We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Chris McDaniel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I would love to say that it was one part drive and two parts determination, but the truth is, I’m a pretty typical Leo and I admittedly may not be the best at working FOR someone. I do consider myself a team player because I love to collaborate and work with others, but if I had to pick a position, I’d be a better coach than a player. So, starting my own business just seemed like a better option than joining an existing one. Secondly, I wanted to do things differently than most do. In my clinic, I wanted to be atypical. No doctor coat, no pre-paid, “lock you into some unwanted treatment plan” contracts, etc. We’ve got an anti-stuffiness vibe at the office. I play 80’s music while I’m seeing patients. and yell trivia questions out to the people in the waiting room. Could I do that if I worked in someone else’s office? Probably not. On the filmmaker side of things, I only wanted to make movies that I’d actually want to go see, so I figured I better form my own production company and start producing and directing my own projects. For example, making a movie about iconic soundtrack films was a no-brainer. I love film. I love music. No one else was making that kind of movie, so I had to. If necessity is the mother of invention, then I guess wanting to do things your own way is the mother of starting your own business. When it came to my writing, I didn’t like any of the publishers that had rules or guidelines, so I released my books on my own, so that I could make sure the details were what I wanted and not someone else’s vision in place of mine. I believe in happiness. I believe in achieving goals. When deciding whether or not you should start your own business, ask yourself one simple question; Can you be happy, putting your own dreams on the back burner while you help someone else achieve their goals? Or, would you rather build your own empire, and leave your own legacy?Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’m really lucky because I get to be part of that small percentage of people that truly loves what they do. Not just my bread and butter job, but my side gigs too. Sometimes I can’t believe that I get to do what I do and it pays the bills. Sometimes I’m a Chiropractor. I go to my practice and see patients that genuinely feel better when they leave. Nothing more rewarding than knowing that their migraine is gone or that they’ll finally be able to sleep that night, or that they won’t have to keep popping the pain pills. After 20 years in practice I still get excited to see my patients. You never know what you’re going to treat that day. From professional athletes that come to me for my sports medicine specialty, to itty bitty babies with a bad ear infection, I see it all. Sometimes I’m a filmmaker. Maybe I’m shooting behind the scenes footage on a Ken Jeong comedy, and sometiems I’m interviewing one of my heroes like Huey Lewis or Kevin Bacon. Sometimes I’m co-hosting a radio show about the 80’s and sometimes I’m reading one of my children’s books to a classroom full of kindergartners. BUT, ALL OF THE TIME, I’m doing something I love to do, and I would’t change a single thing. Growing up, I can remember hearing people say that if you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life, and I really do understand that now. One of my favorite fellow business owners always says “I don’t HAVE to go to work, I GET to go to work, its a privilege.” I totally get that. I’m sure there are millions of people working in tiny cubicles or dark offices with horrible lighting and mean bosses, that can’t say that. Again, I’m blessed. The most important thing I’ve learned in business and in life, is to NOT allow stress to control you. It serves no purpose. Worrying about things and giving your energy to negativity will consume you. Outwardly project your positivity. Smile. Tell yourself that you can handle anything the Universe throws at you, and it won’t matter what obstacles present themselves. Worrying is like running in place…it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere. I definitely make an effort to practice what I preach. I wear Hawaiian shirts in my office instead of a white lab coat. I never take work problems home with me, and I ALWAYS make time for family and friends. Concerts, movies, dinners, etc. Doing whatever brings you joy, will help you bring joy to those around you. My advice for all business owners, and anyone else that has a dream; BECOME A TIME MACHINE. Be able to see the future of your business and not just the past. You have to be able to see where you want to be, and trust that you WILL get there if you put the work in. You also have to be smart enough to look back and embrace the things that helped you reach your goals, and discard the things that didn’t. Do you think the Wright brothers put CRASHING on their vision board? No, they set out to fly and they flew….eventually. Revel in the flight, leave the failures in the wind. Stay loose. Go with the flow. We usually get where we need to go, as long as we stay out of our own way.If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a buddy come into town, I’ve definitely got my TO DO list ready to go. First of all we’ve gotta do the obligatory Sedona day trip. There’s just something about red rock country that takes your breath away and it’s worth the trip up I-17. While you’re up there you’ve got to introduce your company to the Arizona wine scene. You MUST hit the Merkin Vineyards Osteria and Tasting room in Cottonwood, and try some Arizona grown, Caduceus wine along with my favorite dish, Prickly Pear infused Mac n’ Cheese. Yes its delicious, and well worth the drive out of town. The gnocchi is out of this world too, but I don’t want to confuse you. (There’s also a Merkin Tasting room in old town Scottsdale with a different menu) I also LOVE the French Onion Dumplings at a place in North Scottsdale called Rhythm n Wine. Its like a tiny little bite sized bowl of french onion soup. I could eat a hundred of them. I love pizza more than oxygen, and I always take my company to Grimaldi’s for a great sit-down pizza. Big chunks of buffalo mozzarella, perfectly cured pepperoni, fresh basil leaves on the pie, etc. If you want a good thin floppy New York slice, I’m a HUGE fan of Lorenzo’s on Pinnacle Peak and Scottsdale. When people come to town they always want authentic Mexican food, and my family has been loyal to Ajo Al’s for over 30 years. Four valley locations now, but Mountain View and 90th is my go to! When they want shopping, you really have to push three main places, The Scottsdale Quarter, Kierland Commons and Fashion Square. If they cant find what they’re looking for there, I just drive them straight back to the airport. Sightseeing in town, I like the resorts. The Biltmore, The JW Marriott, stuff like that, because you cant see those without seeing Camelback mountain, or the McDowells etc, I love the Phoenix Zoo, and think everyone should hike Pinnacle Peak. Depending on where they’re from, they may not have a Top Golf or an In N Out burger, so share a little bit of our big city fun with them. I’m not much of a drinker so I can’t help too much in the bar category, but I’m sure they’ll find something 🙂 Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve been so fortunate to have the help of so many people along the way, but if I was going to give a shoutout to anyone, it would have to be my amazing family. I know everyone says they’ve got the very best one, but I actually do. I feel that one of the main qualities that makes someone great, is being genuinely well-rounded. Knowing some of the music that your grandparents listened to, being familiar with old movies and TV shows and not just the current stuff, doing some extensive traveling, not just abroad but right here at home. Trying new foods, exploring new hobbies, and ENERGETICALLY saying yes to fun and exciting opportunities. Making memories and cherishing them. OFTEN. And it’s worth mentioning a second time. Making memories. Making them. Not just letting things fall in your lap, but actually putting in an effort to create something magical. If I was writing a self-help book about success, all of those of things I just mentioned would be in bold face type (not going to lie, I was a bold face/Cliff Notes kind of guy sometimes). If I was going to credit those responsible for instilling those things in me, my parents would get their own chapter. Maybe two. They were constantly doing the little extras to make us better humans. Driving my sister Keri and I all over this country to visit every single national park, making sure we could say we’ve been in all 50 states, encouraging growth, friendships, creative outlets, pastimes. Building character through discipline and morals, but also building warmth, by teaching compassion and love. Dad played doo wop driving across the country, Mom booked our trips to Ireland so we could see where we came from. Dad spanked me with one hand and taught me how to install a garbage disposal with the other. They showed up to every recital and movie premiere, and went door to door with me when I was building my practice. Mom was never on time a day in her life, but she NEVER missed anything that was important to us. Always making sure I had a gift in hand for a friend’s party, or that my sister wore the latest clothing trends to school. Insisting on education and knowledge, but never sacrificing family time or togetherness. All the while teaching us about hard work with all of their successful entrepreneurial ventures. They tried a dozen things that interested them, and made them all work. A KOA campground, a tourist show cave, a pizza parlor, lots and lots of real estate listings, and over 20 years in insurance agency, heck, dad and I were both Park Rangers before too, so we really covered some ground occupationally. I could go on and on. I know people have made it without having outstanding role-models and families, but I sure think it would be tough. I was blessed with an extraordinary support group and honestly can’t imagine taking my first step, or making my first leap without them. Success is easy to celebrate, but having someone supporting you even when you fail, is far more enjoyable. I didn’t get here alone, and I’m grateful every day that I’ve had so many conductors on this train.