In this age where meeting deadlines and working on schedules has become inevitable, most of us lose out on our youth. We look faded and jaded thanks to our busy routines that keep us away from all the rejuvenation and relaxation that our body requires. Plastic surgery was the only option considered to look good. But not so anymore.
Medical Aesthetics Inc (MAI) is a California- based team of medical professionals who help you in fulfilling your aesthetic goals with the best available non-surgical options. Dr. Barbara Ringwald, M.D, is the founder and the current Medical Director of MAI. She is an Aesthetic Physician, practicing for the past 10 years. Dr. Ringwald is an expertise in performing non-surgical aesthetics to give her patients a feel of younger looking skin and body.
The team decided to catch up with Dr. Ringwald to know more about her therapy practice.
Please tell us something about yourself.
I developed my Aesthetics’ practice quickly by word of mouth thanks to the clients who were very satisfied. These clients, who now form a loyal core of the business, are the ones who had been to other physicians before for services, but returned to us for predictably good results and the gentle touch we give with all the procedures to minimize pain. In addition, we try and connect on a deeper level with the patients, trying to know each other, forming a valuable bond and trust that sustains the relationship.
What are the services that you offer?
The procedures that we perform range from Botox injections in the face and neck to dermal fillers in the mid face and lower face (Restylane, Perlane and Radiesse). One of my favorite procedures is injecting dermal fillers; particularly Radiesse, into lovely aging faces that show tissue- loss and restoring the volume and the natural fullness of the face. I have been blessed with the artistic eye to create that “wow” effect due to an advanced training. Combined with Botox and an occasional peel, the results that come out are stunning.
Another effective anti-aging procedure, Intense Pulse Light or IPL Photofacial treats Rosacea, facial spider veins, age spots on face and the hands and can be performed on the face, décolleté and arms. Laser Hair Removal is still a much sought after treatment for both men and women who then come for any area including the popular “Brazilian”. I have consistently managed to achieve great results without side effects. I was the first doctor to offer Lipodissolve in the area and have done thousands of procedures with good to spectacular results with a zero infection rate. Clients come to us from far away in California and the neighboring states. Likewise, I was the first doctor in this area to be trained for Zerona Lipolaser, a body slimming device that has been hailed by a large segment of the population. Having had years of expertise in fat melting has boosted my results above the average through qualification of candidates.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture?
My enthusiasm for Aesthetics was sparked by the realization that too many mothers were
neglecting their looks while raising their children till a point of time when they finally realized it. As a pediatrician I am thrilled to be able to bring back their natural beauty and roll the clock back to several years. They deserve it. A form of sisterhood developed in my office between these women, supporting each other for “guilt free beautification”.
How important have good employees been to your success?
Employees are an integral part of a good team. Without a good support team the practice is virtually worthless. The employees who are involved with a new patient try to deliver excellent customer service .These employees are invaluable because they represent me and my values.
If you had the chance to start your career all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have liked to start my new career about 10 years earlier, but then again, all the non-surgical procedures were developed at the time I started. So the timing was thankfully right.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
2. Courage to face failure
3. Belief in yourself, tenacity and the ability to stay focused
How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Every business goes through trials and errors. Even I had my share of problems. When revising the things that don’t work well, time should not be lost to fix it. I stick to my ideas until I am convinced that they do not work.
How many hours do you work a day on average?
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
In the stage of building my practices, I worked definitely more than 8 hours. I helped my family with cooking, cleaning the house and dog –sitting, until things got better with time. I extremely appreciate their understanding and support.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by the great results that my patients enjoy and the thought of being the best that I can be.
How do you generate new ideas?
This world is full of energy, creativity and possibilities. Paying constant attention to what I see and hear around me promotes new ideas. It is all there for the grabs. You just have to see it.
What is your greatest fear and how do you manage it?
I don’t have a particular fear. Fear has its root in being powerless. For me the best remedy is to locate the fear and then confront it head on.
What are your ideals?
I don’t have any fixed ideals. I have value systems for guidance. To live a life of harmony and to integrate all levels of my life into something that gives me meaning are the ideals that I follow.
How do you define success?
For me success is a roadmap. I set goals and then try to understand the obstacles. I clear my mind of doubt and create a positive mental image while staying focused.
What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Embrace the challenges, stay on track, and yet remain flexible. be confident and show the world that you can do it.
How did you obtain investors for your venture?
The funding came partly from my pediatric practice and partly out of my own personal funds.
How do you build a successful customer base?
By giving all my patients a satisfactory service.
How did you decide on the location for your business?
I chose my Roseville location due to the proximity with patients that I built over the last 10 years of my s practice. I chose my new Sacramento location to have access to a larger population of patients for my practice as well as to become more central for my patients who travel from many areas in northern California to see me.
Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
I believe it requires vision, enthusiasm, the courage to experience failure or setbacks and a good sense of humor and persistence.
If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
I would talk to Dr. Albert Schweizer. He was my idol when I was a child because he was a great humanitarian. He helped the poor in the Congo in Africa and was also a great musician. As a matter of fact, he is the reason why I am a physician.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Dr. Albert Schweizer.
What book has inspired you the most?
“A world waiting to be born: Civility Rediscovered” by M. Scott Peck M.D.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is the freedom that I have to create and follow my vision.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
The most satisfying moment in my business is when I have made a difference in the life of a person and having fulfilled the expectations of my patients and myself.
What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
As an entrepreneur you are in control of your fate.
How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
All forms of advertising have been pursued; radio, print ads, flyers, internet, etc. What has worked reliably well for us is a satisfied and very loyal patient clientele. So we have a good in- house advertising.
What kind of culture exists in your organization?
Professional, knowledgeable, friendly, harmonious, cooperative, kind and dedicated-that’s how I would describe the culture in my organization. This tone is reflective by my personality and has been adopted by my personnel.
In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Some patients eluded my scrutiny of selection. I’ve learned from this mistake.
How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
I turn away more patients than most physicians do, if I don’t believe that they will be successful. There will always be some dissatisfied patients despite the fact that they are well informed about the limits of their expectations. I have intensified their education and awareness of realistic expectations.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I love to spend time with family and friends, eat out, work in my garden, read, and go for bike rides, hikes, camping ,fishing, music concerts and other art performances.
What makes you happy?
To be out in nature.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Other than long hours and hard work, absolutely none.
Excluding yours, which other company or business do you admire the most?
Dan Kennedy, who is the inspiration for entrepreneurs.
Where do you see yourself in 10-20 years?
I can see myself gravitating into teaching my skills.
If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
I would ask what new trends are developing in the Aesthetic industry in the next 5-10 years.