MMM Summer 2014

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Understanding

June 2, 2014

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.

The public has little need for chiropractors who are chameleons, quasi-medical doctors or who sell out to be people pleasers. Turns out that success, at least the lasting kind, is about knowing what you're doing and why you're doing it.

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Purpose

June 9, 2014

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.

If you think your purpose is pain relief, recognize that countless drugs are faster and more effective than chiropractic. If you think your purpose is curve restoration, remember that few patients start care with that objective. If you think your purpose is merely pleasing patients, careful that you don't wake up years from now angry for having surrendered your life to the unappreciative. And your purpose isn't to adjust patients. Adjusting patients merely helps advance your purpose. What's your purpose?

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Decisive

June 16, 2014

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.

Decisiveness is the trait of leaders. If your desk, office or workspace is cluttered with stacks of stuff, the resulting chaos places an unseen drag on your practice. Or notice how many people go into stress when faced with a restaurant menu. It's merely lunch for heaven's sake! And if all goes according to plan, you're likely to have 25,000 (or more) of them in your lifetime.

Decide. Then make it the right decision by what you do next.

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Boundaries

June 23, 2014

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.

Don't fall for it. If you generally enjoy success rates of 80% or greater, when patients aren't responding it's almost always the patient—their beliefs, their lifestyle or their habits. Chiropractic care is a partnership. Make sure you don't imagine you can do their part. Do yours. Which includes explaining theirs.

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Comfortable

June 30, 2014

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.

Resolve this week to join a service club or organization. Introduce yourself to a stranger. Practice making small talk. Speak first. These are social skills, which like other skills are learned and must be practiced. Expand your influence by being mindful of Mark Victor Hansen's observation that "your net worth is based on the size of your network."

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Prompt

July 7, 2014

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.

Arrive early. Review the files of patients you'll be seeing. Contemplate what's going on for each one. As Dr. Larry Markson wisely observes, "If you're not early, you're late."

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Curiosity

July 14, 2014

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.

The most influential chiropractors are chronically curious, asking great questions. They explore a patient's beliefs. They prompt critical thinking. They create new meanings. They help patients live more consciously. By asking thought provoking questions, they engage the superior portion of the nervous system. And they focus on it with the same gusto they address vertebral subluxations. Address the subluxations above the occiput and you become a change agent and someone who is interesting--because you appear so interested.

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Leadership

July 21, 2014

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.

At its best, their self-directed care turns you into a walking aspirin. At its worse, taking the path of least resistance turns you into a wimp. Oh, many patients appreciate the super soft sell. Granted, the ability to "self-serve" their adjustments without expectations or a formal plan can be a real patient pleaser. Only problem, they see you as weak and uncertain and your chiropractic practice is merely a superficial pain clinic with a voracious appetite for new patients.

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Fearless

July 28, 2014

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. The practice grows only as the chiropractor grows. The surest way to do that is to shed self-limiting beliefs. Uncover your particular self-limiting beliefs by simply taking an inventory of your fears.

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, fearful of confronting a staff 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.

Unchallenged, these and other fears hold us in bondage. It's a prison, but without bars. Confront your fears. Stare each one down. Fear is a bully that will flee. But you must face him.

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Talent

August 4, 2014

Success leaves clues. Among the most common are chiropractors who sell their talent, not their time.

Many put an artificial cap on their incomes and their ability to help more people by believing that each patient is buying a certain amount of time. Even worse, they allow this belief to go unchecked among their patient base.

Careful that you don't blur the difference between effort and outcome; work and result. This confusion can result when chiropractors have either lost the majesty of the adjustment or have allowed it to become casual and pedestrian. Not surprising, 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.

Remember, patients don't want adjustments. They want an effect or outcome that adjustments can produce. If they could get the effect in some other way, they would. Many try.

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Teamwork

August 11, 2014

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 work their front desk. This observation is especially odd at a time when many jurisdictions are experiencing high levels of unemployment. Perhaps part of the issue is the vision you're casting about the opportunity you're offering.

Are you looking for a receptionist? A traffic cop? A mind reader? Nurse Ratchet? Someone to merely "fill the empty chair?" When you limit your concept to something so uninspiring, it's no surprise that your position remains unfilled or only seems to attract low-quality candidates.

Ultimately you want someone who can live their purpose while contributing to the fulfillment of yours. Oh, and the salary thing? You pretty much get what you pay for, whether it's a steak dinner, lawn care, a team member or healer at the front desk.

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Disciplined

August 18, 2014

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

The access to discipline is purpose. When you're "why" for being in practice is big enough, audacious enough and inspiring enough, the "how" fuels you forward. Rarely (if ever) is paying back your student loans or surviving as a small business sufficient. No, your purpose is far greater than that! Do you know what it is?

Monday Morning Motivation | Success Leaves Clues - Generous

August 25, 2014

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 be 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.

Charge for your care. It's part of the healing process. But make sure you're also providing pro bono care. (Which is not the same as writing off uncollectable debts!) Look for opportunities to give away what you have, even if it's just hope or optimism. You cannot out give the universe. But you might want to try.