Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
My first heroes will always be my parents. I would not be anywhere if not for the selfless sacrifices they made and the indulgences they provided to encourage all of my interests. I hope I can pass that on. Intellectually, there are many people I admire, but one of my favorites has to be Claude Shannon. What I like about his story is that he was not only an intellectual powerhouse (having created many of the frameworks that run our digital world today), but he was also an all-around engineer, a theorist who built computers, and a man who juggled (literally and figuratively) many different fields.
What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Keep your mouth shut and your ears open. I’ve been amazed at how useful this advice has been, be it in product design, sales calls or investment deals. Asking questions and trying to find out what the other person’s needs are goes a long way toward building successful relationships. By learning what makes the other person’s mind tick, you can make it easy for them to say yes or no and tweak what you say. This makes conversations more efficient and both parties derive more value.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Thinking small. Initially, I felt it was better to slowly build business organically, one hospital at a time. But in hospital sales, credibility and having teams matter. There is a certain value to bringing in outside capital. In addition to the actual money, good investors bring in huge networks and connections that can turbocharge a business. Capital also helps you recruit talent, which can really accelerate your business. If you hit if off with someone who could be a partner in your plan for world domination, then there is nothing like it.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
Get all of my emails out of the way. I want to get all pending conversations out of the way and wipe the slate clean before beginning my day. It also warms up my mind and helps me transition to the daily tasks at hand.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Every time you spend a dollar, ask yourself, “How does this help us build our business?” Does it improve employee morale or productivity? Does it market to get more leads for your funnel? Asking this question continuously helps prioritize your budget.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Learn to manage your own mental psychology and to delegate with trusted partners. Oftentimes, it’s easy to take on all responsibilities and feel overwhelmed. For me at least, rest is as important a responsibility as hard work to prevent mental, physical and emotional fatigue. This is also why delegation is important; find people who can do tasks better than you in less time with less stress. Then focus on what you can do well!
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
For me, the fundamental reason I started Moving Analytics was that I saw an opportunity to save patients’ lives and change the way healthcare is delivered. If something we build is in use by hundreds of thousands of patients and becomes the standard of care to improve lives, that’s how I would define success. It should not only improve lives, but also save time for doctors. If a patient were to come up to me and say, “Thanks to your software, I improved my health drastically. You saved my life,” I think I would burst into tears!