I grew up in Olympia, Washington,
just south of Seattle. I remember a wonderful childhood, spending
long summer days building forts in the woods.
wanted to be a
Boy Scout, but only made
it through the Cub Scouts.
My brother and I had the good
fortune of growing up in a family that instilled a strong work
ethic. We didnt get a television until I was in Junior
High School, so we were a family of readers. Every Tuesday after
dinner wed go to the public library and each of us would bring home
a stack of books. Later, I went on to work there, first shelving books and then later as the Periodicals Clerk.
I enrolled in the first class accepted
at the new Evergreen State
College in the Fall of 1971 with the goal of becoming an
architect. The campus buildings werent done and the chaos was discouraging. However, as part of my communications studies
I landed an internship at KITN Radio, a now defunct local AM 1,000 watt
daytimer. It was there that a radio newsman by the name of Jack
Dempsey from Albany, NY who took me under his wing.
The college look.
Jack was trying to put his
life together after a divorce and a bout with burnout. He brought
his big city broadcasting skills to sleepy little Olympia. He
taught me how to interview newsmakers and how to write. I found radio so stimulating, I dropped
out of college after a year and a half to work fulltime at the radio station.
When I moved to Denver two
years later I discovered that you dont jump from a small market
to a large market in one step! Since a job in radio wasnt
in the cards, I remembered that the best radio commercials came
from advertising agencies. So I started knocking
on doors and landed a job at a small advertising agency and was there
long enough to put together a portfolio so I could land a job
at PRACO Advertising, a larger
agency in nearby Colorado Springs.
That's where I matured as a writer and met Paul Franklin of International
Media Systems, a film production company that I often used
to produce our larger-budget television commercials. After six
years of advertising agency experience in Colorado, San Francisco and Seattle, I went
to work with Paul.
Soon after, I was introduced to chiropractic.
Drs. Riekeman and Flesia of
Renaissance International leased the office space next to International Media Systems. Back then, home VCRs had just come out and they had this idea of creating the world's first chiropractic patient education video. The idea being, if you put a carefully crafted message on a video, new patients would get a consistent orientation and explanation of chiropractic.
Would we like to participate?
To understand their take on chiropractic, they suggested that someone from our
office attend one of their Renaissance seminars. In January
1981 I flew to Spokane, Washington for a three-day chiropractic seminar co-taught by these two incredible speakers and chiropractic visionaries. What I heard "connected the dots" and I fell in love with chiropractic. I recommended to
the rest of the production team that we help them with their videos.
I began my own chiropractic care about
a month later. More as a research project for the first video. Nonsymptomatic, I didn't have
any miracles (that came later), but I could tell that my overall
health had improved. I went on to write the Peter Graves, Russell
Erhardt and Jayne Kennedy chiropractic videos for Renaissance.
I got an incredible education
in the process!
Later, I was invited to be a guest speaker at the advanced Renaissance seminars, launching my career as a chiropractic speaker in 1985.
emergency chiropractic travel card!
In 1987 I was approached by Dr. Michael
a Colorado Springs chiropractor who owned seven,
chiropractic offices. He wanted help
with his practice marketing and to upgrade his daily,
half-hour, live, call-in TV talk
show called Back Talk.
It was a great opportunity and I learned
what it takes
to get people into a chiropractic office and to persuade
skeptics to give chiropractic a try.
By then, I was on my fourth chiropractor.
Soon after, Dr.
Parrish and I joined up with another chiropractor and launched
Back Talk Systems and the report of findings magazette was invented. I finally had an outlet for combining my communication skills with my passion for chiropractic. It
was a great 10 years. I met a lot of special people and got
to travel around the world. Occasionally, getting a hint that I
was making a difference.
This is when I started conducting one-day office visits to consult with chiropractors. Over the lunch hour I would conduct a patient focus group (54 of them so far) and find out what patients thought of the practice.
of the highlights of my career was addressing the February 1995
graduating class at Palmer
College where I gave each graduate a copy of Dr. Seuss's,
Oh The Places You Will Go. "If you ever need a doctor,
I recommend Dr. Seuss!"
In April 1999 I sold my half
of the old company and started over. Its been the most
difficult, scary, exciting and
fulfilling thing that Ive ever done. I have a new appreciation
for what it must be like to open a new practice! As painful
as it can be, I highly recommend "reinventing" yourself
every so often. Especially if you find yourself in burnout.
Most recently I've become interested in how to best use the Internet to spread the chiropractic message. That has resulted in a wonderful collaboration with my Perfect Patients website design partner Steve Anson.
These days, I’m seeing my ninth chiropractor, and since the beginning, I pay cash. I’ve written my tenth chiropractic book, documenting the many facets of the doctor/patient relationship. And traveled over 1.6 million miles sharing the patient’s point of view with chiropractors around the world.
Writing chiropractic blog posts and each week publishing Monday Morning Motivation, I am humbled by this incredible profession and the individual chiropractors who bucked the mainstream and chose the narrow, more difficult path.
It is an honor to serve beside you.
"The Wall" at Total
Solution in August 2002. Haven't been? You must!
patient and advocate since 1981
Contact Bill Esteb by email Or Facebook