Hey, chiropractors. We're ready for another Modern Chiropractic Marketing Show with Dr. Kevin Christie, where we discuss the latest in marketing strategies, content marketing, direct response marketing, and business development, with some of the leading experts in the industry. [00:20.9]
Kevin: Hey Docs, welcome to another episode of The Modern Chiropractic Marketing Show and today is going to be a unique episode. It's an interview. This is for the MPI mastery spotlight over the month. This is the Motion Palpation Institute and this is with Dr. Mark Hawkins. This is a, for me it was a kind of a special interview because him and I are good friends. We graduated together, we went through school together, we went through the hard times of starting practices early on and bouncing ideas, just a good friend. And it was nice to kind of catch up about 15 years later after we graduated and see where he's at. As you know, obviously this is a marketing and business show, but I always try to make you realize that the clinical is so important. This is not business and marketing to cover up garbage clinical. Okay. We really need you all to be very sound clinically and that's why I collaborate and love working with MPI. [01:16.7]
They, they really trained me early on and throughout the stages of my career, even as a practicing chiropractor, I went to their sports symposium last year. They just been vital in my clinical background and so I wanted to work with them on this idea of spotlighting someone out in the community that's just doing the right things and built a really good practice around that. And, and is just a solid doctor, a solid person. And the first person that Dr. Mark King recommended right out of the Gates was Dr. Mark Hawkins. And I'm really excited about this interview. It's fun. He's got just one of those types of fun personalities that you could drink beer with all day, and I have in the past. But so this is gonna be a, you know, the MPI mastery spotlight where we dive into, try to kind of get the essence of what some of these chiropractors out there doing that have built successful practices. [02:15.9]
Some of you are already there and it's good to hear how other people are doing it. Some of you are students and you can't even fathom being able to do it yet and some of you are in the early phases of this and so it's great to start spotlighting some of the docs out there that are doing it very well clinically, doing it well with communication. Maybe it's sprinkling on good marketing, but really what the foundation of really solid clinical and that is the essence of Dr. Mark Hawkins. So here is my interview with this month's MPI mastery spotlight of Dr. Mark Hawkins. All right, Mark Hawkins. I appreciate your time today and the interview with the MPI mastery spotlights. Introduce yourself and where you're practicing a little bit about yourself personally. [02:57.6]
Mark: Perfect. Thanks for having me, Kev. My name is Mark Hawkins. I practice down in a small town called Spring Hill, Tennessee. So we're about 30 miles south of Nashville, it's called In Motion Spine & Joint Center. Been down here since 2006 is when we started the practice and been in the same town, I've changed locations once since then. But….but yeah, kind of small town USA for sure here.
Kevin: Definitely. I know you and I graduated together so I don't have to ask, that was in December of 2005 at Logan. And obviously you and I started out friends from the beginning try one but and I, I actually found out about MPI because of you. When did you start, when did you first get introduced to, to Motion Palpation Institute? [03:44.7]
Mark: Yeah, it was probably either a second or third time. I don't recall which one it was exactly, but I'm sure that was one the times the thought you something bad or inappropriate so you probably shouldn't be hanging onto my coattails any longer.
Kevin: Yeah, that was the one thing that was not getting me in trouble, so I appreciate that.
Mark: No worries. At least I have one good quality that I, you know!
Kevin: You got a couple, you got a couple. And so then you know, we graduated, I know you were one of the ones that took that early risk right out of school and open up a practice. I know I and a bunch of others kind of started in associate-ships and you got into practice, obviously things have grown from there. I know your, your beautiful bride; Stacy was instrument instrumental in that. So tell us a little bit about your, your family that you've got going now and how all that came about. [04:35.8]
Mark: Yeah, man. So…you know, since we've been here things have been good. Yeah, we definitely took the leap of faith and decided to start a practice right out of the gate and you know, there's pros and cons to anything, you know. You rewind the tape here and you go back 14 years, which is crazy to say. But yeah man, it's been, it's been a good move, you know, aren't a lot of prayers and a lot of you know, kind of sleepless nights to get started. But you know, my wife Stacy, she's been solid through this whole thing. She was super supportive in the beginning even though he was probably harebrained idea to do what we did.
Kevin: Hmm. Yeah
Mark: But you know, now, you know, 14 years later I've got it. Two little boys, one is Charlie, he's about to turn 10 and then my little one, Jake, we call him deuce, he's a, he just turned seven last week. So, you know, they're, they're keeping my my free time to a minimal, which is okay. Mike Moss game has gone to teetotal hell because I never get to do it. But you know, I've played way more baseball and basketball than I have and you know, my swollen knees are or here to prove it. So [05:38.5]
Kevin: That's awesome man. All right, I got to come out and visit it. You know, they're getting, so they're getting old now. They're getting big and playing sports and see the videos and everything like that. Are you, have you taken them hunting yet?
Mark: Oh yeah, yeah. I think in both of them hunting, Charlie killed his first year, this this past December. So that was a, you know, a proud peacock and moment for his old man there. So he's officially part of the Hawkins men crew. Now that you've you know, slayed your first deer.
Kevin: Nice. And then do you have any black labs that are helping out with that nowadays?
Mark: Not anymore, man. We had, we had a rough go and so now we're, we're dogless and the boys are super pissed at me because of that. But the saving grace is my neighbor. Mr. Will and Ms. Marie, they've met this old beagle that roams everybody's property, which is great, but it gives them their dog fix.
Kevin: Ahhh haaa
Mark: Which is, which is good. So they can just walk up the lane to hang out with Ol’Lou and I don't have to worry about feeding the dog and we're on vacation. So it's great. [06:41.2]
Kevin: Yeah, that's, that's a true statement. All right, cool. So I know you obviously started a practice, I knew you were in a little kind of a strip center there, a little mall type of thing. Like typical, nice little, at the time it was like brand new, I think, right? When they built out that block.
Mark: It was. Yup, brand new. We were like the only second business in the strip. And so it was the total, I don't even remember what they call it now, vanilla box or vanilla something. So yeah.
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Kevin: And then you did the great a transition from being able to rent to being able to buy and tell us a little bit about your, your current practice. Let's start with the, I know you've got some land; you've got kind of an old house. I want to hear that, like that part of it and then we'll go into some of the clinical aspects. [08:38.7]
Mark: Yeah. So we had been in the other location for almost 10 years and I was in a fortunate position to where I was kind of looking for something. And this property that we ended up purchasing was, was an old house and it actually had this, a older couple that had been here for, for years and it was kind of a cool deal because the gentleman would sit on the front porch and wave to everybody, did it for years. And it was like a staple of like a small town kind of, you know, thing.
Mark: And you know, you know, time went by and unfortunately the old couple, they passed away and I bought the house from the, from the family. And the house dates back to like early 19 hundreds the best we can tell. We found an old letter behind the baseboard and it was dated 1906 talking about some furniture and they're trying to get for the house.. and it's kind of crazy. So we took this house with mustard, yellow carpet and purple checks and paneling on the wall and we, we stripped her down to her skivvies and we ended up going through and you know, we redid the place and turned it into what I think is a really unique cool place to work. Like this has this, Oh me relax, feel it doesn't feel like super clinical, which in today's environment maybe isn't good. It's not like that sterile, like everything is like, you know, vinyl this and stuff. It feels kinda like a cool old house, which I dunno man. I love the vibe. [10:03.4]
Kevin: Yeah, that sounds great; obviously I've seen pictures and everything like that. I was at your first practice a couple of times, but I haven't been able to get to this one. But just from the pictures you can tell it's got that good feel and I do agree with you. I think especially with, with chiropractic, our type of chiropractic, I think it's good to have a practice that's not so sterile and not that medical kind of field that you get when you go into your dermatologist or whatever.
Mark: No, absolutely. Yeah, I feel the same way. I knew it was important. This is the way that I've always kinda done things right, wrong. I liked individual treatment or with a patient and be able to work with them with a little bit of privacy. Not only is this for the patient but like for myself because I feel like that's one of the things that okay, I, I'm kind of true to myself and I'm always the same person. But I'm going to be honest, like I have different conversations with you than I do with my mom, you know what I mean? And I'm going to drop way more four letter words with you than I will with her. [11:00.7]
And I feel like me as a person I'm more apt to have that person feel comfortable if they can just talk to me like a normal individual versus, Oh, we're in this wide open space with four other treatment tables here. And at that point in time I feel like I'm probably besides some type of doctor.
Kevin: Yeah. I think that's one of your redeeming qualities is that you can kind of relate to most people. And if they're just a real, you know, not a good person at all, you'll just make it a quick conversation and move on.
Mark: You better believe it.
Kevin: It's like that. Well I have a co, a colleague friend of mine that's from ex; she's from Cha, Chattanooga, Tennessee and another buddy, the three of us kind of chat online a lot. And he's from New York and we always talk about the Southern way of doing things versus the New York way. And you know, like the Southern ways really kinda like, you know, it's that whole like, bless his heart type of thing.
Mark: Oh yeah, oh yeah. I hate that line. [11:58.2]
Kevin: A much more civil way of saying you're a, you know, you know what..
Mark: Yeah, go fly a kite. Yeah! I’m still I transition, cause I'm kind of a Midwest guy by heart. You know, I grew up outside of St Louis as you know, but you know, like it's, I've been here for however many years and so, you know, the Southern culture, I'm sure it's weighed on me some, but that's one of those that I can't, I can't get on board with that line, you know what I mean?
Kevin: Exactly so. Awesome man. So you know, you've got a really cool practice it's definitely got that welcoming feel to it, which, which is awesome. And then the fact that you were able to make that investment in your future also, right? Like did you feel like that was a big milestone in your career to be able to save up some money and then be able to buy, So now you're paying yourself rent instead of someone else.
Mark: No, most definitely man, you know My my finance guy, my whatever you call him financial advisor, he got the boot over it because I had told them a couple of, years prior. It's like, man, I want to be liquid enough to where if a property came available, I can move on. Right. And he was all about me to time, money up in some old life grabbing this and that. And so I went against it and I did it on my own. And so when this came available, I, I'd made two moves, brought the property and fired them all on the same day. [13:14.6]
So it was, it was good. But you know, going forward, I think as, as our profession, you know, changes and evolves and just the, the landscape of doing business changes, I feel like that ability to own a practice and I'm going to retire one day and I'm going to sell my personal practice for a bunch of money. I just don't know if that's going to be there, you know? Whereas this, this piece of property, the honk of dirt, you know, there's one acre on Main street USA, there's going to be value, you know, and there's going to be value. Hey, there's going to be a hell of a lot more value hopefully in 20 years unless the stock market keeps doing what she’s doing .Yeah. You know that, that's my exit strategy. [13:55.0]
You know, it's now I can do my practice. I'm using my practice to pay for this piece of property and this investment. And then, you know, at some point in time I'm either going to hang onto it and rent it or I'm going to, you know, sell the whole deal. So I don't know if it's right, but that's my logic and that's kind of the direction I’m going.
Kevin: I think it's valid logic. You know, I've, I made that same decision mine was a little bit different. It's, it's harder to get an acre of land down here, South Florida, but I was able to buy my office suite, so I own it. It's in a medical building. But yeah, I've come to the realization that maybe in 20 years, 25 years, it may be worth, I don't know what the future's going to hold, but can be one of those things where selling the real estate part of it makes it worth just even closing the practice. Right.
Kevin: You know, cause you can make enough money to do that where you don't have to worry about selling the practice because the value is not what you think it is. And then someone may not be able to, like a chiropractor may not be able to afford. To buy my practice and the real estate at the same time or may not be able to buy my practice and pay me the rent that I know it's worth in 25 years. Cause it could be pretty high. Right? [15:03.1]
Mark: Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, that's what I was about to say. It's good just to have options and you know, I don't know man, you know, that old saying of, you know, owning it versus renting it, I think, you know, to own the piece of property, I mean it's just, it's just one more little piece in the puzzle. You know, you can kind of plug in and say, well I'm not putting all my eggs in the, I'm going to sell my practice for X amount of dollars. Right? Yeah, that’s the deal.
Kevin: Yeah, absolutely.
Kevin: So, all right. So give us a little bit of a, the treatment side of things. What kind of stuff do you do in practice? Assessments, treatments, things like that.
Mark: Yup. Yup. So I am a, I'm a product of the marketing kind of, I take everybody else's good ideas and thoughts and steal them and bastardize them and put my own spin on them. Like that's, that's me. I'm a Jack of all trades, master of none. You know, I do a little bit of all kinds of stuff and I feel like that's super important because our patients are going to have different problems, different conditions, and you know, if I got a screwdriver, you know, then I'm only going to be able to screw things. That's probably a terrible analogy. But [16:04.7]
Kevin: Mark King will enjoy that in that analogy.
Mark: Yeah, he will. He'll be like, I know exactly what it means, but you know, I, I do, I do dry needling. I do soft tissue release, I do rehab. I've been trained in DNS reflex locomotion; I've done instrument assisted soft tissue. I've taken all these different things that basically opened the door to all the information, right? And then I was able to kind of pick and choose what a pass I wanted to pursue more. And I think because of that it helps me clinically because I have this background of a lot of different treatment techniques or just different aspects of manual therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic. It can choose the right technique for the patient that I have in front of me and in that moment. So. [16:55.1]
Kevin: Yeah, and you know, the other thing too is you know how to bring the thunder and that's one thing I've always admired and been jealous of your skill set with adjusting even when we were students. You really are a, one of the better palpators and adjusters that I've worked with and I know you and I had some fun going to the NFL combine for a few years there together.
Kevin: And so, talk a little bit about that. Talk about your assessment and adjustment aspect for your, for your patients. Still a big part of your practice, I'm assuming.
Mark: Absolutely. Yeah, man, I appreciate that. You know, like when it comes to adjusting, it's one of those things like I feel like it is the, it's the Keystone of the practice, right? Like of the majority of the patients do I, see how many of them get adjusted. Almost all of them, you know, there's a few cases every once in a while, whether it's not some kind of manipulative technique that I'm putting in there, but it's usually like if I go through my patients that I had this morning, it's like I'm doing a lot of soft tissue release plus some manipulation. I'm working on some VMO activation, plus I'm adjusting their pelvis. [17:59.6]
Like, the adjusting piece, I feel like one to be able to do it well, like that's what separates you from like all the other people, right? Cause there's tons of people that can make noise, there's tons of people adjust people. But I also feel like they're not necessarily treating people right. So to be able to go in and help or you need to do this adjustment like that's huge man. And I think as our perfection, like we need to keep adding these other modalities, we need to bring all this soft tissue in this rehab, we need to bring all that.
Mark: And you better be a damn good adjuster and start, you know what I mean?
Kevin: Yeah. And I think that's the key. Like right now you got some situations where if all is, you know how to do is adjust then you may have a harder time dealing with certain conditions and you may have a hard time separating yourself from the crowd in your, in your community. [18:51.7]
And then if you're only doing, say only doing DNS or only doing soft tissue and you don't know how to adjust well, find the, you know, the areas that really need that, then you're kind of morphing into a whole other level of competition with all the, you know, physical therapists and even sometimes looking like personal trainers and stuff. But if you can do both really well and then, you know, some of the other stuff, you know, integrate maybe the laser and and the you know, the, what do you do this? Try kneeling. I can't do that in Florida. So, I don't even know how to say it. But the dry needling, like if you do those and you mix him with really good adjustment, then you're, you're almost offering this unique selling proposition in your community that people are going to love.
Mark: Oh yeah, absolutely mean. I think you're right. Like as you know, I don't know how MPI is, you know, today with like their students and stuff. I haven't been to a seminar in there with students in the past couple of years. But you know, that being said, it's like back in the day it was like it was a dust verse and all this other stuff second. Then I hope that that that trend continues because it seemed like, Oh I’m Berks & McKinsey and I’m Berkson.. That's great. Don't forget bro. Like you need to build a movement thing that you need to move. [20:05.2]
Kevin: And that's nice. Yeah, they still, I was actually at the sports symposium last year and I was impressed with the, the doctors there and the students there. It's still definitely based around the joint palpation and manipulation. Still going strong with that.
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Kevin: So let me ask you a question. What was the first MPI seminar, cause I know you and I went to a lot together, but what was the first one that you went to that was really that aha moment for you?
Mark: Yeah, man, that that's probably, no, I go back through and you, you gleaned so much information from all of them and then you say, well what was the one? And it's like man, if I had to pick a, we went to a disc one up in Chicago and there was all these different guys there. [21:32.4]
Dr. King was speaking and yeah, we went over MRIs, we went over rehab, we went over all this stuff. And I think it was the one that was like, okay, I see how I still have my Keystone for manipulation. I still see where that, that starts the treatment. And I could see the whole progression like boom and I'd do this and then I add the rehab and then we do the core strength thing and then I get them like court stuff. And then that was just a thing where I could see like the dominoes falling. Like this is how I take all this information that these knuckleheads are giving to me. And now I start sticking it together. And I would say that was the one where I really, you know, kind of felt that whole line. Okay, this is why; this is why I went to school. [22:14.9]
This is why I'm here. This is, you know, this makes sense to me. I'm very much, it's gotta make sense to me. And if in my brain did, I can't like say, well I did a B result and you know, now I'm going to see this down the road. Like if I can't connect those dots, just no, not how my brain works, it doesn't make me happy.
Kevin: Awesome. Yeah, that was a great one. I definitely attended that and learned a ton. All right, so next question I got for you. What was your favorite memory of being at a MPI seminar?
Mark: I don't know about, at the seminar. Best memory I have just with MPI knuckleheads was when you and I were with Dr. King when Mark smashed the teetotal crap on the window of his apartment and you and I did everything we could to not piss our pants and that would be my all-time favorite moment. Even that same day like you and I were there and you remember we were all ordering drinks at the turn. [23:11.3]
Mark: And you know, we're, we're all looking cause Dr. Seaman was there and we ordered like, we're all like, Oh crap man, you know, we'd better better get water and all this stuff. But I don’t think I have had a glass of water since then. But hey, who, and we all looked at him cause he was maybe Seaman was the last one to place his order, right? He looked at us and he ordered a Coke and we all fell out. It was hilarious.
Kevin: Yeah. It's so funny because we were, we were pretty young clinically. We were definitely doctors at that point. And that was down in Daytona beach, Florida.
Mark: Yeah. We were teaching the, it was a MPI golf.
Kevin: Yeah, we did the MPI golf where we instructed on that and it was you, me and then, and then Mark and David Seaman playing golf. And it's that same round that happened when, when the thing I remember about Mark hit me in the window. Who is, he held the finish so perfectly. [24:09.6]
Mark: Oh Man…
Kevin: It's, so, I was just in Las Vegas at Parker Vegas and the three of us spoke me, Mark King and David Seaman. And we had dinner together with Brett Winchester. And both of those stories actually got told because when we were having dinner, the person who ate the most bread at that dinner was David Seaman
Mark: Of course.
Kevin: And Brett was like, what are you doing man?
Mark: Like, who are you?
Kevin: So I told that story of him having the Coke at the, at the turn of the, when we were playing golf.
Mark: Oh Yeah.
Kevin: That was great.
Mark: Just the way he looked at us. Like he kept like looking around. No one's ever going to mind us, like pins and needles, like when Is this guy gonna order?
Kevin: Not to blow up his spot too much. He, he doesn't do it often, but he says he's human so he's going to do it ever so often.
Mark: Not it was totally hilarious. [25:03.5]
Kevin: Awesome. So let's wrap this up. This is great man. I really appreciate your time. But what piece of advice do you have for chiropractor who's just kinda starting out, you know, whether it's working for a practice or starting their own, what, what would you just give them a, a little piece of information?
Mark: Yeah, I think, you know, like we touched on earlier, it's the skill set for me. You know, I always felt like I don't have this like great business mind, super tech savvy. That's just not me. I just felt like my interview, there's always going forward, just trying to be good clinically. You know? And I feel like if these guys and gals that come out of school, like clinically, they're sharp, they trust their instincts, they're good with their hands. I mean you're going to be good. Like does that mean you need to own your own practice? I don't know. That's not for everybody. I mean hundreds upon thousands of amazing chiropractors that don't own their own business, you know. Some people just don't want the headache of yeah, no, my staff is going to show and what am I going to do if she's sick or whatever. Like some people don't and there's nothing wrong that. [26:05.4]
It doesn't, it doesn't mean that you still don’t need to strive to be like super charged clinically because as a profession, I mean that's what, that's what we want. We want all these sharp minded people out there providing great service and we're not just a part of the healthcare like community. But like she'd be like a staple. We should be like the gold standard when people have musculoskeletal pain. Man I don't need to sit here and wait two weeks to get in with my orthopedist to tell me I need a refill on my Mobic. It's like you need to get your butt in here, you know? And if you're not good clinically, like most of them, then what’s the point. What are you doing? You’re a technician at that point. I mean you're just rolling people through. You're not treating anybody, you know?
Mark: So I would say that would be my only advice, you know, just be, be true to yourself and like listen to people too. Cause sometimes man, I don't treat people. I might just listen to them a little bit and then I, yeah, I say I don't treat them like I do treat them, but sometimes people do it need to talk and sometimes dude, they're talking, you pick up stuff and use it. Ooh, you know what? Maybe instead of, you know, doing the tone of soft tissue work on this person and they're having some kind of fibromyalgia issue. [27:10.8]
Maybe I'm just going to back off a little bit and do a little bit more rehab stuff. You know and all that comes through just being a good Doc and you know, cause you're a great doctor, sometimes you just have to trust your gut and you know, expand upon your skillset that you have and yeah, they'll do great.
Kevin: Yeah, that's the foundation being good clinically. And, and you know, there's a few other aspects, you mentioned a couple of them, but I think the other thing that you're, you have in spades is communication. I think that's a big thing that the young docs need to work on. Whether they have it inherently, I, you kinda had it inherently, but I'm sure you've improved. But the communication is huge, as well and, and I think you don't give yourself enough credit, but you're pretty good at business as far as not doing anything to dumb. Right?
Mark: Yeah. I don't know. But to me education is huge, you know what I mean? Like, like I told you earlier, I'm true to myself. Like, I'm just saying, dude, whether you know, I'm in treatment room one or treatment room two, but I'm going to have a completely different conversation with that welder guy in treatment room one versus Granny in treatment room two you know? [28:14.89]
Kevin: Yep. Yeah.
Mark: And it doesn't mean you're putting on some kind of fake frog. It just means you just have to know your audience, man, know your audience. And that's huge.
Kevin: And I think it helps clinically. Right?
Mark: Oh its huge.
Kevin: Like would you say communicating appropriately or effectively with, with someone in kind of meeting them where they're at, like you said, will help with your outcomes also?
Mark: I think that's, that's a huge thing man. Like other people that have worked here or like people shadow me. Like that's something I bring up all the time. It's like, dude, you just meet me. And patients where they're at, you know, they're always bringing stuff to the table that we don't know about, but you know, just try to be a good listener. Like when I shut that door, like I'm not worried about, what I'm going to order it for lunch or whatever. It's like, man, I've got in my office, I've got like 10 to 15 minutes where I like, my focus is right there, six feet in front of me and whatever my hands are doing. Like that's my focus. Yeah, no and they pick up on that. They know if they're just being run through the mail and you know, whenever you treat people like that, you look up and mixing, you know your schedule is full and you've got a waiting list and it doesn't take a practice management company to figure that out. [29:21.3]
Kevin: No, I agree with you. I think a, that's a big thing that people forget and you, you kind of touched on it, but being present is what you were essentially saying.
Kevin: I think a lot of times, a lot of times we got our mind somewhere else even though we're talking to that patient and then they just went on for a minute and you forget exactly what they said to you because you weren't paying it to,
Mark: You don't have clue. Yeah.
Kevin: Cool man. Well listen, always good catching up with you. I really appreciate your time.
Mark: Likewise man
Kevin: I appreciate the story about Mark King, we all love those.
Mark: Oh man, I just wish I had it on film.
Kevin: Oh, you know, if that was in today's day and age, there wouldn't be a chance that would be on a film right now.
Kevin: Hey, have a good, have a good weekend. Everything. Tell Stacy I said hello and we'll talk again soon.
Mark: That's cool man. Thanks buddy, I really appreciate it.
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