My Story

I’ve been practicing for 21 years (since 1994). The first 3 years were tough, I ran up debt as I couldn't make enough to support my family. I over spent on things that I thought were important, but couldn’t afford. I tried sharing space, renting space, sharing staff, bringing in other practitioners, buying equipment that I thought would bring in more patients. I did talks every week. I set up health food store booths, joined any social or marketing group, bought mailing lists and did mailings. I ran up $60,000 in debt over 3 years and finally went bankrupt to erase the debt.

But that didn’t fix the problem. I ran up more debt because I still didn’t make enough to live on. I ended up owing another $40,000 on my wife's credit when I finally hit bottom. We ran out of ways to borrow and I knew I had to do something.

Dr. DazsiDon’t forget, this was 20 years ago. I would mention natural or naturopathic medicine and people would say, "what’s that" or "does that really work"? This was the norm. People only came in if they were desperate. Today it’s a totally different scenario.

Gradually, things got a little better. I started making enough to pay my overhead, and take home a little. But, no matter how hard I tried, or how much I worked, I could not get past this point.

I was working 5 -6 days a week and a lot of hours (6-7/day) and still couldn't get to the point where I could make enough to pay my basic bills and have enough left over to be comfortable. I was always paying my last bills with the income from the last 3 work days of the month.

So, I met with a friend who did financial advice, and he told me to cut expenses where ever I could. I tried that but really there was nowhere to cut. So he told me, maybe I should look for another profession. That of course got me angry. I was a doctor, and I had spent $100,000 and 8 years learning to do what I wanted to do and loved to do, and I was going to make it work.

His next bit of advice was to carefully look at where the money came from. Where did I make the most from? Office visits, supplements, therapies, outside labs, selling water bottles, etc. Interestingly enough, 2 years before this I had manufactured a nutritional supplement out of necessity. I had found a formula I really liked but it was very expensive. My patients couldn’t afford it. A friend mentioned I could make it myself if I had enough volume, so I found out more and did exactly this. When I did what my financial friend told me to do, I found out that I was making more from this formula than any other product. So, he advised that I do more of this, so I made one new formula every 3 months as I could save up the money to do so. I also came up with membership plans, therapies that would give some repeat business and help patients even more.

It took me 7 years to finally figure this thing out.

It took another 3 years to fully implement the programs I came up with. Now today I can work 3 1/2 days a week. I'm not wealthy nor do I need to be. I am comfortable. I gross between $400,000-$500,000 a year and take home between $150,000 and $225,000. (Many times I reinvest into the business rather than spend it just to lower the tax bracket. Reinvesting in things like equipment to do testing in-house, equipment that can give visual feedback to patients so they can see their progress, equipment to do therapies, training in therapies, computers and electronic medical records software, advertising). I can pay my bills, pay off my debt, and have some left over without working so many hours that I don't enjoy it anymore. And the most important part is, YOU CAN TOO!

[Retired}