Daniel Ward

Dream big to achieve success.


An internationally sought-after expert in rhinoplasty, facelift, fillers, Botox, and facial plastic surgery, P. Daniel Ward, MD, MS, FACS, was born and raised in Utah. He attended the University of Utah and Utah State University earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemistry prior to attending medical school at the University of Utah. He completed medical school at the University of Utah where he founded a program, Utah Rural Outreach Program (UROP), to help introduce high school students in underserved areas to medicine. He completed his residency and fellowship at the University of Michigan, one of the top facial plastic surgery programs in the country, prior to taking a position on the faculty at the University of Utah.

He lectures and teaches surgeons around the world; discussing advances in facial plastic surgery, including advances in facial cosmetic surgery (rhinoplasty, facelift, neck lift, blepharoplasty, brow lift, lasers), facial reconstruction after Mohs skin cancer surgery, facial trauma, and facial paralysis. He was the recipient of a prestigious grant from the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery for his research efforts.

In 2016, he started his private practice in Salt Lake City and founded Form Medical Spa, which now has three locations throughout Utah and offers laser treatments, filler injections, lip injections, Botox and Dysport treatments, IPL, micro-needling, PRP, facials, Coolsculpting, teeth whitening, massages, and IV hydration.

Where did the idea for Form Medical Spa come from?

I wanted to create an environment that offered the highest level of service and made the esthetics patient feel great. When we perform plastic surgery on a patient, we want a top notch, amazing result. I felt that this was missing in the esthetics world and I felt that this was a little disjointed that patients expect an amazing experience for plastic surgery but when it came time for them to get less invasive treatments, the experience was not stellar. In addition, I was troubled that so many medical spas were run by doctors who are not board certified in one of the four core aesthetics specialties; so I decided to start some medical spas that functioned at a higher level and with a more professional approach.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My days usually start pretty early–I wake up around 3:30 AM. I try to get some work done, workout, and get an early start to the day. I see patients in clinic two and a half days per week and I am in the operating room two and a half days per week. I am often fitting in a meeting at lunch, before work, after work, or in between patients. It is kind of hectic. I try to be productive by filling in any gaps during the day with tasks that I would otherwise not have time to complete.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am a big dreamer, which means that I have a ton of ideas and only a fraction of them end up getting implemented or completed. I try to bring ideas to life through a combination of planning and by just trying it out. I am a strong believer in planning things out and preparation. However, I am also a big believer that “paralysis by analysis” is a frequent way that we fail to get ideas off the ground and can prevent us from achieving success. Sometimes, you just need to take the leap! Thankfully, I have an amazing team around me that helps implement my ideas. They are the real way that these ideas are brought to life.

What’s one trend that excites you?

In my specific area, I am excited by a trend towards natural results in plastic surgery. The fake, overdone, over tightened looks leads to patients who look odd or funny, but it also increases the risk of complications.
More broadly speaking, I am excited by how technology has helped make entrepreneurship possible to a wider array of people and presented more opportunities. I think that capitalism is a great equalizer that helps allow people from all walks of life grow and become something bigger and better.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I think that my main strength, that I hope has become a habit, is to dream big. In addition, I try to take advantage of opportunities and times when I have an unexpected opportunity to get things done.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Dream big and work to achieve your dreams. Start early and don’t be afraid of risks.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I don’t know how many people agree or disagree with this statement, but failure is something that is a necessary experience. It keeps you hungry and humble, which helps you make better, more thoughtful decisions.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Use an apparent obstacle as an opportunity. If you suffer a setback, use that setback to improve your team, your personnel, your processes, yourself.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

The strategy that we have used is to concentrate on us. I have found that focusing on your competitors makes you lose focus on yourself and performance suffers. Work on being your best and you will be your best.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

One failure that I have experienced is not knowing when to cut my losses and move on. There have been many times when I have kept holding onto an employee or remained in a situation for way too long. Everybody around me knows that the situation is not working, but I am holding on trying to make it work. It is almost like I see it as a giving up or quitting and I want to try to fix it. I am a surgeon and that is what we do—fix things. Giving up on a person, an idea, or a situation is antithetical to me naturally, but I have learned that success comes from not holding onto these people or situations.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Two ideas. One is mine, one is not mine.
I was talking to Tom Seery with Realself at a dinner and he was talking about a concept that I am sure would lead to numerous privacy concerns, but I think that this could be a legitimate idea that would be amazing. We are all familiar with how businesses are rated by consumers and the idea is that higher ranked businesses are better than lower ranked businesses. I would love to have a way to determine if the consumer was higher ranked or not. Some consumers are great, and some are, well, not great. Wouldn’t it be great if, as a consumer, if you had a good high consumer rating that you were able to get better service, better prices, better seating, etc? This is not really my idea but would be cool!
An idea I would also love to see is season long mountain bike rentals. I think that, soon, season mountain bike rentals will be common, just like season long ski rentals are common.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Lunch with my wife. We love to spend time together and what better way than spending time together than a nice lunch?

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

It might be a little cliché, but Apple’s Notes app is the single best piece of software that I use. I love to type notes, dictate notes, draw on the iPad, add photos, etc. So convenient and it is on all my devices!

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I read “The War That Ended Peace” by Margaret MacMIllan a few years ago, because I am a bit of an amateur historian and love WWI history. However, it is a great story of the tragedy of WWI and the tremendous errors in judgement made by the leaders—errors that are still affecting us today! They made such stupid decisions and it makes me wonder which of the decisions our leaders and we, as business leaders, are making today that history will judge just as harshly.
Another book I would recommend, because I love books, is Endurance by Alfred Lansing. It is about Shackleton and his tremendous leadership traits. It is so inspiring!

What is your favorite quote?

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Key Learnings:

  • Dream big to achieve success.
  • Work hard.
  • Find the opportunities in obstacles.
  • Focus on you—not your competitors.