The 3 Day Practice, Part 1
Your practice should only be open 3 days a week! Groundbreaking article
series exposes why “part-time practice” hours produces much better practice
The secret to a busy practice, is to force it into being busy
— Ben Cummings
Make more income working 3 days then doctors working 5-6 day workweeks and
why this works!
My sister lives in New York City and I visit her whenever I can. I love warm
weather but something about the Big Apple makes me giggle with excitement and
One day I wandered into Central Park. In case you’ve never been there,
Central Park is like a non-stop street festival lasting 2 square miles in the
heart of one of the most populous cities on earth.
For instance within the span of 10 minutes I saw:
- A young street magician wrap himself in chains and a straight jacket… and
within 90 seconds publicly escapes. I then saw him masterfully collect tips from
the on-lookers using a guilt-the-hell-out-em strategy that rivaled the best
Xerox sales professional.
- An eastern Indian street dancer performing for tips. Then selling his own
line of professionally produced C.D.’s. I later learned that this
street performer was the subject of an Oscar Award Winning documentary on his
life. By the way – he was raking in the dough. At least $500 per 20-minute
performance by my estimation. That’s more than some of my clients make in 1-2
hours working in their practice.
- Street vendors selling hot dogs… scalping tickets… selling art
work… selling hats, shirts, and instant cameras.
You name it, you’ll see it being sold in Central Park.
All this amazing capitalism and cultural vibrancy reminded me of how
successful practices are run.
The Secret of Creating a “Buzz”
The master publicist tries to create a “buzz” or positive word of mouth
about their client. A buzz is an energy. Like walking into the middle of Central
Park on a sunny day, and being inundated with pure entrepreneurial energy.
This is the atmosphere that successful practices try to create. You walk into
their office and you can feel the positive energy.
Creating a practice “buzz” is about:
- Packing them in
- Appearing in demand and busy
- Making them smile and entertaining them
- Great, upbeat staff full of energy and excitement about what you do
- Providing them with a story to tell when they leave
- Unconsciously making them feel lucky they get to be part of
such a successful practice experience!
We’ve all been to the packed movie house. We feed off the crowd’s energy and
have a better experience. If you doubt this, try watching a funny movie by
yourself. The watch it with a room full of people. The laughter becomes
infectious and that “buzz” enhances your experience.
The busiest restaurants and nightclubs understand this
The profound power of Social Proof
There’s a saying in the restaurant business. It has to do with this
“The busier the parking lot is, the better the food
Have you ever driven past a restaurant only because it looked empty?
Logically we know an empty parking lot has nothing to do with how effective the
chef might be!
Why then do we drive by?
In psychology this principle is known as Social Proof. We look to see what
others are doing as proof. Seeing a waiting line out the door of a nice looking
restaurant provides us with social proof. “This place must be good, because look
at all the people waiting in line.”
The title of this article is The 3 Day Workweek. The most important reason to
cut back your practice hours is doing so makes you look
Having a busy looking practice:
- Increases patient compliance
- Decreases existing fee resistance
- Decreases no-shows
- Leads to more referrals
- Leads to a better and more positive energy
- Leads to positive word of mouth
- Leads to greater respect for your service
Limit Practice Hours. Even if you think you ‘need to be open at all hours to
One of my Mentor clients decided his practice needed a change. I asked if he
would be willing to march into his practice with a black marking pen
and cross out one day a week from his schedule.
He was working 4 days a week and selected an additional day to close.
He saw positive results immediately!
The first step to getting a life again
Another reason to work 3 days a week, is to give you back a life.
Doctors get consumed by their practice. Once I can convince them of the
benefits of being open just 3 days, they become a lot happier.
What’s also interesting is their income always increases.
This happens because of Social Proof and being forced to run a more productive
practice. Doing so often forces the doctor to address problem staff and possibly
get rid of them. (Problem staff has been costing you tens of thousands in lost
patients for years! You’ve finally done what you’ve always needed to do.)
Many doctors are open for business 5 days per week. Once I convince them to
be open just 3 days a week, they see a big increase in practice growth.
More on this in Part 2!
Don’t keep us a secret! Tell a practitioner about our practice