Onyekachi Nwabuko is an ER doctor in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Alongside a successful career in medicine, he is also an investor and uses real estate as a way to fuel his entrepreneurial spirit. Growing up, he was deeply interested in helping others, which naturally led him to medical school. During his time growing up in the Midwest, he attended the University of Chicago before finishing his medical training in South Carolina at the University of South Carolina Greenville Hospital. Dr. Nwabuko has been a full-time physician for the last twelve years and enjoys the fast-paced environment of the ER.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
It allows me to practice medicine without distraction. In the ER field, we don’t have to deal with the other issues of healthcare such as billing and insurance. We can focus on the patient. That’s what first brought me to emergency medicine.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
As an ER doctor, my days vary. Sometimes I cover the day shift, other times it is nights. We work very long hours, sometimes twelve to fourteen hours a day. So I generally start my day at 5 or 6 AM. I like to get to work early so that I’m ready to go for what is going to come my way. As far as being productive, avoiding distractions is the key. As you can imagine, the ER is a very busy place with all sorts of noises in the background. I have to be able to separate myself from those distractions so that I can focus on my patient and what my patient needs.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Research is key. I prefer not to dive into a subject until I have a working knowledge of it, either through talking to those who have already been through it or by reading books. I like to be prepared for any situation.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am excited about shock wave therapy to treat chronic pain. As we all know, there is an epidemic when it comes to opioid abuse. Many of these victims got their start with an introduction to prescription narcotics to treat pain and developed their dependence from there. Shock wave therapy is a non-surgical, non-opioid way to treat pain. It’s a trend that’s been really popular in Europe for the last twenty-five to thirty years and recently introduced to the states.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Multitasking and time management. As someone like myself, who has multiple businesses, you sometimes have to delegate tasks to other people, but mostly you have to learn to multitask and manage your time.
What advice would you give your younger self?
That’s a deep question. If I could give advice to my younger self, I would tell myself to enjoy the journey. A lot of people can relate to this as they are going through the process of establishing a successful business or career. If you’re not careful, it can suck the beauty out of everything else in your life and you fail to appreciate the small things that make up your world.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Most people might disagree with me, but most doctors will understand. We are losing our autonomy to take care of the patient. There are so many rules made by people who aren’t in the medical field. Medicine ultimately is a business and it is run by people who are more concerned about profits and their bottom line. Unfortunately, the patient sometimes has to take the back seat.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Take some time and reflect on what you’re doing. When things get stressful, which they often do in my field, I stop and take some time to reflect so I don’t make mistakes. It’s easy to make mistakes when you are rushing.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Diversify. Though my primary business is medicine, I also have a real estate business which is completely different from what I’ve been trained to do. However, it has helped me grow in several directions at once, both personally and professionally.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I took my first failure as a business person hard. It took me a while to actually start another business. At the time I didn’t understand that failures are a natural part of the process and you have to learn from them. It was tough to get over it and for a while kept me from moving forward.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Affiliate marketing. If you haven’t looked into it, you should seriously consider it. It has very little overhead and is fairly easy to implement. Plus, you can do it from almost anywhere and start at any age.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
It was less than $100 but I recently bought a real estate class which was useful to me in helping me take advantage of the real estate market during COVID. The pandemic caused a shift in the market and I wanted to know how it was going to affect my business. It was a worthwhile spend.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Loopnet is a web service I use frequently to help me with my real estate dealings. It helps me to analyze the market by putting everything in one place for me. It also contains useful information on other businesses nearby and the demographics on any area of interest. This information is invaluable when analyzing a deal.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It introduces you to what it takes to be an entrepreneur so I think it is a must read. It also helps you understand why some people succeed and others don’t.
What is your favorite quote?
Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love. – Author Unknown.
- Having more than one business going at a time requires appropriate time management and multitasking.
- It is not impossible to juggle a full time career and an entrepreneurial venture.
- Taking time to reflect can help keep you from making mistakes.
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.