In this Shop Talk Michael Max reflects on 25 years of practice and the importance of running a business as a cultivative  practice.

We go into the importance not of “faking it till you make it,” but rather using the learning of the early days to better hone your skills and more thoroughly understand who you are, and what your ideal practice really looks like.

Additionally we explore the issues of money and authority, and rather see these as hindrances, they are actually valuable teachers that both help us to be better practitioners and more honest and reliable business people.

The trick, if there is a trick, is not to rely on someone else’s blueprint or master plan, but instead discover your own source code.

Business. It’s not something we have to do, it’s something we have the privilege of engaging.


Michael Max, L.Ac

There is a difference between having a job and having a business.

It took me a long time to realize that wearing the hats of accountant, CEO, web designer, and marketing/sales director were not in conflict with working as a practitioner. All of these various roles/perspectives gave me insight on better understanding my patients and how the business of acupuncture fits within the intertwined ecosystems of health, commerce and culture.

Running a business is not something we ‘have’ to do, it’s an opportunity that we ‘get’ to do.