By Lauretta Justin, OD, of Orlando, Florida
A common mistake that many practice owners make is trying to be good at everything. It is very difficult to become great at any one thing when you’re trying to be good at everything. Many practitioners brand themselves as experts in every area in eye care. While it’s possible to have basic knowledge about the different subspecialties in eye care, it’s nearly impossible to be an expert in all of them.
How I learned about the power of focus the hard way
During the first few years of practice, I had no focus. I tried to do everything to help grow my practice. Every time, I went to a meeting and hear another doctor talk about something new or “technologically advanced” that they were doing in their practice; I tried to implement it in my practice as soon as I got back.
Each year, I’d start at least 4-6 different things in my practice. One year I started a dry eyes clinic, a low vision clinic, a beauty and skin care boutique, a specialty contact lens clinic and nutraceutical consultations ALL in the same year. It was a complete and utter disaster. I lost a lot of time and money.
So please hear me when I say this: Instead of you trying to do every specialty in your practice, I want to challenge you to pick one and focus on becoming great at it.
“Focus will give you power, energy and motivation; and that will make you unstoppable.”
Lessons from Apple’s founder
Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs, was famous for intense focus. He would define what he considered distractions to his purpose and primary tasks and filter everything else out. If what someone was asking him wasn’t a focus for that day, he just wouldn’t respond to the email or even direct questions and would go about his business.
His intense passion, focus and drive to build something different rubbed many people the wrong way and created enemies for Jobs and the company, but his focus never waned, and his vision for what Apple could be never faltered.
When Jobs returned to his company in 1997, one of his first targets was to focus an increasingly complex and broad product line into one that could be produced consistently and profitably. He narrowed the large array of Apple products into four offerings for two different customer groups—business and consumer—which essentially saved the company.
But what if I have many interests?
I was talking about this subject in a small group and one of the doctors asked me the following question: “But Lauretta, what if I have many interests? Are you saying I should only pick one and throw the others away?” That was a fair question. What do you do if you have many interests? What should you do? Focus on one thing at a time.
If you want to offer multiple specialties in your practice, I recommend doing the following:
1. Determine the demand for each service or product in your community.
2. Determine the monetary profit of adding that service or product to your practice.
3. Hire an associate doctor with training or passion for each subspecialty.
4. Hire the support team for each subspecialty.
5. Add one specialty at a time, at least 1-2 years apart.
The market is crowded today in the optical industry, and even more so for a patient’s attention when marketing your practice. By specializing in one thing and doing it well, you will increase your chances of capturing your patient’s attention and will generate awareness of your practice without as much effort.
Focus on becoming an expert in one subspecialty and offer associated profitable products and services in your practice. If you do so, you will generally find it is easier to get patients, and your practice will be more profitable.
Yes, the power of the focus is mighty. If you want to become more focused in your practice and connect with others with the same desire, don’t miss the opportunity to join our upcoming mastermind group, which offers a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a virtual group setting. I look forward to seeing you there!
Until next time, remember to dream big, take risks and become the CEO of YOU! Click here to contact me.