A Pilgrims Progress

30 Aug A Pilgrims Progress

Platinum Practice the Journey

In 2013 my girlfriend said to me “Why on earth have you signed up to that Platinum thing? It’s a lot of money to commit, money we haven’t even got now – are you mad?!”

In 2017 she stated, “Businesswise, it’s the best investment you ever made.”

Those are the words of now retired Vet Gerard Roche, a Vet Dynamics Platinum Academy Member who in 2013 was running his veterinary practice – by his own admission – badly.  The business wasn’t going well, he couldn’t retain staff, and overall, he was miserable.  Then Gerard joined Vet Dynamics, formulated a plan and some amazing changes took place…

 

YOU NEED NEVER FEEL ALONE OR HELPLESS AGAIN

You have worked hard, very hard, sacrificed your personal life – even possibly your partner and family – to build this edifice, this monument, this masterwork – YOUR veterinary practice.

But one day you look up from another hard day digging at the coalface and you suddenly realise that you haven’t created an edifice or a monument, it’s a BLOODY GREAT HOLE. A BLACK HOLE that is sucking YOU in, YOUR life, YOUR happiness, YOUR time and YOUR money and right at this moment you can’t see any way out of the hole YOU have dug for yourself.

But your staff aren’t in any hole, oh no. They are well paid, can work when they want, do what they like doing, and if they aren’t happy – well they’re not afraid to let you know and expect you to put it right, in fact, they think YOU should be GRATEFUL that they turn up and do any work at all.

And your clients think all vets are rich with a capital R – how can you justify these prices? You must be rolling in it, as you stamp the Pet Passports for their three dogs so they can go off to their holiday home in the South of France for the summer! When in reality they haven’t even covered the daily cost of a Locum to look after their pet so you can have a long weekend in a caravan in Cromer – in March.

What can you do?

Sell? Get whatever you can (not much for all your hard work and sacrifice probably) and get out?

A lot of people who have been in your position did just that.

OR

Beat yourself up because you think you’re a FAILURE

A lot of people have done that too!

OR

Do what I did….

Say – “THIS ISN’T HOW IT SHOULD BE! I AM MAD AS HELL, AND I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE. THINGS ARE GOING TO CHANGE. FROM NOW ON I AM GOING TO STOP WORKING FOR MY PRACTICE, MY PRACTICE IS GOING TO START WORKING FOR ME”

But how can you make that happen?

Work harder? If you are anything like me, you physically and emotionally can’t give anymore. Anyway, all your hard work so far has just got you deeper in debt and used up all your available time.

Get more clients? How? Reduce your fees? You did that, now you’re so busy you haven’t got time to take a holiday, and there is NEVER ENOUGH MONEY. Or…

 

TAKE THE FIRST STEP

Say “I NEED HELP”.

But where to find it?

Hang on, you put that flyer in a drawer somewhere – the one that came in the post with that smiley, shifty looking bloke on the front, promising all sorts of wonderful, impossible things, – have you still got it?

Of course, he’s just someone else after your money, and it will probably all be management speak like you heard at the free management seminars you attended anyway. Besides, you haven’t got time to deal with all that sort of stuff, and you need someone to sort it all out FOR you!

What did you just say? Someone to kiss you and make it all better?

No – the only person who can deliver what YOU want – is YOU.

Say what I said –

“MY VETERINARY PRACTICE IS NOT DELIVERING FOR ME WHAT I HOPED AND EXPECTED IT WOULD.  YET OTHER PEOPLE HAVE BUSINESSES AND HAVE MUCH MORE MONEY AND TIME THAN I HAVE! THEY MUST BE RUNNING THEIR BUSINESSES SUCCESSFULLY, AND ERGO I AM NOT RUNNING MY BUSINESS SUCCESSFULLY. IN FACT, THEY ARE NOT EVEN VETS WHO HAD TO GO TO UNIVERSITY FOR 5 YEARS; I BET THEY NEVER EVEN WENT TO UNIVERSITY! I BET THEY COULDN’T CASTRATE A CAT!

THEREFORE, IT MUST BE POSSIBLE TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS. MY 5 YEARS AT VET SCHOOL AND MY VETERINARY DEGREE ARE NOT HELPING ME TO GET WHAT I WANT. I NEED NEW SKILLS”.

 

TAKE THE SECOND STEP

Say “I NEED TO LEARN HOW I CAN TURN MY VETERINARY PRACTICE INTO A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS WHICH DELIVERS WHAT I WANT”.

ACTUALLY, WHAT DO I WANT?”.

Where’s that smiley faced bloke’s advertisement gone?

Can I afford to do it?

In 2013 my girlfriend said to me “Why on earth have you signed up to that Platinum thing? It’s a lot of money to commit, money we haven’t even got now – are you mad?!”

In 2017 she said, “Businesswise, it’s the best investment you ever made”.

Can you afford NOT to do it?

 

TAKE THE THIRD STEP

OUTWARD BOUND

Well done, you have taken the first step.

You have lifted your head, looked up and out, you have accepted reality, decided it is not what you want, admitted you need help, and now you are going to reach out for it – and grab it with both hands.

Over there waiting at the LAST CHANCE STATION, gently steaming away and ready to leave, is the Platinum Train – destination –YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS.

Look – there’s that smiley bloke in the cab of the engine, tooting the whistle.

You get into the last carriage, and there, all sitting on separate seats, keeping themselves to themselves, looking shy and worried, are your fellow passengers.

But you get chatting and guess what – they are all vets too, and they all have their own practices, and after a while, you realise this is a BOAT TRAIN.

It’s a BOAT TRAIN because YOU ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT, you have ALL got the SAME problems.

Now, this is a truly mind-blowing revelation because guess what? You really did believe those clients (and friends, family, the Newspapers and the bloke you met in the Pub, your staff, your parents AND YOUR PARTNER who all said – or definitely thought) ‘You’re a Vet and have your own business – how lucky can you get, you must be ROLLING in it’. Admit it, YOU thought – it must be true – EVERY OTHER VET IS DOING WELL – it’s just ME THAT’S THE FAILURE.

And now you can talk to other vet practice owners, from all parts of the UK, and because their practices are far away from you, you can be honest with them, as can they with you, and this is what they ALL say:

NO MATTER HOW HARD I WORK THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME OR MONEY, I HAVE STAFF PROBLEMS, I HAVE CLIENT PROBLEMS.

In fact, some of them have problems you never even conceived it was possible to have. Some of them have problems in their practices that are so bad; you begin to feel a bit happier about your own problems – you’ve just realised they could be a lot worse than they are.

Now you have all got to know each other and realised you are all in the same boat, struggling to achieve the same things, or deal with the same problems, you start to make friends. You’ve formed a little gang, and you find you can offer each other a little bit of help or advice or even just encouragement.

Now – in the words of David Bowie ‘YOU ARE NOT ALONE’.

“But”, you say to each other, “we are only vets, do we really believe we can deal with all this stuff and make our lives better, we have all been trying for years, and things just seem to get worse?”.

Just then the train goes around a long bend, and you can see into the First-Class carriages right at the front. Look – they are full of relaxed, men and women in expensive clothes, reclining comfortably in leather chairs, sipping expensive brandy and wine (which they bought for themselves with their own money) glittering, as they sip Champagne cocktails and nibble delicately on Ferrero Rocher the size of cricket balls. Why are they not at work, seeing clients, unblocking the toilet, taking those radiographs, taking those blood samples?  How have these people reached this pinnacle of success?

Are they Chip shop owners? Do they own Garages? Cupcake franchises? Are they Dentists? But no – incredible as it may seem – these people used to be vets – just like YOU.

They too, once upon a time, came to the LAST CHANCE STATION, they too had veterinary practices which were like Millstones around their necks. They once had no money, no time, no bright future in sight, no destination except work, work, work until they either dropped dead or gave up on their dreams (what were they again? – can you even remember?).

But – they looked up, sought help – they caught the Platinum train and stayed on it through trials and tribulations, thick and thin, setbacks and successes, they supported each other through difficulties and cheered each-others’ wins. They have been through the bad times the same as you are experiencing now, and came through them to a better place.

If they can do it – SO CAN YOU.

Here’s the smiley bloke now! He is going to show YOU how YOU can take back CONTROL.

CONTROL OF YOUR TIME, YOUR FINANCES, YOUR PRACTICE AND YOUR LIFE.

When YOU have taken back control, THEN YOU decide where YOU want to go and start making plans to get there.

Now you look at the other members of your new gang, and you say “can we do it?”.

And in the immortal words of Bob the Builder you all cry as one

“YES WE CAN”.

I know you can, and I know you will – I managed to do it – and I can’t even spay a cat!

GOOD LUCK.

 

THE FOURTH STEP

The Inward Bound Branch Line. The Branch Line is not for everyone, but some take it.

So far you have been OUTWARD BOUND receiving the help and support needed to change your own circumstances by your own efforts, that may very well take you as far as you want to go.

But, for some, the new ideas and concepts they encounter and the reading they do may entice them to travel INWARD, into themselves.  Which is terrifying because it requires you to examine YOURSELF – who ARE you? What do you REALLY want? What really MATTERS to you? What are you WORTH – truly? What is IMPORTANT in life? And what is NOT?

Deep inside you is a door – it is marked ‘HERE BE DRAGONS’.  Will you open it – or paint over it and forget it is there?

You never know, but, if you open that door, if you can acknowledge, and master the Dragons, bend them to your will, bridle and harness them and hitch them to your chariot, then you may truly experience THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE.

Thank you for reading and if you learn nothing else – remember –

Never play cards with a man whose first name is the same as an American City.

MR. ROCHE

 

QUOTATIONS THAT HAVE HELPED ME

“What is the difference between a RUT and a GRAVE”

A1 – “The depth”

A2 – “It’s easier to get out of a RUT”

“No-one wrote on their Gravestone ‘I wish I had spent more time at the Office” Anon

“You are not allowed to watch Bargain Hunt” Alan Robinson

“Have DREAMS and GOALS but EXPERIENCING THE JOURNEY and ENJOYING the company of your CHOSEN travelling companions is more important than getting to your destination”

“Remember the final destination is the TERMINUS – NO RETURN TICKETS AVAILABLE”

 

INSCRIPTIONS ON MY GRAVESTONE

‘At last! A really good long lie-in’

‘DO NOT DISTURB’

‘I’ve set my alarm for the Last Trump’

“If you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right” Henry Ford.

 

BOOKS THAT CHANGED MY OUTLOOK ON LIFE, AND MY LIFE TOO

“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ Robert Kiyosaki” Sharon Lechter

“The 5 Love Languages” Dr Gary Chapman

“The Chimp Paradox” Professor Steve Peters

“Your Brain at Work” David Rock


By Gerard Roche

 

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