Dynamic Chiropractic – May 31, 1998, Vol. 16, Issue 12

The Right Stuff

By Stanley Greenfield, RHU
Remember that movie about people who had the "right stuff" to get the job done. Well, do you have the right stuff to get the job done? I am now an adjunct professor at NYCC. I teach the small business seminar, and that question comes up a lot with the students.
Do they have the right stuff to go out and start a practice? A good question, but a tough one to come up with an answer.

I recently ran across an old article about going into business for yourself that I had put away as a reference piece for future research. The article concerned a survey that was conducted by John Braun, then a psychology professor and testing expert at the University of Bridgeport. He referred to an entrepreneurial quotient (EQ). He put together a quiz that would help him measure the E.Q. of interns to see if they had the right stuff. I think some of the questions may help you see if you have the right stuff to go out and set up your own practice. If nothing else, it will give you some food for thought.

One question asked was, "Are you a first-generation American?" He found that half of the entrepreneurs listed themselves as first-generation Americans. That may not hold true today, but look around at some of our new citizens and you will see why he asked that question.

Another question had to do with being an honor student. Few entrepreneurs rated themselves as top achievers in school, but the majority of corporate executives did. Here again, some of the newer entrepreneurs might negate this question. Did you enjoy group functions in school? If you didn't, that might be good, based on Dr. Braun's research.

As a kid, did you enjoy being alone? That was a plus for the later entrepreneurs. If you had a paper route or some other type of business as a kid, that was a big plus. While we are on the subject of being a kid, were you a stubborn child? Tenacity and perseverance are qualities that build future entrepreneurs. If you took some chances as a kid, give yourself another gold star, since most entrepreneurs regarded themselves as daring at that age.

One question had to do with the willingness to dip into your "nest egg." Based on the size of student loans, I think you all pass that one! Many people are afraid to risk it all, while others may fail but are sanguine enough to try again and again. Some see the glass as half-empty, while others will see it as half-full; some may see both perceptions as equal -- they're the ones really in trouble.

I get a lot of mail from chiropractors all over the country who ask themselves, "Can I make it?" I'm sad to say that some of them won't make it, and for a multitude of reasons, most having nothing to do with the health care system in this country. They may blame that system for their demise, but that is not the real reason. The real reason might be hard for them to accept. Some fail because they don't believe in themselves. It's as simple as that.

I keep a small statue on my desk that surprises many. It's a statue of Dumbo the elephant, you know, the one from the Disney movie with the large ears. A mouse gave Dumbo a so-called "magic feather" so that Dumbo could fly. Later, Dumbo realized that the feather wasn't magical and that he could fly without it.

I have been very lucky in my life. I never felt that I needed a "feather" to help me "fly." All I needed was to believe in myself. I keep that statue there to remind me every day that there are those who I can help with a magical feather until they are strong enough to "fly" on their own. Believe me when I say, I just love handing out feathers!

Stanley Greenfield, RHU
1551 South First Street, Suite 701
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Tel: (904) 247-9313

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