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About Philippa Kennealy

Philippa Kennealy MD MPH CPCC PCC is The Entrepreneurial MD Business Coach who wants to help you build your business!
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Tuesday
Jan092007

Ten Entrepreneurial Adventures for Physicians for 2007

1-9-07safari.jpg

One of my personal core values is Adventure/"the wilds"/unraveling mystery. This means that I thrive on not knowing what each day has in store for me, imagining all kinds of possibilities, and of feeling both stimulated and slightly apprehensive.

As most of us tend to do, I reflected on the good, the bad and the indifferent events of last year. I also spent time thinking about each coaching client I am currently working with - what he or she is engaged in. And it struck me that each one is willingly undertaking an adventure! 

In my January newsletter article, I have listed ten of the adventures that they're either in the midst of or are embarking upon this year.

They are not engaging in their first triathlon, going back to school for an MBA, or taking an African safari. At least as far as we yet know!

In place of pith helmets, cameras and binoculars, they are equipping themselves with curiosity, the desire to learn, and the willingness to break routines. 

Here is the list of their top ten adventures. They are:

  1. No longer tolerating the nonsense. Instead they're speaking up for what they want.
  2. Discovering what the people they serve REALLY want.
  3. Loosening up on that old identity
  4. Getting to know their own value.
  5. Getting serious about their hobby.
  6. Getting uncomfortable
  7. Getting tech savvy
  8. Discovering a treasure box of resources to support them out there.
  9. Thinking MUCH bigger.
  10. Thinking smaller but don’t lose sight of the prize.

Read the full article here.

What adventures are you planning for yourself this year? I'd love to hear more about them!

Sunday
Jan072007

What lessons did your newpaper route teach you about entrepreneurship?

10-31-06helpinghand.jpg

Business Intelligence Lowdown has browsed the childhood experiences of a number of successful entrepreneurs and extrapolated from their stories some common themes about the lessons they learned as young children "from the lemonade stand". Even though most of the lessons are common sense, they bear repeating. After all, it IS the season for starting afresh with the best intentions.

The 101 lessons are categorized as:

  • Self before service is the key here – Manage yourself first…
  • Time and tide wait for no man – Manage each moment …
  • The human side of resources - Master the art of managing men…
  • Make every penny count - Managing money pays…
  • Just do it – Managing tasks takes talent…
  • Sourcing sources – Manage resources resourcefully…
  • They are the reason your business exists – Manage customers confidently…
  • Change is inevitable - Manage critical and chaotic crises…
  • Aims and aspirations - Manage objectives objectively…

Here are a few of my favorites:

3. Ignore the naysayers. Remember the story of the frogs in the well? If you don’t…Two frogs fell into a dry well and the other frogs took it for granted that they would die in there. When both attempted to jump their way out, the frogs outside discouraged from expending their energy on a hopeless task. Listening to them, one frog gave up his attempts. But the other made it out through his determination and single-mindedness. When asked how he made it in spite of the negative attitude of his fellow frogs, the survivor replied that he was deaf, and that he had thought the other frogs were cheering him on as he tried to get out of the well. Shows what a profound effect a positive outlook can have.

34. Keep your eyes and ears attuned to the sight and sound of creative and innovative ideas; you never know when the mail-room boy might have a brainwave that could revolutionize the way you conduct your business.

57. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish – save costs where they matter the most. Look at the far horizon rather than just the immediate savings realized. When you compromise on the quality of tools and resources used, you end up paying more in the long run. 

58. A dollar saved is a dollar earned – spend only when it’s really necessary.

63. Make quality a top priority, even in the smallest and most insignificant operations. You don’t want to be faced with the snowball effect. Remember the "For the want of a nail" lesson? A whole country is lost because a simple nail was not available in the right place at the right time.

74. Invest in technology, not the latest and most innovative, but the applications and machinery that suit your organization’s needs.

75. Update your tools as and when needed; don’t get stuck with obsolete stuff that’s good only for the junk pile.

77. Impress them (your customers) not just with goods and services, but with value added to your offerings. Differentiate your products from those of your competitors and watch your customers coming back for more.

93. Dream big, think mountains, only then can you achieve at least molehill success.

94. Dreams alone are not enough, you have to work to make them come true. Chart out a course of action that will get you closer to your goal each day.

95. And it’s not sufficient to just plan and strategize, you have to implement your designs. Put that plan into action, it’s the daily grind that matters in the realization of the dream.

96. Know who matters and who does not, and what matters and what does not. Acquaint yourself with the right people who can assist you in achieving your target faster and more effectively.

101. Put in place an R&D plan, encourage innovation and creativity to stay ahead of the demand for newer and better products and services.

Thursday
Jan042007

The Best of "Health Affairs" 2006

HACvrNew.gifBack in my MPH student and then hospital CEO days, I loved reading articles from Health Affairs - I always considered it a thoughtful and intelligent journal, not too erudite or stuffy! Some of the foremost thinkers in healthcare have been published over the years, and have grappled with the apparently insoluble problems of healthcare access, quality and affordability.

I was delighted to discover the Health Affairs Blog recently and signed up right away to receive posts. I don't always have time to read them, but when I do, my thoughts usually go to the place of "Which bright mind will be sparked sufficiently by these articles to use his or her creativity and energy to get us out of our healthcare mess?" 

To celebrate the start of their 25th year of publication, Health Affairs is offering readers the opportunity to read the top 25 articles of 2006 - or at least the most read - for the next two weeks.

I bring this to your attention in the desperate hope that someone out there reading the articles will be hit with a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious) or an idea so innovative and uncomplicated that they will be forced to drop what they are doing right away, and launch a hugely successful entrepreneurial venture to save us from our own ridiculously complex and broken healthcare system!

Any takers?

Wednesday
Jan032007

Why I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions any more

1-3-07mountainstream.jpgI have found myself unusually resistant to the idea of creating New Year's "resolutions" this year, and it took a conversation with a coaching client today for me to understand my opposition.

There was something dutiful and firm and ...well, resolute .... in her voice as she outlined her resolutions for 2007. The work sounded onerous!

And suddenly it hit me.

A Resolution springs from a place of being at war - of having to conquer and overcome the Self with its inherent "laziness", "ignorance" or inertia. Kind of like expecting a running stream to magically divert itself from a low-resistant course carved over years, and hew a new path against gravity over the top of a rock!

So what word would be a better substitute?

The one I landed on was "intention" with a particular Webster's definition of "clearer formulation or greater deliberateness". I love the idea of greater clarity and of deliberation. What immediately sprang to mind was the image of an intention gently but firmly inserting itself into the flow of my being and my mind and slowly wearing away at the rock of my resistance, allowing change to become an organic process from the inside out. No longer an rough and rigorous intruder, but a welcome light-hearted companion.

It may seem somewhat semantic to be playing with these words, but it's the different sensibility that really appealed to me. Instead of trying to force ourselves into new behaviors, how much more palatable would it be to create mental images of ourselves achieving our desired results, thereby "reprogramming" our brains to develop a higher awareness of how we make choices, or a better recognition of opportunities that might arise to help us succeed? This is what champion athletes do, with their pre-game or pre-event mental rehearsals.

Here then are my intentions for 2007 (and I'm busy rehearsing my experience of getting the desired results while I write!):

  • I intend to help make your path to entrepreneurship as well-informed as I am able.
  • I intend to keep my eyes and ears attuned to your needs, as my physician audience that is hungry to feel engaged, appreciated and creative at work.
  • I intend to continue having a much fun as I can building my business and enjoying my work.
  • I intend to find ways to leverage my use of time, to reach and impact the lives of more people with less effort.
  • I intend to learn as much as I learned in 2006 (which was a LOT), because I love how I feel when I have mastered a new skill.
  • I intend to take even more risks, and act with boldness. 

I'd love to hear your take on Resolutions, and if you have any special Intentions!

Monday
Jan012007

What do YOU want for 2007?

1-1-07newyear.jpgIn my youth and early adulthood, I used to find the whole New year's experience quite depressing - filled with "rah rah" cheer and partying that felt urgent and falsely hearty!

So imagine my relief when, about 15 years ago, I discovered a truly joyful alternative - a dinner my husband and I loved preparing at home, to celebrate with a bottle of champagne (am a sucker for good French champers) and a few friends.

 And woven into the tapestry of the 31st and the 1st was some reflective time - to appreciate the past year's challenges, learnings and fun, and to anticipate and plan the next year.

Now I'm not a heavy-duty planner, as too much of my life has occurred as a result of a lack of planning - and it has mostly been very good! But as a business owner and as someone who stands for living life in all its fullness, I've come to appreciate the value of a touch of planning.

As an admirer of Kristi T's Home Business Blog, I was inspired by reading her recent post on Planning for a Profitable 2007, and I wanted to share it with you. 
 
I have taken the liberty of adapting her post for you, my physician entrepreneur audience, in the hope of encouraging you to follow suit.

Answer as many of these questions as you feel apply to you, and I believe you'll be on the right path to organizing your business and personal growth activities for the New Year!

BUSINESS PLANNING


What is the “theme” for your practice or business in 2007? Is it "Update, Update" or "Patients always come first" or "Our employees are our best customers"?
What are the new services and even products that you will develop this year? Could it be a self-care manual, an educational offering, or a new technique you get training to perform?
Where can you cut expenses in 2007?
What business activities will you drop to make room for new growth? Is it an unprofitable contract, doing OB, or providing service to less than ideal clients or patients?
What tasks that you now handle yourself are you willing to outsource next year?
Do you need to, and can you, raise rates?
After reviewing your income streams for 2006, which 3 were the most profitable for you?
How can you take those top 3 revenue streams to the next level next year?
What systems can you invest in or create to simplify your business? Is this in billing, accounting, customer service, selling, or marketing?

MARKETING PLANNING


What do you need to learn, to market successfully?
Where can you strengthen/improve your marketing for next year?
What are your top 3 marketing strategies you will focus on next year? Is it networking, requesting referrals, direct mail, joint venture, affiliate marketing?
What media outlets will you target to get publicity for your business? Will you write articles for your local paper, or sponsor a community event?
What keep in touch strategies will you use for relationship marketing with your customers or patients? Will that be sending birthday cards, writing and mailing or e-mailing a monthly newsletter, or learning how to use an autoresponder?
What professional organizations would be best to join, to align with your business goals and reach your audience? Is that your local Chamber of Commerce, a community organization, or a committee or board on which you can swerve?
What events and seminars do you want to attend for networking?
What new marketing collateral do you need to develop?  Will it be a blog, a newsletter, a brochure, a series of postcards, articles, speeches, free reports, teleseminars, or free workshops?
What existing marketing materials need updating?


PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

In what ways can you enhance your performance through personal development to achieve more:
   - time management?
   - financial management?
   - goal setting?
   - focusing your actions?
   - overcoming limiting beliefs?
What business books would you like to read?
What professional skills would you like to develop?
Which mentors would you like to learn from?
In what ways can you enhance your office (and your home office) to make it more inspiring, organized, and efficient for you?

Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to show up on your computer regularly.

I wish you a very happy New Year, and may 2007 be THE year - the one during which you ask the big questions, perform with pride and cherish the moments of your life in all their variety!