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Great Expectations in Eye Care

Reflecting on the past years, I’ve encountered many different people whom I admired for their significant accomplishments. I followed them on LinkedIn, read their articles, and tried to engage in conversations with them, ask them to mentor me. Inquiring about their perspectives on the industry, future predictions for eye care, strategic approaches, and influencing visions has always been a passion of mine. Discussing how shifts within our industry can echo throughout, both in the present and a decade down the line. There’s an innate futuristic inclination within me, driving my ambition to achieve various career milestones. For me, it’s not just about embracing challenges; it’s about thriving on them. I deeply respect individuals within our field who challenge the established norms, remaining independent of sponsor influence or fear-based tactics. I looked up to successful entrepreneurs who embodied the vision I had for myself – to be a self-employed business owner, enjoying the freedom to chart my own course.

Early in my career, I held executives in high regard, believing that their expertise extended across the expansive landscape of eye care management, spanning numerous locations. Their leadership titles carried significant weight in my mind, and I admired them for their accomplishments in steering large organizations. However, this perception was met with disappointment as I embarked on my journey as an aspiring entrepreneur. Engaging with these executives, I discovered that many lacked a comprehensive understanding of the latest industry trends or specific business metrics. Some even reacted negatively to my inquiries, which puzzled me as a young optometrist eager to discuss innovative strategies and business model implementations. Reflecting on these interactions, I now realize that their frustration stemmed from their own uncertainty and lack of answers rather than any fault of mine for asking questions.

Over the years, some interactions proved fleeting, ending after brief encounters at conferences without any further continuation. In contrast, a few interactions did lead to minor opportunities, primarily benefiting the executive involved. The underlying notion behind these one-sided opportunities was the promise that their network would be made aware of our collaboration, only for no mention of it.

Collaborations sometimes led to helping others achieve their objectives, only for my own business goals to be undermined or ideas appropriated without credit. Career advancement often involved navigating through political dynamics. Yet, regardless of these challenges, maintaining resilience and grit has been crucial in upholding high expectations.

Chasing after career dreams usually requires ambition, determination, and the longing for personal satisfaction. No matter the disappointments you may face, understand that the greatest expectations are that you keep you aiming high. Continue to improve and embrace the disappointments, those the the key moments in your career that make you different then others.

What you offer may not always be returned, but aiming high to accomplish more, discover more about yourself, is truly thrilling! It’s important to take lessons from others’ missteps and dare to change the status quo. When you have great expectations you have the ability to make a tremendous impact. You don’t have to conform all the time; forging your own path is empowering. Those who carve out their own journey to success are harder to bring down than those who rely solely on others’ support.

Unveiling Your Career Trajectory: Navigating Success in Eye Care – From Hit-Maker to One-Hit Wonder

A one-hit wonder in business refers to a scenario where a company or individual achieves remarkable success based on a single breakthrough innovation, business or service. The phenomenon casts a shadow over other endeavors. Encores are tough to do. Rapid success can inflate egos and create pressure to replicate the same level of quality work and innovative ideas, which may prove challenging to sustain.

Eye Care Professionals can be game changers that impact our industry. Eyetrepreneurs are few and far between. Some develop a product, some develop a business, others create a concept and change our industry. Sometimes it is just luck or having someone with influence propel an idea forward. Status comes and goes. The temporary fame or long term success is what separates the true Eyetrepreneurs Hit-Makers from One Hit Wonders in Eye Care.

One-hit wonders can extend beyond products or services to encompass leadership positions within businesses. These leaders may initially capture attention and drive the company forward, but they struggle to maintain momentum and foster growth over time. When leaders dwell on past successful business transactions that occurred more than a year ago without achieving any new accomplishments, it signifies a one-hit wonder scenario within the organization. Ideas become stagnant, and attention remains fixed on outdated strategies that may have succeeded in one context but are ineffective in another. If a leader’s claim to fame is solely reviving a declining brand to meet targets in the past, organizations must reassess how they position decision-makers moving forward. If success can not be replicated,it is important to understand why that person can not do it? Was it luck? Was the idea taken from another individual? Did that person have help from an unidentified individual? Did the last company have a large position in the industry? Was nothing being done before that any effort can lead to success?

The allure of success can blind many professionals from seeing long term picture. The image must be continuing to expand, innovate and grow the concept of the business. If you created a successful cold start practice, could you do it again in another location that has 10 competitors within a 5 mile radius? It is easy to create a successful practice when there aren’t any competitors in 50 miles. If I was a practice owner, I would ask myself those hard questions of “Can I recreate the same product, service or image if I was in a different situation?” If the answer is NO, then you are a one hit wonder.

The roller coaster ride in career trajectories can create this phenomenon in eye care. Growing Fast and Staying Steady: Some may experience rapid growth with a single viral hit. But over time content needs to be diverse to continue to engage their audience. Some many become burnout with trying to reach the high of new content and basing the value of the content on likes and shares.

It can be a stepping stone to opportunities beyond social media. Leveraging the excitement to transition into KOL positions, industry role and ad boards. It can open doors for new career paths Whether it’s securing brand partnerships, landing acting roles, or starting their own businesses, they use their existing platform and audience to open doors to new career paths. It’s crucial to stay up to date to remain competitive. Being a one-hit wonder may hinder your ability to keep pace with others in the industry, as sustained success often requires ongoing innovation, consistency, and adaptation to evolving trends. Without a consistent track record, it becomes challenging to maintain relevance.

Having a strategy replicate business idea is vital to become a “HitMaker”. Being consistent and persistent will differentiate a hit-maker from a one hit wonder. Hit-Makers are able to reinvent themselves and explore different avenues in eye care beyond the exam lane. Hit Makers usually have done practice ownership, industry roles and product development. They have cultivated the path to what success looks like and others try to achieve that high level of success.

Recreating success poses challenges, given the numerous external variables that often remain unknown during business or product development. With building a business, competition with arises. How entrepreneurs manage and adapt to this competition ultimately defines success. Innovation is essential at various stages of your development journey.

While some one-hit wonders fade over time, others manage to pivot and find new avenues for growth. The key is the be adaptability and continue to navigate the eyecare landscape. There are a lot of individuals in eye care that have latest the test of time, and are predominate figures in the industry.

The phenomenon of one-hit wonders serves as a reminder of the rapid change in the eye care space. While rapid growth and acclaim may be intoxicating, sustainable prosperity requires a commitment to innovation and adaptability. By learning from the mistakes of these short-lived success stories, entrepreneurs can chart a better path to long term success.

Exploring Anonymous Posts: Insights into the Eye Care Industry

In the eye care industry, anonymity might be utilized to facilitate open and honest discussions about sensitive topics. This approach could be particularly beneficial in situations where individuals feel uncomfortable or embarrassed discussing certain issues openly.

Anonymous postings emerged within the Corporate Optometry Facebook group prior to Facebook implementing this feature. It provided optometrists with a platform to ask questions they hesitated to post openly. Individuals would privately message the admin, who would then share the question on their behalf. The members of the group placed their trust in the admin, who remained loyal to their commitment to anonymity, even in the face of pressure from larger entities. True leaders demonstrate integrity by refusing to disclose sensitive information when subjected to high-pressure tactics.

With time, this concept gained traction within the eye care community, prompting other groups to adopt it. It fostered a culture of trust and authenticity, contributing to the growth of the Facebook group. Optometrists relied on the group admin to share sensitive content and seek guidance on topics ranging from employers and contracts to medical case.

The trend gained even more momentum when Facebook introduced the option to post anonymously directly in all groups, facilitating its widespread adoption. It’s now a common practice across many groups and has become standard in social media posting. This shift has encouraged people to express themselves more freely without fear of reprisal. While this concept isn’t new, similar platforms like Indeed and Glassdoor have long allowed former employees to anonymously review their jobs.

Anonymous posting carries potential disadvantages, especially if individuals misuse their anonymity for personal gain or to spread false information, or to launch attacks on others. The authenticity that has fostered growth within the Corporate Optometry Facebook group is crucial; members can discern between genuine and fabricated posts. Mishandled anonymous posting can tarnish a brand’s reputation if not executed with care and integrity.This approach allows individuals to share valuable insights and information without the pressure of being identified or scrutinized. It can potentially shed light on issues and help bring attention to them very quickly and create accountability.

I’m pleased that others adopted my approach to anonymous social posts. It’s gratifying to see how it has positively impacted our industry. It’s a reminder that one person’s idea can lead to significant changes in behavior and practices within a community. Absolutely, with the power to influence comes the responsibility to use it wisely and authentically. While anonymous social posts can be a powerful tool for fostering open dialogue and positive change, it’s crucial to consider the potential consequences of posting for personal gains. Maintaining authenticity and integrity in our interactions, even in anonymous forums, is essential to preserving trust and credibility within the Corporate Optometry community.

Overall, anonymous posts in the eye care industry can foster a sense of community, support, and education while respecting individuals’ privacy and comfort levels. It has broken down barriers to communication and empower individuals to speak up about important issues. Giving optometrists a voice to change our industry.

What Does Your Version of Success Look Like in Optometry?

Many optometrists may find themselves pressured to conform to predefined molds rather than embarking on journeys that align with their personal happiness. When setting out on a career path, it’s common to fixate on the anticipated satisfaction upon reaching predefined milestones. However, pursuing someone else’s idea of success can lead to a challenging and unfulfilling journey.

Checking the boxes doesn’t guarantee fulfillment. Without a clear understanding of what success means to oneself, it becomes difficult to recognize it once achieved. Establishing a personal definition of success provides a tangible goal, fostering a sense of satisfaction and direction. There are so many opportunities to do different things in eye care and enhance your personal fulfillment. Many optometrists find themselves in a state of burn out because they are not doing what they are passionate about. Some individuals simply mimic the journeys of others, attempting to replicate their success by emulating their actions. However, mirroring someone else’s path will never lead to complete fulfillment. Forge your own trail, pursue your objectives in your unique manner, and create your own path to success.

 

Having a clear vision of personal success serves as a compass, guiding ODS towards fulfillment and satisfaction. Success is not determined by money or accolades. If you are consistently looking for applause for the work that you do, you will never find your happiness in eye care.

As  business owners in optometry, many have found themselves in a roller coaster of emotions. Highs and lows in success. What is success as a business owner? Financial success? How much is enough? When is the right time to evaluate and know you reached your true potential?

The realization of success comes from the impact you can make on others. We as optometrists impact many people,  our patients and our staff. Others advocate for our profession and for people we will never meet, but changed their lives in ways we will never know.

Your definition of success is uniquely yours. It’s not determined by the number of practices you own, the amount of money you earn, or the accolades you receive. Instead, it’s about what brings you fulfillment.

The Opportunities to Integrate AI into your Practice.

The incorporation of AI in optometry will transform the way we diagnose and provide care to patients. There are opportunities within optometry to leverage AI, utilizing the data from imaging systems and electronic health record (EHR) data. Here are several advantages illustrating how AI can positively influence both patients and the industry.

Integrating AI into remote eye examinations offers the potential to enhance precision in refractions and detect eye diseases at early stages using data from telemedicine assessments. Telemedicine eye exams has not only expanded access to care for patients in rural America but have also addressed the shortage of optometry practitioners in various areas. Additionally, the growing preference among optometrists for remote jobs suggests that the opportunities for leveraging AI in this context will likely continue to expand. AI will provide efficient screening, and diagnostic testing and improve imaging analysis.

With the advancements in analyzing big data, we can anticipate earlier detection of eye diseases and a thorough analysis of the prevalence of advancing conditions. This capability will enable the development of more personalized treatment plans. From a business perspective in optometry, these innovations allow us to confidently see a higher volume of patients each day, facilitating a smoother diagnosis and streamlining the process of referrals for treatment plans.

Imagine the world of Eye Care where AI solutions streamline the approval of prior authorizations, assisting with uncovering KPIs in your practice to make it more profitable and schedule appointments for patients to contribute to a more lean and efficient practice.

Impact with purpose. Envision assisting visually impaired individuals with new AI solutions, delivering care to underdeveloped countries from your living room, and changing the lives of patients with tools that we never had before!

Clarity Unveiled: The Transformative Power of Transparency

In a recent survey within the corporate optometry sector revealed that 98% of Optometrists expressed dissatisfaction with the transparency level regarding decision-making in corporate optometry. Given the recent industry-wide changes in the corporate sector, numerous Optometrists are turning to the Corporate Optometry Facebook group for updates and the latest information about their respective companies. Optometrists deserve receiving information directly from the company rather than relying on social media for updates.

Over the years, transparency has become increasingly crucial in corporate optometry. Factors such as acquisitions to store closures have impacted many ODs. The expansion of telemedicine, and AI have made notable changes in our industry. In the current recession, marked by high uncertainty, optometrists face reduced lay offs, reduced hours, decreased bonuses, and salaries.

Leadership changes, especially when executives transition to entirely different industries, pose challenges for building lasting business relationships. To ensure long-term success, accountability must extend across the board.

Optometrists seek quality partnerships with in high trustworthiness, recognizing that transparency is the building blocks maintaining trust in professional relationships. In an era marked by low optometrist retention and high turnover, effective communication becomes vital to reduce uncertainty and anxiety among optometrists. ODs involvement in major decisions fosters engagement, ultimately contributing to increased revenue for both the store and the company. ODs want to part of something, help build something greater than just their career. Involve them in discusses, listen to feedback. Decisions made should take into account OD’s careers as well.

There are many metrics on how individuals are tracked by performance, yet being transparent and ethic is not one of those. Many decisions that are made are to benefit an individual. Leaders within organizations need to understand that their decisions many times impact many ODs, families, an entire industry and patient care. If transparency was measured, you would find that many ODs follow and value individuals that might not be a decision maker but a person that is trustworthy and transparent. The moral can change when decisions are made in a collaborative method and open communication on initiatives.

Transparency in corporate decision-making is crucial for creating a positive work environment, maintaining trust, and ensuring the success and growth of both the optometry practice and the careers of individual optometrists. Open communication builds a foundation for better results and higher OD retention and better patient outcomes. Ultimately, the impact of transparency extends beyond just disclosures, it shapes a culture of accountability and collaboration that strengthens any organization. Image an industry with no hidden agendas and the future is as clear as 20/20.

Rising Above the Competition: Stop Competing Down.

Your journey to personal development starts with a desire to do a little better each day. Your best potential self is achievable if you seek improvement. We can’t get comfortable with your achievements, we need to face some resilience in order to continue to excel. Having a target goal of where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years and 20 years can provide a clear vision, helping you visualize and plan the direction you aspire to take. Once you know where you want to be, find a business or person that is there, do you have the ability to compete with them at that level? If not it is time to get to work! It has been said that if you are the smartest person in the room you in the wrong room.

Challenging oneself to competing with strong opponents like well established medical professionals or even large corporations can be viewed as “competing up”. Many times I will see individuals” competing down” to secure easy victories in business. Individuals that continue to do so throughout their careers will never find their true potential and have a successful businesses. When competing down to secure success, the underlying cause might be a perceived shortcut to quick gains or a strategy to minimize challenges. It’s essential to carefully evaluate such decisions, considering the long-term consequences that inhibit growth. Competing up often fosters growth, innovation, and resilience in the face of challenges. Once you start competing up you get confidence. Confidence to know you belong at the table. Once you finally get there it is easy to know you have the potential and you have been “training” all along for it.

Competing UP is not for everyone. It is a certain mindset. It is a growth mindset. Do I have the potential to be bigger and better than big players in your category? Embarking on a business journey has inevitable ups and downs. Learning from the early stages of your career and embracing the challenge of competing at higher levels not only cultivates resilience but also compels continuous improvement and overall growth.

Preparation is important. You are training to see how you can handle the pressure. Can you handle working 60+ hours a week, having uncomfortable conversations, dealing with fear tactics and walking alone in business? These are things that you learn by competing up. When you compete up, you will know if you are cut out to be the next CEO or business leader. Are you ready to finally Level UP!?

Building Your Practice with Dry Eye Drops: Harnessing the Convenience of Innovative Drops to Grow your practice.

By Dr. Maria Sampalis

Exciting developments in the dry eye space! I have made a commitment to help my
patients with the latest in dry eye treatments. My commitment to embracing the latest
innovations in eye care has helped me become a better provider and provide new ways
to approach and treat dry eye.
Want to help your dry eye patients who have tried many options but haven’t had relief?
When I discovered Regener-Eyes® I was thrilled to provide this drop to my patients.
Regener-Eyes is a proven technology that focuses on one of the real causes of dry
eyes, which is now being understood as hyperosmolarity. Regener-Eyes is a hypotonic
solution that helps relieve dryness of the eye. Regener-Eyes’ technology can help
create a balance, that can increase lubrication and hydration. This may help to prevent
further irritation of the eye, thereby promoting eye health.
I have my patients use the drop 2-4 times a day depending on the severity of the dry
eye. Mainly I use the Regener Eyes Lite version for my patients. I have my patients try it
and do a follow-up visit in 4 weeks. At that visit, I utilize slit lamp examination, as well as
close patient monitoring and I see great outcomes which means happy patients.
Regener-Eyes has been a great addition to my practice, and patients continue to stay
on the drop. It is a safe product and compliance is one of the greatest among other
products.
Beyond the clinical aspects of the drop, Regener-Eyes provides a great ROI for your
practice. Patients are only able to get it directly through the company after an eye care
professional’s recommendation or buy it from a stocking eye care professional’s office.
As an OTC product that has great clinical outcomes, it generates great revenue for your
practice and creates patient retention.
Regener-Eyes represents a new way of addressing dry eye. Its proven formula not only
elevates patient care but also serves as a robust business builder for optometry
practices. Embracing Regener-Eyes not only ensures optimal results for our patients but
also positions our practice as a leader in providing cutting-edge solutions and fostering
long-term success.

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5 Qualities You Need to Be a Successful Optopreneur

Have you been thinking about starting your own optometry business? Building a business from the ground up and running it successfully is no easy feat. As is with every type of industry these days, the competition is intense.

But no obstacle is too big to deter a true entrepreneur from his or her chosen path. You may already have an entrepreneurial spirit. But even if you don’t, it’s possible to develop the qualities of a successful entrepreneur with practice.

1. Do What Others Won’t

Coming up with an idea and sticking with it is the most definitive trait of an entrepreneur. A successful entrepreneur goes with what clicks their mind rather than blindly following other’s opinions and acting on someone’s ideas. You shouldn’t waste your time and energy overthinking matters to the point that taking even the first step becomes too much of a task.

What you need to do is collect your thoughts in a way that allows you to come up with a productive plan for implementing your idea.

2. Say Yes to all opportunities

Being an entrepreneur demands being confident and believing in your skills and abilities. Having confidence in yourself gives you the strength to deal with the hardships that may come up in your way from time to time. True entrepreneurs readily accept every opportunity that comes their way because ‘no’ is not an option for them.

You must learn to be self-sufficient and self-reliant as well.

3. Don’t Let Anyone Put You Down

Entrepreneurs are met with all kinds of opinions and advice, including the helpful as well as the not-so-helpful one. Your friends and family members can particularly have a strong influence on how you perceive the feasibility of your plan. Listen to people who genuinely support you. And meanwhile, ignore and isolate yourself from the environment where you feel negativity towards your business. People may talk you into stay in your comfort zone and avoiding going into unchartered waters. As a true entrepreneur, remember to stay firm on your beliefs and not let anyone put you or your ideas down.

4. Stay Strong and Positive

You have to be fearless to be successful. If you don’t succeed at first, keep trying until you do. Remember that failure is not defined by incurring few losses but only when you stop struggling to achieve the goal that you initially set for yourself. Your so-called mistakes are actually a learning opportunity as they can teach you a lot about where to start from and what not to do the second time. Entrepreneurs stay focused on their goals and never give up as they know that great things happen by doing hard work.

5. Stand Up for What You Believe

When entrepreneurs introduce an idea or launch a startup, there’s always a chance that someone or the other will oppose them. A smart entrepreneur respects the freedom of speech but at the same time knows how to stand up and defend his or her ideas. It’s good to learn the art of how to disagree without being disrespectful to others, while maintaining one’s dignity at the same time.

Reflect on your work attitude and aptitude. You may already have the qualities of a successful entrepreneur but might not have realized it yet. If you can master these skills as an optometrist, rest assured that the world is your oyster.

A Bright Opportunity for Growth

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Dry eye disease is a common disorder that causes dry, gritty, burning, tired eyes and fluctuating vision.
About sixteen million Americans have been diagnosed, 1 and twice as many may be undiagnosed with dryeye. MGD is the leading cause of dry eye disease, accounting for about 86% of cases.

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“Personally, I don’t think I can practice in a dry eye practice without having OptiLight”, said Dr. Douglas
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OptiLight is a quick, in-office treatment that can elevate and scale your practice while significantly
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Citations
1. Farrand et al. Am J Ophthalmol 2017;182:90-98.
2. Lemp MA et al. (2012) Cornea May;31(5):472-8.
3. FDA study sponsored by Lumenis: internal reference LUM-VBU-M22-IPL-17-01. 4. Yan et al. (2020), Eye & Contact Lens 2021, 27(1):45-53.
5. Arita et al. (2019) Ocul Surf 17(1):308-13.
6. Gao et al. (2019) Int J Ophthalmol 12(11):1708-1713.
7. Liu et al. (2017) Am J Ophthalmol 183:81-90.