Everyone has that defining moment in their life. It could be when someone said or did something that changed them forever. Maybe they read a book, watched a movie, played a game, and then it just clicked.
As I write this, I can think of several instances in my past that altered the course of my life forever. Sometimes it’s over the course of several events through time. Sometimes it’s as obvious as flicking on a light switch; turning a dark void into a room filled with detail.
I had the privilege of sitting down and hearing the story of local business owner, Megan Afshar. She told me about her life changing moment that led to her owning her own chiropractic office, Upstate Specific Chiropractic.
Born and raised in LA, Megan studied art history at UCLA. When she graduated, she had no idea what was next in life. No direction at all.
So Megan began working at a local restaurant.
While she was working one day, she had a regular customer who was unlike anyone else. She was a chiropractor.
“She became fixated with me. When we first talked, she told me I would be a great chiropractor. She pleaded with me to come to her office and see what she does. I had no desire to do that. I hated science.”
“But she kept coming back,” Megan told me. “She would always sit in my section. She had some sort of amazing foresight.”
Megan finally gave in and went to visit her office.
“That day changed my life.”
“On that day I met all of these people that had crazy stories. I met someone who had debilitating migraines for thirty years. He was in and out of hospitals. He started chiropractic care, and now those migraines are gone.”
There was one story that really caught Megan off guard.
“I met this woman who had been trying to have a baby for ten years. They had tried hormone replacement, charting, tracking, IVF, you name it. Nothing anatomically was wrong with them, but they couldn’t have a baby. One day she got into a car accident and hurt her back. People with hurt backs go to chiropractors. Three months into chiropractic care she got pregnant.”
“When I met her, she had just given birth to her second child. She started crying while telling me that story. I started crying. I left the office that day and decided I wanted to become a chiropractor.”
It took two years of schooling for Megan to be eligible to attend chiropractic school. She finally started in LA. Two years into the program, her school shut down. So she and all her classmates had to find new places to attend. After some extensive research, she found a school in Atlanta that was considered one of the best in the nation.
“My plan was to go there and finish, then head back to LA. That obviously didn’t happen.”
“I hopped in my car and headed to Atlanta. This was the riskiest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I knew nobody out here. I had no friends. I had no family. I left literally everything behind.”
“It turns out it was the best decision I could have ever made. I grew so much as a person and learned so much about myself. I became more grounded and rooted as a chiropractor and the philosophy and practice behind it.”
“While I was in school I visited a lot of different cities in the South. From Nashville, Savannah, to Charlotte and more. Amidst my travels I met this gentleman in the Chicago airport and he told me that I should add Greenville to my list. So I did. It was the last city I visited. I fell in love with it. When I graduated, I moved up to Greenville shortly after.”
What Megan did is virtually unheard of.
“It’s not common for someone to open up their own chiropractic office immediately after graduating. It’s especially uncommon for a woman to open her own chiropractic office. Usually female chiropractors work underneath of a male one.”
“I got my building here in Greenville and had my practice all set up. I was bright eyed and bushy tailed.”
It wasn’t long before reality slapped her across across the face.
“The first year and a half was so incredibly hard. I felt like I was army crawling through the mud. I just had to keep moving forward. I kept asking myself if things would ever get better.”
“When I moved to Atlanta, I moved into the construct of school, this made friends and connections a lot easier. When I moved to Greenville, that was not the case.”
'It’s completely different when you’re working by yourself and for yourself. I work a lot with pregnant women and babies. That’s probably half of my practice. It’s incredibly difficult to earn the trust of people, especially when it’s those kind of clients. Who wants to just hand their baby to someone?”
It takes times to build relationships and trust. Megan set out to do that by attending virtually every networking event in Greenville. She did her best to get to know the entire city.
Through all her efforts, Megan was able to make many connections and now her office is thriving. She’s hired her own staff and is becoming a prominent figure in Greenville’s chiropractic industry.
“My office is so happy and energizing. It’s so invigorating,” she told me.
I’m positive that stems from Megan’s personality.
“My goal is to run into someone I know every time I leave the house. I want to be THE person in Greenville to see if you are ill, or something about you isn’t functioning properly, even if they are pregnant. I treat my patients like they are my family. I’ll give them my personal cell phone so that patients can follow up with me. It’s rewarding to hear my patients say that they can feel the love I have for them.”
There will always be ups and downs in life. I hope I can take them head on the same way that Megan has. When life presented itself a new opportunity, she dove in head first. She gave it her all and, despite some really hard times, persevered.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the light switch when it’s dark. But eventually you’ll find it, and your entire world could turn upside down.