Lie #12: I can be successful on my terms.
It's breathtaking how many chiropractors are quick to reinvent the wheel, ignoring the wisdom of generous peers in their community willing to help. Instead, without any small business experience they waste time and money pursuing an unsustainable pipe dream.
Or they set up a conditional form of success. "I want to help as many people as possible, but I refuse to do screenings." "I don't do public speaking." "All I have to do to launch my practice is do some Facebook advertising." "I'm not one of those chiropractors who does unprofessional self promotion."
The prideful arrogance, ignorance and hubris are head turning.
Much of this is a defense mechanism to avoid the emotional costs of judgment or rejection. What did you think would happen by choosing a career in a discipline whose history is characterized by bias, minimization and misunderstanding?
Some of this is the tendency of such chiropractors to fashion chiropractic into something that suits them, rather than surrendering to chiropractic. Granted, based on the medical education taught at most chiropractic colleges, it's no wonder recent graduates have a limited familiarity with chiropractic principles. Combine that with the broad scope of most state practice acts and you have an eclectic mix of just about anything that falls under the heading of "natural."
Ultimately, this is an issue of identity. Who do you think you are? Where do your responsibilities end and a patient's begin? Is subluxation a good thing or a bad thing? (Short term good, long term bad.) What do you think an adjustment does? What is the most common cause of subluxation? Solid answers to these and related questions are essential if you wish to be anchored and exude the certainty that wins the trust and respect of patients.
You'll either create consistently remarkable patient experiences that stimulate the referral process, or you'll need to promote your practice and be easily findable on Google. Or do both.
And before you dismiss practice promotion, realize that it's merely helping people who need each other, to find each other. There's nothing unprofessional or sleazy in that—unless you deceive or rely on manipulative tactics that disrespect the people you're wanting to help.
Truth: What it takes to have a successful practice is well known.
Bill Esteb has been a chiropractic patient and advocate since 1981. He is the creative director of Patient Media and the co-founder of Perfect Patients. He’s been a regular speaker at Parker Seminars and other chiropractic gatherings since 1985. He is the author of 12 books that explore the doctor/patient relationship from a patient’s point of view. His chiropractic blog, in-office consultations, patient focus groups and consulting calls have helped hundreds of chiropractors around the world. His Monday Morning Motivation is emailed to over 10,000 subscribers each week.