Empowering Women in Chiropractic Practice Growth While the World Changes – Janice Hughes

Hello and welcome. My name is Dr. Janice Hughes and I want to take the opportunity to welcome you to our show Growth Without Risk. And I know at this time in the world that’s probably a crazy thing you’re thinking to really be talking about growth. And I know that some of the hosts over the last few weeks have really been whether we like it or not addressing some of the issues related to COVID. And it’s so intriguing for me with my background as a chiropractic coach, I’ve been in the practice management world in the profession for years and so I was really looking forward today to talk to you about this concept of growth.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t start first though by thinking Chiro Secure. I personally have talked in a lot of my interviews where Dr Stu Hoffman has been a huge supporter of myself, personally in my career of so many chiropractors I know. And right now is definitely one of our leaders in the chiropractic profession that is showing up incredibly during these challenging times.

He and Chiro Secure are here for you. And that’s why they’re continuing some of these very pertinent topics and discussions about this idea of growth. So let me just jump right into it. I’m not going to be interviewing anyone else today. I wanted to share some of my perspectives after 30 years in the profession and this concept of growth. And I really wanted to jump in with the idea that, is it an oxymoron to say that you can grow while everything is shrinking? So I realize I’m not immune to the fact, yes, I’m not in private practice at this point. I mentor and coach and work with so many chiropractors that are though. And knowing that all around us is fear. Everything around us, whether you’re open or not open, been told what to do or how many hours you can work or the way that you practice.

I recognize that that is all that outside in energy, and it’s fearful right now. Many of us, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t feel that or if we didn’t know that that was affecting us. The challenge and why I want to really anchor on this word growth is that you can grow. There are businesses that are growing during this time. Those businesses, some of you will say, “Well, Janice, that’s because they’re open.” No, actually some of those other kinds of businesses are closed as well, or they’re having to figure out how to do business differently.

So I don’t think it’s an oxymoron to say that with all of that outside influence, with everything changing, you can actually grow, and there are offices that are doing that. There are offices that are pivoting and the way their communication is really strong, the way they’re working on themselves, they’re actually growing through this crisis.

Now that’s easy to say, if you’re open. A whole bunch of you listening are closed, you’ve been mandated by someone else to be closed. And any of you that know me well enough or you can tell my energy is a very driver personality. There is nothing that drives me more crazy than someone telling me what I can’t do. So I really want to start this by saying that I kind of live by these two really important principles.

The first is that there are some things you can control. And the second is that there are some things you can’t control. And that wisdom is ultimately knowing the difference. So because I can’t control those other decisions, whether we’re open or closed. Every one of your governors in your States are different. I’m in Colorado where, again, it’s a really crazy time. The governor has not only made certain statements that yes, we’re essential, but we’ve got an organization that is saying, “No, we can’t be open.” Or, “Here are the conditions you can be open.”

So I recognize I have to stay in my lane. If I can instead focus on the things that I can control, that’s where I’m going to be more empowered. So I ask each of you to think about that for yourselves. Are there some things that you can actually control versus putting your attention to the ones you can’t? So really the wisdom comes from identifying the difference in that. So it’s not about whether you’re shut down or it’s not about whether you’re open with certain requirements. It’s turning around and saying, “Okay, no matter what that external situation, what are the pieces that I can control?”

So that’s where my second question is, what is a growth mindset? What does that look like? So how can you be growing right now? Can you grow personally in some way? Can you grow professionally in some way? Can you even think about growth related to your money and finances? And I know that, again, sounds like an oxymoron. If you’re shut down or your cashflow is gone or is definitely impacted. There’s enough people that don’t have reserves right now.

That’s where, well wait a minute, one of those important actions is how do I ensure that I do the SBA? How do I ensure that I do the PPP? The brain doesn’t know the difference between your own money in reserves or those dollars in reserves. It just knows what reserves feel like. Or find where you have more than enough of something in your house. Hopefully it’s toilet paper, because I know that’s obviously a major issue as well. But thinking in terms of where can I look around myself and find as much abundance as possible? I am living in a different home right now. During this is when we were moving out of our house and we had been getting rid of supplies.

So I used to stockpile, meaning just have an abundance of things. And not in a crazy way, but knowing that that was a great way to feel abundant. Right now, because we don’t have those, the first thing I did was go to the gas station and fill up with gas so that I have more than enough gas. Not a lot of places to drive, but I have more than enough of some kind of supply. For some of you it may be ordering food online or going and doing a shopping that allows you or I to buy things.

Luckily I haven’t found that the grocery stores are out of the things that I eat. The very first time I went to the grocery store and all these shelves were bare, I found an abundance of the things that I eat. Because obviously you or I, often eat differently or do different things health wise than probably 90 or 95% of the population. So my mindset at that growth or abundance, I’m looking everywhere for that. I’m looking in people’s eyes more deeply. If I meet someone on the street, even though we’re not supposed to be very close, I’m going to really connect with them and still say hello.

I search for those opportunities and believe me I’m getting shut down a lot. You know, I’m getting the fact that a lot of people don’t even want to speak or connect. I have a big dog and early one morning, he and I last week were walking when everybody started wearing scarves or face masks and we had somebody in the dark still at 5:30 in the morning, you could hear them quickly coming down the street behind us and as we looked, it’s terrifying to see. It’s almost like a bandit that’s coming at you.

So recognizing that all of that negativity that’s out there, I want to be as disciplined as possible to do the things to focus on my mindset. So I really want to identify that this is going to take work. It’s interesting to say that we focus on growth or success principles when times are good, but it is much more challenging, isn’t it when we’re in the kinds of situations that we are now? So what can you do now? What can you do today? What habit or discipline can you put in personally? Part of it is if we are really restricted with what we can do at our clinic. So for those of you that are shut down, our brain tends to go to, “Well, how do I do everything related to the business? You know, how do I just grow my business?”

We’re going to talk about that in a second, but I really want to identify first it’s about yourself. What are you doing for your mind and what are you doing for your body and physiology? And I want to acknowledge that you’re going to ride a wave. It’s like the wave form, the up and the down and the up and the down. And we are definitely riding the waves. So because we’re human, we’re going to have some of those down moments. There’s a certain day we wake up and we just feel frustrated or exhausted or because our patterns are so different.

Like I said, I’m almost seeing it as a blessing that I’m living in a different home right now than my own home, and it’s not my future home. But in this transition, it’s almost forced me to change every single habit or pattern that I do. I had to think about what do I bring with me? I’m not going to be able to go to a coffee shop. Do I have our espresso machine?

How did I consciously decide what are the things that mattered the most to me with my schedule, with my routine? I’ve been sending out to a lot of people personally, I know some really dear friends who are incredible meditators. Well my style and my driver personality, I tend to have to do more walking meditations or movement oriented meditations or guided meditation. I’ve been searching some of those out and using those as tools. Things that really work on my mind and then things that work on my breathing or my physiology. Can you go out for a walk? Can you go out for a hike? Do you have a stationary bike at the house? Are there ways that you can do some HIT exercises, high intensity, short periods of time, things that allow us to address the physical side of things.

So I first want to identify that growth is about our minds. Growth is about what we can be doing. I’ve signed up for a couple of online courses that I’m auditing. Find some of those things that are allowing you to grow. What are you listening to? Which podcasts or which lives are you listening to? I’ll tell you, it’s interesting in our profession, the amount of negativity that’s out there. Or the amount of people that are coming to you trying to sell you something right now. Now, I don’t know about you, but I sort of question that, that this is a time for us to rise and not to charge people for things and or figure out other things to sell.

Now I say that you could be creating an online course or you could do something now that pivots your business, but I just want to share the fact that go outside of our profession, even to audit some courses or to take some things like podcasts or courses that fill you up. That’s what identifies the growth mindset.

But now let’s talk about practice, let’s talk about actual practice management. So the first piece that and why I’m talking about mindset is your practice, your success, your results are based on you. So that’s why that’s the most critical piece in part for me with things. But now some strategies within your practice. It’s interesting if you follow a round, some pretty high volume or practices that are thriving, you’ll notice obviously, in good times, but a lot of those people have created very intense, great relationships with people.

So the first thing that happens for us as chiropractors is if we’re used to building those relationships, by the way we touch someone, by the way, we adjust and now you have a mask or now you have gloves on or now you can’t do that. It’s really the question of how can I still have that connection to people? I’ve seen some amazing practitioners going on and doing videos out to their patient base, out to their practice. Doing lives within their own private patient community. The thing that I want to really reinforce is stay in your lane.

This is not about going out and doing Facebook Lives that are about immunization or immunity. Now I get it, those are hugely personal issues. There are things that I have great opinions on, but what I recognize is I’m going to stay in my lane and do the relationship building and the relationship maintaining with my patient base, with my database. So is it that if you’re not practicing at all that you could come up with a series of videos that you send out to the entire patient base? Is it that some of you actually have an online portal that those can be completely private or you can put together courses for your patient base? Is it that again within your community that you are part of some community groups and you can talk about health and wellbeing?

We have such an opportunity. Our message right now is that number one, we’re deemed essential. Even in the States where your close down are mandated to be, we have been deemed as essential. The national guard has deemed chiropractic as an essential service to rebuild the infrastructure of this country. That’s huge for some of you listening from out of country, say in Canada where I’m originally from, you still leverage that, we are considered essential services. Now that allows us to talk about public health, and it’s kind of like going back to a basic health care class. Instead of us trying to be experts on something that we’re not really writing papers or doing research. I referenced to the Heidi Habbicks of the world, the Dan Murphys the James chestnuts, they’re doing amazing things with great research and knowledge of research behind them.

Search out those great people. From a philosophy perspective, search out some of the great people writing and pointing out how this is a challenge to our basic public health strategies and use that to fuel you. I know that there’s some online summits, there’s an online philosophy summit coming out at the end of April. So be part of those things that help you learn about those important things. But related to your patients, it’s about how can I add more value if I’m not in the practice physically, how do I still add value? Who am I calling? Who am I doing those videos for? What else can I be doing to build those relationships? Some of you, if you’re in a state where you can sell supplementation, are you drop shipping things to the patients that can’t come in so that they can have their supplements?

Every time you call someone, write personal letters. I found that that still one of the things, whether it’s in some of our practices, we used to send out birthday cards to people or personal notes to people. How about texting, but also sitting down and actually writing some notes to people? Those kinds of things that allow you to stay connected to your database. So I want to talk about these three different strategies.

So number one is touch the database. Touch it frequently, touch it in multiple ways. Do some fun videos, there’s a few practitioners that are creating videos that are related to things that are happening in the world. An amazing chiropractor. I know she did a video about how to set up the ergonomics of your home office while you’re at the dining room table. She used a jumbo thing of toilet paper to prop up her laptop, knowing that’s a very current and pertinent issue for people. And so she’s touching it through the video. Other people, like I say, are sending out the supplements. That’s all the first strategy, which is touch your database.

The second is how are you going to either reopen or ramp up? If you can’t picture it, if you’re in fear mode, you’re not thinking about the new opportunities. So, many times people from a coaching perspective over the years, they say things like, “Well, when I reached this point, then I’ll do this. When I reached this volume, then I’ll change my hours.” This is a huge opportunity right now. So my second point is what are you going to pivot? What are you going to change? Is it that you maybe have had someone not on your team that you don’t choose to bring back? That you restructure things the way the hours are, or the way the staff dynamic is? What from a crystal ball would you love to see change?

Because you can build that in now more than ever before. Because remember, it’s unprecedented times, everything is changing. So what kinds of things are you going to change within the practice? The third thing from my perspective is clean and clean and dung out some more. So if you even want to just clean up your database, if it’s an electronic database, clean it up, clean it out. Who’s active, who isn’t? I like to break the database into hot, warm, and cold. And what are the different kinds of marketing strategies and reactivation strategies you would put in place for all three of those pieces of the database.

Physically go into the practice, clean it, organize it, change it up. I have a practitioner that called, longstanding, amazing practice that he’s just really wanted to do some remodeling and make some changes. So we laughed about there’s no better time than the present. And he’s open, just seeing very minimal people at this point. But they decided to have a demolition party and take down this one wall that he wanted to take down and he’s been talking about it forever. And I find that instead of being fearful about those kinds of changes, how do we embrace them?

So there’s a lot of services out there that are actually essential services. And I know because we’ve moved out, we’re doing a bunch of things at our existing house. We were going to put it on the market to sell. But everything has been essential refinishing floors, painters. So if you are going to do any changes within the practice, you have this demolition party and he’s luckily got a patient that he can call to have come in to actually do the construction that he wants to make the changes. So I just wanted to try to identify some of those really practical things. It’s really about how are you going to reopen?

What disciplined steps can you take now? What can you do currently to work on your mindset and to work on your physiology? And then what specific actions can you take this week related to the practice. It’s interesting, I was talking this morning to a great practitioner, and she has changed her pass codes on everything to now be growth 2020. And she recognizes that every time she then logs in, she’s thinking growth, she’s taking those action steps.

So I know that some of those things could sound silly or frivolous when everything in the world is changing. But remind yourself that I come back to those two things. There’s some things I can control and there’s some things I can’t. So wisdom is knowing and identifying the difference. Please know that people like myself, there’s a lot of other mentors, leaders within the profession, send me a private message. I am happy to get on the phone with anybody right now. I’m happy to get on FaceTime. I’m happy to get on a zoom call.

It’s so important that we really pivot and shift this consciousness. There’s some things in chiropractic that have needed to change. I think this is our opportunity. I’m watching some leaders that are stepping up and some that aren’t. So I’m really excited about how do we use this opportunity to pivot and change. So again, in closing, I just want to say reach out, ask for help. Some of us are here and very willing to get on and connect with you. How do we pivot your mindset? How do we help you use some of these tried and true principles. And they’re not sexy, I get it. They’re about discipline, personal discipline, professional discipline. But I know that we can even rise higher.

The bigger the challenge is, the greater the opportunity for growth and for future profitability as well. So I’m committed to help chiropractors make those changes. I just want to say thank you again to Chiro Secure, to Dr Stu Hoffman personally for all the things that he is doing, for the people he’s helped, myself included, and just know there are some great people in resources out there. If anything, I want to leave you with the fact that you are an essential service. You already know, that we’ve known that all of our careers. The interesting distinction is it’s now been stated and I think we leverage the hell out of that. So to your future success, please let me know how I can help you. Thanks.

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