Good morning everyone. This is Dr. Joe Simon and this is the episode of the Private Practice Business Academy. I’m sorry I’m stumbling today, it’s just I have breakfast sitting in front of me and I did not take a bit yet, but on the phone with me today, but on the phone with me today I have a great, great person that’s going to talk about a lot of cool stuff today, and her name is Jessica Drummond. She is the CEO of Integrative Pelvic Health Institute and she’s going to talk, besides business, we’re going to talk about everything, because, for me, this is a new topic that I haven’t tackled yet about pelvic health. So we have a lot of, I’m sure there’s a lot of listeners out there that are not in the space at all, being physical therapists, or chiropractors, that haven’t touched this. So this is going to be a great topic today. Jessica, good morning.
Jessica: Good morning.
Dr. Joe Simon: How are you? Just introduce yourself to the audience, and let’s take it from there.
Jessica: Okay. Thanks for having me. This is so much fun for me to talk about the business side of the practice, which has been a huge learning curve over the last three years, and I’m Jessica Drummond, as you said. I am a physical therapist, by training. I graduated from Emory University in 1999, Physical Therapy School, and I spent about 10 years, actually longer than that, like, probably 12 years, in orthopedic practice, the first year, and then pretty quickly I specialized in women’s health, and I was doing that hands on for many years and in several different facilities. And then because of my own personal health journey, about a year ago, well, more than a year ago, well, 2009, I started a journey of learning about nutrition and the impact of nutrition on my own health, and then I started to take it in with me and look at my patients with a little bit different perspective, and I officially became certified as a clinical nutritionist in 2012. So, from there, because my family has moved around a lot, I began to investigate building an online practice. So it started with nutrition, but it’s really touching physical therapists more and more now.
Dr. Joe Simon: Let’s touch base on that, Jessica, because I feel there’s a lot of intermingling between nutritionists and physical therapy, but there’s a lot of physical therapists that don’t really attack this. In the chiropractic world we have a lot of chiropractors that do go on and get some sort of degree with nutrition base so they can add that onto their patients. So they’ve seen that help tremendously. So what can we kind of teach or share what the physical therapists in our audience today about why you decided to go towards the nutrition route?
Jessica: Yeah, so it was really helpful for me, I had a hormonal imbalance that left me with extreme fatigue. I had really bad chronic fatigue, I had infertility, I had a lot of symptoms that were kind of, in combination, a big mystery to the medical establishment, even though I was working in an awesome teaching hospital, I really didn’t get much help, until I found functional medicine which, really, at least I was able to get a reasonable diagnosis. I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, and from there, I just stepped into learning everything I could do to heal myself. And I got so much better, now at almost 40 years old, I hate to admit it, I am healthier really than I’ve ever been. And when I took this perspective of functional nutrition, kind of looking at the root cause from a biochemical standpoint of what was going on in my body, you know, from the endocrinology perspective, and brought it with me to my pelvic pain patients, I began to realize that that was a real big missing piece in my physical therapy practice, because if you’re treating pelvic pain and you’re doing a lot of hands on myofacial manipulation, a lot of manual therapy of the pelvis, looking at the whole chain, looking at feet and knees and spine, but you’re not dealing at all with chronic inflammation or you’re not dealing at all with hormonal imbalances, a lot of my patients have cyclical pain that was related to their menstrual cycles, and those parts of the puzzle were really missing from my physical therapy training. So that’s where I brought the nutrition perspective into pelvic health.
Dr. Joe Simon: How long did the nutrition education or certification or degree, is it a degree?
Jessica: I have a certification from the CNCB, it’s called a CCN certification, which is a nutrition certification for licensed healthcare professionals
Dr. Joe Simon: And how long does that process take?
Jessica: It took me about a year. It’s four online courses that dive into the things we were just discussing. Functional, it’s from a functional medicine perspective, so it took me about a year to study and to go through the online course and then take the exam.
Dr. Joe Simon: Got it. So now let’s dive back into something you said earlier. You said you’ve been doing this for about three years, and it was a three year learning curve running the business, and I’m assuming that’s when you founded the Integrated Pelvic Health Institute.
Jessica: Right. I’ve been seeing patients from kind of this nutritional perspective since 2009, but in 2000, let’s see, I think it was 2011, we moved, again, I can’t keep track of where we were living, and I stopped working in the clinic and started learning online business, developed my first website, started working with patients virtually, and that was kind of the introduction to where my business is now from a, you know, now I have a global practice and a global training program, and so I took it online probably in 2011.
Dr. Joe Simon: Amazing stuff, but I’m going to bring it back because I know there are people in our audience that have no clue what you’re saying right now when it comes to a global practice. They’re trying to figure out “What do you mean that you can treat somebody globally?” Is it just basically going over the internet? Is it basically through video chat? Let’s dive into that a little bit more.
Jessica: Yeah, so I don’t really do physical therapy per se via the internet, although I’ll talk about how that’s starting to come back in now, because that gets a little complicated with practice X across states and things like that, but what I do do is phone nutritional counseling. So I do it either via phone or Skype. I have about 10 to 15 private patients that I work with really in depth, getting to the root cause of their issues, doing a lot of coaching, because one thing about nutrition is, you know, you could give a person a list of foods they should eat based on their food sensitivity results, based on their hormone testing, but food is such an emotional thing that there’s a lot of coaching that goes along with actually implementing those changes over the long term. So, I do a lot of phone coaching with my private patients, or we meet by Skype, like if they’re in Singapore or something like that, and then I also have group programs. Our next one is starting next week where people have access to a membership site where they have access to materials that I create, kind of teaching materials, and I basically teach people about how to advocate for their own health, how to take care of their own health, what tests to look for, and we certainly ground it back in with recommendations of local practitioners, how to find a great physical therapist, how to find a great any kind of healthcare practitioner that can help, and we meet in a group in live webinars. We meet, they ask questions in private Facebook groups, so there are a lot of technical moving parts, but those are just things to learn.
Dr. Joe Simon: Absolutely. So let’s discuss your challenges that you went through. What were some pain points building this business? And let’s go back three years, what was the number one thing, because right now there’s someone listening that was probably you three years ago, they’re like “Hey, I got this great idea. I’m dealing with my own issues right now and I would love to help more people,” what are some pain points that you went through about three years ago when you were building the business?
Jessica: Yeah, I think the first thing is just learning, understanding the technology of how you could take something that I normally for 12 years before that did only one person at a time with my hands on them in a private treatment room, so I had to think about “What are the things that are common to most people?” and then how I would want to define who I was going to work with and in what way. So I started only working with private clients one on one. I just started by taking away the geography limitations. And, so there were things to learn. The pain points were like “How do I even set up a website? Who do I go to to learn about that?” I had to learn a ton about marketing because I had never even owned a brick and mortar private practice. I had always worked in facilities where we were just so busy that there was no need to market. And so I had to learn internet marketing which is very different from brick and mortar marketing, SEO and social media marketing and PR and all of these skills. And so I hired several coaches which really helped accelerate the learning curve there, but there was a lot of business things to learn, incorporating my business, doing it in which state, because this is an online practice and setting up liability insurance and all of those kinds of things.
Dr. Joe Simon: Amazing stuff. And everything that you’re touching on is something that even I at one point had to go through. I mean, loving internet marketing and brick and mortar marketing, one can definitely feed the other and vice versa, so that always helps. But you said something that was so very important that a lot of people, especially in the medical community resist, and that’s coaching. They resist it because they feel that its beneath them or they don’t need to ask someone else for help. What made you decide that you needed help, even though it was outside of your comfort zone, what made you say “Hey, I need somebody’s help with this?”
Jessica: I guess I was introduced to a lot of people in the field, more, they were not physical therapists mostly, but fitness professionals or nutrition professionals that had been successful taking their practices online, and everyone in that industry is only skilled at certain things, so it’s just like anything else that you can get good at. You know, you can graduate from undergraduate school and be great in basic science, but to be able to practice treating patients, you have to go to graduate school, you have to have good mentors in your clinical education. Even as you’re improving your skills throughout your career, physical therapists do a lot of continuing education with mentors and getting new certifications. So, to me, it was an area that I didn’t understand well, I had never been really trained in, and I wanted to, I had two choices. I could either, there’s a lot of information about all this that you could get for free on the internet. So I could either become a student of everyone’s free information, which is challenging because its not well-organized and you’d have to do a lot of figuring out on your own, or I could shorten that learning curve and learn from people who were already successful, who were doing things that were interesting to me that was in a whole new way than any of my PT colleagues had been doing, and I think it’s helped me to be really kind of ahead of the curve in terms of physical therapy online.
Dr. Joe Simon: Absolutely. And I’ve seen this time and time again, and even I, at one point, obviously hired coaches, because it just makes it so much easier to digest all that information, and sometimes it’s an overload and you don’t need to do everything all at once, and the smartest thing to do is that 80-20 rule and really delegate out that 80% that is not on your list. Something else that you brought up, which was very important, you talked about functional health, and I’m seeing a lot of physicians go into this as well now, they through the word functional health around or functional nutrition around, are you, number one, are you using this in your marketing, online and offline marketing?
Jessica: Am I using online and offline marketing, the word functional health?
Dr. Joe Simon: Yeah, are you targeting functional health as your key thing, or is it really just pelvic health? Is it, my question is “Which is a bigger audience that would be brought in? Would it be more towards the public health issue or the functional health?” The only reason I ask is because I was just, I’m traveling now and I’m working with a consulting client and they are DOs and they are really promoting a functional health issue and that is their main thing. So I just wanted to know from your perspective, is this something that you started with? Would you start with pelvic pain right off the bat or did you start off with “Hey, let’s start with more of the functional assessment of the entire body of functional health and nutrition?”
Jessica: Yeah, well, I started practicing on sort of using these skills, this basically functional nutrition or functional medicine is a clinical skill and a clinical perspective, so the idea is that you look for root causes no matter what the symptom is. And so when I first started my practice I worked with mostly women’s health related issues, but I did see some diabetes and I worked with a lot of, it was just word of mouth and kind of anyone who would let me practice these new skills, like, all kinds of things, PCOS, which I still do. I still, you know, so I started with just practicing the clinical skill of functional nutrition which is just that perspective, but my physical therapy niche for most of my career was in women’s health and women’s’ pelvic health, and so when I decided to get very clear on the niche market that I was going to specialize in, because as you know, you can only be, you can only learn everything about only certain topics at a time. I decided to bring it back around so that I could combine all of the years of experience I had in pelvic health from the physical therapy perspective, and essentially integrate it with my functional nutrition skills. So I would say its, those are sort of, pelvic health is the niche and functional nutrition is one of the skills that I use to help improve pelvic health.
Dr. Joe Simon: That’s exactly what I was looking at, Jessica, because that’s what a lot of physicians or clinicians, in the beginning, they have a broader scope of a term that they’re using, but I try to express to them “If we can narrow down that term” or “narrow down that niche, we can really dig really deep into it.” And that’s exactly why I wanted you to explain it up, because I knew you had it set up exactly that way and its genius, because now that you’re branded as the, obviously, the pelvic health institute, it’s so easy to go back and fall onto the others where the marketing is done, you can actually narrow, you can qualify your patients as they come through. But question now, obviously you’re doing this online, it’s a global reach, and you’re working, are you working, do you have a network of physical therapists that you work with, like, certain physical therapists? So, say if you’re located in North Carolina and you have a patient in San Diego, do you work with a therapist in San Diego? Do you have that network built up already?
Jessica: Yes, well, from my years of being in women’s health, PT practice, I have a lot of colleagues in my network that I can go to, and if I don’t know someone personally there are certainly networks, like on Twitter there’s #pelvicmafia. You can find any pelvic floor physical therapist in the world through that awesome group, Section on Women’s Health, the Herman and Wallace Institute that trains women’s health. Physical therapists all have physical therapy, [inaudible 17:14] physical therapists directories. So if I don’t know someone personally in a certain area I find them, but the other thing that I’m really transitioning to more and more is this year we’re kicking off training of physical therapists. Essentially I’m teaching physical therapists and nutritionists functional nutrition skills and coaching skills to use specifically with pelvic health and sexual pain patients. And so I will be, in a sense, building up my own network of people who both have physical therapy training and understand my nutrition perspective, and then for the nutritionists, they will have the opportunity to network with the physical therapists in our community and the nutritionists and the health coaches, and so they will be kind of building their own networks for their more local brick and mortar practices or even their online practices. And for the nutritionists its helpful because of what we just talked about. It gives them a very specialized niche that they are, have learned at a very strong depth. So, I’m really excited about that because I’ve always loved teaching, I’ve done it for, really, my whole career. As soon as they would give me a student, you know, second year out of school I took one. So I’m really excited about building that network, because the other thing I’ve learned in learning the online marketing and the business stuff, is a lot of times this training is done in sort of a mastermind group with other health professionals that are building their practices. So I’ve met some really amazing, functional, OBGYNs for example, or physicians that do bio- identical hormones. And so I’ve got networks from all over the place that came both from my clinical experience and truly from my business training.
Dr. Joe Simon: Absolutely amazing, and right now I want to kind of guide the audience to take a minute, and if they’re listening to the podcast, I know you can’t take a look at the website just yet, but it’s integrativepelvichealthinstitute.com, and it’s a very well put together website. I love the fact there’s a video right off the bat and an email capture right away, and obviously you’re, that teaching comes across immediately, because the content that you have on the site is, besides educational, it’s also leading your patient into, to ask more questions. So, I mean, it’s a great well put together site. I, when everyone gets a chance and you’re not running or jogging or driving your car, stop for a minute, get online, check out integrativepelvichealthinstitute.com. Well put together website. I’ve seen you’ve been on a bunch of blogs and magazines and TV shows. Obviously, that is from PR. So let’s discuss your PR angle. Did you hire somebody for PR or are you doing your PR yourself? How is that working for you?
Jessica: I’m mostly doing it myself. I learned it from a woman named Donna who teaches social media and PR. Basically more and more of PR is happening via social media. So as you get to connect, because everyone is on Twitter and everyone is on Facebook in the world, you get to connect with whatever, the producer of your local television show, your local news show, and they love having you on. I mean, they had me on, like, three times in a row when I was living in Connecticut because they just need people on Saturday morning at 7 to come and talk about something, you know?
Dr. Joe Simon: It’s so true though. I’ve been on a couple of programs, and I’m like “Why am I on so early in the morning?” I’m like “Oh, I’m not that important, I guess.” But hey-
Jessica: Yeah, right.
Dr. Joe Simon: It’s still free PR people. That’s what I want to let you know. It may be 6:45 in the morning but it was free PR and I got to put that on the website as well-
Jessica: But that’s the thing, yeah, the good thing about TV is you have access to the videos, so it helps. Yeah, so I’ve done it through mostly social media, also through HARO, do you know that site, HARO, Help a Reporter Out?
Dr. Joe Simon: Yes.
Dr. Joe Simon: We will make sure we put that link on the, all your resources on the website at the end of the interview. So I’ll make sure they post it as well. But HARO’s, Peter Schenkmen’s HARO, excellent, excellent resource. Yeah.
Jessica: Yeah. So a lot of times now, like, for example, if I help a reporter out, which is literally what that stands for, about a story, about anything, like nutrition for pregnancy or nutrition for your hormones, a lot of times once you’ve done that once well and they make, you make their job easier for them, they just come straight back to you. Yesterday a reporter just emailed me and was like “Oh, I have a deadline on Friday and I’m writing a story about sleep and hormones and nutrition. What do you have for me?” And so that’s really what’s happened for me, just putting myself out there, doing guest posts, writing for anyone and everyone, everyone, helping people out really, coming from that perspective of sharing this knowledge and helping people to do their job easier, and now, you know, that my blog is getting more and more successful it’s really helpful. You’re developing all these programs and you’re developing all your blog content and it just takes a lot of time. So if I have somebody come to me who has a really synergistic thing, I would love to share them on my blog. It’s like one week of content that I don’t have to build, you know?
Dr. Joe Simon: Yeah, absolutely. Again, I mean, the fact that you help, that concept of helping someone else out is actually pretty foreign for many physicians and physical therapists and I’m not talking about helping a patient-
Dr. Joe Simon: I’m talking about helping a fellow physical therapist or helping a fellow chiropractor-
Dr. Joe Simon: Which, the majority of the thinking has always been “They are my competition,” and the fact remains that someone like you who’s niched down to just pelvic health, and again, someone joining your program might see this might be a great revenue stream for their business where they can say “Hey, I’m trained by Jessica. I have this great niche now, and I might have the population that might fill my clinics up.” Again, this is something that it’s more of an opening up to, and it’s touch in the beginning. I’ve seen a lot of clinicians, when we speak to them in the firs hand, that they are still with that, the mindset of competitive and it’s a scarcity mind set, it’s tough to crack through, especially with physical therapists, which I’ve seen lately, but we’re getting there, and I think it’s a big thing. How did you get past this? I know you’ve had the coaching, and that’s helped a lot, but is there something else that you’ve found, do you read a lot or do you read a lot of books on business, or podcasts? What do you do?
Jessica: Yes. I’m trying to see if there’s any that have bubbled to the top in certain, in terms of mind set. I read everything I can get my hands on when I have time, but I think, yeah, I think really that idea of collaborating with your colleagues and not coming at it with a perspective of competition, because really, each of us, even if we’re in the same clinical niche, or even if we’re doing the same thing, different people, and especially when you take this online and you think about how many people exist on the planet, you know, people are going to be attracted to different people. It’s just like if you had a patient come into your clinic, and you have, like, six or so physical therapists in your clinic, and patient Jane always wants to see therapist Jennifer even though sometimes her schedule isn’t right and you have other therapists that are just the same and well trained, that patient always wants to see her, it’s because there’s kind of an energy gel. They just personally get along. They have this relationship, and it’s the same thing with anything you’re doing online. I might be doing the exact same thing as someone else my practice, but different patients are going to be attracted to me as my colleague, so if I can support them and think of it in that abundance mind set, I’ve really found that to be, honestly, successful. I find that it lowers the competition, because the other thing is that people coming to you, like I just said, I read everything on the planet that I can get on social media and PR or whatever and there are certain people that have helped me more, I’ve worked with them specifically more than others, but when you’re learning anything or when you’re getting help for any issue, you don’t just find one person and get help for it. You find all the options and learn as much as you can.
Dr. Joe Simon: Absolutely. That’s an amazing statement. I’m going to make sure we put that in, definitely in the notes. The one thing you said about reading, I just read a great article the other day that said “The top CEOs of the country read about 60 books a month, or, I’m sorry, 60 books a year, and the average person reads one book a year.” So you can see how that’s translated to someone that’s generating wealth to someone that’s the average person. So reading, so very important. A book that I want to mention, we were talking about abundance and scarcity, the book is called Abundance by Peter Diamandez.
Dr. Joe Simon: Great. Great book read to help just change your mind set a little bit. That is a great read. A little heavy at times, but I got through it.
Dr. Joe Simon: A nice long flight, you can get through anything.
Dr. Joe Simon: I love all the topics that you’re bringing up. You have so much information. It’s, you know, we can keep talking for about another hour on this because we gel exactly the same, and it’s the same thing that you said. It’s the same thing as a ton of marketers out there. I may do it a different way. I may deliver it through a podcast, but I’ve worked in the dental niche for a long time doing marketing for them, and it’s amazing, there’s thousands of them, it just works down to “Do they like you? Do they connect with you?” and “Are you going to give them results in the end?” You know, and that’s something that everyone can see, and I’ve learned that, I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t that person in the beginning about five years ago, six years ago when I first started doing online marketing. I wasn’t that person. I wasn’t sharing as much, but these days if someone comes to me and says “Hey, I have this project, I have this plan that I want to do, can you help me?” And sometimes if it’s not in my 20% that I can take on right now, I have a network that I can just refer to, and just like you were saying, as I look on LinkedIn right now, there are so many people that pop up from pelvic health it’s ridiculous. A, I did not know this. I had no clue about this field really. I never dived into this. Being more of an ortho PT and sports-related, it’s something I’ve never really looked into, but now that I’m looking at it I’m like “Wow, there are a lot of people out there,” but you deliver it so different, and that’s why we have you on for the interview today. So, Jessica, great stuff. Is there a way someone could contact you if they wanted more information about your services, about your programs? And I know you have a coaching program coming out, if it’s out, if it’s not out yet, but is there a way they can get on your list?
Jessica: Absolutely. So, go to integrativehealthinstitute.com and to just kind of learn more about what we’re about and get our free newsletter and blog videos every week, just sign up. You’ll immediately get an interview that I did talking more about the functional nutrition evidence for treating chronic pelvic pain on the top right of the site, and then there’s a page on the site called “Continuing Education for Professionals,” and we are offering at least two live courses this year for physical therapists, nutritionists, OBGYNs, anyone who wants to think about pelvic pain from a functional nutrition perspective, and we are also offering that same program online beginning in April. So if you can’t come to Houston or New Jersey, we’ve got people signed up for that course already from four different countries, so I’m really excited about that.
Dr. Joe Simon: Awesome stuff. Absolutely awesome. Again, I want to implore everyone, please check out the website. It’s so well put together. She knows what she’s talking about. So, if you want to build up a side business or a cash-based program, I’m sure this is something that you can implement into your practice today or have one of your employees if you don’t want to do it yourself, maybe have an employee go through this and build it up as a side revenue piece. This is a great, great revenue stream as I see it. Jessica, once again, I thank you for jumping on the phone. We had a little, trying to figure out when we can get on, and it was going back and forth a bit-
Dr. Joe Simon: But I’m glad we squeezed it in, and I was traveling, and I told Jessica this morning, I said “You know, I thought of everything except the fact that I’m on hotel wifi.”
Dr. Joe Simon: So I was just praying this wifi held out, and I was like “Please hold together.” But it worked out well. Awesome interview. And we have the contact information for you. Thank you for being on the show today.
Jessica: Thank you so much for having me. It was my pleasure.
Dr. Joe Simon: And everyone, for more information and resources that were mentioned on the show, please just go to www.privatepracticebusinessacademy.com. On the resource page we’ll have links to everything Jennifer talked about, from the books to her website as well. Once again, Jessica, thank you for being on the show. Have a great day.
Jessica: Thanks, you too.