Why do some Chiropractic Entrepreneurs make it look so eeeeasy? And why do so many Chiropractors look as if they were baptized in lemon juice? There is a simple explanation, so simple you may be tempted to dismiss it. It all begins and ends with the doctor’s core leadership style.

Your Core Leadership Style

Your core leadership system determines your happiness. Your style either brings joy and fulfillment or stress and anxiety regardless of the numbers. The Chiropractic Entrepreneur who makes it look effortless is able to have thousands of relationships simultaneously because their focus is on serving those who are aware, willing and able to accept their leadership. They serve their patients through Chiropractic.”

The struggling Chiropractor is always stressed because they have a personal agenda that is played out in the office under the guise of serving. They serve Chiropractic through their patients.” When a patient quits, this doctor takes it personally and begins the agonizing torture of the “what ifs”. They hold on emotionally to the experience and slowly adopt a pervasive feeling that they are failures. They either avoid running into these patients or wait for the opportunity to pounce on them.

Now the control game is in full stride. With one hand and leg the doctor holds onto the past while simultaneously stretching the other arm and leg toward acquiring new followers. Can you feel the tension build? Someone is going to snap. Who will be first? Will it be you, your staff, your patients, your marriage, or your kids?

Comfort & Control

Now, I am not measuring success by numbers alone, yet the smaller the practice the bigger the COMFORT/CONTROL ZONE. The smaller the practice the more stress the doctor experiences when patients quit and leave the practice. Busier doctors simply don’t “spend time and energy” holding onto the patients who left, they are concerned about “investing time and energy” into those in front of them and not playing the “How do I get them to stay, pay, and refer game?” How can you learn to think and act like a busier Chiropractic Entrepreneur? SIDECAR offers Brain Spa which is crafted in order to experience a higher order of thinking as attendees strip away their limiting beliefs and behaviors.

So why do so many doctors continue to carry their patients? It all begins with a harmless phrase that represents the “Old Practice” approach used by hard sale management systems. The phrase is “New Patient Acquisition.” Acquisition is defined as the act of acquiring or gaining possession. It sounds more like a territorial game of building a fiefdom of “true believers” than building a thriving service business, doesn’t it? What a waste of energy! It is the fast track to burnout and relationship conflicts.

What kind of leader are you?

This practice building myth or leadership style assumes that once we ACQUIRE/POSSESS these “new ones” (Objects) then all we need to do in order to guarantee our success is to retain them. No, the truth is when we approach practice with this leadership perspective we restrain them! The front door to the practice continues to shrink, letting in just the right people for the right reason, while the back door remains locked as we grow ever vigilant in protecting any and all escape routes.

What kind of a leader are you? Is it time for a change? SIDECAR’s Leadership Assessment can pinpoint exactly how you are getting in your way and help you develop a plan of behavioral change. There are nearly as many books on leadership as there are diet books. The best definition I have heard comes from Michael Gerber, A leader is a person who others follow.” Leaders have power or a right to direct the actions and thoughts of others. And there is a huge difference between influencing others and controlling others. A leader can choose to INFLUENCE their followers or attempt to CONTROL them. Both work in the real world and your choice has consequences physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Your SIDECAR Team

Have you made your Summer Reading List yet? 

Every summer we were assigned five books to read before the start of the school year. Of course, in those days I did not enjoy reading as much as swimming, riding my bike or playing baseball. I waited until the last moment and crammed using the “Cliff Notes.”   While I got the key ideas, I realize now that I had cheated myself. The books were chosen to grow and prepare me to meet the next challenge of adolescence. There are no “Cliff Notes” for life.

This summer why not ‘think for a change.’ Right now, it is important that you choose books that are thought provocative and informative.  Provocative reading stretches you intellectually, challenges your current beliefs, poses possibilities and stimulates your imagination. You must read a minimum of 20 minutes a day. The point is to provoke thought, not reinforce emotional patterns.

Three more reasons to “re-wire your brain.”

1) If you can’t think, you are unable to understand your circumstances or make course corrections.

If we can’t think, how can we imagine or dream? If we are mud headed, how on earth can we make correct choices?  You must acquire the prowess to make solid decisions even when you lack sufficient data.  Study as if your livelihood depended upon it, because it does! Knowledge gives you the power to act with certainty and “mental force.”

2) When your mind is absorbed, it doesn’t wander.  If your mind is trained to focus, you will perform impeccably.

In every practice there are natural breaks in patient flow. The average doctor becomes fearful and anxious when their schedule is light. The mentally adroit doctor stays focused in between adjustments. Leaders who have developed mental powers of concentration and the ability to stop the emotional kidnapping always win.

3) Without knowledge, self-empowerment is impossible.

It is the key to reaching your goals, the immediate, as well as your long term vision.

So this is not the time to dangle your foot into the water and wait for the fish too jump into your boat. Wrap your head around a couple of books and be ready for a fall harvest!

Dr. SovinskyDr. Frank Sovinsky, “The E-Myth Chiropractor” Written July 2003 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Some of us learn from our experiences and some of us never recover.”
                                                                                                                  –Anonymous

The problem

As chiropractors, I think we can agree that our greatest enjoyment follows the experience we have when we witness firsthand the difference we make in a patient’s life. This is one of those positive experiences. Yet the reality is taking care of more people exposes us to even more potentially frustrating experiences. Over the life span of your career, it can either expand you or drown you in a cortisol swamp.

A new patient cancels her appointment after her first adjustment because she felt sore afterwards. You can shrug it off and say to yourself, “She doesn’t care about her health” or that “She doesn’t get it” or you could call her and try to convince her to give you another chance… Yuck!

A better, more honest approach, is to process this moment by getting feedback from a skilled mentor. This will help you respond to this emotional disabler instead of reacting to it, so that you can tune into the next patient with a clear head and open heart.

The key to your success is NOT outside. Our profession, while noble, is plagued by dangerous half-truths and total nonsense when it comes to the advice we get about being successful in practice. From new patient marketing gimmicks to hard sale scare tactics we are being seduced by charismatic snake oil salesman. This is killing our chances to fix a broken health care system and your chance to build that dream practice.

So, stop looking for the short cuts and just say no to the predators circling the troubled waters. The truth is that your ability to build healthy relationships with a diverse population will help you tell the story of your practice, a story that will set your patients free, emotionally and physically. No scan, x-ray or brochure will impact another human being the way authentic communication can. That ability is sitting inside, ready to be tapped. We call it EQ.

What is EQ?

EQ stands for Emotional Quotient. It is an assessment of your emotional intelligence. EQ is the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power of emotions.

EQ is NOT a theoretical concept. It IS a physiological reality.

Emotions flood your brain and body with strong mind-altering drugs. They affect your decision making, the actions you take and the results you are getting. As chiropractors and business owners we know the pressure you face. We know how it feels when patients reject your care plan or drop out of care before they get the results they want. We have felt the anxiety that a lack of new patients brings. We know what it is like to have staff mentally quit, but never physically leave, or to be held hostage in your own office because you don’t know how to do the things they do.

We understand your frustration with insurance companies, your stress over taxes, student loans, potential litigation and mortgage payments. We get that a challenging and unforgiving economy leaves you no room for error.
That’s what our company, SIDECAR, is all about. It’s about hope, growth and establishing a real plan. And that’s why I am inviting you to take a tour of your mind, a look inside to see how emotionally prepared you are for going to the next level in practice.

Whether you are hitting it out of the park or you haven’t a clue where the park is, our assessment will give you the honest feedback you need.

There is no tenure and no formal security for Chiropractic Entrepreneurs. It doesn’t matter if you have been in practice 18 months or 18 years. Length of service is not rewarded in the real world. Your chances for success in the next few years will be determined by your level of EQ. Your security rests solely upon your ability to shoulder challenges and to learn from them. The key to success is you!

EQ defines YOU!

“POWER from you vs. POWER granted you”

Words are important symbols and they can add to or detract from this message. When I use the word power I am referring to its literal definition. Power is the ability to do or act, to inspire and sustain.

Control

CONTROL is personal power “coming from you” and projected outwards. Its agenda is the complete and successful direction or manipulation of people. It is leadership “DOING.” The underlying philosophy of this leadership style is that the “ends justify the means.” This is a stressful game of domination, of outmaneuvering intellectually and emotionally those under your perceived control. It focuses on changing people to be what you want them to be.

Influence

By stark contrast, INFLUENCE is a personal and unofficial power “coming to you” from others. It is a natural response to your character, ability and station in life. Your INFLUENCE may be exerted unconsciously or may operate through persuasion. This leadership style attracts respect, cooperation and inspires people. There is a volitional yielding to your opinions. It focuses on meeting people where they are and leading them to where you are. It is leadership “BEING.”

The difference

So what happens when a patient escapes your control? How can you handle the loss? You can’t. Yet if you come from the perspective that you never HAD them you can never lose them. Patients are never yours. It is simply your turn to lead them, your turn to serve them by helping them eliminate problems and obstacles to their sense of well being, your turn to inspire them to become everything they are destined to be.

Realize that you are exchanging your time and energy in order to create a business that works for you. And there is finiteness to both of these personal resources. Your anxious practice moments are an urgent message that, if ignored, seal your fate. What kind of a leader will you become? Make the decision right here right now to STOP DOING the things that don’t work like controlling and possessing people and START BEING the leader who influences people.

Dr. Sovinsky Dr. Frank Sovinsky, “The E-Myth Chiropractor”, Written August 2005 

Clearly the fast track to explosive growth in your practice is right in front of you. It’s not out there on a billboard, in a spinal screening or in a “not-working” meeting (aka networking).  It is bringing your “A-game” to the adjustment.  You have the power to take a stalled practice and kick it into a higher gear or take a growing practice and make it legendary.

Nowhere else in patient care does the mirror of reality show up so patently. The adjusting experience highlights your systems, staff training and your soft skill prowess.

While it is true that health and healing are processes that require time, planning and effort, the truth for the patient is that the moment on the adjusting table is all that matters. The patient is looking for a distinctive marker that will reinforce his belief that his decision to proceed with care was the right one. This marker can be a physical release, an emotional connection or an intellectual shift in perspective. Simple, focused attention produces these distinctive markers.

You have, through personal experience and study, arrived at some very profound conclusions concerning the nature of health, healing and dis-ease, yet most of your patients have reached other conclusions.  So you will need to be patient with them and provide tangible platforms to help them reach new, more useful conclusions.

You did not come to these conclusions in a vacuum of self study and reflection. Someone or some event influenced you and shifted your perspective. Look with a “beginners mind” and get back in touch with your “A-HA” moments. Strive to find new ways to demonstrate and explain to other beginners the logical reasons and experiences that helped you arrive at your conclusion.

Instead of doing paperwork, do people work:

  1. Go through the files of your active patients. Research their physical history and get a clear understanding and appreciation of their motivations.
  2. Look at the person in the patient file.
  3. Who are they?
  4. Why are they in your care?
  5. What is your promise to that particular patient?
  6. What are the chances you can help them?

Remember, hard work doesn’t pay off. It’s working hard on the right things that pay off.

Dr. Sovinsky Dr. Frank Sovinsky, “The E-Myth Chiropractor”, written January 2010

“Whether we like it or not, our lives will leave a mark on the universe.  Each person’s birth makes ripples that expand in our social environments: parents, siblings, relatives and friends are affected by us and as we grow up our actions leave a myriad of consequences, some intended most not”.      

                                                                                – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Read that quote again. It is deep (pun intended). Now imagine just for a moment that you are standing on the shore of Lake Tahoe with me. It’s perfectly clear today and the water is cobalt blue. I hand you a smooth, perfectly weighted stone and you throw it as far as you can. Can you see the ripples? Can you see them grow in the distance? I think that is what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is talking about in the above quote. You are the stone thrower, you have power and all of your actions have impact. Some intended, others not.

I was looking at some of my “notes to self” the other day and I came across this quote from Michael Gerber.

Every business is a family business.”

Do you get how profound this perspective is? Your passion, your career aspirations and your reaction to the wins and challenges you face in business have a ripple effect on those in your circle and beyond it. You’ve probably noticed that many Chiropractors use the phrase, “Family Wellness” in the name of their business. As a coach it makes me ask the question, “Whose family?”

Did you know that as a business owner you have stakeholders who have a vested financial, emotional and, on some level, a spiritual connection to your success? It’s easy to see that your spouse and children are inextricably tethered to your results but what about your staff and their families and your patients? Your staff is interested in how your business fulfills them as human beings. The people who work alongside you want to grow and thrive and they want economic certainty. They want to know if your business will be around five years from today even if you are not. Your patients want to know if your practice will be there, ready to respond when they need you, not just when you are in the mood or it’s convenient for you. They want security that their experience will be remarkable and consistent.  There are other family stakeholders. What about the banker who loaned you the money to start your practice and the vendors you buy from and yes even the coaches you hire?

You see, what you do has meaning to others. It affects them. This practice is not about you! Do you get that? Good.

Now go to work.

Dr. Sovinsky “The E-Myth Chiropractor”, Dr. Frank Sovinsky, written March 2010

 

What is Worse than an Incompetent Chiropractor? A Mildly Competent One!

Do you want to know why? It’s simple. A mildly competent doctor is not engaged in their life or its true purpose.  They are complacent.  They seek comfort instead of growth and security instead of possibilities.

They sit on a whale and fish for minnows.

The truth is none of us became chiropractors or chiropractic technicians (assistants) to just get a paycheck. We got into it because we want to transform the world. So it comes down to a matter of scale. Do you want to impact your community or just be a mild aftershock? Are you willing to get your “WHY” on, get out of your mummy wrap, and become “wildly competent?”

What if you learned that the way you managed your practice and your patients was actually limiting your ability to help more people and is keeping you from enjoying the rewards of an affluent lifestyle? What if you learned that a lack of new patients IS NOT a marketing problem or that patient non-compliance IS NOT a patient education problem and that insurance reimbursement hassles IS NOT a paperwork problem? How soon would you want to know and more importantly, would you be willing to fix it?

Being a good doctor isn’t enough. Your business must be as competent as you are. Learning another technique, buying the next gadget or spending money on practice software will not close the gap between where your practice is now and where you want it to be.

If you intend to take your practice to the next (more secure) level, then you and your team will need training in soft skills and an upgrade in your business systems. You must go from mildly competent to being wildly competent.

Imagine a practice with a steady stream of new patients, patients who want to be there. Imagine what it could be like with less stress, more freedom, and more time to enjoy your life while you are building it.

We are here to help you bridge the gap between what science knows and chiropractors do. We exist to help you close the gap between where your practice is now and where you need it to be.

Are you ready to get your wild on?

Dr. Sovinsky Dr. Frank Sovinsky, “The E-Myth Chiropractor” Written February 2010

 

 

You no doubt feel the pressure that comes with being a primary health care provider. Patients have many expectations of you, your office and your service. I think that, in our reaction to this pressure, we have unconsciously built psychological walls of self preservation that add to our stress. These walls are built on a belief that in order to benefit from our care a patient must, in some way, reach out and demonstrate a willingness to change their core beliefs.

You may have heard others say or may even have said this yourself, “As long as a patient is willing to meet me half way I can help them”  This feels like the right attitude, but is it? I suppose we sometimes think that if we stand firmly on our ideals and extend ourselves half way that this will teach the patient to be more responsible for their health. I do my half, they do their half. Good intention, bad results.

Why half way is not enough

The emotional mind of the patient perceives this position as indifference.  They might even feel as if it is a power game of superiority and control. Not only will they not follow through with their care, they will tell as many as 12 people about you and how you made them feel. This is not the reputation you want.

In the town where I practiced there was a chiropractic office that had a prominent flight of stone steps leading up and into the clinic. The steps were wide and reminded me of the platform leading up and into a cathedral. As an eager, new practitioner hungry for success, this didn’t make sense to me; yet, the doctor was well known in the community so I had to ask him about it.

“Doctor, I know you don’t just see people with severe back pain, but seriously, how do you expect people to climb up those stairs and into your office?”

He replied quickly and in a stern tone said, “I want them to “step up” to chiropractic and realize that they have finally found the true way of health.”

His attitude was that he shouldn’t even meet the patient half way. The patient should abandon their old ways and embrace the new. Old school arrogance and an attitude of superiority carry over into our culture even today. Doctors tell me that they are willing to meet a patient half way and I tell them, “Half way is not nearly far enough.”

What does this mean?

What does meeting you half way look like? Well, it’s filled with your agendas and it would take a week or more to share all of the examples I have personally witnessed. Here are few common examples that produce common practices:

  • Meeting you half way means the patient must be willing to learn the things you are interested in teaching.
  • Meeting you half way means the patient must show up on time and NEVER miss an appointment
  • Meeting you half way means the patient must drop their old ways of eating, sleeping, exercising and just general “change -ING”

Barriers to your office are mostly behavioral and if you intend to out behave the competition you will want to look at your beliefs and attitudes. While these blocks are not blatant displays like the stone staircase, the result is the same. People stay away. And that big reputation in the community is not the one you want.

You are the leader, the care giver. You must let go of your need to receive respect and appreciation. You cannot expect to receive attention until and unless you give attention. Once you let go of your agenda and reach out you will receive more than you can imagine.

I know that you want an uncommon, extraordinary practice and achieving this is easier than you think. So here is what I want you to do with the next new patient; meet them half way then take three more steps forward.

A word of caution!  If you think you are already taking these steps and you are not attracting 30 or more new patients a month, then think again and make sure you have the right attitude when taking these steps.

The Steps

Step 1: Following the introductions ask the patient about their primary reason for seeking your help and let them talk (hold your tongue . . . literally bite it if you must)

E.g. “I understand that your most pressing concern right now is these headaches. Tell me about them.”

Step 2: Listen. Shut up and do not interrupt them until they signal you that they are through. Studies suggest that if we don’t distract them with our body language or words, on average they will only talk for 90 seconds. Try it. It works.

Step 3: Thank them for their disclosure and ask any clarifying questions you may have. Then, let them know how you intend to discover the chiropractic solution to those headaches and that if you think you can help you will let them know once you have done your examinations.

Meet them more than half way. You practice will thank you, your patients will thank you and you will no longer feel the pressure to perform or the stress associated with non-compliance. Remember, attitude leads behavior.

Dr. SovinskyDr. Frank Sovinsky, “The E-Myth Chiropractor”, written June 2011

Dominate

Dominate vs. Compete… What’s the difference? Similar words; but, understanding the details will help you take steps towards accomplishing your goals. 

Dominate

To dominate you must have a commanding influence and exercise control. In order to dominate, you or your service must be the most important or conspicuous. To dominate means to be in a commanding position. Domination requires mastery, and it requires that you and your business offer more. To dominate means that you are in a league all by yourself. Your only competition is you!

Compete

To compete you must strive to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others who are trying to do the same. To compete means that you participate, try to keep up with, keep pace with, be in the same league, come near to or come close, and/or compare yourself with the other competitors.

The difference

To compete means spending time looking over your shoulder at your competition. To compete means doing the same things that everyone else is doing and just trying to get a little ahead of the next guy. To dominate means to press forward looking straight ahead giving it all you’ve got. To dominate means to race against yourself and consistently push past your “limits”.

When you begin to dominate people will ask how you operate at the level you do. Trust us, it’s a fun question to answer!

Dominate, and abundance is yours!  

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

Few things tug at the heartstrings of people quite like a good Underdog story.

March Madness glorifies the underdog story and creates moments that become must-see TV. The back against the wall, down to the last chance, “nobody puts baby in a corner” situation. It’s an identifiable feeling that invokes a feel-good moment we can all share.

At some point in your life you’ve been the underdog. Chances are you relished the opportunity. Our societal infatuation with the underdog makes me question two things:

“Why do we love the feeling of the underdog?”

“If we love the underdog feeling so much, how can we make that feeling a part of our daily lives?”

Here’s my three answers to both questions.

What is it that makes the underdog so loveable?

1. Hope/Faith
No one believes in themselves or their situation more than the underdog. People admire and fall in love with underdogs and begin to regain that same hope and faith in themselves. The “if they can do that, then certainly I can do this!” mentality gives people a renewed sense of motivation.

2. Perceived Injustice
Underdog stories give us the opportunity to remember the times when we felt slighted. The times when things weren’t fair and we had to persevere through the injustice. We’ve all been wronged before and the underdog reminds us of that time.

3. Redemption
The underdog allows us to vicariously live through them in the moment. The one moment where we can get even. David beats Goliath; even if it’s just for one night. The ultimate redemption story is achieved when the underdog triumphs against all odds.

How to unleash the “Underdog” in your everyday life

1. Chase big dreams
No one celebrates the underdog for getting up on time in the morning or opening the lid on the pickle jar (even though that does feel really good!) The underdog feeling is only unleashed when dreams are realized. To feel that moment where the you’ve beat the doubts and stand victorious; you’ve got to chase the biggest dreams you’ve got.

2. Never give up
Millions of underdog stories are lost every single day. Anytime you give up on something; you lose your shot at your underdog moment. Everyone remembers the underdog for their one shining moment without ever acknowledging the amount of work that went unnoticed to ever reach that opportunity.

3. Acknowledge (and Embrace) reality.
The underdog doesn’t sugarcoat things or try to make themselves feel like they deserve to be where they are. The underdog takes pride in how far they’ve come and the path it took to get there.

Everyone has some underdog in them. Those who find ways to channel that emotion and desire are the ones we see celebrating the buzzer beaters and changing the world.

It’s time for you to unleash your underdog.

Let’s Ride!

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO, SIDECAR