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.

Grateful For Balance

Grateful For Balance

Gratitude

          At this very moment I can say I’m Grateful for Balance. This has not always been the case (ie.- those years during med school, residency, first couple of years starting my medical practice) and will not always be the case, but…………….. for right now, it’s how I feel and I am grateful for it.

          We hear a lot about “work-life balance” and what that’s supposed to look like. I’m asked that question often when I’m out on various speaking engagements, especially by young professional women and college students. My best answer is for everyone, on a individual bases, figuring out what your activity limits are as it relates to pouring out too much of yourself into others without investing back into yourself.

          Instead of “Work-life balance”, I prefer to use the term “Life Integration” because to me that is more of a long time approach to this concept. Life occurs in stages so there will be times when we feel totally balanced like I do at this point in my life, but there are also times when things don’t feel balanced, and that’s OK too. As long as you are working to integrate work priorities with family obligations, community service, etc in a manner that works for you, no matter what it looks like for someone else, do THAT!

          Just up until about a year ago, I was THAT person who was on the go ALL the time! If I wasn’t in my office seeing patients and running the business side of my practice, I was at some meeting for one of the 3 Board of Directors I was on at the time, at a sorority meeting, doing community service with my sorority chapter or out blogging about something, somewhere! It was all cool and exciting until I just got tired. Point blank and THE period —-> I. Was. Tired.

          All that I was involved in looked really good on paper, but it wore me down and I felt that I had no time to myself. Even my Dinner With Nerds Food Blog, that I designed to be a creative outlet, began to get stressful. When I was doing full features on particular restaurants by interviewing the owners & chefs and coming in with my camera to photograph all the food, the owners and managers always wanted to know when I would be publishing the feature which then put me on a deadline, which then made it start to feel more like work and less like fun 😦

          My balance was off because I wasn’t integrating the various aspects of my life in a way that satisfied me. At the end of the day, if I’m not taking care of me……extensions of me begin to suffer (ie., my business, my health, my attitude toward things).

          When I began to say NO to some things, NO to people requesting my attention, rolled off a couple of the Board of Directors I was on and realized that my contributions to my community , to my work and to the people I love were already more than sufficient without having to add anything more, slowly but surely I began to feel more like myself again – less stressed and happier! I always feel honored when I’m approached to serve the community in some capacity or to offer my expertise in certain areas, but I have learned that I only have so much so give before I start feeling off-balanced. With time and age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes knowing your limits. I’ll choose this feeling over being over-committed and over-worked any day of the week!

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.

Speak it Into Existence

Speak It Into Existence

Speak it into existence

Proverbs 18:21 says, “The Power of Life And Death is in the tongue”

Albert Einstein says “Everything is Energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you can not help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is no philosophy. This is Physics.”

I say 🙂 ,  “Your Happiness depends on the thoughts you think and the words you speak! Your words have POWER so choose to Speak Life over yourself, LIFE over your circumstances, LIFE over your finances, LIFE over your family! Those dreams and Desires that you are ready to Manifest are ready to burst through for you if you will really believe in them and Speak them into Existence!

            On a very personal level, this same power of intention and this practice of speaking my desires into existence attracted my husband into my life! Honest to goodness, this time last year (December 2014) the wonderful man who is, now, my husband was not even on my radar!!! #TrueStory

          However, as a good friend and I were recently discussing……. “It doesn’t take God long to work!”

            My husband and I have known OF each other for a while (we are both from Mississippi, both graduated from Mississippi State University, know people in common, etc), but had just one very brief, casual, in-passing introduction about 9 yrs ago. The funny part is that to this very day I honestly have no recollection of that introduction (Sorry babe lol)!!

No worries, his feelings aren’t hurt that I don’t remember that conversation!

           Last summer (summer 2014) I got really serious about my true desires for a husband. I had been praying for my husband (having no clue who he would be) since I was 20 years old, but decided to write down my desires and then start speaking them into existence!

           Everyday, before Lionel and I ever had our first REAL conversation in 2015 (at least the first one I can remember…Ha! ) I would repeat over and over to myself “I AM a Wonderful Wife”, “I AM a Wonderful Wife” and daydream about having a wonderful husband and being a Wonderful Wife!

           Writing down my desires and then declaring that “I AM a Wonderful Wife” everyday activated my Faith to another level!!

          I found a ring in my jewelry box one day during spring cleaning that I had purchased years ago and since it resembled an engagement ring, I placed it on my bedroom dresser (On his side, before I know who he would be!!). That ring served as a reminder for me to pray for my husband every day!

          I also took a bouquet of artificial flowers out of a vase I had purchased years ago, dusted them off and placed them next to the ring on the dresser in my bedroom.

          I literally filled my home with the word “LOVE”! I bought a pillow that says “LOVE” for my living room couch, bought a canvas with the word “LOVE” and placed it on the wall at the very entrance of my home. The word “LOVE” was taped to my fridge, my bathroom mirror, the wall in my office at work…..Everywhere lol!!!

         I chose my Themes for 2015 to be LOVE and FAITH!! Let me declare to you today that IT IS NO coincidence that 2015 has been the year that I chose LOVE and FAITH to be my 2 themes for the year – the themes I think about, pray about, meditate about day-in and day-out AND that 2015 has also been the year that my, now husband, and I had our first real conversation, started dating, got engaged and got married – ALL OF THIS IN 2015!!

          In the summer of 2014, I wrote down a list of 31 core desires I had for my husband. Once Lionel and I connected and began having marathon-long phone calls every day (one of our very first phone convos lasted almost 7 hours long!), I realized there was something very special about him. God actually spoke to me after our first multi-hour long conversation and told me that I had just had my first conversation with my husband. Seriously, clear as day, I heard God impart this into my spirit as I was climbing into bed that night. I chuckled and smiled and said out loud “Ok Lord, if I’m hearing what I think I’m hearing, please make this very obvious to me!”

          Now, back to the core desires list ——–> One by one, I started checking those desires off the list that Lionel met. I quickly realized that he was the physical manifestation of that list! There was no particular reason for having 31 items on that list. I actually initially stopped at 30 because it’s an even number and I kinda have a thing for even numbers (LOL), but then decided to throw in an extra one for kicks and giggles that says, “And oh yeah……he loves great music and loves to dance!” God definitely has a sense of humor because even though #31 wasn’t a deal breaker, He gave it to me anyways! Anyone who has ever hear my husband sing knows how great of a musical talent he is! We both love great music, love attending concerts together and dancing together!!

             I’ve always dreamed of a fairy-tale proposal……..one I would never forget and one that held significant meaning! In my many conversations to God about my husband over the past year and a half (when I really got serious about this thing!), I communicated to God that I did not want a physical relationship with any from that point on other than with the man who would be my husband! I was tired of dating as usual. I was tired of listening to what the “world” tells us we need to do to get and keep a man. I was tired of it because I knew that was not what God was imparting into my spirit!

          Well, once again, just a couple of weeks after our first marathon-long conversation, I received what I prayed for!

The VERY 1st time (my now husband) Lionel ever touched me was to put the engagement ring on my finger and ask me to marry him – The VERY 1st time!

Carmen and Lionel

Our Wedding Day in San Juan, Puerto Rico – August 2015

          Because I had prayed for Lionel for so long, when he presented into my life I immediately recognized him to be that person God sent to me! Lionel says the same. He surrendered to God and asked God to show him who he was supposed to be with instead of him trying to figure it out on his own.

          My husband is such a wonderful blessing and gift from God. He is the man I have prayed about for so long and is a manifestation of my core desires for a husband. In the natural, I never would have imagined this time last year that I would be very happily married right now. However, my Spirit told me differently! My Spirit constantly reminded me of one of my favorite verses in the Bible – Psalm 37:4 that says, “Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. My Spirit also reminded me that the Word gives us authority, as believers, to “speak those things that are not as though they already were” (Romans 4:17)!! I also prayed for an Ephesians 3:20 husband – a husband who is exceedingly, abundantly above all I can ask or think, and guess what…..God delivered that to me as well!

          Words have real power!! Use them to speak life and love and blessings over your own life right now!! Your words activate your faith!! I hope my story encourages you to start speaking what’s important to you over your life every single day!

So, today, begin to say:

❐ I am AWESOME!

❐ I am BLESSED!

❐ I am RESOURCEFUL!

❐ I am STRONG!

❐ I am COURAGEOUS!

❐ I EXPECT things to work out in my favor!

❐ All Good things come to me today!

❐ My Dreams and Desires are coming true for me!

❐ I AM ______________________________ (Fill in the blank for what you desire)

Dr Carmen April Speaker          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 and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

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

Feel Into Your Future

Feel Into Your Future

Feel Into Your Future

          I talk a lot here on the blog about how our words have power and that we have the power, through our thoughts and the words we speak, to improve our lives and have those things and experiences we desire! Words have power, but so do our FEELINGS!

          When you are desiring something intensely, you are simultaneously sending out the vibrations of what you desire into the Universe. When you can imagine yourself feeling, having, and acting as if what you desire is already a part of your reality, you are working to bring that to fruition!

          Every morning when I wake up, a couple of the first things I repeat over and over to myself are “I expect great news today!” “My dreams and desires are met today!” and “I am a money magnet!” Not only do I say these things repeatedly, but I FEEL them as if they are my reality!

          Before I was on solid financial footing in my business, one of the dreams and desires I declared being met everyday was that my medical practice become profitable. I repeated the phrase “I AM a Money Magnet” and really felt it to be true everyday (even before it was lol)! Soon, the manifestation of this came to fruition before the normal 5 years that statistics say it takes a business to be profitable and I started making more money in my business than I ever had!

          Before I met my husband, one of “My dreams and desires are met today” was to meet the man of my dreams and become a wonderful wife. I would repeat, over and over – “I am a wonderful wife. I am a wonderful wife. I am a wonderful wife” and FEEL as if I already was a wonderful wife. I used this phrase, and the emotion that came with it, to day-dream about being married and feeling it into existence. ****I should also make very clear that I coupled this practice daily with much prayer and tremendous faith in God to deliver the perfect husband for me! 2015 has been the year that my husband and I started dating, got engaged and got married!

          Try it for yourself and see…it really works! The positive, joyous emotions you conjure up “feeling” those things you desire can literally bring them into existence. Make time to sit down with those positive emotions for at least 5-10 minutes every day and imagine how great it would feel to already have those things you desire. Start today to FEEL into your Future!

Dr Carmen April Speaker          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

Manifest Your Dreams & Desires

Manifest Your Dreams & Desires

Manifesting My Dreams

Do you know that you posses the power to Manifest your dreams??!! Yes, you do! You really, really do!

          When you truly believe in your dreams, focus on what you desire, get clear about EXACTLY what you want and have faith during the processes of allowing it to manifest, you can have those things.

          One of the most important things to remember when it comes to Manifesting your dreams is believing. When I say believing, I mean really believing –  without a shadow of a doubt – that your dreams, those things you want to do and have to share light and love with the world, will come to fruition! And not only that they will simply manifest, but they will manifest in a magnificent way to add Joy to the World and love in your community and circle of influence.

          Personal Affirmation from my own life —> I love the story of Joshua in the Bible. When Joshua needed to defeat his enemies in a battle to get closer to seeing the Promise Land, he knew he had to be bold, he had to be courageous and so he prayed a very powerful prayer that he had faith God would deliver on. Joshua knew that once the sun went down it would be difficult for him to see and defeat his enemies. It was at that time that Joshua prayed to God to allow the sun to stand still in the sky long enough to allow him to see and defeat his enemies. Joshua’s faith moved God to literally stop the sun in the sky when it should have gone down and thus allowed Joshua to defeat the enemy and win the battle! I believe that same power that Joshua used to command the sun to stand still in the sky while he defeated his enemies………lives in ME!!!!!!!!!!!

          This same power assures me that when I get clear on what I am requesting of God, and believe without doubting, I will see my dreams come to fruition. Not only will I see those dreams and desires come to fruition, but I know God will take what I ask for and MULTIPLY it!

          The cool thing is that I’ve seen it happen sooooooo many times in my own life that I’m certain of it without even having to look anywhere else for confirmation! Can I get an Amen?!?!?!?

          When I was just 2 years old, my parents gave me my first toy doctor’s kit for Christmas, I’ve always said I wanted to be a doctor and truly believed, no matter what, that I would be a doctor “when I grow up” lol. My dream became a reality when, at just 26 years old, I become a doctor!!

          Not only did that dream of becoming a doctor manifest for me, but the vision of owning my very own medical practice manifested earlier than I ever thought possible!

           Additionally, I discovered that my true purpose in life is to Uplift, Encourage and Inspire. Not only do I do this via treating patients as a doctor, teaching and encouraging other entrepreneurs through being an entrepreneur myself, but I now reach and encourage people all over the country via my Leadership Speaking and all over the world through this blogging platform….Look at God!

          I believe now, more than ever, in the Power of Manifesting my Dreams! I’ve seen it happen in my own life too many times to count and I’ve seen in happen for others in mighty ways!

Dr Carmen April Speaker          Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Young Leader 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.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

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

Choose to See Peace Instead

Choose to See Peace Instead

Choose to see Peace instead

          There are bound to be countless things that happen around you everyday that you have no control over. You can’t control how other people think or what they say, you can’t control the traffic jam that happened on the interstate, and you can’t control the fact that Chick-Fil-A ran out of Waffle fries lol! However, you most certainly have full control over how you respond to various situations. You can choose to react with negative energy or positive energy. You can choose to think ugly thoughts about people and circumstances around you that annoy your or you can choose to see Peace instead.

          The phrase that I use quite often when I am feeling my energy shift into a negative trajectory because of circumstances outside of my control is simple but Powerful:

I CHOOSE TO SEE PEACE INSTEAD

          I say this over and over to myself, quietly or out-loud, until I start to feel my energy tip the scales back into the positive direction. Your words and actions reflect your inner feelings and thoughts so if you convince yourself to see peace instead, that is exactly what will happen and you remain in control!!

          Try this the next time you become frazzled by something that happens out of your control and remember that the ball is in your court when it comes to deciding your response to it!

Dr Carmen April Speaker          Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Young Leader 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.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

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