I'm drowning in student loan debt, and I see no way to even coming close to paying it off. I consider myself a successful chiropractor but without any savings or financial planning. Like most of the U.S. population, we’re about two paychecks away from losing our home. What should I do from here. Is there a way out?
Yes, there is a way out. Here are some things to consider based on what you’ve shared with me. The medicine may be bitter, but I’m living proof that it is effective.
1. Improve your self talk. How you talk to yourself is a critical aspect of your ability to escape the bondage you find yourself in. It’s not uncommon for chiropractors in your situation to keep repeating to themselves, “I need more new patients.”
Better might be, “Who else can I serve?” or “How else may I serve?” or “What’s the most valuable thing I could do right now?”
Granted, what you say, do and think is heavily habituated at this stage. It will take constant pressure to form new habits.
2. Eliminate all media in your life. This includes all so-called news outlets, commercial television, radio and the like. This especially includes social media. Let everyone know you’re stepping away for a while to work on a project.
Social media in particular invites comparison with others.
And the mainstream media is mostly designed to broadcast fear and propaganda. Don’t take the bait. You need a clear head which means eliminating all distractions. Want to watch a movie or documentary? Sure. Just stay away from anything with commercials. Remember, when something is free, you’re the product.
3. Live beneath your means. You may think you already are. Unlikely. That may require a diet of beans and rice for the next 90 days or something more drastic.
I have no way of knowing of course, but many newer chiropractors think they should live like doctors. So, they do. That often means car payments, credit card debt, memberships and countless other luxury items. Say goodbye to all of them.
Get to a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University program as quickly as possible. At the very least listen to his radio show or subscribe to his podcast.
While some see it foolish to pay off low interest student loans, it’s still bondage and produces a tremendous drag on your spirit. Start making weekly payments as soon as practical.
4. Recommit to providing extraordinary service. Show up curious about your patients’ lives, not merely their health complaint. Learn the names of their spouses and children. Be on the constant lookout for ways to be helpful and be a problem solver.
Success expert Zig Ziglar made a profound observation when he said, “You can have anything in the world that you want, as long as you help enough people get what they want.” It’s true.
5. Time to amp up your marketing. I’m not seeing a practice website when I search for you online. Today, that’s as essential as a phone number. If you have a website, get busy increasing its profile. Regularly secure patient reviews. Ask patients what the hardest part about referring others is. Let everyone know you’re accepting new patients. Cultivate your inactives and love on your current patients.
You can do this. Others in far worse shape already have.
Thanks for the question!
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