Today, we’re going to talk about success and the root control factor of success and it’s very simple, it’s choices. It all comes down to choices.
You see, we all come from the same place; scared, naked and ignorant. And, the choices we make determine where we go, and the choices you’ve made in the past determine exactly where you’ve ended up now.
- You’ve ended up where you are by your actions or by your inactions.
I don’t know if you realize that….
As you sit in your chair or in your car, your waistline is nothing but the accumulated compound effect of the choices that you’ve made – as is (the ‘‘success of) your veterinary practice – it is also exactly the compound effect of all the choices that you’ve made up to now.
Let’s make this a little bit more practical…
I’ll use the whiteboard here in a minute
Let’s take three friends who all started out exactly the same;
- they graduated from the same veterinary university,
- they all moved out into the suburbs,
- they got the house with the white picket fence and 2.2 kids,
- they’ve all got the ‘Volvo’ in the driveway and
- everyone started out on the same starting salary of $50,000 a year.
Their names are Scott, Brad and Larry.
Let’s just say that Scott hears about this thing called ‘Diederik Gelderman’ and ‘Turbo Charge Your Practice’ from a friend, and he starts reading and listening and watching.
- And he picks up a little idea here or there and he says “Hey, I want to start trying these things that this crazy guy is suggesting that I do.”
And he’s going to spend 15 minutes, just 15 minutes, just 15 minutes every day working on something, implementing something in his veterinary practice.
And this is all that Scott’s going to do – just 15 mins of implementation a day!!.
- As well; instead of getting up in the morning and reading the newspaper, he’s going to sit down and then read 10 pages of a good book, just 10 pages of a good book. Not a fiction book, a real book, a motivational book or a biography of someone like Branson, Jobs, A book like Veterinary Success Secrets Revealed by the same Diederik Gelderman or something like that or a book on business.
Or instead of reading the book, he’s going to listen to something motivational on CD or A podcast.
And those 10 pages of the book, or this motivational stuff, is going to take JUST 3, 4, 5, 7 or 8 minutes a day, and it’s going to ignite his mind for the day.
- And then, on his way to the practice, in the car instead of putting on the news or some head-banging music and hearing about all the wars, the corruption, the gossip, he’s going to put in one of my instructional CDs or tapes or he’s going to find a good podcast to listen to, and he’s going to listen to that on the way in.
- Now, he’s also decided he would just like to do a little bit about his weight and so he’s going to cut 125 calories out of his diet, a hundred and twenty-five cal., that’s all.
This is not a Biggest Loser competition type of campaign, this is half a candy bar, this is half a small bowl of cereal, and this is the only change to his diet.
- And he’s going to drink two bottles of water a day, and
- He’s going to take 2,000 steps a day. He’s got one of those watches that measures how many steps you take, and he’s going to be really rigorous about this and he’s going to take 2,000 steps a day.
And all it means is that instead of parking in his favourite spot at the front door of the practice, he’s going to park at the back of the parking lot or maybe he’s going to park down the street and walk his butt in.
- Also – he’s going to ring a few clients every day to see how their pet is. He’ll do that at the end of the day or the end of his shift, and he’s the owner so he can organise his shift; his shift is typically a late shift. But, before he goes home, he’s just going to ring three or four clients and say, “Hey, you know Fluffy was in the other day, how are things going? You’re getting the medication in okay? His his knee looking better? By the way, was there anything we could have done to make a visit even better than it was?”
- Okay? And on a side note, he’s going to do the date night thing with his wife.
So, that’s all Scott’s going to do – nothing BIG, nothing HARD – all simple stuff – right?? Everyone can do those few simple things – right??!!.
Now, if this is your new year’s resolution and this is your best year ever plan for the year, how many people do you reckon could do Scott’s plan? It’s easy-peasy, right? You could do it, couldn’t you? Couldn’t you!!
Now let’s go on to Larry.
Larry’s going to be our control group; Larry is just going to continue being Larry.
Then we get to the last one here, Brad.
Brad is going to start making seemingly insignificant poor choices, no big deal stuff.
- At the end of lunch, he’s just going to go to the reception—so, he goes to lunch somewhere, he’s going to grab a small handful of chocolate-covered peanut M&Ms
An in his practice they have got a bowl of candy at the reception counter for the kids and the clients to take.
And he’s just going to take a small candy bar on a regular day basis from somewhere.
Look, it’s no big deal, it’s just a couple of M&Ms or a small candy bar.
- He’s going to miss a couple of workouts a week because he’s busy and he’s stressed, I mean after all he’s got these heavy consulting afternoons and heavy consulting mornings. He’s got these challenging staff that he’s going to manage and motivate.
Just as a side note – he hasn’t watched our leadership video series, and he hasn’t come to the leadership workshop either, so his staff are challenging and hard to manage.
- He’s also going to drink some more diet coke and not drink water; The Universe forbid.
- He’s going to move around a little bit less, he’s going to park right next to the front door, he’s not going to look at the number of steps he’s going to take. He’s becoming a little more sedentary and he’s going to have his face sucked into the screen for quite a lot of the day, just watching ‘stuff’.
- And he’s not going to go the extra mile, he’s not going to ring clients to see how the pet doing.
- He’s not going to do date nights, he’s just going to be a little bit cold shouldered to his wife a couple of times during the week, nothing serious. It’s not a ‘situation’ or anything else like that, we’re not going to call in Jerry Springer to film this; it’s just going to be a little bit cold at home occasionally. When he walks out of the room at home, nothing changes, yet. There’s the big word ‘yet’.
We’re going to take these three friends and we’re going to follow them out for a little while.
- After five months, there’s no change. The results are exactly the same.
- After ten months, the results are exactly the same.
Now, Scott’s getting really frustrated at this stage. He’s like, ‘Man, I’m getting up and I’m reading these weekly emails from Diederik on this implementing a couple of ideas a week at work.
I’m spending 15 minutes every morning working on some of the stuff that he’s sharing with me, I’m implementing this stuff.
And I’m reading 8 to 10 pages of a book,
I’m listening to a podcast on the way to work and I could be listening to my favourite music.
I’m making these client calls, you know, three or four in an afternoon.
And, I’m doing the damn date night thing.
And my buddies, they’re all you know ‘sloughing off’ and we’ve all got the same results. Is it worth it?
- Now, you can see how people start to get frustrated and then they start to drift.
- Now let’s look at 20 months down the line.
When you get to 20 months down the line, the differences between these three friends is only very slight;
But Brad’s noticing he’s got to let his belt out one belt one notch. Not much, you can’t see it when you’re with him but he’s just a little bit tight in the belt.
If you go out to dinner with Brad and his wife, if you’re really intuitive, if you’re really intuitive, you can just feel something going on. You know that there’s something going on, it’s a bit of an undercurrent but it’s not really ‘overt’.
A little bit of frustration has started to happen at the practice as well, and yeah, it’s only at twenty months that this has started to happen but there’s a bit of frustration at Brad’s practice, and it’s not quite up to scratch with what he’d like it to be.
Just remember, it’s small insignificant tiny choices.
- We’ve moved from 20 months out now to 27 months out, so we’re 27 months out, just a little bit over two years.
Scott’s read eight to ten pages of a good book on success and achievement every day. He’s now read forty-seven books, forty-seven books.
And statistically, did you realize that the average University and/or college graduate, and I think you are going to be the average University or college graduate, my apologies if I’ve mislabelled you, but the average university or college graduate only ever reads three books after graduation during the whole rest of their life. He’s read forty-seven books on success and achievement.
He has listened to four hundred and sixty-five hours of success and achievement audio, a lot of it from me, but a lot of it also from other people.
The hundred and twenty-five calories he cut out of his diet means that he’s lost 15 kilos.
The newspapers, the radio and the TV talk about this obesity issue that we have here in Australia and in the U.S., it doesn’t need to be like that. If people would just cut a hundred twenty-five calories out of their base diet every day, obesity would be ended.
He’s drunk half a million litres of water.
He’s walked two thousand steps a day, meaning he’s walked fifteen hundred kilometres, and so he’s lost another fifteen kilos.
The one hundred and twenty four date nights with his wife, yeah look, I’ve got photos but I’m not going to go there alright so let’s just imagine what happened.
The couple of extra client courtesy calls – that means that he made roughly eighteen hundred and fifty calls to clients, no one else did that; which means the number of referrals that he’s getting from delighted clients has gone through the absolute roof.
And now, after talking with me, he’s getting his receptionists to ring those clients on his behalf, and those phone calls go, “Mrs. Smith, Dr. Scott asked me to ring….”
So, he’s passed that on and the results are still equally good.
The 15 minutes of implementation of my ideas and my strategies that he’s done has added up to 9,000 hours of implementation, this means that he’s implemented a host of new highly successful strategy in his practice. His team are hugely motivated, and they’re absolutely on fire, his practice is thriving, prospering and growing.
And you know what his friends are saying to him? “You’re just lucky”. Luck had nothing to do with it.
Larry, he’s like most people, right?
He is treading water, he’s falling a little bit further behind.
He’s becoming disenchanted with veterinary practice. “Practice sucks” is what Larry says, okay.
He’s no longer motivated. His practice is treading water and he thinks it’s growing because it’s doing 4% a year.
He doesn’t really understand that inflation is 4% a year and his practice is just stagnating…he’s taking home the average wage.
He’s blaming everyone but himself.
Brad, made small seemingly insignificant poor choices, here’s how it’s added up.
The 125 calories he added to his diet, those three or four, five or six M&Ms; or the half a chocolate bar that he picked up, he’s put on 15 kilos.
He missed a couple of workouts, and he had more diet coke than water. He’s under danger for heart disease. His doctor keeps talking to him about getting the weight off and doing exercise but he’s too busy with the state his practice is in because it’s functioning so badly, he’s even more stressed about the practice at work. So that’s compounding his cardiac arrest danger.
The few less client calls he did, because he never did any, so this means that new practices have moved in, there’s been a lot of internet competition, and his business is in severe financial danger. You could call it an emergency situation.
And those cold shoulders added up to 27 months of cold shoulders, the marriage is now apathy, and they’re on the brink of divorce.
I’m hoping that you can see how seemingly irrelevant, trite, minor, insignificant choices compounded over time can add up to significant success or catastrophe.