Owner vs. Operator: Which one are you?

The most powerful concept you may ever hear…the distinct differences between an owner vs. operator mentality

 by Dr. Kevin Pallis


There is nothing inherently right or wrong with either orientation. The problem is the fit. This orientation can make or break you. Attempting to be something you are not (and don’t have the training to do) will lead to low levels of achievement, frustration, loss of purpose and passion for Chiropractic, as well as an overall lowered quality of life. If you have an owner personality in an operator environment, it’s a mismatch. Same goes for an operator who finds themselves in an owner environment. Let’s go over the different orientations. An owner is a special type of person. They have high talent and ability levels, plus an additional mindset of ambition. They have a high mental toughness to rejection. Owners recognize and welcome the need to promote and champion their offices. They work on promoting the office and put in work in the office as well. They have a sixth sense for hiring and firing staff and building great teams. They also must be great clinicians, educators, and almost naturally make great relationships with their practice members.

Owner vs Operator

are more inclined to be clinicians or technicians only. They are the doers of the service. They do not want all the responsibility of being an owner. They always defer to doing things that are comfortable to them. Venturing into the unknown causes severe stage fright, procrastination and excuses. They are similar to teachers in the way that some teachers teach: they love the kids, but they don’t put the kids in the seats. These DCs don’t want to become involved, nor do they have the skill set, mindset or abilities in new patient acquisition, exponential profit, and hiring (and firing) of the staff. It’s a people-pleasing, friendship mindset instead of leadership. Their modest, Wendy’s-like income reflects this. An owner will earn factors of 10-20x more than an operator. As an operator they are protected/shielded from their limited skill set, mindset and ability level as an associate or perhaps an independent operator. If they stray from their roots and endure all of the time, effort and money to open their own office, they will meet their maker.