The key mindset for a thriving acupuncture clinic, isn’t what you’d think.

So many so-called business coaches out there tout the importance of an “abundance mindset”.

But I disagree.

I don’t think you have to come from a place of “abundance” in order to succeed. Personally I was freaked out that I’d fail (both my patients and in supporting myself), uncertain, strapped in debt, and insecure. So… yeah, not entirely coming from a place of “abundance”.

I think there are far more important mindsets that lead to my success.

I’ll share with you what mindsets I think are crucial…

You can watch the video or listen to the podcast below:

The key mindset for a thriving acupuncture clinic, isn’t what you’d think.

So many so-called business coaches out there tout the importance of an “abundance mindset”. But I disagree. I don’t think you have to come from a place of “abundance” in order to succeed. I think there are far more important mindsets that lead to success. I’ll share with you what mindsets I think are crucial…


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If you’re new to my world, I’m Katie Altneu, I’m an acupuncturist with a clinic in Denver. I’m also a business teacher to acupuncturists at CSTCM and the founder of where I teach acupuncturists how to start their clinic with confidence and grow their clinic and attract patients authentically. I’ve been in practice nine years teaching business to acupuncturists for eight and half years. And everything I teach is based on my own experience and things I’ve implemented and tested and seen actually work and feel good. Okay, so that’s me.

A lot of acupuncture marketing coaches talk about mindset as being really key to success and I do agree that mindset is really important

It’s the first place I start when I talk about my getting started business class. And it’s the first half of, well not just mindset but in marketing all that internal stuff is the first part of the prospering in my marketing course. It is really important but I think it goes way beyond just needing to think abundance. It’s that is not, I disagree. I don’t think abundance is the key because personally I found that scarcity and fear are really what helped to drive me to take action. There were people when I graduated school who like took a month off and went to like Thailand, which sounds amazing and did I want to do that?

For sure, but I was like, I don’t have a backup plan or anyone supporting me. I need to like eat next month. I need to like get my business started and figure this out. And I have student loans to pay off and Oh my God, and now that my student loans are paid off, I can look at them with gratitude and be like, actually I feel thankful for that loan debt because it really freaked me out so much that it pushed me to take action and figure stuff out that, I think being in business is hard. Anytime we’re like asking ourselves to expand and up level or put ourselves out there, it takes courage and it’s scary and if we’re comfortable and if I had somebody else supporting me or had another part time job, it would have been hard for me to force myself to have that courage to take that action and put myself out there.

I don’t know that I would’ve grown my clinic so quickly as I was like, “holy crap, I have to do this. I don’t have a backup plan. And like, oh my gosh.” So I don’t think that scarcity is bad. I think a little bit of fear and doubt and insecurity are normal part of the creative process and starting a business and growing a business is a creative process. You’re creating something.

I feel bad when these acupuncture business coaches are telling people:

You’ve just got to work on yourself and your mindset and think abundance. Because there’s a Yin and Yang. There’s always going to be a balance of support and challenge of abundance and scarcity. I think that we can’t try to banish or suppress or shame ourselves for our doubts and fear. We should have compassion for them and it’s fine if you have some scarcity and some doubt, it’s normal.

What I think it’s about is not just abundance and everything’s fine and dandy and great and comfortable, but it’s about hope.

I think it’s about hope. You can be freaked out in scarcity mode. Holy Crap, I have to make this work and I’m not sure it’s gonna work, but be hopeful enough to take action. So maybe it’s not going to work. Oh my gosh, maybe I am going to be out on the street starving and my business is going to fail, but maybe it’s going to work. Maybe I can do this. Maybe there is hope, I’m hopeful enough to take action. To say, I’m going to try. I’m going to courageously go for it. Put myself out there the way that is required to grow something, to create something.

It’s aligned action that leads to acupuncture business success, meaning action that feels in alignment with who we are authentically who we are.

It’s action that leads to success. And if you’re not hopeful, if you’re like, oh, we’re all doomed, you’re not going to take action. Right? So you need abundance in that sense, hopeful enough to take action. But if you’re like, I’m not sure, I’m scared, I don’t know that I feel abundance, that’s okay as long as you’re taking action. You’ve got to be hopeful that you can succeed, that you can make a difference, that your patient can heal, that you are good enough. Because honestly you are. And if you take action, you will see like, Oh wow, this medicine does work. Wow, I can do this. Wow, my patients are getting better. Wow. Even though it’s scary and I feel like I’m putting myself out there by having a website and or a blog post or giving a talk and it feels scary and my ego was like, you’re going to die and people are going to judge you that. Even though it feels scary, I can do this and no one judged me and people are appreciative.

Wow. It’s action that leads to that change in mindset, not sitting there visualizing, just trying to do the inner work. I think it’s outer work while being conscientious of our insides work that that leads to real change. And you can also be unsure while taking action and being hopeful. I just don’t want anybody to be made to feel bad. You know that if you’re freaked out, if you’re unsure and if you feel some scarcity, that’s okay. It’s okay. Don’t let it stop you from taking action.

And what it really takes is courage. You know, it’s courage in the face of uncertainty is that hope. Not sure, but I hope and I’m going to try. I might fail. I’m going to be vulnerable and I’m going to try courageously, getting your ego out of the way, you know?

And it’s really about vulnerability and you’ve got to go read Brene Brown, watch her TED talk or her Netflix special, pick up her books. She’s amazing. And while she’s not a business or marketing coach, she’s an interpersonal coach, I guess or expert. She really has the best business and marketing advice around because it’s really about vulnerably and authentically and honestly showing up, being willing to show up in the face of uncertainty.

So the second key mindset is thinking win-win. And I think a lot of acupuncturists can think that this idea that it’s win-lose that somehow they’ve got to lose and be a martyr in order for their patients to win, in order for the world to win. Or they think that in order for them to win, somebody else has got to lose. They’ve got to like convince somebody to give them money or something. Make them pay a big package. And that is just not the key to success. The key is everyone wins. That you get to practice this amazing medicine that you love and support yourself and your family and your patients get healed and live a better life and the world is a better place.

You’ve got to think win-win. If you are thinking that you’ve got to lose that, you have to have low boundaries, work too much, get paid too little in order for other people to win, I don’t think that you’re going to be successful. I don’t think that if you feel resentment and anger, let’s say every time you swipe someone’s credit card and check them out because you’re charging them too little, I don’t believe that the universe is going to send you more of that, more patients for you to feel more resentment and anger. I don’t think that’s the recipe for success and attracting more to you. And similarly if you feel shame or guilt because you feel like you’re overcharging someone or making them pay a big package upfront or something and you believe they have to lose in order for you to win and you feel shame and guilt every time you, let’s say swipe someone’s credit card and check them out. I don’t believe the universe is going to send you more of that.

I think that when you feel appreciation and gratitude and you think I’m winning, you’re winning, everyone’s winning and this is great and I get to help you and I get to do what I love and pay off my student loans and support my family. That is the recipe for success. That’s what attracts more to you and this isn’t just true with patients. It’s also true with marketing. Say like building relationships, referral relationships with doctors. If you’re thinking like if you just reach out and say something that’s a win-lose would be like, hey, can I pick your brain? Hey, can you refer all your patients to me? Like they’re not getting anything out of that, right? You’re winning and they’re losing. That’s not how to build a longterm, referral relationship.

It’s got to be mutually beneficial and win-win and I want to learn about you and your practice and how I can support you and your results or your problem patients or send patients to you and also help build trust between us so you understand me and my practice and send patients to me. Always got to be win-win. Oh and a great book about this is the Go Giver. A Go Giver. It’s a great little book. It’s like a short parable sort of written like The Alchemist is written. A little story about a man all about how thinking win-win in business. It’s a really great business book that’s fun.

I think is focusing on contribution and aiming to serve that also leads to acupuncture business and marketing success.

This really helps get your ego out of it and helps you get past that fear and have that courage and vulnerability when you think it’s not about you and your ego. It’s really about making the world a better place and making people’s lives better. That makes it easier to take that courage, that hopeful courage because you’re contributing to something. And you’re not losing to, it’s not lose-win, right? It’s win-win, but you focus on the contribution and you don’t make it about yourself. It makes it far easier to take that action because I think anytime we ask ourselves to expand, up level, to put ourselves out there and risk failure, risk judgment, it’s scary. And so just stop thinking about yourself. It’s not about you. It’s about making the world a better place. I think that really helps.

Okay, so those are the keys, the mindsets that I think are really important. It’s not just abundance, abundance and like visualizing abundance.

It’s about taking action, having courage, having that hope, focusing on contribution. That really is key to success and I do think mindset is so important. It’s the foundation which all my courses start with. So I hope that helps.

And if you want to learn more about, or if you want to be notified when my courses open up, definitely get on my VIP list by going to my website, and signing up for my top 10 tips. And then you’ll be on the email list and I’ll let you know when the course opens up. Cool. Thanks. And keep doing what you’re doing because the world needs you.


Hi! I'm Katie Altneu

I'm an acupuncturist, herbalist, & business teacher

My acupuncture clinic in Denver, CO makes me so happy. It's full enough to support my life, and simple enough to give me peace of mind. I'm a firm believer that bigger is not always better and that we need to "stop the glorification of busy".

I want your acupuncture clinic to be as full as you'd like it to be. I want you to know how to inspire-to-action the people who need you and our medicine. And I believe the best strategies are simple and heartfelt.

Combining my prior education & career in business & finance with my personal experience starting and growing my clinic, I love teaching acupuncturists to master the business side of their clinics. I believe in you and I'm so glad you're here!

Katie Altneu, creator of AcuProsper & the ProsperRing

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