Sometime in the spring of 2014, I realized that I needed to clone myself. With the launching of our symbolic Practice 3.0, that sentiment has never been more true for me.
What do I mean by “Practice 3.0”? Well, we’re gradually reinventing ourselves. Moving up in the world. Climbing the self-employment ladder. Our balance sheets and bank statements don’t reflect that yet, but we’re hard at work, Making It Happen.
Practice 1.0 started out humble enough, on a shoestring budget. Settled into our training-wheels office space of a mere 1,200 square feet, we wore several hats, seeing our own patients and working our own front desk, which meant (eeeek!) answering our own phone. Within less than six weeks, we hired a massage therapist to join our mom-and-pop team.
Within a year and a half, we had hired a front desk person, bringing the total Office Census to four, and we had just entered negotiations to snap up the (much) bigger office suite down the hall before it could be entirely gutted and divvied up into individual independent office suites.
When we moved into that office six months later, Practice 2.0 was born. We even printed up new business cards and changed the layout of our website to coincide with our new contemporary, sophisticated image. A tiff between the front desk assistant (who was also the partner of the original massage therapist) and us led to both of them leaving, replaced by a longer-term massage therapist (who is still with us) and a revolving door of front desk assistants (which is par for that course).
I had also decided to pursue a high-end certification in my field, and my partner decided to enter acupuncture school, rather than trying to rely on the shaky-flaky whims of the average Licensed Acupuncturist.
He hasn’t completed school yet, but he’s got plenty of acupuncture training under his belt from which to draw, and he’s got his current license (Doctor of Chiropractic) working in his acupuncture favor. I have just recently completed my high-end certification (that was the whole “reinstalling myself back into my life” bit).
It was at some point during this period that I realized I would love to find a way to clone myself. This has nothing to do with ego; I’m not at all convinced that the world needs any more than one of me lol. (Hell, one of me is probably more than enough!)
Instead, this has everything to do with never having enough time. As someone “with” Asperger’s, I have what the world likes to call “special interests”, and I have turned one of these into a career.
You know the saying “time flies when you’re having fun”? Yeah, consider my work-world a complete time-warp. I arrive at the office, throw myself into my work, and fifteen minutes later, it’s the end of the day, and time to go.
But damn! I was just getting started. I was just getting into it. Just hitting my stride. Reaching my peak. My potential. Cruising altitude. Or whatever.
Around 2014, under a particularly heavy workload, I thought, what if I could clone myself?
And in true (then-undiagnosed) Aspie fashion-sass, I started making a list. A list of all the clones I could totally use.
One would be dedicated to the travel required to progress through my certification program. That’s the Academic Jet-Setter.
Another would stay behind at the office and attend to all patient needs–meeting with them for routine checkups, answering their questions, and so on. (That one would have to have an Extrovert “app” installed into their brain, though.)
Another would sit beside the patient-centered one. This one could be truer to my introverted self, because their sole task would be to analyze and interpret lab work.
Another clone could sit by the Lab Rat clone and say, “hey Lab Rat–while you’re interpreting tests, I know you’re going to need to look up some of those lab results that stump you. I’ll do that for you and tell you what I find. My name is Research Rat, and this clone on my other side is Court Reporter Rat, who will jot down my Lightning Bolts of Enlightenment Eureka into that information database you started but can’t keep up with.”
Court Reporter Rat will, of course, dutifully comply. They might also start organizing and formatting this information into eye-pleasing content.
Patient Handout Rat will be sitting nearby, too, at the ready, to take any of the information that might actually be interesting to patients, and think of cool ways to put that info into a patient-friendly educational handout, complete with layperson-friendly terms, relatable analogies, and really cool high-res pictures stolen off of Google Image searches. On their downtime between hollerings of random new informational tidbits, they’ll revise existing patient handouts.
Nutrition Book Guru will be waiting in the wings, keeping an ear out for any of that cool info flying around that might pertain to the nutritional handout-turned-book that I’m trying to write (200 pages in less than six weeks, until I had to leave for my first big conference, baby!).
Nutrition Notes Guru will be sitting close to Nutrition Book Guru, of course, because they’ll be working closely with Patient Handout Guru. NNG will be tasked only with combing through the notes from my CCN (Certified Clinical Nutrition) course, entering notes into the laptop so that they can be fleshed out and made legible, adding stolen Google Images to those, too, and of course, feeding ideas to Patient Handout Rat, who will package that information into educational handouts, too.
Since Academic Jet-Setter’s only job is to travel and take classes, and then enter those notes into the laptop for legibility purposes, complete with (not-stolen) screenshots from the presentations given during the conference classes, they are going to rack up a hell of a travel/tuition bill; they’re going to need help.
Passive Income Generator to the rescue! Their sole job is to raise money–take the income generated by the Patient-Centered Clone and invest it wisely, buying up businesses that don’t require anyone’s physical presence, like car washes, vending machines, laundromats, and shizz like that.
Their sidekick, the MBA Hotshot, can attend University of Texas to secure the knowledge that the Passive Income Generator will need in order to make wise decisions.
MBA Hotshot will also work closely with Media/Marketing Guru, whose entire role will consist of getting our name out there. They’ll design business cards, flyers, informational pamphlets, exhibition booth banners, custom-designed pens/refrigerator magnets/thumb drives with our name and logo. They’ll work side-by-side local print shops and signing specialists. They’ll monitor social media (a chore they might delegate to an Online Media Motormouth clone), and they’ll kick Podcast and Video Geeks into gear.
Podcast Geek will, umm, record podcasts, and Video Geek will produce YouTube and Vimeo videos and 15-, 30-, and 60-second promotional trailers.
A Press Projects specialist can be working to get going on another major project that I can’t say too much about yet.
Third Era Clone can begin to launch the third small business, which I also can’t say too much about yet.
A Research Culling Rat can be wandering around PubMed.gov, combing the medical journals for yet more new info-nuggets, which they would share with Patient-Centered Clone, Lab Rat, Court Reporter, and the other related clones.
Practice Blogger Brain can attend to the practice website’s blog, while Personal Blogger Brain can keep up with the three personal blogs and personal friends in the blogging community and their blogs.
Training Guru can hold regular Ongoing Training and Development sessions with the front desk assistant, to ensure that their skills are top-notch. During their downtime, they can be updating the front desk training manual from, oh, 2011-2012.
The Chauffeur can drive everybody everywhere. They’ll need to have the Nerves of Steel “app” installed into their brain. Oh and plenty of relaxation time.
Whip-Crack Clone can make sure everyone is doing everything they’re supposed to be doing, whether it’s the clones and/or the other coworkers.
A Social Butterfly clone can keep up with all of my in-person friends and family during all of this, so that nobody feels neglected or forgotten about.
Leisure Clone (aka The Slacker) can be enjoying the downtime for everyone, recharging everybody’s batteries through Alone Time, coloring in adult coloring books, writing music and creative poetry, watching TV, working out, reading, meditating, and pursuing other topics of interest.
The Sleeper Clone (aka Lazy Ass) can do the sleeping for everyone.
And maybe then, I could get done everything I want to in this life before I die.
I have no idea how many clones that would be (I lost count a long time ago), but my list of clones at one point numbered 22. This might be more than that; I’ll have to hit “publish” and count. Lol. 😉