We had the good fortune of connecting with Hillary Smith D.C., CCT and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hillary, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
I never really made the decision to work for myself. First I choose the career that was my passion and calling. The opportunities in my profession dictated that I would be self employed. I enjoy working with other people and the encouragement from being on a team. Small business owners and self employed professionals have the responsibility of being self motivated and creative every day. I had the sole responsibility of continuing to evolve as the business environment changed. It can be a challenge, but at the end of the day, I was able to be true to myself and my integrity. I think this feeds back to the question of what contributed to my success. The basics for my practice beyond being educated and keeping current with advances in my field, have and continue to be honesty, show up, listen to your inner knowing. The public – your customers or patients – feel if you are sincere and if you have their best interests in your heart. A flashy pitch might work for the short term and for a small portion of the public, but the people I want to serve in my practice know better. You build relationships over decades by meeting the needs of your clients first, above you financial goals. When you are starting out and maybe in survival mode, it isn’t always easy, but it’s always right. Building relationships built on trust, dependability, caring and integrity are the elements that have served me in my decades long career.
What should our readers know about your business?
My career began when I entered Chiropractic College in 1981, after going back to college to complete the science prerequisites. At that time, the only providers of Natural Medicine in California were the Chiropractors, who have a long history of promoting nutrition, exercise, hydration, natural living and bodywork. There were no Acupuncturists, Functional Medicine Docs or Licensed Naturopaths in California. It wasn’t easy, it was rigorous, but when it is your passion – that doesn’t matter. After completing Chiropractic College, which is not about backs but holistic medicine – with the emphasis on hands on interventions and nutrition – rather than surgery and pharmacology. After beginning my practice, which always had an emphasis on healing, herbs and vitamins, I continued to explore other healing modalities. I studied Classical Homeopathy and earned a Doctorate in Homeopathic Medicine. Practiced mind/body techniques like Cranial Sacral Therapy and Zero Balancing, and energy medicine including microcurrent and the Biomeridian resonance assessment device. I also continued to studied functional medicine and became certified in the first Health Coach and Lifestyle programs in the 1990’s. In 2005-2006, I began to explore some other modalities that addressed some personal concerns that I had. That is when I was introduced to DITI (Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging) or Thermography. This proactive health technology intrigued me and I added it into my holistic chiropractic practice. As time went on I realized that advocating for proactive health and peace of mind using a safe tool like thermography incorporated my broad knowledge and background into a cohesive way to help people. In 2013 I changed the focus of my practice to specializing in Medical Thermography and Wellness. I was chosen by my mentor and an international expert in thermography to receive special training and the highest level of certification in our professional organization. I believe that this knowledge combined with my decades of experience and diverse background, have contributed to Advanced Medical Thermography being a respected leader in this developing field.
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.
We live in such a diverse and beautiful state, with so many choices. I’m writing this in the middle of the Covid experience so will use as an opportunity to dream about I am going to do when this is over. Living in Studio City, we have so many lovely little restaurants and local fun things to do. Definitely will visit Tujunga Village for some nice shopping and dining. Drive a short distance to City Walk at Universal Studios for the views and tourist in your own backyard experience. Next, we would explore nature. We could take a beautiful nature hike, in Fryman or Stough Canyon. A brisk walk around Lake Hollywood Reservoir. A visit to Descanso Gardens, where I am a member, is lovely and refreshing and a completely different vibe from the rest of L.A. One day could be spent driving a short distance east to Old Town Pasadena for dining and visiting the beautiful grounds of Huntington Gardens. Next we would spend a day at the beach. From walking around the Santa Monica promenade to lunch at a favorite on the ocean, Shutters Hotel. Then drive up the coast to some more secluded beach areas like El Matador Beach. Continuing up the coast to the Ventura Harbor can be a day trip with so many different things to see and the fish and chips are a must. With a couple of days left, the Desert is always fun and a completely different landscape. The Coachella Valley offers the upscale Paseo shopping district. Shopping and happy hour at one of the lovely restaurant options, like Pacifico or The Cliffhouse in La Quinta. Go to Palm Springs for all the fun mid century architecture and good entertainment. Relax by the pool of my favorite mid century motel and look at the way the Desert light plays off the mountains. Sounds fun! From the desert to the sea.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My general shout out would be to the advocates of health and natural healing, who sacrificed in many ways, to bring the model of wellness to the forefront of society that is now commonplace. Another shoutout is to the patients who supported me in the different locations and incarnations of my professional life. I deeply appreciate when someone trusts me with their health and confidences. Because I couldn’t do it alone, I want to especially thank my friends and family for their support. One special angel who came into my life and practice is Nora Fasano CCT, who is such trusted staff member and friend. And then there’s this one. I dedicate my shoutout to my coach Andrea Quinn. A business coach has to be a life coach because that is where it all begins. I never had much luck with coaches before I met her. Andrea offered me choices that I never would have come to on my own. She did with brains, good sense, humor and kindness.
Linkedin: Hillary Smith D.C.