Optometry Practice Owner Resources

Live With It, End It, or Change It
Bethany Fishbein, OD
Live With It, End It, Change It

Live With It, End It, Change It


Live With It, End It, Change It

At our client retreat, leadership executive Renee Brauns spoke about focusing your strengths on what you love.

As part of her talk, she reviewed the “10 Commandments of Solving Issues” published by Gino Wickman in his book Traction.

All ten are good.  There were two that really hit me as I listened to Renee.

(They’re in classic “10 Commandments-style” language, just roll with it)

“Thou Shalt Live With It, End It, or Change It” is the first.

“Thou Shalt Not Be A Weenie” is the second.

How often are you dealing with something you’re unhappy with?  Work, home, family, friends, life… anywhere.  I hear and see it in conversations all over, including the ones I’m having with myself!

Too often, conversations about something less-than-perfect become complaint sessions, where we rehash and reiterate and describe the problem over and over in great detail… and then end the discussion.  This is commiseration, which although sometimes very necessary, is not to be confused with problem solving.

If you really do have something that’s an issue…

First, decide whether the problem at hand is something that you really want to resolve.  Maybe you really do just need a quick vent (ugh this patient is 10 minutes late!) but it’s not an issue that you need to address beyond that.

If it is something worth solving… think about whether you want to keep it, change it or end it.  And make a decision.

“Keep it” is a decision.  It’s a conscious decision to fully accept the situation as it is, and not let it bother you or take up additional space in your brain.  Sometimes just making the active choice to live with it is enough.  Example:  “Insurance Company X pays very little toward an exam.  Right now, my schedule isn’t full and they do send a lot of patients.  I don’t have time to do any marketing activities or anything else to grow my practice.  At the moment, I feel that the low reimbursement is the cost of passive marketing, and I’m choosing to stay on the plan.”

“Change It” requires some work on your end.  This is definitely the “least lazy” choice and is also the one that is most rewarding when you succeed.  Here you acknowledge where things are, decide where you want them to be, and begin the work to get what you desire.  “Insurance Company X pays very little toward an exam, and I’m sick of it.  I don’t feel busy enough to drop it just yet, so I’m going to control what I can to increase the revenue per exam of these patients by working on acceptance of additional testing, capture rate for eyeglass sales and annual contact lens supplies.  In the meantime, I’m working on specific targeted marketing to increase the number of new patients who are ideal for my practice and will pull the trigger as soon as I’m ready.

“End It” is another way out.  “Insurance Company X pays very little toward an exam — and it’s less than I am willing to accept.  I’m sending an email now to drop out of their network.”

If there are things in your practice that you’re unhappy with, take action.  As the owner of the business, you choose what to keep, change or end.  Don’t be a weenie 🙂

Bethany Fishbein O.D.
Bethany Fishbein, OD

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