Preventing Mixed Messages that Sabotage Your Success – Kim Klapp

Hello, ChiroSecure viewers. Thank you for joining me today. I’m Kim Klapp, founder of Assistants for Chiropractic Excellence. But before I get started on a how to prevent the mixed messages that sabotage your success, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to ChiroSecure. I so appreciate how amazing they are. Not only do they sponsor these programs, but they also support the profession in so many other generous ways. Now, we all know that ChiroSecure has the best coverage, hands down, plus exceptional customer service. They’re a fabulous resource. I’m also grateful that you’ve chosen to watch. In addition to my coaching program that I started in 2000, I’ve been managing my husband, Dr. Tom’s practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan since we got married 25 years ago today. Today is also his practice anniversary of 40 years, so congratulations Dr. Tom, if you’re tuning in. With that experience in mind, if you have any questions, hiring, training, practice systems, just post them and I’ll be happy to answer either during today’s show or afterwards.

But today I’m going to share a snippet of information from CA Excellence coaching course this month on communication strategies. Now, personally, I’ve studied the communication strategies since my college days at University of Michigan, and I’ve come to realize that what the Carnegie Foundation asserted still holds true today. Let’s take a look at those slides.

85% of one’s success in life is directly related to communication skills. 85%, that is huge. Now, this is especially important in your practice because it enables you to maximize patient compliance, retention, volume, collections and referrals, while minimizing stress. While I’m a huge fan of learning pat responses for all those questions that come up with a prospective new patient on the phone. Oh, by the way, if you’d like a file of the pat responses that you see on the screen, just go to Anyway, like I was saying, these pat responses are super important and so are those for overcoming obstacles at the front desk. You’re scripting for your welcome consultations, financial consultations, pretty much everything. Again, I’m a huge fan of scripts.

However, what do you say comprises only 7% of how people gauge you. 38% of how people gauge you is determined by how you say it, your inflection, your tone, et cetera. The majority, however, 55%, is based on nonverbal cues. Your vibes, your energy, your passion, your enthusiasm, basically who you are, what you emanate. That’s why your mindset and your certainty about chiropractic is so critical to your success. The scripts are just a starting place, but that’s why the magic ingredient of communication that often gets overlooked, causing a stumbling block for your success, is nonverbal communication. As you can see, it comprises 93%. With that in mind, the first step is awareness. Do you realize that in a single interaction, approximately 1,000 nonverbal factors help convey your message?

Let me give you two versions of the same scenario. In the first, a dad is reading the news on his iPad and the living room. His son runs into the living room waving his report card over his head and shouts, “Hey, Dad, I got an A.” The dad, not changing his stance at all, still focused on the iPad, says, “Good job.” Now, imagine how the son feels in this scenario. He probably goes away feeling sad and dejected. But now, take two on that scenario, the dad’s still sitting in the living room, still reading the news on his iPad. His son runs in and shouts, “Hey, Dad, I got an A.” In this version though, the dad puts down his iPad, looks his son in the eye and says, “Good job.” Same words, but in this version, the son walks away feeling really good about himself. We always want to make sure that our nonverbal communication helps our clients feel as acknowledged and appreciated as they are.

The next step is to evaluate if you’re sending a different nonverbal message than you want to. Now, because when words and body language conflict, we tend to believe what we see. Now, think about when someone grits their teeth and crosses their arms and says, “No, of course I’m not mad.” Well, body language is instinctive. So think about your body language. If you happen to be talking to someone and you’re shifting and twitching and nervously dropping papers and scrambling hastily to pick them up, what message does that send? Probably not the one you intend, so I want to cover five steps to better body language.

The first is to limit the fidget. Rubbing your arm, recrossing your legs, pulling on your ear, scratching your nose, wiggling, squirming, you name it. Even if you’re telling your patients the truth verbally, the more you fidget, the more you’re perceived as lying, especially when you put your hand by your mouth. So I don’t care how much something itches, just ignore it. If you’re constantly nodding, it comes across as hurry up, I don’t have time for this. So again, you want to limit the fidget.

Number two is posture. Now, we want to constantly exhibit good posture. Not just because you’re a billboard for chiropractic care, but because it also helps your clients feel comfortable and confident with you. We want to be balanced. Point your feet towards the person you’re speaking to rather than out the door, because this demonstrates that you’re interested in what they’re saying, versus, oh, I wished I was somewhere else, and turn your entire body towards them. You’re constantly giving off signals and it’s those signals that telegraph whether you’re open or closed off to what someone’s saying. Think about the difference between looking at someone with narrowed eyes versus wide eyes, between leaning back versus leaning forward towards someone, between holding your hands in a fist versus holding your palms up, arms crossed versus arms open at your sides. Because a closed body language indicates a closed mind and we want to be conscious to exhibit open and balanced posture.

Number three is eye contact. Communication should occur from above down. That’s in alignment with our above, down, inside out chiropractic philosophy. With communication, it’s eyes first, then ears, then mouth. Now, there’s a University of Missouri study where female researchers made eye contact with strange men at a bar. Not sure to how to land a job like that, but anyway. Sometimes these women smiled after glancing over, and other times they didn’t. When the women just made eye contact, the strange man approached them 20% of the time. However, when they smiled afterwards, the approach rate was 60%. That’s three times higher. So make sure to put out the welcome mat by smiling.

Now, in addition to the eye contact, number four is facial expression. That can completely change the meaning of your message. If you’re rolling your eyes while you’re saying something, there’s a huge difference, right? When you smile, there’s a difference between a pursed lip smile and one that shows teeth. We want to use a warm, open smile and embrace the 10-4 rule. Remember, that’s to make eye contact when someone’s 10 feet away and then add a smile when they’re four feet away. Number five is space relationship, because when you’re too far away, that suggests that you find them offensive, to close and you’re violating their personal space. So we want to find a happy medium.

Now that we’ve tackled body language, let’s move onto speech. First of all, consider the pace of speech. Too slowly can send a message that you don’t think they’re smart enough to understand you, while too quickly can send a message that you’re too busy to care. Again, we want to find that happy medium. Then consider the tone of your speech. Obviously, sarcasm can completely change your message, or at least the meaning of your message. When it comes to your reactivation phone calls or those I care calls in your office, I find it really helpful to keep the tone light and friendly. That’s where we’re going to help patients realize that they’re welcome back versus that, hey, we’re mad or I’m scolding or they’re in trouble.

Then also consider your actions and the message it sends when you, for example, excuse yourself from the dialogue numerous times, or when you make your clients wait unnecessarily. If you’re doing these things while explaining your role as their personal client advocate and trying to communicate how much you care, obviously there’s going to be a conflict there between what you’re saying and your nonverbal cues. These are all important factors in attaining a congruence of message, and we’ll talk about that in a moment. But remember for now, it’s the perception that’s important, not the intention.

I just like to use this [inaudible 00:09:31] as a mnemonic device. I found this in this book, How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You. No, I wasn’t looking to replace Dr. Tom, but I was getting my hair done and someone said it was great. The S is for smile. The O is for open body, remember to face the client and keep your arms open. The F is for forward lean, lean towards them. The T is for touch, we want to build that kinesthetic bond. The E is for eye contact, we talked about that. And the N is for nod. These nonverbal cues, S.O.F.T.E.N, will help your client understand that you’re listening.

Now, let me back up and cover what I call Communication 101. I apologize to the gentlemen watching, this is really one of my favorite T-shirts. Think about when are you communicating. Hopefully you realize that you always are communicating. Ask yourself exactly what messages that you’re sending. What are you conveying? All too often we mistake speaking for communication, or we focus on one or two elements instead of recognizing that there are three elements of communication, the speaker, the message, and the listener. It’s not enough to be a terrific listener or an articulate speaker, because it takes a combination of both of those, along with a clear message, to be effective at communication.

So much of how we communicate is just a habit. We don’t even think about how we’re speaking or how we’re listening or what exactly we’re saying. That’s why I covered dozens of strategies for listening, speaking, and the message in this month’s ACE course. But I’d like to share my metaphor for one of the message strategies. Here we’ve got three people standing in a triangle, and for our metaphor we’re going to make one a CA, one a DC, and one a patient. Now, in the middle of that triangle is the pedestal, and on top of the pedestal is a ball. Now, if we ask the chiropractor what color is the ball, the doctor answers orange. If we ask the CA, the CA says pink, and the patient replies blue. Whoa, wait a second. They’re all looking at the same ball, right? Well, yes, but it’s not about being right or wrong. It’s a matter of perspective. If each person would just walk around to another position, they’d realize that it’s a beach ball and each person is just looking at a different Stripe.

We need to keep that in mind when we’re speaking with people who are different from ourselves. As a CA, you have a different perspective than your doctor and a different perspective from your patients. There’s all kinds of perspective differences. For example, when I say I’ll be ready in a minute, it’s not the 60-seconds minute. It’s more like a football minute. But it’s these perspective differences that can easily cause miscommunications. When I asked Dr. Tom if the houseplant that he was sitting next to was dry, I was expecting him to reach over, feel the soil. However, not having a green thumb, he reached over to feel a leaf instead. Yep.

Let’s talk about how to avoid those mixed messages, and there’s two steps. The first is to consider the perspective of your listener. When a prospective new patient calls and asks about fees, does your CA counter with, “Do you have insurance?” Well, think about the message that sends. While I understand that you may be trying to give them information specific to their coverage, when you ask about insurance before the reason for their visit, what comes across as most important to your practice, the person or the money? Right.

After you consider the perspective of your listener, the next step is to define what you mean. At the front desk, when a client comes up and asks what time they should be in Wednesday morning and the CA,, who wants to be liked replies, “Oh, anytime. It doesn’t matter,” think about what message that sends about appointments in your office. You’re letting them know, in no uncertain terms, that the time they show up is unimportant, that appointment times don’t matter. Be careful about sending that mixed message.

Or what if someone calls to cancel their appointment because they’re symptomatic? Do you say, “Oh, well, come in when you’re feeling better”? Hopefully not. We want to take that opportunity instead to educate them that their body is sending them unmistakable signals that they need care and let adjustments speed their healing, so come on in as soon as possible. Or how about when someone apologizes for missing their appointment? Do you say, “Oh, no problem. That’s okay. Don’t worry about it,” or, “It’s no big deal”? Well, hopefully not. Because when people miss their appointments, it is a problem. It’s not okay, it’s something to worry about, and it really is a big deal.

Again, to prevent mixed messages, consider the perspective of your listener and define what you mean. Understand that communication really is a quality and a service issue. People appreciate, pay for, and refer more based on exceptional quality and service. Now, that being said, clear communication is a skill that takes time, consciousness, and effort. The good news though is that the more you excel at clear communication, the more your practice will enjoy higher volume, higher collections, with less stress.

Again, if you have any questions, just add them to the comments and I’ll be happy to respond. If I can help you in any way, whether you’re looking for this month’s CA Excellence coaching on communication strategies, or training for new CAs, hiring systems or practice systems, please visit my website,, and click to call or email me directly. I would love to help your team reach higher levels of excellence. Thanks again to ChiroSecure for providing this forum to increase your chiropractic success. Your host next week will be the amazing Dr. Sherry McAllister from the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, so be sure to tune in.

Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel ( Follow us on Instagram (, LinkedIn ( Periscope ( If you have any questions about today’s show or want to know why ChiroSecure is still the fastest growing malpractice carrier for over 27 years, then call us at (866) 802-4476. or find out just how much you can save with ChiroSecure by visiting:

Empowering Women in Chiropractic – How to Create a Massive 2020 Vision – Dr. Cathy Wendland-Colby

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of empowering women in chiropractic. I’m your host, Dr. Cathy Wendland, and I am so excited to talk to you this week about your 2020 vision because it’s the year 2020 and your vision needs to be clear, your vision needs to be huge, your vision needs to be massive, and your action steps need to be in line so that you can accomplish all that you set your mind to. So today let’s really dig in to how to create a massive 2020 vision. It’s going to catapult you into a better life, a better experience, a better practice, and a bigger impact in your community. So there are three steps that we’re going to tackle today. Number one is creating clarity, number two is developing strategies and number three is staying focused so that you can actually accomplish your goals on time. So let’s start with creating clarity.

Now, oftentimes I talk with women and I talk with teens and I talk with professionals who want, but they’re not really sure how to get there. And you know why? Because they’re not really sure on what it is they want. They want more, they want bigger, they want better, they want more success, but they haven’t fully defined that means for them. So when you are talking about creating a vision of what it is that you want to develop in your practice, in your personal life for the year 2020 you have to sit and get absolutely crystal clear on what it is you want and what it is you no longer want in your life. The things you no longer will tolerate, the things you’ll no longer put up with, the things that are no longer good enough.

Because this is the year to say, “Good enough, is it. I’m ready for great. I’m going from good to great. I’m going from great to phenomenal. I’m going from phenomenal to outstanding, outrageous, extraordinary, awesome,” whatever word fits for you and jazzes you up and gives you that energy to really want to push forward and really create the life, the practice, the relationships, the friendships and the experiences that you not only desire but deserve.

So how can we really sit and get that clarity? It takes time of sitting and writing things down, thinking things through, listening to inspiring speakers or motivational speakers or step by step instructions on how to do different things and determining, and deciding, is this what I really want in my life? Is what I’m doing right now feeling good? Is what I’m doing right now fulfilling me? Look, I change things in my personal office, I change things in the exterior of my practice, I change things in my personal life all the time because I want to make sure that I’m heading in the direction that fully serves the life that I’ve been given, the gifts that I’ve been blessed with and the talents that I want to share with others. And I invite you to do the same.

Look around, see who is in your life that’s no longer serving you. See who you want to attract into your life, that’s the people. Now what about the places? Start thinking about the places you’ve been and the places you want to be. Is your practice location serving you? Are the walls around you jazzing you up and exciting you? Do you feel like this is the place where hope happens? Or do you walk into your office and you’re like, “I have to go to work?” If that’s the feeling you get, change something, change the vibe, change the music, play some upbeat music or play some… I don’t know, maybe you like to play spiritual music or maybe you like to play Disney music, like one of my friends up in Massachusetts. Do what feels right for you so that your office can feel like a place you are excited to go to, so that your community can feel like this is a place like no other.

If that means bringing in food or it means bringing in snacks once in awhile or bringing in healthy water or whatever it means for you, then start getting some clarity about how do I fix the places that I’m at, right? The people, the places, the circumstances. How do you start developing circumstances that you want to attract into your life? What is it you want to do? Do you want to be traveling? Do you want to be skiing? Do you want to be at the beach? Do you want to spend time doing mission work or do you want to spend time giving back to the profession or to your community or to a charity of your choice? Then start figuring out, what are the things that you really want to contribute your time to?

Because I promise you this, there’s a finite amount of time on your lifetime clock and we don’t know what that amount is, but the sand is running through the hourglass and you need to make sure that you’re using every grain of sand and bringing it out to the best of your ability to use it to enjoy the life that you’ve been given. There’s no guarantee of tomorrow. We hope for tomorrow, we plan for tomorrow, but you got to live for today. So getting that clarity about what is it that I really, really want to attract into my life. You know that saying, “If tomorrow was your last day on earth, what would you do today?” If you knew when your number was up, what would you change? What would you do now? Create some clarity around what is it that you absolutely, positively, truly want to attract into your life. Who is it that you want to surround yourself with and what are the circumstances and the experience that you want to make sure you get to have this year?

Start writing those down and then start mapping them out. When am I going to do this? When are you going to go to Fiji? When are you going to go skiing? When are you going to the beach this year? When are you going to spend time with your family? What are you going to do on Sunday evenings to prepare yourself for the week? How are you going to make yourself better, stronger, healthier, faster, smarter, more impactful, more valuable to your community, to your practice, to your family, to your relationships and to our profession? Start thinking about that and then once you have that clarity, it’s time to start developing strategies and strategies aren’t just like, well, by this time next week I want to have gone to the gym three times. That’s not a strategy. Map out what day, what time, what workouts you’re going to do.

Put them in place. Have them down on your phone with an alert and a reminder, and another reminder to say, “Hey, don’t forget your sneakers. Don’t forget your gloves. Don’t forget your bathing suit, whatever it is you need, because tomorrow at three o’clock you’re going to the gym, or tomorrow at 7:00 AM you’re hitting the gym before the office.” Or, you’re meeting with key decision makers at lunchtime tomorrow, so make sure you have the right clothes, the right attitude, your calendar is set, you know when you can do things, you know what you have to offer. Develop those strategies. That doesn’t just mean think about it, it means plan about it. Put it down on paper and put it into action. Put things on your schedule that you know you need to, want to, would love to do, and then because they’re on your schedule, guess what? You’re more likely to get them done.

I’ve talked to people who say, “Well, my goal this year is to read a hundred books.” Okay, fantastic. How many did you read last year? None. Okay, that’s fine. If your goal is to read a hundred books in this year, there’s 52 weeks, so that’s roughly two books a week. We’re already into the second week of the year. How many books have you read? Zero. Well now you’re four books behind, because now you’ve got to catch up because you didn’t read last week, you didn’t read this week. How are you going to accomplish your goal? If your goal is to do 5 million steps a year, like my goal was last year, you got to do 13,750 steps a day. I blew past that in November, so this year I set a goal for 6 million steps in the year and that’s 16,500 steps a day. Blowing past that already, you know why? Because I set the goal, I’ve developed the strategies, I mapped it out as to what I need to do.

And I’m going to encourage you to do the same because goals without action steps are just dreams, right? And action steps without goals, that’s a nightmare waiting to happen because then you’re just running haphazardly around thinking that, “Well, someday I’ll be successful and someday I’ll accomplish things, but I don’t really have a goal, so I’ll just keep working and moving forward.” I’ve been there, I’ve been in those kinds of relationships, business relationships and personal relationships with people who are just like, “I just want more,” but they haven’t defined more. So create your clarity, develop the strategies, develop crystal clear strategies to go with that crystal clear idea of what it is that you want and really map it out.

Do you want to see more patients? Then what are you doing, or what are you willing to do, or what are you going to do in order to attract more people in and educate them so that you can retain them? So you don’t want to just do 50,000 screenings, or ten different dinner with the docs, or five different lunch and learns a month and attract people if all they do is come in, use up your time, your resources, and go back out the door because you haven’t actually retained them. Attracting more patients should be attraction, education, retention, every time. Attraction, education, retention. Get them in, educate them about what it is that we do and how it benefits them in terms that they understand and matter to them and then retain them as patients by over-delivering, making sure that they’re getting what they came for and you’re constantly, continually educating them so that they understand the continual benefits of staying under care. That’s a strategy.

Saying that I want to do 10 screenings, that’s not a strategy. Lining up the 10 screenings and then having the steps in place for when we do the screening, we get the person’s schedule, we do the exam, we do the report of findings. This is the education that we’re going to do. Whether you’re going to use drip systems, where you can email out stuff, or text out stuff, or you’re going to do workshops in your office, write it down, map it out. Get your team on board so that everybody knows this is what we’re working toward this year. And maybe you don’t want to increase your volume, but maybe you want to improve your collections, then you need to sit down with your team and say, “Where are we right now?” That’s your clarity, “Where do we want to be and how do we get there?” Map out those steps so that everyone on your team is onboard and has the tools and the direction to get the job done.

And then as life moves on and we get out of January, and we get out of this idea of having a 2020 vision and setting goals and working toward them and life happens, you know what I’m talking about, school, and kids, and family, and vacations, and practice, and insurance, and continuing ed, and seminars. You know what I’m talking about. When life happens, how do you stay focused? You need to have things built into your schedule now. Now, while you’re on fire. You know when you have a new patient? They are the most excited about care, right? They are the most excited as they’ll ever be about getting better because they have this final sense of a feeling of hope in your office that they’ve probably never had in anyone else’s office with any other doctor, with any other therapists, with any other treatment. They’ve probably never had that sense of hope that they feel with you.

So that day one and that day two, that’s when they’re so excited. And you know when we do a re exam, what do we do? We bring them back to day one to remind them, this is where you started and look where you are right now. Look at the positive changes that you’ve made. Look at the change in your nerve scan. Look at the improvement in your X-ray. Look at the function that you’ve been able to restore, or the ability that you’ve regained, or the fitness level that you’ve been able to re adapt to now that your body is functioning at a better level, right? We bring them back to day one with a re exam and you should be doing the same thing either quarterly or monthly with your goals and your strategies. Bringing yourself back to day one of what is it that you wanted to accomplish and why.

Why did you set these goals? Attach a why to them. Why are you changing the people in your life? Why are you choosing better opportunities? Why are you choosing a better circumstance? Why are you making these improvements in your space, in your office? Or, why are you deciding that you need to go on vacation once a month, or once a quarter? Map all that out and then put it into your schedule as a reminder so that six weeks from now when we slump back and do that slow fade back into the old routine, put a reminder there of why you started these changes, what your goals are, the steps that you need to follow, check yourself before you wreck yourself, right? I love that saying, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself,” keep yourself on track. And the best way to do it is to number one, create clarity around the things that you absolutely want and no longer will tolerate in your life.

Get that kind of clarity and let me tell you something, nobody’s going to come walking through when you say, “This is no longer an option in my life, but this all is,” and now your vision is so clear that now you can focus on what it is you want and start going for it by developing those clear cut strategies that are going to keep you moving forward toward what you want and keep what you no longer will tolerate in the background until the point where you finally turn a corner and it’s no longer in your rear view mirror, you can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you can’t touch it. It’s a world away, it doesn’t even feel like the practice that you used to have, or the relationships that you used to have, or the circumstances that you used to have, could ever be part of your new life.

Because that’s clarity, that’s strategy and that’s staying focused on what you want, why you want it, and how you’re going to get there. So put a couple of things into your schedule now that will keep you focused five weeks from now, two months from now, three months from now. Put a marker at maybe April 1st, or April 15th. Or maybe July 1st, or maybe the first of every month. Or one of the tricks that I love with my clients is on your birth date. So my birth date is the 21st of the month, so on the 21st check in with yourself. Every 21st, check in.

How’re you doing? Are you on track? Did you slip? Did you get derailed? Did you fall back into old habits that are no longer serving you? Or, are you moving so far forward at such an enormous, phenomenal, fantastic, dynamic, powerful pace that we need to readjust those goals and move them in a little bit closer because it’s not going to take you 12 months to hit them? Or do we need to make the goals bigger? Or do we need to make them better? Or have we already accomplished something that we thought would take us six months and you hit that goal in three months and now it’s time to dream bigger? Visualize bigger, visualize a greater impact, prepare yourself for more, better, but not just random more, not just random better, lay it out.

I want to thank you so much for joining me today and I want to remind you that there’s three steps when creating this massive 2020 vision. Number one, you have to sit with yourself and take the time to create absolute clarity around what it is you want, what it is you’ll no longer tolerate, and what it is your big, crazy, audacious, hairy, scary dreams that you want to accomplish for your life, get some serious clarity around that. And then step two, develop the strategies that will step, by step, by step take you there in the timeframe you desire, right?

We said, if you want to map out a certain amount of steps for this year on your Fitbit or whatever tracker that you have, then sit down, figure out how many steps do I need to do every day, put it as a strategy, set the timer, set the goal on your watch so that you are making sure that you’re hitting that goal early in the day. Don’t wait till midnight, hit that goal early in the day and do that with every goal that you have. Map it out so that it becomes simple step by step, follow the instructions, get it done kind of system.

And then number three, stay focused. Have people that hold you accountable, reach out to someone, get a mentor, get a coach, get someone who can help you stay focused. Put it in your calendar, write it down on the wall, get your team involved, whatever it’s going to take to keep you focused on your goals so that when life happens, you don’t get derail and go down a different path. You can say, “Yeah, that’s something different we want to incorporate,” but it’ll still keep you focused on your 2020 vision. Why you want to do it, what you want to do, and clear steps on how to do it.

Thank you so much for joining me. I’m hoping that you have the most amazing, phenomenal, incredible, impactful year of your life yet, but not the greatest year ever because next year is going to be even better. But right now, with your 2020 vision, I hope for you health, happiness, prosperity, abundance, love, joy, true joy, freedom, friendships, financial abundance, and all the world has to offer because it’s all out there just waiting for you to go out there and claim your stake. Thank you so much. Join us back next week when we have one of my good friends and the brilliant, talented Dr. Monika Berger as she hosts Look to The Children. I’ll see you next time soon, right here on ChiroSecure’s Empowering Women in Chiropractic.

Join us each week as we bring you the best in business growth, practice management, social media marketing, networking, leadership, and lots more. If it’s about women in practice and business, you’ll hear it here. We hope you enjoyed this week’s Facebook live event. Please like us on Facebook, comment and share. We look forward to seeing all of you next week for another episode of Empowering Women in Chiropractic. Now, go ahead and hit the share button and tell your friends and colleagues about the show. Thank you for watching. Have a beautiful day. This has been a ChiroSecure production.

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Empowering Women Chiropractic – Start-up Success – Dr. Janice Hughes

So today I have, I’m going to call it an expert in startup. I’m bringing to you a fairly brand new grad and I’m going to let Dr. Carolina introduce herself a little bit, but I really want to share with you success or keys in that startup process. And there’s nobody better than Dr. Carolina Tillotson, so welcome Carolina and please just take a second and introduce yourself a little bit.

Thank you, Dr. Janice. I’m Dr. Carolina Tillotson. My practice is called the Wellness Connection and I am based in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia. And like you said, I’m a very recent grad, so within the year and am currently practicing.

Right, right. And I’m going to tease a little bit, went to school in Atlanta and so many people start to tease about, “Oh, too many people don’t leave. They never leave Atlanta.” But knowing you and a bit of your history, talk about even why you stayed. How did you know basically where you wanted to practice and get into a little bit more about your model. How did you even know that that was where you want it to be?

Really great question. Because going through school I thought I couldn’t get out of Atlanta fast enough. And then as you progress through school you start to really think about what do I want my future to look like? What do I want practice to look like? And I think a lot of people through school, I thought I would associate and go off somewhere far away. Yeah, but for me, the deciding factor was choosing to practice where I wanted to live. And so deciding where I wanted to build my life and then building the practice in that location.

Right. And this happens a lot. I mean, I’m really fortunate to go into several schools and a couple of them I do business courses, others I just go and do some sort of off campus events for students because I think what’s really important with startup is a lot of times there’s that push pull, “Well do I do something that’s a little more safe and secure? I’ve got student loans looming over my head. Do I do something like associate,” which there’s some great opportunities. But how, as you made that decision, you were destined to own your own practice so then what other decisions went into that? Were you prepared or did you need to do some things to really get more clarity on what kind of model to even practice?

Absolutely. So to be a business owner, it will never fall into your lap. You have to be very intentional about not only the type of business you want to run, but within that business what you want it to look like, be like, who you want to serve, how you want to show up. And so I went outside of school to get extra help for that and I’ll shout out to Inspire Women and also the coach that I’ve worked the most with, Dr. Kim Carpenter. She’s been hugely instrumental in helping me actualize my vision and get clarity on that.

Yeah. And let’s talk about that a little bit because I would love to say that, again we had that all within us or that we even got that through school. But one of the things I find is that sometimes we enter chiropractic school almost clear on our vision or understanding our why or the picture even more than by the time we graduate. So really we’re talking about how you find mentors, coaches, models to really help in that process. And I’m just a really big advocate of that because let’s face it, athletic wise, it’s a given that people have coaches, so how even through that coaching process does that … It’s not about management. It’s not about saying, “Well, here’s the systems that you have to do.” Why are the questions so powerful. And how did that help you build your systems that are the model that you want?

Sure. So when I came to Inspire Women, you, Dr. Kim, I had gone through the process of reading the book Vivid Vision and had a really clear idea I thought at the time of what I wanted it to look like, smell like, tastes like, be like, what my personality of a practice. The gap though is that I’ve never been in practice. And so you have this dream, this vision, but how do you get there? And for me it was really important to find someone who had already done something that I wanted to do. Now the practice doesn’t look identical to my coach’s. It’s similar, but she’s built an incredible practice and she knows the way. And so coaches have coaches, healers have healers, doctors have doctors. To me it just made sense to find someone who knew the way.

Right. And so, I love the fact that you talked about the book. Vivid Vision is a fantastic book. There are other amazing resources. Share a little bit about your mindset and what else have you been doing in startup mode? What are you listening to? What are you attending? What are your, I’m going to say keys to focus and build your confidence and your mindset?

Mindset is huge. I don’t know if I could emphasize that enough. And yes, it’s just huge. So what you listen to, what you consume, that’s going to be your default thoughts when things aren’t going smoothly which, when you’re in startup mode, you kind of just have to buckle your seatbelt and just prepare to be on the ride, which is figuring it out along the way. And so the books I consume a lot through Audible and through Scribd, those are really good places to get audible books. What have I been listening to? At the beginning, I was listening to a lot of Grant Cardone. I was listing to, gosh …

I know. It’s when you get put on the spot.

I just finished Everything is Figureoutable, awesome book. So to me that is huge. So I might commute in or when I have time in the mornings I’ll listen to those books. And then I take time, especially before practice opened, I was taking time in the morning to meditate and to get really clear within myself so that as I had challenges throughout the day, I was starting from a really solid place.

Right and there’s some people, I was just at Life University last Saturday doing a business startup day and I described that what tends to happen is some people will call it your hour of power. Some people will focus on meditation. For me it’s a little less about the what you do. It’s more important that you create it so that you really think about working on your mindset, working on your state management.

You, like every sort of practitioner, you get hit with a lot of, I’m going to call it obstacles or challenges and we all do, actually. Any practitioner listening knows this. You can even think you’ve got it figured out in your riding on this even keel and a patient walks in and they’ve really sort of either plateaued and are frustrated or thinking chiropractic isn’t the right place for them or they’ve bottomed out. And so based on all of that, that’s where I think that it’s those success principles that are a little non-negotiable. Not that there’s one way to do it, but like you’re describing, sometimes you’ll have more time, particularly before you open your doors, but the power of it and staying connected to it is really important.

Absolutely. I would also say mantras or sayings, however you want to describe it, but having those power statements that are yours, that are in your own voice and doing that daily. Those several months before practice, I had my set of, I think seven and I said them seven times each, three times a day. That was the minimum. And so that really did help with mindset as well.

So let me talk and just ask you, because again, others are in this startup mode. What are a couple of key systems for you? I mean I know I was teasing before we got on live about the Jane app. Why do you use something like the Jane app versus some of the bigger EHR systems right now in startup mode?

Yes. So for me, Jane, and Jane is an EHR system, it’s cloud based and I first off, their customer service is fantastic, but it’s very easy to start with in terms of the system that they have in place and then learning to navigate it. It just is easy and at the beginning, and I’m guessing as I stay in practice longer, you want things that are going to cause you the least amount of headache as possible. And that, for me, has really been helpful to have that.

I also think a real key with now there are so many options, things like Jane app, tell me a little bit about how you’ve built in profit right from day one. So, for the audience, one of the things that I like to talk about is already with your vision begin with the end in mind. Again, is this profitable? Could you turn around and sell it even if in 18 months or two months you want it to relocate instead of thinking, “Oh it’s not this big entity.” If there’s profit built in from day one, profit first, then what starts to happen is you’ve built your asset right. So obviously Jane app is also really smart from a financial perspective, but share with the audience what else have you done in startup mode that’s allowing you to be profitable sooner?

So I’m a hundred percent cash practice. I don’t process insurance at all. I would say that has been something that’s helped me be profitable from month one. And does that answer the questions?

Yeah. So give some other tools, like what other things do you think about, is it just having the consciousness so that you know, like the Jane app, which is an EHR system to do all your scheduling, bookkeeping, things like that, that’s a smart choice compared to something almost that’s far more expensive. And so what are even some of the mindset about taking a look, for example, how did you set your fees?

Okay, so first and foremost, I chose a place that had low overhead and then I negotiated down. It was already low and then we went lower and so having that low overhead allows me to know that … I reached that goal a lot sooner, which feels great, especially when you’re first starting.

Yeah and the reason I’m asking Carolina kind of roundabout ways to get at the same thing is that you need some kind of a financial blueprint. So in startup … Now, I can talk to seasoned practitioners about the financial side and all too often overhead is way too high a percentage where we built these humongous entities and we’re not incredibly profitable. So one of the key things for any of you in startup mode is knowing, for example, your basic nut.

How much does it cost you to live per month? How much does it cost you to run that business per month? By when then can you already see that you would be profitable? What are the action steps to get there? So really clearly breaking that all down and knowing that because all too often just what starts to happen is overhead starts to grow or “Oh I need this,” or “I’m going to add this in”. And now your bottom line, your overhead and expenses, are going up higher or a much higher percentage than you ever intended them to be. So kind of that idea of in startup mode, you want to think about lean and mean. And how do you get the most impact from the things you’re using, the things you’re doing so that you really can have that profitability quickly.

Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve done, in terms of knowing your numbers, so I need to know my numbers for the business, but then know them for myself. And then taking into account student loans and all the other things that are important and affect the number.

Another thing with startup that Carolina is talking about, knowing your numbers, is the fact that in that very beginning, you have a lot of write-offs, but then you want to be grown. You want to become sort of a bigger practice and have more influence and more impact, but already part of your numbers is building in tax implications, starting to put money away for taxes. Unless you’re basically working for someone in a setting where they are taking tax off at source, being in your own practice, you need to start to consider that. Because all too many people you grow and suddenly you have a year, maybe that’s your two where you’re incredibly profitable and now you haven’t planned for the tax implications, so that can be another really important piece about just building those systems in, your financial systems, so your practice building systems as well as your financial systems and the clarity of all of that in startup.

And I would say that was one of the most beneficial parts to being able to coach with Dr. Kim was really learning to break down those numbers and knowing things like, set aside money for taxes because you think you’re just going to go out and make money and whatever you make is yours and it just isn’t the case.

Yeah, it’s almost a little shocking. It’s kind of like, “Oh, this is what I signed up for and I’ve never learned this before.”

Yes, yes. It’s a surprise.

Well, I’m going to put you on the spot a little bit and ask like if you could give other startup practitioners three keys or call them three tips, three key things that you want to leave them with, what would those be?

For startup?


Okay. I would say, find someone to mentor you and if you need to go and interview different people or search them out, get recommendations, but find someone who’s going to fit your personality and who’s done something that you want to do. So, find a really good mentor. Know your numbers. Speaking to early startup, sometimes in school numbers aren’t something that’s brought up at all, but they become hugely important as soon as you graduate.


If you can get a handle on that before you graduate, then that’s not going to be such a big shock and you’ll feel empowered versus disempowered. And the third one I would say mindset. Find something that works for you. Be a little creative about it, whether it’s meditation or mantras or taking time for intentional self care that allows you to get your mind right for you. It doesn’t have to be an hour, but it has to be some time dedicated for you.

Great. Those are fabulous. And you can see not only that you’ve been really working on this and thank you for sharing that. I think it’s important for startup practitioners to hear it from someone like yourself that’s really in the trenches, that’s doing it. Also for seasoned practitioners sometimes to go back to those things, I can only give the audience the example that there were times where I had grown or was beyond that startup and then all of a sudden, you start to flatten a little bit and it’s like, “Well wait a minute, I’m not doing those things that got me the startup success.”

So for anyone listening, please take Carolina’s ideas and tips to heart. So thank you so much Carolina, and we will make sure that again, others can reach out to you. We’ll put your contact information in. Other startup practitioners, I encourage talk to someone like Carolina that is in the trenches, is doing it, has that ability to share some of the same challenges and then also some of the incredible wins as well. So I really appreciate the fact that ChiroSecure is letting us talk about all facets of practice. We brought you, so far with this segment, different ideas about ten year exit strategies for seasoned doctors.

Talking to Dr. Carolina today about startup, we are all in that startup mode at some point. And often going into a new year, here it’s Happy Thanksgiving that I want to wish everybody and as we move into the holiday season, could you treat 2020 like you’re in startup? If we all brought that kind of energy at 2020, imagine what is possible. So just before we leave and end the show, I want to tell you that you’re in for a treat next week. The show is being hosted by attorney Mike Miscoe. So please stay tuned for that. And again, just taking this opportunity to say thank you to ChiroSecure for letting us really bring some of these pertinent issues to the audience. So Happy Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing you on the next show.

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Empowering Women Chiropractic – 9 Super Habits of Successful Chiropractic Entreleaders

Welcome to ChiroSecure’s Empowering Women in Chiropractic, the Facebook live show for successful women by successful women. Proving once again, women make it happen.

Join us each week as we bring you the best in business growth, practice management, social media marketing, networking, leadership, and lots more. If it’s about women in practice and business, you’ll hear it here.

Now join today’s host, Dr. Julie McLaughlin, as she talks learning, living and teaching. And now, here’s Dr. Julie.

Hello, everybody. Dr. Julie McLaughlin here for a ChiroSecure’s Empowering Women. I am so excited to be joining you today. And what I want you to do, this is live, this is on Facebook, or on YouTube live, and so I want to show some love to [crosstalk 00:01:55] because they are supporting all of us in our profession. They help educate us in bringing so many great programs to us. So do me a favor. Everybody put little hearts, likes, in the chat box and be sure to comment, ask questions, and let’s really show some good support for ChiroSecure because they are so great in supporting our profession. So thank you, ChiroSecure.

So what we’re going to talk about today, I am very excited to share with you. It’s the nine super habits of successful entre-leaders. So entre-leaders are people who are entrepreneurs, but are leaders, and I love this combination. There’s a great book by Dave Ramsey on this. And I love this combination because entrepreneurs are the people who are risk takers, and they can kind of be wild and crazy on the edge, but the leaders are the ones who are tried and true and they’re really going forward. So an entre-leader is someone who is going to accelerate and increase their business growth on a good measured path, but they’re also going to break out of the bounds like an entrepreneur would and really make those leaps and bounds forward. So the business of chiropractic is built on blood, sweat and tears. And don’t I know it because I’ve been practicing a really long time. And we want to change the face of healthcare in this country. And I think that we can do it through chiropractic. So let’s get started.

So we’re going to talk about the nine big ideas here. So number one, you are the problem. I am the problem, right? But the good news is, is that you are also the solution. So our problems in our practice aren’t our location, or our space or our staff or our marketing or our technique or anything else. That is not the problem. We are the problem. What’s right here between our ears. Because you know what they say is if you think you can do something, you can. And if you think you can’t do something, you can’t. So the best thing is, and why you being the problem is a great problem to have, is because you’re also the solution. Because you’re the one person in this world that you can control. You are the one person in this world that can make a difference and really start to open up your mindset and really move forward and take those steps and take away the barriers that are stopping you.

So if you’re the problem and the solution, you don’t have a problem anymore. So you are your business’s greatest asset. If it wasn’t for you, well, it doesn’t matter where your location is or how great your waiting room looks or how many patients you have. If it’s not for you, you don’t have a business, right? You are your business’s greatest asset. And so what do you do? You have to take very good care of that greatest asset. And that’s what I want you to do. Because you are the only one thing that you have control over is your behavior and what you do.

So we want to look at, “How can we make ourselves better?” So I love this number one thing. “If you could do …” number one thing game, right? So if you could do number one thing today that you could start doing that would have the greatest positive effect in your life, what would it be? Think about it. What would it be? The number one thing that you could do. Once you have that, I want you to write that down for me. Okay? And then I want you to think of the number one thing you could stop doing that would have the greatest positive effect in your life. So with my patients, I tell them, I’m like, “What’s your Kryptonite? What is it? What’s your Kryptonite that you need to stop doing?” People say, “What should I eat? What should I have? What should I do?” I’m like, “No, don’t start there. Think about what should you stop doing that you know is wrong. And like, you know, drinking soda is wrong. Stop doing it. You know, eating a bunch of sugar is wrong, fast food. Those are the things, you stop doing them and then you’re going to move yourself forward without any effort.”

So our next big idea is manage activities, not results, right? So we’re so results driven. And so for good example of this is that we all want … “I want so many new patients in a month.” But if you’re just looking at those numbers, that’s one thing. But what are the activities you can manage? So in my practice, I do lots of outside speaking engagements in my community. And the last two weeks I’ve had seven of them, which is really, really crazy. And so when we look at this, we want to see what you’re doing on your results and on your activities. What are you doing? So we want to see what we can do when we’re making our activities, in signing up those, you know, community talks and things like that. So I’m gonna work on this and see if I can reshare my slides for you so you can see ’em a little bit better now. Hopefully you can see them a little bit better now. Sorry about that.

So when you’re managing your activities, I want you to set up these talks in your community, get with some positive power partners who you could tie into. So in one week I had 28 new patients from my talks. 28 new patients. And so I was looking at managing my activities as opposed to just the results. So your outcome is going to come naturally when you have those activities.

So big idea number three is to put it all together, right? We want to have this amazing power of synergy. We want our teams to be synergistic, our patients, and our businesses. So think about this. This is a cool story. So you know, they have these Belgian draft horses, and they have these competitions where they have to pull so much weight. So one horse can pull 8,000 pounds. But if you took two random horses, they never saw each other, they were strangers to each other, right? They could pull up to 24,000 pounds. Now, one can pull 8,000, and two can pull three times as much.

Now if you take two horses and you train them together and you really get them to know each other, they can pull four times as much as a single horse. They can pull another 8,000 pounds more than two random horses. So by getting your team in sync and getting your mindset in sync with what you have to do, you can pull a lot more and you can lead a lot better. So when we think about all of these things, are you trying to do at all? Are you trying to do everything yourself? Because guess what? We don’t have enough time in the day. So we need you to have a really good synchronized team, not a random team, you know, where they’re not connected and they’re not talking and you’re not having regular office meetings. We want you to train your team to have synergy because that’s what’s going to push you forward.

What about … We don’t want to have the enemies of unity, right? So if you lack intention with your team or with your patients through thoroughness of communication, if you’re not really clear what you want them to know, what you want them to do and what they’re expected of them, you’re going to have an enemy, right? If you have lack of intention through thoroughness and goal setting and shared purpose, you’re going to have an enemy. So we want you to get on track and in sync with your intentions. If you have unresolved disagreements, that’s going to steal your energy. You may think, “Well, I’m not going to deal with that.” But bit by bit, it’s like a little chicken taking one peck out of you, and every day, pretty soon you’re bloody, right? Because it’s that energy that’s going towards that because it’s unresolved. Resolve them. Just get it done.

And if you sanction incompetence, if you have somebody on your team who’s just flat out incompetent and you’re allowing it, that’s taking your energy because you’re thinking about, “Well, if they did this, if they did that …” I want you to unite and have that unity in your practice.

But how has your passion, I need you to care deeply. Care deeply about your practice, care deeply about your patients, and show them, show them that you care, because that empathy and caring and passion is the number one thing that you can do. So Dave Ramsey says this, “The most untutored, uneducated person who has passion is much more pervasive, much higher and forward thinking and further ahead than the most eloquent person without it.” So if you have passion, you can do anything, and you can move forward.

So how about … It’s vision time? I want you to be 100% on your vision, on what need. Because as entre-leaders, you have to share your vision with your team early and often. So there’s a book, it’s called “Visioneering”. And you have to discuss your vision and your organization 21 times. Crazy, right? 21 times before people start to hear it. And it’s before they start to get it. And I want you to think about it in one sentence. So our one sentence, sometimes you think of it as a tagline, is “Every body welcome.” That’s our theme. That’s our vision. “Every body is welcome in my practice.” So we have McLaughlin care, and every body’s welcome.

So think about what is your vision? And you want to communicate that with your patients, with your staff, at least 21 times, if not on a regular basis. So what is your vision? I want you to write it out, not just about the business, but everything in your life. What is it in your family life?

So we have the three areas. We have work, we have love, and we have energy. And you want to see your vision in all three of those areas all the time. Right? And I want you to never to go all in. You’re like, “What? Never go all in? What are you talking about, Doctor Julie?” So I have two ideas and two rules on launching a new idea. You can never borrow money to fund a new idea. So if you’re like, “Oh, my gosh, I have this great idea. I’m going to add a gym to my office, or I’m going to do this or that,” but you have to borrow money to do it? Nix it, right? So that’s when you’re not all in on that.

And if the big idea that you’re going to do could be fatal to your business. So if you decide that you’re going to merge with somebody else and you just don’t have a good feeling about it, and it could be fatal to your business because of the type of contract that you sign, don’t do it. So I need you to have Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D. Cause at the end of the day, things fail, right? And the more things that you have that fail, the more likely you’re going to come up with something that succeeds. Because think of Thomas Edison, how many failed inventions he had, and Henry Ford. When we think of these great people, we know that they didn’t just come up one day and have this great idea. They have all these Plan A, B, C, and D. So I just want you not to make a plan and just go with it if it could be fatal to you. So I want you to never to go all in because I want you to take that leadership part and be a little bit conscientious of what you’re doing with it. So slow and steady wins the race on this one.

So decisions are liberating. I want you to make them. So if you’re frozen by indecision, you’re not going to move forward. Your team is energized by a leader who can make a call. Think about if you were in a sporting event and you’re in a game and you were the leader on that team and you couldn’t decide where to throw the ball, right? You’re frozen by inde … “Should I throw it here. Should I throw it there?” That’s the same thing in business. If you can’t make a decision, you’re team is going to think that you’re not capable of leading and you’re going to have no direction.

So David Allen has a book called “Getting Things Done.” And I love this approach. So done is better than perfect. I want you to do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and I want you to practice it. So if you have something in your life, and this is my rule and I love it, and this is from David Allen, “If it takes you two minutes or less to do it, I want you to do it now.” Like think about your emails. You look at an email in your inbox and you’ll leave it there. You don’t delete it, you don’t allocate it, you don’t do it. Right? Or the dishwasher. You see the dishwasher’s full at home. I tell my kids like, “Listen, it takes you two minutes or less to unload the dishwasher. Do it now.” So anything that takes you two minutes or less, do it immediately. And then, you know what, you’ll always be ahead on that stuff because indecision kills and we don’t want that.

So I want to tell you, in my practice I’ve had an overnight success. It was just so easy. It only took me 31 years, right? No one has an overnight success. We look at people on Facebook and in places that look like, “Oh, my gosh, they’re doing great. What’s wrong with me?” Remember that’s a mindset. No one has overnight success. It takes years of practice and determination to be able to do this. So there is no overnight success. So is it your mindset or it’s your ability. It’s your mindset that drives your ability. And I know you’re all capable of this because I believe in you. And I want you to stay on mission and stay on task with focused intensity and you will succeed, my friends.

So if you want to know more about me and what I do, my contact information is here: And I have my online courses and And so, again, I would like to think ChiroSecure for having me today on Empowering Women, and I hope you guys got a lot of good do level information out of this, and I want you to be sure to join us next Thursday at the same time, 11 o’clock eastern time, 12 o’clock central time, because ChiroSecure will be having the Look to the Children program with Dr. Monika Burger. And I will see you soon.

Join us each week as we bring you the best in business growth, practice management, social media marketing, networking, leadership, and lots more. If it’s about women in practice and business, you’ll hear it here.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s Facebook live event. Please like us on Facebook, comment, and share. We look forward to seeing all of you next week for another episode of Empowering Women in Chiropractic. Now, go ahead and hit the share button and tell your friends and colleagues about the show. Thank you for watching. Have a beautiful day. This has been a ChiroSecure production.

Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel ( Follow us on Instagram (, LinkedIn ( Periscope ( If you have any questions about today’s show or want to know why ChiroSecure is still the fastest growing malpractice carrier for over 27 years, then call us at (866) 802-4476. or find out just how much you can save with ChiroSecure by visiting: