Keep Your Head Down & Your Chin Up

Last evening, I was thinking of things that helped me the most in building my practice. The more I sat and thought about all the different factors that come into play in order to build the most efficient and effective practice, it boiled down to a simple mantra: Keep your head down and your chin up.

What this means is, the mantra is more important than all the things we think are important in practice. When we allow ourselves to become pre-occupied, that’s when we stop keeping our head down or our mind on what is important or the task at hand.

One of the most crucial pieces to the practice puzzle is simply to stay on your appointed task.  In the doctor’s case, that is to adjust. If you have a newspaper delivered to your office to catch up on sports, your stock or real estate portfolio, and you are reading it during office hours, have it delivered to your home instead.  Newspapers should be used to find events to become involved with or to find out about a patient who received recognition for an achievement or award that you can write a note to.

If you are on eBay looking for a new golf club instead of doing your reports and documentation, then refocus on your purpose for being in the office, the areas where you are not focused, and where you are wasting the most time.  Then, keep your head down.

Next, make an assignment for yourself.  List all the things that are done in the office that do not pertain to building your practice or motivating your team, such as personal calls, standing at the front desk chatting, reading magazines that do not relate to chiropractic.  Time-wasters can also be creating bad habits that people on your team may notice, such as your being late in the morning or coming back late from lunch.

Don’t forget that someone else in the office could be doing the low priorities, freeing you to do the high priorities, such as getting results for your patients and seeing more of them.  Anytime someone else can help make the load lighter by paying attention to the details, it allows you to focus on the higher priorities.

Another assignment for you is to catch people doing something right and adding some random acts of kindness to improve your day.

Now that we are clear on the subject of why your practice might need a little concentrated work on focus and why it is important to keep your head down, lets move on to the keeping your chin up.

If you have heard it once you have heard it a thousand times; in the words of Zig Ziglar, “Your attitude creates your altitude.”  Therefore, by keeping your chin up, you are spreading a good attitude to everyone with whom you come in contact.  This is not just your requirement but it should be required of everyone around you. First thing in the morning, you are now required to get up and affirm to yourself, and anyone else within earshot, how wonderful your day is going to be and how thankful you are to be here to enjoy it.

As you jump into your car and drive off to work listening to “I’m So Glad,” by the musical group Cream, you then put a big smile on your face and realize how lucky you are to be a chiropractor.  It’s too easy to get locked into the news, weather and sports. Depending on how long your drive is, listen to either motivation or music to stimulate and energize your attitude.

Arrive at the office at least twenty to thirty minutes early.  Have a meeting with the team and get them revved up, so everyone is on the same wavelength.  Every patient that comes to your office needs to have his/her chin lifted; therefore, everyone on your team needs to have his/her chin up first.

In order for this to take place, you have to take into account what you “think.” Many times we have a thought and don’t take into consideration how much power that thought has in directing our actions. Evaluating the way you think and focus during the day will increase your ability to achieve more for your practice and your life.

This is just common sense and it is very easy to apply. It is simply a matter of actually doing the little things that will bring about the changes to take you wherever you want to go.  Just keep your head down and your chin up.

Dr. Gay is the founder and director of Ultimate Practice Systems, a chiropractic consulting and management company.  He has authored several books, as well as numerous CD and video products for the chiropractic profession.  A highly respected and nationally recognized speaker, he holds several seminars around the country on a variety of topics.  Dr. Gay can be reached at 1-(866) 797-8366, or [email protected].  For more information on Ultimate Practice Systems, visit

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