John Manzella

Medical Consultant

Dr. John Manzella is a physician and entrepreneur based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. John completed his doctorate degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, and he also holds a PhD in healthcare management from the University of Rochville. Dr. Manzella has worked as both a physician and a business owner, and founded a startup LV Housecalls in 2009. Since then he has held several roles in medicine such as Medical Director and Practice Manager, and has also worked in a consulting role to assist medical practices with their office procedures.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

My first family dog was a German Shepherd named Topper. I was the youngest I five children and all of us said he was our favorite sibling. The company was originally a house call company, and the loyal German Shepherd became our logo and mascot. Eventually it became Lehigh Valley Housecalls, and Topper Medical was spun off as a medical consulting company.

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

Every day is started in prayer and meditation. Some form of exercise follows unless an emergency dictates otherwise. Some days are scheduled tight with patients. On these days I’ll jot down points of interest in cases, discussions or documents that I review. Being productive is a word many of us misinterpret as being busy all the time. If I have an opportunity I love to
Take a cat nap. “You can swing the axe all day, but you’re not going to cut much wood if you don’t stop to sharpen the blade”.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I keep a notebook everywhere. My nightstand, my car, my desk, and a pack of post-its in my pocket. When an idea comes to me, I’ll scribble it down and continue to work on it from as many different angles and perspectives that I can entertain. I was an intern at Beth-Israel Hospital and had the honor of helping taking care of the late, great comedian George Carlin. I asked him if his jokes just popped into his head, or did he have to work at it. He very politely said most of his jokes took a great deal of time, effort and most importantly; thought. That’s when I started to implement his process.

What’s one trend that excites you?

People becoming increasingly engaged in their healthcare. Between interactive apps and tracking devices, today’s patient have an opportunity to truly understand their own needs.

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

Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” discusses a great deal about a mastermind group. A select set of people that can be trusted with possible ideas for business and related entities. Like minded, ethical people who can truly help gain insight into potential opportunities. I learned the hard way that cutting corners and dealing with unethical people is the road to perdition, and it’s twice as hard to recover.

Take a cat nap. “You can swing the axe all day, but you’re not going to cut much wood if you don’t stop to sharpen the blade”.

I’m a big believer in a yellow pad. I’ll scribble thoughts down and then go through a series of revisions and rewrites. After thinking it through I’ll contact the person or persons I feel best suited to reviewing it. Most never make it past this stage but that’s all part of the process.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be honest with yourself and everyone you meet, whether it be family, friends, colleagues, etc.

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

Besides being a Dallas Cowboys fan in the Philadelphia area; unless a person is truly disabled, everyone needs to work in the United States. Like FDR’s New Deal during the depression. You’ll get your check, but you must work for it.

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

Never give up. Everyone gets punched in the gut. It’s disheartening but keep the faith and keep trying.

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

The key to growing a successful business is doing what’s right for your customer on an individual basis. Treat your customers (and business associates) how you wish to be treated. From time to time, I’ve made the mistake of allowing the bottom line to drive the business and eventually it implodes. The Golden Rule is golden for a reason.

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

I wish I only had one failure but that’s not my reality. I did quite a bit of real estate investing at one time, and it was a disaster because I did not due my homework personally. I did not have a trusted group of associates and it was a money pit. I learned to do my own due diligence and I learned to not throw money at something in the hopes of turning it around, and when to say when.

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

Lee Iacocca said people always need to eat and have shelter. A local business opened a small restaurant within apartment complex it owns. It is literally feeding it’s own business.

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

Anytime I go out to eat with my kids or family it’s money well spent.

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

Microsoft WORD (and Office) I use constantly. To inventory and catalogue all my ideas is essential.

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

The Bible. I don’t care if you’re an atheist. The wisdom within it’s writings is endless.

What is your favorite quote?

“It’s not the critic that counts”. Teddy Roosevelt (In the Arena).

Key Learnings:

  • Be honest no matter how much it hurts at the time, because it will hurt a hell of a lot more later if you lie.
  • Focus on doing the next right thing for the other person, not yourself.
  • Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
  • Everybody gets knocked down, it’s who gets up the most times that counts in life.