The director of the Chiropractic Specialty Clinic in Abu Dhabi says everybody needs a cushion of savings to protect them during hard times.
Money & Me: Clinic director values people over money
Dr Oudi Obouchacra is the clinical director at the Chiropractic Specialty Clinic in Abu Dhabi. Born in Beirut he moved to Canada with his family in 1970. A published author and motivational speaker, Dr Obouchacra last month launched the website www.seizeyourbestlife.com.
You are a clinic director, but not the owner. How do you feel about that?
This is the perfect set-up for me. I get to focus on patient care and we employ highly skilled professionals to do the number-crunching part. Thankfully, we have a great team and everyone gets to do what they love most and what they are best at. I had my own clinic in Canada for four years and although it was successful, I found managing the finances and being clinic director was difficult at times. It wasn't always easy to switch hats.
Is there a link between health and wealth?
I believe the word wealthy originates from the Old English word "well-being", so the two ideas were interrelated. In years gone by, the wealthy could afford better food, better water and a better lifestyle. If you are healthy you are, by definition, wealthy with potential to reach your goals in life.
Who taught you the most about money?
My parents. They taught me to value people before money. Suze Orman, the American financial guru, preaches the same message. When I was studying at Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas [Texas], I heard about John Demartini. He impressed me greatly because, instead of talking about techniques to make money, he said if you focus on serving others the money will take care of itself. It sounds simple, but it is really true.
What was your first job?
My first job was cutting grass. I loved being outside. I also did some babysitting and tutoring. Later on, I worked at a gas station and also at the Canadian National Exhibition in sideshow alley.
Are you a spender or a saver?
I save a percentage of my earnings. We all need a cushion to protect us when hard times hit. That cushion makes me feel safe and it allows me to be creative and live without fear. But to make money, you have to spend money and money needs to circulate.
What do you enjoy spending money on?
I spend most of my money on books about personal development, personal empowerment and on professional development seminars. I also spend money writing books and I pay others to edit, design and print my work. In 2003, I was driving at high speed and narrowly avoided hitting a large moose on the freeway. It was a near-death experience and it made me realise how important it is for me to spread the chiropractic message before I die. Soon afterwards, I wrote the Little Naite adventure series for children. The books are all about why the spine is the most valuable currency of the body and how to care for it.
Is money important to you?
I think money is important to everyone. Money is affected by the way you think. There is a lot of literature on this. When you are inspired and grateful and can't wait to wake up in the morning to deliver your product or ideas, people will show their appreciation with the currency of appreciation, which, in our day and age, is money. I don't see money as the root of all evil. I respect money because we need it to feed and educate our kids. It has been my observation that people who struggle with money the most are the people who value it the least.
Do you believe in planning for the future?
Absolutely. There is a saying: if you fail to plan, then you are effectively planning to fail. If you plan your day you will seize the day.
What is your idea of financial freedom?
Financial freedom is an illusion because we are already free. For example, when you are single, you think you have the freedom to travel and socialise. When you have a child, this freedom is replaced by a new form of freedom - the freedom to say no to travel and social obligations.
Have you made financial mistakes?
I don't think you can make a mistake because anything you learn is simply the cost of education. If I lose money, I immediately search for the lesson.
What are your goals for the next five years?
I want to be able to reach more people with my message, which is designed to help people seize their best life. My message is called Aced and this stands for attitude, chiropractic, exercise/rest, balance and diet.