July 22, 2022

Episode #45: Chad Nowlin – NRG

Dr. Chad is Founder and CEO of NRG Physiotherapy, NRG Health, and NRG360. NRG Physio is a cash based physiotherapy clinic serving active adults, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts who have already tried and failed other conservative management but still have pain and limitations. NRG Health provides on-site health screening and primary care to organizations looking to improve healthcare spending and employee wellness. NRG360 is our proprietary delivery of physiotherapy inspired physical wellness at scale delivering musculoskeletal evaluations, diagnostics, and video based self care all via text message stream for the purpose of reducing, preventing, and resolving root cause issues associated with pain.

Dr. Chad loves educating coaches, athletes, and individuals looking to improve their physical health on how to optimize movement and mobility to increase performance and overall health, wellness, and fitness. He is a Certified Weightlifting Performance Coach, Mobility WOD Movement and Mobility Specialist, and Titleist Performance Institute Medical Level 2 Certified. He is also fully certified in Trigger Point Dry Needling. He has advanced knowledge in anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics that allow in depth evaluations that have proven successful in helping people get out of pain quickly, restore functional movement, avoid surgery, and return to the activities they love.

Dr. Chad earned his Doctorate in Physiotherapy from Harding University in 2014. Since graduating he has continued to grow in knowledge and skills as a clinician, business owner, and an athlete. Chad is an avid lifter, basketball player, and golfer. Even though golf, basketball, and functional training are Chad’s passions, he is first, a husband to Jenna, father to his three kids, Keller, Carter, and Scottie Marie second, and an athlete at a distant third. Aside from that, Chad also enjoys biking, playing guitar, all things business.

Transcript

hello this is coach tim campsall and i’m your host for the self made as a myth make a difference together show where we’re talking with successful business owners to hear their stories of the journey to building their business and because we know that success in business is not something that we do on our own we are recognizing the folks that have helped us to excel today i’m excited to have a fellow business owner from indiana with us today my guest has an uncanny ability to learn new information after only seeing it once that comes in handy in business quite a bit i am sure he likes to play basketball every tuesday at noon and a rounded golf whenever he can fit it in he says that play is important and i would agree with that he is most proud of building a business that most said was impossible and we’ll get into that in a little bit here it’s my pleasure to welcome chad to the show today hello chad hey thanks for having me hey well let’s start with uh having you introduce yourself uh tell us a little bit of your personal story like where you’re born and where you live a little bit about your family and things like that sure yeah so i’m a texas native uh born there in 1987 so that puts me at a ripe old age of 35. i lived there for 30 years went to school grad school in arkansas where i met my wife who was from avon indiana and long story short we had our first boy in texas uh where we lived after school for about two years her mother stayed with us for 30 days after our first son was born and the day she left we were moving in back to indy so i’ve been in indy now for uh man we just passed our six year mark so it’s flying by pretty quick uh so beyond the first kid he’s six now his brother carter is four so keller’s six carter’s four and we actually just had a little baby scotty marie and she is four months old yesterday so grand family yeah i appreciate it the girl is different for sure i mean a different way than the boys but uh it’s good so family’s growing family’s doing great and uh i like it here in indy you know the winters are a little long

it was a great place for a great place for family great place to start a business honestly it was easier to start a business here than it would have been in texas so all around good so chad is there a funny story that your family likes to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us and you know i thought about that and thought about that and there’s really not they don’t they don’t razz on me too hard i wish there was a great story but kind of status quo on that front so tell us how the business came about at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business yeah confidence didn’t come till much later honestly i uh you know i’m a physical therapist by trade i graduated went to work for a clinic back in texas it was a great place to start you know they allowed me to really kind of uh go my own way you know i thought different i did things different right out of school and you know they really didn’t get in my way so i was able to learn a lot i was able to implement some stuff that i learned from school but honestly kind of tinker with some of my own ideas things that i wanted to be doing so really it was a great place to start it was an insurance-based clinic there in texas uh which you know it grew into a more traditional role of like the high volume uh but it really allowed me to kind of get my get my feet wet in the field of physical therapy but also get really rooted in the direction that i would go from there when we moved to indiana i worked for uh a larger

physical therapy company you know i think now they’re a thousand clinics across the nation and uh yeah so they’re they’re big but you know most insurance-based centers they function largely the same and you’re gonna get a lot of volume and so you know it was i think 2018 i was seeing three or four patients an hour uh yeah it was uh it was a lot and i started i started really wrestling with the gap between you know what i thought i could be doing for patients and what was like actually possible with the time that i had so i essentially went from 15 minutes of manual therapy with this patient to the next patient to the next patient to the next patient and they were spending the rest of their time with a therapy aide who you know wasn’t out of college yet and i just had i had a really hard time reconciling that in my mind and that’s what really got me thinking about getting the heck out of there and it was the right decision for me and i’m not saying that model is bad uh it’s obviously not bad because a lot of people get what they go there for and it’s profitable or they wouldn’t still be in business so something to be said about that but the way i wanted to work with people the types of things that i was into it just wasn’t possible there and so i started kind of getting my my wheels turning about how i was going to transition out and i actually took a part-time job as a physical therapist for i was actually on site at a kohl’s distribution center right here in my backyard and so that was 20 hours a week which which gave me 20 hours a week to kind of start growing my own business uh two years later i got fired from the kohl’s distribution center for a conflict of interest and so lo and behold i was full-time for myself like it or not and uh that was probably the best thing that ever happened i mean launching me into full-time business for myself i think we tripled our revenue that year uh over over the last year so it was it was a good thing that happened but um it was just kind of a unique sequence of events you know i had to get out of the the high volume grind as quickly as possible i got a big opportunity to go part time and make decent money and help me get that off the ground but it also gave me insight into a field of health care that i didn’t know existed which was on-site healthcare for employers and that really has kind of set my path in a different direction over the last couple of years i’m sure we’ll kind of get into that a little later but that’s kind of kind of how i landed where i am today and what has uh kind of moved me in the direction that i’m going now awesome so tell us a little bit more about the company what is different about you guys yeah so i mean you walk into our clinic and it looks more like a gym than it does at clinic uh you know we we end up attracting a lot of patients who have already tried and failed all the other things so docs meds injections chiropractors other physical therapists some have failed surgery already and they’re still looking for results and haven’t gotten them yet and that’s really that’s really who we enjoy working with the most we’re very comprehensive we like we’re full body all the time if somebody comes in with shoulder pain we treat everything if somebody comes in with back pain we treat everything and what i’ve learned over the past four years is that everything is important when it comes to the human anatomy can’t tell you how many times we’ve solved shoulder problems at the pelvis and shoulder problems at the ankle you know just the interconnectedness of the body is is maybe a little more profound than clinicians give it credit for but we’re also not limited by insurance networks and kind of the red tape around what we can treat and when we can treat it and how we can treat it which allows us to do that and you know when i first started the business almost everybody i talked to except for my dad was like you can’t do that and that’s you know we do physiotherapy for cash we don’t we don’t touch any insurance network whatsoever and uh you know i talked to multiple surgeons i was talking to like clinic clinic managers that i was close with at the previous company i was at and they’re like dude you can’t do it people will not pay cash for that and so it kind of kind of just lit a fire under me even more just to be like watch me okay

you know so now i’m two years in full time you know i i make more on my own w-2 salary than i would have ever made as a staff therapist anywhere else and the business is growing and people keep coming in and and we just exchange value beyond our price point and if i could sum up what we do in the shortest way it is we sell people’s desired outcome and provide value beyond our price point and that’s what that’s what allows us to do it is because people are nobody wants physical therapy and everybody has pain those those are you can’t sell pain relief and you can’t sell physical therapy and so our evaluation i mean it’s it’s really different we don’t even touch people until we go through hey what do you think your problems are what are your fears your frustrations and challenges about those problems and then what are the real problems and and so a false problem is pain in any body region the real problem is my daughter’s getting married four months from now and i can’t walk her down the eye that’s a real problem and when you can when you can get to that and create a solution for somebody for that now it becomes real to them and they start comprehending and contemplating like okay if i don’t do anything what’s the result going to be um you know and and what’s it gonna look like if i get to this time point and i can’t do this thing i’m expected to do and so our job is to make it real and kind of extract out what it is people really want and then if like you know we we’re getting commitments like yeah that sounds good the price point is fine let’s go and we haven’t even done a physical evaluation that’s awesome yeah and then yeah and then if if they say man that’s a lot of money yeah of course it sounds like a lot of money you don’t even know what we’re gonna do yet so can we go through that with you uh yeah of course let’s do it so you know our job is whether somebody works with us or not is to deliver just a massive amount of value in the time we get to spend with them and that really carries us forward more than anything that’s awesome so what’s the name of the company and where are you guys located uh company name is nrg physiotherapy uh energy physio for short we’re in plainfield indiana over here on the west side wonderful so chad um tell us about a story where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn’t think you could and the impact that they had on you yeah you know this almost always draws back to uh my dad uh i’m a i’m a natural-born dreamer you know big visions big missions big goals uh those you know i try to weigh all my decisions against that but dad is is very similar in that way you know thinking about the possibilities and the opportunities not the hurdles and the obstacles uh and so he’s always been the one to to push and you know he’s he’s never been the naysayer he’s never been like yeah you got to be careful with that you know he’s been that kind of one constant consistent force that i can always go to for advice and know that it’s going to be solid i can always uh expect something positive out of the conversation not always something i want to hear but something i need to hear but it’s never you can’t do it and it’s not going to work it’s how can you make it work you know how can i help you get there and uh by by far the the most supportive and encouraging and what i’m trying to do he’s experienced it himself you know he gets all banged up and i fix him real quick and so you know he believes in what i’m doing and uh he he’s been a just the positive force behind doing it in the first place you know really wrestling with man i could be doing so much more for people and i just can’t hear you i’m waking up hating going to work

trying to figure out how i can be sick for the day you know because on top of you know and this is this is the struggle for therapists all over the nation is they they got a job that they were kind of disillusioned with going into the deal and now they’re seeing a lot of volume it’s not as attractive as it once was and then they have to take two or three hours worth of a patient documentation home at the end of the day it’s like man and you know so my first thoughts were how can i get out and then how can i blow up enough to take other people with me you know how can i save people from that environment and uh you know when everybody else was saying no dad said just do it and you know i’ll help you in any way i can and yeah rick rick yeah awesome so chad we know that um business success doesn’t happen in isolation so tell us about a challenge that you’ve had as you’ve been growing your business and uh maybe a fellow business owner who helped you get through that yeah uh that’s an easy one so one of the best things i ever did similar similar to coaching it was coaching in a large way was a cash pt mastermind so it wasn’t just one business owner it was you know 80 or 90 guys just like me all on calls together each week all in a room together twice a year uh with some of the bigger leaders in the space you know there were three guys in the space jared moon danny matey and eve gigi and uh i can’t even pretend that i would be where i am today without having started with them you know there was certainly i could have like tinkered with things on my own for a while and probably grown a bit but they just provided uh great resources great information great education great mentoring and then we had other you know 90 other guys and gals who were in the same place i was where we could bounce information back and forth you know off of each other figure out messaging and marketing and how do we do this thing and how you know how do we sell people on you know physical therapy for cash and uh you know that was one of the best decisions i made early on and i incorporated in 2018 of october uh i jumped into this mastermind january of 2019 uh dad actually was like you need to do it i’ll pay for it and so yeah so it you know it cost me you know 10 or 12 grand which i mean is a brand new business owner i didn’t have sitting around sure and so dad came through in a big way for that and that 10 grand has paid me over a million times at this point you know it was a great decision but the environment of having people around you that can push you both personally and professionally uh in a in kind of a single-minded direction is a a really critical thing for me especially that’s awesome um wow what an impact dad has had in multiple ways so yeah just incredible that you have that support i did pay it back by the way yeah that’s good so chad what’s your biggest learning as a business owner oh commit first figure the rest out later tell us more yeah so there was a lot of i spent a lot of time wrapped up in how do i get this right before i get it out there i ended up wasting a lot of time which is now my least favorite thing to do uh and just knowing that if if you commit to something you will figure it out uh it it it will help you draw in the resources you need to figure it out it will help you think more creatively on how to get it done um and really speed your results in a bigger way perfectionism is just another word for procrastination right yes and you know nothing can be perfect the world turns too fast for that by the time you get something perfect it’s nice it’s you’re behind the eight ball again you know so that’s probably been the biggest thing is is like

really understanding what it is you want to do where you want it to take you and commit to it my three words are passion purpose persistence if you if you have those you can accomplish whatever you want and uh you know those have kind of been just what i kind of weigh my decisions against over and over again is you know what am i really doing here and are my decisions helping me get there and i don’t need to know the mechanics of how to get there i just need to know i’m committed to the end result and the rest will come as i go yeah i love that there’s so many of us myself included who can you know get stuck in the trying to figure out all the hows and and what if that goes wrong and and all we really know for sure is that a bunch of things are going to go wrong now a bunch of things are going to go right and and if we just at least start we’ve got a you know we’re much farther ahead than if we try to figure out all the what-ifs ahead of time right yeah i mean that’s been heavy on my mind a lot lately just like just start because like in business now with physio it’s it’s nothing for me to just go do something right i’ll figure it out but like there’s this other area of my life i’m really passionate about multi-family real estate i know that’s where i want my investments to be going and i’m just sitting around just start you don’t need 5 000 units right now you need you know just just get your foot in the door just get in the game to the smallest degree and go from there and so there’s just no no shortage of opportunities to to get started it really is the most difficult thing it’s just to start yeah for sure um i i often say to my clients progress not perfection right and it’s like yeah just get the get the ball rolling so you start that momentum and right once the momentum starts then you get you get that snowball effect yep that’s right we we tell our patients all the time like hey look you know pain is a part of the human experience it’s going to come and go but what we’re looking for is a positive trend two steps forwards and one step back is still one step forward and if you do that enough times over a long enough period of time you’re going to be a lot different than you are today i love it the idea physically spiritually mentally financially business you know so applicable you know if i asked you a chad to pick three people in your business owner journey that you’re most grateful for uh being there as part of you know helping you to get to where you’re at who are those people and how they help you

my wife um we clash in a lot of ways uh but i can’t pretend that i wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her

at the most basic level she had a job that paid so well that it took a lot of stress out of me starting my own business right yeah you know if we were if we were strapped for cash financially on both sides it would have seemed uh really impossible now i can also see at the same time it probably would have launched me launched me faster out of obligation but uh it really was good we’ve been really fortunate to have great jobs and you know financially be pretty stable uh it was and it was great you know i started my job at kohl’s i was there for almost two years and uh i had grown my business to a point where when they fired me uh you know i think i made like six or eight thousand dollars that week you know it was a great week that wasn’t like the norm but it was like you know what it’s just proof of concept that this can be done and uh but yeah you know jenna you know she’s she struggled through it with me our mindsets are very different on on business and risk we’re polar opposites but at the end of the day she could see this is what i needed to do and now it’s obvious it was the right decision but without her job being what it was man it would have been so much more difficult to even start you know to get started uh the next is dad and you’ve already heard a lot about that just financially from an encouragement perspective a dreaming perspective you know sitting around tinkering with the ideas of of what if and you know you know the calculator is my favorite app on the phone too much potential on the calculator what if we did this and multiplied it by that and got the same yeah so it just it kind of adds an element of fun to the chaos and stress of business just having somebody there that can you know kind of give you advice my dad was a business owner he built custom homes for 35 years and so he’s been there you know we’ve had some deeper conversations on like the things that he wishes he would have done you know and so it helps me kind of organize my thoughts around what am i doing you know the big thing he said he you know was i wish i would have set goals you know he was the big cheese in the town we lived in he just had great word of mouth business uh he had a niche that he built houses in and uh he did really well for himself i mean he he really did built a lot of homes you know and uh but he really never set goals and so you know he looks back now and he realizes man i i probably could have you know 10x that if i would have set some goals maybe kind of focused in a in a direction and so i was kind of naturally inclined to be a goal setter but hearing that gives me perspective on you know what am i going to be looking back thinking when i’m 63 or 64. sure you know i don’t think he has any regrets in not doing that to any degree that affects his life but i don’t want to get to 64 and have that yeah there’s just a lot of ways that that he’s factored into my success and then uh probably the most recent was uh uh friend josh ross and uh he uh he he saw something in me that you know maybe somebody else wouldn’t we we had the idea to build out

physiotherapy on a text platform that runs on conversational artificial intelligence so you know there are big problems in the world of health care he recognized that i had a big idea and he’s helping me get there financially as a business leader a coach and this it’s got big legs under it you know we’re trying to make physio affordable and accessible for all people we’ve built a program that’s scalable to the masses anybody with a cell phone can do it it’s going to save employers millions and millions of dollars on their annual health care spending in in the zones of opiate spend all analgesic medications so if it has to deal with pain medication we can cut the cost way down injections uh mris which is about a 150 billion dollar industry and most of them are unnecessary and then unnecessary surgeries you know and part of this is that people aren’t getting to the right provider early enough in the process and they’re getting shuffled through the most chaotic health care system that exists in the world today and a lot of people end up spending money they don’t need to spend having procedures that they don’t need to have and they’re all doing it just to chase pain and pain is the wrong like it’s the wrong target like i said as part of the human experience it’s going to come and go it’s there to tell you when you need to make a change right you need to find somebody who can help you understand what that change is and how to implement the strategies to help you make the changes and so you know in the past i almost by accident over the last four or five years working on energy physio created custom not not custom nobody’s a special snowflake like nobody needs custom until they’ve tried all the other stuff starting with custom is the wrong way to go we just noticed that like when people come in with a certain pain it’s always associated with joint restrictions in other places so we created like programs and protocols that are comprehensive that deliver a root cause solution for any pain condition that somebody’s probably going to have wow and then beyond that if they’re not getting better it triages them to telemedicine and if they need it it’ll triage them to an in-person provider so it’s a stepwise approach to cost it’s super cheap to run to run it mind-bogglingly cheap and so it’s new we’re working on some pilot studies right now to generate the data but we’ve got uh big vision for this we see that it’s it’s going to reach people in a different way and uh josh has been a big big part of that fantastic so um chad as you think about the next three to five years uh what are the biggest challenges that you’re going to face in reaching your goals and who are the types of people you’re going to need to overcome those uh man so we’ve actually like so that platform i told you about is energy 360. which i actually think is going to springboard us into some changes at energy physio that are going to help us navigate the next three to five years in a better way than just the previous business model so there’s a couple of things that are going to happen uh you know insurance reimbursement for physical therapy is going down every year it’s it’s eventually going to flop in network centers are going to have to go out of network or go cash based in which case we’re going to be light years ahead of them because the biggest thing for cash-based physical therapy it’s not therapy it’s sales and walk into any athletico ati team rehab select physical therapy u.s physical therapy and they do not know how to sell anything right because what they’re selling is yes we take your insurance um you know and so it’s gonna it’s gonna create opportunities for us uh both uh like in clinic and i think in the consulting world helping those clinics navigate how to make that change is part of what i would like to do because if they can make that change they’re gonna provide better care for the people coming into their clinic and that’s what we hope for it’ll also de-stress the system and give a higher quality life to the therapist providing the care and uh my great dane’s freaking out i got it okay but um energy 360 though i think is really going to springboard us into a more consistent virtual care which is really where the planet’s going covet launched us into that uh it kind of broke down the barriers between healthcare and digital care in a big way and some of the like bigger things happening in healthcare right now are in the digital and virtual space so i really over the next three to five years see most of our business transitioning over to telemedicine on the tails of energy 360 and we’ll probably leave energy physio like it is for word of mouth referrals only i probably won’t pursue too much growth there because we’re going to be growing in a different direction through some of our other companies we’ve got very cool so chad it sounds like you’ve been blessed with some incredible people in your life who have you know helped you along the way in your journey if they were all on the the call here today what would you want to say to them man big thanks i mean you’re really right you can’t do it by yourself um and something i’ve learned is you know that they mention you know you’re the average of the five your five friends or the five people you hang out with the most and uh most people i think do that by accident but i’m very protective of who i spend my time with because i know that it doesn’t mean i ignore people or push them away uh but it does mean i i pull more out of time with certain individuals than i do somebody else and so you know spending time with josh spending time with dad uh those are those are big builders for me and i know that my circle of friends is it probably doesn’t extend to five you know there’s not five people that i hang out with on a regular basis you know the two i hang out with on the regular basis are my wife and my dad be honest um and you know the others are just you know kind of chance encounters but i’m i’m protective of who is in the inner circle and where i’m going to spend most of my time because i know they’re going to help me get where i want to go and for the people that are in that circle i couldn’t do it i couldn’t have done it without them i couldn’t still be doing it without them and i certainly couldn’t be looking forwards in the way that i am today without those people being in that inner circle awesome well it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today i appreciate your time on the show yeah man thanks for having me really enjoyed it to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to self-made as a myth with your host coach tim camsell be sure to spread this movement by liking the show and posting about it on social media and to join our movement go to be mad together.com alright folks that’s a wrap make sure to pay it forward and i’ll see you all next time take care thanks