February 11, 2020

How To Transition Out Of Full-Time Patient Care With Tom Dalonzo-Baker

PTO 83 | Transitioning Out Patient Care


Tom Dalonzo-Baker is well known for his work as the Founder of Total Motion Release Seminars, but in his past he is also a successful PT clinic(s) owner that had to go through some tough transitions in order to run his business. From early on in his ownership, he recognized, however, that he needed help - another PT that could take some of his patient load as well as some consulting on how to run his business. Once he started taking the time to systematize his processes and manage his business through statistics and observation, Tom began to see real growth in his company as well as freedom for himself to develop Total Motion Release. His story is not unlike many other owners that have been on the podcast, and it represents the struggle that many owners face during their ownership - how do you get the freedom that you want without sacrificing the production of the clinic? Tom shares his experience in transitioning out of full-time patient care which led to real success.


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How To Transition Out Of Full-Time Patient Care With Tom Dalonzo-Baker

I'm bringing back Tom Dalonzo-Baker who is very well-known for being our prior guest. You might know him from his Total Motion Release seminars, in which they provide a ton of continuing education and great content for physical therapists. They’re also getting into some dry needling over the past few years and have done a great job in the field in doing that. I wanted to bring on Tom and I'm probably doing double duty with this topic because in one of our episode, I talked to Aisha Wilbur about how she got out of treating full-time in order to salvage her practice.

I also wanted to get that information from someone like Tom. He's been around a long time. He had multiple practices. I want to get his take on what he did to pull out of treatment full-time so that he could focus on his seminars. The story isn't the same as Aisha's and that's why it's valuable. He's got a ton of wisdom and insight on what led him to not only pull out of treating full-time, but also the message that he needed to take to the doctors and the mindset that he took with him. There's a lot of trepidation and pulling out of treating when I talk to coaching clients of mine about, what do I do now with that time? What am I going to do in order to be productive? It's a mindset shift.

Talking to Tom, we're able to go through his story and his experience about pulling out of treatment full-time so that he could move on and get the freedom to do other things that he was passionate about. The overall concept is the same, but his story is quite a bit different than Aisha’s. I wanted to share his insight as well. Even though we're hitting this topic two times in a row, it's a topic that comes up quite a bit as I'm talking to clients of mine on how to get them out of treating full-time so they can focus on their businesses. It's the step you have to take in order to get the freedom and ultimately improve the profits and achieve the goals that you want for your clinic. Let's get to the interview.


I’ve got Tom Dalonzo-Baker, the Founder of Total Motion Release. If you read the first episode with Tom, he shared his backstory and how he got to where he's at, how he developed Total Motion Release seminars. We also mentioned at that time that he sold his practice in 2017 to his employees. He had four small practices. If you read that episode, you'll learn a little bit more about Tom's backstory. I wanted to bring Tom on because he's got a wealth of information, but also a consistent question or concern that I have in dealing with some of my owner clients is, "How do I get out of treating full-time so that I can work on my business or achieve our goals or growth and that stuff?” That or, “I'm getting burned out of treating full-time and I want to transition into an executive role.” I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk to Tom because he had to do that in order to develop his seminars. We'll get into that a little bit more. First of all, I want to say, Tom, thanks for coming on.

Thanks for having me. It's always fun to be here.

I love bringing you on because you’re a wealth of knowledge.

Thanks. I'm not sure my kids would say that but it's a lot of fun.

Tell me a little bit about your story and then we can get into what you've seen as you've talked to other owners across the country and what it took for you to step out of your practice. When I say step out, step out of treating full-time in order to work on your business and company. I’ll share some of my thoughts as well as we go through this and my experience. What did you do and what are some of the things that you would recommend others do in order to make that step?

I'd go back a little bit because sometimes people have to realize, where did this person come from? How was he able to think like this? How did he better develop those skills? I was a teacher before I was a PT. Being a teacher, you're always constantly trying to find the patterns to help somebody learn. I was constantly doing that. In some regards, it’s second nature to me. I want to be able to give my skillset to somebody else because I know it's going to free me up to a degree. My kids joke because they tell you that I had them to do the chores around the house. Each got chores and then they’d send me a little video even when I'm gone and they have to validate it. I’ve got that mentality. When I got into practice early on, I made sure that I had my front desk, I had myself.

I tried to hire even a part-time person, somebody who could step me out because I figured, “Let me do the other parts of running the business. At the same time, I still took all these millions of courses. It was a balancing act there. I had that mindset to begin with, but I was nowhere near wanting to do it. A lot of times I know that when I talk to people, they're completely therapist-driven, which means they're technique-driven, but they didn't have necessarily that mentality and they'd be forced into. Let me tell you, it's not easy no matter where you come from because you will be forced into it becoming an owner.

That's what I noticed is you had that mindset. I don't think a lot of owners go into entrepreneurship with that mindset. What I find myself doing is talking to them about, “If you're going to improve your business and grow your business, you can't be treating full-time.” The hiccup becomes, “If I step out, I'm going to lose money. How do I become productive? How do I take on this next salary?” It seems you might not have had to overcome those hurdles or did you?

Yes, without a doubt. I said, “I'd like to bring somebody else on.” Remember I started from scratch. I had a handshake with a fitness club. I was one of the first people in a fitness club in North Carolina and I convinced them to take over a storage room. Luckily, the guy I had a handshake with was an honest guy. It was a big wellness center because the next day, one of the big organizations in town came and wanted a contract. He’s like, “I’m a man of my word. I’ll let him do that.” I started with not a lot of expenses. I realized when I got to a certain point, we're not talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. When I got to 20, 25 people, I made sure I wasn't doing the billing by any means. I might have started with somebody doing billing, but then I brought somebody on to do part-time.

I was always looking for the mom or somebody who could help me out there. They could start into it and they could then become the next person and they had the flexibility. I was very fortunate. I found three of them probably along the way that helped out. I remember I even went into my old school and I said, “Anybody that’s a student now that wants to come and work at a PT place just to help out, I’ll give you a couple of bucks here and there an hour.” It's where I fell. I was willing to take less money for myself with the potential that I felt that if I had this part-timer, it would free me up to do things.

You had that mentality and that's a mentality that I constantly have to work on with owners that I work with. Stepping out doesn't necessarily mean that your company is going to regress. Stepping out is a sign of progress that you're going to move forward. By working on your business, your revenues will improve, the business flow will improve. You'll have time to handle HR issues like hiring and firing and all that stuff.

I got to look at it from the outside. I also want to mention this too because a lot of times people think,
“He must have loaned. They had this backup or this backup.” I started with $2,000. I didn’t have any money, but my wife was working so we did have something to fall back on. It was nothing huge or anything like that. As I went through, I realized, “I can at least get ten more people in here if I were out there. I can do this.” That was the push. I can get out there and meet people because if I'm all working, how am I supposed to get out there? In that stage of the game, it was about going out and meet and greet doctors, having workshops, wellness centers, things like that.

PTO 83 | Transitioning Out Patient Care
The 4-Hour Workweek

You had the mindset and sometimes other owners have to get to that point, then you also were willing to essentially invest by taking other people on that might not have been the best for your financials, but you considered it an investment to bring these people on. You could then turn around and market more, see more doctors, grow the practice from that regard instead of having your head down in treating patients all day.

Myself being in it and now pulling back out and watching, then setting up other clinics and trying to get them to grow, looking back, I sit there and I go, “I seem to take the right steps,” but none of them were easy. Going from being a therapist, I’ve always been the boots on the ground person. I’ve always been in it too shifting to say, “I need to bring somebody else on.” With all the fears of the money it's going to take, there are ways to get somebody. There's somebody out there willing to do some work, whether it's a PTA. In North Carolina, a tech is allowed to bill for and stuff. That helped out. Those little baby steps that free up certain space for me was beneficial.

You didn't immediately step out of treating full-time. How many days per week did you take? Half-day here or there, one full-day? What did you do?

I brought a PT on first and I tried to bust both of us. Before I stepped out, I probably had two PTs or a PT and a PTA. I’ve got to step out. At that point in time, I realized I can get out there and do more of the marketing. I also had the mindset of, “I'm scared to do it,” but once you do it, I get a fear of, “What do they think I'm doing now with my time?”

How long did it take to get over that?

It took me two years. That was not easy. I kept pushing through and doing it anyway, but it was still in the back of my head. It was like, “What did he come doing now with it?” It always felt if I went in the clinic or I was outside in the clinic doing work, that I had to justify somehow and go back in and, “Here are all the things I was doing.” That sometimes talking to other owners was more things that pushed them backward and back out of not doing it than anything. I went through phases of that. When I started doing it, what was I doing? You've got all this time. I felt I was being questioned. I don't think I was questioned by my employees.

It probably never came up.

If you decide to be an owner, you do it for a reason and fill the vacuum that needs to be filled. Click To Tweet

No, I would come in after I was out and about. Whether I was home doing the work and all, I would wonder the same thing. I got into seminar business, but I was still running myself from home. What it made me realize is how much I had to have systems in place. What systems do you want in place for that? You don't think about them early on and as soon as you step out. That's why it's nice to step out a little bit and then come back in because you’re like, “I didn't set up those systems.” Even right now, I started with one seminar, TMR, then we got TOTS. We got dry needling, 1 and 2. I'm going to add a pelvic floor. It's like, “I’ve got too many plates spinning.” I realized I’ve got to process this stuff out. That's what you got in mind. That takes time. It's more of a journey and it should be more fun that you're learning all this, but don't think that I haven't readied my house for sale on 2 or 3 occasions.

You led me down the path that I was going. What did you do? Because all this time, we're trained to be technicians. We’re supposed to be therapists. We spent however 25 years of our lives building up to be this therapist and that's what we were trained to do. That's what we know how to do. We can exchange our treatment time for insurance reimbursement. That's our production where you don't readily see that immediate exchange when you step into an executive role because now your hour is an exchange for a check from the insurance company. You have to get over the mentality that you're investing in the business, which will show in other ways that will increase revenue. Getting over that mentality is difficult. What did you do then with your time? The first thing you did, you talked about processes. You need to develop a process. When you say set up process, you're talking about grind and write it down.

First, I stepped out. I had to grind. I had to hustle to get more patients through the door. I had to get out there and do marketing. I didn't have processes yet. I had them in my head and I had to do it. I'd come back and do because I only had three people. It's not as difficult to maneuver around and be an owner of yourself and two other people. It’s when things start adding up, now all of a sudden, “I’ve got to get up with these doctors. I have to do this stuff.” Now you have a pile of work over here you're doing, plus you have to manage the clinic. You said, “When did I step up? When did I realize I needed help?” It got to a point that I sucked. I was good at this and this, but when I realized that I’ve got too many plates, I was literally going, “I'm not sure whether I'm going to have to close the clinic or not.” I spent the most money probably still to this day, when things are the worst. I was almost going broke on, “Do I have to close this down?” I said, “I need to reach out somewhere.”

I remember that time there was a company called Measurable Solutions that sent out a postcard that said, “Get new patients out the wazoo.” I go home and I go, "This is true.” I probably talked to them for a while and I decided to go in and I got all that leadership training. That was a hard swallow to get in there and get the training done. I had to step out and get consulted because I thought I knew what to do. I was doing it. I had to find other people that had been through the same crap that I’ve been through and pulled it out at the other end. Back then, we didn't get to see a lot of people and it wasn't things like this where people talked about it.

I think that might be an initial mentality that if I pull out, I can market. We're not trained in business. Getting some of that coaching/consulting and getting some business acumen takes it to the next level. We could try to get new patients. Shaun Kirk and I talked a lot that there are holes in the bucket. You can pour more water, as in new patients, into the bucket but things are leaking out. That comes down to, are you managing your statistics properly? Do you have processes and procedures in place? What's your hiring, firing flow? All that stuff. Those are business aspects that we as therapy owners need training because that's not what they taught us in therapy school. We were trained to be technicians.

I don't know that I want somebody one step ahead. I want somebody who made it all the way through and pulled out and said, “I'm going to help somebody.” They may be one step ahead because they're trying to get through their crap of the next step. It's nice to get somebody who has gone through the process of it and can relate completely to you. There are many more people like yourself that had their clinic and now are in there going, “I want to help.” It's a lot of fun to help people do this, but it's grueling to be on this end watching people struggle.

You know what it takes and you want to hit them in a good way and go, “Come on.” If you decided to be an owner, you did it for a reason. You will fill the vacuum that needed to be filled when you step into the idea, “I'm going to spend this money.” Here's what Shaun Kirk had said to me. He goes, “Tom, what would it be like if you were as good running your practice as you were treating patients?” That changed everything for me. I said, “That's what I need,” or I’ve got to go back and be a regular PT and working for somebody else. I didn't want that. You sway back and forth because sometimes you can go, “We've got to get paid more money as a therapist than being an owner,” but it's a hope that that will change.

PTO 83 | Transitioning Out Patient Care
Transitioning Out Patient Care: There are business aspects that therapy owners need training on because that's not what they’re taught in therapy school.


It follows along with my mantra of reach out, step out and network. You recognized that in order to grow your business innately, you needed to step out. Initially you did the marketing but you’re lacking in the business acumen, so then you reached out to your consultants. You got that so you could standardize your policies and procedures and learn how to be a business owner, manage, follow the right KPIs. All that is certainly valuable. You've been super successful to the point where you have been able to step out of treating full-time and develop the seminars. What you exemplify is that not everyone wants to go out and teach seminars or has a product, but that gave you freedom to do whatever you wanted to do and your profits followed with you.

To a degree. Now I had two companies to run. I got two sets of processes to try to figure out. I had done enough because going out there and a good consultant made it, so I realized what was causing something to go wrong perhaps or how to at least observe it so that I could fix it. When I had those in place, I was able to step out. I seemed to, personality-wise, step up quicker than somebody else does. I said, “Do I have the capabilities to do the seminars too?” I remember in the beginning of seminars, you’re doing one seminar every month to 2 months or 3 months when you’re starting. It's not that big of a strain, but then all of a sudden you realize, “Now I made the point, what do I do?” Now I’ve got to have both of them. It took me fifteen years to decide to get rid of one of those and cement.

Share that with us because what you did can tie back to our conversations. How do you step out of one role into another? You have to step out of treating and executive roles in clinics to make the seminars work.

My path is the way things worked for me. It doesn't mean it has to be yours or anybody else's. The first thing is I was a good clinician. I went out and took 40 courses in the first three years and it was crazy. I had that mentality of, “I'm in the top 10%. This is why my doctors sent for me.” The very first phase was to get out of that mindset. How do I get my people to be believed in by the doctors who are sending for me? I'm fortunate that I ran into Total Motion Release that I could easily facilitate that and teach them quickly. I knew that I could say to the doctors, they're doing the same thing I am. I'm checking off. When I then had an easement about doctors trusting my company to send to rather than just me, then I had the phase of when I'm stepping out, what do my employees think about me with this time I have on my hands? I'm sure other people feel it too is that, “What will the boss do?” You're not the one doing anything. Even as you're going out there and reorganizing the company, what is it you're physically doing? I think that was more of a mental, of my own pressure than they might actually be saying and doing that too.

When I stepped out completely, I stepped out because I'm an online guy. I'm a virtual guy. I read Tim Ferriss' The 4-Hour Workweek many years ago. He talked about getting virtual assistants. I have virtual assistants doing stuff in my clinic as cheaply as I possibly could. That's probably what I should do a class on. It's how to get virtual assistants because I had them doing tons of stuff for me. From there then, when I stepped out and I ran my clinic from home, I had to have it set up that my people could look at their stats or their graph. They could send me data, send me a report and they would send them to me on their time. I would look at them on my time so that we didn't both have to meet at the same time. We even set up meetings that were very efficient. I was taught how to do that with consultants, then I could do two companies at once.

It seemed like you took a lot of time, not only developing processes but you developed a culture. This is how we do things at my seminars because that's another hiccup. I have plenty of clients who are talking to their referral sources. As they're bringing on new PTs, the doctors are saying, “I need you to go and see so-and-so.” They might not write that down on the prescription but, “I want you to see so-and-so at such and such physical therapy.” When the patients come in and they're not seeing so-and-so, I had to go through the same thing. I was one and the same with Pinnacle Physical Therapy back in the day. When doctors would send me, a lot of times they say, “I want you to go and see Nathan.” They didn't even know the name of my clinic sometimes. How did you get over that with patients?

By far, TMR helped the most because it was so easy for me to come in and say, “Is this what they did on you?” There were many abilities with that that simplified my process. What was unique about the Total Motion Release, I had to create a process to make TMR. I took that process, the way in which I created it and then did the exact same thing in my clinic. Chip Moseley and I, my lead therapist at the time, we would constantly go, “How do we build this and build it within the company too?” In TMR, we look at the entire body. We move it to observe what's working and not working. That's easy. In the company, you have to first of all observe your departments to see how it's working and what's it doing, and then determine what's working and not working. You have to have some standards in which you want to see happen and then continue to follow them. That's what we talked about in the first one, setting those standards.

Everybody can do different things, but with the same mentality on it. Click To Tweet

First of all, you've got to know what they are. How do you know what they are? You've got to talk to your staff. You’ve got to get things about them. You've got to get a consultant. “He's talking about so much stuff.” There’s a step by step. I'm a math teacher back when I taught school. I love a step by step stuff. I don't want to be a teacher. I want to be an instructor because an instructor gives you instructions to follow a recipe that you then follow, and then from following that recipe, you've learned the knowledge. That's where a coach comes in because they've broken down the steps. They are your instructor that knows the recipe. It's going to keep on hounding you because you keep wanting to put salt where there's supposed to be sugar or something.

I wanted to reference back to our previous interview. What you did to establish that culture and how you do things was a team effort. From what I remember in our conversation, and correct me if I'm wrong, you would bring your providers together and say, “We have a lower back patient, we have a sciatica patient. How do we treat that patient successfully?” A lot of that is the owner sharing what their knowledge is. That way, it becomes, this is how we, as physical therapists, treat low back or sciatica patients. You can tell that to your physicians, “Whether they see me or they see another provider in my clinic, they're going to get the same type of care.” You can make it consistent and get similar results throughout the clinic. That's how you developed your culture.

I didn't like seeing that if somebody came in, this will be a common thing. I’ve had seminars on this and webinars and just asking owners. If somebody came in, a VIP came in, who'd end up treating them in your clinic? If the answer is you, then you haven't set up a path or standards that everybody's not doing different things. Everybody can do different things, but with the same mentality on it. For example, we have the same TMR or daily note. I don't care what technique you do, everybody can tell what's being done from it. I hate to keep putting up TMR, but TMR allows manual therapy, corrective exercise to be done in any technique and it’s still on the form and everybody knows what to do. That's probably what changed my clinic the most is because then we could simply say, “What are you doing with it?” What we found is rather than our differences, how many similarities we had and then we crossed off the other things and then we created standards. Standard would be the biggest thing.

If you can tell the doctors, “Whether they see me or whether they see somebody else in my clinic, they are going to get the same level of care. I'm no better than the other therapist. In fact, some of my other therapists are better,” that's a conversation that needs to be built on top of the relationship you already have. Many times, to appease the patients, maybe you see them the first visit and then introduce them to the other physical therapists and say, "They know exactly what we're doing. We have the same notes.” It takes some work, but you have to come together with mindsets as providers in order for it to not become Tom Dalonzo-Baker physical therapy, be your clinic.

I think that's more a mental thing these days because look how many doctors have their PAs. I don't think it's a big deal to them anymore. When they see, "Here's how it's instructed and taught. Here's what we're doing,” that mental block is one of the easiest ones. Now there are easier ones to deal with.

You've given us a lot of great insight on how you did it and to the point where now, over the last few years, you've been so much more focused on seminars. The clinics have essentially run themselves that you've turned it on over to the employees and without a significant change. They're continuing to do what they were doing before, I assume.

I sold my clinic in 2017, but I was out of the clinic for seven years. They knew what they had to send to me and every week we'd come in and we'd have a meeting. I had good people that will tell you they were illiterate. They can’t even turn on a computer and they were doing massive cool Excel spreadsheets. Maybe you guys might say, “I have my people do different work and more work.” If it's facilitated the right way, oftentimes with a consultant helping you on the things, you can see that you can empower them and they'll see that it's going to save them time. One of my front desk, she totally dragged her feet on doing a front desk routine. I said, “I promise you, you’ve just got to give me time. This is going to save you so much money or so much time having it organized like this.” Three months later, she came back and say, “You're so right, Tom. I don't have to search all over the place.”

PTO 83 | Transitioning Out Patient Care
Transitioning Out Patient Care: You have to set some standards in which you want to see happen, and then continue to follow them.


You shared that with us in the previous episode about what you had your front desk people do. I recommend the readers to go back and read the first episode because you had a separate Excel spreadsheet for your front desk people. You told me that your front desk person was offsite. Is that true?

If you observe enough about what happens at your front desk and how much stress and pressure from getting things done they are, you'll see that patients and therapists are always talking to them. They're always being asked to do this and that. I observed one day and go, “I couldn't do that.” In fact, I had to cover a couple of times for them and I go, “This is insane. How do I even expect them to get anything done?” Being a virtual guy, I took my front desk and made them work from home. People say, “It couldn't be done,” but we had a success rate that if a patient called for an evaluation, she would go through a scale taught by Shaun Kirk. They go through a scale to ask them about their problem. From there, listening to them, “What would you do about it? I think we can help. Would you like to set an appointment? Great. I will tell you right now, typical treatments, three times a week for four weeks. I'd like to get you on the schedule because we're so full. We can always change it later, but at least it's there.” She had a 90% success rate doing that from home before the patient ever came in. Anybody would take that statistic.

They’re getting full buy-in and full scheduled out appointments even before they came in for the initial eval.

You ask the front desk, “Why can’t they take the time for the person on the phone?” Because they're not the person in front of them. They don't have the person in front of them. They have the person on the phone. They have much more time. There's a big thing I always say. If you've worked hard enough at a problem and it's not solving, it's the environment. It's not the people involved. It's usually the environment. Look at the environment, and so I went to the front desk and I said, “Let's watch what's happening with that.” I am getting frustrated on why this is happening. I was like, “Why do they get inundated with interruptions constantly? How do I take away those interruptions?” You go in and observe a therapist who isn't performing up to par. There's something oftentimes in their environment. It might be training, which is internal stuff too.

That's great advice for people to look and see, “We put a lot of conjecture out there. They're probably not doing this. I need to train them more.” Sometimes it's as simple as sitting down and observing for 15, 30 minutes and seeing what does their environment look like. Do they have the tools that they need? What are some of the interruptions to their flow? What can we do to knock all those things away and make it easier for them? That's amazing that you’ve got such great statistics by having them work from home.

I’ll pull something else out. If you're an apprentice for let's say a blacksmith. All that's ever happening is you're watching them do it. They put the steel in, lots of fire, learn it, come out, hammer it on, and then they're turning around giving that to you. What do they have to do? They have to watch to see if you're doing it correctly to give you the next step. Most of the time, me being an owner going in and watching sessions gave more help to my therapist than me hiring somebody and letting them be on their own. Oftentimes, what are you going to do with your time? Sometimes it's seeing what it is they're doing and say, “We have to change this one little bit.” Your people are canceling out before their twelfth visits. It looks good, but people are only staying for seven times. When we look for the satisfaction score and we look through your data, they're not leaving content.

That goes to the point of a lot of times, we might step out and then not observe. We maybe delegate and we say, “Here, go do this.” We're essentially absolving ourselves without doing the first step, which is to train them, step out, observe, reinforce, train and correct, then you can fully step out and then come back on a more regular basis to check in once in a while. If you step out and absolve yourself from any responsibility over that person, you're setting yourself up for failure.

When you systematize the process of treating, people can all relate together. Click To Tweet

This is the other one that happens. This is our biggest one. You'll go out and you'll get taught. You'll eventually get to the point where, “I’ve got to get help.” I will tell you though, remember you're the one giving help and you're going to go back and make it. It's going to feel now you're micromanaging everybody. You're having to tell everybody what to do and it's a sucky feeling because you're pushing things in and you're trying to balance it out. I understand that from people who take TMR, then they try to go back to their coworker. You had sixteen hours to deal with TMR. You as an owner had sixteen hours or 2 or 3 days to get the mental process in there and you're trying to take in little fifteen-minute increments to do the same to your staff.

When I realize that part of it, that helped me the most and I began being able to high-five them rather than micromanage them. I began setting up. The biggest thing is setting up those things that you go, “There it is. You've got to push it in without a doubt.” Eventually, you'll see that you're not micromanaging. You’re high-fiving your staff. That was the biggest thing. I was guilty so much and I would have to listen to my staff how much of a jerk I was and change. “Now that I did it that way, how would you like me to present it to you?” They always gave me a wonderful answer. I go, “I can do that.”

I’ll tell you a little story. My wife did work when we had one of our kids. I’ve been grumpy because I’m usually thinking of something. I said, “When you walked by me and you see that look on my face, just say prick.” It would totally re-adjust me just like that because I had something on my head that I was trying to think in the future and help out, but I wasn't totally right here. A lot of times as the owner, I wasn't being right there. I was twelve steps ahead wondering how I was going to get these people one step. That's very difficult. It was nice to have the reflection back and forth to people and the people in front of you. If you will be vulnerable enough to say, “I feel I'm doing this,” they'll probably say, “You are.” You can say, “How can I help you get there?”

That’s a ton of great advice that you gave from your personal experiences and what you've learned over time. I want to give you time, and I know you're limited in time, so thank you for coming on. For the people who want to get in touch with you or find out what's going on with Total Motion Release, how do they find out?

PTO 83 | Transitioning Out Patient Care
Transitioning Out Patient Care: If you've worked hard enough at a problem and it's not solving, it's the environment.


TotalMotionRelease.com. I’ve gotten to a point that I give away this free training that is so elaborate and so cool. I’ve automated it and it takes you through step by step of exactly what I did. When I treat 100 patients, I was repeating the same thing, so I automated it. You literally can go through it on your own. You can even submit things and have access to me as you go through, so that you're not feeling alone. I took little things about that and you will get an enormous amount of, “This is pretty cool.” If you look at that and you go, “I'd like to figure that out from a business perspective,” that's the part that somebody like Nathan can help you with. He’ll help you see that this can be done. If you're looking at TotalMotionRelease.com, it’s a great way to learn a technique. I took my physical therapist and let them be the core of my company. I got them in the system first. It’s systematizing them, then very quickly, I got the front desk. I almost had to do it hand-in-hand. When I systematize the process of treating, we all can relate together. We're in the same mindset and then we could make sure on how do we help the front desk get there. Notice how I shift from how do I do it, but how do we help each other get there?

Now you're multiplying yourself, and that's where the growth comes into play. That’s awesome.

With my seminars, I’ve got many going on. I'm trying to do the same thing with them. I look back and go, “Here it goes again.” You're a little bit more attuned to it. I hope I gave your people enough to think about.

It was great. Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it.

Nathan, thanks.

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About Tom Dalonzo-Baker

PTO 83 | Transitioning Out Patient CareHi. I am Tom Dalonzo-Baker and have been a PT for over 20 years. Was a teacher and business man prior to this. I live in Raleigh, NC with my 6 kids (5-18 yrs old) and my awesome wife.

I have owned and operated 4 PT clinics in North Carolina and sold my last one to my staff in January 2017. I am the founder of the Total Motion Release (TMR) Method and a seminar company called TMR Seminars. Our courses include TMR, Dry Needling and TMR Tots.

A patient once asked me, "How good are you at fixing your patients?" And I answered Top 10%. He didn't blink an eye and then he asked, "How good are your patients at fixing themselves?"

That one question changed the entire trajectory of my career and my skillset as a PT & owner. I wanted to be good at giving my skill to my patients and my staff.

From that point on I observed, explored and learned again and again how to get others to help themselves.

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