Chiropractors who make it through decades of clinical practice learn many things over the years. Some experiences lead to nuggets of wisdom and confirmation that they made the right decision.
Others serve as lessons learned the hard way, and opportunities to move forward from failure.
Those in your field who have crafted a successful career can help you avoid the mistakes many doctors make. If I had the opportunity to talk to my younger self, this is what I would say:
It’s important to get good grades in school, but it’s more important to learn the applications of your studies instead of cramming in information just to pass a test. Planning allows you to take time to absorb the materials.
While still in school, plan for financial and business success. For this, seek professional advice as school is there to help you to pass your boards, not necessarily teach you business 101. Get familiar with business jargon, learn how to perform bank reconciliation, and master debt management. Shadow other doctors during this time to learn about the type ofÂ practiceÂ that resonates with you.
Live in the moment.
Don’t wish your life away, and that includes all those arduous hours in school. If you can’t wait until you graduate, or are counting down the days until you open your office, time will slip away. Enjoy each moment to the max and learn something new each day. Maintain a solid balance between having fun and studying.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle.
When you become a chiropractor, you have to educate your patient population about who you are, what you do, and how you do it. If you don’t own the lifestyle you’re advising others to take on, what kind of example are you setting?
Create effective goals.
Immerse yourself in goal-setting techniques. Write down your dreams and aspirations. Do this while still in school for an easier post- graduation road.
Find your financial savvy.
You have to spend money to make money, but there is a right and wrong way to do so. Guard your bankroll with your life. Stay away from get-rich-quick schemes. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do proper due diligence before investing your hard- earned money. Surround yourself with a great attorney, CPA, business coach, insurance agent, financial planner, and compliance and coding expert.
Stay out of credit card debt.
Debt is the killer of dreams. Between your school and business loans, you’ll likely have monstrous debt. Don’t compound what’s already owed by deficit spending with a credit card.
Learn the laws of attraction.
You may think that the laws of attraction are overhyped, but they hold incredible power. Everything that you ever wanted is yours for the intelligent asking and creation of action steps. Don’t be closed minded; listen without judgment to everyone with whom you come into contact. You can learn something from everyone if you’re open to it.
Branch out into new endeavors.
Explore all practice possibilities””associateship, buying a practice, independent contract work, and inheriting a clinic that someone else has already built. Work with advisers to determine the right situation for you.
A famous adage says that “youth is wasted on the young.” Take this opportunity to achieve the life and practice you always wanted. You are entering the profession at a profound time in its history. The road won’t be easy, but if you follow these suggestions, it will be less difficult and infinitely more productive.
Paul S. Inselman, DC, is president of Inselman Coaching and an expert at teaching chiropractors how to build practices based on sound business principles. He is also the co-author of the book Stepping Stones written with Deepak Chopra. He can be contacted at 888- 201-0567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.