most of the decisions they've made in the past, wrong. While usually incorrect, there is great security in conforming to our culture's herd mentality.

Love - Patients have been granted the free will to abuse themselves, make life-shortening decisions and generally make a mess of the exquisite soul package they occupy. Love them anyway.

When patients make unhealthy choices, it's not a reflection of you, but rather part of a larger spiritual battle to which you are merely a witness.

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04/08/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Lying to Please You

Do you invite patients to lie on their first visit?

The culprit could be one of the questions on your intake form. Does it ask what type of care they want such as relief care (stupid) or wellness care (smart)?

Since most patients know that "once you go you have to go for the rest of your life," they're familiar with the "right" answer, ticking the box in front of wellness or maintenance care. Yet, they discontinue their care the moment their symptoms subside without even so much as a thank you or a goodbye, shunning you in the grocery store and going down the street later when they have their eventual relapse.

If you're asking this unhelpful question up front, you might consider removing it. Their answer is unlikely to change your clinical approach, can't be trusted and often shames patients from returning after their short-lived "diet" of care.

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04/01/13

Monday Morning Motivation | Have You Already Died?

If you're afraid of dying, you already have.

You're officially invited to stop going through the motions and begin living. Fully. This week banish the "I-have-tos" in your life. This week take some bigger risks. This week ignore the "I-shoulds."

Remember when you said to yourself, "Some day I'll..."? Well, today is that some day!

Make some audacious plans. Do that thing you've been putting off. Take one step closer towards your dream. Even a tiny step will do. But act!

This life of ours will come to an end. And we don't know when. So grab your bucket list and get cracking! No bucket list? Horrors! Then start there. Make a list of the places you want to see, the things you want to do and the experiences you want to have. Think BIG!

You may be breathing, but if life has made you timid it's hardly a life!

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03/25/13

Monday Morning Motivation

In the same way patients think their problem is the physical pain they're feeling, chiropractors with under performing practices think their problem is the financial pain they're feeling.

Not being able to pay your bills or having to dip into savings are symptoms. Symptom treating, of any type, often ignores the underlying cause(s). In the financial realm there are several common culprits.

Making practice about you - an unhealthy need to be right, be in control or harboring a mistrust or resentment of patients.

Poor or insufficient service - delivering the barest minimum, never exceeding expectations or developing a personal connection.

Breaking spiritual laws - not reporting cash payments, inflating your coding or attempting to overpower a patient's free will for your own gain.

The income you seek is an effect, outcome, result or even a symptom of the service you provide. Careful that you don't confuse cause with effect.

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03/18/13

Monday Morning Motivation

One of the common denominators amongst under performing practices is a chiropractor who blurs the boundary between being a licensed health care professional and being a pal, buddy or friend.

When the relationship goes chummy, your influence diminishes. Which is ironic because often the motive for crossing the line into friendship is an attempt to show up softer and be more likable, imagining that this will make your recommendations more compelling and persuasive.

It doesn't.

A healthier strategy is to get your social needs met outside your practice. You may need a new hobby or join a service organization; the list is endless. When you do, you'll no longer need to squander your modest social authority by confusing being friendly with being friends. Not only will you more likely run on time, you'll have a more commanding presence and avoid the inevitable emotional deflation when patients subsequently discontinue their care.

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03/11/13

Monday Morning Motivation

Why would patients demonstrate perfect follow through and then abruptly discontinue their care without a goodbye or thank you?

When patient relationships end without closure, it can suppress referrals. And should they have a relapse, they'll often go down the street to a colleague rather than face the imagined "I-told-you-so." This creates a constant appetite for still more new patients.

Why would a patient be unwilling to announce their last visit? A couple of reasons:

1. The patient is afraid they're letting you down and that you'll see it as a personal rejection.

2. The patient is afraid you'll attempt to talk them out of it, but their decision is final and nonnegotiable.

Explain how to disengage from the practice at the initial consultation or report of findings. Make sure every patient knows that you're not emotionally invested in the choices they make and are merely here to serve. Problem averted!

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03/04/13

Monday Morning Motivation

Is health and healing a physical thing or a spiritual thing?

It's both. Yet far too many chiropractors focus entirely on the physical dimension. Many believe that the emotional and spiritual realms are not only messy, but time consuming.

Sadly, this reduces chiropractic to mere biomechanics, angles and degrees. However, go back a hundred years and D.D. asserted that the purpose of chiropractic was "...to connect man the physical with man the spiritual."

Don't fall for the belief that you can't (or shouldn't) explore spiritual issues with willing patients. Spirit (of God) is not the same as religion (of man). The overwhelming majority of patients "get" the spiritual dimensions of health. Not only does ignoring this issue embolden the enemy, it overlooks one of the more helpful aspects of health and healing.

Remember, everything manifests spiritually before manifesting physically. That's true of health, your soul mate and even new patients.

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02/25/13

Monday Morning Motivation

Constructive criticism is just criticism unless it's been requested.

As patients parade by, commiserating about their particular plight, it's tempting to offer up a suggestion or two. Since you don't live in the "box" they've created for themselves, it's often quite easy to see solutions and opportunities that they can't.

Careful! Your unsolicited help is likely to be perceived as having a judgmental tone.

Instead, ask questions! "How long has..." "When was the last time you tried..." "Why do you suppose..." "How did it all start?" "What do you suppose it will take to..."

Believe it or not, your outside-in advice is rarely appreciated. Like medications and other outside-in phenomena, not only are your overtures rarely embraced, you're merely offering cheap symptom treating.

If you want to help, help them become present to what they believe or the personal vows they've made. That's the access to true, lasting, self-directed change.

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02/18/13

Monday Morning Motivation

What makes your practice different?

Profits languish and word of mouth stutters when a product or service becomes a commodity. Like corn, copper and increasingly air travel. Many practices fall into this trap, becoming little more than generic chiropractors. As in "whatever-you've-heard-of-or-thought-about-chiropractors-that's-me."

Frankly, that's how insurance companies see chiropractors. As in, an adjustment-is-an-adjustment-is-an adjustment. Very unhelpful. Especially if you have any hope of rising above the lowest price provider.

You must find something to differentiate yourself from the crowd. It could be your experience, a special technique, training, your way with newborns; even your ability to profoundly listen. This is important! It's worth taking the time to figure it out. It's why patients will track you down and drive past other chiropractors. It's what delighted patients need to confidently tell others. It's what you need so you will know your "Unique Selling Proposition." Being different starts with thinking different.

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02/11/13

Monday Morning Motivation

Action trumps intent.

While intention differentiates a chiropractic adjustment from a spinal manipulation, intention will only get you so far.

These days, ideas are a dime a dozen. It's acting on them and turning them into reality that wins the prize. The execution of a plan, not the plan, holds the real value. Banish the "Some day I'm going to _______." Because if you're not prepared to follow through with immediate action, no need to even reveal your intent. In fact, you're better off not saying a word, unless you're merely looking for naysayers to talk you out of it or praise for your daring idea.

The real genius is taking action and finishing. Anything else is just boasting. Thankfully, progress doesn't require brains or brawn or breeding. It requires something far more scarce: putting consistent action behind clear intention, taking setbacks in stride and pushing to the finish line.

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02/04/13

Monday Morning Motivation

When challenges arise do you look outside or inside?

When a member of your support team lets you down or drops the ball, do you look outside yourself blaming them, rather than examining yourself or your lack of proper training, directions or failure to clearly articulate your expectations?

When the practice experiences a downturn, do you look outside yourself to blame the economy, the insurance companies or the weather, rather than reflect on your lack of marketing overtures, unpreparedness or negative attitude?

Absolving ourselves from responsibility in circumstances such as these and others makes us a victim and obscures effective problem-solving. Blaming others is what we do when we've been deceived into believing that we are powerless and have no say in our lives. Finding a scapegoat instead of a solution is what we do when we think we are entitled or have become too brittle or dogmatic to adapt.

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01/28/13

Monday Morning Motivation

Have you made practice about you? As in "my" patients or "my" girls?

They aren't yours.

These are merely people you've attracted into your life by who you have been, what you believe and what you have stood for. The need to possess and identify them as "yours," while revealing, just isn't true.

Ironically, the converse is true. If your practice isn't what it should be or could be, it's yours. You did it. You created it. By what you believe. By what you say. By what you do.

Paradox, I know.

Consider the wisdom of President Ronald Reagan who observed, "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."

The need to take credit is the issue here. Take it if you wish. Just remember, it's not about you. Unless you make it about you.

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01/21/13

Monday Morning Motivation

Turns out you pretty much get the patients you deserve.

That's because patients seek out practitioners with a similar worldview. Naturally, if you don't reveal your worldview it makes it more difficult.

Worldview? Sure. As in are you risk adverse? Then you attract those who are happy to endure a battery of tests and be referred out. Conversely, are you more of an adventurist? Then you're more likely to attract and resonate with those prepared to try something new, even experimental. Are you evidenced-based? Your patients will be similarly aligned. Are you more philosophical? Then your patients will sing that song. Biomechanical? Ditto.

The point? Courageously proclaim your beliefs and take a stand. Not only will it help you attract your tribe, your beliefs (and theirs) will be affirmed by finding someone like-minded.

The lie is in thinking that you can be everything to everyone. It's not true. Take a stand!

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01/14/13

Monday Morning Motivation

Whenever we value someone or something more than we value ourselves, we assume a subordinate position and put ourselves at a disadvantage.

When you need the patient more than the patient needs you, you automatically put yourself in the backseat. The patient assumes control, steering, braking and choosing the direction for the relationship. Instead of patient leadership, this puts you in a compromising "followship" position.

If this has an uncomfortable ring, your mission is to lower your overhead (personal and professional), so you no longer "need" patients as much and can better call the shots. So you can afford to say no. So you can take the lead. So you're not so dependent upon the patient's choices. So you can show up with the confidence and certainty that inspires hope.

It's paradoxical but it explains why so many practitioners who don't "need" new patients often get so many of them.

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01/07/13

Monday Morning Motivation

What's on your list?

My town is too medical. The insurance companies won't pay me. My front desk staff doesn't support me. I don't have a good location. I'm not comfortable doing that. I'm too tired. My patients don't value their health. There's too much competition. My wrists are killing me. The weather's been crazy. It's too expensive. Too risky. It won't work. I've tried that.

You could just as well have a different list:

I never thought of that. That sounds interesting. That's worth trying. I need to rethink that. What new challenge can I take on today? I'm going to reinvent my process. What outcome do I want? Who is already doing what I want to do? What else haven't I considered? How else could I do that? What assumptions do I need to abandon? How can I ask better questions?

Which list do you consult more regularly?

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12/31/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Another end. Another beginning. Will next year be different?

You're unlikely to change the world. There are far too many levers and knobs. However, when you change yourself, you'll notice the world immediately changes. It's a fascinating paradox.

How do you change yourself? It's not like many of the self-help books say. The self-effort component (create a new habit in just 21 days!) fails more often than it works. Affirmations? Self-delusion.

No, if you want to make significant, long-lasting change you'll want to move far beyond the physical, intellectual and emotional into the spiritual realm. (Not religious - spiritual.) Because EVERYTHING shows up spiritually before manifesting physically. Whether it's a new patient, your life partner or the common cold.

The blockage to change isn't your location, the economy or time of year. It's the spiritual dimension. Your heart. Your intent. Your purpose. It's always the who, not the do.


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12/24/12

Monday Morning Motivation

What do you want? How would you like things to be? Simple questions, but the answers often elude many of us because we don't ask them.

We're quick to identify what we don't want! The list can be quickly produced. But ask just about anyone what they do want, and they're lost. This is significant for two reasons:

1. The opposite of what you don't want isn't necessarily what you do want.

2. Your brain and Providence can't conspire to manifest what you don't want.

This is like imagining that being against drugs (Just Say No), terrorism (War on Terror) or being anti- anything has any hope of success. You can't win by being against something. In fact, all you do is give it more substance!

This week resolve to list at least one thing you wish to manifest in each area: physical, financial, family, social, career, mental and spiritual.

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12/17/12

Monday Morning Motivation

It's tempting to focus attention on patients who miss or who don't take their care seriously. More promising is to celebrate the kinds of behaviors you'd like to see. With permission from participating patients and where legal...

Wall of Fame Bulletin Board - Post pictures of children and families on your bulletin board. Send a signal to the rest of your practice that this is commonplace and a highly-regarded behavior.

Visit Milestones - Similarly, post pictures of patients who celebrate their 100, 200 or 1000th adjustment in your practice. Send the message that you have practice members who have adopted chiropractic as a lifestyle.

Collect Testimonials - Gather patient testimonials. (Video testimonials for your website are ideal.) Acknowledge current patients, inspire new ones and create an opportunity for a delighted patient to "rehearse" their ability to tell others.

In other words, reinforce the behaviors you want to see more of.

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12/10/12

Monday Morning Motivation

You can't have both: either fit in or stand out.

If you choose to fit in, you'll be inclined to second-guess your intuition, hold a wet finger to the wind to determine its direction and constantly look over your shoulder. Others will define you and your practice. You'll receive acceptance as you toe the line of political correctness. Your fleeting joy will come from the approval of others.

If you choose to stand out, you'll find yourself in the rarefied air of the unknown. Without a well-worn path and herd to guide you, you'll encounter dead ends, setbacks and experience profound learning's. Expect judgment, raised eyebrows and disapproval from those threatened by your vision and courage. Your reward will be making the world a better place.

The former seems safe, but leads to mediocrity. The latter seems risky, but is the only place you'll find freedom and genius.

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12/03/12

Monday Morning Motivation

We learn something new by relating it to something we already know. Subtraction is learned after addition. Division after multiplication. And because of most people's experience, chiropractic after medicine.

The key is to explain chiropractic and how it is different from medicine without losing your credibility by being anti-medicine. Both disciplines have their purpose. One is not superior to the other. Some distinctions you might make to help patients understand include:

Medicine is interested in the problem with the person. Chiropractic is interested in the person with the problem. Medicine focuses on the circulatory system. Chiropractic focuses on the nervous system. Medicine kills germs. Chiropractic strengthens immunity. Medicine attempts to suppress symptoms. Chiropractic attempts to enhance adaptability. Medicine makes the doctor or drugs the hero. Chiropractic makes the individual's capacity to self heal the hero.

Be proud of the differences. It's why patients seek out and appreciate chiropractic care. Afterwards.

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11/26/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Do patients say goodbye?

Saying goodbye is a social signal sent when one party leaves another. You do it all the time with friends and relatives. But if patients don't say goodbye on their last visit it could mean several things:

1) They're afraid you'll collapse into a weepy puddle.

2) They're fearful you'll try to talk them out of their nonnegotiable decision.

You create these imagined patient reactions by how you reveal your attachment to what they do. Maybe you seem more interested in their health than they are. Maybe you make them ashamed because they lack the discipline or interest in prioritizing their health as you do.

By making a patient feel small or having such a pedestrian goal as merely feeling better, you make it emotionally unsafe for them to announce their last visit. The result? It obstructs reactivations by imagining your "I-told-you-so" scolding should they return.

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11/19/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Used to be chiropractors were known for being the wild ones. Not so today. Far too many chiropractors toe the line and seem constrained by what others think. They go beige. Politically correct. Neutral. Head down.

There is a huge market waiting for those who have the courage to take a stand. It's waiting for you to kick up some sand. Confront the business-as-usual mindset. Tell the truth.

If you recognize that you've become domesticated, coloring inside the lines, consider this an invitation to turn some heads, raise some eyebrows and make some waves. How else will your community learn the truth about the true nature of health and healing?

Stop playing small. The only way to be attractive is to polarize, risking the possibility of repelling. Virtually leader has disciples and detractors. The only way you can attract your tribe is to have the courage to plant your flag.

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11/12/12

Monday Morning Motivation

You will discipline yourself or someone or something else, will.

Because we live in a world in which every effect has a cause, you can rest assured that we will be accountable for everything we do or leave undone. Maybe not immediately, but eventually.

Charging insurance companies for care you didn't deliver.
Arriving late and being unprepared for the first patient of the day.
Cash payments that go unreported, becoming spending money.
Making recommendations based on a patient's insurance coverage.
Manipulating patients, justifying it as being in their best interests.

You have countless opportunities to cut corners or otherwise abuse your power and authority. When the suffering comes months or years later it's easy to forget that a cosmic debt is merely being repaid.

Be fastidiously honest, even to a fault. Be impeccable with your word. Keep your promises. Especially when you think no one is watching. Because you are!

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11/05/12

Monday Morning Motivation

The patients easiest to get, are often the ones that are easiest to lose.

Lob some money at an advertisement or induce patients with a coupon and you'll like snag some warm bodies with spinal problems who need your help. When they get the superficial relief they want, they leave and must be replaced.

Turns out, the easier it is to get someone's attention, the less their attention is worth. Take the easy path of lowering your fees or screaming symptoms and your practice will never have lasting sustainability.

Instead, consider the referral patients you're earned through delivering compassionate care. Or patients you helped your first year in practice when you were on fire and so appreciative. Or the patients who showed up after a screening or resonated with your luncheon talk.

Do what others won't and you'll get a higher quality patient. It's how great practices get that way.

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10/29/12

Monday Morning Motivation

For every weakness, we have a strength. For every shortcoming we have a strong suit. For every zig we have a zag.

Whether a zig or a zag, a subluxation is just the body’s gorgeous, creative attempt to accommodate its environment. Making subluxations bad, or considering them the enemy, is egotistical madness. You might as well be against the darkness of night or the chill of winter.

Instead of subluxation, would you prefer a narrower range of adaptability? A life devoid of any type of stress? Immediate death?

Help patients understand that subluxations are a stress response and survival mechanism. While a brilliant short-term strategy, if not resolved, long-standing subluxations can often lead to other problems. Just as ignoring squeaky brakes can lead to a far more expensive repair bill later.

Recognize that many patients must endure expensive repairs before seeing the wisdom of prevention. Be patient with patients.

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10/22/12

Monday Morning Motivation

What was your most recent error, mistake, screw-up or blunder?

Can’t remember? Then there’s a good chance you aren’t taking enough risks these days. Ironically, playing it safe may be the more dangerous path. Playing defense, trying to run out the clock, waiting for greater clarity, is a strategy for mediocrity.

Instead, decide on a course of action. Decide, coming from the root word meaning to “cut off from.” And then act boldly. Confidently. Whether it be a remodel, fee change, procedure modification or asking someone on your team to contribute elsewhere. The key thing is to be in action.

Make a decision and then make it the right one by urging it along. Abandon your inclination to have a Plan B. Cut off your escape route. Become fully invested and watch your team rally ‘round and support you.

It’s called leadership. Leader. Ship. Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

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10/15/12

Monday Morning Motivation

There's no place to get to. You're already there!

You've probably heard, "It's the journey, not the destination." Do you believe it? Then why all the fuss? A few reminders:

Slow down. Drive the speed limit. Start sooner. In fact, get there early and practice some of the tips below.

Breathe. Shallow breathing won't do. Expand your lungs to their fullest. Try it now. Feel the tingling? That's called being fully alive.

Chew more slowly. Learn more about the slow food movement. Discover what food really tastes like. You should, because after all, you're asking it to become part of you!

Notice. Don't just see, but observe. Don't just hear, but listen. Only when you slow down can you pick up the subtle nuances of shadows and sounds.

Become present. Living in the future is a dangerous choice. It accelerates aging and you miss the gift we call the present.

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10/08/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you the most expensive chiropractor, least expensive or have you chosen the riskier option of being priced just about like everyone else in town?

Risky? Absolutely! Imagining that the care you deliver is an interchangeable and standardized commodity and should be priced like everyone else is one way to fade into obscurity.

At least the cheapest chiropractor (not recommended) can appeal to the cost conscious and the illusion that they’ve eliminated the financial barrier. But the insecure bunch in the middle can only claim parity with others equally unsure.

At least the most expensive chiropractor can appeal to those who expect the best and for whom money is not the issue. However, to charge a premium you must have high levels of certainty and extraordinary tableside manners.

Remember, health is something that most will spend only the barest minimum to keep, but will spend their last dime to recover.

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10/01/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Are your reports merely analytical affairs with angles, degrees, phases and the like? While these are important, you could use the occasion of the report of findings to gently lead patients to some new meanings. There are at least two subjects that most patients could use some clarification:

Pain. While unpleasant, most patients think their problem is their pain. (“Can you make the pain go away?”) But pain is rarely a problem. Sadly, most patients are so disconnected their bodies have to practically shout to get their owner’s attention to make a change.

Germs. Most patients are germaphobic. (“Is that clean headrest paper?”) Help patients “get” that germs no more cause disease than baseball bats cause home runs. If they did, like pollen, cat dander and spicy foods, EVERYONE would be allergic.

Remind patients that chiropractic care focuses on the person with the problem, not the problem in the person.

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09/24/12

Monday Morning Motivation

The busiest, most successful chiropractors are willing do what others won't.

They get to the practice long before the first patient. They hold regular team meetings (even when they think there isn't anything to talk about). They keep impeccable notes. They follow time-test procedures. They have greater presence when they are with patients. They are better listeners. They market their practice even when they don't need patients. They call every patient after the first adjustment. They rigorously conduct progress examinations. They send birthday cards and thank you notes. They are interested in patients as people, not just spines. They have crystal clear boundaries, which they fastidiously honor. They care, but they don't care too much. They walk the talk, getting regularly adjusted themselves.

You've heard these observations before. Yet, some are still looking for a shortcut or "secret" to success. So here it is: there is no secret. See above.

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09/17/12

Monday Morning Motivation

How much risk can you tolerate?

Whether it's financial, emotional or intellectual risk, when you take on opportunities that scare you, you create something valuable. Because it's scarce.

If trusting symptoms is a poor judge of one's health, then so too is trusting the symptom of fear that emerges when contemplating doing something difficult, different or courageous.

How about public speaking? It's one of the most powerful skills you could deploy to grow your practice. Most chiropractors can list many other things they could do that would grow their practice. But they aren't doing them. Too much social, emotional or psychological risk.

This week, take on something risky; perhaps a difficult conversation you've put off, a move toward a cash practice, learning a computer program, scheduling a patient lecture or something else that is emotionally unsettling. Your practice will grow only as you do. It doesn't happen any other way.

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09/10/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Inactive patients still think of you as their chiropractor.

Instead of cultivating them during the dormant phase of their care, far too many chiropractors seek entirely new spines to conquer. This is shortsighted, indulgent and overlooks three simple truths:

1. People prefer to do business with people they know.

2. Patients who discontinue care as soon as they feel better invite a relapse.

3. Repeat business is the basis for all successful service businesses.

The time to attend to these patients is NOT when your numbers are down. (They can tell your motive for your "out-of-the-blue" interest serves you, not them.) Instead, create an annual plan and systematically send a series of emails, postcards, newsletters and birthday cards to patients you'd like to see return.

For a couple of dollars a year you can create high levels of top-of-mind awareness and develop your "tribe," resulting in long-term reactivations and referrals.

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09/03/12

Monday Morning Motivation

What we give energy to grows.

We sometimes forget this when our business is down and we focus on the lack we seem to be experiencing. Becoming obsessed with the gaping holes in the appointment book. Being extraordinarily sensitive to patients who miss. Burdened by our bills.

Instead of giving thought and energy to what we need (such as more new patients, increased collections, etc.), which are all symptoms, focus on the underlying cause which produce the effects you want: service.

Brainstorm ways you can be of greater service to those who show up. Conceptualize ways you can serve others you haven't even met. Identify those already providing a wanted service and find ways to contribute.

Serve. It may or may not be through your adjustments. It may not be in your practice. It may not be from your formal training. But unabashedly serve. As you do, new opportunities arise.

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08/27/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it's simple.

By the second quarter in chiropractic college, many chiropractors have lost the simple elegance and minimalism of chiropractic. Obfuscated by technique, practice procedures, physiology and beneath layers of dogma and seminar rhetoric, many chiropractors emerge later as spinal therapists, medical doctor wannabes, patient pleasers or just confused.

The principles of chiropractic often take a backseat to the practice of chiropractic and the "how" of practice often eclipses the "why." In the process, patients rarely learn that their nervous system controls the whole show and reviving their ability to self heal, mediated by the nervous system is the focus of chiropractic care—not pain relief, posture restoration or even treating subluxations.

Obviously, this creates a major communication challenge. This week, resolve to tell the truth. And do it simply. Because as Einstein observed, "If you can't explain something simply, you don't understand it well enough."

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08/20/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it works when traditional methods fail.

Many forget or take for granted the highly-targeted and personalized nature of chiropractic care. That's because, rather than focusing on the condition in the person, chiropractic targets the person with the condition. It's a revolutionary point of view with far-reaching implications that have permitted millions to regain their health after exhausting the limitations of conventional symptom treating.

Sadly, many chiropractic patients are never acquainted with this profound yet simple truth. Instead, they think their chiropractor is treating their headaches, with adjustments metered out like the dosage of more familiar drug therapy.

Overlook this and while you may bask in glory when their symptoms resolve, you are rightfully blamed when they don't.

Remember, chiropractic ONLY works when patients have the desire, resources and capacity to self heal, independent of your technique, procedure or philosophy. It has never happened any other way.

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08/13/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it's stood the test of time.

Many forget that "modern" medicine is relatively new. Many of its most popular (and profitable) drugs and procedures are often the subject of recalls, unintended adverse reactions or rushed to market with success rates that barely exceed that of cheaper, side-effect-free placebos.

This is in sharp contrast with the scrutiny, longevity and proven history of the discipline of chiropractic.

For over a century, chiropractic care has been pressed into service to revive the self-healing capacity of those who have exhibited virtually every named and unnamed disease or health condition. And while chiropractic care is NOT a treatment of any ailment or illness, it has never been the subject of a recall or even warning label.

While the limitation of matter or other constraint may prevent the wished-for outcome, reviving one's ability to self heal will never go out of style.

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08/06/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it’s affordable and cost effective.

Go back 50 years or more and many people saw their chiropractor as their “primary care” doctor. Entire families would regularly crowd into adjusting rooms to have their nervous systems checked so they could stay well rather than get well.

These days, our burdensome, so-called “health care system” is based on treating symptoms after they emerge. Which is always more expensive and less effective than preventive measures, whether one is maintaining their car, their weight or their relationships.

Actually, many people get this already. It’s a mindset that is revealed by many types of behaviors. They’re likely to be teeth flossers, joggers, organic food purchasers, supplement takers, savings account contributors, recyclers, composters, midwife users and the like. They are driving past your practice every day. But they probably think you’re merely a back doctor who treats symptoms after they emerge. Oops!

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07/30/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it's based on proven scientific truths.

Not that science is the end all be all! However, there is one undisputed aspect of chiropractic often overlooked by chiropractors, yet new to most patients: that the nervous system is the master system that controls and regulates virtually every cell, tissue, organ and system of the body.

I know. Old news to you, but potentially earthshaking to patients who are far more likely to believe genetics exert greater influence over their well being than the integrity of their nervous system.

Explain efferent and afferent nerve communications. Explain how a stomach problem could actually be a nerve communications problem. Explain how the sensory nerves make up such a small part of their nervous system. Use a technology such as surface EMG to measure and report the integrity of their nervous system.

Make chiropractic about nerves not bones; function not feeling.

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07/23/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it’s delivered by licensed professionals.

Revere him or revile him, chiropractic licensure was one of the most significant achievements of B. J. Palmer. Not only did this protect chiropractors from being arrested for practicing medicine without a license, it codified chiropractic as a separate, distinct and nonduplicative healing art.

Governmental regulations brought legitimacy to chiropractic that decades of results were unable to produce. That patients are seemingly more concerned about their insurance coverage than whether your CE hours are up to date is further proof that the transition from ridicule and violent opposition to being self-evident has occurred.

Never forget that practicing chiropractic is a privilege that can be modified, constrained and even eliminated. Which is one reason why if you aren’t a member of your state association you should be and if you haven’t donated to its political action committee you should do so.

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07/16/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it can help anyone regards of age.

Look up the word help and you’re likely to see terms such as assist, comfort and support. Chiropractic care helps people who have assumed a defensive posture we call subluxation in an attempt to accommodate physical, emotional or chemical stress. That’s no guarantee of cure since countless other factors can impair the healing response. However, all things being equal, if the stressor is no longer present, people tend to function better without subluxations than with subluxations.

Naturally, anyone who expects to benefit from chiropractic care must meet one important condition: they must be alive. Granted, this is the same criteria that medical interventions require, however the important distinction afforded chiropractic is that it focuses on the person with the condition, not the condition in the person.

Which allows chiropractic care to be dynamically tailored and appropriate regardless of age.

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07/09/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because its side effects are largely positive effects.

Virtually every intervention can have an "unintended consequence" or "adverse reaction."

Even chiropractic.

Fortunately, these are overwhelming positive, even if unintended. Such as the patient whose allergies improve after receiving chiropractic care for headaches. Or the patient whose indigestion disappears after receiving chiropractic care for back pain. Or the expectant mother whose restored fertility seems to have coincided with her chiropractic care for low back pain. You know the list.

The danger when seeing these frequent associations is to make the leap that chiropractic treats allergies, indigestion and fertility. Of course chiropractic doesn't treat anything. However with a revived nervous system, just about anything is possible. Even the relief of headaches and back pain.

Oh, and the stroke thing? When such a reaction occurs with a winning-the-lottery infrequency, it's hardly a side effect. It's more like a rare effect.

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07/02/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it trusts the wisdom of the body.

Many chiropractors overlook this when explaining chiropractic to patients. Perhaps this is because the allure of showing up as the hero, mimicking the attitude of traditional doctors, is more gratifying than telling the truth about the nature of healing. In other words, doctors, of any ilk, don't heal. Nor do drugs. Or adjustments!

Recovering one's health is a shedding process not an acquiring process. Which is to say, we each have within us the ability to heal. Usually, health can manifest by reducing obstructions or interferences rather than filling a void because something is missing.

We're not flawed, we're merely blocked. We're not deficient, we're merely constrained from our fullest expression. We're not suffering a drug shortage, we're merely exceeding our ability to accommodate one or more stressors. Patients are fully equipped for health. It's not you, it's them.

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06/25/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it's safe.

What makes this so ironic, is that many chiropractors are more sensitive to this than patients or perspective patients.

Sure, the bogus stroke thing is paraded out from time to time by chiropractic detractors, but they overlook the fact that people make decisions based upon how they feel (emotions) rather than what they know (intellect). In other words, most people don't consult actuarial tables before choosing a treatment option.

Credibility, trustworthiness and cultural authority are far more influential than some statistical analysis or comparison with adverse reactions to drugs or iatrogenic statistics from medical interventions. This is why patient testimonials can be so powerful, and financial inducements ("Save $100 off our regular exam fee.") and other questionable marketing practices are so damaging.

The real safety patients and prospective patients want is "social" safety. Proof that choosing a non-mainstream solution won't make them look foolish.

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06/18/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it's completely natural.

Perhaps it's due to the Baby Boom Generation who avoided polyester in favor of natural fabrics. It seems there's a growing interest in things natural.

Consider the growing interest in organic produce, antibiotic-free poultry, growth hormone-free milk and a myriad of other all-natural products. Those who tend to be more highly educated and attempt to live consciously are inclined to avoid processed foods and artificial just about anything.

Chiropractic resonates with this new focus on natural. However, based on the observations of futurist John Naisbitt, the natural, low-tech and high-touch aspects of chiropractic must be offset by some form of technology. That might be X-ray analysis, surface EMG or some other high-tech tool.

When given the choice, most people would prefer natural over artificial, authentic over phony and the truth over a lie. That's why chiropractic just needs to be told, not sold.

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06/11/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it doesn't require a prescription.

You might want to ask patients why they think some drugs require a prescription and others don't. It's probably something they've never given much thought about.

"Because some drugs are dangerous?" they might eventually volunteer.

"That's correct. Chiropractic is so safe, it doesn't require a prescription or a warning label."

Most patients are familiar with the "Rx" symbol for a prescription. The letter "R" is from the Latin meaning 'recipe' and the "x" on the tail is said to be from the astrological sign for Jupiter. Preceding a formula with the sign of Jupiter was thought to assure a favorable result. Moreover, according to astrologers, the period during the ascendancy of the planet Jupiter was thought to be a good time to gather herbs and concoct medicines. Huh?

Kind of takes some of the patina off the so-called "science" of pharmacology!

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06/04/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic is attractive because it’s different from medicine.

As much as we wish it weren’t so, chiropractic is often a last resort for many patients who investigate chiropractic only after exploring medical solutions. Often, patients must first become disenchanted with the side effects of their medications, become alarmed that increasingly larger doses are required or find some other defect before being available for chiropractic care or some other non-medical solution.

Them’s the facts.

That’s why you’d want to create a distinctly different patient experience than the medical model they’ve already tried and abandoned. In other words, patients don’t want same, they want different. That’s good news. It means you have incredible latitude to show up truly different. You can show up as the facilitator, guide, coach, partner and cheerleader that patients rarely see in their medical experiences. You could even lose the white lab coat if you wanted to. Gasp!

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05/28/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Here are some recent epiphanies that may not justify an entire message. Hopefully they will be helpful reminders:

You always get what you pay for. Only rarely is there such a thing as a true bargain. Conversely, those who overcharge rarely go the distance.

There is no shortcut to success. Those who try are brought down by not having the experience that only comes from failures and setbacks along the way.

The invisible world of the spirit is larger and far more real than what we experience with our five senses.

Seeing is not believing. Only when you believe will you see.

Don't attach so much to "no." No can mean a lot of things, such as "not right now," or "I can't afford it," or "maybe later."

Be fastidious about telling the truth. Especially when it's disadvantageous. It's a key ingredient of trust and your most valuable asset: your reputation.

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05/21/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Confusion or uncertainties often prompt us to freeze, copying what others are doing or waiting for a new pattern to emerge before taking action. Smart strategy? Probably not.

Instead, it’s time to return to the immutable principles that have stood the test of time:

The body is a self-healing organism.
The nervous system controls everything.
Physical, chemical and emotional stress can overload the nervous system.
Nervous system interference can produce dis-ease.
Reducing nerve compromise revives the healing response.

Knowing this confidence-generating truth gives you a powerful advantage. It can overcome the doubts of patients, the vagaries of reimbursement and the seduction of the body-fooling effects of drug therapy. The truth may go out of fashion for a season, but it always comes back into style. Always.

This is not the time to fall prey to the media’s deceptive trance and herd mentality. Rise above it. Be in, but not of.

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05/14/12

Monday Morning Motivation

What has been the defining moment in your life?

When you think back over the years of childhood, adolescence, college, courtship, marriage, family and practice, what event or circumstance prompted you to draw a line in the sand and make a personal vow? Do you know what it was?

This is helpful to know about oneself. It explains many things about our life's trajectory. Our preferences, avoidance's and gifts.

I often hear chiropractors say, "I didn't choose chiropractic. Chiropractic chose me."

Really? How exactly?

Instead, my guess is that delivering chiropractic care and helping relieve the suffering of others somehow advances, fulfills or redeems something deep in your soul. It would be healthy to know what that is. Spend some time this week mining your memories and exploring the motives of your career choice. Why not medicine? Or dentistry? Or physical therapy? Knowing this about ourselves is important. Perhaps essential.

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05/07/12

Monday Morning Motivation

I found myself sitting beside to two software programmers on a recent flight. After small talk about the projects they were working on and the computer language they coded in, the subject turned to something anyone could understand: complaining about their clients.

Their conclusion? The people they work for are stupid, change their mind too frequently, don't "get" the nuances of software development and fail to appreciate the elegance of the code they write.

Do you or members of your team have the habit of maligning the people who show up in your practice for help?

Talking about others in unkind ways when they are not present is a form of gossip. This is a character flaw of small people with small practices and small influence. Even the slightest contempt for the people who write your paycheck is a reason why you are not entrusted with more people to help.

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04/30/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Some chiropractors torment themselves because they link their self-worth to what patients do. Remember...

You control which patient’s you’ll accept for care. But they control the priority they place on their health.

You control the content and length of your report. But patients control their interest and agreement.

You control the recommendations you’ll make. But patients control whether they’ll follow them or not.

You control what home care procedures you’ll suggest. But patients control whether they’ll implement them or not.

You control how, when and where to adjust. But what the patient’s body does with it is outside your control.

You control your fees. But patients control whether they value your services enough to justify the time and expense.

You control your intentions and expectations. But patients control whether to believe you, trust you or follow you.

Thinking you control what you don’t can lead to anger and eventually, burnout.

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04/23/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Everyone prioritizes his or her health differently.

Many chiropractors attempt to change the value a patient places on his or her health. They imagine that they can reason the patient into prioritization. Or educate a patient into prioritization. Or nag them. Or scare them. Or shame them into taking their health more seriously.

Lasting change doesn’t work like that. Instead, these attempts usually do little more than annoy patients and make them feel inferior. Which is hardly helpful.

A far more practical approach is to take a long-term view and wait for “something to happen.”

The birth of a child. The loss of a parent. A tragic automobile accident. Suddenly losing one’s job. Cancer.

Something happens. It’s these life-changing events that can often prompt someone to reevaluate their priorities. Showing up accepting and nonjudgmental with those who don’t currently value their health may inspire them to return when they do.

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04/16/12

Monday Morning Motivation

What are you angry about?

It may be one of the most common, least useful, yet damaging (for you!) emotions. Your anger reveals more about you than just about anything else you say or do. Is your anger directed at circumstances? Things? People? Yourself?

When you're angry at your circumstances it may be just what it takes to inspire action and change the circumstances you've created. Because after all, you're the author of your circumstances.

Being angry at things is far more irrational. Being angry at things that wear out. Things that break. Being angry at inanimate things only harms you.

Directing your anger at others is even more futile. Especially being angry with patients and what they do. Or don't do. You can't change them with your anger. It merely separates. Distances.

Love. Love your situation. Love your things. Love your neighbor. Love yourself. Connect. Then you can influence.

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04/09/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Because of a patient's previous medical experiences, there's an unspoken "social contract" assumed when they begin care with you. If you don't establish new, chiropractic terms of engagement, they assume you operate under the same covenant they've experienced with traditional doctors.

What are they?

Among others, that since you control the recommended "dosage" of adjustments, you also control the speed of their recovery. That the adjustments treat their symptoms (medicine) rather than revive their ability to self-heal (chiropractic). That they can remain passive and you'll do all the heavy lifting. And like curing an infection, you'll produce a permanent fix.

If you forget or neglect to establish chiropractic rules of engagement, you're likely to attract passive patients unwilling to share in the responsibility of their recovery. Perhaps more troubling, it can create inappropriate patient expectations, place a needless burden on you and lead to countless misunderstandings and diminished patient satisfaction.

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04/02/12

Monday Morning Motivation

How long can you persevere, doing something new, without the gratification of seeing results?

Take heart in the fact that there is always a lag between when you “do” some new procedure or adopt a new way of being, and when you “have” the fruits of your efforts. The lag is actually there to protect us. Imagine the problems that would arise if every thought that entered your mind immediately manifested!

Moreover, the lag is designed to test your resolve. And your faith. This is just one reason why using someone else’s scripting rarely produces the results that its author experiences. It’s why I’m leery of “shortcuts” and the “fake-it-till-you-make-it” crowd who think going through the motions will produce the necessary change of heart. That’s outside in thinking.

Instead, remain steadfast, holding every thought captive. It is through the inside-out process of renewing of your mind that authentic, lasting change manifests.

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03/26/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Never. Always. Every. These are absolutes. As in no exceptions. As in "You never..." Or "I'm always..."

These assertions are rarely true. Instead, when patients use these terms while describing their situation, they often reveal something far more significant is going on below the surface. Are you discerning (or curious) enough to hear the clue and pursue it?

This is why listening skills, especially at the consultation are so important. The word choices patient's use can often hide (or reveal) what's really going on. Which you're likely to miss if you're merely going through the motions or know what their visit schedule is going to be without an examination or even touching them!

Remember, their physical complaint(s) are usually the result or effect of some other event or belief. If you're inclined to address the cause, rather than treat the symptoms, your ears may be more important than your eyes!

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03/19/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Have you put off a difficult conversation? Is there something you're tolerating? Is there some aspect of your life you're afraid to expose to the light?

This week, have that conversation. Address what you've been tolerating. Bring out the bright lights!

While you probably imagine the pain, the difficulty or discomfort of doing so, allowing circumstances to fester always makes the inevitable more painful, more difficult and more uncomfortable. Always.

The continuing avoidance is an act of irresponsibility and the self-limiting belief that you're a powerless victim. It's an all too common form of self-sabotage that erodes our confidence and blunts our impact. Unresolved emotional subluxations such as these can cripple us as much or even more than a misalignment along the spine. In fact, they are probably the underlying cause of a host of spinal complaints.

Worry and dread are far more damaging than the act of confronting them.

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03/12/12

Monday Morning Motivation

To stand out you have to stand up.

While some show up as being anti-vaccination or anti-therapy or anti-first visit adjusting, you can't win by being against something. Success requires that you be "for" something. As in being for trusting the wisdom of the body. Being for self-responsibility. Being for natural.

When you stand for something, you risk offending or polarizing those who may feel threatened by your conviction. That's the rub. Far too many are unwilling to take a stand because someone might object or disagree. Those who have been deceived into believing that showing up beige, lukewarm and being all-things-to-all-people makes you more attractive, take the safer path.

To mediocrity.

Avoid the temptation to fly under the radar. Playing small doesn't grow you or your practice. Worse, it requires far too much tongue biting, political correctness and second-guessing your instincts. To attract you must be willing to repel.

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03/05/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you set statistical goals and production targets?

Just remember that when you do, you’re focusing on effects, outcomes and results. In other words, symptoms. Focusing on the symptoms of your practice is as risky as focusing on a patient’s symptoms!

More resourceful would be focusing on the underlying causes of how your practice performs. Granted, they are far more difficult to measure. Perhaps that’s why they are so often overlooked:

Your presence. How present are you when you are with patients?
Your happiness. How much joy are you experiencing?
Your own health. Are you physically, mentally and socially healthier than most patients?
Your higher purpose. Are you committed to something greater than your own survival?
Your optimism for the future. Are your best days behind or ahead of you?

Granted, these are largely subjective, but focus on the subjective statistics and the objective statistics generally take care of themselves.

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02/27/12

Monday Morning Motivation

How badly do you need new patients?

When you need patients more than they need you, it places you at a huge disadvantage. Patients can detect your neediness, sowing doubt and actually producing the circumstances you hope to avoid!

How do patients detect your neediness?

Talking too much. It's a tell tale sign of insecurity and desire to please, especially when your pitch and speed of delivery is heightened.

Too accommodating. Modifying your procedures or agreeing to patient-imposed restrictions ("Don't adjust my neck!") is a common sign.

Moving too quickly. Rushing a patient through procedures (adjusting on the first visit) before they can change their mind.

Refusing to discuss finances. For fear that clarifying your fees might frighten off your newest prospect.

Patients need you far more than you need them. If they don't, put your house in order so you can show up as the servant, not the served.

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02/20/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Play big or play small, but play!

There's a saying in baseball that "It takes a loose arm to throw a fastball." Do you have a loose arm? Or are you tight? Are you overly invested in patient behaviors for which you have no control?

This life of yours can be a grand adventure. Or, play it safe and you'll likely survive to the very end. Small funeral. Polite conversation. And it's over. Congratulations! You did it!

Instead, this week take a risk or two. Or three. Put yourself in circumstances that will produce the full range of emotions you're capable of. Abandon the wide, flat path that is convenient, accepted and safe. Walk on the wild side. Ruffle some feathers. Raise some eyebrows. Speak your truth.

So many are waiting for you to show up and be fully you. Go for it! Choose to burn out rather than rust out.

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02/13/12

Monday Morning Motivation

We exhaust enormous resources attempting to avoid mistakes, errors and blunders. Some become so fixated by this they become paralyzed into inaction.

Yet, our missteps are much like fingerprints, creating a unique signature of who we are and what we've learned. They can make us wise.

What most overlook is that our missteps are the basis of true education. Especially if the lesson is painful or expensive. In an attempt to spare patients unnecessary suffering or a needless relapse, you may be inclined to preclude a meaningful lesson that, in the long run, would better accomplish your intent. In fact, some patients will view your over concern as unwanted parental micro-managing!

As a professional caregiver, you'll want to care, but not care too much. Create a safe place so patients can fail without shame or guilt and learn the lesson of repeated relapses and the value of ongoing supportive care.

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02/06/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Your ability to influence others is proportional to how intimately you know yourself. If you aren't comfortable in your own skin, leading patients (or others) is impossible.

How do you get to know yourself?

Journal. Spend private time with yourself describing the events of the day. Put your feelings into words. Use words to explore your perceptions, worries, reactions and judgments. Only as you are able to assign language to what is so, will you be sufficiently present to inspire those around you.

De-mediate your life. Many of us use media as an avoidance strategy, especially television, a drug administered through the eyes that distracts and pacifies. Plop down in front of the boob tube and we can avoid confronting our shortcomings, disappointments and the dreams we aren't pursuing.

Want to be a change agent? Start with yourself. Like the safety demo. "Put on your mask first before assisting others."

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01/30/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Sell everything you have and give it to the poor.

Sound like a good idea? Great. Then clearly you aren't attached to your things. Good for you. Yet, many people are. In fact, many define who they are by what they own. Car. House. Children's achievements. Education. Trophy spouse. Etc.

It may be convenient, but it's almost always inaccurate. You are not your stuff.

Instead, you are all the decision you've made up until now. You made them. Not your car. Not your spouse. You. The good decisions and not so good decisions.

And while we don't get a do-over, we can almost always choose to make better choices in the future. In fact, as we age, almost all of us do.

Next time you have to decide, do so by holding it up to the yardstick of eternity. You know, infinite. Then decide. Bet you find it much easier.

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01/23/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Happiness is choice. Since you know the truth about health, you should be the happiest person patient's encounter.

It's risky surrendering your happiness to circumstances. Yet, many of us do. Which can reduce happiness to one of those exceedingly-rare-winning-the-lottery-predicting-the-future kinds of experiences. In other words we don't enjoy the frequency of happy episodes we deserve.

Want more happiness? Begin by identifying the circumstances that make you happy. Write it down. Simple, yet few attend to this important matter.

It may surprise you to learn that there are many people who have tried to make you happy. But through the difficult process of reverse engineering, they have been less than successful in finding the winning combination. They would appreciate a couple of clues. Share them.

Then, be prepared for unexpected joy and some occasional bliss. Which start by first choosing to be happy. Oh, and be sure to tell your face!

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01/16/12

Monday Morning Motivation

Someday you'll feel alone and discouraged. Or depressed and hopeless. What will make matters worse is that those around you won't share these feelings. In fact, their apparent happiness will make your feelings of separation worse.

This is a common human condition and there are several strategies for escaping it. I have used all of them to ameliorate my own episodes:

Vigorous exercise. I used jogging (because it was inexpensive) and found that the endorphin high lasted long enough to move beyond my personal pity party.

Serve others. The surest way to escape is to serve. And it may not be through chiropractic. Volunteer your time. Community service. Soup kitchen. The possibilities are endless.

Pray. Feelings of separation, depression and the like are often signs of spiritual oppression. It's a common scheme of the enemy. Rebuke the spirits of darkness and create a clearing by inviting in the Holy Spirit.

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01/09/12

Monday Morning Motivation

What's the greatest risk you've taken?

Our relationship with risk is one of the defining aspects of our lives. What seems like a gamble of one person is a walk in the park for someone else. But is the imagined "safe path" actually all that safe?

It boils down to this: Do you see yourself living in a benevolent world that is supportive, or do you see this as a malevolent world, which is hazardous and threatening?

The answer begins to explain the popularity of the fast food chains, vaccinations and anything else that seems to appeal to a mindless herd mentality.

Sure, the supposed "safe path" may get you through life with the fewest bruises and scars, but what kind of life is it? Toeing the line? Coloring inside the lines? Coming to the end with regret, could-haves and should-haves?

Take bigger risks. Not doing so is far riskier!

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01/02/12

Monday Morning Motivation

You find yourself in front of 100 potential new patients. You can say anything you want for as long as you wish.

Go!

Are you prepared? Have you actually explained chiropractic often enough to know the key points to share? Remember, "Success always favors the prepared mind." If you want greater success it's vital that you're ready.

"But I'd never find myself in front of 100 potential new patients," you may be thinking with a hint of relief.

Seems many chiropractors would rather die than get in front of an audience. Who would be looking. Waiting. Judging. Yet, open to a natural approach to better health called chiropractic.

Are your self-limiting beliefs the obstacle standing in the way of your next level of achievement? Is it really the economy or is it you? Are you playing small because it's safe?

Simply tell the story. Where else will they hear it?

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12/26/11

Monday Morning Motivation

This week, review the low points and highlights of this past year and set some goals for the next.

Create some journal entries by addressing answers to some of these questions: What was the most significant decision I made during the last year? What new habit or skill have I acquired? How is the world different because of my contributions?

While these questions may be convicting, you have the opportunity to turn things around by living more mindfully in the year ahead:

What is the greatest risk you intend to take? What self-limiting belief do you plan to give up? What difficult conversation (that you've avoided) are you prepared to have? What personal boundary (that you've compromised) are you going to enforce? Who do you need to thank or acknowledge that you've neglected? What will you delegate that you've selfishly kept for yourself?

Resolve to make 2012 your best ever.

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12/19/11

Monday Morning Motivation

When a patient has a health issue necessitating a visit to a chiropractor, it's often a time of confusion (why won't this resolve?), of uncertainty (can it help?) and disorientation (this is all new to me). Patients want to meet a doctor and staff projecting unshakable certainty, total confidence and an unwavering belief that help (and hope) is on the way.

If you have the habit sizing up the patient, attempting to detect their availability or acceptance for this or that; wetting your finger and putting it to the proverbial wind, you're not the "anchor" patients secretly crave. Instead, the collaboration you were hoping to create is seen as apprehension, tentativeness or timidity. Unhelpful, to say the least.

Go boldly and confidently. Most patients want to be led. But that's not being parental or manipulative! Assume a "this-is-how-we-do-it-here" matter of factness. Notice how quickly they want to get on board.

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12/12/11

Monday Morning Motivation

It was Michael Corleone in The Godfather II who repeated his father’s admonition, “Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.”

Who is your enemy?

Some think it’s the medical profession. Or the pharmaceutical industry. Or the other chiropractor down the street. While these may be competitors vying for the same patients, they are not your enemy. Your enemy is actually the ignorance about, and the disconnection from their own bodies, that plague the vast majority of people in your community. That’s your enemy—a formidable foe.

How many times have you or a team member wondered aloud, “How do people live without chiropractic care?”

Easy. When you’re disconnected from your body, taking a pill to fool it into not sensing pain seems perfectly normal. When you’re disconnected from your body, you’re oblivious to the early warning signs that something is amiss.

Want to grow your practice? Start here.

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12/05/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Remember, you have little control over how patients respond to your application of energy at opportune times and places along their spine. Imagining that you do, suggests that you see yourself as the hero instead of the patient's ability to self heal.

Consider this a respectful reminder that despite what patients think, you and your adjustments don't do the healing. You're not the hero, the patient is. If they...

...show up to receive their adjustments.
...show up consistently to create a momentum for healing.
...have the resources and potential to heal.
...have the desire and intention to heal.
...have the patience to follow through long enough.

Turns out your job, while very important, is actually more of a supporting role. Yet, most patients are quick to give you the credit. Don't fall for it. Remind them that they're the hero. It's far more accurate of them and attractive of you.

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11/28/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you a control freak?

It's nothing to be especially proud of, since it's often a sign of insecurity, indecisiveness, low self-esteem or all three.

Through the insecurity lens, control is a strategy to get our way, minimizing the contributions of others.

From the indecisiveness standpoint, control is a way to delay the responsibility for making a choice.

Within the low self-esteem point of view, control is a way of imposing our will on others without having to explain or justify.

Worse than the unintended consequences from these, are the second-guessing, walking on eggshells and demoralizing effect it can have on our support team.

Needing to control may reveal we have a mistrust of others or even ourselves. Control may be a sign that we want to be God. The need to control can be a heavy burden. Often, imagining that we actually have control is merely an amusing illusion.

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11/21/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Think globally. Act locally.

Sure, it's a bumper sticker, but it also sums up the chiropractic experience. It's not just that changes to the spine (local) can have far-reaching neurological effects throughout the body (global), it's how the care you deliver in your practice can have far-reaching effects in your community.

Many overlook this because they may not see...

The renewed self-esteem of a former bed wetter.
The changed lives of a family no longer plagued with a colicky baby.
A spouse who is more loving because the pain is gone.
A husband whose ability to support his family is restored.
An employee who is more productive.

Because symptomatic improvements are practically routine in most practices, it's easy to overlook the implications that occur beyond the four walls of your practice.

This week, take a few moments to acknowledge and embrace the significance of the care you provide. It's huge!

11/14/11

Monday Morning Motivation

In marketing circles it’s referred to as “the bookends.” At a restaurant, it’s the complimentary breadbasket at the beginning of your meal and the bowl of candies as you leave. These first and last impressions of a service experience are often the longest lasting.

What are your bookends?

In far too many practices a patient’s first impression is the feeling they’re an interruption to something important going on with the computer, and the last is writing a check to a frazzled CA.

At your next team meeting, brainstorm some ideas. Here are a few to get you going:

A hug. A printed thought-for-the-day handout. A question: “What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?” A compliment: “It’s great to see you!” An energy pick-me-up: “Please enjoy a miniature box of raisins.”

As you acknowledge, appreciate and manage the patient experience notice an increase in the fun quotient. Referrals follow.

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11/07/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you make practice about you?

A common symptom of this sort of professional selfishness is when you think your problems are larger than the problems of those who consult you. If this shows up, the end is near.

Why? Because patients are unusually skilled at deciphering self-serving motives. They can tell when you’re X-raying their pocketbook. Or manipulating them with guilt. Or deploying scare tactics. Or using inauthentic scripting. Or hijacking their responsibility. Or abusing your social authority.

Get your heart right.

Your needs will be met only as you meet the needs of others. Put the problems of others first, and your problems will resolve. This principle always works and it always works in that order. (Usually, with a faith-testing lag between giving and receiving.) Oh, you may get away with reversing cause and effect for a season, but it’s unsustainable and often comes at a high price.

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10/31/11

Monday Morning Motivation

In the same way software runs hardware, our beliefs run our lives. Significant change is possible only by abandoning self-limiting beliefs. Yet, they can be difficult to spot. However, you might recognize some of these:

New patients are scarce and hard to come by.
Something bad will happen if I stand up for myself.
The best days of chiropractic are behind me.
What worked in the past will work in the future.
I could never be a public speaker.
These and many others just aren't true. Yet, we often act as if they were, hiding our greatness, squandering opportunities and living small. If you find yourself stuck, the next time an opportunity shows up that you'd normally reject, say yes. Conversely, the next time a situation arises for which you'd routinely accept, pass on it. See what shows up. Take more risks. This is supposed to be an adventure, remember?

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10/24/11

Monday Morning Motivation

One of the most common misconceptions about influencing patients (or anyone else) is the notion that being liked and fitting in is the way to be an effective change agent.

It's not true.

The most influential, whether in chiropractic, politics or other discipline, share several common denominators. Among them, the tendency to polarize and the willingness risk creating enemies. This is what dissuades the more timid chiropractor. They want everyone to like them.

Are you willing to offend some to win others? Or have you set your sights unrealistically high, hoping to persuade everyone? Choose carefully. The first is possible, the second unlikely. It is this trade off that prompts many to choose the safer, less influential path of fitting in, being liked; lukewarm; beige; inconsequential.

Leaders polarize. They spawn disciples and detractors. Do you have the certainty and courage to go against the grain? You must. You chose chiropractic!

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10/17/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you seek outside success or inside success?

There’s an old Texan saying that characterizes the false appearance of success: “Big hat, no cattle.”

Many are seduced into striving for outside success; that is, the superficial social trappings of achievement. These are often the “things” our culture associates with success, such as the big house, luxury automobile, private schools or impressive title.

However, true success is rarely visible to the superficial observer. It takes far greater discernment to see the intimate marriage, respectful children, financial peace, healthful ease, fearlessness, commitment to a higher purpose, being worry-free, kindness, generosity and other inside accomplishments of success.

Make no mistake about it; patients want to consult a successful chiropractor! Yet, in the same way true health and true beauty come from the inside (not what is purchased and applied to the outside), true, lasting success comes from the inside out.

Lose the hat.

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10/10/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Imagine for a moment that a patient’s admitting complaint is merely the symptom of some deeper cause. In other words, what they think is the problem is actually a symptom.

How do you connect patients to the cause, rather than the distraction of their symptom?

First, help them understand that they are not their symptom or diagnosis. (Make sure you don’t see them as a headache case or a low back pain case, either!)

Second, acquaint them with the three causes of subluxation, physical, chemical and emotional. “So, which of one or more of those three causes do you think is involved?”

Third, listen. Their, “I don’t know,” may be true, but dig deeper. Ultimately, your relationship depends on what each patient believes about their condition and your role in it. Don’t fall for the temptation of “fixing” them and thinking that will produce loyalty. It doesn’t. It won’t. It hasn’t.

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10/03/11

Monday Morning Motivation

You are not responsible for what patients do.

Sure, if you withhold the truth about the nature of true health and how chiropractic helps revive their ability to self-heal, you're guilty. But that's rarely the problem.

Instead, many chiropractors assume responsibility for things they lack the ability to control, such as what patients do. You are not their parent. Not even their guardian. How patients exercise their free will after you share the truth just isn't your business.

Now, if your 4-year old throws a temper tantrum at the grocery store because he's denied a sweet, that's a reflection of you. But when a 40-year old patient shuns your advice and indulges in behaviors that sabotage his health, you aren't responsible. You might choose to be curious, but don't take the behaviors personally. Doing so would suggest that you believe you have more power and influence than you actually do.

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09/26/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Those who are only in it for the money rarely excel or go the distance.

Whether it's the employee trading his or her time for money, or the business person who sees customers as merely car and mortgage payments, doing anything purely for the money results in the average, the ordinary and the mediocre.

When you're simply going through the motions for a paycheck, withholding your heart and your mind, you're just selling your body. The world's oldest profession.

What every patient deserves is a chiropractor, along with his or her support team, who is fully invested; mind, body and spirit.

This week resolve to show up for each patient as if they were D.D. or B.J. or Clarence or Clay or Hugh or Major or whomever you revere in chiropractic. Bring everything you've got to the table. Notice what happens next. Money appears and the appeal of retirement disappears.

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09/19/11

Monday Morning Motivation

You may deliver the most eloquent script, practiced and delivered with precision (complete with hand gestures, visual aids and dramatic pauses), but patients hear what's coming from your heart. They want assurance that you're showing up for them, not you. Because...

A new patient is not your mortgage payment.
A new patient is not your car payment.
A new patient is not "yours."

Once you become so selfish and self-centered as to see patients for how they benefit you, rather than how you can serve them, you've crossed the line from ministry to manipulation. Patients can tell.

So, make each visit about them, not you. Listen, and be slow to proselytize. Serve their needs as you are able. Because only as you serve them, will your needs be met. No exceptions. You can temporarily break this rule, but not for long. All lasting success is based on this fundamental principle.

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09/12/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Thanks!

If you've ever emailed me you know that I use that one word (and yes, with an exclamation point) to close my emails. There's more to that one-word sign-off than meets the eye.

For me, it means, thanks for the opportunity to be of service. I believe that serving others is amongst our highest callings. It's how we earn our income. Serve more people: and enjoy greater rewards. Interestingly, when I meet chiropractors who are struggling, they often have a quite narrow notion of service. Many think the only way they can serve is to deliver adjustments.

Sure, that's a unique and powerful way of serving, but there are so many others. Ways that may even surpass the neurologically-freeing value of a well-delivered chiropractic adjustment. Such as being present, curious or available to listen.

Yes, your adjustments are powerful. Consider what they'd be when combined with acceptance, understanding and acknowledgment.

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09/05/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Someday, these will be the "good old days."

Then, you'll appreciate your current circumstances. If that seems difficult or impossible to believe, it could reveal that you think your best days are behind you, not ahead of you. That's a decision, a choice and a mindset.

You control that.

When you abdicate your role as a co-creator, surrendering to circumstances and allowing situations to control you, you embrace a victim mentality that actually makes things worse.

This week, vow to show up as the most positive, upbeat and optimistic person that patients encounter all day.

If that seems impossible, you've forgotten to count your blessings--a critical oversight minimizing your influence and reducing your new patient attractability. Every patient wants their future to be better than their present. That's why they're seeing you. It's this hope that fuels the healing process. Make sure you're not inadvertently standing in the way.

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08/29/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Reactivations and referrals are the keys to a healthy practice.

Unlike new patient marketing, enhancing reactivations and referrals are signs that reveal your health: your social health.

Since many patients must start and stop care several times over several years before accepting the value of some type of ongoing supportive care, a steady stream of reactivations means your healthy detachment honored their free will agency, making it emotionally safe for them to return without an imagined, "I-told-you-so" scolding.

Well done.

And since a referral is an inspired gift of trust, ample numbers reveal your ability to serve patients without resorting to guilt, shame or judgment to get them to do what you would do. Again, a reflection of your social health.

Turns out, a busy practice is a sign of your social health, not merely your adjusting prowess or marketing skills. True success is always the who, not the do.

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08/22/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Creating a safe place to fail enhances the likelihood of reactivations.

Virtually every chiropractic patient has heard the warning that “once you see a chiropractor you have to go for the rest of your life.” Naturally, this isn’t true. Patients don’t have to do anything. Yet, many chiropractors refuse to clear up this urban legend, perhaps in the hopes that if they don’t, it will persuade patients to embrace chiropractic as a long-term lifestyle adjunct.

It doesn’t work.

Instead, it creates a sense of unease, ultimately culminating in patients discontinuing care without saying goodbye, turning the front desk CA into bloodhound, causing patients to avoid you in the grocery store and prompting them to seek care from a different chiropractor when they have their inevitable relapse.

Talk about it. Laugh about it. Make it easier for patients to leave. When you do, you make it easier for them to return!

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08/15/11

Monday Morning Motivation

When you care too much it can make patients feel guilty or ashamed.

You likely chose a career in health care because you place a high value on health and well-being. In fact, restoring your own health with chiropractic may have inspired you to become a chiropractor.

It’s tempting to project our own values and priorities onto patients, but few are likely to place as much value on their health as you. This is a common source of destructive judgment (and frustration) that can push patients away from the most passionate and health-conscious chiropractor.

“I should care more about my health. I hope Dr. YourName- Here doesn’t think less of me because I don’t measure up.”

How do you know if you successfully avoid producing this guilt and shame among practice members? One way is to count how many patients are unafraid to announce their last visit, thanking you before discontinuing care.

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08/08/11

Monday Morning Motivation

The patient brings more to your table than what you do on the table.

Many chiropractors have been seduced into thinking their diagnostic skills or golden hands are the key to a patient’s recovery. And, given the inclination of patients to credit drugs or their wonderful surgeon for their health, it’s no wonder chiropractors are equally susceptible.

Is a well-delivered adjustment important? Of course. But far more important is the fact the patient posses the inborn ability to heal. There’s the real hero! That’s the real miracle! Celebrate that.

Want to help more people? Make sure every patient and everyone on your team understands this simple reality. Otherwise, you may be tempted to take credit (or blame) for something that isn’t yours. That’s stealing. Be mindful that chiropractic care doesn’t add anything or take anything away. Instead, it revives, invokes and restores what is already there, aching to be released.

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08/01/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Adjusting patients is not your purpose.

It's one of the most common unhelpful beliefs shared by chiropractors who believe that the highest calling of a chiropractor is to adjust as many people as possible.

More likely, adjusting patients is a means to help advance or pursue your higher purpose. Do you know what that is? Knowing equips you to avoid the trap of measuring your worth by how many people you touch.

If you've been seduced by this easiest of metrics, what number do you have in mind? 10,000? 100,000? A million?

It comes down to choosing between going wide (superficial) or going deep (intimate).

Going wide is often the first approach, measuring one's self-worth by focusing on how many patients are seen in a day, week or month. Yet, the shallowness of these relationships eventually take their emotional and spiritual toll as practice becomes mechanical, hollow and increasingly unfulfilling.

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07/25/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Patients rarely embrace chiropractic for life on their first exposure to it.

Take an inventory of your once- or twice-monthers and you'll discover they've had multiple brushes with chiropractic before embracing it as a regular lifestyle adjunct.

Yet, many chiropractors hammer away at chiropractic virgins, hoping to convince them to use chiropractic the way they use chiropractic. Then, feel like failures when patients don't.

Truth is, patients have heard that "once you go, you have to go for the rest of your life." So they begin care with the goal of beating the house--getting drug-free results without a long-term commitment. Worse, they think you "fixed" them with a dozen visits after 20-30 years of neglect and won't need chiropractic care again! Highly unlikely.

Instead, warn them of their highly likely relapse. Because if they discontinue care once they feel better, a relapse is almost certain. However, their reactivation isn't.

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07/18/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Abandoning an old belief is more likely from asking rather than telling.

Impose your beliefs and you'll face resistance. But come in under the radar by asking questions and you have a chance of overthrowing the status quo by creating the unsettling intellectual dissonance that is the necessary precursor to jettisoning an old belief.

Most patients are quite happy with their germ-fearing, symptom-treating, drug-taking notion of health. They're not looking for an "education."

So, ask more questions. A Socratic approach holds the greatest promise for disrupting the status quo and creating an opening. Find out how they think the drug "finds" a headache. Uncover the stress they think caused their subluxations. Discover their explanation of artificial immunization, fevers and countless other dimensions of their health experience.

The possible questions are endless--if you're curious about what patients believe. It'll be worth it. Because software (beliefs, conscious or otherwise) controls hardware (behaviors).

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07/11/11

Monday Morning Motivation

What passes for patient education is far less effective patient teaching.

In an effort to change patient beliefs, many chiropractors unleash an aggressive patient education regime. Only problem is, it's actually patient teaching.

Teaching is outside-in. Education is inside-out. Big difference.

Most of us are skilled at resisting the self-serving outside-in overtures of others, whether a telemarketer, a commissioned salesperson or the guilt-laden pressure from a friend or loved one.

If you're inclined to change a patient's belief, realize that the ear raping at the X-ray view box or elsewhere actually benefits you more than them. If it seems to work it's because patients sense someone who is certain and confident. That's the compelling part—not the angles, foraminal occlusion or compromised curve!

Instead, be curious. Ask questions. True education is the result of new synapses formed by attempting to answer a question. Do you have a better explanation?

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07/04/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Patients buy the messenger before they buy the message.

It's tempting to think that patients are persuaded by the words you use, your beautiful office or golden hands. But the fact is, they buy you first. Only then do you have any hope of conveying the principles of chiropractic in a meaningful, life-changing way.

Do you show up as you? Or are you acting, playing the part of being a doctor? Do you show up transparent, revealing your motives and biases? Can patients come alongside, or do they feel distanced by your "professional" detachment? Do patients sense they are with a facilitator or someone assuming superiority? Do patients feel physically and emotionally safe in your presence? Do you exude confidence and encourage vulnerability? Does being around you make them feel big?

It runs counter to what others teach, but showing up authentically you is the only place of lasting influence.

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06/27/11

Monday Morning Motivation

The busiest chiropractors recognize they’re in the belief-changing business.

Since patients do what they do because they believe what they believe, then one objective is to be an agent of change. Yet, patients rarely show up in your practice because they want a more complete and intellectually honest understanding of health principles!

Instead, most patients merely want to feel better. And herein lies the tension. Many chiropractors believe that producing great symptomatic improvement without the use of drugs or surgery will change a patient’s wrongheaded beliefs.

Hardly. In fact, great results may inadvertently affirm countless unspoken beliefs about their spine, the “outness” of a vertebra or your even role as a mere spine mechanic!

Chiropractors with stable practices full of lifetime once- and twice-a-monthers know that adjusting above the atlas is far more important than adjusting below it. In fact, if forced they would choose the former over the latter.

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06/20/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Patients do what they do because they believe what they believe.

This runs counter to the popular, but incorrect chiroism, which suggests that patients would "do what you do if they knew what you knew."

Instead, there is a profound disconnect between knowing and doing. Most of us know that regularly flossing our teeth would enhance our dental hygiene. Yet, most of us neglect this simple, inexpensive procedure. Why? Because we believe something about flossing. Or our teeth. Our future. Our time. Or something else.

Bottom line? Behaviors are symptoms. We act in ways to remain congruent with our beliefs, even if we're not conscious of them. And, like most symptom treating, nagging patients about what they're doing (or not doing) to enhance their health and well-being is largely a waste of time. Instead, seek to uncover what they believe about themselves (or you) that would produce such unhelpful behaviors.

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06/13/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Long-term relationships are more rewarding than short-term relationships.

On purely a financial basis, of the nine chiropractors I've received care from, chiropractor number seven and number nine, whom I saw eleven and six years respectively, collected more from me than the others combined.

But that's not what I mean by more rewarding. I mean the more valuable emotional and spiritual rewards of seeing patients grow, blossom and create offspring; to be an active participant and witness as they grow and flourish. That's where the "juice" is! That's where the soul satisfying sense of significance is found!

Naturally, most of these practice members are hardly suffering from the aches and pains whose relief become such an easy and traditional measure of success. Instead, success is counted by productive lives, intimate marriages, meaningful conversations and assisting others becoming more fully themselves.

How are you keeping the excitement alive on the 300th adjustment?

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06/06/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Most chiropractors have a patient keeping problem, not a patient getting problem.

It's one of the most significant characteristics distinguishing those who practice chiropractic from those who practice chiropractic medicine.

Because chiropractic care can enhance the ability to accommodate or recover from physical, chemical and emotional stress, chiropractic care can be a lifestyle adjunct, like brushing and flossing, not merely a short-term diet of pain relief.

Those with a voracious appetite for new patients often fail to effectively communicate this precept. Instead, their practices seem to attract those who want only the most superficial symptomatic relief. While better than drugs and surgery, this form of chiropractic takes on the characteristics of a medical practice, without its cultural authority, acceptance and effortless stream of new patients.

Review the trophy case of inactive patient files in most chiropractic practices and it appears getting new patients isn't a problem. But apparently keeping them is!

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05/30/11

Monday Morning Motivation

A common way to build oneself up (or more often, tear oneself down) is to compare ourselves with others. If you look, you're always sure to find someone better or worse off than you.

This is what the tabloids, gossip magazines and far too much of television is about. Since these media outlets exist solely to attract eyeballs so they can be sold to advertisers, many choose the lurid and the base, tapping into emotions of greed, envy and judgment.

Choose this week to break your addiction to commercial media. Shun radio, television and newspapers for a month or even longer. The bad news (to get eyeballs) and the celebrities (to get eyeballs) add little or no value to our lives and merely remind us of our shortcomings or things outside our control.

Declare your independence and attend to your own life, rather than wasting time sizing up someone else's.

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05/23/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Often an injured child will look around to see if anyone is looking before bursting into tears over a skinned knee. Similarly, some chiropractors are inclined to gather and commiserate about their circumstances.

This tendency, besides being unhelpful at solving their challenges, is actually about excuse making. Portraying one's career choice as a mistake or being a victim requires considerable creativity in light of these facts:

1. You know the truth about the nature of real health.
2. Only a fraction of the planet knows how to do what you can do.
3. If you're struggling, it's your fault, not the fault of chiropractic.

If pressed, the glass-is-half-empty crowd can name plenty of things they could do or should do that would grow their practice. Instead, they insist on success on their terms.

Who are the pessimists, naysayers and negative people in your life whom you need to disassociate from?

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05/16/11

Monday Morning Motivation

A common blockage to practice growth is poor patient boundaries.

Ignore this detail and patients assume the boundaries they have with their medical doctor. Which means that they think you and your adjustments are the hero (medicine), rather than their God-given ability to self heal (chiropractic).

If you want to help more people, and most chiropractors seem to want to, one of the essential prerequisites is to make sure every patient knows and agrees to the nature of your responsibility and the extent of their own.

This is a huge distinction. Sure, it’s tempting to neglect this difference and bask in the adoration that the success of chiropractic is likely to produce. But this error of omission hobbles the size of your practice and the number of people you can help.

Without clear boundaries, you’ll be drawn into energy- and emotionally-draining areas that stunt your practice and cap its influence.

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05/09/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Patients complete you.

If you attract clingy patients, it may be because you show up with the intent of taking credit as the heroic healer. If you attract irresponsible patients, maybe you show up prepared to assume responsibility for their health. Attracting largely symptomatic patients who leave as soon as they feel better may be because you show up as the "fixer" or "mechanic."

Attracting a different type of patient begins by you showing up differently.

Become more mindful of why you want more new patients. Is it to gain their admiration? Is it to prove chiropractic works? Is it to have your ego stroked? Your career choice affirmed? Your emotional or financial needs met?

This is often why so many chiropractors shun conventional new patient generating techniques. It requires that they show up in a way that isn't authentic or attractive to the types of patients they enjoy seeing!

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05/02/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you have an isometric practice?

Like cartoon characters that run in place before plummeting off the cliff, the isometric practice is characterized by huge expenditures of energy, but little forward progress. It's a hand-to-mouth existence that first produces fatigue, then anger and then the resignation of burnout.

Escaping will require accumulating resources and increasing your margins. That may mean living significantly below your means. It may mean exercising 20 minutes longer. It may require shedding the weight, distracting habits and petty time wasters that soothe the disappointment we have with ourselves.

To increase your traction, ruthlessly jettison unnecessary habits and behaviors. Become present to self-limiting beliefs that are no longer true. Perform the most distasteful tasks first. (Yes, that one!) Consistently ask yourself, "Is this the highest and best use of my time?" Do what seems emotionally risky.

Even more important, ditch that "Plan B" you've been thinking about.

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04/25/11

Monday Morning Motivation

How long can you delay gratification?

Many of us avoid big projects, large initiatives or take on new opportunities because the payback, either financial, or more commonly, emotional, isn't immediate. This keeps our lives insignificant and our impact small.

Consider something as simple and effective as creating an annual marketing calendar. If your vision doesn't extend beyond this month's rent or today's mail carrier bearing insurance checks, creating (and implementing) an annual marketing calendar may seem a needless luxury.

This aversion to delayed gratification traps us in the urgent, consumed by the hottest fire licking at our heals. It's a common form of the isometric practice--expending massive amounts of energy, but not getting anywhere.

This week (or month), arise a half an hour earlier and work on something big! Something huge. Something whose payoff may be months or years from now. It's a way out of the mediocre status quo.

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04/18/11

Monday Morning Motivation

It's probably the most counterintuitive fear of all: the fear of success.

When imagining ourselves reaching our goals or achieving our success we may hold back or turn away because of its additional obligation, responsibility or accountability.

With success comes the obligation to be a good steward. Most lottery winners shun this obligation, squandering their newfound financial resources on the frivolous, inconsequential and temporal.

With success comes the responsibility to maintain the new, higher level of productivity. Some, who imagine a future success and the potential failure of slipping back, avoid disappointment by keeping circumstances reasonable and controllable.

With success comes greater accountability and the judgment of others. For some, walking the talk and setting a good example may seem too burdensome.

As Nelson Mandela said in his inauguration speech when quoting Marianne Williamson, "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure."

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04/11/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Happiness is largely a choice. How we show up when circumstances do not play out like we would prefer, is a decision.

Being depressed and withdrawn when patient volume is down and ecstatic when the numbers are up, produce a stressful rollercoaster practice. And it's not just the weightlessness at the top or pulling the extra Gs as your practice bottoms out. It's the costly toll that it takes on your support team.

If you're one of those moody bosses who appears to be a victim of outside conditions, realize that you destroy confidence, lower productivity and can actually bring about the conditions you're trying to avoid.

Forcing others to walk on eggshells is an expensive, self-indulgent luxury few practices can afford. Instead, choose to be upbeat. Decide to be optimistic. Only you can control your state. Become mindful of and assume responsibility for the emotional wake you create in others.

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04/04/11

Monday Morning Motivation

We are remembered for our secrets.

Consider Richard Nixon, Jimmy Swaggart, Bill Clinton and countless others whose reputations are forever linked to the secrets they tried to keep.

Besides the enormous amount of energy required to keep our secrets secret, leading a double life is filled with worry and a constant level of alertness that prevents us from relaxing and being ourselves. Eventually, the shame, guilt and vigilance take its toll. The truth comes out. It always does. And sooner is better than later.

Is it a patient you've crossed a boundary with? A staff member you've hidden your financial difficulties from? The broken vows you made to your spouse? Or the secret stash you consume after everyone goes to bed?

If you find yourself in this tangled web, confess. Today. It's the only access to the peace and ease that you mistakenly thought was possible by keeping your secret secret.

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03/28/11

Monday Morning Motivation

In sports, it’s called choking.

When an athlete is under pressure to perform, breakdown occurs when their concentration is eclipsed by a concern over the outcome. In other words, attempting to perform now, but living in the future.

Are you invested in what may or may not happen after adding energy to a patient’s spine at opportune times and places?

What makes this especially unhelpful is that you have little influence in the outcome. Will the patient return to receive enough adjustments to create a momentum for healing? Will the patient make the necessary changes to their lifestyle? Does their body have the capacity and resources to heal? Is the stressor still present?

These and other variables are outside your control. Imagining that you’re responsible for the outcome is not only risky, it reveals that you may not have fully communicated to patients how chiropractic works—that they’re the doctor.

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03/21/11

Monday Morning Motivation

The goal isn't perfect health.

Some chiropractors become disappointed, even offended when patients choose a less-than-ideal care plan. And it's not just chiropractors who insist that patients embrace a year's worth of care or go elsewhere. It could be as simple as a raised eyebrow or a "look" when patients refuse to lose weight, stop smoking or continue to engage in other known health-compromising behaviors.

Yet, these same patients may have a marriage with a level of intimacy that you could only dream of. Or enjoy a far deeper bond with their children. Or laugh more frequently throughout the day. They are enjoying life to the fullest and have chosen not to worship the idol of ideal health.

Careful that you don't project your health values onto patients. True, aspects of life may be better when we're subluxation free, but remember that even with perfect health, we all die.

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03/14/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Not listening is a form of arrogance.

Besides announcing your superiority, not listening is actually a strategy to control, covering up an underlying insecurity. The opinions of others are merely unwanted friction as we lower our heads and bulldoze forward.

Those with the habit of not listening, leave a wake of resent and under performance behind them. Surrounded by yes men and shielded from opposing viewpoints, their practices rarely harness the complete investment of their support team. They ignore the subtle cues sent by patients. Their stunted practices are rarely better than their own egotistical vision because they are unable to enlist the emotional investment of team members.

The most successful are collaborators. They make others "big," bringing out their best. They give credit for success to others and assume the blame when the mark is missed.

So much more is possible by listening. It turns 1 + 1 into 3.

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03/07/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you talk too much?

Take an inventory of the most powerful people on the planet and you'll notice that they're often individuals of few words. They are not especially gabby. They know that like anything in abundance, the less valuable their words become. Things that are scarce are more likely to be considered important and significant.

Consider how we often perceive those who talk too much:

1. Insecure. Those of many words may use them to acquire a sense of control.
2. Lack of clarity. Many words may be a sign of uncertainty or confusion.
3. Defensive. To paraphrase a line from Hamlet, "Me thinks thou protests too much."
4. Selfish. Monopolizing the conversation makes it about you instead of them.

This week resolve to speak less. Choose your words more carefully. When you do speak, use shorter sentences. Pause. And remember that actions speak much louder than words.

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02/28/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Many think that effective patient communication is about brilliant scripting or being prepared to answer virtually any question. Not true.

What effective communicators know and practice, is profound listening. Which is the essential first ingredient of all successful communication. Poor listeners are always poor communicators. Perhaps this is due to the confusion between hearing and listening.

Hearing is a neuro-mechanical process. Listening is a social skill.

Like most social skills, they are learned. Begin by being mindful that in virtually all social interaction there are many "channels" in which information and meaning is being delivered. If you merely hear, you can be tone deaf to the subtext encoded in the message. This is especially true if you already have your answer ready before the conversation begins!

Listen. Receive. Understand, as in "to stand under." Support patients by standing under them and they will feel truly felt--without even being touched.

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02/21/11

Monday Morning Motivation

The more often we feel, but do not act, the less likely we are to act.

We're creatures of habit. And when we get into the habit of biting our tongues or feeling constrained to tell the truth, the more the enemy of the truth wins. In fact, the enemy is counting on our fear of political correctness, wanting to be liked or thinking we have to be eloquent.

Instead, seek to understand. Which, after all, suggests that we are to support the other by "standing under." Asking a question can be just the opening that will allow a patient (or someone else) to face an inconvenient truth or resolve a contradiction or accept a new understanding. Simply by asking a clarifying question!

You have tremendous opportunity to affirm and reassure those who seek your care. Never shun this. It's what true leadership, patient or otherwise, is all about.

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02/14/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Improvisational actors refer to it as "entering the danger." Novice improv actors will often shy away from playing off an especially bizarre comment or action from a fellow actor. But the experienced will seek these opportunities (entering the danger) because that's where genius can take root.

Do you enter the danger or avoid it?

When a patient complains about their recovery. "Interesting, tell me more." When a patient chooses an unusual word at the consultation. "You just used the word "burden." Tell me more about this burden you're feeling." When a patient makes the off-hand remark about her skeptical husband. "What does he think about your visit with us today?"

Deeper connection and greater influence are yours when you show up fearless, prepared to enter the danger and see where it leads. It's an opportunity to access what's really going on. But only for those who can handle the truth.

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02/07/11

Monday Morning Motivation

How well do you educate patients?

At first glance, it would appear that high PVA (Patient Visit Average) is a sign that patients are being educated, remaining under care beyond the relief of their obvious symptoms.

But there's another statistic that can reveal something even more important than meaningful patient education. It's a statistic that reveals your ability to lead, motivate and set an example that profoundly changes the lives of patients. Even staff members. It's a statistic that measures your ability to connect and stir the hearts of others.

What is the statistic? How many people have you inspired to go to chiropractic college?

There are few statistics as telling. Besides confirming your ability to explain chiropractic principles in a compelling way, it reflects your optimism (the future is bright) and your abundance mindset (the world needs more chiropractors).

Who do you know who would make a great chiropractor?

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01/31/11

Monday Morning Motivation

When our memories are larger than our dreams, the end is near.

When confronted by change, many of us apply our energies in the hopes of restoring the old. "I want things to be like the good old days."

Unlikely. In fact, impossible.

Imagine trying to take patients back to an era before insurance coverage. Or consider how impossible it would be to return to the days before the influence of the Internet. Or to make lifestyle decisions as if you didn't know the truth about chiropractic and the nature of real health.

When we resist change (or anything else) our fears, worries and uncertainties assume an unhelpful, larger-than-life status. Worse, our negative frame of mind limits our creativity, forcing us into a shortsighted defensiveness that prevents us from seeing opportunity.

Befriend the future. It's where your larger, more significant practice lies. It will be here before you know it!

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01/24/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Ask most people what they want, what they really want and after some stammering and deer-caught-in-the-headlights look, they'll mention some half-hearted goal or the acquisition of some possession.

Tragically, most of us are far more able to describe what we don't want!

Your mind can help you achieve anything. But it must be focused.

Identify one overarching, achievable goal or accomplishment. Write it down. Construct a short sentence containing your desire. Post this statement throughout your environment in places you'll encounter dozens of times a day. In your sock drawer. On the dashboard of your car. On the medicine cabinet mirror.

Fasten your mind on it. Affix your thoughts to it. Study it. Visualize it.

It's helpful if this "thing" isn't actually a thing. At least at first. And even better if it equips you serve others. Start with something small so you can convince yourself. Then go for it!

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01/17/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you realize how blessed you are to know the truth? You probably forget how rare and valuable your knowledge of health and healing are.

Imagine how many have squandered their life savings because they thought health came in a pill or a bottle or a doctor. Consider how many have surrendered their bodies to irreversible surgery.

The vast majority is inclined to choose the popular, the accepted and the mainstream. They look past the simple and the natural. They often unknowingly harbor a mistrust of their own body.

Remember that we're each granted free will by our Creator to choose a path congruent with our beliefs. Honor that. Just make sure that those you meet know your truth. Share your beliefs with compassion and kindness. Whether they take root now (or never) is not your responsibility. But telling the truth is.

Their rejection is not a rejection of you.

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01/10/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Television attempts to make us feel empty inside.

Not the actual programming. That exists to attract enough eyeballs to sell to advertisers. It's advertisers who interrupt your fixated gaze with messages that make you feel shortcomings that will compel you to buy their product or service.

It even affects those who swear they're not swayed.

You'll probably want to mute the commercials and look away. Later, you might want to abandon this drug-administered-through-the-eyeballs all together. Watch your optimism and hope return.

If you want to be a beacon of truth and profoundly influence those you touch; if you see a patient's ache or pain as merely a way for strangers to enter your sphere of influence and be enlightened, inspired and affirmed, stop watching the boob tube. Be in the world, but not of it. Be the spicy, salty rebel you are.

Like many drugs, it's not good for you.

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01/03/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Who is your harshest critic?

There's a temptation to be hard on ourselves. In fact, we're the best at it. We know our faults, our shortcomings and our inclination to do the opposite of what we know we should. Worse, we're painfully aware of the shortfalls that others, thankfully, are oblivious to!

That's because we spend enormous amounts of energy to hide our flaws for fear we'll be found out as an imposter.

You and I are not the first to wrestle with this. It's what we do about our tendency to self-criticize that makes the difference.

I'd like to suggest that you and I shed the notion that perfection is some sort of unspoken goal. Give up the idea that you have to be the perfect specimen of health or you can't be effective at helping others. We're all flawed. We all come up short.

And it's okay.

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12/27/10

Monday Morning Motivation

The goal is not comfort.

The media-led culture would like us to think that the goal is some sort of affluent ease. However, there's little proof that such a life is good for us.

The success you're enjoying today reflects what's possible based upon your current comfort zone. In other words, helping even more patients and enjoying the rewards of doing so, is only possible by purposefully, willingly and wisely putting yourself into a state of uncomfortableness.

For some it may be risking loss or rejection. Or confronting an addiction or confessing a trespass. It may require setting clearer boundaries. Almost always, it involves confronting and staring down fear until it blinks.

This is the perfect time of the year to take on something difficult that makes you feel uncomfortable. Or a lot uncomfortable! Not only are you likely to succeed, you'll discover the "juice" that makes life worth living.

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12/20/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Getting you to think that you'd be more successful by acting like someone other than yourself is a recipe for failure. Yet, the pull to do so is powerful. Showing up as our authentic selves requires overcoming…

The patient who wants you to be their mommy.

The staff member who wants you to be the perfect boss.

The consultant who wants you to be more like them.

The insurance carrier who wants you to be more like a MD.

The regulatory board who wants you to be average.

Imitating someone else or fulfilling someone else's notion of who we should be requires acting skills that would make you a Hollywood legend. But to be truly legendary, shun the temptation of being a chameleon and instead be 100% authentically you. If you don't, you risk the ultimate disappointment of all—the regret and resentment that comes from never being fully you.

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12/13/10

Monday Morning Motivation

If you knew you wouldn't fail, what would you attempt?

While fear is a whole body phenomena felt in the pit of our stomach or as an unsettled apprehension, it's also a spiritual oppression. It causes us to leave the present where we are powerful change agents, for a future of imagined dread or impending doom.

Don't fall for it.

Being great and doing great; rising above the average and mediocre occur along the border that divides safety and danger. By having chosen chiropractic, you identified yourself as one of the dangerous types! Going against the mainstream. Rejecting the accepted and the common; courageously taking the steep, narrow, difficult path.

All progress has been the result of unreasonable individuals who questioned the status quo, felt the fear, refused its distraction and took action anyway. Failure isn't falling short of accomplishing something difficult—it's admitting defeat before taking the first step.

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12/06/10

Monday Morning Motivation

This is not the time to go soft. Squishy. Mamsey-pamsey.

Times like these demand crystal clarity. Courageously saying what is so. Supplying and enforcing clear guidelines and direction. Keeping it simple.

Throw out the political correctness and the walking on eggshells unbecoming of someone who knows the truth. Greater acceptance does not come at the cost of compromise, in fact just the reverse. Tell it like it is. Not harshly. But with boldness, certainty and compassion.

Patients. Prospective patients. Staff. More than ever, they deserve your best. They flee uncertainty or ambiguity in favor of unflinching precision, unblinking assuredness, steadfast conviction and unswerving faith.

It's crunch time. And you're on the winning team!. But you're not acting like it. Time to double down, increase your bet and up the ante. Everyone is waiting and watching to see how you'll show up. When you show up big, they will too.

Lead.

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11/29/10

Monday Morning Motivation

What are you waiting for?

The Waiting Place is so popular even Dr. Seuss wrote about it in Oh the Places You Will Go:

"NO!
That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying,
You'll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing."

Waiting until things are just right before taking action is popular among those of us with perfectionism tendencies, indecisiveness or both.

Recognize that things will never be perfect.

Instead, act now with resolve and passion. Don't hedge your bets and leave yourself an escape path with a Plan B. Doing so is a vote against yourself and practically guarantees failure.

Courageously choose and boldly act. Then, make it the correct choice by adapting with follow-up action and the usual minor course corrections. Like walking, you can only move forward by temporarily experiencing imbalance.

That's where the Boom Bands play! Can you hear them?

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11/22/10

Monday Morning Motivation

What is the greatest practice building technique of all?

Love.

Many professional caregivers care, but they don't necessarily love. They are talented in what they do, but often hold back essential qualities in who they are being.

Caring expects reciprocity. Caring has strings. "I'll do this, but I expect you to drink more water, do your stretches, get a new pillow, keep the visit schedule I've recommended, etc."

Loving overlooks such obligations. Loving patients doesn't mean you don't make recommendations. But you avoid judging patients for falling short. You honor their God-given free will. You show up as a humble servant, rather than a demanding taskmaster. Loving, means giving up the lie that what patients do is a reflection on you; that their recovery (or lack thereof) is your doing.

Care, but don't care too much. Love, knowing that the more you give away, the more that will be returned.

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11/15/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you playing it too safe?

Make a list of your greatest failures, screw-ups, mistakes, flops and botched attempts. If yours is a short one, then you may believe the lie that your life is to be endured rather than lived; gotten-through rather than embraced as a grand adventure.

Toeing the line, living small and coloring with just four or five crayons (inside the lines) may offer the illusion of safety, but in the end you'll be burdened by something far worse than a few emotional cuts, ego bruises or temporary financial setbacks: regret.

Resolve this week to live more dangerously. Use all the crayons in the box. Ignore the lines. Stop worrying about getting good grades—especially if you're not in school.

Real failure is rejecting the millions of opportunities to fully live, hamstrung by the judgment of others who you'll have long forgotten when it all comes to an end.

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11/08/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Many incorrectly assume that the key to attracting new patients is to mimic medicine and become less controversial. Still others imagine that their practices would flourish if only chiropractic was less "alternative" and more mainstream.

Don't fall for it. The rebellious nonconformity of chiropractic is what makes it so attractive!
If you round off the sharp edges and dumb down chiropractic so it's "acceptable," you lose the polarity essential for attraction. Beige, lukewarm and neutral don't attract. Attraction requires having a charge. Just as important, to attract you must be willing to repel.

Are you repulsive enough to be attractive?

Do you have the courage to take a stand contrary to the popular beliefs perpetuated by the mainstream medical-industrial complex? Are you willing to suffer an occasional rejection in exchange for being a change agent? Do you have the confidence to risk popularity so you can witness a patient's enlightenment?

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11/01/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"You don't receive because you do not ask."

Most of us are poor receivers. Given the choice, most of us would prefer to give than receive. We're taught early on that it is better to give than receive. That seems to be especially true of professional caregivers.

Giving without receiving is a form of spiritual subluxation. It breaks a cycle similar to the efferent/afferent nature of the nervous system. Dysfunction results.

Just as there is artistry in choosing the perfect gift, so too is there an art to receiving one. "Oh, you shouldn't have!" condemns the giver. Especially if you believe the gift requires reciprocity and the feelings of obligation. No art there. Instead...

"Thank you. How thoughtful of you."
"Thank you for being so generous."
"What a wonderful gesture. I really appreciate it. Thank you!"

When you are a gracious recipient, you open the door for even more blessings.

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10/25/10

Monday Morning Motivation

How many youth have you corrupted?

"Corrupting the youth" was the charge leveled against Socrates, the Greek educator. Using the power of asking questions, Socrates empowered his students to question the status quo and resist the sophistry of intellectuals and the government.

Sounds like a task similar to that of de-hypnotizing the prevailing drug culture and symptom-treating mentality of patients. It starts by showing up curious about what patients believe. And why they believe it.

Careful! Don't use curiosity as a "technique." Patients can tell when your questions are merely a set up for your premeditated ear raping. You won't corrupt anyone (regardless of age) that way!

Instead, show up empty so you can receive and learn. Be mindful that patients aren't consulting you because they sense a deficiency in their beliefs about the nature of health. However, their lack of health might just be an access point. If you're curious.

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10/18/10

Monday Morning Motivation

What's that thing you've been putting off? The project that seems too large to complete so you haven't started? The difficult conversation you've avoided? The new skill you haven't learned because it'll temporarily make you feel incompetent? The exercise routine you've neglected to begin?

We all have at least one.

It's bad enough that we don't start these projects. But there's something far worse. It's the accuser who condemns us for being a failure because of our procrastination. So, we retract. Hide our genius. And take the safe, comfortable route of inaction.

Today, have the audacity to claim your greatness by telling others what you're about to take on. Create a covenant. Invoke peer pressure. Set some expectations of yourself and speak it into being.

People who are up to something, especially those who are dangerous, do this all the time. Saying it aloud is the first act of creation.

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10/11/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you have enough margin?

If we have limited margin to deal with physical, emotional or chemical stress, our bodies subluxate. Enhancing one's ability to accommodate these stresses is the basis of chiropractic care.

But what about your financial margin?

A savings account and having insurance are ways we increase our margin. Another is credit. Most are familiar with the danger of relying on it!

Your financial margin is merely the result of the service you've provided your community and the trust and goodwill you've earned by going beyond what patients expect. With every interaction, you have the opportunity to make deposits, increasing your margin or withdrawing against any margin you may have already established. Too many withdrawals without sufficient deposits and we experience overdrafts.

Overdrafts? Few referrals. Rare reactivations. Needing patients. Fretting about those who don't show. Making practice about you.

They are effects. Symptoms actually. Of not having enough margin.

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10/04/10

Monday Morning Motivation

The universe rewards action, not intention.

Consider all those great intentions that begin with "Someday, I'll..." These are wishes, dreams and hoped-fors. They have little power. They're easily pushed aside for more pressing concerns. Many times, they merely produce guilt and serve as a reminder of our impotence.

Greatness is about action. It is the fuel that turns the invisible into the physical. Everything you see around you was once merely a thought, an idea or a vision. The difference is, someone took action and their intention turned from nothing into something.

This week, identify that something you've repeatedly thought about, but never acted on. A project that seemed too large to begin. Or a task that would require everything you've got. Then, give it everything you've got! Don't hold back. Don't hedge your bet. Don't wait for perfection. Take massive action.

That's how to put a dent in the universe.

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09/27/10

Monday Morning Motivation

The resistance you experience is proportional to how threatening you are.

When your chiropractic principles are no longer attacked, be wary. It means that what you represent is no longer seen as a threat. Inconsequential. Superfluous.

Recalibrate what resistance and skepticism actually mean. It's usually a sign that you're salty, spicy and hot! When you're significant enough to warrant the attention of enemies and those threatened by the flag you plant, rejoice! It means you're on the radar. Dangerous. Feral. A force to be reckoned with.

This sustained your ancestors, imprisoned for their principles. It bolstered chiropractors before "miracle drugs" and the culture lost its awe of the body's self-healing ability.

Remember why you chose chiropractic. It wasn't to fit in. Or necessarily to be liked. And it certainly wasn't to be part of a medical machine that fundamentally disrespects the intelligence of the body.

You're a game changer, remember?

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09/20/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Virtually every spiritual discipline acknowledges that the invisible world is more "real" than the physical world that we can detect with our five senses; things manifest spiritually before they appear physically.

Especially new patients.

Answer this question from your current state of being: why do you want new patients?

If you desire new patients so you can pay your bills, keep your house, maintain your lifestyle, look successful, stay busy, amass enough to retire, reach your goals or some other self-serving reason, I suspect you have some gaping holes in your appointment book.

Patients can "smell" your motives and detect your heart. And while some will hold their nose and follow your recommendations, it rarely creates the intimacy and trust essential to stimulate referrals or facilitate subsequent reactivations.

Your actions (physical) reveal the motives of your heart (spiritual)—-that can either grow your practice or keep it in second gear.

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09/13/10

Monday Morning Motivation

This week perform as many random acts of kindness as you can. Preferably for a stranger. Anonymously.

It's the perfect antidote for those earliest rumblings that you've invited yourself to your own private pity party. When you're seduced to worry, tricked into a state of fear or deceived by circumstances, it's simply a reminder that you need to serve someone. And not just those on your adjusting table.

Choose a stranger who needs encouragement, a passerby who could use a smile or surprise the checkout clerk with a compliment. Sure, it will uplift them, but notice what it does for you.

When we're admonished to love others as ourselves, it's easy to overlook the profound effect loving others has on us. Like its cousin forgiveness, loving others is as much (or more) for our own well-being as for that of others. The more we give away, the more we receive.

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09/06/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you proactive or reactive?

Reactive practices rarely perform at their full potential. Looking around, trying to ascertain what others are doing and responding in kind, reveals that they're on the trailing edge, not the leading edge. If this is your strategy, you'll always be playing catch up.

Proactive practices are on the lookout for 1% and 2% improvements to virtually everything they do. There are few sacred cows or taboo topics. Good ideas are good regardless of who comes up with them. You rarely hear, "We tried that and it doesn't work." (It may not have worked then, but it might work now.)

It's often called creative destruction.

Reinvent your practice so as not to get too comfortable, fat and happy with the status quo. Many practices did that when they assumed generous reimbursement would last forever.

Brittle, calcified things break. Is your practice an oak or a flexible willow?

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08/30/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"Get the big idea and all else follows."

This is probably one of the most profound chiroisms of all, attributed to B.J. Palmer, a collector of aphorisms, epigrams and pithy one-liners.

What is the big idea?

Some believe it's our self-healing, self-regulating capacity. Others believe it's the universal intelligence that runs the universe and its counterpart, innate intelligence that runs us. Still others believe it's about reductionism versus deductionism. Or how a lack of ease ultimately leads to dis-ease, the precursor of disease.

Regardless of which one(s) resonate with you, contrast it with some of these "small" ideas. Like the germ theory. Small germs. Big fear. But small idea. Or symptom-treating. Big expense. But small idea.

Once you have a grasp on the significance of chiropractic, and as B.J. put it, "The Bigness of the Fellow Within," fear drops away, practice procedures simplify and patient communications are more direct and powerful.

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08/23/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"If you miss an appointment you'll need to make it up."

Really? Can you actually "make up" an appointment? That would suggest that if a patient were on a three-times-a-week schedule and missed one, the following week they would need to be seen four times.

Huh?

If it's just about the number of visits, why not cram their first 12 visits all into a single week? Or a day!

No, this linear, mechanistic notion of how a patient's body uses the energy added to their spine may be more about wielding power. As such, it's parental, emotionally draining and unsustainable. It's a form of bluffing that exposes an insecurity and mistrust of patients.

More likely? Missed visits could cause a loss of momentum, delaying or even preventing the recovery process. Instead of the quantity of visits, isn't it actually about their frequency and consistency?

Why not explain that to patients?

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08/16/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"Chiropractic works when traditional methods fail."

Yes, but with a few important caveats that are often overlooked.

1. Is the original stress still present? If subluxation is the body's attempt at accommodating physical, chemical or emotional stress, and the stressor is still present in the patient's life, the likelihood of chiropractic working is less assured.

2. Limitation of matter. In the same way we can't regrow lost fingers and toes, there are limitations to what is possible based on a patient's age, conditioning and their willingness to follow recommendations and make lifestyle changes.

3. Is the patient invested in their recovery? Some may enjoy secondary gains from their poor health and aren't fully committed to healing. Harnessing the mind/body connection is essential and one reason to employ effective chiropractic patient education.

Although not quite as sexy, it might be more accurate to say, "Chiropractic often works when traditional methods fail."

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08/09/10

Monday Morning Motivation

“Chiropractic adds years to life and life to years.”

If this were true, it would probably give an incredible boost to the popularity and utilization of chiropractic. Those patients and DCs who are of a more mechanistic bent see this sort of claim as over reaching, bordering on hyperbole—probably the price paid for having reduced chiropractic to a low-tech treatment of headaches and back pain for the last two decades.

While you’d think that a better performing nervous system, improved balance and increased flexibility would extend life and enhance vitality, it’s unlikely that the highest levels of proof (RCT) could objectively substantiate it.

My experience has been that those who need proof rarely get enough of it, or of high enough quality to be satisfied. As for me, I will continue to receive nonsymptomatic chiropractic care until the end. And without a parallel universe, we’ll never know for sure.

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08/02/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"Are you leaving someone at home to develop the same problem you have?"

This one, from the how-can-we-guilt-or-shame-patients-into-bringing-their-family-in-for-care department, generally falls on deaf ears. Largely because regardless of what you tell patients, most subscribe to the "if-it's-not-broken-don't-fix-it" school of thought.

This reveals that for many patients, taking preventive measures before symptomatic episodes emerge is seen as a needless luxury. This myopic view is echoed by financial institutions who report that most Baby Boomers are not saving for their retirement.

So, don't take it personally!

Instead, take a more subtle, long-term approach. Make sure that every patient is aware that chiropractic helps with countless other issues than the one that prompted him or her to begin care. And secondly, provide ample clues throughout your practice environment that you see children. These strategies may not be as gratifying, but they avoid the use of guilt or shame and are considerably less manipulative.

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07/26/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten."

Dream on! In a static-never-changing world, this might be true. However, these days it's a full time job adapting to the turbulent practice environment. This has made practice disorienting for many.

Assume that everything you know about what patients want, what motivates them and what constitutes success is obsolete. Because it probably is. Especially if you practiced in the 80s and 90s before the Internet, organic produce and today’s climate of limited insurance reimbursement.

The solution? Ask more questions. And then listen as if your livelihood depended on it. Because it does. Rediscover what it's like to be a servant. Rethink the dogmatic "my-way-or-the-highway" that barely worked when there were a seemingly endless supply of new patients (with insurance) waiting in the wings. Become a student again. In times of change, the learning never ends.

07/19/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"Patients don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

Imagine a patient, surveying your framed chiropractic college diploma on the wall, "So doc, what was your GPA? Did you graduate in the upper, middle or lower third of your class?" Or, "What grade did you get in neuroanatomy?"

Probably hasn't happened. Probably won't. Patients assume that a licensing board has confirmed that you have the smarts to practice. Instead, patients are more attuned to far subtler clues that reveal your intention, confidence and certainty.

How do patients know if you care? By simply observing you and how you show up. Are you a listener? Are you curious? Are you authentic? Are you transparent? Are you interested? Or, are you merely using them to fulfill your own agenda?

Careful! When you care about their health more than they care about their health, burnout is around the corner.

07/12/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"If patients knew what you knew, they would do what you do."

This one has misled thousands of chiropractors. Repeated at just about every chiropractic gathering at one time or another, this chiroism overlooks the chasm between knowing and doing. In the same way most dental patients know they should regularly floss, but don't, most chiropractic patients know they would benefit from regular, nonsymptomatic chiropractic checkups, but don't.

The truth is, patients do what they do because they believe what they believe.

We all act in ways to remain congruent with what we believe. Thus, doing is a symptom of what you believe. If patients discontinue their care as soon as they feel better, it's because of what they believe, not because of what they know.

If you have any hope of attracting cash-paying families interested in wellness care, you're actually in the belief changing business, not the spine-straightening-curve-restoration-pain-relief business.

07/05/10

Monday Morning Motivation

“The power that made the body, heals the body.”

Yes. There still isn’t a recorded instance of a doctor (of any ilk) healing a patient. In fact, if the truth were told, no one knows exactly how the body heals. But we do know this: For healing to occur, at least two things must be present.

First, life must be present. Dead bodies do not heal. And generally speaking, young bodies tend to heal faster than older bodies.

Second, connection must be present. End organs must be connected to the brain. And people must be connected to community. Isolation, separation or interference always hinder the healing process.

Careful that you don’t inadvertently sanction the common patient perception that you and your adjustments heal the body. They do not. Nor does the physician’s pills or the surgeon’s knife. Patients will often give you the credit, but accepting it would be stealing.

06/28/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"Three times a week for the first four weeks, then twice a week for the next four weeks, then once a week for the next four weeks, etc."

Sorry. This one may roll off the tongues of thousands of chiropractors with practiced precision, but dig deeper and it's a scripted substitute for critical thinking.

Predicting the amount of care needed beyond a dozen or so visits before the first progress examination is bordering on crystal-ball-winning-the-lottery level psychic powers. Not only do many chiropractors make this stock recommendation before delivering the first adjustment, they're clueless about the patient's willingness to make lifestyle changes or take any other proactive steps to support the care they receive.

No, this is a form of bluffing. They may or may not need dozens of visits over the course of weeks and months, but declaring it up front, even when done with authority, is advanced dreaming.

06/21/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"Symptoms are the last thing to show up and the first thing to disappear."

True. Symptoms are what prompts most patients to seek out your help and it's their symptom(s) that they think is their problem.This is why patient education is so important.

Indoctrinated in a symptom-treating mindset long before meeting you, most patients (unless enlightened by a previous chiropractor) are certain that their symptom is their actual problem. You can fall for this symptom-based path of least resistance, or use it as a springboard.

"What do you think is causing your headache?"
"Are you available for a different explanation?"

If you're invited to offer your subluxation-based explanation, you might follow up with…

"By the way, how will you know when your subluxation(s) have been reduced?"

Get ready for their symptom-based answer! This belief is your enemy, not the economy, weather, insurance companies or the other usual suspects.

06/14/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"We address the cause, not the symptom."

Many chiropractors believe that subluxations are the cause of a host of health issues. They probably are. However, upon closer inspection it appears that subluxations are actually symptoms themselves!

At its most fundamental, subluxations involve bones and nerves. Bones, being static structures, move only when muscles contract. Muscles contract based on commands from the nervous system. Thus, notwithstanding the effects of physical trauma, the vertebral displacement often used to ascertain the presence of subluxation is actually a neurological event!

What prompts the nervous system to command muscles to contract? Most chiropractors agree that it is an attempt to accommodate physical, chemical or (probably more commonly) emotional stress.

Address the cause of the cause. Help patients become present to, and reduce, the emotional stress they face. Messy? Yes. Complicated? Of course. But this is where true healing and lasting spinal changes can be found.

06/07/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"Above-down-inside-out."

The beauty of this one is that it pretty much works regardless of your particular brand of chiropractic. You get to choose how high the "above" is.

If you're a mechanist, then the hardwired nervous system is merely what connects the end organs with the "above" of the brain. If you're more metaphysical, the "above" becomes God. Either way, it works.

When B.J. Palmer crafted this chiroism he used it to help distinguish between the underlying assumptions separating chiropractic from medicine. The use of drugs is clearly "outside-in-below-up." Changing blood chemistry to change function may be expedient and in certain situations even lifesaving, yet it's not a healthy, long-term solution and often reveals a profound mistrust of the wisdom of the body.

Notice that in this concise four-word statement the chiropractor isn't the hero. However, God and their God-given ability to heal from the inside-out, are.

05/31/10

Monday Morning Motivation

"I can't pay my bills, but I'm practicing just as I did when I could."

"I'm not making it, but I'm doing it just as I was taught."

The "I-want-success-but-on-my-terms" crowd is quick to reveal that they're doing all the right things—yet it's not working. Oh sure, successful chiropractors do stuff, but what they do is the result of what they believe.

Not: "I need to make more money so I'm going to add this new gadget."

More likely: "I believe my income is proportional to the service I render. Who can I serve that I'm not?"

Even more likely: "Who would I need to be to attract those who can benefit from my unique approach to health?"

Instead of making it about themselves, busy practitioners (or those who want to be) make it about patients or prospective patient. Results are a reflection of your heart and motives, not procedures

05/24/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you have a stop and go practice?

If you have the unfortunate task of dealing with rush hour traffic, you know how exhausting it can be. Unlike cruising at higher speeds, stop and go traffic requires greater presence and there's more opportunity for mishaps.

Many chiropractors practice this way. Adjusting a patient or two. Then reading a magazine. Adjusting a patient or two. Then surfing the Internet. Adjusting a patient or two. Then doing some paperwork. Adjusting a patient or two. Then returning a phone call. Their day is filled with interruptions and attention stealers, defiling the sacred time with patients.

Cluster book as best you can. Then, during those rhythm-breaking lulls, remain focused by working on your business. Listen back to a recording of your last report of findings. Improve your website. Clean a closet. By staying in the zone, you'll deliver better adjustments and help more people.

05/17/10

Monday Morning Motivation

You cannot have peaks without valleys; crests without troughs.

Yet, many have been convinced that their practice can grow indefinitely. The roller-coaster practice that so many are familiar with is perfectly natural. Winter summer. Inhale exhale. Work rest.

This is different from an underperforming practice. A long down without an up is the marketplace voting with its feet, sharing some feedback about your relevance, value or arrogance. But ups and downs are natural; healthy actually.

So, be careful that you don't let others medicalize it, convincing you to "treat" it with a series of seminars, phone calls, some new gadget or shame-producing comparisons with other chiropractors. Continuous, unbridled growth may occur in a Petri dish or in the body as a deadly cancer, but a bust always follows a boom.

More serious is not having the faith during the troughs to rest, recreate and reinvent yourself for the next mountaintop experience.

05/10/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you like being right?

Remember, you can be right, but have an empty reception room. You can be right, but have cancer. You can be right, but push away those who love you. Being right is often the source of divorce, war and untold suffering. Being right must be very important.

It's not.

I bet you can't remember the last time you were "right." Neither can the patient, staff or spouse who was "wrong." However, they do remember the bad taste it left in their mouth and its accompanying odor of superiority.

Next time, let them be right. (Don't tell them!) Notice what happens. The world doesn't end and what would have been the source of unattractive confrontation passes unfettered by anger or self-inflicted, life-shortening hormonal changes in you.

Imagine an inactive patient telling a friend about you. "You should see Dr. SoAndSo. He's always right!"

I doubt it.

05/03/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Forgive everyone for everything.

Probably little else produces such negative health effects as an unwillingness to forgive others. Our so-called "justified resentments" cause untold suffering. Like drinking poison, hoping it will hurt someone else, our self-righteous indignation does little more than to remind us how powerless we are over others.

This week forgive patients who choose to ignore your recommendations or behave in ways that sabotage their health and longevity.

This week forgive staff members who underperform or reveal their humanity by their limitations or lack of training.

This week forgive family members for their habits, lack of support or the misuse of their power or trust.

This week forgive yourself for falling short of the mark, passing judgment on others and creating, and then drinking, the poison of unforgiveness.

In other words, forgive everyone for everything. Because true success is actually a shedding process, not an acquiring process.

04/26/10

Monday Morning Motivation

One thing that makes fast food unhealthy is that it's rarely made with love. That's one reason family meals are so much better for us. There's love in the food.

Is there love in your adjustments? Or maybe you offer the...

Hurry-up-I-have-a-busy-reception-room adjustment.
I'm-in-the-zone-so-don't-bother-me-with-a-question adjustment.
Lie-down-I-don't-care-about-your-symptoms adjustment.
I'm-preoccupied-with-how-poorly-my-practice-is-going adjustment.
Are-you-doing-what-I-told-you-to-do adjustment.

These share a striking similarity to the energy exuded by the minimum wage high schooler who is resentful of having to flip burgers, too cool to be selling tacos or merely watching the clock at the fried chicken joint. It's edible, but the food is missing a key ingredient for maximum nutrition: love.

Same in your practice. Don't overlook the energetics that accompany your adjustment. Be 100% present. Visualize new possibilities for each patient. Deliver each adjustment with a generous dollop of love. Only when you make it about them and their dreams, will your dreams come true.

04/19/10

Monday Morning Motivation

If there was something that you could say or do that would cause a patient to place a higher value on their health, it would be common knowledge by now.

It doesn't exist.

Yet, every day there are people who change their diet, begin regular exercise programs, stop smoking, give up alcohol, swear off meat or dairy, start flossing, begin training for a marathon and on and on. Was it because someone nagged them? Unlikely. Lasting health habits are internally directed, and like healing, come from the inside out.

Something inspired them. Something made them angry or disgusted enough to act. They wanted something badly enough to do the work. They hit bottom and resolved to climb out.

The point? They wanted it. You can want it for someone else, but ultimately, they have to want it for themselves. How do you help them want it?

Love.

04/10/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you frequently lie to yourself, ignoring inconvenient contradictions or continuing to do what no longer works?

Those who lie to themselves are especially prone to believing the lies of others. This can manifest in imagining that you can buy a shortcut to success. Or that getting new patients is merely a scripting or procedural exercise. Or that you can buy discipline.

If your practice isn't growing, it isn't for the lack of ideas. You could probably list a dozen things that you could do, should do or have done (but stopped doing) that would most certainly grow your practice. But you're not doing them.

Because it's the who, not the do.

Give up the fear of patients abandoning you. Shed your need to be liked. Meet and tell your chiropractic story to as many strangers as possible. Become curious about what others believe. Tell the truth--to patients and yourself.

04/05/10

Monday Morning Motivation

A chiropractor going through a rough patch rarely wakes up with the revelation, "I know! The reason my practice is struggling is because I don't fully understand chiropractic. I've been practicing chiropractic medicine! No wonder patients leave when they feel better!"

If you're "treating" subluxations in your "treatment" rooms or you're ignoring the potential whole-body neurological effects of aberrant spinal biomechanics as you improve spinal function, you probably have a voracious appetite for new patients. Just like medical doctors. With one critical distinction: patients go to medical practitioners first.

This week, vow to explain to every patient that subluxation is a response to physical, chemical and emotional stress. This week, avoid the temptation to treat subluxations in favor of enhancing the patient's ability to self-heal, trusting the body to take care of the rest. It may be a subtle difference, but it will make all the difference in the world.

03/29/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you feed vampires?

A "vampire" is a pejorative used by some chiropractors to describe certain high-maintenance, energy-draining patients. And while labeling others in this way is unwise, it's especially unbecoming if you'd like to see yourself as a facilitator or healer. Or want to become one.

What chiropractors who use this term are actually saying is, "I have such poor personal boundaries, I allow certain patients to affect me in unhealthy ways. I am so dependent on people liking me that I find myself saying and doing things that I shouldn't and I'm resentful for not being true to myself."

Yes, there are people who need your acceptance more than others. And there are those who are less certain and more fearful than you. That's why they consult you! Make sure that your reaction, which is the one thing you can control, doesn't reveal your own fears and uncertainties.

03/22/10

Monday Morning Motivation

It's the who, not the do.

Thinking that doing this or saying that will produce new patients is a linear, mechanistic notion that doesn't properly reflect how a practice grows. Imagining that implementing a technique or procedure will produce new patients is actually manipulative and self-serving.

Begin by clarifying why you desire new patients. Is it to help others? Or to help yourself?

If your interest in new patients is to generate income, reach a goal, pay your bills or even fill gaps in your schedule, chances are new patients remain elusive. If, on the other hand, new patients mean new opportunities to serve, introduce the truth, save others from risky drugs or irreversible surgery, new patients manifest more easily.

Prospective new patients see your heart. They detect your motives. Start there. Because all things being equal, getting new patients is more about who you are, than what you do.

03/15/10

Monday Morning Motivation

True success is about raising your standards. Settling, tolerating and accepting the status quo are treading-water strategies of the average; the mediocre.

Raise your physical standards. Shed the extra 10 pounds. Get to bed earlier. Wake 15 minutes sooner. Exercise five minutes longer. Get to the office 30 minutes earlier. Plan next year's vacations.

Raise your intellectual standards. Shun all commercial radio, television and newspapers. Read the books you've neglected. Journal. Relisten to those motivational tapes.

Raise your emotional standards. Stop all gossip. Drive the speed limit. Say, "I love you" to three people today. Introduce yourself to a stranger. Let someone else to be right.

Raise your spiritual standards. Worship. Fast. Express your gratitude. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Conduct random acts of kindness. Secretly give money to someone in need.

As you hold yourself to higher standards, the new you attracts a new set of people, things and circumstances!

03/08/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Leadership is the process of assuring others that the future will be better than the present. You become a leader of patients by helping them see a better tomorrow.

How?

Find out what patients really want. Sure, they want relief, but what they really want is something far greater. Don't settle for the "first right answer." Dig.

Whether it's a new career, a life partner or a sense of ease, it all begins by seeing it. Help them form a clear and vivid mental image of it. Remind them of how it could be. Help them see beyond the distractions of the urgent present and transport them to the possible future. Keep their focus on the goal.

Leaders are actually servants, helping others get what they want. When you add value in this way, not only will you be handsomely rewarded, you'll have delivered the most powerful adjustment of all: hope.

03/01/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Professional caregivers of every ilk are at risk of burnout. While burnout tends to show up as a lethargic, low-energy physical malaise, it's actually an emotional issue. It's a sign your emotional "checking account" is overdrawn.

This overdraft is often the result of investing yourself in situations in which you have little or no control. Such as, whether your intervention produces results quick enough to please patients. Or, whether patients will follow your recommendations. The lack of control, unrewarded effort and patients who want you to do all the work, create a dangerous, "if-they-don't-care-why-should-I" attitude.

Patients aren't the problem. The real culprit is failing to establish clear boundaries.

At your report, clarify where your responsibility ends and the patient's begins. Make sure they know that in many ways they control the outcome of their care more than you do. Even better, avoid the temptation of showing up as the heroic rescuer.

02/22/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Is your practice a cult?

One characteristic of a cult is the attempt to control what its members say and do. Such as...

No talk about symptoms. How to you expect to change what symptoms mean to patients if they're not allowed to talk about them?

Wellness is superior to relief. How will patients believe the benefits of regular checkups if they don't start care, stop care and experience a relapse or two?

Drugs are bad. Every cult needs an enemy and medicine is a convenient target. Drugs aren't the enemy. Beliefs about symptom treating are.

These and others suggest a profound mistrust of patients. Hijacking their free will, even if justified in a patient's best interest, is parental and potentially exploitive. Such practices require a constant replenishing of new patients as the limitations of their power is revealed by patients who discontinue care without notice and rarely refer others.

02/15/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Chiropractic supports a multitude of practice management and consulting firms. Before you purchase these services, clarify what you actually need.

Consultant. Don't have a paperwork system? Need help with patient flow or office layout? Don't know what you don't know? You may need a practice consultant.

Coach. Do you lack discipline? Do you know what to do, but need someone to nag you to take courageous action steps? You probably need a coach.

Accountability partner. If you want to use peer pressure to motivate action, perhaps something as simple as a monthly breakfast meeting with a local colleague or mastermind group will do the job.

Mentor. This is someone who holds similar values as you and is living them in a way that you aspire to express yourself. Their association with or knowledge of chiropractic may not be essential.

Don't buy a hammer if what you need is a wrench!

02/08/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you care too much?

With a tip of the hat to comedian Jeff Foxworthy of "You-might-be-a-redneck-if..." fame, you might care too much if you...

...feel a twinge of anger when patients miss an appointment or disregard your recommendations.

...adjust a new patient on the first visit because you hope it will validate you or your subsequent recommendations.

...become defensive when a patient mentions they're unhappy with the pace of their recovery.

...assume that when patients discontinue care unexpectedly it's because of something you forgot to say or do.

...permit patients to run up large balances because you're uncomfortable asking to be paid.

And it's not only what you say. It can be a raised eyebrow, a judgmental tone or imposing an expectation beyond the patient's limited level of commitment.

Care, but don't care too much. It's the "social" part of "...optimum physical, mental and social well-being" of healthy chiropractors.

02/01/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you a clingy chiropractor?

One way some chiropractors keep their practices small is to overly concern themselves with getting patients to like them. This is often motivated by two unhelpful beliefs:

1. If patients like me they will more likely follow my recommendations.

2. If patients like me I can influence them without taking an uncomfortable or unpopular stand.

Don't fall for it.

Showing up as a chameleon, anxious to please others and avoid confrontation, is hard work. Changing colors with every patient, carefully editing every word, abdicating your influence so not to ruffle any feathers is practicing Cowardly Chiropractic. You know the truth. Be bold! Walk in confidence! To be respected you must risk rejection. To attract you must repel. To lead patients you must use your compass, not theirs.

Absolutely be friendly. But be careful that you don't cross the line between being friendly and being friends.

01/25/10

Monday Morning Motivation

The tendency to strive for perfection constrains far too many of us. Whether waiting for the perfect staff member, waiting for the perfect circumstances, waiting for just the right time to have a difficult conversation or waiting for a clear sign before making an overdue change. When you're burdened with perfectionism there tends to be a lot of waiting.

However, success favors action, not perfection.

Software is routinely shipped with bugs. Cars are sold with minor defects. The best surgeons make occasional mistakes. And virtually every parent wishes for a "do over" from time to time. When you aim for excellence instead of perfection, you're in action, striving for improvement. Next time.

Ready? Fire! Aim. Actualization is better than intention. And even the smallest step taken in faith is better than a well planned leap never taken. Act! You can fix it, improve it, refine it and move towards excellence later.

01/18/10

Monday Morning Motivation

At a recent chiropractic gathering I was given a book. "My wife wrote this after she was inspired by one of your Monday Morning Motivations. She talks about what happened in the book."

I confess that later, I skimmed the book looking for my name. Twice. But didn't find it. This reminded me that we all wish to be acknowledged. Recognized. Valued. Affirmed.

The busiest practitioners are good at this. "I was delighted to see your name on the appointment book today." "Has anyone told you how nice you look in blue?" "Have you lost some weight?" "Are those new shoes?"

The more you make the experience about them, the more attractive you become. Look for ways to authentically express your gratitude, show your appreciation and recognize the uniqueness of each person you serve. Notice better results and more referrals by being less of a coach and more of cheerleader.

01/11/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Whom do you try to avoid? An ex-employee? An estranged relative? An ex-associate? An especially demanding patient? An ex-boss? Someone you just can't stand being around?

You have allowed that person to imprison you.

It looks as if you're in control, orchestrating your life so you won't encounter them, expending massive amounts of energy in the process. Instead of being at ease, you're on guard. Instead of fully living, you find yourself continually defensive; on the lookout.

Eliminate this kryptonite from your life. It's based on the lie that this person "does" something to you. When in fact, whatever your reaction is, you do it to yourself. You create the uncomfortableness. You create the feelings of inferiority. You create the sense of dread. Or resentment.

If the person who is the source of all this angst lacks positive qualities (unlikely) then at least chose to become indifferent and lose the shackles.

01/04/10

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you have a Plan B?

When practice becomes more challenging than you're accustomed, it's tempting to work up a Plan B in case things go south. Teaching positions. Consulting. Working for a relative. Even changing careers.

At first glance, this sort of thinking is justified as being prepared, resourceful, a good planner or just being wise. It is not. When you "hedge your bet" in this way it's actually a vote against yourself. In fact, knowing that you have an alternative plan prevents some from fully investing in their practice; pulling back and withholding just enough to produce the very circumstances they were worried might happen in the first place.

Burn your ships in the harbor! Close off the escape path! Become completely engaged! Patients, and especially staff members, can tell when you aren't. And they rightfully conclude that if you're not going to fully commit, why should they?

12/28/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Where are you?

You can't leave some place you've never admitted to having been. As you affirm your goals for the New Year, consider the equally important task of taking an inventory of where you are.

• Do you have a spending problem that manifests as credit card debt?
• Is there an addiction or some other "shiny object" that you use to escape reality?
• Has a lack of discipline shown up as extra weight or a refusal to exercise?
• Is there a difficult conversation you've put off, producing resentful tolerations?
• Are you inclined to try to fix others instead of yourself?

Before you create elaborate goals and make resolutions, admit to what is so in your life and your practice. Ignoring it, resisting it or looking past it isn't fooling anyone. Especially you.
Before you can get from Point A to Point B, you must be certain where Point A is.

12/21/09

Monday Morning Motivation

"Don't accept candy from a stranger."

Great advice if you're six years old. But if a fear of strangers lingers into adulthood, as it does for many, your practice is likely suffering.

Reduced to its most basic, new patients come from telling the chiropractic story to as many strangers as possible. So, if you're afraid or uncomfortable around strangers (or don't encounter many), are unclear what chiropractic is or believe great results alone should produce appreciative patients who refer others, then you're probably not helping as many people as you could.

But an underperforming practice pales in comparison to the isolation and separation you feel. This week, turn this around by seeking out opportunities to introduce yourself to strangers. They will appreciate your gesture and who knows what could develop?

Oh, but be careful. They may have their own stranger issues. After all, to a stranger, you're the stranger!

12/14/09

Monday Morning Motivation

"It's going to be great when (fill in the blank)."

Not true. This common deception has us ignoring the present (the only place where we have any influence) in favor of trying to live in the future. This creates a way of being that either puts us on the sidelines; killing time waiting for the future to arrive, or causes us to rush headlong past unsmelled roses, bulldozing our way into the future.

Just remember that you'll be taking you with you into the future.

Your dissatisfaction with the present will most likely produce an unsatisfying future. So, if you're unhappy, fearful or stressed today, you'll be unhappy, fearful or stressed then. That's because everything is first conceived spiritually before it manifests physically.

Once you start planting spiritual seeds of gratitude and appreciation for your current circumstances, regardless of what they are, your future will brighten. As will your present.

12/07/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you confuse hearing with listening?

Hearing is a neuromechanical function that translates subtle changes in air pressure into electrical signals detectable by our brains. Listening is a social skill in which we surrender our attention so we can decode the meaning and significance of that spoken by another.

While hearing is about comprehension, listening is about interpretation. Hearing is passive. Listening is active. Most of us hear, but rarely fully listen. (Ask your spouse!)

How to listen:

    Be fully 100% present with the other person.
    Show up empty without your answer ready.
    Replace the tendency to judge with curiosity.
    Use your own words to confirm what you're interpreting.

True listening communicates your respect for patients and ultimately how much you value them. They can tell whether you're listening or merely "reloading," faking your interest to fulfill your own agenda. More telling is that your attention profoundly reveals your intention.

11/30/09

Monday Morning Motivation

If you crave admiration, the fastest way to go from zero to hero is to let chiropractic results speak for themselves. Results may win over skeptics, but is it a wise strategy?

Countless chiropractors who let results validate and affirm them as the hero, find themselves today surrounded by thousands of inactive patient folders and doubt-producing gaps in their appointment schedules.

Make the patient the hero. Advocate, promote, teach and revere chiropractic principles, letting the subsequent results validate them, not you or your ministrations. It’s their inborn ability to heal that’s the hero, not you or your artfully delivered intervention!

When you show up as a facilitator, rather than a fixer, you increase the likelihood that patients will see chiropractic as a lifestyle decision and not merely a short-term diet for pain relief. Similarly, promoting chiropractic principles instead of you or your practice makes your public outreaches more powerful, persuasive and attractive.

11/23/09

Monday Morning Motivation

M st patients think chir pract rs are back d ct rs. Certainly, the spine is the p int f access. Yet, few think f medical d ct rs as m uth d ct rs because the prescripti n enters the b dy thr ugh the m uth!

C rrecting this c mm n misc ncepti n ab ut chir practic is crucial if y u have any h pe f patients embracing a larger r le in their lives f r chir practic than a rudimentary and natural f rm f pain relief.

Making chir practic ab ut the integrity f their nerv us system is a nice start. And while the
sp ken w rd is c nvenient, even free, y u generally get what y u pay f r. Y u may find that putting y ur chir practic st ry in writing, maybe even as a hand ut can have greater impact.

Write up y ur explanati n (that's the m st imp rtant part) and then use y ur w rd pr cess r t do a find and replace nd substitute spaces f r a vowel r two like this. It c uld help c mmunicate the c ncept f nerve interference nicely.

11/16/09

Monday Morning Motivation

You've probably heard, "If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got." To that add: until you don't. That's where many chiropractors find themselves. What used to work doesn't.

Now what?

Show up curious. You need the truth. Ask your current patients more questions.

"Why did you choose chiropractic to address this issue?" (Clue: it wasn't to restore a lordotic curve!)

"What do you hope to do better or enjoy more when you regain your health?" (Clue: it isn't so they can rave about their chiropractor!)

"If this were your practice how would introduce more people to chiropractic?" (Clue: Ignore every suggestion involving advertising.)

When times change, you must also change. For the moment, forget about making the right choice. Just choose! The danger is in freezing and not taking action. (Which is most certainly the wrong choice!) Choose, and then make it the right choice.

11/09/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Imagine 100% perfect patient compliance. Sound interesting?

If you’re inclined to hijack a patient’s free will so they make the choices you think would be in their best interests, perfect patient follow-through probably sounds attractive.

But not so fast. You’d probably tire of this god-like omniscience after a week or two. Practice would quickly become tedious as patients show up as mindless automatons obeying your every wish. Dig deeper and you’ll discover that once you enjoy high levels of clinical certainty, it’s actually the creativity and resourcefulness needed to communicate with patients and lead them to higher levels of health and understanding that makes practice interesting and rewarding.

Allowing practice to degenerate into getting patients to do your bidding crosses a boundary that becomes parental, emotionally draining and ultimately, unsustainable. Following your orders is hardly as fulfilling as inspiring patients to assume greater responsibility, acting volitionally to enhance their health and well-being.

11/02/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you try to motivate patients?

Motivate, as in “an incentive for action; to move.” It’s a classic outside-in technique for managing others. Motivation is like a drug that only temporarily changes a patient’s physiology. Discontinue the drug, and the symptoms return. Same with patient motivation. Not only do many patients resent your overtures, your unrewarded effort leads to anger that later manifests as burnout.

It would be healthier (for both you and the patient) if your objective were to inspire patients. Inspire, as in “to communicate with the spirit; to breathe into.”

Motivate is something you do. Inspire is something you are. It begins by being the change you want to see in the world; to show up in such a way that patients think, “I would like to be like him/her.”

Be that, and not only will you have the opportunity to change their spine, you’ll change the world.

10/26/09

Monday Morning Motivation

On what assumptions have you based your practice?

Chances are that when you chose chiropractic as a career and opened your practice, you did so based on a series of assumptions. Such as, chiropractic will help get sick people well. There are enough people who want chiropractic care to have profitable practice. And of course the assumption that with sufficient research, chiropractic will be embraced by the mainstream.

More troubling are some other assumptions made by chiropractors who find themselves struggling. Such as, patients want health. Doing a great job produces referrals. If you say the right words, you can get patients to value their health. And the all too common assumption that lowering fees will increase patient volume!

Make a list of the assumptions you make. Hold them up to the light. Are they true? Remember what happens when you assume--you make an "ass" of "u" and "me."

10/19/09

Monday Morning Motivation

The scriptures are replete with examples of the severe penalties faced by Israel for indulging in idolatry. Today, we tend to scoff at the notion of idolatry, even celebrating it in popular television programming (American Idol)!

Have you constructed idols in your practice? Some chiropractors have turned their technique, their health, their reputation and even their hands into idols.

This is dangerous territory. Besides the obvious hubris, it suggests that you're somehow responsible for the healing and the often dramatic results produced by reducing tension to the nervous system along the spinal column.

However, like your car's ignition key that activates the intelligence built into it by the engineers who designed and manufactured it, your adjustment merely invokes the intelligence built into each patient by their Maker. Claiming credit (or taking blame) is actually a form of stealing.

Give credit to the manufacturer, not the key; the Maker, not the adjustment.

10/12/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Is your objective to treat the patient's pain, restore motion or eradicate subluxations? If so, that's the practice of medicine. This is a distinction lost on patients, ignored by insurance companies, missed by licensing bodies and overlooked by many chiropractors.

So, it's no surprise that those chiropractors who haven't made this distinction often have a constant need for new patients.

If you've found yourself in the business of "fixing" spines or relieving aches and pains (what patients want) rather than helping invoke their inborn ability to self-heal (and explaining the difference), it's only natural to expect patients to leave when their symptoms are gone. After all, they think you're a back doctor.

Thus, the notion of regularly seeing a chiropractor to be their best for the rest of their lives to maximize their well-being or enhance their ability to accommodate the stresses of daily living seem like a needless and expensive self-indulgent luxury!

10/05/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Are some of your adjustments better than others?

In far too many practices, the first patient or two of the day receive inferior care. Like an undisciplined basketball player who resents having to do the drills, the wind sprints and the free-throw practice, many chiropractors just want to play. They arrive at the practice mere minutes before their first patient. They're not warmed up. They haven't visualized the day. And they're little more than human pneumatic devices.

This can be costly. Besides reducing the adjustment to a soulless mechanical thrust, the accompanying lack of presence obscures opportunities for more profound listening and the insights that have are the trademark of legendary healers.

This week, get to the practice earlier. Prepare for every patient. Rehearse conversations. Show up alert, intuitive and ready to serve. Then you'll know what they need besides an adjustment, whether it's information, encouragement, hope or merely a willing ear.

09/28/09

Monday Morning Motivation

It's not about you.

As a child, we arrived on the scene attempting to make meaning of the world and the actions of others. We often made incorrect assumptions, attaching me-centered meanings to events and situations. ("I caused my parents' divorce." "Others can't be trusted." "There's not enough." "I'm not smart enough." "The world is a dangerous place." "Be afraid of strangers." Etc.)

It's no surprise that the habit of making these short, life-limiting pronouncements, that put us in the center of the universe, continue as we age. This handicaps our ability to show up as a servant. It cripples us by seeking to be liked. It creates a selfishness that prevents us from prospering.

What patients do or don't do is not about you. You can make it about you; in fact, many chiropractors are inclined to do so. However, the price of this luxurious self-absorption is a small, easy-to-manage practice.

09/21/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Everyone has goals. The question is, are they your goals or someone else's?

If you don't have the discipline, vision or presence of mind to create specific goals for yourself, don't worry. Someone else will gladly assume that responsibility for you. And probably has. Much of the burnout and frustration we experience is the result of trying to live out someone else's notion of what we should be or do.

Still trying to be enough to obtain the approval of a parent? Or maybe you've submitted to a consultant who is prescribing inauthentic procedures or ways of being. Or maybe you've surrendered your future to an addiction or the undisciplined spending habits of your partner. The possibilities for having your goals hijacked by others are endless.

This week, claim what is yours. Live consciously. Bring intention to your life. Set your own goals and be a thermostat, not merely a thermometer.

09/14/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you curse patients?

I'm not talking about using profanity. I'm referring to a form of condemnation. It can sound like, "He'll never 'get' chiropractic." Or, "She's always late for her appointments." Or, "I don't see how he will ever come around to accepting what we do here."

A common telltale sign of cursing others is when you use terms like always, never, ever and other blanket assertions that are rarely true. Worse, labeling these perceptions and then speaking them aloud is a criticism and judgment that is out of character for someone who claims to advance hope and promote healing.

This week, become more mindful of the declarations you make about others as well as yourself. Make sure your words reflect what is true about possibilities, change, growth and opportunity. Speak that into the world. That's when you'll notice breakthroughs, miracles and serendipitous moments that you would have formerly labeled as mere coincidence.

09/07/09

Monday Morning Motivation

As a small business owner, an important question to ask yourself is, "What business am I in?"

It may seem like you're in the chiropractic business, the health care business or even the chiropractic-adjustment-delivery-business.

Careful!

These might constitute an adequate "first right answer," but dig deeper. Because while you obviously examine, report, inspire, adjust and lead patients, it may not be the business you're in. Because the ability to help patients is only possible by building trust, supplying education, producing hope, changing beliefs, creating new meaning, enlarging possibilities and sharing the truth. In fact, without these, your significance is limited, short lived and rarely blossoms into influential, long-term relationships.

Your purpose is not to adjust patients. My guess is that adjusting patients helps advance or fulfill your purpose. So, what is it? You'd want to know. By not knowing, you're reduced to a human doing from a human being.

08/31/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Gratitude

Are you facing a challenge? Be thankful. Are you still paying for a past decision? Be thankful. Are circumstances less than desirable? Be thankful.

The natural tendency is to resist or condemn situations that are less than ideal. Be grateful instead!

"But if I'm thankful, it's as if I'm inviting still more problems," we lie to ourselves.

Not true. Virtually every circumstance has a lesson for us if we're willing to look deeply enough and learn. Especially our so-called "failures." Begin by first giving thanks for them.

You can't leave somewhere you've never been. Gratitude is the discipline that provides the access for something better. Accept what is (the Law of Reality) and be thankful for it, good or bad. Not only does life get instantly better, but what you thought were challenges, difficulties or trying circumstances are reduced to helpful reminders of what doesn't work. How great is that?

08/24/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Hierarchy of Values

Actions rarely lie. They are symptoms of beliefs. Beliefs reveal our values. Ultimately, what we value prompts us to action, whether it's the value we place on our appearance, our family or in the case of patients, the value they place on their health.

Patients who place a high value on their health are more open to patient education opportunities, nonsymptomatic care and more likely to pursue opportunities to maximize their well-being.

Patients who place a low value on their health are inclined to spend minimal amounts of time and money on themselves. They have other things that they value more. Perhaps it's their career, grandchildren, travel or the latest gadget.

It's their free will choice you know. (Law of Reality).

There is little you can do to change their values. You can talk until you blue in the face or light your hair on fire. No change.

Love them anyway.

08/17/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Reality

Remember the lyric from the 1980s song, "I fought the law, but the law won." Same thing with reality. What is, is. It won't be argued with and it always wins.

Most suffering comes from attempting to deny, ignore, dispute or resist reality. Reality always comes out on top. What is real for you?

Take an inventory of your resources, whether it's your time, talent and experience or your health, perseverance or sense of humor.

Take an inventory of your debts, whether they're financial, psychological, relational, poor health or poor character judgment.

Take an inventory of your assumptions, whether it's your beliefs about patients, your support team, the economy or the future.

Take an inventory of your habits, both the constructive and the destructive ones.

That's your reality. Since past performance is the best predictor of the future, if you want a different future, change the only thing you can: you.

08/10/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Forgiveness

If it's true, as I believe, that the cause of many diseases is unresolved emotional issues, then certainly a common culprit is unreleased anger and resentment. What is so ironic is that these emotions are self-created; they are choices we make based on our own emotional reality.

Since they are self-created, it makes sense they can be self-destroyed, which is the purpose of forgiveness. Forgiving someone who you believe has wronged you is for your benefit not theirs!

Even the scriptures are clear about this self-righteous indignation: forgive those who have wronged you before expecting the blessings of God. Don't allow the sun to set on your anger.

If you desire to be a healer, rather than merely a spine mechanic, educate patients about the Law of Forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn't condone or approve of the behavior. It merely releases the emotional charge that's been given it.

Whom do you need to forgive?

08/03/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Supply and Demand

The Law of Supply and Demand suggests that the supply is created by the demand. Not the other way around. What do you supply? But a better question is, what do patients demand?

Careful that you aren't supplying something that patients don't want or value enough to pay for. Many chiropractors attempt to sell wellness to patients who simply want to feel better. Others sell spinal curve restoration to patients who merely want their symptoms to stop impairing their golf game or ability to earn a living.

Answering a question that isn't being asked, scratching where it doesn't itch and wanting true health for patients who have considerably lower dreams is a recipe for frustration, disappointment and misunderstanding.

Finding an existing need and filling it is more pragmatic than attempting to create a new need and filling it. Do you know what patients want? Find out. How? Ask!

07/27/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Conservation of Energy

We are energy. The chair you’re sitting on is energy too. Granted, in a different form, but energy all the same. Based on the First Law of Thermodynamics we know that energy is never created or destroyed, it merely changes form, taking the path of least resistance.

When you adjust a patient, you’re adding energy to the patient’s body. What the patient’s body does with that energy is out of your control. Perhaps their body is still in defense mode; the stressor still being present in their life. Imagining that you can control or regulate how someone else’s body uses energy is as foolish as thinking you can lose weight for someone else.

Energy always moves from high concentration to low concentration; from high vibration to low. This process of dissipation can make your reaction to certain patients a drain. But remember, it’s not them. It’s your reaction that’s draining!

07/20/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Attraction

Much has been written about attracting what we want into our lives. But consider an aspect that may have been overlooked, even with all the buzz surrounding The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know?

Ever see a magnet with just a north pole?

A magnet is powerful because one pole completes the other. Just like your spouse completes you, your staff completes you and even your patients complete you. Without this completion, we have the equivalent of a free radical.

If you show up in your life or your practice with the need to control, then you'll largely attract emotionally-draining patients who must be managed. In fact, it's the primary type of patient you attract since self-responsible individuals find you overbearing and well, unattractive.

If you don't care for the people or circumstances showing up for you, show up different before you can expect to attract completions that are more pleasing.

07/13/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Opposites

We live in a universe of duality. Day and night. Winter and summer. Birth and death. Good and evil. Boom and bust. One cannot exist without the other. In fact, it can only exist because of the other!

Imagining that you can have the crest of the wave without the bottom of the trough ignores this simple reality. Expecting that your practice can grow and grow and grow and expand forever, while the focus of many chiropractors' dreams, is impossible. Expansion without contraction is actually unhealthy. When this happens in the body we call it cancer.

Whether success or failure, realize that this shall pass. It may not seem that way at the time, but it's true.

If you're in a trough now, first be grateful. Then, faithfully prepare for the upcoming crest. Because it's coming. Clean. Organize. Repair. Reinvent. And if you have enough faith, use this time to rest.

07/06/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Fair Exchange

In every transaction, there must be an equal exchange between both parties. If not, expect a short-term relationship and an unsustainable business.

Countless chiropractors break this law when establishing or administering their patient financial policy.

At one extreme is the practice that allows patients to run up high, outstanding balances in which the debt, or a large portion of it, becomes uncollectible. They think by not insisting on payment that they are somehow doing the patient a favor.

At the other end of the spectrum are practices that force annual care plans, seducing patients with low, amortized visit fees which (in the fine print) are withdrawn should the patient discontinue care early.

Fair exchange is part of the healing process. And referrals! You'll rarely get referrals from patients who leave owing large outstanding balances. And if you do, those they refer know that you don't respect yourself enough to expect payment.

06/29/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of the Lid

Patients rarely get healthier than their doctor.

If you want to help those with work injuries or suffering the aftermath of a car accident, you don't have to be very healthy. These victims rarely want health, they simply want to be made whole.

On the other hand, if you desire a practice full of cash-paying, lifetime wellness individuals who value true health, you'll need to be healthy. Not so you can project a "healthier than thou" attitude! Instead, from walking your talk and out of your abundance, you can be an authentic guide, a desirable example and an understanding steward.

Remember, true health is optimum physical, mental and social well-being. Sure, most of us could afford to lose some weight, however it's often the mental and social well-being that holds the greatest opportunity for improvement.

As Mahatma Gandhi so eloquently admonished, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

06/22/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Reciprocity

You must first give to get. Giving creates a debt; an imbalance. The debt is paid by returning the favor.

A new patient referral can be gift or a get.

If you want more referrals, give more referrals. When appropriate, refer to the MD down the street or the pediatrician who "gets it." Refer patients to a good plumber, roofer or restaurant. Assume the role of a concierge, solving more problems than just their admitting complaint. Become the "go to" person for anything and anyone and watch your influence (and reciprocal referrals) grow.

The Law of Reciprocity takes time. The error that many make is they superimpose their own sense of time when invoking the Law. Trust it will come back to you, next month, next year or some time in eternity. But it always comes back. What you give away (good or bad) always returns.

06/15/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Identity

Horse. Zebra. Similar, but different. The Law of Identity is based on the ability to make distinctions with our language—something difficult to do if we're hamstrung by underdeveloped observational skills or crippled by a limited vocabulary.

For example. If you have the desire to have a practice of nonsymptomatic families availing themselves of care designed to maintain their health or promote wellness, calling them "patients," which comes from the Latin meaning "to suffer," blurs the distinction. Oh, they may begin care as patients, but at some point (if all goes according to plan) they're no longer suffering. If you want more these non-suffering regulars, you'll want to call them something other than patients. (i.e. clients, practice members, participants, etc.)

This is this and that is that. Success does not flow toward ambiguity, vagueness or those who are lazy with language. Rigor displayed here pays off later, but it's a distinction lost on many.

06/08/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Sowing and Reaping

Plant seeds of doubt and you'll reap a harvest of uncertainty. Plant seeds of fear and you'll pick the fruit of scarcity and lack. Conversely, plant seeds of abundance, certainty and trust and you'll yield a crop of hope and healing. Plant love and your harvest will be bumper crop of still more love.

In other words, what goes around, comes around.

If you plant seeds of control and management in the soil of your patient relationships, expect a harvest of high maintenance patients who require emotionally draining supervision and who set you up for disappointment. And if you plant seeds of trust and personal responsibility, you will just as certainly manifest patients with high self-esteem who value accountability and wellness care.

The seeds you plant are up to you. It's your garden. Naturally, if you're unhappy with your harvest, plant different seeds!

06/01/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Law of Cause and Effect

Thankfully, we live in a world in which every effect has a cause. Thus, there are no accidents. Most accidents are merely effects to which we have not acknowledged the actual cause.

Naturally, most of us attempt to uncover the cause when things don't go our way or as we expect. But remember, the fact that new patients manifest (or don't) is an effect. As are referrals, reactivations, low staff turnover, as is a profitable and emotionally fulfilling practice. All effects. Symptoms, actually.

If there are practitioners enjoying the effects you want (there are!), then you can have those effects too. Just be careful that you look in the right place. It's rarely what they do, but who they are. Because even a "doing" is an effect. The cause? Who you're being.

What kind of chiropractor are you being these days? Is it producing the effects you want?

05/25/09

Monday Morning Motivation

In the same way that many blur spirit, faith and religion, many confuse the principles of chiropractic with the practice of chiropractic. Many intraprofessional arguments and the polarization that produces competing chiropractic organizations, stem from attaching different meanings to the same words.

When you hear a colleague use the term philosophy, ask, "What do you mean when you say 'philosophy?'"

Or when a colleague uses the word manipulation ask, "What do you mean by 'manipulation?'"

Same with patients.

"…Driving me nuts." "…sick and tired." "…can't afford." "…get better." "…results."

When you profoundly listen, patients use words or phrases that are loaded with meaning and significance. Catch these terms, especially at the consultation, and ask for clarification. When you do, a new level of understanding and influence emerge.

With thousands of words at their disposal, their choices are powerful clues about their fears, concerns and expectations. True healing begins here (hear).

05/18/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you a thermometer or thermostat?

A thermometer simply responds to the environment. A thermostat changes the environment by directing resources to heat things up or cool things down. A thermometer is reactive; a thermostat is proactive.

If you've allowed your practice to be hijacked by fear or scarcity (reacting), leaning towards the thermometer side of things (down when the numbers are down, up when the numbers are up), consider these suggestions:

Manage your state. You may not be able to change the world, but you can change how you choose to react to it.

Focus on others. Worry less about yourself. Only as you enthusiastically serve the needs of others will your needs be met.

Ask for help. Everything you need is available. Everything. But you have to ask. Ask!

You're supported. You practice in a world governed by the Law of Cause and Effect. If you don't like the output, change the input!

05/11/09

Monday Morning Motivation

One classroom has 32 students. The other 16. Who gets the better education?

The one with the better student/teacher ratio, right? Not necessarily. The classroom of 16 students is resigned, unwilling and disengaged. The 32 had to apply, were hand selected and grateful for the opportunity. Still convinced that the smaller class size gets a better education?

How badly do patients in your “classroom” want your explanations, meaning making and educational message? Patient education isn’t just about your intention, the methods or the tools you use to share the truth about chiropractic. Each patient’s attitude is important too.

What a patient wants affects how accessible they are to your educational overtures. Patients who want more (more health, more vitality and greater well-being) tend to be more available than those who want less (less pain, less disability or less responsibility).

Which type of patient are you attracting? Those who want more or those who want less?

05/04/09

Monday Morning Motivation

When things are in flux as they are today (change is good, remember?) it's tempting to do nothing. The tendency is to freeze. But waiting for a clear sign, while understandable, is a form of hiding. It's the least courageous choice.

Remember the parable of the talents? The servant who buried his so he could return it intact to his master was castigated and had it taken from him and given to the wiser servant.

Same here. This is the time for bold action. Commit to a direction and then make it the right one by what you do to support it afterwards. Decisive action, especially now, will be handsomely rewarded.

Times like these are designed to discourage those who aren't fully committed; to weed out the dabblers, the tentatives and the uncertains. Nothing tests your commitment like the winds of change.

Act! Doing so creates the very direction and guidance you've been waiting for.

04/27/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you address the subluxation, or the person with the subluxation?

The mechanistic, allopathic approach is to largely ignore the person or circumstances that created the "it" in favor of addressing the "it." But most "its," whether subluxations, tumors, infections or indigestion are merely symptoms of something else. If DC is to stand for Doctor of Cause, you'll want to lose your infatuation with the spine and expand your attention to the overall person.

Messy business, this commitment to cause.

Don't be misled into thinking you have to fix the cause. It's likely that you'll be unable to fix most causes. Are you okay with that?

Instead, have the courage to ask questions (and listen to their answers!) in such a way as to help patients connect the dots between their life and their health. It could be a significantly more powerful adjustment than anything you do to their spine.

04/20/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Motivation is much like medicine. It's an outside in process and it suggests that the subject is lacking something.

Like a drug, attempting to motivate someone else, whether a pet, a teenager, an employee or a patient, requires that you overpower their current state. Worse, if you're able to move them to action, your efforts rarely last and you have to "motivate" them again. Attempting to motivate others is exhausting.

Instead, you and they would be better served by attempting to inspire them.

Inspiring patients is like chiropractic. It recognizes that what they need, they already have. But something is in the way. Uncover the interference (subluxation) and reduce it.

This requires sufficient curiosity to uncover that wee little "pilot light" of a dream, which when properly fueled and encouraged, can explode into a passionate fire. Do that each day and your practice will have no other choice but to grow.

04/13/09

Monday Morning Motivation

As you attract your tribe of those who resonate with your vision of health, you're expected to show up as a leader. Careful! Leadership isn't about imposing your point of view or expecting patients to toe the line. That's management.

Leadership is about reminding patients of a vision that they cannot see. It's about suggesting possibilities for a better future and creating hope. Leadership is about reassuring others that tomorrow will be better than today.

Help patients see the future and dream bigger dreams. Their lack of physical health is often a sign that some other aspect of their life needs healing. A job they hate. A marriage that needs renewed intimacy. A future that lacks opportunity.

Weave the dream and remind them of the real purpose of better health--to be more fully alive. As you do, your influence assumes proportions far greater than that of a manager.

04/06/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Nobody gets away with anything. Ever.

We live in a universe of dependable laws that operate under the immutable force of cause and effect. Thinking we can cheat or exploit a weakness or steal when no one is looking, is much like thinking that our garbage actually disappears when the garbage collector comes each week. It doesn’t. It’s simply moved to a new location.

Do you divert massive amounts of energy to cover up, hide or suppress who you really are?

Compartmentalizing our lives, showing up one way when we think no one is watching, and another when we might get caught or found out, is a surefire way to sabotage success.

Come clean. You’re not fooling anyone. Frankly, you’re not that good of an actor. Once you give yourself permission to show up authentically, flaws and all, you grant patients the same freedom. Then true healing can occur. For them and you.

03/30/09

Monday Morning Motivation

The moment you deliver a patient's first adjustment, your influence either increases or plummets.

"Will adjustments actually "fix" my problem? How many should it take?" "How many will it take?" patients ask themselves.

While it's true that what you say may not override what they feel, it reveals the vital importance of at least some type of rudimentary patient education to give your adjustments context, while assigning appropriate responsibility for who is doing the healing. Without this essential "meaning making," you force patients to make judgments solely on how they feel.

This is the danger of first-visit adjusting. After the paperwork, consultation and examination, what passes for patient education can be woefully superficial and inadequate. The result? You're seen as merely a "bone cracker" and the neurological and potential whole-body health effects of chiropractic care are obscured. And while your purposeful mechanistic intervention may please an insurance company, you'll have traded vitalism for mechanism.

03/23/09

Monday Morning Motivation

You speak a foreign language. It's called "Healthcare" and more specifically, a dialect known as "chiropractic."

You're much more aware of the distinctions between chiropractic and medicine (or should be!) than patients. And while it's tempting to ignore these differences, be sure to translate if you want patients to grasp the full significance and meaning of chiropractic.

One of the key distinctions is the heretical notion that it's not the doctor or drug doing the healing, but the patient and God. Start there.

Granted, it takes some courage to plant that flag. And it may assign more responsibility than patients want when they decide to consult your practice. But ignore this one and you'll have confused patients who see you as a "fixer" and your practice will never get out of second gear. More troubling, you'll be seen as merely a spinal therapist, hamstrung by the inability to prescribe pain medication.

03/16/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Healthy doctor/patient conversations are like a tennis game between two evenly matched, fully engaged players.

Instead, many chiropractors have a brutal serve. So imposing are the assertions or convicting observations that follow the usual pleasantries that many patients are unable (or unwilling) to attempt a return. Interactions degenerate into monologues, force-feeding some well-intentioned chiropractic trivia into the earlobes of defenseless, facedown patients.

Inaccurately called patient education, these one-sided affairs rarely produce the wanted result. Instead they distance you, making you appear self-absorbed, irrelevant or infatuated by things that matter to you, not the patient.

Show up curious. Ask more questions. Not as a set up for your treatise on nociception, but as someone genuinely interested in their life, not just their health. As you get more serves returned, intimacy deepens, influence grows and your sense of fulfillment expands. Oh, and your practice grows. A nice side effect, as side effects go.

03/09/09

Monday Morning Motivation

The confusion, lack of clarity and disorientation pale in comparison to the feelings of “stuckness” that are often experienced by those scrambling to right themselves after being struck by waves of change or the undertow of being no longer relevant to the marketplace.

Pulling out of this death spiral requires a new way of being.

Deceived into believing that success is something you do, rather than something you are, those who are going through a rough patch needlessly exhaust their limited resources by pursuing procedures, equipment or scripting that makes them increasingly inauthentic, uncentered and unattractive.

Real success is about being fully you, not becoming a cheap imitator of someone else. Beware of those who suggest “do it like I do it.” Modeling others only seems like a convenient shortcut. And anointing a mentor practically invites exploitation.

If you’re afraid that being fully you would chase patients away, change you.

03/02/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Since problems are rarely solved with the same level of thinking that created them, it’s vital that you show up healthier, more resourceful and with more clarity than patients who seek your help. This is difficult to do if you’re being seduced by the same cultural hypnosis that they suffer from.

It used to be simply being a chiropractor was enough. As chiropractic has become more mainstream, to remain spicy, salty, influential and a “free thinker,” you’ll want to disengage from the media.

Those who watch television don’t watch. They stare. Very impolite to stare. The fixated eyes and zombie expression are signs of a drug being administered through the eyes. Hijack the mind and the body follows. You see it in the symptom-treating, germ-fearing, disembodied patients who show up in your practice.

Disengage. There’s nothing on. It’s designed to create fear, breed uncertainty and induce a herd mentality that steals your uniqueness.

02/23/09

Monday Morning Motivation

One of the greatest presents you can give patients is being fully 100% present.

The present is when your intention is the most powerful.

The present is when patients manifest in your practice.

The present is when you deliver your intervention.

The present is the only moment that is real--the past is merely a memory and the future resides in our imagination.

What diminishes your impact by distracting you from being present with patients? Eavesdropping in on a front desk conversation? Worrying about your bills? Computing your income from the day’s patient volume? Regrets about something you should have said or done?

Legendary healers are keenly aware of the importance of being present. More presence gives your listening and your adjusting more horsepower. It’s a self-discipline that the busiest practitioners consciously practice. It’s a characteristic that patients interpret as confidence, certainty and a loyality-producing hopefulness. It’s the technique of techniques.

02/16/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Among all the possible problems in a chiropractic practice, patients are rarely the problem. Yet, in some practices, certain patients are the target of derision, judgment and even contempt, as in “problem patients.” Whether comments about their priorities, appearance or hygiene, these unservant-like attitudes are often the subject of staff meetings or post-visit hallway gossip.

Patients are hardly ever the problem. But your reaction can be.

If you speak ill of a patient it means you think ill of the patient. If you think ill of the patient, you can be sure that it’s obscuring the fullness of your healing intent. In other words, you’re shortchanging the patient. It becomes a form of stealing.

Think ill of no one. Speak ill of no one. Especially patients. Doing so is not only unbecoming, it actually serves to promote ill health -- the opposite of why patients seek you in the first place.

02/09/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you play full out?

Holding back, even a little, reveals a fundamental distrust of your circumstances, which actually permits your deepest fears to manifest.

Why do you distrust your circumstances? Could it be you see yourself as a victim? Or an unwilling partner in the creation of your life? Or you lack faith, having doubt about the future? When you “hedge your bet,” you're actually betting against yourself.

Not being fully invested in your own practice gives you a convenient “out” and an excuse for any shortcoming that arises. It’s a convenient face-saving strategy that actually sows the seeds for the very disappointment you fear.

Instead, this week, commit! Put on a pair of rose-colored glasses. Instead of the downside, concentrate on the upside. Assume everything is going to work out perfectly. Because it always does. It may not be what you expected, but remember, every effect has a cause.

02/02/09

Monday Morning Motivation

An airplane is drawn up into the sky. It is the shape of the wing, not the powerful engines that actually do the lifting. Without the specially shaped wings, an airplane would be just merely a fast bus.

It is the shape of your practice, that draws new patients and produces an uplift in your patient volume and practice income. Not self-effort, cleaver gimmicks or a shortage of new patient specials.

What shape is your practice in?

Do you have distinct edges (clear boundaries) defining what is your responsibility and what is the patients? Do you have the internal strength (staff training) to withstand the pressures of more new patients? Do you have a checklist (patient education system) to insure each patient attaches an appropriate meaning to what you’re doing? Do you have the momentum (driving purpose) to create the necessary lift?

Practice growth is more about a shortage of you, rather than a shortage of new patients!

01/26/09

Monday Morning Motivation

What are you waiting for?

It’s tempting to believe that we’ll be happy when… or I’ll we’ll have greater success when… such and such circumstances are just right. But waiting for the economy, the kids to leave the house or some other arbitrary event is mechanistic and reactive.

Waiting for a more opportune time, justified as being “better” or making the task “easier” is rarely true.

Waiting overlooks the power of intent, decisiveness and certainty—each changes the fabric of space and time. Waiting treats the world as a giant pinball machine and our role in it as hapless victims. Waiting is based on the false assumption that circumstances must be ideal. Waiting surrenders our say in the matter of our lives and overlooks our role as co-creators.
Instead, a ct with unshakable faith. Act with unwavering clarity. Act with doubtless confidence. When you do, you actually create the circumstances you were waiting for!

01/19/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you understand patients?

Many chiropractors understand a patient’s health complaint and what it will take to restore their ability to self-heal. Yet, these same chiropractors are often woefully inadequate when it comes to understanding patients.

To understand is to “stand under.” That is, to support the patient. To supply a foundation for them. How do you support patients without bumping up against an unhealthy co-dependency?
Help them make a new, more appropriate meaning of their health complaint. Help them become present to the stresses in their lives that produce the survival mechanism we call subluxation. Help them to know that they have been a co-conspirator in creating (and then neglecting) their health problem. Help them to know that you’re attending to them, not merely their spinal “boo-boo.”

When you help a patient truly understand, they have one of the most attractive, referral-inspiring experiences possible: to feel that they were understood.

01/12/09

Monday Morning Motivation

Many arguments, misunderstandings and disappointments are caused by two parties attaching different meanings to the same word. In fact, most words only mean what we decide them to mean.

What does it mean when your patient volume is down? Here are some possibilities:

I’m a failure. (Find a new career?)
I’m going out of business. (Cut costs?)
I need to make a change. (New report?)
Get more new patients. (Advertise?)
I need to help more people. (Look for opportunities?)
Market my services differently. (Lectures or a website?)
I’m not relevant. (Discover what patients really want?)

The meaning you attach to it affects how likely you’ll be able to correct it.

Before you can effectively overcome a challenge, make sure you know what it means. Otherwise, you may apply the wrong solution. That’s what patient education is: helping patients attach a new meaning to their symptoms and its correction.

01/05/09

Monday Morning Motivation

It is easier to do than to be; to act than to have faith; to plan rather than to trust.

Often when chiropractors ask what they can do to extricate themselves from a rough patch or an unpleasant circumstance, I’ll often suggest that they do nothing. “You’re already doing too much. Instead, who do you need to be?”

Being accepting, forgiving, appreciative, understanding or tolerant are more difficult than adding a new procedure, saying a new script or establishing a new policy. Putting your faith in what you do rather than who you are, confuses effect with cause. Actions are always the effect of who you are being. Any action without the appropriate accompanying belief is ineffective. You become an amateur actor rather than authentically you.

When you’re unsure what to do, it’s usually a sign you don’t know who you are. Be still. Know yourself. What you need to do will become clear!

12/29/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Success is not drawn to clutter.

The piles on your desk and the disorder in your closet and drawers are symptoms of far more serious issues:

Uncertainty. If you hedge your bets, creating a backup plan to your back up plan, you tend to horde what you see as potential resources. The resulting clutter is a sign of indecisiveness. Decide! (Which comes from the Latin word meaning to “cut off from.”)

Lack of clarity. Without a clear vision of the future you want, it’s easy to allow stuff to accumulate because you’re not sure whether you’ll need it or not. Remove the fog of the future!

Purposelessness. Have you identified your purpose? (It’s not adjusting patients or merely surviving!) Without one, it’s difficult to say “no” to off-purpose temptations. Identify the top priorities that would advance your purpose and remain unyielding.

What can you throw out, simplify and organize for next year?

12/22/08

Monday Morning Motivation

No one is going to rescue you.

If the circumstances in your life or your practice aren't what you wish, you may be inclined to look outside for resolution.

Insurance companies do not hold the answer. The golden days of the past will not be returning.

The government is not going to bail you out. Nor should it.

Your staff will not save you. In fact, they're looking to you for leadership and direction.

Patients will not solve your problem. Depending upon them is an unsustainable role reversal.

Looking for Santa, the Tooth Fairy, a genie or mere luck to save you, simply delays the action you must take to face what you've neglected, don't want to look at or have artfully avoided. That thing you're afraid of; that you've resisted; that difficult conversation you've put off? Your answer lies there. Your solution, like healing, always comes from the inside out.

12/15/08

Monday Morning Motivation

How patients pay for their care dramatically affects their results.

A patient can generally pay four ways: in advance, as they go, later or never. The best results are achieved by those who pay in advance and the poorest by those who don't pay at all.

Paying for one's care is part of the recovery process.

That's why the impending move to socialize what is called "health care" can't and won't produce true health. Self responsibility does. Just as the government can steal responsibility from patients, so too can chiropractors. Many do. And it often begins by believing that unenforced financial policies are doing the patient a favor. Allowing patients to run up large uncollectable balances not only interferes with your business, it can compromise their care.

Ultimately, how patients pay often reflects their confidence in your care, their emotional investment in the process and the priority they place on their health.

12/08/08

Monday Morning Motivation

There's a popular notion that if you conceal your beliefs in favor of appealing to what patients want, you'll be seen as more attractive and enjoy greater success.

Not true.

At first glance, taking the populist's angle in your patient communications, pandering, chameleon-like to the lowest common denominator makes sense. But the cost is high: A disrespect for patients. A cynical, healthier-than-thou attitude. Which turns into anger. And eventually burnout.

By the time patients resort to consulting a doctor (of any ilk), they have lost their bearings, are uncertain and looking for someone more certain than they are. Wetting your finger and putting it to the wind makes you appear opportunistic and uncertain. Instead, boldly tell your chiropractic story, whether the Pain Story, the Bone Story, the Nerve Story or the Lifestyle Story. Whichever one(s) hold the greatest certainty for you.

Then can you offer what patients really want: Hope.

12/01/08

Monday Morning Motivation

“I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Many have fallen for the illusion that “seeing is believing.” But they have it backwards. First you must believe, then you will you see.

That’s because things exist on the spiritual level first before they manifest on the physical plane where the five senses can experience them. Closer to home, new patients exist spiritually before they can show up physically in your practice. So, while many search for the perfect script, the ideal screening tool or the sure-fire new patient offer, this attention is largely misplaced. It’s more efficient to create new patients on the spiritual level.

“How do you create new patients spiritually?”

Begin by getting your heart right. Seek to serve, rather than be served. That is, focus on how you can meet the needs of new patients, rather than how new patients will solve your ego-cash-flow needs.

Start there. Then you’ll see what I mean.

11/24/08

Monday Morning Motivation

New patient statistics are a helpful barometer of your own health. Like symptoms, they are the last to appear and the first to disappear.

When you do a screening, run a promotion or conduct some other self-effort for the purpose of manifesting new patients, these are often the superficial variety. Oh, they have spinal problems, appreciate your care and usually get better, but they rarely embrace chiropractic as a healthy habit.

That's partly because your intention for manifesting those new patients was for your benefit ("I need more new patients!"), not necessarily theirs ("Who needs my help?"). This self-centeredness means you must constantly concern yourself with their replacement. It's burdensome work.

A lack of referrals from all those patients you supposedly helped is a telltale sign that something is amiss. Get your heart right. Dedicate your practice to serving, and you will be served. Meet their deepest needs and yours will be met.

11/17/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you a fixer?

Many chiropractors define themselves by what they do. But you don't fix patients. They aren't even broken!

Their body has positioned spinal bones in a specific pattern for a reason. (We live in a cause and effect world, remember?) Before you rush in to create your notion of better biomechanics, stop!

Is the stressor (physical, chemical or emotional) that produced the defensive mechanism we call subluxation still present?

Remember, the patient does the reorganization (if there's going to be any), not your thrusting. It's merely energy you make available for their body to help "right" itself.

Showing up as the "fixer" obscures the truth, tempting you to take credit or blame for an outcome you can't control. This is how chiropractors get pushed off their pedestal—whether they or patients place them there.

You can fix a cat. You can fix a car. But you can't fix patients!

11/10/08

Monday Morning Motivation

During your new patient consultations listen for words representing absolutes, such as never, ever, always, forever and every. As in “I’ve had this forever” and “I never sleep through the night.”

Forever is a long time. Never means not even once. Always means there are no exceptions. Absolutes rarely describe health issues accurately.

Absolutes are convenient, but they’re rarely true. They often serve to hide or cover up something important. Linguistically, they can be used to separate us from self-responsibility or dismiss situations that conflict with such sweeping generalities. Declarations using absolutes are like road signs: “Do Not Enter” or “Detour.”

But don’t fall for it. Instead, when you hear patients describing circumstances with absolutes, dig deeper. “What do you mean never?” “When you say always, do you mean there are absolutely no exceptions?” “Ever? Tell me more.”

Listen carefully. Dig deeper. Follow up. It is often a clue or access for healing.

11/03/08

Monday Morning Motivation

How easily do you get offended? Or insulted? Slighted?

Common or rare?

As Eleanor Franklin observed, "No one can insult you unless you agree with them."

Many, especially those who are emotionally "thin skinned," seem especially on the lookout for circumstances in which they can feel some sort of justifiable rage, anger or at least irritation, based on the behaviors, beliefs or opinions of others.

It's a convenient source of angst.

This is one of those common social subluxations that you have complete control over. Being "offended" is merely a choice. What someone else believes has little meaning other than what you give it. Choosing to make it an attack on your beliefs is just that, a choice.

Hold fast. Know what you know. Believe what you believe. Assume they will come around. As you did. They're just not ready yet. Smile. Their time will come. Bite your tongue.

Love.

10/27/08

Monday Morning Motivation

“Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.”
Strawberry Fields Forever
The Beatles

Have you gone unconscious? Numb?

Many of the coping strategies we use, whether addiction to food, alcohol, sex, television, chocolate or (enter yours here) is an attempt to shut down our consciousness. This avoidance strategy allows us to relish in the delights of our five senses rather than face the uncomfortable circumstances we’ve created.

Notice the feeling in your body when you’re tempted to turn on the boob tube. Next time you reach for the bottle, notice what you’re feeling. When you look for your favorite numbing agent, take an inventory. What are you avoiding? What would you prefer not to face? What won’t you look at? Or confront? Or accept?

This is where your next breakthrough can be found. Want to grow your practice? Start here. Grow yourself. Your practice will have no choice but to follow.

10/20/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Get back to basics.

During uncertain times it's tempting to freeze, waiting for clarity. Instead, now's the time to act by returning to the fundamentals.

It's about patients, not you. Only when you help others get what they want will you get what you want. Never confuse cause with effect.

Remain 100% present. Stay with patients. Avoid the temptation to worry about your problems or get distracted by the news, the weather or the economy.

Educate, educate, educate. As patients are tempted by other priorities, it's time to redouble your efforts to communicate the importance of a subluxation-free nervous system.

Say please and thank you. Be polite and thankful for who shows up, not distraught over who didn't.

Step up. Leadership is the ability to help others see a better tomorrow. Since you know the truth about health and healing, you have an obligation to be a source of hope and confidence.

10/13/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you in growth mode or defense mode?

Your practice, like the cells of your body, is in one state or the other. If it is slowly fading, you've probably switched from offense to defense. Sure, the economy can be a contributing factor, but it's deeper than that. Once your mindset becomes about protecting what you have, rather than leveraging it to create new possibilities, you've switched sides.

You can never "win" by playing defense. Don't fall for the lie that waiting for clarity is the wise thing to do. Wait for the "herd" and you'll likely be trampled. Instead, consult your heart and be decisive.

Now is the time to be bolder and tell the truth more passionately. Now is the time to plant your flag, take a stand and ruffle some feathers. Worry less and be more certain. Kick ass and take names. You know the truth. Declare it!

10/06/08

Monday Morning Motivation

"Begin with the end in mind."

It's a common refrain of productivity experts and a frequent element of the popular success literature. We're most likely to apply this helpful advice when embarking on a new project or instituting a new policy or procedure.

Have you applied it to your life?

When this life ends and you pass, what "end" do you have in mind?

As I've considered this prospect for myself, I've become increasingly aware that at the end I want to avoid regrets. The regret of not having fully loved. The regret of not having fully lived. The regret of having lived safe, small and being constrained by irrational fear. Of having held back and not fully embracing this opportunity called life.

It's not too late! Until the end, you can begin anew. Start this week. Start now. Start by jettisoning those time wasters and off-purpose tasks. Remember, no regrets!

09/29/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Garbage in. Garbage out.

You’ve probably heard this phrase before. Maybe even used it. If not, it simply means that faulty conclusions are based on faulty data.

When combined with the definition of creativity (rearranging the old to produce the new), it creates a more somber conclusion: without new input you’ll be stuck in your rut with the same old results!

That’s why it’s so important to read, especially outside of chiropractic. That’s why it’s so important to turn off the television so you’re not filled with the same fear-based herd mentality that patients bring in with them. That’s why it’s so important to try new foods, take new paths, take new risks and do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

To remain salty, spicy and be a change agent, it’s critical that you get some new, high-quality inputs. That way you can be a more influential input for patients.

09/22/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you doing the practice part of practice?

Undisciplined professional athletes just want to play the game. They don't want to do the drills. They don't want to practice the fundamentals. They don't want to be bothered with the free throws, the batting cage or the practice scrimmages. They just want to play the game.

But winning is all in the preparation. Are you prepared?

How often do you practice giving a report of findings?
How often do you rehearse the questions of your consultation?
How often do you mentally perform an adjustment?
How often do you visualize your intentions fulfilled?
How often do you get to the office early to "work out?"

The most effective chiropractors (and chiropractic assistants) show up warmed up and with their head in the game. This takes practice. If you don't practice, you don't get better. Patients deserve your best. Moreover, patients expect your best!

09/15/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Repeat aloud:

"I'd love to, but I can't."
"It sounds wonderful, but I shouldn't."
"If I could, I would, but I can't."
"Thanks for the invitation, but I can't schedule it in."
"I appreciate you thinking of me, but I'm unable to."
"Maybe another time, can I take a rain check?"
"I'm flattered, but no."
"No, but thanks for asking."
"No thank you."

Many of us have an underdeveloped ability to say no. As a result we find ourselves drawn into countless off-purpose tasks, over-committed and eventually resentful.

What does "no" mean to you?

You won't like me.
You'll never ask me again.
I'd be hurting you.
You'll ask someone else.
I'll be letting you down.
I'd disappoint you.

These are nice stories, but most likely untrue. By allowing them to run your life, you tend to live outside-in, rather than inside-out. Be generous. Serve. But for most people a no just means no.

09/08/08

Monday Morning Motivation

If you marvel at the performances of Cirque du Soleil or the recent achievements of Olympic-level athletes, you’re familiar with what the organizing properties of our nervous systems, combined with years of practice, can produce.

Same in your office: organization and practice.

Is your office organized? Let’s assume the areas of your office that patients see are orderly. But what about the other parts of your office?

The cancer in hallway closet.
The polyp in the bottom file cabinet.
The chaos of cables behind your computer.
The putrefaction of unread magazines.
The cyst of never-consulted seminar notes.
The tumor of misfiled records.
The ulcer of unfinished projects.

You may be successful at hiding the disorganization from patients but you can’t hide it from yourself. It slows you down. It impairs the health of your practice. It blunts your effectiveness. It interferes with the function of your office—keeping you at amateur status. Get organized.

09/01/08

Monday Morning Motivation

“Keep your eye on the ball!”

It’s tempting to look where we want the ball to go, rather than remaining present up to the moment we connect. Not being present is one of the hazards of being human. We’re easily distracted. Yesterday’s argument. Tomorrow’s rent.

When we surrender the present to the past or the future, we disempower ourselves. We can’t change the past. The future isn’t here yet. All we really have is the now.

This is especially true in the adjusting room. As much as there might be comfort in a linear, predictable, recipe-book approach to patient care, it’s only when you are fully “with” a patient that you have maximum influence. This is part of the art of chiropractic. It’s this “being” that makes whatever “doing” you do 10X more effective. Those who can keep their eye on the ball deliver legendary care: adjustments with “the extra special something.”

08/25/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love never fails.

Some day the computer that you use to receive this message will fail and make repairs unjustifiably expensive. It will be placed in the trash bin, joined by the monitor and mouse.

Your office building, the adjusting table you use and the patient records you keep will fall into disrepair, become worthless and get discarded.

Those spines you straightened and the curves you restored will eventually become the dust from where they came.

In fact, as you look around at the material world that surrounds us, which can be detected with the five senses, it will all pass.

Everything will eventually fail. Except love. Love, because it is spiritual and not bound by the physics of this world, will persist. Eternally.

This week create more love. Instead of arguing, love. Instead of persuading, love. Instead of controlling, love. Instead of resisting what is, love. It never fails.

08/18/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.

You probably know some secrets about those you care for, that if widely known, would discredit or at least embarrass them.

Protect all secrets.

You tell the chiropractic story to all who will listen. Some overtly reject it. Others show polite interest. Others embrace it with passion.

Trust that the truth will eventually reign.

You help a patient with their admitting complaint and at the height of their progress, they discontinue their care without warning. Was it something you said? Was it something you forgot to say?

Hope that you made it easy to return should they suffer a relapse.

You feel like you're in a constant uphill battle to fight the allopathic, path-of-least-resistance mindset. It seems little progress is being made.

Persevere. You may not change the world, but you can change it for a few, maybe more! Press on.

08/11/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love rejoices in the truth.

If you define truth as a "highly likely explanation of what is" and combine it with the observation that "what is, is," you have a vantage point neutral enough to deeply serve patients.

Most suffering results from attempting to resist, ignore or deny what is so. Thankfully, the meaning we attach to what is, is within our control. In fact, one of your greatest responsibilities is helping patients attach appropriate meanings to the circumstances prompting them to seek care from you.

When you love patients you tell the truth. Compassionately. Understandably. It just is.

You don't minimize. ("You have a little bone spur here.") Minimization is a disservice.

You don't exploit. ("I hope your children aren't suffering from the same thing!") Using fear, even when justified as in their best interest, is manipulative.

Instead, be centered, gentle and considerate, knowing that ultimately the truth can set us… free.

08/04/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love does not delight in evil.

You've probably seen the cartoon showing a chiropractor delighting in the first winter's snow or ice storm because it means more business.

You may not harbor such evil thoughts, but what are you doing to help make yourself obsolete?

Subluxations are a result or effect of physical, chemical or emotional stress that overload the body's ability to accommodate. Are you teaching patients ways to mitigate these stressors?

Physical instruction: How to sit. How to lift. How to get in and out of their car. Proper computer ergonomics.

Chemical instruction: The burden of artificial flavors, colorings and preservatives. The allergens of wheat and dairy. The stress of refined sugars.

Emotional instruction: The importance of prayer. The power of forgiveness. The ability to neutralize emotions through the process of EFT.

The highest calling of any doctor (of any ilk) is to help prevent what it is they treat.

07/28/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love keeps no records of wrongs.

What many overlook is that a true chiropractic practice is about two things: referrals and reactivations. Those consumed by how many new patients they see either miss the point or have been misled into thinking wide rather than deep.

A referral is a gift. Ask for them if you wish and you may get a guilt offering or the name of someone who could benefit from chiropractic care, but a true referral is volitional. A surprise. Unexpected.

A reactivation is proof you didn’t make the patient wrong. Or small. Or feel stupid because he or she didn’t embrace your vision of health on their first exposure to it.

Since most patients don’t “get” chiropractic their first time, keep no records of wrongs. Instead, you might observe in passing, “Looks like it’s been awhile since you’ve been in. Welcome back. Let’s get started!”

07/21/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love is not easily angered.

What does it take to get your hackles up?

Consider the patient who unexpectedly drops out of care (with six more visits on their plan). Or the patient who informs you that they’re still taking their medication and attributes their progress to it, not your care. Or, how about the patient who observes that they don’t believe in chiropractic? And don’t forget the patient you adjusted on the first visit who doesn’t return to hear your enlightening Harvey Lillard story!

Ironically, anger is a you thing. Not a they thing. You and your body create the anger. Not the patient!

Instead, love, from where all healing comes, looks past who gets the credit, looks beyond the politics, sees past the policy and rethinks the procedure. Love only sees the person. Not the shortcoming. Not the misunderstanding. Not the could-have-should-have.

What do you see?

07/14/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love is not self-seeking.

Virtually every action, every word and every thought can be separated into one of two categories: manipulation or ministry. That is, does it serve you or is it of service to others?

Some in chiropractic teach that using any means possible to get patients to do the right thing (because it’s for their own good), is within the domain of good doctoring.

You might want to rethink that advice.

By crossing that boundary you have dishonored their understanding, judgment and free will. By overpowering them with persuasive speech or fear tactics you usurp their dignity and reduce them to mere spines; children who must be parented.

Oh sure, you can probably squeeze another visit or two out of them. But “do-gooder” overtures rarely last. Especially when the underlying motive is to make you look good. The appreciation you hope it will produce is dismissed as heavy-handed selfishness.

07/07/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love is not rude.

Do you impose your will on others so you can get your way?

Cutting in front of the line, or the reverse, not permitting the driver to merge onto the highway in front of you, is obviously rude. I’m sure you’re not rude in your office!

Depends how you define rude. However, examples of rudeness I’ve experienced, or patients in focus groups have mentioned, include:

Showing up late for the first patient of the day.
Allowing an emergency patient to prolong the wait of an established patient.
Making patients feel small because they just want to be pain free.
Any form or derivative of “I-told-you-so.”
Projecting the value you place on health onto patients.

Justified as the prerogative of “leadership” or the workings of a “health coach,” these overtures make you big and the patient small. This is a time-tested practice de-building strategy. Instead, make patients feel big. Anything else would be rude.

06/30/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love is not proud.

The scriptures make it clear that pride is an abomination. Pride is one of the qualities specifically identified as sinful. Perhaps because pride makes us feel like God.

It's tempting to overlook the fact that the patient is doing the healing, not you. Sure, you found the ignition, inserted the key and turned it (adjustment), but what happens next is outside your control. You can take credit (if you dare) but the credit actually belongs to their Maker who installed the capability to self-heal in the first place!

The marketplace quickly ferrets out arrogant, conceited and prideful chiropractors who are revealed by their response to grateful patients:

"Oh, it was nothing." (Really?)
"We got lucky this time." (Lucky?)
"Tell your friends." (So I can help them, too.)
"You're welcome." (I deserve the credit.)

Pride. It can cause you to forget that you're merely an instrument. It's sooooooo tempting to take the credit!

06/23/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love does not boast.

We probably don’t think of ourselves as one to brag, show off, blow our own horn, talk big or “swagger.” We tend to think of that as being offensive.

“I don’t boast!”

Really? Do you exaggerate? Exaggeration is a more subtle and sinister form of boasting.

Exaggerating the elements of a story to enhance its meaning.
Exaggerating your statistics to falsify your success.
Exaggerating your importance to receive admiration.
Exaggerating the no shows to blame a staff member.
Exaggerating your value by seeing patients after hours.
Exaggerating circumstances so others will do your bidding.
Exaggerating the difficulty so it will produce praise.
Exaggerating the imposition of a request with a heavy sigh.

Next time you find yourself inclined to exaggerate, consider the motive behind it.

Love does not boast. No coloring. No shading. No effort to look good or cover up the flaws. In other words, love is honest, unprocessed and authentic.

06/16/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love does not envy

The newest patient drives up in a nicer car than yours. What's your reaction?

If it produces a twinge of jealousy or ignites a sense of insecurity, it can interfere with your ability to accompany your chiropractic care with love. Turns out, your wealth may not be in a depreciating automobile, but in your education, a richly rewarding family life or some other form. Envy suggests that you believe you have a void, lacking something necessary to be complete and whole.

You are already complete. You are fully equipped. You have exactly what you need. In fact, the only thing truly missing is acknowledging that nothing is missing!

Be careful about making judgments about the material world that is so easily detected with our five senses. What you see is merely temporal. It will pass. Instead, attend to matters of the heart where peace can take root and flourish.

06/09/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Love is kind.

I was raised to be considerate of others. Being considerate of others came with specific action steps:

Respect the property of others.
Say please when you want something.
Say thank you when you receive it.
Address anyone older with deference.

How does that apply to chiropractic practice?

It’s the patient’s health not yours. Careful about pressing too much to “help” more than they want. Otherwise, it will be taken as judgment.

“This side up, please.” It acknowledges them as person, not just a spine or the recipient of a procedure you’re administering to their body.

“Thank you for always being on time for your visits.” Right above acknowledgment is appreciation. It usually prompts others to do even more.

“Good afternoon! What’s the best thing that’s happened to Mrs. Smith today?” She may ask that you call her Maryann, put your deference has been communicated.

Respect. Acknowledgment. Appreciation. Deference. Love is kind.

06/02/08

Monday Morning Motivation

(This is the Summer of Love as Bill explores some of the distinctions of loving patients rather than merely caring for them.)

Love is patient.

When you truly love patients you don't impose your time schedule. After all, the patient is the one doing the healing, not you! They have the capacity to consciously or unconsciously slow or accelerate their healing. That, combined with the limitations of matter, makes investing your self-esteem and value as a chiropractor in something out of your control, is risky business.

Being patient extends beyond the first weeks or months of care. Think eternally. What if it takes two, three, four or more episodes of starting care and stopping care, spanning a decade or longer, before patients "get" the idea that chiropractic care is a lifestyle decision and can be much more than a natural, short-term diet for pain relief?

What if they never get it?

To use love as an adjunctive procedure with the chiropractic adjustment, remove expectations and help patients become more… patient.

05/26/08

Monday Morning Motivation

"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."

We are creatures of habit. Some habits edify. Others blunt our effectiveness. Break unhelpful patterns during the first hour of your day!

Get up at an earlier hour. Study scripture. Meditate. Pray. Journal. Contemplate the day ahead. Become conscious of your resources. Become present to your opportunities. Establish a higher purpose than merely enduring, surviving or reacting.

Break your fast (breakfast) differently. Drive a different, longer route to the office. Park in a different place. Say a prayer as you enter the practice. Change the routine. Change the order. Change the timing. Change the pattern. Change!

Our power comes from being 100% present. Habitual ways of being obscure the present as our mind wanders into the future or wherever we allow it to go. Hold your thoughts captive. Be the cause, not merely an effect.

05/19/08

Monday Morning Motivation

How are your needs being met?

There are four types of needs. Physical needs. Intellectual needs. Emotional needs. Spiritual needs. Do you unwisely use your practice to get your needs met?

Physical needs. Food. Water. Clothing. Shelter. Companionship. Help enough patients and these needs are easily fulfilled.

Intellectual needs. Does practicing chiropractic nourish your left brain? Is the application of chiropractic principles intellectually stimulating?

Emotional needs. It's tempting to succumb to their admiration and appreciation, especially when at home you have to mow the lawn and take out the garbage. Careful!

Spiritual needs. Are patients more dedicated chiropractic believers than you? If so, your practice is on a downhill slide. You are responsible for hope management, one of the most important aspects of the healing process.

Key point: look outside your office to have your needs met. Depending upon patients crosses the boundary from ministry to manipulation. Every time.

05/12/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Does your name become you, or do you become your name?

Naming a thing gives us dominion over it. Naming things creates the distinctions necessary to distinguish this from that. Horse. Zebra. Similar, but different. (Allopaths can’t even respond until the set of symptoms has a name!)

Is your practice name authentic to your purpose? Does your practice name limit your practice? Is your practice name congruent with your intention when delivering care?

Family Chiropractic. Is it? Or just wishful thinking?

So and So Wellness Center. Why do patients drop out when they feel better?

Cityname Pain Relief. Are you guaranteeing a cure?

Then there’s simply: Chiropractor. In other words, you already know what chiropractors do. Right?

Nothing destroys your creditability faster than assuming a name that doesn’t ring true with a patient’s experience. Patients may contemplate, “I wonder what else they fib about?”

05/05/08

Monday Morning Motivation

“I couldn’t see myself doing that.”

Do you have some reluctance about doing the things that you’ve paid coaches to suggest you do? If your resistance isn’t based on a conflict of values or ethics, you have a growth opportunity.

Doing is the result of who you’re being.

If you’re being uncertain as you attempt to do, your doing will suffer. If you’re not fully committed as you attempt to do, your doing will suffer. If you’re seeking approval as you attempt to do, your doing will suffer. If you’re defensive as you attempt to do, your doing will suffer. If you’re already prepared with plan B, your doing will suffer. Your body (who you’re being) speaks louder than what you say or do.

Start with being fully, authentically you and the doing to be done will come naturally. In fact, when you know who you are, you won’t need anyone suggesting what to do!

04/28/08

Monday Morning Motivation

What do you stand for?

Many complain about the cultural domination of the drug industry. Many are actively against vaccination. Others loudly fight cancer. Still others get worked up over this and that and are ready to fight to slay some injustice or right a wrong.

But you can’t win by being against.

By attempting to overcome no shows, declaring war on sedentary lifestyles, confronting patients about their smoking or trying to talk patients out of quitting care, you actually create what you don’t want! Your attempts produce an equal and opposite reaction.

Instead, provide a more attractive solution. Stand for personal responsibility. Advance the truth. Encourage understanding. Trumpet the advantages of natural. Support a willingness to try. Incentivize follow through. Praise incremental improvements. Reward behaviors you want, rather than punishing those you’d like to eliminate.

Leadership is about creating a more promising future, not condemning what is.

04/21/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Drugs hijack the intelligence of the body, speeding bodily processes up or slowing bodily processes down.

Every chiropractor knows this. Yet, many who eschew the use of drugs because they treat symptoms and ignore the underlying cause, swing into symptom-treating mode when their practice numbers are down.

“Get more new patients!”

Like patients who think relieving pain is the solution, many chiropractors are misled into thinking getting more new patients is the solution. It isn’t. New patients are an effect; a symptom. What causes new patients? Here are just a few:

Being relevant to what patients want.
Adjusting while holding pure intentions.
Showing up as a humble servant.
Being completely present with patients.
Expressing certainty by being doubt-free.
Being thankful for those who show up.
Loving patients rather than merely caring.

If these are missing, intellectual, emotional and spiritual subluxations may be interfering with your patient volume. When corrected, symptoms resolve and practices blossom.

04/14/08

Monday Morning Motivation

How important to you is it to be liked by others?

For years, I led my life in the hopes of seeking approval. From everyone. If I could just arrange my life in such a way to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes or offending anyone, I assumed I would enhance my likeability. Believing this lie kept my influence to a minimum and made life an exhausting game of predicting others’ reactions.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that after all that effort there were still some who didn’t like me! This, after playing it small for so many years.

Live large. This is supposed to be an adventure. If you’re not making a few people angry or showing up in ways that confront or prick the conscience of others, you’re probably living too small. And the only payoff is “I should have” or “I could have” and the resentment of having squandered this incredible opportunity called life.

04/07/08

Monday Morning Motivation

The choices patients make are not your choices.

All too many chiropractors, especially those who have the habit of caring too much, are afraid that the poor choices that patients make reflect poorly on them. It's not true.

If you’ve withheld the truth then you may be culpable. But that's rarely the case. In fact, it's quite the reverse, often over explaining the implications of dropping out of care too soon and other self-sabotaging patient tendencies.

No, you're working with a fellow human fully equipped with free will and the freedom to accept or reject what you've told them. And while you may assume you're responsible because they've consulted your office and not the office down the street, their health is theirs, not yours. They made the decision to seek care in your office and they're equally free to change their mind or to follow all, or only some of your recommendations.

Lighten up. It's not about you.

03/31/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you playing a zone defense?

If there's an aspect of your practice you're uncomfortable facing, whether it is your checkbook, collections, new patients or even missed appointments, it's tempting to turn over its responsibility to someone else. This is often justified as a way of freeing you up for duties that are "more important." These more important aspects are usually areas where you feel more competent and confident.

Compartmentalizing your practice by delegating issues to others so you don't have to face them, is how many practices get into trouble. It turns out you're the only person on the planet who sees these "peripheral" issues as being separate! Since it's your practice. You're responsible for EVERY aspect. Not just the ones you like or are especially resourceful in handling.

By all means, delegate. Supervise. Expect accountability. But be unafraid to look at anything and everything. Because it's all your responsibility. Even the unpleasant parts.

03/24/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Don’t compete, create!

If you feel threatened by the new chiropractors moving to town or the changing economic climate, you’ve been misled into thinking you’re living in a zero-sum world. Competition leads to winners and losers. Creativity leads to new possibilities and unlimited potential.

Create extraordinary patient experiences. Create deep and meaningful patient relationships. Create new ways of communicating chiropractic. Create a more efficient procedure. Create systematic ways of keeping in touch with inactives. Create a way to keep yourself more present with patients. Create a clear vision of the outcomes you desire. Create gratitude for those who show up. Create new, higher levels of health.

Create ease rather than battling symptoms.

Avoid the temptation of imagining that your particular challenges are due to what others do or have done. Instead, raise the bar, become more relevant and create a better mousetrap. And watch patients beat a path to your practice!

03/17/08

Monday Morning Motivation

“Begin with the end in mind.” What “end” do you have in mind as you care for patients?

The cessation of the physical, chemical or emotional stress that created a patient’s subluxation pattern? The restoration of spinal curves and improved biomechanics? The reduction or elimination of the patient’s presenting complaint? The patient’s compliance? The patient’s admiration and respect?

Unfortunately, you have little or no control of these outcomes. Focusing on them is a recipe for disappointment. They are tempting forms of pride that produce a reliance on your self-efforts, leading to doubt and a lack of confidence.

Instead, trust the wisdom of their body to use the energy you add to its greatest advantage. Instead, make the patient the hero, not your intervention. Instead, show up as a humble servant, unconcerned about reputation or outcomes you can’t control. Allow your being to be more powerful than your doing.

03/10/08

Monday Morning Motivation

It takes a loose arm to throw a fastball.

Tension, whether physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual, is a defense mechanism; a form of self protection. When you show up tense, guarded or what seems to pass for "professional," patients often interpret your demeanor as cause for worry, a lack of confidence or uncertainty.
That's not permission to be casual, indifferent or flip. Instead, assume the body language of someone who has "been there, done that." You take on the posture of "Sure, we see this all the time." You project the confidence of someone who has total faith in the principles of chiropractic and the patient's self-healing capabilities. Simply put, you show up certain and doubt-free.

Projecting an overly serious, "don't-bother-me-I've-got-to-focus" attitude might lead patients to believe you're the one doing the healing. It's a great way to get admiration, but a lousy way to teach patient responsibility.

03/03/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Is competition actually a form of envy and jealousy?

I meet some chiropractors who, instead of reaching out to the new chiropractor in town or supportive of the chiropractor down the street who uses a vastly different technique, are inclined to see these as competitors. To be destroyed and eliminated!

Wrong.

This zero sum game of thinking comes from the misguided notion that there is a finite number of new patients to go around. Apparently, so the thinking goes, if those other chiropractors get new patients then you won’t get them.

This is absurd.

Turns out, if more people in your community understood chiropractic, there would be such a demand for what you do there wouldn’t be enough chiropractors to go around! A shortage of new patients simply means you haven’t been telling the chiropractic story to enough strangers. When you create new patients you no longer have to compete for new patients.

02/25/08

Monday Morning Motivation

From time to time I’m asked by those who recognize the importance of maintaining their present time consciousness, for suggestions on how to improve theirs. "Are there any books or other resources?"

I’m sure there are, but I’m not familiar with them. However, here are two ideas:

1. Enforce clear boundaries. Reserve certain times to return phone calls, check your email, do reports or read to your children. Keep these times sacred. More important: no interruptions during adjusting times except for fires or nuclear holocaust. Changing gears frequently is stimulating but takes you out of the “zone.”

2. Create reminders. Consider putting small stickers with an image of a clock face (without hour or minute hands) around your office as reminders to stay focused on the subject at hand. (Make your own, or purchase some from us.)

Staying present is the discipline of busy practitioners. Become present to its importance. And then practice, practice, practice.

02/18/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Would someone want to buy stock in your practice after calling your office?

It's so rare to encounter people on the front lines of the service industry that you can tell actually care. All too often, you walk into a service establishment and the first impression is someone who really doesn't want to be there or who is "above" providing any service beyond adequate.

"I'm too cool to be here," says their body language.

"I'm only doing this to pay my tuition," says the tone of their voice.

"You're just an interruption to what I really love doing," says their facial expression.

You can't hide your disdain, disrespect or dissatisfaction with your life, your job or your customer. Callers can hear your smile (or frown) and they can sense your commitment (or lack of it) in your voice.

Fake it if you must. But better is to recognize that serving others is our highest calling.

02/11/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you have clear boundaries?

The most effective chiropractors are those who show up with clearly defined boundaries between what is theirs and what is the patient's.

It's yours to tell the chiropractic story. It's theirs to accept or reject some or all of it.

It's yours to offer recommendations that you think will produce the best results. It's theirs to follow or ignore them.

It's yours to tell the truth, even if it's not what the patient wanted to hear. It's theirs to act on your suggestions (now or later) or to dismiss them.

It's yours to adjust their spine as artfully as you can. It's theirs to allow that energy to facilitate your shared intentions or to sabotage your efforts.

As Client Eastwood's Dirty Harry observed, "A man's got to know his limitations." When you steal a patient's responsibility, you're burdened with the same guilt as if you'd stolen their wallet.

02/04/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Think of all the problems you've ever had. They have all been solved. Or are on their way to being solved.

When we're in the middle of some difficulty or feeling oppressed by circumstances, it's common to become so consumed by the situation that solutions appear impossible. But it's just not true. Every problem resolves itself.

The fact is, there are no problems right now. Problems are mostly future events--which of course we are powerless to do anything about. The only thing we can influence is the present. Right now.

Most problems are projections into the future. What might happen. What could happen. If that happens, then this might happen! When (or if) it happens, you'll deal with it. But right now it's just a possibility. There are other, wonderful possibilities too.

So stay here. In the now. The future will come soon enough. And then you'll deal with it. Then, it will be now.

01/28/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you have the habit of making patients wrong?

Even if justified as "patient education," attempts at correcting patients are often done in ways that make patients feel wrong. Or stupid.

How can you educate patients without making them wrong? Become more agreeable.

Patient: "My husband thinks chiropractors are quacks." You: "I've heard that too." Patient: "Will I have to come for the rest of my life?" You: Of course not. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. Patient: "I still have some pain." You: "I'm sorry to hear that. Why do you think that is?" Patient: "I won't be able to make it in on Friday." You: "I understand. Let's hope that won't interrupt the progress we're making."

Like trying to create a conversation with a skittish teenager, try to affirm and ask questions while avoiding the inclination to become defensive or impose your will.

01/21/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Take some time to reflect about your life and your practice.

Since so many of us obtain our esteem and self-image by what we do, we often risk becoming human doings rather than human beings! In the heat of battle, doing it, doing it, doing it, we can lose our bearings. As we fight the crocodiles of running a business we forget our mission was to drain the swamp.

Turn off the television. Ignore the newspaper. Turn inward and listen for that wee little voice that so often gets ignored. Listen for the whisperings of your heart. Not the impending symptoms of a heart attack (although I’m guessing it’s a related), but the yearnings and achings that offer clues whether you’re being mindful of, and honoring your purpose. That voice.

Your purpose isn’t to adjust patients. It probably helps advance your purpose, but it’s not your purpose. Do you know what it is? You may find these two resources helpful. Being On Purpose. The Conversation.

01/14/08

Monday Morning Motivation

Rather than confining, a boundary can be liberating.

For example. Each week this message runs about 150 words, plus or minus. Without such a boundary, these messages could become long and unwieldy, losing their focus. Forced brevity, while more difficult, is a far better taskmaster than your attention span.

Same in your practice. Having razor sharp edges identifying what is your responsibility and what is a patient's responsibility, grants you tremendous freedom. It helps you avoid taking certain patient choices or behaviors personally. It reduces the burdensome need to micro-manage patients. It gives you greater discretion to apply your energy and attention where they can have the most impact.

You must have clear boundaries if you wish to help more people. In under performing practices, it appears as if you can afford to meddle in the lives of patients. Busier practitioners know better. That's one reason they're so busy.

01/07/08

Monday Morning Motivation

What types of questions do you ask?

Who questions involve people, usually others.
How questions reveal methodology and procedure.
What questions are used to clarify.
When questions focus on past, present or future.
Why questions explore cause and purpose.

As you work with patients, "why" questions can be helpful.

"Why do you think that is?"
"Why do you suppose parents bring their children to our office?"
"Why do so many drugs require a prescription?"
"Why do I adjust your lower back when the symptom is in your neck?"
"Why does chiropractic work?"
"Why do we ask so many questions?"

The quality of your practice (and your life) is the result of the quality of questions you ask. Ask poor questions and the answers are sure to be equally unhelpful. Of the five types, the least helpful questions are the ones that are never asked--either by you or by patients.

12/31/07

Monday Morning Motivation

It's time for some self-reflection. Something most of us in our hurry-hurry bulldozing into the future don't do nearly enough of.

Is next year tinged with dread? Is there uncertainty, because you allow doubt to corrode your vision and outside circumstances to make you reactive? Is there a sense of heaviness that things won't work out as you hope?

Then, so it will be.

Or do you see next year as the best year ever? Is there a sense of optimism as the lies of symptom-treating create an even greater demand for chiropractic? Do you have profound gratitude for the knowledge and skill you posses? Is there hope, faith and confidence that come from walking in the truth?

Then, so it will be.

You can't control the winds, but you can set the trim of your sails. What course will you set? You're more likely to stay on course if you write it down.

12/24/07

Monday Morning Motivation

Once the wrapping paper and ribbons are cleared away, we're left with the realization that the tangible gifts we give and receive, pale in comparison to the gift of life and the forgiveness of our shortcomings. The spiritual supersedes the physical--the eternal trumps the temporal.

Same in your practice.

Your words and procedures pale in comparison to your purpose and intent. As you release each patient's potential for health restoration, look beyond the immediate gratification (yours and theirs) and consider the consequences that you often don't get to see:

A more loving spouse
A more understanding parent
A more dedicated employee
A more generous boss
A more considerate commuter
A more confident teenager
A more creative teacher
A more energetic senior

Reducing symptoms gives you job. Educating patients creates a career. But enhancing the way others live their lives produces a legacy.

You make a profound difference. Thank you for being a chiropractor!

12/17/07

Monday Morning Motivation

Is your fear of strangers interfering with your ability to get new patients?

If you're like many of us, your mother imbued you with a fear of strangers. This may have served you as a child walking home alone from school. But today it's wreaking havoc on your new patient acquisition ability, since new patients come from telling the chiropractic story to as many strangers as possible.

The Disney organization refers to the essential skill necessary here as being "aggressively friendly." It's an unusual combination of words!

It means being deft at introducing yourself. Speaking first. Having ease around strangers. Volunteering something about yourself. Being proficient at small talk. Making others feel comfortable around you. Explaining what you do in a way that prompts others to want to know more. Having a well-developed sense of curiosity helps.

Here's what's so ironic. To the strangers you're apprehensive about, you're the stranger!

12/10/07

Monday Morning Motivation

Anyone who has heard me speak or listened to The Seminar, know that I place a high importance on the precision of language. Sloppy language is a sign of sloppy thinking which manifests as a sloppy life and practice.

Here are some words that are often used interchangeably. Which of each pair is more congruent with your purpose and intention?

Appointment: a specific time reserved for something or someone
Visit: the act of going to see a person, place or thing for a short time

Admit: allow to enter; grant entry to
Accept: welcome into a group or community

Diagnose: the process of identifying a disease by its signs and symptoms
Assess: To determine the value, significance, implication or extent of

Treat: subject to a process with the aim of alleviating a symptom
Care: attending to someone or something; to feel concern or interest

Adjust: to bring to a more satisfactory state
Manipulate: to control or influence skillfully

12/03/07

Monday Morning Motivation

What is a perfect day for you?

If you don’t know what would make a day perfect, it’s unlikely that you have many of them. The way you have more perfect days is to distinguish what a perfect day includes. That begins by using language to describe the aspects of your ideal day. Write it down. As you do, here are some areas to consider:

The three things: How much of your perfect day involves each of the following and in what proportion: people, things or ideas?

The four relationships: Make sure your perfect day includes a healthy mix of the physical, the intellectual, the emotional and the spiritual.

The five senses: We experience the perfect day through our nervous systems. Consider the role of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste in your ideal day.

Living consciously is a choice. What you regularly give your attention to grows. If one of your beliefs about a perfect day is that it can’t be planned or worse, that you don’t deserve one, start there. Because that’s a lie.

11/26/07

Monday Morning Motivation

Certainty prevails.

On the perceptual side of the doctor/patient relationship (where patients find hope, an essential ingredient for healing), is your ability to project certainty. Great healers emerge by combining certainty, extraordinary intuition and showing up as an egoless servant.

Seven pillars of certainty include:

Wisdom—your confidence derived from a history of applying knowledge.
Faith—your willingness to trust chiropractic principles and banish doubt.
Clarity—your ability to accurately visualize the hoped-for outcome.
Intention—your purity of thought, word and deed. Can you be trusted?
Boundaries—your acknowledgment of what’s yours and what’s theirs.
Resources—your energy, skill, abundance and even your own health.
Discernment—your awareness of subtle nuances overlooked by others.

Which of these have you allowed to sabotage your certainty? Which have you neglected? Which produce doubt?

As your certainty rises, so does the quality of your life, the depth of your influence and your ability to get things done.

11/19/07

Monday Morning Motivation

I still meet chiropractors unfamiliar with the work of Michael Gerber. His insights into the small business trinity of entrepreneur, manager and technician should be required reading at every chiropractic college.

So, if you left chiropractic college thinking you just had to be a great diagnostician and proficient adjuster, and a line would form in front of your office, immediately get a copy of The E-myth Revisited at your nearest bookstore! (Or click the link to buy it at Amazon.com) Install systems that will free you. Rise above the temptation of “doing it, doing it, doing it.”

If you want to help more people, make a difference and leave a legacy, you must develop your managerial and entrepreneurial muscles. Otherwise, you’ve sentenced yourself to a job. Maybe a great job, but a job nonetheless.

While you’re at it, jettison the myth that great businesspeople aren’t great healers. In my travels, I’ve seen just the opposite.

11/12/07

Monday Morning Motivation

Even if you used to be the last one chosen for the team, these days you're the team captain. Patients expect (deserve) an enthusiastic, optimistic and confident chiropractor who is prepared to lead them to a better future.

This invokes the Law of the Lid, which means that patients rarely get healthier than you, physically, socially and mentally. Thus, if you're promoting healthier habits, better spinal hygiene, prevention or especially wellness, you and your team must be an example of extraordinary health. Otherwise, you lack the authenticity required to lead and influence. Who you are determines whom you can attract.

You're the leader. Either you have the credentials to inspire patients to follow you to higher levels of health and wellness, or patients detect a hollow, "do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do" attitude and leave, outgrowing your leadership.

Perhaps it's what Gandhi meant when he observed, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

11/05/07

Monday Morning Motivation

If you still have emotional wounds from being turned down for the high school prom or find patient rejection painful for other reasons, you may not understand what “yes” and “no” mean in patientese.

“Yes” can mean, “Sure, but it better work in three visits or I’m out of here.” Or maybe, “I’m putting the responsibility for my recovery on your shoulders.” Not to mention the popular, “Whatever my insurance company will pay for.”

“No” can mean, “Not yet.” Or, “I need to think about it.” Or, “Maybe some other time because I have more pressing priorities.” Or perhaps, “Chiropractic makes total sense but I need Ralph’s approval first.”

Turns out a “yes” may not mean, “By all means!” and a “no” may not mean, “No way!” So, be less inclined to pat yourself on the back when you encounter a yes, and even less inclined to beat yourself up when you encounter a no.

10/29/07

Monday Morning Motivation

What are you avoiding?

Anything that you're unwilling to look at, face, confront, examine, question or discuss is holding you in bondage. Like a bully that compelled you to avoid part of the playground or caused you to take the long way home, whatever you choose to avoid holds you hostage.

Secret behaviors, hidden habits, addictions and our basest nature are common suspects. Or maybe it's an employee who needs to move on. Or a checkbook you avoid balancing. Or perhaps clothes you'll never wear again that you hang onto because discarding them means accepting your weight issue. Need I go on?

This week identify at least one issue that you've been avoiding and commit to facing and cleaning it up. Avoidance has made it bigger than it really is. You'll be rewarded by a renewed sense of ease, simplicity and peace.

Which could inspire you to tackle another. And another!

10/22/07

Monday Morning Motivation

If you focus on the problem, you won't see the solution.

Stage magicians are masters at using simple diversionary techniques to misdirect the audience's attention. Practice challenges can be just as distracting, misdirecting your attention to the most pressing symptoms, causing you to overlook the underlying cause.

Like patients who think their headache is the problem, the illusion that the problem is the problem is what keeps us stuck.

The "problem" is often only the symptom. Avert your eyes for a moment and you may be able to see the underlying cause. The lack of certainty. Poor preparation. The unwillingness to role-play. Untrained staff. The shunning of consistent and predictable systems. The risk of taking a stand. The fear of standing out. The anger that patients don't "get" it. Wanting to be liked.

Consider the high mountain stream. Sure, a few boulders are in the way, but gravity calls.

What's calling you?

10/15/07

Monday Morning Motivation

Time to reboot?

If my computer gets a little sluggish it seems happier and more responsive if I take a moment to restart it. Apparently, this clears its memory, reloads the software and creates a clean slate.

Your most important CPU, your brain, could probably benefit from a restart too.

If you have the tendency to keep your head down and push, push, push and do, do, do, consider this a friendly reminder to come up for some air. Are you on purpose? Have you been pushed off course by the cross winds of third parties? Are you encountering the friction of doubt from the behaviors of patients?

Carve out some time at the beginning of each day to stop. Listen. Reflect. Refresh. And renew. Raise your antennae. Like pulling in a weak, distant station, slow down, quiet yourself and receive divine direction from that wee small voice you’ve ignored.

10/08/07

Monday Morning Motivation

Do patients who are bold enough to announce that they're only interested in a visit or two for the most superficial pain relief offend you?

The My-Way-Or-The-Highway crowd inflates with self-righteousness by driving such unenlightened patients away. Their ego, pride or false sense of control often ends relationships before they can even begin.

This is the difference between caring for patients and loving patients. When you care, you do so with strings attached. "I'll do this if you'll do that." When you love, you serve without judgment or expectation.

Allowing a patient's limited understanding or financial constraint to make you indignant or slighted is a needless form of self-abuse. It may take a decade of starting and stopping care several times before they "get" chiropractic. What's the hurry?

By showing up in your office, you have a lesson to teach patients. More fascinating may be the lesson of patience they are showing up to teach you!

10/01/07

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you inclined to take it personally when patients don't follow through or drop out of care unexpectedly?

Attachment to what others do, especially patients, is risky business!

Naturally, if absolutely no one follows your recommendations, or most patients vanish without so much as a good bye, you have a problem. But that's rarely the case. Instead, it's a small percentage of your patient volume that dogs you. You turn their behaviors into a fascinating little story that ends up producing doubt, uncertainty or self-blame.

Please stop.

By accepting fault you've crossed the line. You've assumed responsibility (ability to respond) for circumstances and patient choices out of your control. You're attempting to usurp their God-given ability to express free will, conveniently setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.

Take heart in the fact that 100% perfect patient compliance would be boring after a month or so, anyway!

Monday Morning Motivation

Are you inclined to take it personally when patients don't follow through or drop out of care unexpectedly?

Attachment to what others do, especially patients, is risky business!

Naturally, if absolutely no one follows your recommendations, or most patients vanish without so much as a good bye, you have a problem. But that's rarely the case. Instead, it's a small percentage of your patient volume that dogs you. You turn their behaviors into a fascinating little story that ends up producing doubt, uncertainty or self-blame.

Please stop.

By accepting fault you've crossed the line. You've assumed responsibility (ability to respond) for circumstances and patient choices out of your control. You're attempting to usurp their God-given ability to express free will, conveniently setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.

Take heart in the fact that 100% perfect patient compliance would be boring after a month or so, anyway!

09/24/07

Monday Morning Motivation

Self-esteem is what you think of you. Social-esteem is what others think of you. Of the two, self-esteem is more important.

Like health, acquiring self-esteem is an inside job. It can’t be raised by the kind words of others. It can’t be purchased. And it can’t be obtained by more education, more initials after your name, more new patients or even more take-home pay. Those hollow attempts obscure the underlying source of self-esteem: having risen to the challenge of accomplishing something difficult.

The wide, easy, path-of-least-resistance saps self-esteem. We get flabby. We lose our nerve. We become consumed by doubt. We find ourselves trapped in a life of mediocrity.

If you’ve been coasting, resolve this week to take on something difficult. Something that will require high levels of creativity, perseverance, courage or risk.

Then, as you naturally come to think of yourself more highly, others can safely do the same.

09/17/07

Monday Morning Motivation

Our physical world is merely a manifestation of our spiritual world. It's easy to get distracted by what we can see, and in the process overlook the world we can't see.

What lessons do we need to learn, or become present to when we're confronted by chronic health problems, chronic marital problems, chronic financial problems, chronic procrastination problems, chronic staff problems or chronic new patient problems?

It's tempting to address the physical world, when the real solution is in the unseen world of our spirit, beliefs, emotions, habits and tendencies.

This week, take some time to reflect on the recurring issues you face; the "speed bumps" that keep slowing you down. These are signs and symptoms of something far deeper and significant. Permanent solutions are located here. They likely involve gratitude, forgiveness, tolerance and acceptance. In other words, more love. It's the ultimate personal and professional problem-solving tool.

09/10/07

Monday Morning Motivation

When your memories of the past are bigger than your dreams for the future, you're on your way to the grave.

Do you long for the past when your practice was more fulfilling? Do you long for your youth when you had fewer responsibilities? Do you long for the days when life was simple and decisions easier? Do you long for the time when patients would follow your commands? Do you long for the era when insurance reimbursement was more generous?

If you're living in the past, focused on the "good old days," you've surrendered to a memory and resisting what is. Life is supposed to be an adventure! Resisting change and clinging to a romantic notion of the past is merely a feeble attempt at making your world small enough to control. Not only will your effort be in vain, but your attempts will make you increasingly brittle, irrelevant and unappreciated.

Dream!

09/03/07

Monday Morning Motivation

What you give your attention to, grows.

When you take a patient's apparent rejection of your recommendations personally, your anger and frustration grows.

When you focus on your seeming need for more new patients, the need seems to become even greater.

When you ruminate about the patients who don't show up, rather than being grateful and attentive with those who do, you produce even more no shows.

When you concentrate on survival and paying the bills, you sentence yourself to just getting by and preclude the abundance you really deserve.

When you worry about what others think, you undermine your own certainty, causing others to have their doubts, further fueling your insecurity.

When you take a patient's irresponsible or disrespectful behavior home with you or devote an entire staff meeting to discussing it, you produce even more such behavior.

Be mindful of what you water and fertilize in your mind's garden.

08/27/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I've shared a few of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Here's the final one for the summer:

3:3 Never tire of loyalty and kindness. Hold these virtues tightly. Write them deep within your heart.

It may surprise you, but most inactive patients still see you as their chiropractor. Do you see them as a patient? It's tempting to abandon patients who are in the dormant phase of their relationship, but the true test of a practice is maintaining a connection with those you've helped in the past.

A birthday (one of the two times each year a patient is likely to think about their health) is the most obvious opportunity. As patients age, they get fewer birthday greetings, so your thoughtfulness can have high impact.

Exhibit kindness by acknowledging them without a direct overture to resume care. You're merely keeping in touch, letting them know that they're on your mind and you still see them as part of your practice family. Consider using our Relief & Wellness patient newsletter, our wide range of postcards and 50 Patient Letters to demonstrate your loyalty.

08/20/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

22:28 Do not move the ancient boundary marks. That is stealing.

Property lines are important. If you've ever built a fence, only later to discover it encroached upon your neighbor's property, you know it can be an expensive mistake. As is encroaching upon the territory of patients.

Know what is theirs and what is yours.

For example. It's your job to provide a care plan that is most likely to produce the greatest results in the shortest amount time for the least amount of money.

But it's their job to embrace your suggestions, follow them, show up for their appointments, do the actual healing and pay you for your service.

Blur these boundaries and you encroach upon the patient's property, making the encounter about you rather than them. Attempting to control patient priorities and behaviors that you're powerless to control is not only emotionally exhausting, it's unsustainable. Worse, few patients appreciate your overtures and often come to resent your rescue attempts to save them from themselves.

08/13/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

25:28 A man without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls.

To the degree you can control yourself you'll be able to control your practice.

You can't control patients. Those who try, are the recipients of resentment and anger. Not only are they greeted by failure, but they get the longer lasting legacy of patients who would never give them the pleasure of returning to the practice when their problem inevitably returns.

At its root, attempting to control others is about getting your needs met.

Do not attempt to have your physical, mental or emotional needs met by your patients or staff. Exhibit discernment when you sense that a patient is coming on to you. The reverse is even more crucial. Do nothing in your practice that you wouldn't want your spouse to see or your community to read about on the front page of the newspaper. Either we discipline ourselves, or something or someone else will do it for us.

08/06/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

14:28 A growing population is a king's glory; a dwindling nation is his doom.

A practice grows because the chiropractor grows.

In the backseat of a stagnant, languishing practice is a chiropractor who is no longer learning new skills, trying new methods or inspired by the possibilities of enlightening patients about the nature of true health. Even more detrimental is simply trying to maintain the status quo, clutching to what you already have.

Even if you've already had your biggest day in practice, you can still grow, intellectually, perceptually and intuitively. Learn a new adjusting technique based on principles opposite to what you're doing now. Hire an associate and become an incubator of more successful practices. Volunteer your time in community service, enlarging your personal network. Confront whatever you're uncomfortable facing. Stretch yourself!

Look at nature. Living things are either growing or dying. What are you doing? What's your practice doing?

07/30/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

16:23 From a wise mind comes careful and persuasive speech.

The scriptures tell us to seek wisdom because it is more valuable than gold or silver. By feeding our minds with wisdom we have the potential of becoming wise ourselves. Our speech, whether it's what we say to ourselves or to others, reveals our wisdom. In this way, our words are effects; symptoms. Our grounding and command of the truth is revealed by the words we use and the distinctions we make.

Begin by guarding what you allow into your mind. Which probably means eliminating or significantly reducing the amount of television you consume, along with the rest of the media that propagates superficiality, image-over-substance and a herd mentality.

Do more reading (in and especially outside of chiropractic). Listen to inspiring CDs. Increase your awareness of ideas that have lasting truth, having withstood the test of time. The wiser we become the greater the impact of our words. And our life.

07/23/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

28:13 A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.

We all make mistakes. It's how we respond when confronted by them that makes all the difference.

Our culture produces an incredible pressure to succeed and look the part of success. Yet, I count my failures as the most significant and meaningful moments of my career. And it wasn't because I intellectualized and accepted my mistakes and made a course correction. It was the humbling effect requiring me to surrender to a higher power.

If you've made some mistakes along the way, which prompt inactive patients to avoid you in the grocery store or cross to the other side of the street, apologize. Spend a day going through your inactive file folders and making amends. Ask for forgiveness. Ask to be given another opportunity to serve. Humble yourself.

07/16/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

12:25 Anxious hearts are very heavy but a word of encouragement does wonders!

Chances are, if patients are showing up with patterns of vertebral subluxation, they have far more going on in their lives than compromised spinal biomechanics. Tending to these emotional-psycho-social issues, even if it means merely being an receptive listener, is the key to more complete and lasting healing.

Great healers are mindful of this larger picture. Remove your technician's hat long enough to see this person in the greater context of their life. What are they facing this week? What are they worried about? What's distracting them and putting a drag on their life spirit? What's behind their lack of ease? Are they reliving in the past or worried about the future where they are powerless?

Rely on your instinct to provide some encouragement. Offer a word or two that can uplift them and provide a sense of hope—the most important ingredient of healing.

07/09/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

10:2 Ill-gotten gain brings no lasting happiness; right living does.

Cheating, or using means that unfairly give you an advantage, such as leveraging your social authority as a doctor, produces a hollow "success" that never creates lasting joy. Worse, it creates a mistrust (of ourselves) that we must constantly cover up, fearing someone will see through our cover up.

Are cash payments carefully recorded and reported? Laxity here sends powerful signals to your staff and can result in even far greater damage due to privacy breeches or even theft.

Related to this is the inclination to treat a patient's insurance policy, rather than the patient. These and other lapses of judgment, which often occur when we think no one is watching, weigh us down with guilt, shame and the fear of being found out.

If you've found yourself the recipient of ill-gotten gain, regardless of how you've justified it, make amends. Confess your trespass, change your ways and get back on track.

07/02/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

28:20 The man who wants to do right will get a rich reward. But the man who wants to get rich quick will quickly fail.

As third party reimbursement continues its death spiral, it serves to expose the motives of thousands of chiropractors. Some search for other services that they can bill insurance companies for and still get reimbursement. Others get back to the basics. And still others freeze with uncertainty as their fear creates a confusing fight or flight response.

During this time of change it's especially important to remain mindful of these two simple truths: 1) Income is the effect of service, and 2) There is no shortage of new patients.

We've all heard that if something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. Just glance at the increasingly shrill advertising in chiropractic publications. Is it really about the money? Or is money an effect? Is it really about new patients? Or are new patients an outcome or result of truly serving?

If you're numbers are down, look for ways of being a more generous servant.

06/25/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

15:22 Plans go wrong with too few counselors; many counselors bring success.

Who are your counselors?

My experience has been that in many offices, the support team is one of the most overlooked, undervalued and virtually ignored source of advice. Many chiropractors shut off the wisdom from this source by ignoring their suggestions, making the staff afraid to offer a competing viewpoint or simply never asking for their perspective.

Same with patients. Many chiropractors pay lip service to the importance of patient feedback, even offering up lengthy surveys, but ignore the findings. More effective would be quarterly focus groups run by a staff member or even an interested patient. Focus groups give you body language and verbal cues absent in written surveys.

Seeking the advice of wise counselors doesn't eliminate your responsibility, it merely broadens your range of options and reduces the chance of oversights or mistakes when considering new policies or procedures.

06/18/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

12:27 A lazy man won't even dress the game he gets while hunting, but the diligent man makes good use of everything he finds.

Are you being a good steward of your inactive patients? Do they know they'd be welcomed back to your practice? Do you still express interest in their life and their health?

It's tempting to write off inactives as having somehow rejected you and chiropractic. This prompts many offices to spend inordinate amounts of energy trying to acquire new patients. But the real opportunity is to cultivate the dormant relationships of those whom had a positive experience, know where your office is located and would prefer to return to familiar place when they experience their relapse, rather than start over with someone new.

Many inactives are merely waiting for a reminder or an invitation. They think you're angry with them because they let you down by dropping out. Remember, it can take a series of relapses that span several years before a patient "gets" chiropractic. Be diligent and make use of all your resources.

06/11/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm sharing a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written or collected by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

18:15 The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them.

Some of the most successful chiropractors I know are those who avoided the temptation of Not Invented Here, suppressing the urge to reinvent the wheel, modeling the beliefs and behaviors of those already successful.

Ironically, the folks who are struggling are those who dogmatically cling to their own notion of what patients should do. When patients don't, patients become the problem! They persevere anyway, trying to superimpose their notion of reality onto patients until they're sufficiently humbled. Then they're available for a new way of practicing.

Who's doing what you want to be doing? Who has what you want to have? Become a student. Believe what they believe and you will be able to do what they do. Like a necktie that goes out of style and then returns, it's an idea so old it seems new!

06/04/07

Monday Morning Motivation

This summer I'm commenting on a handful of the 3,000 proverbs written by King Solomon. Put his wisdom to work in your practice:

15:2 A wise teacher makes learning a joy; a rebellious teacher spouts foolishness.

Do patients find your patient education overtures a pleasure and a delight? Or has it become an unpleasant chore that is inconsistent and involves repetitious explanations in which patients remain passive and are largely feigning their interest?

If so, you've been teaching rather than educating.

True education is Socratic and interactive. It requires you be curious enough in what patients believe, to ask questions. (And listen!) You can only make chiropractic relevant by knowing what's meaningful to patients. Then, you must appeal to their right brain, not just their analytical left-brain. That means telling stories.

"A while back we were seeing a patient that thought…"
"When I first heard about chiropractic I was skeptical…"
"One of our many once-a-monther patients was in the other day and they were telling me…"

Abandon any preconceived notion of what patient education is supposed to look like or sound like. Once you start having fun, patients will too.

05/28/07

Monday Morning Motivation

Greater impact can be achieved by removing, rather than adding.

We seem inclined to think that by acquiring more techniques, knowledge or procedures we'll enjoy greater success. But that's window dressing. You and I show up fully equipped. Instead...

Remove procrastination, rather than adding to your to do list. Remove interferences, rather than adding a work-around. Remove distractions, rather than adding more hours. Remove generalities, rather than adding excuses. Remove complexity, rather than adding new procedures. Remove attachment, rather than adding blame. Remove deception, rather than adding compromise. Remove friction, rather than adding force. Remove distrust, rather than adding rules. Remove tension, rather than adding relief. Remove doubt, rather than adding faith.

Our influence is blunted and our vision obscured by the needless baggage from the past. By believing we lack the ingredients of success, we tend to search, collect and accumulate. Instead, shed what is no longer needed. Simplify. Grow.

05/21/07