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Set sail. 

There is nothing more beautiful than a sailboat on the open water.  As the wind catches the sail, the boat moves effortlessly across the water. As long as wind fills the sail, forward momentum continues.    

No wind, no sail, no progress. 

The boat also needs a sailor to maneuver the sail, catch the wind and head in the right direction. 

We can use the boat as a metaphor for our lives.  We need to fill our sails with wind and not get entangled with things that don’t create momentum.    

We need wind that includes people who make us better. It includes the books we read, the training we do, and a mindset that expands for more opportunities.    

Our sails get entangled by a contracted mindset, toxic relationships, bad attitudes, lack of action, and not accepting accountability for our decisions.    

We are the sailors of our own lives!   

Guide your boat toward the life we desire, one of  affluence filled with rich relationships, a reputation to be proud of, a vocation we love, a vision that ignites our days, and the resources to experience life on our terms.   

Set sail. 

Open or closed.  

That’s the decision for chiropractors and most small business owners across the country as we prepare for – and worry about – the coronavirus. 

The virus, the disruption, the political wrangling and social media blathering – seem complicated, and they be. 

But this decision is black and white – open or closed. 

That’s the issue I hear the most right now from chiropractorsWe are all struggling with the same question. The truth is, there is no wrong answer. Each of us deals with unique circumstances.  

We live in different states, even different countries where governments take varying levels of actions depending on the conditions on the ground. Some places have mandatory closing of all businesses, including affiliated health care clinics such as ours.  

In those cases, the choice is made for you. 

The rest of us struggle with the decision, balancing service to patients with obligations to public health and our staff and our families.   

Do we turn away an elderly patient who wants and needs an adjustment? 

Do we limit contact between patients, spacing tables and waiting areas? 

Do we require phone screening before a visit to identify potentially risky patients? 

None of these are unrealistic ideas.  

My message is to take prudent steps. Get the best information you can from reputable and trusted sources. Pay attention to updates from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control. 

Listen to your local and state officials for guidance. 

Don’t go it alone.  

Talk to your staff, your family, your colleagues. What is best for them? 

Don’t be afraid to address the fear and anxiety we are all feeling, because it’s there. It manifests in all kinds of ways, through anger and outbursts, an underlying sense of discomfort or dread, or even gallows humor.  

Dr. Shahana Alibhai was a guest on a webinar we broadcast recently. (You can watch it here.) Dr. Shahana is an M.D. in British Columbia and expert on dealing with anxiety. She’s also married to a chiropractor 

She told a wonderful story of a discussion they had about what to do.  

Dr. Shahana told her husband to ask himself “why” seven times.  

What are you feeling? 

Stress about whether to close. 

Why? 

Because I don’t want to let down my patients. 

Why? 

Because it’s bad for them, and bad for me and bad for business. 

Why is that important right now? 

Because then I can’t provide for my family. 

And there’s the heart of the decision for Dr. Shahana’s husband. He feels the weight of responsibility to take care of his wife and young children. That’s a perfectly normal experience and one many of us share. 

As Dr. Shahana points out, the decision of whether to close is not a measure of our worth as parents, spouses and community leaders. Quite the contrary.  

That may be the best decision for our children, spouse and community.   

There’s no blanket stance that will fit all of us. I’ve heard calls on either end of the spectrum, from nobody can tell me to close my clinic, to everybody should shut down for the good of society. That’s unfortunate because it ignores that what’s right for you may not be right for me.  

And more broadly, is undercuts the reality that we are all in this together as a profession. Our individual threads form a common cloth of chiropractic — not based on technique or history — but as small business owners.  

That’s what we do as SIDECAR. We’re here to collaborate with you, to bring chiropractors together to share ideas and find solutions for our businesses.  

One of the principles we follow is relevant to the times. It’s called $even and it’s a personal and business financial management system created by one of our founders, Dr. Douglas Sea. This is the perfect time to bring discipline to your budgets and $even gives you practical tools to start today.  

We do this because we believe in our profession. We believe there is a place for chiropractors to contribute to the overall good of our communities, even in this time of crisis.  

SIDECAR truly is a resource to put you on a path to affluence. We want to help.  

Open or closed is a simple question but a difficult decision.  

My advice is, make it for the right reasons. Get to the heart of what’s best for you, your family and your business.  

Understand the why behind your decision – even if you have to ask it seven times.  

Daily life has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.  

At SIDECAR we’ve been gathering all the information we can to help chiropractors through this crisis.  

What I keep coming back to is this singular message: Control the controllables.  

I’m sure you’ve probably seen or heard that phrase in other communication from us. But that’s not enough. This is the time to not only make sure you get through the pandemic – and it will end – but also prepare to grow your business when the stress eases.  

We changed the focus of this month’s Fuel Tank to “Business Survival Kit: How to stay proactive during a crisis.” That session is Thursday at noon central. You can still sign up here.  

It’s also available in replay afterward. Watch for that link soon.  

Our guests on the webinar are Dr. Ray Foxworth, Bill Esteb and Dr. Shahana Alibhai.

Dr. Foxworth’s participation, and other efforts by CHUSA, was highlighted this week by Chiropractic Economics on their website, chiroeco.com. Read that here.

We’ve also created the Coronavirus Business Survival Kit for download. You can get that here.   

The kit includes: 

  • Ten activities you and your staff can do now to not only survive but prepare to grow. 
  • A two-week email campaign to stay connected to send to your patients.  
  • Images that match the emails to use on social media. 
  • A Power Point presentation you can use to educate patients or other groups.  

These are two resources we hope you’ll take advantage of in the near term. The SIDECAR crew is committed to serving you during difficult times as well as good.  

We will ride alongside you through coronavirus… and beyond. 

 

There’s an old saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know. 

It’s more than a clever turn of a phrase. There are real world applications when it comes to the billing system in your chiropractic business.  

That’s one of the things we’ll be talking about during the next SIDECAR Fuel Tank at noon central time on Thursday, March 19. 

The session is called the “Slay the Dragons of Billing to Rescue Your Bottom Line.” Register now to save your spot in this informative – and potentially money saving – webinar.  

Going back to what we don’t know. That’s the rub isn’t it?  

The world of reimbursements grows more complex each year. Do you feel like you are keeping up? Or have you turned your financial future over to one staff member, charged with tracking all the rules and regulations? 

As well-meaning as that financial staffer may be, they may not be able to decipher insurance regulations and obligations either.  

Or, and isn’t this possible, your trusted employee also doesn’t know what they don’t know. 

In preparation for our discussion on March 19, we’ve prepared a one-pager: “Six questions to find Out if your billing system is leaking money.” Download it here. 

We hope that it helps you at least get an idea of what you don’t know and put you on a firmer footing when it comes to billing and, ultimately, your business.  

Then we’ll dive deeper in the Fuel Tank on March 19.  

Remember, even if you have a conflict and can’t make the live version, sign up anyway. That way you’ll get links to watch the replay when you’ve got more time.  

 

This month’s Fuel Tank feature’s dragons.

That’s right, dragons.

It’s called “Slay the Dragons that are Dragging Down Your Billing.”

Click here to register for the webinar, which is at noon on Thursday, March 19. Even if you can’t make that time, register anyway and you’ll get all the updates and links to the replay. It’s almost as good.

The Billing Dragon

Now, I’m not going to say that at SIDECAR we’d try to make billing more entertaining by adding dragons. But I hope we got your attention.

Because billing can be frightening and for a lot of chiropractors it’s a source of huge stress. But what most of us don’t realize is how much money it’s costing.

We’ll go through the seven dragons in particular that cause you problems.

You can read more about that in this story about billing that we wrote for Chiropractic Economics magazine, one of the oldest and most-respected trade journals in the country. It’s pretty cool.

In the meantime, take a look at your financial systems. Odds are that things could be tightened up.

Hope to see you all there on March 19.

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. 

 

 

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!

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