The old axiom is true; if you’re digging a hole in the wrong direction, stop digging!! Having practiced from 1980 to present, I’ve seen at least two financial/economic recessions. Both had similar psychological effects on the public and in Chiropractors’ practices. First, the sky was falling. Second, what do I do now?
In a minimal study of both national and state associations, chiropractors’ incomes and patient volumes are down 25% to 35% across the country. Fortunately, not everyone has decided to participate in this down turn. It’s all about your focus and where your head is at and not what’s going on outside. Don’t get me wrong, the economy does affect your practice and life, but your job is to adapt to the environment, much like an adjustment allows the body to adapt to its environment. It’s curious that I have friends who practice in the worst depressed cities in the country helping 60 to 80 new patients a month. I have friends who are laying off staff, working longer hours, and seeing 5 to 6 new patients a month in relatively sound economic cities. The difference is their perception of what and who is their focus.
Today, right now, look at your attitude, your staff’s. What are you focused on? Old Dr. Gonstead used to say, “I have one patient that’s before me right now, not the one hundred plus waiting in the reception room.” That’s exactly where your head must be at. What can I do for this patient, right now, right here?
Here’s your exercise for 2010:
1. Only focus on what you can fix, not what you can’t.
2. Look to your patients for answers to growth in your practice. It is your hours? Your fees? Your staff? Your attitude? Your treatment? Whatever they tell you to do, do it.
3. Forget yesterday, last year, or anything from your past…you can’t go forward until you let go of the past.
4. Clean up your home, your clinic. Clean up anything you are not using. Get simple, get free.
5. Do something you’ve never done before, especially something you are afraid of.
6. Write down your goals and get pictures of them. Look at them daily.
7. Get rid of negative friends, peers, or anyone who doesn’t add to the quality of your life.
8. Be grateful that people trust in your ability to help them become healthy. It is, after all, a privilege to help others, no an obligation.
9. Get real with people. Tell them the truth of chiropractic. Quit being a pseudo-medical wimp. Quit buying and using practice gimmicks.
10. Have fun, laugh more, and live more. Remember, you can’t get out of life alive, so act like it.
11. Fear nothing.
Till Next Time…