Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in healthcare but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Greice Murphy, CEO of Miami Stem Cell, located in Miami, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I have two businesses:
I started Advanced Care Partners - a home healthcare company that offers nursing care to medically fragile patients - our customers are primarily pediatric patients covered by Medicaid.
I acquired Miami Stem Cell - we offer autologous stem cell and PRP treatments. Our customers are patients seeking pain relief from injuries, arthritis, etc., as well as rejuvenation using the power of regenerative medicine.
Tell us about yourself
My mom unintentionally traced the roadmap to my destiny. Little did she know that when she signed me up for a beauty contest, she opened the doors for the most thrilling journey of my life.
When I arrived in America at 23 from my native country of Brazil, I had my three pieces of luggage, my grandma’s rosary, and my first job as a currency trader in a regional bank. I spoke no English and had no friends or family in Atlanta, but I had a big dream: I didn’t come here just to take my shot at the ‘American Dream’ or be professionally successful. I came here to make a difference! I followed my calling in life to add value to others and make a positive impact on the lives I touch. And what a difference I made! Within 7 years, I became the founder and CEO of an award-winning healthcare company that would change the way in-home nursing care services are delivered to medically fragile patients.
Recently married, I spent my last year in finance helping the CEO of a major retailer navigate the post-recession future of their business. I was ready to go on my own and start my journey as an entrepreneur. In 2010, while pregnant with my first child, I founded Advanced Care Partners (ACP), a leading provider of home-based nursing care for medically fragile patients focused on the delivery of exceptional clinical care and customer service, together with a family-oriented culture.
When God gives you the privilege to lead, it is your responsibility to create the right team environment in order to develop, equip and inspire others to implement your vision —which is the foundation for scaling any business or organization.
From 2011 to 2021, the company’s revenues grew more than 22,000%, and its team swelled to more than 1,300 committed employees. In 2022— for the seven year in a row – Inc. Magazine named Advanced Care Partners in its annual list of the 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in the U.S. Making it a 7-time Inc. 5000 Honoree is a rare accomplishment. Less than 5% of companies that applied to the Inc. 5000 over the years ever achieved the Hall of Fame level. This rank is a testament to our commitment to go above and beyond for our patients and employees.
In 2018, I began contemplating one of the most significant decisions of my life: find new options to scale and find a partner with specific expertise in the healthcare industry to help take ACP to the next level. I was clear on what I wanted from a partner - they must share my passion for taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves and recognize that financial returns must never be prioritized over doing the right thing for my team and the families we serve.
In late 2018, I made the important decision to sell the majority interest of ACP to Council Capital, a well-respected healthcare private equity firm. I led ACP as its CEO from its inception until mid-2021 and now remain actively involved as a board member. As the founder and second largest shareholder of the company, my focus is to create equity value by improving operating efficiencies, enhancing culture, and helping lead the execution of the company’s M&A strategy.
Every founder who grows a company into a multimillion-dollar enterprise and has had a successful exit understands that it is not about the destination, it is about learning and enjoying the journey along the way. Now, it’s time to give back what life has given me. It is time to start my new ERA as a Multiplier.
I want to make another kind of difference in the world—this time equipping other entrepreneurs and CEOs to become transformational leaders, help scale their businesses, and increase their impact and returns. I want to invest more of my time in philanthropic causes related to underserved, medically fragile children and youth mentorships.
There is a chapter for every CEO, and to be a CEO of many chapters, you need to understand how important it is to grow your leadership skills as the company scales. As a founder, one of the biggest transitions you will make is from leading individual contributors to leading other leaders or managers. It is difficult and requires a different skill set and mindset to do this effectively.
In 2020, my dynamic, authentic, and yet compassionate leadership style was recognized by Ernst & Young when I received the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award® from the consulting giant. Receiving the EY Entrepreneur of The Year award was a validation that no matter where you come from or where you went to school, success is possible when you put your heart and soul into what you love.
I know firsthand the power of example and mentorship. Growing up in the small town of Sao Francisco de Assis in Southern Brazil, I watched my entrepreneurial mother build a home-based cosmetics franchise while taking care of her children and teaching high school classes in the evenings. Growing up in a small town gave me a sense of community and taught me at a very young age the value of connecting with others. Schools don’t teach you how to connect and create a rapport with people. Being involved in a community does. If it is true that almost everything we become and accomplish in life is with and through other people, then the ability to connect with them is the most important skill we can learn.
I would apply these lessons time and again. When I arrived in Atlanta, my working schedule didn’t allow me to attend language lessons. But my attitude to learn motivated me to spend hours in the local 24/7 Walgreens reading product labels with an electronic translator pen to learn English. Coming to America without speaking English was extremely hard and frustrating. I cried every night for months. I was homesick. I knew that I needed to remain focused on the outcome, not the obstacles. Every day, I reminded myself of how blessed I was for the opportunities I had ahead of me and that being frustrated was a positive and essential part of success.
Following my mother’s example, I strongly believe that sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn. I learned to embrace failure and see every opportunity as a chance to get better while cultivating a sense of humor, appreciation, and determination.
When I was 16 years old, my mom signed me up for a beauty contest, and winning the pageant’s national title was the start of a new era in my life. Nearly overnight, I had to move to the capital of the South of Brazil. Four hundred miles away from family and friends, I had no choice but to grow up, adapt, and embrace change.
My parents taught me that beauty and talent are gifts but that character and attitude are choices. Beauty and talent will open the doors for you. Character and attitude will keep you in. Our character is connected to our heart, and it gets developed through our life experiences and, more importantly, what we choose to learn from them. Build a great character, and you will be set apart for a lifetime.
My background and trademark accomplishments have created breakthrough business strategies that focus on the needs of clients, together with the teamwork, training, and empowerment of employees. My new era - the Multiplier - is about adding significant value to those that I serve and lead. It’s about putting a stamp of excellence on the future and building a legacy. The world needs more mindful leaders, and we have the responsibility to multiply and contribute to future generations.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Starting a company with the mission to take care of medically fragile children is very rewarding, and when you are able to scale and sell that company, it is an incredible journey where you learn a lot about people and business.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Understand your people. Problems in business start and end with people - you must learn how to deal with and read people well so you understand what drives them.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Hire help before you need help - proactive hiring is the key to scaling right. Don't wait to hire until you need to hire.
- Be obsessed with the details - always look to "wow" your customers - go above and beyond to create an incredible experience for everyone.
- Treat your employees as the biggest asset you have and not as an expense. Never miss an opportunity to appreciate them.
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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