You might think I’m being snarky — but I’m not. Seriously, congratulations.
You won the jackpot for the perfect time and place to become a chiropractor.
You (millennials) have a reputation for being immature, entitled, lazy, addicted to your phone, and clueless. I’m sure you have heard it all before.
But here’s the thing you don’t hear much:
It’s not true.
It is not even kinda accurate. That is not the real you (no matter what anyone says, insists, proclaims or posts in viral videos on the internets.)
So much of what is said about millennials is either based on what millennials were like when you were teenagers (which you are not anymore) — or is just the same shit every waning generation says about the new generation. Like when they used to say Elvis Presley was a pervert and a sexual deviant who would harm the youth of America because he “wiggled his hips” when he sang. Point being — new ways of being always freak the old generation out.
*Disclaimer: some people — in ALL generations — persist in a state of insecurity, immaturity and douche-itude which causes that individual to consistently act entitled, lazy and clueless. Every generation has ’em. It’s not a millennial thing. It’s a people thing. Look it up.
If all that stuff we constantly hear about millennials is NOT accurate — what is true?
I have spent the past 12 years working very closely with millennials in chiropractic. My job has essentially been to sell to and mentor millennials. I know thousands of you and I know you well.
You have been my teammates, my employees, my mentees, my mentors, my project partners and my friends. I have watched you take on massive commitments, tackle huge projects, struggle through a financial shift that stripped away your safety net, and find your authentic path to success over and over again.
Maybe I have a special/unique view of millennials because I have worked with millennials who have chosen to be chiropractors. You are a special group.
You have chosen to help people. You have chosen to have a career centered on making a difference. You have chosen to be bold during uncertain times. You have chosen to take on responsibility that has not been demanded of you. You have chosen a specific type of path and I believe it is a path that you are incredibly well-suited for.
I firmly believe that the millennial generation of chiropractors have the attitude and skills needed to take chiropractic from the place it is now (stuck — more on that later) and into a new place of non-pushy public awareness, growth, and prosperity.
It is YOU we have been waiting for. You are the ones.
You have an incredible opportunity. You get to be authentically YOU and WIN.
You can embrace the true values and skills that you have earned by being a millennial and living through the millennial experience and USE it as a powerful advantage in business and in frankly — a life well-lived.
By embracing your millennial characteristics and skills — you will be able to best use this incredible opportunity and have the impact on the world that you are yearning for.
Right now we have a problem. Non-millennials teach millennials how to be “successful” and many of these non-millennials don’t understand millennials.
a) They don’t understand how millennials are different and unique.
b) They believe all the bad stuff they hear and read about millennials.
c) They don’t realize that chiropractic marketplace is now DOMINATED by millennials.
d) The don’t see how the things they are teaching don’t work the same anymore.
There IS a reason many of you are struggling.
Much of what you are being taught about how to BE is wrong. Wrong for you.
Does any of this sound familiar? Because it is all wrong (probably).
1. You must look professional.
They say: In order to succeed you must: cut your hair, cover your tattoos, wear a tie, wear a jacket, take out/off your jewelry, wear formal “work appropriate” clothing, not those shoes, not that shirt, definitely not those yoga pants! Gasp!
So many successful chiropractors break every damn one of those rules, every single day. They have crazy hair and tats and wear weird and wonderful things to the office, including YOGA PANTS — Because their patients don’t actually give a flying fluffy fig sandwich (it’s a thing) what you look like. They care who you ARE.
It’s wrong for you.
2. You gotta learn this exact system.
They say: Use this script. Say it like this. Stand like this. Use this poster. Use this exact system I built. Do what it did — exactly like I did it.
You cannot thrive off some else’s script. You cannot copy cat someone and expect to get the same results. There are two big problems here.
Problem One: You are not them. Which means when you copy the guru you will not match “something” about the guru and then the tactic will not work as well. And then the guru will tell you that you are not doing it right and charge you another $$$ chunk of change so you can better emulate them — which is all a losing strategy because, remember, you are not them. You are you.
Problem Two: IF you somehow manage to be such a good chameleon that you totally mimic the guru — a new problem often arises. The tactics they teach you are shriveling up like old fruit and FAILING because the tactic was built to sell to Boomers and Gen X-ers — not to Millennials. And your ideal clients (young families and people looking to DIY their health) are MILLENNIALS.
Focus on the future: Millennials.
Be a discerning customer and don’t believe that old tactics will keep working. The system has to change because the needs and beliefs of the target has changed.
Is the guru’s system working for you? Then cool, you found a good match — carry on. Is it not? Maybe it’s not YOU that is the problem (see problems one and two above).
It’s wrong for you.
3. Success looks like this (picture of fancy car and amazing vacation) and you gotta want it badly.
They say: You should want a HUGE practice, a McMansion, a trip to Italy every summer, an impressive car and the world’s best trained dog/kids. Obviously.
You define success differently. Like many millennials, you want LESS.
You crave LESS. You think the Boomers and X-ers are off their rockers with the way they spend money on stuff and filling their stuff with other stuff. You want a small, cozy simple house that isn’t stuffed with stuff. You want to go on vacation to the woods and watch the stars come out. You dream of having no debt, flexibility, and never buying into the consumerist fever dream.
You want to use your money to save for the future and to help other people, not to try to compete with the idiots out there spending money to convince themselves they are worthy of love.
It’s wrong for you.
4. You have to be an authority.
They say: You need to be a MASTER. You need to feel masterful and exude confidence. You need to know all the answers. You must tell your patients what to do and if they don’t comply — scare them, shame them, or kick them out of your practice.
Millennials have the world’s most highly calibrated bullshit detectors. While you love learning and improving — you are not trying to be BETTER than everyone. Because that is dumb — and impossible.
When someone over-promises, they will always eventually under-deliver. Because nobody can truly be an EXPERT. There’s always another level to go to.
You value humility, honesty, transparency and vulnerability. If you act from those values you will be incredibly attractive to your clients.
You are curious and thoughtful and love to grow your skills but not like that.
It’s wrong for you.
5. You have to BUY my product in order to succeed.
They say: You just need to purchase the right product, service, coach, or content marketing package in order to convert leads into clients. And also, mine is great and every one else’s sucks.
You know that what you buy will never fix you. Only you can chose to learn new things and act from new ideas. You do value coaches, products and services — but you get that there is no miracle cure to what you need. YOU are the solution. you look for people and products that will support your journey to personal agency and empowerment.
You look for ways to invest in yourself and find your own inner talents and strengths. You definitely don’t buy things from people who trash talk their competitors. You know that people who constantly call out other people and products by name are insecure and desperate. And that’s not your bag.
It’s wrong for you.
6. You are not working hard enough.
They say: You are a slacker. You have to work/hustle/breathe chiropractic or you will fail. Your whole damn life must be chiropractic. Why don’t you love chiropractic enough? Why don’t you believe in chiropractic enough? Why can’t you be as hard core as me, you lazy sack of used gym socks.
Uh, no thanks. And, please stop yelling at me.
You choose to work smarter, not harder. See points 1–5 above. Lather, rinse, repeat.
You are not afraid of work, hard work, but you do not respond well to shame, fear tactics, and people who presume they know what makes you tick.
Anyone who is shaming you about your work ethic is either a) seeing that you really ought to step it up (which is possible) and using a bad tactic (shame) to try to push you into action OR b) has personally bought into the bullshit cult of hustle and is selling you what they have already bought.
You want to work hard but you have seen your parent work their asses off and not get the brass ring or the promised reward. So you choose to be practical and look before you leap. You will and do work hard, but you are always looking for balance in your life because you know you will burn out otherwise.
It’s not right for you.
What’s the Millennial Chiropractor to do in this exciting (and confusing) time?
- Know your strengths and trust them.
- Find coaches and mentors and organizations who get what is great about you.
- Keep working smarter and lean into your enough-ness.
I love you millennials and cannot wait to see what you create for the next generation of chiropractic patients!