Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Paul Ledesma, Owner of Ledesma Foot & Ankle, located in Scottsdale, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Podiatric medicine and surgery. My customers are people who suffer from a problem with their foot or ankle and require medical treatment or surgery.
Tell us about yourself
Growing up, I was exposed to medicine at an early age. My father was a pediatrician, and I had three other older siblings go into the field of medicine. In high school, I knew I wanted to go into some field of medicine, but I really wasn’t sure where to turn to. It was then my father suggested visiting a colleague of his who happened to be a podiatrist. I spent a few weeks with him at his office and God to see the types of patients and procedures that were involved, and from that point, I was hooked. I began shadowing my current field of medicine ever since I was a junior in high school. One of the very first things that attracted me to this specialty was how often patients would walk into the office with some sort of discomfort or pain and, in many cases, leave with a significant amount of relief. This was never the case when I used to share my father as a pediatrician treating chronic diseases. In addition to that, my training and education have allowed me to provide relief and answers for people with acute and chronic conditions and, in general, improve their quality of life. It brings me great joy to help people in need.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I would have to say my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is actually just that, being a business owner. Going into this field of medicine, I never had expectations nor desired to become a solo independent business owner. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was faced with the decision just over ten years ago to either join a practice or try to run my own practice. With the support of family and friends, I managed to start my practice with nothing more than a rented room at a colleague‘s office, my personal laptop, and my reputation. Fast forward ten years, I now employ five full-time staff, one physician associate, an office in Scottsdale, and a satellite location in Central Phoenix.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I would say managing expectations. This includes my own expectations of the quality of care I provide to my patients and how I balance my time with work and family life, the expectations of my employees and the challenge of creating a welcoming work environment, and lastly, the expectations of all of my patients as they come trusting us with their medical issues, hoping for a good outcome.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Research, spend as much time as you need to investigate and look into every aspect of starting a business, making sure you have spoken to and, if possible, shadowed other similar businesses before starting.
- Set short-term and long-term realistic goals. The short-term goals should be everything you need to get started from a Compliance standpoint and logistics to taking care of your client base. Long-term goals are necessary to stay motivated and on track. Keep in mind that long-term goals often change as time passes.
- Find a mentor (s). Similar to the first tip, you want to find a person or several people that can not only enhance your knowledge but serve as an ongoing resource as you go through the process of starting your business. There will inevitably be challenges along the way, and having a good support team/mentors is crucial in times of need.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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