I spend a significant time thinking about business vision – particularly how it relates to the function of my own businesses. I only talk so much about vision because I’ve seen how my businesses work better – are more profitable and ultimately more fulfilling – when I attend to the deep purpose and trajectory that I’ve identified. Decisions are easier to make, systems are easier to establish – and most importantly – things feel more integrated and satisfying.
I’ve been working on an article series about business vision especially as it relates to acupuncture clinics. There, I started to explain a process – initiating it with a dive into the kinds of research & questions you need to ask when you’re getting started thinking about your acupuncture business vision.
First, you look into the Chinese medicine profession in the area where you are in order to get some footing in some of the more practical aspects of the medicine. Second, you get to know yourself more intimately – and think of yourself as a business owner. To finish off the research process, you start to think about and research the kind of people you want to reach as an acupuncturist – your niche. I finished that series with a more specific discussion of how vision can influence the operation of your clinic.
Making the medicine your own
The most important benefit of taking vision seriously is that you will end up creating a practice that is more resonant with the person you are. While this doesn’t automatically lead to increased profitability, its payout can be profound. When difficulties come up (and they will come up) you’ll be less prone to throw in the towel. Even on days when patients are numerous and need more than you can give, you’ll be able to connect with something larger than that moment that will feed you. It provides a well of support in your life in practice that you will not regret having created.
In the ebook I recently wrote about acupuncture clinic vision, I discuss how really understanding and paying close attention to your personality, your background, your needs and your desires will help you to create a practice you truly believe in.
That assertion shouldn’t be surprising. Our work as acupuncturists is intimate, personal. We spend a significant amount of time with our patients – we often end up hearing information that counselors and close friends hear – and we use our own bodies as diagnostic instruments.
As we go through school or other forms of training, we are generally encouraged to bring our other skill sets and knowledge bases to bear. The diversity of our medicine means that people can readily
discover and employ methods that resonate with who they are and what they want to accomplish. If you investigate ten acupuncturists all trained at the same school after they’ve been in practice for a few years, and you will find ten incredibly unique expressions of the medicine that radiate the essential individuality of the practitioner involved.
In sum, “Making the medicine our own,” is a necessity and an inevitability when it comes to what happens in the treatment room.
Why not extend that into the business aspects of Chinese medicine practice?
If the way you practice the medicine can be so personal, why would we all want to create our clinics in exactly the same way? Why would we look for cookie-cutter clinic startup advice, or use templated websites and other marketing materials? Why would we shy away from investigating how our hearts could pour into the way we arrange our space, take payment, choose community partners and even do our books?
I’m suggesting we should begin the whole process of starting a Chinese medicine based business by deep consideration of how to personalize the way we make money as healthcare practitioners. By rooting our vision in an understanding of ourselves, our world, our patients – by connecting with a dream of what we could manifest – we give ourselves an incredible gift.
A vision guided acupuncture practice serves everyone better, especially the people working within it.