6 Reasons for the Fear of Selling in Healthcare

Last week I ran my first webinar in my Health Business Masterclass series. We had over 70 registrations which I was pretty happy with considering it was the first time we were educating healthcare and wellness industry professionals on how to grow their business.

I’d also received some good feedback about the content that I presented and received interest from a few people who wanted to talk to me further about my Health Leaders Mastermind program. It’s a program that coaches CEOs and business owners on how to maximise their opportunities and help them deal with the challenges in their business, under my mentorship.

It’s incredibly powerful, especially when other members help each other.

For some people, after listening to the webinar, you may be at a fork in the road. Go left, and you stay on the path you’ve always been with your business and expect the same results. Go right, and you explore the benefits of joining a Mastermind group, to help you accelerate your personal development and business success.

Either way, you live and you learn. And so I offered 30 minutes of my time to freely coach anyone with a health & wellness business, on opportunities to immediately improve their fate. And I know I do this very well.
One of the major issues I’ve seen in healthcare though is the fear of selling. Very often, practitioners are often reserved and almost apologetic when it comes to asking for a sale or even asking for payment.

There is a belief that “Selling” is inappropriate in healthcare, even when it clearly is not.

You see, in my opinion, we are selling all the time.

Selling, in a manner of integrity, is merely influencing another party to make a decision that you honestly believe is right for you and right for them. It is a win-win.

These situations occur all the time, every day, and we are constantly getting by in our daily routines, being sold products and services, etc. and buying those we need or want. We almost don’t give it a second thought when we go to the local supermarket or fuel station and the person at the counter asks us if we want to buy another item from the counter.

So why does this become an uncomfortable decision in healthcare? Especially when you, the practitioner, knows that your health solution can solve the problem or illness that your customer, client or patient may be suffering from?

I was speaking to my personal trainer the other day, and she said she found it difficult to ask for more than $65 per hour. She didn’t feel confident she was worth it. Even though, I mentioned to her that she was doing a great job and $70 per hour was the minimum I had seen other personal trainers charge in the local area.

So here are 6 of the main reasons I find some people fear “selling” in the healthcare and wellness industry:

1. Fear of rejection

Many people fear rejection and fear the client saying “no”. This fear is so bad that it stops the practitioner from even picking up the phone. In the practitioner’s mind, they have created every reason possible, why they should not be selling, why their product or service is not good enough, why something can go wrong in the call or they may offend the client by calling them.

This is sometimes reinforced by a past experience of rejection, perhaps in another context. Sometimes the fear of rejection is so strong that some practitioners choose to outsource the sales function, perhaps to a receptionist.
This is a good idea if the receptionist has a stronger sales background, but not a good idea if they too have a similar fear.

Other times some practitioners fear that they will lose the relationship with the client forever, if they called them out of the blue to inquire if they want to make another appointment. What these practitioners should realise is that additional sales (products consumed or services utilised) by your client, patient or customer actually strengthens the relationship and bond with them.

2. Lack of self worth

In certain cases, the fear of selling comes from a lack of self worth or self confidence. This occurs when the self esteem of the practitioner or health entrepreneur may be affected for any particular reason, such as a personal crisis or illness.

Or it could be a function of upbringing. This may then translate into inability to sell their service, even though it may be a great health service.

3. Poor History with money

There are some practitioners, CEO’s and even entrepreneurs who are unfortunately not very adept at managing money. Perhaps there is a history of struggling to make ends meet, bankruptcy, constantly being cheated financially or paying excessively for unnecessary items.
You usually know if you are or if you aren’t good at managing money. When this is the case, there is usually an underlying emotional charge attached to money, and it is a negative one.

This has to be dealt with, either through psychological coaching or energetically, to remove the limiting beliefs around money.

4. Lack of proper training

Certain healthcare practitioners who are not keen on selling have often been turned down many times due to their lack of ability in communicating the benefit of their service, in a way their patients or customers can understand.
Sales is a skill and it can be trained.

You can improve your communication skills and there are specific techniques you can use to open a call, close a call and make a sale. Your personal development in the area of sales and marketing is one of the greatest investments you can make in improving your communication with your patients.

5. Overextension of the “Self –sacrifice” mentality

Workers in the healthcare sector do sacrifice a lot to help others. It is commonly acknowledged that doctors and nurses work long hours and aren’t always highly remunerated, especially in the early years – I’ve experienced this first-hand.

This becomes a self-perpetuating prophecy in healthcare, where we actually start to believe that we have to sacrifice our livelihood or wellbeing or even personal relationships, etc in order to do our jobs.

This is not an accurate reflection of how it needs to be when it comes to the financial aspects of your health business. There are many healthcare businesses with owners that thrive, personally and professionally, and with plenty of free time to enjoy life. It does start with changing your mindset.

6. Conforming to social standards or peer pressure

One final reason some people fear the selling process is because others have told them it is not the right thing to do. It becomes almost a cultural industry understanding, that it is “not cool”, “not appropriate” or “not meaningful” to sell a health service.

I disagree with this notion completely – if you are genuinely wanting to help someone and know you can do it with your product or service, you should be able to sell well, and I would even argue that you are wasting your time and that of your client or customer if you have not learnt to do this properly.

If you are in a social circle that reinforces negative beliefs about selling, and there is a collective financial distress, I strongly suggest exploring if that social circle is right for you.

In the last Health Business Masterclass that I did, I pitched our Health Leaders Mastermind program. Whilst I did provide a significant amount of free education, at the end, I also ensured I SOLD the program and interestingly some people were interested in buying. It is the nature of providing a service, sales is a critical element to get right.

To me, I am comfortable knowing that my Health Leaders Mastermind program is one of the best solutions to help grow a business in this sector and I have absolutely no problem “selling it” because my program helps people. And it does it well.

Bottom line, is that we have to overcome these issues because as they say FEAR = False Expectations Appearing Real. Most of the time, we set false expectations of what other might be thinking without actually knowing what they are thinking.

And if we can actually summon the courage and overcome that fear, we not only help others, we also help ourselves.
What about you, have you ever experienced the ‘fear of selling’?

5 Biggest Mistakes CEOs of Not-for-Profit Organizations Make

Avi Ratnanesan: Hi there. I’m Dr. Avi and welcome to the next video blog from Energesse. Now today, I want to talk about the five biggest mistakes that non-profit CEO’s make particularly in the health and wellness industry. Now, why do I want to talk about the five biggest mistakes that CEO’s make? Mainly, it’s because I actually care about the non-profit industry. I actually really believe that the strategies, objectives, the tactics, and all the activities that non-profit organizations do are absolutely amazing. They do it at very low budgets. They’re able to care for others and run these amazing programs. They spend a lot of time and a lot of hard work in raising to develop and produce the programs for people that really can’t afford mainstream health care, so I’m really passionate about helping the non-profit sector.

My only issue is that in a lot of times, there are many management problems that occur in these organizations that can be easily solve, and a lot of time, the CEO’s of these organizations make a lot of mistakes, and particularly in my role, mentoring CEO’s of health care and wellness organizations, non-profit organizations. I see these mistakes happen a lot, so the purpose of this video is not to really criticize. It really is to try and help CEO’s in the sector and provide you with some information that can help you to improve your offerings and improve how you get your services out there to general public.

Okay, so here we go. The first mistake that I see in most of non-profit organizations is lack of a good strategy, and what do I mean by that? I actually mean, that very often the strategy is very desperate, so a lot of times, non-profits tend to move with what might be a good idea, or the time, or we try this last year, so this year, it can’t work all. We try this five years ago, and didn’t work so we’ll never do it ago. A lot of those things are very reactive and notice much proactive planning and strategizing with a lot of the activities that I see and non-profits CEO’s do in their organizations. Also throughout the year, was adaption is good? This tends to be a lack of focus and it tends to be completely split up, all the activities are become very desperate, and there’s no synergy behind the lack of the activities that these non-profit organizations are doing.

I see this problem is lack of focus, being probably my number one issue or problem that I’ve seen with non-profit organizations and the CEO’s, and so the solution for that is really to basically keep checking yourself and making sure at least on a monthly basis. At least on a monthly basis that you’re sticking to your strategy, so no matter what the hardship, you’re still overcoming or you’re sticking to that goal and most importantly, you’re sticking to the needs of the people that you need to serve. That’s what I would recommend, a solution, the main solution for, is lack of strategic focus. The second problem that I see at non-profit CEO’s, the second mistake that I see is this issue around mindset.

Now, very often when the non-profit sector, what goes on to the mindset of these CEO’s, is that because we are not for profit. It means that we should not make a profit, right? Then, that’s where I see a big issue, because when you say, we aren’t meant to make a profit, that also kind of means in a lot of times, we’re then to make a lost, and so this mindset then traverses throughout the whole organization where everyone in organization actually feels, “Okay, we’re not actually meant to make money, we’re meant to make a lost.” Therefore, these organizations then become not sustainable and going to financial trouble very soon after which is in really ashamed because in order for you to serve the greatest amount of people, you actually need to make a profit, you actually need to deliver value and make money in order to serve greater number of people.

It’s a non-profit organization, you still have to create a sustainable economic model. You still have to find a good way to make money, and that starts off with this mindset. I think with non-profit CEO’s what I would say, the solution for that is to really start changing the mindsets, just saying, “Yes, we still have to make a profit. We still have to deliver value, and the more value we develop, the more profit we make, the more we can give back to that population that we serve.” It doesn’t mean you have to reduce prices because that’s the first thing that goes through everybody’s minds. It’s okay, we’re going to raise prices, that incorrect. You can even have [inaudible 00:04:17] instructors where you can charge high prices for those that can afford it and charge lower prices or free service for those that can’t afford it.

There are different ways to shape your financial model, and your mindset really needs to start with a more positive mindset around making a profit, so that’s the second mistake I see. The third mistake I see is offering around strengths and working with your own personal strengths, so very often with non-profit CEO’s, I see them actually work on so many different things because they’re trying to manage everything under a tight budget, and they’re spending a lot time on the things that do not leverage their own personal strengths, and that is actually a waste of time and a waste of resources, because a lot of your time could be spent on the stuff that is your strength such as the sales, such as mapping activities, and going out to funders, is going out to sponsors, going out to donors.

Really, what you want to do is delegate those things that are not part of your strength, or delegate those activities that don’t really rely on your key skills, so the thing I would say, the solution for this I would say to non-profit CEO’s is actually really, really, really, spend time identifying your strength. Now, what is a strength? A true strength is something that when you do time flies. When you do this activity, you feel like you’re completely in the zone, so you want to make sure that most of your job and most of your time is spent working on your true strength, because that’s how you will find your greatness, and that’s how your organization will also find its greatness and serve the broader population.

Now, the fourth problem that I see very often in the non-profit sector or the mistake that I often see is with people, and unfortunately as to non and profit sector works with the lot of volunteers. I think that’s absolutely fantastic. It so great to see so many people giving up their time and volunteering to help others, and this is not just a board level, this is also at the level of actually service delivery. It’s absolutely amazing sector because of this reason, but every now and again, you do come across people that are volunteering their time, but because of their negativity, because of the lack of performance, the whole organization tends to fail. That energy, that negative energy tends to affect everyone around them.

In this point and often what goes with the head of this CEO’s of non-profits is started thing, “Oh well, the volatility of the time. We can’t really afford to hire anybody else, so we have to pull up with this,” and I think hears with enough of profit CEO’s are really need to make a very strong tough decision. If that person is bringing down the energy, even if they are volunteer, and they volunteer in the time, if they are bringing down the energy of other people around you, that is harmful to your organizational culture, and that is harmful to organizational results, and ultimately the people that you serve, so you really have to have the courage.

At that point, when you do identify someone who’s really underperforming, or really bringing down the culture of others, or has a tendency of negativity, you really have to have the strength and the courage to go look, “I’m sorry, but you are not a right fit for this organization,” and let them go, even though they are a volunteer. This could happen at any level. It could be a board level, it could be a managerial level, or even levels below that, so that’s a really important solution for that particular mistake that I’ve seen.

Last but the least, I also want to talk about the fifth biggest mistake that I’ve seen in a non or profit sector with CEO’s is a lack of systemizing your processes, very, very often. You find that your processes and the processes in your organization are very dispute. In fact, every often, there’s no SOP,, or standard operating procedures. There’s no document somewhere to even say, “Here is how we approach the donor. Here is how we approach the sponsor. Here is how we run our next charity program.” A step-by-step guide that just isn’t there. Particularly in organizations, we have high charity volunteers. With some volunteers might be there only for a few weeks or a few months, then a new person comes on board, and you need to train them all over again.

It just takes up so much time and so much effort, and very, very costly. Only if you could just systemized your processes, have these documents or standard operating procedures all there in one place, you would solve this problem, and every time you have this high sort of volunteers, that be able to just come, leave the document, have very minimal training, and just follow this step-by-step guide, so it’s absolutely critical. You have storage center online. We can have all these documents and process is systemized.

That cave for me, that’s the five biggest mistakes I’ve seen non or profit CEO’s. It’s a lack of strategy, it is not bringing on the right people, it’s an issue with mindset and thinking that we are supposed to make a lost and not make a profit, it’s around strengths and not working with your highest strengths, and again, around people as well and making sure that you make the tough decisions with people  in terms of bringing them on, and ensuring that the right people for your culture remain in the organization. Now, if you have any questions at all, just feel free to ping me below this video, or message me directly at www.energess.com.

I’m very happy to answer any questions that you have and as I said, I’d really love to help you make sure that you can deliver your services as best as possible to the people that you serve. Thanks very much. Good bye from me. I’m Dr. Avi. Bye.


Can Modern Medicine Integrate with Alternative Health?

Avi Ratnanesan:          Hello and kia ora, as they say in New Zealand.  I’m Dr. Avi and today I’m here to answer a very, very important question and that is, can modern medicine and the alternative health system as well as the wellness industry all work together to deliver better global health and well-being for you?

I’m very happy to say that the answer is yes, because in December of 2013 we brought together about 25 of the top health and wellness leaders from across Australia and New Zealand with international connections.  We work together to brainstorm how we can bring together modern medicine, the alternative health industry as well as the wellness industry, which includes fitness instructors, physical training, et cetera to develop the best health and wellness outcomes for the broader population.

What was really amazing, we found more in common than we found different amongst all of us.  What was really true from those workshops, which included CEOs of major research foundations, doctors from modern medicine, alternative health practitioners, people who run wellness organizations, it was a really broad spectrum of health and wellness leaders.  What was really amazing was that we actually came up with some very, very concrete objectives or concrete initiatives in order to drive this forward.

The workshops that we have really revealed some other top health and wellness challenges that are currently happening in the industry for people, but very, very fortunately in this workshop we also manage to come up with some of the best solutions in order to tackle this problem at a major level.  5 major initiatives came out from these series of workshops and I’d like to share them with you right now.

The first couple was around the fact that in order to develop a better healthcare system and in order to develop better integration between the alternative health, modern medicine and the wellness industry, which we’re calling integrated health, in order develop better integrated health, we really need to do a couple of things and one of those things is we need to focus on how we communicate with governments.  It was really interesting because governments obviously provide the reimbursement.  Governments obviously support initiatives that deliver better health outcomes and it was really important for all of us to coordinate how we actually communicate with government.

The second initiative that came out of that was around developing a global network.  There’s a lot of practitioners, a lot of specialists around the world that are currently working in the space of integrated medicine and they do it very well.  They realize that the best health and wellness comes from delivering health and wellness from the level of mind, body, and soul.  They’re actually currently delivering in their own organizations and this is happening all over the world, but there really isn’t a global network for this.

In terms of communicating with government and also bringing together a global network, particularly in the space of Austral-Asia.  I would like to very much thank, Genevieve Gilmore, who is now the CEO of the Australian Integrative Medicine Association for leading these initiatives in our region.  Genevieve is now a real powerhouse CEO who is now leading the Australian Integrative Medicine Association and she is actually taking on board some of these initiatives as part of her job description which is absolutely fantastic.

That’s the first couple of initiatives that came out of this global collaboration in health and wellness.  The second couple of initiatives came around the ideas that we really need to share and aggregate a lot of resources in an online platform in the space of integrated health and medicine.  We also found that we need to better collaborate in terms of the events and conferences that we’re currently producing in the integrated health space.

I’m very glad to say that Leslie Embersits, who is the CEO of the MINDD Foundation has decided to take on board these initiatives because they’re very much part of MINDD’s agenda and they’re already doing it at a very, very great level.  Leslie is coordinating all the collaborators that want to work in the space of aggregating online and aggregating conferences in the space of integrated health and medicine.  Congratulations Leslie for taking on board and responsibility.

The third initiative that’s really come out of these discussions is really the Health Leaders Mastermind.  The Health Leaders Mastermind is something that I’m coordinating under the banner of Energesse.  The Health Leaders Mastermind is really helping the economic and business side of integrated health practitioners that is doctors, allied health, alternative health as well as the wellness industry practice in order to grow themselves economically, so grow the organization from business level.

When they grow at a business level, they also can serve a broader number of people.  It was really interesting with the groups or the attendees that came to these workshops.  We had CEOs of health food, CEOs of the fitness industry, where there are great diaspora of the health and wellness industry and allow them realize that in order for us to bring our work and to share with broader people we also need to grow as our business is.  So the Health Leaders Mastermind is very much focused on that side of developing the health and wellness industry.

Those were the three major objectives or initiatives that came out when the 3 main leaders are taking on board these initiatives.  As I said, a lot more people were involved and we’re looking for more and more collaborators as well.

If you are interested in any of these initiatives, feel free to contact me in my website at www.energesse.com and I’ll answer to you in person.  Additionally, we can also feel free to subscribe to my blogs as we will keep you updated on an ongoing basis on where these initiatives are going, what projects are being developed and where we are doing our next few activities.

Thank you very much for listening.  Hope to hear from you soon and all the best from me.  I’m Dr. Avi, bye for now.

Who is the world’s most famous medical practitioner?

Type in “I am sick” into Google and you will find 499,000,000 search results. It’s no secret that many people go online today whenever they have a pain, illness or a medical symptom of any sort to try and ascertain what the diagnosis might be. It’s the easiest thing to do and can be done very quickly and for some people, they get the answers they need.

For others, many patients actually consult the world’s most famous medical practitioner – “Dr Google” even after they see their own doctor.  Often this is to understand more about their illness or what their doctor or health practitioner actually said to them. Occasionally, it is to find out all the side-effects of the drug they have just been prescribed or seek a second opinion, especially when they are in denial of their recent diagnosis, which is sometimes very understandable.

Approximately 25% of Australians regularly seek health information online. It is expected that this will increase as more people use the internet to supplement their doctor’s advice. The Victorian Government in Australia set up website to provide credible medical information that I find very useful. It reports that a 2010 Nielsen study showed that searching for health and medical information was among the top 10 internet activities for online Australians over 16 years of age.

Apart from the reasons mentioned above,  patients go online to find out about alternative medical treatments, which practitioners of modern medicine are often not aware of. This is a tricky scenario of people who are desperate yet find it hard to distinguish what is credible. Organisations like Unity Health are doing great work in this area, by developing a database of interactions, including with alternative therapies. Their platform is called IM Gateway.

  • Seek support from other internet users who have the same kind of medical disease or illness (via ‘chat rooms’, online discussion forums, blogs or communities, or social media such as Facebook)
  • Find relevant patient support groups or other healthcare services
  • Resolve conflicting health information.

Interestingly, while all drug companies have their ‘Consumer Medicines Information” and “Product Information” documents available online, they are not usually the most read documents when searching online. In fact, you are most likely to come across articles or blogs about the product from other patients as well as banner ads for competitor drugs.

I attended a bloggers conference last year and it was very clear that patients are very used to consulting “Dr Google” , they apparently really trust “Dr Blogger”.

What do I mean by this?

Well at a conference for bloggers last year called Healtivate, several speakers mentioned how many patients admittedly search online prior to coming in to their clinics. Some even have printouts from the pages they have conferred with and asked their practitioner questions about it.

However, while many patients do refer to factual information and statistics, there are those that particularly relate stories from other patients who have experienced the same condition, trying the same drugs, having the same emotional, mental and physical challenges in their own life.

In these situations, they are more likely to resonate with whatever has been advised by the blogger, rather than their own medical practitioner on some occasions. After all, there’s nothing the doctor can do once the patient has left the clinic.

This form of storytelling by ‘patient bloggers’ can be very useful and emotionally supportive for others in similar situations, however it can also be dangerous as whatever treatment that may work for one person, may not work for another. If taken out of context, medical advice from bloggers may translate to adverse consequences for other patients, who may have very different variations of their own medical condition.

I do believe we need more credible healthcare info online and it has to be easily found on search engines. I also do believe we should introduce storytelling into how we present that information, as it is a very powerful medium to resonate with patients, and it is far more interesting to read than list of facts and statistics.

The lesson here is that credible health experts or ‘thought leaders’ in healthcare need to get their message out there through blogs. They need to get good at disseminating their content online so they get solid traction from people needing that information. 

For example, an expert on childhood Diabetes should have an online presence that is easily found by parents who have children with diabetes, and provide the right information for them. This may include the different types of diagnosis, forms of treatment, potential complications etc. It should also be a ‘real person’ experience on how to deal with the day to day issues affecting someone suffering from diabetes.

I look forward to seeing expert health and wellness professionals stepping up their game to become the next Dr Blogger and get the word out on the best health choices; this is information that is much sought after by Dr Google.

Do you have a favourite online site for your health information?

Weekly Digest January 17, 2014

Modern medicine and its soul, reasons for joining a business mastermind, making profit in the healthcare business. Find it all below in our weekly digest.



Has modern medicine lost its soul?

I came across Dr Teo Tang’s story across Facebook. It shocked me and had a deep sense of resonance with me. Read about his final journey and what he has learned here.





Mastermind MeetingWhy the world needs a Business Mastermind for Health Leaders

In my experience, when you want to grow a business and you have multiple business leaders with a common set of issues, a business mastermind group in one of the best ways to solve it. Energesse now runs a Business Mastermind that is specifically for Health and Wellness Business Leaders. It’s an exciting initiative that you can read about here.






The cost of healthcareIs “profit” a bad word in healthcare?

In order to be a sustainable organisation long-term, you need good discipline in business and you need to be able to make money, or show a profit. Even a non-for-profit should be able to generate a profit, as long as it is reinvested into the organisation.




Has modern medicine lost its soul?

This week I came across a post on Facebook that shocked me whilst at the same time having a deep sense of resonance. It was about a successful millionaire cosmetic surgeon called Dr Richard Teo who surprisingly developed terminal Stage 4 lung cancer whilst in the peak of his health and career success.

It was a dreadful diagnosis for him, as at age 40, with a highly successful surgical practice, he was in the prime of his life. He was an avid gym goer and one day asked his friend and fellow doctor to perform a scan of his back, as he was suffering some minor back pain.

He thought it was a slipped disc from all the squats he was doing at the gym. It turned out to be tumour.

Several scans later, they found a lungful of secondary tumours, including in the brain, spine, liver and adrenal glands. He was given 3-4 months to live.

Dr Teo passed away in October 2012, but the post that I received on Facebook carried an important message from him. One that I wish to reflect and pass on.

He made a speech to a school full of dental students just days before he passed and recounted his story. It was an incredibly courageous speech as Dr Teo as he admitted to his deep desire to accumulate wealth, rather than care for patients.

Dr Teo was brave enough to share how he was attracted by the money in cosmetic surgery. His practice performing liposuctions, $15,000 breast augmentations and so on was prolific and he could barely keep up with demand, employing more and more doctors.

He commented on how vanity was a fantastic business. He did not see patients, he saw cheques and he had no interest in caring for them, he was numb to pain, only privy to material gain.

He talked about his Ferrari, joyrides to the Malaysian Grand Prix circuit, his social circle of millionaire internet founders, forex traders and bankers as well as stunning Miss Universes’. He was a long- standing academic achiever, amongst the best in the highly driven society of Singapore. Upon graduation, high achievement translated into financial success and in his mind, he had it all and money gave him the life that he thought he wanted.

In a way, I could resonate with this sentiment as I too had studied in the top academic institution in Singapore, Raffles Junior College, prior to studying medicine in the UK. And I could clearly observe the intense cultural pressures to perform at an ultra high standard academically as well as students being judged by material accomplishments, particularly the wealth of their parents.

Dr Teo’s attitude prevailed until that fateful day that he learnt he was not going to be around much longer, and money could not help him at all.

It was such a powerful revelation when Dr Teo, at this speech to dental students who were a few years away from being money-making machines themselves, educated the others on real joy.

Upon his diagnosis, Dr Teo realised that none of his material gains ever brought him real joy. He realised that he actually couldn’t handle all that wealth and it was only now that he could really feel for his patients, and truly understand what they were going though.

In life, he had lost his soul, but in facing death, he had found it again.

One story like this does not reflect on the state of practitioners of modern medicine. However, it did talk to a select few in the profession, particularly in the high-paying fields of medicine, who can no longer feel for their patients, but rather are driven by the financial returns that it brings them.

Here I would like to paraphrase Dr Teo’s own words of advice, and he says it best:

Everyone knows that they are going to die; every one of us knows that. The truth is, none of us believe it because if we did, we will do things differently. When I faced death, when I had to, I stripped myself off all stuff totally and I focused only on what is essential. The irony is that a lot of times, only when we learn how to die then we learn how to live.

So if I were to sum it up, I’d say that the earlier we sort out the priorities in our lives, the better it is. Don’t be like me – I had no other way. I had to learn it through the hard way.

Few things I’d learnt though:
1. Trust in the Lord your God with all your heart – this is so important.
2. Is to love and serve others, not just ourselves.

There is nothing wrong with being rich or wealthy. I think it’s absolutely alright, cos God has blessed. So many people are blessed with good wealth, but the trouble is I think a lot of us can’t handle it. The more we have, the more we want. I’ve gone through it, the deeper the hole we dig, the more we get sucked into it, so much so that we worship wealth and lose focus. Instead of worshipping God, we worship wealth. It’s just a human instinct. It’s just so difficult to get out of it.

Anyway I think that I’ve gone through it, and I know that wealth without God is empty. It is more important that you fill up the wealth, as you build it up subsequently, as professionals and all, you need to fill it up with the wealth of God”.

Do you have a strong opinion on Dr Richard Teo’s advice?

To read Dr Teo’s full speech in its entirety, click here.

Why the world needs a Business Mastermind for Health Leaders

I recently conducted a workshop with the top health and wellness leaders in Australia who had a global network of collaborators within their pool of connections. It was an absolutely awesome couple of workshops as we uncovered some very major breakthroughs on how we can deliver better health and wellbeing to a broader population. And we managed to figure this out in just 8 hours.

It’s surprising what can be achieved when everyone in the room is philosophically aligned.

The joint vision across these 20 Leaders was to “Foster a heart-centered approach to healthcare and improve global wellbeing”.

It was magnificent.

But now comes crunch time, and we have to do something about it. We have to implement the vision.

5 major initiatives were proposed in the workshops, and are about to begin. Who will show up to participate?

One real problem that we observed in the space of Integrative Health and Holistic medicine was that there was a strong need for better business models. This meant being able to run them as businesses better so they were sustainable long-term and able to reach a broader population with their service.

In my experience, when you want to grow a business and you have multiple business leaders with a common set of issues, a business mastermind group in one of the best ways to solve it.

And so we did.

Energesse is now runs a Business Mastermind that is specifically for Health and Wellness Business Leaders.  With my experience in my current and previous roles helping the marketing and sales of $100million products and growing a business that exceeds $1billion a year, I mentor health business leaders on how to achieve their business goals whilst delivering quality healthcare products and services.

The exclusive advantages of the Mastermind group is that it gives access to a very select community of senior Health & Wellness business leaders, where they receive full attention on their issues. They also can improve the health and wellbeing needs of their customers, clients and patients and derive greater happiness and satisfaction for themselves and their organisation.

Many of them also have the opportunity to collaborate and form Joint Ventures, Strategic Alliances and Partnerships to benefit their Health and Wellness business.

It’s also place where they can be safe and accountable to their actions, while remaining focussed on their healing goals. Leadership can be lonely, and in a mastermind, you get that mental and emotional support that you need, no matter how senior you are.

It’s an exciting initiative that you can read about here.

What do you think about a healthcare mastermind to improve business outcomes?

Is profit a bad word in healthcare?

I have been involved in the healthcare industry for over 15 years and I’ve worked as a doctor in hospitals, I have worked in medical research for biotech industry, I have worked marketing healthcare products and business strategy in the pharmaceutical industry and I have enjoyed leading my business in holistic health and wellness.

In all my endeavours in healthcare, money was a part of the healthcare paradigm. In the hospitals and practices in the UK and Australia that I worked in, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals didn’t really think about charging patients as healthcare was essentially free. The government essentially paid everyone’s salaries.

Even then we had the occasional patients complain that service was poor!!

And what’s even more interesting, was that nurses were going on strike because they needed better pay and doctors were also about to go on strike.

Ironically, when I left the National Health Service in the UK to leave such disillusionment, the problem was exactly the same – nurses were going on strike because of poor pay and doctors were about to go on strike!

When I was in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, there were no strikes! Essentially, there was medical research performed and a lot of it was commercialised. The reality was that the product (medical drug) in this case would need to serve a need in the market, but would also have to somehow generate revenue for the company.

There was a constant balance of managing the needs of patients who need the drug and setting a price that governments could pay for it, in order to reach the broadest amount of people.

The company on the other hand had to serve its shareholders and make a profit – something many companies did well, but many also struggled with.  This was the development of a drug is very risky business – you could spend over $1billion dollars developing a drug (the average cost these days), only to find weeks after hitting the market that it had to be withdrawn for some unforeseen side-effect.

In my humble opinion, while these companies were commercially driven, there was a line that we would not cross and integrity in how we did our science was paramount. However, this is a topic that is widely debated in modern society. Very often, people struggle to rationalise the concept that healthcare is somehow a business and that finances are involved in delivering healthcare.

This challenge is perpetuated in the field of complementary and alternative health, which I am now involved in. Here we charge patients (who are now called clients instead) and it is interesting to observe the dynamic how many people are quite happy to pay several hundred dollars for a flatscreen TV but will not pay it to solve an emotional issue that they have had since childhood.

It speaks to how much we value our own health these days.

I am a firm believer that in order to be a sustainable organisation long-term, you need good discipline in business and you need to be able to make money, or show a profit. Even a non-for-profit should be able to generate a profit, as long as it is reinvested into the organisation.

This is clearly a challenge in the mindset of many people in healthcare.

However, what do you think – is profit a ‘bad word’ in healthcare?