I love bookstores.
A few months ago, I was walking around Trafalgar Square and found a bookstore that was calling to me! Even though I don’t read as much as I should and prefer listening to audiobooks or my favorite podcasts … I just had to walk in. Somehow I am drawn to books. Maybe it is the thought that there is so much wisdom and knowledge to be learned right there in those pages.
Anyways, while I was walking through the bookstore, a table in the middle of the aisle caught my eye. It was a table filled with books from Penguin publishing that have been identified as books that have literally changed the world and transformed the way we see ourselves and each other. There was one particular white covered book that caught my attention. I am not sure if it is was the simple white paperback cover contrasted with the outlined words of the title or maybe it was the small pocket size of the book (and I knew that it was going to be a quick read!).
But maybe it was simplicity of the TITLE.
The title itself was profound as the book itself (as I found out)….The book was actually an essay written by Seneca (5 A.D. to 65 A.D.) called “On the shortness of Life: Life is long if you know how to use it”.
It is a very short read… but so profound!
“Life is short, Art is long.”
“Life is long enough, and a sufficient generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.”
When I read those lines, I felt as if I started to see the entire movie of my life flash before my eyes… and I could not help but feel the emotion of “guilt”. The “guilt” I was feeling was the thought of how much “time” I have “wasted” not just in my short life, but this year, last year, or even just yesterday!
Time is constant… it is always ticking. Yet it is the one precious commodity that we probably take for granted the most.
No matter where I am in the world, when I speak to chiropractors there is always a sense of struggle and that things are harder now than they were 10 years ago. Chiropractors complain that there is more competition in the marketplace, there are more skeptics, or what use to work no longer works. There is just not enough TIME…
Maybe. Maybe not.
Although the above might be true, we also live in a time that has many more advantages than the past. We have greater accessibility to our community and are more connected to our prospects and clients than ever before with the introduction of social media and other technological devices. We have greater access to information and knowledge via the internet, podcasts and websites about communication, business, practice management, science, techniques and philosophy than ever before. We have an army of technological tools such as podcasts, videos, and audio devices that allow us to reach greater and greater audiences than ever before.
And more importantly – we still have the SAME amount of TIME than we did before.
So what has really changed? Well, people have changed!
We as a human race have changed in the way we communicate with each other. Our values have changed. Our priorities have changed. And how we “buy” has changed. Which means the way we “sell” has to change as well.
I believe that we (as a profession) are “struggling” NOT because things are changing. I believe we are “struggling” because WE as chiropractors are NOT changing with the TIMES and secondly we are not using our TIME.
After reading the book, I developed a worksheet called “Finding your Max Capacity” which identifies what your maximum capacity in practice is and how effectively you are currently using your time in practice. (If you ever attend one of my 2XP Intensives, we will work on this together…)
I have done this worksheet with hundreds of chiropractors, and I have to tell you the amount of “lost” time is profound! An overwhelming majority of chiropractors are using less than 50% of the their “adjusting” times adjusting clients! Which means more than 50% of the time – you are not doing what you are “trained” to do.
The obvious question is… what are most of these chiropractors DOING with their time?
Are they studying, learning and implementing ideas to help them build a better practice? Are they using this time to work ON the business ? Are they using their time talking and attracting prospects to their practice? Or are they doing “more important” things like checking whether someone likes their latest post on Facebook or Instagram picture?
I think you know the answer.
We are ALL “busy”… but are we “busy” with work that matters? Work that creates a bigger impact in our practice, our community, or on our lives?
I am not saying that we should never have downtime. We should. I think it is important to have FUN in life and be in the moment. But I also have a belief that when you are at “practice” – you should be “practicing”. If you are NOT adjusting – you should be working on yourself or your practice.
Prospects are not going to just SHOW up just because you are there. They are not showing up just because you have a fancy logo or website.
Just remember that while you are NOT adjusting anyone in the practice – you are basically PAYING yourself to sit there… so what is your time worth?
Just know that when you are taking some time off, someone out there is using that TIME “doing the work”. Doing what it takes to reach the success they want. You have to decide that you want, and accept the life that you choose. You created the outcome that you have or don’t have right now… and when we can accept this – we stop blaming anyone else and more importantly we take full responsibility for the present circumstances and any future achievement from here on in.
What to FOCUS on
So what can you do with this time? What are all the things you can do that will make a difference in practice?
If I had to simplify all the things you can do with your ‘spare’ time that will create the biggest impact in your practice… they would fall into 3 categories.
Believe it (Product)
When prospects come into any business, they are typically looking for two things. 1. a solution to a problem and 2. trust that you can provide it. In practice – we want to position ourselves as a TRUSTED ADVISOR. Someone that can tell clients how they can be of help.
In my experience, most chiropractors feel that they believe in their “product” (Chiropractic), they believe in its lifestyle, its effect and impact on the nervous system. But the problem is not in their belief but in their FEAR of rejection or what others think of them. This overwhelming fear OVERRIDES their belief in chiropractic.
If we don’t continually spend time on WHY we do what we do each and every single day… how will our clients trust us that chiropractic will provide them with what they need?
Spend time in BELIEVING what you do. Understand the science, the evidence, the principles, and the philosophy of
WHY you do what you do.
- What do you really do?
- Why do you do what you do?
- How do you do what you do?
Build it (Process)
Every practice needs to have processes to make it run smoothly. The goal of a practice is to put efficient systems in place so that you can FOCUS on doing only the things that matter (e.g. Adjust). Every time you get distracted in doing things that pull you away from your “genius” (unique skills that you possess), you lose FLOW. Create FLOW by spending time building SYSTEMS that create freedom. Systems that run automatically without you.
The most important systems any practice needs to focus on are:
- Attraction – ongoing systems that attract and funnel prospects into your practice.
- Conversion – a highly leveraged system that turns a prospect into a client that is ethical, logical and predictable.
- Delivery – systems which drive clients to become raving fans by building an “experiential” practice rather than a “transactional”
- Do I have automated “Patient Generating” systems or strategies that attract prospects consistently into my practice?
- Do I have a solid “WOW” Consultation and Report that results in 95%+ of the prospects following through with my recommendations and becoming clients (if it is suitable for them)?
- Do my clients have exceptional experiences throughout their care plan (especially in the first 90 days) that make them TELL their family, friends, and colleagues?
Bond it (People)
“CAs are the most important people in the practice”… I am sure you have heard that before.
CAs are important. But they are only part of the “People” puzzle. CAs are a vital component in the practice. Proper hiring and training of the CA will surely make the difference on whether clients are looked after, systems are being implemented and whether your practice is in FLOW.
We all know and understand this.
But we must not forget that without “clients” or the “chiropractor” – their won’t be a practice for the CAs to work in. Most chiropractors forget to ‘choose’ their clients. Yes CHOOSE. Be clear on who you want to serve… and choose the clients that you want to see rather than clientele that you don’t like working with.
Knowing and understanding your market takes time, but spending time on researching people you want to serve is a sure way to communicate to them easier, and with greater effectiveness.
Lastly – work on YOU. If you lack certainty in yourself, in your communication, in your ability as a chiropractor …then seek all the resources you can find to develop it. If you don’t work on yourself – who will?
In order for you to create a bigger impact in life and to live a LONG life…
Do work that matters.
So what are you going to do with your time?
Dr. Laurence Tham is the founder of “Drive Your Practice”, a coaching program focused on getting chiropractors out of ‘survival’ into ‘sustainability’ and success. His programs – Ignition, Turbo and Nitro are designed to build certainty, communication and credibility. He has created several successful Wellness programs to help people shift from ‘sickness’ into ‘health’ using the latest technology and strategies. “The Wellness Blueprint” and “The 30 Days to Wellness” are programs that help people create a compelling future not only for themselves but for the entire family.