Are your habits holding you and your medical practice back? By making a few simple changes, you could see big results. James Schramko of Super Fast Business and author of Work Less Make More joins Matt Coffy to give his keys to adopting successful habits and a winning mindset.
Matt: I am so fortunate to have James Schramko on and he’s one of my, I say mentor, a friend, someone I’ve worked with time and time. Actually this has been I think maybe a fourth year I’ve been in your membership with your capabilities to help. And we’re talking about the work less make more book which just came out by the way I won’t have you hold it up because I’ll hold it up because I have. Now well done that. But there’s this other book that’s going to be like this medical marketing book that’s coming across which will go out next month from me. So maybe one day we’ll do the reverse right. So it’s a really good book. It’s very dense and it really does not have a bit of fluff in it which I thank you James is so many people have you know oodles of not necessarily not necessarily content that just doesn’t make any sense but yours is Gentz. And for our audience today we’re kind of talking about a lot of the folks that we market to which are the medical community. So I wanted to just ask you a lot of success stories in your book. It’s really about habit changing. Can you talk a little bit about that being that your, I would say sort of like an uber marketing guy. I mean you’re in lots of spaces there’s lots of success stories that you’ve provided people with. Can you talk a little bit about that and why sort of your book is talking about the habits that really do create different winning strategies.
James: Well I think that regardless of what market you’re in a lot of the fundamentals won’t change. So working with people in different industries I have everyone from probably Australia’s leading plastic surgeon right through to a guy who sells clothes lines online. But the strategy still applies in most cases the business will go as well as it can to the extent that the business owner is capable of being available to set that up and then to sustain that business. Most businesses have substantial merit are going to have more than one person in it. So we go beyond the solar printer because you can’t get to a certain income threshold without a team and then there’s the whole marketing strategy a lot of businesses are still doing it the hard way they might sell so one time services where they could perhaps have a recurring business model they sometimes get paid after they do the work instead of before they do the work. So there are a lot of counter-intuitive ideas that I put forward that would help the average business owner and that will apply to most businesses and there’ll be occasionally a little bit of a caveat perhaps someone’s in the industry where their government regulation or their control by monopoly but even then as the business owner the practitioner can still make sure we get appropriate sleep, that we have good routines, that we have an effective way of making decisions as to which projects we should pursue more and which ones we should pursue less and all of those things are the topics in the book.
Matt: You know one of the things I realised in the book and I was reading it through again for the second time because I’m a double reader I see a lot of Jay Abrahams in there and I don’t know if that just just by the fact that you’ve sort of you know that’s part of your DNA that I see the formula strategy and now it’s like hey if you take a piece of service or a piece of something you multiply it by you know X meaning it might be the cost or profit and there’s always formulas that can you talk a little bit about that because to me I think those really set up people to understand how really small hinges swing big doors and that’s a huge statement because I’ve learned it myself and I’ve tried to teach practitioners especially in the medical space that one of the things you can do is really really look at what you’re trying to accomplish by converting the people that are the right people and not chasing down the wrong people which don’t end up to be good sales opportunities for especially in the medical space there’s so much demand. And you have to be careful because you end up kind of in this space where people want not patients but they want qualified patients. And it’s just the biggest difference if you can get them filtered.
James: Yes so first on the Jay Abraham thing he’s definitely been an influence on me. One of the early books that really shook my mind out of the normal sort of progression. And I credit him in the book as well as other people who I drew from. But if you like over the last 20 years or so I’ve been collecting ideas from everyone from Peter Drucker through to Dan Kennedy Jay Abraham and Gary Halvard somewhere along the way there and I do speak to Jay Abraham on the phone sometimes. He is highly intelligent and has a lot of creativity and he shared with me some of the notes that he had from his own workshops that he never published which was very kind. But I will say that I’ve put my own ideas into this but I think the profit formula you’re talking about is it’s it’s not well-known by businesses. It’s astounding because it’s such a simple formula. And I certainly didn’t invent it. But what you’re talking about with the small hinges swing big doors. I saw that in high volume business that I used to run were one business I was running was doing around about 100 million dollars a year in revenue and the other arm was doing about 50 million dollars a year in revenue. And we did small things like when someone came in for to service their Mercedes-Benz we would offer to replace the batteries in their remote control. And if you add up if you do if you seeing twenty five vehicles per day. So five days a week then that’s up 100 per week times fifty two weeks. Now you start to look at 5200 potential offers there and H batteries I think there were like 10 nullas h so you can actually add a huge amount of bottom line profit to your business by having one simple system of offering people to upgrade batteries or just doing it and putting it in the invoice which is another way that people used to approach this so that there has to be opportunities. And I know if anyone’s ever been to a chiropractor or that type of health practitioner the good ones will actually have a system where they sit down and do a diagnostic consult and then they will recommend a schedule of visits that includes quite a lot of frequency. I mean pretty much if you go in there once they are going to be subscribing you for life to two Zitz frequent appointments so continue to sit the next appointment they’ll send you alerts to remind you to go to the appointment. Same with the dentist or here we have skincare clinics because we all get skin cancer. They will chase you up if you don’t come in for a while. And this is part of that frequency of the same customer spending more money with that business over the lifetime of the Customer.
Matt: Yeah I have a secondary question for you. I’ve noticed your happiness has gone up by 10000 percent recently. So just curious you know it seems like it’s been like you’re you’re one of those guys it’s very you know lot almost very large. You know to a point where it’s like okay you’re going to basically there’s no fluff it’s right to the point. And I’ve noticed that your level of enthusiasm has changed and I think it’s there’s a couple of reasons I just want to ask you a couple questions I know we’re off the beaten path but I’m just curious. You’re smiling a lot more and I think it’s because a lot of this stuff is coming out that you know this book is out there’s a lot of like I think visibility and I don’t think that needs to be necessarily out there as you know think for you to be happy about but to me I think it’s the fact that you are actually changing a lot of people’s attitudes and lives and you’re sort of seeing it come back you know the book is out there became a bestseller right away. I bet you dollars to doughnuts that I think you’re finally striding into that spot where I’ve always seen it which is that you are one of those guys who’s up around that sort of again going back to the habits like helping people change their their paradigm in their life. And I think that’s a critical element. This is not about just business anymore it’s about you know you’ve you’ve changed to a surfing lifestyle you’ve changed into a different family environment I think the whole thing is positive it’s really interesting because obviously you know over the last four years and I’ve been like wow like James like super happy like what is going on like he’s not he’s like smile at every interview it’s like. I think it’s different like maybe it’s just because you’re sleeping more. That’s part of the book right.
James: Yeah it is. You know I have documented my journey. Thanks for the feedback. Definitely surfing has changed my life. There’s no question about that because it does a lot of things. It means you want to eat you don’t stack on weight. You definitely feel hot at the end of the day and it’s it’s challenging. I think it actually keeps you younger and could potentially reverse aging but a long way from when I was going into an office and working long days and then going home and working long nights. So yes I get better sleep I have better food I’ve got fantastic customers around me have helped with health and nutrition advice because a lot of the people that I attract them into things like DNA and other sorts of leading-edge science that that is now being picked up by traditional medical people. And then I did dedicate the book to my kids because I wanted to be able to hand them a book and say Look he’s he’s everything I’ve learned and it’s kind of a recipe for you to quickstart whatever you do in the next phase of your life and they’re at that formative age where it’s the right time for them to have a book like this and I’m getting good response from them. So I think that the third part of that is just life of having to have gone through all the boxes of files and reflect on the experiences that I had all the way through and to interview some of those customers and to get those case studies. It’s tremendously satisfying to know that your stuff actually works and to be able to sort of a book and that chapter of my life and say look here’s my introductory. This is where I’ve been up to the point and I really do feel like I’m doing my very best work now. I mean I’m personally coaching somewhere in the region of 500 people concurrently and my brain is at the best point that it’s ever been on I can remember things clearly can solve problems quickly. And this feeling in my zone I guess you’d call it or flow.
Matt: Yeah that’s a good point. So this is my kind of parallel. Right. So we go and work with health practitioners and where we go see them there and it’s like despair like they don’t have they don’t have good patient flow. They don’t have like even a plan. In fact, I talked to a practitioner today and they said you know we just can’t get our Google our site to come up. I’m like well you can take the no index tag off of your site that might help to start with. But I mean it’s like that was just a joke for anybody who’s in web development. But you know your strategy and your process and the enthusiasm and all that stuff that you’re creating for all these other people I get it because I see it. And then when we go see practitioners there is such a hard line in the sand of trying to get them to believe in themselves as even part of the process. That’s why I think the habits and the strategy about you know why are people afraid. And I almost see like this happening all the time when we finally do work with someone who lets us you know put the put the pedal down and you know really do a marketing campaign like a full campaign. It’s enormous that changes in their attitudes. The spile. But it’s hard for us to explain that even though we could give them logistical and emotional all the stuff you could put a big ball and say it’s all going to happen. But there’s still this level of I think anxiety that most people have.
James: I do think that most of the stuff I’m doing is working on mindset and it’s probably a lot of it revolves around people’s capacity to deal with change. There is a lot going on around people at the moment especially in your country you have a lot of political turmoil or instability I’m not sure what you’d call it. It’s kind of crazy it’s like a reality TV show playing out every day you just don’t know what’s going to happen next and it takes a lot of attention from people. And we only have a finite amount of energy that we can put to something. I think when someone comes along making suggestions that is likely to involve financial and energy investment they not just be tired. It might be like Yeah we’ll put that to the side tomorrow and in the next budget or whatever like nothing great ever came from just putting something aside that it doesn’t work that way. Like you really have to go and chop the Timba and put it in the stack and light it before you enjoy the heat. So I talked about in the book about my struggle in the beginning you know on the way through to where I’m at now and there is just that face way you’re going to have to deal with a bit of extra work or a bit of extra energy as you get over the hump and on the other side of it though. It’s like you have to pinch yourself and think it’s real big because I’ve been living a different life for the last nine years since I quit a corporate job that as you said I’ve been able to help other people get into that position too. And the fact is that it is rarefied atmosphere. Not all business owners would do it. And I would say actually celebrate that. When you find that resistance so that push against doing it know that that is that is the edge that is holding your competitor back from crossing the line. So if you persevered past that then you’ll start to enjoy things that other people don’t enjoy. And your life can be counterintuitive and it can actually be successful.
And I think you mentioned something there which is that the value of time that I’m really interested in talking about which is where your strategy has always been for like you’re you’re right. So that’s a big term in your space and I think that’s what happens is that they get so concerned especially because they’re so squished their time is so squished down. They think that if there’s more stuff happening that that means they’re going to have a lower charge. And I’m talking about basically an hour an hour per rate estimate. But I think what ends up happening is that if you actually do it right you’re not losing out on like that time you’re actually gaining time and that’s the big question that I was going to have for you in the book you go through that quite a bit. And I think it’s really cool that how that works.
James: Will it be like turn if you want to hop on an airplane and fly to London tonight. You could try. Just going to the airport and buying a ticket and seeing if they’ll let you on the plane without a passport. Or you could just spend you know 30 minutes preparing at home like go and get your passport pack a bag book a flight and then call Uber. Then it’s going to run much easier through the rest of the process. You’ll turn up. They’ll take your passport or give you a ticket. You walk onto the plane you’ll get off at the other end. So a little bit of prep work goes a long way when it comes to the setup. And you know I really challenge a business owner who says they’re too busy. I mean we’re dealing with a finite measurement that every other person on the planet is dealing with. And there’s no special allowance. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t get 50 hours in a day. We all get 24. I would say the person responsible for you being so busy is you. And that’s where I’ve given some tools and ideas on how you could change their routines with schedules with eliminating activities that are completely useless from your agenda and then asking people to help you with the things that you shouldn’t be doing. We don’t want to do all that you’re not even that good at. I mean it’s amazing how many high-level entrepreneurial types still sitting at a desk going through their receipts with a shoe box to try and do their accounting when there’s more than enough talent out there people who are happy to do that for a fairly low cost.
Matt: And perfectly timed with what I want to ask you about next which is looking at this sort of outsourcing your time. So again going back to let’s go back to making people happier right at the end of the day we can make people more money but are you happier right. And I say if you can have more time in your life to do things you want to do. And we’ve even had some of the practitioners leave their practice because they’re so successful they gasp but they’ve outsourced themselves right. And so now there’s someone that has taken on the role of right and they can they can go do something else that they’ve always wanted to do. And I I really want to talk about this about outsourcing stuff of course. You know it leads into you know us as being a help for these practitioners to give them you know the marketing sort of back up and become a marketing department for them but for what you see in the outsourcing of activity what do you think is the first step someone should think about doing when they think about this sort of like becoming less involved in every piece of the world that they’re engaged in.
James: Well the first step I think is document what it is that you’re actually doing. That’s the starting point. And it can be can be simple as having a blank pad and writing down what you’re doing and then make a decision later like a week later or a month later which of these things you keep doing that you’d rather not do anymore.
And it could literally be as simple as I don’t want to load the dishwasher anymore I don’t want to cook anymore or I don’t want to mow the lawn anymore or it might be I don’t want to clean the windows in my office. I don’t want to do the bookkeeping. And you progressively start to find other people to do the tasks that you just don’t want to do anymore. And they’ll also be tasks that if you reflect upon or score in using them effectively right measurement that I talk about that are not actually worth doing. Some practitioners might have products or services that are not even profitable like you might say you have. Maybe you were opening on Saturday is a half day and not many people come and you have to pay so much in overtime that it sort of balances out and you could actually re-educate your customers to come you know at 6:00 in the morning or 7:00 in the morning during a weekday instead because they still have a job for example. So I would challenge you to have a look at everything that you’re doing and question it and say Is this still relevant. Do I want to do this? So most of my process is just documenting what I do and handing it to other people. And in your case in particular there’s no way that a higher level marketing person is going to be tooling around on their Web site or creating editing or writing content beyond any level of getting it out into a dictaphone and they should not be doing that stuff in the next stage is they might say oh I’ll just hire a marketing graduate. You know they’re going to get a pimply young kid straight out of university who probably knows how to use Facebook and Instagram as a consumer, but like it or not they don’t have a chance competing to an old guy like you like me. You’ve been in the industry.
Matt: You know I got some gray hair.
James: But you must be you’ve got to be at least 20 years older than a university graduate and you’ve been in the trenches. So I mean I ran a service business for seven or eight years serving customers like the businesses that you serve. And you know we were at the leading edge of what was possible and there was no competition for us when it came to people trying to do this in-house. So there are services that you should not try and bring into your own business that you just go and see a specialist in say unless you’re a very large company they’re going to be doing the same with their accounting, their legal, potentially design. These are functions that you go and see a specialist for. You don’t try and do it in-house and you definitely don’t do it yourself.
Matt: So two more questions. And again thank you for jumping on this podcast. I’m super excited to have you here again. Every moment we spent together I want to see if I can ask good questions so that our audience gets a good value out of this podcast. Three things are three things I think about three things you can do for your business. One is to be relevant, right. One of the biggest challenges we face in this space is just being a real company with real good value and provide that to your patient base. The second thing I think is really looking at the segmentation and setting up your segments in your office that you’re going after that make the most sense. Like you said before these a lot of these practitioners are way over doing what they should be doing it just focusing on the things like core profit elements and then focus, right, focus on delivering simple processes to get those people through the patient journey. So any anything you want to talk about that I mean cause that to me is like 1 2 3, The first thing I talk to any practitioner about.
James: I would say put yourself in a patient’s shoes because that’s that’s you know the one thing that that I’ve noticed the difference between some medical organizations and thankfully I’m not dealing with them very often as a consumer. But occasionally when I do like if go for skin checkup or a dentist checkup you know some of them have really good protocols and systems. So as a minimum the goal is to identify of all the products and services that you are offering. Which one’s really good at that are very profitable for your business that you have a reputation or some kind of distinction or you can stand out for. Focus on that and put a spotlight on that and then help people from the first time they contact you, which you have a big say in, By the way, to quickly find the right product or service and then to step them through the journey from wherever they’re at from whether they’re whether they are there. So whether they I don’t even know they have a problem. And in the end you have to attract them want to they know they have a problem and they know you’re the solution. So you basically want to deal with the different types of customers that you could be certain you know certainly to bring to your practice. So you can create the piece of content that you get asked all the time like you know is such and such right for me know it’s current practice, is a chiropractor right for me if I have a bad back, you know you can write these or create these things that help people and instruct them. And a great thing to do is case studies and to document things that have already happened so customers can relate to that person think oh I’m just like that. So I trust that these people can help me. But the really important stuff is to make it easy for people to contact you. And when they do contact you make it easy for them to progress through your system which means having a telephone script for your receptionist instead of just running with a lottery like maybe they’ll answer it. And that you would like them to have a system that despite the person operating it will still follow up.
Matt: Yeah. That’s, by the way, thank you for saying that. That is one of the most critical elements that we try and say to people is that you’re only as good as the person who answers the phone really at the end of the day.
That’s it. I know some marketing companies, I mean I’ve got lots of customers who are in a similar situation to you and don’t work with a company to drive them traffic or do their marketing until and unless they do training with the reception staff because that’s where the pipe breaks you could be the world’s greatest marketing agency and you send that lead to a phone that doesn’t get answered or gets a sloppy service, then you’re just wasting money and it’s not long until the customer says “hey turn it off, turn it off. We’re not getting any conversions. Nothing will beat the direct response sales of a human on the phone or face to face. So anything you can do to create the best possible pathway is going to help that. So in my case, the way that I’ve dealt with this is on the very homepage of my website at superfastbusiness.com. I asked people a few questions and from the answers, it moves them to the part of my website that is relevant to them and it takes all the other options off the table. So that helps with the focus because there are fewer things to focus on. Like hey, we found your solution. This is the next step.
James: It’s very prescriptive.
Matt: And we try and administer that as well to a lot of the practitioners with having a pain management or pain indicator tool in the front, so people can just get on with their day and especially if you know anything about the U.S. culture, they’re usually driving on their phone in the middle of the highway and using their thumb to make this decision while they’re looking at a billboard or something.
Matt: So one last question and then we’ll wrap it up and thank you again. I want to talk about the opposite. What about self-doubt? Now, I work with a lot of different personalities, a lot of really skilled people I mean like these people are rock stars. They are literally like the top of the top. We’ve got some of the highest level spine surgeons in the country, you know running departments of spines. We’ve got some of the best-med spa people. At the end of the day, I always say Let’s get the podcast going, ou should be doing because video, inevitably just turns into sort of fud. Right. It just disappears. And I really do think that people have self-doubt in their abilities and they really underestimate their capabilities. And I’ve been through this myself because I’ve had some experiences this year which you’re aware of, where I’ve just blown away. if you just make a little bit effort how things tipped the scales and that if you get around that self-doubt.
It’s amazing because the human capabilities and the ability to move things beyond your vision is just there and can you just talk a little bit about that?
James: It’s really interested me because it’s our mindset is really the compass that will guide you. Firstly it’s normal. We all have it and expect anything that’s foreign to what it is that you know to get to the level you are talking about for some of the customers, they’ve probably been at university for like 12 years or something like that. A lot a lot of study they get they get into that clique and it’s a very strong train track, so you start talking about things that are out of this sphere of comfort, that’s going to have some resistance. So I actually interviewed a coach to a world champion surfer. He gave me a great acronym it’s called NAT. But he said it’s normal. We should expect it, accept it and then tidy up. So whenever you get a little obstacle, just say “hey you know I was I was expecting this. This is part of the journey”. It’s a lot like a car that you buy from the car lot. It’s going to come with factory settings and the engine is not going to be revving as hard as it could rev because they’ll they’re limited with the chip to make sure that it lasts a long time and doesn’t give you any service trouble, but you can take it around the corner and have that ship reprogrammed and the car is capable of a lot more performance than you realize as the owner. So you take off some of that safety margin and that’s what we need to do. Like this part here. Professor Hewa Gleason talks about our neck top computer, we can rewire it. It’s totally able to be changed so I would say build up confidence with small wins. Just start something, take a risky step in a controlled environment and get the win and then bank the win and then take a big next step and then a big next step. So if I were in your shoes trying to help someone to be a better version of themselves I’d focus on helping them see where they’re at now. Seeing if there’s a better version of themselves that they could imagine and would like to be and then work out what the logical steps would be to move down that path
James: But just the first step, whatever that would be. Just start with that and it might be in your case, as simple as just having someone in your team interview the expert and then take it document it. Transcribe it, clean it up, illustrate it and turn that into perhaps a written post and then start submitting that to the right places and if that gets some traction and starts making a phone call, I imagine your expert might be more interested in doing the next thing you know you might work them all up to a book and TV slot on Oprah or whatever. That would be the ultimate. I don’t think they’re going to start there.
Matt: That’s great, and thank you for being with me today. James Schramko, get this book. Don’t read it, read it twice like I did.
James: The double read.
Matt: Yes and don’t underline because everything in here, there’s no reason because it’s all underlined. The whole thing should just be underlined.
James: You’ll be using a lot of pen.
Matt: Yes everything in here is important. So you don’t have to underline. It’s all good.
So again James obviously I can do your outro for you. You can find James at superfastbusiness.com. He has probably about what 500 podcasts now. They’re all excellent. Lots of great guests. Everybody you know in the marketing industry, but most importantly he’s one of the guys that you’re going to want to listen to over time because of his words of wisdom and pickup throughout all of these people, he kind of picks it up as like putting your hand in a pot of honey. You just pull it out and it sticks to you. Like all these people you’ve spoken with, all these experts, you keep repeating and mashing it into your own vernacular. So thank you again for coming to James. Anything any other things that you would like to say that I didn’t ask you or should have asked you?
James: No, I wanted to say thank you for being a member of my community and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for your clients. If I help you and you help your clients, that’s great leverage and you’re doing a terrific thing there. So keep powering.
Matt: Alright, thank you. James.