E524 | Kelly Starrett Re-Cast Interview

Aug 02, 2022
cash based physical therapy, danny matta, physical therapy biz, ptbiz, cash-based practice, cash based, physical therapy

Today's episode comes from an interview I did with Kelly Starrett in August of 2017. Kelly Starrett & his wife Juliet are responsible for starting a movement that had radically changed how people & practitioners think about movement & athletic performance.

Danny sits down with Kelly Starrett to talk about hanging your own P.T. practice shingle and how to do it successfully!

PT Everywhere:

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Podcast Transcript

Danny: [00:00:00] So one of the best ways to improve your customer experience, which we know will dramatically improve your business, is to have clear lines of communication with your clients. And that's something that can be really hard with these multiple channels between email and text. And what you really need is to centralize that in one place.

And that's something that we've been able to do as we switched over to PT everywhere within our client's accounts. We can actually message right back and forth with them. They can manage their home exercise plan within there, and it allows us to really compartmentalize the communication. That we have with those clients, instead of losing an email in the inbox or missing a text and then you're, it's very hard to dig yourself outta that hole because they feel like you're not very responsive, with them.

And for us, it's made a really big difference. It helps make our staff more efficient. It helps us not miss things as much with the volume of people that we're working with. And it's a really smart way of really compartmentalizing your communication with your clients so it doesn't interfere with the rest of the channels.

You have communication with family and friends and things like that. So I think it'd be huge for your practice to centralize it the way we. Have head over to pt [00:01:00] Check out what our friends are doing over there. I think it's really cool and I think you really like it. So here's the question.

How do physical therapists like us who don't wanna see 30 patients a day, who don't wanna work home health and have real student loans create a career and life for ourselves that we've always dreamed about? This is the question, and this podcast is the answer. My name's Danny Mate, and welcome to the PT Entrepreneur Podcast.

Hey, what's going on guys? Doc Danny here with the PT Entrepreneur Podcast, and today this is a little intro for a recast that we are doing with Kelly Tourette. So this is an interview that I did in August of 2017. It's actually one of the first five podcasts that I ever released. And one of the reasons we're doing this is because with our our podcast [00:02:00] feed now we are.

Above 500 episodes that we have, basically two a year for almost the last five years. And we can only show the most current 250 episodes. For now at least until we get, get that figured out with potentially migrating this to where we can have unlimited downloads there's so many good interviews and podcasts that, that that I have that are in the first 250 that I want to share some of those with you guys cuz you, you can't access 'em right now.

Unless we release him as a recast. And this one in particular, what I want you to listen to re you know, as a reminder this is again, like one of the first five interviews that that I had as far as business is concerned with the PT Entrepreneur podcast. And I feel like one thing, hopefully you can get, it's just man, this guy sucks at this.

I suck at at interviewing people, I still feel like I, I'm not [00:03:00] that great. But I'm better than I, I was five years ago, and because of a lot of reps, a lot of time that I put in as well as this is a mentor of mine. This is one of the more important people in my life as far as like professional, the professional side of things is concerned and to be able to sit down and interview him.

I was a bit nervous, going into it, and, but he has just has such a good story preneur that people don't hear you know much about. They hear a lot about, whatever, the movement side of things that he teaches about. But what you don't hear is, how he took out. Additional student loans to start a business while he was in PT school.

You don't hear about the struggle they went through and the young kids and the stress and all of the things associated with building their company early on. It's, everybody likes to point out, suc a success 10 years later, but they don't see the hard work that goes into it for a long time where nobody knows who you are.

And this is a great. Example of that with Kelly and being able to highlight that was a lot of fun. So I hope you enjoyed this this recast. I hope that this is something that [00:04:00] resonates with you. And we're gonna release a few more of these, like I said so you guys can hear some of the the older podcasts and interviews in particular that I think we're really impactful because I think they're worth sharing and I hope that you enjoy it.

So thank you so much and thanks for listening, and I'll catch you next week. All right. Hey guys. Doc Danny here with the PT Entrepreneur Podcast and the guy I have on the other line, I don't think I need to introduce this guy. If you don't know who Dr. Kelly is, then you're living under a rock. You need to just stop this podcast right now.

Go get becoming a supple leopard and subscribe to Mobility Wide Pro and and teach yourself something man, cuz you're missing out. Kelly, I really appreciate you jumping on the podcast with me. This is gonna

Kelly: be a fun talk. Oh dude, my pleasure.

Danny: Tell me about your re recent rafting trip, because I know you guys just went out and did some crazy paddling, where'd you go?

Kelly: I'll tell you. I think you and I were just having a conversation offline, and what I'll say is, It is when you own your own business and you are holding the umbrella for a lot of other people. Yeah. There, we I don't know how many other people make their living off of us.

27, something like that. 28 a lot, 20 nines. It's a lot. [00:05:00] There's a lot of stress involved and And then these incredible you work your butt off. Remember when you had a dream of going to grad school and you like, were shadowing at a PT clinic and Yeah. You were like, you were working in the hospital to just get your hours and you're like, Sunday, I'm gonna have a dream.

And and all of a sudden that dream is here and you've been working for it for a decade longer. And there's so much opportunity and you're finally not critically poor. You're paying off your student loans. Yep. Like you, you've got this workflow. And then the thing happens where you're like, holy crap, I don't have fun anymore.

And it's not that, gene rock abroad, and a lot of people bring this up, when you are a physio who owns your own business, there's no off button. Like we, we work 24 hours a day. We're always on, we're talking to people, and I don't feel like I ever need a weekend. I'm not like, ah, it's Friday.

Yeah. The work volume is always there. And it's always interesting and I'm always in it like, I don't mind talking to people about their, what's going on with them and, and consulting and we just get to do a lot of cool stuff, comma, [00:06:00] about five years ago when we were at peak thrust on takeoff, we were just, grinding, we decided that we needed to re.

Calculate and refocus our filter. And that filter was what's the point of all this? What are we doing here? And the point was to get more time together as a family. So when we started running everything through that filter, we were able to say no to things. We were able to say yes to long-term development.

But really clarified why we were working so hard because we were consummating that loop. So there's intellectual curiosity, professional curiosity, that all that's great and it all gets saturated, but, we've got to carve out time where we're not just, on the wheel as it were. And unfortunately I have kids and they, really, I, I don't think if, I think if Juliet and I didn't have kids, We lit would literally work 24 hours a day.

Yeah. And but because we have kids, we don't. And then to your point, we just went on Juliet and I were Dirtbag River Guides a long time ago. And we're trying to get our kids to be Dirtbag River guides. And and so we just got off the [00:07:00] salmon a five day self-support trip on the salmon, which was just fantastic.

And this was actually the first time I've ever kayaked hard shell with Georgia the whole day. So she kayaked four days in a row, which is great.

Danny: Your daughters are bad asses, man. It's super cool to see, you and Juliet just Are really, it's good parents, obviously it's, your kids are good.

You can tell a lot about a parent or a person based on how their kids act. Huh, in my opinion if your kid's a little shithead, there's something wrong with a parent. And that may sound harsh, but I think it's pretty accurate. And, you

Kelly: know it's hard to blame children, isn't it?

It totally is,

Danny: man. They're a reflection of you, anyway, the for you guys, I really look at. You and Juliet are the combination of you two, Ashley and I, my wife and I, we work together as well and we really see what you guys value and the way that you structure your family and what you put, what you find important.

That's really something that we're like, man, who do we wanna model ourself self after? It's the Tourettes, for sure. And it's interesting for you guys, cuz you bring this up and. The idea that you're if you're willing to do something on your own, you're willing to damn or kill yourself to make it work.

That's true. So how do you guys, so if somebody's in this right now, or [00:08:00] they're looking to start a business, you talk about this kind of one thing that's so important, how do you keep it coming back to that? Like, how do you check in to that and make sure that you're not getting, lost and get stuck in this idea or this kind of concept of just grinding it out until you, you've reached whatever that goal, that mythical, guilt goal

Kelly: is.

Which never happens. It never materializes. There's a couple things here. One is I think it's interesting when a lot of good physios now I think are realizing that, the marketplace consciousness has shifted. I think I. Think about how risky it was to maybe open your own physio clinic 15 years ago, or 20 years ago.

Yes. Just, it's just different. The internet is not there. The sort of public awareness around fitness or mechanics, there are always deep niches, but I think some of the, there's a really thriving PT practice next to us. At here, at the gym and one of our staffers, Sean McBride, he's an ocs, moonlight's there coaches for us, sees people in a traditional rehab model that takes insurance and Chris [00:09:00] Turak, who's the owner there is just, she's been ho she was one of those people like Mark Verstegen like Greg Cook, who held the door open for a lot of us who said, Hey look, I'm going to set up an autonomous.

Alternative to big traditional physio where we can really start to get into more nuanced hands-on concierge like care, cuz Yeah. When I moved here, when I moved here in 2000 and I was, I knew about Chris Turk in 2001 and she was lecturing and talking and really holding the community open and trying to serve.

A community that I think was underserved the way traditionally physical therapy was traditionally delivered. And now, fast forward to 2 20 17 and it looks like her model is a really old model. You're like, what are you still doing taking insurance? Oh my God. And and so I think, with that in mind, that it's a lot easier now for physios to be able to have a radically different practice set you can work in, with teams and coaches.

And, there's just so many things you can do, but when you take [00:10:00] it on, come back to your point is that, the entrepreneurship, it is a family. Family endeavor. And I think that's important because when you start this, you A, you're going to need your family support when you are there on Sunday and late and, and if you're starting a physio practice, because you rightfully should, and the time is right to do that.

Maybe b in the alternative model, that we, the, this world has changed a little bit. I just say make sure you've talked it over with your partner so that you know he or she knows what you're about to, undertake because it's not for everyone. It's, you have fixed costs and there are big bills and.

It's scary, and yes you know it sometimes when you're 10 years in and it looks all successful, it looks like it was a no-brainer, but even just the conversations you and I had when you were still active duty military doing incredible work with the army, you were like, do I, is this, I had to pull you off the ledge a little bit, come on, come with me. Oh, I remember. It's better. It's better over here. And what I'll say is with that idea [00:11:00] that it is scary is that you're gonna need the support of your partner and I in this situation. I think you and I are unique, is that my business partner is my wife. And Julie and I have radically different tasks, radically different kind of scope of responsibilities.

And she is the ceo. And unfortunately, I think one of the things that I saw recently you had on a post, which I appreciated was said, Hey look, you may be brilliant at connecting with people and a brilliant physio, brilliant coach, but you're crap at business and you have no training in that. Yeah.

That is not part of our my PT education. We, I had to make a business plan. And do all of that. But that's not the same thing as running a business and figuring out how to set up, recurrent payment and software and insurance and I think what's nice for me is that Juliet is the consummate ceo, which allows me to do what I'm good at.

And she happens to not just be a good ceo, but she really likes it and thrives there. So we, I, one, it's always gonna be a family business cuz you're gonna need your partners or your family support for it. So keep in mind [00:12:00] with that two. If you are lucky enough, work with your partner you have to make sure that, you're not necessarily laying in bed at 10 o'clock at night discussing work and for forgetting that is your life partner.

Cause it's easy, and no, and just be a little bit vulnerable. Juliet and I were both. I had single working mothers and we were broke. Juliet taught, remembers like, like boohoo us, she wasn't able to, go on field trips because the, she's, we couldn't afford it.

My, we were, we, I remember being critically poor with my mom when she was getting her PhD. We were, it was a donated Christmas tree and no, no Christmas likes, yeah. We made our own ornaments and I was never hungry. I was always cared for.

But we were broke and we're always wor we would run outta gas, always worried about running gas. But the reason I mentioned that was that set us up for the to really feel like, we were hungry to not feel that kind of stress. We were comfortable being risk takers because we were professional athletes and river guides and used to taking on big responsibility.

[00:13:00] But then all of a sudden we got to a place where we're like, Hey, We are, we've figured out how to pay our mortgage, and the next question we need to ask then was, okay, now we can, we need to take a beat and figure out how we can improve our life. Again. Now we're not a slave to this thing, cuz it was we, it's easy to become a slave, Juliette would like, pull out the calendar.

She'd be like, all right. You got, you're teaching four courses this month and you only have three on the books, so where's your fourth one? And I was like, we gotta do that because yeah, we know that generates revenue. And so for the first time in our lives, again, we weren't broke.

And, but it's easy to get on the other side and you haven't taken a vacation. You've, you are taking your business partner for granted, or your business support for granted, right? Your network is for granted. You haven't, and that's why. The river trips are so important, and that's why we create a lot of internal rituals in our family where we are working at a hundred miles an hour and that, and then we turn off, click, we have a sauna, we have an ice bath.

We try to play, [00:14:00] we, we put phones in drawers and so that there is, while owning your own business is a 24 7 endeavor, it never stops. We're really comfortable with that and gotten comfortable with that. You also have to have pieces in place so it doesn't rule you, you still rule it.

Danny: I want to go back to k kind of the beginnings of when you started San Francisco CrossFit and and your practice within the gym. Because, for me when I got out and I, I vividly remember the conversation, you know when you're like, look, Danny, you'll make more money, you'll see your family more, and you'll be happier and you'll be able to affect the military more on the outside than in, and right.

Kelly: I'm no, bro. Unicorns, rainbows every day. You have no idea.

Danny: I think, I think that was like, like totally it, it was just, and it's, it resonated with me when, when you said that. And it's something that I. I really was unsure of what to do.

And I remember, back in the parking lot of dreams back when you guys had the the gym in, literally in the, in a parking lot, you had this little content Conex box that you had your table in that was barely big enough for anybody to even [00:15:00] move around. And I remember thinking dang, if people are gonna come see.

You see somebody in a setting like this, in this little Conex box, like it was a steer it, you can make it work, man. I mean like any, anywhere. So bring me back to that cuz, because for and you started your gym while you were in PT school,

Kelly: right? Yeah. The phys, I appreciate that we're talking to physios here, which is so great.

And physio students. It was after my first year, I think I was back and I, in the fall, I had already discovered CrossFit my first semester of physio school. And then, Realized that I wanted to, becomed and open a gym. And it was such a nascent movement. We, the CrossFit movement, we didn't, there were, when I discovered CrossFit, there are five CrossFits and we are literally the 21st CrossFit now.

And so we've been doing this a long time and I went to my PT school, I went back from break and I took it out an extra student loan. They're like, oh, I see you're taking out a private student loan here. I was like, oh yeah, I just need a little extra money.

Yeah. And I bought rowing machines with it. Nice. And and barbells and but I [00:16:00] realized that, physio school was tough, but there was time in there in the mornings and the evenings and, in, in full transparency the strength conditioning around CrossFit looked very different than we offered one class a day.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays it was the morning and Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or op opposite Monday, Wednesday, Friday was in the morning. Tuesdays, Thursdays in the evening. And then on Saturdays I taught all the classes. And you know what I realized in that moment, taking on a business in physio school really shaped my decision making and it forced me to view my education through a much more practical lens.

And so I was really hungry and viewed everything about like, how does this work? Because I'm already gonna start to do it right. And at that time I hadn't, didn't have any machinations of of opening my own PT clinic yet. I was still like, realized that I needed to go study and be underneath someone and see some surgeries and some complicated cases and have a little mentorship.

And, it really did, when I wrote up my business plan in my third year with our [00:17:00] dean as part of that communications class I was literally just, writing out the plan for the business. I had already started, I was already there and living, so I was thinking very much about these problems in physio school.

With the idea and someone, I think so, even someone even said this early on, and I think I've repeated it to the physio schools where I've talked, even if you're working in a big office or a big hospital, you're still developing your own book of business. People are gonna ask you, you're taking care of your, slate of patients, right?

You're consulting with people and their families and so you already have this little mini business within the business, right? People, Just going to get your haircut, you mean you go get your haircut by a certain person. I think, and so that really got me spun up in terms of really focusing my attention.

And then, I wor went and worked for a pop tea, which I, is mixed, I think a little bit. But yeah, it was a guy who I thought was doing really good practice and his physios, he was in a different office, but the [00:18:00] physios work there were. All of Maitland Australian, physical therapists, they were, they taught for maps.

They were just really great manual, bad asses and we're all engaged in the business of physio. It just turned out that our clinic was attached to this sports or really fancy sports orthopedic clinic, and we had full autonomy and there was no weirdness there. But, the One year, I saw how much revenue I generated for them and I made $380,000 for that clinic, and I was got to a place where I was bringing in 50, over 50%.

Of my own clients, people were coming to the clinic to see me and because of, I was making $70,000 and they were coming, people were I was generating 50% of my own leads and I was referring a ton of people for orthopedic surgery. And I literally was like, wow what's going on here?

And yeah. And it turned out it wasn't the greatest situation to be in because sometimes these things aren't like that. Maniac surgeons and stuff aside. And I realized that all I needed to do was put a table down in my office and put my money where my mouth was, [00:19:00] because I'll tell you, when you are a physio working for someone, you don't see.

What needs to be done, and you can't appreciate how your crappy sort of employee behavior is viewed. You know what I mean? And whether it's, I'm just like, I don't mean to be like that. Everyone is always snide or not doing their best, but when you're an owner, you have a very different set of responsibilities than when you just get to show up for work and wear your clothes and see your patients and go home, and people are very quick to. Point fingers and bitch and vetch and no, I think, and what they say in the military, like that's the right of the infantry soldier is to complain, yeah. But it's and, and when you're in leadership, it's just, you don't get that, you don't get that luxury.

Your job is to be able to let the infantry complain, comma, and still you have to do it, but. What I'm always down with is I'm putting your money where your mouth is. And so if you think you can do it better, go do it better. And I thought I could do it better and the only way, or I thought I could do it in a way that made more sense for me.

And that meant I needed to put up my own shingle, get my own table, and then [00:20:00] let go ahead and prove to myself what I thought I knew, which was, hey, I can do, run a clinic in a better way that makes more sense to me and respects my time more efficiently and respects my. Ability to go out into the community and generate leads and generate relationships.

Cuz that's really what this is about. Serving the community. That is what this is about. This is not dentistry, this is, people, have complex musculoskeletal problems from being from their kids all the way up to, Parkinson's to, people in their hundreds and chronic pain in the middle.

And there's a lot of people who need. Consulting with around, actualizing, helping. There's some notion I think in physio that. Like we've got the answers or this is the way, it's like you are a consultant to help people manage what's going on their lives.

Musculo Skeletally, right? And that means in training and lifestyle and and even the conversations around the biopsychosocial aspects of surgery, you're there. Really that [00:21:00] idea of serving a community meant that I was out there having lots and lots of conversations with people and that.

Turned out to generate lots of leads and lots of, and then I didn't have a bad set of hands and people got better, fast. And I helped them with their goals and that turned out to be a good business model.

Danny: So what was what was it like early early on with the way you structured your schedule with teaching still?

Did you limit yourself to a certain amount of people per day or was it, man at the beginning, I'm just gonna see as many people as I could. How did you structure that?

Kelly: To complicate things, I had a child my first year of PT school. So I had a baby make an order.

Yeah, that's right. And then I had a when I was working for that physician working with that at that clinic I had a baby born in the nicu. Caroline was born little prematurely, and so I spent three weeks in the nicu and that really, got, clarified things for me even more, that I just the implications of that.

And my wife was an attorney. Juliet was a full-time attorney. And one of the things that I will say was very nice about the way it unfolded for us is that Juliet was a lawyer. [00:22:00] I was a full-time employed, either student or physio. And then I had another job, and that was the gym. And it, when I was still working for this physio, at this physio clinic I still, then we had a lot, I had a thriving gym with 200 members, during that.

So I was moonlighting, at my dream job. While I held down a full job and Juliet had a job, then when I transitioned over to the clinic, I still already had the gym. You know what I'm saying is that it was nice to have Juliet's support, right? It was nice to have the gym. So I always, I didn't ever have to make a move where I jumped all in and was like, had to make bad decisions.

I always was in a situation where I could make good decisions and long-term decisions because I'd never had a cashflow problem. Does that make sense? You

Danny: told me one time too, multiple revenue streams is such an important thing to, to have, and that I believe the number was seven is what you told me.

That's the dream. So yeah. You're like, you wanna, you want to get, you wanna shoot for seven revenue streams? And I was like, damn, okay. I got some work to do.[00:23:00]

Kelly: Just so that you like, you're creating an ecosystem Sure. And. And then in that ecosystem, the really thing is like your time.

You know what, we had structured it, for our children's stuff where. We had a nanny a couple times a week. I stay, I had the girl twice a week full-time, when all this was going on. And oftentimes I would get up at four 30 and coach be home by the time Julia went to work.

We'd do the baby handoff and then I'd go back and coach in the evening Right when Julia got home. Yeah. So I was coaching on the bookends of the day and then. A lot of times, what I would do is I would see 10 patients a day. So I would like Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or three days a week.

So I was seeing probably most, most patient days between 30 and 40 a week, a week. Yeah. And I, it was G Gristly and some days I would see 12 patients in a row. I'd work a 12 hour day, and those were one hour blocks. And I wouldn't, I'd be like, stuffing bar.

I like, just gotta write this note and Forcing some kind of protein shake down my throat

Danny: that port deone [00:24:00] right next to it. So it didn't take too time, too much time to go to the restroom.

Kelly: That was just a little respect. That was the Taj Mahal of Porta Pott. It had a nice, we had a nice plant in it for sure.

Plants, dude. We had bamboo and lights and plants and literally we had all of the sanitation engineers who came to clean it were like, this is the nicest porta pie we've ever seen. I was like, damn. Damn and we, I think on my resume next to Eagle Scout. It it says owned a porta potty for nine years, right?

Or eight years. It was this, the key is, I think it's easy to, the world has changed a little bit on social media. You like, we got away with the fact that YouTube was very early. People were used to seeing shaky iPhone videos and stuff, and now we're seeing that the world has evolved.

Like you can't just, I can't pull out my iPhone and make crappy content anymore. Shaky content on the spot. The content's the same, but the production has to be a little bit better and we have to subtitle and, but it did prove the point. And continues to prove the point that people are there for the experience and for the outcome.

And yes, we had a [00:25:00] few people like, walk around and be like, this is it. This is. This is where I'm training, and it, we were underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and, it was still Deluxe and I had the inside of the Conex box had nice, wood laminate floors and it was painted well.

But it was not shehe, but people, what people got was, an hour of my undivided attention. Yep. And care and work and a plan. And that's why they came back. It wasn't the place. And I think that's, It's easy to get caught into the trap of I need my own, perfect place. I have to have all of these conditions first.

And I hear that all the time, I was just counseling another young physio coach about, his expertise and, he has this idea around teaching movements and I was like, look, you just need to start, and get a subscription base. And if you think you're nailing it down, go nail it.

And. The first thing that person did was go out into the world and say, and social media say, Hey, I need a, who's my business developer? Social media. Like he'd already hired someone to do the job he should be doing. You know what I mean? Yeah. And he [00:26:00] had already missed the point. The point is the thing that you're doing is the thing you need to be doing.

So if you're seeing patients, the most important thing you can do is seeing patients. You have that you worked for that guy who said, how do we get paid, when we see patients. Yeah. And it's easy. You can always improve the environment, but the most important thing is to get people into the door so they can see you.

And you can work with them and for them, and that's that, that experience of the fact that it was so rough and tumble in the beginning really clarified the importance of what was important. Not necessarily having someone at the front office but for me to be able to schedule effectively with my own, run my own book and then and then, really deliver on the pack that I had made with them.

You spend an hour of time with me and we will together work through. Whatevers you wanna work through.

Danny: I, when I saw the, the setup that you had and me coming from the military, I've treated people in the grass intense, yeah. Back of trucks. I found this like really just, mediocre [00:27:00] office space in a gym in Atlanta and and set up shop there.

And I didn't think twice about that would be deterrent to people, but I definitely, you know what, I had practitioners ask me, they're like, how do you, how do people come see you in this little space? Like it's, It's not like class A office space. And I think what people just take for granted is just how rare it is to get what you're talking about, this undivided attention of a medical provider and to actually be listened to.

It's such a rare thing and it's also very it's draining, for you, God, for you to see 10 to 12 people doing that. I'd imagine by the end, the first few you probably were way more. Interested in

Kelly: listening. That's nonsense. I was the same guy through the, I just, there, there was a time where I went through some blood pan.

You really bring a good point. That was a grind on those days, but then I wasn't like every single day. But there was a time where I went through a blood panel and I was sitting, I was talking to the interventional nutritionist about the results, and she was like, so it says here, you drink one to two cups of coffee a day.

Yeah. And I was like, there's no hyphen. And then there's a big long pause and she's what? And I was like it was one to two, two to three, [00:28:00] three to four, and I felt like 12. More closely approximated how much coffee I was actually drinking. And she was like, are you serious?

And I was like I got, I started coaching this morning at four, I got it four 30, started coaching at five 30. I have two babies, I have this business, I have all these other coaches, and that's three 20 ounces Americanos from Starbucks, that that's 12 cups of coffee. And she was like, geez, what crap. And I was like, dude, how do you think I'm getting it done? And you can tell there's definitely a time on the old videos where, I am skinny and my hair's falling out and I, I'm, I am at the limits physically.

Yeah. And I was flying back and forth and, and doing stuff like, I, this really unique world came up that Greg Glassman set up for us, where he got people really interested in things like deadlifting and and it was just such a diagnostic and, but I would, I was teaching a lot, and I would get back, Sunday.

At 11 o'clock at night or one in the morning, and I would go sleep in my gym. If on my table and then coach on Monday morning at 6:00 AM and just stay sleep, sleep on my treatment [00:29:00] table and then, and there was definitely that was unsustainable and I think, the big deterrent for a lot of physios starting their own practice is that you.

Are gonna be thin. Like I didn't hang out with my friends. I didn't, yeah. I got this thing started and I was willing to just eat a whole lot. I don't know if I can do it again. I don't think I have the physical tolerance to do that again and still train and coach and deliver. But the, those long days was really one of the reasons that we started mobility Wad.

I was like, Hey, look, I need to create another way to communicate so that I can give more information out and can create a database so that I don't have to cover some of these things in this really valuable time that we're spending together. You know what I mean? And if I have only have an hour.

Especially in those first few meetings, to really understand the nuances of the environment and what's going on and help people reframe what's happening with them from a musculoskeletal way in a different per, and give them something to work on and try to [00:30:00] shift that low side of control.

I needed an additional resource in there. And then, because I couldn't see people three times a week and it's too expensive and no one has that time, so that was why we, I was coming home. I was like, Juliet, there's some basics that people need to know and they don't know.

And that was why we started making the videos in the first place so that I could get people up to a level so that we could actually get to the real conversation, not to the conversation about the conversation, what do you mean? Like your quads, you don't know how to do any of this. You know what I mean?

You. What you're, we're, we can't start from scratch. It's gonna take us too long. So if we started, bookmarking and some, and capturing some content in a video format, and then that was really so that I could get people spun up. So when they saw me, they had a base understanding of what was going on

Danny: And I've always, wondered this. In fact, mobility wad is something that. The business of mobility wa right At this point, did it start with the idea of, hey, we can turn this into a business, or did it start just a hundred percent [00:31:00] organically where you thought, yeah, this is what I need to do for my patients, and then it grew into, holy crap, this is picking up a lot of steam.

Maybe this could be a business.

Kelly: Oh we never saw it as, it was never a business. It was, It was advertising, it was a way of serving my, the gym members, of serving, I, I started teaching this year marks the 10 year anniversary of teaching the 1 0 1 course. So we've been teaching a course on human performance for 10 years now, and and that, and mobility wise started in 2010.

We had already been out there and taught hundreds of courses and thousands of athletes before Mobility Watch started. But it got to the place where I was like, Hey, we need to get, do a better job of supporting the coaches with information. This video format seems like I can get a lot of information now, cuz you know, we had a blog, San Francisco Cross had a blog for a long time.

That was early on in the blog service was blog spot. And I think if you actually go out to. It's like San Francisco It still exists in the world. You can see [00:32:00] the nascent and developing and emergent voices of the gym and of my voice and teaching. And, but every blog post took a couple hours to write.

Yeah. Just, it's, it takes forever to write a big article Sure. And support it with pictures and subsequently, in a six minute video, I can, Contribute and communicate a lot of information that it would take me several hours. So I was able to basically, take a quantum leap ahead in my ability to communicate what I was seeing and thinking and we were really transparent because we needed people.

One of the things we recognized was that the current physio model was so reactive. And that we had to shift our thinking around where we were delivering care. And I think this is where, the first time we struck the hornets nest a little bit, was getting people to realize that a lot of what I was doing is non-skilled care and needed to be done in the gym setting in a lot earlier.

In someone's, physical experience than it was when they [00:33:00] were late and hot. And because we saw such large numbers of athletes moving, our pattern recognition went through the roof. And so we could really connect the dots because we saw someone with no pain in the shoulder, no pain in the shoulder, but these compensations.

Then one day they show up. And we see them, they have shoulder pain and we're like, ah, your shoulder hurts. And notice that you've been swinging around like a crazy douche bag. Yeah. With your inside, Ben elbows. And we're like, ah. So it looks like, we were engaged in some wizardry, but we really had this gigantic laboratory going and realizing that we needed to empower and shift the burden of when we were delivering this care.

And I think that's, I think we have a, a type one error. In the physical therapy, if our job is, part of our job is prevention or if it's if actualization of really getting people to the place where they can express themselves in the world the way they want to, right? [00:34:00] We can't wait until something is terribly wrong before we do that.

That, and that is what the entire physio model was predicated on and continues to be predicated on. And so where that's. And for people to say that we can't impact upstream, is it's just, it's irresponsible. It's irrelevant. If we could manage all of the bio psychosocial components and get people moving correctly, then we would just really only see pathology and injury.

We'd see genetic deformities and abnormalities. We'd see, problems in the expression of the genome around collagen. We'd see accidents and then, You know what, but 90% of what we would do as physios would probably evaporate, it really would because, I think the human being is so robust.

We would still herniate discs and things, but it would be a very different situation. I think we all need to conceptualize where our job is in, in what that looks like. And it turns out, because I was a coach and lived in that world, that was the lens through which I viewed it.

And I [00:35:00] realized also that. If I was coaching, I coached about nine to 12 hours a week, in classes and then private coaches on top of that. So I saw patients and coached is that man, it was a lot easier to have, lots and lots of little one-on-one interactions when people were still out of the.

The, they didn't have pain. They didn't have swelling. They didn't have dysfunction. They just had incomplete mechanics or Yeah, they were new or, you know what I mean? They were learning something. That was the place where I could have the conversations ultimately that I would be having if you were injured,

Danny: you bring up the idea of reaching more people, right? And you being able to do that in the gym and seeing more people at once and moving repetitions and now with social media and the internet and the ability to reach people to really help them, the potential is really there.

So for you, you own a brick and mortar business and you own a digital business. Which one of those businesses do you feel like is more challenging to actually be successful in?

Kelly: There would be a time where I would say, Juliet and I would say [00:36:00] owning a gym, because I have 350 members, plus all the other things that happened, plus the physio practice in there, plus, everyone who's hanging out there, it's just high touch.

There's just a lot of stuff to work on and a lot of needs, as it were. There's just a lot of very special people sometimes, and it's just. It's, there's just a hun, there's a lot of people in there, and and 350, if we're probably at five or 600 people, in the course of a month, easily by the time we look at all the people who have come through and the visitors and, easily that number.

Yeah. There's just, that's just, it's messy being a human. And that takes a lot of kind of time intensive conversations. And if you look at, since you got, I read. In sort of two fields right now. One is complexity theory, which I'm just obsessed with because really trying to help to view the human body as a complex theory, right?

As a complex system. It's been very useful for me. But also I read a lot about this evolutionary biology, evolution of psychology, right? And so I'm reading, Hararis book homo Do, which is the his follow-up book to [00:37:00] Sapiens. And I highly recommend it, but if you look at. Successful primates, they spend a lot of time not fighting, but curating relationships.

And that's exhausting. And it's exhausting as a client or as a physio because you really are curating a relationship because that community, that patient client interaction, is so vital and in the heart of what we do. And, now, magnify that same sort of output into.

Making sure my coaches are taken care of, making sure our office staff is sorted, making sure that that the travel, the, there's just a lot of input. So there's that one piece and that's emotionally exhausting, and something I sometimes fantasize about not having. And then the other hand, we see that our brick and mortar place a lot keeps us rooted in reality cuz we're solving the problems and seeing.

We're, we, don't we, it hasn't become theoretical anymore. It's the reality of running a gym and running a business, which really clarifies and streamlines your thinking. So it continues to shape, [00:38:00] it'd be great. If you know all on Maitland, I could see a patient three to five times a week, that'd be great.

Yeah. But that doesn't work ever. There's no physio model in the history of the world. You remember that there's one, oftentimes one soldier for five or one physical therapist for 5,000 soldiers, right? It, it doesn't it doesn't matter how good that physio is. The model is broken.

On the one hand it's really great that we keep our, I'm still learning, I'm still practicing. The gym is still my lab. I have, I actually have classes on the schedule that anyone can take, but they're called Kelly's Performance Lab, where literally I just experiment on people, and things that I'm working on.

Concepts in the context of strength conditioning. And then on the other hand, the. The online business is a beast. It is a machine, and it's a hungry beast. We have really smart people engaged. We are always engaged in conversations about better practice and generating content, and curating content and communicating content.

And that is, an entire its own monstrosity of a responsibility, right? Even just from the customer service. And it's great that we have both going and [00:39:00] again, it's a testament, I think, to Juliet and her management skills and organization skills that the whole thing just doesn't implode.

On the one hand it's really simple and elegant because I. There're just fewer people involved. And we can be faster with the online business and we can reach more people and we can scale things and, and respect our time and work remotely. On the other hand, oh my god, some, we fantasize about getting to a day where we turn social media off and walk away and literally just walk away and they're like, what happened to Kelly start?

We don't know. Just he's but I saw some guy with a beard doing squats in the woods, and I think what's interesting is that it's still really fun and I don't think we've topped out or nailed it. And we're getting better about communicating and, the resources and we continue to see massive amounts of opportunity and problems and the it's crowded and, and we get ripped off and we have to defend our trademarks and, it, there, it's a business first and foremost.

I think we, because it's so high human touch what we do. I just sometimes wish I [00:40:00] manufactured widgets, like I should just make fidget spinners and call it good. Oh. But it's, it turns out fidget spinners still. You still have to ship 'em and manage 'em and organize, and you have to have, manage the people who are managing 'em.

And I think business always has universalities in there. They're universalisms in those pieces. And so at some point you better become good at business because That's the thing, and it doesn't necessarily scale infinitely, but hopefully you can get back to a place where you can not fall into the trap that we started off with, which is you're not seeing your family cuz it is all about, you creating a life of meaning for yourself, hopefully doing something that you really like, or at least something that you're good at.


Danny: And you, I think you'd nail on the head too with just the point of you. People very rarely reinvest in their business knowledge and yet as physios, and I think it's very normal for us to think, oh, yeah, absolutely. I'm gonna, pay however much money for this continued ed course and it's gonna improve my skillset.

But, I, I know a lot of [00:41:00] good physical therapists that will never have a a very successful practice because they're not good at. Management, or they're not good at business, they're not good at marketing themselves. They don't know how they work. Course. No.

Kelly: That's right. Or they don't have the partnerships right, to do that because it's not their skillset.

At least I know that none of this could work without Juliet. Literally, Juliet, totally, like you asked me what my partners for the day. I'm like, make sure Juliet is sorted out because ju if Juliet has the resources and is feeling cared for, then my business is not gonna fail.

Danny: The and there's a book called Rocket Fuel that, that talks about this concept of a visionary and implementer.

And it's really interesting cuz. It for you guys. You, that's just, that's you too. You're married and you just have different skill sets. But the two together creates a really profound potential for business success. And so what you're alluding to, I believe is primarily understand what you're good at and understand what you need to replace, whether that be somebody else or a partner or whatever.

But don't try to replace, don't try to partner with somebody that's just like you,

Kelly: that's a terrible idea. You [00:42:00] just you haven't solved another problem. We applied that thinking to anywhere else, you, it just doesn't, it doesn't work. You have a team, you don't have two quarterbacks.

Yeah. And it's a dumb analogy, but it's the same. And I, I really think I. You ha you hit it right on the head. And the other thing I think that is tricky is that, when you are seeing a whole lot of patients in the day, there is not a whole lot of extra time to you're, like you're scrambling around, right?

To get paid and to be reimbursed and to, and to try to improve your skillset. And theoretically because you're a physical therapist, you exercise or have a movement practice too, right? You don't just talk about it. Sure. But you actually, do Pilates or yoga or run or something, and no, I think it's really difficult to get ahead of that curve.

But I was talking with Greg Cook a long time ago. And we were talking about his his first book, and he is people, he said, Kelly, people come up and ask me. They're like, Hey, do you think I should write a book? And he's you, if you're not already writing it, don't ask me that question.

Yeah. He's because I was a single dad, writing chapters for the book that I had in my head on my [00:43:00] washing machine at 12 o'clock at night. Cause that was the only time I could, and I, it really does come down to Will at some point. You, you know where you are going to have to.

Realize that you can lead a better life and have a better business. You better ha a have a plan and it, you don't have to, it doesn't have to be fancy. You just need to do things like answer the phone. I still, anyone who cancels mobility wide membership and calls the number gets my cell phone and I answer the phone.

Wow. Like I walked in the other day to yesterday to the gym and. Pulls out the vacuum and because everyone else is busy and coaching and I'm vacuuming up the rope hair, and I'm not that, I'm, ever too good for that. But you do what needs to be done and that's all of it until you can find a partner or bring a partner on, or someone who can, you know who's better at it than you are.

And in the meantime it may just be you. We have plenty of friends who like you, who you know. You know who can, who, you do it by [00:44:00] yourself for a while and you make it work, and then your family realizes, Ashley's a ninja and she can do it better than you can.

Danny: Oh, she's way smarter than me. I think that's a no-brainer, right? And I'm very fortunate too because just, you have a Juliet and I ha I have an Ashley, and she's just she runs the, she definitely runs things. She talks in terms of standard operating procedures, right?

I talk in terms of. Ideas and, philosophies and stuff like that. And that would never work if it wasn't for organization from somebody else.

Kelly: And I wanna be clear here that you and I aren't Des Deifying that stuff. Juliet says, all right, here's our long-term plan.

Here's how we're gonna get this done. Here's the content you need to produce. And I know Ashley does the same. And it's not, it's just as sexy, ju We do, I do look forward to the day where, I think Juliette may run for government one day and I just can't wait to be the first man.

I just wanna, I wanna hold teas. That'd be so awesome. And

Danny: I wanna, you guys be great. I,

Kelly: I'm gonna, I just wanna staple papers for her and lift stuff and let her do all of the, the public bs. But the main thing is once again though,[00:45:00] however you work this out.

You've got to create an envision of life that where you, like what is your goal? Your goal is to be able to travel and like one of our goals was to be able to go teach in another country and be able to bring my kids and we're there. And I'm not saying we're all going to do that, right?

You can still create. There are, I think, untapped in terms of excellent physical therapists developing long-term relationships with people. Like they're never, ever, there's never gonna be too many of us, and there's gonna, there's so many talented people there. You just, we just have to figure out what a way, where you can be reimbursed in a way.

That you're not getting $30 for an hour session, and and what you know, and your time is better reflected in, in doing something else. You just, you should be able to pay off your student loan debt, and save for the future. And not work 70 hours a week for someone else.


Danny: Man, it's so spot on this is great. I knew this would be, I knew this would be a really good conversation. I [00:46:00] think people are, it's gonna resonate with a lot of people and hopefully they can take some of the lessons learned from what you've done and in the, the years of your experience in business in multiple kinds of business and really pay forward.

And I think the overall message is what you keep saying, man. Like, why are you doing this stuff? What does it come back to? And and being able to keep that stuff in perspective, it's very motivating, but it also keeps you grounded so that you don't. Spin outta control. And no one wants to finish by themself, right?

Kelly: That's right. And you can't burn out. You can't afford to burn out. And I, I've, I saw that burnout. I saw what it looked like, and I was like, Ooh. Yeah. I'm not having it. I got to a place where I wasn't having any fun. And remember why, I always say, remember why you liked, you went to physio school.

People are like, cause I wanna help people. I'm like, bullshit. That's not what it is. It's cuz you are nerd and you like the work. Yeah. That's what it's about. I like the work, I like the tooling. I like the coaching. I like the hands on, I like the conversations about it. I love the work.

And you just gotta keep a place where you can then just love the work and not. Be underpaid or undervalued for that experience.

Danny: Yeah. [00:47:00] No, that's perfect. Kelly. Thanks so much for your time. I know people they should know who you are. I'm sure if they, if they don't, is the easiest place to, to find a mobility wad on their social media handles.

Instagram's awesome, you guys are acting. Of on Twitter as well. So if people wanna reach out to you, they can find you there. Kelly, we really appreciate it, man. Thank you so much. Any parting words you want to give PT future and or current entrepreneurs out there about the future of what they should be doing in business?

Kelly: I think that the physio entrepreneur is in a unique place to really, instead of. Carve out your own island. Like what I think what we used to do. Hey, okay, I'm just have this independent practice that's slightly different than everyone else. I think we can really shape.

Public expectation of what good care is. And it's not that the physios working in these traditional clinics aren't giving good care, but the clinic, it may not be, or the hospital may not be the best place to deliver that. And I think we, we can really give this voice where we can give, spend more time with people and play a much longer [00:48:00] game where that conversation is about.

All the aspects of someone's physical carriage.

Danny: That's perfect. You guys heard here, Dr. Kelly Sette. He's the man, one of my favorite people and so awesome to talk to him about business and where they've been. Hope you guys learn a lot from this. Once you guys, it's a PT entrepreneur, hit us up. If you have any questions, shoot me an email.

You got my direct email. That's right. I give it out and I do answer that stuff. So if you have a question, I'd love to talk business and I'd love to connect with you. So guys, thanks so much for listening and take care.

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