Michelle Lee

Authenticity is a strategy that never fails. Being authentic and defining brand’s core values from day 1 is essential in any company. Also, don’t ever be too afraid to ask for help!


Dr. Michelle Lee is the board-certified and Harvard-trained plastic surgeon behind some of the most natural-appearing cosmetic results. She created PERK plastic surgery located in Beverly Hills because life is too short to settle for anything less than the most extraordinary version of yourself!

As a scientist, Dr. Lee is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what is possible with beauty, without ever compromising patient safety. She is the first surgeon in the state of Illinois to use AirXpanders, a technology that allows women to increase the size of their breast reconstructions using a remote control from the comfort of their own home. Equally important to being on the cutting edge, Dr. Lee prioritizes patient safety in both her practice and research. She currently serves on the editorial board for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Journal, a publication of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Her original research resulted in myriad publications in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as multiple textbook chapters focused on optimizing outcomes in cosmetic breast surgery, facial rejuvenation and migraine surgery. Dr. Lee has presented her research in conferences around the world!

Dr. Lee is also passionate about education. She currently serves on the Breast and Aesthetics Section of the American Society of Plastic Surgeon’s In-Service Committee. She is an active member of both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Where did the idea for PERK come from?

Before creating PERK, I was a plastic surgeon working for a large corporation with hundreds of physicians. It was not uncommon to see more than 40 plastic surgical patients in a single clinic. While it was a great experience, it was often frustrating at the same time being on such a tight schedule with patients.
PERK Plastic Surgery is based on the idea that some of the most delightful perks of life can be aesthetic treats to ourselves. Hence the name, ‘PERK’. Not only do we think of PERK as a treat, but also an “anti-gravity” effect-because let’s face it, we are all fighting the natural gravitational pull of aging! The idea behind PERK is that everyone wants to feel beautiful, and while beauty comes from within, it is strengthened greatly by confidence and aesthetic perks. PERK Plastic Surgery has a holistic approach to aesthetics that includes care in all areas such as nutrition, fitness, skincare, and surgery.

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

Every morning starts with a PERK team meeting! We always begin by reviewing our long-term goals and vision for the company on a daily basis. We strongly believe in planning, transparency, and visualization. After that, we focus in on our monthly, weekly and daily goals. It is important to us to review the status of our PERK goals every day. We always want to make sure that everything we do is in line with the overall vision for the company!

Following the meeting, you will either find me with a patient in clinic, doing office-based procedures or in surgery. I find that all of my time spent with a patient is productive in some way! Lastly, after my day at PERK, I enjoy reviewing articles for the journal of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and ending my day with a workout class or dinner with my husband/friends.

How do you bring ideas to life?

We foster a culture of creativity in the PERK office. As I said before, we value transparency and every idea is welcome and encouraged! The first step in bringing an idea to life is determining whether or not it’s in line with our vision for the company and how it can help us reach our goals. Next comes the meticulous, day-by-day planning of what needs to be done to get there. We enjoy lists, lists, and more lists here at PERK Plastic Surgery. Write it all down, check it off, and evaluate as you go!

What’s one trend that excites you?

Regenerative medicine is a research trend that I find very exciting! In the midst of the movement towards a more ‘natural-looking’ appearance, I think that using your body’s own healing powers to rejuvenate your appearance is something many people would consider. Most patients desire a natural result, and while fillers and botox are great, what if you could use your own stem cells instead to build collagen and keep you looking naturally youthful? This is going to be the future of aesthetics and we are SO excited to be a part of it!

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

I am very proud of my ability to prioritize. I believe I’m more productive when I determine the most important items to address first and focus on those before anything else.

What advice would you give your younger self?

When I was younger, I allowed adversity and failure to upset me too often. I would love to go back and tell my younger self that those experiences would actually be more important and influential on my life than most. I want to tell myself to embrace the adversity and see the good that will come of it in the end.

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

If you want to be a great entrepreneur, start your business in a saturated market. When deciding on a location for PERK, we were often advised against Beverly Hills because it is the most crowded aesthetic marketplace in the world. While it may be true that it is a more difficult path to take, we actually believe it is critical to our success because the competition forces us to be innovative, unique, and ahead of the game!

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

Measure, measure, measure! Everything. We track everything here at PERK. If you don’t measure it, you cannot improve it. Whether it’s patient outcomes, satisfaction, surgical results, marketing strategies or employee performance. Every facet of the company is measured and tracked. This is the one way we can ensure that we are continually learning and improving.

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

Authenticity is a strategy that never fails. Being authentic and defining brand’s core values from day 1 is essential in any company. Also, don’t ever be too afraid to ask for help!

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

One failure or mistake I have made in the past involves holding onto failed relationships. I’ve since learned the importance of company culture, and that you cannot force an employee to fit. Everyone is different, and that’s ok, especially at PERK. It’s better to identify these differences quickly and move forward rather than pushing values on someone.

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

We have had African American patients who have trouble finding tinted sunscreen or moisturizer that will match with their skin tone. It would be great if there was a skincare line that was TRULY inclusive of all shades. Bandaids too!

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

I recently purchased a weighted jump rope. I travel a lot for meetings/conferences and the jump rope allows me to get in a good cardio workout even in a small hotel room! My personal fitness is very important to me and rope jumping is one of the best exercises for a total body workout. It improves coordination, agility AND endurance!

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

I just found out about the Scanner function on apple notes! It helps me organize and upload documents easily and quickly from the convenience of my phone.

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

The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishmi
Although the title is a bit misleading, the main point of the book is that we aren’t determined by our experiences, but by the meaning we give to them. I, too, am a firm believer that we create the future we want.

What is your favorite quote?

“In order to have, you have to do, in order to do, you have to be”

Thinking backwards, in order to have a world-class company that is a thought leader in the aesthetic industry, we must first do by providing cutting edge services to PERK clients. In order to do those things, everyone at PERK must be completely dedicated, meticulous, and passionate!

Key Learnings:

  • Two most important questions are “Why?” and “Why not?” The trick is knowing which one to ask.
  • Treat yourself like how you would treat others. Often times, we see people treat others far better than how they would care for themselves. We believe that only after you have taken care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically, then you can be a productive member of society.
  • PERK Plastic Surgery is based on the idea that some of the most delightful perks of life can be aesthetic treats to ourselves.
  • Write it all down, check it off, and evaluate as you go!
  • We strongly believe in planning, transparency, and visualization.


Website: www.perkplasticsurgery.com
Facebook- facebook.com/perkplasticsurgery
Instagram- instagram.com/perkplasticsurgery and instagram.com/drmichelleleeperk