When I travel, I like to travel with intent, meaning I like to have fun, but at the same time, I want to learn something new each day, so I intentionally look for it.
This year, on my USA trip, I had three stops. My first stop was in Tempe, Arizona, to attend my favourite event of the year, Dave Frees Business Black Ops. My next stop was Nashville, Tennesee, to catch up with my friend Jeff Petersen and stay at his music studio, Interstate Music. My final destination was Chicago to run a podiatry marketing workshop and attend my first NFL game (Chicago Bears V Las Vegas Raiders).
In summary, it was a trip full of unexpected ups and downs, but in hindsight, those ups and downs made the trip memorable and gave me many personal takeaways. EXTENDED SHOW NOTES ARE BELOW.
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EXTENDED SHOW NOTES
As I mentioned, my 1st stop – TEMPE, Arizona, for Business Black Ops
All I can say, and I’ve said it before, is it is my favourite event of the year, not just because of the content, which is always top-notch…but it’s the other attendees, some of whom are now very close friends.
Every year since 2015, I look forward to catching up with them, sharing what’s new in business and life…
I think everyone needs to find a group they feel comfortable with and look forward to seeing in person every year.
And here is my first takeaway – nothing beats meeting in person, face to face. If you’re hiding away in your clinic and only meeting ZOOM, you’re missing out.
I’m recording this episode on the 24th of November 2023, so it was only one week ago that I ran my first 2-Day Podiatry Business Reboot LIVE in Brisbane, and it was amazing. Previously, I had delivered it online over 12 weeks, which is why it was called the 12-week Podiatry Business Reboot.
Anyway, at the 2-Day LIVE event, there were eleven attendees, which was great…because when I ran it online, I would average 6-10, so it was a significant number.
What I noticed, more than anything, was how well the group gelled with each other, especially the attendees who attended the WSNH event, which I ran with Jon Small in July.
The podiatrists who attended both were closer this time around. This same comradery does not happen online unless you’re meeting regularly for an extended period of time.
Another thing that happens when you meet face-to-face with the same people is you do things together outside of the group. You may have breakfast together or catch up for an early coffee.
I’ve got two friends, Tom Foster and Brian Slater, that we meet at 6 am every morning at Business Black Ops to go for a 4km walk, and then we grab a coffee afterwards. (Tom Foster is my guest next week on Episode 303)
So, at the BBO event this year, the focus was on AI.
Prior to the three-day event, there was a VIP day for a much smaller group, where we discussed AI and other business-related materials at a much higher level.
And here’s my next takeaway: if there is ever a VIP group at a function or event, paying that little extra is always very worthwhile.
If there’s an opportunity for an additional day…take it; you’ve spent money already to get there, so you may as well make the most of it.
I’ve often told the story about my previous trips to Universal Studios.
As I said, the focus at BBO this year was on AI…not just how to use it, not just the TACTICS of AI, but the mental thinking or mindset you need before you even consider using it.
I’ll break it down to explain what I mean.
Mindset is thinking about thinking – Strategy is thinking about doing, and Tactics is the doing. So many events only focus on tactics….do this is why they do not always work or have short-lived success.
The other takeaway was that when you use AI, make sure it aligns with your purpose, vision, and mission. This will give you clarity about what you want to do and how it lines up with your ideal patient.
Those that take on AI sooner rather than later will be so far in front of late adopters. And that relates to many other aspects of podiatry. So many podiatrists wait until something is popular before they jump in.
Think about some of the treatments we offer now….did you get in early or wait until everyone was doing it (dry needling, foot mobilisation, shockwave, laser, etc.)
I also did a presentation titled Amplify Your Marketing with AI, which I will do as a webinar in early 2024.
On the subject of webinars, before the end of the year, I will be planning out all my webinars for 2024, which I will list on my website, tysonfranklin.com and also a link on podiatrylegends.com
Each year at BBO, we go out to Dave’s ranch, and he teaches us some life skills and then relates them back to business. This year, we did knife and hatchet throwing and learnt how to pick locks and also how to pick handcuffs.
You may be thinking, how does that relate to business…well, when you’re teaching someone a new skill, something they’ve never done before, like picking a lock, and they do it, it is an actual mental breakthrough.
We did it four years ago, and I was only able to pick the easy lock….this year, I knew I had done it before, so I was a little more confident, so this time, it was easier. I then moved on to the medium lock and then the hard, and I mastered all three.
Teaching team members new skills is precisely the same. Sometimes, it takes a while for them to get it, but with practice, they will get better.
If you’ve never thrown a knife before, there’s actually a real art to it. It’s probably not something you’re going to teach your receptionist unless your business is in a bad neighbourhood.
After BBO, I travelled to Nashville.
There was a slight hiccup…my friend Jeff Peterson (Ep 238 Care differently LIVE from his studios in Wisconsin) rang me the day before and said he was really sick with COVID and wouldn’t be coming, but I could still stay at his music studio, Interstate Music in Music Row.
Here is another takeaway…sometimes things don’t go to plan, and you have two choices: complain about it or just go with the flow.
I decided on the latter, and I also wanted to catch up with some other people I knew.
And there were six levels of spiciness – None, Mild, Medium, Hot, Nashville Hot and Poultrygeist.
Something else that was unique was when you ordered a beer; you had to make sure you didn’t play with the bottom of the glass because it had a large hole in it which was blocked with a magnet.
Each magnet had a letter on it, and when you collected them and spelled a word, you would win that prize. I had never seen this before, but it was pretty cool.
Here’s another takeaway…what can you do in your podiatry business that is unique? Of course, you’re not going to sell beer, but can you use this idea?
I also went to a bar off the main strip called Big Machine Vodka. There were only a few people when I first arrived, but they also had LIVE music.
The guy performing was called Alex Schofield, and I noticed when he stopped playing, no one acknowledged his effort, so I decided to clap.
After the next song, I did the same thing, and so did a few other people. As the crowd grew, more and more people started applauding his efforts. I then went up and put money in his tip jar.
As soon as I did it, everyone started to follow, and his tip jar grew.
Afterwards, he came up to me, thanked me and also gave me a copy of his latest music on CD.
It’s funny, I’ve done this many times over the years, acknowledged a performer and every time they come up, introduce themselves and thank me for getting the crowd going.
There are two takeaways here.
First, acknowledge good performance, not just at a bar but also in your own business. Your team will appreciate it.
The second thing is, and I spoke about this at the 2-Day Reboot, you will notice Social Conformity.
When someone sees one person do something and then someone else, everyone will get on board. This happens in your business all the time, for both good and bad behaviour.
This is why I always say, “You get what you tolerate”.
If team members are doing the wrong thing and are allowed to get away with it, they think it’s normal, and new team members will quickly conform to this behaviour, even if it doesn’t sit well with them at the start.
They will do it so they fit it.
The next day, I visited the Nashville Parthenon, a replica of the one in Athens; you may have seen a video I shot on my YouTube channel, Tyson E Franklin.
When I saw the pillars, it reminded me of the six pillars of marketing that I talk about in my book – It’s No Secret…There’s Money in Podiatry.
The final thing I want to mention about my time in Nashville was this small coffee shop called OSA Coffee, which was just down the road from where I was staying.
It was just a tiny hole in the wall coffee shop, but when I arrived, there were ten people lined up, and I know why. The coffee was great, and the barrister was super friendly.
I think we can all learn from this.
You don’t need to have a big business to be popular…just provide a good product or service and have the right team members. Do this, and people will return, which I did daily, and your reputation will grow.
My final destination was Chicago.
What a great city. I was only there three days, but I will go back.
As I mentioned previously, the purpose of visiting Chicago was to run a full-day marketing workshop with another person.
There were a few people booked in, but due to unforeseen circumstances, there were cancellations at the last minute, and my co-presenter also had to pull out unexpectedly.
In the end, there were only two registered podiatrists for the event.
This was not good, and most presenters would pull out, but I said right from the start that I didn’t care if there was only one person booked in; when I say I’m going to do something, I do it, even if it is going to cost me money.
And I did have plenty of opportunity to pull out and make other arrangements, but I chose to do it anyway, but a slightly adjusted version.
Since my co-host couldn’t do their part of the workshop, I said to give everyone a refund, and if they still wanted to catch up for half a day, I would present my section of the workshop, about four hours’ worth at no charge.
And…it was great.
I spent four hours with two great podiatrists. One was past Podiatry Legends Guest Mike Donato (Ep 268 – President of the AAPSM) from Virginia, and I’d say future guest Ben Wilkinson from Ontario, Canada.
I really enjoy my time with them, and it looks like we will have a great long-term friendship and working relationship.
I learnt a lot from this experience.
Firstly, stand behind your word. When you say you’re going to do something, do it.
And the second thing is, and this is on the wall behind me in my office, “The next connection you make could be the one that changes your life”.
I know the information I provide in my marketing talks is extremely valuable when it is applied to any podiatry business.
I could keep this information to myself, but I’ve always said I will never change the world. But I hope that the content I provide, the talks I give, the podcast and videos I produce will have an impact, and that person may go on and significantly make a difference.
On the last day of my trip, my final day in Chicago, I caught up with Podiatry Legends past guest Patrick McEneaney, who has been on the show five times, and Rimi Statkus (Ep 114 – Australian Podiatrist Does DPM), and also future guest Pete Lovato. Pete will be on the show in December.
Patrick invited me to my first NFL game: the Chicago BEARS versus the Las Vegas RAIDERS.
At the stadium, I was also introduced to Jessica Knight, another Chicago Podiatrist who will be on the podcast in January.
Anyway, before the game, we went tailgating, which was a real experience. It involves thousands of fans meeting in the car park, hooking up BBQ and basically drinking and partying for four to five hours before the game.
Talk about being charged before a game.
I’d like to point out that many Australians think Americans drink low-alcohol beer because it has LIGHT on the side of the can, and LIGHT in America does not mean low alcohol; it is related to taste, I think. Their beer is classed as heavy beer, which is why you cannot get American LIGHT beer in Australia.
Okay, you may be wondering what my takeaway from the NFL game was.
Well, I’m a big fan of traditions, which every podiatry business should have in their business.
For example, in my podiatry business, I would take my Weber Baby Q to work and cook everyone ham and eggs for breakfast on the last day before the Christmas break…that was a tradition and the more traditions you can have in your business, the better.
At the NFL game, tailgating is a tradition…and it’s a good one.
Also, at the BEARS stadium, they yell explicit comments about the PACKERS when they walk under the overpass, none of which I can say on this podcast…but it’s really funny to see hundreds of people chanting.
Everyone also stands for the national anthem, and they all sing proudly.
NFL is not just a game; it’s a religion to these fans, and it is contagious. It was definitely one of my most memorable sporting experiences.
Also, to get season tickets, you have to be on a waiting list for a decade, and even then, you start at the top of the stadium, and each year, you can slowly work your way closer to the field. If you give up your membership…it’s another decade wait.
Talk about supply and demand.
How does this relate to podiatry?
If your podiatry business is booked out, and you’ve got long waiting times for appointments, think about the whole supply and demand model.
Use this idea. If there is a significant demand for your services, you can charge more or change the rules on when you work or the type of patients you want to treat.
It doesn’t just apply to sporting teams and other big businesses. I shot a video last week about the evolution of a podiatry business.
When you first start to open your business, you may lack experience. You’re sort of in the semi-pro league or minors, usually seeing semi-pro or minor league patients and sometimes charging semi-pro prices, but as you grow, you want to go fill-pro, you want to be in the major league, and you can only do this if your podiatry business evolves and to do this, you’ve got to let go of the past.
Patients who served you when you first opened may need to move on to the new podiatry clinic that is just opening. Some of your team may need to be moved on if they are not performing.
Sports teams move players on all the time, especially at the highest level. Especially if they want to succeed. Yes, loyalty is essential, but not if it’s costing you.
The other thing top sporting teams do is they have a coach who is going to get them the trophy and get them the prize at the end of the season.
If you’re stuck in the minors or feeling semi-pro, get a business coach.
Every successful person I know, in and out of podiatry, gets some form of guidance at some point in their career; if they tell you they didn’t, they are probably lying.
I had different coaches at different stages of my podiatry career, and I still do.
If you want to talk to me about coaching, just go to my website, tysonfranklin.com and click on coaching.
From there, you can easily organise a FREE 30-minute Zoom call with me to talk about any issues you may have, and even if you decide that coaching is not suitable for you right now, that’s fine; after our 30-minute chat, you will still leave with a little more direction.