Class of 2011 grad Dr. Andrea Maxim, ND, on maximizing success
Moving patients into health
In her third year of business, during a long drive from CCNM back to her practice in Caledon, Ontario, Dr. Andrea Maxim, ND, was struck with a lightning bolt of inspiration.
“Why am I not using my last name as a marketing tool?” the Class of 2011 grad thought. “My objective is to move people from a starting place to an end place – and in this case, from disease to health. For me, that’s the Maxim Movement.”
And so the Maxim Movement – along with its newest branches MAXIMized Health (her book) and MAXIMize your Practice (her podcast series for NDs) – was born. For Andrea, it’s an authentic expression of what she offers. From a branding perspective, it’s catchy, memorable, and rather clever. For patients (over 200 to date), it’s a lifeline – an easy to follow, health and wellness program with Andrea’s full support and guidance.
She calls the movement all encompassing – it’s not about speed necessarily, but about getting patients on board first.
“The best analogy I’ve been given is that people are drowning and praying that you’ll help them. Patients don’t care if you show up in a yacht or a rowboat. Just get to them and take action,” she says.
Channeling a singular drive into success
From a young age, Andrea’s drive and goal-oriented nature produced results. As a 13-year-old teenager struggling with her weight, Andrea took it upon herself to change her lifestyle and eating habits. When she discovered naturopathic medicine as an undergrad at McMaster University, she applied to CCNM – the only school she was interested in going to – and never looked back.
And after she graduated from CCNM, she focused all of her energy into building her practice, learning how to do it all on her own.
“The transition between student to practice owner is a big one,” she explains. “In the beginning, I put the majority of my time into being a business owner because we already learned how to treat patients at the College. Since I put so much effort into the clinic early on, it’s running more on auto-pilot now.”
Her business philosophy is simple and effective – excellent customer service and following up with patients are the keys to running a successful practice. Andrea ensures that she’s available to patients whenever they have a concern and even delivers supplements to them directly so that they’re following the protocol.
“We try to get everything as automated as possible,” she adds. “No patient ever leaves my clinic without an appointment booked or a task. I’ve trained myself and my receptionists to be this way. People will never remember you unless you’re fully transparent and invested in their health.”
Booking time for practise – and everything else
Andrea’s life is about to become busier with the launch of Maximize your Clinic, an online course that outlines how to start, build, and systemize clinical practice. She also offers one-on-one coaching services that she slots into her schedule four days a week. In addition to running three practices (in Caledon, Hamilton, and Burlington), she is also a mom to 6-month-old Brooklyn and 2-year-old Aria. But Andrea eschews the word “balance,” instead choosing to divide her work and personal time into separate blocks.
“When I’m at work, I work. When I’m at home, I am there for my family. I think it’s unproductive to be everything all the time. I don’t have a fully booked practice on purpose so that I have time to work, coach, record podcasts, and see patients,” she says. “I believe very strongly that you must create your own schedule so that no one takes your time away from you.”
While Andrea is enjoying the fruits of her labour, she’s the first one to say that hard work, sheer determination, and a willingness to learn are fundamental for success. Her business model, which started with designing a simple website and making YouTube videos with no previous experience, has transformed into one that is truly her identity. What will yours be?
This article was originally published in issue #20, Mind|Body|Spirit, Summer/Fall 2017, page 32