Dr. Jerry Bailey of Lakeside Holistic Health: “Don’t be afraid to let a client go”

Don’t be afraid to let a client go: Often we feel we can’t fire a patient. I mean they have no problem firing us. If a patient doesn’t follow your care plans or becomes too much for the staff to handle, let me go nicely. Be kind about letting them go. We are not everyone’s […]

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Don’t be afraid to let a client go: Often we feel we can’t fire a patient. I mean they have no problem firing us. If a patient doesn’t follow your care plans or becomes too much for the staff to handle, let me go nicely. Be kind about letting them go. We are not everyone’s cup of tea.


As a part of our interview series with prominent medical professionals called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly Successful Private Practice” I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Jerry Bailey.

Dr. Jerry Bailey is an acupuncturist, chiropractic, and functional medicine physician at Lakeside Holistic Health with over 2 decades in his field. Bailey is also a prominent expert on men’s medicine and leads the world in the emerging science of Poly-Hormonal Adrenal Testosterone Syndrome. Not only has he observed this new phenomenon in his patients but has also started to observe similar hormonal patterns in himself, thus leading to the deep dive into the discovery and research of this new syndrome. Even though he leads an active life, exercising regularly with HIIT training, competing in full and half Ironman events, along with Crossfit, and eats a specific personalized eating plan Dr. Bailey had developed PHAT syndrome himself.

He is an acclaimed speaker, former clinical and graduate educator, one of few practicing experts, and is considered a leading authority in his field. He holds degrees in Chiropractic, Acupuncture, and Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. His prior background to Chiropractic school was in Health Promotion in Rehabilitative and Prescriptive Programming, Nutrition, and Coaching from Central Michigan University. His clinical experience and acute awareness of current research, as a former faculty at the University of Western States in the Graduate Studies department in the Masters of Science of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, affords him a unique ability to apply current research to clinical practice to be a truly evidence-informed practicing physician.

He, along with his physician wife, has been the top Functional/Natural medicine practice in the inland northwest for many years Their clinic is at the forefront of cutting edge evidence-informed practice along with the development of new protocols to aid in reversing most of the chronic illness and hormone imbalances are seen today. He is a dad to two amazing sons. He is also a drummer, a gig his day job supports. He has been featured in Bloom, Parade, HGTV, VeryWell Health, Spy.com, Medium, NBC News, QardioMD, Entrepreneur, and Byrdie.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you ended up where you are?

I am an acupuncturist, chiropractic, and functional medicine physician at Lakeside Holistic Health with over two decades in my field. I am also a prominent expert on men’s medicine and lead the world in the emerging science of Poly-Hormonal Adrenal Testosterone Syndrome.

I have been in practice for over two decades seeing tens of thousands of patients in that period. My clinical experience and acute awareness of current research, as a former faculty at the University of Western States in the Graduate Studies department in the Masters of Science of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, affords me a unique ability to apply current research to clinical practice to be a truly evidence-informed practicing physician.

My physician wife and I have been the top Functional/Natural medicine practice in the inland northwest for many years. Our clinic is at the forefront of cutting-edge evidence-informed practice along with the development of new protocols to aid in reversing most of the chronic illnesses and hormone imbalances are seen today. I am a dad to two amazing sons. I am also a drummer, a gig his day job supports. I have been featured in Bloom, Parade, HGTV, VeryWell Health, Spy, Medium, NBC News, QardioMD, Entrepreneur, and Byrdie.

I grew up in small-town America with five siblings, me being the youngest. I loved music and sports growing up excelling at both during my formative years. I attended undergrad at Central Michigan University to study Health and Fitness with a focus on Nutrition and Athletic Coaching. I then went on to Chiropractic college graduating with clinical honors, acupuncture school, and then the Masters as noted above. I have always been interested in health and finding ways to optimize ourselves. My family history is fraught with diabetes, heart disease, and all of the classic American lifestyle diseases. After watching many family and friends fall prey to the lifestyle disease of today from a young age I vowed not to allow that to happen to me nor my kids. I learned early prevention is key to longevity and health. Key things I implement daily to prevent disease and create the most optimized life!

I’m a huge fan of mentorship throughout one’s career. None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Who has been your biggest mentor? What was the most valuable lesson you learned from them?

I have had many mentors throughout my 20+ year career. Most were amazing and a couple not so much. But my mindset has always been we can learn from anybody what to do OR what not to do, my dad taught me that at a young age. It’s up to me to be sure I know which is which. Each stage of my career growth has been with different mentors. I think my most current mentors, and friends, have been the people in the Mindshare Mastermind and the Mindshare community. This group of amazing entrepreneurs and healers have been such an inspiration, influencing, and supportive of growing the online world of health and edutainment. I have become friends with most of the community over the years and their passion for each of their prospective niches is beyond compare. They have tirelessly shared each of their experience and expertise on all aspects of clinic growth, marketing, social media, copy, and personal growth that I gather much inspiration from all of them within the community. I know I can call on them if ever I have any issue or question that I have and get the right answer on how to correct or optimize the problem be it clinical, marketing, or copywriting. This group of friends I love deeply and I know wherever I go around the world there is a member I can call, meet up with and have a wonderful time. The expansion of my growth would not be what it has been the last five years without having found them and learned from them. There are too many to list from the group by name but they are all amazing and amazing social media health and wellness influencers.

What made you want to start your own practice? Can you tell us the story of how you started it?

Starting my own practice was really the only option back in 2000 when I graduated from Chiropractic college. There were only a few options of associateships available. My wife still had two years left of Naturopathic and Acupuncture Medical school. We traveled the west coast and east coast looking at places to practice or purchase a practice. Nothing really looked appealing to us at that time. We finally found a little practice for sale in Coeur d’Alene Idaho and off we went.

The practice was small but was prime for growth. We essentially bought it for the equipment that was included versus the patient base there. I started on Halloween day October 31st, 2000. I remember it well. Starting a practice and buying a practice is very similar. It still requires a lot of marketing and process integration to be successful. I can say 20 years in and we are still refining all of these to make the experience for our clients better. After all, it is the experience and the outcome that the patient sticks around for. The better the experience and the better the outcome creates your superstar patient who becomes your biggest advocate.

We are now 21 years in, on our 4th and 5th building (the one we own the other we rent), two clinics in two states, eight different licenses in two states between the two of us, two kids, and a whole bunch of fun! I try to make every day about “helping a lot of people and having a lot of fun.” which comes from two other amazing coaches I have had.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

There are so many stories from seeing patients and being a business owner over the years. Many humorous ones, sad ones, healing ones, and broken ones. I think the most amazing thing that happens is when patients feel heard. So many times patients come in broken from not being heard about their health or being brushed off by their providers that their condition is “in their head”. That often means the provider has no clue on what is going on nor knows where to look for the answers. Just sitting and listening to the patient’s story (i.e. let them talk about their issues, what they have done to help it, and what they have done that didn’t help it) gives you nearly all the information needed to know how to help them achieve health and optimal wellness. People know their body better than we know it, but we know what their body is supposed to do; so we have to mesh those two worlds together to come to a conclusion on what to do. Once this happens the patients are so grateful to be finally heard that the return of hope ( a wonderful little placebo effect that is not utilized very much) sparks a little fire in them to want to get better. It is the most amazing thing to see that little spark return to their eyes and soul.

Because it is a “helping profession”, some healthcare providers struggle with the idea of “monetization.” How do you address the business aspect of running a medical practice? Can you share a story or example?

The monetization aspect of care is such a hard part of being a “helper” for many doctors. We have to understand that we have often taken massive loans to become doctors that have to be paid back. We also have to make a living and we also create jobs for additional staff that have to be paid for along with overhead. It is in people’s nature to try to barter or dicker n’ deal with you. Don’t do it! Set your fees and stick to them. What is your time worth? Overhead plus your salary all need to be included in that fee for service or concierge/membership-based practice. Often you can combine the two into one in your practice.

You need to remember that the client isn’t paying for the time with you at that moment. They are paying for all the time and learning it took for you to get to that appointment. That’s the value in what you do, all of that accumulated experience and knowledge. This is how we address it that way. Our time is of high value. We aren’t going to be able to cover all their needs in one 30 minute appointment. We incorporate Masterclasses, webinars, group appointments, and health coaches to make sure our clients have multiple touchpoints that will help them be successful in regaining and optimizing their health. When we layout the program for them, along with all of the pre-education they learn BEFORE they come in, they are ready to invest their hard earned money and time into our hard earned and well-designed program.

We have a complete patient onboarding program that we are consistently adding value to for all of the potential new clients that want to work with us and our program. Before we created this onboarding we would be booked out for new patients for six to seven months. With the new onboarding, we have dropped that time to about three months wait time. The key being we got rid of the looky Lou’s or the one and done. Those people who are a little interested in what we do but are vested into themselves yet fell off the schedule. They usually did anyways but it always left us with a lost new patient time that could have been filled. So by creating an onboarding program you decrease the lost visits and you increase your high valued clients who will be with you for a long time.

Managing being a provider and a business owner is a constant balancing act. How do you manage both roles?

Alcohol and coffee… Kidding of course. You set up automation for most of the day-to-day operations and marketing. This saves a majority of your time to do what you do best as a provider: see patients. Delegating and hiring out your social media marketing/posting, website updating, content marketing will save you. You can’t do it all. You need to know HOW to do it, but it is not for you to do. I want to know how to do it so I can be sure whomever I hire is doing it right and at the right cost to me.

Designing programs that your clients can do cuts the need for you to see them and creates another stream of income for you. These take a little time to set up but once the program is done it is evergreen. You can enroll clients into the program for a fee and they can do it at their own pace BUT with check-ins with you or your assistant providers. There are many easy tech pieces you can use to do this with little out-of-pocket costs. The first time doing it is the hardest but once you do it, it is easy to recreate. Plus within each program, you can upsell to the next program, include supplement sales in the program, and other offers that increase passive revenue to the practice ie less work more income.

The things you or staff do over and over every day need to become automated. Find out what those are and you just saved yourself money! Whatever you say to clients day in and day out needs to be a video and or a course/masterclass. This can also become marketing on social media to “train” or educate your clients before and while they are your patients. I like to call it “edutainment”: we are educating and entertaining our clients so they retain the stuff we need them to so they better understand their health and the healing process.

From completing your degree to opening practice and becoming a business owner, your path was most likely challenging. Can you share a story about one of your greatest struggles? Can you share what you did to overcome it?

That’s an easy one: delegating. My biggest struggle, and still is a struggle, is delegation. I wish I would have trained staff and delegated more in the first 5–8 years of practice. It would have put us so much farther along than what we were at that time. I have a hard time with the delegation and letting go of things I don’t need to be doing that are not creating income. I, personally, need to know how things are done so I can be sure my staff and media team can have specific and attainable KPI’s: key performance indicators. Once I know how something is done I can delegate it to the team member it needs to go to and we write up the SOP’s (standard operating procedures) followed by tracking their KPIs as noted above. As an owner be sure you are willing to delegate what does not create income for you. You are usually the main creator of income for the practice so you need to focus there. Train your team, delegate, and automate all that needs to be done which isn’t you see the patient. That is the key: Train, Delegate, Automate. Oh and HAVE A TON OF FUN!

Ok, thank you. Here is the main question of our interview. What are the 5 things you need to know to create a thriving practice, and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

On to the main event as it would be said! I have covered much of these already in the above questions but I will recap them and cover maybe a couple of extra ones that may surprise the readers.

  1. Develop your Niche/Brand: This is so key in figuring out your passion. Your niche is the thing you want to be known for and are ready to speak ad nauseam about. One of my prior business coaches had said “the thing you want to be known for is the thing you are willing to talk about until you are sick of talking about it..” This can be your focus in your social media postings. But often as physicians we have a general practice that sees everything. My overall brand is on men’s health and more specifically PHAT Syndrome in men. You can look that up and find my site about it to learn more. But in practice, I don’t just see men. I see all ages, all genders, and nearly all conditions. Specific niches all boil down to straightforward corrections and steps to heal those issues. This allows you to create several marketing funnels that lead to one masterclass. The niche fits in there but allows for many conditions to lead to one masterclass. Less work, more return.
  2. Patient Onboarding program: This is key to save phone time for staff and get your patients pre-educated for what to expect on day one of seeing you and will answer 99% of their questions about what you do, what to expect, what labs you run, and what to do for them to find out if their insurance covers your services. A couple of simple videos and some copy in the email gives them the steps to become a patient. If they can’t follow those steps then you are darn sure they won’t do much of what you ask them to do. This has cut out the one-timers in our practice. The one-and-done patients that have insurance wish to check it out. They are not invested often in their health; they let the insurance plan they have to dictate their health. We want clients who are vested in their health and want to optimize their longevity. This little easy one single email process has greatly increased our patient retention and patient success rates.
  3. Courses/Masterclasses/webinars: Here is a key to creating value for your clients. Implementing weekly 30–40 minute live sessions for your members to learn the key things you want them to know greatly improves outcomes and allows you to create multiple marketing opportunities. One webinar can become the masterclass to sell, email copy, social media posts, and eventually a practice-based guide for clients or an ebook for clients to buy. We offer one free masterclass to all of our email lists once a month. Our members get three per month of these as part of their membership. We roll these weekly webinars into masterclasses on our Lakeside Academy site on which we can sell to potential clients or while doing other tasks in the community, online or at seminars/conferences. Once you have 12–18 months of courses done you can reuse these in perpetuity for all of your marketing practice needs. Then you can create new ones as you get inspired and add them in the rotation
  4. Membership: Creating value for patients is essential to building a successful practice. Members get additional health-related courses, discounts on supplements/IV’s/Injections, use of various therapies in the office, and much more. This helps to guarantee a set income for the most part per month and keeps you focused on things to do so you don’t get lost in the mix of what to do each week and month for your marketing, growth, and planning. You can add value to the membership in many ways. Ask your patients what they want because often it isn’t what you think they want. Then build this into the membership programs.
  5. Don’t be afraid to let a client go: Often we feel we can’t fire a patient. I mean they have no problem firing us. If a patient doesn’t follow your care plans or becomes too much for the staff to handle, let me go nicely. Be kind about letting them go. We are not everyone’s cup of tea. Often it is just not the right fit for them or you and recognizing it earlier than later is essential. Just be honest and state the facts “ I don’t think I am the right physician for you. I will help you find the right one for you and will continue care until we find the right fit for you. But at this time I think it best we help you the best way we can by finding a better fit for you and your needs.” It isn’t anyone’s fault but it just doesn’t fit right. This will save headaches and heartache on all staff, you, and the patient.

As a business owner you spend most of your time working IN your practice, seeing patients. When and how do you shift to working ON your practice? (Marketing, upgrading systems, growing your practice, etc.) How much time do you spend on the business elements?

I try to spend about an hour a day roughly 7–10 hours a week doing ON the business work and creating the culture of the business. That would be seminars, webinars, CEU’s, podcasts on business, YouTube how-to videos on social media, and much more. Most of the time I do this while I am getting my daily exercise in, killing two birds with one stone. All of these are specific to growing, optimizing, and upgrading the patient experience along with supporting staff with the best training possible for them to implement the things we want to see happen. After all, if you aren’t excited about what you are trying to accomplish your staff won’t be either. That’s a key item I haven’t talked about so far is staff buy-in. Your staff has to love what you are doing and be behind it 100%. If they are not, it will kill the culture of the practice. A great book to read is from my friend Robert Richman, Culture Blueprint: a guide to building a high-performance workplace. He worked with creating the culture at numerous top 500 companies. Get it, read it and implement it! Another business culture book is Catch: A Fishmongers Guide to Greatness. These will help you to develop the culture of your business to enhance the patient experience, create an amazing staff and develop an award winning practice.

The easy part of the business is working in it once the flow of the day-to-day is in place. The hard part is creating and being in the ON part of the business but that is where the fun is. Creating the life and practice you want to go to! Once you have created the flow of the business it becomes “helping a lot of people and having a lot of fun”.

I understand that the healthcare industry has unique stresses and hazards that other industries don’t have. What specific practices would you recommend to other healthcare leaders to improve their physical or mental wellness? Can you share a story or example?

You have to practice what you preach to your clients and staff. They both can tell if you don’t. You have to take care of your own body, mind, and spirit of the culture goes away. If you are unhealthy and are trying to educate your patients about health they can tell. I tell them 90% of the time I follow the rules I give you and expect about the same of you if you want to reach your goals. The other 10% I allow myself leeway. This allows me to have a cheat and not feel bad. I tell them this in case they see me out and about town getting a treat on a weekend. Doing so sets them up for succeeding and not feeling bad about setting themselves back. The same applies to us as providers. They understand that I am allowed to have a mental/physical/spiritual break so I don’t jump ship and go back to bad habits.

Self care is highly important. Anything you talk about you better do yourself. This way you have the experience of it and can then relate that to the clients. I can’t tell a patient how something feels without experiencing it myself. It would not be honest of me to say it otherwise. Every test, IV, injection, or therapy we offer in the office I and my staff have had it ourselves. Now there may be a few labs on blood work not everyone has done because it is case-specific but we all have had the experience of doing the tests, finding the results, and then changing our health for the better.

I work out nearly daily with varied intensity. I do Crossfit 4–5 times a week, I walk our dog with my wife daily for about an hour, we cycle with the kids several times a week along with weekend hikes and camping. Plus meditation/prayer, mindset work, infrared sauna, massage, supplements, IV’s, and injectables to optimize and create longevity. As I talk about this it seems overwhelming, but since the routine is there it just becomes second nature. I need lots of “things to do” as my mind is always in motion and I try to make sure my body is also so I don’t get in my head too much. To give you an example: 7 years ago in the midst of ¾ time practice/running a business, I decided to do an ironman race (think 20+ hours of training per week for 9 months), PLUS I decided to go full time doing a Masters degree in Nutrition and Functional Medicine. I think that explains how I need the stuff to do. The more routine I make things the more my mind has time to wonder and dream. I use premade macro-appropriate meals from service for 3–4 meals a day and allow dinner to be the family meal that we make together. Just another key thing to take off my daily plate so I can focus on things that need to be done and allow for an environment of creativity and flow for most of the day. This allows for inspiration to happen at any time. If I am not worried about the details of every day because they are routine and programmed in I allow for the brain to be inspired when it gets the inkling. Sometimes I will be with a patient and they say something which triggers a thought for a social media or email post. I wouldn’t even notice it if everything else was not already done for me.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story about how that was relevant in your own life?

I have several quotes I recall each day. “Let’s ROCK!” My personal fave is so easy to implement. I mean it says it all right there. Who doesn’t want to ROCK the day? Being a musician who has played on stage in front of an audience is where it comes from. Just rocking the crowd and blowing their minds.

I say that to myself before I walk into the room with a client. It pumps me up and gets me in the right mindset to get them motivated. It creates an environment and culture of fun so the mood in the air is lighter and not so heavy. Patients have some tough stuff they are dealing with but if we can bring home the energy and create hope for them with positivity that sets a good standard for them.

Two others I use are “TP and PMO”: Think positive and positive mental outlook. My dad taught us this at a young age and it has always stuck with me. In any situation if you apply these you will be successful. A negative mind creates failure. A positive creates success! TP and PMO! Recite it. Believe it. Live it.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I am honored and humbled by you taking the time to talk with me about how to be successful in practice and life. I hope the readers are inspired and will take just a few of the steps I have mentioned to create the practice and life culture they want so they can ROCK their day-to-day life.

I can be followed on Facebook and Instagram at Dr. Jerry Bailey. You can also head to my clinic website at LakesideHolistic.com or my personal site at drjerrybailey.com. I appreciate your time in interviewing me and the readers time for reading this. It has been amazing for me to rekindle a little more of the love I have for practice and life!

Thank you for these great insights! We wish you continued success and good health!

    You might also like...

    Community//

    Dr. Jerry Bailey of Lakeside Holistic Health: “Set a scheduled bed and wake time for each day”

    by Candice Georgiadis
    Dr. Blake Shusterman, aka "The Cooking Doc" holds two steak knives
    Community//

    Dr. Blake Shusterman, Known By His Patients as “The Cooking Doc” is On a Mission to Get Americans to Embrace Healthy Food

    by Nadya Rousseau
    Dr. Robert Kornfeld
    Community//

    How Trying To Change Or Accomplish Something May Be The Very Thing Derailing Your Success

    by Robert Kornfeld
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.