Why LEVELING UP is a skill most chiropractors never learn… And what you can do about it

Why LEVELING UP is a skill most chiropractors never learn… And what you can do about it


In chiropractic school, we learn how to help patients achieve health and well-being naturally and holistically. What a GIFT! We create miracles every day in our practices. And, as years of practice accumulate, and with additional clinical training, we add more tools to our clinical toolbox to level up and help even more people. But what about running the business? What about pushing through a perceived or real ceiling for our practice? Why are SO many chiropractors stuck and can’t get to their next level of genius? The answer is many times a lack of knowledge. Chiropractors stuck at the same level don’t even know what they don’t know. It’s called the Dunning-Kreuger effect.

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They are stuck in the peak of “Mount Stupid” (high confidence, low competence) or the “Valley of Despair” (low confidence, low competence). My goal is to guide you along your journey up the slope of enlightenment by sharing the key constructs of breaking through the ceiling and leveling up. Here’s where it starts:










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Nothing is harder than leading a team of people to a BIG vision. It starts with you, the leader. The business science says one of the most important traits of being a great leader is self-awareness.  We must understand how to leverage our strengths and account for our weaknesses. Utilizing validated personality tests and strength assessments in regular intervals will provide insights as to who you are, what you believe, and how you behave – a critical element of your core value’s DNA. Moreover, benchmarking your scores on assessments like Angela Duckworth’s Grit Scale® will provide a great benchmark upon which to improve.

Another critical step in evolving your leadership skills is performing regular 360s. You want to have your team evaluate YOUR performance. Yes, that’s what I said. It will help you to uncover blind spots that are holding you, your team, and your practice back.  It can be a painful exercise, but the gain is worth the pain.


I read Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, many years ago. But one of the main lessons that have stayed with me is “First Who, Then What.”  It’s so damn true. You can have the most amazing idea, product, service, strategy, etc., but none of it matters unless you have the right people to make it all happen.

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So have the right people, in the right seat, doing the right work, at the right time, the right way. Where does all of this begin? A smart recruiting strategy that focuses on finding individuals that align with your core values. Doing behavioral-based interviewing, personality/strength assessments, engaging onboarding, and continuous training and development all increase the probability of building a winning culture that can be tenacious in tough times and explosive in great times.



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Musculoskeletal conditions continue to be the top cause of disability worldwide, so there is no shortage of potential new patients. What there is a shortage of is leaders who work every day to identify and hone their zone of practice genius that is like no other healthcare provider.

Seth Godin, arguably the world’s best marketing expert stated, “The only way to be indispensable is to be different.” If your practice is gone tomorrow, and someone else can fill your role, you have not properly differentiated. Hitting that ceiling of growth? Find innovation and breakthrough!




There’s only one thing worse than not being able to acquire new patients…not being able to keep them. The business case is obvious, but it goes even deeper. Patients who don’t complete care plans may have their issues come back, and those are the patients who can ultimately kill your brand… “They didn’t help me.” It doesn’t matter that they stopped too soon, and didn’t adhere appropriately. They believe their poor outcome is YOUR fault, and their perception affects your reality.


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Patient education alone is not enough to drive retention to a prescribed care plan. It’s about building trust and meeting patients where they are. The most successful practices build strong and deep relationships with their patients AND create remarkable experiences both offline and ONLINE. Digital experiences are not the future. Patients are expecting a digital experience with their doctor now, and those who fill this need are the ones who break through and level up.


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HIPAA, OSHA, CEU’s…I mean how many more acronyms do we need?!? The bottom line, it’s probably the least fun part of our careers, but it’s a requirement, so suck it up cupcake. Building simple and effective processes to train your team on these critical responsibilities may not grow our practices, but it certainly ensures that we aren’t fined by the regulators and end up in jail, or worse, in front of our regulatory boards!

And guess who else wants your money? Insurance companies have line items on their P&L’s for provider recoupments. If you don’t have your documentation in order, sooner or later you will pay the piper. Doing voluntary coding and documentation audits helps you to identify your weak points, and shore them up. Do it now, because if you don’t, the price to pay can put you out of business.


Kaizenovate! Yes, that’s what I said. Make a conscious decision to continuously improve and innovate. It could be in one big step, or it could be 20 little steps, but staying stagnant is the surest possible way to never being able to level up and build the practice and life you want and deserve.

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When you take a step back, look around, and connect with patients in a human-centered way to identify what they need and value, opportunities to innovate value are endless. New CPT codes are created every year, and with the rise of digital health, there are REAL opportunities for healthcare professionals to create exponential value and get paid appropriately for it. Early adopters will be the winners in this game, and so will their patients.


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