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Dynamic Chiropractic – February 12, 2011, Vol. 29, Issue 04

Key Action Steps for Practice Success

By Perry Nickelston, DC, FMS, SFMA

What does success in chiropractic mean to you? Ask a hundred doctors and you may get a hundred different answers. That said, there are several irrefutable principles you can follow to reach whatever level of success you desire.

These are strategies that have guided me every day since graduation from chiropractic school. Implement any and all of them into your life and see how they take your practice to new heights. It all starts with desire and applicable action steps. Let your journey to success begin.

Game Plan Your Life

Take stock of where you are, where you have been and where you are going. If your life is worth living, it is worth documenting. You must have a road map for success. Would you take a trip without having a starting point, route and final destination? If you don't have direction for your practice, you will wander aimlessly, get caught up in daily minutia and end up nowhere. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What area(s) of your business are you doing well?
  • What area(s) of your business are you not doing well?
  • What are your goals for the next 90 days?
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  • What is the legacy you want to leave?
  • What is your purpose in life?

clock gears - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Plan your work and work your plan! If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

Define Your Unique Culture

By culture, I mean experience. What does a patient experience when they do business with you? Your culture is your brand and your brand is your image. It takes years to build a reputation, but it takes just one day to destroy it. So make an effort every day to ensure your culture stays intact. If someone likes your business, they will tell five people; if someone doesn't like your business, they will tell 30 people. Create a patient who is a raving fan for life by delivering a consistent message to them. The following practice ingredients are mandatory for representing your culture:

  • Positive energy / environment
  • Engaging
  • Clean and pristine
  • Results oriented
  • Patient oriented
  • Personalized
  • Professional
  • Educated staff
  • Spirit

Be a Master of Your Time

What is the most valuable thing you can do with your time right now? This is the question you should always be asking yourself. Prioritize your time to maximize the contribution to your practice. Do not try to be a jack of all trades. Hire others to do the tasks that distract from your patient interactions. Do what you do best and leave the rest to your well-trained staff. Set your schedule for the day, week and month and take action steps for time management.

What areas of your life currently rob you of your time and energy? Eliminate them. What areas of your life can you change to improve your time management and organization? How are you going to change them - and when? Ask yourself these and other questions to determine how to best manage your time and maximize your practice.

Take Action

Ready, aim, fire or ready, fire, aim? Big difference in philosophy and end results with a slight change in thought process. Sometimes you just have to pull the trigger and see what happens. Don't get mired in overthinking before you make a decision. Decide, take action and make adjustments along the way. You will not make the right decision every time, but at least you will be gaining momentum toward a new place in your life.

Change can be a good thing, but I am not saying you should make decisions without preparation. What I am saying is that with the right intention, preparation, hard work, opportunity and action, you have the formula for results. So start firing!

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

I've said it before and it bears repeating: Everything in life you desire lies just outside your comfort zone. Picture yourself standing inside of a circle. This circle is your safety zone of change. The size of the circle is created by your life experiences and thought processes up to this very moment. Everyone has their own size circle; some small, some large. The magic of the circle is that it can always expand if you take the necessary steps. Do the things that make you uncomfortable, for it is in these moments that your life takes on a new direction. If you stay comfortable, your practice will never grow.

Sit down and write out a list of five things that make you feel uncomfortable; things that make your physiology change. By that I mean your heart beats faster, you start to perspire or you get that nervous "butterflies" feeling in your gut. Take on this list one item at a time. Watch your life begin to change in ways you never imagined. If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the usual. No risk, no nothing!

Success is just a few disciplines practiced every day. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn has said, "Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become." How very true. There is no final destination for success; it is a never-ending voyage in which you control the ride. Chiropractic success is ultimately connected to the vision you have of yourself. One of the best-kept secrets in life is that in order to change our circumstances, we begin by changing ourselves. Every great journey starts with a single step. So, what are you waiting for? Take that step today!

Click here for more information about Perry Nickelston, DC, FMS, SFMA.

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