This week’s podcast features our accountability group manager Nicole Villamora on the success of our Practice Accelerator’s Accountability Groups.
With spring enrollment in full-swing (and coming to an end April 27, 2018), James interviews Nicole on why the accountability groups have become a sought-after feature of the Accelerator, and why these group members are crushing it when it comes to practice development and marketing.
Tune in today and discover:
- How the accountability groups came to be, and what we’ve learned over last 2 years to make them super valuable
- What to expect when you join an accountability group, what’s expected of you and how the whole process works
- Why participants in the accountability groups wind up being the most successful in creating the low-overhead, high-profit, purpose-driven practices they want
- Success stories as-told by Nicole from participants
- And much more…
At EvoMed, we’re all about harnessing the power of community to accelerate our movement forward—these groups were created in that same spirit (and they cost a heck of a lot less than hiring a personal business coach).
To learn more, click here to listen and subscribe to the podcast today.
Resources mentioned in this podcast: The Practice Accelerator
Announcer: Welcome to the Evolution of Medicine podcast, the place health professionals come to hear from innovators and agitators leading the charge. We cover the latest clinical breakthroughs in health technology, as well as practical tools to help transform your practice and the health of your community. Now, here’s your host, James Maskell.
James Maskell: Hello, and welcome to the podcast. This week, we feature Nicole Villamora, who is in charge of accountability groups inside our Practice Accelerator here at the Evolution of Medicine. Nicole was one of the first people ever to interact with the Functional Forum … I think, buying the first ever ticket to the first ever Functional Forum … and over the last few years, has had a great journey to be now part of the Evolution of Medicine team.
We talked about a number of things here. We talked about the power of accountability, the power of partnership and medicine. She has had a real look into seeing what practitioners’ deepest fears are, and that practitioners are generally their own worst critic, and ways to empower yourself out of that.
That’s something that we’re doing in the Practice Accelerator. If this resonates with you, Nicole has office hours and sets up accountability groups inside our Practice Accelerator. To find out more about signing up, go to goevomed.com/brochure. In the meantime, enjoy the interview with Nicole.
So, a warm welcome to the podcast. Nicole Villamora. Welcome, Nicole.
Nicole Villamora: Thanks, James. It’s great to be on with you.
James Maskell: So, for those people who aren’t familiar with the whole story, the Evolution of Medicine started with a show called the Functional Forum. It was a meetup for doctors in New York, and in February 2014, we did our first event. And Nicole, as well as working for EvoMed now, was actually the very, very first person to buy the first ticket for our first event.
And so, it’s amazing to have you here, four and a half years later, talking about the mass empowerment of practitioners through accountability groups.
So, take us through right back to the beginning, how you heard about the Functional Forum, and sort of what your impression was from the beginning.
Nicole Villamora: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I initially heard of the Functional Forum when I was working with a health coach, and I was feeling frustrated and neglected and kind of shut out of good quality healthcare. So when I heard about what the Functional Forum was, I almost couldn’t believe my ears, that the people were meeting, talking about things openly … it was open to the public, that they were sharing stories, best practices, and really feeling like they were putting their foot down and wanting to do right by their patients, and just wanting to offer a new way.
So, that, to me, was really appealing. I had to be there, had to know about it. When I saw the Eventbrite, I didn’t hesitate; bought the three-pack. And what I will say, James, is it has been an incredible ride to be part of the EvoMed team now, but to watch it, really, from its inception, to hear the buzz about what was gonna be the debut of Functional Forum, that it literally was underground. In the first theater, we were meeting underground literally where it felt like … a little secret, but open enough that if you wanted to Google it and find it, you could. But it’s just funny, where we started in the basement.
And also to remember, Rachel and Kelly were there. Kelly was a baby in a sling. She was up at the front. We had a lot of the regulars that are now superstars in our functional space. Kelly was there regularly, [Sacha 00:03:35] was there, flying in. Jeff was there a bunch of times. Both Jeffs; Jeff Gladd and Jeff Bland.
And just to see where everybody is now … There’s no way we could have anticipated what paths everybody would take. And so, I think that’s important to mention for our community listening, as we have people starting out with our Practice Accelerator, and they’re just not sure, and they’re feeling like, “Oh, this is so overwhelming, I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I can ever get to that place.”
And I’m here to tell you, yes you can. Of course you can. But not to focus on that part, but more importantly, to be part of community, and to get started are the most important things.
That was actually what I had to do. I had to stop poo-pooing on the side of the road, and grumbling about what wasn’t happening, and really get empowered and activated to be part of conversations and kind of insist that I’m there in a lot of spaces at the beginning.
And one of the great things about EvoMed is … One of the things that we’ve been consistent about from the beginning is, everybody deserves a seat at the table. We need everyone. Not just doctors, not just other practitioners, but everyone.
James Maskell: Yeah, absolutely. So share a little bit about your journey. Because I know you saw the impact of … Having a coach, I think, had a big impact on what you saw that you were gonna be doing with your life. What were you doing before, and … so, before you came into EvoMed, what was the-
Nicole Villamora: Sure. Yeah.
James Maskell: [crosstalk 00:04:53]
Nicole Villamora: Yeah, so I was in a lot of different spaces. I was living in New York for almost two decades. I was out there for college. Went to an art school; I have a BFA in photography, was working as a photographer, was self-employed. And in New York in that space, you kind of have to keep working and doing odd jobs. I was working in the movie industry, the publishing industry, temping, and doing photo and editing researches in college textbook companies, and also in bigger name publications.
I won’t name it personally, but there is a former hiphop bible that was the magazine back in the day, that I saw fold, get a restructure … and I was working there for a little bit.
And so, I was also in a lot of spaces where I value what I know now about functional and self-care and diet and lifestyle, but in a lot of spaces where people just neglect themselves because they’re working so hard.
So, in those artistic spaces, the days are long, you’re often just really driven on goal, aren’t great about taking care of yourself; taking breaks to eat, and just take care of yourself so that you can sustain yourself throughout the day or through a project.
And after that, I was working in the financial sector at a private equity firm doing fundraising with a team. And I was there for about seven years, and there … is really what led me to Functional, because I really neglected myself, big time. I got used to working about 12 hours a day, lived on a Blackberry, was sleeping with my Blackberry, would wake up in the middle of the night, and was just kind of … at one point, eating all my meals in an office.
So, as we know in our community, that’s not gonna end up well. We can all guess how that’s gonna turn out. And as I started to become aware and just really unhappy with, “I don’t feel great. I can’t remember things. This can’t be what the rest of my life looks like.” I started to really think about what I remembered about people who are doing well and healthy, and successful, and a lot of them had other doctors that they were seeing.
So, some of them were seeing naturopaths, a lot of them were seeing chiropractors, and I started to hear about health coaching, and I didn’t know what that was.
So, consulting my friend Google, as a lot of people do … and this is why it’s very critical in our space, why all of you need to be on digital media and creating videos, so that someone like me looking for a practitioner can find your YouTube channel, can find your posts on Facebook. There wasn’t a lot of that at the time when I was looking, around 2008 or ’09. There were very limited things.
So, I ended up at a holistic health spa, where they had a health coach on staff. And I didn’t really know what that was, and I initially went for some bio-feedback, which I found super-helpful. But then I couldn’t quite get over what was happening in my first conversation.
I wasn’t really clear what the relationship was. All I know is that I was sharing personally about my life, kind of giving a summary of everything that happened in order for me to get there to that appointment, and just how I know that I deserved more, but I didn’t know how to get there. And I was feeling let down, and I was feeling like, “Yes, I could use my insurance, but know as soon as I walk in, they’re not gonna look at me. They’re gonna take out their prescription pad, they’re gonna write me a few prescriptions … ” Because I’ve already had that experience, and I just didn’t want to go through that.
So when it was presented to me, like, “Hey, these are the things that I can help you with, but I really need your participation. So, how committed are you to working on your health?”
And I was kind of floored by that question, that it was so confrontational, but so logical, and that it sounded like a partnership. So it wasn’t gonna be like, “Hey, I’m gonna tell you what to do, and you just have to do it.” … “I know things, I can help you, but I’m not doing this for my benefit. This is for your benefit, so how much are you willing to commit to this, time-wise, money-wise, showing up to appointments, doing other things to support this, and … Are you willing to change your life to do this?”
So, that was the first appointment. So, I walked out of there like, “I don’t know what happened, but I want to sign up for a next appointment. I want to keep going. I feel really great. I feel like somebody sees me. I feel like I’m not really sure what the plan is, but I just feel like I have hope again.” And things kind of took off from there.
James Maskell: Yeah, that’s amazing. So, you have your own health journey, going through … What’s it like to be … I think most people who are listening to this are sort of on the practitioner end of that. But just to be on the patient end of that kind of experience, what was your experience, and how did it change the way that you saw the world, and what you wanted to do with your time here?
Nicole Villamora: Absolutely.
So, at first I was little bit angry when this happened, because I’d prefer to work with a practitioner, but there were a lot of wait lists. So I couldn’t even get a person on the phone. I’d send emails, and I couldn’t get anyone to help me. So for me, the health coach was like, “Hey. Here’s somebody who’s available, who’s sitting with me, who is outlining for me what’s required, who’s changing the space in terms of, ‘I don’t know what you were doing before, but this is how I help you get well.'”
So, that was important to me to know that someone else can help me get started. It’s important to me to know that … I’m open to this conversation, and I was just open to someone presenting a new idea and a new path that I had never thought of before.
And then, I also felt like, “Why can’t I find anybody else who has the same approach? How do I find people?” And that’s why it was so appealing when the Functional Forum was coming about, just because it meant there isn’t just one person, but everyone’s kind of collecting, who has the same philosophy, and is looking to serve and fill gaps in what was obviously a problem.
And I know I’m not the only one, because I went back to work, and I was telling people what happened. And they were sharing similar experiences, but they weren’t willing to try anything new. They were kind of resigned to sticking just to their healthcare plan.
So what I would say for practitioners, is that it can all change in an appointment, and that it doesn’t have to be you. I know there’s a great demand for your time, and oftentimes, practitioners do enjoy doing that, but I think for me, to then eventually get paired up with a practitioner, I was so much more educated, compliant, excited, willing to say yes, and just really open. And just a willing partner.
So, I think the way that I was taking care of myself before, I would have complaints. I would get run-down, I would show up to a doctor’s appointment, and sometimes battle them, and just being unhappy, but not knowing what to ask for, and then also not doing what they’ve asked me to do.
So this changed my outlook, in terms of how healthcare could be provided, and also that it can be a different experience for me, and not something that I avoid. So I had previously kind of been avoiding the annual checkups and the followups, especially if I didn’t get great news. And at that time at the end of my career in the finance industry, I really dreaded the doctor, because I’m like, “There’s no way this is gonna look good on labs, and in a general exam.” So I was also avoiding it for that reason.
So, I think to have someone on your staff that can just kind of receive someone who is arriving in pieces, and not feeling so great about how to move forward, is really critical.
James Maskell: Absolutely. So yeah, let’s fast-forward now. So, you’ve gone through your own understanding of it, and now you’re looking to align what you were spending your time doing in the world with-
Nicole Villamora: Yeah, absolutely.
James Maskell: …and you saw was needed in the world, so let’s get to that point.
Nicole Villamora: So, what I’ll say in all the spaces that I was in, in the arts industry, and in finance, one of my strengths that I’ve always enjoyed, and kind of found myself in, is being in situations where I didn’t have any context, background, any direction in terms of what to do, but I was always able to kind of step back, observe people, find opportunities, see how things can get more efficient, how we can communicate better. And also, I really am a team person.
So, I liked being able to bring everyone together. When I saw that people were working individually, running themselves ragged, being solo, when community has always been really important to me. I was fortunate enough to experience that early on in my own family, and my own education and other experiences. So that’s something that has always stuck with me.
And I think just by nature … I think health coaches typically are attracted to this profession because of the skills required to do something like this. And any coaching relationship, it’s a very specific person. And I think that also determines your level of success.
And so, when I had that experience with my own health coach, it was the first time it was presented to me like, “This is so meaningful and significant.” And it didn’t require a lot. Yes, you need to get trained. You need to go through a program. All of that is helpful, but in terms of getting started, it’s presence, it’s listening, it’s seeing people, it’s receiving them, it’s finding ways to make actionable steps, a plan, and then holding them accountable, and touch points in between.
So, as the space has changed … there weren’t a lot of programs that were offering that at the time. I’m a graduate of INN, and now we’re so fortunate and blessed to have all these amazing programs for a lot of people to choose from, depending on what your style and flavor is.
So, it really was a no-brainer for me. I think the way that a lot of practitioners feel, like, “I don’t know how to operate in this space. I’m not sure how to show up. I’m not sure how to stand for something in this space,” is very much similar to what I had to learn to overcome. “How do I talk about what I do?”
It was happening at a time where health coaching … people had to ask, “What is that?” And now it’s happening so often, and there’s a lot of programs, and the publicity’s a lot better, the reach is wider, so people are more informed in terms of what a health coach is, and the role that they can play.
But it’s definitely fulfilling. I have private clients, but also in the space of EvoMed. When I came on board, there was a lot that small team was doing, and so it required me to wear a lot of different hats. But as we’ve had more success, and more people coming on board, everyone’s been able to find their niche and their swim lane in terms of … One of the things we always talk about as a team is supporting each other, and doing more of what you love.
So I would say, one of the things that you and [Gabe 00:14:54] first talked to me about, and you’re like, “Well, what do you want to do at EvoMed?” I’m like, “I really want to do coaching.” You’re like, “Well, we don’t really have that opportunity yet, but we’ll remember that and keep that in mind.” And so I always remembered that. I’m like, “Okay, we’re gonna revisit this conversation later.”
And so, as our Practice Accelerator group started picking up, and people were coming back to us, I was the one answering a lot of emails, questions, picking up the phone. And I just kept hearing a lot of things about, “I just need more support. This is really isolating.” That’s the common experience that we still have today. “It’s very isolating to work on this on my own. I’m a little overwhelmed.”
And also, I think at the time, James, that you were also starting to do accountability with some of the things that you were doing to really level up. So then we had a conversation as a team in terms of, “What else can we do to support our community?”
That’s one of the reasons why I love EvoMed so much, is we really listen to our community, and same thing with Big Boost Marketing, is that we’re able to act in real time to the needs of our community, and just constantly provide such great value.
And we realize that a product, or the things that we offer, that the space changes, that the needs change. And so we’re flexible and willing to do that for our community.
So this was something that we were able to do, and stretch, and meet. And it was something that I took on, that I put my hand up and said, “This is something I really care about. This is something I want to do and put together.” And so, I did. I went off to my corner, was working on it, presented it to you and Gabe, and you were like, “Great. Run with it.”
And so I started.
James Maskell: Yeah, and it’s been really great. I mean, what you’re referring to, there … So, last March, I joined an accountability group for entrepreneurs. And I just saw how useful it was for me to go through blocks, and I was actually more accountable to sort of a group of strangers that I never really interacted with, than I was to a coach or otherwise. And I ended up doing a lot of things that were new for me, as a result of doing it.
So with our Practice Accelerator, one of the things that we were always thinking of is, “How can we make it easy for practitioners to execute on their visions?” And one of the things that we’d run into is that, programs that existed in the industry sometimes ran as big as six figures, where you’d have a full-time coach and someone who could hold you accountable to your vision, and we just knew that we wanted to create something that sort of democratized that same process.
And ultimately, we saw that it’s about content, and then it’s about execution of those ideas. And so the accountability group is a good way to be able to set up groups where practitioners could now be accountable to each other.
Talk us through some of the beginnings of that process. Because I know that some groups were super-successful, some groups were slightly less successful, some groups keep going to this day, some groups have had to be restarted a couple times.
Nicole Villamora: Sure.
James Maskell: Just from your experience, what led to a good group? What do the best groups have in common, and how do people get the most out of it?
Nicole Villamora: Absolutely. So what I’ll say first off, is that in our community, we’re so blessed to have pretty consistent personalities in terms of being self-starting. So that, I think … we are different than maybe most other communities, because we have really motivated people who have accomplished a lot; very accomplished practitioners.
So we started in the summer as a pilot program. And I thought, “Summer. Okay. Not that many people will sign up.” Well, there was a flood of interest. There was even a waiting list.
So, some of the pieces that were worked out early on was, because we have practitioners that see patients, it really is ideal to do early morning, and to do the beginning of the week, just because they were looking for pockets. There wasn’t really an ideal day or time, but people were making time for this, because they really needed and wanted to be part of the pilot group.
So, we initially started with different groups. There were groups of four, anywhere from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday … I think there was even one on Thursday … in the morning, afternoon, and evening, because we were accommodating all the different time zones. We even had people spread around internationally.
And what we found were the groups that were more successful were one of the people that really put it in their calendar, that, when I told them, “You’re in this group this day and time. Block off ten weeks,” they did that right away. And that ensured their regular attendance.
And the other factors were beginning of the week, and early morning. And I think that’s really important for planning your week, setting goals for yourself, and having this be one of the first things you do at the beginning of the week, and how it changes your goals and how you move through the week, versus folks that are attending at the end of the day, typically after they see patients. They’re dealing with a lot of admin things. Their day isn’t even over, and they’re trying to task-switch, switch gears and bring their brains over to the planning business side, which wasn’t working so well.
Attention wasn’t as strong as it could be, by their own admission, and also, in terms of being more optimistic, I would say that it definitely dwindled by the five o’clock, six o’clock hour.
I even did a few for the West Coast groups that were East Coast times. I was doing one at 6:00 … I think, 6:00, 7:00, and 9:00 was a day that I had where I just … that was the need, where everyone was asking for something like that. And I could really see … even though we were in different time zones, the energy levels were a little bit lower, and it was just … felt like more of a challenge.
So when we did another round, and I only made it available for the beginning part of the week … Monday or Tuesday … and it had to be before noon. A lot more consistency and attendance. A lot more energy, a lot more positivity, a lot more … just the way that people were able to show up for each other was very different than if it was later in the day.
So, we’ve made some of those adjustments, and mostly the things that are just challenges for our community. A lot of people are going through certifications. A lot of them are doing trainings, there are CEUs that they’re taking, and so it really is challenging to commit to 10 weeks. And I will say that it’s hard. And I’ve had the feedback from accountability members now.
This is hard, to show up every week. It’s hard to carve out time. It’s hard to do what I self-assign myself, and then to follow through. And I would agree with that. It is difficult. But I would also say it’s difficult because the way that entrepreneurs and practitioners, where there’s a lot of taking care of other needs and other people first, they are often neglected, either in self-care, and also in their business.
So, when you’re planning to do business development, do whatever training, set aside time to grow your business, it’s usually the leftover time that you have. Sometimes in the course of a day, there is no leftover time. It leads right into the next day, carries over. Your to-dos, your goals, two weeks later, still aren’t done.
So in the accountability group, this really ensures that you are gonna do something every week. And I cap it at the tasks that you self-assign. We talk it through, and one of the critical things I ask is, “Okay, so you’ve identified these three things. Does it match the kind of free time that you have, or do we need to make an adjustment?”
And that’s really the other place where we see a lot of transformation. And that is where there’s a lot of challenge initially. But that, as we move through the weeks, and I can say just coming off an accountability group today, that everyone’s lists were so clear, in terms of what they want to do, what they want to accomplish, and hearing a lot of restraint, and “That’s all that I have time for. I know myself. Other things are gonna pop up, but I really want to commit to these things.”
So, this is our third round of accountability. We’re getting ready to do another, fourth round, with the Practice Accelerator becoming available again. And I’m also looking forward to more revisions that I can make to tighten up the structure of what really works well to really deliver results for everybody.
So it’s their participation, it’s following through on what they self-assign … And that is a big deal in our community, to work that out, to really carve out time and to make yourself a priority and make your business a priority. That’s something that everyone has to confront, and that looks different for everybody.
James Maskell: Yeah, I think one of the things that I’ve … one of the innovations that you came up with, which was awesome, was getting practitioners to commit to doing something, and then sharing that inside the Facebook groups. Because what I notice from that is that all the people that maybe weren’t in the accountability groups, or weren’t taking it so seriously, saw that other people were taking it seriously, and sort of upped their game.
And I think it’s not just about accountability. These accountability groups are about inspiration, and it’s also about seeing everyone as capable. It’s really empowering them to participate in their own entrepreneurship.
So, can you share a little bit about that? What helped you come up with that, and what’s been the result, since you started having people share their accountability into a larger group?
Nicole Villamora: Sure. Absolutely.
So, initially when I started, I was actually the one writing the summaries. And I was sharing, and I was doing that for the main reason of just demonstrating, what we cover and talk about what we do. We have such great conversations in private spaces. This is a larger community, and everyone’s interested in each other’s success that we really need to be able to track this better, and it’s worth sharing.
So it’s gonna have different effects. It’s gonna inspire, it’s gonna kick up lots of different things for people, but ultimately, it’s gonna be a positive thing.
And then I went from doing that to … It was also in the interest of, “I just don’t have time, and I really could use help from other people to share their own experience in their own words.” So then, I also brought that to the group. Because we had been emailing privately and supporting each other and said, “This stuff is just too good. We have to share this.”
The other reason why we did that was, a lot of what people were working on were videos or messaging, or working on, “I’m shy about Facebook.” Or, “I don’t know anything about Facebook. I don’t know how to do any of what you’re asking me to do, and this feels stressful.” It was like, “Okay, well, the solution to that is to just practice. So practice in the private Practice Accelerator Facebook group. You’ll have support. You’ll find that there are other people who also feel the same way that you do, and I think that with practice, there’s gonna be some kind of change. Better or worse, we don’t know. We’ll find out soon enough.”
And that just took off. I think, for the ones that were courageous enough to post, they confronted one of their worst fears, which was being seen by their peers, possibly opening themselves up to criticism or judgment. But it has only ever been positive, and I can share that … I’m comfortable sharing this with everyone, is that, everyone is their own worst critic, and what I can say about the accountability group when I’m asking people to post, there’s lots of reasons that come up for why they don’t want do it. And then, as soon as they do it … and part of the challenge is not to do it once, but to do it repeatedly. And lately, it’s been a seven-day challenge of posting a video every day … you can see the transformation and the improvement, video to video, and everyone can track that.
So, one of the things that I asked them to do, is that you are asking us to help you. You have joined the accountability group because this is something that you’re serious about, and this is another layer of accountability, to do this in a very public way.
And so, you are mainly practicing for yourself, but you’re also allowing yourself to be an inspiration and to demonstrate, “This isn’t perfect. I don’t have this great, but I’m gonna do this anyway.” And that’s the point of the exercise.
So, we’re seeing a lot of that now. I’m really proud of everybody who’s posting. I know a lot of people are still watching this space and still feeling like, “I’m not quite ready. I’m not at their level.” And everyone who has posted has said that to me. “I’m not quite ready to do that. I’m not at that level.” Here they are, posting. Their social media channels are taking off. Their Facebook channels are taking off. The way they promote their own events are taking off.
So, it’s one of these small agreements that you make with yourself to just follow through on something, and also, to your group, when you’re a part of an accountability group, that you’re taking this seriously, and that you’re here to learn … that’s what you signed up for … and that you’re gonna follow through.
And the reward and the return is massive. And as a result, we’ve seen … for example, Tara Scott was somebody who said, “Me and technology don’t get along. We’re not friends.” And here we are, she was on your podcast a few weeks ago. She hosted a movie night. She has an amazing Facebook business page that she posts to regularly. I mean, you wouldn’t believe where she started, and what she thought she was limited in doing. And here she is, just kind of breaking down the wall, like, “That’s not true. I go for it. I’m gonna handle it. I’m gonna figure it out.”
And she does it because she has a great accountability group, and a lot of them connect offline and help each other with feedback, and with technology, and I’m also encouraging that to happen in a public space.
So, we’re seeing a lot of practitioners now … because they’ve had success, and our community is so great at this, James. They’re so generous that when people post and say, “Oh, I don’t know if I can do that,” they’ll say, “Oh, hey. Let’s connect. Let’s exchange information.” And I know that they’re connecting offline.
So it’s been so powerful. It has a lot of impact, and it’s really changing how you work on your business.
James Maskell: Absolutely. So let’s just talk about this next enrollment, because we’re about to enroll people into our Spring enrollment of the Practice Accelerator. So, for people who have maybe been on the fence for exactly those reasons that you’re sharing, like, “Well, I can’t do the Internet. I don’t know how to use video. I’m not good on video. I see the other people who are like this,” and whatever. What would you say to those people? Because ultimately, I know that there’s a lot of them.
Nicole Villamora: Oh, yes. And I know from picking up the customer support emails and answering the phone. I’ve spoken with people who are the peripheral of the community, and not quite in the EvoMed practitioner community yet. I would say you absolutely have to purchase the course. Purchase the course, go through, get an overview, know what you’re signing up for. Because signing up for the accountability group … and it’s really going to change your life, how you approach your business. It’s gonna bring joy into what you do, and you’re gonna conquer a lot of fears and misconceptions that you had about, “This is why I’m not able to do something.” Or, “This is why other people are successful, and I’m not.”
We just completely destroy those myths.
And I would say if you have identified with anything that I’ve said, that you definitely need to be part of the Practice Accelerator. And it’s not just me, but there’s a whole community willing to support you. So we have alumni, I’ll say, of the accountability groups, who are really generous, and so eager to support everybody.
And I think that is a natural process when people have success, and have really worked through something, and have really experienced a lot of achievement, and really changing their experience of what they thought was possible. They’re just eager to share that. They want to see everyone succeed. They’re not looking to just keep that privately to themselves. They really want to be generous about that experience, and they know that a key part of that was support, because they received it.
And so what I’ll say is, everyone is really great about paying it forward. So I would say sign up, purchase the course, get an accountability group. If you still feel like that’s something you’re shy about, I also have weekly office hours. So that would be a great test, in terms of, if you can show up weekly and do office hours with me, that will prime you very well for an accountability group.
But I would say, don’t hesitate. It’s not something to think on too much. It’s something where you just need to do it, and you’re really glad that you did. And I know that, because for our practitioners, you have busy schedules, families, they’re lecturing, they’re traveling. They’ve told me that they have rearranged their calendar to make an accountability group. I have had practitioners, members, join from their car, on the road, by phone, in strange spaces, in between hospital shifts. So this is how much this group means to them, and this is what they’re getting out of it. So I would say, please join us. Don’t hesitate.
And I want to work with you. I want to help you, and I want you to be part of this community, because everyone here is really excited about what they’re doing, and I think in a lot of ways, working on your business can sometimes not be so exciting and so fun. But I would say … and our groups, that they are.
James Maskell: Yeah, I guess the final thought I want to share is, the first thing that Gabe and I talk about in the Accelerator, is the fact that typically, as a practitioner, you’re the person giving the data, and giving the information, and then the patient is having to execute that on behalf … at home, individually.
And here, the tables are turned a little bit, because it’s now EvoMed Accelerator that’s sharing what to do, and then now it’s them having to be the implementer. And I guess for a last thought, I would just love to get your thoughts on, what is the impact for a practitioner on their clinical practice, when they sort of come face-to-face with the fact that implementing is not easy, and that you need a group or otherwise, because ultimately, that’s kind of like what we were always trying to get to with Gabe and I is this. We love the idea of practitioners having health coaches. We love the idea of group visits. We love the idea of group accountability, and online tools.
I wonder if you could just speak into that, because it seems to me that if you are … there’s so many parallels between the person who can’t do tech versus the person who can’t do nut butter, or whatever-
Nicole Villamora: Absolutely. Absolutely.
James Maskell: … and helping people … and overcoming those issues inside yourself helps you understand what you might be able to do now, with your patients, differently.
Nicole Villamora: Yeah, I’m so glad you brought that up, James. And that actually comes up in the accountability groups a lot.
So, our practitioners, our members, can see almost immediately the parallels that, if they’re willing to go through this, they definitely see and understand their patients better, perhaps in ways that they hadn’t before. But they’re more compassionate and empathetic in terms of, “Ah. Now I know why they can’t do what I’ve asked them to. They need more support. And they are doing exactly what I’m doing. I’m at home trying to figure this out by myself, but now I have this group, and look at what I can accomplish.”
So it’s a perfect parallel, an example of why group visits and community are so critical to clinical success, and to really break away from trying to do everything on your own. I think when you experience the power of the group, that you will find a way to bring that to your practice, but that the results are immediate, and I can tell you that just from a weekly basis, in terms of what people are producing in accountability groups.
It’s the same that could happen … We have the groups for patients, either in the Facebook community, a private one, or if you’re holding something in person. And also around lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes are very difficult for people to try on their own, especially if no one in their household, in their social circle, or anyone at work is on the same page and supporting what they’re trying to do.
Those would be ideas to create for your practice, and for your patients. And having a structure where it’s really setting the tone and having the health coach or someone on your staff really determine what that looks like, so it has more structure, and it’s something that everyone can follow and replicate.
And it should be the same, really, for any group that you do. I think some of the practitioners say, “I can’t wait to do this with my own patients. I’m gonna follow this model, I’m gonna offer something like this.”
So I would say it’s something to read about. I know a lot of people tell me, “I read about it in James’ book, but I really kind of don’t get that.” Or, “How does that work, exactly?” Or they’ve watched a few of the Functional Forum episodes, and they’re still quite not sure how it works. I would say it’s something that … you will get it immediately when you experience it.
So that alone is worth it, to just go through that process yourself, but that it ends up being a tool for how to really see your patients, and serve your patients better, and also steal back your time. It helps you become more efficient so that you can free yourself up to do other things, whether it’s work on your business or really work on delivering better patient care.
James Maskell: Beautiful. Well, Nicole, thanks so much for being part of it. If you have interacted with the Evolution of Medicine, you have probably interacted with Nicole. She is a critical part of our team here at the Evolution of Medicine. And if you sign up for the Accelerator in this segment, or if you’ve previously signed up for the Accelerator, there is now an opportunity for you to be able to part of one of these groups, to really lock down your accountability, and build the practice of your dreams.
We know so many people doing it right now, and you can see that functional medicine is about to hit the prime time, and it’s an exciting time to be part of the industry. So if you are interested, go to goevomed.com/brochure, and that’s where you can get a brochure about the Accelerator, and this is included in it.
We are trying to create a structure that allows any practitioner to have the support, accountability, best practices, to build a successful practice and make it available at the lowest possible cost so that we can grow the industry, and that you can be successful in practice.
Nicole, you’re a really important part of the team, and thank you for everything you’re doing.
This has been the Evolution of Medicine podcast. I’m your host, James Maskell. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you next time.
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