My, You've Changed!

I just got back from Las Vegas – I returned to a chiropractic seminar that I haven’t attended for the past four or five years.  You know that feeling of going to a reunion of some sort?  The excitement, mixed with the anxiety, mixed with the discerning observations of, “what happened to that friend, or this family member, or this old place that we used to hang out in?”

Well, as I set up The Markson Connection booth with my partners, I was filled with the anticipation of, “I hope things haven’t changed too much – not with the quality of the seminar or the speakers, because that is always top shelf – but for the energy of the chiropractors themselves.

As the rest of the booths were going up, some basic and some grandiose, I got the sense of “uh-oh” that I was hoping to avoid.  There was just so much STUFF!  Products and services and softwares, oh, my.  How was the average chiropractor supposed to navigate this sea of confusion, when they came to the weekend seeking clarity?

Please don’t get me wrong, the “stuff” was awesome.  The technology and innovation in our profession has continued to keep place with the needs of the marketplace.  Here’s my problem:  As I walked up and down the aisles, I tried to put my finger on why I had an uneasy feeling about what I saw…then it hit me.  “Where was the Chiropractic?”

I could find nutritional supplements and tables and rehab equipment and computer programs and lasers…all of which have value, in my opinion.  What I saw SO little of, which is a huge shift from five years ago…who is trying to help  the ChiropracTOR improve his or her ability to be successful delivering ChiropracTIC?

Years back, there were large management companies, bringing Chiropractors together and coaching them to become better communicators, better business people, and ultimately live the life of their dreams.  This past weekend, I was amazed to see that 90% of those companies either no longer existed or decided not to participate in our profession’s largest seminar weekend.

For the past few years, Chiropractors have been coerced into the belief that they need to offer outside products and services other than Chiropractic care to keep their doors open.  While that may or may not be true, what is clearly obvious, is the fact that without a foundation of philosophy, and communication skills, and confidence, and a plan, and leadership skills, and marketing skills, and a community of like-minded chiropractors to belong to, our beloved profession will continue to weaken into a group of 60,000 sales people, all practicing on islands of themselves.

In one word, what we need is “Connection.”  Connection to our roots, connection to the public, and connection to each other.  Then, and only then will we have the resources necessary to perpetuate Chiropractic’s ideals into the future.  Please look around, try to sift through the quagmire and don’t just expect outside products to save you.  Find a group to belong to.  Strengthen yourself first.  If you are being coached by a private coach, that is great, but not as good as belonging to a tribe.  We have strength in numbers.  Nothing replaces the energy created by cohesive thought.

Our profession has shifted to survival thinking based on fear.  Don’t buy into it!  Turn back the clock a few years when the focus on our profession was working on three things: You, Your practice, and Your community.  I promise, the rest of the “stuff” will then add much more value than you can imagine.