How to defeat a bad economy

Dr. Anthony Lombardi
November 14, 2013
Written by Dr. Anthony Lombardi
Economy is like a poker game: There are six players and each player begins with $10,000 each, growing the economy to a net worth of $60,000. After 15 hands, there is still $60,000 in the economy only this time each player has $22,000, $17,000, $9,000, $8,000, $3,000 and $1,000 respectively. This is what you would call a relatively balanced economy.
In a depression, this is how the funds of the poker game would be distributed to each player: $34,000, $24,000, $900, $750, $250 and $100. As you can see, the amounts of money in the game (economy) remains the same, but the distribution of the money has changed. The money is still all there, only this time a small percentage of people control most of it.

For the bottom four players to “get back in the game,” they must at some point do something different than what they have been doing to get better results. Of the bottom four – one is successful and three go bankrupt. Now the economy (game) looks like this: $31,000, $20,000 and $9,000.

The economy is balanced again and now becomes more attractive to outside investors – so two more players enter with $10,000 each making the economy richer – from a value of $60,000 to $80,000.

As business professionals we must remember that a depression is only a redistribution of funds. All the money we need is still on the table – only less people control it.

My point to this informal exercise is to realize three things:

1. In general, regardless of the economy, the same amount of money exists for us to obtain to reach the goals we set for ourselves to be successful at whatever we choose to do.

2. As chiropractors, we know that only about 15 per cent of the population visit us. If that is the case, then regardless of the state of the economy, there are still people out there who can afford our services even in a depression. Eighty per cent of the population still go to the dentist twice per year. How do you explain that? They may have insurance but they have insurance for chiropractic, massage and other such services as well.

3. When only a small percentage of the population own the majority of the wealth (like in a depression), you need to be different in order to attract those who can afford and are willing to pay for your services. Differentiation is key. You will not attract a niche population by giving patients two-minute visits. People won’t value that anymore because they are aware better value exists somewhere else. Make yourself different from the next by refining your skills, taking courses and getting a mentor. My mentor is a mentor to more than 1,000 practitioners. In turn, I have become a mentor to a large growing group of DCs.

I leave you with an appropriate quote from former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson: “In every situation lies the potential for something better and in every person the capacity for something more.”

Dr. Anthony J. Lombardi, DC, is the creator of the Exstore assessment system. He integrates systems into his multidisciplinary practice that focuses on the management of musculoskeletal dysfunction — and receives 600 new patient referrals per year. He is a consultant and treatment provider to professional athletes in the NFL, NHL and CFL. He can be contacted by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or

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