As an acupuncturist, you probably already realize that the world is entirely made up of energy. As such, you are energetically attracting the circumstances you now have in your life, based on your beliefs, opinions, attitudes and values.The universe is constantly reinforcing what you believe to be true. This is based on the law of attraction, which says that what you focus on will expand. If your mind is focused without fail on wealth and abundance, then, by law, your outer world will eventually mirror this back to you. Likewise, if you harbor beliefs of scarcity, separation or inferiority, the outer world will constantly give you evidence to suggest this is true.
The reason I am bringing this up is simple: Most acupuncturists, since their first day of acupuncture school, have been conditioned to believe they shouldn't expect to make a lot of money doing Chinese medicine. When I was in school, I can't tell you how many times I heard the following statements from teachers and the administration:
- "You can't make a good living as an acupuncturist."
- "You'll be lucky to break even in five years."
- "Good luck supporting a family as an acupuncturist."
- "As a healer, you shouldn't care about making money. That is hypocritical."
- "You'll always have to work another job."
You get the idea. The point here is that a pervasive poverty mentality has insidiously undermined the potential of our profession, like a latent pathogen. What could be more depressing than spending years of your time and all of your money on a career choice that will always leave you impoverished?
When I graduated from acupuncture school about seven years ago, I struggled with the uncertainty of my future. I had a family to support, but I didn't know the first thing about running a successful business. On top of this, I wasn't convinced I had been given the necessary tools in school to go out and truly succeed. Even more concerning, I never really felt that the style of Chinese medicine I learned in school sparked the inspiration I was looking for. Because of these issues, I harbored deep reservations about plunging into a career as an acupuncturist. I was unsure of my ability to succeed. Had I made a mistake by choosing to study Chinese medicine? Did I spend thousands of dollars and three years of my life on a dead-end venture?
Fortunately, the answer to these questions was "No." I now have a booming practice that provides a comfortable lifestyle, flexibility and true enjoyment. In fact, I feel blessed to be an acupuncturist. What I have discovered is that the anxiety, struggle and stress I experienced is all too common in the acupuncture profession. As a business coach to acupuncturists, I have come to witness time and again that so many practitioners out there feel the way I once did: uncertain, anxious, doubtful and stressed out. (If this seems ironic given the nature of what we do for others, it is!) Because of the struggle I faced, I have become passionate about helping our profession overcome these unfortunate trends. If somebody would have strongly and consistently encouraged me to embrace a prosperity mentality and initiate the most effective marketing strategies, it would have saved me a ton of time, money and stress.
Now, not all of you reading this will have been exposed to the scarcity mentality, but if you have, your first job is to let it go in this very moment. It is simply not true. So long as you create the right foundation for your practice, there is no reason why you can't make a healthy six-figure income as an acupuncturist. Please know for yourself that this is possible if this is what you are aspiring toward. The practitioners who have told you that this can't happen are simply projecting their own inadequacies on to you. You can achieve a high level of success. Keeping your mind focused on this is the first principle of creating the practice of your dreams.
Another important point here is that the prosperity mentality happens now. It isn't something that you work toward, and eventually actualize. You are wealthy in this moment. There is already a thriving practice within you. Your job is to build your practice with the absolute certainty that you are already as successful as you want to be. Do this by visualizing, feeling and firmly believing in your success as if it is here already. Make it real. This kind of focus emits a very powerful energetic force to your environment that magnetizes these qualities back to you in the form of your daily circumstances. Be, feel and visualize your success now. The outer world will mirror this sooner or later.
The next step is to know how to effectively market your practice. Your beliefs and your actions have to be aligned. Now that you can vividly feel your success, the next step is attracting a plethora of perfect patients to your office. This is an important point. Instead of saying, "Where am I going to find patients?" - change the focus to "How will I effortlessly attract patients?" The first question is coming from a place of lack. The second question presumes that your intention is clear that you have something of value to offer and that there are many people who would love to know you are there to help. Allow this to be your mindset in all of your marketing ventures.
Attracting quality patients is primarily accomplished through building relationships. Many conventional marketing strategies that would work fine for other businesses, such as display ads or direct mail, often turn out to be a waste of money for acupuncturists. This is because the personal connection must be established for someone to seek you out for acupuncture. Your prospective patients need a more direct feel for who you are and what you offer. This can be accomplished in numerous ways. The great thing about marketing through relationship-building is that it is often free or inexpensive. The key is to think like a marketer as much as you think like a healer. This is the key to remedying all of the frustration and confusion you may be feeling as you attempt to grow your practice. If you don't have a business or marketing background, this will require some ongoing training.
I'd be happy to share with you the strategies I've used to build my successful practice if you're interested. It's easier than you think; it just requires a couple of shifts in the way you do things right now.
Click here for previous articles by Kevin Doherty, LAc, MS.