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Dynamic Chiropractic – June 3, 2009, Vol. 27, Issue 12
Dynamic Chiropractic
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Dynamic Chiropractic

Recessionary Myopia

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher

My morning routine is pretty consistent. I get up early (about 5 a.m.), work out, say devotions with my son (my wife says hers with our daughter), fix breakfast, make lunches and take the kids to school.

My drive to work is also routine. It's the same 30-minute drive down the same long street (Beach Blvd., otherwise known as Highway 39). I've been driving this route for almost six years. With four lanes in each direction, traffic moves well, but there are the usual "hazards" and slowdowns: delivery trucks, buses and 18-wheelers mixed in with the occasional road repair.

As an efficiency nut, I've taken the time to learn which lanes are best at each point along the way. Lanes one and two (the left-most lanes) are usually overcrowded. While the third lane may appear slower when I move into it, I know the upcoming intersection will have too many people turning right to make the fourth lane a good choice. I've even learned which bus numbers turn at which intersections.

This morning was like most: traffic moving well, but still bunching up in places. I avoided most of it with lane changes at strategic times. Coming up behind me was a young lady who was obviously in a hurry. I moved over to let her pass. She raced down the fourth lane way ahead of me. But it was only a few blocks before I noticed she was backed up behind a stopped bus, obviously a victim of the limited visibility drivers in small cars are sometimes subject to.

This happened twice more; each time, she passed me but then found herself caught behind slowed or stopped traffic. (Look out for congestion at those fast-food driveways!) And each time, I proceeded to pass her, and she then drove as fast as she could to catch up.

But something interesting happened after the third time - she pulled up behind me and stayed there. When I changed lanes, so did she. In fact, she followed me for another few miles before I turned off on another street. We had passed more than a few cars, not by speeding, but by making good decisions before we hit various snags and slowdowns.

By making sound choices, I was able to avoid most of the situations that slowed traffic in one lane or another. We disregarded the short gains she had originally jumped at in favor of consistent flow. We had no impact on how fast the traffic was moving; I just adjusted to what I saw and what my experience had taught me.

This analogy works well for where we are in our current U.S. economy. We know we are beginning recovery mode, but most are still not sure of what to do. There are some who are looking for quick gains that will bring them prosperity. And while I'm certain that a very few will be successful at this, most of us will need to ride along with the economic flow, making solid choices for the future.

As you think about your practice, think about what you want it to be five years from now. Get your head out of the current recession. You can't really impact how fast our economy recovers, but you can look at your choices for growth. You may not have a lot of extra money to invest in your practice, but now is the time to increase your patient base.

If you haven't done so already, start planning and thinking about how to direct your practice toward growth and success over the next five years. Here are some of the questions you should be asking yourself:

  • What should you start doing or do more of?
  • What should you change?
  • What should you stop doing or do less of? (It may mean hard choices, but don't be afraid of this one.)
  • Does your practice model still fit your community?
  • How well is your practice taking advantage of the current electronic age?

There are strategic, long-term decisions you can put into practice now that will help you avoid further economic "slowdowns" and help you increase your own growth and recovery. Most of these will yield only modest immediate results, but they can give you steady growth over many years.

Every business is challenged today. Some are doing well; others are not. The distinction between relative success and failure seems to be related to the decisions that are made and how well they are executed. Like the young lady driver, don't make myopic decisions. Observe what is happening in your community and think down the road. Make the choices, especially the hard choices, that will lead you to consistent, long-term success.

Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.

Dynamic Chiropractic

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