Balancing Practice and Creativity
One of the most important things we can do as our practice grows, especially if we are running things solo, is to keep perspective on all of the moving pieces. Every healthy practice has different components, even if it's only one person running each.
There's growth, client success, caretaking of the practice itself, continued education, and more components depending on what you're focused on in practices. It's imperative that we stay connected to a system that works for our lifestyle and the personal demands to keep our family, friends, and social graces in check.
From time to time, I go off on a tangent and will work for three days straight creating content. A creative wave comes over me, and I can't see straight until I get it all out on paper. It takes me over, kind of like standing in the middle of a hurricane. ⛈️
Even if I wanted to dodge it or protect myself from it, the wind seems to knock me whichever direction is necessary for the storm to pass. When I'm in one of these creative waves, that's when I have to give myself the space and time to just move through it and know that it will pass. I need to give myself space so that whatever result is on the other end of it comes through as clearly and completely as possible.
Thank goodness for the quiet times, too which offer an opportunity to focus on our systems, ensuring that we run things as efficiently as possible and minimize any chaos. By doing so, we'll be better prepared for the next storm that comes our way. Essentially, investing time in maintaining order during quiet times helps to create a strong foundation that can withstand the challenges of busier times, giving us the confidence to navigate through them with ease.
These days, practicing is for sure the easy part. I'm creating a lot in this world, and when I go to my office to provide chiropractic care, I literally say out loud, I'm so grateful to be here. This is the part that is fun and effortless. 🥰
I promise you, if you follow the ways of the StaffLESS Practice Success System, you will get there. Be sure to visit our Facebook Group often for our latest tips!
Below you'll find a video of me sharing the three pillars of the Staff's Practice Success System with our community. 👇
To say that organization is my jam is an understatement. However, I never feel organized. I spend more time throughout my day organizing than anything else, whether it's the kitchen sink, my bathroom, my date book, my school content, or my student accountability boards. ✅
Organization is always front and center. At this point, I know myself so well with organization that I can usually say when I'm trying to find something... where would I put it? ...and that's usually where it is.
That's how dependable my organization systems are.
However, for some reason, I always feel like I need to recreate, reorganize, or re-optimize whatever system I'm trying to lean on. This struggle is real and it continues day in and day out, no matter how much I try to change it. And that's part of the process of having a lot going on. I could very easily simplify my life, do a lot less in this world, serve a lot less, and be a lot less. However, not the cards that I was dealt. So, needless to say, I need organization tools like I need air.
The tricky thing about organization tools is that different people need different things. Some people need paper, some people need apps on their phone, and others need a combination of the two. You have to figure out what works best for you and the way that you move through the world and make it work for you. 🤔
When you do have a team, if you get to that point, or if you're already there, you're going to have to figure out ways to not only keep yourself organized but keep your team members aware of your organization systems and be connected to their ways of keeping themselves organized too. 🧩
It gets tricky and multifaceted and overwhelming at times. However, if you take it one step at a time and follow my lead on programs that really work well for all different kinds of learning styles, you will get there.
There are some people who seem like they've completely got their act together when it comes to being organized. And then, I'll notice that they have a tendency to show up 15 minutes late for meetings, or they can never remember my name or they forget what context we know each other.
You really can't judge a book by its cover when it comes to organization. The bottom line is you've got to figure out what works best for you, and everybody is going to have a system or a path to lock down that suits their mindset.💭
Discover your system, your path to organization, and let it lead you to creating more and serving more.
Here is a LIVE from our FB Group on my fav. organization tools:
Self care - these days...
When I first started practicing, it seemed a bit easier to run until my gas ran out. Literally, I could get away with running on empty. I could work long hours and just keep going. That was my jam, doing so much I couldn't walk anymore. 🏃♀️
I had such a vision for what I wanted to create for my practice. I was set out on a mission to heal the world through chiropractic, and I would do anything and everything I needed to reach as many people as possible. Bring it on world, here I am! I've shown up, and I am ready to serve. 🙌
And then I became a mom, and it got a little bit tougher.
It got a little bit harder to run on empty. In fact, even running on a quarter tank became a challenge.
I think I learned in my mid-30s, when my boys were both under the age of three, that self-care was imperative if I was to run my practice successfully.
Not only did I need to figure out the balance of self-care and giving care, but I also needed to start becoming proactive about taking care of myself.
In my early 30s, going to the gym was more about fun and community than maintaining my energy levels. However, as I moved into my later 30s, it somehow switched. Working out, eating well, and taking my supplements were no longer optional. They were the necessities of everyday life if I was going to take care of my kids and my practice, be present for my husband, give great care, and have time left over for friendships and community connections.
I had to take the time to move my body, take care of my body, and fuel my body correctly. It had really changed over the course of that decade; it went from really not thinking about self-care at all to self-care being an imperative piece of the puzzle.💪
These days, as I approach 50, I realize that self-care can take on many different forms.
I get that self-care can look different. I get that my relationship to self-care will continue to change.
These days, self-care looks like exercising every day. No exceptions to this.
Every day, I move my body to the point of sweat.
These days, self-care looks like proper hydration.
These days, self-care looks like meal prepping, which I don't always do, but when I don't do it, I feel it, and the consequences aren't pretty - I don't like the way that I react. It seems that my fuse is just that much shorter.
These days, self-care looks like getting adjusted at least once every couple of weeks.
These days, self-care looks like journaling and reading and spending quality time with the people who matter most to me. 🥰
While I miss the days when self-care wasn't so imperative, I also really treasure these days too.
I treasure that deep knowing that I have for how to care for myself so that I could care for others. It's crucial to recognize that finding a balance between taking care of oneself and others is essential for success. Check out our Facebook Group to learn more!
It took me a while to learn this lesson, but it's one that has become increasingly important over time.
Please see this week's live training to learn more about self-care and practice. 👇
We all get to a point when we are managing a team, and we see that it's not working. The shit officially hits the fan, and it doesn't smell good. It stinks up the office, your experience, your team's experience, and the practice members can even feel it, smell it, hear it, see it, etc. 😱
So, what do you do?
Where do you start?
Start where your feet are at. It's really important that you put your feet on the ground, take a deep breath, and figure out where you want to go from here.
You've got to ask yourself the hard questions:
What do you really want for your practice?
Are the people who you're having a hard time managing, directing, or facilitating really the people who are suited to bring your practice to the next level? 🤔
If they are, then it's worth leaning into the following steps with them. If they're not, then sever the ties now and be fair and kind about the severing and give them the option to leave. If they are worth moving forward, then follow these steps to change patterns and turn things around:
By the time you implement these steps, you will have very clear daily, weekly, and monthly checklists for your team. You will be in full agreement that your team is on board. You will let go of the people who are not on board but have their hands in the cookie jar. 🙌
You will also have a clear vision with your team on where the practice is going. During this process, it will become abundantly clear who is on board, who is not on board, and what steps need to happen in order to move your practice forward in the ways that you know it deserves.
Check out our Facebook Group for even more tips to creating the practice of your dreams!
Managing, supporting, and facilitating growth and forward movement for your team can be a joy-filled journey. You just need to plan, stay consistent, and keep the vision of the practice front and center. 🥰
Watch the video below as I take you on a journey of creating a PIVOT for your team 👇🏼.
find your healthy Balance
I definitely have a few practice members who think that my life is peachy.
They make assumptions that I have the perfect family, that it's easy to stay healthy, or that being a wellness practitioner doesn't take hard work. At least, this is what I feel like they're assuming when they look at me and laugh when I tell them that I understand their pain.
Some of them really do laugh. Most of them understand that I am also another Bozo on the bus trying to figure out this thing called life.🤡
There are some days when it takes everything I've got to show up at the office and give great care. I don't feel good, I'm tired, I didn't sleep well, my kid hates me, my jeans don't fit, I didn't have enough coffee.
Whatever the reason is, those are the days when I have to find the extra fuel in my tank and put my stuff aside, independent of how I'm feeling in that moment, and Serve for the sake of service. It can be the hardest thing to do. 😨
As I engage in my daily activities, whether it's starting my day, starting a shift, or meeting with a patient that challenges me, I often find that the interaction takes on a life of its own.
Regardless of how I may feel about it beforehand - whether I dread it, look forward to it, or feel neutral - the interaction has its own course and rhythm, beginning, middle, and end.
To make this dance smoother, I make sure to prioritize my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. This includes eating well, making time for exercise, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, avoiding toxic people and excessive sugar, surrounding myself with supportive individuals, and taking the time to listen to constructive criticism while letting go of the rest. I also make sure to move my body for at least 10 minutes every hour I spend sitting at a computer. 💪
When I follow these habits consistently, even on days when I don't feel my best, serving my patients becomes easier. It's important to find a balance between taking a self-care day when needed and simply not being in the right state of mind to provide quality care. Negative emotions can be contagious, just as positive emotions can be.
It's essential that I bring my best self to each interaction with my patients, setting aside my own issues and making space for their needs and experiences.
I try with all my might, every day that I have to go to the office, to take my stuff, my story, and my challenges and put them on hold for the time that I have committed to serving my people. I reserve space for their stuff and their challenges and their stories.
Every once in a while, I confuse the lines- it happens. 🥺
People will come into the office and ask me how I'm doing, and I will feel the tears well up. Even though I had no intention to show them, they will show themselves, and the hugs start. The exchange starts and it's not an exchange that I intended for, but it does happen from time to time. I find that the more I prepare on the days that I have the space to by taking care of body, mind, and spirit, the less those moments come while I'm at my office to serve because that's what I'm doing there.
I'm there to serve.
I'm not there to be listened to or taken care of.
I'm there to listen and take care of. 💗
It's a healthy balance between letting your people get to know who you are and how beautiful your heart is, and giving them a blank slate to walk into to express and process whatever they need in that moment.
Find the balance. It will take you and your practice members so far for so many years to come.
Find more tips to help you find your balance in our Facebook Group
Watch the video below to hear about the StaffLESS System from our amazing student of the month! 👇🏼
For so many years, I dreaded going to the office because I knew that it would mean confrontation. I was managing people, and it just wasn't what I signed up to do. 😱
I had someone for billing, someone for new patients, someone to keep the office tidy, and someone to greet. I also had a personal assistant, but no matter how I mixed up my staff, my practice didn't grow beyond a certain point.
With all the screenings, training, and time spent coaching, I was stuck, my practice was stuck, and it wasn't what I wanted. When push came to shove, I came up with a solution: I figured out how to run my practice without staff.
🤯It seemed like the skies opened and the earth shook, and I finally figured out how to enjoy my practice again.
One of the first things I did was change my office layout to run an efficient practice without requiring anyone to greet patience when they walked in. (learn more in our FB Group, HERE)
The front desk, gone! 💥
The waiting area, gone! 💥
The billing, finance area, and all other non-essential areas were gone.
My office was small, and every square foot counted, so I needed to be a lot more efficient than they were. I got rid of all of this and then figured out how to work with what was left. I created practice member centers, essentially help-yourself areas for any administrative tasks. I streamlined the billing and scheduling processes for patients to help themselves.
I've been doing this for a few years now, and I cannot say it is without oopsies. But, I can certainly say that my practice is now fun. It’s what I imagined it could be!
I now look forward to going to my office. 😍
When I am there, I think to myself - this is the easy part. All I have to do is serve my patients.
The rest takes care of itself because I've created the systems to make it so.
👀 So, take a look at what you've got going on.
Is it working for you?
Is it what you signed up for?
If not, figure out what changes need to be made. Once you figure out the changes, implement them. Look at what you have left and how you can maximize every aspect of your practice experience.
Take a listen to our share on Practice Space Do's and Don'ts👇🏼.
Back to the Drawing Board
Once a quarter I get the drawing board out - a blank sheet of paper, a bunch of really fun-colored markers, highlighters, pencils, all of it. I get started on my plan for creating greatness for the next few months. 🧠
It always starts with a vision - a vision of how my potential can match my actions, a vision of success for the next few months, a vision of what is possible.
Some people like to do this once a year, a couple of times a year, and some even weekly. Once a quarter works really well for me, I usually travel and stay somewhere really beautiful. I unplug from everything I know and get to work. 📐
Something about taking me out of my everyday hustle gives me the clarity and pause that I need to plan.
I plan what I need personally, I plan what I need professionally, I plan what I need for my practice, and I plan what I need for the Staffless Practice Community that I have grown to love so much. I plan the action steps, I plan the breaks.
And most of all, I plan the growth.💗
What do you need to do today to inspire yourself to take the pause, get some creative inspiration, and plan what needs to happen for this pause to become a crucial part of your everyday life? How could taking this pause give you the momentum to catapult your practice, and what you're capable of, forward?
Visit our Facebook Group often for planning strategies ideas and inspiration to follow!
Solutions for client support
When it comes to running things without staff, it's imperative that you have tools that you can lean on that take the human element out of the mix - I'm talking about tools for automation. ⚙️
There's a method to it, and the method is based on knowing what to automate, knowing how to keep it personal for the end user, and getting super familiar with the tools that you have available to you at your fingertips.
I can certainly share my favorite tools with you, but the catch is that we all find the tools that work best for our brains. 🧠
The best thing I can do is put in front of you what your options are, and you do the research and spend the time figuring out what's going to be best for your practice.
It all comes down to your Perfect Practice Member, and the best way to communicate with them and support them with all of their admin needs.
I can show you five different texting programs that have five different sets of features, but the bottom line is you have to figure out what features are going to work best for the people you want to be serving. How do you figure that out? You start by walking through the exercise for your Perfect Practice Member.
Once you know who it is that you want to be serving, you'll have a much clearer understanding of how to best communicate with them and support them for any and all admin needs.
A lot of wellness practitioners, especially those of you who have been around for a while (like myself), can get super intimidated by tech. I'm going to tell you right now to get over it, because the world has changed so fast and everybody is used to one-click solutions to get what they're looking for faster than they can even think about it.
Your practice, to some extent, has to keep up with this pace so that it's relevant to today's demands. You don't have to set all of the admin components of your practice at this pace, but the majority of them need to be considered.
You want to find solutions for scheduling, paying, rescheduling, new patients, new clients, referrals, reviews, and any other daily tasks that come up to support your clients.🆘
As far as EHR programs are concerned, please see the video below for my preference, Jane App and some of the fun features that it offers in note-taking! 😌
We love Jane App, and you will too! Watch the video below to learn more👇🏼.
Don't make my mistakes
Hands down the toughest part of running a practice over the years has been finding the right people to support me.
I have put ads in papers and on different websites, hired friends, hired family members, hired friends of family members, and family members of friends. You name it, I've tried it, period.
What happens is I have a tendency to fall in love with people, and becoming a manager to people I'm in love with is not such an easy task. 💗 You would think it would be easy, but it's not. I feel bad for asking. I feel bad for telling. And then I end up not doing either of the above and things don't get done, and then my practice suffers.
So I learned the hard way, over and over, to do things in different ways, or just keep facing the same pain week after week, month after month, year after year. 😓
When push came to shove, I finally had to create a solution so that I no longer had to continue this self-inflicted pain pattern.
I learned how to do things without staff. I learned how to deal with the scheduling, the money, the phone, and all of the above. Without staff from here, my very comfortable corner of Clinton, New Jersey, my practice is a well-oiled machine. 💪🏻
I see between 60 and 80 people a week, and they all have what they need. As far as admin is concerned, we keep things simple.
We do what is really necessary to be done. ✅
When it no longer becomes necessary, we take that system out.
I do have a virtual assistant who checks in from time to time. I have multiple team members helping me with all things Staffless Practice.
What I learned is, in bringing on new team members for the Staffless Practice project, it was necessary to get really good at not only hiring, but also training and keeping team members moving forward. I've learned a thing or two. Actually, I've learned a lot more, and I'm excited to share what I've learned with you.
Please see THIS LINK to join us in our Facebook Training on how to get the support you need from people who really care about what they do. I'm looking forward to this training (see replay HERE), because the things that I have learned over the past couple of years, as far as managing and supporting team members, are priceless. And again, I had to learn them the hard way.
Nothing floats my boat more than seeing our community members learn from my lessons, instead of needing to make the same mistakes on their own.
Watch the video below to learn more about how to to build a your strongest team ever 👇🏼.
All over, local Fb Groups have these weird posts that happen where people ask who the best chiropractor is in the area, and it's kind of like a popularity contest.
Every time I see this happen it turns my stomach just a little bit, and then I switch gears and see it as an opportunity to educate the public. Anything can be switched from stomach-turning to opportunity, it's just a matter of perspective.🤔
When I shift my perspective, pull up my big girl pants and lean in, I use the opportunity for this judgment process on all local chiropractors to be an educational moment for the public at large.
I usually post something that says chiropractors are like superheroes, you really can't go wrong. Then I go on to say that each chiropractor has their own special talent and unique twist on the way they do things, and then I add my personal framework of gentle care and focusing on kids and pregnant women.
The truth is that I really do believe that all chiropractors have a place and a purpose in every community.
I don't believe in competition. 🤝
I've engaged in this mindset since I opened my doors almost 23 years ago. And here's why - it's my true gut-level belief that every person who comes to me for care is meant to be in my office for whatever reason, and my job is to give them the best service possible while I have the honor of having them under my care.
That's it, period, end of story. I'm not entitled to win them or to be the busiest practice on the street because I've been there the longest, it doesn't go that way.
The truth is that the success of each practice member's journey in my practice has everything to do with the connection that I have with each practice member, and not the ad sets or marketing materials I put in front of them.
Real connection, that's what people are looking for when they come to a wellness practitioner.
They want to feel like they've been seen and heard and valued. 💗
They want whoever is on the listening end of the conversation to breathe and pause and lean in.💗
They want to feel like they are the most valued and important person in that moment, and that is exactly what I focus on with each one of my new practice members.
Sometimes I miss it and if I do, they don't stay.
This is how I know that it has such significance to the lifetime journey of each practice member who comes to see me. If I don't connect with them because of whatever reason, either I can't find the connection or I'm off that day or there's something about our dance or our rhythm that I just can't quite establish, they don't stick around. It's true every time.
So my offering to you is to focus more on the connections you make with your new practice members, rather than what to do, what script to read, what to show them, what to prove to them, and what to ask them for. Shine a light on connection, true connection.
Put your attention on listening and leaning in, and see what happens. I have people who have been coming to me for well over 20 years because the first time I saw them we connected and we've connected every time since then. Some of them only come in to see me once a year. Some of them come once a week.
I let this be their prerogative, of course I give suggestions and of course I give direction on what I think would serve them best in this moment, but everybody's going to take what they want and leave the rest. The humility that comes with knowing that, and knowing that it's not about me, or my message, or my effort, has 100% increased my joy-filled experience as a chiropractor. 😍
Whatever your craft is, whatever your position is, make your role focused on connection, even if just for one day, and see what you see.
There's so much more about connection waiting for you inside our Facebook Group™ HERE.
Here is a LIVE that I did this week on Client Connection👇🏼.