Practicing a Bigger Life

What does a true practicing chiropractor leading the profession look like today? If they combine financial savvy, authenticity, and an understanding of service as a win-win proposition, they look like Dr. Lona Cook.

Dr. Cook was recently good enough to address the chiropractic students at Life University, home of the world’s largest chiropractic program, and share six steps to a bigger life – and a successful practice.

Click on the video below to watch and listen – or scroll down for a full transcript of Dr. Cook’s remarks.







Dr. Gilles LaMarche:         Now it’s a great pleasure for me to introduce our speaker for Week 7 Assembly. She’s been a chiropractor for seven years… She’s a great mom, a great wife. She owns three practices in Wisconsin and one of her claims to fame, from my perspective and many others, is that this doctor had all of her student loans paid off within 24 months after graduation. Imagine that. So, she’s going to bring to you a phenomenal message of passion and she understands chiropractic from the principal but she also understands from the business world. So please welcome Dr. Lona Cook.

Dr. Lona Cook:   Thank you. Good morning. It’s an honor to get to share here and to do the first outdoors assembly. Amanda wanted me to wear something sweat friendly, so here we are. I want to explain a little bit about myself and just who is speaking to you today because I do know a few of you but, the vast majority of you, I haven’t met. So you probably need to know a little bit about who is talking to you. So like Dr. LaMarche said, I graduated seven years ago from Northwestern, wish I could say it was Life and, after graduation in November I opened my first practice in January. So, I got started right away in 2010 and we opened our first doors in my hometown, in western Wisconsin – Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. We have any Sconnie’s? Yeah. All right. And, really, what happened for me is, it was a quick progression of growth the first couple of years.

And my history before that was, I was actually a creative writing major. So I put a little of that to use and put together a book about my first two years in practice, how I got to open, how I started building my practice, my mindset. And then also, what I did with the money that started to come in and paying down my student loans as fast as possible. And I am going to touch on that this morning but I know we’re also going to speak on that tonight at the Treehouse. So if you can, join us at 5:00 p.m. tonight because we are going to talk more of a financial conversation on that this evening.

So after that, first two years, things kept evolving for me. I ended up opening a second practice and quickly learned, that I was not a one man show anymore and I needed help. And so it was at that time that I hired my first associate doctor. As well as I had a partner come into my second practice. Again, practice has kept growing and we actually just opened our third practice this year. So I have two practices, and I have a partnership in each practice, and then I have my own, that I am now the single DC in, because my associate is now my partner in the third practice.

So I’ve seen a lot happen in seven years, going from…my very first experience being an entrepreneur, first time being someone’s boss, to now we have a collective of practices in western Wisconsin and all that kind of comes with running and growing those practices. And then what I wanted to do it this morning, was really touch on about six key topics that I see as part of my evolution and growth these last seven years and, hopefully, I can make it relatable for you no matter if you’re at quarter one or if you’re nearing the end of your education and thinking about what comes next.

So, before I get into that, I thought I would share with you, too, kind of my end of schooling and what happened because it was a huge part of…what made me successful initially in practice. So, who here is in their last half of school? Awesome. Feels good. And it happens fast, right? You get to this point where you’re like, well…even though I went through all that, It’s actually happened pretty quickly and now I’ve got to prepare for what am i actually going to decide to do next. It’s the first time that you really are making a decision other than going to school for most of us.

And I felt the pressure, when I was in that last 12 months of school, where I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted, at some point, to open my own practice. I thought, you know, I would be happy being my own boss but I also had no idea where I wanted to practice and, at the time, I thought the last place that I would practice is actually where I’m practicing today, which is back home. So, I was nearing that end of school. I remember sitting down with one of my mentors and I wanted her to say something direct to me like, “Go to New Jersey or go here, it’s the perfect climate to open a practice.”

And she obviously had much more wisdom at the time than I had, to say to me, “Lona, you need to pay attention to your life. When life feels rocky and hard, it’s a good time to pay deeper attention and when things are flowing it’s usually that you’re moving with your innate; you’re moving in the right direction and just keep going with it.”

And at the time when she gave me that advice, I thought it sounded really airy fairy… I wanted some concrete answers and she just told me to listen within. It was great advice, though, right? So I go back to school; I’m back in school and, at the time in my head, the place I thought I wanted to end up was California. So I set up my externship. At Northwestern, you can do your last six months abroad. So I went to Costa Rica, I had my thing set up to go to California to do an externship there, and then become an associate. And, it was during that last six months that pretty much everything that could go wrong with my plan started to unravel.

So, I was held up at gunpoint in Costa Rica. That’s a wake up call. And then, my relationship with a chiropractor in California deteriorated so I rented a place, sight unseen in California. Also not a great idea. Lost money in that decision-making process. And I was really in my last day of clinic in Minnesota, and the doctor I was working for – I was supposed to leave the next day to drive out to California – turns around in her chair and she said, “When are you going to wake up? You’re not supposed to go away. You’re getting every message possible right now to show you that this is a raw deal.”

And it was the first time in my life that, I think, I’d ever really backed down because I was really stubborn; if I said I was going to do something, I was doing it. And that night I drove back to Wisconsin from Minnesota and my mom was set and packed to drive out to California with me and she knew I was pretty distraught about, what am I doing? And, she asked me, “Are we leaving in the morning?” And I said, “I don’t know.” And I woke up in the morning, and I truly believe that was one of the first times in my mind that I had really given myself permission to back down on something. And I said, “No, I don’t think I’m supposed to go,” and we didn’t go. And I had three days to get everything arranged to stay in…Wisconsin then and finish out my externship.

And things fall into place. And I think it was in that moment, where everything was kind of imploding on me, that I really woke up and I started to listen within. So we talk about innate and we talk about intelligence of life and it truly is there to recognize in all avenues of your life if you’re willing to pay attention. And it was at that point, once I backed down, that things that shouldn’t have been difficult, started to just fall into place. And this is how I believe…innate speaks to me and, I’m sure to you as well, is you’ll start to see the flow and how things unfold. You don’t have to fight. It just happens. Doesn’t mean that you don’t have to take action. You certainly do.

But you start to see what’s unfolding and you’re able to move with it instead of against certain things. So, as I was there and starting to figure out what I was doing, now that I was staying in the Midwest, I started to check out several locations to practice. I did a business plan at the time for Hudson, Wisconsin and I did a business plan for Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin because I didn’t know which area I wanted to practice in and they’re about an hour apart. And, it’s funny, what you put down on paper, it’s generally what happens in your life. So, where do I have practices now, my first two practices? Chippewa Falls Hudson. At the time, did I ever think that I would have multiple practices? No. It was not even on my radar.

So, again as this is unfolding for me, I decide to do an externship with a guy in Minnesota who gives me…most of the week to work on building a practice and figuring out what’s next. And I start looking at my hometown. And there are several things that kind of just led me into, like, I know I’m supposed to do this one. Everyone says it’s hard to get a loan? I had saved money; I certainly had saved money to put in invest in my own practice so I had some cash there. But I also went to the bank had them look at my business [plan]. They went through it with me and they offered me a loan, plus they sent it on to a regional committee that also gave me money. So, that happened with the first bank I went to. That doesn’t usually happen, I don’t think.

Number two, I had a woman call me out of the blue and say, “I hear you’re trying to open a practice. I think that sounds awesome. I don’t know much about chiropractic, but I’d like to volunteer my time for free to answer your phones.” I was like, “Excuse me?” So, I met her. And she was, like, the mom that didn’t vaccinate. She lived the chiropractic lifestyle. She just did know what chiropractic was. And she was my first CA for the first three years. Awesome. But I didn’t pay her the first month. She worked for me because I didn’t have money. And she was OK with that. So again, wild stuff like that. My lease got negotiated super easily and this was all because I felt like I had finally started to listen.

I started to check in with myself and pay attention to what was happening. And that was really my start in recognizing innate in everything. Who’s heard the phrase, “Life happens through us, not to us.” Right? And the more you can recognize that in every aspect of your life, whether it’s your practice, in your employees, your patients, your love life, your parenting life, your financial life – it is all a mirror to you on the inside. And, that’s really my message for today. I want to use that concept of life happening through us, or above, down, inside out and how I apply that to my team, how I apply that to my vision, my finances, and give you some specifics of what I have encountered in these first seven years of practice.

Because it really is, when you dive into this philosophy, you have to live it in all aspects. Otherwise you start to feel incongruent. And we all have things we’re working on to become more congruent. But, seeing the intelligence of everything that’s unfolding is so important to your success and to feel like you’re moving in a direction that is you to the core. First, is again, something that maybe doesn’t feel right to you. So when you’re trying to create your vision of what’s best in your life for you, you’ve got to ask yourself that question. Other people can give you good ideas and be a good mirror for you. But, inherently, we’re all going to have the most successful version of our own life if we listen within and try and move in that direction. So that’s my first thing, is talking about developing your vision.

And I know you guys hear vision and mission and purpose a lot on this campus, which is huge. But really listening to your own vision for your life – for what you feel your calling is and trying to flesh that out. So when I started in practice, I don’t think that I felt, necessarily, called to the philosophy of chiropractic because I don’t think I understood it deeply enough at that point. But I did feel extremely excited about the idea of being my own boss.

And, as I surrounded myself with people I considered successful, they helped teach me the philosophy of chiropractic and show me seminars I could go to that helped me understand deeper and deeper. And, certainly now I consider myself heavily immersed in the human potential movement and really excited about it. It is my vision to be 100 percent devoted to understanding TIC and getting it out to the masses. But, when I started, I couldn’t have said that. So, remember that your vision is constantly going to be evolving and you can check back in with it and change it… If you decide what your vision is right now, it can change. Right? Give yourself that permission. Also, with your vision, remember – who here has ever been somebody’s boss before? OK, some of you but most of us, if we own our own practice, it’s going to be one of the first times that we’re leading others from a role of being the head of a clinic. It’s really important to lead with the vision, I believe.

It’s a lot easier to ask people to do things, if you can cultivate a vision that they buy into and they see themselves. So, the vision leads you but it also leads your practice. You know, I’m asking my team to do something, or when we’re talking about growth, I’m not doing it because Dr. Lona wants to make more money or it’s all about the Lona show; it’s about what we’re buying into, it’s what we’re all seeing, our own purpose in, it’s the vision and we’re all called together. So when you have a vision that’s big enough that people can start to see themselves in that, it makes work a lot easier because they’re already invested in it. I’ll give you some examples of that as we talk about the team. But remember to use your vision as a guide.

So, if there’s something happening in the practice that needs to be trained on deeper – or you don’t like what’s happening and you know that you need to look back at it and change some procedure – I generally try and start from the top down and…set the vision again. Maybe we somehow miscommunicated and then use that to help guide why I’m asking us to change or tweak or relook at something, not – again – just because I said so. So, number two, is looking at your team from a place of who’s attracted in to serve with you. Again, if life is happening through us, the people who are surrounding you, are not there by chance. And, I have found -this is kind of different, I think, because most people talk about hiring and firing from a little different perspective – that any time I forced myself to hire because I think I need someone, it’s generally someone I’ve had to let go.

And when I wait for the right people to show up, it’s amazing…the caliber of person I’ve attracted into my team. I’ll give you a couple examples. Like I said, the first woman that was my C.A. for three years, volunteered for the position and did a fantastic job. She helped me grow the practice to over 300 people a week with just me and her. But, there was a point where I started to feel like I was walking on eggshells. And, I also felt like her vision and my vision weren’t lining up anymore. And, I started to make excuses for it because I felt so Invested in her. At the same time, because I knew she had invested so much in me the first couple of years and I was only maybe twenty seven at the time.

When I realized that we were really starting to push and pull and not the same direction, and I had conversations with my consultant at the time about this feeling, and he said, “You have to address that; you have to talk to her, you have to put the vision bigger than having this conversation because that felt uncomfortable.” And finally he said, “I’m not going to talk to you again until you have this conversation.” So, I did. And it ended up being where we parted ways and she no longer worked for me, which was to this day, still probably one of the hardest conversations I’ve had to have.

But I knew, in my heart, that if I saw that we still had growing to do and a lot to accomplish and I needed someone different,  then it was also the best thing for her, too, because she had other things she probably wanted to accomplish; she just wasn’t going to be the one to vocalize it right away. And what happened at that point that I gave myself permission to let that go, is I attracted another person, another chiropractor, who said, “Hey, do you know Annie Hoffman?” who is now my current office manager for the last five years. And, I didn’t know who she was and she came in and just revolutionized my practice, like re-did things procedure-wise; she was so up to date on technology and it was like, poof, in that minute, the universe gave me what I needed.

And, that’s how I really like to look at my team is, I believe that people will be called in as long as we’re certain about what we’re about to do and we’re paying attention. And so is my office manager in my main practice. Our office manager that just left for chiropractic school in the other practice was a patient and she left to go to Germany with her husband who is in the service. And when we opened that practice, Shelby and I were trying to find the right person to hire and we weren’t finding anyone. So, I said, “Let’s just wait a little bit,” and we gave ourselves, like, three weeks. I got an e-mail from Germany three weeks later that was Taylor saying, “Hey, you know someone in Hudson looking to hire a chiropractic assistant? I’m thinking about moving back to the U.S.” I’m like, “There’s any answer.”

So, I really believe, time after time,  everyone that’s on my team right now has come to me in a way where they found us. I haven’t had to search it out. And, again, I think is innate working through us where, if you can recognize that people are showing up for a reason, then you can move with that and it becomes much easier. And, it’s much easier to help them on the vision, too, when they’re showing up ready already. A lot of training can happen, but if their personality is right and their heart’s in the right place, your team is huge; It’s everything.

Another example of attracting a team that’s of high caliber and like-mindedness, is that first year that Annie was in the practice, at the end of the year, I said, “I’ll give you a $500 bonus or you can come on at chiropractic mission trip with me to Haiti.” And she chose the mission trip. And that was, again, a reminder to me that I knew her heart and vision {were] there with what we were doing and she was excited about the same things. So, don’t be afraid to really invest in your team because any money you invest in them, and time and energy, is going to pay off dividends in your practice and what comes out of it. And go back to that vision, that first step when there’s a challenge, doesn’t mean that there’s not days that are challenging. We have to go back to the vision.

I recently almost hired another associate and I felt like he had showed up for a reason. And, then things started to feel hard as we were starting to negotiate contract, and try and figure out philosophy, and where we’re at, and how much training needed to be done. I could see that he was starting to get really stressed. And, I felt myself starting to get pretty stressed out. And finally, I recognized, I don’t think this is the right move. So we backed away and we didn’t do the contract. And that’s how I have tried to really look at building my team around feeling, this feeling of ease in your practice. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have hard things happen, but it’s how you move through them and adapt and look at the responses that you’re getting.

Soooo. Number three, then, is recognizing your illusion of control. That’s another huge lesson I’ve received in these last seven years…: most of us believe we have so much more control over things that we actually don’t control. You know, do we control whether a patient heals or not? No. Do we control what that healing even looks like? No, obviously not. The symptoms are one of things that, somehow in our medical minds, that we’ve gotten this idea that we can control them and we start to understand them. But I don’t know that we ever fully understand and we’re just starting to scratch the surface of really recognizing, I think, the body as this energy channel and all that’s influencing it.

I was just reading a study by Heart Math – who’s heard of Heart Math? – OK, they study a lot about the coherence in the body and HRV, heart rate variability, and it was talking about how the autonomic nervous system syncs up with the earth’s rhythms. So, when we really start to think about all that’s influencing our nervous system, we’re so connected, we’re so connected, to things that we don’t even recognize as existing because they’re not visible to the naked eye. And it’s by seeing that, this idea that we know something, for the most part, is an illusion as well – I think it helps you understand what you do control which is yourself. Right? And so, whether it’s in response to someone on your team, in response to how you’re communicating with a patient, in response to something unwanted that happens in your life, really, the control you have is of yourself and your response. And that puts you in a lot of control, if you recognize your responsibility to it.

So, when something happens on my team, for instance, that maybe needs to be dealt with, I really try and look at myself first and that makes everybody hold themselves more accountable with you as the leader trying to show them that you’re in integrity looking at yourself in the situation first. So, remember where the control actually lies. And that also means that you don’t have to control what happens to someone, whether they stay in your office or don’t stay.  You know, we run a family practice, so I see a lot of people routinely for years at this point. Like Macey, who’s with us, she’s checking out the school; she may come down here and join you guys. She’s been in our practice…[audience applause and cheers for Macey, Dr. Lona responds, Yeah, she’s really excited]…six or seven years at this point.

So, it’s almost as long as we’ve been open. But that doesn’t mean that I feel this need to control a family and their choices. I want to give them opportunities…and present it in a loving way because we’re really talking about them making loving choices, about recognizing their own power in themselves and making healthy decisions in their life. So I don’t control that.

And, now, probably the favorite conversation, which is recognizing money flow in your practice because that is a hot topic, certainly with student loans. First of all, my first piece of advice is this is a time, right now, while you’re in the bubble of school, to really start learning about money. You know money has energy. Who has ever thought about money as energy? Good. Awesome. It’s just an exchange. So, if I serve someone – which chiropractic is about service, never forget that it’s not about self-service – then there’s going to be an exchange and that exchange can be delivered in multiple ways. So that exchange could be delivered in someone giving me. Zucchini which I got some this week but it also can be exchanged through money and that’s how Probably most of us desire the exchange should be set up. If we’re starting a business. And so when we recognize that the service that we offer is going to be paid handsomely as long as we’re delivering great service. Then we can set up that exchange to come in as flow in money. But we have to get the numbers right in our mind. I work with a lot of. Women chiropractors just try and help mentor them through the early stages of practice at times.

And I remember when I talked to. One woman in particular who told me what she wanted her volume of practice to be at. And then I said and what will that mean for how much money would come into your practice this year. And when she told me the number and the number I said. Tiffanie this is part of the problem. The number you have is much too low. And so you’re effectively crippling your ability to take in more because she wasn’t ready to invite that number into her office. And so when we learn about money. It’s really important to learn about it I think as energy and flow of abundance and to recognize if there’s blocks that you may have in receiving that are bonded. I didn’t come from a family that had a lot of money and so it really work on my concept of allowing that money to come in and how I can set that flow of money up to do things, not only for myself, but my community, for chiropractic allows you to see that growth and success is only going to offer more people growth and success. And so it’s a beautiful thing if you can put it to work for you.

It’s really important to understand that “X number of people I want to see in a day” is going to…[equate]…to “X amount of money coming in,” so you can start to get those numbers to work out in your mind. And if you don’t know how to do that, that’s something in school to be working on so that it’s not nebulous. Like, so many times, the stats we see don’t make any sense because, mathematicall,y we haven’t really thought about what that means coming into my life and projected outward for growth in the future. Who here has written goals? Almost everyone, hopefully. I was given, by one of my chiropractic mentors, a sheet that he had saved that I had written down how many people I wanted to see in a day by the end of my first year in practice, what I thought I’d collect and a few other questions that I had written down when I was about halfway through school. I didn’t know what I was writing down.

I really didn’t understand numbers then. And the weird thing is, most of those numbers. Somehow are very accurate to what I did. So, again, what you put down on paper, because of the energy and the intention of writing it, is huge. So, if you take nothing else away from today…, sit down and write. You’ve got to put down on paper your thoughts about vision for your practice, about money exchange, and how you’d like that to show up in your life. So, the goal for your student loans, if you have them, which I assume most of you do, is then learn about debt because this is something else that generally we’re not taught.

We’re taught as long as we can make the minimum payment, we’re paying down debt, which is probably the fastest way to become broke. So, when you take out debt, which is a great exchange to be able to go to chiropractic school and take on the debt to receive this education, is going to pay off hugely in your life especially if you learn how to deal with the debt. And we’ll talk about more on this tonight. But if you could read the book Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. That’s an excellent book to start to get your mind right about what debt really means in your life. And also how, when you attack debt, you’re really putting money basically aside because if you waited and paid that slowly over time, it’s going to cost you three or four times as much money than if you attack it early on in your career.  So, learning about money flow, learning about debt – I can’t say enough about trying to get your minds to [being] comfortable looking at money.

Number five is communication. We talk a lot about communication but sometimes I think we miss so much of communication that’s nonverbal. And I don’t really believe that practice members stay in my practice because of what I’m saying to them verbally,although I try and say good things to them verbally. But the energy of the practice is more what I think of people comment on they comment on it the second they walk in for their new patient appointment. It feels good in here. People are smiling at me. It’s lively in here. They want to go to places where there is life.

Right. So what is your practice communicating nonverbally? Really bring other people in who have never been there and ask that question. What do you feel like when you walk in here? What do you feel like when my CA talks to you on the phone? We’ve all had experiences where someone’s tone was really off-putting. It wasn’t what they said; it was how they said it. Or the way they looked at you. It’s so important to have those things, in a small business, be on point because that’s going to go a lot further than some of the scripts you memorize. So, recognizing communication for much more than just the verbal aspect of communication – your presence, how you conduct yourself, how you show up on Facebook; communication is happening with everything that is a mirror of you off into the community.

And, for your staff, to teach them that as well. I think about energy a lot just, like we talked about energy as money and this energetic channel that we all are spiritual being having a physical experience. What is my energy communicating? Is it attracting? If it is, people are going to start to show up in your practice. You got to give them an opportunity to meet you and get involved. What you’re attracting…into your practice is going to be an expression of you, right? And you want to get around people where you like being in their practice so that you can search for more ideas of things that you like and want to move in that direction. Trying to be something you’re not is not going to serve you because it’s not your energy.

And then number six is recognizing that you want to inherently set up a win-win situation in every aspect of your office, if possible. So when, again, I’m applying this to things like my team. I want them to feel like growth in the practice is a win-win for them. I don’t ask them to work harder without them having a benefit. And I want win-win for my patient. I don’t want to set up an exchange where they’re out of balance. It’s a win-win for people that come and receive great care and also be able to offer an exchange in payment because that keeps it in integrity. When we don’t honor that exchange that has to happen, that’s when things start to get out of balance. I can’t ask Annie to work harder without recognizing that I need to exchange with her, value for that.

So, you want to be someone who holds integrity around you. Every person that’s attracted to me is going to have a better life because they’re attracted into this vision. Whether it’s a practice member that’s receiving care in your office that’s going to have a better life, someone serving on your team, the better life your family receives from you being dedicated to your profession. There’s so much win-win to go around we don’t have to compete. It’s the same thing with other chiropractors in your community. You know…we…certainly don’t have enough vitalistic chiropractors. So, recognizing you want to form relationships. We started doing parades together in my town where the vitalistic chiropractors, instead of marketing just our own practice, we did our own thing together. And that’s been great because you share in doing the marketing.

In the state of Wisconsin, we have a drug battle going on, which seems ridiculous; however, it’s happening. And, one of the cool things that’s come out of some of that is having to figure out which side of the fight people are on. We’re more unified; vitalistic chiropractors are more unified than ever. And in that state of Wisconsin…what’s come out of that is, every October now, we have Cairo kids day on, I think, it’s the last Thursday of October.

And, to be enrolled in that, you… don’t have to be part of the state association; every chiropractor guarantees that on that day, they’re going to do one form of education on pediatric chiropractic. We’ve had billboards put up around the state educating on spinal health for kids. We’ve had tons of media coverage and our school district – this is every single classroom – has education…on spinal health. I know I’m the chiropractor for the school district in our area which is like a really large Division One school district even though it’s a small town – and they’re looking at…having chiropractic for kids that are receiving mental health services on site for the kids. I’m really excited about these opportunities because it’s the collaboration that’s allowed this and for people to see, again, a bigger vision than Dr. Lona growing a practice.

It’s about serving. And, in that service, so much more comes, too, and these opportunities open up. And that’s what I mean again by looking at what’s happening through me right now. It was about a year ago that I felt I was frustrated and I didn’t know what I felt frustrated about but, I was having a conversation with one of my team members, and I said I feel like I need to play bigger. And it was out of that conversation [that] I thought I need to talk to the superintendent. And, when I started talking to her, she asked me to be on the wellness board and it was through just that one email and that one conversation that all of this opened up and I think, you know, sometimes when we get in these funks, we think they’re just bad.

Like, why do I feel this way? Well, maybe it’s there for you to be a cause to think a little differently and something comes out of it, like this came out of it for me. So whenever I get in the state where I can feel like something is off a little bit at myself, I just try and pay attention because I think there’s something I’m missing and that’s why I feel a little off. And you have to look within to start to recognize that. But, we all have that channel; that’s our innate, right? Life is supposed to feel like ease as we’re synced up. We’re not always going to be in ease; there a struggle at times, but it’s there to teach us something so that we can move into a bigger expression of ourselves.

So recognize that as you create a bigger life for yourself, it’s going to set off a win-win scenario for everyone you touch. And that’s powerful. So lastly, I just want to leave you with some steps to take right now.

The first is, learn about yourself and your self-expression, meaning if you can, really pay attention to what feels good in you. That’s going to be the thing that’s going to guide you the best in what you do after school. And if you don’t know where to start, go to things that help you. Try out different clubs. Go to Toastmasters…Who is it listen to Dr. Demartini speak quite a few times? One of the best things I did was go to his Breakthrough Experience. Do things that cause you to get comfortable looking at yourself.

Number two, I already mentioned this, I read financial books. Also listen to Dimartini’s financial stuff. Excellent. And start a habit today. So, one of the things…right now you’re living on student loans, probably. If you, even monthly, started putting away 20 dollars in savings, that would start the habit already, of…saving every month. And then, as you’re able to, you also start the habit of paying a little more on debt automatically.

Those are two great goals that you could have for yourself…to always be saving something, even if it’s five dollars. And to always be paying on your debt; again, even if it’s five dollars a week. Because you don’t miss it but it’s the habit and the discipline that makes the biggest difference.

Number three, and most of you probably won’t do this because your you’re busy, but it’ huge if you can. Just sit down and write out procedures and vision for what your practice flow and  the energy of your practice will look like, right now, if you could create it the way that you could see it in your mind. And some of you will be extremely detailed already and some of you, it’s very nebulous at this point, still. So, paying attention to that and trying to flesh out more and more so you get a more detailed view in your mind. But what does the new patient experience? What does someone on their second day experience? How do you handle financials? Details. Write that out. Because it’s going to be what you have in your mind, one way or the other.

Number four, recognize that philosophy is really important. So you’re in a great place to be receiving it but keep working on it. You keep going deeper and deeper in it. The more that I’ve gotten into the philosophy of chiropractic, the more I’ve also turned into, like, a quantum physics geek and starting to really dive into, what is life; what is this energy that we’re working for? And that’s also how I realized we don’t control anything that we think are controlling.

But it’s really profound to recognize we’re working in a profession that honors life and intelligence. And I think D.D. Palmer was just so far ahead of his time, which he’s a genius and to go back to his works…You just had Simon Sinek speak here, not long ago right?  No? Oh Simon Senzon. Thank you. Thank you. Yes. Get his books; get those. Those are amazing.

And then the last…push for you is to get comfortable public speaking. Because, even if you’re speaking just one-on-one with patients in your office, the ability to feel comfortable using your voice is really important. So, getting to a Toastmasters, volunteering if you’re asked to speak up in front of your class. I remember the first couple of months in practice going to a Rotary Club meeting, and everyone was twice my age there, and feeling like a fish out of water. But, I also learned that the older men pulled out the chairs for you and it was really nice to go there and have lunch. So, getting out of that comfort zone and being willing to use your voice because people are a lot more receptive than you think they’re going to be. So, with that said, I hope some of you will join us tonight at the Treehouse for the financial discussion.

And, I’m really grateful that you gave me the time to speak up here today. So, thank you.


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