My employee mindset changed as a result of a job interview during residency. A private practice physician, whom I had known during my training, conducted the interview. He had first-hand knowledge of my assets as a physician: surgical skill, sound judgment, physician-patient rapport and superb communication skills. Despite my positive attributes, his job offer for my annual salary was significantly less than the price of the Porsche 911 he was driving and much less than the industry standard for physician salaries.
This experience left me baffled and humiliated, but I realized something very important... I would never be satisfied as “just an employee.”. I wanted the freedom to design and build my own practice and there was no reason I couldn’t do that. The risks involved did not deter me from seeking greater rewards that would pay off in every area of life. I wanted to change the world, not just have a job built around someone else’s rules and structures. Despite all the challenges I have faced over the years, starting my own practice was the best decision of my life. I built a team and office culture of stellar employees. My practice was tailored to the aspects of ENT that I enjoyed most and that most benefited my patients.
Once my ENT practice was successful, my entrepreneurial thirst led me to add a medical spa to my practice. My goal was to provide a well-rested youthful appearance through cosmetic rejuvenation procedures without the obvious tell-tale signs that a procedure had been performed. This difference in approach allowed me to attract patients that were looking for intervention that appeared natural, not artificial.
Things were going well for me until a diagnosis of thyroid cancer came at the age of 34. Surgery and radioactive iodine treatment led me to reevaluate my diet and use of personal care products that had perhaps contributed to my illness. I decided to detox my life by eating better quality food and eliminating chemicals as much as possible.
I reviewed the ingredients in the skin care products I was using and that I recommended to my medical spa clients. The ingredient lists were often vague and all contained chemicals I knew to be potentially harmful. I was appalled to discover there was no federal regulation of ingredients to protect the consumer from dangerous chemicals.
From my frustration with the cosmetic industry, my next entrepreneurial venture was born.
I set out to create a skincare line that addressed common aging issues such as dark spots, loss of elasticity, blemishes and more. The ingredients would be plant and mineral based, contain no harsh ingredients or chemical preservatives. The ingredients needed to work synergistically to provide superior results. KalVera Skincare was created to provide healthy skin care options, to educate consumers about hazardous ingredients, and to empower them to make safer choices.
My journey as an entrepreneur has been euphoric and often a lonely, risky, anxiety-provoking and ever humbling expedition. The entrepreneurial life can also be addictive. Although KalVera Skincare is my most recent creation, I doubt it will be my last!