In life, setbacks are inevitable. Some may be within your control, but many others will be out of your hands entirely. These setbacks can sometimes feel insurmountable and overwhelming when running your own medical practice.
What matters in the end, however, isn’t the setbacks. It’s how you react to them. To illustrate, let me regale you with a tale of two business owners (and mindsets) — Mr. Victim and Mr. Victor.
On the Day of the Setback
Mr. Victim and Mr. Victor each suffered large setbacks.
Mr. Victim is mired in self-pity. “Why did this happen to me? This is so unfair!” he laments.
Mr. Victor is pissed. “Well, this blows,” he thinks. “I need a stiff drink tonight.”
Three Days Later
Mr. Victim hasn’t slept well during the past few days. He took umbrage at an advisor who said, “Put your emotions aside and consider the best path forward.” He doesn’t care, Mr. Victim thinks. He doesn’t understand. He’s comforted by friends who tell him, “You’re a victim.” They get it, he thinks. He feels satisfied that others see it his way.
Meanwhile, Mr. Victor put in a good workout yesterday to clear his mind. Although he’s upset, he knows the setback was not his fault. Moreover, he understands that while strong emotions can be unavoidable in the moment, they don’t help address the problem. So he’s thinking about the path forward now.
Five Days Later
Mr. Victim can’t focus on his business — he’s too focused on himself. He’s frozen, unable to get past the fact that he has to fix a problem he didn’t create. I’m a good person, he thinks. Why is the world so unfair?
Mr. Victor talked to two trusted advisors last night. He’s come up with a few solutions; one is elegant. It offers him a way out with a minimal loss. He feels optimistic.
One Week Later
An entire week of heightened stress is making Mr. Victim short-tempered. He’s fighting with his wife. His employees are working aimlessly, unsure what to do. The next few months will be rough for everyone. Although he’s a capable person, he’s largely self-consumed. This is how life usually goes for Mr. Victim.
Mr. Victor put his plan into action. He brought in the stakeholders, laid out a win-win scenario, and steadied the ship. It’s not how he wanted things to turn out, but he will not suffer serious losses. The upside is that his employees are impressed. The team has fully bought into Mr. Victor’s leading by example.
Victim vs. Victor: Which Are You?
Within a week, Mr. Victim and Mr. Victor are now on completely different paths. The victim mindset is incredibly powerful, reaffirming, and limiting. You can’t control everything that happens in business and life, but you can control how you respond — will you be the victim or the victor?
As a doctor, you have many responsibilities dedicated to your patients, your family, and yourself. They are all stakeholders in your decision-making process. As you navigate through tough situations, remember that you have a choice — this choice influences those important to you.
That choice will determine whether you are beholden to a zero-sum view of the world or an abundance mindset. It reaffirms that you understand that you are not defined by your setbacks but by how you respond to them.
If you’re in a bind and need seasoned counsel for your medical practice, book some time with me — I can help you examine your responses and how they affect your business to find the best path forward.