The late winter wind blows a few snowflakes past the window as I stare and contemplate the past 20 years of my life. “Oh if I could go back in time, knowing what I know now,” I think, as all the fleeting images of long-gone successes and mistakes race through my mind.
Are you a student or a DC looking to start a new practice? Here are the top 10 things I wish I had known when I started.
1. Start where you want to end up. If you start a practice in Ohio knowing you ultimately want to live in Texas, just start in Texas. The most successful practices are ones where the DC started and stayed for decades, by building a huge chiropractic following with unstoppable momentum.
2. Fill your mind with chiropractic gold. The new DC has a brain crammed with basic sciences yet an empty tank when it comes to chiropractic history and philosophy. Who coined the term chiropractic and what is it? What do adjustments actually do? These are just a few of the many questions patients have that all DCs should be able to answer.
3.Time management. If you spend 45 minutes to see a new patient, 30 minutes to do a report, and 10 minutes to treat the average patient, yet have a goal to serve 200 people a week, you are going to suffer disappointment. Increasing your skill and efficiency with your time will be your greatest challenge as these determine how many people you see””and how much you can earn.
4. List all your debts from smallest to largest. How much of the payments are interest and how much are principle? Always pay at least enough to cover the interest, because the last thing you want is $180,000 in student loans to turn into $220,000. Don’t even consider buying a home until all unsecured debt is gone.
5. Your education is actually beginning. Always be reading a success- oriented book, listening to material in the car, watching educational videos, and attending seminars of all types to advance your know-how. School is never out for the pro.
6. Commit to getting and staying mentally and physically fit. Be the real thing. Who wants natural health advice from someone who doesn’t look naturally healthy? To be a chiropractic superhero, look and act like one.
7. Self-control. Learn some “won’t power.” DCs get rolling and want to buy all the things they couldn’t afford in school. If you have student loans, guess what? You still can’t afford luxuries. Get your tax, debt, and saving systems in place first. Then consider all purchases carefully.
8. The typical DC will practice 40 years, then live another 20 or more years after that. How are you going to pay your bills after you retire? If you want things to work out then, become a great planner now. Start saving immediately””even if just $50 per month”” then increase that over time. Of course, crush all unsecured debt first before ramping up your savings.
9. A chiropractor is a serious entrepreneur. Embrace this. Maxwell Maltz wrote in his book Psycho Cybernetics: “Image is all.” You must be able to sell yourself. People buy with their eyes before you even speak. So be able to sell your ideas and the chiropractic way of life convincingly.
10. Hire a proven mentor, consultant, or coach to guide you. This will save you years of wheel spinning and help you avoid common dangers as you grow and establish your successful practice.
Tory Robson, DC, DAAMLP, is author of The Image Doctor and the 7 Pillar System for Professional Success. he is the founder of Winners Edge Chiropractic Consulting and is committed to helping DC’s build the smartest, most efficient, credible, and most successful practices in the world. he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through truechirosuccess.com.