Productivity Tips Chiropractors Use That Are Dangerous To Success And A Big Fat Waste of Time?

Written by josephdoughty on . Posted in Content Writing, Lifestyle Design, Practice Marketing, ProducTICtivity, Productivity



Bucarest, Romania February 2011


In This Post:

  • Too much Marketing sales copy in your chiropractic blog ruins the personal connection
  • Self-help gurus advice is a sure-fire way to failure and disappointment
  • Pointless Goal setting sucks, and how to make it work for you
  • Traveling is not a goal it is an action (P.S. It’s hard to do, too.)
  • Getting Things Done the book review: only if you know the RIGHT things to get done
  • Time to read this post ~30 minutes, feel free to scan to the topics desired. Keep in mind this post took over 10 hours to write and involves 100′s of extra hours in research. I hope you enjoy it and get value from it.

Gag me with a ball of used, waded face paper already.

If I have to suffer through one more sales heavy, content light emailed productivity tip, blog series, or marketing product sales pitch from another chiropractor-turned-salesman, or internet marketing guru, kill me now.

Listen, we all know your stuff is the greatest. You told us like 10 times in the first paragraph of your sales pitch. And you send us at least one email a week with your auto-generated email marketing service reaffirming your self-proclaimed awesomeness.

I can sum up every sales-pitch into one sentence:

“Buy My Stuff NOW Because I Am The Greatest. And If You Don’t,

You Suck, Because Somebody Else Will And Beat You With It It And Steal Your Business!”

I know, it is more than one sentence, but you get the point.

Hey Marketing Guru: You followed all the pithy copywriting techniques you learned from your copywriting sales guru. We both know the marketing product you bought is mainly to sell me your crap, not to make you a more prolific writer. Am I the only one that sees the irony in buying a copywriting marketing product to learn how to make your own copywriting sales product?

You caught our attention with a “cheesy” yet attention grabbing headline. You wrote the copy with copious amounts of clichés, and “word-hooks”. You even wove in a quant story we could relate to.

You did absolutely nothing wrong.

You even stretched, and tried to offer some valuable content outside of your “product niche”, like exercise and fitness.

But, we are still not going to buy your crap or your advice! Keep reading to find out why I won’t buy this crap anymore.

Do you write your chiropractic blog like a sales letter? Or worse, live your life by self-help advice books?

The problem with crafting your own chiropractic blog like a copywriting maniac, hell-bent on “making the next sale”, is the personal connection with your readers can get drowned out by the sales pitch.

Blog’s are intended to be a social media, communication tool to share knowledge, not sell stuff. Blogs that “sell stuff” came years after the invention of the blog.

Chiropractic blog writing is not a race, it is a form of written (audio and sometimes video) self-expression.

If done properly it can attract new patients, but it will never be the end-all, be-all of your marketing efforts.

When did helping people become a race for patients?




This ad kept popping up on the advert section of my Facebook page. Really, would you feel better about yourself if the chiropractor down the street closed up shop because of your marketing awesomeness-or more specifically, simply because you elected to buy a marketing product and they did not?

When did helping people evolve into a competition?

And when did the measure of a great practice become the destruction of another’s professional career?

Is there a different way to think about “sales”and “marketing” than the time-worn self-help and sales advice we have all grown so familiar with?

A different way to think about your chiropractic blog and sales.

Allow your great content to create the interest in your products or services. People know you sell stuff, they are searching on the internet for answers, not another pithy sales pitch. They are reading and scanning to get a sense of who you are. Attempting to make a sale in every blog post only interferes with you trying to build trust.

Build trust first and allow sales to happen.

If you focused a majority of your attention on creating great content, as opposed to learning some manipulative copy writing technique, you might find your readers knocking down your door to get some more of your awesomeness, as opposed to being turned off by your “used-car-sales-pitch”.

Chiropractic blogs should be about you. Not overly personal, but keep it on topic. Prospective patients don’t want to hear about your kid’s latest potty training episode, but they might be interested in you sharing a personal story about how you adjust your kid’s and why.

Write for your audience, which is your patients. Find ways to involve them by writing about them – with permission of course.

Being helpful is sharing some of your own healthy cooking recipes in a video or nutrition book. Not “Preaching from the pulpit” about how you are so much healthier than your patients because of what you choose to eat.

So where do chiropractors get off track?

When did we get consumed by the “marketing message” and forget the  purpose of the “message for the marketing”?

In my humble opinion: Chiropractors, myself included, get off-track with too much of the self-help movement and the trite advice it offers.

We suffer from a serious psychological affliction.

The affliction: self-helpitis

We flutter from information product to seminar looking for the next great thing to soothe our inner woes of practice and life challenges.

Admittedly, I am in recovery. I have acknowledged I have a problem with falling into the “trap” of wanting the latest and greatest in marketing, buying into the sales hype. I used to fall prey to the marketing images like these:

Lifestyle travel tip for chiropractors: If you want to do more extended travel find a way to keep up your practice while you are gone. Work out an agreement with another doctor who can manage your patients in your absence if you plan to be gone for more than 12 months you may want to consider other options, such as selling your practice. If you are open to practicing over seas there is plenty of opportunity afforded to the chiropractor willing to make this step. Just have realistic expectations when planning this route. I would consider taking a couple of extended trips to get a taste for what practice abroad has to offer. Keep in mind travelling abroad and practicing abroad are two different animals. After a year or two practicing in one place you may find yourself restless to hit the road again.

Lifestyle practice design tip for chiropractors: What is the “perfect practice”? I have heard so many differing viewpoints it would seem there is only one conclusion. The “dream practice” that works with your life and does not consume it. Working 60-70 hours a week for another chiropractor as an associate doctor for $1,600 a month is no “dream practice”. In my opinion, this borders on criminal, especially when the associate doctor is so often mislead about the practice arrangement. I would allow at least 5 years of focussed effort in any practice setting to achieve a reasonable amount of success; assuming you chose the right place to build your practice. And “down the street” from your alma-mater is not a good place to build a practice.

Family design tip for chiropractors: Really, seriously? The perfect family? Are you kidding me? This is the wrong place to get family advice. Families have been the fodder for TV sitcoms for years. I get mine from The Family Guy. On a more serious note, I have read some research that speaks of the increase in clinical depression related to sacrificing family for career. A life out of balance affects your family too, so keep that in mind when considering your own life goals and objectives. Planning a trip abroad without including them is a recipe for disaster.

“You too, can have the dream life you have always desired. Just buy my book (product) and I will share with you how.”

I got tired of trying to build a life around ideological images in my mind. I got tired of trying to build a life around my practice. At the rate I was going, I would be too tired, too old or too broke to enjoy any real-life travel experiences.

I have always wanted to travel, what was holding me back?

Answer: Me and my own narrow world-views.

Life handed me some major blows and I asked myself what the heck am I waiting for?

That is when I started asking tougher questions and set out to build a practice around my life, instead of the other way around. Yes, it is in process, but I will keep you posted.

The Self-Help Goal-Setting Race

Write down and set 100 over-the-top life-goals!

Great, now race to get them done and never again ask why you set those goals to begin with.

This is a sure way to failure. No, you may complete your list of 100 goals. But, if you never again stop to ask why, at the end all you will have is a list of 100 crossed out goals.

Doc, I have run that race. It leads to disappointment and sometimes serious loss. It did for me.

Many life lessons are learned in adversity, not in accomplishing a goal. Many life lessons are learned in between the goal setting and goal achieving.

How we face adversity in life defines who we are, not self-aggrandizing, goal seeking for increased pleasure.

Sometimes life goals change as our life circumstances change. Life holds plenty of unexpected surprises.

Finding ways to combine goals in unique ways to express your life’s purpose is the challenge today. It isn’t about having everything, it is about having the right things. And often those “things” are intangibles.

My hero’s anymore, are not the guru’s on stage who have something to sell me. My hero’s are people I learn about and find in and out of our profession who are diligent about living their life with a purposeful and inner guided passion and searching to express a bigger life-mission.

Check out:

Jamie Garvey – two-time cancer survivor and chiropractor

with a Life mission of helping children suffering with cancer get chiropractic care

The distinction comes between modeling your life after somebody else who has the possessions you desire, or viewing others lives as unique yet looking for inspiration for your own life.

Looking to others to model my life after who had the possessions I wanted, never really worked for me. Yet, this is so common in the guru-seeking mentality of the common chiropractor.

Looking to others for inspiration in finding your own balanced inner-path has worked much better for me the last couple of years.

The reason this, or any blog is so difficult is because of the balance that must be struck while writing.

There is a fine line between keeping on purpose with the blog, yet sharing enough of yourself to make it worthwhile for the reader. It can be a real challenge not coming across like a ego-maniac. It is even harder to live a balanced life while trying to share and record it for others. That is why you will get fewer information packed blog posts from me, and not chasing SEO rankings via blog posts.

The hardest thing to do in life is to be true to ourselves and honest with the results our actions have gained us.

In an effort to keep this blog real and interesting I share some of the past and present events in my life that seem pertinent to the conversation here.

Getting caught up in seeking status symbols or increasing the “show” of your “Survival Values” is the common thread among many a self-help guru’s mantra. It becomes more about the house, the car and the trips than about life itself.

Personally, I have spent way too much time justifying my own mistakes. I used to get so caught up in putting the best image forward I forgot who I really was. The saying goes, “That guy/gal is starting to buy their own propaganda.”

What do Guru’s sell?

I looked to leaders in and outside the profession and listened to what they sold for years. They sold everything from the “on-stage” quant advice of “Just Do-It!” to the “Quantum-mega-super-awesome-done-for-you-make-your-life better-its-easy-just-pay-me-money-now” product line with a FREE gift if you sign up today.

DO YOU have any idea of the countless hundreds thousands of hours (and dollars) I have invested into this stuff?

Any idea of how much added stuff is unread, un-listened to and un-consumed?

How about you?

How successful are you as a direct result of the self-help products you have purchased over the years?

The realizations I finally arrived at:

Life is not proportionately improved with the amount of money spent.

Life is enriched with true experiences and true connections.

This post isn’t supposed to be a rant against self-help, nor sage advice on how your life can be awesome “like mine” (as the guru’s would lead you to believe). I am not your guru, nor do I want to be.

My life has offered some massive life changing experiences, some good, some extremely painful.

If what I offer here helps you in life and practice then it makes the tough parts more bearable.

Your life is what you make it. Nothing external will truly make you happy.

I have read those sentences so many times, but the meaning escaped me for years. After loosing or selling most of my worldly possessions I have come to realize the deeper meaning behind those sentences. And it didn’t come about after chasing “self-improvement” false-dreams.

It came after facing adversity.

Facing life’s adversities head-on and doing what you must, is more real than countless hours reading about the accomplishments of others. Always hold on to your dreams, but do not be so attached as to not allow them to evolve. Looking at the life of other is okay, just do not let it consume you.

The goals I work towards today are vastly different from years past, but what has not changed is my purpose.

My purpose: to help people with my chiropractic abilities directly with hands on or indirectly by helping other chiropractors.

The biggest problem with Self-Help:

Self-improvement movement makes one huge glaring assumption: the assumption that you need improving.

As soon as you buy into the “self-improvement” hype you are admitting to yourself you need improving.

Improved compared to what? Everyone has challenges and problems. Nobody has the perfect life.

And rarely do people stop and ask, “What the heck is the ‘perfect life’ anyway?”

Even the guru’s up on stage trying to sell you on their dreams, have challenges. Do you know how much work it takes to compete with all the other marketing guru’s to make a buck. The want to sell more books, or more products, or more services becomes the overriding objective that takes a back seat to the life message they set out to share.

Satisfaction in life is relative.

Just because you are a successful chiropractor does not automatically make you a successful entrepreneur.

Read the interview Tim Ferriss did with Daymond John, the creator and owner of the FUBU brand.

Just because a guru records a video from some exotic location you have never visited does not mean the message is any more valuable. If you want to visit said “exotic location”, then figure out how to do it.

I have been to umpteen countries in the last 7 months, would it be any more meaningful if you saw my videos from those locations? Maybe more interesting, but not more meaningful.

I have toyed with some different ways to make this blog more interesting, but I have really been focussed on finding quicker ways to get you the most accurate content to help you develop your own unique ways of growing your practice.

That is your goal: figure out how to get more of what you want in life while embracing the challenges life has to offer.

Self-helpitis goes by other names and has been touched on by other authors and bloggers: goal addiction and cult of productivity,  Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

Conclusion: goals don’t suck…

Pointless Goals SUCK!!!

I have a secret to share, I have always hated goals. I have always wanted to articulate how I felt about the subject of goals, but I was always too busy creating my list of goals. :) I was with a big practice management group (who will remain nameless).

They were goal setting junkies. It was a race to see who could meet their goals first, which usually involved big homes, big cars, big boats and big planes.

Like so many other things Internet related, Daniel Waltrous has said what I have felt for years. He gives a different twist on goal setting.

Don’t waste your time with goals in 2011

Two massive distinctions form this blog post.

1. Don’t set goals set measurable tasks.

2. Measure your tasks against a desired outcome.

I would add:

3. Don’t be afraid to question the goals against your life’s purpose and desired outcome(s).

Every “Guru” from Anthony Robbins all the way to “Joe-Schmoe-Marketer” (no relation to me) talks on and on about your goals and goal setting.

-”Write down you goals to give them more power.”

-”Pick awesome goals (like me) and it will make you awesome (like me)”

-”Dream big goals to achieve big things.”

-”Model your life and goals after those you want to emulate.”

The distinction may be in eliminating pointless goals and replacing them with more purposeful goals. Being involved in the process of the journey not just the destination seems more real to me.

This may fly in the face of many a marketing guru. But, it wasn’t until I started questioning the purpose of my own goals that life itself seemed more purposeful. Goals serve as a mental construct, but they are not the end purpose.

A value-rich life lived with purpose is a more worthy attainment than “Hey, look where I traveled or what I bought.”

Travelling is not a life-goal it is an action!

As we travel, people often ask where we are from and where are we traveling to and often where have we been.

Interestingly enough my wife and I recently watched the movie, Eat, Pray, Love featuring Smyrna, Georgia’s own Julia Robert’s.

As a best-selling novel, turned Hollywood movie, it has taken something like world-travel and made it trite, trendy and in some ways less valued.

Rarely are we asked the why of our travel? People get caught up in the how and ignore the why. Or worse yet, the traveler gets caught up in some bigger purpose behind the travel.

Isn’t that like so many self-help books? We get caught up in the mechanics of the action and lose sight of the purpose or reason for the “self-improvement” to begin with. loosing sight of the purpose for your travels is no different.

The thing that bothered me most about Julia Robert’s acting in the movie, is you could tell she never travelled in the manner she portrayed in the movie. As able as her acting abilities have proven to be, it is impossible to fake the look of the grizzled world-traveler. Any world-traveler can spot that look a mile away.

World-travel is not easy, trendy or is it for everyone.

The Eat, Pray, Love movie seemed to trivialize the otherwise intimate experience of world travel featuring the highlights that romanticized travel the most. Too little was shown of the reality of the real travel experience.

Self-Help books do the same in romanticized goal setting and achievement, trying, but failing to capture the essence of success. Neglecting the reality of the hard work it takes to make your life’s passions come to life.

A much better book than Eat, Pray, Love is Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.

Travel Plans Change, Just Like Life

My wife and I are back in Switzerland after a 6 country whirlwind tour (Ireland, UK, France, Switzerland, Greece, and Romania). We also drove through an extra 7 countries (Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Bulgaria) headed to Romania and then 2 more countries on the way back (Hungry and Austria).

Ah the glory of traveling by motor coach.Honestly, I wouldn’t suggest traveling by motor coach unless you like long days and sleepless nights of cramped travel. Planes work too, but we weren’t going to blow our entire travel budget on the last-minute purchase of air fair.

What was our over-riding goal? Was it to visit these countries to make check marks on some list?

No, it was to visit family in Romania and vacation in Greece with said family over the new year and enjoy ourselves in between as much as possible.

Our travel plans have recently changed as we have delayed our travels to India, Malaysia and Thailand.

It wasn’t until I wrote this blog post that I even cared to count the countries and list them by name. I do so here for illustration purposes. It is unlikely these countries are listed on some goal sheet some where as some of the countries didn’t exist 15 years ago.

World-travel requires flexibility in mind, body and spirit.

Ponderous thought or angst over when we make the next rest stop?


Suffice to say they didn’t mention any of the following 4 benefits of motor coach travel on the travel coach website:

  1. You will be accused of making the entire bus late because you requested a bathroom stop (when the bus was already parked). Life lesson: People will accuse you of shit just because you do not fit in.
  2. You will be requested to pay a bribe at the border. Only to see the driver, who was supposed to pay the bribe to the border patrol officer pocket the money without paying said bribe. Life lesson: Everyone wants your money in their pocket. Protect and spend it wisely.
  3. You will be required to change buses because the one you are on requires servicing. The bus you change to is even worse than the one you now occupy. Life lesson: If how you want to reach your goals is too rigid you may miss other opportunities.
  4. You will be verbally assaulted by fellow passengers. In an effort to encourage passenger discourse the driver of the bus accused us of delaying the bus further with our rest room request (mentioned above), therefore deflecting any responsibility of their own. One of the three coach drivers had given the wrong bag to a passenger we dropped off in Innsbruck, Austria. Which required us to turn around, delaying our final destination arrival by 1.5 hours (30 minutes out of Innsbruck and then 30 minutes to turn around and head back and then another 30 minutes to get back to our original destination now 1.5 hours behind). Life lesson: People are irrational even when faced with a rational argument. This is why the chiropractic profession is in such turmoil – irrationality.

I could spin all the above to give you some romantic notion of some great, exotic world travel experience. But, that would be a lie. It was a lesson in patience and if we can avoid travelling by this mode of transportation again, we will. However, with plans to see India, Malaysia and Thailand it is unlikely we will avoid such circumstances.

Three biggest mistakes I have made in the past with goal setting

  1. Buying the same recycled marketing crap from people talking about goals only to leave the product unfinished or unused. I get it, no one can have a complete life without goals, but just how many Self-Help guru’s does it take to write a goal setting lesson plan?
  2. I have all kinds of goal lists, I have accomplished many with my time here on earth, but in the end all I am left with is a long list of crossed out goals. It took a mixture of accomplished goals and failed attempts to consider, what happens in between reaching goals gives life meaning.
  3. I have dreamed so big with some goals, only to over-reach and get depressingly disappointed with the results. The guru’s tell you to dream big. But, I learned the bigger your dream the more in investment in energy, time and money. So choose wisely or you may find yourself starting over again and again.

Your lists of Goals may be finite, but it would seem the tasks required to meet the goals is endless.

I agree writing your goals down is important, because you might forget them and when you write them down, it gives them power. Some day I will find and pull out that list of goals I wrote listening to Anthony Robbins 17 years ago and be amazed at how many I accomplished. Until then, there are many more pressing matters, like finishing up this blog post.

But, here is the Reality Check: we can focus on multiple goals, but we can only focus on one task at a time. All the “goal reflection” and “goal writing” in the world will never make you happy or more productive.

It is the consistent measurement and completion of the established tasks needed to achieve ones goals and frequent enough reflection that will offer meaning to ones life direction.

Why Blog Writing is Goal Setting In Motion:

Blogs beat books hands down for relaying information to your audience. When was the last book you read where the author was able to go back, edit and change certain passages to the book after receiving reader feedback?

Blogs allow you to interact with your readers in this fashion.

You can use your blog to say upon goals by way of journaling. Writing your thoughts daily for a month will offer new insight into your own psyche and the way you think. This refection can catalyze changes in thought and action to help you in ways you never dreamed.

You do not have to publish every word you write. I have over 50 unpublished blog posts on this blog alone. I often read, reflect and refine the point(s) I am trying to make. Rarely are my original writings perfect. And in a world of “email blasts”, “Mega-Information products” and “billions of hours” of on-line videos, doing what everyone else is doing is hardly the way to get your message across.

Think of your blog as a book for your practice and you might view the quality of what you write in a different light.

For this reason I thank you for taking the time to read or even scan this blog post. I know your time is valuable and that is why I strive to deliver the best in quality chiropractic marketing content and life designing strategies for you.

The original purpose of this blog post was to share a review of the book Getting Things Done by  David Allen. Alexander Rinehart, DC, CCN is one of our Content4Chiros contributors. He has read the book and offered his own book summary here:

Here is his summary

Be sure to check out his website for more Chiropractic Book summaries.

Yes, I have read the book too, but I enjoyed his summary so much there was no need to reinvent the wheel. In the context of goal setting, and lifestyle design Getting Things Done is too important a book to leave off your must read list.

The dirty little secret is many chiropractic consultants coach the principles of this book and never give it proper credit. Sad, but true.

This book has affected me for three very important reasons:

1. It has helped me to overcome the information overload I suffer with.

If you think running an internet based business is easy, guess again. I do not care what the guru’s tell you, there is at least a 12-24 month learning curve until you are making regular money with your on-line marketing efforts. This does not apply to marketing your chiropractic practice. I can get you seeing patients from this effort in 3 months or less. Do it your self and you can expect 12 or more months to get it going. Getting Things Done has given me a great system to use for task management in helping chiropractors launch successful blogs and on-line marketing campaigns. My only regret about the book is that I didn’t find this book sooner.

2. Defining the boundaries between work and play is more difficult than ever.

I have worked the Getting Things Done system for 2 months now. I am hardly perfect, but it has helped me to set up some better boundaries between work and play. Moving and traveling as much as we do, I have had to make some extra hacks to this system. The book inspired me to look for ways to use this system on-line as that is my primary mode of work these days.

3. It sent me on a quest to seek out the best ways to streamline my computer based workflow.

Here is the list of Getting Things Done related computer applications I use daily or at least weekly:

Getting Things Done Resource Blogs Website:

Author David Allen’s website

Getting Things Done Mind Map Drawings

Information Management

Managing RSS Feeds: Net News Wire

Managing Documents: Google Docs

Synching my Documents for off-line use: Syncplicity

Managing Getting Things Done tasks: Midnight Beeps Inbox

Managing Research: Evernote, and Devonthink

Time tracking and micro-tasking management: Pomodoro Timer

[Note: I do not fully use the Pomodoro Method, as Getting Things Done is more comprehensive, but the timer works well in keeping me on task]

E-Book Reading and Management: Kindle Reader for Mac, StanzaReader and Calibre

More productivity Sources:

These are the best productivity based websites I have found to be useful for myself related to Getting Things Done.

In Over Your Head

43 Folders


Managing Social Media Effectively:

Managing Social Media posts: TweetDeck

Managing Social Networks via email: NutShell Mail

Managing Social Media mentions: Postling

This is helpful when you want to reach out to people who mention you in the context of social media.

Managing Bonuses:

Screen eye-strain reduction: F.lux

Time tracking: Rescue Time

I cannot bring myself to pay for Rescue Times full feature services. The free service gives me weekly general feedback on how I spend my time on the computer. But, if you desire more information, you will need to pay up.

None of the above links, except for the book links are related to any affiliate links. Considering all the above services have free plans you can benefit from the 100+ hours of research, reading and refining that went into a developing this streamlined computer based work-flow.

If you are PC based let me know some of the equivalent programs you were able to find. Many of these programs are web-based which can get you started.

Please do not take your computer work flow lightly. Streamlining how you think and how you express that thought on your computer and eventually on-line is what will make you successful in achieving your on-line goals.

Tackle what you can on a daily and weekly basis. Get more involved with learning the Getting things Done system and you will be pleased with how much it helps in placing your mind at ease.

As always leave your comments below.


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  • Dr. Jay Warren

    Fantastic post! One I will be re-reading and re-reading over and over to dive deeper and deeper. GTD just arrived from Amazon last week and I’m inspired more than ever to jump into it. Your list of resources here is invaluable too. Thank you!