There is more than one route to business success; and chiropractors may implement a variety of tactics and plans to achieve their goals.
But first, you must define what “success” means to you.
What makes one person happy doesn’t make everyone else so. Certain achievements generally please most people, such as making a good enough living to not sweat paying bills and afford life’s comforts. But other factors do vary from person to person.
For example: Some take joy in physically practicing chiropractic. It is what drew them to the profession. Others may feel that having to perform too many adjustments is starting to take a toll on their bodies. They still love delivering chiropractic care, but would prefer to not have to personally adjust every single patient. And some will opt for an adjustment tool to reduce the stress on their bodies.
Another personal preference may be a desire to always be physically present at the practice to ensure the highest quality of care. Others may have learned how to train and delegate so that quality remains whether the owner is present or not.
Still some may feel a need for more time away from practice, taking a two-week vacation in addition to several other days off throughout the year. In other cases, DCs may be perfectly content with a $60,000 a year take-home pay, while some may set their sights higher. However, in most instances, a high take-home pay usually requires making changes and sacrifices, such as spending more time working, or committing to learning a practice model that allows for such an income.
Only you know what your personal preferences are, whether it be time spent in the office, level of income, protocols used, etc. But with wisdom and experience, many have learned that to remain successful and competitive, you must be willing to change and adapt your style of practice.
What you really want
Self-discovery often begins on a sheet of paper. Make a list of what makes you the most happy, in order of most important to least. Your list might look something like this.
2. Health of patients
3. Time with family
4. Vacation time
5. Working smarter, not harder
6. Footprint in local community (awareness of your brand)
7. Time spent performing adjustments
8. Time other DCs do adjustments for you
9. Getting business training to decrease stress
10. Earning extra money for retirement
11. Learning more about investing and taxes
12. Adding new services to your practice and advancing the wellness message
You may have other categories important to you. This is your list.
Cross reference your plan
After each item on your list, write down what you must do in order to attain it. If money is your top priority, you won’t want your family and spiritual life to suffer. That can happen, but it doesn’t have to if you are willing to search for and apply solutions to the barriers blocking the way to your goals. Find others who have what you are looking for and ask them how they got there. Follow that path and you can have it, too.
For instance, if personally delivering care is your top priority, then run a personality-based practice but, know that you will have to give up more family time, have more stress, and not have much left over for retirement or other investing. If you placed those things high on your list then it’s time to reprioritize what you want or change your model.
If you choose more free time, a high-income level, and less stress, then you are looking for a model that focuses more on you being a CEO – perhaps running an integrated practice. A trained executive gets others to work just as hard if not harder than he or she does. To run a larger practice with many people to manage, you won’t have the time necessary if you are busy all day actually offering care yourself so you have to decide what on your list will take precedence.
Let it simmer
After you make your list, don’t expect to figure it all out in one sitting. Definitely sleep on it for at least one night if not several. The outcome of setting priorities could produce some significant changes, so you don’t want to jump into them in a willy-nilly fashion. It would make sense to seek out a professional advisor who focuses on exactly the type of practice you have envisioned. Even the great Michael Jordan and Walter Payton had coaches.