Clinic Changes, Please Read…

Purehealth Clinic has now been going for almost 14 years. Can you believe that! It started in a tiny room in a fitness centre, evolved into a full-blown naturopathic clinic in Lancashire and, since then, has been largely a home office and online business. So, now it is about to change again!

I took the tough decision 18 months ago to stop taking on new patients to effectively reduce my case load.  What has actually happened is that I am just as busy as I ever was with giving support by email, via reports, on the blog etc! Oops. I can’t seem to stop being so helpful ;).

It’s simple maths: there is only one of me and thousands of you and I simply can’t keep up with everything. I have to make some choices. Currently, I get almost 200 emails a day, do the tests, reports, case reviews, the massive amount of work those generate, spend much of my time researching, then writing blog posts (this last one took me just over 4 hours to read, digest and write-up, for example), articles, resources, ebooks etc etc etc. Phew, I am exhausted just reading that list, let alone doing it all! Let’s face it, I will be no good to any of you in a heap on the floor 😉

‘Tis my own fault. Most people who author a book don’t say “here’s my email if you need me;” they’d be inundated. Many of my experienced and busy colleagues hide their contact details; it’s just taken me a while to realise why, dur! This will be the third time I have tried to cut the work down and it always creeps back up. Lovely compliment, thank you, but I clearly am too soft to just do ‘a bit’. The bit always grows as I can’t help helping! It basically means I am surrounded by tons of things to research, write and do but they sit there and sit there and sit there, staring at me accusingly.

So, things have gotta change and I will need to be tougher with myself. Being totally honest, P has been nagging me to lower my workload and stress levels for some time: he’s worried about me, bless him. And, I have to say, for the first time in ages, I do actually feel overwhelmed by it all. I have a massive capacity for work but it’s even beaten me!

So, what can we do?

Honestly, I have no idea yet. I’m terrified of how I will pay my bills – I’m the main breadwinner and the vast majority of my income comes from 1-1 work. But, I have always believed that, if what you are doing is helping people, things have a way of working themselves out. Ever the optimist ;). I may come screaming back looking like a hobo, having dined on cat food for a month.

No more 1-1…

Clearly, I can’t continue to do everything. I don’t want to take on staff with premises again really because I would then still not have time to do the other work; I’d be managing a clinic, staff, therapists, mentoring, admin etc again (which I loved, actually, so I have toyed with the idea more than a little; perhaps later on when all the resources are done). So, after 14 years of full time practice, I am hanging up the 1-1 consultation hat in a bid to, as they say: ‘work smarter’.

It’s the 1-1 work, now that cases are much more complex, that really takes the time. There is a HUGE amount of work that you don’t see (quite rightly) that goes on behind the scenes before I answer one of your emails/respond to a call/see you. I have to read previous correspondence, look at test results, put you into context, consider your questions – and there are usually a lot of them 😉 – and then consider the reply in your specific type of case, write the response, add any links to resources, check it for safety, accuracy etc etc etc.

After that, I have to file the response so I can find it again and add any notes to remind me of what I was thinking in your case. I do charge for some of that time, but I never get chance to do anything else. That’s why it has to be the 1-1 work. I think, realistically, it is a choice between doing all consultation work or none at all. I’ve tried it the first way. I’ve tried doing a bit and cutting down. It hasn’t worked, so now I’m trying none. Gulp.

Anyway, many people are coming to the realisation that traditional so-called ‘Bums on Seats’ clinics are not a very smart way to work. There are only so many ‘bums’ you can, er, fit in, and we should be hitting many more people with targetted information and encouraging self-help. Anyway, if you do want 1-1 help, there are plenty of people you can go and see. Just not me, for now.

I’m not saying it’s forever; I may miss you and fling myself weeping and lonely back into consultation work in future, but, for now, I am going to concentrate on research, spreading the TGF word and the provision of the resources we all need to get well.

Helping each other…

I will still be here on the blog to chat with you in comments and I may set up a forum or Purehealth Facebook group so we can all help each other. I will act as moderator as and when I can. I may also hold some online Support Days, Blog Q&As or physical events on an ad hoc basis; we’ll see how it pans out. I’m not going to completely disappear!

Plans and Resources…

Essentially, you have a ton of resources on the Purehealth site and on here in almost 800 posts!! And, part of me giving up the consultation work is so I can review and augment the Purehealth site pages for you, adding extra resources I think might be useful. I have been trying to get to that job for over 2 years! I will be SO pleased to get to, say, prostate problems, the thyroid book, the preconception plan etc. Judging from the response to the Adrenal and Gut plans, you like what I’m producing and they are really helping. I also get very few queries from them because I made them so comprehensive – result!

Testing, testing…

I will continue to run the testing service for you. 

Other nutritionists…

In terms of other people to see, I will try and recommend people for you if I come across any I think are particularly good at a specific subject and list them for you. Otherwise, you can find people at www.bant.org.uk (general, biggest body, all types of nutritionist) or www.nna-uk.com, where you will find naturopathic nutritionists, like me, or functional medicine practitioners at www.functionalmedicine.org. In reality, I am a sort of mix between naturopathy and functional; a naturopathic nutritionist (all about the gut, detox, re-establishing equilibrium) but using functional testing to help target that.

That’s all I have worked out for now! If you have any ideas or advice, very welcome!

Meantime, I am sorry if this inconveniences anyone – it’s for the greater good of all of us and me, of course! – and please help each other out in comments/the forums etc as and when I launch them. I’m sorry it’s a bit sudden. I will finish what I have in my inbox and then start the new approach from then.

Thanks for your understanding, friendship and support. To the next clinic era…fewer bums but more of you helped!

18 Replies to “Clinic Changes, Please Read…”

  1. Well good luck Micki in all that you do for the future and you are right we can’t all keep going like express trains forever – your health also must come first as does your partner and also your sanity!

    1. Thanks, Janet, think I lost my sanity years ago, though! Must admit to getting up this morning with a sense of relief! But, see, I am still here; not gone too far!

  2. A victim of your own success then Micki. A nice problem to have, but a problem all the same. I feel better now I know it wasn’t just me 😉

    I know what you mean, my business has gone from strength to strength and yet I’m still running to firefight each day rather than do the strategic things I need to do. I have new shop software, I’ve had it for two years and like you, I’ve no time to actually set it up, so I limp on with the old. And I have an assistant part time now too!

    Good luck. You are brave to chop out the main revenue generating part. I don’t think I could stop, but I applaud you for your bravery.

    1. Of course it wasn’t you, you nana! Just add your emails up and times by 100 and you;re about right ;). You are doing well, too, then. Why don’t you tell everyone what your business is – is unusual! Well done on getting an assistant. I have tried it but it didn’t work out apart from P who knows the business well but he is well busy in his voiceover work nowadays. I wrote to a colleague last week and their new ‘inbox manager’ replied on their behalf – I thought: gotta get me one of those! How the heck that works, goodness only knows! Thanks for your support, Sue. I’ve not gone too far 🙂

      1. Harder for you to have an assistant because what you sell is knowledge. My assistant comes in, goes up to the packing room and fulfils the daily orders. She moves stock about (we both do that). She keeps her eye on packaging materials and gives me lists when we need more and she is crafty, so she comes up with innovative ways to sell to different markets. You can’t really have that sort of assistant. And still I’m struggling for time.

        Yes, my business is fairly unusual! I import and sell lots of different types of tape, from beautiful sparkly tapes to vehicle safety tapes and industrial tapes. And I love what I do. Just wish I had more room! http://www.fancy-tapes.co.uk. It’s been hard to keep up with it whilst suffering these adrenal and thyroid issues, but I have managed it and the future is bright (crosses fingers).

        I am about to order vitamin and mineral level retest kits. Will the results still come with a bit of guidance as to what needs supplementing or reducing?

  3. Ah, yes, bit different when stuff is coming out of your head and from 20-odd years of experience, hadn’t thought of it like that.

    Re tests, I will still do the test reports but I won’t be doing the specific case stuff. In other words, I will tell people what the test results mean and make the usual recommendations but I won’t be looking back at case histories and giving specific patient Rx help. Anything general I will do. Anything case specific I won’t otherwise I’ll be off again – that’s what happened last time. You answer one question and 17 more come back! My general rule I have made for myself is if I have to look back at notes, it is case specific and therefore 1-1 consultation which I’m no longer doing. Hope that makes sense.

  4. Applause, applause, applause ! ! ! Well done you for listening to your own advice and cutting back and actually get back to living a life ! ! I think one of the hardest things to do in life is to say NO ! ! It’s taken me almost a lifetime to be able to say it out loud and I must say it’s very liberating ! I have always valued the work you do and the information you give Micki. for which I thank you. All the very best of luck with this new adventure, and, like you, I believe the right thing for you will just fall out from this change, very clearly – just give it a bit of time !
    With love and luck for the future Micki. Sylvia x x x

    1. Bless you, Sylvia, thank you. Feeling a bit terrified, relieved and tearful with the lovely supportive messages this morning. I am truly blessed.

  5. Make sure you stick to your plans!
    You helped me enormously when I retired nearly nine years ago. Since then I have benefited from your monthly newsletters and put much of your advice into practice, as well as passing info on to friends and family.
    So – many thanks for all you have done, but so pleased that you will still using your considerable skills to benefit more people. All the best for a more manageable work life balance in the future.
    Kind regards
    MW

  6. The biggest downside of working alone is that no one tells you how good you are or if you are appreciated. I had a mini strop with my main supplier the other week. I’ve been his sole European distributor for around 6 years and spent more ££’s with him than I can imagine. Suddenly (he was having a bad day) he emailed to say he was fed up of the hoop tape business and just wanted to sell the higher value, less hassle safety tapes and be done with the lot of us! I told him how much I didn’t appreciate that comment and how difficult it was working on my own most of the time with not enough space and customers who expect everything “NOW!”, threats of competition often rearing their heads and how I needed a pat on the back sometimes.

    He was very contrite. Now today, you see that people do value your work and what you have done for them, and want you to have a good life too. Personally you were the only person who held out hope to me when I was diagnosed with the AF, none of the doctors I saw, including the cardiologist, could offer more than suggest I hoped it didn’t happen too often and that I could take beta blockers and aspirin if I wanted! You just got straight down to it and suggested magnesium and I know that has helped immensely. That alone was worth becoming a client. The rest has been about teaching me how to take control of my own health and how to use testing to learn what needs correction. Only by stopping doing something and standing back to take stock can we see the way forward.

    1. Very true, Sue. It fascinates me actually that no-one before me had suggested magnesium deficiency for atrial fibrillation – I find it’s quite common and often helps, even if it isn’t the only factor involved. Glad to help. And thanks for your supportive comments – I am gradually calming the panic down now and getting the inbox down slowly!

  7. Micki that’s brave, sensible and sets an example to all of us who have the continual habit of taking on too much :)! I feel very privileged to have found you three years ago when my health took a complete nosedive and to have experienced the most enlightened one to one care I have ever received. I too have continued to refer to your valuable resources and shared with friends & family (when they are prepared to listen 🙂 ). Finding you kickstarted my path to self help which I have asked for from GPs over the years but never came close to getting it. I have only needed to see my GP twice in that time compared to the boomerang appointments I had for many years previously. Between us we must have saved the NHS a pretty penny over that time!!
    Having a hugely better understanding of how my diet and body interact has cleared the fog so I am now better able to understand the other stressors in my life that affect my health – and taking on too much is one of those …. I too am learning to say the word ‘no’ though! And, as you refer to above it’s liberating! I have yet to learn to say ‘yes’ to the right things though rather than to those I feel I ‘should’ do! But always work in progress:)!
    All the very best to you in your next phase of streamlining and, yes, we all want our Micki in tip top form to carry on your fabulous work – so whatever that takes I’m fully supportive of. X

    1. That’s so lovely, Clare, thank you. I have been quite overwhelmed by all of the supportive messages! I am really pleased I was able to help and move you forward when you needed me. A lot of people have said that I actually believed them when they started telling me their stories. It always makes me smile as it never occurred to me not to; I’ve heard much of it several times before! All docs have to do really is listen and believe.

      Thanks for your support and I promise to get into tip top form as fast as possible! Funnily enough, my mind absolutely went on shut down the very next day and I have spent pretty much the whole bank holiday weekend lying on my (admittedly very tacky but So comfy) hammock in the garden shade, reading complete tosh. Pure bliss, Back in the saddle tomorrow and raring to go again now. Next phase: bring it on!

  8. From H: Really sorry we’re going to be “losing” you as you were always there as my safety net, but I understand completely what you are saying!

Leave a Reply