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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.  

Have you ever felt like there just wasn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything you set out to do?

Everyone has the same amount of time. Barring any event that reduces or ends the amount of life someone experiences, time is constant.

Let’s do the math:

  • 24 hours per day
  • 168 hours per week
  • 8,760 hours per year

As long as you and I are both alive, we’ve got the same amount of time.

The Truth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person spends three hours per day watching T.V. Three hours per day equates to 21 hours per week. This ultimately adds up to 1,095 hours per year!

12.5% of an entire year spent watching T.V.

You may be thinking, “That’s not me, I don’t watch that much T.V.!”

What about time spent on your cell phone? Social Media, Messaging, Internet usage… Most reports done show that the average person spends around four hours per day on their phone!

The point that I’m trying to make here is this: You have plenty of time to accomplish what you truly want to accomplish.

Television

The average person spends 12.5% of each year watching television.

Subtraction

If you are feeling pressed for time and constantly find yourself “running out”; re-examine exactly where you are allocating your time. The key to improving your efficiency and ultimately growing is through subtraction. Success is never about adding; it’s always about subtracting! Subtract anything that is not aligning you closer to your vision. Eliminate the wasteful screen time spent on TV or your cell phone.

You might be thinking, “I don’t waste time!” My response? Business does not equal productivity.

If you feel you are being efficient with your time but still don’t have enough, examine the tasks you are performing.  

A great principle that we teach at SIDECAR is the one-minute principle. This principle helps to identify exactly how much time you may be wasting in your day. Taking inventory of your time will help to expose growth areas.

Here’s some perspective: every great idea, product, event, or thing that has ever occurred on this Earth stemmed from a person who had the same amount of time that you do!

You have plenty of time. Start making the most of it.

Let’s Ride!

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

To find out more about the one-minute principle and how to apply it to your business give us a call at 1-877-727-2705.

Instilling the concept of “Playing Hurt vs. Playing Injured” in your company culture is crucial in your ability to lead your team effectively.

How many times have you told yourself or your employees to “Rub some dirt on it!” or “Shake it off!” in the last few months?

What I hope to illustrate in today’s blog is defining the concept of “Playing Hurt vs. Playing Injured” and how you can incorporate this lesson into your company culture.

Playing Hurt

Being hurt is challenging. When you’re feeling under the weather it’s easy to head back to bed and chalk the day up as a loss. However, as the leader of your business you must come to a quick realization. Ultimately, you set the tone for your company and are directly in charge of your company’s culture.

If you have a stuffy nose or don’t feel quite right, you can still go to work. You can go to work and you can perform to the standards you’ve set for yourself and your employees. A majority of the time it comes down to your mindset. You don’t have a choice, you have a responsibility to the people you serve. This is the mindset you need to instill in your company culture.

Playing Injured

Playing Injured is a different story. If you or your employee is in rough shape and has no capability of performing the required work duties; then it’s probably not safe to come in to work. The reality of this situation is that it is rare! Encouraging a healthy lifestyle to your team will help combat the likelihood of this occurring. If an employee is constantly “injured” you may need to step in as a leader and help resolve other situations in that employee’s life.

Teaching Your Team to Play Hurt

If you’re under these people, you’re probably injured!

The Small Business Reality

99.7% of all businesses in the United States are small businesses. Your business falls into this category. A small business is going to struggle to grow if it is consistently missing 25-50% of their workforce. Understand the magnitude of missing one employee when you consistently operate with a team of less than five people.

Set the edges with your employees and lay the guidelines for what you tolerate. You can play hurt; you can’t play injured. At the end of the day it’s not about you; it’s about the team coming together to work towards your business’s vision.

When an employee is out of the office for whatever reason. Have Plan B ready to go. If that doesn’t work try Plan C. Whatever your plan may be, just get the job done. If you need to have PRN staff, a bullpen of candidates available at a moment’s notice: your spouse, kids, uncle, neighbor… Establish a pool of individuals that know what to do and can operate in your business in a bind.

 

Dr. Nathan Unruh Dr. Nathan Unruh, CXO, SIDECAR

In your business, you can choose to be a spectator or a player. Which one are you?

I talk with a lot of doctors and business people who have elaborate plans for their future. They tell me about their great ideas and the things that they want to do. Most of the time, these plans remain just that, plans! At SIDECAR we refer to this stage as “getting ready to get ready”.

The common theme when I talk with these types of people is that they always have something to say about those in their field that are out doing things. They remind me of spectators watching an event take place. These people are riddled with opinions including things like: “Why didn’t he do this?” or “Why didn’t she see that?” They tend to think that they understand the game quite well from there vantage point.

Spectators Everywhere

I tend to find that there are a lot more spectators than there are players on the field these days. The reality of the situation is this: the players, people partaking in the event, are the ones making the difference. These people are training to win and are willing to take a position in front of the spectators, put on their best performance, take any criticism they receive, and build on it.

There are always going to be spectators. Not all spectators are bad, they are a necessity for the game to take place. However, if you find yourself thinking like a player but acting like a spectator, that’s when problems arise.

Spectators vs Players

There’s always going to be more spectators.

Which one are you?

Are you a player or are you a spectator? Are you willing to put your best foot forward and take action even though you may not have all the details worked out? Players are constantly training and improving so when it comes time to hit the field they are ready. Players understand that regardless of how well trained they are, during the performance unforeseeable things can take place and require adaptation. The more the player trains the better he or she will be at handling the unforeseeable circumstances.

The spectator has a pretty cushy job. He gets to sit in a spot way up high where he can see it all, snack on some popcorn, and proclaim his opinion to all those around him.

If you desire to be a player, lose the mindset and work ethic of a spectator.

A coach once told me, “Players make plays, players win games.”

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

 

Are you working as hard as you think you are? 

Work Ethic

Rate your work ethic. On scale of 1-10, rate your work ethic. Seriously, choose a number.

What number did you give yourself? Typically, people answer comfortably in the 6-8 range. Let’s put that into perspective. If you were taking a test: 8 out of 10 would be a B, 7 out of 10 a C, and everything below that… well, you get the idea.

This is a great exercise to do with your team. Open yourself and your team up and be vulnerable. Remember, in our businesses we only get what we tolerate. Your team’s work ethic drives what you all can accomplish as a unit. We encourage you to be honest with yourself; where is your work ethic right now?

What is Your Why?

If your answer isn’t as high as you would like it to be here’s my question for you, what is your why? Is your why, the reason you do what you do, big enough? When your why truly is big enough, the how’s will take care of itself!

We know that in order to execute on every patient experience we have to be 100% present with 100% effort. This needs to transcend from you, the leader of your business, down to your techs.

I have asked techs that worked for me in the past, “If you had a car and it only started 7 out of 10 times, but you never knew exactly when it would or wouldn’t start, would you keep that car?”

Take a look in the mirror. How’s your work ethic?

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

In order to connect with your patients you need to LISTEN to what they are saying.

I had the opportunity to spend some time in a SIDECAR client’s office recently; which is by far one of my favorite things to do.  I get to see first-hand how well a doctor is applying the new SIDECAR training to his/her practice and more importantly the bottom-line results that are occurring.

Golden Tickets

In this office the number of Golden Tickets that were being missed, side-stepped, or never addressed during the course of one morning was staggering!

To refresh, a Golden Ticket is something a patient may say or a question they may ask that opens the door to securing a referral, clearing up a patient’s confusion, or gives the doctor and staff an opportunity to go the extra mile to deliver on a great customer experience.

Here’s a few examples transcript that I heard:

Example 1

Patient: “Doc, I have a friend at work who is having headaches just like me. Is there any connection?”

Doctor: “It’s possible. Turn your head to the right”.

He was hearing but NOT listening!

Example 2

Patient: “Doc, my neck is really bad today”

Doctor: “What happened?”

Patient: “I was in the shampoo bowl at the beauty shop”

Doctor: *Nothing*

Crickets! You could feel the tension in the room as the patient was waiting for a response and the Doctor just continued working away, oblivious to the patient’s true needs.

Example 3

Patient: “My mid-back is really sore today.”

Doctor: “Right side or left?”

Patient: “Right”

Doctor: *Nothing*

The Doctor never acknowledged the patient’s concern, palpate the area of complaint, let alone make an adjustment!

Conclusion

I could site several more examples of lost opportunities to connect with a patient. The problem was this doctor was hearing but not listening!

Before you dismiss the importance of this lesson by saying, “That’s not me!” Think about it, how well do you listen to your spouse, your team or your coach?

During the debrief between this Doctor and myself, I pointed out to him all the specific examples of where exactly he was hearing but NOT listening.  I provided him with an analogy as we sat in his office. I could HEAR the music playing in the background in the reception area, but I was not LISTENING to it turk-eczanesi.com/.  My focus was entirely on my conversation with the doctor, not the music.  I could not name the tune, the artist or even the genre, yet I could still hear it.

Listening is the most critical component of communication.  If you are not listening and only hearing you too are missing Golden Tickets to build your practice and serve more people.

Dr. Douglas Sea, SIDECAR

Dr Douglas Sea

Becoming a better leader isn’t an overnight process. Following the Hierarchy of Leadership has helped me to enhance my leadership capabilities.

Leadership is a hot topic in the world of entrepreneurship and personal development. Many people have the desire to become a better leader, but do not have a plan in place to turn their thoughts and dreams into reality.

The Hierarchy of Leadership can be utilized as a ladder to becoming a better overall leader. The hierarchy of leadership is as follows: lead yourself, lead your family, lead your team, and lead your community. This model is a progression, you will struggle to lead others if you first cannot lead yourself.

Lead Yourself

If you desire to improve yourself as a leader, first examine your ability to lead yourself. Can you walk the walk? Are you able to execute on your own personal desires? Do you find yourself making excuses and justifying them with your actions?

This is the foundation and most important component of leadership. Effective leaders are extremely self-disciplined, intentional with their actions, and self-aware of who they truly are.

If what you want to achieve requires getting out of bed at 5 AM; you have to get yourself out of bed at 5 AM.

Lead your Family

After you’ve harnessed the ability to lead yourself, focus on leading your family. Those that surround you day in and day out! Whether this be your spouse, children, or other loved ones – develop the ability to lead them.

Your family will expose more about you and your leadership abilities than any other demographic. Your ability to communicate properly, make tough decisions, and lead day-in and day-out will be manifested in a family setting.

Lead your Team

Your team is similar to your family; in fact, you probably spend more time with them than you do your true relatives! The people you interact with everyday when you step foot in the office comprises your team.

Leading your team requires developing and implementing a vision, mission, values, code of honor, and “We Believe” statements. Your ability to lead will be directly determined by your ability to get your team to buy-in and commit to honoring these values.

Your ability to lead your team will determine your capability to serve those around you.

Lead your Community

The last step in the Hierarchy of Leadership is the ability to lead your community. By the time you’ve reached this point you should be confident and comfortable with your ability to lead. Leading in your community is simply an opportunity to extend your leadership skills elsewhere and serve.

To an extent, if you’ve reached this level of leadership ability it is your duty to go out and lead the community you live in. Possessing this level of leadership is rare and doesn’t come by chance. Reaching out at this level will allow you to leave an impact greater than you may have imagined.

Final Thoughts

Leadership isn’t easy and it isn’t for everyone. If you truly desire to become a better leader, examine where your leadership ability falls along the Leadership Hierarchy model.

The best advice I can give? Start by learning to lead yourself.

Let’s Ride!

Dr. SeaDr. Douglas Sea, CTO SIDECAR

To learn more about Dr. Douglas Sea click here.