Learning from Others’ Mistakes

Imagine for a moment a situation where you have to make a lot of choices, and those choices will determine whether or not you succeed or fail in your efforts. If you were given the option, would you rather know what mistakes others have made in the same situation so you can make informed choices, or would you rather run full-speed ahead without any guidance and just “figure it out” as you go?

Everyone should choose that first option. Why make mistakes that you could avoid? Now imagine if this was true for marketing your podiatric practice. Avoiding preventable mistakes could mean an enormous shift in your ability to serve patients and return a profit. This option actually is available to you through a Mastermind group.

The Marketing Learning Curve

Marketing a podiatry practice is not intuitive. It’s not something doctors just naturally understand. In fact, most of what podiatrists know about marketing their practices are what they have learned either from trial and error or from sales people who were trying to sell them some form of marketing.

Trial and error marketing can often be summed up by what a lawyer friend of mine calls “MSMD” marketing: “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” Most people look around and see what everyone else is doing. They then decide to imitate them based on the generally false assumption that everyone does that one thing because it works. Almost everyone is just as frustrated with their own marketing as you are. The motivational speaker Earl Nightingale once said, “If you find yourself with no plan, and no mentor to help you, look around at what everyone else is doing, and then do the opposite.” After all, the average of what everyone else is doing is usually just that: average.

Marketing salespeople might seem like a good place to learn from, since marketing is their job, right? Unfortunately, most of what is being sold simply doesn’t work. That might have been internet-based marketing, print marketing, or even yellow-pages ad marketing. There have been many, many companies with products or services designed for doctors to market a practice. Much of the marketing that might have worked in the past, though, is now archaic, outdated, and worthless. Yellow Pages marketing is a perfect example. While it was once an essential tool for being found by potential patients, it is now obsolete and entirely replaced by new tools on the internet.

A Better Way to Walk through a Marketing Minefield

So, most doctors learn their marketing from one or both of these sources, learning what works and what doesn’t as they go along. The problem with trial and error—and working with sales people who may not have goals that are aligned with yours—is that it can be very, very expensive. Wouldn’t it make more sense to learn from the mistakes others have made in the past? That way you’re not repeating those mistakes, but moving forward without the expense of the learning curve and process.

To quote Charlie Hofheimer, a family law attorney and a personal friend, “If you’re going to walk through a minefield, follow somebody.” That is exactly what we try to do here at Top Practices.

As you walk through the minefield of all the potential mistakes and all the potential expenses associated with making and learning from those mistakes, you have a second path. You can “follow” people who have gone before you. This is masterminding with other professionals—other podiatrists—who are willing to tell you what has worked for them.

This allows you to leverage the creativity, experience, and even the mistakes others have made. That way you can avoid those mistakes yourself and move forward much more quickly and effectively. The only requirement in a mastermind relationship with other doctors is that you also share what did or did not work for you. Then your fellow doctors can learn from you, just as you have learned from them. Success leaves footprints, and together we can look at those footprints and follow them through the minefield of marketing a podiatry practice.

The Top Practices Mastermind Group

The heart and soul of Top Practices is the Mastermind group. We have practices from all over the world, from every walk of life and level of experience, who meet together online or in teleconference to discuss their successes and mistakes on a monthly basis. When you’re in a mastermind relationship with other doctors, and they are willing to open their “playbooks” and share everything they have, you learn from their mistakes and reduce the time it takes for you to become as successful as you want to be. These are the kinds of relationships we work to foster.

If you’d like to know more about the Top Practices Mastermind group, check out what other doctors have had to say about it. You can also reach out to us for more information. Just call (717) 725-2679 or e-mail [email protected]