Mar 21, 2024
Do It Afraid

You've recently graduated, passed your boards, and nothing can stop you. That's how I felt as well.

The reality is that you are now outside the bubble of optometry school. Challenges are going to look different. Rather than being challenged by exams, your challenges will look more like this:

  • How to get the job you want
  • How to handle difficult cases
  • How to purchase a practice
  • How to run a business
  • How to FIRE someone

The last one made you sick to your stomach, didn't it? Me too. So did most of the others on that list. I spent years trying to figure out all the details before deciding. If I didn't completely understand, I would just stop.

Fortunately, in 2011, I was hired at West Georgia Eye Care. In that space, I found a mentor in Dr. Mike Rothschild. He saw potential in me and pushed me to overcome my fears. He taught me how to hire, how to fire, how to make solid recommendations, etc. Little did I know, he was preparing me to take over his practice.

When it came time for me to decide whether or not to purchase WGEC, I was overwhelmed and afraid. I didn't understand all the ins and outs. I couldn't make it all make sense. I had to decide, but how?

During a conversation with Dr. Rothschild, and with some frustration, he exclaimed, "Just flip a coin!" So I did. That's the honest truth. I flipped a dime. Heads, buy the practice; tails, don't. It landed on heads and the rest is history.

It was the biggest decision of my life, and I flipped a coin! Dr. Rothschild once asked me if I would have flipped again had it landed on tails. The answer is yes, I would have flipped again. I knew I was supposed to buy the practice. Call it instincts or a women's intuition, but I knew West Georgia Eye Care was my place. I was simply afraid of the unknown.

The first time I fired someone, I thought I would throw up, but the relief I felt afterward told me it was the right thing. Each time we change a process, I get nervous; there are always effects you can't predict. Whenever someone needs reprimanding or we purchase a new piece of equipment, there is always unpleasantness and always a little fear, but there is always good on the other side.

Listen to your instincts. Do the things you know you are made to do, even if you are afraid... especially if you are afraid. Outside of your comfort zone is where you grow the most. That's where you learn what you're made of; that's when you are most impactful to others.

Flip the coin. Do it afraid. And find yourself a killer mentor; Vision Source is loaded with them.