I was going back through “Chrome” the other day getting ready for our next SIDECAR Fuel Tank. 

The SIDECAR founders wrote Chrome a couple years ago to distill our principals on branding and marketing, which is the topic of the live Fuel Tank on Thursday, Jan. 23. You can get the details here. 

In reviewing the book, I had that flashback moment to the early days of my practice. It’s the experience I wrote about in the introduction. It’s always humbling and gratifying to rea

d it because it’s a reminder of how far we’ve come at SIDECAR and how fortunate I’ve been. 

At any rate, I wanted

 to share that experience with you from the introduction.  

Here you go: 

I wrote Chrome because I believe that your business can shine without advertising. Really shine. 

I know what you’re thinking: ‘That’s easy for you to say. You already have a successful practice.’ Trust me, it wasn

’t always that way. 

I can still remember the internal struggle I felt trying to convince myself to get out of the shower in the mornings. Faced with the challenge of piecing back together the mess I had made in my business and the struggles it placed on my personal life. 

I remember lying in bed at night and not sleeping, for days. The constant dialogue going on between my ears as I tried to find solutions to all the daily problems. 

I remember having an office full of billing staff; not making any money and being constantly barraged with problems we created. 

I remember thinking that the answer was an influx of new patients, and trying everything to accomplish that: doing spinal screenings, hosting dinners with the doctor, and pedaling every community event trying to spread my business. And while those new patients made me work harder – a lot harder – things didn’t get any better. 

I’ll never forget my wake-up call. 

I was confronted by the person I had abdicated my financial operations to with alarming news. He alerted me to the fact that we weren’t going to make payroll that week. I looked at him, a little bewildered, and told him that we would be ok, just let the line of credit take care of the short fall for the week. 

He told me the line of credit was maxed. 

My $200,000 line of credit was maxed out! 

After all the hard work – all the hours I had put into my business – I was $200,000 in the wrong direction. 

I realized at that moment that I had to change. Nothing was going to get better until I got better. That defining moment led to where we are today. 

The concepts are simple but that doesn’t mean the process is easy! The steps to build your brand and a world-class patient experience are simple, but the time and the hustle it takes to accomplish it isn’t easy! 

The steps to improve your communication skills with patients is simple, but the process of changing your behavior, leaving your agenda at the door, and connecting on an individual basis isn’t easy! 

But what I discovered is that doing it on your own is impossible. Chrome contains everything I’ve learned about branding, marketing, and advertising a chiropractic business. It’s the road map I followed to pay off my student loans, climb out of debt, impact my community, and enterprise my business to include several office locations. In short, it’s how I resurrected my chiropractic dream. 

I know it can do the same for you. 

 

 

Chrome book cover

Guess what percentage of the population has a favorable opinion of chiropractors.  

Seventy-five? Eighty? 

It’s more like 50 percent, according to a recent poll by the Gallup organization.  

Which may lead you to think, “50 percent doesn’t like us!” What a disaster! 

But that’s not what the poll said.  

The question was whether they agreed with this statement: Most chiropractors are trustworthy. 

Only 9 percent said they disagreed with the statement. That’s pretty good. 

Fifty-two percent said they agreed with the statement. That’s not terrible, though we’d like it be better. 

But think about this: Thirty-nine percent of the people polled said they didn’t know or were neutral on the question.  

Almost four out of ten.  

That’s a huge opportunity for chiropractors.  

They need to hear our story. How we reach these people? Marketing. Branding. Advertising.  

Yes. But what works? You can throw money at the opportunity and never move the needle.  

We’re going to discuss that in the SIDECAR Fuel Tank at noon central time on Thursday, Jan. 23. If you’re discovering the live presentation, click here and you can watch it. 

We’ve distilled the foundational principles of marketing in our book, “Chrome.”  

“Chrome” is a concise guide to the basics of achieving affluence with your chiropractic practice by building a shiny brand. At the core are the twin pillars of the right marketing and designing a memorable patient experience. 

Let’s go back to the poll for a moment. 

These are the people who’ve never been to a chiropractor. They have no opinion on trustworthiness. But many of them have an impression. They are frightened or distrustful of anything new, or just don’t have the information. This is where we can shine. 

But we know this. You don’t start with spending a bunch of money on advertising.  

Radio, TV, print, online – they all have their place at the end of the process. Not the beginning. 

As we discuss in Chrome and reinforce in SIDECAR’s training, there a prescribed order to marketing.  

It starts with operations. The systems and procedures in your practice must be tight. Your teams must understand how they fit into the whole process. What are the expectations for them? What does that look like in your practice?  

That lays the foundation for designing memorable patient experiences. When you deliver on that promise, it leads to more and better referrals from your happy and enthusiastic patients. Those steps, properly executed, create your shiny brand.  

Only then is it time to use traditional advertising. Then you’re adding fuel to the fire.  

Without that shiny brand, you’re just burning money.  

I did a practice analysis for a new client a few years ago.  It was apparent in looking at his layout, that he could immediately boost his productivity and flow by removing a fish tank that was in the middle of his adjusting suite, between the waiting area and the adjusting tables.  No walls needed to go, just some fish.  When I suggested he remove the fish tank and attempted to give him my vision of what was possible if he did, I was met with an incredible amount of pushback.

“ Yeah but my patient’s love to look at the fish, I like to look at them, they calm me.  They are part of the ambience.  The kids would miss them if I took them away.  Yeah but . . .”

Each call the topic would come up and his excuses continued to flow, but his practice did not..

Another story:

The very first in-house evaluation I ever performed was another such structural flow stopper.  The doctor had just moved into a new office, one that was designed before he had hired me.  He’d been in the office for six months and was at a plateau with his patient numbers.  He felt he wanted to go open room, but wanted to know where he should put the adjusting suite.  I toured the office and found that if he eliminated this one room, he could make an adjusting suite that would be ideal.

That room happened to be his private bathroom.  It had a shower and sink and a toilet.  It wasn’t anything that spectacular. “Yeah but, that’s MY bathroom,” he declared. “And why do you need your own bathroom? There are two others over there.” I responded.

“But those are for patients.  This is mine.  I can go in here and not be disturbed.  And I have a shower so I can wash after I workout at lunch and not have to go home.”

Trust me! This guy hadn’t worked out in years.

Which would you choose?  A private toilet or increasing your paying patient visits?

Six years later I ran into the fish tank doctor.  He had an enormous smile on his face and the first words out of his mouth as he approached me were, “Hey Doc, I finally got rid of the fish tank!  I know, wasn’t that stupid of me?”

I wouldn’t say he was stupid, but I would say he was un-coachable.

The truth is many structural and procedural blocks are really emotional blocks. Like the stories above, doctors hold on to status quo and refuse to move forward because of some emotional attachment to a “thing.”

What are you willing to let go of in exchange for success?

The SIDECAR Team

It is that time of year again!  The holiday season can be a stressful time of family gatherings, cold weather, shopping, and hectic travel schedules.  All too often during the holidays, we become so preoccupied and overwhelmed with buying gifts and attending parties that we forget to stop and remember to be thankful for the abundant blessings in our lives.

When we choose to live and act from a state of gratitude, we are able to recognize and appreciate the endless blessings in our lives, and we are filled with a sense of peace and thankfulness for all we have.  Our lives suddenly become richer, fuller, and happier because we are operating from a grateful mindset.  I would like to challenge you during this holiday season (and all throughout the new year), rather than focusing on what you believe is missing from your life, try instead to embrace a perspective of gratitude.

Simply say, “Thank you.”

You may be surprised to find how much happier, calmer, and more fulfilling your holidays – and ALL of your days – become.

Happy Holidays from SIDECAR!

MOUNTAIN VIEW CHIROPRACTIC LogoTwo years ago I decided I needed to create my new practice. I wanted to create a new practice that was fun, systems based, stress free, sustainable in all markets, and patient oriented. One of the biggest weakness that I had in my prior practice was not having systems in place, and the biggest system that was not in place was our billing department. Our patients were voting with their feet and leaving because of billing issues. They were not telling us. Patients just didn’t show up anymore.

Like many chiropractors, our “Billing Lady” was a former C.A. that I trained to do our billing and post payments. She was in charge of our revenue cycle in the office. After all, what did I know about billing, coding, ICD 10, or E.H.R? Like most offices, when collections were up, I thought she was doing great! When collections were down, I would come to her and ask what was wrong. I would inevitably get a blank look back at me; as she was not equipped to answer that question!

Since hiring SIDECAR, that has all changed. From past experience with outside billing, I was not excited about the prospect of hiring an outside billing company. Prior companies would take a percentage of collections, so the harder I worked, the more I had to pay. It also seemed that they liked to work on the bigger accounts, collect the low hanging fruit and not be very detail oriented. SIDECAR is different, as they have a flat fee that is roughly the cost of a monthly employee, which allows me to have a budget in place.

SIDECAR’s team is very professional. All of their employees are certified, well-trained, true billing professionals. I can now say that I have a full-time billing team that never comes to me and asks for a day off, never needs maternity leave and I don’t have to manage.

There are so many intangibles about SIDECAR. Their I.T. component interfaces with my software vendor on my behalf. If something is not working with computers or my software I simply call them, they log in, trouble shoot the problem and fix the issue. Software problem? Hardware problem? With SIDECAR’s IT Team in play, I say “NO Problem.” SIDECAR has a full tool box that helps to train my team and to systematize my entire practice. Not only with billing but things such as how to schedule, phone etiquette, in office patient flow, and how to make me the best version of myself to be able to communicate to patients.

The best thing I can say about SIDECAR is that I don’t ever think of them. With their help and their systems in place, I can truly say I have not only a dream employee but my dream practice. I show up for 25 clinical hours per week and perform my sole purpose of adjusting people and “Saving Lives.” I leave every night from my practice knowing that my documentation is complete, the insurance is billed and my practice is working based on interlocking systems that SIDECAR has helped me develop. My practice is so stress free that I can’t imagine ever practicing without SIDECAR.

Josh Biberdorf, DC
Rapid City, SD

Learn more about Dr. Biberdorf and Mt. View Chiropractic

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What do you want out of life?

Re-read that quote, I’m willing to bet your desires align with what Emerson concluded. You want to be the best that you can be. Everyone does. So how do we get there?

This quote speaks to the importance of several things:

1. Mentors

Mentorship creates opportunities to learn lessons unobtainable anywhere else. You’ll never face challenges that someone hasn’t already faced in some capacity. Finding a trusted mentor and utilizing their knowledge only acts to increase your own.

2. Mastermind Groups

Benjamin Franklin created his own mastermind group and started every meeting by asking two profound questions:

“Who is thriving and why?”

&

“How might they be emulated?”

A mastermind group is a meeting of minds designed to enhance the well-being of the group as a whole. The more ideas you expose yourself too, the better off you’re bound to be.

3. Humility & Expanded Mindset

Becoming the best version of yourself requires large doses of humility. There’s no room to learn if you already know it all! Begin each day with an expanded mindset and open yourself up to learning something new or something old a new way!

“… to be what we know we could be.”

There’s no superfluous intent in this quote. No “what if’s”, dreams, or unobtainable realities. We simply desire to be what we KNOW we can be. Finding someone who can inspire us to reach that level is truly our chief want. Finding someone that can push us to act on the internal desire we have to use our skills, abilities, and God-given talents.

Somebody that will guide us along the path to allow us to make an impact, take care of our stakeholders, and reach affluence by doing whatever it is we love.

If you’re a chiropractor and this is your reality, welcome to SIDECAR.

Let’s get started on inspiring you to become what you know you can. A thriving, impactful chiropractor living a well-deserved affluent lifestyle.

Your SIDECAR Team

Confidence

As a young boy, I watched my grandmother as she lay in a dark room in the middle of the day. I listened to her faint moans as she suffered with yet another piercing migraine. As I passed through her kitchen, I could see the bottles of medication lined up like soldiers ready for a war they would never win. A few years later pain hit closer to home. When I left for college my father was a proud, strong policeman, and in just two years, he had become a humbled combatant, losing the fight against rheumatoid arthritis.

How could we have all these advances in medicine, yet my family suffered with simple curable conditions? Their pain turned all of our lives inside out. I was frustrated and at times angered that nobody had a solution. Well meaning doctors could only prescribe pain relievers, not pain eliminators. These pills eventually created other conditions that led to more prescriptions and an early death for my father. So I began my search, and hundreds of books later, I realized that the disease is too weak to notice until it’s too strong to beat.

I was determined to feed this new belief. I was determined to take massive action and to become a Chiropractor. I wanted to give people a choice, chance and confidence. I shared words of encouragement, outlined logical strategies, and most importantly I gave them a place to begin.

It really doesn’t matter that our entire planet is in a health care crisis. Rising costs of medical care wipe out savings accounts and bury dreams every day. What matters to me is that people in your town need your perspective and you are the only one they may listen to.

Nothing is everything. No one person or profession has all the answers to what ails us. Yet many of the solutions are right in front of us if we can teach our people to ask the right questions. Pain can be debilitating, but failing to address its cause is devastating.

Your WHY can become a powerful personal message. It’s about you teaching people to take the lead in their own play. It’s about arming them with strategies that work in the real world. We live in a high-tech medical world with amazing breakthroughs, yet many of the life-wrenching symptoms patients may be suffering with defy high-tech solutions.

Dr. Frank Sovinsky
Co-Author of the E-Myth Chiropractor and Co-founder of SIDECAR

Landscape

Have you ever felt like you did everything right and still did not get the results you were hoping for? I know I have felt this way many times and when it happens I am left wondering what went wrong. So, why is it that if we do a task exactly like were told to do it, sometimes it does not provide the end results that we desire?

I remember when I was a young boy my brothers and I loved to work on putting together puzzles. It would start out by picking out a puzzle at the store. We would look at all the boxes on the shelves and pick the one that had the coolest picture or the most beautiful landscape on the box. We would then take the puzzle home and pour out all the pieces onto a table and set the box up in a place where we could see how the finished product would look. Piece by piece we would start to assemble the puzzle until each piece was put into it’s rightful place. The task of putting together the puzzle had an endpoint that we could visualize and each piece had it’s own particular place where we knew it belonged. Now, putting together the puzzle took patience but I knew if I did the task of getting each puzzle piece into its right place we would end up with the “landscape on the box.”

Sometimes, I wish life was more like putting together a puzzle. How nice would it be if we could just put together our life piece by piece with the guarantee that we would end up with the beautiful “landscape on the box?” Unfortunately, our lives are a little more complex than the puzzle pieces that fit just right! In life, our success is determined not only by the tasks we perform but also by the depth and breadth of the relationships we develop with others. Relationships are messy, multi-faceted and take work! Relationships don’t work like puzzle pieces and always fit together just right in one pattern. Relationships involve people of all different walks of life who carry different belief systems and possess different wants and needs. Relationship building takes time, adaptability, and a willingness to recognize each other’s individual desires. It involves looking at things from more than one angle, not just at the beautiful landscape on the box! Building relationships is about connecting! As nice as it would be, you can’t just “task” your way to better relationships! You also can’t task your way to success! Tasking without connecting is useless! If you want your life to end up looking like the “landscape on the box”, start connecting instead of just tasking!

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh of SIDECAR

PS: This may be difficult to swallow for all you “taskers” out there. I know you’re wanting the checklist of “how to connect.” Stay tuned…

Complaint Department Located 200 Miles Away

One of the simplest things you can do to improve your perspective and attitude — stop complaining!

Do you light up the room when you walk in or when you walk out? If your answer is the latter, I would bet that your habit of complaining has something to do with it.

As chiropractors, we deal with complaints all day long; a requirement of our job is to bring inspiration and hope with us every day in order to end needless suffering.

Here are two facts: complaining costs the US economy $250-300 billion in lost productivity and 90% of doctor visits are stress-related with the number one recorded cause of stress being coworkers and their complaining.

This should be alarming to you as a Doctor as well as a business owner! As leaders, we need to realize that everyone has their own “stuff” that they are dealing with. Part of creating a great company culture is not allowing personal or outside negativity to cross the threshold into the office. It’s as simple as this one rule, NO COMPLAINING. A negative employee can scare off every customer they speak with… for good.

Negative emotions are associated with: decreased lifespan, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, greater stress, less energy, more pain, fewer friends, and less success.

A hole in the boat sinks the entire boat, not just one part of it. Complaining cannot be allowed to have a role in any part of your business. The change needs to be instantaneous and done now. Complaining is a habit and once it gets started it’s tough to stop.

Stop complaining now before it’s too late.

Dr. SeaDr. Douglas Sea

 

 

Connectivity

We have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback in regards to our last blog piece entitled, “The Landscape on the Box”. If you haven’t read that piece yet, check it out here! As promised when we left off last time, here is the checklist on how to improve your connectivity.There are eight core principles to improving your connectivity. Improving your connectivity will enhance the impact on your community, your role as a thought leader, grow your likeability, scale your business and ultimately increase the affluence in your life. The eight P’s of connectivity include: Positivity, Present, Prepared, Persistence, Press In, Pour In, Perform and Prioritize.

Positivity: Being positive is the critical first step in learning to connect with others. Your attitude determines your altitude and your gratitude determines your attitude. The level of success you achieve in life hinges on your ability to remain positive in all circumstances! You want to be the person that lights up a room when you enter it; not when you leave it! You need to commit to having positive energy and enthusiasm exuding out of you in everything you do. Commit to yourself right now to eliminate any negativity and to be positive. Some tangible things you can do to increase your positivity include smiling, dressing for success, staying well-groomed, and living out loud with purpose, passion, and discipline! In order to stay positive, you need to stop blaming others and take responsibility for everything that happens to you.  You need to remember that nothing in this world happens to you, but happens because of you! A life of affluence all starts with a positive attitude!

Present: What does it truly mean to “be present?” Nick Saban, the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team is famous for his saying: “Be where your feet are.” Being present is having the discipline to wholeheartedly focus on the one thing that is in front of you. As humans, we think we can multi-task, but in reality multi-tasking is an illusion. The truth is we have a hard-enough time completing one task in front of us; let alone attempting to complete two things! Multi-tasking puts us at risk for creating substandard results in any area of our life. Developing the discipline to stay focused on the person in front of us creates connectivity.  Have you ever been talking with someone at a party who is busy looking around and seems to be only half engaged in the conversation? How did that make you feel?  Learn to live in the moment. This is a crucial point and it’s not easy. Many of us tend to worry or get stuck in our dreams. We spend way too much time living in the past or the future and not being focused on the current moment.  If you want to connect deeper with people learn the art of being present.

Prepared: In learning to connect with people it is important that you are prepared. You’ve heard the saying, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Be prepared by mastering your ability to communicate.  Communication mastery is vital to connecting with people and involves three components: self-awareness, recognizing others, and then being able to adapt our communication and behavior to allow us to connect with each and every human being we encounter.

Self-awareness is defined as the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.  Self-awareness creates personal accountability, confidence, and clear expectations of what you need to be prepared to serve others.  Once you have a clear understanding of yourself you can prepare to start to recognize other’s unique behaviors, needs, wants, and desires.

Recognizing others requires an understanding of the different types of human behavior. We all know that no one person behaves the exact same, but we do know that there are similar behavioral styles that are universal and these styles can be studied. At SIDECAR, we utilize a tool known as the DISC Assessment that gives us a platform to learn the art of human behavior. In fact, we have an entire Communication Mastery course in our OVERDRIVE product that helps to identify everything you need to know about communicating.

Lastly, self-awareness coupled with the ability to recognize others prepares you to adapt and communicate to create connectivity. If you understand how you communicate, and understand how your target communicates, this allows you to make the necessary adaptations for the optimal level of connection.

Persistence: Woody Hayes said it best, “Paralyze resistance with persistence.” It takes persistence to become a master of connecting with people. To develop persistence you first must commit. Commit to the process that leads to increasing your connectivity. The Persistence Process in connecting with people includes getting involved in your community, serving on boards, going to different coffee shops, engaging with waiters and waitresses, serving at your school, serving at your church, nesting in local business establishments, giving value-added talks to any group that will listen to your story, and much more. Take a genuine interest in the area you live in and be a part of your community. Stop sitting idle in your office or at your home!  Persist in getting to know as many people as you can!  Engage with people!  Persist in your own mind to be more concentrated on being interested in others versus trying to be more interesting yourself. Persistence is day in and day out forever! Persistence is not a “one-off” event! Winner’s do daily what others do occasionally!

Press In: If you are going to connect with people you will need to be willing to “press in.” To press in is the concept of taking responsibility  for your half of the relationship. Pressing in requires a high level of accountability. You need to become accountable for your actions, your thoughts, your success, and your failures. You need to press in and take accountability to learn the skill set of being “contactable.”  Being contactable means that you are intentionally pressing in to widen your circle of influence.  If you want to have more impact, scale your business, and enjoy deeper relationships you’re going to have to “press in.” This will require hustle; you will have to hustle for what you want! One of the most common characteristics of successful people is their ability to hustle relentlessly. People with hustle aren’t scared of the invisible, the uncomfortable, or what could happen if they make themselves vulnerable.  Learn to press in and your ability to connect with more people will soar!

Pour In: To “pour in” requires you to serve and lead with your heart! You must be willing to give above and beyond yourself in order to enhance your connectivity. Become a servant leader in your business, your home, your church, your community and focus on what you can do for the betterment of others. The only way to truly receive is to give first, with no strings attached. I think one of the best examples of “pouring in” is when Jesus humbled himself to wash his disciples’ feet.  He didn’t have to do this based upon who He was, but He did this act as an example of what true servant leadership looks like.  So instead of seeking a “title” use Jesus’s example and pick up a “towel” instead.

Prioritize: To increase your connectivity, you are going to need to prioritize your life. For some of you, this may include adding certain things to your life that you aren’t currently doing. However, for most of you this is going to require subtracting the unnecessary things out of your life! Success is about subtracting, not adding. Unfortunately, subtracting is much harder than adding! It’s easy to pick up something new or try a quick-fix option. It’s much harder to shed something that’s been with you forever and has grown into a bad habit. The concept of essentialism teaches that to increase your impact and connectivity you must prioritize the items that you truly do well and eliminate the rest from your life completely.

Perform: Finally, we get to the connecting. Think of every opportunity you have to connect as a performance. Then, think of your performance as a dance. This time to connect with whomever may be in front of you is your time to shine! You’ve put the work in and you are prepared, now, the only thing left for you to do is dance! Put yourself out there in the best way you know how and display your talent on the grand stage. The performance is a culmination of all the previous principles. This is what you are working towards!

All these principles will allow you to connect with more people and increase your impact. They will require due diligence on your part and some areas are going to be more challenging than others. If you were inspired by any of these principles; you’ve got what it takes. Use that fire inside you to develop yourself into a master communicator and start connecting and changing more lives.

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR