In our daily activities, we naturally gravitate toward doing those things that we feel most comfortable doing. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why this is. It’s because no one likes to feel UNcomfortable, especially over a sustained period of time. Thus, we do what is comfortable. The sphere of activities that we are comfortable doing determines what we call our comfort zone.
What’s interesting about our comfort zone is that it literally determines the size of our practice (and I’m not talking about the number of square feet of our office). Just like a fish that will not grow bigger than its environment will allow, your practice will not grow bigger than your comfort zone will allow. Said differently, the boundaries of your comfort zone determine your degree of success in practice.
For most of us, many of the activities that bring success are activities that fall outside of our comfort zones. These can include accounting procedures, acquiring new patients, selling our patients corrective care, giving workshops, firing staff, hiring staff, etc., etc. You know what they are for you.
Thus, conventional wisdom tells us, in order to better succeed in practice, we have to expand our comfort zones. This concept is nothing new, but now I’m going to give you a new twist as to how it relates to your practice. What you are about to learn, in my opinion, is the greatest practice-building secret of all.
If you look at the activities that fall within your comfort zone, you will notice they are activities that you demonstrate competence doing. They are also activities that you have a purpose in doing but, more importantly, your comfort level is determined by how competent you are in an activity. For example, you probably like to treat people. Why? Because you are obviously competent in treating people. But, let me ask you this: Do you think you would enjoy treating people if you never went to chiropractic school and got EDUCATED AND TRAINED in chiropractic techniques? How comfortable would you be giving adjustments if you had zero training in giving adjustments?
We are comfortable doing those things we are competent in. And, if you look at the activities you are competent in, you will undoubtedly find those are the things you’ve been trained and educated to do.
I would like you to spend a moment and make a list of those things that must be done in order for you to succeed in practice. Include on the list some of the items I cited above: treating patients, marketing activities to get new patients, hiring staff, selling patients corrective care, etc.
After you make your list, next to each item write down how competent you are in doing that particular activity. Give yourself a grade from A down to F.
Once each item is graded, write next to the grade the legitimate training you have had for that item.
Do you see a pattern? Is it true that you don’t feel comfortable doing those things you aren’t competent doing? That you aren’t trained to do?
For Success, You Must Permanently Expand Your Comfort Zone
We all have the ability to go outside our comfort zones for a short period of time; but none of us––I mean none of us––stays outside that comfort zone for long. To succeed better in practice, we have to permanently expand our comfort zones. And the best way to achieve this is to get trained and educated in those activities that we aren’t comfortable doing––activities that, if we did them, would bring more success.
I’ll give you a real life story on how expanding one’s comfort zone can bring success. I once had a client who stuttered terribly. If he got five consecutive words out without stuttering, it was a miracle. Needless to say, he didn’t get the new patients he wanted because he was so uncomfortable talking to people. Well, this doctor decided he was going to learn how to give in-office lectures. He studied my procedures on how to give workshops and practiced them––and studied and practiced them––and then started giving lectures. It was slow at first; but, because of the training he had, he at least felt comfortable doing the workshops. He persisted, doing two workshops a week in his practice and, within a few short months, he was seeing more new patients than he ever could have imagined. He expanded his comfort zone and his practice expanded as well.
Of course, sometimes we are blind to what we aren’t doing that we should be doing. We are so uncomfortable doing certain things that they are not even in our awareness.
For example, you probably don’t know you could get 80% of the people you meet to become new patients, because the thought of trying to get most people you meet to become patients is not in the sphere of your awareness. Therefore, you don’t recognize that you are missing opportunities to market your practice every single day, just by talking to people you meet.
The Greatest Secret
Concerning success in practice, how competent you are at running your business (your practice) is just as important as how competent you are at treating patients. You can be the best healer in the world but, if you don’t know how to market your practice to get new patients, you won’t succeed like you should.
Your practice is a reflection of your comfort level. Your comfort level is determined by your training. Get trained in those areas of your practice that need improvement, and your comfort for handling those areas will increase and so will your practice numbers. Come to think of it, this may not be a secret at all. It’s only common sense.
Dr. David Singer built the world’s largest new patient practice seeing 40-50 new patients per week. For over 25 years, Dr. Singer has trained 1000 doctors per year on how to boom their practices. He has been named the top chiropractor of the year by the Parker Foundation, The American Chiropractor magazine and Chiropractic Economics magazine. He is currently an advisor to the Chiropractic Legal Action Fund, which is bringing litigation against ACN and AHSN. To join in on a teleconference with Dr. Singer, call his office at 800-326-1797 and ask for Melinda.