Always be thoughtful and seek to understand what being thoughtful means for you
Seth Whitmer found his passion for his career at a very young age. He landed a position in healthcare administration at a long-term care facility directly after completing his bachelor’s degree. His mentor, an experienced hospital CEO, acknowledged Seth’s ability to communicate with others and saw great potential. As he mentored Seth, he strongly encouraged him to continue his education and go for his master’s degree.
Seth Whitmer graduated from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah where he earned his bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. He then went on to earn his master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Washington, in Seattle. While he was studying for his master’s degree program Seth gained hands-on experience working at 3 different hospitals on the North Olympic Peninsula.
Seth Whitmer has been in the healthcare industry for many years. He has worked in long-term care facilities, clinics, and hospitals. He served time in the military when he joined the Medical Services Core for the Airforce. Seth Whitmer is currently running a healthcare facility for the Department of Energy.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I was unsure of what I wanted to focus on for my career. I wanted to go into business. I researched becoming an attorney, going into accounting, or information technology. It wasn’t until I discovered healthcare administration that I became excited about a curriculum. It was a career path that dealt with a lot of people interaction, as well as the business aspect of the industry. It was exactly what I was looking for.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I am not sure if anyone in healthcare administration ever has a typical day. Every day is a little different. A lot of what my time is spent on is dealing with people and problem solving and communicating. It just comes in various forms and capacities.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I think that bringing new ideas to life is done by listening to others, and by giving the idea a lot of thought. People don’t realize how much energy is put into thought. The mind can be laboring so much in the thought process that it can be as exhausting as physical work. It is good to brainstorm with others and allow input for the idea. When the idea is born the will of the leadership and the team is what will bring the idea to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I have two trends that I want to mention. One that worries me, and one that excites me. One that worries me is that people seem to be more and more negative. They focus on the negativity at work and at home. I think people’s lives seem less functional than when I was growing up. I think that causes a lot of negativity in their lives. If a workforce is focused on negativity it will not thrive. However, I get hope and encouragement that positivity can overcome the negative. I might not be able to fix people’s lives at home, but I can create a positive work environment. If I can make their work experience more welcoming, they can come to work in a happier more positive way. I can recognize that not all people can leave their problems at the door. If we can affect other people with positivity, then positivity will spread. That gives me hope.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think that being thoughtful is one of the more important things that I have learned to do. Everyone can learn to be more thoughtful. It is the most important lesson to learn and understand, as it will affect every aspect of your life.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to live and appreciate the moment. When we are younger, we think we have limitless time. We don’t really know how limited time is. Slow down and live in the moment. Focus on the moment.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
There are many times when a disagreement happens when you try to convince someone to change. People don’t like change. For example, if there is an inconvenient perception towards the organization and we can make a change for the better, convincing staff and particularly doctors can be difficult. We discuss the situation thoughtfully and ask for their input. It is not always easy. If discussed often enough, eventually, the change will come.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
It would have to be thoughtful and listen. Also, I tell everyone to live by the Golden Rule and treat others as you would have them treat you.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I believe one strategy for being successful throughout my career is through having the trust of staff from interns to executives within the organization. I am transparent with everyone. I am consistent with the way that I am. People trust me and they buy-in. I have been able to get things done, and people know how I will respond in a positive way.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I was in a meeting with my boss and a few doctors. I was very young and trying to control the situation, and my boss corrected me very quickly. I strive to not make the same mistake twice. It truly opened my eyes to not always having to be the loudest or the boldest to be a leader.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would love to give an amazing business idea. I have had many great ideas, but I have to say that every time I have come up with an idea for a business I thought would be great, or an app that I thought would make our lives easier, I found out that it has already been done!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best hundred dollars I have ever spent has been when I tell my kids that if they go to the dentist and they do not have cavities I will give them a hundred bucks! It has turned out to be a great investment.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love Microsoft OneNote. It is very valuable in keeping conversations for things that I have to do.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. He tells a fascinating story about a person who is seemingly struggling with impossible situations but step-by-step he inspires and leads those around him and pulls himself out of the seemingly impossible situation.
What is your favorite quote?
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.”
● Live the golden rule and treat others as you would have them treat you
● Slow down, live in the moment, focus on the moment
● Always be thoughtful and seek to understand what being thoughtful means for you
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.