By Angelica Diamondon October 21, 2014
Dr. Gary Auerbach, a chiropractor and small business owner from Tucson, Arizona starts his day by eating a good breakfast and getting in some physical fitness. “I never drink soda. That’s the most toxic thing you can do.” And he certainly knows a thing or two about personal health. At 66 years old, he’s managed to open two chiropractic offices, one just a year ago, while also creating an entirely separate career out of his passion for photography, with some of his work most recently landing him in the Smithsonian. “I’m very interested in the well-being of my patients and in the subjects that I photograph. I enjoy helping people and I enjoy getting good results,” Auerbach says.
Dr. Auerbach began his professional career in the early 70’s when he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and started work at one of the biggest accounting firms in the world. He enjoyed the structure and camaraderie but felt it was too mechanical for his taste. “You had to do things according to the book and how your supervisors were directing you. It had very little to do with creating anything for yourself,” he says. He had always liked the idea of creating his own protocol and had dreams of starting a small business of his own.
His determination was unflinching. Once he made the choice to go back to school and become a chiropractor, he opened his first practice, started taking leadership positions at the local and state levels, and in 1989 founded a world governing body of chiropractors eventually titled World Federation of Chiropractic, which he was elected president of for three years.
Unfortunately, around this time Dr. Auerbach suffered a severe injury to his wrist and was unable to practice as a chiropractor for the foreseeable future. Determined to stay active, he taught himself Platinum Photography, an art that uses large format cameras to produce a longer lasting image that never fades. “The negatives looked like the size of x-rays,” he says. He made a name for himself in photography for the next 15 years while recovering. “I missed being a chiropractor so when I turned 65 I decided that I wanted to go back into practice.”Dr. Auerbach also decided he was going to do it differently this time around. He wasn’t going to have a large client base with a big overhead. He was going to create a small practice from the ground up and do everything himself. He needed to keep costs down in a tough economy that was drastically different from when he had his first practice 25 years earlier.
Dr. Auerbach did his homework and studied all of the software requirements necessary for a modern medical practice for two years prior to opening. He then focused his attention on learning new chiropratic techniques to find low-force methods for his patients including instrument adjusting in the neck area, or the use of block wedges to shift the pelvic bones utilizing gravity. He separates himself from chiropractors that use aggressive spinal manipulation. He opened his new office with just the basics. The next step was finding a modern way to promote himself and gain new patients. That’s when he discovered Yodle.
“Yodle has helped me get a greater response from Google and the other search engines,” Dr. Auerbach shares.He integrates the Yodle dashboard into his routine a couple times a week to make sure he’s listening to his calls and catching all of his leads. Yodle has also helped keep his online reputation strong. He asks clients for reviews daily and has received all five star reviews that are displayed on his adversite. Dr. Auerbach also has some tips for other small business owners: “Make yourself available. Get your word out. Let people know what you’re doing and let them know you’re well qualified to do it. Get reviews and opinions that speak about the quality of your work.”
He says treating clients with respect and listening to them are simple but absolutely critical to the success of a company. “It’s human nature to have conflicts with clients. Being a good listener improves your human relations. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but I’ve had a good success rate because I’m a nice guy and that goes a long way,” he says. Dr. Auerbach specifically credits family as being the driving force to his success. Many of his relatives, including his brothers and sons, all own small businesses. “My father was in big business but he taught me many things that I used down the road. I wouldn’t have known how to handle situations that came later in life if it weren’t for him. He helped me succeed.”
Taking on challenges and personal growth are consistent themes throughout Dr. Auerbach’s life and he’s very specific about the approach that has helped him to succeed throughout the years. “Don’t be afraid to be wrong. I have a five finger approach. If I put five ideas out there, only one has to hit to keep me moving forward. If you only put one idea out and it doesn’t hit then you’re stuck.”