(I’m not yelling at you. All caps for emphasis!)

Hey Doc, Dr. Jonathan Hyslop here with NEA. You know, becoming a chiropractor has a serious barrier to entry. That is, one does not and cannot easily become a chiropractor. We must sacrifice years of our lives, remove ourselves from the workforce so we can attend chiropractic college, get ourselves involved in a mountain of student loan debt, and incur a ton of opportunity costs. And if you’re not sure what opportunity costs are, it is the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. In other words, you are overwhelmingly invested in becoming and being a chiropractor and going through the process; you must have a ton of faith that this is going to work out for you! I’m here to tell you that nearly every chiropractor I speak to on a weekly basis admits to having faith they will ‘make it’ in practice. Some lose their faith after a period due to a myriad of circumstances and barriers that occlude their success. Others strengthen their faith that they will still ‘make it’ in practice even though it’s been a hard road.

I think that believing in yourself is an absolute requirement for personal and professional success. I also think that blind faith without a definitive plan of action can lead to delusion, although you don’t need to have every step mapped out before you take action.

So, what’s the deal?! How do we move forward without deluding ourselves and gain certainty in the process? I believe the answer is in contextual frameworks based on resource expenditure and management.

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Allow me to explain: There are four main currencies or resources that we measure, track and improve upon in regards to their return on investment when I work with my clients. They are time, money, energy and happiness. Let’s face it, if you do not measure these finite resources or currencies — barriers that we all face — you’re not running your business in the most effective or efficient manner possible. But how do you know which strategy or tactic to use when one or more tactics or strategies you’re considering has a level of cost in each one of these categories? We use a formula to break everything down into numbers because, at the end of the day, the numbers NEVER lie. Using this formula we can predict with a great deal of certainty which route to choose based on the highest return on our investment of these finite resources.

We then run the process for a determined period, constantly trimming the fat, running lean and mean. During the time we are running the process, we have a system to measure, compare, quantify and improve. Without a system that keeps score in these four main areas, you are subject to the possibility of making the same mistakes and creating a perpetual ‘groundhog’s day’ of a practice for yourself.

Next, once we have clearly proven that the strategies and tactics we are using in our practice have the highest return on investment, are well organized and are proven to work, my members then create their own standard operating procedures in a format called a conversion cell. A conversion cell is in-house training that has been recorded to create standard operating procedures based on that particular practice’s data and experience with that tactic or strategy.

You see, THIS is the reason that most practices have a very difficult time, do not grow, and basically go belly-up.

They have not yet been taught a system to capitalize on the hard-won gains that have been made in practice, there is no system in place to measure, compare, quantify and improve, and SOPs are not being installed into the daily operations of the business. In other words, they have not been taught to operate their practice as a business. At best, they’ve tried to emulate and regurgitate what they see other chiros doing or what they’ve been taught to say or do by a consultant — something that might have been successful for them but isn’t necessarily transferrable.

Does that sound like a lot of work? Well, there’s work involved, but it’s the work that’s well worth doing! But in fact, we’ve already done the work of creating the system that allows you to process your practice in this manner, all you have to do is wrap your head around it, overcome a slight learning curve and you’re on your way.

What’s more difficult is not knowing where you are starting from, having hopes and dreams of ‘making it’ (no matter how you define that) and falling flat on your face, conjuring up more faith — enough to tell yourself that this time, or this consultant, or this program is going to be different! You rile yourself up, go for it again, and the same thing happens, only this time it’s hard to see yourself coming back to try again. Each time this happens, it takes a piece of your spirit away. It tarnishes a part of ourselves that needs to be protected. Not in the sense of getting a participation trophy when you lost, but protecting your willingness to get up and go for it again. That’s critical. However, THIS time — I want you to never say die BUT ALSO install, implement and practice — on a daily basis — the practice of running your business like a TRUE business. In NEA we track and measure 18 Essential Analytics. They are compared against client’s practices so we may see what’s possible. Those analytics are then quantified into four resources and finally, our done-for-you administrative framework allows for consistent improvement, i.e. increasing its ROI. The staff culture within your practice is one of meeting and beating quotas, staff camaraderie is high, and you have a well-oiled machine of a practice.

I hope this has helped you and of course, this is a very deep topic and discussion. I’d be glad to speak with you more about how our business system, especially our administrative frameworks can make an impact on your practice. If you’re interested in a discussion with me personally, you can book yourself in at

More private practice growth strategies…

This post has been adapted from the Nexus Executive Academy VLOG.


Dr. Jonathan Hyslop is a practice strategist and growth expert to chiropractors.

After a successful career as a practicing chiropractor owning multiple practices, Jonathan helps fellow chiropractors succeed in the areas of administrative strategy and management, marketing, sales, and stable scalability.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @nexusexecutive. We welcome your comments at