How do the recent struggles in the airline industry relate to your chiropractic business?


By now you’re probably aware of the incident that recently occurred on the United Airlines Flight. In all aspects, what took place was truly an atrocious display of customer service. It’s going to take United a while to recover from this and there’s no doubt that they have lost some customers forever. There’s not much to learn from this incident other than to remember that the customer’s desires should always exceed the company’s.


However, another airline, Delta, has also taken heat for cancelling over 3,000 flights in the past week. Delta is a six billion-dollar company that is my personal favorite. They have provided me with a better customer experience than any other airline. If you look at their company history over the years they have made remarkable strides and implemented systems and procedures that have allowed their company to grow tremendously.

Until this past week, Delta had a streak of 241 days of never cancelling a flight. In 2010, that number for the entire year was zero. This statistic alone shows how much growth and improvement the company has made in the last six years.

What Went Wrong?

So what went wrong this past week? Bad weather.

You might be thinking, “That’s it? Bad weather?” The answer is really that simple. An unpredictable storm that lasted the course of a few days was enough to knock the airline giant off-balance. Delta is known for pushing the limits and running an advanced system with multiple aircrafts. This system has proven to be one of the best in the industry 90% of the time or when the skies are blue.

What about the other 10% of the time? What happens when the skies aren’t blue? Systems don’t work as designed and aren’t yet equipped to handle these unforeseen variables.

So their systems failed, now what? I guarantee you the leadership team at Delta isn’t sitting around sucking their thumbs! They are evaluating the situation finding solutions and implementing them as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, they understand that 90% of the time their systems deliver a customer experience that is unrivaled in the industry. Keeping this in perspective, they are going to find ways to tighten the screws to increase their ability to better handle the unpredictable 10%.

Your Chiropractic Business

As chiropractors, we have the tendency to try to control everything. Controlling every patient cluster in your office leads to four patient clusters and scheduling fifteen-minute appointment times. If you operate under this mindset you cut off your ability to grow and become scared to push things. At SIDECAR, we believe in developing systems and procedures designed to serve the 90%. You have to be prepared for the one-off’s and the 10% of the time that things don’t go as planned; but, designing systems around the 10% will severely limit your ability to serve the 90%!

Delta will recover and find ways to improve. Great companies always do.

Build your company around serving the 90% in the absolute best way you know how. When the unforeseeable happens, don’t hide or shy away from it. Take the problem head on and find a solution.

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

Steve Jobs is one of the most brilliant minds to ever enter the business world. I want to share and elaborate on the seven principles he instilled in his work.

  1. Do What You Love: Find your passion. People think of passion as some frilly feeling. Passion means “to suffer for”. Your passion is your why statement. Why do you get up in the morning?
  2. Put a Dent in the Universe: Inspire others to rally around your vision. Create a tribe that makes a difference.
  3. Say No to a Thousand Things: FOCUS on what is important. Don’t be a jack of all trades but master of none.
  4. Kickstart Your Brain: Do something new. Expand your horizons. Jump off the cliff and grow wings on the way down.
  5. Sell Dreams Not Products: Sell the dream of possibility. Make every visit about the patient, not the chiropractic adjustment. Selling is nothing more than the transfer of enthusiasm.
  6. Create Insanely Great Experiences: Make your patients love visiting your office. Show them how much you care.
  7. Master the Message: Become a great communicator. Say less, not more.

We could all learn a lot from Steve Jobs’ Principles. Apply them in your life and watch the impact they have.

Dr. Nathan Unruh

Dr. Nathan Unruh and the SIDECAR Team

Any great team is full of high achievers. What are some common characteristics that these successful people share?

1. High Achievers Make No Small Plans – High achievers look at life with an “idealistic vision.” They make no small plans. They are always thinking big and looking to be better.

2. High Achievers Are Willing to Do What They Fear – Too often we let fear paralyze us. We become stuck and spend our time treading water. If you tread in one place long enough, you will get tired, and you will sink. High achievers do what they are scared of doing.

3. High Achievers Are Willing to Prepare – No high achiever reached success overnight. Masters of anything understand the need to prepare to get better. High achievers understand the need for an organization to prepare each and every day to execute on their vision.

4. High Achievers Are Willing to Risk Failure – High achievers understand that with every risk comes a chance of failure. When failure happens, high achievers don’t quit. They get up and get over it.

5. High Achievers Are Teachers – High achievers start every day with a beginner’s mindset. They are always searching for solutions through studying, reading, or mentoring. High achievers are willing to create change. They understand the danger of the philosophy, “we’ve always done it this way.” They avoid succumbing to a state of contraction.

6. High Achievers Have a Heart – Out of a heart comes goals, visions, and sensitivity to other people. Out of this sensitivity comes the opportunity to serve others at a higher level.

It’s never too late to become a high achiever. High achievers aren’t born but developed through hard work.

A concept that has been preached to children since the beginning of time: decision making. You probably remember your parents teaching you the importance of making good decisions when you were young. When you became a teenager, you started to make your own decisions. Now, you’re all grown up. Do you still think about the decisions you make?

Over my years of studying human behavior, I’ve noticed that people mainly make decisions in one of two ways, either by intention or by default. Intentional decision makers devote time and effort into inspecting the choices and making the best decision based on the knowledge they have. Default decision makers simply base their decision on whatever is left for them to choose.

An intentional decision maker understands that every decision affects his/her quality of life. Every time a decision is made in favor of one thing, every other choice is intentionally declined. If you make the decision to live in one specific location, you are also deciding to NOT live in every other available place on Earth. Living with intention allows for better control of the life we choose to live. Become more intentional with every decision you are faced with. Don’t let others decide how you will chart the course of your life.

Be in charge of your own destiny. Intentionally align each decision you make with achieving higher goals.

How many of you have felt like you had everything in place in one aspect or another in your life, but then all of a sudden something happened that you never expected? I think we have all felt this way at one time or another. This is the concept of being in command but still out of control. No matter how much planning we do, there are still those variables that we can’t account for. The take-away is that we need to continue to be strategic and plan, but keep in mind that at any given time you may need to adapt your plans. Adaptation and change are the real juice where possibilities take place.

I was attending a college in the beautiful Smokey Mountains. I enrolled in a general psychology course that involved a lab experiment where we would have to train a rat. Instead of being out in the beautiful mountains enjoying myself with friends, I was relocated to a small room with a rat in a box. The course required me to train this rat to hit a lever at random times and intervals to receive a pellet of food as its reward. The experiment would progress by rewarding the rat at random intervals. For example, the rat may have to depress the lever 5 times, or ten times, or only when a small light was on in the box. I would have to log my progress and could not move on to the next level of the experiment until the rat and I had completed each step. I spent endless hours pleading with the rat, screaming at this rat, and at times wanted to end this rat’s life.

At the time, I did not understand the importance of this experiment, but I have developed an appreciation of that time in the lab. I learned that “random reinforcement” would excite the brain of the rat and the more random the reinforcement, the more exciting the activity became even if you removed the reward.

I contend that we are no different than that rat in the box. Let’s spend just a minute thinking about how we are wired as human beings. We like the feeling of accomplishment and progress. We have fallen to the misconception that if we check off 20 emails that we have accomplished something, but have we? Did deleting, forwarding, or moving that email to a folder really do anything productive? Did it move the dial toward your vision? Did it produce any substantial step toward progress, or was it merely the feeling of accomplishment because something happened?

I caution you to be careful when you disguise busyness with productivity! We have become conditioned by “random reinforcement” in our own lives by the countless distractions that limit our focus and diminish our productivity. The “box” that sits on our desk or in our laps contains a multitude of seemingly “potential rewards” that cause us to become consumed with having to constantly be checking our inbox, what others are doing on Facebook, Twitter, and the list goes on.

Our time is our most precious asset, and we have allowed “time creep” to permeate every hour, minute, and second of our lives. We have filled our time with “random reinforcements” that have robbed us from creativity and productivity that allows the manifestation of abundance, affluence, success, significance, and impact.

So what is the solution?

  1. Acknowledge your most valuable asset, Time! How we use our time is up to us. The reality is that when we say yes to something we are saying no to something else. Learning to manage time is a skill to be acquired, and I contend it is paramount to our success, significance, and impact.
  2. I AM in the am. Our most creative and productive time is in the morning. Many of us have routines that include checking email and social media outlets first thing in the morning, and for that matter, throughout the day and into the evening. We suggest you use the time in the morning to do your creative work. Write, read, think, create, journal, meditate, and review your vision, mission, and goals. Mornings are magical! Use your mornings wisely, and don’t be tempted by all the distractions in our world that are nothing more than drugs that enter our brains through our eyeballs!
  3. Set the edges. Be intentional about every hour of your day. A calendar that provides an intentional focus and allocation of time creates productivity toward your stated vision. Schedule time to create, to think, to play, to be with family, to work, and to do whatever you want. All of us have 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week, 8,736 hours a year and how we spend that time is 100% up to us!