Always Look For The Story Behind The Metrics — I am an emotional person by nature and emotion can drive you in the wrong direction in business. I have found that metrics are the grounding force to finding the right “Why” when problem-solving. If you look for the story behind the metrics, the answer to your problem is nearby.
As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brandon Seigel. Brandon is an internationally known business coach and president of Wellness Works Management Partners. He currently manages multiple private practices and consults with entrepreneurs and private practices throughout the world. A recognized leader in today’s private practice environment, he is a frequent keynote speaker and trainer for organizations, associations, and universities.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
Throughout my entire childhood, my parents told me that I was destined to be extremely successful in business because of my communication skills, work ethic, creativity, and ultimately the empathy that I channeled for helping others. After several years of successfully managing workforces, supporting entrepreneurs, and building business divisions, I continued to question my purpose and professional journey. I truly believe in divine intervention and feel my purpose that led me to today was truly that. It was at the intersect of marrying my wife that a major game changer occurred but truly was not able to recognize it until after the fact.
About two months before my wedding, my mother-in-law reached out to me to see if I would be interested in helping her grow her private practice. My mother-in-law was an Occupational Therapist with a thriving interdisciplinary business model, but there were some challenges that she faced and invited me to consider the opportunity. I was hesitant at first as I grew up with parents that owned a business but ultimately the opportunity to support the family while embarking on a new purpose-driven professional journey was exciting to me. This was one of my first journeys in transforming a private practice business model. I had a ton of experience in transforming other service-oriented business models, but this was my initial journey in the healthcare and education sector. Over the course of ten years, we had multiple businesses ranging from a 7,500 sq. ft. outpatient therapy clinic to school-based programs to early intervention and home health agencies. Approximately six years into my journey with my mother-in-law, I had to make some bold and powerful pivots that many employees did not embrace or understand, but fortunately, my mother-in-law believed in my vision. I saw trends shifting in the industry and made a pivot to shift our model in multiple ways with a quality over quantity vision. This resulted in a major positive shift inclusive of an increase in clinical outcomes, employee engagement, patient satisfaction, and the business building on a foundation that would lead for it to continue to thrive and not just survive. The success that I found in transforming my mother-in-law’s practice took me on a journey to speak around the country, guest lecture at Universities, and ultimately resulted in me consulting to small businesses, private practices, family businesses, and purpose-driven entrepreneurs throughout the world. It was at this point that I put my pen to paper and was inspired to write my new book, The Private Practice Survival Guide: A Journey to Unlock Your Freedom to Success (Rebel Press, February 5, 2019) which covers the essential how-to questions of opening a successful private practice.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
One of the most interesting experiences throughout my career has been seeing the way that healthcare is delivered throughout the world. I have the privilege of consulting and problem solving for private practices throughout the United States as well as other parts of the world. I think it is interesting to see that the entire world has a shared disappointment in their own healthcare system, but many times I find that everyone has the “grass is greener” on the other side mentality which limits our progress in change. I live in the United States and find that there is a unanimous growing frustration with our current healthcare infrastructure. I come across many that believe socialized medicine is the answer, but then I go to Canada or Israel or other parts of the world and find that many are disappointed with the bureaucracy of their healthcare systems and the length of wait it takes to get healthcare even in extreme circumstances. We are trying to solve multiple problems and grouping them into one vision. When breaking down our disappointment, the root of our needs is that we are seeking solutions from our healthcare infrastructure that improves affordability, accessibility, and quality of care but have not figured out the means to deliver that.
Throughout my journey, it has led me to recognize that one of the contributors to our current challenges in our healthcare infrastructure is that society is not aligned with shared goals, expectations, and understanding of the repercussions of each different type of model. The one agreement that society shares is a growing disappointment in the current infrastructure, but that is truly the easy way out. I kind of refer to this as the “Yelp Effect,” it is easier to complain and voice disappointment then to acknowledge the positive attributes at the same time and create proactive strategies for improvement. Throughout my journey, I have definitely recognized many flaws in our healthcare infrastructure but my hope is through strategic problem solving, creative business models, and unifying a vision for change, we can strategically improve our healthcare infrastructure. One of my goals as a purpose-driven entrepreneur is to support private practices throughout the world in building a business model that is driven on greater healthcare outcomes, experience, affordability, and ultimately empowering a condition for others of thriving in an environment where many are barely surviving.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I was starting out in supporting private practices, one of my funniest mistakes was my pronunciation of certain medical terminology. As my purpose and consulting practice has grown, I have added all new types of private practices. Unfortunately, I am not as well versed on the medical dictionary and have utilized wrong pronunciations and terminology at times during staff and leadership meetings which definitely creates laughter from the physicians, clinicians, and other staff members when speaking. The lesson that I have learned from all of this is that I actually ask my clients for a list of terminology that I may come across and should practice pronunciations in advance of staff meetings, etc. I tend to practice my staff speeches now in the bathroom and utilize a pronunciation dictionary for any words that are foreign to me. As the saying goes, “it is all in the details.” These little details make a difference and have embraced each mistake with a passion for learning from it and growing!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
The recent release of my book, The Private Practice Survival Guide: A Journey to Unlock Your Freedom to Success (Rebel Press, February 5, 2019) is definitely one of the most exciting projects right now. I also have launched a new podcast series named after my book. The podcast, “The Private Practice Survival Guide with Brandon Seigel” is now available on Itunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Xceptional Ed, and more! I just launched my own personal website, www.brandonseigel.com and then I am excited about all the new clients I am supporting throughout the world via www.wellnessworksmp.com
What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e., perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?
I think one habit that contributed most to me becoming a great writer is dedication. When I commit to something, I am truly dedicated. I find that people are often surprised by me because once I set my mind to something, it is pretty hard to stop me. A personal example of this is my own personal health and well being. I made a “life choice” over ten years ago to eat gluten-free and am extremely dedicated. I don’t stray away from that commitment etc. In terms of writing a book, I was dedicated to getting it done and made a commitment to myself, so I make the time necessary to deliver what I am committed to. I hit all my publishers deadlines and made sure that I had no excuses, etc. Overall, I think being great at anything takes dedication, and therefore, I am thankful for embodying that habit.
Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?
One of the stories that I share in my book is a real-life story about an office manager who was not supportive of having a private practice consultant come into the practice at first. She was extremely defensive and afraid of change. Upon my first visit, I recognized that she was extremely content with the way the practice operated despite numerous inefficiencies. From handwritten ledger books to a library full of binders with handwritten notes, the operations of this practice was suffering, and she ultimately was working harder instead of smarter but had challenges recognizing it. After my first onsite visit, I was able to build her trust through small gradients of positive change in which she ultimately bought into the change that I wanted to create. In six months, we transformed the practices entire operating basis. We implemented new systems, efficiency metrics, communication channels, and a whole new way of holding each member of the team accountable. The results are in, and the practice has not only unlocked over 20% additional time to work on new projects because of the improved efficiency, but the revenue has grown exponentially as a result.
What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?
One of the most empowering lessons that I want readers to take away after finishing my book is that running a successful private practice is possible. Often private practice owners run before they crawl, and my book, “The Private Practice Survival Guide,” delivers ten core competencies that every private practice owner should know regardless of the phase of their business. From refining your entrepreneurial vision to building a successful payer mix to making your metrics matter, I believe that this book will empower purpose-driven entrepreneurs to create the little changes that make a big difference!
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming a bestselling author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?
I think the biggest challenge that I faced in my journey of becoming a published author is that I am truly a perfectionist. I had an extremely hard time writing my book because I wanted to edit each paragraph after I wrote it. I could not get out of my head and have so much to say, but truly my type A personality limited me initially. It was not until my publisher told me just to let go and provided me the confidence to be in the moment that I was able to reach my true authentic voice as an author.
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
I draw inspiration from all kinds of literature. As a child, I fell in love with Shakespeare. I was surrounded by theatre since I was able to crawl, so that was my first influence in storytelling. Growing up, I was also drawn to motivational messages and books that take you on a journey. My all-time favorite book is “The Catcher In The Rye” by J.D. Salinger. As an adult, I love to read motivational nonfiction books with a message. One of my favorite books that I have read in recent years is “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together And Others Don’t” by Simon Sinek. Overall, I look for a book that is driven by stories but packs a punch when it comes to a motivational message.
How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?
My hope is that my writing can unlock strategies to empower purpose-driven entrepreneurs to build business models that matter and are making a difference with the ultimate goal of changing our world in a positive way!
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?
I would recommend that they follow their dream. It is a huge commitment but so rewarding. I am a third-generation published author, and seeing my book in stores has transformed the way that I tap into my dedication. I recommend that you follow your dream, set your goal, write every day, and know that your words have power, and ultimately anything is possible with dedication.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Here are the 5 things I wish someone told me when I first started:
1. Believe In Yourself — I think that my natural tendency to be a perfectionist created barriers and wish that I had a mentor that instilled the confidence to believe in myself from the onset.
2. Look, Don’t Listen — Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I have found that everyone wants to share a story or give you advice. I have found that the “proof is in the pudding” — you must look and not just listen.
3. Not Everyone Is Going To Like You — I am a people pleaser, and the more I try to please others, the deeper the rabbit hole goes. Accepting that not everyone is going to like you is an essential lesson.
4. This Is A Marathon Not A Race — As an ambitious person, I am so focused on finishing the race that I often don’t enjoy the journey. This is a marathon, and pacing yourself is everything.
5. Always Look For The Story Behind The Metrics — I am an emotional person by nature and emotion can drive you in the wrong direction in business. I have found that metrics are the grounding force to finding the right “Why” when problem-solving. If you look for the story behind the metrics, the answer to your problem is nearby.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would start a movement around changing the way commercial insurance payors impact our healthcare infrastructure. My movement would be driven on transparent communication and understanding for all. The goal would be that anyone that needs healthcare would have the ability to understand the cost for their care upfront and coverage guarantees. This movement would also include ensuring that healthcare providers are guaranteed payment for services and that the ultimate goal for our healthcare infrastructure is creating an opportunity to deliver quality care, accessibility, and affordability in a transparent way but also in a free market environment.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Readers can follow me:
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandonseigel/
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!