Success won’t just come to you. You need to work for it and earn it and not be afraid to fail.
Born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Dr. Nikesh Seth began his journey by studying biomedical engineering and pre-med at Johns Hopkins University. He then decided to return to Arizona to attend medical school at the University of Arizona School of Medicine. He went on to complete his residency in anesthesiology at the University of Texas in 2010, followed by an interventional pain management fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago.
Dr. Nikesh Seth decided to return home to Scottsdale in 2011 to practice pain management. He worked as a partner at a couple of practices before starting Integrated Pain Consultants in 2016.
Dr. Nikesh Seth is a double board-certified pain management physician and anesthesiologist. He has been voted Top Doc in Phoenix Magazine every year since 2015. He also made the 30 People to Watch in 2017 list in the So Scottsdale! magazine.
When not at the office, Dr. Nikesh Seth spends his free time with his wife and two children, playing a bit of basketball and exercising to stay in shape.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
As I was working at my previous practice, I felt like I could do things a little bit better or more efficiently. I decided that I wanted to do something a little different. I do like business, and I do like the medicine side, and I felt that by being both a business owner and a doctor, I might be able to make a difference.
I decided to start my practice mainly because I felt like it could help more people; and to be honest, it’s fun to have a business, to make decisions and changes, and to see it grow. Over the past few years, we’ve been able to grow into four different clinics around town, and we have more than 65 employees now.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day is hectic because even though I own and help run a business, I still see a lot of patients. I tend to start my day around 6:30 a.m. by working out at the gym so that I feel more energetic for the rest of the day. I get to the clinic between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m., and I start responding to emails and oversee business management concerns. I’ll begin to see patients from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then from 5 p.m. until about 6:30 p.m. I will work on more business management items and respond to emails and phone calls.
When I get home, it’s family time with my wife and kids; taking them to their activities, putting them to bed, etc. And then, from 9:30 p.m. until about 11 p.m. I will continue to do some more work from home. Hopefully, somewhere I’ll find time to eat and spend time with my wife, too.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I tend to run my ideas by my medical team and my family to get approval. Then I work hard at implementing the policy by using the feedback I receive from the people around me. I have a good management team that helps with all of this, as it takes our whole team to make an idea work. It’s essential to get the entire practice behind the idea so we can have one collective message for our patients.
What’s one trend that excites you?
For pain management, the trend is that we are leaning toward more interventional options for fixing a patient’s pain as opposed to maxing out the various medication. For many years, patients would take pain medications or other types of medicines just to mask the pain or treat the pain that they were feeling. However, now, a lot of patients are trying to get to the root causes of the problem and solve the underlying issue. I think this is a good trend in society that we are going toward now.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Multitasking. I am an excellent multitasker. I tend to do multiple things at a time when I am working on the business side of it. I can be on a conference call while responding to emails, signing checks, reading a paper. I can focus on multiple things at the same time and give significant attention to each of them while doing a good job. I think that by being able to multitask, I can get more things done in a smaller amount of time, and that has helped me manage my time and get more work done.
The one time I don’t do that is when I’m taking care of patients because I like to give 100% of my attention during my procedures and patient care.
What advice would you give your younger self?
My advice to my younger Nikesh Seth would be to pace yourself. Make sure that you stop to enjoy the road to success because sometimes you can get caught up just working extremely hard that you forget to enjoy the path. And I didn’t realize that until recently, but it would have been nice to not work 14 hours a day for the last five years to create what I’ve done. If I could have made the process take longer while spending more time with my family and relaxing a bit more, I think it would have been better for my health and my sanity.
I think it’s more important to enjoy the road to success and the pathway to work because we’re going to be doing it for a long time.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I think it’s okay to show your success. A lot of people feel that successful people should not show that they’re extremely successful, but I believe that if you worked very hard to build something or to become successful, good people will appreciate what you’ve got and will support you regardless, as opposed to trying to bring you down.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As an entrepreneur it is very important to seize and analyze every opportunity. One thing I constantly do is to take the time to listen to anyone who brings an idea to me and to analyze whether it would be worthwhile to implement this. It is important to understand that this is become successful because of various pupils’ ideas and dedication to it. By listening to the people around you and embracing new ideas you will become successful.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Customer service. Direct contact with patients and direct contact with providers has allowed for excellent customer service with the patients and physicians. If a patient is in pain and needs to be seen right away, they have direct access to me, or our providers, or our office, it makes them feel comfortable. We can get patients in on the same day. Providers or physicians can access any one of our doctors immediately by cell phone or text messaging, and that has allowed us to become very successful.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One barrier that we’ve had was in our billing policies and financial tracking of data. As a young company, we were not very good at record keeping and monitoring our expenses and profit. The way we overcame it was by getting more formal CPA and accountants and by doing monthly audits of accounts, holding people accountable for excessive owing, and then collection.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An idea I think that would benefit the community and society is medically supervised transportation. Like a medical-based Uber. After certain procedures when patients get sedation, they are not allowed to go home by themselves because they’re not allowed to drive. They should be going home with somebody who can take care of them or monitor them a little bit. A lot of patients out there do not have family in town, or their friends aren’t available to take them to their appointments, surgeries, or things of that nature. But if there was a medical transport system other than ambulances that’s more affordable, that gets patients home safely? I think that would be a great system.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 that I’ve spent recently was on purchasing new soccer equipment for my son. At the age of four, he believes that this is new equipment that will make him faster and stronger on the soccer field. It was probably the most fun I’ve had watching him put on his new soccer shoes and then pretending that he’s running at lightning speed on the field and trying to score a goal.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Google Calendar is huge. It’s a very simple system, and it keeps me on track for my appointments, conference calls, meetings, etc. And it gives me reminders on both my computer and my phone, so it works wonderfully.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter because it shows you that you need to be a well-rounded person to be happy. Just by being extremely successful or having a lot of money does not make you happy. It then goes down the route of explaining to you why hard work is important, but at the same time, how family is important.
They show you a different way to think. The book shows the importance of hard work and perseverance and how not every person who works hard is going to be successful, but despite that, you need to continue to work hard and try your hardest. I read it at a young age and it built a work ethic for me at an early stage in my life.
Success won’t just come to you. You need to work for it and earn it. You need to fail and then go after it again and again because you can’t expect every venture to work. And I think that is something important to learn early on.
What is your favorite quote?
“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.” – M. K. Gandhi
● Success won’t just come to you. You need to work for it and earn it and not be afraid to fail.
● Make sure that you stop now and then to enjoy the road to success.
● Paying attention to your patients’ needs is what will allow your company and practice to grow.
● It takes a good team and support network to overcome any obstacles for you to succeed.
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.