Dynamic Chiropractic – February 12, 2009, Vol. 27, Issue 04

A Winning Formula for Practice Excellence

By Perry Nickelston, DC, FMS, SFMA

Much too often we associate success with the accomplishment of a specific task or the attainment of a material item (fancy car, house, clothes, etc). So when we don't do it or don't have it, we consider ourselves to be unsuccessful. In other words, we have failed in our task and we are therefore failures. This is the win-lose game we can all get caught up in. When we are continually defining our success in life and/or work too narrowly, we are setting ourselves up for failure on a consistent basis. Instead, alter your thinking to the win-win scenario.

Success comes from moving from one place to another - from where we are to where we would rather be. That means excellence is determined by our course of travel. Here is a personal "winners road map" with action steps that can lead you to physical, emotional and professional excellence.

Develop a Vision

This is otherwise known as goal setting. Winners get what they want because they know what they want. They have a vision that keeps them motivated and effectively on track. They see it, feel it and experience it in their hearts and minds. What is success for you? More patients and/or patient visits, more income, multiple offices? You won't get there without knowing what it feels and looks like. Set your goals, because after all, how can you hit a target you can't even see? Set goals and win. Don't set goals and lose.

Action Step: Write down all of your goals (business, personal, financial, emotional) and visualize their attainment every morning before the start of your day.

Create a Strategy

People who consistently win have a clear strategy and road map for getting to their final destination. They know what they need to do and when they need to do it. There are no "maybe's" in life. They write it down so they stay on course, and avoid any activity that does not get them closer to their end result.

Action Step: Each day, write down a list of five things to accomplish on your "To-Do List" and rank them in order of importance. The one you want to do the least should be the first one you tackle. Doing it first will set the positive tone for the day.

Live With Passion

Are you excited to get up in the morning? People with a passion are, and they're energized about what they are doing. You need to live and breathe what you want. Have it be all-consuming in your thoughts and show it to the world by your actions. Be passionately invested in the journey and the goal. Never lose sight of the fact that the level of your talent isn't nearly as important as the intensity of your passion. People buy your passion and enthusiasm first.

Action Step: Write down how you feel about being a doctor of chiropractic and the joy it brings changing a person's life with your hands. Bring that innate feeling across to every person you treat. They will sense your energy.

Take Responsibility

People who consistently win have no room in their day for denial, fantasy or blame. They are self-critical rather than self-deluding and hold themselves to a high standard. They recognize that no one else can make their vision obtainable. Don't get sucked in by the negative "stinking thinking" of others. Many people will try to sabotage your progress and belittle your aspirations, even unknowingly. Associate with successful, positive people.

Action Step: Read or listen to motivational material about successful people. Examples include biographies, self-help series, and stories of people overcoming the odds.

Be Flexible

Life is not a success-only journey. Even the best formulated plans must invariably be altered and changed. Be open to input and consider any potentially unique alternative. Be willing to make a mistake and start over. Success is 90 percent failure. You become successful by falling often and making small corrections until you reach the desired outcome. Don't be afraid to take action.

Action Step: Search the Internet to learn more about the art of "mind mapping." This is a fabulous strategy to prepare for any situation that may arise, so you will never be without a response plan.

Take Risks

No risk, no nothing! This is one of my all-time favorite mantras. I say it every day. If you don't take a chance, you will never know the outcome. People who consistently win are willing to step out of their comfort zone and try new things. Be willing to jump into the unknown and leave behind the safe, unchallenging and familiar in order to have more. Knowledge is only potential power; the real power comes from actually using it! So get off your duff and make things happen.

Action Step: Act in spite of fear. Purchase that expensive equipment, take that class, speak in public, etc. If you don't, the competition will and you'll lose out.

Become Involved

Surround yourself with a group of people who want you to succeed; like-minded individuals who will move you toward your goals. Form relationships with people who have skills, talents and abilities that you do not. Winners know that focus, intensity, enthusiasm, and resourcefulness are the keys to success. If your current support structure does not live by this philosophy, then you must move on!

Action Step: Join a networking group or better yet, start your own. The key is to become involved. Don't just sit there like a wallflower observing the action.

Live by Action

People who succeed don't just sit around and think about what they want to do. They take purposeful, directed action consistently and persistently on a daily basis. Every step they take puts them toward the outcome they have been striving for. Life reward action, not complacency. If you want your life to change, you must change.

Action Plan: Create a marketing plan and calendar. Do something every day to promote your business. If you don't, who will?

Define Priorities

People who are consistent winners manage their challenges and obstacles. They commit to governing their time in such a way that allows them to maximize time working on top priorities. They are not distracted by trivial mundane task that could be delegated to others. What you focus on becomes your reality, so focus on first things first and don't move on until the task is complete.

Action Step: Delegate responsibility to your staff. Concentrate on being with your patients (PTC - present-time consciousness). Be there in the moment and do not get distracted by nuisances. Be a leader.

Apply Self-Discipline

People who consistently win take care of themselves and realize they are the most important resource they have in achieving their goals. They actively control their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Heighten your standards and you elevate your life. Make some life changing decisions today and commit to them...success is about your will, your attitude and your discipline. Stop settling for the status quo and go for excellence in everything you do.

Action Step: Next time you don't want to do something because you are tired, exhausted, frustrated or doubtful. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, "I can because I must." Successful people do what others don't.

Success doesn't just show up in the now. Success comes as a result of hard work and focus in the now, but that elusive brass ring you are looking for lies within. It's the can be. Make all decisions based on the person you would like to become. Dedicate yourself to becoming a winner, and make a commitment that it's for you first and everyone else second.

To be honest, the above is really not a formula - it's a philosophy. And philosophy is the secret to getting from where you are to where you want to be. Have a safe, fun and successful journey. I will see you at the top!

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