Setting Goals: Reviewing the Past Year, Planning for 2014

Setting Goals: Reviewing the Past Year, Planning for 2014

What worked and didn’t work for my business in 2013?

This is a great exercise, one that I urge you to try. It’s a truism that you often learn more from mistakes and failures than successes. I agree. Sometimes everything you touch seems golden... and then other projects just don’t work out. It’s important to remember that a success could be simply a matter of fortunate timing, a bit of luck that can’t be repeated; while a failure is rarely a total bust, especially if you learn how to use it as a building block. Instead of feeling like the whole year was a letdown, I am sure you will find that you accomplished a lot, and learned quite a lot, too.

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Are BNI Network’s worth the time and effort?

This is one of those big YES -- and maybe “no” answers.
There is nothing better than a steady flow of referrals. Referral Marketing is the best, and I love teaching how to create a referral engine.
But all is lost when you join a network group such as BNI and you don’t have a clear and concise message.
Some people may call that the elevator pitch.
I call it your brand message or tagline. It’s the short version of how you -- specifically-- can help someone.

What follows is a true story.

One doctor I consult with took the place of a previous practitioner (in this case a Naturopathic doctor) at a morning BNI group.
As the one on one presentations proceeded, Dr M explained concisely what she specialized in... Hormone Balancing, Diabetes and Weight Loss. (She is a 90 Days to Practice Transformation member and has her branding down).
Suddenly, one of the BNI members said, “You know, we never had a clue what the other Naturopath did. She just kept telling us she was a Naturopath, and we did not know what that meant…”
So…do you balance hormones? Do you practice primary care pediatrics? Are you a specialist at IBS?

Unless you focus the prospective referrer, they will have no idea how they might recommend you.

Here are a few of my tips:

  • Write down your elevator pitch and rehearse it. Yes, say aloud, it to yourself, in the mirror. You can even make a little You Tube video of your speech.
  •  Include NO MORE THAN 3 things that you are expert in. Don’t be afraid to use the word expert. (If you are not an expert. Well, then, they need to see someone else, don’t they?)
  • Think of the questions referrers might ask.
  • Have a list of other doctors at your fingertips that you might refer to. This is important for BNI and networking conversations in general.
  • Don’t be afraid of saying-- “I am not an expert in XYZ” but make sure they know what you are expert in. You’ve just boosted your credibility as a trustworthy professional 1000%

BNI’s can be a powerful source of referrals.

Without the proper focus, however, they are a monumental waste of time.

Never Profile Your Patient’s Pocketbook!

Those of you who have attended my lectures or participated in one of my programs often hear me say:

“Prescribe what’s needed. If you don’t, or if you profile your patient’s pocketbook, you will not help them heal -- and they will not, in turn, refer you to anyone else!”

Ok, well, this principle bears repeating.
So, here I go again, this time with a vivid illustration.
Dr M had a patient who looked like she was homeless. Her clothes were rough and worn. She always cycled to the office. Dr M assumed that she did not even own a car.
After a few months of trying several low impact, or simple, in other words “not costly” solutions, the patient called complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath.
Dr M is not a heart specialist and so, of course, urged the patient to see a specialist right away.
One month later the patient returns carrying a shopping bag almost overflowing with supplements, easily $1000 worth. She begins to chat about her visit to a high profile clinic known for its concierge “full on packages” that start at $2500. PLUS testing.

The patient was excited!!

Finally, she had found someone who was going to get to the bottom of her health issues.
Dr M had not even discussed testing or a comprehensive supplement program, because she assumed the patient would be unable to afford it.
There you go.

DO NOT PROFILE your patient’s pocketbook. Prescribe what is needed.

Let the patient decided how they will budget for their health

Can a business coach actually do more harm than good?

Can a business coach actually do more harm than good?

September is Back to School Time! Time to Sharpen our Goals. So are you thinking about a Business Coach?  Some of my thoughts.

Can a business coach actually do more harm than good?

Short answer: YES

Long answer: Yes, because, as I’ve heard time and again, “The coach I was working with simply did not understand my market or my focus!” 


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Dr. Andrew Brandeis - "Why doctors use Share Practice"

Dr. Andrew Brandeis - "Why doctors use Share Practice"
The best way to learn is to teach. Doctors use SharePractice to structure and share their knowledge with their colleagues, peers and residents. SharePractice doctors have access to the first integrative clinical reference created by doctors for use at the point of care. Early adopters get recognition and meaningful feedback from the community as their protocols and pearls are shared and used throughout the world. 
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Have you been working to create a great patient Email list?

Have you been working to create a great patient Email list?

Google has decided that even though your patients and prospective patients have opted in and signed up to receive your emails, your emails and newsletters will now most likely show up in the PROMOTIONS tab along with unsolicited junk and ads.
Email used to be the one certain way we could get in front of your patients to alert them to events, remind them of healthy tips or health related news.
Now? Maybe not so much so!

Here's what you need to do!


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My Focus, Your Focus, how do we create our practice Focus?


Finding or creating your practice focus . . . . Of the many vital strategies and techniques I teach in 90 Days to Practice Transformation, this has to be key.
It is also a key part of my new program, Cure for the Common Website.
 I was reflecting on this one day, when I had the thought, “It’s easy to teach someone else “how to,” but what about me?  Am I like the proverbial shoemaker whose children go bare foot?
I realized I needed a dose of my own medicine: it is a case of, if not “physician heal thyself,” then “Ok, marketing guru, market yourself already!”
 Plus, I thought you might enjoy seeing how this process works, by challenging -- and inspiring -- us to think about ourselves, what we do and how to speak to our clients!

So what is the Focus of Success Bootcamp Rx you ask?
The Power of 3 Ideas:
Well, recently, I sat down with this very question when I began a thorough and detailed overhaul of my own website redesign and process.  From this process 3 ideas emerged.
I consistently teach/preach that you need to speak to the public with 3 thoughts. 

Why 3? 
Fewer than 3 is too little.  More than 3 is way too much to absorb. 
Using this system, I started my focusing. 
What Do I Do?  And What Can I Say About It? 
So, here’s what I developed:
 Three Areas of Focus:

First, Educate. Yes, that’s what I do. SBRX educates doctors about marketing, technology and practice management.
Next, Engage. Together, we are creating communities of practitioners sharing ideas and experiences. Our LinkedIN Groups are really a fantastic resource for members to share best practices. And finally . . . Hmmm -- what’s my third focus?
(I would love the alliteration of another E to make the trio musical and more memorable.
 But what will work?)
. . . Finally, Expand.
What I am saying here is that I help you expand in several ways:
Expand your understanding about communication and marketing
Expand your presence in key forums that affect your patients
Expand your practice by creating protocols
That’s the 'E word'.
Building on the 3 Big Es! Just Right -- or Too Much?
So, foundation in place, the next question is: How does SBRX work?

First,  I provide free webinars to doctors.  Some of these are conducted by your peers who are in the process of transforming their practices.                                                                                                         

Second, I regularly consult one on one with practitioners to get them up to speed FAST.

And third,  SBRX provides Cost Effective Group Seminars for practitioners to learn the basics AND the fine points of marketing. 

Whew:  is that a lot? Just right -- or too much?

Well, when I step back, I gotta say, that’s my focus -- and I am sticking to it!

 Here’s an important takeaway!

 Getting back to You . . . when you look at your focus, realize that narrowing your offerings to three still leaves you with plenty of room to talk about crucial aspects of your brand practice.
 As you saw, it is still a LOT of Focus.  

A lot!!

So, tell me, what are your three areas of practice focus?

To Brand or Not to Brand?

Loyal followers of SBRX and graduates of 90 Days to Practice Transformation know that I am always talking about the value of branding a practice.

Brand, brand, brand -- that’s the message, and 90 Day participants quickly learn that I’m not rattling on like an OCD on a soap box, but speaking from a professional perspective about proven techniques..

The more you can define your practice, the easier and quicker you attract those persons seeking the valuable healing you provide.

So…..Here’s an absolutely true story I want to share with you

Yours truly, Karyn Wagner, is attending  a online marketing conference.  

At the networking cocktail party, I quite innocently ask a young woman nearby the most standard of standard ice breaking questions, ‘What do you do?”

Our exchange runs like this:

She replies, “I help life coaches with their branding.”

“Oh cool,” I say,  “I help health care practitioners brand their businesses. I try to help them specialize so that patients can find them.”
“Oh my gosh!” she exclaims. “I have fibroids and I am desperate to find a ND who specializes in Fibroids.. but no one tells me what they do or specialize in... So I can’t find one.  Can you help me??”

You can’t make this stuff up -- at least I can’t.

Doctors, can you help patients?

Yes! They are looking for you!

They want to find you.

But are you doing everything you can to help them find you?

Are you following the basic steps laid out in 90 Days to Practice Transformation?

Are you telling patients what  you specialize in?

The story I related involves a highly educated professional, someone actively seeking an ND . A professional! And she conceded she didn’t know where to begin!

Are you telling prospective patients -- all your patients -- about your incredible services?

Don’t take anything for granted.

Don’t assume “they’ll figure it out.”

They won’t.  

Remember the SBRX mantra: Who are you? What is your brand?

There are hundred upon hundreds of individuals just like the life-coach I met looking for you.

Are you making it easy for them to find you?

Quick Tech for Doctors - File Storage

You have your office computers. You have your laptop. Your patient files on in one place. You are in another.
What to do?
Lucky you. This problem has been solved. Here are my two favorite easy, low or no cost solutions.
Easy, Peasy.  Watch the fun video. Download to your computer. Back up files automatically. Allow some files to be shared with members of your office- or even your patients.
You can set the file sharing parameters easily and simply.
You can access your dropbox on your computer or anywhere in the world.
In this way you have all of your files available in the cloud, at your disposal from anywhere.
I love this application and have used it for years! No cost for basic file storage.

Google Apps for Business
As I have mentioned in our 90 days program, Google Apps for Business ( you pay a small amount for this great service-- there is a free version as well) can act as your email server, help you create forms and store sensitive documents. You can finally get rid of your and have and easily access your domain email just like you  access your regular gmail account.
Using Google Apps for Business Forms you can create an easy secure order form for your patients to make their supplement orders, saving your front desk time and saving you money. With a simple form such as this, there really is no need for an online store. You can easily create your patient intake forms and have patients fill the the forms electronically. You can save your forms and patient information as an electronic database accessed in the cloud.
Note: Google Apps for Business has a higher security level as opposed to the free version of Google Apps. However because HIPPA compliancy is much more than just file storage, they will not say explicitly that they are HIPPA compliant. But their security is such that sensitive federal government offices use this service.

Any questions? Happy to help!

Listen Through the Transition

The Divine is stronger than any failure, but consider that some failures are Divinely sent.-Mastin from The Daily Love

An interesting thing happened recently.  An interesting "failure".  Now if you know me at all - I don't typically find "failure" interesting... especially when it is on my part!

Here's the thing - I love to lecture.  When I was in 7th grade I dreamed of one thing for the rest of my public school education career - and that was to become the President of the Speech and Debate Team.  I wanted to take my desire to encourage and inspire my friends and classmates to find their voice, speak their creativity, "argue" their perspective and walk through life ever-after with the communication skills that would open doors to their dreams.

As you can imagine, when I lecture/speak - it is a thing of joy to me.  Like singing in the shower, dancing, snow boarding, or feeling in my chest the most powerful stock cars in the world all rev their engines at the same time as they go by together on that first green flag lap in an auto race as I watch from the roof of the stands.  Joy.

Being a perfectionist (for the good and the bad of it) and loving to lecture so much - I can honestly say that I could show up at 100 events in a row - be they to the lay public in my front office, to a television station or to a group of my international colleagues across the pond - and 100 times every aspect of that speaking engagement would go as I had hoped, or better.

Last week in a health food store setting - another lecture.  I was completely fired-up for it.  Even at the 14th hour in heels, after a back-to-back patient day - I was so excited to share the medicine.  That wasn't it.  What happened was that just about every other aspect of it that could go "other than planned" did.  Hmmm

At first I had that not very good feeling in my stomach that comes from disappointing myself.  But then I stepped back to view the forest for the trees and to allow myself to consider where my gifts were in this situation.  I believe that if you are open to them - they are always there in any situation.

And there it was... as plain as day, the gentle, loving, encouraging vote of confidence from the universe that has never failed to have my back and help me on to each next place on my path.  I tried to argue with it at first, but that only made that not so great feeling in my stomach feel stronger.  I tried this notion on for awhile.  I talked it over with a trusted confidante.  Look at that - not only did my stomach start to feel right, my heart and head followed suit.  And there was the truth.  My new truth with regard to this part of my life that I had always done, that I knew was just right for me but that was suddenly changing. 

This "failure" was my opportunity to think and feel through a decision that I have made, for years, on auto-pilot.  This is important because my path is in transition right now and listening is likely the most important "action" step I can take these days, accordingly.

You see, there are (annoyingly enough) only 7 days in each week and 24 hours in each precious day.  My dreams exceed that count, by a mile and these days - my ability to manifest those dreams do too.    Right now, what I leave out is as important as what I include - in the name of balance, health, love, my family and in the name of giving a more whole self to the work that I am supposed to be doing right now.

It is all changing right now and I guess I just forgot to look fresh at the things I choose to put on my schedule.  This "failure" really made me stop in my tracks and ask "why did that happen?"  It gifted me the opportunity to listen - and to update my priorities - match my action choices with my stated intention and to maintain congruency through this transition/growth period on my professional path.

Listen through the Transition - is the most powerful action you will take!

Today's Economy is the Perfect Climate for Our Medicine

Today's economy has shifted the way we value products and services and right now meaning and creativity have taken their place at the forefront.

While everyone is "crying" about the economy, why not take a step back and ask yourself… "where is the upside here?"  Because in every shift there is opportunity.  Where is the opportunity here?  The opportunity is for the "artist" right now.  This extends beyond painting and poetry all the way through work that requires creativity and meaning.  Practicing natural medicine is the center through which creativity and meaning flow in my professional life.  What is this work if it is not creative and meaningful?  That is why i have always said "it is my passion, my hobby, my sport" because it is such a creative a meaningful process to deliver with and for my patients that I just can't put it down, can't walk away from it - it follow me everywhere… through dreams and downtime, through art and science and everything that crosses my path… there is inspiration for my medicine and it all carries me back to my medicine while my medicine is carrying me forward into each of these things - where I lead a deeply fulfilling life accordingly.

In examining the current economy and its effect on industry, the book Linchpin by Seth Godin "Now more than ever artists are being paid more than at any time in history" and when he talks about artists Seth is talking about people that bring a high level of creativity and meaning to their work.

This really makes me want to reach out even more so (as if that was even possible!)… to my colleagues and guide them in what I call "RePassionating" their work.  Not only will that change the world for the better ("one doc at a time", as I like to say), firmly establish natural medicine as a (wildly needed) option for people on this planet, secure the companies, institutions, associations and teachings that serve this profession for growth and viability to sustain their development on behalf of better medicine for everyone - it will simply fully engage our world's best healers to experience and deliver their work at the highest level.  Where is the down-side to this mission I carry in my heart that I am now translating to a project called Success Bootcamp Rx?  I can't see any downside!

Last week I attended the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians Convention in Bellevue, WA.  I was humbled (hard to pull off, by the way lol) and so deeply moved by the reception that I received across all channels of the profession that I moved into this zen-like state of peace and purpose that (being a type A tightly wound individual) doesn't come naturally to me when I am full-on working from a passionate place among 800 of my closest friends and colleagues.  And yet, there I was… zen. 

Then, there was one - and I mean only one - person that I sat down with that took their time wrapping their mind around all of this.  Being so universally, not just well received, but frankly celebrated by association leaders, company owners, school presidents and my colleagues - that the question they asked me (and this is very hard to do) caught me squarely off guard!  They asked "why do you care?"

It was everything I was made up, to stop myself from asking back "why don't you?" 

Our collective success has such an interconnectivity that we (natural medicine docs, the companies, associations, schools that serve us and the people… the people that so need our healthcare and don't yet all have access to it - the people on this planet) might as well be marching to the beat of the same heart on this matter.  How is it possible that I wouldn't care?!?!

Now is our time.  This awful economy isn't so awful after all for people working through creativity and meaning and that is what we do, by definition.  Gone are the stiff, plastic, meaningless business strategies that came before - people aren't interested in that anymore.  They want the "real deal" and colleagues… we are the real deal.  We practice from the heart, having made incredible front-end investments in our minds and that combination, my friends… is the perfect storm for healing this planet.  Step up with your creation and meaning - the world is craving your good work.

Consistency “treats the cause” for Feeling Good in your Practice

They say that in your practice you should establish and maintain consistency in the way that “everyday” administrative and logistical matters are handled, delivered and experienced. I know that part of my “secret to success” is that I am clear, to the point and I make a point.  My patients know why we are doing the work we are doing (Naturopathic Principle:  Doctor as Teacher – very dear to my core values) and my directions to them are crystal clear and organized.  It has great meaning for those that engage in my care.  And many patients have told me this directly, having had other less-clear and less-satisfying experiences in their quest for natural health care in the past.  So… no one leaves my office wondering what they should do, why, or how.  Ever.  This is the powerful first step to their getting what they came for, which means everything to me… which, is “better”.  They want to get better. 

But lets talk more on the management of the practice - which in my world, honestly, could use an overhaul. You see, when I come across a practice that does this right (unless it is a chain) it is rare... but I feel it... I sense it... I LOVE it... there is a consistency to their ways.  And that just makes me feel good about working with their practice.  Every little thing.  You can count on it to be that way.  You don't get offered a cup of tea one day and left thirsty the next.  There is always tea.  It is like that.  Small businesses (and lets face it – if you are in practice, you are a small business) well, this isn’t our strong point.  I am committed to improving this going forward in my practice.  I think it is one of those little things that is a pain in the back side to set up, and you forget to set it up because you don't see the forest for the trees.  You are obsessed with your actual medicine, you are way outside of your comfort zone (healing) to get the business up and keep it going (business) and this little thing seems like something that doesn’t really matter... but it does matter.  It is a BIG deal for the way people feel about working with you and your business and seriously... at the end of the day, I have learned... that yes my good work and my results are essential to my success... but that is only part of the story… the way people FEEL about me and working with me and my practice is the other half and that half is HUGE.  People that have trusted me with their care have made it very clear that they feel good about me and my two assistants... because we are good... we are present, we fully commit to delivering, we really sincerely care and we are just good people that are helpful by nature... but then there is the rest... the office space, the consistency in what they can expect with each interaction... I have come a long way on the office space and it even makes me feel good to be in that space.  My patients have made many comments about how they love how it feels to be in our space… and still our practice might be in Kindergarten with the rest.  What we mostly do is "the best we can and the nicest we can think of and muster that day" and that isn't good enough.  We need to make a plan about how we want people to experience each interaction and then follow that "protocol" so to speak. 

Easier said than done but I am going to commit myself to it.  What administrative and logistical areas of your practice could use a fresh-look and a “protocol” for consistency?

Put Your Fire First

Put Your Fire First

Recently I had a chance to feature my medicine to an audience (once again) and I chose to make a conscious effort to "put my fire first".  It was my little experiment on "attraction."

Of less concern, this time, I decided - was my hair, my posture and the perfect choice and flow of words.  (This was like putting crack down... I love these things, most especially the perfect choice and flow of words).

What I traded up for, was the fire that I feel when I tell the exciting story of my medicine topics.  I decided to let that run free!

Accordingly I was more animated and my face lit up with a much bigger smile than this usually stoic German face carries.

Result:  DOUBLE the response.  I attracted DOUBLE the usual response.  Interesting.  Lovely.  And... so FABULOUS to know that NO amount of professional marketing perfection beats my own authentic enthusiasm and passion for my work. 

We are enough.  We simply have to let our medicine shine through us.  The world is waiting! - CLD

LinkedIn News- Create More Posts Directly on LinkedIn

On our 90 Day calls, we spoke a lot about the power of LinkedIn. LinKedIn is one of my favorite social media sites and so often underutilized. There were questions last week about the usage of Twitter and its importance. For me, Twitter is my link to LinkedIn. But to illustrate once again that Social Media changes almost daily- just two days after our online discussion this news was announced by LinkedIn. Here it is:

LinkedIn and Twitter have worked together since 2009 to enable you to share your professional conversations on both platforms. Twitter recently evolved its strategy and this will result in a change to the way Tweets appear in third-party applications. Starting today Tweets will no longer be displayed on LinkedIn.
We know that sharing updates from LinkedIn to Twitter is a valuable service for our members. Moving forward, you will still be able to share updates with your Twitter audience by posting them on LinkedIn.
How can I continue to share updates on both LinkedIn and Twitter?
Simply start your conversation on LinkedIn. Compose your update, check the box with the Twitter icon, and click “Share.” This will automatically push your update to both your LinkedIn connections and your Twitter followers just as before.
What changes can I expect to see on LinkedIn?
Any conversation you start on Twitter will no longer be automatically shared with your LinkedIn network, even if you synced your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.
If you would like more information about what this means for your synced LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, please visit our related Help Center topics.
Thank you,
The LinkedIn Team    

Still confused? Create more posts directly on LinkedIn is the bottom line. It's a really great way to connect with your target audience of high demographic prospective patients!

Social Makes Medicine Better- Dr. Andrew Brandeis

Healthcare needs a new model for evaluating clinical efficacy based on aggregated clinical expertise over a social network. Care Practice hacked an alpha version of an app designed like Epocrates that functions like Yelp, where doctors author treatments for specific conditions and other doctors agree/disagree with those therapeutics. The results have amazed us. In just a week, it grew out of Care Practice to 50 doctors who added more than 300 new treatments. It’s very simple, very powerful and built in a format that makes sense to a clinical practice.
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The Ultimate Event Calendar!

If you were part of our 1st 90 Days for Practice Transformation – The Clinical Study call you learned the importance of the calendar and mapping out your year.

I promised to find a good resource for “coming events”.
I absolutely positively found the most incredible calendar resource EVER.
Amazing. Perfect. Serious. FUN.
All in one!
Here it is!

The Ultimate Event Calendar

Did you know that January is Be Kind to Food Servers Month?

And on a serious note, April is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month?

Back to fun stuff- June is Accordion Awareness Month, Natl!!

Enjoy this calendar resource.

90 Days for Practice Transformation!

90 Days to Practice Transformation- A Clinical Study

We are so excited to announce our almost completion of this very important eBook and multi- media experience due in August 2012. What’s the next step? Well -we need some real live case studies.  A clinical study so to speak.  So for a few doctors that sign up soon/right now/immediately we will have LIVE conferences calls for 12 weeks beginning April 25th. Don’t worry!  The calls will be recorded so you may listen anytime. These virtually one or one coaching calls will walk you through the step-by-step process of transforming your practice; increasing your revenue and your referrals in 90 days. If you believe you have what it takes to be part of our process and accept this challenge, if you want to be part of the featured case studies, if you want to take your practice to the next level- Join us now!  Email me at We are pretty darn sure you will love it!