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Without headaches or hassles

When you’re becoming a more successful chiropractor, you know you’re facing challenge after challenge.
And while there’s a lot of advice out there, the best people to learn from are those who’ve solved the exact problems you’re facing.

Today’s guest Dr. Brett Winchester is a speaker at many of the big chiropractor events and has built a remarkable practice. Listen now and find out all about how to build a successful private practice instead of creating a mediocre business.

Show highlights include:

  • The biggest mistake chiropractors make when going from “lone wolf” to building a team. (10:16)
  • Whether it’s talking to patients, giving talks or creating marketing videos—you need to be able to speak in front of people. Here’s the simplest way to get good at it. (12:22)
  • Why the best chiropractors often stay anonymous and poor while average doctors’ expand and grow every year. (18:58)
  • How being likeable attracts patients like a magnet and gets them coming back to you—without spending a penny on marketing. (26:04)

Registration for the Chiropractic Success Academy is currently closed. Join the waitlist here: https://www.csacircle.com/register

Read Full Transcript

Hey chiropractors, we're ready for another Modern Chiropractic Marketing Show with Dr. Kevin Christie where we discuss the latest in marketing strategies, contact marketing, direct response marketing and business development with some of the leading experts in the industry.

Hey docs, welcome to another episode of the Modern Chiropractic Marketing show. Today I've got a great interview with Dr. Brett Winchester. I'm really excited, I've been fortune off to learn from him for many years. We were actually in school together, he's maybe a year or so older. I think he was the rep for MPI when I first started, so I was learning from when he was a student and then he ended up being an instructor for a bio-mechanics class when we were in Tri 8, so I've been learning from him and obviously I've taken a bunch of Motion Palpation Institute's courses. He's doing so many great things, as you're going to hear in this. What I really wanted to do was dive into the essence of what Dr. Winchester is and who he is and his practice and what drives that and how he's able to continue to have a thriving, growing practice that you'll hear about and travel 25 airplane trips a year teaching and just doing so many different things, and it really, it's a representation of what you can do. There's really no limit in this profession, and if you do things right as far as developing your practice to where it's a team and it's a self-managing practice, you can just do a lot of great things and you're going to get that. I wanted to dive into what his private practice looked like, what motivates him, what he's looking to continue to do. Just for me it was a great interview selfishly of just learning even more myself, and I think you're going to as well. So without further ado I'm going to get right to it. Here's my interview with Dr. Brett Winchester. [0:02:01.1]

Kevin: Alright, welcome the show, got Dr. Brett Winchester, I really appreciate your time, this is exciting for me to have you on. What do you got going on, what's new with your world and just introduce yourself a little bit.

Brett: Well thanks for having me on, Kevin. I in the middle of a bunch of things. I ran into you, I got to see you speak at FTCA, which was amazing. Was it Parker, or we had a big DNS symposium, we had a big Kansas City adjust-athon, so came right out of that, and then we got a big talk coming up in Los Angeles with Hodges and Stecco and Kolar. I got a speaking part on that, so or we're rolling, so that's the next thing that I'm really focused on that's coming up not this weekend but next weekend. I'm kind of preparing for that and getting ready for that.

Kevin: So how many air travel trips do you have a year nowadays roughly?

Brett: That's a good question. I thought I was doing more than anybody, but Kathy Dooley, I talked to her and she does way more than I do, but usually I shoot for 25 seminars a year, so that's basically half, but then against my wife's will I always end up more than that, so it's kind of hard, because in my world, like if you tell somebody "no", than it just say, "Okay, well when can you do it?" so that it just gets out. [0:03:27.1]

You never really solve your problem, but I mean, to me it's a good problem because I, obviously if I didn't like it I wouldn't do it and I kind of know that it's my calling. That's kind of the missionary crusade that I'm on right now.

Kevin: You're little bit far away from the airport. Do you take your helicopter to the airport and then get on a commercial plane?

Brett: Golf Stream, baby.

Kevin: That's a lot of traveling. What do your next six months look like?

Brett: The next six months is I'm in charge of DNS baseball, so in the off season we'll be working with a coupe pro teams. That's exploding right now, so trying to figure out where that all will be fit in and. I'm busy in the next year with my usual stuff, so a lot of other big seminars, summits, big conferences. [0:04:18.8]

That's kind of where I like to be now because of the splash factor of it all, you know. It's going to be a good 2020, I can feel.

Kevin: Talk about, you know it's sometimes things come along, different seminars, different certifications, different concepts, but the baseball thing definitely has a lot of good buzz around it. Everybody seems to be really interested in what you're doing with that. Tell us a little bit about that before we dive into some of the other information.

Brett: Baseball is so crazy because it's something that I really don't like. I mean I played a little bit of baseball growing up, soccer was my main thing, and then I just, I mean it maybe it'll be inspirational, motivational for some of the people listening out there, but I literally grass-rooted it in a throwing academy close to my area here. [0:05:09.5]

It started there, and then everybody always ask, "Well how did you do this, how did you do that?" and you just start with the person you're seeing right at that time, that day. As you know, I'm an hour outside of St. Louis, so it took a while for word to get out, get out, get out and finally I was able to spread it. I mean I just did it that way. I would say I dove into it, I did my homework, I did a bunch of research on it and I got good at treating the baseball athlete, and then it just led and opened up to so many things. Then, so what's unique about baseball, we have an epidemic problem right now with Tommy John surgery and UCL. So it's placing me kind of in a really good spot, or a good timing. Because you have like such a need and a want by the industry, so it's like the perfect storm of economics right now, there's so much demand and supply is not very good, so in a good spot to help that, I think we're sitting on a lot of the reason of why people are injuring themselves. [0:06:12.6]

So when I was permanently with the Cardinals, I guess I was kind of hinted in a little bit on what I could do, and now I feel like I got to, before I move on I've got to tell the story. And that's why I'm really excited about the DNS baseball course, because there's so much information there.

Kevin: There's a lot of information and I think it's exciting for chiropractors out there because if you live in America there's not a town that you could practice in where there's not baseball. I'll get some things, I've done a lot with football where they'll want to do that, well I was like, if you live in Wyoming, NFL football is probably not going to be high up on the list of things you can do, but with baseball anywhere there's colleges, there's high schools, there's little leagues, there's a lot of baseball players and it's something that you can really help out your community with this type of information. [0:07:00.0]

Brett: Yeah, and I mean it really is your, I mean it really is America's pastime. The Cardinals were kind of like the Cowboys of baseball, they're kind of America's team. Year round so many neat stories, and baseball I think is just woven into American culture. Like you said, I mean everybody at some point in their life has probably played baseball. And they get hurt all the time, so that's the other good thing, I guess, in our field.

Kevin: Exactly. You find those ones. A lot of our audience, they may have known you from some of the teaching and been to some of the certifications and definitely a lot of the MPI events, but maybe they don't know you from private practice stand of point. Give us a little bit of an inside look at your practice, your private practice and what it's all about.

Brett: Sure. So we started in a small town, it's called Moscow Mills, Missouri, there's I think 600 people in that small town, and it was kind of at a confluence of some main highways is why I originally liked the location. The story I tell was there was an old man who pulled up and he told me, we were putting in a sign that said "Future home of Winchester Chiropractic", and the guy goes, "Son, the only thing that makes it in this town are churches and bars." He goes, "You do not stand a chance doing what you're about to do here." I went home, didn't sleep that night, but it was really kind of motivational for me. I always tell a story because a lot of times people are like, "We can't do it in this..." you know everybody gives an excuse on why they can't do it. It exploded from the beginning and you and I were kind of chatting before we started this. If people knew the sweat equity that went in to getting that place rolling, I mean I've laid lectured to anybody who would listen to me. I gave lectures in front of two people, five people, all the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Chambers. I was president of all those things. All those things that people, like you said, they see me now 20 years into this, but they have no idea all the stuff that I did to get this all rolling. [0:09:09.4]

So anyways, I think we're going on four years ago to this facility, which is now, it's about 7500 square feet so we have three kind of sections to our office. We have a gym, we have a center area with treating chiros, which is basically me and four other chiros, so we have a total of five treating chiros. CA's, trainers that help us out in that area, and then we have a functional medicine wing with massage therapy and dietary needs and all that stuff. So now we have 25 people that are involved in the operation, so it's ever going, and to be honest, it's exploding so much that I thought I would never leave this office, and I'm not saying I'm going to, but where it is continues to grow, which is all, I mean it's just all a great, wonderful, wonderful problem. I think the key is you just surround yourself with just amazing people. We're trying to create something really special here, and because of that I think it's driving everything, just because we have good people. [0:10:17.0]

Kevin: Yeah, I want to touch on a couple things you said there, having great people around you. Obviously early on we end up being a lone wolf and sometimes we don't work on the team around us, and then you can't get to that next level of things because you aren't putting the right people around you or not communicating well with them. But that's what's really going to take you to another level, right? As much as you did to start this, you wouldn't be where you're at now with this team around you, if you didn't have great people.

Brett: That is so true. Your younger generation who is listening is not going to know, but those of you who've seen Jerry Maguire, there's a famous scene where he stands up and he basically says, "Who's coming with me?" and no one stands up, and I always say that's what I felt like at my staff meetings, because what I wasn't good at when I was younger was explaining my vision. [0:11:07.0]

You know like in my mind I knew exactly what was going to happen, but I did a real poor job of articulating it onto people around me before everything grew like it did. And once I figured that out, I felt like all the rows started growing in the same direction. And that includes like your family members, your spouse. Like if your spouse's looking at you like, "What are you doing? You're working till 10 o'clock, you're not home." So once I was able to start articulate where I wanted this all to go, I think that really helped with the mission and the vision.

Kevin: That's a key part of it, because you can only do it so much on your own shoulders, so getting people around you to do it is huge. The second point I wanted to touch on, we did have a little bit of pre-talk about sometimes people see us that have been practicing for 15, 20 years with successful practices and just assume it was born that way. [0:12:00.0]

They don't realize that there was a ton of grass roots marketing, marketing, networking, public speaking that it took to get out there. And ironically enough what ends up happening, at least for me, maybe it's the same thing with you, because people ask me like, because I do public speaking, you do a lot more than I do, but I was just in New Jersey and I think there was like 400 people that I spoke in front of, and like, "How'd you do that?" I was like, actually I've been doing this for like 15 years, it just was in my community in front of two people, then it was 10, then it was 15, then it was 20, and so I've been doing it just to build my practice. So that when I took the next step into speaking in front of the large audiences I had already been practicing it.
Brett: Yeah. I saw you at FTCA and you're a true pro at it. My story is actually in high school I was petrified of public speaking, and like I said, I just kept doing it, I just basically kept saying "yes", and then I kind of found my stride on how to inspire, how to add a little bit of comedy in. I think you find your shtick, but you only find it by just doing it over and over. [0:13:05.8]

I mean many, many times I'll walk away from a talk and be like it I wasn't as good as I want but I always try to like look back on it and reflect and say, "Okay, I did this well, so I'm basically always improving." I would say my best talk is going to be my next talk because it'll have all my experience of people asking questions, me thinking about it. A lot of my revelations, honestly, come in the middle of lectures because I'm being forced to think of material right then. Yeah, I think that the speaking part of the teaching part is really helpful. The local civic groups are perfect place to try out your ability to do that. I would just say your first five years in practice, you just say yes to everything. It's like that, I forget what the movie's called with Jim Carrey when he basically has to say yes to everything. You and I, we kind of got to a point where he can't say yes to everything, but when you're younger I think that's a pretty good lesson, because there's a lot of things during your day that most people are going to say no to that you should say yes to, live with feeling uncomfortable about it, own that and then you'll be better off for it. [0:14:11.2]

Because all the things that you don't want to do when you end up doing them, you always look back and say, "Man, that actually went pretty good." When you're going into practice you just got to meet a bunch of people in your town and you just got to get out of office. I think that's a really important part of it.

Kevin: Yeah, and it's again, it goes to I think that we get in front of people and we public speaking and we're somewhat decent at it they think maybe that came natural. Like, no, that was also sweat equity like you said, getting the ability to facilitate knowledge and speak in front of people, that took time, it didn't happen right away, so if you're not good at it now, you've got to just keep doing it and you'll be amazed at what you're like in 15, 20 years, or even 5 years.

Brett: Yeah, and I think too, like for me it was also really important what we haven't talked about yet is literally my favorite thing to do in the world is private practice. [0:15:03.4]

So like a lot of people who do what I do, I mean they do not like practice. They're teaching because they're done with it. I'm a weird bird because I every patient is a puzzle within itself, and I'm like so competitive. I walk around the chip on my shoulder, and I think we do as chiropractors as a whole, because we're used to people telling us, "You're a chiropractor, you can't do this, you can't do that." and I actually had breakfast with Mark King recently and he asked me, he asked, "Dude what is churning you right now? What is driving all this?" What I ended up, it's only a while to think the answer and the answer was I want to push the limits of what's possible for a chiropractor. That's what I ended up, like it took me a while to get that point because I couldn't figure it out. I want us to hang with all the best knowledgists, whether we're talking baseball biomechanics with the pitching coach, whatever arena or environment we're in, let's just keep pushing the profession where it needs to go. All the organizations I'm affiliated with, FTC I think is a good example of that, I mean you have a room full of people that are great, MPI is the same exact way and DNS and all these, we have such a great core group of people, I think, that I mean you can just feel it. I mean we are absolutely pushing limits. [0:16:22.8]

Kevin: It's exciting. I like to discuss the Strategic Coach concept, the four freedoms, and freedom money, time, relationship and purpose, put the money thing aside, that's everybody's own relationship with it, good or bad, but it seems like you found your freedom of purpose in a sense of what you talked about with Mark King. Is that correct?

Brett: Yeah, yeah. Actually I have heard Mark talk on this point too, but you have people who have their job and you have what I would literally call and calling, which is if you read Victor Frankel's book Man's Search for Meaning, the biggest take-home message out of this book is man, to be happy, has to wake up with a purpose. [0:17:06.9]

So if we look at all your patients, for example, that are depressed or deal of anxiety and things like that, you will see a lot of times they're struggling with when they wake up in the morning knowing like how they're going to go change the world that day. Thankfully, luckily, I have found at least in my own life, I love my job, I mean just absolutely I love it. I love the private practice aspect of it also. So coming to work every day for me is an absolute joy and a blast. Yeah, as far as the money, I think like if we get our mind in the right spot, I think there's always going to be a good pile of money there. If there are students out there listening, our rule is in three years just be sure you're making six figures. That's all I ask. If you're not in a system where you can do that, either it's you or you're in a bad situation. And kind of like you said, I mean whether you're making $100,000, $500,000 or a million, whatever you're making, let's at least let that be a $100,000 because now chiropractors are just so grossly being underpaid. That's a little bit of a target. [0:18:13.1]

Kevin: It's part of definitely my goal for every chiropractor, if I can help out in any way, whether it's an associate or owning your own practice, because there's a lot of chiropractors that own practice that aren't even sniffing that, so they got to figure out a way to make that happen just to be able to function within this profession and life.

Brett: Yeah, exactly. I mean nothing is more annoying than people are splashing their cash in front of your face or throwing their Rolex in your face. But is saying money is a vehicle to do the things that you want to do in life, so to ignore that it's ridiculously. The other thing I'd say, if you're the best person in your area or your town, you deserve to be handsomely paid for what you're doing. What's ironic, Kevin, is sometimes like the best like technical chiropractors in the country, they have these little practices that nobody knows about. [0:19:08.5]

And then you have someone that was just kind of a buffoon in school and all of a sudden they're blowing their practice up. That is you know the difference in certainty and confrontation all things that are really, really important to be successful in practice. When you're in school no one tells you that. I mean you're kind of led to believe, "Well if I'm good clinically everything's going to be fine." Wrong. Like it's going to take a lot, like we just discussed earlier, to grow your practice, but the little things like you owning confidence or certainty, you being able to confront people, you know that's the other thing like that I think the younger students, they're not very good at because they've been able to hide behind a device or a computer and things like that, there's not that one on one communication or confrontation that is what we, you and I do every day with our patients.

Kevin: For sure. And one of the things, if you didn't have a freedom of money within your practice and weren't able to grow it and you struggled 20 years ago to build your practice, you wouldn't have the freedom of purpose right now to do what you're doing with DNS, with baseball and all that. [0:20:10.3]

Like you had to have that, and then build that team around you, which has also given you the freedom of time. Right? Like you're able to travel, not that you have a lot of time that you're laying out the beach and sipping on margarita's, but what you're using the leverage of time to do is to be able to travel 25 times a year to then serve your purpose. Right?

Brett: That's right, that's right. And I think like in my world I can sniff a charlatan out of a room in a second. The people who aren't in practice anymore, which there's nothing wrong with that, I'm not saying you have to be in practice, but I don't know, I think like a lot of times people who aren't out in the trenches, sometimes they're not the best in explaining the pathway that we need for our students and our docs, just because they're not out doing it every day. And that's nothing against education because that's really important, but anyways I think on the weekend seminar circuit series you can kind of, you can quickly tell who's actually using their skills every day and who's not. [0:21:10.7]

Kevin: Oh yeah, for sure. And then to kind of tie it all of around, is if maybe in your private practice someone, you know, our audience, maybe their purpose isn't to travel and teach, but their purpose is serving the patient, and that's what's great about our profession is just being a chiropractor, that's got a high purpose. I see some of my friends that make great money, but they sit behind a desk in the financial world and they hate their life and they have no purpose, they can't find that, they struggle mentally with that. Our profession really allows for that, but if you're really struggling to grow your practice, you don't have that freedom of cash flow or money, then you show up to work kind of jaded and thinking about the patient encounter as money coming in to pay the bills, versus serving that purpose of helping out that person. So I think it's really important that chiropractors get that squared away for sure. [0:22:06.1]

Brett: And don't you think, I mean like as a consumer, a patient, you know that feeling. And you hear about chiropractors all the time, you know like, "I came in, I felt like I was this getting sold something." versus like you get around somebody who's truly loving what they do. The example I would say is I call enthusiasm and I joke because nothing is more annoying than cheesy enthusiasm, when someone's like, "Everything's perfect in my life, everything's great." and then you have what reality is. What I think enthusiasm is when like the patient, like they know that you're giving 100% of your thought and attention towards them right there. I heard a practice mantra person say one time and it really stuck with me is the best practice mantra I can give you is "presence with the patient". For me it's the door frame, that's my cue when I walk into the door of a treatment room, that's my cue to give 100% of my attention to that patient, because really they deserve that. [0:23:04.4]

And I had to work on that, because honestly, I could let my mind get away for a second, and I really was thinking about, I was honest, I was paying attention 20%. Once I started like really focused on 100% percent of my attention... Back to the business side, customer service is so important for us. So we start from the second that the patient walks in to their experience through whoever they may touch through the office. I mean really the healing starts the second they walk in the door, so if they have a bad experience with your front office person, then that affects everything. I work really, really hard on having, or we do, on that experience because it's all important in healing. We want to be the opposite of Western medicine. We want to tell patients "yes", we don't want to like slam a door on them and tell them we can't do something for them, or that it's going to be two months to see us like we're finding ways to be there for our people, more of like a servant mindset. [0:24:04.2]

Kevin: I agree, I agree. I love asking this question of chiropractors and doctors out there that are meeting a lot of young chiropractors. As an MPI doc alone and instructor you run into thousands over the last how many years you've been doing that, right?

Brett: Yeah, 18 years.

Kevin: 18 years, right. So it's a ton a chiropractors, so you've seen a lot of them become successful. Not all of them, but you've seen a lot of them become successful. You've already mentioned a few things you can tie it back in there if you want, but what are a few characteristics you do see from those docs that end up just becoming successful? Whatever they define success as, we don't have to mince the word on that, but what are you seeing in that aspect of things?

Brett: One quality and I kind of look for when I'm looking for people here is does that human being bring energy into whatever room they're in. Because one thing I've learned is that is one quality that is... Attractability, you know. [0:25:06.7]

Or like another way to think of it outside of those terms are if you sat down on a plane next to somebody, would you be exciting to talk to, or would you kind of be a lump of a log. Or if you're at a cocktail party are people wanting to talk to you. Those are like little things that you can start to see about your own likability. In my Tri 8 class we actually have the last day lecture we talk about some of things we're talking about right now, and I have a slide where I go through like the people that are the most likable in the world, and the one who's the most universally besides like Oprah is Jennifer Aniston. Jennifer Aniston is likable amongst like females, males, my son who's eight loves her, I love her, my dad loves her. So she's got a likeable quality about her. That would be the other thing I would say, is great healers need to be likable, and there's a difference between a good chiropractor and a good healer. [0:26:09.1]

A good healer can literally get miracle after miracle after miracle, is really good at offering reassurance, hope to the patient. Sometimes like there are really good chiropractors that are out there, they get good results but they sometimes they don't get like that extra result because they're also kind of doubters, which is a good thing. They question everything and they kind of, at times can get their own way. I think you get around somebody who's really got that encounter figured out. The results are crazy. I would say be likable. That would be probably that.

Kevin: That's a big one. Obviously the one you mention with being present with your patients, God, I fell victim to that. Because sometimes it's, there's big things. Like you mentioned moving four years ago into your new place. I'm sure at that time when that was being built out and that whole thing was going on, you had a zillion things on your mind with that, and you might get a call and say, "Yeah, we're going to be over budget by $5000 on this one room here." or something and you're thinking about that and you're pissed and you got to go treat a patient. That stuff, they notice that, you know, they notice it. [0:27:15.3]

Brett: I had a hilarious encounter during that time, I thought for a second that I wanted like eight offices around St. Louis, and I realized after I grew up into one that that's not what I wanted. So I'm sitting around with the banker and I'm in debt a ton of money at this point, because basically I was funding two offices at the same time. He looked at me and it was like talking to my dad, he goes, "Son, do you know what you're doing?" I looked him and I go, "Yeah, if you can't bet on yourself, then I guess you can't bet on anybody." and he's like, "That's what I wanted to hear." but it did make me think for a second. Yeah, so you got to push all those chips in. Those are difficult times, but again, if it was easy, of course everybody does it. [0:28:04.0]

Kevin: Yeah, even when it's tough times you've got to be present with the patients and make sure that you're really focusing on them, because they will notice it whether you are or not.

Brett: Yeah, and they, I think they'll also refer, like what you want is what I tell my associates here ,like the really good ones, they'll take one patient and they'll turn it into 10, and then you have other people who you give them 10 patients and they'll turn it into one. Right? So then like talking about those intangibles that allow you to grow practice that way, and I think like if you're present and you're enthusiastic, then patients are asking you constantly about family members or friends, and it's weird like you don't even have to ask for it, like they want to refer to you. Don't underestimate the value of a handwritten "thank you". If somebody refers patients to me, like I will take the time, I actually learned this, I lost my mom last year.

Kevin: Oh, I'm sorry. [0:29:00.4]

Brett: But one of the things she taught me was the value of a handwritten "thank you". So everybody kind of laughs at me around here, but I mean I'm constantly writing "thank you's", because it means a lot too. Like at your point in your life Kevin, people know you're crazy busy, so then if you take the time to write a handwritten "thank you", it's got some serious power. I think when people do refer to you, recognize that. Or if you're treating a high school athlete and they do something amazing, like just send them a quick notes saying, "Saw you in the paper, congratulations, proud of you." We're like role models for all the people in our community. People are watching how you eat, they want to know if you're exercising, they want to know what you're into. People are looking up to us, so we need to live a life that we're all proud of. I mean we need to treat people around us really well. Little things that people don't think about.

Kevin: No, makes a lot of sense. So that's good feedback, I really appreciate your time today. [0:29:59.5]

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