Paul Gough

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How Donal Got The Courage to Raise His Prices TWICE (and NOT Get Pushback)

“The 4% Club is great, but you have to implement it. There’s no point in joining for joining’s sake. Put the work in, do your spreadsheets, and show up for meetings. Paul said at the UK Mastermind about not having the focus and direction and if it’s not there you are wasting your time.”

Donal Brown admits the step up from Marketing Academy to the 4% Club has altered his outlook. A Marketing Academy (formerly Cash Club!) graduate, he knew the time was right to step up.

And since he’s enjoyed his best-ever month and his 2-clinic business is on the up.

Browns Physiotherapy is based in Stoke-on-Trent and Congleton in England and Donal started after becoming disillusioned while working for other clinics.

Stepping out on his own was a big thing, but it’s given him a drive and a focus to grow and build a real business of his own.

The Marketing Academy was a great learning curve, but he knows now he was ready for the next stage.

Being Challenged and Lifted by 4% Members

“I felt I got what I needed out of it and to be honest I was going through the motions: looking through the (Planet Paul) magazine and not really implementing anything of it,” he admitted. “I was getting to the stage of wondering what I was doing and why I was doing it. I needed to go up a level and look at hiring, cash flow, forecasts, and be around people like Ed Thompson, Nicky Edwards, Steve McClean, Nash Danga who have been there and done it.

“If I hadn’t taken that step – and it was a lunge rather than a step – I would probably have handed my notice into Marketing Academy. I had outgrown it without realizing I had outgrown it.

“Now I’ve 2 clinics and put my prices up, and then again without any pushback. New clients coming in have accepted it. Plans are selling well.

The biggest thing in 4% Club has been having that focus. I was going through the motions in Marketing Academy. I was comfortable, making good money and comfy.”

He added: “It takes a different level to push on and being around people who have done it helps. We all help each other. The Progress Groups are reassuring listening to others having problems I have had or am having. Then it’s reassuring to hear how they looked at that issue, an issue you think you are dealing with well but in reality, it’s the wrong way.

“The 4% Club is great, but you have to implement it. There’s no point in joining for joining’s sake. Put the work in, do your spreadsheets, and show up for meetings. Paul said at the UK Mastermind about not having the focus and direction and if it’s not there you are wasting your time.

“The big thing is no one will do I unless you do it. Talking about it is a waste of time if you aren’t doing it.”

Implementing Paul’s Methods from Within

There’s a great backstory to Donal’s journey and development with Paul. While working for other clinics he was actively implementing the many processes and ideals, while the businesses he worked for were reluctant to change, in turn, reluctant to grow.

“About 4/5 years ago I came across a Facebook ad of Paul’s. I was working in a big multi-national business at the time and passed his ad by.

“But I kept getting his emails. I left that job after 5/6 years and worked as a contractor in various clinics. It was about working on my own patients rather than having a full clinic-provided diary.

“I bought the Accelerator book and it changed my outlook. It also ruined things a bit for me as I became the biggest pain in the clinic owner’s backside too! I was asking about PVA, follow-ups, what the USP is, and who are we targeting and I was getting blank faces back at me.

“They opened the doors and whoever came in, they came for treatment and went – and that was viewed as great service. I got more frustrated and one clinic owner – a stereotypical former NHS physio – couldn’t understand how my diary was full with a little waiting list: I said the difference wasn’t about clinical procedures, but communication and explaining things rather than talking boring ligaments and the like.

Talk about the outcome: getting back on the pitch, playing golf, and walking with the grandkids, makes a difference. Talk to people about having a beer in the clubhouse after a game rather than the injury.

“At one clinic I had a little free reign to treat my diary as I wanted. I started selling packages of care and say they needed to book ahead for 6 sessions to make sure I could see them. When I was driving to a clinic, I would listen to Paul’s Podcast, be buzzing when I got there, and the clinic owner was oblivious to it all and wondering what I would come up with next.”

He smiled: “I was preaching Paul’s outlook from within! Eventually, I got so frustrated with their lack of a desire to grow. I had to go on my own, it was terrifying at the time, but seeing people in this group do it and make a success of it – even Paul himself started in a spare bedroom – showed it can be done.”

Sticking To The Process

Seeing people in the 4% Club and Paul’s World grow while he was looking at it all from the Marketing Academy gave him a road to follow, and a vision to implement.

He added: “A lot of people have gone from solo practitioners to have a huge team – it’s about a process and sticking to a process which is what I’ve tried to do.

“Some people want to be a clinic owner, I always had ‘imposter syndrome’ where I always felt I wasn’t experienced enough, not old enough, not ready. I was seeing people advertising on Facebook they were offering treatment, and no offense to them, but they had trained for maybe 6 months and came away with a diploma.

“I did 7 years of learning and training and I had to get going. I was 27 when I started looking at it and it was the right time. There are always people looking for physios and worst-case scenario you can always go back, I had that as a fallback.

“It is a big driving factor as once you have a taste of this then you don’t want to go back.

The biggest thing has been upping the prices – twice! Me and Simon had a chat and I was stalling on 4% Club and making that commitment brings a real focus to you. I think you need a little bit of skin in the game to put the focus in and it’s a huge thing.

Donal was in Hartlepool last week for the 2-day Mastermind event. His first in-person meeting was inspiring and informative. The December event is in his diary.

He said: “I came back from Mastermind like a bull in a china shop and wanted to do so much. It was my first event in person. I did a virtual event, but being there and speaking to people after the sessions were brilliant. I got as much over having a beer and a catch-up with someone was invaluable.

“Speaking to Jimmy and Lyndsey Reynolds, who are probably a couple of steps ahead of me, and hearing their progress and problems was great for me.

“The event was fantastic and worth its weight in gold.”

Check out another story about how a clinic owner, Steven Alexander, raised his rates without anybody saying a word.

(We have our biggest event of the year October 6-9, 2022 with Keynote speakers Daymond John from ABC’s Shark Tank and James Lawrence, the Iron Cowboy. Visit for all the details)


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