Dr. Stephen Franson is a renowned chiropractic leader and expert in growing a practice through systems. In this episode, he and Dr. Joe Esposito discuss the “people problems” that occur in every stage of business, regardless of size or status. Some of those issues happen during hiring and team building, and even when transitioning from owner/operator to CEO. Dr. Franson is offering the audience access to an Accountability Grid used by The Remarkable Practice and AlignLife to assess and audit the health of your practice.

Go to https://theremarkablepractice.com/acctgrid-health/ to get started!

About the Guest: 

Dr. Stephen Franson is a true champion of the Chiropractic Wellness Lifestyle who packs deep experience from over twenty years of clinical practice. Franson is an exceptional clinician, passionate teacher and dynamic leader in the Chiropractic Profession. Franson was listed as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Chiropractors in the World in 2017.

Known as “The Systems Guy”, Franson is the founder of The Remarkable Practice, an innovative coaching and consulting company that helps doctors create a remarkable practice as part of a remarkable life.

Stephen is also Co-Founder of Chiro Match Makers, a highly specialized chiropractic placement service that utilizes a proprietary system to match the right chiropractor with the right opportunity. He is a committed trainer of “Remarkable Teams” and specializes in creating business and training systems for some of the most successful organizations in Chiropractic.

A graduate of the University of Vermont (B.S.), Life Chiropractic College (D.C.) and a certified Gonstead Instructor, Dr. Franson has served as an extended faculty member at Life University, Palmer College and Northwestern College of Life Sciences.  Franson Family Chiropractic opened in 1997 and grew to be one of the largest wellness clinics in the world.

About the Host:

Dr. Joseph Esposito,CEO

Dr. Joseph Esposito, D.C., C.C.N. C.N.S., C.C.S.P., D.A.B.C.N., F.A.A.I.M. C.T.N., is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AlignLife. As such, he is responsible for the direction of AlignLife as it expands further across a dynamic and rapidly changing healthcare landscape. Dr. Esposito has more than 20 years of experience in a broad range of businesses, including chiropractic, nutrition, technology, and internet marketing.

Dr. Esposito has extensive post-graduate academic accomplishments, as well as 15 years of experience managing successful chiropractic clinics in multiple states. He also is the founder and CEO of Aceva LLC, a service-based nutritional company providing products and services to the AlignLife clinics. As the former CFO of an internet publishing company, Dr. Esposito understands the power of leveraging the internet to impact the lives of millions of Americans.

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Dr. Joseph Esposito: Welcome to the line, your practice podcast is Dr. Joe Esposito. I'm excited for today because we're really talking about team building. I got my good friend, an amazing chiropractor, Dr. Steven France, and how are you, Doc?


Dr. Stephen Franson: What's up Dr. Joe excited for this conversation? Thanks for asking me. Yeah, it


Dr. Joseph Esposito: is a conversation you and I started almost a decade ago, I hate to age ourselves that much. But I remember talking about align life scaling with our service offering, I remember you talking about TRP. And we're talking about attraction. And talking about how to convert people to the chiropractic lifestyle. We're even talking about retention, that all of a sudden, we were walking, it was drizzling out, I know where we were. And we start talking about you know, what, and you had said 90% of people's problems were problems are people problems, right? Do you remember that?


Dr. Stephen Franson: I did. I was I was probably reading top grading. So you know, I quote them when I say 95% of our problems with people problems. And we were laughing because it was we both were experiencing the same thing. Talking to chiropractors all the time. And we have our let's call it our narrative, right? That we we look and be like, yeah, no, it's this. It's three things, guys. Its attraction, conversion, retention, its lead generation, it's converting people. And it's taking great care of people and keeping them right attraction, conversion, retention. And as soon as we step off the stage or off the zoom, call, or step up to the bar to the coffee shop, and a chiropractor gets our ear, it's like, Hey, can I talk to you about my, my staff, and I talked about my associate or my office manager, you know, I think she's gonna kill me. And she's my wife. Right? So when we recognize it was a team building was this giant problem. And regardless of how good your systems are, how great your doctor is, your skills are as a chiropractor, what have you. If you don't have a team, you know, it's all a wash. So let me ask you a couple of quick


Dr. Joseph Esposito: questions. Before we dive in deep, you got the insight to hundreds of practices, you know, the insight of align life and where we're at. And I can give my opinion, but I like your opinion, the people problem issue, is it more rampant? When is it the same as that new clinic that just starting out as it is to the $2 million $3 million? Practice? Is it people problems across the board? Or do you see them more just in a new practice? Or they get worse as you grow? What's your take on that concept of most of the problem being people problems?


Dr. Stephen Franson: Oh, yeah, no, this problem never goes away. Yeah, sorry. Sorry. I thought everyone's like, Oh, phew, no, the problem never goes away. But I will tell you, the problems get better, right. So, you know, I think a great construct for success, helping people understand success is you just deal with better problems, right. So as your business becomes more and more successful, and I don't mean, just busier, as your business and your practice actually become more and more successful. One of the attributes of a successful business is you're dealing with better people problems, right? So you're still dealing with people problems, but they're better people problems like that new practice, who, you know, you don't know what you're doing, you have no idea who you're looking to hire, you're just excited that somebody would be willing to risk it all with you and come into this new business and be like, Yeah, you got a policy you're in, let's go, you keep an eye on the phones and the front door, I'll be back. Right. So that's where it starts, all the way through the arc of their career from launch, till build and and build what you're looking for, as you're trying to find, you know, your first eight players and actually assemble a team, not just employees, right. So you're not looking for somebody who's just going to fog a mirror, but somebody who's like, oh, I need, you know, these specialists and these experts on my team to do different roles. And then you go into Scale, which is when you have multiple providers. And that's when you're you know, the struggle there becomes not just finding and keeping a player's and optimizing a player's now you're looking for associate doctors, which of course, is an incredibly challenging thing. So that becomes your new set of problems. And then you finally find your associate doctor or doctors and then it's, oh, I just became more complex. Now I want to become more productive and more profitable. And then you graduate to All right, exiting, like the final season. And you're like, now I have to find my successor. I gotta find somebody's going to carry on my legacy, take care of my people and my team, and is the right buyer, so that I can make a graceful and profitable exit. So yeah, good news. Bad news. Joe. 95% of your problems, are people problems never goes away. It's great.


Dr. Joseph Esposito: Our good friend Joe Clarino told me to listen to a podcast by a guy named Andy for Zillow. I listened to this morning, and he built over $100 million, I think half a billion dollar company. And someone asked him, Is there less stress? Isn't it easier? He's like, No, it's not he's here. Half a billion dollars. No, it wasn't. It was it he said the same thing, different problems, but they didn't go away. So, I love the authenticity of that. Well, I'll tell you what I started when I opened practice. I was sitting on the floor, I hired my two staff. And we had our first meeting, I was really excited. I was a leader. Now, I was a doctor, I had a diploma, had a license, and we're ready to go. And they're sitting on the floor, and I said, Okay, I want you to take some notes, and we're gonna have our meeting, she goes, Well, we have no pens. I'm like, okay, okay. Why don't you call Office Depot? She goes, we have no phones. I go, Okay, let's meet tomorrow. So that was my first meeting. And then the other girl said, Well, what's my job? And I said, I don't know, I'll tell you tomorrow. So that was my first step of leadership in running a practice was that experience. So what I learned was, there is a step of onboarding. There's a need for leadership so that they respect you as they're developing as employees. There's layers upon layers that we've learned over the last couple of decades that we've built inside of a line life that we teach to new doctors that come on. Because at the talk we did earlier today, one of the doc said, once you get it, it's easy. And then I was trying to understand like, what is the conversion on what was its subscription? Health care was so easy once you understand it. But what do you mean, understand it? There's so much to understand, to get to easy, right? That the talk today about staffing, is there are so many different levels and align life has spent the time in helping doctors not only learn how to write the ad, but know the job description before the Add when they come No, the onboarding before the developing, it's all a crescendo of like, knowing the entire system, so that it can become easy and easier, not easy, easier in the future. What's your take on that the complexity and the size of managing a team of staff? It's, it's not just hiring the right person?


Dr. Stephen Franson: Yeah, I mean, I think you can tell, you can judge the complexity of any initiative based on how many books fill the shelves in the bookstore? Right? So if you walk around a bookstore is like, you're gonna see a bookshelf, there's, oh, that's the marriage section. Okay. Looks like marriage is pretty complicated, right? And then there's a kid child rearing, and then there's money. And then there's value section, right? And then Whoa, look at that wall. This is the people, you know, this is the relationships and management and leadership. And you know, and on the business section, it's like, it's all about people. Right? So it's massively complex. And people, you know, we're really not, we're not, we're not for warrant, right? Like, like, when you go from being labor to leader, you know, that's an identity shift. Right? So that identity identity shift is it's, it's, it comes with a whole new set of responsibilities, right? So, you know, when you're an owner operator, and your labor, you know, your job is to take care of the patients. When you make the ascension from owner operator to leader, that's when you recognize that your job description has changed, right? So your job then becomes you take care of the team, the team takes care of the patients. Right? So that might sound weird for the people that are like, wait a minute, I'm not gonna stop adjusting patients like, ya know, maybe it sounds better when you say it this way. When you own a business, and you're an owner, operator, your job is to take care of the customer. And then when you make the ascension to being a CEO, when you become a leader, your job is to take care of your team and your team takes care of the customers, right? So that might translate a little easier. Because Joe, you and I never stopped adjusting, right? So right up until the day I sold my practice. He was adjusting that morning, I went from the adjusted torium to the attorney's office, right, so I never stopped adjusting. Even though I had made the ascension to CEO and ran a, you know, massive practice, I had 39 associate doctors. So, you know, I had been CEO for a while, you know, running that practice, but I never stopped adjusting was one of my three bullets. But the complexity of all the other leadership pieces, you know, it's it's under promoted, right? So people don't talk about it enough. So let me say that, like, in my experience, there's certain things that you need to you need to learn to do yourself. And other things, you just have to recognize that there are systems that have already figured it out. And you need to leverage other people too, and other systems. So you don't have to learn it yourself. Right. So, you know, at the end of the day as chiropractors we have a tendency to roll up our sleeves and think I just need to do everything myself. You know, whether you're talking about hiring people or digital marketing or you know, fill in the blanks, we'd love to do everything ourselves. That's sort of a cultural thing and inside of chiropractic, but the truth is, is that there are systems you don't have to make it out you should focus on implementation, right. So our energy should not be in creating systems. They should be an implementation and mastery and developing our own leadership quality. Using attributes, and implementing the systems that are already proven systems, right, that's why I love align life. That's why I love the concept of being part of a bigger organization that has SOP they have process procedures that all of this has been worked out, right. So it's been over the last, let's call it 2530 years of just blocking and tackling, screwing it up 11 ways to Sunday, like, you shouldn't have to go through that pain, right generationally, we should continually get better and be like, Hey, don't try to reinvent the wheel. This wheel spins, your all your time, focus and energy should be going implementation and Master.


Dr. Joseph Esposito: Yeah, love your insight and going in a slightly different direction. And still staying on the people topic. One of the things I learned over the last 20 years in in the journey and starting line life is first off, I used to define success for a new doctor that wanted to join the limelight. I knew what success looked like, I knew what they needed to do. And it was kind of like a, a passionate guidance on what success is for the doctor. And most people enjoy that journey. But not all, what I learned was I can't define success for the doctor. So we've matured in the way we talk to new doctors and align life. First off, we were using some of the collective insights. And some of I know you're influenced as well, using behavior, data, looking at how people are wired, we find out how they're wired, we find out what success looks like to them based on their core values. And then we have them paint a picture of a three year picture of where do they want to go. And what's a beautiful growth of a line life is now we take these three things, how are they wired? What are their values that create their happiness? And what is the story that they're trying to build? And then we get a whole team on the call with them and say, Can we do we feel we can serve with what's on the table? And it's just a whole different experience than what I did 20 years ago? What's your take on that twist that I've modified?


Dr. Stephen Franson: So there's there's a lot there. And I agree with all of it. Right? So, you know, you've heard me teach that we should not project on anyone what success looks like, right? So and we should never let anybody tell us what success looks like, right? There's a very intimate thing. Right? So success is a very personal thing that should be on Earth, right? So you can't, you can't have anybody else tell you what success looks like for you. This is a process you need to go through to expose it and unearth it and to do the deep work. That's incredibly important, because let's face it, you're going to spend a lifetime pursuing it, right? So you got to be very, very careful how you define success. And it's like all truth, it's inside out. Right? So you've got to go in and get it right and get really clear on, you know, what are your core values? Right? So what are the things that are most important to you? Right? So that's an entire conversation on its own. But first identify, like, what are your core values, and core values are critical because your your vision of success, or what we call your vision story, what success looks like to you should be the manifestation of those core values, right? So it should be those core values lived out and walked out. And there, they need to be completely aligned that like, there can be no competition between those two things. It can't be any contradiction between those two things, right? So we teach that, you know, success lives, where you have alignment between three things, your core values, what's most important to you, your vision story, what does success look like to you? And your behavior, which is how you choose to invest your time, energy, focus and money, right? So, you know, Joe, the first one core values, it's tough enough to figure that out, right? Because of core values. There's a permanence to core values, like core values, or a neck tattoo, right? So they don't vary, right? So vision story is fluid. Like as you go through chapters of your life, your vision story matures and changes and that's awesome. Don't Don't beat yourself up about that but you want to really do the work consistently and keep your finger on the core values like a touchstone like it should be something you should be constantly you know, wrestling with reviewing challenging testing, like I said, like it's a neck tattoo you're gonna get right so it's at the end of the day, it becomes the lens through which you make your decisions. So the core values piece is, is has a sense of permanence to it. It should help shape your definition of success, your vision story, and that'll be fluid like I said, as you go through stages of your life. You know, when you're in school, your vision story is one thing and then you fall in love and the vision story changes and then you get married and vision story changes again and then you have kids you visit story changes again and then you open a business vision story changes and then you sell your business start another business like business too. He's awesome. It's dynamic. But it is that, you know, that imagery that pulls us, right. So we're pushed by our purpose, but we're pulled by our vision. And then that third piece of it is the tough one, which is behaviors, which is, Are you acting in line with that? Right? So your your choices of how do you spend your time is very convicting. How do you spend your time, your energy, your focus? What are you thinking about all the time? Your most dominant thought, like Demartini teaches, right? And then your energy, what do you work towards? Auditing yourself looking at how you spend your money, how you spend your time, it's going to tell you really more about your core values than anything. Right. So that's a tough one, Dr. Joe, like, getting that alignment is where success lives. How awesome is that is the word alignment? You know, God is good man love. God loves chiropractic, right? So alignment is where success lives in any misalignment between those three elements is where you have stress. That's where you have dis ease, that's we have breakdown, right? And so, you know, it's awesome to have that construct, to constantly check yourself to make sure that it's like, listen, success is going to look different for all of us. But now at least you've got, you know, a construct of understanding where to success live.


Dr. Joseph Esposito: Yeah, so I find when I go through that conversation there, I think it falls apart on both ends of the vision story. Usually people know what they're trying to do. But they don't know how to define their happiness, because they're not self aware of their own core values. Not always, but often. On the other side of that their behavior is usually a contradict what their vision story is. So in align life, the two sides of giving them clarity on helping them through the journey, a core values. And then on the other side is making sure there's no contradiction, do those behaviors drive towards that vision story. And sometimes that's enough to open their eyes to grab the system and run with it to make this success. So talked about that on the doctor that comes into a line life, a doctor that joins your organization, but carrying that same mindset to staff to finish up our discussion today, we talked about the four rights. We can't get deep into that conversation. But the same thing happens when you hire those people that come into your office. Right? Maybe Maybe we don't look at their vision story, their vision story, but do they align with your vision story? Right? I mean, there is a continuity between what we just talked about the doctor that enters a line life, but then they're going to hire people. And there has to be some continuity. I think that's a good place for us to finish the cycle. Yeah.


Dr. Stephen Franson: I mean, I think I'd like to take this from theoretical to making it very practical, right. So we practice the PPF G model, right? So which is personal professional financial goals, PPFD. So when you are, when you're a business owner, you have an opportunity, and I would suggest the responsibility to create an environment where people are going to be more successful with you than without you. Right. So I know that that's certainly true for us as a line life, we have an opportunity, and therefore a responsibility to make sure that doctors know that they're going to be more successful with us and without us, right, that's PPFD personal, professional financial goals. And there's an auditing process. It's like, tell me about your personal professional financial goals, whether you're somebody coming into our organization, as a doctor, or if you're a doctor, bringing people into your clinic, into your practice into your business and hiring them as employees the same thing, you have an opportunity and therefore a responsibility as a leader, to create an environment where people know they're better off with you without you, right. So that if that's true for you, like if that's genuine, you can't fake this, right? Yeah, literally be you know, like, this has been my secret sauce, brother, to be honest with you. It's like, I know that this is the ultimate win, win win. It really is like, I've been walking this out, I'm actually walking this concept out of once you create an environment where people who work inside of your organization, they know they're doing better with you than they would do without you. Right? So like in all things, personal, professional financial goals. So if you get real with that, like you're going to win. This isn't this isn't some altruistic Oh, I'm running a mission, you know, and I'm a nonprofit, trust me, none of that is applying. Right? So this is very much an incredibly healthy environment. That's very productive, right? So when you are hiring people, and you're building out your team, think to yourself, I want to create an environment where people are going to No, not think not maybe not betting on it. They know because they've been with you. They're going to be better off with you than without you. Right? So and aligning that in such a way where you're like, What are your personal goals? Like what does your life look like? Ultimately, what does it look like three years from now? Where do you want to be one year from now talk to me about right? How about your financial goals? Your personal professional goals are going to tell me where do you want to be in 2345 years, right? How about your financial goals? What does that look like? What is the Access look like to you like literally, this is a safe place, let's be aspirational. What do you see? What do you want to what do you want to be making five years from now? How about three years from now? How about a year from now? All right, great. Now that I have all that data, you can, you can say we're either a match or not a match, I can be genuine and say to you, Dr. Joe, here's the good news. You can reach all of those goals here inside of this organization, right, and your likelihood of reaching them is going to go up. And the speed at which you're going to reach him is going to be compressed delay time is going to be compressed, we're going to increase the speed, right? So you know, you're going to do better off with us. And without, without us, you follow me like now when we're talking about you reaching your goals, the truth is, is that we as an organization, we can't reach our goals, if you're not reaching your goals. If you take a spot in this boat, and you pick up one of those oars, there's only so many seats, right? If you're on this team, we can't reach our goals if you're not reaching your goals. Right. So now it's about your goal is not our goals. But we were invested in this, we can't reach our goals. If you don't reach your goals. Now that I know what your personal professional financial goals are, take this opportunity, you're going to be much more likely to reach those in a in less in less time with us than you'll be without us. And the great news on this is it's a win win win, because we can't reach our goals unless you reach your goals.


Dr. Joseph Esposito: Yeah, I love that. That congruence, it just helps versus dragging people along to reach my goal just just doesn't work long. This is a very


Dr. Stephen Franson: alignment, right? When we get aligned we get along. Right. And that's that word. Once again, it's all about alignment.


Dr. Joseph Esposito: Yes, so in finishing up, I will say if you're in practice now or new and a student and you're looking for some direction, if you want to take the journey of the what we call the Align life discovery process, which is to see on the under the hood, on the systems, the tools, the process and what we do for doctors that engage and align life, we'd love to take you through that cycle. We'll talk about your core values, your vision story, your behaviors, and see where there's resistance or contradiction or gaps to help at least guide you as as a chiropractor in the direction you want to reach the abundance you're looking for in your life. So you can just reach out to support at align life.com Or in the show notes, there's a link to gain some more information, I have a have a consultation. And I know Stephen, you had a tool that I love that provides so much value and the simplicity of it. Don't when you get this document, don't let the simplicity shock you of limiting its value it this thing can literally change your practice. So why don't you talk about the giveaway that you're gonna provide? Yeah,


Dr. Stephen Franson: so one of the one of the tools that we use in the remarkable practice and of course, we embrace it in a line life is a one page system that allows you to really assess an audit your the health of your practice. It's called the accountability grid. And it helps you take a look at your entire business, the entire practice in on one piece of paper. Okay, so you can look across all five domains of your of your practice attraction, conversion retention, team building, split into three sub domains. So there's 15 primary functions of your business, and you only have to ask two questions. Is it optimized on a scale of zero to 10? And who owns it right? So there's a video training that goes along with it, we're happy to share that, we'll put a link here in the show notes, just click the link, download the accountability grid printed out. And by all means, if you'd be interested in unpacking that, if you want us to walk through that with you, we're very happy to do that as well. Just let us know, the accountability grid is a way for you to drive greater productivity and greater profitability in your business. So many people are just finding themselves in a place where they either stuck where they just can't get up over the hump, or they've just found themselves with more complexity. And there's a lot of motion but not enough movement. The key to taking motion and turning it into movement is traction. And that's accountability. This accountability grid will help you get there and we would love to come alongside you because we know that you'll be better off with us. Some of that is


Dr. Joseph Esposito: awesome. Awesome. There you have it, guys. Any questions? Reach out support line life.com. Stephen, thanks again for your time, your insights and all you do for for the profession. Always.


Dr. Stephen Franson: Thank you Dr. Joe. God bless everybody. Bye bye.