I don’t have a lot of vices in life, but golf is one of the few. I don’t hunt, fish or travel all that much but golf is the one thing that lets me escape from the day to day obligations of running the business and offices.
The first couple of month of the golf season, I was playing probably the best I have ever played but the last couple of weeks, the wheels have seemed to have fallen off. This is very emblematic of running a business. In fact the entire game of golf relates pretty well to business ownership and a chiropractic practice.
One day you may absolutely crush it, patients come in the door all day, the phone is ringing and payments are trickling in. The next day we sit around just hoping that the phone will ring. For every busy day, there might be a day that the phone is idle. If this doesn’t scream my golf game I don’t know what does. I have zero desire to be a single digit handicap on the golf course other than for pride, but I have been getting really close recently, but the last two weeks have been a little bit of a set back as I have had a little bit of a case of the yips.
Stepping over a shot or a putt for the last couple of weeks has been kind of nerve-racking as I’m not entirely sure where the ball will go. I know if you talk to anyone that has played golf or been in business for any length of time, you are going to have your moments of ups and downs and if you let those moments define you. You won’t last very long in the business endeavor.
You will question yourself, whether it be a slow day when the phone just doesn’t ring or a patient that is not improving like you think they should. The thought that things will not always go the way you planned is a part of business and golf that I have come to adapt to.
My chiropractic school classmates and I have frequent conversations about life and our own practices from time to time. Questions get answered and asked about all aspects. On the golf course if I spray a ball into the rough, it never fails that I will have a hard time finding it, but if whomever I’m playing with hits one into the rough, I will be able to find that ball with no problem.
The office has ups and downs, patients will come into the office and say “not very busy today.” Well, that is an interesting comment, because 15 minutes earlier there wouldn’t have been a seat available.
Whether you hit a ball into the water or have a complete flop of a day, just remember the next day or hole can always be a different story. Things that collegues and friends ask may be painfully obviously in your mind but in theirs it may not click and things work both ways. You may be able to find everyone’s golf ball on the course but yours may be lost for good. Have a friend that can help you find your way, as everyone will eventually need this.
As the summer continues, my yips may come and go, the practice will continue to have its ups and down, but just remember your friends and family are there to help you find your way/ball. You will have ups and down, hour by hour, day by day, week by week and month by month but keep going, keep swinging and eventually that number will go up in patients and hopefully down on the handicap side if you keep going on a consistent basis.
So, when you take an 8 on one hole, you move onto the next and a birdie may be in order.