Dr. Misty Morris Interview
Hi, good morning.
So, tell the nice people who are watching our video what your name is and where you practice.
Okay, I’m Dr. Misty Morris and I practice in Northeast Ohio in Painesville area.
And Misty, we’ve known each other for a few years now and when we met the practice wasn’t what you wanted to be, what were some of the problems that you were experiencing?
We could never leave the practice we would try to go away for a family vacation, and we’d come back to just loads and loads of problems. We were at capacity. We were stuck, we weren’t going anywhere. With the hours that we wanted to work we weren’t able to see any more people. So, we were kind of in a little bit of a rut.
And so, if you’re in a rut like that, what’s the emotional consequence or impact on you and your husband.
Well, he was very frustrated. So that’s what prompted us to go to learn a little bit more about Five Star.
He knew that he couldn’t keep practicing at the level and the numbers that he was seeing to keep our family in the lifestyle that we liked. He went to learn a different way.
So, we got together, and we did some things and there have been a bunch of changes. Can you just give us the highlights of the changes?
Because that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Well, the big change is that we have learned a whole new system- helps so many people launch a career and it’s just been more than we could ever imagine.
And so, you also mentioned something about family time and not being able to get away, so it sounds to me like you guys are working a lot harder, is that how you did it or some other way?
Well, this is a funny story. We would go one week a year is all, pretty much and Brian would always talk us into leaving a day or two early because he knew what he was coming home to. Like the data figure it out and I’d say, ‘Oh we need to at least spend the week that we are coming’ and so now it’s not like that anymore and we’re not working harder we’re just working in a different way and we’ve trained associates in our system so that when we leave the practice, the practice runs smoothly and so we used to be lucky if we got one week a year off and also maybe took a weekend here or there, but now we’re able to take somewhere between four and six weeks of vacation a year without having it financially affect our practice.
So, let’s talk about maybe the financial highlights. You said you tripled your practice. So, you’re seeing three times the people but what about the collections, Is that kept up with the volume?
Yes, I had to think about it there. Absolutely yes, it has.
So well, that’s great. Now this is what we’re going to talk about. We’re going to talk about that journey that you went through.
So, let’s go back to the start- we met, and you came to a Five Star Management seminar, and I remember immediately liking you guys. What was your impression of what you found at Five Star?
I like that there was no cookie cutter version of success within Five Star.
So, the people that I was meeting some were upper cervical some were full spine, some had PI practices, some had cash practices and other management in the past, they had a model of what success was and if you didn’t do exactly everything you were really never going to grow your practice because there were only certain things you were ever going to implement.
So, we would do coaching in the past and we’d stay with him three years and then we weren’t going to do any more of what they recommended.
So, we stopped going.
Where with Five Star that wasn’t the case. You looked at what we wanted and helped us to formulate a plan to get there and that was totally different than any other coaching that we had ever done.
Now, I did make a recommendation that caused your husband to say to you ‘I think we’ve made a mistake in signing up with Five Star’ and that’s turned out to be the biggest benefit for you guys. Can you tell a little bit about that story and where that went?
Yeah! So, we started making changes in Five Star and you started working with us kind of seeing what our practice was like and you said ‘Wow, this is a practice worthy of replicating in someone else. Teaching these skills, mentoring somebody else, getting an associate.’ And we were like we’re never getting an associate because we had done associates the wrong way when I had Nikolas and Emily we had two practices so we would have to hire somebody to come and fill in while I had my whopping 3 to 4 weeks of maternity leave and it was a disaster.
We would always try to keep them on, and you know make it beneficial for both, but it never was, because it was a wrong system. It was our fault and we didn’t know how to successfully have associates.
And so, Nikolas and Emily are your firstborn and your second born, am I right?
Okay and so, Brian thought ‘Hey, we made a mistake.’ You guys had that conversation.
Right, he said if he keeps asking me about associates, I don’t think I want to continue and all of a sudden I think something clicked though with him and he thought I think I could do associates because it’s not the same way that we had done it before which was the wrong way, which was the salary and anything that our practice grew they got bonus on that so they never got bonus.
And then they were frustrated. We were frustrated. It was just a bad fit all around. So, this, in the win-win system that you taught us, we saw way that we could give back we could help somebody else to be successful and it worked out pretty good.
So, you see a way, you hope it works, you try. So, give me a couple of examples of associates that you have developed that have proven the win-win system to you.
Well, we had success with all of our associates that we’ve done the win-win system went. So, the first one, you know, you don’t really know what to expect. So, I laugh when I look at like what my associate manual is like then, it was probably 15 pages. Now, you know, as things come up your training gets better and we’ve been able to launch people a lot faster.
So, we the first person that we had he did a great job in the practice. He paid for what he brought in the first month.
I want to stop you right there. So, so many people tell me, ‘Noel. my associate, I pay him $60,000 a year and my net income has gone down by sixty thousand dollars a year and I used to love the practice and now I’m so frustrated and my associate just as ruined it for me and what you just said was that your associate made more money and now is that more money off your new patients, off your visits or how did that actually happen?
In the traditional system I think it was a big drain of money, but in the win-win system you teach them how to build their practice within your practice.
So, from day one, our associate was in the community meeting people doing events and cultivating his own practice while he also helped within our practice as our new patient assistant and adjusting our overflow when necessary.
So, with all those things he’s paying for himself, he’s giving you guys help in the practice.
And so that was great. Can you give me one or two other examples of other associates that you’ve developed? Because I know that you’ve had a number of very successful associate starts.
Well, our most exciting to date is our launch with Dr. Tim. We made a goal of getting him to a hundred visits in a hundred days and came up with a plan worked the plan and we were able to do that.
So, it was really exciting for him because I met him at a career fair so to tell them hey, I can you know, help give you the opportunity to be very successful and then to be able to actually see that come to fruition has been awesome.
So, these are skills and tools and concepts that you guys never had before Five Star in before we started our coaching.
Can you maybe list one or two or three of the different things that we’ve taught you that have allowed you and Brian to do this in your practice and with your associates?
Well, I think the most important thing that you taught was that you are the first associate. So, everything that you do you need to be able to replicate in any associate that you hire. So, we have taken everything that we do and made it into procedures and how to’s and there’s nothing in our practice
that’s personality driven. Anything that I say or Brian says is something that they can learn and make their own and we utilize help from Five Star with coming up that at the beginning then over time as things have evolved we’ve made that our own.
That’s the first thing and the second thing is how to launch them and we did something different to launch them than we’ve ever done for new patients.
So, I had never heard of a doing a massage event before and I never got a new patient from a massage event. So, we thought wow if we’re going to be doing this with associates, we might want to learn an entire new way to launch a practice. So, we use the New Patient Academy to do that and we learned how to do massage events with a community outreach assistant and add the associates do that and that’s how they start their practice.
Launching associates one to a hundred patient visits a week. What’s your busiest associates practice volume number one, and then number two your busiest associate’s actual collections for a year.
Do you know those numbers?
Yes, it’s funny but two of our associates do almost identical numbers. They both see around 180 a week. So somewhere between 175 and 195 a week and they generate somewhere around 350 a year for the practice.
And so, people would say how do you get them to do that? And are they happy? So we call this win-win how does the win-win manifest itself in the practice and why are they motivated to do the things that they need to do in order to be successful?
Well, Dr. Brian and I when we’re working with associates, it’s we’re here as a clinic director, but we’re also more importantly a member of their team.
So, when I’m in here working with them it’s really only for one reason which is to figure out where do they want to be and how can I help them to get there,
you know? Do I need to give them ideas? Do I need to give them resources? You know, what can we do to get you to where you want to be? So, there’s no me pushing them. It’s their being pulled by their own vision of what they want and what they want their practice to be, so we don’t try to fit, you know square pegs into round holes.
We’re looking to figure out what their strengths are and how can we get them to where they want to be which is you know; we all did this- became chiropractors because we want to help people so help them to figure out, you know, what’s the easiest way to launch their practice so that they can help as many people as possible.
Now, some people would say well, you know and makes me really nervous because if I totally empower and facilitate my associate success, they’re going to get up and leave as quickly as possible. Has that been your experience?
Never, no, because it’s they don’t have to deal with any of the stresses that you deal with as a clinic director.
They leave at the end of their week. They don’t even think about their practice until they’re coming back. So, it’s a sweet deal, they get to come in and do what most people would love to do in a practice which is just treat patients, do a great job and leave.
Now, they’re involved in their marketing though, aren’t they?
They generate their own new patients. So, they’re just they’re working on their practice. They’re not thinking about how to pay the lights or how to hire a front desk or you know workers comp insurance. So it’s the best of both worlds because I wish my whole life I made the amount of money that they make for the volume that they make because what happens is when you’re the business owner all of your extra money goes back into the business, back into the business where they actually get to take home what they generate, a percentage of that
A percentage of that. So, let me ask you this and you don’t need to give me specific numbers, but are you winning financially in having associates with you and your husband. Are you being taken advantage of or is it a win for you guys?
No, it’s win-win, yeah, and it’s just a delight to help people to reach their goals and help more people and it’s been a really great fit so thanks.
So, have you heard anything, comment or something an associate has told you that lets you know that they appreciate what they have found and how they’re being taken care of inside the win-win system? Can you think of any specifics?
Well, I mean, they’re all very happy because they love the fact that you know, I know with Dr. Rachel she has said that she always wants to work with us because she finds that she gets to come here, she gets to help patients, she has somebody else taking care of all the things she doesn’t want to worry about and you know, the amount of marketing that she does, she loves it. We figure out what they like, and we give them more of that. It really is just what it’s all them driven as far as how we launched their practice.
So, they make great money, you guys make great money that sounds like a win-win. You get the help that you’re looking for and taking care of regular visits and new patients. They get training in how to do that and so that sounds like win-win. You get the freedom that you’re looking for. So, help people, have fun, make money, everybody’s working inside the win-win system. It sounds great.
It is and you know you had asked about as far as them leaving and I think if somebody was with us a few years, learned the skill set and wanted to go open their own practice, we would be fine with that. You know, we had one person do that and we helped her and were friendly with her and we knew from day one that that was what she wanted.
So we like to keep the end in sight from the first day, you know, and I’m happy with developing a win-win associate that goes out into the community and keeps being very successful and what we do then when they leave is that those patients would go to the other associates, so it’s still a win-win.
So, let’s go back to the start, here we have a husband and wife practicing together. You’re at capacity. You’re frustrated. You think that it’s just work like this and go through short little crummy vacations and three-day weekend trips away and then all of this change what has happened to your attitude- yours and Brian’s attitude toward the practice since you’ve installed the win-win?
It’s given us a whole other skillset that we’ve been cultivating. So, it’s been so fun, so exciting. We’re happier to be at work today than we were 20 years ago and it’s been a great fit for our practice for our team. It’s really, you know, we have more energy than anybody starting the day because you can never have a bad day when you have associates that are here, you know, looking at how you practice you don’t have the luxury of that.
So, it really has brought out our A-Game in all things.
You know, somebody might say, you know my experience with associates maybe was like your previous experience with associates. They’re demotivated, they don’t do what you ask them to do, they become a drain on the practice. What would you say to that doctor who would like to believe your story?
What do you think they should do if they wanted to find out more?
I think that the old model is broken. Associates have been taken advantage of. Clinic owners have you know not treated them as well as they should have. It was just a kind of a bad system to begin with where they really were never going to get ahead.
So, I think there’s a better way and it really isn’t hard. It is very fulfilling, and it really can help with getting you where you want to be which is contributing to the profession contributing to your community and there’s plenty of people doing the win-win system and they’re doing amazing and it’s because of the system. It’s not all the talent of the clinic owners. It’s a great system that works well for everyone.
I would call, you Noel and find out how to do it and it’s a progression I think too, you know, just like anything new. When you add something new, there’s a learning curve with that and when you’re completely focused on that and you have a path you have a system, you have support it’s not a huge risk, you know, I think that’s probably the biggest misconception is oh, what a huge risk it is to bring in an associate. When you do it in the win-win way, you are there elbow to elbow, teaching them, mentoring them along all the steps that there isn’t a risk anymore because they’re there with you learning exactly how you do things.
We did a special training for you and Brian where you guys both participated. It’s called the clinic director empowerment project. Was that helpful for you guys?
Yes, because what that did was it took all of the steps of having an associate and you came up with the procedures and the assignments ahead of time so that when you do have an associate you already have all the materials.
What was nice, not to chea,t but we had a lot of it and we could just tweak it and update it and it worked out really really well.
So, there you were, now you used to have 15 pages in your associate manual.
How many pages do you have today? That many pages?
A lot. today we’re training on marketing and that alone is probably 12 pages. So yeah.
So, somebody’s a little bit nervous and they’re thinking I’d love to do this, I’m close. What little encouragement could you give that person about what they’re going to find if they try win-win associates.
I think that the biggest, you know, we all want to give back in life. We all want that significance of legacy and you have no idea what you’re missing out on if you don’t try to help somebody else and new chiropractors right now, they’re coming out of school with two and three hundred thousand dollars of debt. They don’t know what to do. They’re scared. They’re looking to just take a job like at the VA where they’re guaranteed their 60,000 a year and they never really learn how to be a chiropractor.
So, I think that it’s our- I hate to use the word duty, that’s a terrible word, but really, we should all feel like we need to give back, you know, and teach somebody the little gems that we’ve learned over all these years and how to do that over time and it really is not a huge risk. It’s not a huge time commitment as far as teaching an associate, you’re already doing the work.
So basically, what you do is you just have to get yourself a little bit more organized, get some training procedures, which is what Five Star helps you to do and as long as you have a good intention, which is to help more people, have lots of fun and be successful and help others to be successful you’re going to do awesome at it.
Great, great, great, so Misty, I want you to end with this statement- My name is Misty Morris, and I approve this message.
My name is Misty Morris and I approve this message.