Q 1. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Ans: Essential Health Stem Cell is located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Essential Health Stem Cell is focused on a regenerative treatment to painful, stiff degenerated knees, shoulders, hips and other joints to stop and reverse the effects of arthritic change. Our mission is to eliminate pain and inflammation and restore lost joint health and function to allow patients to regain their health/happiness and return to the activities that they love and enjoy with family and friends.
Q 2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself.
Ans: I am a married father of three grown children. I began exercising with weights in junior high and continued through high school. I sought chiropractic treatment to address persistent upper back pain and spasm. I was amazed. I partnered with an older friend a year after high school and opened an exercise gym that focused on using free weights; barbells and dumbells. It was called Steel City Gym. We thought that it was an appropriate name for a gym with steel weights that was located in a city with large steel mills. Unfortunately, the mills had massive layoffs and the local area was devastated. I attended The Ohio State University and received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and then worked at an engineering firm in the Research Triangle Park. My interest in human sciences continued. I completed chiropractic school in 1994.
Q 3. How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: The entire notion or idea of stem cell therapy is inspiring and motivating. I have always felt that in almost all instances that no drug or surgery can work as well as the human body in solving a problem itself if we would just get out of the way and let it …and not poison it. That is the basic thought process behind maintaining spine function, neuromusculoskeletal function, healthy nutrition, and weight management. Those are critical factors in maximizing the body’s own potential. Well, here comes along stem cells …may great things are being achieved and more promise on the horizon from cells that have already been there waiting for us to find them. It is a very exciting prospect to realize that we can stop degenerative change that accompanies aging and dysfunction, reverse it, and return patients to a happy, healthy, active life . . . without surgery, without risks, without side effects. And I have just witnessed too many people over the years having invasive procedures that resulted in infections, poor outcomes, additional surgeries, prolonged recoveries, etc.
Q 4. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: 1) Have a detailed plan for the business that covers the first 5 years. It is the blueprint to success. You can tweak it as you go.
2) Be sure to be properly capitalized.
3) Hire great staff.
Q 5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: 1) Planning Skills
2) Organization Skills
3) Execution Skills
Q 6. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: I work about 9 hours per day. In the evenings, though, my mind is often thinking of issues and ideas related to the my business. Often times I write down notes or log into the computer to make notation of thoughts and ideas.
Q 7. To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: Determination . . . the ability to
keep moving forward. I think it is very common with entrepreneurs.
Q 8. How do you go about marketing your business?
Ans: Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Q 9. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: I think the best way to achieve long term success is to make sure that respect for “customers, patients, clients” and integrity is part of the driving force for your business.
Q 10. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: In 5-10 years I see Essential Health Stem Cell continuing to grow in the field as new studies and research demonstrate areas of successful treatment.
Q 11. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: One company does not come to mind. I do have observances about many companies where I admire what “this” company does her or I admire how “that” company does something else.
Q 12. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: Good employees are critical for success. Good employees allow more and more functions to be delegated. Additionally, great employees take an “ownership” attitude toward the business; they genuinely care about the business, the success of the business, the quality of the products and services offered, the interface of business/patient, and the success that the products and services have on patient lives. Great employees are invaluable at giving real time feedback on changes and improvements that need to occur to improve the patients’ experience, satisfaction and health success.
Q 13. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: Many times, an initial idea or thought is realized and then quickly “mulled over”, “turned over” and ejected. Sometimes, a new idea passes that initial test and is then briefly discussed with a staff member or two and my wife before it is discarded or moved forward. It is difficult to determine how long I stick with an idea because an idea is always developing and modifying. Most initial ideas are a basic thought response to a need and then as that need is carefully analyzed and re-analyzed is brought into more focus and dissected from different perspectives and angles and situations .. . . and as this process continues to happen…..the original idea is molded, tweeked, carved, and perfected.
Q 14. What motivates you?
Ans: I am motivated by always trying to improve. Improve the way we deliver a service. Improve the way we address a patient’s needs. Improve the way we communicate. Improve the way we treat a condition. Is there a better way!
Q 15. What are your ideals?
Ans: My ideals are to offer a high quality service/product by highly trained staff for the purpose of improving someone’s quality of life.
Q 16. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: New ideas are generated by recognizing a need. Is an existing service in need of modification? Would our patients or potential patients benefit from a new service/product? Patient care and patient needs are observed constantly and those questions are asked . . . .constantly.
Q 17. How do you define success?
Ans: Success as an entrepreneur or employee, in whatever field it may be, lies in performing a function, whatever it may be, to the fullest extent of your competence and integrity to a degree where it satisfies the demands of your employer/customer sufficiently to allow financial reward to maintain the standard of living that each
Q 18. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: Build a successful customer base by offering a product/service with respect and integrity that satisfies a customer need/want. Then maintain that relationship with ongoing periodic communication.
Q 19. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: I think my favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is the fact that I execute on the thoughts and ideas that are the final decisions of mine toward offering thoughts, ideas, information, services that have the biggest impact on patients’ health and happiness. I enjoy having a vision, determining a pathway, and setting upon executing the steps to get there.
Q 20. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: There is not ONE, but rather every time a patient shares with us the positive, sometimes life changing, effect that our services and consulting and brought to their lives or through are assistance and their actions helped get to that status of health, happiness, self-esteem, etc.
Q 21. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: I think the major difference is that entrepreneurs like he stimulation that is created by taking risk, or, at least, they can function with the ongoing presence of risk.
Q 22. What kind of culture exists in your organization?
Ans: In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur. Fulfilling.
Q 23. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ans: I do not believe that being an entrepreneur has had any unique effect on my family. My wife works as well and together we have made sure to take time off, when needed, to pick up an ill child, doctor’s appointments, important events, etc.
Q 24. How did you decide on the location for your business?
Ans: I selected the location of my business because it is centrally positioned in the city and it is on an avenue that is well known and is easily accessible from any point in the city. Additionally, my business is directly across the street from a major hospital, nearby to established residential areas, and a little over two blocks away from the nicest retail/restaurant complex in the area.
Q 25. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Yes. First and foremost. You have to have a product or service that satisfies a need or want for the consumer. Secondly, you must be able to plan, be organized, execute on plan, delegate responsibilities, be able to adapt to the demands for change in the marketplace.
Q 26. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Ans: This is such a hard question. I had to keep coming back to this one. There are so many people, past and present, that I would like to sit and talk to and ask questions. Lincoln, Churchill, Alan Shepard, Poe, Buddha, Gandhi, Einstein, Gates. At the start of the U.S. involvement in WW2, Eisenhower was a lieutenant colonel. He rose to the rank of Commander of All Allied forces in less than three years. I cannot imagine the overwhelming magnetism, leadership, analytical, and decision making skills that he must have demonstrated. He surely was an incredible team builder and able to get other to buy into his vision.
If I had to pick only one to talk to, it would have to be Ulysses S. Grant. He saw horrific bloodshed and destruction during the civil war, but the period that affected him most, was the suffering and loss of life of men, women, and children when he served as army quartermaster with a large contingent that crossed central America as they were headed to new posts in California. Malaria and other diseases decimated that group. In fact, in his first address to congress, President Grant proposed the Panama Canal. I find it fascinating that at the start of the Civil War, he was working as a merchant, a civilian. He refused to use the avenues of some of his peers and go begging to congressman and active military to beg for an appointment. He almost missed out. Eventually, he was approached to train some volunteer militias for the Union Army. His rank was Colonel…..of militia. He never lost a battle. He won Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, then Shiloh, then Vicksburg, and then Chattanooga. Lincoln promoted him to command of all Union Armies. He crossed into Virginia and General Lee attacked. It would be General Lee’s last offensive maneuver. Think of that. The great General Lee. General Lee had already made idiots out of McLellan, Hooker, Meade,etc. and then his first offensive attack against Grant was his last. Grant chased Lee the rest of the war around Virginia until his surrender at Appomattox. Grant faced lots of resistance from peers and “highers in command” as he continued to win and rise in the ranks. His superiors manufactured rumors of drunkenness to undermine his success and yet . . . . Anyhow, sorry for the history lesson, but it is because of what he was able to accomplish . . .analyze the enemy, create a strategy, institute a plan, achieve staff agreement, manage logistics, execute the plan, play the “chess match”. Amazing to me, really. The way he could read people and commanders and recognize their abilities to succeed.
Q 27. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Ans: I have been inspired by many, many people in history and in current society; in politics, war, business, entertainment, and everyday life. I have been inspired through the observance of their decisions, their ability to lead and motivate, through their statements and their outcomes. Sometimes that inspiration may be a one episode occurrence from an individual and in some cases individuals have brought many levels of inspiration in many areas. In fact, some individual’s entire lives have inspired me. One person that I often refer to in casual conversation, to employees, and in lecture presentations, though, is my father. My father was born the son of a coal miner in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia during the time of the depression. They were extremely poor and many of their stories related lots of their hardships and the things they did without. However, the stories were never accompanied with notions of victimization, or “can’t do”, or hopelessness. My father graduated high school and worked for a shirt time in the mines. I think that he knew that he couldn’t and wouldn’t settle for that. So, without any guidance or encouragement, he quit the mines and began college and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. He worked most of his career with American Electric Power. Dad has always been hardworking. He puts a lot of attention into preparation, details, and being thorough. He was the same way at home. In the fall of 2016, dad suffered with a bout of pneumonia. It complicated his health and resulted in a stroke. He lost some muscle function. But he suffered more loss of function in his ability to understand and convey oral and written language. He also lost the ability to swallow. Currently, he exercises his muscles a couple of times daily. He performs swallowing exercises several times a day. He also works to regain his intellectual skills by utilizing kindergarten and first grade math and language books. He also uses and online interactive program to continue to develop cognitive function. He has a long, long way to go. He may never get there. But, his determination, near-tireless effort, and focus are . . . . .all dad . . . . . and very inspiring.
Q 28. What book has inspired you the most?
Ans: There are several books that I have really enjoyed:The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
Q 29. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Ans: The biggest mistake that I made in the office was having complete faith in the front desk person and not having a check/balance system for cash payments. It led to theft of money. The biggest mistake that I made outside of the office was not recognizing that my youngest son’s ongoing “focus” issues was not because he was lazy, or didn’t care, or was lackadaisical about things, but was due to a cerebellar brain tumor that he had removed surgically at 5 years old at Duke Hospital.
Q 30. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Ans: Mistakes can be limited by preparation and planning. . . .have systems and protocols put in place. Take time to review that everyone knows their role.
Q 31. What are your hobbies?
Ans: What do you do in your non-work time? I enjoy playing chess. I enjoy oil painting but I do not create nearly enough time to do it. I enjoy exercising with dumbbell weights. I enjoy throwing frisbee with my border collie, Cooper. I enjoy hiking the trails around Greensboro and western North Carolina with my wife, Debbie, and Cooper. I also really enjoy dancing. My wife and I take Shag, Swing, and Lindy Hop dance lessons and we enjoy going to philanthropic events, socials, and weddings to get a chance to dance. enjoy target archery with a compound bow. I really love going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. I enjoy growing plants that attract butterflies and providing ample bird seed… and watching butterflies and birds. My favorite of each are the yellow swallowtail and Bluebird. We maintain several bluebird houses.
Q 32. What makes you happy?
Ans: The thing that makes me the happiest is being anywhere with my wife. We really enjoy each other’s company. We can talk forever, love dining together, hiking together, walking and holding hands together. I have been on a honeymoon since August 20, 1988. I also get great joy being around my three children on weekends or vacations; Aubrey, 24 ( a chemist at Syngenta and soon to be bride), Ron Glover is her fiancée and a great guy. I love to be around him. My son, Michael, 22, an electrical engineering student, and Cameron, 20. Cameron lives in Asheville, NC.
Lots of things make me happy. I am a happy person. Simple things bring me satisfaction and joy, yet, I am never satisfied.
Q 33. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: In the early years I spent lots of extra time in the evening and on the weekends focusing and working on my business.
Q 34. If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
Ans: What were the influences or events that led you here?
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