Why Care About the Business of Chiropractic?

I was first introduced to the Chiropractic profession almost 3 years ago by Dr. Patrick Gentempo. Since that time, I’ve signed a personal long-term care agreement with a local Chiropractor; and my wife signed a long-term care agreement with a separate Family Chiropractor to provide wellness to our young children.  The results that we’ve achieved, health-wise, are almost inconceivable.  All chronic pain, all medications, and all daily health nuisances have been eliminated from our lives, along with all interactions with prescription-writing doctors.  In light of the power of Chiropractic, it is shocking to me how few people – as a percentage of our population – visit a chiropractor on a regular basis.  I’ve learned from Dr. Gentempo that less than 2% of the population is actively engaged in chiropractic care; and less than 10% have ever seen a chiropractor in their lives.

As a business person/entrepreneur for the past 30 years, I’ve witnessed first hand the devastating effects on small business owners and their lack of foundational business knowledge. After closely watching the Chiropractic profession, due to my affiliation with Dr. Gentempo over the past 33 months, I am convinced that the primary reason that the Chiropractic profession has not grown (and touched many more lives) is due to the overwhelming percentage of DCs with limited or nonexistent business training.

As an analogy, I firmly believe that the world would not be blessed with the vast array of computer technology and cell phone technology – to the degree that it is – if the technology industry had the same lack of business knowledge as the Chiropractic profession.

More to the point, in my opinion, the profession must embrace wholeheartedly the massive hole in Chiropractic training (of not teaching foundational business principles, as opposed to practice management techniques).  It must begin to put as much emphasis on teaching business principles in Chiropractic colleges, as it puts on teaching anatomy and adjusting.  At that point, the profession will begin the steady climb toward being main stream.
I am not saying that business is more important than anatomy and adjusting.  I am saying that without proper training in business, then the profession will not proliferate in the way it deserves to proliferate around the world.  I believe that the adoption of foundational business principles in the profession is the main thing that is holding back the profession.

I’ve seen this first hand.  In my personal life, I watched a close friend study extremely hard at Parker College in Dallas.  He graduated in 1996 with an enormous debt load.  He opened a practice and added to his debt load.  He hired overpaid, undertrained employees, which further added to his debt load.  After it was much too late, he tried to learn business, and signed up for a practice management program.  It wasn’t long after that, at the ripe “old” age of 35, he had more than $200,000 in debt, and needed to declare bankruptcy.  Now he is out of the profession forever…a profession that he once loved.  …and thousands of people will never be touched by his healing hands. Why?  Because he lacked the foundational business skills necessary to grow a flourishing practice.
It doesn’t have to be this way.

In early 2010, my good friend, Dr. Gentempo reached out to me and asked, “Rick, can we set up Chiro Finishing School, to teach your business principles to this profession?”

Although I knew the task would be difficult, and the adoption rate would be slow, I jumped in with both feet, because I knew the incredible results that my family was getting from both of our Chiropractors.  I also knew that the lack of business training was…AND IS…a massive problem in your profession.
We now have hundreds of DCs in the program, and we’ve given scholarships to students at various Chiropractic Colleges, in order to help increase the percentage of people who use this profession in our current, unhealthy world.

One of the first things a member of Chiro Finishing School (“CFS”) needs to learn and apply, is the concept of creating a “Catalyzing StatementTM” for their business and their life.  A Catalyzing Statement is a next-generation Purpose Statement.  By way of example, John F. Kennedy did not say the space program’s purpose statement in his famous speech, which was to create the world’s best space program and beat the Soviets; he instead changed the world by declaring his now famous Catalyzing Statement, “We will send a man to the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of the decade of the 60s.”  Those words changed the world by catalyzing the action of thousands of people.

I’ve learned, first hand, that EVERY Chiropractor has the same opportunity to stop what they are doing for a moment, and create a compelling catalyzing statement that will forever change their practice from the perspective of impact, success, leverage, and reach.
Why does your practice exist?  Why should someone visit you?  Why should they stay long term?  Why should anyone work for you?  These are questions that MUST be thought through carefully.  These are questions that could be answered more easily if you have a compelling Catalyzing Statement in place.
Here are some examples of powerful Catalyzing Statements to get your creative juices flowing.

  1. I envision a world with no autism.
  2. An impactful Chiropractor inside of every family.
  3. We exist to eradicate pain and suffering from this community.
  4. Using innate intelligence, rather than prescriptions, to keep our families healthy.
  5. We open our doors each morning, to cure our community of the devastating effects of obesity.

Now, the big question:  What is your Catalyzing Statement?

Hopefully, you can now envision how these straightforward Catalyzing Statements can mobilize a community, a staff of employees, or the profession itself, to have more impact on the world.
Creating a powerful Catalyzing Statement in only the first step on the journey toward becoming a more successful and informed business person; but, as you can see, it is an important step.  Our catalyzing statement for Chiro Finishing School is: “To make chiropractors the best trained business leaders in healthcare!  Truth be told (and please don’t shoot the messenger) they are the worst. We are working every day to get DC”s from ‘worst to first’.

Dr. Gentempo and I have discovered that there are three legs on the stool needed to succeed in business and change long-term behavior.  These 3 essentials are:

  1. The idea or principle that is being learned.
  2. The implementation or execution of that idea.
  3. Ongoing daily, weekly, or monthly accountability.

Most people understand the first two points above, but only a very small percentage of us understands accountability, and that’s why we structured it into the online “go at your own pace” learning system.  For more information, visit www.ChiroFinishingSchool.com.  There is a free audio download there where I review the 12 Foundational Principles of Business.  Get it.  It will change your life!