Patrick McEneaney

CEO of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists

Dr. Patrick McEneaney is board-certified and completed his medical school training at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. His residency training was at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Administration. He then moved back to Chicago where he finished residency at Thorek Memorial Hospital and Weiss Memorial Hospital.

He is owner and CEO of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, a 15 doctor practice with 9 locations. He is double board-certified by the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery in both forefoot & rearfoot/ankle. He is a fellow of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons.

Dr. McEneaney is currently President of the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association. He is a Fellow of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons. He lectures throughout the country on foot & ankle topics and he has been Scientific Co-chair for several years for the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association Annual Conference. He trains podiatric surgery residents from Rush Hospital in Chicago.

He is Medical Director & Principal Investigator of the Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists’ Center for Research & Clinical Trials. Dr. McEneaney also has numerous literature publications present in several journals. He is a consultant for several medical device companies with responsibilities including surgical implant & instrument design, medical education, lab proctoring, and publishing.

His professional interests involve advanced reconstructive surgery of the foot & ankle. His specialties involve flatfoot reconstruction, post-traumatic injury management, deformity correction & wound care/limb salvage.

Dr. McEneaney was a Division I college wrestler at Northern Illinois University. He currently resides in Crystal Lake where he lives with his wife and daughter.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

I came out of residency in 2009 and started working for a podiatric office. The owner decided to retire at that time and sold the company to me. The company, more or less, fell into my lap. I had spent so many years preparing to be a doctor, but not preparing to be a business owner. It opened up a whole new world of learning about business. Since then, I have been looking for good opportunities to grow the business.

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

I am in the office seeing patients 2 ½ days a week and I am at the wound care center ½ a day out of my week. The other two days of my week are split between surgery and administration. I work at night and on the weekends to keep pace with the practice growth. I try to be concise with my meetings. I rely on my staff heavily and delegate to them whenever appropriate. I am only one person, so my team is essential to my productivity.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Ideas come to me all day. I write them down whenever possible. I then sit down with my team. We evaluate the viability of the idea (Not all ideas I come up with are good ones) and we see if it can be executed reasonably and, in a cost, effective manner. If so, we assign team members to work on making it happen. I do my best to not hover over a project and empower my team to be successful.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I love how technology integrates with medicine. We have hit a point where technology allows us to access patient charts and x-rays through my phone. We have ultrasound units that connect via Bluetooth to a tablet. I work with technology that allows me to remote monitor my patients with diabetes for ulcer via special socks with built in nanofibers. Lasers have provided pain and inflammation relief to my patients. Technology continues to evolve and it is exciting to see where it goes.

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

I try to keep meetings short and to the point. When I meet with people, I skip the small talk. I like to drive the conversation to stay on track. Agendas also help with this.

What advice would you give your younger self?

When I was younger, I did not network aggressively like I do now. I was comfortable in my own bubble. When you own a business, you are not allowed to sit in the comfortable shadow. There is always someone else looking for the same opportunity.

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

Hair-brained ideas (at times) can actually spark good business opportunities.

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

Trust your staff and empower them to succeed. I am smart enough to know that I don’t know everything and I don’t pretend to. Surround yourself with the best people you can. They will make you look good, if you let them.

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

One strategy that has helped grow my business is to explore all business opportunities. I have looked at many over the last few years. Some work out, while others don’t. What is most valuable about this is the information that I extract from these encounters. It may help me look at the next opportunity in a different way. Business is a learning process that takes time.

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

I think the worst failures I have had is with employees. You can sit down and spend a lot of time interviewing potential employees with all the best techniques you can read about. I get them into the office a few months later and think “Why did I ever hire this person?” We all can make mistakes hiring. Other times, this is because your expectations of your employee does not meet what the employee thinks their job is. I have learned over the years that you need a firm job description and clear expectations on how they are to perform their duties.

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

I took my family out to dinner and I would say it was the best $100 I spent recently. As a busy business owner, it is important to always make time for your family and have a work-life balance.

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

My Google calendar is my best friend. I love the fact that my staff can put meetings on my calendar. It keeps me in focus during the day.

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

The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

What is your favorite quote?

Roman philosopher Seneca said “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. I truly believe this.

Key Learnings:

● Hiring is one of the most important elements of your business: make sure you have a clear job description written up and expectations and goals are set from the very beginning
● Keep in mind you cannot do everything yourself: You are only one person, so surround yourself with others who you can delegate tasks to and that you can trust. A good team will make you stronger.
● Write your ideas down: Write any and all ideas down each day, you never know what is going to be a good one and take off!