3 Tips From Lisa Hanfileti, LAc

I loved every single minute of my acupuncture school training. Seriously! At the age of 33 I left an unfulfilling (yet lucrative) job just so I could attend acupuncture college. 

I was grateful to finally live my life in alignment with my beliefs. The change was monumental for me and I made the conscious decision to appreciate each challenge and not take people for granted. I can honestly say I enjoyed every class, classmate, professor and exam! 

Through some unpredictable twists of fate, my husband and I ended up opening a practice together just months after I graduated from school. Since we both had been working as professionals for several years, we had some start up money in savings to help us get established.

Unfortunately, we were naïve and lacked proper business training. It never occurred to us to take a few classes on business management or marketing. It was a true case of “ignorance is bliss” (at least for a while). Looking back I can see how unbelievably lucky we were to have survived so many “rookie mistakes”.

Although we were able to build a successful practice, we created challenges and obstacles for ourselves that could have easily been avoided if we only knew a few basic business skills and marketing strategies.

I have documented many of these near fatal oversights in my free video & ebook, “10 Big Mistakes I Made opening My Acupuncture Practice & What You Can Do To Avoid Them” and I encourage every new graduate and struggling practitioner to review them so you can find success much more quickly and easily than I did.

I am grateful for this opportunity to share a little bit more of my (hard earned) wisdom with you.

Here are the THREE things I wish I had understood much earlier in my career.


This sounds easy enough but somehow the concept often gets missed or ignored. Paying yourself first means that you budget your monthly ‘salary’ (even if you distribute it more frequently) as if it was an ordinary expense. In other words, it’s no different than paying your rent, electric bill, phone bill, etc. You wouldn’t dream of missing a lease payment, right? Well, that’s how you have to think about paying yourself. You must calculate what you NEED to pay yourself (do the math!) and then pay yourself each and every month as if it was one of your bills. No exceptions. Don’t make the common mistake of paying all your bills first then paying yourself whatever is left over. That is a recipe for a financial disaster.


Hopefully you already know a business website is mandatory. However just having a site is not enough. You must also learn how to use your website. Your business website is the most powerful and affordable marketing tool you have at your fingertips (literally). There’s nothing else out there that gives you the ability to get patients through your doors, yet most acupuncturists make the mistake of thinking that once their website is ‘live’, they’re done. Wrong! My advice is to take the little time and effort it takes to learn the 5 simple steps to use it to automatically attract new patients. You do not need to be (and should not try to be) a blogger or programmer to make this happen. So make it a priority to take control of your website and learn how to use it.


As an acupuncturist, you will inevitably face challenges. I encourage you to accept your role as an amazing and gifted healer and embrace your fears about business, marketing, finances, self-worth, etc. These are simply ways to help you grow in life. You would have to face them eventually in any career, so be grateful that you get to learn your Life Lessons while being part of the greatest profession on earth!


Lisa Hanfileti, LAc owns and operates her full time acupuncture practice with her husband in Vancouver, WA. She developed Insights-For-Acupuncturists.com to help teach and train acupuncturists how to develop and implement the most effective business & marketing plans to build and grow their practices. Grab her free video & ebook, “10 Big Mistakes I Made opening My Acupuncture Practice & What You Can Do To Avoid Them” at Lisas10BigMistakes.com and join her for her next live training at AcupunctureBusinessAcademy.com

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