Interview with Dr Dominic Stape
I really felt like Dominic and I are on many similar pages when it comes to practice and business growth. His prime directive of addressing personal psychology first resonated with me, and his focus on setting a good foundation for each day with a solid morning routine was music to my ears! Dominic has created 2 successful clinics and is ready to share his wisdom. Watch / Listen now to get access to a free 5 level practice analysis of your practice. ~ Spence
-Board certified Doctor of Oriental Medicine in the state of New Mexico. 2001
-BS in biology and chemistry 1996
-Biomedical research scientist. Researching allergies, cancer, anti anxiety drugs. 1994-96, 2001-04
-cytogenetic technology. 1997
-In practice since 2001
-grew to 200 patients/week.
-invested in real estate to diversify
-manage a staff of 5
-opened a second clinic , physical medicine.
Didn’t feel as connected with patients and put more focus on TCM clinic.
-hire associate Drs to do the acupuncture.
-stable clinic. I can be as busy as I want to be.
-trained in Copenhagen in Acunova
-volunteer in Vietnam for Brad Whisnant Seminars.
-UNM school of medicine.
-Natural life ACUPUNCTURE AND WELLNESS
Spence: Hello, everybody, and welcome to another Golden Podcast. I’m your host, Spence Pentland, and this is where we have interviews with world-class TCM community leaders to discover their stories, habits, psychology and secrets that led to their success. I’m really excited to have been introduced recently to Dominic Stape, thanks for coming on the show, Dominic.
Dominic: Thanks for having me.
Spence: Excellent. I’m excited to dive in, I love some of the points you brought up in the Golden Guest forum there too, what you want to chat about, it just all resonates with me. I feel like we’re on very similar pages right now and we’ll get to some of that what we chatted about beforehand, but Dominic is a board-certified Doctor of Oriental Medicine, at the University of New Mexico since 2001, before that, he got his Bachelors of Science in Biology and Chemistry, and biomedical research as a scientist researching allergies cancer and anti-anxiety drugs – that’s quite far back and maybe you can touch on some of this in your story – and then got into cytogenetic technology in ‘97 as well. You’ve been in practice since you graduated in 2001 – has that all been at life acupuncture and wellness?
Dominic: Yeah, there was a year there that I was somewhere else.
Spence: For the most part?
Dominic: For the most part.
Spence: You grew that to 200+ patients a week. I like this ‘invested in real estate to diversify’, that is such great advice you could maybe touch on, but you have grown to a state you’ve managed a staff of five, you’ve got a second clinic now, you are hiring
associates and things are stable and you’re able to kind of have that freedom that so many people, well at least people that I speak with mostly want to get to, and also maybe at this Acunova and Brad seminars, I’d love if you could touch on those. Welcome to the show, thank you so much for being here. In honor of the tradition of the show, we’re going to start with your story. I know I gave a quick little brief outline, our generation at least, I mean, it may be different now, but it wasn’t an elective out of high school or to kind of bleed into that so, and you clearly have a history, do you mind kind of giving people some of your journey toward where you’re at now?
Dominic: Yeah, sure. I did a lot of biomedical research as pre-med, got my degree in Chemistry and Biology, and that’s where my interest was going – getting my MD. And so I just got kind of bored with that and I had my own problems, my own illnesses and sicknesses, and Chinese medicine help me out in ways that I was told I couldn’t be. So, what I did is went to school, and then after school felt like I knew what I was doing, and pretty quickly found out I didn’t right. Then I started looking into different businesses, different business models, different consultants, different ideas. Robert Kiyosaki was probably the first person that I was introduced to that kind of changed, just opened my mind to getting creative about things. I started diving into that right away. And just how do I bring in new people, how do I organize my office and taking other classes as far as herbal technique, acupuncture technique, stuff like that, but most of my time and my money was spent on business and management, practice management, that stuff.
Spence: I like to tell people, now that you’ve put your heart and soul into studying Chinese medicine, you kind of need to put that similar energy into understanding, how to cultivate that entrepreneur inside, develop or find the mentors in the business field to help you as well, because you’ve got this gift, you’ve got to learn to give it, and it doesn’t have to be anything uncomfortable, it’s just something else you got to learn, right?
Dominic: Yeah, I mean, it’s an essential aspect. If we don’t have patients, our degree means nothing, you know. And that was my biggest struggle, I was having kids and you know, it’s how do we do that, how do we get patients, it’s a science in itself, that’s for
Spence: I know one of my biggest motivators in my life, and I’ll say two things and it might be similar with you. I would love to hear this from you, but one of my biggest keys to my success is having such a great wife, and number two, the motivation to get up in the morning and be an example to my children is the other. That kind of sounds similar timeframe for you.
Dominic: Oh, yeah. I mean, my wife, she kind of wanted to just treat, she didn’t want to think about the business though, so I was in charge of that part, which was good because that’s where my interest was as well. I mean, when you have kids, that’s a lot of what we do for that advancement is for our family too. So, yeah, that’s cool, I like that.
Spence: My life got so clear when I got children, I’m like, I know I need to be an example every day when I wake up, so it made things simpler for me, which beforehand, before pre-children, you can be and do whatever you want and wake up and do whatever you want to, it’s only you that kind of fall if you fall. But, yeah, it’s very motivational. So, okay, you’ve got your mentors, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which is fantastic, and that probably bleeds into the real estate diversity that you had. The real estate, is that in commercial like for clinic property or is that something?
Dominic: It’s all of it. Essentially you start wherever you are, some people have a lot of money and they can go and buy something outright. Some people have to be creative, and the thing about real estate is it’s so creative that you can buy property without having cash. Or just getting creative and not having to do a loan, you can buy property that way. There’s just a lot of different ways to look at that and I wanted to diversify. And taking that kind of idea of that creativity of ‘I can buy this building’, and so putting that in practice. So, what I did is I started buying homes, apartment complexes and then our commercial property. I think essentially what Rich Dad, Poor Dad does is they say, ‘turn your properties into a business.’ And you start looking at it from a balance sheet. If we look at our clinics, kind of like a balance sheet, then we have a view of how it’s doing,
how it stands, because sometimes in clinic, we don’t know if we’re going in the right direction or not. We’re pushing the pedal and we hope we’re in the right direction.
Spence: Well, this is where you touched on planning and scheduling yourself to accomplish your goals in your clinic. If you don’t have targets and systems and organization in place, how much stress that causes number one, and number two, how can you ever hit your targets or goals then?
Dominic: Yeah. I think that starts with mindset, because like you’re saying with kids and family, if you don’t have the right mindset and you don’t have that balance in work and family life, it’s a struggle. So, it’s good to have motivational and combine the two. If we have that and we have the mindset, then we’re able to kind of push forward and have our goals, then we write down our goals and work it backwards. That’s what I’d like to say, this is the goal I want up here and then what do I need to do to work it backwards, and this is where I am. Now I can kind of see my path of how I need to go about it, you know what I mean. So, if we plan it and we have our goal and working towards that goal every day, even just baby steps, at least we’re going in that right direction.
Spence: I interviewed someone not that long ago who said, and I love this and you can probably really resonate with it as well, that an overnight success takes 20 years. And that’s those steps, you know, it’s hard. I mean, even when you’re established. I don’t know about you, but even still in my life. Maybe there’s always X number of patients or more, but now you’ve got staff and now you’ve got people moving on in life or having difficulties in life or getting pregnant or all kinds of things that come down. It changes that mindset, especially once you grow a clinic to 200 patients or more and your managing staff and that becomes even more and more important.
Dominic: Oh, yeah, and you do create more problems. I mean, when you create something that’s bigger, you create more problems. So, it’s having that mindset being stable so that when you do create that, you’re able to see through some of those things and not let them bother you. We could take a little complaint from a patient and really
just let it eat us up. But, usually, it’s not us, it’s them, and that’s what I tell my staff. If somebody comes in and they complain, it’s usually they had a bad day, or there’s something not right in their life. It is preparation of your own foundation, having the mindset, the right thinking, and having the desire and the will to reach that goal.
Spence: I love that example, because mindset is big. As you grow, you know, problems are god’s way or whatever, the universe’s way of gift-wrapping wisdom that keeps me sane some days, but a patient coming in, that’s the difference in my world. If a patient comes in and there’s a complaint, you can let it eat you, and holy crap, it is tough, I get that. But on the other hand, when you tend your mental garden and you really practice, your psychology first, you can also get a complaint and frame it in — it is more like, okay, this person is having a tough time, how can we more deeply support them, and that is often an opportunity to turn someone into like a raving fan, where you call them on the phone and say, I understand there’s an issue and really just treat them like a human being and say, I’m sorry you’re having a tough time, and I would love to be able to rectify whatever. I mean, that’s an opportunity then too.
Dominic: Yeah, I think the thing is people sometimes, they just want to be heard, and when they’re heard, they can hear themselves and they kind of resolve their own problem. I’ve had patients do that many, many times. They come in, they complain, well, come on in my office, let’s tell me what’s going on. And I just let them get it out, and usually, they feel so much better and they go, well, you know, it’s not you, or it’s not the clinic, it’s whatever. And then even letting people know. I think the other thing that’s really important here with mindset is practicing from the heart. If we’re aggressive with our patients, if we start talking bad about our patients, they’re going to see that in our face, they’re going to see it in our body language. I mean, you know, emotions almost like have an odor, it just stinks.
Spence: Makes your nose turn.
Dominic: Yeah, I don’t know, something about that person. But I think it’s also starting
with a heart and just knowing that I want to help people, I want to make people feel good. I can’t help everybody, nobody can, but I can help as many people I as I’m able. If we have that attitude, then the problems are easier to deal with. The day is better to deal with, but sometimes we get upset because there’s a lack of patients. It’s easier to be more creative and say, what do I need to do for marketing, how do I need to really look at this clinic, and that’s what I’ll do sometimes with myself, because, you know, I failed a lot and I’m glad I did. Because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t know this stuff. I’ll give myself a timeout, I’ll go to my office and just say, okay, what’s going on here, what is happening, I don’t understand this problem. And I’ll write down the problem, I’ll pick up the parts that are fact. And the other parts that are emotional and kind of see, oh, this is really what’s happening. The emotional stuff, it’s other things in the back of our head, that’s like nonsense. That right there has helped me just keep on track and stay focused and keep my staff on focus and my patients on focus.
Spence: Someone put it to me, once a year, your patients are purchasing you as well. If you are being an example of someone who can tend their psychology, you don’t have to have everything together – that’s ridiculous. You can admit your faults as well, that’s a good way to connect, but someone who is an example of who they may want to be is such a great authentic way to be in the clinic. And I think often when we start out, we think we need to be something that we’re not, and maybe with some patients, that’s true. But, you know, you will resonate with certain patients and not with others, and that’s normal.
Dominic: Yeah. I think that’s why we never have competition either. We don’t have competition because there’s some patients that are not going to like me and they’re going to like somebody else, and that’s fine. A lot of people don’t care but, I think that’s the thing is we want to be professional but we want to be honest, but we don’t want to be too professional where it’s kind of obnoxious. It’s just kind of being you.
Spence: You and I just so resonate. We are on such a similar page here. That psychology first, your mindset, your heart, being the leader is so important first. It’s like if you jump
into practice and you think that marketing is the first thing that you should learn about, it’s like putting the cart before the horse, to use a super old guy term. It’s the wrong order of things, you need to understand the life that you want to kind of lead and then work backwards. I like your analogy goal-setting there.
Dominic: Yeah, it’s understanding where you’re going to go, understanding the steps you’re going to take and then start marketing your product. Because if we go out there and we start marketing our product and we say we specialize in your hair or whatever, I mean, anything, you know, too much internet, but we don’t know how to treat it, we don’t know what our program is, and they come in and we get flooded with people and we go, I don’t really understand what I’m doing here. It’s not a hard thing, it’s not like, oh, god, I got to sit down and plan it. It’s not, what are your ideas, because we have our ideas in our head and we can talk about them for hours, but what about putting them on paper, and that organizes them a little bit more. And just looking at it and circling things and adding or crossing out other things, and then refining that to a list and saying, oh, well, I think, the other thing is just getting our thoughts and our ideas on paper, it’s easier to follow. There’s too many thoughts going on, there’s too much stuff going on, too much creativity trying to happen, but once it’s on paper, it flows.
Spence: And you can organize and prioritize then.
Dominic: And prioritize, yeah. There’s another thing to that too that I wanted to tell you about was, you know, sometimes we’ll prioritize the biggest fire that’s going on, the biggest problem, the thing that’s affecting us the most, that’s not necessarily the most important thing to pay attention to because, I mean, of course we want to take care of the problem, but really what we want is we want to work on the important things that don’t require so much urgency. So, then we’re able to plan it and organize it and produce it correctly. I mean, of course we want to extinguish a big fire, but it’s just important to keep that because if we’re always trying to put out all these immediate fires, we’re not we’re not looking out to our future and making that going to work for us.
Spence: Yeah, the momentum. You can focus on a whole lot of shit that will stop momentum if you choose that in life. It’s so easy. Okay, you mentioned something else before, and I think maybe this is the foundation for this psychology partly, and I would love you to explain what you think the importance of a morning routine is that solidifies the footing for your day, I guess so to speak?
Dominic: Well, morning routine, personal routine, there’s so many things that we want to do and we want to happen with our, and whether we’re doing it or not is a big difference, because if we’re not doing it and we keep talking about it and years go by, that means nothing, so if we have a plan and we say, well, I have my plan, my goal is up here, this is where I’m, how am I going to get there – it’s really good to know, well, this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to wake up, and I need my personal time and I need to clear my head. Personally, I love I like to wake up and drink a cup of coffee or tea, it just works for me. I wake up well that way. And then, maybe a little bit of exercise, and then some meditation, what’s my day going to look like, what do I want it to happen, and writing ideas, creativity just starts going. And so, I’m like, writing notes down, I’m putting on my phone, you know, later in the day my brain is mush. It’s not a good time to do that. You know what I mean?
Spence: Yeah, cheers.
Dominic: It’s that that morning time that like — one thing, when we went to Vietnam to treat these people, it was great, and the most interesting thing there is that people are waking up with the sun, they’re outside doing Tai Chi, doing Chi Gong, they’re exercising, they’re using that like Yin to Yang time, and it’s just a really good balanced time for the mind and body. I think it’s good to do those things that are good during the day. Some people are not morning people, and they need to like lie there and meditate, wake up slow or whatever works for them, and then if there’s family, you know, spending some time there in the beginning of the day, end of the day, something. But when you’re at work, when you’re doing what you’re doing while you’re doing it, you know, if you’re
at work, you’re working, if you’re with family, you are with family, and you schedule those things on those times and you just feel more accomplished. And we get so caught up in work, work, work, work, clinic, clinic, clinic. We need to spend that time and that balance, so if we have a scheduled time to spend with our family, my wife and I, we go on date night every Friday night, it’s what we do. We look forward to it. Vacations are important and stuff like that, but that daily routine is just good because then we’re taking care of ourselves. We’re not being a hypocrite to the patient. Yeah, I meditated, I found out where my issues were, I’m working on them, and then I get to work. It also works on mindset there too.
Spence: Almost every mentor I have has a morning meditative practice. Besides having children as a motivator and a wife that is a fantastic partner in crime, the morning meditation, I agree with you, hands down. It’s as nourishing, if not more to me, than getting an extra hour or two of sleep some days, and it just changes the whole day. My meditations, I run through a cycle of being grateful, that’s really easy for things, and then I just do some Chi Gong, there’s some breathing. And then I pray and send blessings to people that I feel might need that and then I’m quiet. Because I can’t quiet my mind for an hour, but when I cycle through that, I just feel so full. That’s the day I agree coffee number one, but then like a good sit is so awesome in the morning because we don’t get any Yin time after that. So, we like, fall on the pillow and crash out.
Dominic: Yeah, that’s the other thing, meditation, like you were saying, turn your mind off, and sometimes, we don’t have that. Our minds are just going, there’s so much going on. And I think it’s okay to work that stuff through our minds and kind of look at it. One thing you said that was interesting is gratefulness, there’s another one, it’s forgiveness. Because we’ll beat the hell out of ourselves because of things that we’ve done, and we say, we’ll never be successful in practice or I’ll never be able to because of this is what happened to me before. But the thing is if we forgive whatever happened, whoever and forgive ourselves, it clears that mind too for more creativity. And so, gratefulness forgiveness, you’re sending blessings, I mean that’s awesome. Then what does that do for mindset, what’s that going to do to free creativity with family and practice? So, that
morning routine is like the bomb, it’s essential.
Spence: I may have misled you that I can actually quiet my mind in the meditative part, but that is where the creative part comes. If it gets me in some sort of mindset and I’m sending blessings and gratitude and forgiveness, that’s beautiful, and then tried to be quiet, that’s when the heart talks. Because it’s whispering so quietly all the time, our egos always in the way. I’m so happy that you touched on that because I love the likes of people like Tim Ferriss, I love his podcast. It’s one of my goals, to become Tim Ferriss of TCM. He asks everyone almost about morning routine and I love that, because it’s just like the legs you set up for your day somehow. Anyway, I digress. Let’s get into a little bit of nuts and bolts to psychology stuff, we could stay there forever, I see that in you as well, we can get into all these things and all these marketing and ideas and all this stuff, but if we don’t have our goals, keep our focus prioritize and like base our forward movement on statistics and data that’s coming in, we can just roam all over the place. You’ve created business management or business growth or clinic growth or practice growth course, which I’m super excited about and I’m sure a lot of people that are watching this, we will give you all the access in the show notes for sure here, but can you kind of walk through first the macro organization, those five pieces somehow? As people can start to try and chunk it, chunk down the clinic life per se.
Dominic: Well, that’s the thing is, I came up with the five-levels because you have to know where you are if you want to go somewhere, if you want to be successful and whatever success means, but where is that from A to B, where’s that B point and where are you at that A point? The five-level system, it helps people understand that. This is where you are in respects to where do you want to go. Once we have that, then we’re able to start planning, we can see our goals, we can see what steps we need to work back. We’ve got statistics and all that stuff to keep track of numbers and it’s all kind of common-sense stuff and it’s good to watch, because you can see if things are successful or not and how your staff is doing so that they can understand how they’re doing as well, which is important. But the five-level system is — I don’t know, let me see if I can.
Spence: Dominic has been gracious enough to give us a quick reference PDF that will be below here, so just go and grab that for sure.
Dominic: I’d open it up right now but I don’t know if it would mess up this.
Spence: The screen share, I don’t think my settings for the code recorder will do that, but I mean, go grab it right now, stop the video, go grab it and then maybe come back and tune back in.
Dominic: Can you still see me?
Spence: Yeah. I can. Yep, you’re still there.
Dominic: What I did is I put together like some questions for people, you know, you having trouble with asking for money, patients not returning to their appointments, are they complaining about costs are, do you not know what to say without sounding like a salesman, which is I think a big one that most people don’t want to do that, which is cool, I understand that, me neither. Do you not know how to manage staff they can be self-sufficient, so they can be on focus, and you can do the jobs that you want to, are your bills higher than your income, which is a big one because the doors will shut down if that’s the problem. You want a stable career but don’t know how to go about it, you know that there’s a problem but you don’t know where to start. And that’s another one, it’s like something’s wrong but I don’t know where to start. So, that’s where the five-level system and I worked it out so that level number one is you’re just starting out, you’re like brand new, you don’t really have any numbers or patient numbers or statistics, maybe you do but they’re pretty low, you’re dependent on other financial sources. A lot of people are working two jobs, only a few patients maybe a week, something like that. And so this is where it’s the self-confidence in the consultation – how are you going to talk to your patients, how about a plan?
Dominic: It’s not necessarily doing like a big plan or anything, but it’s good to give the
patient a plan, to kind of giving them a routine in your clinic, and then about promotion. Then I go to level 2, and level 2 is where they have more than one new patient a week, maybe they just have one, but they’re treating about 10 patients a week. And maybe they’re breaking even with income and expenses maybe not, but maybe they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The finances are starting to balance, so that’s where we start implementing certain things. And I do a practice analysis for people too so that they can write down these details in their clinic and I can look at it and help them understand what’s going on. A level number three is they have multiple new patients, they’re seeing maybe 40 patients a week, the marketing is there and they’re making a small profit, they’re able to feel expansion, they’re closing maybe 50% of the new people that come in, something like that. And that’s where they need to start delegating things, getting some staff so it’s starting to move, it’s they can feel that momentum.
Spence: There’s a cash flow that can help feel growth.
Dominic: Yeah, now, there’s money, now you’re thinking, okay, now I can start putting money into marketing. And then level four is where there’s multiple new patients a week, you are having about 80 or more patients per week coming into the office. You’re feeling busy, the receptionist, the marketer, they’re busy, they’re starting to work independently and you can see that through their stats. Their stats are starting to rise, they’re understanding how to read their stats and they’re measuring their outcomes. Now, they’re saying, well, if this is my goal, I want to have 10 new patients a week, I’m at six, what do I need to do. And they know this, we train them. So, they are able to hit their stat and then we bonus them on these things. If their efforts are great, we bonus them. And then there is level number five, which is you’re seeing over a hundred patients a week, you should be making good profit at this point, you should feel pretty confident, pretty stable, but you may be feeling some overwhelmed, you’re feeling overworked. This is where it’s time to get an associate, you need to start delegating that job and you need to start being more of a clinical director or an office director and conducting it. I said, you sit back and you conduct the symphony. So, depending on where people are in this level system, they choose and then they look at where they want to go. Some people aren’t ready for the
hundred patients, they just want to go one level at a time – cool. That’s fine too, but at least you know what direction.
Spence: It’s like a diagnosis for kind of where you’re at, and then, there’s a series of symptoms that will be happening and problems and solutions. I love that. It’s kind of almost a life cycle, I’ve heard it kind of similarly explained as in human terms, like, you started as a baby or a toddler, then you move through your youth and your teenage phases and then you become a young adult and then you become a mature adult, where you start listening to people with gray hair, that’s where I’m at in life. I won’t listen to anyone without gray hair anymore. That’s my board of advisors for sure. That’s a prerequisite. Anyway, okay, that’s fantastic. You mentioned that you did some consulting for people, which is great, and I’m sure people can find that through naturallifeacupuncture.com.
Dominic: No, I have a separate email and it’s not in the form that you’re giving them. It’s . They can contact me there and then I can talk with them, email back and forth, and if they want to do a practice analysis, they can do that and then I can talk to them. And if they want more help after that, we can talk about it, but essentially what this will do is it’ll get people going in the right direction, just making ideas happen.
Spence: Right. So many people in our industry I think don’t go here because they don’t want to, or you know, the addiction to learning about the medicine is so strong, which is fantastic, it’s such a beautiful thing but it’s so essential. It’s like studying Yin and not Yang or something. I’ve got a different email, so I’ll grab that from you beforehand or before we post this live and put it into the show notes. You also have and what we’re discussing before an online course that goes through these stages and more into the solutions and stuff, right?
Dominic: Brad and I did these videos together, the five phases or the five modules are like I said, the mindset, the marketing office management at the ROF and clinical systems, and I went into some detail in there. And there’s a lot of content in there, a
whole lot, and what I wanted people to do was, and I talked about it in there, is find what works for you right now. Write down those things that really you jive with and start implementing them, and that’s a good thing to do because there is so much content in there that it goes down to even I knew details. So, we’ll be doing some more stuff too that will go over. There’s just so much, there’s so many things to talk about and do, but it’s just starting with those videos and kind of taking what speaks to that person.
Spence: Awesome, we will give note or link to that as well in the show notes. Please send that in my way or let me know what’s happening so we can let everyone else know here too. Once you get to be busy and you’re going to be very quickly in a practice, if it’s not with patients it’s going to be with getting patients, but it is so much and you touched on, as a key I think is about what not to be doing, find those key things that really resonate with you and as long as you know they’re going to provide some forward momentum and stick to it, and like get the elbow grease in there and work hard and persevere and keep moving forward with those. And then just know that that’ll change when you see momentum kind of slow you, you look back at this course I suspect and you kind of find out where you are again that gives you clues to how to step forward.
Dominic: Yeah. I think as people start to move forward, they’ll start to see the picture and kind of say, oh, I’m starting to feel this, I can understand it now right. And there’s some steps you just keep repeating, we did a marketing event this past weekend and it was a four-hour event, we scheduled 22 people. And when you repeat something, you get so much better at it that you can go in and create what you want from it, but, yeah, the videos go over all that stuff.
Spence: I think what needs to be planted and I’m sure that your course would do this and hopefully even today is just gain an interest. When I realized that business and medicine both, if they’re truly rooted in integrity, both have the same end goal, they’re trying to produce a solution for somebody, for someone’s problem or medical condition, and so I shifted my mindset into that being a great marriage instead of it being, oh, money is evil or this or that. And then it’s so fun, the study of business really is just, you know, besides
all the systems and that which are important, unbelievably important. It still boils down to relationships and that’s ultimately what we do.
Dominic: Right, I agree. It can be hard, you know, that’s where biomedical research was boring for me. It was microscopes, it was computers, it was analyzing, it was experiments, and I just needed to talk to people. That’s what got me interested in clinical. Some people love that stuff, they don’t want to talk. But I think it is that creating relationships and understanding people, that’s a lot of business and clinic. Business is fun, it can be a lot of fun because it’s just creativity. It’s like a game to me, this is cool, you know, let’s try this, let’s try that, oh, this works better, let’s keep doing that. Let’s add this other thing and see what happens.
Spence: Yeah. If I want to expand, I’m getting busy, should I bring in people or hire people, it’s like, then you get to do that with other people. One of my first teachers in school, this Chinese guy, crazy guy, he pleaded to us to not get through school, and then become a TCM monk, he called them, just hiding in your clinic by yourself and not stepping out into the community or bringing in a clinical team or whatever – it’s so much more fun. Like it’s when you actually take the step into building a business, because a) that’s a way to scale how many people you help to if you’ve got a gift that is just burbling inside of you, it’s your responsibility to grow it and share it.
Dominic: Totally. That’s the thing I think most of us got into this medicine because we had a passion for it, for whatever reason. And it’s going back to that passion and saying, why am I here, why am I doing this. The bills will get paid, and I think that’s the main thing, we get so stressed out about no patients, we got bills, we’ll get paid, just getting creative and not being stuck in the office wondering why people aren’t coming through the door. It’s creating those relationships, going out meeting people, talking to people and just having fun with it really.
Spence: We’ve got one life to live. We need to be ourselves and step into our clinic and just show the world our light, because every single person watching this has a ton to offer, a ton of people in their local whatever population. And it’s as simple as just
allowing yourself to understand that and put yourself out there. It’s hard for introverts, I totally get that, but then maybe get some help, third-party promoters, my wife is fantastic at that. For people just getting started, I don’t know exactly who’s going to be watching this but they’ll probably apply it any time – what are your top couple or three books in the realm of personal development and business that you might tweak people on beside to maybe Rich Dad, Poor Dad?
Dominic: The top three…
Spence: I don’t know, something in there that just pops out.
Dominic: There is another book that really triggered it for me, and it’s called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. The title’s misleading because it’s talking about getting rich, but the thing is it’s THINK and Grow Rich. And it’s not just rich in money, but it’s rich in your mind, and rich in aspects of life. That book I’ve read probably three or four times.
Spence: It’s like a business bible.
Dominic: Yeah, basically, it was written at the time of the depression. And it was a lot of research and study that was done that what made people successful, what could they do to bring them out of the depression. You know, it was written at a time in history, where people were pretty desperate and they had to figure this out. So, anyway, that really resonated with me a lot.
Spence: Great book.
Dominic: Yeah, you’ve read it?
Spence: Yeah, a couple times. His predecessor is Darren Hardy, I love him as well, who took over the Success Magazine. He’s not there anymore but that’s I think what Napoleon
Hill created afterwards, because it was essentially Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men in the world during big industrial times hiring this guy to travel the world and speak to the most successful people and find their secrets and put it in this book, like it’s crazy, it’s great.
Dominic: Yeah, it’s a good one.
Spence: We can just stop there, I don’t need three hours, that’s perfect though but Robert Kiyosaki. Two last questions and I’ll let you get back, I know you’ve got clinic on there.
Dominic: Today is my day off.
Spence: Okay, we’ll keep you forever. What do you do to get through shitty times, because they come, it doesn’t matter how successful you are, like tougher times – is that when that morning routine is more important or what comes to mind that helps you through those times?
Dominic: I think when shitty times come around I usually look at it and see what its source is, but it does happen. The clinic will go down a little bit and it’s like, oh, what’s going on here or whatever, but I think that’s kind of where the routine kind of helps with that and then sitting back and looking at what is really happening. Because patients can come in and complain, my neighbor can complain about my dog barking too much, and, you know, the kids like lazy at school, all that stuff, I think life is never constant. It’s never always the same as time moves by, it’s up and down. We don’t want so many peaks and valleys, that amplitude, but keeping that amplitude a little bit lower. And I think that the daily routine, the mindset really helps with that. And then understanding that problems come, we live in a world of problem and failure and success, and I mean they’re opposites, but how do we make sure that it doesn’t bother us too much. And that we’re gaining what we want. If we know that there’s a problem coming, then we see the problem, we recognize a problem, and usually if we know the problem, that’s the hard part is finding out the problem. Once we find it, the solution’s right behind it. So, then we
can say, well, this is the problem, here’s a solution. And when the problem comes around again, we can apply the solution. I think it’s just important to keep that routine going for me and just not taking it too seriously, stuff happens and it will always, and just kind of sitting back and just let it go by.
Spence: And being very Daoist. I feel exactly the same way. If I have younger associate, but just people in general or patients or whatever, I’m like if I am by no means old and wise, but what I consider to be wisdom right now, at least in my life, for me, is the ability for me to be able to extract myself from a situation, rise above it, look down and say, this is going to pass. I’ll learn stuff from it, my life is shitty right now but it’s going to pass. That’s what I feel like wisdom is right now. I might change that in five years, but I’m on the exact same page as you. So, last question and then I promise I’ll let you go, just a piece of advice – what piece of advice would you give your 20-year-old self or the young person that’s kind of stepping into the realm of Chinese medicine and practice?
Dominic: What I would say is if you know your goal and you want to go for it, just work towards it, and like you’re saying, it doesn’t happen overnight, don’t stress about it, don’t freak out about it, don’t think, oh, my god, I got into the wrong profession, I need to join the military now or something crazy like that. I mean, you don’t need to make those drastic changes, just it’s one foot in front of the other and it builds and it happens and momentum comes and everything will be fine and it’ll work out. And there’s bigger problems and smaller problems, but it’s just being diligent to where your heart is at, and what you really want. And it’s not that it’s easy, but it’s just staying on that path. I mean, going through school, we have the same thing. There are times that are tough to get through school, either financially or just study, but it’s kind of the same thing. It’s just that’s how it is, accept it and just keep going forward and just smile, just have fun with it as much as you can. I know some things you can’t smile at but, I think that’s what I would tell my 20-year-old self.
Spence: So, to paraphrase: surrender and persevere because overnight success takes about 15 or 20 years. Just keep on. I thank you so much, be sure to check out Dominic’s course
and resources that we’ll for sure be having in the show notes for his online course that is coming up soon. I’ll let everyone know as well, but also your assessment of people’s practice and the download below of the five phases or the five levels, which is all fantastic. Thank you for providing that and thank you so much for being on the show, it’s been a lot of pearls. I love the psychology piece, thank you so much.
Dominic: Thank you.
Spence: We’ll be in touch again very soon, and I kind of subconsciously plan on having everyone back on the show every year too to find the pearls that happen every couple of years. I’m sure we’ll be in contact a lot before that but anyway, Dominic, thanks again.
Dominic: Thank you.
Spence: All right, take care, man.
Dominic: You, too, bye.