Empowering Women Chiropractic – Are Your Finances in Order? Dr. Janice Hughes

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.

Hello and welcome to our show, Growth Without Risk. My name is Dr. Janice Hughes of 2Inspire Women, and I’m really excited today to be your host talking a lot today about financial action steps that you can take for practice growth. We couldn’t bring you a show like this if it wasn’t for our sponsor, ChiroSecure. So I’m really excited that I get the opportunity to work and connect with ChiroSecure regularly, and then to provide interviews like this.

What I want to do today is talk a lot about how your practice growth and your business growth is actually tied to your money mindset. I know that sounds crazy because a lot of times we think, “Well, we could put money on hold,” or, “It’s not about the money.” But what I want you to know is that after coaching thousands of chiropractors, your money mindset is one of the keys to your practice success and growth.

So I want to introduce you to Christopher Koopman, who I have with me today, and I’m going to be asking him a lot of questions from Statera Wealth Solutions. Thank you for joining me, Chris.

Hey, Janice. How are you? It’s great to be here.

Great to have you. So tell us a little bit, just introduce yourself briefly before I start diving into some of the questions that I want to ask you.

Sure. I’m president and founder of Statera Wealth Solutions. I know it’s a tricky name. Statera means balance in Latin. I’ve been in the financial space since 2003 and I concentrate on holistic and vitalistic financial solutions.

Yeah. So tell me about that word because that’s a very conscious word. For chiropractors, we talk about vitalism all the time. But tell us about vitalism and money and the distinction, and I like to call it this financial coaching versus just being, say, a financial planner. So just tell us a little bit about that word vitalism.

Yeah. In my experience, most people are set up quite awkwardly in making financial decisions and it’s really not our fault. It’s more about how the institutions and the media puts us in this position of at different times in our life we meet with different experts or advisors to help us with different areas. So it might be something as simple as I need to purchase real estate and I meet with a mortgage broker and I meet with a investment professional to handle my investments. And when you’re done with this process, you have maybe five to 10 people around you that are having different conversations with you at different times in your life. And so, it’s challenging because you’re having all of these individual conversations all in their own little silos and no one’s talking to one another.

So I think that looks to me, being a patient of chiropractic care for almost 16 years now, that seems very mechanistic to me. And it’s awkward because you can’t make intelligent financial decisions when you don’t think holistically and how all of these interact with each other. So I focus more on a process driven approach rather than a product driven outcome.

Yeah, that’s great. And it’s so key because … I want to give some of our listeners a perspective. As you even said the words about multiple advisers, we really have three different, I’ll call it sort of target groups of chiropractors and practitioners that listen to our show. Number one is startup. Number two is where people are sort of moving from striving to thriving. And then number three is a little bit more the group you’re talking about where now you’ve probably got multiple advisors or you already have multiple products.

But what I want to talk about today is even get your perspective on those three categories. Because not only is it important to define vitalism when it comes to money, but the other thing, and especially the startup docs, but then all through our careers, we often talk about this word debt, or debt versus savings, or debt versus wealth consciousness. And how does that impact, for example, let’s start first with a startup doctor?

Sure. In the beginning, my experience is you come out of chiropractic school and you’re loaded with debt. So I think the biggest mistake right away is to have a poor attitude about that debt. I mean, let’s face it, unless you have a rich grandparent that wrote a check for your school, you need the help of an institution to provide you with dollars to be able to get the education that you need. I think if we first have a mindset that is more about gratitude for that debt, like I literally tell some of my clients when they write that student loan check to write, “I am eternally grateful to pay to the order of.” Because if we approach it with that mindset, it’s not so much of a burden, but it’s something that we’re thankful for. Now, that’s the mindset.

Now, when you get to the numbers, I see the mistake of trying to eliminate debt at the cost of not taking care of the other critical areas of importance. Literally every dollar going to debt is actually harming you because if you’re not creating that emergency fund, just creating some sense of liquidity, either for an emergency or an opportunity, then you’re cutting yourself short from financial growth. You can always pay off the debt when you’re creating liquidity.

So it’s not about not that we don’t want to get out of debt. We want to do it in a very responsible way because most of the financial decisions we make, they impact the four domains of our financial life, protection, assets, liabilities and cashflow. And so, if we’re only focusing on liabilities, we’re not taking care of these other three domains of critical importance. They’re all connected.

I think that’s really huge because, for example, I was at one of our colleges just 10 days ago teaching a whole day on business and a lot of them wondered why I was taking a whole hour about money and prosperity and little things that they can do. Even some of the startup docs or even some of the docs listening that are still in a little more of that striving, like trying to get things going, things are going pretty well in practice, but now you have no idea how to tackle, say, this whole concept about money. I think you already touched on something that’s critical for them. Understanding those four categories. So maybe even if you could describe the difference where you go from striving to thriving. How does having a look at all four of those categories, how does even the concept of protection, how does that help a doctor go in with that clear mindset?

Well, it actually comes back to your point earlier about coaching, getting back to this setup, this kind of mass prescribed financial setup that we all get caught up into. I like to think of our financial life much like a sports team, an NFL team. There’s the owner of the team who then has the players that are out there playing the game. But a coach is someone that’s telling the players what to do. So in our financial life, we think of the institutions as our players and we’re the owners of this team. But most people lack a coach that tells you how to use these institutions for our advantage. And kind of another analogy might be that if we were to build a house, we need the lumberyard to provide wood to build the house but we don’t hire the lumberyard to build the house. We hire an architect.

So what I do in my process is that we create a financial model that consists of protection, assets, liabilities, and cashflow. Once you start to develop more in your practice and you start to earn more income, a lot of those other domains are going to get filled up. I mean, protection is something as simple as driving your car. You have car insurance. Well, what happens if you get sued? You should have an umbrella policy on top of that. And you start to understand that it doesn’t matter how much money is in my bank account if there’s a risk of someone taking it away from me.

So when you think about how your money works and impacts those four domains, that’s when you get and breakthrough to that next level where you’re starting to make more intelligent financial decisions because your income might be more and you have more on your plate. You need something to help you organize that so that it becomes easier. It’s not cluttered. Because I call that junk drawer planning. Everyone has that junk drawer in the house where I know the scissors in there, but it’s hard to find.

Exactly.

So if things are organized it helps us to approach it in an un-compartmentalized approach.

Yeah, that’s a really great point. I know for a lot of our listeners, where this really shifted for me, it’s not like as I was doing so much, I’ll call it better in practice, like you’re beyond that, “Okay, where’s those next dollars coming from?” or, “How do I only focus on lead generation?” So your practice is getting more established. What I found and you already touched on this, is that it’s like none of my people were talking to each other and I was making the silly decisions because I was almost reactionary versus short of trying to get them all in the same room, I had to become the leader. So with your money, how you get away from being reactionary is doing a whole overview. Bringing a coach, bringing that, again, coach into the scenario that you’re describing with the sports team or the architect in to have a look at things. [crosstalk 00:10:51].

It starts … I didn’t mean to cut you off there. It starts with financial organization. So if we are scattered, that puts us at a disadvantage because right away we don’t have the organization of knowing what we have. And it’s so funny how many people I talk to that really don’t know what they have. They don’t have clarity on how an insurance product they have may work or what type of investment they have, what that consists of. And so, getting clarity is step number one. Number two is financial organization. You have to have some type of model so that we can actually test the financial strategies we’re doing. Much like how a pilot would learn to fly in a simulator. I would much rather learn in that environment then first implement it in real life and then figure out that it’s going to fail. And so, I think stress testing some of what we are doing financially gives us that clarity that allows us to own our financial decisions.

Most people make financial decisions based on the opinions of others. Not coming to full clarity and conclusion. So when you break through that to that next level in practice where you’re now thriving and your practice is growing, you have to take responsibility financially with that and to organize your life so that you have complete clarity on the direction that you’re heading.

Yeah. And I think you’ve already really touched on the key then to move into that third category that I was talking about. So when you kind of go from that striving to thriving and then you start to get yourself more organized, really to move to the next level, beginning to already think through, “What does my estate look like?” I talk to a lot of practitioners about now beginning to create your 10 year exit strategy. What would that look like? You’ve touched on it’s really being able to run models. I know that there’s a lot of people really enamored, everybody says, “Okay, well focus on real estate,” or, “Now is where you expand your investments.” And what’s happening is just your description that it’s like we’re listening to all these other voices. But the power for me personally, came from being able to run those models and have a look at what those things would do for me in the short term, in the midterm, and then more importantly, even for my estate planning.

Yeah. Having that organization gives you the ability to understand the direction you’re heading and if you need to make changes. But when we focus on that kind of exit strategy, now it’s more about how do we produce cashflow to take over from the income that we were producing in our lives? And I find that a lot of financial strategy conversations, they get us to that “retirement age.” But my grandmother last year passed away at 104 years old, so people are living a very long life. So now it’s about how do we take all of the work we’ve done, allow that to transpire into real cashflow and cashflow with the least amount of risk? That comes down to more about strategy, again, than product.

We need the help of institutions to manufacture the products, but if we don’t know how to utilize them to our advantage and not theirs, then we can put ourselves into a corner and it becomes a very risky type of model where we would want to try to relinquish or assign risk to others so that we can live a more fulfilling life. And that’s where that exit strategy planning is so critical, because again, I’d want to help someone test what they’re thinking in their mind so that they get clarity on if that is actually going to work the way they thought it would. You can’t really do that until you do studies and understand how it’s going to play out for the next 30 to 40 years of your retirement. Longevity risk is, today, the biggest risk that we face in retirement. The risk that we may live too long.

Yeah. And I know that sounds crazy for some of the practitioners listening. Here we’re talking about kind of that exit, because you’re still in the early start up. But I think we’ve really touched and really sort of said, “Here’s the three different phases of your career,” or, “Here’s the things, again, that are going to be impacting you.” But let’s go back a little back. So we’ve talked vitalism and this different idea or attitude about about money. For the chiropractors listening, why is this important? Why does it matter that they’re kind of feeling organized about their finances versus stressing and going into practice and having that impact them? So just from a financial person’s perspective, you’re a coach, so what are a couple of the things that people can be doing? And I’ve heard you say this, but I want some clarity around that, like just planning or having someone helping them organize things.

So for me, organization means, number one, getting all of your data together. And for someone early in practice, their financial model may not be filled yet. You’re in the process of working towards filling your model with all of the financial strategies that are one day going to take over your life. So getting organized means understanding where you are in this present position. That’s number one.

The number two step is having that vision, direction and clarity and having the concurrency within your practice. It’s interesting when I meet with a chiropractor that talks all day long about vitalism and helping their patients with that, and yet I discover what’s going on in their financial life and it’s the complete opposite of that. I chuckle about it but it really brings that awareness to them that that is, look, you have to have that congruency in all aspects of your life. You can’t show up and play hard only in one way. You have to do it in another way too. And if it’s intimidating, then you relinquish control to someone like a coach that can help guide you through that process. That’s where you start to gain that clarity and, again, get that ownership into your financial decisions. And the ownership is important. If I ask someone why they’re doing something financially and they can’t tell me why, they really don’t have clarity and that to me is concerning.

So organization will help you understand where you are. Then putting that together on a model so that you can project into the future what you’re doing to see if it works and to stress test it against things that we can’t change, like tax laws changing and interest rates changing and things out of our control. Like you said earlier, we have to prepare for our future. We can’t guess what’s going to happen, but if we’re prepared then we can handle unforeseen consequences.

Yeah, and it’s interesting. I mean, we could obviously talk for hours on this. Really the whole emphasis of this interview, I’ll call it a first interview because one of the things for myself, I see the number one challenge for chiropractors, for health practitioners is money. It’s concepts about money. It’s establishing their future, a better future for themselves. They’ve invested a lot in school. But what I want to make sure is that we have each of you walking away realizing the power of your own leadership around it. Chris, you said something very important about congruency and how do we help more chiropractors review this, get congruent, have an assessment test of where they’re at? And I know you’ve been really wonderful for that with a number of chiropractors that I’ve worked with over the years, so maybe share with everybody how they can get ahold of you because our interview time is short today, but how can people learn more about this?

Probably the first step is my website, www.staterawealthsolutions.com and Statera is spelt S-T-A-T-E-R-A. That will tell a little about my story, my bio, but more importantly, give you a visual of the financial model that I’m talking about. And there’s actually a video on that under the technology tab where it says Our Technology, where you can play a three minute video and understand how that model can actually help you.

[crosstalk 00:19:31].

[crosstalk 00:19:31] that model, basically, it’s a very interactive model, but it’s kind of like my chiropractic adjusting table only in the financial space. Because it becomes something that I use as a tool to help my clients get financially well. So there’ll be a lot of information on that site that is valuable and I think that’s a good starting place. Of course, if anyone wants to directly get in touch with me, my email christopherkoopman, which is K-O-O-P-M-A-N, @G-L-I-C.com. That’s christopherkoopman@glic.com.

Great. Thanks so much, Chris. And we’ll make sure that we put in the comments the links again, the email, the links. So we will definitely do that after the show. Thank you so much for joining us.

All right, Janice. It’s nice to be with you today.

Great. Well, thank you everybody for listening. You can see that a real area of focus for me, part of my mission is helping chiropractors. Helping chiropractors shift their money mindset, create more abundance and wealth. It’s really critical to how you grow your practice. I know some people might say, “Okay, well that’s over here and not about how to build my practice.” And what I want to share with you is that I have a little formula that says, “Money equals self-worth.” So money is impacting the decisions you make about money and every action you’re taking is determining how you go in and care for people. So you can see it really ultimately is impacting everything about your practice.

We’ll keep on this theme, we’ll talk more about it, but I want to thank you for joining today. I also want to thank ChiroSecure for putting this on, talking about how do we grow practice? I’ve coached a lot of chiropractors, but we want to bring those tools to you, to every one of you in the profession.

So please also join the Growth Without Risk next week. You’re in for a real treat with Dr. Sherry McAllister speaking to you on that date. Thank you again and have a wonderful day.

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