Dent The Podcast: Clarity in Communication and Business Philosophy

Recently I was invited and interviewed on Dent The Podcast .

Listen to the Podcast Here>>>

During the podcast, Brad talks about:

• The first dollar Brad ever earned – selling mangoes door to door!
• How niching has helped Brad become an established authority in a variety of different areas
• How he needed the creative freedom to do his own thing
• Creating an innovative business model in a traditional industry like physiotherapy
• Why Brad started creating content across loads of different mediums
• How he leveraged that content toward his business and recently achieved his first viral video
• Why Brad gives information away for free
• How he attracted A-list clients to his business
• The importance of working to your strengths in business
• Aligning fees with values
• Brad’s measure of success in business
• The three core values used by Brad and his team
• Why you need to communicate clearly with clients
• How Brad views delegation in business
• The first retreat he went on with his team

Transcript

Glen: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Dent podcast. My name is Glen Carlson, and in this episode I’m talking with Brad Beer. Brad is a client of ours, has been for two or three years now, and has just done extraordinary things with his business. In very early days he was simply a physiotherapist. I mean that is what he’s done now, but he’s grown a very successful business. He’s now got fifteen on his team up in the Gold Coast. Strong seven figure business. Been running for over ten years. He’s gone onto become a bestselling author around his book Run Pain Free. He’s launched an industry-first podcast which is launched about the same time that I launched mine actually.
We really get into some of the stuff around how he runs his business, because he does it very, very well and he attracts literally an A list of clients to work with, from people that have gone onto win gold, silver, and bronze medals at the Olympics. He’s helped swimmers gain selection to the Australian swim team and go onto win world championship medals. He’s helped triathletes win the world titles. He’s helped Roger Waters from Pink Floyd perform at his best on his last world tour, explorers trek across the Antarctic, and on, and on, and on. Because of Brad’s background in performance and triathlon and all that as a runner, he’s brought a lot of those principles of performance to his business, and so we get into that.
We talk a lot about product and the way that he’s repositioned away from the time-based billing model that most physios or even anyone in that kind of space: physios, chiros, osteos, massage therapists, personal trainers often get caught in that time for money billing cycle, and he talks about the finish line, how he actually started spending more time focusing on creating products around delivering an actual result, a specified outcome for the customer and how to price around that, so we get into that. He had to extricate himself from a franchise because it wasn’t providing him with the flexibility he needed both on how he wanted to run the business, but also how he wanted to position the business, so we get into that a bit.
We get into the numbers around how he actually measures his performance as well. Of course, there’s general talk about technology and how he’s going to be moving into the future considering big data, wearable technology, a lot of that kind of stuff as well, but specifically around profile, how he’s built his profile through the books, through the podcast, through his Instagram videos that are now going viral with hundreds of thousands of users. I really think that you’re going to get a lot of value from this episode especially if you’re in that time for billing model, especially you’re in that lifestyle business zone, and especially if you’re interested in building a business and a brand that’s a real expression of who you are and your core values. Enough from me. Over to Brad. Brad Beer, mate, awesome to have you on the show.
Brad: Thanks for having me Glen.
Glen: Mate, I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. I know we’ve had to reschedule a couple of times, so it’s really, really good to have you. You’ve just done some really, really cool things with your business, and you’ve really deviated from some of the traditional models, so I’m kind of been looking forward to kind of geek out on some of that stuff, and kind of pop the hood a little bit.
Brad: Yeah. Indeed. We have come up with what we think is an industry first approach to a fairly traditional and set industry, Glen, which is physiotherapy.
Glen: I want to get into it, but first, when someone asks you the question what do you do, and let’s say it’s like at a dinner party or something like that, how do you answer that question?
Brad: Glen, it’s I’m a physiotherapist and I help people specialize in performing at their physical best. I specialize in helping people to perform at their physical best.
Glen: When you say physical best, do you have a particular niche of clients that you focus on?
Brad: Yeah. Certainly. Since releasing a book just on probably eighteen months ago now which was focused on a running-based clientele, people looking to run without injury, I tend to be known as the running physio. If it’s relevant and contextual to the conversation I’ll specifically state running, if it’s more broad and generalised then I’ll talk about just helping people to perform at their physical best.
Glen: How has that niche for you evolved?
Brad: Glen, the niche really evolved through just taking steps of faith. In terms of I was a bit, I think, as potentially any business owner may be when they start thinking about niching, you have that slight anxiety about what are you going to leave behind, and I remember sitting down to write the manuscript for my first book, the You Can Run Pain Free book, thinking, “Well, I enjoy a whole lot of other aspects of my professional life as a physiotherapist, not just working with runners.” I have great fun working with Olympic swimmers and all sorts of physical performers. I don’t want to ostracize that bunch.
What I found was by niching everything is heightened because you really do get that sense and that appreciation from people of you being an expert in one field, and it’s amazing I’ve found how that authority or that credibility can permeate onto other areas. At no point has anyone that sees me for swimming injuries thought that I’m no longer the person to see them because I’m now known as the running physio.
Glen: Yeah, that’s just so counter intuitive, isn’t it? Because you’d think that it would work the other way and that the people that were interested in swimming wouldn’t want to know you.
Brad: Yeah. Obviously you get what you project in the sense of the word is out there about my expertise in running, in the running community, so I’m often so flat stick with runners that twenty percent of my clients are outside of a running scope and capacity.
Glen: I might come back to this niche conversation, but, again, just to help develop a bit of context for everyone. If you were to think about the whole Batman Begins, let’s go and have a look at your origin story in terms of how it all started. First of all, just for a bit of fun how did you make your first dollar?
Brad: Glen, made my first dollar in partnership with my sister. It was a family business. Maybe the age of eight or nine and we were selling mangoes door to door off the back of a go-kart or something in our little country town of Grafton, but we were very philanthropic. We were looking to raise funds for Save the Koala Foundation. That was the first dollar I earned.
Glen: Mate, I love it. In terms of how you got into physio and also I’m curious what made you decide to start your own practice rather than just being a physio for someone else which is the traditional pathway I guess.
Brad: Yeah. My interest in physiotherapy was seeded really early in my life, Glen. I was a very keen and competitive junior triathlete, so I spent many a session at my physiotherapist growing up and literally the seed was planted when one day she said to me, her name was Suzanne, my physio at the time. I probably was fifteen. She said, “You know what? You’d make a great physio one day.” Outside of my other career path which was to go into the world of professional triathlon and try and forge a career that way, that was just I guess from that point onwards I remember thinking, yeah, you know what, I probably could do this job, and, yeah, I’d enjoy it.
It’s quite funny Glen, going forwards at high school. Career advisors would come and get in your ear about what are you thinking, and et cetera, and I was just tunnel focused, it was either professional triathlon or physio, and at no point graduating school, going onto university had I even looked sideways and here I am today ten years into owning a physio practice, which is, I guess, the second part of your question there.
Glen: Mate, ten years is a great innings, and so you started, I know that you started this with three dollars in the bank in a horrible location. Paint a bit of the picture of those really early days, and then I want to move us through your journey as well.
Brad: Yeah. Glen, I graduated university, was always very proactive going through university, so I realized that the university stuff gave you the certificate and the credibility to practice, but it no way prepared you for what I always knew I wanted to do which was to operate in private practice. I wasn’t interested in the hospital setting. I was very much musculoskeletal focused. Wanted to help people get the best out of their bodies and go down that path. I was very proactive in seeking out opportunities going through university. I remember driving to Brisbane from the Gold Coast to do a two hour, I don’t even think that’s legal, shift at a physio practice that was quite forward thinking and innovative, driving back, doing that every Friday night for, I think, ten bucks an hour just to be around a practice that had a bit of merit to it in terms of its standing.
After graduating I took what I thought was my dream job, Glen, working with an Olympics physiotherapist who I had personally seen as a patient and clinically respected this gentleman. However, he was in partnership with a partner that they certainly weren’t necessarily a well yoked partnership, so jumping into that business, super passionate, super enthusiastic to get my career started. Within four months, Glen, I think I was clinically depressed. My now wife, but at the time she was my fiance, Cristina, I remember her poking and prodding me sort of saying, “Are you all right?” I was just quiet and withdrawn. I think I was chewing through the prospect that I’d spent all these years at university to graduate and actually realize that this is as good as it gets.
The good news is I gave my resignation. The bad news is I was about to start a business because I thought, well, if this can’t be done how I think it should be done, then I’d better go and do it how it needs to be done. That was the very humble beginnings, where, yes, I started with the seed capital of less than four dollars with really no plans other than a whole lot of enthusiasm and vision for the industry.
Glen: You also had or ran a franchise. How did that fit into it?
Brad: Glen, that’s what I sort of term as we’ve had three lives in our ten years lifecycle to date. It’s funny, ten years sounds like, as you said, a good innings, but I literally feel like we’re just getting started. We’ve spent the first ten years going around a mountain, making the mistakes, and now we’re actually truly ascending. The franchise years, Glen, they fitted into a four and a half year window. After three years of independent operation we were My Backs Physio Australia. The vision back then on opening, Glen, was to actually be Australia’s first, recognizable, go-to brand, but it was in the niche of back pain.
My vision was that no one would get in that practice unless they had back pain, and that was born out of the struggles I had at university with a horrible old back myself, and the frustration I had even as an educated university student knowing what was going on with getting the care that I needed, so I thought, gosh, back pain is an epidemic. Australians need to go to, turn to a place that people can go to for great quality back care. Off we went with a sign, My Backs Physio. The problem, Glen, was my first client was the bookkeeper of the business who had calf strain, so she said, “Can you help me?” I had to pay rent at the end of the month, so I’m like absolutely, so the vision for that business was blurred from N equals one.
We treated a lot of backs and I enjoyed that, but three and a half years into that, Glen, I came across a group out of Victoria that were ahead on the journey by a good seven, eight years and was speaking similar languages with similar clinical philosophies and long story short, thought that I would pioneer that ground in Queensland as a franchisee and a franchisor. Did that journey for several years and realized that that certainly wasn’t me and is a chapter of my professional life that I really didn’t enjoy.
Glen: What went wrong? You went in with an alignment philosophically it seems. What was the glitch?
Brad: I think franchising obviously works. We know that. It’s a huge sector of the Australian economy and internationally. I can now see that I wasn’t an ideal franchisee in terms of my profile. I’ve always liked to be on the front foot with pioneering things particularly in the industry, so that sort of straight away a bit of a …
Glen: Basically you were running someone else’s ship without the creativity to do your own thing.
Brad: Yeah. That was something that under girded it, and then communication is everything and when communication isn’t clear or expectations are different to what you thought, then it was a horrible period in terms of the process that that ensued and trying to extradite from that. I was heavily involved on many levels and is something that I look back on and as painful as it was, it was very taxing in every way. My wife and I were welcoming our first little child into our family and fighting with lawyers, and we were to the point of literally getting bankruptcy advice around insolvency because so many funds had gone out the backdoor just trying to fight this legal battle to remove ourselves.
It was horrible stuff and still makes me feel somatically a bit weak when I think about it. We came out of it, and we’ve come out with a clear vision and I think the lessons learned are really important for where we are going to go over the next ten years.
Glen: I want to dig into some of those lessons, but, again, I just want to maybe give everyone some context in the sense of walk me through a bit of your customer journey, like I’d love someone to get a real understanding of your product ecosystem from any of the products or the tools that you use around getting the attention of your market, as well as helping educate and prime that market so they can understand some of your philosophies as well as all the way through to the actual products I can buy from you and how you’ve packaged that, so clearly you’ve got an innovative way that you’ve recently just launched so I’d like to get into that as well.  Try and give us a full picture of that ecosystem so someone listening can really get a bit of a sense of what your business looks like from a business owner’s perspective.
Brad: Certainly Glen. We’re in the industry of physiotherapy so really we’re here to help people get an outcome when they come through our doors, and we’ve termed that outcome a client’s finish line. Finish line is basically that high five moment where literally we go have a high five, a little happy dance. “Hey, Glen, you’ve finished physio.” One of the bugbears I get at barbecues is, “Oh, yeah. I went to see a physio. They didn’t work. Didn’t get anywhere. They just told me to keep coming back.” Really they’re the two things that bug me about conversations of recipients of physiotherapy, so we reverse engineered a model Glen, and it starts to answer your question.
It starts with what we hope is a warming up of our prospective clients before they even arrive at the practice, and that can now happen obviously so seamlessly with so little friction, and so cost effectively through social media and content, so fortunately it’s something I enjoy and I think it’s seeded by the fact that when you’re passionate about what you do and when you know you’ve got something great to offer the world, you want everyone to know about it. We are, Glen, pretty prolific in putting out blogs, marketing those blogs via social. I have my own little personal brand within the practice which is Running.Physio, and I’m amazed at the amount of engagement that that creates and the amount of warming up of people that will travel in some cases huge distances to come and get care from me personally, and then obviously that can flow on over to our other team that have their other little interests and niches.
Mate, there’s a big ecosystem of that out there. There’s a book which I’ve written. There’s a podcast which we have launched in the last several months which is getting great traction. In addition to that we’re a bricks and mortar business still, so we have a heavy network of referrers who also enjoyed our content, and our publishing and our regular output there. Mate, that’s how it all starts I guess.
Glen: Let’s go back in time. When did the light bulb go off in your head I guess around this kind of content production stuff, because there are plenty of business owners out there that are coming just from the attitude, “Oh, if I just do great work people will find me.” They’re not writing blogs. They’re not creating articles. They’re not launching podcasts and creating content or doing any of that sort of stuff. Often they have a fear of showing up as the shameless self promoter, and, “I don’t want it to be about me,” and strapping myself to the business and all these sort of ideas. Mate, I’d love to go all the way back to the beginning, like prior to your first blog post even, or just in those really early, early days and just walk me through your thinking around that.
Brad: Glen, having an interest in marketing, it’s just something that I enjoy because I think, as I said, it’s out of that passion to get the word out. I tend to stay on the front foot personally with a lot of trends and implement things as they emerge. When we were going through the franchise years there wasn’t a lot of ability to create content and have a platform that sat outside of the franchise itself, which the bigger organizations often the slower moving they can be, and I found that as a frustration in the sense of, “Gosh. We’d love a YouTube channel for our practice,” you know, starting to put our exercises on there as an example. I think that’s where I started, Glen.
I’m like, “Right, I’m just going to start capturing the law of reproducibility,” if you like. I’ll show this exercise this many times, and I can capture it once and use it ongoing, so we started to create a database of some exercises, and off the back of that started to answer questions that we regularly answered, so frequently asked questions and put them in a written form. Once we got ourselves out of the franchise environment, back on our own feet, then we stuck up a website which was version one and started to put blogs out regularly from there.
Glen: Walk me through the evolution of that.
Brad: It was like most people I guess, version one isn’t necessarily very pretty, but it’s arguably the most important version, isn’t it, because it’s just about starting and refining as you go.
Glen: Were you getting engagement from this? There’s obviously got to be something that’s making you decide to keep doing it?
Brad: You know what, it’s so funny isn’t it, no, not much. Very little. I mean you’d look at the YouTube video hits and you’d be like, “Really? Is it worth doing?” I think it’s like anything. So many people start but few people continue to march to actually see that inflection point. I’ve never been short of determination so it’s like I’m determined to last the longest. Mate, just a matter of just keep showing up. There’s that beautiful outcome when you’re consistent, so we just kept putting it out, putting it out. We had, and to give context to the listeners, Glen, we had no local SEO awareness in our market, so if you typed in physio Gold Coast we had had four and a half years in a national brand where there’s no ranking literally for your practice locally.
We were spending a thousand dollars a week on AdWords just to position ourselves with some organic reach, so when we were back on our own feet it was a scramble, and part of that, I guess, the drive was that, okay, we need to have visibility and we need to have awareness, and pretty determined we were to create industry best practices around that. It wasn’t pretty. We were on a website that we didn’t like. It wasn’t functional, but we showed up and were just committed to keep showing up until, until we started to get some Google juice.
Glen: How long after you started did you start to see some real engagement, some real traction from what you were doing?
Brad: Glen, probably round about twelve months. In that time we’re linking in things like electronic mail outs to link and you’re figuring out all your infrastructure as you go. Yeah. Twelve months, and to the point that even up until recently which I think is probably an encouragement for listeners, I would not say I ever had a bit of content go viral, Glen, and must have put out a lot. Hundreds of pieces. Then I, leaving the practice just within the last month or two, had one of our admin team, “Hey flick. Can you quickly grab this exercise. I’m going to pop it up on my Running.Physio Instagram account.” It was a little minute clip. Up it went. Syndicated it over to my Running.Physio Facebook page which is a little sub-brand within the POGO brand, Glen.
Got home that evening, pulled out my laptop. It was about three hours after actually recording and publishing this little video. It was an exercise to show people how to get rid of tight calves, Glen. It had had ten thousand hits in three hours, views. I went to bed that night, got up and I think it was about fifty thousand the next morning. It was just going out of control, and within the week it had ended up with a hundred and seventy-two thousand views with thirteen hundred shares.
Glen: That’s brilliant.
Brad: My Facebook following …
Glen: Considering how much Facebook actually does everything it can to resist and to restrict anything going viral now.
Brad: Now I’m looking at it going, “When do you boost these things?” I held off feeling that it was the right thing to do, and, yeah, it went bonkers. The Facebook fan, I only had just started the Facebook group for Running.Physio, and it went to five thousand page likes over night more or less in that week. It ended up with those numbers and for me it was a real little win of like, you know what, just keep showing up until you get that magic moment. Human nature is to want that quick win early and not persevere and never see that inflection point. Mate, that’s a bit of a segue but I hope it encourages anyone listening that, you know what, you might not feel like you’re getting engagement, but hang in there, hang in there until.
Glen: Let’s just assume that we were to remove that viral spike from your result. What are your expectations from your blogs and the videos that you do on Instagram, and by the way, I’m going to link all of your links are going to be in all the show notes, so if people want to come and check out what you do and how you do it, they can follow all those links, so just go to the show notes. What were your expectations with that sort of stuff? Are you looking to create conversations? Are you looking to get clients out of it? Do you get clients out of it? How do you know? How do you measure that sort of stuff?
Brad: Glen, great question. My expectation is simple, I just want awareness and engagement. I really don’t care if there’s anything in return directly. I have the very strong philosophy that information is a commodity. People will pay for the implementation, so give the information away and give it away liberally, and I have a little aim that I will get in content form everything I know about my clinical world at some point. There’s a little archive of what I knew in terms of doing my professional work, so my expectation is minimal. It’s about engagement and awareness.
Glen: Love it. You got the book. You’ve got the videos you do on Instagram and the Facebook and all that kind of stuff. The podcast, mate, you’re up to like episode fifteen. I don’t know, when this comes out it’s probably going to be about episode fifteen as well, so I think you’re a few ahead of me. What was the podcast about? What made you decide to, because I’m loving doing these podcasts. I think they’re freaking great fun, but what drove you to do that?
Brad: Glen, it was twofold I guess. From my knowledge I think this is the … The podcast that I’ve launched called the Physical Performance Show, from my knowledge it’s the first physiotherapy podcast in Australia for consumers, so it’s not pitched to my colleagues or positioned for my colleagues. It’s not about professional development. It’s about the shows takes people behind the lives of the world’s top physical performers and looks at the stuff that you don’t get to hear or see about their careers. It was a bit of that first comer’s advantage/just loving that challenge of being the first, and the other part was obviously it’s no secret that podcasting is going through a great spike in popularity and in effectiveness and so just wanting to be on the forefoot marketing-wise and also out of that I just like learning new things and seeing where stuff gets to. That’s probably the strength of my reasoning, Glen.
Glen: I’m going to get into this. We’re kind of going the long way around this product conversation, but I think it’s great. You mentioned before, so the podcast is about talking to these incredible performers and you have an A list selection of clients and people that you’ve been able to help achieve some remarkable achievement, from Olympic gold medals to world championships, to making it to the Australian swimming team. You’ve worked with rock stars and celebrities and adventurers and explorers. Some pretty cool human beings. How did that happen? Was that an intentional like, “I really want to go out, attract, build relationships with these people?” Was that just blind luck? How did that happen?
Brad: Just to clarify, Glen, do you mean in terms of the podcast?
Glen: No. Sorry. In terms of you attracting those clients, like that kind of a who is who of a client base in terms of their skills and their expertise. It’s not common I suppose for people to have that kind of track record in terms of the people that you work with, so was that, again, just a natural, organic thing? Was it because of the circles that you were swimming in, so to speak?
Brad: I think it all spawns back to the familiarity with what it takes to perform at your best. I lived that life for ten to twelve years as a junior into a sort of an early twenty-something, and that understanding and that awareness of what that world entails is paramount, and so I think that was the early start of me working with some peak performers, Glen; legacy relationships from that world that I used to inhabit. Then off the back of that, clinically in our professional world it’s word of mouth advocacy is huge and when people know that someone that they look to or aspire to would personally see you as a client, then they could almost leapfrog anything they want to read online, and just on that awareness come straight to you. I certainly see a lot of that.
It’s about working in your sweet spot, so for me working with these very A type personality, driven individuals whilst it may frustrate and potentially scare some other therapists, that’s my sweet spot because I understand it, I know it, and I know I can be ultra effective in there. It’s a combination of all those things.
Glen: Have you always been aware of that? Because I mean as you know I bang the drum of making sure that your business and your brand is an expression of who you are. I spoke to so many business owners where they’re focusing on a niche or they’re focusing on a product mix because they think they can make money out of it, but it doesn’t speak to their soul, it doesn’t line up to their values, there’s no depth of integrity, and when I say integrity I mean an alignment of values and expertise and skills and all that sort of stuff together. Was that just a natural thing for you or did you have to apply some real rigor to making sure you built your business and your brand around that stuff for you?
Brad: It was probably an awareness that sat there but until certain prompts resonated with me I didn’t make the connection. Looking back it’s clear to see I was always involved in physical performance and just by nature, really, enjoy helping others maximize their best as well. It actually was probably a combination of reading books like StandOut by Marcus Buckingham, and I’ve gone blank, Glen, but there’s another one. StrengthFinders, I think it is, sorry, by Marcus Buckingham. Being proactive with wanting to better understand my strengths as a business owner and as an individual to be more effective in working with others and doing what I do, that was a driver.
Literally the cataclysmic moment was actually something that I came across through the KPI program and it was actually, which you were leading that session uncannily, it was the intersection of your life type chain of thought where you look at the highs and lows and you find the patterns, and I realized that I’m at my best when I’m personally performing myself physically, and when I’m in an environment with a team where I can help them maximize their best, working with clients in the same capacity. That was a bit of a light bulb for me Glen.
Glen: From that light bulb and that’s awesome that you kind of had that insight. That’s cool. I’m interested in the light bulbs but then I’m also really fascinated in what people do with them, and so we’re going around the circle because I’m about to come back and I want to talk about this product that you’ve developed. In the context of this intersection of your own performance and your team’s performance and that really building that high performance environment, when you had that or when that insight crystallized ago now I’m imagining, what did you actually do differently?
Brad: I kind of made peace with myself in the sense that literally up until, and I had this conversation last night with a personal trainer who has left an organisation and she’s looking to now pioneer her own business and just not knowing where to start, and I said to her, “Look, it took me ten years really of business life to feel confident in I’m doing the right thing.” It was one of those moments. I’m like, “Great. This is how I’m wired. These are my strengths. I’m going to run with it and I’m going to give the very best of what I’ve got to maximize those to everyone’s benefit.” That was my first, I guess, thing, “Right. This is it. Let’s stop looking sideways and doing the comparisons and run with my strengths.”
We’re individually gifted in areas, so this is mine, so that was a commitment to myself, Glen, then off the back of that I think just having that awareness. In everything that I do I’m like, “Is this operating in my sweet spot? Yes or no?” It’s become my filter for decisions, so I can make decisions quicker. You name it: recruitment, daily decisions about time expenditure. It’s just prolific now through everything that I do.
Glen: I suppose in the context of the book and the podcast, the book about running, the podcast about physical performance, all that kind of stuff, that’s all very much in that sweet spot of that intersection that you talk about.
Brad: Exactly, which is why I can get on a podcast interview with … Tonight I’ll be speaking with the young girl who was the youngest person to ever summit Mount Everest, with Alyssa Azar. I’m completely unfamiliar with that world, but I’m familiar with the world of performance, so time loses relevance when I sit and have these conversations with people like Alyssa, tonight. It’s completely my sweet spot, and, yeah, it’s something that I just love. It’s ceased to be work.
Glen: You got a lot of great tools and assets out there around capturing the attention of and priming the market, so we talk a lot about seven, eleven, four. The way I think about my product ecosystem and the way we provide a lot of material for people to educate themselves around this stuff is kind of have at least seven hours of content that people can consume over numerous touch points at least eleven across four different platforms, so this podcast is a platform, the videos that I do on my Facebook is a plat- … All these different sort of platforms. You’ve done that really well, and then the rubber hits the road and people actually come into your practice to work with you.
Let’s walk in. If you were to have a menu of all the different stuff I could buy from the big to the small, like walk me through that.
Brad: You walk in, Glen, what’s the first, I guess, part of the process from there? Would be firstly, and we’ve got a long way to go but we’re well and truly on our way with making sure that the people that do walk in are already a bit self selected in resonating with the things that we resonate with, so assuming that you were someone like that, Glen, kind of our ideal client.
Glen: Actually, now you’ve said that, and, look, sure, we’ve talked about the context that you’ve got all these assets out there, the content and what have you, but how do you actually make sure that someone consumes some of that stuff before they walk through the door? Is there anything that you actually proactively do to say, hey, before you come in do this or that?
Brad: Yeah. There’s a lot that we do do from automated electronic mail with links to different things for clients who have made a booking to read before they come in. We’re actually just on the eve. It’s going live this week as we speak, but with our newly revamped website, which off the back of it’s got a whole lot of built in digital infrastructure, Glen, that automates a lot of the touch points. Yes. People come in already aware of our philosophy of care and what we’re about. It’s very intentional.
Glen: Great. Cool.
Brad: We can’t afford to not be like this because otherwise you’ve got brand image running around. They’re the physios. We don’t want to be the physios. It didn’t work. It gets spoken about at barbecues.
Glen: A hundred percent. A hundred percent. I walk in. I’m primed. I’m picking up what you’re putting down. Then what?
Brad: It starts for us with what we call a discover recover session, Glen, or sessions. It’s two hours of contact time with a physiotherapist split across two one hour sessions. The reason we’ve done this when the industry norm, Glen, is thirty minute initial appointments, so we’re spending two hours with a client, is because for us everything starts with clarity of diagnosis. I often run around here talking to clients and talking to our team about the fact that diagnosis determines prognosis and that’s all medical speak, but what that means is if you know what’s wrong, then we can tell you how long it’s going to take, what you’re in for, so we can paint you a clear picture. That’s how it starts, Glen, discover recover sessions.
Glen: What does that cost?
Brad: There’s two different fee structures. One is for myself as a business owner, so I sort of sit in a different fee schedule, and then our physiotherapy team at large, the discover recover sessions are four hundred dollars split across two two hundred dollar consultation fees. The industry norm is seventy to eighty dollars for a half an hour consult, thereabouts, plus or minus, add a few tens either side. This is very different, but even with implementation of this in the last several weeks, clients are appreciative of the fact that, okay, I can see the merit in getting an answer, slowing down this high and medical model, where, okay, Glen, you know, okay, quick, we got to get going. We got things to do, and actually getting to understand your client, getting to look deeply and with specificity at what’s causing it, so that then you can go further faster outside of that initial discover recover process.
Glen: The whole idea is to slow things down first so you can then accelerate them for people later.
Brad: You got it.
Glen: Yeah. Great. You mentioned before that you have a different fee structure. Is that four hundred bucks your fee structure or your teams?
Brad: That’s the team’s Glen. Sorry that’s mine. Sorry, and the team’s, I got that wrong, are three hundred dollars for the discover recover sessions.
Glen: Yeah. Great. At what point did you start charging more to be able to work with you? Was that an always thing or did that evolve?
Brad: It certainly wasn’t in the franchise years. At most there was a business owner or a director’s surcharge of ten dollars a consult, which I don’t think ever necessarily spoke of the value of the owner and normally the most experienced clinician on the team. It was round about two years ago I positioned my fees in reflection of the value I believed I could give clients, and it only made me busier, Glen. For me it was like a validating feeling. I’d spent eight years, maybe seven in the physiotherapy space charging out at a session by session rate that is no way reflective of your years or expertise, and certainly no way reflective of if you’ve got a client that’s got something that really matters to them. You’re doing them a disservice by not charging a fee that’s accordant with the priority that they’re placing on it.
Glen, that was a really good revelation for me about you need to charge what you’re worth, otherwise everyone is going to lose.
Glen: Mate, I’m just loving all of that. First of all, of course, hundred percent agree with you. What then? I’ve gone through that first experience. Then what?
Brad: From the discover recover sessions, Glen, that obviously happens across two sessions. We initially launched a soft launch with just a single discover recover session, Glen, but we found that imaging is often not so much needed for clarifying a diagnosis, but more of a prognosis, so two sessions allows a client to go and get the appropriate imaging if needed to quantify what’s going on. That happens. Then off the back of that, Glen, the client can go onto four treatment tracks or programs all to get towards that finish line. Those treatment tracks are session to session, so that’s your physiotherapy industry typical model.
Glen: You haven’t sacked that completely. That’s still there if people want that and that’s where their head is at.
Brad: Correct. This is something that we’ll look at over time and reevaluate but for now there’s certain conditions, Glen, a frozen shoulder is an example that I could treat every day of the week, but it still needs to run its eighteen to twenty-four month process, it’s certain things like that. Mate, that stays in, session to session, but we’ve brought in these industry first fixed price unlimited access program. They include a two week fast track program, Glen, and that’s really positioned around someone that just wants to get out of pain really quick. They don’t care at that point about performing at their best or getting back to the things they love to do. They’re just like, “I’m in pain. Give me what I need to get me out of pain.” That’s the two week fast track.
Glen: What does that cost?
Brad: Six hundred and ninety-five dollars for that, Glen. That includes complete access, unlimited amounts to the physiotherapist in that two week period.
Glen: That seems really reasonable.
Brad: It is. I’m happy for it to be that way because we just want throughput on these programs. We want that word of mouth advocacy that these guys do it different, and they do it different not to over service, not to put bottoms on seats. Because they actually want to get me the results.
Glen: Yeah. Brilliant. Okay.
Brad: Mate, that’s the two week fast track. Then we’ve also got a six week complete recovery program which is designed for people that want to not just get of pain quick smart, they also want to go into performance, so that’s back to do the things that they love. The other program which gives context to the six week complete recovery program is the twelve week into performance program, and this is really our flagship thing that we want to over time be known for. This is for the person that is injured and in pain, wants to get out of pain really quick, but then wants to also treat the underlying causes, address those weaknesses and different bits, and get back to doing the thing they love, but the little tweak and the fun bit on this is it’s a prerequisite that they compete in an event of some kind before they graduate from the program.
For an example they run that ten K they’ve never run, road race, or they compete in an ocean swim or something that pushes them out of their comfort zone, because we’re really trying to transform their character through this twelve week process in the sense of what they thought was physically possible.
Glen: Mate, I love it, and I want to dig into the way you think about product and packaging in a service in the way that you’re doing it, because I think there’s going to be a number of people listening that their business is very much a hands-on business, even if they’re sort of not in the physio or the health practice, but maybe they’re a web coder where it’s still their personal time involved in the actual delivery of a product, and if you whittle your business all the way back to just being you, it’s just you. I mean you are the product. How have you thought or how has your thinking changed, because I’m assuming the original way you thought about growing your business is, “Well, I’ve just got to hire another physio,” and do it that way.
If that’s shifted, how has that shifted? How do you now think about product creation from the perspective of you being the product? Is your plan to stay on the tools, so to speak? Is your idea to be able to roll out of that to a degree? I’m curious as to how your thinking works around all that, and obviously also where, sorry, a big long question, but where the origin of some of that thinking came from in terms of where have these shifts occurred?
Brad: Certainly. Where would you like me to start Glen?
Glen: Maybe where some of the original shifts in your thinking occurred and why. What were the frustrations before and the shifts after, and then just how you think about product?
Brad: The frustrations are probably a good place to start because that really seeds the activity, so I mean I was frustrated with my remuneration from an industry where it’s very giving and physical. You give your all and, sure, we’d had sort of four and a half year period through our business life of a franchise world, lots of costs associated, but it was like ten years as a professional. Our industry is doing this. If that’s as good as it gets then I either do it differently or we do it differently, or I do something differently. Literally I was at that point, a stage where I’m like, “I’m getting out of this industry. I’ve had enough. This is ridiculous.”
I was frustrated about that on a professional level, Glen. Incomewise. I was frustrated with the personal exertion. I was frustrated with the fact that I’d go to a barbecue and people would say, “Oh, physio. Oh, yeah. Been to them. They didn’t really work. They just wanted me to keep coming back.” I know that’s not the heart of our industry. We’re carer, nurturers. We really, really care about people and want them to get better, but our model lets them down a lot of the time. They were frustrations, and I was also frustrated with the fact that I’m in demand as a practitioner and how do I get a break, so all those things, I guess, was in the boiling pot of, okay, keep doing the same thing and end up in another ten years as a jaded practitioner that’s whining and complaining, or take a step back and start to look at how this could be done differently.
Glen: What were some of the first shifts because obviously this shift into product creation or packaging you service is quite new, but what were some of the early changes that you made?
Brad: It was becoming aware of the disconnect of time for service, that it doesn’t really serve the client well. I believe probably bar a very few rare exceptions in our industry, everyone’s intentions are sound. We don’t over service people. If anything we chronically under service them, Glen. We say come back in a week, yet if you were a professional athlete, Glen, with that same problem you’d be on the treatment table every day. Being aware of that fact and, I’m sorry, Glen. I’ve lost the question there.
Glen: I’m loving where you’re going in terms of this concept of product, because if you are just doing a time-based model which is what you were doing, it does put you at odds. It puts you at a conflict of interest with your customer. Was that something that you were actually experiencing from your clients as well?
Brad: Personally, no. Probably because most of my clients and people referred had that trust because of the publishing and all those things. They knew that I was the person to help them, but even with that as a senior practitioner in my industry you’d get people seventy percent of the way there, some clients, and they’d self select out not because they weren’t happy with the service or even where they got to, but just because they thought, “Right. This is good enough.”
Glen: They hadn’t reached that finish line.
Brad: Yeah. Exactly. Even up until ten years, sorry, ten years as a practitioner, I would still grieve the fact that they didn’t get their full potential achieved, and that pain of that has never left me as a practitioner. I’m like, “Oh, there was so much more,” Glen. Realizing that, okay, what’s the limiting fact, and it often came down to every time they’d go to the front desk, Glen, they’ve got to pull out their wallet and pay for the service. There’s friction in that and we’re sending the wrong message. That was a big part of it, Glen.
Glen: Yeah. Interesting. I love that because it’s actually one of the reasons I’ll wait an extra couple of minutes for my Uber rather than getting a taxi that’s sitting right there so I don’t have that friction. It’s actually bizarre. I noticed myself doing it the other day where I’m like, there’s a taxi right there. There’s an Uber two minutes away. I’d rather wait the two minutes, and it doesn’t make any sense, because I’d rather wait the two minutes to not spend the thirty seconds pulling my credit card out at the end of the trip. It makes no sense but there is this interesting friction point there.
Brad: Yeah. Absolutely, and we’ve done research with our clients where we’re not afraid of asking them what are your bits that you don’t like, what are the bits you love, what are your frustrations, and one of them was that … It was maybe the very rare comment, “I feel like I’m just told to keep coming back.” Yet, it’s like, well, how does that happen that the practitioner is not saying they’re over servicing, they’re not saying, “Glen, come back,” when you don’t need it. If that’s the case they should get out of the industry quick smart. That’s a legitimate need, but how is that communication not happening, and starting to realize that, well, okay, I look at industries like the personal training world.
The personal training world went through a revolution when they started to bring in twelve week fitness challenges and how does that work? There’s a commitment given at the front from the people leading it that you’re going to get this result, and there’s a commitment from the client, they pay. Two commitments gets a result. I think we’ve been a bit in the dark thinking that this session to session mentality can work. I mean personal training, if you had to rock up and pay for your fitness journey every session with no finish line in mind, is it going to work? Maybe for the very rare motivated person, but often not, right?
Glen: Hundred percent. Absolutely a hundred percent, and so how have you found the take up on the new product considering it’s perceived to be more expensive, I mean you’re asking for more money up front, all that sort of stuff, but obviously there’s a much larger commitment in terms of certainty of getting them to that finish line. How has the response been?
Brad: Glen, it’s been overwhelmingly positive, and an example would be a lady who just before jumping on this call was my last client in the room before I jumped on this. Was incidentally on holidays here in Queensland, referred by a local GP who said, “You need to go there and see this person.” She had had some other, outside of our industry, other allied health type care in her hometown, sorry, her home state of Victoria before she came to the Gold Coast. Had several sessions. Came to the Gold Coast, still had this problem. Was referred from her practitioner in Victoria to go see someone in Brisbane, so she’s on holidays, remember. Drove the return trip in traffic, about five hours on a Friday afternoon stuck in traffic to see a practitioner in Brisbane. Did it again a couple of days later. Didn’t see any change.
Went to a different type of practitioner. Now the third type of practitioner. Didn’t get any change. Went for a remedial massage. Didn’t get any change. Saw the GP. Came here. As an example of the uptake and the overwhelming response. She came into the rooms. We did the discover recover process, and I asked her, “What’s your diagnosis? Have you got one?” That’s when she realized that, “Well, that’s what’s missing.” Off we went, organized the appropriate scans. Diagnosed it between the first and second session, Glen, and I look at her as an example, Glen, of has this been well received.
This lady had wasted her holiday time. She’d spent already close to if not plus a thousand dollars on three different opinions, and none of it was going in the right direction. Mate, when we communicate that with clearness and clarity and confidence to our clients and prospective clients, we get the response we’ve had which is a real overwhelming appreciation for the effort we’re making to try and do things better.
Glen: Mate, I love it. I love it. I salute you for going through the process, because that shift from the old time-based model and that old paradigm is often a tough one to take, not just for your own mindset but often for the perception of what your clients are going to think as well. Super kudos there. In terms of if we were to change gears a bit and click into a conversation around performance, I mean, and maybe just paint the picture of how you approach fitness, because I know you’re real active out there in the world of fitness. Do you just want to give, because there’s probably a few fitness lovers on there, a bit of a snapshot of your life in sport?
Brad: Glen, my life in sport was triathlon at a young age and interestingly the most recent guest on my podcast was my sporting childhood hero, Brad Beven, and he’s the reason I got into the sport. I just wanted to be him, so it was quite a, if nothing else came of the podcast, Glen, other than sitting down eyeballing my childhood hero and having an in the person chat, it was worth it.
Glen: What a win. What a great win.
Brad: It was quite a moment. I’m like, “Wow. Isn’t life cool how it goes?” Triathlon as a junior. Interrupted with a very severe bike crash with multiple injuries, a brain hemorrhage, and unbeknownst to me at the time a severe problem with my knee which would later manifest with my inability to run. Started uni. Couldn’t do the endurance type sports that I really was built for and love and had a gift in with. Hit the gym and put on the beach muscles through university, and got lots of surfing done, and came out of that life and into business ownership more or less straight away and time poor. Got back into a bit of running, Glen, and have spent really the last nine, ten years predominantly running with a bit of a period there in triathlon where I went back and competed at the world titles and had some success there, and put the bike aside again.
Mate, these days I mainly compete in marathons and half marathons, and for me it’s about certainly being out there practicing what I preach with my work, but also the satisfaction I get from hitting peak performance. I’m thirty-five now and only just now starting to run some of my best times, so I know I’ve got a good five years ahead on the clock to get my PBs down, Glen, so that’s a personal mission.
Glen: Obviously you hold and have held a high value on performance physically. I’m curious, I’m always fascinated about how other business owners actually measure and track performance in their business, in this case in your practice. Big question and take it wherever you want to go, how do you measure success in business? Literally what are some of the things that you measure?
Brad: It’s such a great question and if you had of asked me six months ago, twelve months ago, eighteen months ago you would have got a different answer. I don’t think it’s going to change going forwards, Glen, for the next decade, and all that matters for us now is finish line percentage, so when I think about what are we measuring, if we could only measure one thing, which I think is the real acid test of are you being effective or not, as a business, as a physiotherapy practice what’s the one thing we’d want to measure which would take care of everything else and it’s percentage finish line results, Glen.
That’s simply, “Hey, Glen. High five at the front. You’ve finished physio. You don’t need to come back.” I’m excluding the fact that if you needed to be maintained for best performance on a session to session basis, but you got that acute pain organized, you’re back to your best and beyond. You’re finished. That’s what we measure, mate. We put a percentage around that every six months.
Glen: Love it. How do you track that? Is it like someone has a spreadsheet that you’re tracking that through? What tool do you use to actually track it?
Brad: Just internal software, Glen. Our physiotherapists do, gosh, going back to my employee at Kmart days through uni. Stock takes if you like, but stock takes of client’s results and stock takes of their journey towards their finish line, and we’ve been talking about finish lines as a concept for over a year, but only just, just for listener’s clarity, just launched the finish line programs. We’ve tracked that. When we first started measuring this we were thirty-four percent finish lines, Glen, for six months. Then we started to talk more specifically about finish lines as the only thing that matters and we went to fifty-two percent.
Then on the eve of launching these finish line programs which has happened in July, our January to June percentage finish lines was fifty-four percent. I’m looking at it going, you know what, it’s only a two percent increase but we’ve been talking about this and getting ready for the launch and doing some very soft variations of it to the market, and I’m like, “That’s not much of an increase.” A little bit disappointed, but then it smacked me between the eyes and I thought, “Well, that’s it. That’s as good as it gets in session to session world. Wanting two people that come through our doors actually get a finish line moment.”
Here we go now, and check in in six months and our percentages, I’m hoping, will be eighty to a hundred percent.
Glen: What’s interesting like just the moment you apply some measurement to something that the results start to shift, which is pretty cool. What about, and, look, that might be the only number that you track, but what about for the rest of your team, for your admin, your ops, your support, all that sort of stuff? Are there any other kind of ways in which you measure success, reward your team, or reward performance? How does the rest of your team knowing they’re doing a good job?
Brad: To clarify, it’s not the only thing we measure, but it’s the one thing that we place the greatest …
Glen: That’s your one number.
Brad: Yeah. It’s the big overall guide as to how effective we are. We keep our eye on things like the number of new clients. We, from a clinical perspective, with the physiotherapists it’s a performance-based remuneration model, so if you’re not performing … If you’re performing the perks are there, if you’re not, you know, get performing. We make no qualms about that. Our clients aren’t here to pay us for the privilege of trying to figure out what’s wrong. They expect results. We also look at parameters around revenue in the sense of just as a bit of overall gauge, but we obviously also track profit.
Glen: That’s actually really interesting. I’d never thought about that before, so you’re actually tracking your team of physios’ performance in terms of the results that they’re achieving for their clients, and if they’re not achieving those. If they’re getting better results faster, do they get compensated more for that?
Brad: It’s not about getting them faster, it’s just about getting them. It’s about percentage results, percentage finish line clients.
Glen: That’s brilliant.
Brad: Yes. There is a sliding scale we’ve engineered on the basis of if you’re being effective and you’re getting those high five moments which is reflected in billings because people pay for the work they want to get done, then you will be remunerated different than for physiotherapists that’s not. It just creates a high performance environment. Iron sharpens iron.
Glen: I love that. What about, and this was always like certainly in my early days it was really easy to measure sales and marketing and those sorts of things, and I’m assuming you measure that just based on what the customer is telling you like are you feeling better on a scale of zero to ten. Is that right?
Brad: In terms of their feedback, well, we have a bit of a concierge service on client feedback so when someone starts with us we don’t want them to sit around and wait for the next session to ask a question, so it’s a real-time experience. We will get feedback; how did we go today? Were we terrible or great or meet your expectations? We’ll get that automatic feedback. We’ll do your good old basic things like a care call, picking up the phone from the administration on behalf of the practitioner, “Hey, any questions from yesterday, Glen?” We engineer in all those little moments along their journey towards their finish line so that there’s never a moment of them not being able to express how they’re feeling.
Glen: In terms of admin  and operations, this is kind of where I was alluding to before in the sense of how do you measure performance, do you measure performance in that area of your business at all, and if so, how, because it’s easy to get sales, marketing, and even your delivery team tracking that performance, but often when it comes to the operational admin team it can be a little more difficult. Is there anything you do around that?
Brad: Glen, over the years we’ve, I’m sure as have many professional service providers, you think about that. How can you do that for your front of house team which we don’t think of as any different in terms of importance to what we do. We’re all about getting the result for the client, and it’s difficult. We don’t do any little bonuses or anything from the administration. We just make sure we remunerate people on a very healthy level, and second to that we create an environment that they’d want to come and work in, that they’d have fun in, and obviously we try and be as smart as we can around bringing people into that environment to start with, so I’d love to give you some really creative ways, but really it’s just a more holistic view of creating that good healthy work environment with the right people.
Glen: That’s, in fact, a really interesting rabbit hole I’d like to go down in terms of what is your philosophy, is there any structure in your thinking around how you go about creating that culture and creating that environment and creating that vibe that kind of generate performance in the sense of, I mean do you have a set of kind of structured company values?
Brad: Yeah, Glen, we do, and you know what, it kind of started with that on the POGO journey. It was like I remember was over in Portugal with my wife, and my little girl, whose family, her dad is over there, and I was two weeks over there and running around the streets of this little village called Le Deer, and running these ancient roads and just really getting that thinking time, and thinking about coming out of the depths of borderline bankruptcy with all the legal dramas we had, and thinking, “Well, okay. We’re going to keep going. We’ve resolved that, but why?” And stripping it right back to Simon Sinek’s work, why, why are we showing up, and wordsmithing that back and forth ad nauseam like, “Gosh. I’m not happy with that. That’s not quite it.”
Then we ended up with our why which is do we exist to help people perform at their physical best so that they can do the physical things they love, which is a really cool place to play in because we’re not helping people do the things that they have to do out of drudgery. We’re helping them get out there and run or play tennis, or jump in the surf. These are things that people love. Then off the back of that, Glen, we sort of thought deeper about what do we care about, and this may obviously change in time, but we started and we’ve been consistent with three core values from the get-go, which I’ll share if you want.
Glen: Yeah, mate. Please. Go for it.
Brad: Yeah. Sorry, mate. I thought I might have dropped out there. The first one is excellence in delivery which just speaks to, as it suggests, that if we can do it good, let’s do it great, so just attention to detail on everything, everything counts. Second is our customer, Glen, is our hero, so we’re not here for ourselves. We’re here to serve them and that’s something we purposefully do internally with all sorts of little ways, and then third is have daily fun. If we’re not having fun, then really, who wants to come. Mate, they’re our three values.
We just had a little, the first actually in ten years, a retreat for our team down at Salt here at Kingscliff, and the retreat was themed around this idea of we do what we value. It was speaking to those core values, and really that’s our filter of decisions daily. It’s does it line up with a core value on a hiring basis or on a decision basis or on a implementation basis, and if it doesn’t it’s a pretty quick and easy filter.
Glen: Have you ever had to let someone go because they weren’t fitting with those values?
Brad: Yeah, Glen, on the clinical front, excellence in delivery. I don’t keep a book of people that we’ve moved on, but I’ve really learned a lot in ten years, and I honestly think business life, it could take business owners in professional services ten years before they figure it out. It took me that long. We don’t hire graduates anymore, Glen. That’s an example, because why should the client pay for someone to figure out their clinical knowledge. We want them to go out and hopefully experience the industry and see what’s different about us when they come to us rather than potentially starting thinking the grass is greener.
I’ve moved people on for not being able to deliver clinical results, and also for not putting their customer first, attitude. On a different level it just doesn’t have its place. We’re not here for us. Mate, it’s a great firing screen as well.
Glen: How involved are you in the hiring, the firing, that kind of operational stuff? I’m curious as to what are the things that you spend most of your time doing and what do you see as being the things that are the highest value, and what are the things that you delegate?
Brad: My filter for delegation, Glen, is it, and it’s obviously a lot of business owner’s filter, but it’s can anyone else do this, and I think it’s my real area of growth at the moment is it’s lunacy just to keep doing it if someone else can, and outside of clinical care, because this is something I love doing and see myself doing for really quite some time to come clinically, but in terms of business operations we’ve got a great practice manager and support team, and they hear me say almost daily, “I’ll let you decide. Go figure it out.” I really have found that the more decisions I can hand back to people, the quicker we go as an organization. I try and stop myself more often than not on making decisions unless it’s absolutely critical that I be involved.
Glen: Has that been the way you’ve operated from the start or has that been learned?
Brad: It’s been learned, but I think I’ve always been just by nature an inclusive business owner. I want people to be aware of where we’re at at any point in time. It’s an open book, finances as well. Everything. It’s just a value I’ve got in terms of transparency, but it’s certainly something I’ve had to learn through the pain of running a business that you don’t want to be holding onto all the decisions and you actually get better quality decisions when you let people make them with the right boundaries and guardrails.
Glen: At the start of the call you mentioned that you made your first dollar to be able to raise funds for, was it Koalas?
Brad: Save the Koala Foundation.
Glen: Save the Koala Foundation. What’s your philosophy around contribution, giving back, charity, that kind of stuff?
Brad: The business owners I admire, Glen, are typically very philanthropic type people. I guess I see it as it’s about maximizing your potential and resource. With resource you can do more. We personally support some Compassion Children through our practice. My wife and I then have our own interests at a family level, so, Glen, business and profit is such an engine for doing positive things in the world, so I don’t think you can extract the two.
Glen: Have you built any of that directly into your business from the customer’s perspective in the sense of like we visibly support these sorts of organizations?
Brad: Yeah. Good question, Glen. At the moment, no. We’re sort of two and a half years into our POGO identity and so we don’t wave those things around at the moment. That may change as we progress, but, no, we haven’t put a lot of our focus on getting that out in front of client’s eyes at the moment.
Glen: Mate, what’s the future look like for you? I mean you’re obviously doing some really innovative stuff. You’re really passionate about business. I’m curious, I mean we’re living into a future where there’s more competition for everything than ever. There’s technology. I mean I’m seeing five, ten, fifteen meaningful articles a day on artificial intelligence, augmented reality, big data medical. What’s on your horizon?
Brad: Yeah. Glen, measurability I think is something with this shift and integration and morphing of technology into healthcare is something that I’m really excited about. By no means would I attest to being ultra tech savvy when it comes to those people that have gifting, but I feel like I can’t afford to not look at where this is going. For example, if we could bring in ways with greater measurability to track people on their journey to their finish line, which is what we’ve tried to do with the existing technologies, mate, we would love to do that.
DNA testing. I listened to a previous guest you had on your show. I think it was Leanne in the personal training space. My wife, she’s an integrated doctor, so she’s a GP that works in the space of that capacity already, and it just makes sense, targeting things, being specific.
Glen: Leanne Spencer. Yeah. She was talking about some incredible stuff, using it for, I mean you were mentioning before that personal training very early on switched to that twelve week package model, very clear result, finish line, et cetera. She’s gone and partnered with businesses where now literally you can wear a ring on your finger that just looks like a normal ring that tracks everything from whether or not you’re hydrated to what your mineral levels are doing, to all that kind of stuff, pings it into the system which she’s integrated with, and sends her alerts if any of the things are out of balance. They can choose whether or not they want those alerts to be sent or they want the data to be private.
The capacity for the provision of not just quality care, but quality outcomes and results must be on a hockey stick in terms of the transparency of diagnosis and also that follow-up stuff. It just must be fascinating.
Brad: You said somewhere in our interview, Glen, and that’s what you measure, you can improve, and so even things like sleep affects our musculoskeletal health, which is the area I play in, so having access to the key data can only help people do what we’re here to do which is get them across their finish line, further faster, so, mate, absolutely.
Glen: Mate, I want to kind of start to wrap this up a little bit, and I just want you to think about if you had to go back and maybe look at some of the books, some of the podcasts that you listened to, any of the kind of the tools or the content or the people, or even the apps that you couldn’t live without on your phone. Is there anything in terms of some of those resources that have just really had an impact in your life, had an impact in your ability to create results and become the key person of influence that you very much are in your industry at this point?
Brad: Yeah, Glen, I think a lot of business owners that like to be innovative and get the best out of themselves, they just love to learn, so I’m not different. Love to learn. I’ve been a long time podcast junkie. Gosh. My favorite podcast that I’ve been running with; literally I listen to these when I run, so it’s funny I can link back something on a podcast with where I was running at the time; it’s quite a funny thing, would be … Some of my favorite podcasts are Tim Reid, Small Business Big Marketing. Been listening to that for years. The Entreleadership podcast with guys out of the States. Have a lot of great guests in there.
Your Move with Andy Stanley. He’s in my mind one of the world’s best communicators. More recent one, the Craig Groeschel Leadership podcast. I’m not just saying this, Glen, but really enjoying the Dent podcast episodes that you’re bringing out where you do what you do with me, you really unpack people’s thinking. I have to say the Physical Performance Show. It’s funny. I only listened back to a few interviews just to see where I can improve. Then I’ve got a clinical list of clinical professional development ones that make their way into my podcast reel.
Books. I have to say I think I’m a slow uptake on this one, but I’ve just finished my very first audio book, Glen, and I know there’s nothing new about an audio book, but I’ve been good old hardback books and reading and listening to podcasts, so I’ve just finished Boundaries for Leaders by Henry Cloud which has been on my to read list and now I’ve gotten through it at one and a half speed on my to listen list. Mate, other impacting books would be 21 Laws of Leadership, Irrefutable Leadership, I think it is, sorry, by John Maxwell, and any of the John Maxwell stuff I’ve enjoyed in the leadership front.
Then really one book that I guess really started me thinking deeply would be a book called Ordering Your Private World by a guy called Gordon MacDonald and it’s basically just about living life from the inside out. Kind of the summary would be about cultivating that inner victory to be publicly effective, so that was a really good book, mate, and then there’s practical ones like Patrick Lencioni’s stuff, the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and any of his work. Mate, I’m just a, I guess, a junkie learner. I just love it, so I’m into everything.
Glen: In the context of all that, if you could go back and I’ll actually say you could go back to any point in your professional career and give yourself one piece of advice, so if I was going to give you the opportunity to go back, you can whisper in your own ear, A, what would be the point, and I’m curious about two things. I’m curious about, A, what is the point that you would choose to go back to, and also then in the context of that point what is the advice that you would give yourself?
Brad: Oh, Glen. Wow. How much do you want me to share? How real?
Glen: Not real at all mate. Completely fake it. No. Hit it. Give it to us.
Brad: The advice I would give, Glen, would be two words, sorry, three words, a physio. Don’t look sideways, and the reason that comes so quickly and with such clarity would be as I was three years into my business ownership life doing the first three years of … I remember going to the account for the first end of financial year sit down, and I’d been, whatever it was, twelve, fourteen hours a day every day bar Sunday and it was half a day Sunday from home. I remember he said, “You’ve made a minus thirty thousand dollar loss,” and being completely disorientated and going, “What? I could have made more in my job at Kmart through uni with all those hours,” not understanding the lifecycle of a business owner that it’s okay not to make profit year one.
Glen, it would be don’t look sideways, and the reason that’s important is, you know, three years into I thought, “There’s got to be a better way. I’m in too much pain with the growth of the business.” It was exploding with popularity and awareness, My Backs Physio. We were trying to recruit. I was trying to do the work of my professional life. I’m like, “This … Has to be a better way.” At that point when I chose to join a franchise, but I remember, I have a faith, and I remember literally feeling the pain of making the decision and being on my knees going, “Gosh.” To go left or right.
I remember feeling like it was distinctly a whisper that was, “You don’t need them,” and I went ahead anyway and joined something that was later didn’t turn out to be my path. I think the lesson here for business owners is it’s so easy to look left and look right, and consider that they’re doing well over there, or they’re doing it better, but we all have our own individual race to run, and I think there’s this power in blocking some of that out, looking at what other people do for inspiration and guidance, but making peace with you can only build your best business if you give your best self. I would say don’t look sideways. I feel like I wasted a lot of sideways energy looking at others and trying to mold myself on others verse being my true self and exercising my true gifts.
Glen: Mate, that absolutely just rounds it out perfectly. Mate, I just want to acknowledge you. I’m a business geek, and when I see that business geekiness in other people is one thing, but actually applying that and actually really putting your heart and your soul into doing great work, it’s something that I think we both acknowledged in each other when we first met. You have since gone, I’ve seen you go on this incredible journey over the last three years or so from strength, to strength, to strength, from growing your team to developing new products.
It really is so difficult to change your thinking and the thinking of your customers in an industry that is quite staid and is quite traditional, and has certain expectations. The fact that you’ve done that while growing a business and growing a family and doing all those other things and not just done it, but done it at quite literally a world class level. In the show notes I’d love to link up not only all your websites but all of your product brochures and all the stuff you’ve created because it truly is just so well done, and so I just want to salute you, mate. You really exemplify what I think it means to make a dent in the universe, and I want to thank you so much for being on the show.
Brad: Glen, thank you. Thanks for having me and all the best to the listeners, and, mate, just pleased if I could offer some value, so thanks for the opportunity.
Glen: Final thing I’d like to ask, if people want to reach out to you for any reason, what’s the best way for them to get in touch and to interact with some of your ideas?
Brad: Mate, I’ve always wanted to do this, but just Google me. No. It’s quite a different name, Glen, so Brad Beer as it sounds, B-E-E-R, will bring up all my different avenues online. I once heard Gary Vaynerchuk say that. He said, “Just put in Gary.” With his spelling, I think it was with a double R. Don’t just put in Brad. Brad Beer. POGO Physio, Glen, is our business name. P-O-G-O Physio. That’ll bring up everything. Then there’s the Running.Physio emerging little niche space as well. On Twitter @Brad_Beer. The same on Instagram.
Glen: I actually can’t believe I didn’t ask this. What’s POGO?
Brad: POGO, Glen, there is a purpose to the name. It’s not an acronym, so it doesn’t stand for anything. We’ve had a lot of people trying to guess what that means. It really came in a, you know, we went through a bit of a branding process when we first started out, and I really wanted to create something that was memorable and sticky, that’s kind of made people think, that wasn’t your typical, and no disrespect to any people in our industry or business owners in our industry that are called, you know, your local physiotherapy clinic, but we wanted something different. It wasn’t us. POGO is about having fun, bounce, there’s a bit of bounce in there literally, and it just stops and makes people think.
The other thing is I wanted it to end in O. I’ve just got this fascination with O’s at the end of words Glen.
Glen: What?
Brad: It rhymes with physio, so POGO, so it had to end with an O, so I was sitting around going, “All right. It’s got to be four letters. We want it to be short so it can’t be abbreviated more over time. Loco. Mojo.” Then I remember hesitating with the branding team and thinking, “I can’t say POGO. That’s ridiculous. It makes no sense,” but just blurting it out, and they straight away went, “Bang. That’s it.” That’s what we ran with.
Glen: Perfect. Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoyed the episode with Brad. As always, jump into the conversation with me. Hit me up on Twitter, /GlenCarlson, or if you want to find all my kind of socials online, hit me up at Dent.Global/Glen. That’ll take you to my Facebook page, and if you want to scroll down find where I posted this episode and hit me up in the comments there. If there are any questions, things like that, love to engage in the conversation. I’d be curious about how you do your business, so if any of this sort of stuff that we’re talking about in these episodes relates to you or what you’re doing or if you’re created any shifts or shifts in your thinking as a result of this sort of stuff, I’d love to know about it. It helps me shape my questions. It helps me shape the conversation, so all the feedback is super appreciated. Always looking to grow. Always looking to make it better.
Pretty pumped with how this is going so far. Of course, the world doesn’t need another business podcast, but we’re doing okay. It seems to be bouncing around the top hundred podcasts in and out of that. Sometimes it gets into the top fifty which is kind of cool. Had about twenty-five thousand odd listens which I’m really pumped and excited about, so I just want to thank you for tuning in. I want to thank you for everyone that’s been tagging and referring all this stuff to their friends. I’ve been getting some really good feedback from it as well. I appreciate all that. Please keep listening. As always, be brave, have fun, and go make a dent in the universe.