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I grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, in a small house, with a huge oak tree in the yard. That's when my imagination and creativity began to soar. The tree became my good friend, support and confidant.
I would invent forts, spaceships, and boats among the limbs and leaves. Hours would be spent passing the day away, watching the breeze blow leaves, bugs crawl and birds light upon branches. I got lost in that wild world.
It was then my mother realized that she had a boy of vast imagination, creativity and self-expression on her hands. And boy was she thrilled!
Years passed, forts turned into homes, spaceships into cars, and boats into the real thing. I began to grow up, stretching my own limbs beyond those of my friendly tree.
In high school I was not an over-achiever by any means. I had a great group of friends, beautiful experiences, many laughs and a few pimples. But there was one defining moment… algebra class. I never liked math to begin with, and this sealed the deal. There and then I decided that I would do everything in my power to move as far from the realm of numbers as I can.
I adopted a new outlook on life…"mom, stop telling me what to do…I'm trying to find myself." Those words would be my mantra for the next many years.
I graduated from high school in 1985. I wanted to take a year off to "find myself." But was denied that thought by my parents. At the time I was irritated, but I believe they knew best, and still do.
I attended college at the University of Hartford. I graduated in 1989 with a B.S. in communication and advertising. After graduation my sights were set on New York City and my eye on the advertising executive prize.
I found work with large and small advertising agencies, newspapers, and magazines. My job description ranged from writing copy, designing ads, taking photographs, creating page layout, logo design, you name it, and did it for over 15 years.
Finally, it happened. You know the epiphany, that blinding flash of inspiration. I realized a few things…
1) I no longer wanted to work for anyone else.
2) I wanted to be the master of my domain.
3) I didn't want to work 9-5.
4) I wanted to create my own schedule.
5) I wanted to have a direct connection with people where I can influence and be influenced by their lives.
6) I wanted to incorporate a philosophy into my daily existence.
7) I wanted to bring work home with me that fed my soul.
8) And I want to have a family some day and be present and engaging with them.
So after thinking long and hard on these topics and what I wanted out of this life, I found myself searching. Finally, I was looking to "find myself!"
And that I did.
I came across an article about acupuncture and Chinese medicine (that I still have today). That was the cosmic 2x4 that slapped my upside my head, woke me up and pointed the way. There it was, everything I wanted in a nutshell.
I ran and called my mom and told her that her dream came true. She has always wanted one of her children to become a doctor. "Mom. I finally found myself," I said. "I want to be a doctor!" "What! Wow! Jeffrey," she said, and then I told her that I wanted to become an acupuncturist. There was stone silence on the other end of the phone. "Jeffrey," she said, "keep looking." I explained my dreams, my goals and told her this was my calling.
A few days later I jumped on a plane and set off on a coast-to-coast tour of acupuncture schools. I finally landed in Boston, at the New England School of Acupuncture (NESA).
I graduated from the NESA in 1997, and found my way out west in Seattle. I have been here ever since.
When I began practice I felt like I was on my own. NESA gave me to tools and knowledge to diagnose, prescribe and create effective treatments. But, I didn't learn the skill to grow a practice (no offense NESA, I dearly love you).
For the first few years I struggled with growing my practice. Finally I got it! I began to focus on patient education and that's when it all shifted. I began to develop marketing tools that I would use in my practice as a living laboratory. I created brochures, cards, newsletters, and developed a patient visit protocol. I watched my practice steadily grow, and grow!
My colleagues wanted me to create materials for their practices, and I found myself offering advice and suggestions on how they can grow their practice.
It all worked, and still does to this day!
The whole time when I was developing these tools, I adopted a new mantra, "someone's going to do this, so it might as well be me." And so it is. The whole line of business building tools and patient education materials from Acupuncture Media Works has been boiling away on my brain for many years.
It is with great honor and pride that I can share them with you.
I have finally found myself, happy and thankful.
Your colleague in Health, Prosperity & Marketing,
Jeffrey Grossman, B.S., L.Ac.
President and Creative Engine
Acupuncture Media Works, LLc.