By: Dan Golden, DC
I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in the Chiropractic profession as a practicing chiropractor for more than 25 years. In view of the fact my father was a chiropractor, as was my grandfather, I guess you could say I have been in this profession all my life. This lineage has afforded me the opportunity to observe Chiropractors rise from obscure “nobody’s” to great leaders and motivators. I observed my father go from a D.C. who loved his profession but was on the verge of bankruptcy to become what many would consider a dynamic success. In my own life I have known what I define as success. I have also been considerably less than what that definition calls for.
What is it that makes one person a success in this (or any other) profession? Why is it some people make it to be in the upper top 5% of their chosen field while others just can’t seem to get out of their “rut?” Are some born under a “lucky star,” while others are predestined to live a life of constant want? Hopefully this article will shed light enough on this subject to change the direction of some readers’ lives.
In the past 25 years I have also been a student and teacher of practice management, human nature and human psychology. Like most who are less successful than they feel they deserve to be, I went to this seminar and listened to this speaker, constantly looking for the answer to come forth like a bolt of lightning and lift me from my depths of self-pity. Surprisingly, it never happened. I read books, wrote goals, did all the things I was supposed to do, and still remained less successful than I felt I should be. The thing I was lacking was that ONE key to success… ATTITUDE!
In reality, I have come to learn there are really only two keys to success. That’s right, only two. They are attitude and procedure. This article will deal with the one of those two that I feel is paramount… ATTITUDE.
Before anyone can be successful in any endeavor—Chiropractor, Chiropractic assistant, business executive, salesperson, or hot dog vendor—they MUST possess the ATTITUDE of being successful in that endeavor. The difference between going to work and functioning as an employee or provider of service and going to work knowing you are going to have a fantastic day is the attitude you have toward that work.
As a D.C. you can be one that is educated, passed the national boards, passed the state boards and has now set up practice with the idea the world owes you something—OR, you can be the one that can’t wait to get to the office that morning, excited about the prospect of what is going to happen that day, what type of challenge will you face, what mountain you can climb. In reality, you are doing the same thing: examining patients, adjusting patients, and getting sick people well. The difference is the attitude you have toward that job. Obviously the same is true for the C.A. Just an old 9-5 job, more paperwork, fighting with insurance companies, purging files, typing letters, calling missed appointments, etc., etc. It can be mundane or it can be EXCITING! The difference is the attitude of the person doing the job.
The key is definitely attitude, but how does one develop such an attitude of success? Simple…have a burning desire to do the very best job you can do. No, better yet, a burning desire to do MORE than the very best job you can do. How do you get that burning desire? Get excited about your work. Get excited about what you see each and every day. Get excited about those things you have come to accept as routine or normal or expected.
Like it or not, as a chiropractor you are often the last doctor of choice, rather than the first. Like it or not, there is a great faction of the general public who doesn’t accept you on the same level as a medical practitioner. So why not take the supposed negatives and turn them into positives?
Since you are often the last doctor chosen for treatment of a given condition you have also been given the last opportunity to get someone well. If you want to get excited about your work, just think of what would happen to those folks who have tried everything else before you if YOU weren’t there to at least try! Think about the fella with the pain down the leg who has no option but surgery if YOU can’t help him. Think about the 5-year-old child suffering convulsions—condemned to a life of nervous system depressants—if YOU aren’t there. Think about the man who must resign himself to living his life in a wheelchair if YOU aren’t there. Think about the little girl given 30 days to live with a killer kidney disease if YOU aren’t there. I could go on and on. How do you get excited about your work? Simple, take time to step away from your canvas of life and see what life would be like for those who need you and want you if YOU weren’t there. That, in itself, should give you a burning desire to do more, to treat more, to tell more, to serve more. With that desire you are now approaching the possession of the number ONE key to success.
It is attitude that took a young fella in Phoenix from a practice of six patients a week to over 400 a day. It is attitude that gave a young man the courage to go to a mountain town of 2,500 people and, within five years, build the largest practice in Colorado. It is attitude, some 22 years ago, that enabled a friend of mine in a little town in Texas to establish a practice in a one-treatment-room clinic, 500 total square feet, and build one of the most respected, largest practices in Texas. It is that same attitude that keeps him excited each and every day, even though he has practiced nearly 25 years.
Just like it is not the satisfied patient that refers you patients, it is the excited patient; it is not the satisfied doctor who becomes a success, it is the excited doctor! Right now, today, this minute, make a decision to get more excited about what you do. That will give you the number one key to success.
About the Author
Dr. Golden, a third generation chiropractor, is a 1965 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic. He was named 1985 Chiropractor of the Year by the El Paso County Chiropractic Association and the 1987 Chiropractor of the Year by the Parker Chiropractic Resource Foundation.