Dr. Emmanuel De La Cruz is a leading expert in the cosmetic and reconstructive surgery field and runs his private practice in Houston, Texas. He has decades of experience in the field and worked in different capacities before setting up his De La Cruz Plastic Surgery practice. He underwent a finger replant procedure while he was young that sparked an interest in surgery. His academic abilities allowed him to join college at 15 years, and he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in cellular and molecular biology. He then moved on to study medicine and general surgery and currently holds a doctorate in medicine. Aside from these qualifications, he has also received training in Hand and Microsurgery and Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Cruz is highly respected by his colleagues and experts in his field and has received numerous accolades for his accomplishments. Some of them include the GrandMaster Total Definer Best B/A High-Definition Liposuction, Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Award by Global 7 International, We Are One Humanitarian Award in Stockholm Sweden, and Helping Hands Award by St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. His track record of success and surgical skills have resulted in the massive success of his private practice. He currently offers a wide range of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures such as augmentations, breast, facial and arm lifts, liposuctions, laser treatments, among many others. He is very big on lending a helping hand and has donated his time, resources, and skills to help better other people’s lives. He started his humanitarian acts by volunteering at the Texas Mental Health & Mental Retardation Center while still a college student. After certification, he has participated in numerous corrective surgery ventures to help those unable to access the services. Some have included offering free cleft palate and lip reconstruction surgeries. He is also an established artist and sculptor.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
The idea came from my love for surgery, and the years of experience I had in the industry. After years of working in different places, it felt like the right time to venture out on my own.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I like to get up early, around 5 in the morning, and get some exercise done. I then take a shower and have breakfast before going through my daily planner. I then prioritize my activities from the most urgent to those that can be delegated. My clients are my priority daily, so once I get to the practice, I see them and get to work on surgeries and other procedures that had been scheduled.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am an artist and am an avid sculptor and painter. Through my art, I manage to develop ideas on how to give my clients the most beautiful and natural results from my procedures.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The Internet of Medical Things always takes my breath away. The idea that technology can translate into almost all aspects of life, especially healthcare, really fascinates me. Technology has had a significant impact on healthcare and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Innovations such as remote patient monitoring, heart rate monitoring, ingestible sensors, and robotic surgery show that the future of healthcare is full of promise.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Delegating has really helped increase my productivity and that of my team. Given how much the practice has grown, I can’t possibly take care of everything myself. Delegating some duties to the staff gives me more time to focus on what I can handle and has shown my team that I trust them to act on my behalf. Having fewer tasks on my plate ensures that I give them the attention they require, leading to higher productivity from both me and the entire team.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would advise my younger self that everything happens for a reason. All the mistakes I’ve made along my journey have helped develop my character and skill I’ve met many people both at work and school who have contributed significantly to my growth and success. I would also tell my younger self to take more risks. Risks help you become innovative and learn new things. Those that don’t work out also teach you valuable personal and business lessons
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The one thing that I do is prioritizing my tasks and handling them in order of priority. I like to start with the highest priority items, such as performing scheduled surgeries or consulting with clients. I then move on to the next level of priorities attending to matters such as attending meetings and lastly low priority items such as responding to emails. This is important because it helps get the most important tasks done when I’m most productive and also prevents procrastination. It has helped my team be more productive.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Building a wide network over the years has helped me grow my business. The network has included previous and prospective clients, suppliers, other experts to help run the practice, etc. My business has benefited from these networks through referrals and excellent service delivery. I have also found the most incredible team of people to work with or consult with whenever the need arises.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I set up the practice, I struggled to be in control of everything. I was constantly overwhelmed and couldn’t care for my clients as well as I would have loved to. My staff also felt like I didn’t trust them, and they were demoralized, and their productivity was low. I solved it by learning to delegate duties to others. This freed up my schedule for the tasks that needed my attention, and my team felt trusted and had room to be innovative and productive.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Nothing specific but anything in the IT field is a sure bet. The future is IT.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I donated it to a charity I support. I believe in giving back, and I’m happy that it may help make someone’s life out there better.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I like Google Drive. Sharing and editing documents is so much easier and safer. I also like that it makes it easy to schedule tasks and access information. It’s easy to use.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuck. It has beneficial information on setting up and building successful businesses. It gave me some great ideas on prioritizing and executing tasks, ensuring maximum efficiency and less stress. For someone juggling a busy professional and personal life, this book continues to help me set my priorities without neglecting any aspects of my life. It has taught me to plan, delegate, execute and still make time to relax and take part in my hobbies.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” by Martin Luther King Jr.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.