I’ve been in a writing slump since July. A former patient recently left a poor review of Focal Pointe Eye Care on a popular business review website, and to be quite honest… it got to me.
I went through a variety of emotions initially, trapped an eddy of disappointment and self-doubt, wondering if I did the right thing by opening my business. It’s not that I have thin skin – I can usually take a lot. After all, I’m the one that “embraces change.” This particular review, however, stunned me. It called me out by making assumptions of what had happened during her examination and events that followed. I became defensive and discouraged that someone would write such a negative thing about me and my practice.
My first pair of glasses came at age 6. I will never forget that first time I put them on and could see the world again. The leaves on the tree never looked so clear. What an experience! Since then, I have lived through my share of exam “experiences,” some good, some fell short. With the mission of creating an “eye care experience like none other,” I founded Focal Pointe Eye Care based on the patient experience. It is what I dreamt of during Focal Pointe’s early conception, and it is what I focus on daily.
This is why the review bothered me. I expect everyone to have a great experience at my practice, because I built my practice through my vision.
Over my years in healthcare, one of the most important things that I’ve learned about myself, and human nature in general, is that we live our lives through our own filter. This is our perception of how we view the world that is presented to us. The perception versus the reality of any given situation is subconsciously altered without our knowing. It then becomes our truth.
I thought I had built a practice that was meeting my patients’ expectations [my filter]. But, maybe not everyone was having a positive experience, and that’s where a component of my vision was ineffective. I wasn’t removing my filter enough to appreciate the view of others, especially someone that was stepping into my vision for the first time.
So, after dwelling over this review, I have learned that this negative review wasn’t so negative. It was her telling her story through her filter. I had to remove my filter to appreciate the review and understand that being in health care makes me vulnerable to criticism, especially during a time where social media dominates our lives. But the criticism is the knowledge I need to continue to learn and make my vision clearer and stronger. And with that knowledge, comes the reward of helping people see, and every so often, prescribing other 6-year olds with their first pair of glasses and creating their vision.
For you, the bad reviewer, I do apologize that you had such a bad experience. I really do strive for perfection, and I let you down. In the same breath, thank you for giving me focus and the energy to be even better. And for all of you that have taken time to write positive reviews, I am forever grateful and indebted to you. I thank you. And as I continue failing forward, I will forever be embracing change to create an “eye care experience like none other.”