Updated: Oct 19
I was recently invited to my son's wife's family's apple butter cookout. Yep, that's right, cooking apples over an open fire. It's a tradition.
It is also apple harvest season up here in the northern Midwest. You got yur Honey Crisps, Honeygolds, Snowsweet, Fuki, Jonathans and others. Lots o' apples!
I bring this up because, well, it applies to your office. Here's how:
THE LAW OF THE FARM
There is a metaphor called the "Law of the Farm" or the "Law of the Harvest." Stephen Covey refers to this in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. (I include a link to a short video below)
The concept comes from the observation that apples come from farmers farming. An apple orchard requires tender, loving care over the entire year from growers who plan and carry out disciplined regular work to ensure a bountiful harvest.
Aside from occasional droughts or freezes, if your harvest is poor, it is not because of the "apple spirits," or that maybe you had a bad childhood. It is because one or more of the necessary preparatory actions needed to produce the apples were not done.
There are no shortcuts. Getting angry with the apple trees does not help.
YOUR CHIROPRACTIC AND HEALTHCARE PRACTICE IS LIKE A FARM
The Law of the Farm, or the Law of the Harvest can be applied to your practice in the following ways:
Long-Term Planning. Just as a farmer plans their crops well in advance, a business should set clear goals and strategies for the future. This includes defining your mission, the key values of your team that determine its culture, the outcomes, and production goals.
Investment and Resources. Just as a farmer invests in seeds, land, and equipment, you must invest in your resources wisely. First and most important, invest in your people, including yourself: training, coaching, and hiring. Marketing, in one form or another, is always a necessity. Updating software and equipment, occasionally, or the décor of your office is also an investment.
Consistency and Diligence. Sticking to what works is vital. This is why I recommend job checklists as part of the Goal Driven System. It takes discipline to keep doing what works, but consistency brings about confidence in your patients and your team. Daily tasks and routines are like tending to crops regularly.
Patience and Adaptation. Just as a farmer must wait for crops to grow and adapt to changing weather conditions, chiropractic practice owners must be patient and adaptable. Success may not come immediately, and you will face unforeseen challenges. Being able to adjust strategies and remain patient when unexpected failures occur is critical.
Looking at your practice as something you need to grow to produce excellent outcomes is a useful exercise.
Patience can be tough to master as a business owner when you have invested everything on the line. But if you have done your preparation, as all farmers must do, most of your concerns are for naught.
The Law of the Farm is a principle from which you can draw many associations to your practice. As an exercise, you might discuss this with your team: How can we apply the Law of the Farm to our practice and improve our service?
APPLES DO NOT COME FROM THE GROCERY STORE
Similarly, happy patients, completing their chiropractic or healthcare treatment program, being relieved of pain, healthier, and referring others do not come from the new well-advertised social media ad campaign. All the shiny new ads and promotions don't make up for the Law of the Farm.
There are no shortcuts.
You reap what you sow -- and nurture and take care of.
We are all farmers!
PS I also discuss this in The Goal Driven Business, #15 Goal Driven Principles, page 262 Be a Farmer: Grow Your Business and Your Customers
Watch this short video about the Law of the Harvest on our blog.
If your practice building efforts aren’t taking you to your goals,
there are reasons -- many of which are hidden from you.
Find out what they are and how to sail to your next level by getting and implementing my new book, The Goal Driven Business.