How my chiropractor served me a dose of reality

I visited with a chiropractor for the first time in my life last week. It was an amazing experience, both for the pain relief and for the mental clarity.

As we spoke, my doctor asked me to explain how I deal with pain, including what medications I take and how I stretch. Then he said something that struck me -

He asked me to think of my body a lot like I think of my business. He said that as a chiropractor, he is a decent writer. He can put together a blog or a letter and get a decent result, but doesn’t get the mechanics of how those words fit together and get results. He knows those words could either be getting him more business or doing some serious damage to his reputation. Why?  Because his expertise is not in writing, even though he knows a great deal about it. He then drew a parallel between good writing and my body – what I do to stretch and relieve pain might actually be making the problem worse, even if it feels better temporarily.

Preston, I think you should consider a secondary career as a copywriter thanks to your persuasive capabilities!

This is an important thing to note for all business owners. I’ve written before about the importance of focusing on your strengths and outsourcing the rest of your work. We tend to think we can and should do it all. Before, I talked about how trying to handle all the little things takes away from using your skills where you’re strongest. Now I’m talking about how focusing on those little things could be doing damage to your business and your reputation if you’re not an expert.

What happens if you make a mistake in those taxes you’re self-filing?

How do you handle someone who refuses to pay?

Which filing system is the best to keep your important paperwork easily accessible?

Why does the toilet keep running?

I ask these hypothetical questions to show you that technically, you can self-file your taxes. You can pursue a deadbeat client by writing letters and contacting collection attorneys. You can set up a system and file your own papers. You can even take a trip to Home Depot and buy a toilet repair kit.

Are these the best uses of your time? Do you know how to do these things, or do you need to take extra time to figure these things out? In the course of figuring these things out, did you consult experts or turn to Google?

Without the expertise and the understanding of those nuances, you really could be shooting yourself in the foot. The IRS could audit you. You may lose important papers that are vital to your business.

It’s a balancing act, this whole running a business thing. But you need to decide when to save your energy for the important things, and when to delegate to others who are experts in their fields. That accountant could save you thousands. That plumber could find a more serious problem and save you some serious headaches. Is peace of mind worth the expense? Only you can decide.

All I know is my back feels a million times better than it did this time last week. And all it cost me was a little cash and some time out of my schedule.

Something to think about…

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2 Responses to “How my chiropractor served me a dose of reality”

  1. As a programmer, I had an interesting discussion with my chiropractor.

    A big part of programming is trying to reproduce bugs – so if something weird happens, you need to be able to make it happen again before you can investigate why it’s happening.

    So I’m telling my chiropractor that “If I do THIS, I get the shooting pain down my leg…” he says “Well, don’t do that”.

    I’m still trying to figure out the best way to help him solve my back issues – without reproducing the bug!

  2. Thanks for visiting, Alastair!

    I think that’s interesting. I (and my chiropractor) live in Silicon Valley, so I’ve heard stories about what you’re talking about. I admit I’m guilty of the same thing with my doc – I’ll actually do something I’m concerned about so that he can hear/see what’s happening and tell me whether or not to be concerned. Most of the time, it’s nothing and he encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing.

    I just find it interesting how delicately intertwined life, business, and colleagues’ lives/businesses can be. I definitely love seeing parallels between one business and another.

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