What can ducks teach you about your business? 

Ducks on a Pond

Have you ever watched a duck gliding over the surface of a pond? On top of the water, the appearance is natural, smooth, and effortless. Underneath the surface, that duck is paddling like hell!

I’m sure you’ve heard a cliche or phrase like this example alluding to the point that certain people seem to have a natural talent or appear to make difficult tasks look easy. That’s not the point I want to make with this post. Let’s take this duck example and flip it on its head, literally!

“Working Harder”

Imagine two ducks swimming in a pond. One of them is operating just like the example above – swimming along smoothly. The other is flipped completely upside down. The duck’s head is completely submerged with both legs flailing in the air.

Which duck is working harder? Which duck is accomplishing more?

In business, we strive to be like the first duck. Projecting a calm, confident, and smooth demeanor on the surface while working tirelessly on the back end. Sometimes, things get flipped upside down and we end up like the second duck. Now, we’re flailing our legs and working just as hard but getting nothing accomplished. Even worse, we’ve got our heads underwater and can’t see where we are going.

Where are you in your business right now?

Get Your Head Up!

The second duck’s problem isn’t related to the amount of work it’s doing. If you were observing these two ducks, you wouldn’t say that the first one is doing better than the second one because it’s working harder. The second duck is working just as hard as the first duck! The problem is that the duck’s head is stuck under the water and it can’t see where it’s going. It has no way of knowing if it’s making any progress. More importantly, if that duck doesn’t get its head above the water it will die. Eventually, if you and your business don’t make any progress it will die, too.

Being a chiropractic entrepreneur is hard, especially if you don’t know where you’re going. SIDECAR can help guide you and get your head above water. We’ll help you find your “why” and create a business run by systems to achieve your goals.

After all, we’re not just a bunch of quacks!

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

You  may be a zombie and not even know it. Find out the four keys to identify whether you’re living in the after-life. 

If you’ve observed the trends in the entertainment industry over the past few years you have probably noticed an increased popularity with zombies and zombie culture. Personally, I am amazed at our current societal infatuation with Zombies. From TV shows to movies, video games to T-shirts it’s safe to say there is a healthy following of zombies in modern-day America.

In honor of the zombie trend, I thought it would be fitting to write a post giving some insight on how to tell if you are actually a real-life zombie. That’s right! The following keys will help you identify if you or someone you know is actually living the zombie lifestyle. Here it goes!

1. The day of the week determines your attitude.

If waking up on Monday elicits a different emotional response from you than waking up on a Friday; you’re a zombie. By allowing something as passive as the name given to a day of the week to dictate your mood, you give up your ability to act with intention and begin a zombie-like trend for the rest of your day.

2. You find yourself fitting in with those around you instead of standing out.

Zombies tend to congregate in packs. Mindlessly wandering around looking to devour human flesh. Unless you are operating at the top levels of a Fortune 500 company, it’s probably not healthy for you to fit in with those around you. It’s easier to mindlessly plow through life with like-minded, evenly-matched people around you than it is to stand out and forge your own way.

3. Your thoughts are consistently centered on others.

Now, this point doesn’t mean to only think about yourself and never about others. The point here is that if you are spending your time constantly thinking and chasing others without focusing on yourself, your life, and your own personal achievement, then you are a zombie!

4. You’ve given up hope.

Zombies are the most hopeless form of life (or after-life?). They have no emotion other than constant despair and spend all their time moping. There is no motivation, no desire, no positive attitude on display and absolutely no chance of ever improving their current lifestyle. Instead of attempting to improve their situation they have found it easier to completely give up and live passively.

What now?

If any of the keys match your current living situation consider yourself a zombie. Now, just because you may self-identify with numbers 1, 2, or 3 doesn’t mean you need to embrace number 4. Unlike zombies, we as humans hold the precious ability to self-regulate, self-motivate, and actively pursue a better lifestyle.

The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. Well, my zombie friend, if you’ve recognized your current situation and embraced it as reality then it’s time to start making changes. At SIDECAR we’ve got the resources necessary to help you turn around your current life and get you on track to the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Don’t spend today being a zombie, take charge of your life.

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

You will never achieve your business goals if you can’t finish what you start. 

You have been hearing these phrases since you were a kid: “Finish your meal, finish your homework, finish the race, and so on…”

Why is there all this focus on finishing?

Average vs. Abundance

The difference between an average life and an abundant life deals with the discipline of finishing. Finishing allows you to receive a reward for your work. If you finish your meal you are no longer hungry. If you finish your homework you can receive a grade. You see, the ability to finish is the key to success, significance and fulfillment. Anyone can start, but it takes a special person to finish.

Why then, don’t we finish? Often times, the task seems too big. How do you eat an elephant? By taking small bites! Success in any endeavor can be found in the little steps and small details. We get stuck thinking we need to complete the entire thing in one sitting. Instead, make the routine your reward!

You can’t just do it once, either. At SIDECAR we refer to this phenomenon as “One-in-a-row”. You need to make the commitment and have the discipline to do it over and over and over again until it is finished. Then you find something new to finish!

Three D’s

We recommending living by the 3 D’s:

  1. Do it
  2. Delegate it
  3. Dump it.

Make your decision and commit right then and there. If you commit to doing it, set a timeline and time allotment to finish it.

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

The Master of anything was once a beginner. What role do the basics play in the everyday lives of the elite? 

Before you are able to become proficient at anything in life you must first master the fundamental concepts. If you’re trying to learn something new you start at the beginning. Babies crawl before they walk. It’s easy to grasp the concept that to build anything great, you must start with the foundation. However, we all tend to forget about or “move on” from the fundamentals as we advance.


What role do fundamentals play after you’ve achieved a level of success? Do those at the top still focus on and practice the fundamentals? When is it okay to stop focusing on the fundamentals and “move on” to bigger and better things?

Fundamentals are the building blocks of success and there is never a time when the fundamentals stop becoming important.

I can give multiple examples of different leaders at the top of their respective fields that continuously practice, drill, and teach the fundamentals. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find somebody that has strayed from mastering the fundamentals and achieved any level of success.

Steph Curry

I’m a basketball guy and I like to write about what I know.

Steph Curry is one of the best basketball players in the sport right now. He’s known for several aspects of his game. During the game it’s his shooting accuracy and soft touch that gets the most attention. Before the game, his warm-up routine has started to turn heads as well (If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth three minutes of your time

One aspect of his game that gets overlooked is his free throw shooting. Currently, Steph Curry ranks third all-time in free throw shooting percentage at 90.1%. Over his eight year career he has made nearly 2,000 free throw shots!

A 90.1% average over eight years is remarkable. It’s so good that he has probably stopped practicing free throws altogether and allocated that time to improving other, more advanced parts of his game. Anyone that can perform that well over a long period of time must be spending time doing things that are far beyond the fundamentals, right?

Mastering the Basics

What do you think would happen if Steph Curry stopped practicing his free throw shooting? For awhile, he would probably continue his success at the current rate. However, I can assure you that if he never practiced his free throw routine ever again he wouldn’t be able to maintain the 90% accuracy he has established. I’m sure if you asked him, he would agree with me!

Steph Curry is historically one of the best shooters to ever play the game of basketball and he still practices one of the most fundamentals aspects of the game, free throws! You watched his warm-up routine, this guy is dedicated to doing the little things better than anybody else.

The true greats never advance beyond the fundamentals. Instead, they perfect them and then find ways to scale them to never before seen levels! Sustaining perfect execution of the fundamentals is the key to growing, advancing, and achieving the levels of success you desire.

Let’s Ride!

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR

Does your office have it’s share of good patients and bad patients?

At SIDECAR one of the things you will routinely hear is we believe that the words we choose to use are powerful. We believe that the words we use have a creative nature in them. If I say something’s ugly, it turns ugly.

The Iconic Moment

I was giving a talk at a seminar a while back to a group of doctors and their staff. I asked the audience to define to me what constitutes a “good” patient. Many of the responses that were given included: good patients keep their schedule, they pay their bill, they get better, they follow through with care… there was a long list!

I followed that question up by then asking the audience to define a bad patient. This time the answers included: they whine a lot, they are never on time, they are always complaining, they don’t pay their bill, they never refer, they don’t get better… and so on.

Then something truly iconic happened. A staff member in attendance sheepishly raised her hand. She said, “You know, the reality is that a bad patient really becomes a dead patient because after being labelled they can never come back in”

You could have heard a pin drop.

The Truth

Then everyone came to realize the truth – there is no such thing as a good patient or a bad patient. That’s the point of the message today, stop referring and regarding patients as being “good” or “bad”.

Patients are people, they are human beings. They are not perfect just like you and I are not perfect. As doctors, we don’t fully understand what every patient is going through and classifying a patient in terms of how we see them is truly an act of prejudice.

Monitor the gossip in your office that goes on between techs regarding patients. Watch the language used when talking about patients; you will be amazed at how many times you use the phrase “good” or “bad” patient. This terminology is embedded into our chiropractic lexicon.

Again, be careful on judging patients. Open your heart, meet them where they are, and be amazed at what transpires.

Dr. SeaDr. Douglas Sea

False Summits exist in the business world. Do you know what to do when you encounter one?

What is a False Summit?

In the world of mountaineering there is a concept known as a “false summit”. This occurs when a climber arrives at a peak that appears to be the pinnacle of the mountain, but upon reaching it realizes the summit is higher than expected. This effect has been shown to have significant psychological effects on climbers – dashing their hopes and even resulting in failure.

Your False Summits

Have you ever reached a false summit? Maybe you thought you had reached the top only to realize you still had a long way to go You might have achieved a goal that was set a little too low to result in any tangible reward, only to realize it once you got there. False summits exist everywhere in the entrepreneurial world as well as our personal lives! The only real way to combat this and eliminate the detrimental effects of false summits is to change your perspective!

If the climber’s sole purpose and only goal when climbing the mountain is to reach the top, he or she is going to experience grave disappointment when encountering a false summit. The climb will be physically demanding and mentally taxing. If the climber puts all their hope into the peak they are climbing being the final destination; they are going to struggle with the reality that it’s not. Also, they won’t have any memories or good experiences to fall back on because they were solely focused on reaching what turned out to be a false goal.

Enjoying The Climb

However, if the climber is approaching the mountain with the goal of reaching the top while enjoying the climb the conundrum of the false summit disappears! If a climber is determined to reach the top while also enjoying the climb, cherishing every experience and the progress made along the way, the entire perspective changes once they encounter a false summit. Instead of becoming disheartened he or she will be elated that there is more to climb!

None of us will ever reach the ultimate, final peak on our journey to success. If you have one ultimate goal in your mind that you think is going to mark the end of your journey once you achieve it, you’re wrong! If your vision is aligned with what you truly desire in life then you’re going to fall in love with the climb. Success is found in the climb, not the destination. When you are in love with the climb you’re going to start to desire every peak to BE a false summit! That means there’s more fun to be had on the journey!

Keep Climbing!

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, SIDECAR CXO

Dr Douglas Sea

Becoming a better leader isn’t an overnight process. Following the Hierarchy of Leadership has helped me to enhance my leadership capabilities.

Leadership is a hot topic in the world of entrepreneurship and personal development. Many people have the desire to become a better leader, but do not have a plan in place to turn their thoughts and dreams into reality.

The Hierarchy of Leadership can be utilized as a ladder to becoming a better overall leader. The hierarchy of leadership is as follows: lead yourself, lead your family, lead your team, and lead your community. This model is a progression, you will struggle to lead others if you first cannot lead yourself.

Lead Yourself

If you desire to improve yourself as a leader, first examine your ability to lead yourself. Can you walk the walk? Are you able to execute on your own personal desires? Do you find yourself making excuses and justifying them with your actions?

This is the foundation and most important component of leadership. Effective leaders are extremely self-disciplined, intentional with their actions, and self-aware of who they truly are.

If what you want to achieve requires getting out of bed at 5 AM; you have to get yourself out of bed at 5 AM.

Lead your Family

After you’ve harnessed the ability to lead yourself, focus on leading your family. Those that surround you day in and day out! Whether this be your spouse, children, or other loved ones – develop the ability to lead them.

Your family will expose more about you and your leadership abilities than any other demographic. Your ability to communicate properly, make tough decisions, and lead day-in and day-out will be manifested in a family setting.

Lead your Team

Your team is similar to your family; in fact, you probably spend more time with them than you do your true relatives! The people you interact with everyday when you step foot in the office comprises your team.

Leading your team requires developing and implementing a vision, mission, values, code of honor, and “We Believe” statements. Your ability to lead will be directly determined by your ability to get your team to buy-in and commit to honoring these values.

Your ability to lead your team will determine your capability to serve those around you.

Lead your Community

The last step in the Hierarchy of Leadership is the ability to lead your community. By the time you’ve reached this point you should be confident and comfortable with your ability to lead. Leading in your community is simply an opportunity to extend your leadership skills elsewhere and serve.

To an extent, if you’ve reached this level of leadership ability it is your duty to go out and lead the community you live in. Possessing this level of leadership is rare and doesn’t come by chance. Reaching out at this level will allow you to leave an impact greater than you may have imagined.

Final Thoughts

Leadership isn’t easy and it isn’t for everyone. If you truly desire to become a better leader, examine where your leadership ability falls along the Leadership Hierarchy model.

The best advice I can give? Start by learning to lead yourself.

Let’s Ride!

Dr. SeaDr. Douglas Sea, CTO SIDECAR

To learn more about Dr. Douglas Sea click here. 

Speed bumps aren’t really a big deal, are they? If you’re in a parking lot and the speed bumps are painted bright yellow; then no, they really aren’t a big deal. You understand the need to back off the gas and ease your car over them with no damage done.

What if that speed bump is just over the hill on a highway?

Speed bumps exist in all aspects of our lives. They slow us down and can make us lose our momentum or even throw us off track completely.

In your practice, a speed bump is anything that disrupts the flow of your daily operations. It’s anything that doesn’t allow you to run at peak efficiency and effectiveness. If you are seeing a lower volume of patients in a day these speed bumps may be foreseeable and easier to manage. However, keeping these speed bumps in place and trying to work around them will prohibit you from going faster. Sure, they aren’t a big deal now; but, what happens as your patient volume grows and you become busier? This is comparable to going over a speed bump in the parking lot vs. the highway.

There’s no way to completely remove speed bumps. It’s part of life. They are going to pop up and you must prepare be able to handle them. Deal with them as they appear to ensure they don’t grow to become an unbearable void in your practice.

Dr. SeaDr. Douglas Sea

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

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