No Mentor, No Problem!: How to Become Self-Made in Eye Care.

You don’t need to have a family member that was or is in the eye care industry or an extensive network, income or mentor to become a self-made optometrist. A self made OD didn’t have success given to them, they went out and got it! All you need to learn is how to invest money productively, practice perseverance, don’t settle and keep learning. Starting from scratch and not having doors opened for you can be a daunting task, but for those that are motivated by success NOT money the journey is worth it.

Having a positive outlook with a well thought-out plan is imperative to succeed as an entrepreneur in the optometry industry. Keep your eyes on the prize! It will be different journey than others and will be a lot of hurdles, embrace the difficulties that shape your future self! Here are 6 tips to help you along the way.

1. Pursue Your Passion

Self-made optometrists are passionate about the field and love their work. To follow their path, you need to be ambitious and driven to reach your goals.

When you are working as an employee in an optometry practice you are more likely to hit a salary cap and time constraints on pursuing your passion. Choose a niche that you have expertise in and work towards establishing your own practice whether it is sublease or private practice.

Being self-made in optometry requires you to work for extensive hours and tackle financial stress. Push boundaries to create opportunities for yourself and have a clear vision. You will need to out hustle others to succeed. It is about strong work ethic not about intellectual abilities.

2. Set Goals

Determining short-term and long-term goals is essential for succeeding as an entrepreneurial OD. Write down your plans in a notebook and make to-do lists. Ensure that your goals are specific and realistic, and make a firm commitment to meet them. Goals should be as simple as 1 week out to a 5 year plan.

Divide your goals into actionable steps so that you can proceed in a systematic manner. Instead of concentrating on money, focus on success. Achieving success will be automatically followed by earning money.  Search for ways to enhance your income and minimize your expenses in order to reach your goals. Once you reach your goals aim higher have something to build up to. Once you reach your goals and don’t settle because there is always someone else hungrier for it.

3. Keep Learning and Get out of your Comfort Zone

Read books and study people who have become self-made professionals, and ask for their advice. Understand how they think about their success, what got them there and how they did things differently. You will learn that self made people are independent learners. They read books, journals, research websites and try and learn as much as then can from others. They are obsessive about getting better. They don’t see optometry as work. Success is very slow at the beginning, continuing to do the same repetitive motions with no progress can be difficult to continue, many will give up. Self made professionals embrace the grind and over time the perseverance will create a snowball effect of success!

4. Surround Yourself With Successful People

The company you keep can have an impact on your life and career in positive as well as negative ways. People who are discouraging and have bad work habits can influence your frame of mind and behavior. Make sure you surround yourself with people with work habits and goals that are similar to yours.

Take inspiration from like-minded and successful people in the field. You can gain valuable insights about starting a business by connecting with experienced professionals. It will be difficult to find truly successful people because many don’t need to boast about their accomplishments, they let their work speak for themselves, while others that promote income and successes usually are a facades. Learn to differentiate the two. Find people that speak your language. Confidence is contagious once you find the right people!

Ask yourself why not me? Even if it hasn’t been done in the past why can’t you do it? Surround yourself with people that get you. Success is a mental challenge learn how to be mentally strong. Embrace the negative comments, the failures and rejections. Write down each failure. Make sure to review that list every day. Use it as motivation to keep pursuing your dream.

5. Sacrifices Need to be Made

Self made professionals have a different mindset. To get to the goal, certain choices need to be made in order to be functioning at a master level. Be willing to do what others are not willing to do! It will be physically and mentally hard. If you are looking to get a head then you will need to do things that others would have quit already. Maybe it is getting up early working on the project for 1-2 hours before work. Maybe it is changing how the family dynamic is. For those that know you, you don’t have to apologize, they know that its important to you. Each goal reached is a small win in the long journey of fulfillment. Confidence will come with each goal being reached.

The sacrifices during the journey will be lonely. Not many people will understand your why. Don’t be afraid of confrontation great outcomes never come from anything easy. Intimidation and confrontation does not effect the mindset of a self made person because of the hard work and sacrifices that have been established as basic building blocks that have been repeatedly over the years.

6. Manage Money Wisely

To be successful, keep a track of how and where you spend your money. Invest in your business, pick up the extra shift, ask for more projects at work. Reinvest strategically in yourself and in multiple revenue sources. Delay gratification. Pay yourself last. Keep your eyes on your ultimate goal. Many self made people understand that success is not the money amount but about fulfillment and freedom of choices.

Being a self-made optometrist is all about having your priorities straight, taking calculated risks, never quitting and managing your time and money wisely. Success will not come overnight, but with dedication, courage and resilience, you can eventually become an accomplished practitioner. When the moment finally comes enjoy the moment.

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