Cheers to Six Years in Private Practice!

Cheers to Six Years in Private Practice!

6-years-private-practice

          A little over 6.5 years ago I had a dream, a vision, a plan to start my own practice from scratch in the city of Nashville where I could count the number of people I knew here on one hand! It seemed like a daunting task to some, but I can honestly say that from the moment that idea planted itself in my mind, I fully believed I could do it, never doubted myself and never looked back! Statistics show that most small businesses fail within the first 5 years. In fact, more than 90% of them do. However, It’s been exactly 6 years since I opened my doors on Jan. 10th, 2011 with just 2 patients on a cold snowy, icy day and I’ve been rocking and rolling ever since! I thank God for it all, even the times I wanted to throw in the towel because I’ve grown from the experience. The Foot And Ankle Healthcare Center is not a side hustle or an extra job in addition to another. It’s my full time, 24-7, 365 days per year, even in the middle of the night when I get an emergency call, and even when I’m on “vacation”, baby!

It began with nothing more than a vision in my mind, God’s direction and provision, the support of my family, and has grown because of my dedicated work, the trust of medical colleagues referring their patients to me, friends and sorority sisters who are my “unofficial” marketing team and are always sending patients my way, and the support of the thousands of patients who have trusted me to care for them ! I’m #Grateful

Dr Carmen April Speaker          Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Law of Attraction Practitioner and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

Grateful for 5.5+ Years of Entrepreneurship

Grateful for 5.5+ Years of Entrepreneurship

Dr Carmen April Professional Photo

          As those of you who regularly read my blog know, in addition to being a blogger I have a career…..the one that actually pays the bills and for which I studied and toiled and stayed in school and residency for what seemed like FOREVER to achieve lol! As “Dr. Carmen April” I am an entrepreneur and owner of my medical practice, The Foot And Ankle Healthcare Center, PC for the past 5 years. When I was first getting started in my medical practice, I heard over and over and OVER again that most small businesses fail within their first couple of years of operation. In fact, that statistic is more specifically around 90% of small businesses FAILING in their first couple of years. Making it to 5 years is definitely something to be celebrated and I certainly have! I thank God every SINGLE day for the success of my business!

          There have been times, especially in the beginning where I grew weary because the money coming into the business seemed to be at a snail’s pace compared to the money going out! There have been many times where I have been frustrated with dealing with health insurance companies lowering reimbursements year after year when the cost of doing business continues to increase. There are many things that I, along with any other entrepreneur COULD complain about and have complained about as it pertains to our businesses, BUT the day I started to express more GRATITUDE than I did complain about everything that was wrong in the medical industry, a SHIFT happened! It was as if expressing Gratitude un-clogged a pipe and allowed an abundance of good things to flow into my medical practice! Opportunities for financial increase came my way and I was in position to take full advantage of it.

           Some entrepreneurs are afraid to openly talk about “money” especially in fields that service people and the community, such as in medicine. My main job as a doctor is to diagnose and treat my patients with the best medical care possible and I’m confident I do that. However, if the money is not available to run the business properly, that does not happen. Entrepreneurs have to get comfortable talking about money! When it comes to the finances of my business, My small business is no different from the big hospitals and health centers, no different from your every day restaurant or clothing store. They all require positive cash flow, great report with patients/clients and the community, marketing, advertising, good money management, etc to make them successful.

           It’s been 6+ years since I first nurtured the idea of starting my own practice and it’s still amazing to think back on every storm I weathered to get to this very point. A couple THOUSAND patients later from the first day I hung my shingle and opened the doors to my practice, I have a renewed strength and tenacity to see it grow even more! God is great and I give Him all the glory and honor for the success of The Foot And Ankle Healthcare Center, PC!

          My prayer for my business: “Lord, I thank you for giving me the idea and the courage to pursue my dream of starting my own medical practice. The opportunity came before I thought I was ready to take the leap, but you had already equipped me with everything I needed to get it done! Every bit of any amount of success I have experienced in this business is because of you and for that I say Thank You. During the trials, and doubts, and hard times, you were also there and didn’t let me fall. You didn’t let me quit. I continue to pray for every single patient who walks through the doors of this practice. Bless them Lord and bless me to use my knowledge, skills and intuition to medically treat them to the best of my ability. Bless my employees that they continue to find satisfaction in their work with me and this business and allow them to be a blessing to the patients as well. I know that these accomplishments you’ve allowed me to have at such a young age, inspire others and for that I am Grateful! There have been many people along the way who I have looked to for inspiration and I’m glad that I’m now able to pay it forward. Lord, continue to allow me to uplift, encourage and inspire other people through the work of my mind and my hands. I pray that all my endeavors are prosperous and are used to serve you and uplift your kingdom! In your son Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.” –Carmen

Gratitude

Dr Carmen April Speaker        Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Law of Attraction Practitioner and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

On Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Service

On Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Service

Dr. Carmen April

            A couple of weeks ago my really great friend/College Roommate/Sorority Sister featured me on her blog. I was tickled pink over this because she is one of the most creative people I’ve ever met in my life and am honored that she’s featured me! She interviewed me about everything from Entrepreneurship and Leadership to proper foot health and my annual sock drive. We talked for well over an hour and somehow she managed to whittle the interview down to the three features you can find here:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Enjoy!

Dr. Carmen April            Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader Award (NELA) Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril

Think Before You Post!

Think Before You Post!

blog

               I was doing a Keynote Lecture Presentation at a Leadership Conference a while back and had a question posed by an audience member that I thought was great to share here. I was presenting on Leadership and specifically how Blogging can be used to Build a Brand and become a thought Leader in any given field. A Young Woman in the audience raised her hand after my presentation and says she has subjects she wants to blog about, but that she would not necessarily want an employer or someone hiring her for a job to see. She asked me what she should do…………..

DON’T POST IT!

               You should assume that ANYTHING posted on the internet, whether it be on blogs, social media, YouTube, emails etc is there forever! You should never post anything to the internet that you’re not comfortable with everyone seeing!

                I’ve read statistics that as high as 60% of HR and hiring managers “Google” potential job candidates during the search process. You certainly don’t want them coming across information that would be detrimental to your reputation or you being hired for or keeping a job.

Trust your gut! If your gut is telling you not to post something to the internet or emails (especially work emails!!) DON’T do it!

THINK BEFORE YOU POST!

– Dr. April

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

               Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

If You Confuse People, You Lose People

If You Confuse People, You Lose People

Uncomfortable

 

              A while back, I was an audience member at a business pitching event. One gentleman got up to deliver his pitch and within the first 2 minutes, completely confused everyone in the room about his idea. He lost half the audience within the first couple minutes and these folks checked out for the rest of his presentation. The other couple of people who remained attentive did so only to rip his presentation to shreds with questions once he was done.

              I’m sure you’ve seen this before if you’re a fan of ABC’s hit program, Shark Tank. Individuals come forth to pitch their inventions to the millionaire sharks and either walk away with an investment from one of the sharks or go home empty-handed. Their fate depends on how well they deliver their pitch and get the sharks to believe in them. It doesn’t take long for the sharks to smell “blood in the water” if the person pitching doesn’t do a great job delivering.

               When crafting your message about who you are and why anyone should believe in you, be it your Leadership abilities, or product or services you are selling, you have to simplify your message. Simplifying your message will take some work, but is essential to communicating why you do what you do and why what you offer is beneficial.

                  In the early stages of working to craft my brand message, I realized I had to highlight the value I bring to both my clients and teams I am leading. It’s not enough for me to emphasize why I’m interested in doing what I love doing for myself. I have to convey the benefit of my passion to others.

Here are 5 tips to remember when working to clarify your brand message:

1.) Follow the KIS Method  – Keep It Simple! People love clear, simple messages that aren’t hard to digest

2.) Know you product or service well – better than anyone else!

3.) Be able to deliver your message to anyone in a 30 second pitch

4.) Remember your value proposition to your consumer

5.) Don’t confuse people because WHEN YOU CONFUSE THEM, YOU LOSE THEM!

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

         Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril

How to Create An Audience from Scratch

How to Create An Audience From Scratch

audience

For today’s post I’m sharing a question I was asked after a recent presentation I did on blogging and Personal Branding:

Question: If I’m not an established Blogger like you, how do I create an audience? How do I find people willing to let me interview them for my blog when I have no experience and I’m not well established?

My Answer: We all have to start somewhere! (Tweet this!) I had a “first blog post” on my Dinner With Nerds Food Blog and here on my Leadership Blog just like every other, now established, blogger out here on the internet. I had a “first interview” for my blog because I wasn’t afraid to ask that person for the interview. I told her that I was getting my new Food Blog started and I would be honored if she would be my first interview! She said yes!

              One thing I believe works to my advantage quite often in life is the fact that I’m not afraid to ask for what I want. The worst someone can tell me is “NO” and if they do, I’m on to the next person who can help me out. Hearing “NO” is not comfortable by any means, but hearing “NO” simply means that I won’t be doing whatever it is I want to with that person, right now. There’s always a way to make things happen when you really want something. (Tweet this!)

                Have confidence in yourself, plan out how you will pitch your idea and simply ask. Often times when you are requesting to interview people who are influential or have something to share, they readily welcome the opportunity for any interview – that’s great exposure for them! The more you add to your blog, the bigger your audience will grow, the more experience you get under your belt and there presents your ripple effect. Just Get Started!

– Dr. April

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

       Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril

The 2014 Kentucky College Women’s Leadership Conference

The 2014 Kentucky College Women’s Leadership

Conference

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

               I recently served as the Opening Keynote Speaker for the Kentucky College Women’s Leadership Conference held at the University of Louisville! It was my first time being at the University of Louisville and was actually the first time I had really visited Louisville. I always enjoy visiting new environments, meeting new people and taking in the culture of different cities while on business trips.

                 Of course, the highlight of the visit is that I was able to inspire young women through my Keynote Presentation. The young women were very receptive and asked great questions about my presentation that connected Leadership with Personal Branding and specifically using Blogging as a Platform to create that Brand.

               I’m very appreciative of all who came up to me afterward and expressed their excitement about what I discussed. I plan to turn some of the questions I was asked after my presentation into blog posts to share with you here. I also started gathering some help for a new “#Leadership Is...” project I’m working on. Check out the photos and the video below!

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

Here’s a preview of my new ‘LEADERSHIP IS’ Project…………

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

Passionate

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

Empowering

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

Authenticity

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

Action > Words

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

Empowering Others

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

Motivating & Appreciating others

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

The ability to pass the torch

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

Peace!!

Leadership is Peace

Inspiring Others

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Taking Initiative

Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference

Practicing what you Preach!!

Leadership Is

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What does Leadership Mean to you??? Follow the link below to watch the Leadership Video and stay tuned for more on my upcoming “Leadership Is…” Series!!

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E21bKpdwMQI

 

 

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

           Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril