The Risk of No Risk

On October 18, 2010, in strategy and philosophy, by Dan

You’re rewarded for two things in practice: value and risk.

The first is the obvious one. It’s helping people feel better, providing great service, offering exceptional products. Caring. Going the extra mile.  Getting great results.

Value is something that everyone needs to do to be rewarded more. The chef in a restaurant gets paid more if the food is better. The wait staff get paid more if the service is better. The same applies to you. (The reward isn’t always just financial, but whatever form it comes in, you’ll get more of it if you provide more value.)

Value is the practitioner’s job. But as the person in charge of your practice, you need to do more than just provide value (the massage, the treatment, the supplements, the consult, the service, the results). You need to take risks, too. That’s the entrepreneur’s job.

Sometimes the risks are financial. When you invested in your education, you took a risk. When you invested in opening your practice you took a risk. The temptation now is to stop investing. And that may be true – bootstrapping is great. But sometimes you need some more skin in the game to move ahead.

Sometimes the risks are about time. When you spent two, three, four or more years in school, you gambled that the investment of time was better spent there than it was in a job or other business. Your time risk now? To invest time in other parts of your practice besides just seeing patients. To continue to develop the other skills that let you grow and thrive as an entrepreneur.

And sometimes (maybe most of the time), the risk is emotional. To put yourself out there in a new way to attract patients may feel like a risk. To connect with someone new feels unsafe. To speak to a group of people can feel unsettling. To learn to tackle more serious health challenges might be uncharted territory.

Here’s the important thing: risk isn’t just a partner to value. Taking risks is what creates the opportunity for you to provide value. The first lets you do the second. That’s the real secret.

It may seem risky to stretch yourself. But each stretch can bring you a little closer to someone you can help.

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In other news:

I’ve been honored more than once in recent weeks by people willing to share some of their valuable space to help spread the word about The Practitioner’s Journey. If you’re up for a little more reading, and at the same time discovering some new practitioner resources, here are a few stops on our latest virtual road trip:

-Dan

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