Identifying and understanding what your main product or service is will allow you to spend every moment of your day doing what you do best. 

Hurricane Season is well upon us here in the United States. The effects of the first major storm of the year, Hurricane Harvey, are still being felt in Houston, Texas. Tragedies such as these tend to bring out the extremes in human behavior. These events bring together communities and expose all the good in the human race. Unfortunately, bad behaviors and acts tend to expose themselves during these times as well. Today, we’ll highlight an example of the bad!

Best Buy Story

A Best Buy store in Houston found itself amidst a storm of controversy after a picture was taken in the store of bottled water being sold during the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. Signs advertising the water showed selling prices as high as $42 per case! Allegations of price gouging quickly ensued. For the whole story click here.

When I saw this story, one question immediately came to mind:

“Why is Best Buy, an electronics store known for selling computers, phones, and all things technology, selling water?”

Good to Great

This question stems from a lesson I learned years ago in one of my all-time favorite books, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. In the book, Collins makes a point to emphasize the importance of a company focusing on doing what drives it’s economic engine. This important truth highlights the importance of subtracting — eliminating the waste in and around your company.

"Good to Great" by Jim Collins

Let’s tie this back into the Best Buy example.

Best Buy Water Sales?

If you were to look at the end of year financial records for Best Buy, a billion dollar retail corporation; I bet you would be hard pressed to identify the amount of revenue they bring in from their annual sales of bottled water. In fact, I would be willing to bet this amount is so minuscule that it isn’t even recorded!

Best Buy has no business selling water. That’s not what their company is about. That’s not what they are known for! In the example above, whomever made the decision to put out the cases of bottled water was reacting to the environment instead of sticking to their core products and services.

Identifying Your “Best Buy”

Now, this story is an exaggeration but nonetheless highlights the importance of the message we want to leave you with. What drives your economic engine? What is it you do better than anybody else? In addition, what things are you doing that you aren’t the best at? What do you need to subtract?

You may realize that you’re selling bottled water when you have no business doing so. If you find this to be the case, reexamine your vision, mission, and core values.

Let’s Ride!

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR


Every customer interaction presents an opportunity: build trust or facilitate a transaction. 

Customer interactions are a driving force in business. They hold tremendous power. Great customer interactions help to solidify your brand in the mind of a consumer. In today’s social media driven world, one horrible customer interaction can destroy your company’s reputation in a matter of seconds.

A customer interaction can fall into one of two categories:

  1. Build Trust
  2. Facilitate a Transaction

Earning the trust of a consumer is a big deal. With trust comes customer loyalty; which can lead to referrals and the development of fruitful, life-long relationships. Truly great brands are built on trust and tend to develop cult-like followings from their consumers. I immediately think of brands like Apple, Nike, and Patagonia. These brands are so trustworthy that their consumers adapt their products and services into their daily lives and routines.

Trust is developed through every single customer interaction. Every greeting, proposal, offer, close, and parting remark can build a trusting relationship.


On the contrary, every customer interaction can also be viewed as a transaction. An opportunity for an exchange of goods or services for money. These interactions tend to be profit-driven and don’t usually result in trust being established between a brand and the consumer. Transactions are easier to learn, train, and perform. “Say this, don’t say this, do this, and don’t do that.” It’s really as easy as the infamous “Would you like fries with that?”

Building Trust will result in greater customer relationships.

Your Choice

Your business can treat every customer interaction however it chooses. If you wish to simply be a transaction-based business you can! But beware, with a transaction-based business comes a turnstile of consumers who can’t differentiate your brand from the other business down the street. If you’re looking to build your brand and establish relationships with your consumers, start by valuing every customer interaction as an opportunity to build trust.

Let’s Ride!

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

At one point in my chiropractic career I had 11 different techniques that I used to treat patients; I thought I was the man! I figured that the more I could do the more magnetic I would be to more people. What actually happened was that I created confusion in my patient’s minds as well as my own. This story is a great example of the power of subtraction.

What is Subtraction?

Subtraction is defined as the art of removing anything excessive, confusing, wasteful, unnatural, hazardous, hard to use, ugly or the discipline to refrain from adding it in the first place. You see, success is about shedding not adding. In order to get better we need to focus on our strengths and get better at them.

The art of subtraction holds many practical applications. Understand in your business that efficient communication is about saying less words, not more. This is true whether it’s handling patient phone calls or your close at the end of a customer encounter. Often, spending habits are another area where subtraction can make a vital change. We tend to buy stuff that we think will make us happy.

Subtracting isn’t easy. Many of the things that need to be subtracted in your life have been in place for a long time. However, by subtracting these things you will increase your ability to grow astronomically.

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

Unless you were living on another planet, you have been exposed to the hype regarding the Eclipse of 2017.  In fact, I am sure you had the opportunity to chat about it or had been asked about it by countless patients and friends yesterday.  You maybe even took a few minutes out in the parking lot to observe. My question is this: did you turn this opportunity into a SMART Talk conversation, a Small talk conversation, or did your Eclipse discussions erode into the ether of Flat Talk?

Smart Talk

In discussing this with many of you yesterday it dawned on me that this event was analogous to a good old-fashioned blizzard in the Midwest.  The weather often dominates casual conversation in my part of the world.  I shared with one of our SIDECAR Crew that when we were in the midst of a large blizzard weather event many patients would stay home.  The patients who did make it in would often comment:  “Not very busy today, huh doc?”  My response was always the same:  “You are right Mr. Patient, but wait until tomorrow.  ½ inch of ice beneath 6-12 inches of heavy wet snow is every body shop owner and chiropractor’s dream!”

This as you can imagine produced the typical response from the patient:  “Oh doc, you’re so funny, you’re evil, etc.”  However, this was truly SMART Talk: a seed was planted and when this patient spoke to his friend, spouse or co-worker about the weather he or she often commented on the funny statement his chiropractor made.  The not so funny part was the friend was often just in a car accident because of the weather, fell on the ice or hurt themselves shoveling snow.  The follow up comment from my patient was often “Well, I guess my chiropractor was right, you better go see him!”


One of the busiest days in my practice occurred after a 3-day airshow.  There were tens of thousands of spectators in the audience…..all staring into the sky!  Many developed neck complaints.  By my 10:30 cluster I could pick out the attendees just by their neck complaints and head carriage.  They thought I was psychic when I asked them how they liked the airshow.  Their first response became:  “How did you know I was at the airshow?”  My response:  You are the 10th person I’ve seen this morning with a neck like yours!”  Smart Talk: misery loves company. The same phenomena occurred as with the blizzards

Today bring some elliptical SMART Talk into your practice and see if you have some more neck conditions that need your expert care.

Dr. SeaDr. Douglas Sea, CTO SIDECAR


Being uncomfortable isn’t always easy, but getting through it can result in change and growth. 

Imagine this: you’ve just walked into a large room of people you barely know. You’re going to be there for a while and desperately need to network and meet people. What is your response? Do you embrace the opportunity and begin to introduce yourself to strangers? Do you find one person you know and latch on to them? Or, do you become a wallflower in the corner?

Some of you may be cringing at the mere thought of this situation. We all have situations that make us feel uncomfortable. Let’s discuss this concept of being “uncomfortable.”

I’m not comfortable

I was on a call with a doctor discussing some changes that needed to be made. She reacted to these changes by saying, “I’m just not comfortable doing that!” I responded to her with a question, “Are you comfortable with the situation you are in right now?” Now, that may not have been the nicest question I could have asked, but boy did it get the point across!

You have got to get uncomfortable to grow. This concept is embedded in who we are as humans. If you only work out to your comfort level at the gym and then stop, you will never make positive changes to your body. As you make changes, it’s going to be uncomfortable – frankly, changing systems in your business sucks! But, is it worse than continuing to operate at the level you currently operate at? The level that caused you to seek change?


Change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle, and beautiful in the end. I have had conversations with several patients who have told me they are uncomfortable in the gym because they feel that people are judging them or looking at them funny. This is a real-world example of what goes on in your brain when you’re faced with uncomfortable situations. You’ve got to embrace this feeling and fight against the internal and external resistance!

Recognize where you are uncomfortable. Odds are, this is the area of your life that requires the most change! Walt Disney said it best, “Jump off the cliff and grow wings on the way down!”

Understand that if the change isn’t life-threatening it is going to be okay. Understand that change is uncomfortable, but it’s going to be worth it in the long run.

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

I want to share a lesson that I learned many years ago that completely changed the way I thought about what it is that we do as chiropractors.

I’ve asked hundreds of doctors this one simple question and have very rarely gotten the right answer: “As a chiropractor, what is the one product that you sell?”

If you said, “The adjustment!” You’re wrong! Try again.

If you’re thinking, “The experience?” Wrong again.


The only product that you and I possess and the only thing that we can sell is our time. I know, I know, it took me a while to wrap my head around this concept too! Everything we do requires our time. As chiropractors, we can’t generate an income without spending time performing our craft. This does not mean that we can’t develop systems in our office that run themselves, but your entire operation does not exist without you in the middle offering and selling your time.

Unfortunately, time is not infinite. Without getting too deep into philosophy and morbidity, understand that your time is all you have to offer. Time, your time, is precious and every minute is incredibly valuable.

If you woke up one day and were told your income was finite and the sum wasn’t large enough to provide for you and your family for the rest of your life, what would you do? You would probably seek out ways to increase your wealth or maybe invest a portion of what you had to try to earn some interest. I guarantee something that you would do; beyond a doubt, is increase the amount of value you placed in every dollar you had. You would immediately shed the unnecessary expenses and sell-off any extra material possessions you had that you didn’t use. Simply put, you would immediately take action to get the most out of every penny.

This situation I just described is life. It’s your life. The amount of life you have left on Earth is finite, only we don’t know how much time you’ve got left!

So, how can we increase the value of the time you are spending working on and in your business?

Increased Efficiency

There are several different concepts and lessons pertaining to time that we teach here at SIDECAR.

  • We recommend you utilize your valuable time in the following increments during your work week: twenty-four clinical hours, twelve management hours, and four hours as an entrepreneur.
  • We recommend you examine your vocabulary and table talk to identify where you are wasting time using incorrect phrases or excess verbiage with patients.
  • We encourage utilizing a concept known as “Dollar per minute” instead of the standard dollar per hour. This unit helps you identify exactly how much you are worth and stresses the importance of every minute you spend in your day.

If the scenario mentioned above resonated with you and depicts the life you’re living now; you aren’t currently valuing your time and understanding that it is the only product you have.

Twenty-four hours a day, 168 hours per week. That is all we have. However, you decide to spend that time is up to you. Just please, understand that time is the only product you truly have.

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

You never know which action you take is going to result in your breakthrough. Intentional effort in everything you do will result in reaching higher levels of success.

If you’ve ever been to a swimming pool you may have seen a lifeguard or pool employee checking the chemical balance of the water. The process used to analyze the water is a method known as titration.

The basics of the titration process are as follows. The person checking the pool uses drops of different test chemicals to assess the chemical levels of the water. By adding the test chemicals one drop at a time, the employee can determine the exact chemical level of the water based on the number of drops it takes to change the color of the water. Once the water changes color, the person stops adding drops and is able to calculate the answer.

What Can Titration Teach Us?

What may surprise you about titration is the lesson it can teach us regarding our business and life in general. With titration, the person performing the test does not know exactly which drop is going to trigger the result. It may be the first, 10th, or 50th drop before the answer is revealed.

Now, if you were to have a group of school children watch someone perform this experiment and ask them which drop caused the change in the water color, the majority would say the last drop! By thinking critically about this scenario, we understand that without any of the drops before it, the result would not be achieved. Therefore, each drop is just as important as the next!

Titration effect

Every single drop matters

Drip by Drip

You never know which action you take is going to lead to the results you are pursuing. What we do know is that little by little, over time, the actions you take will amount to a result. If you stop taking action because you’re not seeing results or you think you’re never going to reach your goals; you could be one action away from your breakthrough.

This example can apply to the health of our patients as well. Who knows if the patient’s health crisis was triggered by the first cigarette or the hundredth? The first greasy meal or the last one?

To see results and achieve success you’ve got to take constant, intentional action. Every drip matters. Consistency is key and the more drips you can make the sooner you can start to see results.

Drip by drip, action by action.

Let’s Ride!

Dr. Douglas Sea, SIDECAR

One of the truly great coaches of all time, Vince Lombardi, is well-known for leading the Green Bay Packers to multiple Super Bowl Championships. To this day, the winning team of the Super Bowl receives the prized Lombardi Trophy. One of the many things Lombardi is known for includes the speech he would give at the first practice of every season. He would start his speech by holding up a football and stating, “Gentlemen, this is a football” before going on to discuss the fundamentals of the game.

In studying history, what I truly find remarkable is the consistent theme of leadership that holds true regardless of the era or generation. There are certain characteristics of leaders that transcend time. Vince Lombardi was a student of fundamentals. At SIDECAR, you will hear us preach the importance of fundamentals in your business. Fundamentals serve as the foundation: the stronger and deeper your foundation, the larger your business can grow and scale.

One fundamental that Lombardi instilled in his teams is what is referred to today as “Lombardi Time”. Under Lombardi’s instruction, if a practice was scheduled to begin at 9:00, you were expected to be on the field, dressed and ready five minutes prior. Essentially, you were ready to be ready for that day’s practice.

The concept of “Lombardi Time” can be used in your office as well. If you are scheduled to begin your shift at 9:00 A.M. you should be in the office five minutes prior ready to take on the day. Now, most techs begin the day with administrative or paper-time responsibilities. Lombardi Time doesn’t mean you start those duties five minutes early. What it does mean is that you make sure you are fully ready to embrace those duties before 9:00 A.M.

If you or a team member regularly struggles with getting ready for the day, or if getting to work on time proves to be a challenge, try installing Lombardi Time in your business.

Dr. SeaDr. Douglas Sea

We’ve all heard the phrase, “every second counts.” This statement is true. We all know how valuable our time is. On the contrary, we also know that one bad day doesn’t make a bad week, one bad week doesn’t make a bad month, one bad month doesn’t make a bad year, and one bad year doesn’t make a bad career. The same holds true for a good day, week, month, or year!

I love looking at numbers. Remember, that which can’t be measured can’t be managed! So how can we quantify a month? A month is approximately 8.4% of one year. 8.4% is a funny number, depending on how you look at it can make it appear like a large or small portion of time. I’m not sure whether it’s a small or large number, but one thing I do know is that 8.4% is significant. When that 8.4% is gone, it’s gone!

So, how did the last 8.4% of your year go?

If it went well, great! That’s 8.4% of your year marked up as a success! Did it not go so well? That’s alright! You’re out that 8.4%, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to make up ground!

Statisticians have determined that 87% of people give up on a goal they set after only one month. After only 8.4% of the year; almost nine out of ten people give up on their goals.

Perspective is powerful. Understand how much value each month brings to you and your business. Commit to your goals and be a part of the 13% that follows through on them!

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

In life you can be the stream and dictate your actions, or you can choose to stay stagnant. 

A stream is a small body of water that is constantly flowing. The stream is always running, continuously moving; it never stops. Around corners, through trees, the stream carves its own path. The stream slowly erodes and creates its own route. Even large rocks are no match for the consistent flowing water of the stream.

You need to be the stream in your life. Keep moving, keep pushing, strive for more. Remain consistent in everything you do and watch as you erode obstacles and create your own path. A stream never stops to take a rest. You can’t afford to rest, either. Over time a stream will wear out anything in its path; you need to possess the same demeanor.

A stream is active, it creates movement and generates action. The rock is passive. The only action the rock experiences is done unto it by another force. Eventually, the rock gives way to the desires of the stream.

Comfy Rocks

Are you stuck being a rock? Have you found yourself a “comfy” spot on the river bed where you’re safe from the flowing stream? I hate to break it to you but that stream’s time will come and you will be at the mercy of the stream! Outside circumstances, perhaps a large rain storm, may cause the stream to expand its reach and suddenly sweep you under.

Do you see the paradox here? If you’re the stream and it starts to rain, you’re going to pick up speed and start moving faster and creating a bigger path for yourself. If you’re the rock, you will be at the mercy of a larger, faster stream.

The opposite is also true, if the weather dries up your stream may become smaller. None the less, the stream will continue to flow and move until it is replenished.

You need to be the stream. There are enough rocks idly sitting by in your market and community. Differentiate yourself and make a difference by creating your own path.

Intention. Effort. Action.

Keep Flowing!

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR