When the weather is as nice as it was this weekend, there is no way you’re keeping me inside! We spent all day Friday and Saturday working on our backyard farm. I get a little crazier each year, and this year is no exception. There is nothing much prettier than a big pile of compost – black gold to me! We got ten yards of it dumped on our driveway (that’s a lot if you don’t know how much a yard is), and took advantage of our teenage boys and their strong backs. They scooped and wheel-barrowed compost for three hours solid, and got half of the pile moved. They call it slave labor, but we call it working for food! 🙂
The little kids were not left out of the fun. They helped me build plastic tunnels over some existing garden beds, so I can help my seeds have a jump start this spring. We moved a bunch of bricks, and because of the rain, they were alive with worms underneath. My daughter’s first reaction was to squeal and jump back, but that didn’t last long. She looked at the chickens, then down at the worms, and I knew what she was thinking. One of our favorite summer games is watching worm-tag. Let me explain.
The chickens love worms. I love worms too – they do great things for my soil, but I can spare a few now and then. If we find a particularly juicy worm, we toss it into the chicken run. The lucky chicken that gets the worm isn’t lucky for long. All the chickens start chasing it around. The chicken with the worm dashes anywhere it can go, around and around, until it eventually drops the worm in the frenzy. Another chicken picks it up and it starts all over again. It’s honestly one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. This goes on until one of the chickens gulps the worm down mid-sprint and the others all run to the fence to see if we have another to throw in. That is true hill-billy fun!
So Liza now saw those wriggling worms as a source of entertainment – something completely different than at first. She bent down and started grabbing any worms she could see. This gave me the willies, but it didn’t bother her at all. She and Luke started feeding the chickens and the games began. I had to work, and after a few minutes they came to show me their hands full of worms. Ughh! Liza said she liked the slimy way the worms felt in her hand (see the picture below). Ughh again! She found about ten under one brick. That’s at least 10 minutes of fun right there!
When I’m working in the yard, I like to listen to podcasts or other thought provoking things. I’d just been listening to a presentation by a man named Roy Spence. He is a marketing guru responsible for successful campaigns for Southwest, Google, GE, Apple, and more. He talked about making your weaknesses actually become your strengths. He used an example from Southwest Airlines. He said a consultant came to the CEO of Southwest and told him they could make $350 million that year if they started charging for bags. Everyone is doing it – don’t be left out. The CEO thought about it, and said, that is not what we are about. We will not charge for bags…now go out and find me that money somewhere else. We all know that Southwest did not, and still does not, charge for bags. What happened at the end of that year? They made $1 billion dollars in additional revenue by NOT charging for bags.
When Liza saw those worms, it was a real life example of this in action. Her first response was “yuck!”, then she saw something completely different. She saw entertainment potential. I had the chance to do some deep thinking, and thought a lot about Total Care Dental and what we are about. What worms are in disguise in our business? Just like Southwest, I’ve had consultants come in and tell me I could be making more money if I changed the way we did things. Everyone is doing it – don’t be left out. They have encouraged us to hire multiple doctors, see more patients in our day, charge higher fees, expand and have more than one location. We’ve said no to all these suggestions – that is not what we are about. We are small, we are local, and we don’t have a lot of buying power or marketing influence. All bad worms according to those consultants. And guess what – that worm is looking entirely different to me now. Because we’ve said no to their suggestions, we can really get to know all of you. Because we are small, we know your name and your kid’s names. Because we don’t have a lot of doctors, Dr. Coles and I know that you need to take a break every few minutes, and to go light on the anesthetic. Because we are local and only in one location, we remember to ask about your last vacation, and we go to your kid’s weddings. Those are our worms- that’s what we are all about. We are about helping you SMILE, every time, and that’s a worm I’m happy with!
What worms are in your life that just look like slimy, crawling nuisances rather than potential? What are you all about? Have you wanted to get a new home, but really the one you are in is the perfect place for your kids to grow up? Are you looking outside your current job for something that pays better, rather than figuring out how to make yourself worth more to your current emplyer? Do you complain about an unhappy relationship instead of looking to see what you can do to improve it? Sometimes it’s hard to see past the slime, and sometimes worms are simply worms…but give it some thought and you may see something entirely different next time around.
Get outside and soak up some sunshine, and have a great week!
Dr. Michelle Jorgensen
This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.