We had the good fortune of connecting with Brad Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brad, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I really despise the idea of “work-life balance.” It inherently implies that we must sacrifice one thing to have another. Why do I have to give up family time for a social life? Why would I sacrifice working toward my dreams just to be able to work out? Why is it that society mandates we work to the bone and not be able to do anything else? It makes zero sense.
Harmony is the term we need to be using. It exemplifies the reality of life. Like playing a 6 string guitar, with each string being an aspect of our lives: personal, professional, social, spiritual, psychological, physical. Pick your 6 strings that are most important to you. I have given this quite a bit of thought and practice and found it is a better way to live.
Finding the right cord at the right time for the right length is vital to happiness. If you jam without knowing any cords or how to play, it sounds terrible. Various cords shorten or lengthen the strings. Cords played in succession with the right amount of force on each string in time to the music of life is the ultimate goal. As in music, your cords will change with time and energy and mood and circumstance. Finding the harmony is the key. Sometimes we strike an cord that sounds off and need to readjust. Other times we find that perfect sound. But if we keep playing that same beautiful cord, it becomes stale and we need to change.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As a family physician, I really despise health insurance companies. They take the “health” and the “care” out of healthcare. So I figured I’d start a practice that does not deal with insurance companies at all, thus my practice Strive Direct Health was born. It is a subscription-based primary care office aka direct primary care that offers high value primary and urgent care services for our patients at an affordable, Netflix-like monthly fee.
Our patients have unprecedented, direct access to myself and Dr. Sara Schuster when they need it. They have our cell phone numbers to call or text directly. No more waiting days for a response from someone other than your doctor. By bypassing insurance companies directly, our incentives are perfectly aligned with our patients. We are incentivized to keep our patients healthy!
Setting up a clinic was a fun game. It’s an evolving, moving target of regulations and red tape from the local to national level. But in so doing, we’ve been able to be front and center for our patients so they can actually talk to their doctor when and how is convenient for them, not when it is convenient for the insurance company. We are motivated by being the change we want to see in the healthcare system. One patient at a time.
In short, our patients are who inspire us to keep pushing forward and we love it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Denver-Boulder metro area is incredible. The mountains are only a few minutes away with endless hiking, biking, skiing, relaxing, resorting, etc. There are countless local breweries that are rife with history and local flare. Each seem to brew their own specialties. Boulder is one of the more beautifully unique cities in the country. Where do we even start?
In the summer, we’d start with a hike. I am a huge fan of Chautaqua Park or Mt. Sanitas in Boulder. Gorgeous views of the Flatirons with hikes anywhere from 1-15 miles. We’d then go to lunch at Flower Child, which offers delicious plant based and vegan options. That night, we’d have to hit up a Red Rocks concert. The natural amphitheater is incredible.
One of the days, we’d have to make a visit up into the mountains, maybe hike a Fourteener. We could drive to the top of Evans or Pike’s Peak, but that would be a real experience. I’d say we try Bierstadt or Gray’s and Torrey’s. The views are fabulous and hikes not terribly difficult.
After those hikes, we’d need a rest and refuel day. Eating a Ruben and some fish n’ chips at The Burns is a must. Best English Pub experience this side of the Atlantic. We would then need the rest of the day to recover from that meal.
To end the trip, we’d go for a scenic drive up on Peak to Peak Highway. The views of the mountains are unprecedented and a fun mountain cruise is just what the doctor ordered to end a fun trip.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It sounds cheesy, but my harmony starts with my parents. They’ve set me up for success from day one both directly and indirectly. As most kids, I didn’t realize how much they supported and encouraged me until long after the fact, but I guess that’s how life goes. Thankfully, I can still call or text them at any time for advice, bounce an idea, or just to chat. I couldn’t be more thankful for them.
In becoming a physician, the educational journey is lengthy. Worth it, yes, but lengthy. I’ve had a number of professors and other physicians that are more friend-mentors, or “friendtors” as I like to call them. Dr. Lesa Ellis, Dr. Kirby Farnsworth, and Dr. Spencer Dean are three that always come to mind that have inspired and push me to go for it and to never stop growing. I wouldn’t have the mindset I’d have today without those two.
I also love quotes. One of my favorite is from Henry Ford that goes something along the lines of “if I asked them what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse.” How true is that? Change and progress comes from thinking outside of our comfort zone and outside the social norms.
Another great quote is “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Another great example of thinking outside of our normal box and comfort zone. You may be seeing a theme here to what inspires me.
Lastly, I am a firm believer that motivation is not a feeling, it is a decision. Make the iron hot by striking, don’t strike when it’s hot. There is no substitute for hard, efficient work. It is the beauty of entrepreneurship and life!