Sarkis Hakopdjanian is an experienced business and marketing consultant with extensive education and training from Canada’s leading academic and corporate institutions. He’s a published author in a textbook on the psychological influence of technology on consciousness. He offers a wealth of knowledge and experience in understanding human behaviour through the psychology of sales, marketing, and management.
After working for over 10 years in the corporate world, Sarkis decided to enroll back in school to study human behaviour through psychology. During his studies, he realized that many health practitioners are passionate about helping people with their health, but struggle with the business and marketing aspects of their practice. He chose to found The Business Clinic to support health practitioners in business and marketing.
The Business Clinic is Alberta’s only business and marketing consulting agency that specializes in supporting the health and wellness industry. Their unique, custom-tailored business and marketing services help their clients learn about their patients and marketplace, grow their practice with new patients, and retain their patients and earn more referrals.
Where did the idea for The Business Clinic come from?
Ever since I first started learning about exercise and nutrition, I’ve been passionate about health and wellness. In my first year of university, I was planning on going to medical school and enrolled in a Bachelor of Science program. During my studies, I came to realize that I’m especially interested in business and switched my program to complete a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
I worked in the corporate world for over 10 years, being educated and trained in sales, marketing and management for a large financial services company. After a serious medical injury, I took time off work to recover and decided to enrol back in university to study human behaviour through psychology. While I was in school, I came to realize that many practitioners are extensively educated in healthcare, but end up operating a business. I decided to found The Business Clinic to support health and wellness professionals in business and marketing.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I start every day by focusing on my holistic health, including exercising, practicing yoga and meditating. I find that this helps me prepare my mind and body for a productive work day. This also helps me manage my daily stress so I can stay focused on my goals. Then, I’m ready to start my workday. I start by reviewing our clients’ analytics and respond to my emails. Then, I’m ready to focus on our client projects. I like to spend my afternoons connecting with clients in person or on the phone. I try to spend some evenings catching up on reading and learning, anything from business and marketing, to psychology and philosophy.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I get inspired by new ideas in various ways, which I write down in my notepad or phone. Then, I research the idea extensively to see if it’s worthwhile to pursue. I ask others for their feedback to see if I’m missing anything or to evaluate my assumptions. Then, when I’m ready to bring my idea to life, I jump right in and try it. I analyze my results and re-evaluate my strategy.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I find it fascinating that more people are feeling empowered to become self-employed entrepreneurs, freelancers, contractors, etc. There’s a global shift happening where people are moving away from being employees of one organization for 30 years until they collect a pension, to finding ways to create value as individuals.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Exercise, yoga and meditation. If I don’t do these things, my mind starts getting cluttered with stress and a never-ending list of things to do. When I do these things regularly I feel clear and focused to stay productive.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to fail. Almost every single successful person has a long list of failures in their lives. Failure is part of the formula for success. My own fears of failure used to hinder my life and career. It takes courage to take a leap of faith and try something new.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Most people are capable of being self-employed if they focus on doing what they truly love. If you truly love something, you’ll do it with so much passion and energy that you’ll master it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Meditation. It’s the most productive use of my time. Although it takes a small investment of time to do, it makes the remaining hours of my day so much more productive and effective.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One of the best strategies for growing a business is to learn from the experiences of others. Many other people have gained years of experience and knowledge in their careers and lives, which they publish in articles and books. Learning from the experiences of others has helped me accelerate my own business growth.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I launched a business with two friends in the past. Although we were great friends and very capable entrepreneurs, working with friends was challenging. Having disagreements in business put a lot of stress on our friendship. I’ve learned to keep my business and personal life separate.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Starting a social media network or website for healthcare patients. Many patients are going on Facebook to look for support in groups. There’s value in support groups and this can be better managed by a trusted healthcare organization.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I regularly subscribe to courses on Udemy to stay on top of recent developments in business and marketing. You get to learn from some of the world’s leading experts on almost any topic.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We use social media management tools to help us prepare our content strategy in advance. One of my favourites is eClincher, which has all of the functions that we need for creating effective posts in one page.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One book that has strongly influenced my thinking is called “This Will Make You Smarter”, edited by John Brockman. In this book, Brockman asks some of the world’s most influential thinkers “what scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?”
The book is a collection of essays written by leaders in various fields of study, including psychology, philosophy, economics, physics, sociology, and more. For example, one essay is on “Structured Serendipity”, the concept that creativity can be enhanced deliberately through environmental variation. According to the author Zweig, “Two techniques seem promising: varying what you learn and varying where you learn it. I try each week to read a scientific paper in a field new to me – and to read it in a different place.”
What is your favorite quote?
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
• Focus on your holistic health to be successful in business and life
• Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life
• Don’t be afraid to fail; use every failure as an opportunity for growth
• Always keep learning and developing, as the only constant in life is change