Enriching the entrepreneurial mindset is a process that involves executing strategies and having the openness for new ideas. A great group of peers that would guide, motivate, and help you develop your skills would be a great way to enhance your skills and learn new things. Stephen Rapposelli, PT has been a long-time listener to the podcast and takes advantage of the opportunity to put Nathan Shields on the hot seat in this episode. They talk about why he likes the podcast, the best books to read, and a few things in-between. They delve into a great mastermind group, how to become a better CEO, the pros and cons of a PT, and a non-PT mastermind group. They also discuss the difference between masterminds and coaching.
In this episode, I've got a frequent flyer. He's been on a number of times and it's been a little while. I've got Stephen Rapposelli, a physical therapist from the great state of Delaware. Delaware is representing on the show. Stephen, thanks for joining me again.
This is excellent. I want to preface this show by letting your readers know ahead of time, Nathan has no idea what I'm going to do. This is a huge experiment where the host does not know what's going to happen and we're just going to see how it goes.
That is true. Stephen is catching me off guard. He says he's got topics in mind, but he has not shared with me those topics that he would like to discuss. We’re going to go off the cuff.
I'll read them off to you if you're ready.
I'm going to essentially turn over the show to you at this point and let it fly. This is Stephen's show at this point.
This is a mishmash of different topics but they're all timely. This is going to be an interesting conversation. Number one, why I like your show. Number two, mastermind groups. Number three, being a better CEO. Number four, the future of orthopedic outpatient physical therapy. Number five, especially, I had a bonus for your readers, some recent books that they would like to read probably. Readers, Nathan has no idea what I'm about to say. I'm watching your reaction very intently. I like your show and I got no dog in this game. I can assure you, I listened to every one of your episodes because I find them valuable and I'm going to tell you why. First of all, you have no idea where this show is going to go and you're okay with that. How cool is that? You're a guy who's pretty comfortable in being flexible, adaptable and letting your guests go where they want to go if that's where they're going to go.
As long as they're presenting value, let’s go ahead.
A lot of shows don't do that. Number two, you have great guests. I have enjoyed every one of your guests. You curate a wonderful set of people, me being top of the list. In general, your guests are great. It's a good mix of theory as well as tactics. As a CEO, there are times when you want to get down into philosophical ideas and that's wonderful. There's a place for that. There are times where you want some tactics and I've seen a good mix in your show of both. Finally, your show with your guests is in general conversational and that is entertaining because there are a lot of things that are vying for our attention as CEOs. If it doesn't have an element of entertainment, you're going to lose people. Consistently, week after week and it continues to get better, you have good conversations with people. Hats off to you. I hope you feel good. Now, let's see if we can knock you off your perch a little bit.
Let's throw some mud on this.
Masterminds, it seems like everyone is in one. It seems like they're everywhere. Nathan, what is the purpose of the mastermind group? I asked you because you have one.
I've got two now. The purpose of the mastermind is essentially an internal concept. When you look at ancient civilizations or go back to the Knights of the Round Table, it was a mastermind. Go back into the Bible, they had what we call the apostles, a mastermind group, you name it. Masterminds have been around forever. Coining the term mastermind, if I'm not mistaken, was done by Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich. I leaned towards his definition. That it is a gathering of individuals who are together to help each other overcome, learn, explore and become better, where one plus one equals three. The accumulation of minds is gathered to affect and improve a single individual. That's the purpose of the mastermind.
Compare and contrast mastermind with coaching.You will get more out of it the more you put into it. Click To Tweet
At least in my mastermind, I'm going to be the moderator per se. I'm not necessarily taking a turn in the conversations, but each person gets their time to talk about their issue, their concern, and where they want help. I'm going to moderate and say, “Joe over here might be able to speak to that,” or take your turns and then I can elaborate from a place of experience as well. The mastermind is going to be a lot of different varying inputs into one individual's issue. Whereas the coaching is going to be singular input based on experience with more guidance.
Where you could see a mastermind coming together sometimes as a brainstorm, sometimes as multiple experience shares where coaching is going to be one-on-one, individually, and it's going to come from, “This is where I'm seeing a weakness and this is what I need you to do next.” It’s like what a coach would do. Let’s say on a basketball team or a personal trainer, “You have a weakness here. We need to strengthen that. Go off and do those exercises and when we come back, I'm going to hold you accountable.” If a mastermind’s working well, then they will hold each other accountable but that can be difficult at times.
Is there a place in the CEOs world for both a coach and a mastermind group?
For sure and there has to be. I haven't referred to it much as I'm looking over the past year of show episodes, but my mantra of reach out, step out and network. The formula for a successful owner in PT practices is number one to reach out and get some training. That could be a coach or consultant. Step out means step stepping out of full-time patient care, and three is to network. Networking, if you're going to get a lot out of your network, you need to be communicating with them on a regular basis and we don't naturally do that. The mastermind is another word for networking in my mantra.
You have two mastermind groups. Why do you have two?
Simply, I had a group of five guys and I had another three that wanted to join a mastermind. I thought it might be a good time to split up and have four and four, so now I have two groups. That makes it easier. With that group of four plus me, we'll spend a couple of hours or a month talking about issues.
Is being in more than one okay in your mind?
For sure. I see no harm in that. I'm coming from a place where I've had multiple coaches over the years. I've been a part of multiple masterminds. I'm doing these masterminds through Physical Therapy Owners Club. I'm also part of one of the peer-to-peer masterminds where I'm not a moderator, I'm just a member of the group. I also have a local mastermind here with some friends where we talk more about personal stuff, and not necessarily business-related stuff. I'm personally in four masterminds at the moment.
That last statement is a perfect segue to my next question for you, which is what are the pros and cons of a PT versus a non-PT mastermind group? What is the value of all PTs forming a mastermind versus non-PTs and you, participating in that mastermind group?
The PT mastermind, the conversations we're going to have are specific to the business. We don't delve into personal issues much. Sometimes we can if that's affecting our business. I've been a part of business masterminds that have spoken to both depending on where the owner is. If they're going through a divorce, we're not talking during his or her segment about his business, we're talking about their divorce." My focus with the Physical Therapy Owners Club is the PT-specific business-related issues and anything else that might be affecting the business outside of that. Whereas the non-PT-related one, honestly, there's a little bit less format to it. It's a little bit more free-flowing. We do have one guy who essentially leads, but we come together as far as what we're going to learn together, the books we're going to read and issues that we're dealing with. Sometimes in that situation, one or two people might dominate a little bit more of the conversation than the others. Whereas in the PT format, I try to keep it a little bit more strict.
You might agree with me, Nathan. In general, we PTs are some weird people as business owners. Sometimes we're our own worst enemy. When we talk business with non-PT business owners, you could be shocked. You can be shocked at the response of other non-PT business owners in how we think. You probably have experienced a non-PT business owner saying to you, “Are you out of your mind,” about certain things. You have to come in with a little bit of humility and openness to be able to think differently because we are, whether it's by our genetic blueprint or training that we see the world a certain way that not everybody else does.
Usually, the reaction I received in those situations was, “Why you are guys doing it that way?” We have been brought up in this industry where we accept some things as truth, and when you talk to other owners outside of PT and they say, “Do you have to do it that way?” My only response was, “That's how we've always done it,” and not necessarily that it's right.
That's part of opening your mind up, which is extraordinarily scary, yet important as you continue to grow as a person both personally and professionally.
That's why it's good to be part of networks that are not PT-specific. Find some more generalized small business networking groups. The first networking group that Will and I joined was Entrepreneurs' Organization, which is a national organization of small business owners and that's the group I'm talking about. I have an electrician, a website designer, a graphic designer, and a dentist in my group. We would share these issues and that's where I get the kickback. Sometimes I would get some bright ideas and from their industries that could be applicable to mine. It opens up your perspective and your mind a little bit.
I came back from a peer-to-peer conference in Alexandria, Virginia and I love my peer-to-peer network. These are PT owners who get together, a subset of the private practice section and a more concentrated experience. It's a great mastermind group and I try to think about what made it great. As a group, we meet every week. It's a commitment. I thought I knew these people because we meet every week and I do, but then we went to the conference and we had 2.5, 3 days together in a room. It was an exponential jump in value.
The reason I say that is you need to make the commitment to get to a level of trust that only comes with sharing a portion of yourself. Rudyard Kipling tells us that that is the only true gift, a portion of yourself. We are called to lay ourselves out. There are very few opportunities for a business owner to get the feedback that is necessary to make them better, because nobody in your organization is going to give you that, they're not because the dynamic is different. If you can get a level of trust and allow yourself to have that 360-degree feedback where people really get to know you and understand what makes you tick, that's mastermind group gold right there.
The hardest thing to do in the mastermind and that can be difficult is to be vulnerable, and also to come in with some humility. Maybe it's a gendered thing. When you have a number of male owners, we guard our weaknesses, we cover them or we put forth our best foot in order to hide the weaker foot. I say that simply because I haven't had any females in my mastermind groups up until this point. In order to get the most out of the mastermind, you have to be more vulnerable. You have to ask more questions and that comes from a place of humility and not knowing and understanding that I don't have all the answers. It's the only way you can get a lot out of it.
Diving a little bit deeper at that and I'm going to reference Patrick Lencioni's book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is you have to have a level of trust. If there's no trust, you won't feel safe in being vulnerable. Even that word vulnerable can make some of your readers tense up a little bit like, “Here we go,” but that's where the good stuff is. That's where you need to go as a business owner to improve yourself. That's what a mastermind group when done well, does and it only comes from you making that emotional deposit into that group.
From the surface or at the beginning of the mastermind experience, all the attendees come into it thinking, “What can I get out of it?” If you go into it with that mentality, you're not going to get a lot out of it. I like to make it analogous to a potluck dinner. If everyone comes to the dinner thinking what am I going to eat, then there's not going to be anything to eat. Everyone has to bring something to the table in order for all to benefit. You have to flip that mindset from people who are thinking about the mastermind and what they can get out of it. You will get more out of it, the more you put into it. It's a mindset I have to get people to change.
Your nickname is now Alexa to me because I suspect that you've been listening to me as I'm writing stuff down because I literally wrote down your third thing, which is network. Network with a purpose, which means you go into it giving, you don't go into it getting. When you give, that's when the getting comes back to you automatically and in abundance. What can you give? That's key. Let's keep going forward into topic number three, which is how to become a better CEO.
If you and your readers are interested in becoming a better CEO, I have a couple of tips. Number one is you got to eat the frog. That's the concept that comes from Brian Tracy who says, “Do that least palatable thing first thing in the day.” Nobody wants to eat the frog. If you wait until the end of the day to eat that frog, that frog is not going to get eaten. Eat the frog first thing. You and I both know that there are things in our lives where we would prefer not to do. We can come up with all kinds of ways to delay that inevitable. There are things that you don't want to do. Honestly, the thing that you don't want to do is the thing that you must do. As Ryan Holiday would say, “The Obstacle Is The Way,” another great book.
One of my coaches said something similar. I'll never forget it. He said, “If it looks like death, run to it.” I can say from a coaching perspective and from my own lived experience, the one common thing that is the dread of most owners and maybe this isn't just PT-related. It's a small business thing and there's a reason why The E-Myth Revisited was written. It was because owners don't want to write down the policy and procedures and put systems in place. Many times in my coaching scenario, I can get them to the point but at some point, the owner has to sit down and write or according to Michalowicz even videotape it. Something has to be done in order to put systems and policies and procedures in place for everything that's done in the clinic. It takes time, it's laborious, it's no fun, there's no immediate reward, and no one's going to pay you for it, but that's one of those eat the frog things that has to happen.
That's been one of my annual goals for decades. It's the most unsexy thing you're going to do as a CEO, but it's one of the most valuable. You can have a whole episode on that and I think some of your previous guests have had wonderful tips about doing that.It would be best if you made that commitment to get to a level of trust with your group that only comes with sharing a portion of yourself. Click To Tweet
It's the only way you can replicate yourself. You get to that point in your business growth cycle where you move from a mom-and-pop organization, where you're not only checking people out at the register and stacking inventory and purchasing all the materials for your store to going to an enterprise where other people are doing it for you and there's a level of expectation that needs to be met. In order for that to run well and be successful, they need to follow systems and procedures. It's a tough part.
Here's a controversial statement, and I don't know where you fall on the spectrum, but I've come to the conclusion that I'm either reading too much or I'm reading not enough. It's one of those two. In 2015, I started my personal development journey and I would say, “I'm going to try to read one book a month,” just getting my life in order and my head straight. That year I wound up reading an average of one book a week. I read 54 books that year, a tremendous amount and some of them were great. I kept going for a while. I have a stack of books right next to me. Two of them I’m going to recommend to you, but a lot of us can get caught up in that, “I can't get enough. I have to get that next book that's going to give me that 0.25% edge that I'm looking for,” versus going back to that original 53 books and reread the great ones over again and get that down pat.
For example, every year, I read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. You can't read that enough. You really can't. It will take you your lifetime to implement just the concepts in that book. I can give you a dozen other ones, at least, that are just as profound. We need to be careful that the next best thing isn't necessarily around the corner and isn't necessarily in that next book that somebody recommends, although I'm about to recommend two books. We have that schizophrenic thing of, “I'm either reading too much or I'm not reading enough.” Do you ever get that feeling?
Yes. I listened to a podcast about 1 year and 1.5 years maybe. A really smart guy and he said, “I'm not impressed anymore with the number of books that people read. In an ideal world, I would rather recognize someone for the few books that were read and fully implemented.” If I were to turn the tables on you, Stephen, of those 54 books, did you implement at least 54 concepts that year into your business? If someone were to read one that's chockfull of stuff that you could implement, let’s say Traction by Gino Wickman.
I know plenty of people that have read it, but when I go back and say, “Have you considered an organizational chart for your organization? What is the structure of your business?” They're like, “I don't know what you're talking about.” Let's go back to page 96 of Traction, which I know you read and he gives you some examples of organizational charts. A business owner could read Traction and take a full year to implement all that stuff or Clockwork where he talks about making videos. The whole concept behind the book is to get to a four-week vacation where you have no connection to the business. In the end, he gives you guidelines for what you need to do at months 18, 16, 12, 8, as you're getting closer and closer to your vacation. If you took the concepts of that and implemented them, that's the only book you need to read during the year business-wise. You focus on some of those things. Maybe it doesn't take twelve months but if you read less and focus more on implementation, probably it would be better for your business and you as a CEO.
You got to wonder sometimes when you come in with all these fresh new ideas when you come back from reading that course or taking that Tony Robbins thing or whatever, the next thing your know your staff is feeling whipstalled because you're coming in and you're changing everything up. Sometimes, I think you got to stick with your knitting. The next concept, you must do less, in general. As a business owner, you should be doing less. The problem that happens to all of us is because you can do everything, it doesn't mean you should do everything. You remember back in the day, you could do it all. You can document, you can treat, you could clean the bathroom, you could write a policy or you could do that schedule. What happens and what you're doing is you're diluting your focus. The best thing that you can do for everybody is to do less and do those fewer things better. It's a very hard lesson to learn.
What your team members want from you is they want leadership and guidance. They don't want you to come in and clean the bathrooms and treat patients. Even though you might feel like you're not pulling your weight, that's not true at all. What they want is leadership. What does that look like? It means implementing a sound policy, procedure and structure. They might kick back and the people who aren't aligned with your business will kick back against the implementation of structure and procedure. They will self-select and you'll get rid of them and you'll find better people. They want better people around them. They want someone to be the head of culture and generating a culture in their business. They want someone who's looking forward and saying, “We've got vacations coming up in eight weeks. What are we going to do so that's not a hiccup to our business? Let's make this all smooth.”
They want someone who's going to recognize them when they do well, reward them when they do well. They also want someone who's going to hold them accountable when they are falling out of line. Whether they know it or not, they need someone to guide them directly. They want that. If we're doing less, we're doing more of those things that they want. That’s the tough part is as PTs, we've spent how many years through schooling, recognizing that, “I hammer this one nail and I get paid for it. I treat patients and I get paid.”
Even when you start your clinic and you're the alone therapist, “I treat a patient, I get paid.” I'm coming in as a coach and telling you, stop treating patients and you'll get paid more. They're like, “Hold on, I just spent the last twenty-plus years of my schooling and education in my life to learn that I hammer this nail and I get paid. Now, what am I going to do? I'm not a therapist anymore? That's what I've been working the past years trying to do. What am I then? How do I have value and where do I find my worth?” There's a mindset shift that has to change for most owners to get to that point where they recognize that they're more valuable doing what the business needs and not treating patients.
That is excellent and it is a mindset. Sometimes when you feel that you can't pull yourself out of clinical care, there is a mindset there, there's a reason that it happens. Some of it is based on fear, to be honest with you because people are wrapped up in their identity in what they've been doing. They don't realize they have a higher calling and they can help more people if they would train other people to hammer the nail.
The fear is legitimate because part of it is, “What am I going to do with my time now?” Because they don't know what to do. No one's taught them how to be an executive or an administrator, “I'll pay my bills and I'll look at some numbers, but then what?” Once they start recognizing how much the business wants them to work on it, then they start recognizing the plethora of things that they have to work on and then it tips the scales and like, “I've got too much to do. I need to start prioritizing.” There is a fear initial thought like, “If I have all that time, what am I going to do? How am I going to be valuable?”
That goes from a mindset where you exchange your time for money versus when you exchange value for money. If you have a lot of value, the time has nothing to do with the value. The last point about how to be a better CEO is to use the WAIT method, Why Am I Talking? That's what that stands for. As an owner, you walk into that room, you can take a bowl of oxygen into your way or the highway and you can pretty much dictate how things go. Because you like to get things done, GSD, Get Stuff Done, that's at least how I call it, you just go in a bowl in a China shop and you get it done. What happens is you make everybody stop. You keep people from being their personal best and bring a perspective that you need. Start every meeting, write the word WAIT down in front of you on a piece of paper.
This conversation reminded me of a quote from a guy that does something called Mind Your Business Podcast. The quote he said was, “When you value your time more than money, you'll have more of both.”
That's one to meditate on.
Going back to what you initially said that you need to do less or recognize that when you value your time more than money, you'll have more of both. Because you're going to use your time wisely at that point. The American mentality is to work hard, work long, and it pays off. Whereas that's not the society we live in nowadays. It worked well up until 2000 or so, but now in the information age, your value comes more from what you provide as a leader than it does as a worker.
With that said, let's get into the controversial part of the show, the future of orthopedic outpatient PT. I want to start a ground rule with what my dad told me, which is your most important function as a CEO and as an executive is to think. These statements are designed to make you think. It's a little bit controversial. I may believe this stuff, I may not, but it's designed to make you think. In general, we're steadily losing our edge in the marketplace as PTs. We are putting obstacles in our customer's way to use us by our own mindset and the way it's been done in the past. The marketplace is different now. The reality is we all as customers, as consumers, all want a combination of good, fast and cheap. As PTs, we should offer two of those unapologetically. There should be good and fast, good and cheap, cheap and fast.
If you want next-level business smarts, offer your customers to pick what option they want. If somebody walks into my office and they have an acutely sprained ankle, they want a fast. That's all they want. “I got to get in now.” Somebody calls in and says, “I want to be treated by Nathan and only Nathan." "Nathan's first appointment is two weeks from now." They're choosing good over fast. If someone wants cheap, "I don't want any out-of-pocket expense at all." "Here's the list of exercises. See you later." It's not going to be good and it's not going to be fast, but maybe you need to start thinking like a business owner of can you offer people that choice and you do it in a diplomatic way, you have to send the message correctly. We need to start thinking like that as physical therapists in delivering services because we are losing market share. Not a lot of people say this in public but I will. Why not? We're losing market share to pretty people on YouTube and TikTok who look good in a bathing suit because they're telling a better story than we are. They're telling a story better than we are as physical therapists. We don't even know how to tell our own story the right way. That is, “What's your customer wants? Not being able to tell your story well is how a business dies.
We're starting to see that, I believe, in all of the things that make people outraged when they see, “Did you see that guy on YouTube who was telling me how to fix my back pain fast and he wasn't even a PT. He didn't even have any medical background than I do.” Guess what? He removed all obstacles to his customer and he wins, you lose. We need to start thinking differently as PTs. You need to find out what your customer wants and give it to them. I'll tell you a funny story. Back in the day when I was treating people and it will be at the end of the day and they were coming in for a bad neck or whatever.
She would say to me, “When you put me on that heat, my neck, it feels so good. I would pay you just to put that on.” After about twenty years of hearing that, it finally dawned on me what if you did offer then to somebody? What if you said, “You come in here, I'm going to put you on heat. I'm going to put you on the heat for fifteen minutes and we’ll close the lights off. You're going to lie here in a dark room. Your husband can't call you, your kids can't talk to you. You can basically take a nap if you wanted. We thought that was the funniest, goofiest thing until I put a name on it.
We started a napatorium and people paid for it. You might say, “You're crazy, you're unprofessional, you're cheapening this profession.” You know what? That's $15 or $20 cash that we didn't have before. That's how a business adapts and survives. For people who say, “I'm done with physical therapy. I wouldn't get stretched out. I love it when you stretch me out.” We started a Stretch-N-Go program where we charge cash for people to get stretched out. We've doubled that line of business since January because we put a funny name on it, but we gave people what they wanted and we presented it in a very clear way. If physical therapists don't start thinking like that because people don't search for physical therapy, they search for, “I want my back pain to go away. Who can help me make my back pain go away?”
No one wants to go to physical therapy.
I don't even know how to describe physical therapy and I'm a physical therapist.
They may still mistake us with chiropractors and massage therapists after how many decades. What's interesting to your point that came across my mind this week as I read the Impact Magazine and recalled something that a mentor of ours said 6, 8 years ago. This is a guy who owns large multiple practices. He's a chiropractor that owns large medical practices that include chiro and diagnostics, all the bells and whistles under one roof and has done very well. In fact, he even owns an insurance company. He said, “FYI, do you guys know that physical therapy as you know is not going to exist in another couple of decades?” I'm like, “What?” He said, “It takes too long to take that time out of someone's day and you have to come too often and people want it done quicker, faster and cheaper.” I thought he was silly but I could see what he was saying.
Lo and behold, I read something in June '21 Impact Magazine. Someone referred to Telehealth and referenced, and I'm counting this to be true, but studies are showing that some of the TelePT services are getting similar results to physical therapy services. Why would insurance companies pay for someone to go to a clinic anymore? If they had a slew of physical therapists in a call center during TelePT, why bother sending someone to a brick and mortar?It’s okay to ask questions because you don’t have all the answers in the world. Click To Tweet
That hurts your feelings, doesn't it, as a physical therapist? Honestly, the marketplace doesn't care.
It's going to go that way. It also had a great article about concierge PT and it provides some concierge services. It blew my mind. I thought, “Why aren't we offering discharge patients a monthly subscription to have access to ask us a question 24/7 to our clinics? Say, pay us $20, $25, $50 $100 a month and you'll get 24/7 physical therapy advice consult. You can call about your sprained ankle and you don't have to come into the clinic, we'll FaceTime. You can call about your exercise equipment or, “This flared up, what exercise should I do?” If it goes beyond that, then you say, “I need you to come into the clinic or let's set up a Telehealth evaluation,” and bill their insurance. Outside of that, just have that accessibility. Those concepts came to my mind as I read the magazine this week, and I thought, “Maybe my mentor did have something there.”
That is mind-blowing. For example, I'm assuming that you go to the dentist for regular checkups twice a year. Why do you do that, Nathan? You don't want your teeth to fall out. Why don't physical therapists give twice-a-year checkups for the musculoskeletal system and charge people $200 to do that? Not everybody cares about that but that's okay. You don't have to have everybody. You just have that segment that values what you're offering. At my age, I will definitely value that. If you can look me over twice a year and tell me the things that I need to work on because my right shoulder and internal rotation are getting tighter. My left gluteus medius is weak and you're going to give me a specific exercise, I'm going to pay you $200 for that. That's something that we should be thinking of.
In addition, cash-based services. There is nothing wrong with that. It was drilled into my head that as a PT, you do not make recommendations on equipment, you do not sell equipment, you do not sell anything for cash, it's all through insurance. Honest to goodness, that is like walking into McDonald's buying a hamburger and then refusing to sell you the French fries. That's like, “I'm going to take a big Mac.” They're going to go, “You can get French fries, but why don't you go down the street to get those, because they're a little bit cheaper.” You’re like, “What?” That's what we do as physical therapists all the time. Shouldn't I know what the best pillow is for your neck? Shouldn't I know what bed is good for your back versus the MyPillow guy? We're going to get out of control if we keep going. Let's finish this with a couple of good books that I think are good. Are you ready?
I want to know.
Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy.
Most influential book I've read in years. There's my impact filter. I've never shared books before. I've shared at least fifteen copies of that book.
That book is super good because it changes your mindset from thinking not how am I going to do it, but who am I going to get to do this. Because you don't do your taxes, do you? You get your accountant to do it because they're better at that than you. You're paying him for a result and that's not going to jail. That's painful. That's the book in a nutshell, but you should read it. Everybody should read it, I think.
I've even thought about doing a whole show about it.
You should. That's excellent. The other one that I like lately is Business Made Simple by Donald Miller. You might say to yourself, “You've been in business for 30 years, what the heck you reading a book called business made simple?” Even after 30 years, you should be open to learning some things. The thing that I love about Business Made Simple is this other book, Building a StoryBrand. It is making your customer the hero of the story, not you. You're the guy. There's a separate show. That book really puts your thinking upside down and you look at all your marketing a different way after you read that and you understand the concept of how customers respond to that message.
I love both of those books. The one I'm excited about right now is called Effortless by Greg McKeown. He had a bestseller called Essentialism a few years ago and then I heard him on Tim Ferriss’ podcasts. It’s a great book, great ideas. He's not going to give you a lot of nuts and bolts like the Who Not How but, I love Effortless and the importance of finding those things that are easier for you and letting go of some of the other things. For example, starting from ground zero and building up instead of saying, “Look at this complex issue, how can we simplify it?” Start with, “What is the minimum viable product we've got to achieve and how do we get from point A to point B with the least amount of steps?” Essentially, that's Effortless in a nutshell.
It's a great non-trivial exercise when you recommend a book to be able to synthesize the major points because it forces you to distill out of that. What was it about that book? That's a great exercise for somebody to do. It’s to say, “Why am I recommending this book Effortless? What's so good about it?” Also, trying to verbalize that.
It solidifies that in your head.
I hope that you weren't uncomfortable in this show. I think you did very well.
I'm not uncomfortable at all. It's always great having you on. You're always going to throw me for a curve somehow.
Seriously, you had no idea what I was going to talk about. That was real, authentic interaction and that's super valuable. As someone who values their time, that's why you tune in to a show like yours because you know it’s going to be authentic and you're going to get genuine value out of it.
The last question I have for you is how do I title this episode? You left me in a lurch. We covered a ton of stuff.
You'll come up with something. Don't miss this episode no matter what. I hope this discussion spurred some thoughts in your readers and they will reach out to you, either on your Facebook page or the email, and start a dialogue. That's what we as PT owners need more of. That is some cutting-edge thought to open up our minds.
I always love it when the audience emails me simple questions, business questions, maybe we'll hop on a call if necessary via email. I love seeing the interactions that people have had on the Facebook group, people coming from different backgrounds, but also with different questions that aren't necessarily for me like, “What do you do about this?” To see other people in the group respond to them gives me some fulfillment.
You're definitely doing what you should be doing. This is your ministry.
Stephen, thanks so much for your time. If people wanted to make you part of their network, how would they do that? Are you willing to share your contact info?
They can search for me on LinkedIn, they can email me directly. I'm one of those crazy Italians, so I have a long last name. It's SRapposelli@PPTAndFitness.com. I'm hoping nobody wrote that down correctly, but if they do, they can reach me that way. I'm always happy to help anybody. I've got nothing to sell, but I'm hoping we can move the profession forward. That's what it's all about.
Thanks for your time. I appreciate you taking the time.
I'm always a better man after I speak to you, Nathan.
Stephen opened his private practice in Delaware in 1992, at the tender age of 26, because he was told by his former employer that he couldn’t afford to buy into that existing business. He has since grown to 3 clinics and has been voted best PT business in his state for numerous years.
He also serves as Vice President of the Delaware PT Association, as well as sitting on the IMPACT editorial board. Stephen plans on devoting the rest of his career to promoting independent practices across the country.
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