By: Susan Hoy, CA
The past year has been a very busy one for me. Balancing my job as office manager of a busy Chiropractic office, producing my newsletter for Chiropractic offices, and traveling throughout the country giving seminars for Chiropractors and staff has been quite hectic, to say the least. It also has been the most fulfilling year I have ever had. Being this busy has made me aware of the importance of keeping things in perspective, and learning to streamline and simplify. I would say that my most important lesson this year has been to stop taking everything so seriously. A good friend of mine has a saying he uses on me whenever I get crazy: “Stop taking life so seriously, Susan; none of us are going to get out of it alive, anyway.” Another friend gave me the book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and It’s All Small Stuff. If you haven’t read this book, I urge you to get it. It is very easy reading and holds within its pages many worthwhile lessons.
We all seem to lead stressful lives. I know that working in a Chiropractic office is very stressful indeed. My goal is to continually streamline and simplify our procedures so that we can focus on our patients, an important issue that gets infinitely more difficult with managed care issues. My advice to all is get your practice flowing better and running more smoothly.
I received many calls this year from frustrated Chiropractors and staff who wanted to come to one of my seminars, but they were just too far away. My only solution to that is to contact your state association and request one of my seminars. I will be happy to come to your area. In the meantime, I wish to give a brief segment of my seminar in this article. My seminars are usually anywhere from 8–12 hours, so this is but a small sampling of my material:
Seven Concepts for Practice Success
The following seven concepts were developed from the book, The Seven Spiritual Laws for Success, by Deepak Chopra. This book changed my life and my focus.
Acceptance. It is important to remember that all patients come to us at different levels of acceptance. Some patients may be quite ready to accept Chiropractic care as a way of health and easily embrace the maintenance concept. Others may only be interested in pain relief. Still others are wary of Chiropractic care and extremely defensive when the issue of maintenance care is suggested. An aggressive approach will surely scare almost everyone away! I believe it is important to understand your patients’ fears and accept them at their level. We use the non-threatening approach. Our script is this:
“Some of our patients are quite willing to accept Chiropractic care as an approach to health, while others just want to rid themselves of pain. Many patients come to us on a monthly basis to help eliminate episodes of pain. Other patients just use Chiropractic care when they are in pain. At Snyman Chiropractic, our goal is always to educate you as to the importance of maintaining the spine. We want to see you once a month to keep you healthy, instead of several times a week to get you healthy. We will strive to educate you on the benefits of diet, nutrition, exercise, and Chiropractic adjustments. We will accept you in whatever care you choose, but our goal is to get you back to health and keep you that way.”
Giving. “Everything you give openly and freely and with true altruism from your heart, you will receive back ten fold. All lasting wealth comes from enriching others in some way. The easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.”
I learned a very hard lesson initially when I decided to give my newsletter away: I almost went broke doing it. It soon became apparent that my gift should not be a free newsletter (“free” has no value), but my gift is giving important information, solutions to common problems, and value in the job we are doing. The same should be understood in your practice. Giving away services and supplies can lead to resentment or, worse, cash flow problems. Your gift is the gift of health, a positive, loving environment, and hands-on healthcare.
Cause and Effect. “Every action generates a force of action that returns to us in like kind. We reap what we sow!”
If we love our patients, they will love us. If we take care of our patients, they will take care of us. All loving energy we put out will be returned to us. It is such a simple concept, and it works so well. So if you are wondering why you are not being well treated by patients, look straight into your heart and examine how you feel about them. Do you resent them for interrupting your paperwork? Do you consider them to be a nuisance? Make a resolution in 1999 to go out of your way to be kind. Your life will blossom in the process!
Intentions and Motives. “Success without fulfillment is still failure” — Tony Robbins
Your intentions and motives make the difference in your practice. Success will be yours if you have the correct motives and intentions. It takes very little time for a patient to evaluate your practice and your motives. No words need to be spoken — your energy tells all. True, it takes longer to build an ethical practice, but it will be long enduring. Calls to patients should be done from concern for health, not money. All correspondence should be written with true concern for the patient! Believe me, they will know the difference.
Least Effort. “Everything contains its opposite.”
Trying too hard may produce the opposite effect. Certainly fear and anxiety will scare everyone off. A plan of action to build your practice must be administered with certainty and consistency, and with a certain amount of calmness. Believe in yourself and what you are doing and others will believe with you. Eventually, it will take much less effort and then no effort at all to keep your practice going. Your patients will be doing all the work for you!
Attachment. “Those who seek security, chase it for a lifetime.”
Don’t be so attached to your destination (goals and statistics) that you miss opportunities along the way. If you have a very clear and rigid idea of what’s going to happen, you shut out a whole range of opportunities and possibilities. That is not to say that you shouldn’t have goals and keep statistics that are very important to track your practice. However, remember that they are just tools to help you with your main focus…your patients!
Purpose. “Everyone has a purpose…a unique gift or special talent to give to others.”
Every staff member has a unique talent to give. The challenge is for each staff member to be in the correct position to utilize his or her gift. For example, I love to work in the insurance department, but my true talent is in motivating patients and making them feel good. My belief and enthusiasm creates a very positive energy in our office and therefore helps keep the practice alive. Every staff member must be utilizing his or her unique talent. The result will be better energy and a bigger practice!
Concepts of B.E.E.F.
The following concepts were developed by me and are contained in my newsletter, “B.E.E.F. IT UP.”
Believe. “It’s not what you say, but what you believe about what you say, that gives what you say power. You actually think thoughts, speak words, and take actions that align yourself with your belief. You attract into your life whatever you believe!”
You must believe in your Chiropractor, in Chiropractic philosophy, in your staff, in yourself and in your patients. I have a quote: “If we believe we can help you, we can. If you believe we can help you, we will. Let’s believe in each other!”
Enthusiasm. Your office must contain enthusiasm and positive energy. I like to use the analogy of body parts. I can get body parts from a morgue and put them together to make them look like a body, but it isn’t a body unless it contains “life force.” Your staff may have all the parts to look like a staff, but unless your staff contains “life force or enthusiasm,” it just isn’t a staff. Get excited about what you are doing. You are making a difference in people’s lives!
Educate. If you want a successful practice you all must learn to educate your patients. No wellness or cash practice ever existed without educating the patient. This, of course, begins with an educated staff. In a busy practice, everyone must educate. Staff meetings, education meetings, and seminars are all ways to educate and motivate staff. Use non-threatening educational policies to educate patients. Using force or threats does not work. Telling stories and sharing information does work. Make up educational topics for staff education now for use in 1999.
Focus. “Whatever you put your attention to will grow stronger.”
Identify your practice weaknesses and focus on them for the coming months. Prioritize, don’t work on everything all at once. This must be a group effort in order to be effective. Everyone’s involvement is the key to success. Have a meeting and brainstorm for ideas. You will be amazed at your results.
What Makes a Great Practice?
It’s believing in Chiropractic Philosophy.
It’s believing in what you’re doing.
It’s believing in your Chiropractor.
It’s believing in yourself.
It’s believing in your staff.
It’s believing in your patient.
It’s loving what you do.
It’s doing what you love.
It’s enthusiasm and excitement in the difference you can make.
It’s loving the people around you.
It’s accepting and loving your patients.
It’s respecting others for who they are.
It’s continually learning.
It’s continually teaching.
It’s having the right motives.
It’s knowing your purpose.
It’s knowing your responsibility.
It’s focusing on the needs of others.
It’s knowing when to speak up, and when just listening will suffice.
It’s knowing what to say, when to say it, and how to say it.
It’s focusing on the positive and not the negative.
It’s knowing how to give your practice life—not just existence!