“The most efficient way to live reasonably is every morning to make a plan of one’s day and every night to examine the results obtained.”
~ Alexis Carrel
Plan. Examine. Change.
Alexis Carrel was a French surgeon who won the 1912 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his research in experimental surgery and organ transplantation and his Carrel-Dakin method of treating war wounds during World War I was widely used and saved many lives.
Carrel was famous for performing surgeries that other surgeons set aside as ‘too complex’ or ‘too risky’. He was committed to the craft of surgery and willing to do what others would not consider in his quest to save lives and limbs. Not only did he make a plan for his day, he followed a process for executing each surgery and following the patients after it. He didn’t just leave it to the nurses to report their vital signs or complaints because he wanted to learn so that he could see patterns and aberrations.
He was confident in his skills and, at the same time, knew that he had more to discover so he looked at the results, decided what might work better, tested that and analysed the results again.
The Hip Replacement Surgery Analogy
Some of my friends are orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists and a while ago I was listening in on their discussion about the latest developments in hip surgery which almost entirely avoid cutting the muscle tissue.
It was fascinating to hear their discussion of the evolution of hip replacement from a surgical/technical perspective (quite apart from the implant technology side). Formerly hip replacements involved cutting through the major glute muscle to access the hip from the back which involved slow and painful rehabilitation as the muscles knit together. This was replaced by keyhole surgery from the front of the hip: much less muscle damage, but still significant time in rehabilitation and recovery. The latest innovation is a surgery which does not involve cutting any muscle, resulting in incredibly rapid recovery as an out-patient.
What really caught my attention about this conversation was the level of analysis that they brought. These developments happened as surgeons observed the challenges patients had with their recovery and asked the question:
“What could we do to overcome this?”
Of course, some surgeons just went on executing the procedure they had learned and refined, but others sought ways of improving things.
It’s a process that business owners would do well to copy.
You Are Getting the Results You Ask For!
The other day I was talking to Jim, who has a successful pediatric dental practice which offers a braceless method of teeth straightening using breathing and focus techniques in children 3 to 10 years old. His results are phenomenal, and a few years ago he wrote a book to promote his methodology.
He was disheartened because, “Everyone who contacts my practice through my book is the wrong kind of patient!”
I had a pretty good idea of what the answer would be, but I thought I’d ask anyway… “Where do your best patients come from then?”
“Well, do you think your book might be sending the wrong message?”
The reality is that if you don’t like what you’re getting, the probability is high that you’re unconsciously doing something to attract that particular thing. In other words, you’re asking for what you’re getting.
It turned out that Jim’s book was explicitly designed to attract the very patients who were coming to him…
Worse, it was also designed to repel the people he wanted.
Jim is not the only business owner I’ve talked to who is confused by the fact that their book is not delivering the customers, clients, patients, or members they are looking for. I’ve even talked to people who have discovered that their book is driving away their ideal prospects rather than drawing them into their orbit.
The question is how do you respond to that discovery?
Do you get defensive and blame the system/practice?
Do you look closely to determine if the problem lies in your own execution of the system/practice?
The Evidence is Right in Front of Your Eyes… If you are willing to look at it.
Books work to build businesses.
Will a book work for your business?
If you offer a service and you have a business model that supports growth and profitability, the answer is, “Absolutely yes!”
SO… If you’re book isn’t delivering a steady stream of qualified clients, I suggest you look at:
- The content of your book;
- The consistency of your presentation;
- Your call to action;
- Your strategic investment in marketing and promotion; and
- Your public persona.
I’m willing to bet that within those 5 areas you’ll find the missing link… After that, the next step is up to you: Will you FIX the problem, or will you JUSTIFY your results.