Tact and the Sycophant.

Uncategorized Jan 22, 2019

At lunch this weekend, my 13-year-old stepdaughter told me “at dad’s house, we keep our opinions to ourselves.” I didn’t even finish swallowing my food before I said, “I completely disagree,” quickly stopping all conversation at the table.

I asked, “When should you freely share your opinion, even if it isn’t well-received?” All three of my kids at the table had good answers. When a friend is being a little too crazy on the trampoline or if you know something that could help someone, like telling them they are going the wrong way to the airport, etc.

We quickly boiled it down to a litmus test: if your opinion can prevent unwanted harm or facilitate something good, share it and don’t be shy. People who don’t have the guts to say what they think, especially when it can help someone or prevent something bad from happening, usually live quiet lives of despair.

“You’ll never get what you deserve in life if you...

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Somethings Never Change.

Uncategorized Nov 19, 2018

The Smithsonian magazine reported recently that archaeologists uncovered an ancient Roman bathroom, decorated with suggestive mosaics, meaning dirty jokes were built right into the walls. Just like bathroom humor has been around since the dawn of time, there are many things that never change, even in today’s fast-paced, always-on, hyper-connected society.

For example, your patients will always want to know certain things from you before they buy, before they refer, before they pay in full, etc.

Each year, Jeff Bezos and Amazon ask, “What do we know about the consumer that never changes?” This is an extremely telling secret hidden in plain sight. The world’s #1 disrupter of many industries is not asking, “What’s new and always changing?” He has thousands of software engineers and towers filled with experts who can keep up with the day-to-day details of running the world’s biggest online retail firm. Instead of focusing on...

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Know Thyself.

Uncategorized Nov 19, 2018

One of the most difficult tasks I face as a coach and consultant is helping doctors better understand what it is they want and who they want to become. It’s also the most rewarding part of my job. Erich Fromm said, “Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become who he potentially is.”

I’ve spent private coaching days with hundreds and hundreds of doctors and small business owners from all walks of life. Often, these clients walk out of the room with an entirely different mindset and clarity of thought, able to implement new strategies with renewed energy and enthusiasm. They leave with a vivid image of what they want to achieve in life. Sometimes, however, doctors struggle to “give birth” to themselves. They can’t see their own potential.

I’ve been doing this long enough to understand the difference between the doctors who quickly double or triple the size of their practice, those who...

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Belief and Doubt.

Uncategorized Nov 19, 2018

One of the best television commercials in history only aired one time. In it, a young girl is shown in a field, picking pedals from a flower she holds in her hand. As she pulls off each pedal, she counts and then drops them to the ground. The commercial starts off warm and makes viewers smile, but just before she reaches the final count, she looks up at the camera with a suddenly worried expression.

The camera quickly zooms towards her face as a man’s voice starts counting backwards from the number ten. When he reaches the number zero, the camera has zoomed all the way into the young child’s worried eye and the scene abruptly cuts to a series of atomic bomb mushroom clouds. President Lyndon Johnson’s voice speaks over the images of nuclear catastrophe.

“These are the stakes,” he says, “to make a world in which all of God’s children can live, or to go into the dark. We must love each other, or we must die.”

An announcer’s voice...

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Carry More Tools.

Uncategorized Oct 04, 2018


You’ve probably heard me repeat the following proverb many times: “To a man with only a hammer, every problem tends to look pretty much like a nail.”


Unfortunately, hearing care is a narrow professional doctrine and liable to suffer from man-with-hammer thinking. I’ve witnessed this in my own practices and in those of the practices I coach.

The most-successful hearing care professionals study broadly outside our own narrow doctrine. It’s one of many reasons I went on to get my MBA and have condensed and distilled the most critical lessons for my clients in my monthly training program called Loud and Clear Marketing Program.


There are two reasons why doctors don’t study the big, useful concepts from other disciplines:

  1. They don’t think they have the time.
  2. They have a perceived need to stay within the narrow discipline, studying more and more audiology.


If the only problems and challenges in your practice...

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Uncategorized Oct 04, 2018

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters to ever play professional baseball. PBS and Major League Baseball recently aired a special documentary about Williams and his last four plate appearances at Fenway Park.

For the last six decades, every single frame of film documenting Williams and his last at bat ever, where he hit his final of 521 home runs and refused to acknowledge in any way the standing ovation by thousands of screaming Red Sox fans, has been watched in black and white.

That’s why Nick Davis, the director of the new documentary, almost fell out of his chair when a stranger named Bill Murphy called him and said he had vivid color film footage from the 1960 ballgame, where he roamed around the stadium and captured all four of Williams’ last at bats with his 8-millimeter color film camera.

Murphy was a 19-year-old art student at the time. He wasn’t a big fan of baseball but felt the last game of one of...

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Different Not Better.

Uncategorized Oct 04, 2018

For many years now, I’ve taught doctors it’s best to position their practices as different not better. Consumers cannot judge whether your treatment is better or not until after the fact, so you might as well get on with the task of showing them how your office is different and solves problems that others are either unwilling or unable to solve.


Consumers assume you’re going to provide great quality, otherwise why even show up? Because they’re curious about what goes on in an audiology practice? I think not.


Have you ever taken your family out to eat with the premise that you’re all going to get food poisoning. I didn’t think so.


Your prospective new patients come to you because they’ve heard about you from a friend or relative, perhaps their doctor recommended you or maybe they just want to know if now is a good time for their to treat hearing loss and you were on the list of insurance providers, close to...

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On Competition and Circumvention.

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2018

This weekend on the way home from one of our distant offices I was visiting, I listened to an interesting segment on NPR about competition in healthcare. Two economists were quoting Milton Friedman. That’s a quick way to get my attention. If you haven’t read Friedman, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

One of the economists has made it his life mission to take down the California Medical Association and their anti-competitive stance on nurse practitioners. With nearly 20% of our GDP going to healthcare, you can expect more of these debates and you can expect them to get louder.

Friedman wasn’t and isn’t the only economist who favored elimination of medical licensure. The problem with assuming competition in healthcare will drive down costs and increase quality, as nearly every industry has witnessed through increased competition, is that consumers have no worldly idea what they are going to pay for specific procedures when they go to a...

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The Way Forward.

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2018

On a recent monthly coaching call, an exceptionally bright client and successful audiologist in California asked me what are the key characteristics of my top students. It’s a smart question. One I imagine Munger or Buffett might ask of a leader in any worthwhile organization.

At the top of my list, resting on four or five other characteristics, was the fact that the most successful members of AuDExperts are curious and often stand alone in their desire to grow.

Where friends and colleagues often shun or refute basic marketing, management and employee engagement strategies, my top clients turn over every stone, looking for clues, testing, measuring and adapting. In other words, they behave exactly the opposite as the average doctor and small business owner. And, more importantly, they really don’t care what their peers think or have to say about it.

These doctors are clearly the minority.

Kierkegaard said, “Truth always rests with the minority …...

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Perception and Reality.

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2018

Geraint Thomas won the 2018 Tour de France, becoming the first Welshman to take the top prize. I stopped watching the Tour several years ago, for the most part, because of the doping scandals that continue to reappear and the wide disparity in the funding of the top one or two teams and everyone else. Chris Froome, last year’s winner and Sky teammate of this year’s winner, tested positive for excessively high amounts of the asthma drug salbutamol last December. Not shocking.

Outside my usual observation of competitive strategy and tactic, I took away one huge gleaming pearl on how the world works and it came in the most unusual and least expected ways while watching the Tour. In the middle of the week, Froome, the same knucklehead who has admitted to doping, was “wearing a dark gray rain jacket over his racing jersey and was yanked off his bike by a police officer who mistook him for a fan riding the course.” Brilliant.

The leader wears a yellow...

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