Dr. Amen’s Watch: Another Entrepreneurial Attempt
Once I started to build my business, I realized how exciting it was. What a thrill of being creative and seeing your business plan come to life. I felt like Frankenstein. Actually, it felt like I was creating a baby, and I was pregnant for ten years. I started to read all of the best business books like “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, “E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, and “Guerrilla Marketing” by Conrad Levinson. Guerilla Marketing suggested a mailing marketing idea that I liked. If you mail an item, like the keys the car dealerships send out, you are more likely to open the envelope. I started to use these ideas to target the leaders in the Integrative Medicine field. Of course, I went for the one’s that I admired the most.
As a therapist, I had been using Dr. Daniel Amen’s, at the Amen Clinics, work for years. He is a pioneer in the field of mental health and integrative medicine. He uses SPECT brain scans to look at the brain as a way to diagnose and treat mental health issues. He has written over 80 books about his work and has clinics across the country using his model. I use his work daily in my office and focus on the vitamins and behavioral suggestions to improve brain health.
A Funny Story About His Work
A few years ago, I applied to work at the University of Michigan as a Sexual Health Therapist in the Sexual Health Department and the Women and Children’s unit of the U of M hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My private practice in Flint is about an hour north of there, but I loved the program, and the idea of working for U of M Sexual Health and the hospital was such a great opportunity! They have a Sexual Health Certificate program for AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists) to get sex therapy training. (AKA, they breed sex therapists in Ann Arbor). Meanwhile, I was the only AASECT Certified Sex Therapist in Flint, and I had a waiting list.
If you have ever been to Ann Arbor, you know it is the most magnificent city to live in and visit, but it has terrible traffic. My private practice was an hour north of there, but it would take 2 hours to get from one to the other. I didn’t stay at U of M long because I felt like my services were needed in Flint. But before I left, I agreed to teach fourth-year psychiatry residents about sexual health and counseling. I wasn’t an employee anymore and just did it on my own time, so I talked about Dr. Amen at the end of the class. They tried to tell me that his work was unfounded. I then stated to them that I was on my own time and couldn’t get fired, so they were going to hear how his work was helping my client’s every day! It was a stellar moment for me!
So, he was on my shortlist, and I saw that he was going to be a Keynote Speaker at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium in New York. I love this conference by Integrative Practitioner, so I planned my marketing magic. I was going to send him something he “had to open” and then meet him a week later at the conference and hand him my proposal.
Not only does he have eight clinics in the United States, but he also created a Certified Brain Health Coach training program. Those Health Coaches could overlap with my Health Coach program in Integrity (now called BridgeIT ). So, I went to the mall and bought a pocket watch and had it engraved with “It’s Time for a Change.” I then took the watch to Michaels craft store and bought a shadow box to display the watch. Now, the challenge I faced was to figure out which of the eight offices Dr. Amen actually worked at, so I would send it to the correct one. I made a few calls and sent it off.
I went to the Integrative Healthcare Symposium and attended his brilliant keynote address. I sat in the back, so I could leave a few minutes before he completed his talk. I wanted to be the first one in line for his book signing. I had my proposal in hand and was ready to go. When I approached his table, I introduced myself and asked him if I received my gift. He said, “what gift?” I said, “I sent you a watch in hopes that you would get my note that I wanted to meet you and give you this proposal.” He said, “Oh, the office did tell me someone sent me something. They opened it. I haven’t seen it.”
My heart sank, then he said, “give my office manager a call about your proposal; here is a number to call.” I got to take a picture with him, and I carried my hope in my hands as I walked away.
Well, that was something! Maybe this lead will get me somewhere.
Nope! I called several times and never got a call-in return.
We must continue to work towards our visions and not be deterred!