From TIC, to Biotech, to Money, and Back Again

Few chiropractors have had a more diverse background than Dr. Janice Hughes – and fewer still have achieved her level of experience and success in being a chiropractor while also being female. She’s learned a lot along the way and now she’s back from a stint with a biotech startup, sharing her hard won wisdom and “MoneyMindset” with chiropractors both male and female.

It’s taken a long time for women to be considered as speakers at major chiropractic events. Dr. Hughes is a great example of why it’s long past time for that to change.

Click in the video below and listen to her conversation with Dr. Jason Deitch exclusively for Today’s Chiropractic Leadership – or read the transcript you’ll find below the video.




Jason Deitch:                        Hello, everyone, and welcome to Today’s Chiropractic Leadership. I’m Dr. Jason Deitch. Today we’re ready to talk to Dr. Janice Hughes. Janice, good morning, good afternoon, wherever you are in the world. How are you?

Janice Hughes:                    Excellent. Thanks for having me. I’m excited.

Jason:                                        I’m excited, too. Janice, you and I have known each other now for a decade – decades, maybe – at least more than one decade, we’re going on.

It is really fantastic to have you here. Today’s Chiropractic Leadership is about bringing information, inspiration and today’s cutting edge leadership ideas to the profession. And when we think of the…people that are…qualified to be on that list, you are way high on the top. So let’s just have a conversation, I think, about a topic that is probably really, really important and very long overdue and that is…the role of women in chiropractic, the role of women in chiropractic leadership. How do you see it? What do we as men not see and how do we get things moving forward in a more important and significant way?

Janice:                                       Yeah, I think to preface it first, my ideas about women in chiropractic leadership, [which is] is just really a microcosm of the macrocosm and women and the timing in the world. No coincidence, just last week TIME magazine has released its project where it’s looking at and featuring a number of 64 women in the world all doing phenomenally unique things… ranging all the way from sports and entertainment…to politics. And I think this is a really great reflection that, out there in the world, there is this awareness that there, from a leadership perspective, consistently [has] been that male domination, male companies highlighted, or a lot more emphasis in that direction.

And, so I say that because it’s interesting timing that we’re having this conversation related to chiropractic and chiropractic being a microcosm of that same world women, [who] from my perspective in chiropractic, have been under-represented, again a lot of times as afterthought, as I myself have…after another big project out in the biotech world, coming back into chiropractic… Really just looking through social media, where seeing the lineups of speakers at different events, and the really sad part for me is, I don’t think it has changed in the last decade or two. So, from that perspective, I think this is really interesting to have that conversation. And…the good news is, there’s an amazing energy and momentum about women in chiropractic, just like the TIME magazine emphasis. Just like, out there in the world, they’re beginning to really feature a lot of women leaders. And it’s interesting because I go back to Collins’ book, Good to Great, and what I loved or taught years ago about leadership and his five levels of leaders, is exactly paramount to women.

So a lot… and I won’t go into all five levels, but within that book they feature companies that there’s a lot of leaders that aren’t the vibrant, outspoken, more egocentric leaders often, and leaders that are in the trenches and just doing great work. And that’s really what I feel for women, for women in chiropractic.

Jason:                                        How do we how do we solve for that? …When I heard you basically say that [women] are underrepresented and instead of getting into a long conversation about why that is and all those things, which I’m welcome to hear but, most importantly, how do we solve for it? What is the way you just get on with it and make it happen, have greater representation and so on? What do you think is the solution?

Janice:                                      Yeah, that’s a great point Jason. For whatever reason, I don’t know how it came about or where that’s all from, and I think we just we just gotta get over it. And exactly like [in] my background as a coach, which is, “So where do we want to get to?” [Jason: Right!]  You know, if it is that voice of women, and more women, and the reason it is important is just because women have been underexposed and now we’ve got over 50 percent of so many of the student classes… I mean, women are a big aspect or part of our future in chiropractic. So, it is more than time… we know that and I think in things like, you know I’ll call it the old days, when I was a young practitioner and literally started getting involved in politics and doing a lot of projects that had me in decision roles, when I reflect on back then, it is kind of similar to now.

We have to realize that for women to be part of the conversations, it has got to look different. It’s not a right or wrong. It’s just that we think different; we look different. We are very much, because we’re playing so many roles, especially some of the young women going through what I did back in practice where trying to juggle kids and trying to juggle a high-volume practice and doing politics and doing speaking, you know, if you’re not careful, a lot of the ways that we’ve done our organizations or the regular meetings or we’ll meet and we’ll have more meetings about the meetings, about the meetings…that just doesn’t work for a lot of us.

You know sometimes, to go into a room, could we handle the topic more efficiently? Could we do it through Skype? Could we do all the background research ahead of time so that when we are really in a meeting, we’re actually on point; we’re making some really clear succinct decisions you know a lot of women because we’re juggling multiple hats. You know, I still remember – it’s vivid in my mind that I left practice on a Friday to zip home to change to head to an executive board meeting. And I remember driving out of the driveway with my 5 year old crying in the driveway because Mom was going away again. And that’s a big pull for a lot of us so. So, for women, we…want our voices heard but we also want to be able to do it really efficiently and effectively and not always having to leave.

And so that’s why I think the time is so different now, too, because we have technology; we have all these ways that we can be doing this role, or these leadership roles, without always thinking we physically have to be at another meeting.

Jason:                                        Yeah, I think you actually said “efficiency” and “politics” in the same sentence? Because you know I’m not sure that’s a male-female thing…

Janice:                                      [Laughs] You’re missing a lot of women because I would sit in certain meetings and I would be saying, “What is the point of this?”

Jason:                                        [Laughs] There [are] men that sit there and ask the same questions, so don’t worry.

Janice:                                      Exactly. And so…part of it is that the way that we did things is not always the way that’s going to move us forward. And you know that’s partly… you know we could talk about politics, or we could talk about academia, we could talk about a lot of the sort of unwritten rules of how things have been done… Being involved in the biotech company, I’ve been very fortunate to be around a lot of women leaders in multiple…sorts of backgrounds including finances, because one of my roles as director of investors…and looking for money…is dealing with amazing women, money think tanks out there. And…they still talk about the financial industry, which has been very traditional [and] meeting-oriented and a lot of those women are really doing business differently now, too… and the interesting thing is now, from an asset perspective in the financial world, some women have… the biggest… number of accounts because they’re doing things differently. So, I think the same has to apply for chiropractic.

Jason:                                        So, what is it, what does it look like if we were if we…see the goal and work backwards? …Obviously, I only have a male perspective so I apologize for everything I’m going to say from here on out. However, you know there is a sense of… women being intentionally suppressed. Is it women, having as you mentioned multiple [roles], I want to be a mom, I want to… be in charge, I want to have a lot? You know we do…think about things completely differently, for better and for worse. I mean, that’s a whole other conversation, not around men and women and relationships, and so on. But what does it look like in the future, from your perspective, and how do we get there? How do we solve for…these issues, as difficult as it may be? Is there a pathway to it that seems relatively clear?

Janice:                                      I don’t know. You know, again, I mean to give you my current hallucination on it. I think it has to start from both sides where, for men within the organizations or within…putting on programs…, they have to stop having women as an afterthought. It’s old, archaic and dated thinking and men just have to get over it. And why haven’t more women put on programs or…just created all women stages? Probably because we know that that’s not diversity, either. You know a lot of women are really aware that… it’s not, “oh, stand here and it’s all got to be about women.” I think of someone like myself is an example; I really represent a message of diversity that a lot of the current status for some programs and there’s not a place for diversity on campus. So, I think that that has to change.

It has to stop being an afterthought or then a whole bunch of people rile up and speak up and they finally go, “Oh, okay, we’ll invite that person that’s representing diversity.” I think also, for all of us as women, …I really just took to heart all those years ago…and I was fortunate I did some programs between Robbins, DeMartini, Hansen… I can go on with a number of amazing mentors that I’ve been fortunate to have in my life. And, it was a really repeated message that was …just about no one’s going to hand you a lead role. You just step up and lead. And I think that, for a lot of women, speak more within your community, then speak more within your practice. Social media just gained such an unbelievable platform and I just shake my head wondering how did we do it in the old days, you know?

Because we did, we had to go to different functions and events and so I love the way of the world now. Not that I’m a techie in the least…but I just value it because I see what it does. And, so, for a lot of women, speak, write. I think the more women writing in chiropractic, the more power that we’re going to have. So that’s where you notice I’m just trying to highlight, I think, both sides and the great news is there are some wonderful projects that are about to be birthed soon and just more women speakers, and featuring and highlighting a lot of women speakers, amazing women across the country and across the world, in chiropractic, that are doing some really wonderful things. So, …I see the void of women being in leadership has created a whole new swarm of amazing things that are coming. I’m so excited about a couple of my projects that aren’t even my own, so I’m not going to talk about them.

But I really support them because I realize that’s…women just stepping into that leadership role. Yeah. It’s interesting, Jason, I learned a long time ago one of my lessons…I mean, I’m doing a couple of projects now…but one is me also beginning to write and speak a lot more…out in the business world and I’d like to bring some more of that back to chiropractic. Just…conversations with my younger self, success…I have I call them five pillars of success and one piece of it, one foundational piece of it for women – and for men, interestingly, because every business venue that I’m in and out of chiropractic has actually been pretty male-dominated as well.

But I just found they’ve been so open to hearing that female perspective and the foundational pillar in what I’m calling my five pillars of success is actually self-worth. And it’s for all of us as humans…our own growth, figuring out who we’ll be, figuring out what our values are. So, …that’s honestly why a lot of women haven’t valued going off to multiple meetings or certain projects aren’t values-based enough for us, so we really measure things way and it doesn’t matter whether we’re seen or not… So with that pillar and this concept of self-worth, one of the things that I know, and I can only speak for myself as a female, but I language it [to say] that I accepted too little for too long and that was in politics and chiropractic politics; that was within my own family or within my community or financially.

So, I think that…I’m really excited about some of the women that are out there, and more that are reaching out to me, or I’m reaching out to them in chiropractic and I’m just really supporting because I see that if they can learn anything from my mistakes or my lessons, then we’re all going to grow; we’re all going to get a little bit higher up. So… I don’t have an answer… I’m not avoiding the question; I just think that there [are] pieces for the men in our profession to really listen to and not just make women an afterthought. I think women and diversity – I’m going to say it’s far more about diversity than it is just women, because there is such a lack of diversity within our leadership, within the profession. So, I’m just excited to be back in it and have these conversations or more, because I just think that’s the role now, coming back more with my time now to chiropractic, is really exciting. I think that’s where I can really lead, is in representing diversity.

Jason:                                        I love it. You know I think your message is spot on. We are in a time where there are no more excuses, and I mean that from the standpoint of this thing [indicating a smartphone] has changed how everything works. And…this eliminates all of the hierarchies and ceilings… And I don’t mean it eliminates all these, but I’m I know I’m stepping on very thin ice in everything I say, so I’m trying to be very, very clear here. But the point is, that anybody with a phone has the ability to record themselves and literally get their message out to the world. And that’s really what a lot of this…has to do with. I’ve sat in many of the meetings you’re talking about. I know that… none of us sit there and go, “let’s just consciously talk about the men first, then we’ll discuss…”. Right? [Janice: Absolutely]

It’s just talking from everybody’s point of view. And ,it is what it is – and I’m not saying it’s right or great; in fact, I’ll be more than happy to say we screwed most everything up. I really wish a lot more women would step into some of these roles and fix it up the way I know you could. So, …it’s just one of those events, patterns, or habits, or cultural things that just had momentum and it’s time to change and only action will change it. I think you’re 100% right; the technology allows us now to change all of the rules. And, it is up to each and every one of us, based on our self-worth, to step up and…as Sheryl Sandberg would say, lean in or step up; see your self-value and make it happen because there are no real limits the way I see it and, again, I know you could say, “Well, you don’t see it; you’re a man; we see it, you don’t.”

I’m sure that’s true, except to say it is also true that you know we all have the same access to the Internet with the same access to resources. And I think women should take over because we’ve screwed a lot of things up in a very significant way.

Janice:                                      You know, I think it’s interesting; just one point I’ll make from what you’re talking about is that things have to, I’m going to speak for myself because I cannot speak for all the women; I can’t speak for every group that I’m talking about with diversity but, one of the challenges our profession has not created, is… collaborative energy. You know, it has tended to be, and part of it is, that we’ve all been mavericks. I mean, let’s face it; we were all doing something that was not accepted, you know, so I think we’ve all just been used to sort of going out there and telling our ideas and, for a lot of women and a lot of the diverse groups, we’re looking for an environment of collaboration. We’re looking for something that doesn’t really exist effectively in a lot of those places we’re talking about.

So that’s where… there are women doing amazing things; you are asking…women to step up or to step in and, guess what? They already are. A lot of people just aren’t looking, you know, or listening. So, more, what I love about that message for the new graduates or somebody that is still very early in practice, absolutely…speak more, write more. But you know what, Jason? I mean, just there are a lot of women doing really unbelievable things out there and…a big part of this is highlighting it. And, …just emphasizing it a little more, or just looking. And, …I can’t even begin to tell you all the examples in this last couple of months, the more I’ve been back around again…of, you know, still stages or summits or programs, you know, again, you’re right; it’s not necessarily conscious, but yet, why would some of us even want to step onto the stage, then, when it’s such an afterthought for a lot of people in the profession. Yeah.

So, I’m not I’m not having this conversation with you because I have any answers or think I have the way, either. I just love that the landscape can potentially change. But then it’s a decision that a lot of the current leaders have to make: Are we going to be open? Or, are we going to create [events] that somebody could Skype in, maybe, instead of be physically there all the time. And I understand the power of being in the same room at times; I just don’t know that it has to happen as much as we have conventionally thought that it did.

Jason:                                        Yeah yeah. Well, I hear you loud and clear. It’s a complex issue on a lot of levels. There isn’t anybody who’s demonstrated a simple, “Here you go” and this solves it. But it’s an important [issue] and that’s why we’re here. Yeah. So let’s close up with a few things. If you could say anything to the male leaders that are out there, what would it be? If you were going to say anything to the women leaders or women in general, what would it be? And then, I want to close up with some of the projects you’re working on that are really exciting. So, let’s start with male leaders. What’s the direct message to male leaders?

Janice:                                      Be interested. See who’s there. You know, just to look at the amazing things that are happening or ask some of us… and, again, I’m so fortunate because I’m getting exposed to all these amazing women in our profession who are already doing great things. So, just ask me, call me up, e-mail me, ask me. And it’s not so that I do those things as part of my role, I’m realizing coming back, I just really like to feature a lot of the diverse groups that I feel so fortunate to be a part of, that are doing amazing things. So I think it’s just be open and ask.

Jason:                                        Right on. Message to women?

Janice:                                      To women, again, just …be you. Don’t be like me and accept too little for too long… How can we help women have that voice? Or, how can I support those women in chiropractic? Because I think it is more than time and women really represent an interesting perspective and a healing component. This whole profession in the next 10 years is going to look very different because of the amazing women that are coming into the profession.

Jason:                                        And, I sure hope you are right. We need it. [Janice: I feel it] It’s needed; it’s very welcome. It’s very necessary for all kinds of reasons. Let’s talk money. New projects, what you’re up to. You were telling me a little bit about it before, but I want to make sure people get an awareness and also learn how to connect with you and learn more about what you’re up to.

Janice:                                      Well, the first, you can kind of hear it in everything I’m talking about, is supporting a lot of women and people of diversity in the profession. You know, I’m in a really fortunate position; I’ve been out doing another major project basically for the last eight or nine years. And, as I have wrapped up my role in that project, I really again, from the values perspective had to say, “Do I want to come back in and, if I do, does my opinion matter, does my voice matter?” And because of the five pillars of success, I’d love more places in chiropractic to talk about it… so that I really honed that, based on working as a chiropractor, as a female leader. One of the roles in the biotech project is, again, about really creating a company, a total startup project, and raising a lot of money.

And… I’m really excited to talk about [how] we’ve basically taken the company from a valuation of 20 million dollars to a valuation of over 1.5 billion dollars – and the lessons along the way. And so, because of all of that, …one of the parts that I’m really passionate about is that I don’t see enough chiropractors also doing really, really well financially and that is challenging. I thought that, as I was going to be out there raising money, …I knew a lot of people, that I knew a lot of chiropractors, and again quite bluntly, most chiropractors couldn’t afford to invest in us or don’t know about that side of the world and the other things that are out there and available. And, through some of those lessons, and for myself…I was really good at what I did, not just as a chiropractor but then as a coach within the profession.

And you know I was really clear on my value. But then, to go out and to start to talk about millions of dollars and hundreds of millions of dollars. You know, I really do work on my own money mindset. And because of that, and…I didn’t have any place to turn; I had to go search for a lot of lessons out there. And the interesting thing is, we all know…finances isn’t rocket science. How do you put it into really simple pieces or packages and so, for me, I [don’t have a] financial background; I’m not a financial expert; I’m not an investor. It’s not about me investing people’s money; it’s about me starting with that pillar of self-worth.

There’s a lot about your individual money mindset. There is a lot about your business money mindset. You know, being part of a startup, we had a whole different culture; …we learned how to more than 100 x our company – and what is the consciousness related to that? So, I’m really just starting a passion project about, you know, hashtag “money mindset.” And, I want to bring a big piece of that to chiropractic, but really understanding that it’s fitting within this five pillars of success that I’ve been so fortunate to kind of learn and evolve over the last few decades

Jason:                                        Right on. We’ll include all your links for people to get in touch with you [in the transcript] with this video.  Janice, you are amazing; you’re an incredible human being. It’s been awesome to connect with you for so many years and watch the truly amazing things you’ve done in the profession, outside of the profession. You coming back, I think, is phenomenal. It’s going to be inspiring for many who, I know, are going to benefit from getting the mindset of success, money mindset, and the five pillars you’re talking about. I’ll leave you with closing comments. .

Janice:                                      Thank you for, again through Life, this leadership exposure, to include somebody who … people would say about, “Well, you’ve left, or you’ve left chiropractic,” and I’ve never left chiropractic; I’ve always been a chiropractor first. I was just doing some other projects out there and so I just thank the Life Leadership brand for asking me to do this and for asking my opinions on some of these things.

Jason:                                        Right on; right on. Well, we love you, for sure. All right. Thank you for watching another edition of Today’s Chiropractic Leadership; we’re here with the great Janice Hughes. Appreciate you watching. We’ll catch you next time.



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Jason Deitch, D.C.

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Jason Deitch, D.C.

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