Common sense is really not so common or obvious which is why this simple principle is overlooked or dismissed.
I wanted to revisit the mindset concept and how our limiting beliefs and programs can prevent us from seeing opportunities even when they are obvious to others.
I was motivated to discuss this topic again after reading and participating in a FB thread where clinic owners were complaining about how acupuncturist have unrealistic expectations so they are not hiring them. And how those struggling are tired of the successful practitioners whining about acupuncturist with entitlement syndrome and not doing enough to teach and help others create busy practices.
I offer another perspective as to why no one is to blame and how come some do great and others do not. And propose a solution to the first step to success.
- Hi, my name is Lorne Brown, doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I practice in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. My website is acubalance.ca. I'm also a certified professional accountant, I'm a CPA, and thank you again to the AEC for having me on their webinar series and my focus on practice management. Today I wanna talk a little bit about what was inspired by a thread that I saw on Facebook, and I titled this talk on basically how to, the first step in building a successful practice, or really, how to book yourself full, is the idea behind this. And, there was a thread that was going on about acupuncturists that are looking for jobs, so these are new grads, and that their expectations seem to be unrealistic from some of the people that are practicing that are hiring practitioners. And the discussion got into, on one side the clinicians that have clinics that are hiring acupuncturists are saying that the acupuncture community, as a generalization, a lot of people have this sense of entitlement, that they deserve, because they have this piece of paper that they got doctor of Chinese medicine, they're licensed acupuncturists. And then, somebody spoke up saying that all these successful acupuncturists need to stop whining about these acupuncturists, and they need to help them and raise the profession. And I have a different perspective on what's going on here, but I want to kinda read a few things. So I'm gonna read to you guys a few things. I'm gonna read maybe a section, I have a book called "Missing the Point: Why Acupuncturists Fail "and What They Need to Know to Succeed," and I covered a lot of the stuff we're gonna talk about in my book and this thread, if you've read that book, maybe will not even have to happen, to be honest, 'cause it covers a lot of it. I'm gonna give you a totally different perspective without the suffering, because one group is really upset with the acupuncture community, so there's a practitioner wanting to hire somebody, and these people are entitled, and that's upsetting for the practitioner looking to hire, that can't find somebody, and then people are saying you're whining too much, you need to help me, and so, kinda want to bring peace to the profession, and hopefully help acupuncturists find jobs and be successful, and have clinicians find practitioners to work in their practice, to heal all the population that needs that healing. So, it starts off with an, I'm not gonna share names on things, and nobody's done anything wrong, but just because I don't think it's ethical or appropriate to bring in stuff without people's permission on the forum, but, it started off with, I'm gonna read a quote here, the person who set it up was comparing us to medical doctors, and how hard they work and how they get paid and they do the residency, and they don't come out saying you owe me this much money, and this is what I deserve when I graduate. They actually have to put in time, and really work the process, build their practice, and this is what's expected. And there's one line in this original post, it says, because apparently a lot of acupuncturists think that a piece of paper with DOM or MAOM entitles them to cash money. And then, here's some of the thread. So just gonna highlight a few. One person says, I've hired five different acupuncturists now over the years I've been in practice, and I've interviewed plenty more. And yes, I agree people expect way too much right out of the gate, having a license doesn't guarantee patients or a high salary. Working your butt off, that's not what they said but I changed that, working your butt off, I don't know if the AEC allows certain fowl language. Working your butt off, and delivering consistent results does. Next person, I know of a practitioner who was looking to hire an associate, and the prospect, who was a recent grad, turned her down. What was the puny offer? Only $90,000 per year for 30 hours per week, plus getting to learn from a senior practitioner with a busy practice, the prospect's response to the recent grad that turned down the $90,000 offer? If you're offering that, then I can make twice that amount on my own. So, keep going, so you're seeing one side of it we'll get to the other side. I'm only doing a few of these, there's a lot of these comments. While there's some truth, and again I wanna repeat, I'm not disagreeing or agreeing with either of these. I'm gonna give you a whole new perspective. I just wanna share, kind of the thinking and the attitude that's going out there. While there's some truth to this, we're essentially comparing apples to oranges. All of the resources and powers in the hands of the MDs. Their average yearly income is 294,000. While I saw it was reported somewhere that only 1% of the population uses acupuncture regularly, at least 95% plus use Western medicine, do a lot of them work hard to get where they are? I'm sure they do. Does it really make sense to compare the two professions with the current state of acupuncturists in the Western world? Not really. Another doc, bro I just wanted to make more that 11,000 per year. These people hiring are wanting me to bring my own clients, do my own marketing, use my own supplies. Well then, I'll run my own business. Seriously, I was offered a job that paid less than minimum wage as a doctoral degree, and I had to teach and provide all my case studies, so they could publish research and work each day at two different clinics, no benefits or overtime. We're almost done here on reading these. I should mention, I have a talk about hiring associates, and I've done one of these on AEC and I have a longer version on my YouTube page, on Healthy Seminars YouTube page. If you're interested on the big picture around this. Another, we're almost done here, I think you're missing Chris' point, somebody says, his point is that new associates have unrealistic expectations, it takes money and time to make a new LAC a good one. If you wanna work for yourself and take all the risk go ahead, start your own practice. You want to join an established practice and thrive in a group practice, expect to put in your dues. Don't expect a silver platter handed to you, you have to prove you can get results and retain patients. I'm gonna skip that one, and then, I posted a couple times, so here's part of my post, and then we're gonna get into the fun of it. I share that I agreed with the last post about, you have to, if you can find a job on your own then go for it, if you think that they have unrealistic expectations, and if you wanna take the risk start your own. So, I share that I agree with that. And then I say, I personally, so I'm gonna share a little bit about my personal hiring, and then we're gonna get into the different perspective. I don't need to read this, 'cause I wrote this. So, I have been in practice for 19 years and I have about, I have nine associates. I just hired my last one, actually, just last week before we're doing this today. And I left that space, that room available, we've needed another practitioner for two years, and I've been interviewing for two years, that I waited for the right fit. And I mention that, I talk about the right fit on another AEC webinar, and I have it on my Healthy Seminars YouTube page. So we're not gonna go into that. But, I used to think that people had a lot of entitlement syndrome, and then part of me realized that, while I must have entitlement syndrome. Like attracts like, and there's that reflection, and so, they have these expectations what they want, and they're not being met, and I have expectations that I want that aren't being met. And I become clear on what I want, and so, I will share with you some just real practical tips, and I'm gonna come back to, what does that mean, like attracts like, and you think you're entitled to? So first off, I usually don't hire new grads, because, yeah, the clinic can't afford to pay somebody 90,000 as a new year practitioner. So it comes down to math and numbers. I know what they can generate, I know how we can help build the practice. I know the value we offer. So I have found, also personally, that new grads have what I would call unrealistic expectations, and so, I prefer to hire people that have been in practice for a minimum of two years, two to three years. And it's not for the clinical experience, it's because they've been in the real world, and they've been sold a bill of goods at school saying you've put out your shingles, and everybody's gonna run into your practice. And so, I kinda need them to get that out of their system, because if they come into my practice with those unrealistic expectations, not their fault, that's what they've been led to believe, that I can't meet those expectations. And then why would I ever want to get into a relationship with anybody that I can't meet their expectations. Just to let you know, clinically, every time I see a patient, especially that first visit, I ask them what their expectations are for our initial consult. And I actually say, I need to know what you want to get out of today so when you walk out of here, and I say that nasty word, for some of you, it's worth your time and money, I need to know, that after this hour, I've met your expectations, and sometimes they don't know what they are, and I know that that means I have no chance of succeeding because if they're not clear on what they want, then I can never meet the expectations. So I have to be clear on what I want when I'm hiring, I have to be clear on what I can afford. And so that's why, when practitioners come in through interview and interview, if they're, I always ask them what they wanna make, and if its something I think is reasonable, because I have 19 years of experience, and I think they're trainable, and they have that right fit, this mentality, then I can hire them. If they come in saying I wanna make $250,000 a year, great, let them have those great aspirations, I commend them. However, at my system, my clinic can't afford that for somebody that's in their first year. So it's easy for me to say no, the interview can end real quickly. When I hire somebody that's been in practice for two to three years, the ones that I find don't wanna run a business anymore, they realize, wow, I wanna be a doctor, I wanna be a clinician, I do not wanna run a clinic. They despise it. And they also realize, even though they're an amazing practitioner, how difficult it is to build a practice, or how difficult it can be to build a practice. So they come in, and they're open to my mentorship, both from a business perspective and a clinical support perspective, and a clinical side as well. And so we get that right fit, we see a synergy, how we're both helping each other. So, just wanted to share, that's kind of how I do my hiring process, and I'm okay leaving a room empty. So in this scenario I have acupuncturists in my clinic, lots. My second Naturopathic physician, and a nurse that does my abdominal massage. And we have a three month wait list, for years, for our Naturopathic consults, and we lose patients because they can't get in, so they go to other Naturopaths. And even though that's been my scenario, I've been interviewing Naturopaths, and I have not hired, because I haven't found the right fit. It's better to leave the room empty, then to bring in the wrong fit, because that wrong fit can be toxic to the clinic, and it effects all the people that work there, including my peace and serenity, and it also affects your customers, which are, in this case, patients. In any business, customers, so ours are patients. Why are they customers? Well, they're paying you for a service, so I'm giving you the business model of it, but they're your patients. What I think the change or the shift for me with hiring, so I don't get upset when somebody comes in and says I deserve $250,000, who am I to say what they deserve, what their value is, right? So, one thing is, I choose not to take it personally, so I'm clear on what I want, I ask them what their expectations are, I'm clear on what my expectations are so I let them know what I'm gonna expect of them, and if the match is good we have a marriage, right, and if it isn't, they go off and look for another job, and I go and look for another candidate. What I think the issue is, and this is where I wanna revisit mindset, I think a lot of the issue here is people still don't have this right mindset. And our programing, that we've inherited from past generations that have come through to your family, that have been given to you that you didn't choose, but you're running programs. I'm not good enough, could be a program. It could be, I don't deserve to have it all, I'm a fraud. Whatever your program is, you find a way to self-sabotage. And, culturally in our profession there's some programs that you can see that are running, like people are uncomfortable saying money, the conscious mind wants to be successful and have abundance, but you're running a program, so your subconscious program is money's evil, and if I make a lot of money as a practitioner then somehow I'm a bad person. But you're wanting to be a spiritual, good person, so you have a conflict. And in my book, and I won't read it from this chapter, but I'm at a certain point I talk about mindset, and really what's happening, and what the science is thinking that's happening is we have our conscious and subconscious mind, and I say in my book, when the heart and mind conflict, the heart wins. And what I'm sharing here is you have your 5% of your conscious mind, this is, I wanna make a lot of money to help people, I wanna have abundance, security, safety. That's the 5%, your present. And then your 95% that your running 95% of the time is the the programs, is your subconscious. These things, it's just a recording, and so, when you're not in that 5%, which is, 95% of the time, you fall back into your program. So I wanna be abundant, I wanna be successful, you're ready, and then all the sudden your mind starts to wander and this program kicks in. And if you're running programs that don't serve you, which most of us are, then you're running these lousy programs that will conflict, the heart and mind will conflict and over time your going to choose behaviors that conflict with what you want, and you're gonna sabotage yourself. Why? Because your thoughts, your beliefs and attitudes, or I should say, your actions, follow your beliefs and attitudes. And so, even though, take it outside the business, I wanna lose weight, I wanna be fit and thin, but I have this other program running, even though I start my diet and I'm really good, it's discipline, it takes a lot of energy to work out of this 5%, which is like a really, low functioning computer. Bruce Lipton calls it the 40-bit computer. And then you have the supercomputer that's a 40 million-bit computer processor. And you focus on your diet, and you can do it for a couple weeks, but then this old program kicks in, and you're back, and you gain all your weight back. Same thing from the business perspective, you're ready to be successful, you're motivated, and you got all the right things, you read the right books, so that's all going to the 5%, but then the 95% kicks in, I don't deserve to have it all, or its not safe to be successful, or if I'm wealthy, acupuncturists will hate me, my peers and colleagues. It actually happens, you can see some of the trolls on Facebook, when some of the successful practitioners post or share, they get ridiculed for, you're doing it for the money, no they're doing it, they got into like you did and they're doing really well, so they're making money and they're sharing, but yet they get trolled. And so, there's this culture in our profession that it's not safe to be successful as an acupuncturist. Now, there's one quote that I wanted to share with you, and I'm gonna bring this back to the mind stuff. So this individual says, its so sad to keep seeing complaints about people, who are having a hard time, so these are the new grads, or people just practicing, so, it's sad to keep seeing complaints about people, how they're having a hard time, or not aware of the difficulties of running a practice. If you understand, have experience, and are doing good running your practice, go teach. Go and teach those people to understand what it takes but please stop whining. And so that's the other side of it, right, the other story. So I'm gonna share with you that this ties into the conscious, subconscious. On a very logical level, they're right. Share the information, but it doesn't matter, if you have a program running that you shouldn't make money, you shouldn't be successful, because it means you're not spiritual, then you're gonna find a way to sabotage it. And I got data for you, so here's an example. When I go and speak at a, 'cause I'm gonna say, this person's actually incorrect or I disagree, I won't say the word incorrect, I disagree because, I know there's material out there. There's my book, other people have written books for practitioners on business. I have business courses on Healthy Seminars, and they are the worst courses for registration. People do not register. On this thread, where people will complain that they're starting and they can't build a practice, I will put up a link to my book, ill put up links to courses by other people that are offering mentorship, and they don't buy them. Right? So, consciously, I wanna be successful, but subconsciously, whatever, something's stopping you from doing it, your behavior. Because when you want something, and it's in sync with, your brain syncs, your conscious, subconscious, your left and right, you just know it and you do it. So there's one thing I want, but then there's a program that says you can't have it, right? And so, you don't do it. So, there are people that are actually teaching, there are people that write books, but the people that need it don't come. Great example, I got two good examples for you. So, I was at a conference, and at the lunch meeting of the association's conference, they were talking about how people are not joining the association, they need money, membership's down, and the practitioners in the group were saying how they're struggling and association needs to do something for me. And I shared that we need to do more practice management, we still need the clinical side, but the yin and yang's out of balance, we're all clinical, we don't know how to run practice, so we need to bring that into balance, and after that meeting, after the lunch and the meeting, there were two concurrent sessions, one on how to do taping, wasn't even an acupuncture course, like that taping that special sticky tape, on your ankles, and the other one was on practice management, not taught by me, but a really good practitioner that teaches a lot of business courses. There was 100 people at this event, after lunch, after everybody said, we're starving, we're struggling, we need help, 85 people went to learn how to wrap an ankle, I mean how many times do you need to take a course on ankle? 15 went to the acupuncture course. In the acupuncture course I recognized a few of the 15, most of them are successful. I was in there as well. The successful ones are here and they're like, can I even go any higher. I ran, in my conference, I run the Integrative Fertility Symposium, Ifsymposium.com, and we always play with, we always have fertility and pregnancy and functional medicine tracks, and we always add something different to test out. So one year I put in practice management tracks, 'cause I knew the profession needed it. So I brought in the big guys in our profession, and women, who are leaders in successful practices, and are teaching, and we ran it throughout the three days of the conference, and guess what? Those rooms were dead. There were hardly anybody in those rooms. They were all in the clinical rooms. And when I went into the rooms, there were those successful people again, right? There they were at those things. So, this comment, I need the successful people to stop whining about the people that are struggling, and if you're so good and you understand and have experience, and doing good at running your practice, go and teach and help those people understand what it takes, but please stop whining. I will say that that won't help. There is already enough content out there, AEC has several lectures from me on this, Healthy Seminars has stuff, there's other people doing stuff, I have my book, and people don't gravitate to it, even though they're struggling. So it's that expression, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't force it to drink. So, what needs to change, this is what I've already mentioned, I'm gonna bring it back again is, we have to work on our mindsets, we really do. There's something culturally in this profession, we are constantly in victim mode, we're always defending and complaining, we're in victim mode, and we really need to just roll up our sleeves, I agree with the stop whining, and we gotta work on our programs, we need to bring some awareness to them, what are they, and we need to change them. And if you're uncomfortable treating patients and accepting their money, if you're uncomfortable having a patient pay you for your service, then ill tell you that you got a program running that's conflicting with your conscious mind. I want a busy practice, and I wanna be successful, and I want abundance and safety. Because if you're uncomfortable, that's your subconscious mind, that's that feeling, 'cause if feeling comes up, you're there. If your patient comes in with big diamonds or drives a really nice car, and you have a judgment against them, how do you expect to attract that which you are repelling subconsciously. If that upsets you, if you have a judgment on that 1%, then you're never gonna become that 1%. And money is just chi. You decide whether it's good or evil. If acupuncturists, we're such wonderful people, then we really need to be prosperous so we can help heal the world. And I have a concern, who's going to be doing acupuncture in 10 years. Note, I didn't say, acupuncture and Chinese medicine won't be here, Chinese medicine and acupuncture is going to be flourishing 10 years from today. I just don't know who will be delivering the acupuncture or Chinese medicine. And, this is where the profession has to wake up. Now, I do my part, I'm volunteering, I'm here on the AEC giving a chat, I've written a book, and that's available on missingthepointbook.com, and I know, of 100 people watching this, maybe two people will buy the book. So, and again, I don't need the money, it's not like oh, I need you to buy my book, but I would like you to be prosperous and successful. And my selfish point is, I run healthyseminars.com. If there's lots of acupuncturists that are prosperous, they're practicing, they need the continued education, hopefully you'll choose me, and those other CE providers will benefit, and then there's needle supplies that will benefit, and there's herb suppliers that will benefit, and there's landlords that will benefits, and then there will be a ton of patients that will benefit, 'cause you're all healing the world. So, I have no problem getting paid to offer services that benefit other people, that's what you do, you are blessed that you have a profession that you are passionate about, that you love, and it actually does good in the world. To me, that's a blessing that you're getting paid to do what you love, that actually helps people. Yet, so many of us feel really guilty around it. So, if you're looking to change your mindset, I talk a little bit about it in my book "Missing the Point," and that's on missingthepointbook.com. We have courses on healthyseminars.com. Nichola Salter has one on manifesting so if you like that spiritual quantum physics stuff, there's a course on that, and there's so many people that are offering continued education and practice management courses, and books out there. There's no shortage today. There's no excuse not to do it. And I'm not saying to neglect your clinical side, I'm saying, get it back into yin yang balance, you need to have to, you do need to have to know how to run a practice, as well as how to deliver good care. So, I'm not saying I'm one or the other, I'm just saying it's out of balance, it's all clinical now, very little practice management. I'd just like to see a little bit of balance, so people that are trained in Chinese medicine and acupuncture are delivering the care 10 years from now. Anyways, please leave comments, any comments if you have comments on this, you have questions, my sites are healthyseminars.com and missingthepointbook.com.