Growing a Cash Practice as an Introvert with Dr. Reid Nelles

Founder of Minnesota Movement

Dr. Reid Nelles’ one true goal in his practice is to bring patients from pain and ailment to quality performance. He firmly believes that every patient’s needs are different. By integrating specific full-body chiropractic adjustments with manual muscle therapy, functional rehabilitation or corrective exercises, kinesiology tape, and nutritional recommendations distinct to your situation he is able to provide the most effective and efficient strategy for his patients.

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Episode Transcript

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Hey, smart Chiropractor, Dr. Jeff Langmaid here with my co-host, Dr. Jason Deitch, and today’s featured guest is an awesome guy, you might have seen him on the road teaching. Maybe you’re familiar with this practice, Dr. Reid Ellis at Minnesota Movement. And he also teaches all around the country and perhaps around the world at this point. But Reid, how are you doing? Thanks for taking some time, man.

Dr. Reid Nelles: Yeah, of course. Thanks for having me. I’m thrilled to be a part of this. Talk to both you guys and share whatever. Whatever I can share is the goal here.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: So well, our our pleasure and I’m going to kick it off with the question. I know I just alluded to it. You have a practice and your and on the road instructor, online instructor and I know there’s so many docs out there that have an interest in maybe doing more than one thing. How do you think of it? How did you get started? I’d love to trace back a little bit of that origin story.

Dr. Reid Nelles: You’re digging deep here. So origin story was so what Jeff is alluding to here. Those may not know or probably don’t know is I teach with rock tape, which is owned by M Plus. M Plus also owns skills and trigger points, so three different companies that I teach for skills, trigger point, and rock tape. The genesis of that is I actually worked on in Colorado for a number of years, four years, five years and through that got closer to the medical director at the time. Still with the company, Steve Capobianco, so educational director, now medical director then, through meeting him and starting conversations with him. Just awesome, dude. If you guys ever get the chance to meet Kappel, he’s he’s the nicest Canadian guy you could ever meet, right? He offered me a job to teach and I was like, Awesome. Yeah, this is great. But I’m moving back to Minnesota. So I started my clinic up here, Minnesota movement, as he mentioned, and it worked out well to use it as a supplemental income, right? And I think to get further into your question is why did that happen? I always knew I liked teaching and I didn’t really know what I grew up in a coaching world. I coached, I’d say semiprofessional, but professional snowboarding for a little while after I dropped out of that for my career and I knew I liked the education component.

Dr. Reid Nelles: The aspect of the supplemental income allowed me to practice how I wanted to practice. I see athletes here, and that means anybody from a weekend warrior to a.k.a. 5k kind of person to marathoner or elite athlete. I’ve seen NFL, professional golfers, NHL, MLB, MLS, Olympians, a myriad of different people and high school athletes and tee ball kids too, right? So everybody is an athlete in my eyes. But how that allowed me to market myself with that supplemental income so that I could I could see who exactly I wanted to see if that makes sense versus anybody with a spine, right? And I think being the best provider in your area for this specific niche that you want to hone in on comes with seeing that specific niche if you’re, you know, fearful of going to work on Monday because like, oh, I’ve got this 80 year old that she makes great pies, but like all she does is talk about her grandkids and you hate talking to that person, like you’re not going to enjoy work, you’re not going to be the best provider for that person. And so for me, being able to see exactly the people that I want to see who give me energy and I look forward to Mondays, that educational side has just allowed me to do so and expanded my knowledge and questioning of everything we do.

Dr. Jason Deitch: I love your story. And one of the things I’d love for you to highlight a little bit more is, Jeff and I teach Chiropractor the concept of generating monthly recurring revenue in order to be able to, as as we say it, afford to tell the truth. I’d love for you to dig deeper into exactly that concept when you say, you know, I’ve got another revenue coming in so that I can work with the people I most want to work with. I try to communicate that in a whole variety of different ways, but I’d love for you to share your experience. There is, you know, the emotions of not having to accept everybody who comes to you for whatever they want from you. And the desperation that I know we all know many chiropractors live with practice with because they don’t kind of figure out, how do I get my finances straight so that I can work with the people I choose to work with? And I can not have to accept those people that for whatever reason, you know, don’t get you thrilled and excited to do what you do. Could you go deeper in that in sort of the emotions? And for those that may not be doing it that way, sort of the value and the benefit that you get to experience by sort of thinking that way?

Dr. Reid Nelles: Yeah, absolutely. I think I said it slightly best earlier is that I legitimately get excited to go to work on Mondays or Sunday night leading into Monday, right? Like that emotion allows me to be me. I’m wearing a sweatshirt and a T-shirt underneath and camouflage joggers right now. That’s how I dress when I come to work, and that allows me to see patients who are OK with that. It puts some people off, but those people I wouldn’t see anyways, and I think I can’t remember where I heard this, but somewhere along the lines of some people give you energy, or in this case, some patients give you energy and some just suck it straight out of you, right? If you’re dealing with a nine to five job. Adjust adjusted just five minutes, you know, in every single patient, just sucks more and more energy out of you, that’s exhausted. By the end of the day. I’m craving more patients because I get to see who I like to see. So I think speaking to the emotion of that, I mean, when you can fill your own cup and every single patient gives you more energy and you’re just taking stealing it from them, really? I think that’s a beautiful place to be. And again, I’m super passionate about what I do and the education side of not only teaching, continuing education courses and some of my own courses, but also educating the patients that I work with. And when they can actually latch on to that and buy into that and get excited about that because sometimes the research is not fun to get excited about, that makes me happy, you know, they’re invested into it. And not that this is part of the question, but maybe this is important to bring up. I’m a cash based practice, so I think it’s important that when people pay, they pay attention. And I want to see people who are legitimately craving the help and assistance that I may offer may offer versus just showing up because their deductibles met or whatever it is.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: That’s it. That is a great. I know Jason is going to have a follow up on that, but I’m going to I’m going to get one in between here because you brought up so many interesting points there. But one of them that I want to touch on is, you know, regarding you and I when every time we’ve spoken, we’ve been like, Man, we’re, you know, we’re kind of all introverts in this, you know, extroverted space. And we even talked about it before we came on today. As somebody who’s out there, you’re shooting video, you’re getting in front of people, you’re coaching and training other chiropractors, you’ve got patients in your practice. And I think there’s a lot of chiropractors, myself included yourself, that you know, are and might be a little more introverted by nature, I guess, you know, how do you overcome it? What are some of the strategies, you know, how have you seen that just sort of work out over the course of your career? It’s something I don’t think is talked about very often.

Dr. Reid Nelles: Yeah, I think it’s actually best to go back to like when I was a kid to answer this, I’ve always been picked on by like my brother and now my wife back when we were even dating like every girlfriend I’ve ever had, I guess could say that due for always being a yes man and like as much of an introvert as I am, I realize like saying no to everything that scares you is a very dangerous place to be because you’re never going to learn and grow and create opportunity or even explore an opportunity. So I’m a notorious yes man. You shot me an email after our conversation a month or so ago and you’re like, Hey, man, I’d love to talk more about this. I’m like, Yep, yep, I don’t know what he’s asking, but yes, yes, I’ll do whatever you want. Yes. And now what? To get more close to the answer to your question is what that gets sometimes is chaos. And what I found is chunking, both my personality and when I have to be an extrovert or get to be an extrovert, I should say, versus need to be an introvert and get to myself in chunking that appropriately as appropriately as I can with two kids in a practice and teaching and a whole house renovation and all that stuff.

Dr. Reid Nelles: I legitimately block off time every Tuesday morning. I’m off until noon, right? 11 o’clock or noon, depending on how I feel, what I want to get done that day. Every Friday, I’m off at two o’clock so I can go home and spend time with my kids, go up to the cabin travel, do whatever I want, right? And so I think blocking off those times for you is really important so that both personally and professionally, you get to focus on you and your personality. I get to go walk in the woods and do nothing and stare at a blank wall or go fishing or biking, hiking, doing whatever I want to do. And then professionally, I mean, I block off time to do admin stuff. I block off time to do content and block off time to do create courses and do that.

Dr. Jason Deitch: So, you know, read you, I guess. Coincidentally, said one of Jeff and I’s newfound favorite sayings, which is people have to pay in order for them to pay attention. That was just an expensive lesson that took me decades to understand and is somewhat contrarian to the idea of even being a Chiropractor. You’re like, Well, you’ve got a spine. I got hands. Let’s do this thing, you know? You know, you don’t have to have major dollars and major overhead and cost of goods and all that stuff. But there is something super valuable. Congrats for learning it early on in your career. You’re younger than I am. Help people understand really the spirit of that because we all know the overwhelming majority of chiropractors. You know, they hear cash practice. That’s crazy. How could you be so nuts? People only want to use their insurance. They, you know, they have all these beliefs and they have a mindset about it. What what lesson did you learn or what got you over the hump to kind of recognize that, you know, the people that do best are the people that are actually invested in their own success? Hell of a concept, but. Was Chiropractor as used to? Was there a lesson or how did you get there? How did you get the lesson?

Dr. Reid Nelles: You’re not going to like this answer, but I’ve never taken insurance. Through my internships I just saw and again, you’re not going to like this portion of the answer. I’m very selectively lazy. I’ll call it right. I do not want to do more paperwork than what’s necessary. Patient notes I do what’s necessary right. And most of my patient notes are more for me that I know exactly what I did last time so we can progress and load and get to different exercises and steps with the ongoing care plan. The thought of doing insurance and having somebody else dictate what the patient and person in front of me specifically needs with or without a real diagnosis. Because most I mean up to depending on which research you want to follow up to eighty five percent of what people feel as a symptom is what we call unexplained medical symptoms, a.k.a. it’s not a fracture, it’s not AIDS, it’s not COVID. It doesn’t have a diagnosis, right? It’s not a strain sprain. Anything who was there to take after those people, when insurance says, Hey, it’s not a diagnosis, it’s lombelga. It’s like right. That still should warrant more than six visits a year or whatever their plan covers, right? I guess a lot of things. I’ve never take insurance again, partially because of laziness. The other side of this is, you know, when you pay attention, if anybody kind of combats me on that, well, you’re you’re leaving money on the table and say, Well, how’s your compliance? Like, what do you mean? Like when you tell somebody to do something at home foam roll, do a simple stretch, and it doesn’t have to be, you guys…

Dr. Reid Nelles: Follow me on Instagram like a big, elaborate exercise with weights and loads and bands and things like that, it doesn’t have to be a big and elaborate, but it’s a simple like median nerve stretch. What’s your compliance on that? They’re like, Well, you know, most people don’t do it like, Well, why is that? They’re just lazy. They don’t. They don’t want to do it. I’m like, That’s your fault. As the provider, you didn’t do a good enough job and spend enough time educating them on the importance of that stretch or exercise, or drink more water or take a walk. It’s up to the provider to educate and empower the individual that’s in front of you on a specific, tailored basis so that their compliance goes through the roof. Because if we’re doing a good job at our job, I should be seeing less and less people, not more and more people. Now, thankfully knock on wood like job security wise. But that’s not the case because people are always getting tweaks and injures injuries and things like that, but that is a goal.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: There’s an important part part of that that you brought up that I’d love to explore a little deeper and that’s around the concept of, you know, basically exploration, you know what I mean, as a provider and tying the benefits to the the reality and The SMART Chiropractor, we talk about this because it’s like cervical radiculopathy doesn’t mean anything to anybody except for doctors. But is my arm pain coming from my neck matters to everybody that has arm or neck pain, right? So there’s there’s a tie there that’s benefit driven. So that’s one portion sort of of what I’m asking. But the other and you talked about this and before we hopped on was really your own, you know, exploration, obviously. I think, you know, all of us improve as communicators, as time went on, time goes on and you’ve brought up so many key points of communication, you know, as we’ve just discussed over the last 10 to 15 minutes here. But how have you evolved your own communication of tying the benefit of the care that you’re providing to what a patients presenting with and their understanding level? How do you conceptualize that? What’s maybe a takeaway or two for a doc out there? Who knows they’re not doing as well as they could currently with that?

Dr. Reid Nelles: Uh, I think the big thing, like any Chiropractor, whether it’s your technique or your communication or your flow or your office layout, like if we look back five years ago, we were all idiots, right? If I look back a month ago, I was dumber than I am now, right? And that’s that’s important to acknowledge because we should all be getting better. The reason we call it Payday Practice, not fact or anything else, right? So it’s a Chiropractic practice. We’re all practicing the. Derivative of how I learned my communication skills, I’m a very brash individual, and I started realizing that the way I was coming across to patients and I’m still brash with my patients and clients, just it was forcing it down their throat, you know, drinking from a fire hose kind of thing, just telling them to do stuff and not really listening to them. And as cliche as it gets, you know, we should always listen. We have two years in one mouth. We obviously listen more than we speak. One of the pivotal moments and thoughts for me, leaning even more into the communication side of things. There was a cool study came out, I think, two or three years ago, and I was looking at medical doctors and how soon they interrupt a patient on their new new patient exam as they start to explain their symptoms and from memory, like sometimes as low as six seconds into the person talking about their shoulder pain or radiculopathy in your example, like before the patient or before the doctor was like, OK, well, do you feel like this and start to interrupt? It’s like asking a lot of open ended questions.

Dr. Reid Nelles: One of my favorite being, if somebody comes in with, let’s say, run of the mill chronic, insidious, low back pain, I say, What can’t you do? What do you mean? Like, I can’t underwater basket weave? I’m like, No, no, no. Like, what’s your low back pain limiting you from? If it’s a squat boom, let’s look at a squat. That’s our first assessment. If it’s playing with your kids, let’s get down to the floor and roll around a little bit like it helps guide our assessment and make things real to their goals. If we’re not, if our goals don’t match their goals, we’re missing a giant part of the boat.

Dr. Jason Deitch: That is awesome. And one hundred percent, right, and I guess you’d mentioned following you on Instagram earlier. How do you use these tools to sort of help people understand sort of you use them to get more new people to become aware of you? Do you use it as a tool for those clients who are already there to stay up on new ideas and things, you know, stretches and different things you’re teaching? How do you most use it most effectively and how do you recommend other Chiropractor to use it?

Dr. Reid Nelles: Not how I recommend other Chiropractor use it if you want a game like a following and the Instagram Famous or YouTube famous or anything like you to. I used Instagram and YouTube as a library, so when I recommend an exercise, I always email it with a video description, rep set scheme or time if that’s the time under tension for the goal of progression. So any time I show somebody a stretch or exercise or foam rolling tactic or anything in clinic, there’s always a video that attaches with that, especially if it’s very confusing. So any time I’m dreaming up new stuff or see new stuff or learn new stuff as far as movement patterns go, I film it, and usually it’s specific to one person like, Hey, I want you lighting up your VMO. Like this? Another person I want in split stands. Another person to want down in a lunge. Another person I want dual stand. You know, there’s many different varieties of that. Each one goes on to YouTube or Instagram gets a nice little caption and then that goes into a link to be able to send out. So really, it’s it’s just a library for me to to file and sort all this stuff. And then I have a cool little spreadsheet and document on my computer that I get to like, what did I name that exercise? Oh yeah, that’s what it’s called. It’s isometric VMO stance, blah blah blah. So then we look that up and send it off an email, but it’s really about like what you guys are doing automation. The faster I can just copy paste that exercise, maybe change a little bit of the time under tension, maybe change the rep sets, adding left instead of right, those kind of things. It takes me five minutes to send off those emails. So.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: That is a that’s a great creative way to use

Dr. Reid Nelles: It, not necessarily automated, but still manual, but it’s at least easier for me.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Yeah, I think it’s I think that’s a great creative way and probably stimulated a few ideas and people listen and tune in in. Last question for you. I want to be respectful of time here is I know you are going to be on the road and online a bunch throughout this year. What are some of those courses that you’re looking forward to that you kind of have in the can and the queue or are going to be coming out soon so docs can keep an eye out for what you’re up to over the course of this year?

Dr. Reid Nelles: So going in timeline chronologically this weekend, I don’t know when you guys are. This is live or getting released, but this weekend I’m teaching a rock blades course, which is our rock tapes ASTM course, fantastic course. Getting into how to use tools more neurologically. So if we can upregulate the brain and increase sympathetic tone or inhibit that so that we can increase parasympathetic tone, right? Talking a lot more about getting outside the box and novel approaches in literature and research of how we can utilize these tools to the person in front of you. So that course is webcast this weekend. Aside from that, soon I just got an email this morning that hopefully in the next couple of days here, I created a shoulder core, so it’s assessing and addressing shoulder injuries for rotational athletes. It’s a mouthful, but it’s very niche into rotational athletes throwing, kicking, punching, which kicking, punching and boxing or MMA. I mean, a lot of athletes are rotational or have a rotational component to them. That course covers everything from assessing the shoulders, both local Uruguayans, Hawkins and Kennedy empty and all that fun stuff, as well as global. So what the thoracic spine is helping with or hindering with what the hip may be helping or hindering with and where we might get compensation victim versus culprit joints kind of thing. That course is being released on FMT Plus, as well as Pepsi has a smaller version of that course. So Pepsi is a continuing education company based out of Wisconsin. That’s all, not all. They host a lot of content online. Fast. Fantastic resource, as well as S20 Plus and then down the pipeline. We have a or I have a hip course coming out again, assessing and addressing hip injuries, mostly looking at the fine balance that the ball and socket hip joint needs of adequate mobility so we can get to a range and stability so it can be powerful or efficient within that range.

Dr. Reid Nelles: So I’m really excited. I’m right in the middle of creating that course that should be out March, April ish and then some continuing education accreditation after that. So maybe a couple of months after that. But aside from that, on the road with rock tape and trigger point and skills, what I’m excited about, I don’t know when my next live course is. I’m sure it’s in the next couple of weeks. Here I’ll be. I’ll be going somewhere. Maybe Ohio, I think, might be up next for Appleton, Wisconsin. I can’t remember, but I’m really excited about what that is. I just got back from Mexico and we were talking about a lot of our coursework with with the team is this performance specialist course. So the performance specialist is a the course is a great resource for concepts. And I think a lot of people like I’m a very heavily exercise and movement based Chiropractor. I prescribe or recommend a lot of exercises. A lot of people get restricted, a lot of chiropractors get restricted from that because they fear giving the wrong thing and that there has to be a protocol or a right way to do things. And I think that course is fantastic at opening up the conversation to say there’s no wrong way. There’s just varying degrees of right and giving that person or the provider an allowance to say like, Hey, here’s an idea to run with it. Just fit, fit that mold. Make things better. There’s no wrong way to do that, and I think it’s going to open up a lot of opportunities for providers that choose to take that course.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: That’s awesome, Reid. I really appreciate. We really appreciate you coming on chatting things down. We’re going encourage everybody listening and watching. Be sure to check out Minnesota movement and also follow Reid online and definitely check out his courses. I peeked in on a few of them, and they’re absolutely awesome. So keep up the great work. Thanks for taking some time and coming on and chatting with us today. Reid really appreciate it.

Dr. Reid Nelles: Thank you, gentlemen.

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