By Freddie Ulan, DC, CCN
Let’s analyze your practice. Are you helping volumes of people? Are you helping enough people to actually make it worthwhile for you to get up in the morning and come in and be in practice? Are you helping enough people? You need to answer that for yourself. I guess another way of asking this question is: are you operating anywhere near your actual capacity?
Some people are really busy getting hardly anything accomplished. And they know that, even though they are as busy as they could possibly be using whatever system they’re currently using, they’re not at capacity. They know, “My God, I should be helping five times as many people. I should be able to do that, if I only knew how.”
So, the question is: are you helping volumes of people? When I look at what it takes to have a practice, for example, a practice (and I’ve had a practice for years), it doesn’t actually take that many people using the low fee type of practice system that we use. We have a low fee practice. We don’t sell more supplements than the person needs. We’re never selling anything; we’re just delivering the service.
I’ll tell you that if you average somewhere around 160 to 180 visits a week, you’re doing well over a million dollars a year. What does that actually come down to, 160 or 180 a week? How many is that…divided by 5 days in a week…what does that come to? About 30 to 35 a day. You see, it’s not even that big of a challenge. Thirty-five a day would give you 180, 190 people a week. If you work 8 hours a day, that would be 4 people an hour. If you see 6 people an hour, you can do it in 6 hours a day. Take two hours off. More family time see what I mean? It’s not that big of a stress. It’s a matter of: do you know how to do this? That’s the only thing, because it’s doable.
If a guy who is almost in the grave (me in 1991) could come back out of the grave and be able to do this, you could do this. A lot of the practitioners I talk to are quite a bit younger than me and most of them haven’t had the health challenges that I’ve had. So, I think that you could do this and it’s really not that hard. If you have the right system, you can do it.
So, are you helping volumes of people or not? Is it stress-free and totally enjoyable? Because it’s one thing to be helping volumes of people and it’s another thing to do it stress-free and enjoyably. I can’t tell you how many chiropractors I’ve run into over the years whom I knew as top producing chiropractors seeing 100 patients a day, seeing 12 people an hour (you know—the visit) and then 2 years later I find them on the beach in the middle of the week in Venice, California.
I go, “Hey, are you on vacation?”
“Oh, no, I’m retired. I burned out.”
“Burned out? You were helping so many people.”
“I just got tired.”
I’ve looked into this subject of “burn out” and I’ll tell you what “burn out” is. “Burn out” is too much effort for not enough return. Now these guys were making big money, so it wasn’t the financial return that burned them out. It’s a matter of: what was their effort directed at? Their effort was directed at getting sick people well. They were getting paid for what they were doing, but they weren’t getting enough sick people well. They weren’t getting enough return on the actual product.
What was their product? Getting sick people well. They were giving 500 adjustments a week, but they weren’t getting enough people well. That’s what burns you out. It’s the old failure to achieve your product. You’re working so hard to get this product. Now when these guys were seeing 500 people a week, actually counting the number of patients they were seeing some of them were only seeing 100 different people a week. Some of them were seeing 150 people a week. It’s a lot of work for not enough return. That’s what causes stress.
One of the reasons why our practice is so stress-free is that we are seeing a volume of people and getting a substantial enough percentage of them well so that we just relax through the day. It’s stress-free; it’s totally enjoyable.
Does it provide the income you need? The really incredible part about this whole thing is income takes care of itself if you’re actually doing what you need to be doing in a high enough volume with a high enough quality of product. If you’re seeing enough people who are sick and helping enough of those people get well and you have a patient management system that enables you to do it in volume, with low stress and enjoy it, you never even think about the money. You kind of wonder where did all the money come from? It’s a whole different viewpoint. The money is not the problem.
Money is simply a measurement of how well you are exchanging with your community. That’s what money is. It’s a measure of exchange. It’s how valuable does your community consider you to be? It’s kind of an outgrowth. If you’re practicing and you’re not making enough money, guess what? Your community doesn’t see the value that you’re putting there. It might be that you have tremendous potential value, but do you have actual value in terms of what you’re actually putting into the community? Because if you are, they will pay you well.
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