You have to believe in yourself. You have to have trust in your abilities. You have to recognize that eventually others will adopt your thinking process and if you really believe in it eventually you will be proven right.

 

Born in Zanzibar, Africa, and raised in Uganda, Dr. Riyaz Hassanali migrated to New York with his family when he was near the end of primary school. He moved to Buffalo, NY to attend Buffalo School of Medicine in 1982, where he remained for his internship and his residency in dermatology at University of Buffalo Consortium Hospitals. He then moved to Minneapolis, MN to do a fellowship in cosmetic surgery with Thomas Alt, M.D. After, he moved back to Buffalo, NY in 1992 to start his practice.

Dr. Hassanali received an award from the White House in recognition of the work he did in Bosnia and the mayor’s award in Buffalo, the Congressmen’s Award, for the charitable work he has done overseas.

In his spare time, Dr. Hassanali enjoys channeling his creative side through painting, sculpting, and gardening. He has two sons currently enrolled in post-secondary education.

Dr. Hassanali has been at his practice for 27 years working exclusively with cosmetic surgery.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

The decision to go into cosmetic surgery resulted from my interest in medicine combined with my creative side. There is no canvas more powerful than that of the human body, once I realized the positive effects that my work could have on the self-esteem, pride, and confidence of my patients it was a no brainer to open my very own practice.

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

The decision to go into cosmetic surgery resulted from my interest in medicine combined with my creative side. There is no canvas more powerful than that of the human body, once I realized the positive effects that my work could have on the self-esteem, pride, and confidence of my patients it was a no brainer to open my very own practice.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Sometimes your ideas are your own, sometimes you talk with your colleagues, or you read about them, or you see trends in this field around the country and the world. You need to adjust and adapt to these trends. Most of my ideas are an evolution over many years, they don’t just happen overnight.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Most of my patients now have day jobs, so the trend I’m seeing has been moving towards minimally invasive procedures and it’s become quite popular. When I started, I was ahead of the curve with that trend. I think it will continue, along with preventative medicine. Sunblock, eating healthier, using antioxidants, these will help with the aging process. So that trend is towards finding proper skin care regiment and a holistic approach to how you look rather than just surgery.

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

Having a vision and insight into people’s likes and dislikes as well as being a risk taker to a certain extent. You have to sometimes take a chance to see if it’s going to work out. So, having a sixth sense, paying attention to the changing market, learning about what generation X and Y like and dislike. For example, cheek augmentation is more popular with the younger generation and the other generation simply wants to focus on wrinkles. My ability to adapt based on whom I’m talking to helps me be more productive as well.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger Riyaz Hassanali to find happiness, first and foremost. Find something that will make you happy and take time for yourself. What happens is when you start your career, you’re so busy with your career, you’re doing everything for everybody else and trying to make everybody happy. Meanwhile, you get neglected. As a parent, your happiness comes by seeing your children being successful and doing well but at some point, they move on.

You need to focus on making sure you look after your health and wellbeing and crossing things off your bucket list sooner than later.

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

Even now, in 2019, businesses can be successful if they are rooted in high quality products/services and high-quality customer service. Although many marketing campaigns are moving towards the likes of Facebook and Instagram nothing is more effective than a positive relationship between a surgeon and their patients. Word of mouth is still an effective advertising, transparency, honesty, and genuine care are still integral to longevity of all businesses.

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

You have to believe in yourself. You have to have trust in your abilities. You have to recognize that eventually others will adopt your thinking process and if you really believe in it eventually you will be proven right.

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

Being available to my patients 24-7. All my patients receive my cell phone number so they can get a hold of me at any time. Especially nowadays where you can just take a picture and send it to me. It makes things easier for my clients because I have clients from all over the world, so they can’t all just walk into my office. If they have any concerns, I have them send me a picture and then I call or text them back and discuss it with them. 99% of the time it helps to calm them down and feel reassured. I think my adoption of a smartphone and all the tech with it has been very helpful.

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

I had to learn to trust my instinct rather than second guessing myself. In cases where you fumble or make mistakes, it’s often because you’re not sure enough.

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

I have always dreamed of starting my own art studio. Painting and sculpting have been tools I use to destress and allow my creative side to flow. If I could open a studio that allows individuals a space to practice and hone their own creative niches that would be really neat. Maybe it would be called “The Blank Canvas” or something along those lines.

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

I wish I could say there was anything in my center that I bought for $100. I did buy a canvas. I painted a picture on it, and I hung up in my office for the first time. I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on it, too. I also recently gave my son $100 to buy a gift for his mother “just because”. I wanted him to learn about how to treat a woman and to be thoughtful.

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

I use my smartphone to take photos of my patients and upload them on Facebook and Instagram to display my work. The progression of the smart phone has made it easier for others to see the quality of my work which encourages new patients to come in for a consultation.

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

The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. It shows you how we’re all part of a global world now. The world is becoming smaller and smaller and we are now able to connect with each other. Just today I was on the phone with my sister-in-law in London, a friend in Dubai, and another friend in Tanzania. We didn’t have this ability 15, 20 years ago. Technology has allowed us to do that, and Americans are learning that the needs of the rest of the world are no different than ours.

What is your favorite quote?

“Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace.” – Kimberly Jones.

Key Learnings:

● There’s always a way to find something you’re passionate about in whatever career you choose.
● Technology has made significant breakthroughs for science and medicine and unexpected ways.
● Take the time to stop and smell the flowers.

Connect:

http://www.riyazhassanali.com/
https://twitter.com/riyazhassanali?lang=en