Important Intro Disclaimer:
The style of practice depicted in this article is a very certain one. In today’s chiropractic market there is two prevailing start up styles that most DCs take on.
The first is the path that allows for taking on anyone with a pulse, screening every weekend offering free or cheap exams to anyone who walks by, accepting insurance, memorizing and regurgitating scripts, and working 80-100 hours a week with seemingly no end in sight. This path gets many to the “number” they want to hit in terms of PV/week, but typically leaves them falling fall short in the quality department - quality of patients they serve, and quality of life they live.
The other common path today is to bootstrap it. Start small. Rent a room from someone. Borrow and buy nothing. This path has many hero stories to it, and it absolutely can work. However, the majority of these stories you’ve never heard from because they never left that room, and many have likely left the profession because they could never get ahead.
In this article I will NOT be advocating against either of those options. So if by the end of this article one of those paths sounds more appealing to you than the one I depict and describe how to attain, then get with the coaching and training groups who teach the first one (there are many to choose from), or take the latter and hoof it on your own!
The path we are describing is the path of the future, and I firmly believe it is the practice of the future.
It is one focused on subluxation and neurologically-centered chiropractic, simple yet powerful and heck. The one I advocate for focuses on pediatric and family care, starting with what matters most not what most accept and insurance pays for. Speaking of, it’s starting 100% cash and never giving two craps about what code pays better, has less risk, and needs what modifier.
It’s a pure path, a fun path, and a courageous one as well. Sure it takes hard work, as every sort and style of success always will. But it doesn’t take sacrifice-your-life to make it work kind of work.
It’s one built on hitting your life marks before your business ones. Yes, it’s true you have to build the barn before the house. But they don’t have to be a decade apart! Want to start your family at the same time as your practice? Go ahead. Want to take a week of vacation every quarter from year one on? Get after it.
Choose it, design it, build it, earn it, LIVE it.
Those are the 5 sequential steps it always takes and I recommend you live by from the jump! The rest of this article will talk most about points #3 and #4, because it’s up to you to choose and design what you want, and after you build it and earn it, who am I to tell you how to live it!
I love my family time and my farm. So if you love those things as much as I do, then my path is perfect for you. But if you love dirt bikes and vacations to Mexico, well then go and get those instead!
(Quote credit - Gary Vaynerchuck)
Now let me throw an important but in there right away. Most of you will read that and immediately think I’m advocating for the bootstrap start up we described earlier. Let me be clear, I am not.
I myself bought a brand new office condo for $401,000 and then decked it out with another six figures of equipment, furniture, and awesomeness before we even saw patient #1. When I talk about not getting fancy too early, I’m talking about with your effort, and specifically where you apply it.
Even the top draft picks in Major League Baseball start out riding the bus in the minor leagues. They’ve got to dominate A ball, then AA, then Triple A before they get the ticket to the big leagues!
As I watch a lot of start ups today, thanks to the explosion of content they can access and messaging they can share on social media, they too often think they can skip the minor leagues of chamber networking meetings, BNI groups, coffee chats and lunch n learns.
This one speaks more to the trap that can be there for those that look at model #1 depicted above of screening every weekend for the rest of your life with disdain, and they then think they can go too far away from that. With most everything I talk about and teach to, I’m always advocating for the “sweet spot” to live and work in. It’s beyond awesome to know what you don’t want, on both ends of the scale, and then strive to find that absolutely perfectly balance spot to dominate in!
When I built PWC over a decade ago, every single Tuesday morning at 7 AM I was in my seat at the Country Inn & Suites sipping bad coffee and eating crap pastries at my networking meeting. Each and every week I’d then leave that meeting and spend the morning driving around town, walking into business after business to intro and say hi and become known. Then at lunch I’d be doing a talk for some group, some business, anywhere I could. And lastly, Tuesday nights 5-7 I was shaking hands and swapping cards at the chamber mixers and grand openings.
I will never forget getting home late every Tuesday night after 12 some hours of all that and complaining like none other to my wife, Kristina. Was it worth it? How could I possibly keep this up and not go insane?
Well, flash forward 12 years and every single day I still get to serve Kevin and his whole family, Linda and her kids, and countless other families who came from those connections and efforts, and the copious amounts of referrals they have all sent in over the years!
I didn’t like it back then, but holy crap do I love it now.
Here’s the best part too… Right now you finished reading all that and went to yourself, “See I knew it. He’s full of crap too. He’s saying you don’t have to grind and work 100 hours a week, but then saying that’s what he did. He’s full of it too!”
Oh contraire my friend. I went ballistic networking and marketing on Tuesday, because I didn’t work Friday. Or Saturday. Or Sunday. That was family time to me!
I also didn’t need to keep doing this in year #2 and year #3.
Because at the same time I was doing all of that, I was carving out my niche, my brand, and my specialty expertise in Pediatrics and Family Care, and focused so intently on Quality over Quantity… that my patients stuck with me! They didn’t stick as much then as they do now with 12 year of experience, but when I got to 350-400 a week by Year #2 I was able to back off the more grinder type activities, and turn my sights on what I wanted to do!
Now I had trust, authority, and recognition built in the community because I didn’t cheapen everything from the jump, and I didn’t accept everybody. So now people would come to me, and I didn’t have to spend every Tuesday and every weekend going after them still!
One important caveat I haven’t illustrated yet is what I was doing at each and every one of those networking meetings, chamber mixers, and lunch n learns. I wasn’t introducing myself as a standard old chiropractor, and wasn’t getting them in with back pain hoping to tell the “bigger story” once they were inside.
I told the truth from the jump. From the very first handshake on I let everyone know what I stood for and what I didn’t, and how I was different than everyone else.
I stood for Pediatrics, Perfect Storm, and Family Care. I wasn’t like every other chiropractor they had met 100X and been offered a free exam and x-rays by.
I was unique. I was different. I was bold. I was loud. I was certain.
I wasn’t fancy right away, but I was earning my way to it.
Haha, here he goes again! Contradicting what I just spent a page depicting!
Nope. What I’m going to say with this section is simple - use every single advantage you have in today’s environment. There are many, but two prevail and are frigging gold!
The first is social media.
I had to start with the section above to let you start ups know that while this avenue I’m about to tell you to absolutely go to town on is amazing and it works like none other, but it works 10X better if you earn your way up through the minors as well, with networking and community influence building just like has always worked and been tried and true.
If one is good, both are far better. Be like Deion and Bo, baseball and football, 5 million and 10 million dollar pay checks!
Above I gave you a glimpse into my life the 6 months before start up and the 12-18 after. If I were to do it again today it would literally look and play out the exact same, but at the same time I’d be depicting and documenting every single step of that journey, and every victory earned, on social media.
If I’m a start up today I’m straight slaying it on Facebook, Insta, LinkedIn, and YouTube. I’m everywhere physically in the community (well except screening, but more on that in a bit), and I’m everywhere digitally on social media as well! Moms and Dads with kids in need could barely escape me in 2007 and 2008, but they’d stand no chance in 2020, even if I was still a start up!
If I’m starting a practice today, I’m getting myself the latest iPhone, a lav mic, a ring light, and I’m going off “screening” on social media every day! What do I mean by “screening” here? I’m talking the 2020 version of screenings, not the 1989 or even 2009 version.
The days of packing up your table, your tent, your posters, and your scanner and bothering everyone who walks by with whatever your quick blurb is don’t have to be dead, but they don’t also have to be needed either.
In today’s world you can literally take the screen of your phone, put it in front of your face and take pictures, shoot a video, or type a message and then blast it onto the screen of moms all over your community! Literally, you can target who you want to see your message and based upon your effort, you can control how much and how often!
Now that is frigging fancy. Use it!
Here’s the caveat again though - it depends upon your brand as to what degree this will work for you or not. If you took the advice that chiropractic is for everyone with a spine, and that as a start up you need to let anyone in, take every insurance, and market to back and neck pain first before telling the big story because that’s what will “work” well then you should still do all this, but reduce your expectations by 10 fold.
If you use the traditional and now modern marketing efforts and actions in the competitive “red ocean” of chiropractic back pain, neck pain, and headache, you’ll have limited success and still be on the fast path to burn out and boredom in practice. You will not find the level of enjoyment and fulfillment we spoke of above.
Can you earn yourself a heck of a paycheck and make a good living doing that? Heck yes! And if you signed up for chiropractic with a mission and vision that burns deep within your soul to rid the world of back pain and facet syndrome, well then young grasshopper get after it and get those traction devices moving and grooving!
But if you instead have chosen a path that wants to rid as many kids and families as possible of subluxation, sickness, and struggle… then there is just one path, the sweet spot.
You see, moms are smart. They’ll see right through every little “regular” thing you do and immediately mark you as such.
You can put the word Family in the name of your practice, but if she sees you at Costco on the weekend screening Bob with back pain, or looks at the images on your website and Facebook page and they are all about stiff necks and sore backs and talking about all the insurances you accept, she’ll never trust you with her babies.
This brings us to the second reason why the most sure path to practice success today is a Pediatric and Family focus - the world is so ready for it!!!
In just 12 short years the world has woken up a lot. This generation of parents is on fire moving quickly and swiftly towards regaining their focus on health and well-being, and especially learning on where it comes from, and what takes it away!
They now demand to have burritos and ground beef that are antibiotic and chemical free, so you better believe they are open and wanting to listen to a message of health care without those too!
If DoTerra, Norwex, and Chipotle can blow up on a foundational of better health, then why should Pediatric Chiropractic still lag behind?
It won't. Not on my watch.
Medicine and specifically pediatricians have held a firm grip on all things kids and family health for many decades, but that grip is slipping and their foundation of control crumbling quickly.
Why? Simple. They have failed miserably.
We have more sick kids than ever before, and parents are done with it. Unfortunately it's forced them to wake up and say, "Hey this is not working. There has to be another, better way." The problem (aka opportunity) is they don't know we exist.
Scroll back up on this blog article and learn exactly what it takes to be seen, heard, and become known, and put it in play! Once your message catches just a few families and you get them the insane results only chiropractic can, you'll be off and running!
If you think pictures of cute puppies and cat videos travel fast on the internet, wait until you share a few stories of cute, smiling kids who were once sick and stuck in the 'Perfect Storm' and are now healthy and thriving, living life like never before!
Between the explosion of social media and the shift in this generation of parents away from trusting medicine as first choice and only choice, the path to success in a Pediatric and Family Chiropractic practice today is as clear and attainable as ever! Go get it.
Choose it, design it, build it, earn it, LIVE it.
If you’ve chosen the Pediatric and Family path for your chiropractic dreams to come true, then it’s vitally important you surround yourself with people to help get you there! A new path in my life has me more committed then ever to give more than I take, especially when it comes to creating a better world for them. I'd love for you to join me EVERY Tuesday at 4:30 PM CDT for a Virtual Student Club. We might not be able to gather on campus but we sure can keep creating impact together. Sign up with your email HERE and you'll get the zoom link in your inbox. Shate this with ny and all students that want to make massive impact all with a smile on their face. I'm not kidding, you young guns are the future. Together, we can set chiropractic free by sharing what we know with others and sometimes not even for a price. 🤯
Busy on Tuesdays? That's more than cool, sign up anyway to catch the recordings. Keep following people that inspire you, keep reading/listening to things that motivate you, and we'd love for you to follow along PX at The Pediatric Experience Facebook Page or Instagram, and stay engaged in the journey to put Pediatric Chiropractic FIRST, not last, for families everywhere!
Dr. Tony Ebel
The Pediatric Experience Lead Guide