Are You Too Busy To Be Successful?

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

stress bombThere is a cure if you follow a strict treatment plan for feeling better.

A doctor called not long ago and told us he desperately needed our help.

That’s not unusual, but he said he couldn’t even wait to go to one of our monthly strategic marketing planning meetings; he wanted us to work with him at his office-and he wanted us NOW!

We spoke to him briefly, but before he even had time to share the details that led him to call us with this “urgent” need (his word), his nurse interrupted him with another “urgent” issue and he had to hang up. He called again the next day…and again was interrupted and had to cut the conversation short.

Finally, we received an email giving us a specific time to reach him, when he said he would await our call. We called and…guess what? He was too busy to take the call.

Sound familiar?

A new disease reaching epidemic proportions.

This physician was suffering from a malady increasingly found in healthcare practices all around the country. He was suffering from “hecticus extremis.” In lay terms, he was too busy to be successful!

From almost daily reports, we conclude that this virus is rapidly reaching epidemic proportions in healthcare practices and organizations around the U.S.

Could you be suffering from “hecticus extremis” and not even know it? Here’s how to tell:

Be on the lookout for these symptoms.

  • Feeling like the proverbial hamster on the wheel. You’re running as fast as you can but never in reach of your goals
  • Your schedule is filled with patients but you still don’t seem to make any money
  • Your day starts before dawn and ends long after sundown-and that’s during Daylight Saving Time!
  • You don’t have time for your family, friends or much of anything outside the office
  • You wake up exhausted after dreaming that you’re trying to swim through Jell-O

Possible causes of “hecticus extremis.

  • Spending so much time working in your business that you don’t have time to really work on your business
  • Staying busy focusing on the wrong things
  • Paperwork has taken over your life
  • You’ve lost sight of your most important goals (assuming you even found time to identify those goals)

A cure is within your grasp.

We’re happy to pass along encouraging indicators that “hecticus extremis” can be cured, if diagnosed in time and if a strict treatment regimen is followed.

Rx for curing “hecticus extremis.

1. Make time to work on the business—not just in it.

No excuses. If you can’t or won’t make this a priority, you relinquish all rights to complain about your situation.

2. Leverage your time to better advantage.

  • Delegate low-level tasks that currently occupy your time
  • Identify and add reimbursable or cash services that can be provided by “extenders”
  • Determine the most profitable services and develop a plan to attract more of those cases

3. Develop a strong action plan for all of the above.

Two of the three time-leveraging action steps in item #2 above can be accomplished by implementing a well-conceived and executed marketing plan for your business. A good marketing plan should be tactical as well as strategic and specifically shaped to serve your goals.

4. Support yourself with an efficient patient acquisition and retention marketing system.

A plan defines what you need to do. A system gives you the infrastructure of ongoing support that keeps your most effective activities well organized and consistently performing at a higher level. If you build your marketing system correctly the first time, it will deliver more success with less sweat for years to come. A successful marketing system creates more freedom, more time, and more equity in your business.


“Hecticus extremis” rarely resolves itself and usually gets progressively worse over time. If you suspect or know that you suffer from this insidious affliction, don’t procrastinate. Seek help immediately.

One final word of advice: Find a place to hide before you place this call so that none of your employees can find you and interrupt you. You’ll be glad you did and you’ll feel much better.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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