Ep #20: Sharing OUR Personal Story

In this *most* requested episode, Dr. Nick & Dr. Nicole share with you how they “walk the walk” as entrepreneurs. As the two talk through their journey opening a practice – the good, the bad, the humble struggle – they also share their learnings and growing pains. 

“Everything that we do is results driven, to add more value.” - Dr. Nick

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Noteworthy Time Stamps:

4:44 “Stay in your lane”

7:30 How they opened their practice differently

10:25 The real & humble struggle

12:49 Growing pains

20:24 The worst possible outcome

24:49 Turning point

25:57 Dusty ScalingUp book

32:14 Executive team growth

39:48 Are you in a toxic relationship with your business?

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE

Dr. Nicole:

This is the Integrative Entrepreneur podcast, where it’s not what you do, but how you do it. This is a podcast for entrepreneurs brought to you by entrepreneurs. We have been building a multi-million dollar healthcare business for over 10 years, and we have weaved together some of the best information for the people that are doing the best work in the business. This includes Dr. Demartini, who is a master in human behavior to Verne Harnish, who has created the methodologies of scaling up that has scaled many, many of the best businesses that we all know of. We want you to not only have a business that you love, but also a life that you love. What’s up. Everyone. Welcome to the Integrative Entrepreneur podcast. I am Dr. Nicole and we are here with?

Dr. Nick:

Dr. Nick. 

Dr. Nicole:

So today we’re actually going to be digging into our story and journey through entrepreneurship. And the reason we’re deciding to do this is because we really want to showcase the realness of what really unfolds to create a business. But I think it’s important also that we’re also coming from a place of walking the walk and not necessarily just talking the talk. And I know that even just in a recent certification, I’ve gone through, there’s a lot of individuals that are in the coaching space that are coming from the corporate realm and they are now moving into what they call quote unquote retirement, and they’re moving into the coaching space. But they actually have not experienced true entrepreneurship. And I think that we all know that from corporate structure and working your way up that ladder to building a business from scratch and all of the pain points that come along with that, it’s a pretty different experience. And there’s going to be roadblocks and the type of advice they can give when they haven’t gone through those experiences, because those experiences, they challenge every single Part of you. 

Dr. Nick:

It’s definitely a different type of grind. 

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. It challenges everything from your belief systems to your limiting beliefs, to your leadership skills, your ability to be committed, to continue to grow. It challenges you from a fear perspective because you have the responsibility of others when you have employees and you also have the responsibility of your family, because if things don’t work out, no one’s bailing you out. It’s your business.

Dr. Nick:

Yeah. And I mean, it’s not that you can argue that CEOs of these other big companies, that they’re not in charge of a lot of people that all these things don’t affect them. But we’ve seen even in this past year, how many of these major businesses go out of business, declared bankrupt. But at the same time, those executives were handed a nice paycheck to be able to leave. So there’s a definitely a different aspect of skin the game when you’re coming from that executive aspect through a big business versus really just growing a business from a startup to an entrepreneurship.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah, listen, corporate model, they have a lot of struggles and a lot of pain points and they have a lot, a lot of pressure on them and they have to keep a lot of people happy from board of advisors and higher ups and so on and so forth. But when you’re building a business from scratch, there is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears and money that goes in before you ever have a return. You don’t have that security of a paycheck. And there’s a lot of entrepreneurs that don’t even pay themselves for years upon years. So we’re going to really just share some of the lessons and pretty much the wild ass story of the creation of both of our companies and really what’s happening moving forward, because we’re not really stopping at two companies.

We actually have another company in the works right now. And we are dabbling in industries that I think a lot of people would say, oh, well, a doctor, who do you think you are kind of getting into that industry. And we were having a conversation prior to hopping on here. We’ve heard this term, like stay in your lane. We’ve heard the term stay in your lane when it comes to how we were practicing medicine to how we decided to show up for our clients and also how we are now in this business and entrepreneurship coaching realm. But fuck that. We don’t ever stay in our lane.

Dr. Nick:

To a point, to a point.

Dr. Nicole:

So the journey really started in 2010, I guess, 2011 because you and I, we, got done with school. We decided to work for other practices for a short amount of time to get some experience. My biggest goal was to have experience more in the business realm, because nobody gives you a background in that, especially when you’re going through any type of schooling. If it’s chiropractic medical, naturopathic, so on and so forth. So that was one of my biggest aspirations was how could I learn from someone who’s really succeeding in business? I am a terrible employee.

Dr. Nick:

So that didn’t last very long. 

Dr. Nicole:

It didn’t last very long. And I think that I was just faced with this question of what am I going to do? Rebuild another practice because I kind of quit, but I mainly got fired. That’s a whole separate story. Am I going to really just recreate another practice that I know I don’t want to stay in this location and then have to start over later again, or am I just going to go for it now? And one of the points to make about this is that on paper, Nick and I did not have what you would think is required to start a business. We didn’t have the finances, we didn’t have the experience. We didn’t even have the knowledge of how to run a business. All we had was passion and perseverance and a huge mission to change how healthcare was being done.

Dr. Nick:

And when your, why is big enough, what we’ve found out, I mean, we all understood this when deep in human behavior and personal development that people always talk about when the, why is big enough the how will figure itself out. And…

Dr. Nicole:

But you have to be so committed. 

Dr. Nick:

So the thing is, your, why better be huge when you don’t know shit like us. Because there was almost multiple weeks, months on end where we’d pretty much be crying every single night. Because we’re like, “What the fuck are we doing?” We don’t know what we’re doing.

Dr. Nicole:

We also went against the grain when we created the practice. So number one, we were offering services that were classified as weird, woo-woo, unscientific till now they’re the biggest trends ever. And second to that is we decided to be a cash practice. And so we’re this new practice with zero reputation, a cash practice amongst the community that has a variety of practitioners that are insurance-based. It was a slow and steady growth. You could easily open your doors in that insurance model and be super busy, but you’re screwing yourself in the long term. Every practice, ask any doctor, they all want to get away from insurance because it has a lot of drawbacks. It has some benefits, but it has drawbacks. And we knew that that’s what we were forecasting for the future.

So we decided we’re going to do this right off the bat. And we’re just going to be really good at what we do and be very client focused and be very results driven. And we knew that it was going to be a slow creation, but we were committed to that. But yes, there were so many times that we were just like, “What the hell are we doing? Are we absolutely out of our minds?” And we just kept envisioning the creation of this busy practice, where everyone was happy to come and everyone was smiling and we were working with families and we we did a lot. We got out there. The first event that we ever did was a three-day surf festival. And we did muscle work on 300 people.

Dr. Nick:

That’s probably like-

Dr. Nicole:

For free, by the way.

Dr. Nick:

-Six months before our doors ever opened.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. And we hustled, hustled, hustled and did what we had to do. We didn’t have money for advertising. We did not have the means to do Facebook ads or anything of the sort. I created the website, we created our own business cards and branding on Vistaprint. Canva wasn’t a thing at the time. So there was definitely… If we had more guidance and we had more mentorship, I think that we could have done things better. But at the time it’s just, we didn’t have those resources but we did have a huge why. Even from the decision to start the business, to getting to New Jersey, because we were living in Seattle at the time, we literally had the car breakdown, acquired about $3,500 in fees. We had two speeding tickets. We pretty much got stuck in Iowa.

I ended up having to trade cars because the Jeep that broke down couldn’t pull the trailer, the rest of the way to New Jersey. So Nick lost his car that he absolutely loved. Arrived to New Jersey, took us over a year to find a practice or a location, I should say that we liked. We were so unbelievably fortunate that the landlord that we ended up working with covered our build-out and allowed us to pay him back interest free, which we would have never been able to open and survive because we were not eligible for a loan, coming out of school with pretty much no income. Barely a year of work history and a boatload of student debt.

Dr. Nick:

So yeah, I mean, I don’t know why 20 some banks denied us.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. 26. Oh. And we slept on an air mattress for eight months in my loud ass Italian family’s house, where people were screaming about forks being left in the sink. And then the air mattress started to deflate. So we were waking up like the contents of a taco every morning and we would roll out of the bed and pretty much do body work on ourselves immediately because we were pretty much in pain.

Dr. Nick:

And then talking about human behavior and what’s most important to you. I cried the day that I sold my tri-bike to be able to buy some equipment for the office.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. There was a lot of those things that I feel like you had more things than me when it came to some of your athletic hobbies, but yeah. Between selling your tri-bike, we sold the trailer that we had. We definitely made a lot of sacrifices in that time in order… Oh, also side note valet parking and we both bartended, we were literally had to be humble as F as we’re doctors and we’re getting a bartending certification so that we can bartend because our business is not off the ground. So that was quite the humbling experience.

Dr. Nick:

Yeah. So if you’re a valet parker and you valet parked my car, you’re always excited because I always tip the shit out of you because I got stiffed so many times. 

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. It was interesting, but I remember, we did all of this because it was just the grind and we had to do what we had to do. But as we moved into business is things were, it was like a little bit of a honeymoon phase. Once things were really running. After, probably about a year and a half, we started to have some more employees. And these employees were just like amazing people. Some of them were referrals from friends and family. So it became this very tight knit family environment. And I just want to say this for the individuals that have this small business, that you have employees that have been with you for a while, or you have employees that are family or friends, or referrals from family and friends is that, that type of business, if you do want to grow and scale, it’s going to shift and you don’t have a reality of pain points.

So you have an opportunity to either go through the pain points and learn for yourself, which totally blows, which we’re going to talk about soon. Or you have the opportunity to negate that from ever happening. Because when we decided to expand for the third time, this was requiring us to fully move locations. And we created what we call the super center. And we were so over the moon about this, and we were expanding our team, expanding our services. We were creating a detox facility that was attached to the office. And we were just so excited about all of this. And we thought, okay, well, we’re just going to expand the team, that’s what we need to do. And we didn’t have systems, we didn’t have policies, procedures. We didn’t have those things because we kind of just were getting by without it.

Dr. Nick:

We didn’t need it. As we grew, we put on, looked for solutions of what we really need from the pain points, but we didn’t really have those pain points until we shifted into a big boy and big girl business, I guess you could call it. 

Dr. Nicole:

We always joke that. We had to put on our big girl and big boy pants when we did this.

Dr. Nick:

Of course wear the female pants and wear the masculine ones.

Dr. Nicole:

But I really can’t even say, it was rough. It was so, so rough. We just really thought we were expanding our team. And little did we know is we didn’t have a designated manager. We didn’t have a designated HR team. We hired some individuals that were trying to get out of the New York City Rat Race that came from corporate models that were challenging us on every PTO policy and HR policy. And we then had individuals that were… Nobody kind of… We were hiring individuals, liked the idea of what we did, but had very little buy-in to truly what we did. There was a lot of people attracted to our industry because they thought, oh, well, I’m coming from the New York City Rat Race, I’m just going to work at this place. And we’re just going to do saunas on our lunch breaks and we’re going to drink matcha lattes and it’s going to be so awesome. And we’re just going to do yoga. 

And little, did they know of how hard we worked? And we busted our butts to provide some of the best healthcare out there. It was our own issue because we didn’t do our due diligence with the hiring process.

Dr. Nick:

I know it was… As you go through and we get frustrated because we’re like, “Oh my God, it’s just another pain point, another pain point, another pain point.” Especially from the startup, when you have no idea what you’re doing like us, you run into all these pain points and you tend to at first resent them and hate them. But you quickly realize that they’re your best teacher. They’re really coming into your life to be able to show you what systems we didn’t have in place to be able to learn from, to be able to lay down that foundation and then to be able to grow again. It’s like every single time, we talked about it, it’s like, that was our what, our third or fourth growth, transition, expansion of the business. And right before each one of those is, we got comfortable and knowing life that when you’re comfortable, you stop growing. So you don’t have to-

Dr. Nicole:

Personally and professionally.

Dr. Nick:

-You don’t have to necessarily grow the business bigger, but we need to be able to challenge. So we don’t stay in that comfort zone. So depending on our, why we continue to grow the size of the business, because we wanted to be able to provide more services, [inaudible 00:16:36]. But understanding that it was the pleasure pain, pleasure pain, pleasure pain. It was like, life is great, profitability is awesome finally. And then all of a sudden it’s like, nah, nah, I’d rather just go back in debt again and grow. And that’s really the cycle of all types of growth, whether it’s personal or business is that we get to a point that we’ve conquered the demons, we’ve conquered the problems, but it’s a new level, new devil. So it’s always about stepping in to a bigger aspect of you, a bigger vision of the business to be able to grow support, and really just achieve those goals.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. And you don’t know what you don’t know. So if you are moving up another ladder that this is something that you have not experienced thus far, you’re like, you don’t even know what to anticipate or expect from the pain point perspective. But if you do have someone who’s mentoring you that has walked the walk, then you’re able to walk in prepared and it’s not expecting the worst, but it’s being prepared for anything. 

Dr. Nick:

Yeah. It’s like we finally had some really good mentors going through that process to help us because they’re starting out, we just opened up the door and walk through it and we didn’t know what monster was on the other side. And now when you have intelligent mentors who’s gone through the process before you pretty much like why we get so excited about helping people go through this journey now is that we can pretty much pre-frame you to be able to see what monsters are on the other side of the door so that you don’t open it and just get smacked in the face.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. And what you said about growing is, growth kills cash, but there’s really strategic ways of going about this. And I find that in the beginning of our business, a lot of our decisions were based on passion, perseverance and that further vision. But I will definitely say that not a lot of it was data driven. And it was because we didn’t have the tools to really know how to forecast for that. But we just knew that from a mission perspective, this is what we had to do to make that bigger impact. So I say this primarily because I think that there’s a very comfortable balance of risk and-

Dr. Nick:

Reward.

Dr. Nicole:

-Well, risk and reward, but risk and being strategic. So there was definitely in the beginning, a lot of lack of strategy, but there was a lot of that passion and perseverance, which overrode the fear and allowed us to take more risks. I definitely think this is really important when you have someone who is coaching you in business, is that when you’re working with someone from that… Like someone that comes from a corporate model is they don’t have a lot of experience with the risk versus strategy data. Primarily because you have to be able to answer to a board of directors as to why you’re making a certain decision. And if the numbers don’t add up, they don’t want to hear it. But if you are working in entrepreneurial based business, you’ll find that there’s some things that they’re like, “No, this is really not a great decision because of X, Y, and Z, but this is going to be hard for X amount of months, but this is what the expected outcome is. This is risky, but we think that it’s what’s going to make sense for how to move the company forward.”

You definitely need to be able to work on that and focus on the pros, the cons, or the positives and the drawbacks and weigh it all out and be strategic. But like we talked about in a different podcast is are you able to be okay with the worst possible outcome?

Dr. Nick:

And a big part of that is, if you go through that checklist of the worst possible outcome, it’s going to be okay, all these things, it’s not going to destroy you. And the benefit is there, but it’s also going back to your team, to the culture. And it’s, are you going to be able to step in and be vulnerable to be able to allow people to see the truth, to say, “These next couple of months, this next couple of quarters, this is going to be rough. But we’re in this together and this is why we’re doing, we’re not doing this, A, it’s not going to be forever. So don’t get scared. This isn’t the new normal, but it’s just a timeframe to be able to go through some changes. Anytime we have changed, we have a gain and a loss.” So it’s about allowing people to see what losses are going to be occurring so that we can prepare for them both mentally, emotionally, as well as physically. 

And then at the same time, being able to pretty much show the shiny light at the end of the tunnel. So that creates that cultural buy-in, kind of going back to one of our podcasts about selling. You have to be able to connect why we’re going to go through these pain points but how it’s actually going to serve not only the company’s values, but the values of each employee.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. I definitely agree with that, but even when it comes to this idea of culture, this didn’t come to light for us until really it was early 2019, and it’s kind of crazy…

Dr. Nick:

We always worked on culture, but it was, culture is just a reputation of who we were. We didn’t put boundaries in place.

Dr. Nicole:

No. A hundred percent. I think that we definitely influenced the culture as leaders, but we didn’t have the tools on how to really create a strong culture, but also to set the standards for this is acceptable versus what’s not acceptable.

Dr. Nick:

We had a subject of culture, not an objective culture.

Dr. Nicole:

True, true. But one of the most important parts of this story is that you can create a business based off of intuition. You can create a business based off of passion, based off of perseverance. You can take risks and you can definitely get your business to a great place, but it does come to a point in time where you have to start using proven methodologies and you have to start looking at your business and not always working in your business. And then it comes to a point that you’re big enough that you truly need to step into that leadership role, because you cannot delegate the vision of your business. You cannot delegate the culture of your business. There are things that are non-negotiables that you have to be in charge of, and really be that leader in the business. And you have to be the leader, not just really to the whole team, but especially to who you classify as your leadership team, your management team, your directors.

And we went through so many different growth spurts and pain points. And I always joke that we were slow learners because… But at the same time, we never had tools that really were like, that’s it? That really, really resonates with us because I found that there were all of these hacks on how to make more money and be more profitable, but a lot of it lacked integrity. And then there, oh, here’s the big fancy marketing campaign. But again, you’re doing a marketing campaign without being clear on who is your core customer? What do you stand for? What makes you different? What are the values of your company? What is your, why? What are the brand promises to the customer? So all of those things can become so much more impactful when you have a stronger foundation. And it literally wasn’t until 2019 that the pandemic hit.

And we had various people that were out of the business, but Nick, myself, Dr. Phil, and we had one individual at the front desk and one individual working in the detox spa. And we decreased our… Or we pretty much only had five individuals out of 15 working and-

Dr. Nick:

In the office.

Dr. Nicole:

-In the office. And we just hit such a burnout after about two months to the point that I didn’t speak for three days. I couldn’t even function. 

Dr. Nick:

And when she did was, I can’t.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. It was scary. It was a really scary moment because I’ve never hit that type of low. And it wasn’t just about working in the business, but it was the fact that I was still getting questions about marketing. I was having questions about operations, questions about front desk. And it was because I created this dynamic that I had my hand in every department and that everyone had to come to me for everything before a decision was made or if there was a problem. So I was literally the chief problem solver. And I just put my foot down, I said, “We’re done. I’m not doing this anymore.” And I had two individuals that are friends and also entrepreneurs that mentioned the Scaling Up book. And I literally… We had the Scaling Up book for almost six years. It was very dusty on our shelf. And I decided to take it off the shelf and dive in because at that point, I had nothing to lose and I was never going to give up on our business. 

I just was like, “I’m not continuing on this path for one minute longer.” And I made a bold decision to cut my schedule by two thirds and really to take the reins on the company. And we are now what, over what, a year later or two year and a half later. And with all of the tools that we have implemented, first of all I will say is I became a scaling up coach because I talked to a couple of scaling up coaches and they were baffled on what we implemented on our own. They’re like, “Nobody can implement this book on their own, that’s why coaches exist, because this is hard. This is really hard things to implement on your own.” They’re like, “You need to become a coach because this is insane that you’ve been able to do this.”

Dr. Nick:

It’s like you haven’t met my wife yet.

Dr. Nicole:

But I think this is huge because when I was going through the coaching program, a lot of the individuals that were going through the coaching program, were doing it to coach. Because again, they’ve either they quit their jobs or they’re moving out of corporate and now they want to move into this coaching realm. They want more freedom of their schedule, so on and so forth. And for me, I’m like, “I am a living this, I am truly living this. And I see where it gets hard. And I see the organizational piece and I see how hard it is to admit to yourself, you have the wrong people in the wrong seats.” Like to have hard conversations about someone possibly leaving your company after they’ve been with you for five years. It’s hard work, but holy shit, it is so freaking worth it. And I would just love for you to speak on it because obviously you’ve been part of this and you’ve just been watching as the transformation has been happening.

Dr. Nick:

Yes. I haven’t read one page in Scaling Up, I’m not going to lie. My whole thing is the human behavior aspects of it. 

Dr. Nicole:

Which you’ve come in though, when we’ve been working with the team and the leadership development and to help with that.

Dr. Nick:

Oh, I [inaudible 00:28:02].

Dr. Nicole:

Because the human behavior piece is so massive. 

Dr. Nick:

Yep. I mean, you can’t have… Human behavior and scaling and go up there just literally like husband and wife. You need both to be able to create an amazing family, amazing business. And with the Scaling Up portion of it, sitting back and I always liked to observe, to understand everything, but when it gets into that side of the business, that’s literally like a foreign language to me. And there is so many nights that to be able to watch Nicole go through and just devour the book and then devour another book recommendation that was in the book. And literally there must’ve been like 50 book recommendations in that book.

Dr. Nicole:

We own every single one.

Dr. Nick:

Because every single day Amazon is delivering three more books. And I was like, “Oh my God, this is insane.” But you can tell the last time that she did this was with functional medicine. That was the transition between her coming out of quote unquote being a chiropractor into more functional medicine. And the reason she did that is to get better results. Everything that we always do is results driven, adding, building more value. And that’s really why this transition occurred. It’s like we got to a point in time, we started our journey as chiropractors, and we got to a point in time where it’s like, “Okay, this is awesome for people, but there we’re still having more problems. They’re still having more problems.” So there has to be more to the situation. And that’s when she got into functional medicine and then function medicine was amazing, but then we hit that same roadblock.

And then it’s like, “Okay. So we’re still missing something.” That got into integrative medicine to be able to look at more of Chinese medicine and energy and the mental, emotional component to really look at the entire aspect of the human body and how it works. And it’s really just that exact same process went through business for us is that, we first looked at what we knew. We came into that information. It got us to a certain point, but we realized if we wanted more, what we have been doing got us to where we were at, wasn’t going to take us to where we needed to be. And that was really when she hit that rock bottom, which is, I was stoked and scared at the same time because I understand the human behavior. It’s once you hit that rock bottom, that’s what forces us to make a change.

And then when I say forces, that’s when we decide. So it’s decide is a decision when you break down the word cide, it means to kill. So homicide, pesticide, herbicide, they’re all aspects of killing different things. When we make a decision, when we decide we kill every other option and that’s what she did, she made 100% black and white decision that that was my old normal. And this is what I’m creating right now. And it was a journey and there is so many aspects of time that were not easy. But we had the clarity behind it because literally the scaling up method is a tried and true methodology to scale up. It’s been proven over and over and over. And as soon as she even got more clarity just from reading the book, but getting the coaching, the mentorship through the program, that’s when I would say everything really started to start to look beautiful.

It’s like when you’re building a house and you’re doing the foundation and the framing, still looks ugly, but soon as we’re able to put up the drywall and some of the finishes, then it starts looking really pretty. And that’s what I would say, the scaling up really did is it allowed us to set a better stronger foundation, but it also had all the systems in place to be able to put the right finishings in so that we could have that flow to be able to scale up and grow properly.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. And it almost makes me emotional because yesterday we had our review of Q1 for this year. And it was just finishing up, we’re wrapping up with what was our aha moment? And what are our final thoughts and words for the session and just sitting in a room. 

Dr. Nick:

This is just with our executive team.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. Just with our executive team, but sitting in a room/Zoom as well, because we now embrace that remote life, with five other individuals that have grown so much as people, as leaders that truly love their job, which is then transpiring into their happiness with themselves, their confidence with themselves. And how is that showing up for their spouses and their families and their relationships and the fact that they’re still able to feel a sense of calm and a sense of confidence going through this crazy state of the world. I just literally looked at them and I just was like, “I’m just so proud of all of you. And I’m so proud of this company for being able to create a space that people truly feel inspired every day and that they’re making an impact.” And it took work and they were ride or die through the whole thing.

And I do feel very fortunate because I said, as we were talking about the development of the programs for the Integrative Growth Institute, I was talking with Kelly who really heads program development. And she’s like, “What do you think? What do you forecast for working with individuals?” And I said to her, I was like, “You have to understand is that our deep dive that we’re doing is taking them through a diagnostic process to see where the issues are in the business and see where the foundation is weak.” And so on and so forth. And what are the goals like. How do they want to grow? Do they want to grow? How do they want to scale? I go, “But if you just look at what we’ve gone through over the past year and a half with the overhaul of Integrative Wellness Group and the Growth Institute.” I’m like, “You have to understand, we were very lucky because we had people that were almost waiting, waiting for me to take the step back, waiting for me to truly step in as their leader, and then give them the opportunity to grow and become better leaders.”

So we really didn’t fire many people and have to bring brand new people in that had better credentials, quote unquote, or more experience. I had people on the team that were just kind of get the fuck out of my way and let me do things. But when we work with companies, there’s a huge reality that they may have a team of individuals that are just not going to be a fit for where the company is going. And if you have to go through the fire and hire a process, we would work together for a longer duration. Because not only are we now trying to develop the people that are currently on the team and completely shift the culture and set more boundaries and a stronger foundation, but now in addition to that, we also have to bring on new people and have a proper onboarding process and training process. And so we’re trying to… What am I trying to say? Steelhead, that’s not a right word.

Dr. Nick:

Why you search for the word, I want to say that that’s where one of the ways human behavior fits in so well. Because you save so much money as well as energy retaining employees. So it can be quote-unquote in one instance, it’s not your expertise to be like, “It’s going to be easier for me to be able to just hire somebody new and it’s going to fit the right puzzle piece.” But at the same time, it’s you could be saving a lot more money and energy from the training aspect of just being, going through and saying, because we all make decisions based on our perceptions, perceptions of seeing something that has more benefits to serve myself or something that’s going to be more drawbacks, I’m going to try to avoid that. So as we’re making these transitions internally, it’s be able to use the human behavior to be able to show them either way, to be able to see like this is the transition that the business is going through to better the growth, every single aspect.

But to be able to connect that down to the employee to be like, and this is how it can serve you. It may serve you. So it’d be able to put the time and work in with them to be able to see if it’s still going to be a win-win situation. And then, but it’ll also give you clarity if it’s not going to be a win-win situation and clarity for both sides, because once you get down to that clarity, it’s, you’re not really firing anybody. And sometimes the employee will be like, “This isn’t a good fit. This doesn’t… Here’s my notice, thank you, thanks for caring enough about me.” So either way, whether you have to let somebody go or whether they let themselves go or they stay, it’s really, it’s a win-win situation. And that’s what the goal is to be.

Dr. Nicole:

And also the human behavior piece is really… We focus a lot on the CEO in the beginning of the program because we’re working with kind of two different dynamics. We’re working with the CEO that is working in the business and doesn’t really know how to work on the business or be the true leader of the company. And then we have some CEOs that are just beaten down and burnt out from their business just constantly having fires to be put out. So we have to help to work through the current pain points, but also to look at where is this coming from? Is this a more of a deeper rooted limiting belief? Are there blind spots that are completely off the radar of the CEO as well? So these are all things that we take into consideration because they’re all valid. They’re all important. 

There was definitely a lot of work that I did with Nick from that Dimartini perspective and the human behavior perspective when I hit that all time low. Because there were things that… There was a reason why I wasn’t letting go. There was a reason why I wasn’t delegating. There was a reason why that I had to feel in, quote unquote, in control. So there were things that I had to work on myself outside of just helping to work on the business. And I think that, that can not be overlooked when you’re really trying to overhaul your business. But I will definitely say, as we wrap up here, one of the biggest things that I hear it over and over, and it was our own personal experience. And one of the biggest driving forces behind this massive change is that we had no life.

Everything was about business, everything. Every dollar spent, every investment, every decision, every dinner conversation, everything was about business. And we lost track of life. We lost track of fun. We lost track of a lot. We barely would text people back. We weren’t necessarily meeting up with family members or friends very often. We found ourselves needing a glass of wine at the end of the day, just to chill our brains out. It just wasn’t good. And it got to a point, especially one of our biggest core values for ourselves and the company is practice what you preach. And we were practicing or preaching health and wellness, and I was like, “When’s the last time we worked out? When’s the last time that we were able to do something for ourselves.” We just really were faced with the question of, are you in a toxic relationship with your business? And the answer was hell yeah. 

Dr. Nick:

Yep.

Dr. Nicole:

And if we were in a toxic relationship with the business, then obviously our other employees were as well. And it’s inevitable. So don’t think like, “Oh, I’m just the one working my ass off. That’s stressed when I go home.” No chances are your employees are as well. It’s just, it’s not a good environment and it’s really not the way that it’s supposed to be. But since we’ve decided to make these changes, not only have we got our lives back, but we see the happiness and fulfillment in our employees and the business is actually doing better financially than it ever has. So you have to understand that it’s not like, “Oh, well, if everybody’s happy and we have a good company culture, then we’re going to financially suffer.” No, it all goes hand in hand. It’s…

Dr. Nick:

The better it gets, the better it gets, the worse it gets, the worse it gets.

Dr. Nicole:

Exactly. So it’s time to really up-level your business, up-level your life. And just be able to remember again, what it’s like to really just enjoy your business and enjoy your life. And knowing that you can have those breaks, you can really treat your business as the business, not your end all be all, everything. And that doesn’t mean that you lose track of your mission or your purpose isn’t as big. It just means that you’re carving out more time to preserve yourself and grow yourself so you can make a bigger impact.

Dr. Nick:

Yeah. And then fundamentally you can’t give something, you don’t have, we talk about this, I think every single podcast. But it’s not lying to yourself like this is a journey, there are struggles, there’s pain points. But like we said, if we create the pain that’s going to serve us, then we’ll go through and we’ll be inspired. We’ll go through both pleasure and pain to be able to serve ourselves and achieve those objective goals.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah. So we hope this was helpful and inspiring. You could clearly tell how passionate we are about what we do. And obviously we have a background in integrative medicine and this is something that we know that we just can’t ignore when we are talking to burnt-out entrepreneurs. So we are not only bringing in the scaling up methodology to grow and scale your business, but we’re also bringing in the human behavior to grow and scale yourself and your team. And in addition to that, as being able to not ignore the elephant in the room, that maybe you put your health on hold, because you’ve been that busy entrepreneur, only focused on the growth of your business. And now, your health has suffered because that’s so many of the individuals. So we’re actually infiltrating the integrative medicine side to allow you to not only just feel better because you’re having more balance in your life, in your schedule.

But feel better because you’re considering what’s happening internally from the years of not eating and only drinking coffee and relying on different types of stimulants so that you can get more work done and just eating on the go constantly. Listen, we’ve been there too, so we get it. But it does take its toll.

Dr. Nick:

Luckily we just know how to heal ourselves. Most entrepreneurs don’t know how to do that and even combat. So it’s like, there’s definitely, we don’t… Sometimes we over, quote unquote, extend ourselves in certain periods. But realizing, and having the background that we do, we’re always supporting that through different types of hacking and biochemistry, different red lights, PMS, all these different technologies that we have access to. So foundationally it’s really about, within first, so you can give more externally. And if you’re not fueling yourself through all the different systems that you have to be able to provide energy for yourself, then it’s like, you’re sitting an amazing sports car with a 10 cylinder engine, but you can only have four cylinders working. So it’s what’s the point of giving your all to a business when you all is only 50%. So it’s always about feeling yourself up first so that you can actually give that maximum potential that you have.

Dr. Nicole:

A 100 %. Well, guys, we hope you enjoyed the story and some of the pearls and lessons that we’ve gone through. But definitely check out the Integrative Growth Institute. And you can learn a little bit more about some of the offerings, but this is all packaged up with a bow for you because of, we’ve walked the walk. We’re not just talking it and being able to really have methodologies that work and give you your life back. I really, I think that that’s one of the best things that we can offer to entrepreneurs.

Dr. Nick:

Priceless. You’ve reached the end of another episode of the Integrative Entrepreneur podcast, connect with us at Integrativegrowthinstitute.com. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive our free materials. See you at the next episode.

Dr. Nicole:

If you love today’s episode of Integrative Entrepreneur podcast, please head over to iTunes subscribe, rate, and leave us a review. It is very much appreciated. Thank you.

 

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