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Tools mentioned in this episode:
Living Matrix The new standard for functional medicine. Your partner in creating superior, life-changing patient health outcomes.
Clinician Business Labs An online incubator for clinician entrepreneurs. A platform to assist clinicians scale and amplify their businesses.
– Grab our FREE Practitioner Tool Kit to get a list and review of all the platforms Kendra and Christine use personally in their businesses to save time, money and generate consistent income.
About Meghan Walker:
Dr. Meghan Walker is a naturopathic doctor and Entrepologist, focusing on the health optimization of female entrepreneurs and game changers. As an entrepreneur, Meghan started and sold her first business while in University and is a Co-founder and past CEO of the digital health media start-up, Bright Almond. She is the host of the Entrepology Podcast, Founder of Entrepology Labs, creator of the women’s performance supplement line, Badass Basics and Chief Cheerleader at Clinician Business Labs – a platform to assist clinicians scale and amplify their businesses.Meghan is fueled by the core belief that when people are well, they can change the world. Meghan views women as natural entrepreneurs, physiologically predestined for creation. She is driven to support them in achieving this potential by optimizing their health and mindset. Meghan has spoken internationally and through multiple media outlets on topics related to women’s performance health and entrepreneurship. Most importantly, Meghan is the mother to three little girls, who is raising alongside her superstar husband in Toronto Ontario.
Contact Meghan Walker:
Christine: Hello everyone and welcome to this episode of the 360 HealthBiz Podcast with myself, Christine Hansen, and usually Kendra Perry who is chilling in a hammock in Costa Rica right now. So I got myself another partner in crime for today’s episode and we are here with Meghan Walker, and we’re going to talk all things business. But first, if you do like our episode, if you do like listening to us, don’t forget to head over to iTunes to leave us an amazing review and you can also see the video live or actually not live, but you can see it on our blog, 360healthbizpodcast.com.
And so without further ado, I’m going to present Meghan to you so that you know who we’re going to talk to. So Dr. Meghan Walker is a naturopathic doctor and Entrepologist focusing on the health optimization of female entrepreneurs and game changers. So that’s you guys out there. Even if you’re not a female, I suppose she could still help you. As an entrepreneur, Meghan started and sold her first business while in University and is a Co-founder and past CEO of the digital health media start-up, Bright Almond. She is the host of the Entrepology Podcast, Founder of Entrepology Labs, creator of the women’s performance supplement line, Badass Basics, adore, by the way, love that name, Chief Cheerleader at Clinician Business Labs, watch out for that, we’re going to talk more about it. A platform to assist clinicians scale and amplify their businesses. So I’m going to stop there, there’s much more to say you can check out the complete bio on our notes, on our show notes. But Meghan, welcome so much to this episode. I’m so excited to have you.
Meghan: Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Christine: So I’m really, really happy because Kendra and I, we both love talking business. We really, really do. And that’s why that’s one of the reasons why we created this podcast because I think it’s really important, especially if you’re in the health sector, it’s different and other businesses, right? It’s not like money coaching or you know, other business coaching. It’s very, very different animals, so we love to talk to people who’ve, you know, walk the talk, who have had a successful career and who you know, can share tips with our listeners. Now the first thing that we’ll usually do is we share a trick of the trade tool, so something that we love to use in our businesses and I ask, I ambushed you a little bit with this one,
Christine: But if there was one that you really liked, which one would it be?
Meghan: Well, you know, I have. I asked if I could have more than one, but I’m going to focus on one. You know, we have a tool that we use in our office and this is a cool hybrid between a health and business and it’s called Living Matrix, and Living Matrix is a female run company out of New York. And this is a functional medicine platform and what Living Matrix enables you to do, is you can either have it on the front of your, your site and prospective patients can come and they can complete the questionnaire or you can give it to your patients in subsequent follow-ups. And it literally built out this functional medicine Matrix and where their body is stressed and where it’s compensating and it becomes this really amazing tool because then you sit down with your patients, they completed it online, they’re told that they get a result, and they can book an appointment with you to sit down and go through it, because. And I understand the functional medicine matrix is beyond the average person.
Meghan: They can’t do it, they can’t grab strategy from it. And so it becomes this really incredible platforms. So I use it as a practitioner. I still see patients because it’s a way of me aggregating data in a unique way, but it’s also this really incredible way of bringing new patients…
Meghan: and creating curiosity. So Living Matrix…
Christine: ‘There’s your problem, now hire me,’it’s…
Meghan: Yeah, I don’t work for them. I just like it. Yeah. No, it’s great. It’s great tool.
Christine: This is fantastic. I’m going to add that to the show notes for sure. Living Matrix. And I’m going to check it out, like I’ve never heard of it before.
Meghan: Oh yeah, no, it’s great.
Christine: So there we go. We can stop now. That’s fine. No I’m kidding.
Meghan: Thanks everyone.
Christine: Bye. No, literally, I’m mind blown. Okay. I’m going to check it out, people before you head off to check it out, finish and listen to the episode first, but what will happen in the show notes. But Megan obviously, I chose you to be a guest because we love to learn more about running a business, right? And health business is just different and you have successfully created this platform. So I want you to talk a little bit more about that. And also I find a lot of the people that I talked to have invested a lot of money in traditional business coaches,
Christine: Who usually train business coaches, right?
Christine: So, and they find that a lot of strategies just don’t quite work. So maybe you can explain why and maybe things that you have found are just different.
Meghan: Yes. So but, if just stopped me because I have this tendency to talk, but my background is as a naturopathic doctor. And, I was, I was drawn to this profession. Secondary to an interest that I had in business. So as you mentioned, I had a business, I had sold it and, and I grew up in a fairly entrepreneurial family, so that was a given that I was going to go into that field and then I discovered naturopathic medicine and I was like, ‘oh, so such a smart way of thinking.’
Meghan: Right, and so I couldn’t, I couldn’t shake it. So I was like, all right, fine, I’ll go. [inaudible] I went through this through this lens and, and I set up a practice and we started to build that practice, and we tried a few things and some things worked and some things didn’t. But, you know, one of the things I realized early on in, in my career is that I had a profession where I understood why everyone needed me, but consumers in turn did not understand why they needed to come and see me.
Christine: [inaudible] Yes.
Meghan: Right? So when you have a business where your service is incredibly valuable and your level of responsibility and, education means that you’re going to command a certain price point, but then consumers have no idea why you’re valuable. You’re marketing costs are so disproportionate. And so what it did is it created this, this landscape where I was like, man, we’ve got all these incredible practitioners with a body of knowledge that could truly transform healthcare and they don’t know how to talk to consumers because there’s this complete disconnect. And I was sort of fascinated by it, and I was also really frustrated for my colleagues just because I was like, I have really incredible clinician colleagues who could be really transforming the health of people and they don’t, they don’t know what to do. And so I sold my practice to my business partner five years in and I decided to establish a micro-practice myself. But then I was like, I want to look at how we can expand access to consumers to practitioners. And so really went deep on that to understand what people were doing well, what people weren’t doing well. For me, my own. I had, I had some natural knack with respect to business in my back pocket and started to do some strategy work with practitioners. And I consider myself more strategist than a coach.
Christine: And my area of expertise is really understanding how do we create expandable, scalable practices for practitioners that don’t deplete them, that doesn’t mean they’re treating more time for hours. And doesn’t always mean they’re going online.
Christine: Oh, I have tears like in my eyes.
Meghan: So wait, but you asked what’s different, right? And I have practices where like I need people to stop telling me that I can only exist in the online space because they’re like, ‘I want to see people, but I’m burning out.’ So we build these really interesting hybrid programs where they can leverage the online space and in-office space we helped them create transformational in-office programs so they can teach to colleagues. So they can either licensed their methodology or they can bring in other colleagues to work in there and practice it, you work a fraction of the time but your whole team is delivering your care model. So we really start to teach people frameworks to expand their way of thinking, because not only do I think we deserve to earn a really great living, but I think that we also, through the use of innovative thinking, we can reach more people. And so it had practitioners all the time, I’m just going to lower my rates to make myself more accessible and I was like, ‘you will not do that. You’re going to innovate to become more accessible. You are not going to commoditize yourself.’ So we just have a lot of different frameworks that we, that we use, we do. We spend a lot of time really helping practitioners understand their worth and value, and then build out a business plan that is unique and different but ultimately helps, helps people. And so we ran a big event here in the fall called, impact lives, and we made a public declaration that by 2025 we want to help 50 million people reach green practitioners,
Christine: Oh my god.
Meghan: which means we have to make a lot of practitioners,
Meghan: expand their reach. And so that’s, that’s what we’re committed to doing.
Christine: Oh, mind blown.
Meghan: Like, like big, big, big, big goals. Because this is really powerful what we’re doing, so.
Christine: [inaudible] absolutely.
Christine: I think there’s so many people. Like personally I have a business model where I would never [inaudible], I would always just work with a handful of clients. That’s what I chose to do, but I do know so many people who are like, the heart’s desire is to help as many people as they can. Right. So it’s, both are fine, you know, both models are absolutely fine,
Christine: but if you ask someone, and I think the typical practitioner that I have in my head, that’s probably your client I would say, is someone who has that idea, you know, who has already conformed. So is asking, I don’t know, $60 an hour, I don’t know. Average. Something like that is working 40 hours, minimum, maybe 40 hours, seeing people a week, but then having all the back work, you know, getting prepped and all that stuff is coming on top of that. So more of a 60 hour week. What is the first thing that you usually tell them to do? Or what is the one step where you say, okay, that needs to be the groundwork before we can do anything else?
Meghan: Yeah, I usually take them out of practice at least one day a week.
Meghan: We just, we just slash it from their schedule. So there’s massive trepidation, and then we usually increase their rates by 30%, because we create some innovative ways for people to access them. But we do that because everyone gets caught in this model where they’re working in their business and they have no foreseeable way to start working on their business and they start doing it at night once the kids are down and it’s like 8 o’clock in the evening and they’re exhausted and they maybe poured a glass of wine and then their like, ‘I’m going to work on my business?’ You’re not, like, you’re not gonna work on your business, you’re gonna look at one email and you’re gonna go to bed.
Meghan: So we just take an entire day off their, off their schedule. And I remember the first time I did that for myself, I tripled my income within the next quarter.
Christine: That’s crazy.
Meghan: I just honed in on my, on my, on my strategies and I blew through that myth that I need to see more people to make more money because that has a ceiling and you can’t burst through it. So, yep. So take people out of work.
Christine: So when you say ‘innovative,’ like for me, innovative is obviously something new or something that has existed, but in a new way, what would be one of the techniques that you would say it’s actually not brand new, but we just do it in an in a way that hasn’t been done before? So what would be one thing that you can see in practitioners eyes when you tell them go like, ‘oh,’ you know, like this ‘ting,’ mind blown.
Meghan: Right. Well yeah. So sometimes yes, sometimes it’s about like reaching more people and then sometimes it’s about how do you leverage your existing platform so you’re not wasting time redoing the same thing. So for example, I have got some really great colleagues near me and they’ve thought out these incredible group coaching programs, and if you want to see the practitioner one-on-one, you’ve got to graduate to the group coaching program first. So they don’t have to do months of like, this is what gluten is, and this is how you take out dairy and, and this is what your hormones should look like, you go through the curriculum before you have access to that practitioner, and they’re building a community at the same time. So you know, we know that community is so vital and critical to someone’s health and so they built that. So these people are feeling amazing before they even walk into the practitioner’s office. So the works really easy. Another example would be the utilization of health coaches in a practice. So if you’re a clinician and then I see my role as a naturopathic doctor to set strategy for my patients, but I can’t be on the phone with them everyday to implement, and it’s the implementation that’s gonna make a difference for them. So getting strategy based practitioners to start to leverage people who are highly trained in implementation is a game changer for everyone, creates new income streams in it and it shifts things around. So those would be two examples where we can just innovate in the delivery of care and those weren’t even technology dependent.
Meghan: Technology. Right. And the technology example might be, you know, if we’re doing, like a really comprehensive hormonal evaluation or it gut health evaluation, I could sit for an hour and explain it to a patient or I could record a five minute video and uploaded into their patient portal and ask them to watch it and then after bring any questions to the visit. And now we’re having a 20 minute follow-up, not a one hour follow up. It took me 10 minutes to create an uninterrupted video and they can go back and watch it. So there’s lots of ways of creating efficiency through innovation that’s not, it’s not expensive, it’s just about bringing a creative lens to the stuff we’ve already got.
Christine: Alright. So I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here because I love what you’re saying. Absolutely. But I can hear people, you know, have this little voice creeping up, ‘but if I have a coach working with me, obviously I can’t charge as much because I have to split with a coach or if I’m just going to send that video, obviously I can’t charge as much because I don’t spend as much time with them.’ I guess these are, you know, objections you hear all the time.
Christine: Why is that not true?
Meghan: Yeah, I love that question. Here’s what that question assumes and where we’re stuck, when we’re asking that question, the assumption is the only value that you’re giving people is your time. And I would say the most valuable thing you’re giving people is your strategic thinking and your body of knowledge. And for my patient base, the more efficient I can be in my appointments, the more grateful they are because they’ve got busy stuff to do. So if I can bring them in and say these resources are already in your portal and as I’ve linked you to this video and Dah, Dah, it’s all there and we’re just going to touch base and set strategies, they’re like, ‘Amazing, thank you.’ And I say to them, ‘Right now. Now you’re going to meet with your health coach.’ They’re like, ‘thank you.’ It doesn’t cut into my rates. It’s still just, it’s the same price to come and see me because you’re buying my strategy. You’re not buying my time.
Christine: Oh my God, this is so true. And it’s also your clients, their time is precious.
Meghan: Their time is precious. Yep.
Christine: It’s so funny. I have, my program has two different. I have three programs, but basically two of them are exactly the same except that one takes 6 successions and the other is one day, because we do everything in one day.
Christine: One day one starts from 10k because those people are just like, I don’t have time for six sessions, you know? So it’s just, it’s also respecting their time because they are like, I prefer having a Saturday or Sunday where we’ll break out into this and you know, work hard and then I have follow up if I need to because they are doers. So it’s time, it’s just, it’s not your time. It’s their time as well. So how do you communicate that element? Because I think people, it’s not just the practitioners who have this mind-set, right, that it’s like the time that it’s been paid for,
Christine: but sometimes a certain type of client has the same kind of idea. How do you communicate that strategy is what you pay for instead of time and it is logical, but what would it be like, for example, a sentence or something that you’ve noticed that when your clients are saying it, their patients actually get.
Meghan: Yeah, so we just. We spent a lot of time really understanding what the outcome is that our patients want to achieve, and then asking the question, how do you know when you’re going to be successful? And so when we, when we lay those pieces out in front of them, then we said, part of our methodologies, we’re going to build a strategy and we tell them right in that meet and greet appointment, that appointment they’re not even paying for where they’re just getting to see if there’s good alignment. They’re like, this is how we work, so we’re highly committed to outcome for you and we have two layers of people who are gonna help you, the strategists, and the implementers, and here’s why we’ve seen them be successful. And then at that point if people are like, ‘No, I just want to spend three hours with my naturopath.’ I’m like, ‘Great. I have tons of people I can refer you to. It’s not how we work,’ and what I’ve historically seeing, because I get pushed back from new entities, because they’re like, ‘No, we don’t want to say no to the patient,‘ and they really want to, they want to work on diet with the patient, for example, because they want a reason to bring them back and charge them for another visit. But what I see happening is you have a practitioner who should be working as the strategist, who sees the patient for all the implementation and you can’t get through much. So by the time someone’s benefits are expired or they’ve just lost interest in the process. All you’ve done is take a dairy and gluten and put them on a multivitamin and they’re like, ‘Ah, naturopathic medicine doesn’t really work.’
Christine: Yeah, it’s just a generic kind of stuff.
Christine: It’s not.
Meghan: It’s really not. It’s actually really sophisticated what we’re doing. So where we can leverage different individuals to, [inaudible] something like apps to coach, not necessarily health coaches, but where we can use different things to help with that implementation piece. We want to do that because that’s gonna, that’s gonna make or break patient, patient success and I just don’t have enough time to do that.
Christine: Yep. And I find that high quality care is actually a person with a great referral network, you know, saying, ‘Look, this is not my boathouse. I’m super great at this, but here is my network and I think this person would be amazing for you.’ And that’s also I find a sign of being a person of integrity and being a person who has a certain standard in class. Literally. Because you have that network of amazing people and you know what is the most efficient for your client. And clients love that. Clients love to know, okay, well connected Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah. I get the best care of whatever is possible. Even if it’s not like that person itself, which is totally fine. It’s much better than the mind-set of I need to keep everything for myself. It’s just not worth it. The more you let it go, the more revenue will come in. It’s crazy like that. It’s like.
Meghan: Yes. Yep. My best referral sources are from people who I’ve actually never treated, but saw and referred out to other high quality along the line people and they’re like. And they just, they just keep sending new people. It’s amazing. It’s amazing.
Christine: And it’s, it’s what I say all the time. Also I niche on a certain type of person. Right? So I’m just, my price tag is not for everyone and one of the things that I always say is I don’t take it personally if you find it too expensive, right. And that’s when people are like, ‘Oh, thank you.’
Meghan: Yeah, absolutely.
Christine: But being honest like that, that’s what is creating a bond that goes even beyond working with them one on one afterwards.
Meghan: Right. Yeah.
Christine: So walk me a little bit through your process when. Okay. I can imagine that I have lots of people who are listening right now and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, I want to work with her. I want to know what her company is like, how can I get on board? I totally need this.’ So what, what we through the process of how do people get in touch with you, what do you usually do? What would it look like?
Meghan: Yeah. So we have two core, we have two of our core programs that we offer. One is called the first 18, and the first 18 is really designed for is a foundational business program and we originally launched it for new practitioners and it was like, what are all the strategic business things you need to understand from the second you get your license through that first 18 months of practice. And so this is everything from marketing strategy, to financial planning, to operational strategy, because I just want to help people think like an entrepreneur. And so that, that’s our, that’s our foundational program that a lot of, while we intended for it to be for new practitioners, we have a lot of people who are like 10 years out like, ‘Actually, I feel like I never got the basics.’ So that’s often where people start and then we have, a more advanced program called the clinician code, and the clinician code is a one-year program for practitioners, and we’re gonna look at doing a six-minute version, but there’s a lot of material to cover. And what we do for practitioners over the course of the year is we help them find their area of authority within the marketplace, and then develop an in office transformational program. And so one of our area of expertise is to work with regulated practitioners who have to work with, with regulators, but how do we help them start to build out strategic programming. And usually the implementation of that becomes a hybrid of an in office program and some elements that are online. But we talked about things exactly like we talked about today. How do we create innovation within tools that you already have within your practice? And what we really want for people to have at the end of that is a full transformational program that they could then choose to license if they wanted to license, that they could grow out within their practice if they wanted to do that. How do we build on residual income opportunities on top of that, but it becomes the backbone upon which we build all these other elements of their practice. So that’s what we really look at accomplishing in that when your program. And then I do take on a really small number of private coaching clients on a quarterly basis.
Christine: I love it. I absolutely love it. I have one last question. I know that you have a sweet spot for female entrepreneurs, but you do this for men and women don’t you?
Meghan: Yes, I do. So in my, in my medical practice, that’s where I work a lot with female entrepreneurs, but in our coaching with Clinician Business Labs, yeah we’ll work with everybody. But I mean there’s so many women in healthcare now.
Christine: I know.
Meghan: It’s, it’s, it’s amazing. And, you know, I had, when we, when I launched my start-up and we were doing funding and I was flying back and forth to California and I was pregnant with my third child and I, so like I get it and that’s part of the conversation that I can have with women is, how do you build up a clinical practice and how do you build up any kind of business while you’re also, like, you got little people and, and how do you balance all of that? And, and, it’s just, it’s another area I’m really passionate about, but it’s why I ended up having this conversation with, with women is we’re in a, we’re in a unique position, where we’re trying to build a family and a business at the same time.
Christine: I totally agree. I absolutely love this. I’m going to be very blunt. I have kind of an idea what you did, but not really.
Meghan: No problem. Those are the best interviews, right?
Christine: But we did meet or we did connect through the mindshare group. So everyone is out there who hasn’t joined joint mindshare yet, have a look. It’s an amazing community, by Jj Virgin and Karl Krummenacher. Is that his name? I think so. Check it out. Made amazing connections there. So that’s how we got, somehow got into each other’s spheres. But I have to say I’m really, really, really happy that you’ve been on this podcast because it’s completely in our boathouse and inlined with what we preach and how we run our businesses. So this has been phenomenal. So last question, we’re going to have everything in the show notes, but when people are fired up right now and they’re like, I need this, how do they get in touch with you or your team?
Meghan: Yeah. So you can always find us at our website. It’s clinicianbusinesslabs.com. And probably the fastest way to link to that is just through Instagram. And my Instagram handle is @DrMeghanWalker. Meghan with an H. [inaudible]
Christine: That’s so interesting. Instagram, huh?
Meghan: Yeah. Oh yeah. I hired through Instagram. We like, we hang out on Instagram a lot.
Christine: That’s. See that’s like a whole other topic, we need to reschedule. Kendra is huge on Instagram too, like I kind of dabbled around with it but I don’t really get it, but yeah. Okay, good. Well it’s trade marketing. Obviously, it seems to work. So, okay. I’m super excited. Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom,
Meghan: Such a pleasure.
Christine: like it’s been lots of light bulb moments and I just know that so many of you listening this is going to be such a shortcut, like and, I cannot recommend getting help enough, like trying to, figuring it out on your own. It’s not worth it. Really get some help and I think you know Meghan and your team, you would probably be amazing at this, so I hope that lots of people will reach out. I love what you shared with us today. Thank you so much. And if you guys out there like the two, then leave us a five star review on iTunes. You can also become a patron of the show. It’s all on 360healthbizpodcast.com where you will also find the transcripts and the show notes and the links about everything that we talked about today. So thank you so much Meghan.
Meghan: Such a pleasure.
Christine: And we will be back in two weeks together with Kendra that time. And, I hope you have a wonderful well, Thanksgiving as we are recording this. It’s probably going to be later, but you know, then it’s going to be thanksgiving, 2019 or 20, whatever. It’s gonna be a new one. So I’m happy Thanksgiving for all of you guys and we’ll be talking in two weeks. Bye.