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Failure is Absolutely Certain If You Never Take This One Vital Step

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Older male doctor giving two thumbs up, smilingWe meet many successful doctors in our travels. You probably recognize the leaders among professional colleagues who have significantly grown their business. These are the principals of an expanding group, a multi-doctor/multi-location or multi-specialty practice, or leaders at a hospital.

The important distinction—unlike many other providers—is that they are constantly moving forward. They are growing clinically, professionally and financially. And you might wonder how or why these “distinct achievers” differ from the semi-static crowd of “everyone else.”

The primary reason is simple, but it may not be obvious. It's frightening to discover that some people have simply given up on their marketing goals—and their business dreams—without ever taking a serious shot at success. They have not taken that one vital first step to even investigate the possibility of growing their business. No action. No results.

This sit-on-the-sidelines is concerning when someone has the native intelligence and the grades to become a doctor. But—at some level—they are unwilling or afraid to ask someone about marketing or business growth. They inherently want to avoid the perceived risk. And (frighteningly) they are willing to simply capitulate in the face of new or growing competition.

Success and America’s Story of Us…

I was watching the History Channel series, America: The Story of Us, and was reminded how our country grew and expanded because some people—like the pioneers pushing west—were willing to take grave risks. Of course, not everyone is a pioneer, and some pioneers failed. But there were enough people willing to step up to risk and perceived (or imagined) fears, and they took the vital, growth and success first steps.

Consider this exercise. American author and entrepreneur Tony Robbins would challenge people to ask how many new things have they actually tried. “Everything?” he would suggest. “Maybe a thousand?” Well, no…not that many. “How about 100 new things?” No, not that many. “How about 10? Or maybe five? OK, just one?” Well…maybe one.

The point, of course, is that failure is assured when you never begin. The one step that will absolutely guarantee failure is right up front. Wayne Gretzky brings home the idea; “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take.”

Take these three action steps instead…

  1. Recognize and reject ambivalence and other roadblocks. Healthcare delivery is an increasingly competitive business environment. And, remaining neutral or inactive assures no growth or concedes business to the competition.
  2. Define quantifiable, measurable and actionable goals. Without a clear roadmap and defined steps to achieve objectives, there is no growth.
  3. Enlist experienced, professional help. Reduce risk with the support of qualified outsource help. Bring in the help that you need to set a clear course for business growth.

There’s always some element of risk in business and marketing, just as there are with the clinical aspects of healthcare delivery. But remaining “safely on the sidelines,” and never taking the vital first steps is assurance of a non-start “failure.” Instead, the practitioners—individuals and groups—who decide to aggressively move forward—and provide the energy and leadership—are the successful ones.

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