Who Would Miss You If You Went Out of Business?

Let’s say your practice went out of business tomorrow. Who would miss you? Who would be bummed that you weren’t there anymore?

Although simple, I think this is a very powerful question to ask ourselves.


Answering this question gives us a sense of purpose. It reminds us why we are doing what we are doing. Moreover, I think answering this question sets us on the right path.

We can talk about how to properly code, worry that we have a healthy mix of sick to wellness ratios and that we are beating the local retail clinic at their own game, but is that why we come to work every day? Indeed efficiency  profitability and other healthy business traits are important, but none of these things have meaning unless we have the clarity as to why we do these things.

I recently got an opportunity to hear Condoleezza Rice speak at a leadership summit Joanna and I attended at Willow Creek Church. During her session, she described that as Secretary of State, she had to meet with evil dictators in war torn countries. The kind of people that don’t blink an eye when they order to slaughter women and children.

Condi, as her friends call her, described that from her personal perspective, she loathed and despised these dictators. She didn’t even want to give them the courtesy of a sit down.

But, as a leader, she couldn’t afford to lose sight of the big picture, she said during her interview with Bill Hybels. Unfortunately, these evil leaders had the power to do a lot of harm, as well as spare a lot of people’s lives she said.

Dr. Rice mentioned that her job was to persuade these leaders to spare lives, not for the leader’s sake, but for the people she was advocating for.

Thus, she put her personal feelings aside in an effort to save thousands of people in these war torn countries.

Now, this may seem like an extreme example, but the message is so powerful that I think is worth mentioning. Dr. Rice’s higher purpose wasn’t to persuade the evil dictator, but rather to intervene in a way that would spare hundreds (maybe even thousands) of lives. Dr. Rice stressed that she had to remind herself of the bigger picture, rather than focus on the unpleasant task of meeting with people she personally loathed.

In other words, she reminded herself of the people that would miss her if she didn’t have the meeting.

I don’t need to remind the crowd that reads this blog that being a medical professional or one that works for a medical professional is hard. We are overwhelmed with administrative request, manage unrealistic expectations from parents (and often employees), and burdened with a mountain of responsibility.

Without a sense of purpose that goes beyond these mundane task, we would get easily discouraged. So, let me ask the question again. If your practice shut its doors tomorrow, who would miss you?

(This blog was originally posted on Pediatric Inc)

Brandon Betancourt is a business director for a pediatric practice in Chicago. He is a speaker, consultant and blogger. You can follow him on Twitter @PediatricInc or visit his blog at PediatricInc.com