Stay positive and have gratitude.
Dr. Jan McBarron (Duke and The Doctor) was born, raised, married and received her medical doctorate in Philadelphia. As newlyweds she and her husband Duke moved to Georgia. She started her own medical practice, Georgia Bariatrics specializing in Medical Bariatrics, non-surgical weight loss. In addition to her full-time medical practice, she and her husband co-hosted Duke and The Doctor. The radio show was recognized by Talkers Magazine for many years as one of the top 100 most influential nationally syndicated radio shows. In addition to being a published author, she has received countless awards including the Girl Scouts Women of Achievement, Top Doctor in Atlanta and Columbus Georgia, Distinguished Alumni for Entrepreneurship by Hahnemann Drexel Medical University, and the Clinician of the Year from the Natural Product Association.
After 30 years of successful practice, Dr. Jan McBarron has retired from seeing patients in private practice. She continues her work as a writer, consultant, public speaker and commanding presence on social media, U tube twitter and more. She and her husband have relocated to Nevada where they enjoy hiking, tennis, weightlifting, and traveling.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I started my medical practice during a time when most doctors named their practice after themselves. I wanted to let potential patients know what type of medical specialty I could help them with, rather than brand my ego. Hence, I named my practice Georgia Bariatrics to reflect my location as well as core specialty. Bariatrics means weight. Recently this medical specialty is being referred to as Obesity medicine to distinguish it from Bariatric Surgery. I disagree with this new terminology on three levels. First, obesity is often viewed as a negative term leading people to think that it is their fault. Second, obesity is defined as being 30 lbs. overweight. Someone who is 35 lbs. overweight often refuses to believe they are obese. Most people don’t understand the meaning of obesity. People’s general perception of obesity is that you be 100 lbs. overweight. Third, doctors fail to help patients understand the real meaning and health consequences of obesity. It starts in children. Pediatricians are reluctant to tell parents that their children are overweight. We tried to address this by sending home a report card, but parents were enraged that we would use that terminology on their children. We do not want to offend parents. Using bariatric as the terminology does not offend patients, it does not carry the negative implications that obesity does.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Productivity is a direct result of scheduling and adhering to priorities. For many years my day consisted of meditation, exercise, reading, breakfast and starting my work schedule at 8. I was at the radio studio from 8-11. I saw patients in the office from 11:30 to 6. From 2-3, I worked on calls. It also gave me time to address the unexpected demands of the day. After 20 successful years, I no longer work on the radio (Duke and The Doctor), however my morning routine remains the same and I start my official workday still at 8 am, 2-3 is calls and I finish at 6.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Every idea is worth writing down. I have had an idea book for years. I review it and pick an idea. I attach a timeline to the idea and work it into my schedule. I tell my staff that every idea is a good one, this just might not be the time for it. Often people give up on an idea before they give it a chance. I financially reward my staff for good ideas and give them a bonus if it is implemented.
What’s one trend that excites you?
There is a trend to discharge patients from the hospital as quickly as possible. First, it reduces the cost. Second, it decreases the infection rate. I think it is a good idea provided we do it carefully. They usually make a better recovery being in their own bed with their own families. It is exciting to see patients spending less time in the hospital.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think that it is Laser focus. You can’t hit a target that you cannot see. Success does not happen by wandering around. You must stay focused on your destination. I think people need a GPS for their own goals and then follow that GPS.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to not take things personally. People can be mean sometimes and it is hard not to take it as a reflection on yourself. It may be their problem not yours. We tend to take things too seriously. We tend to take life too seriously.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe in the value of a smile. Universally a smile is a sign of acceptance. I believe it is important for a physician to smile. We take what we do so seriously sometimes since we are dealing with sick people. Smiling is the easy way out. It takes more muscles to frown then it does to smile. In addition, smiling often leads to laughter and laughter is the best medicine.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
It is very important to have a positive attitude and surround yourself with positive impressions. Staying positive and listening to positive things including reading positive books, podcasts, and webinars. One of my mentors and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar would say that staying positive is like bathing. You just can’t bath once and say your good to go. We need to constantly surround ourselves with positive affirmations. Always look at the bright side of life. Secondly, I really try very hard to practice the lesson of gratitude. Life is temporary. You should remember to appreciate where you are and what you have. If you just look around you can find people who are much less fortunate than you are. Stay positive and have gratitude.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
A daily operating principle in my practice was EPS, Exceptional Patient Service. I don’t say to be good, not even excellent, you must deliver exceptional patient service. Frequently medical staff treat their clients as patients not as customers. For example, making patients wait. I always told my patients that their time was as valuable as mine and subsequently tried very hard to minimize their time spent waiting. The reality is that they are our patients but also our customers.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There are many failures that I can recall. It is important to value failure, accept it and learn from it. I lost weight many times and regained it, the only difference between me and an overweight person is that I tried one more time. A barrier is inevitable, but you must find a way to learn from and overcome it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have two ideas for your readers. On the medical side, start a business training family members to care for their loved ones who are being discharged from the hospital. They usually go home with just a sheet of paper. Teach them how to remove the stitches or how to remove the drain, how to take care of the dressings etc. You need to give that family member the assurance that they are going to be ok caring for that person.
Second Idea; Uber for furniture. If you have a guest room that is not being used for most of the time, there should be a service that will remove the bedroom furniture. They can return the furniture when your guest will be arriving. The rest of the time it is your office or your gym or whatever you want to use it for.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Cuba with my husband. We spent $49 each for a walking tour by a native of Cuba. We learned so much about the history of Cuba. It was a very enlightening experience. You really learn to appreciate what you have.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
There are three different apps that I really like. I use Duo-Lingo to learn Spanish. I use luminosity which sharpens your brain. I like Kindle unlimited because I love to read.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend any book written by Zig Ziglar. He was a leader in the world of positive thinking. The other book I would recommend is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I read these annually.
What is your favorite quote?
“Life is what our thoughts make it” by Marcus Aurelius
- Do not take things personally.
- Stay positive and have gratitude.
- Believe in the value of a smile.
- Continually surround yourself with positive affirmations.
- Life is temporary, enjoy it while we can.
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.