Celebrate small successes

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dr. Gary Schwantz, a consultant to The MED Group, says he’s not by nature an optimistic person, so it might seem a little odd that he’s making a name for himself discussing the importance of savoring life. Schwantz left his full-time position with MED about a year ago to hang out a shingle as a motivational speaker and meeting facilitator. He has a new Web site, drgaryschwantz.com, and just published his first book, “Get To or Got To.” HME News caught up with him at MED’s conference in San Antonio recently.

HME News: What is your philosophy on life?

Dr. Gary Schwantz: We either see life as something we get to do or something we’ve got to get out of the way. I used to see life as an obligation to get out of the way. Those who love life do it intentionally; they do it on purpose.

HME:  The past year has been tough for HME providers.

Schwantz: I can’t think of a job right now that anybody would like to have, can you? We have it neither harder nor easier than anybody else. One of the things I’ve noticed as a result of the pain is our companies are becoming leaner and more efficient - that in and of itself is a form of growth. Since there are so many challenges, it is also about celebrating the small successes more often, before we move on to the next challenge. However, more important is this: We are not our job, we are not the things we own (or what we owe).

HME: So, despite the hassles, there’s an upside to being an HME provider?

Schwantz: What we do makes a difference every day, but we lose sight of it because of the paperwork and legislative challenges and financial issues. Every now and then, I think a company should bring its best customers in, so those customers can talk about how their life is better because of what that company does. To borrow a phrase from Southwest Airlines, we are not in the HME business, we are in the people business.