The inside word on physio business coaching

Here’s what you get when you work with me

Me.

As simple as that.

I want to talk to you about the business coaching movement in physiotherapy, as it is a massive passion of mine.

Personally I have been working with coaches since 2008. I started working with coaches after the GFC when I infamously lost around $150k in a high risk investment. Until then I never realised the value of my business.

My early business coaches were Paul Wright and Anthony Capiaghi in 2008 and 2009. At this time in the world of physio business coaching Paul’s main focus was marketing, and Anthony’s main focus when I worked with him was on plugging the holes in my business’ internal systems.

Back in these early days I remember also having a couple of coaching calls with Tristan Bond, who was working for Anthony in his earlier days as a business coach.

There was another guy kicking round at the time by the name of Adam Gibson – I attended a couple of his events and his brand of education was similar to Paul and Anthony.

My early coaching experience with Paul, Anthony and Tristan was that these guys had good solutions to common practice problems (eg physio clinics not enough patients due to limited and poor quality marketing, and patients not “buying in” to treatment plans etc) but I was a poor student, and had not evolved enough mentally to implement most of what they taught me.

Another symptom I quickly discovered was, despite having a team, I was implementing all of the work and my team didn’t want a bar of it. This was a bit depressing at the time, but it didn’t stop me working harder!

From these guys I moved on to learn from Michael Ridgway, who wasn’t so much a business coach but was the highest charging physio in Australia – at the time his rates were around $800 an hour so I figured he was onto something. Michael taught me to value myself more which was particularly helpful.

In around 2011 and 2012 I decided consciously to move away from coaches who were physios as I sensed I needed to address some of the issues I felt that were holding me back – my mindset. And no one in the physio industry I felt was doing this with any level of focus.

This was around the time that I decided to step it up. I started to attend more 2 day business events – you know, the kinds of events that come across your facebook feed.

I attended events like T Harv Eker’s “Millionaire Mindset Intensive”, Actioncoach workshops with my soon-to-be longest serving business coach, multi speaker events with people like Tony Robbins, Dr John Demartini and some of the US business coaches and mindset experts.

Often after these seminars I had more questions than answers, but they definitely stimulated my mindset and made me question where I was going in life, what was important to me, and most importantly, what was holding me back. This was the biggest breakthrough I was having from 2011 until around 2014, and my business made big strides – our team more than doubling during this time, adding 50% to our revenue, buying our new and exciting future clinic premises, and me making some big decisions to move away from property and shares as a wealth tool and go “all in” on business. I sold 2 investment properties during this time – both at a considerable loss (enough to make me fall apart 5-6 years earlier) but I didn’t bat an eyelid as I knew they weren’t my future.

I can’t remember the exact years but I think it was some times between 2012 and 2013 I become obsessed with leadership. I attended one of Jason Smith’s roadshows in Brisbane and got hooked on his “Iceberg Leadership” series of seminars, attending all 4 stages of Iceberg in a 2 year period. Jason inspired me and taught me how far I had to come as a leader, while also showing me how possible it was for me to make this evolution.

I learned alongside his Franchisees, whom I identified with strongly, as we were on similar paths and had so much in common. I saw many of these people just recently and the relationships we have are only getting stronger (and the banter is great too – I bet many of them wish they lived in QLD, at least for half the year!).

Once 2013 rolled around thanks to Iceberg, Jason and the other Back In Motion franchisees I felt like I had big momentum in terms of my mindset.

I took another step up and joined a 9 month programme called “Key Person of Influence (KPI)”. This was a real game changer for me, as although KPI was all about building my personal brand and I had issues reconciling how this would fit with my clinic’s evolution, I now realise it was preparing me to create Ultimate Physio.

KPI was a real game changer – I learned how to differentiate what I do from others, I learned how to write books and structure my ideas into a curriculum to offer maximum value to others, and I learned the value of creating partnerships.

In business coaching terms the next steps for me in 2014-2015 were to hire some high value marketing consultants to really blow up my clinic. I worked with Kerry Fitzgibbon (facebook), my first Google Adwords consultant, and Michael Griffiths (the Referral Marketing Guru) to get our clinic chock full of patients.

This worked well, and each strategy had it’s benefits and shortfalls.

But my issue was now finding and keeping our team members.

The most important step in my coaching journey was engaging my longest serving business coach (Brad from Actioncoach) in mid 2014. I was mates with him and scummed free info off him from 2008 until 2014 but decided to stump up the $2k per month to work with him 1 on 1.

This was when I did my true growing – as a leader, mentor, business owner, but most importantly as a human being.

I had always had tendencies towards ADHD, impatience and frustration. Working with Brad helped me temper these emotions and put them in context. I worked with Brad in combination with a Psychologist who specialised in high performing professional people, and from 2014 until 2018 I build myself into a leader.

Last year I went to “Unleash the Power Within” – a 4 day Tony Robbins event. We walked on fire, jumped around screaming, laughed, cried and went deep within our brains. It was an intense and thoroughly enjoyable experience – but for the skeptics reading this I would steer away from it for now, at least until you open your mind a bit more.

There were 2 more pieces of the puzzle.

The first was upskilling my leaders in my clinic. I handed the reins with Brad over to Ruth, and had Ruth also learn from some of the current best practice leaders in business coaching – Paul Wright and Clinic Mastery to name a couple, Ruth enjoyed their weekend courses and this definitely helped with her growth.

The second was learning from someone who had built a business like Ultimate Physio – but someone who was 5-6 years’ ahead of me.

This led me to my current coach – one of the founders of Key Person of Influence. I have been with him for a year, and he is helping me to turn Ultimate Physio into a global business helping turn physio clinic owners into leaders.

We set a goal in May 2018 to help transform the lives of 1000 Aussie physio clinic owners within 10 years through building the industry’s best curriculum and helping these clinic owners to change their lives and their businesses.

Throughout the journey about I reckon I have spent 5 hours’ a week – a total of 2500 hours over a 10 year period – working on my business.

I have invested over $250 000 on coaching, books, courses, consultants and business education.

I do not tell you this so you think I am some sort of guru – moreso to educate you to the fact that I know this industry back to front, and everything in between.

Even to the point of being able to tell you there is a guy in Australia who coaches all of the business coaches! I have attended some of his events, and my concern is that the coaches who coach with him are becoming too similar in their approaches.

I will tell you what I mean.

There is a big movement in coaching to become what coaching are calling “leveraged”. I refer back to the opening line of this blog. When you coach with me, you get me.

The best results I have had when I have coached is when I was 1:1 with my chosen coach, or in a small group focusing on a particular topic (called a “mastermind group”).

Here are some examples of “leveraged” coaching:

  1. The owner of the business is someone you don’t regularly see or hear from (even though you pay them)
  2. The events you attend are packed out rooms with hundreds of people in them. I am not saying this is bad, just highly leveraged
  3. The bulk of the content you are working on with the coach is “online programmes”
  4. You do not have the option in your package to call or email the coach personally
  5. There are multiple levels of communication between you (the client) and the coach
  6. The coach ends up having their most successful clients as coaches, who also coach you instead of the coach themselves. Again there is nothing wrong with this – it is just an example of how a coach can leverage through their best clients to you
  7. There is a very high use of technology – webinars, facebook lives, and downloadable content

There are upsides to being a client in a leveraged coaching programme.

It is normally a good place to start if you have never coached before.

The pricepoint tends to be lower than personalised, 1:1 coaching.

You tend to form good connections with other clients of the coaching company at your same level of evolution in your business.

I will tell you one thing that really gets up my nose about leveraged coaching, which inspired me to write this section of this blog.

In leveraged coaching, there is a 100% chance that people get left behind.

The top 10% of coaching clients are superstars (they are the ones you see in the testimonial videos), the middle of the group achieve more than they could have on their own (but not as much as the stars), and the bottom 10% of people either struggle or feel like “coaching isn’t for me”. What reality is is that this style of learning isn’t for them – not coaching specifically.

So having coached with so many of Australia’s most recognised coaches, both physio and non physio, and attending events of some of the world’s leading minds, here is what I have kept in mind with my coaching material:

Credibility – I really only have credibility when it comes to physio clinic owners – I am not an expert in “allied health” businesses, only physio clinics. As this is all I have done.

Results – to get the best results,  I needed to change as a person. I needed to create an environment that was most conducive to me making the level of evolution in my thinking and action. This looks like elements from leveraged coaching, but making sure clinic owners don’t get “left behind”.

I realised early on that I didn’t want to run events where there were hundreds of people in the room, where I ran up onto the stage to music, jumped around and acted like a goose. This isn’t me. I do love Tony Robbins, but this is his style, not mine.

There is a place for big events – but it really is to introduce concepts, not to try and teach intensively and change behaviour. Again I can’t do what Tony does (yet).

Connection – most of my clients coach because of me. They want the results I got. And they want to learn from me.

My 9 month “Build the Ultimate Physio Clinic” programme is a combination of:

  1. Small group 2 day mastermind events – live events with no more than 20 clinic owners, where I teach my curriculum. We do 5 of these events, spaced 6 weekly. The 5 areas are Mindset, Strategy, Marketing, Team and System.
  2. Accountability – you work with an accountability buddy and group throughout the programme.
  3. Support webinars – between the workshops I run a live Q and A webinar to help you with any challenges you have.
  4. Here’s the real kicker – MY CLIENTS HAVE UNLIMITED ACCESS TO ME BY PHONE AND EMAIL. The interesting thing is I believe this works really well as I respect my clients’ desire to have access to me, and they also respect their relationship with me where they call me when they need help, and not just for the sake of it.

In the programme my main desire is to create the same business owner habits that it took me 10 years and $250k to create.

So far we are just over half way through the first beta testing programme with 11 clinic owners, and the next programme with 15 owners kicks off in mid July.

One of my biggest learnings so far is that it is virtually impossible to complete all of the material in the 9 month duration of the course – the course material will take you at least 2 years to complete, but the habits you build in the 9 months of the course will get you there.

This will be the only intake for 2019. It is not for everyone, here is what the ideal clinic owner to get the most from this programme looks like:

  • You have owned your clinic at least 3 years (or if not, you have more than 3 team members)
  • You are mature – generally aged over 30
  • You have a team (but they are underperforming)
  • You have suffered the loss of physios who leave your clinic, without you having been prepared for them to leave – and the ensuing stress this brings
  • You have a family who you want to spend more time with
  • You consider yourself to be a mature, salt of the earth type of person. You generally aren’t overly flashy or fancy, and you value results and substance over style and superficiality
  • You are a hard worker – you know that anything good takes time
  • You may have worked with other coaches and done quite well – but like me you wondered if there was a more personalised or more complete coaching option out there

For those of you who have any questions about the above, simply shoot me an email to Nick@ultimatephysio.com.au , and I will happily answer any questions you have about coaching.

Finally, I really don’t mind if you don’t want to coach with me. As long as you coach with someone, as my story above alludes to, you are making a good start and you will eventually find the coach that is best for you and whom you identify with most.

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