Don’t be afraid to go big.
Dr. William Levine is a podiatrist in New York, with a satellite office in Manhasset. He attended college in Binghamton, New York for his undergraduate work, graduating in 1987. A biology major, he did briefly consider a psychology major because he was very interested in the topic. He enjoyed all his learnings here.
He followed this with a change of scenery by attending what is now known as the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Levine did his residency with St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey and an externship at Fort Leonard Wood Army Hospital in Missouri.
He worked with a medical group for several years where he learned valuable lessons from the business side of things before going into private practice. Dr. Levine has been in the field for 26 years.
When Dr. Levine has free time, he spends as much time as possible with his three children and their different activities. As well, he enjoys golf and tennis.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I’ve always been interested in doing it. There are pluses and minuses to it, but just that autonomy of being your own boss. You’re subject to someone else’s rigidity and everything that goes along with that. Of course, if you work for someone else, you don’t have the administrative issues to deal with and the other red tape things. I think being on my own let’s me call the shots and do what works best for me and my patients. There’s more stress involved, as there is with any small business, but it’s all worth it.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
It varies. One day I could be in one office seeing routine patients and then another day could be spent back and forth between offices or doing surgeries. We tend to see our senior patients more in the morning hours and the younger ones in the afternoon, after school or work. I could see 30 to 40 patients one day and the next maybe only a handful. There’s always something going on and I just go with whatever the case may be.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I think you just have to work towards whatever it is. Everything starts as an idea. I just try to do what I do in the best possible way. We have Continuing Medical Education, CME, credits that we me must gain throughout the year, so I’m always learning new ways of treatments, therapies or about new devices. All these learnings help bring things to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
It would have to be minimal incision surgery procedures. It was always believed that a wide incision was necessary for surgeries and it just isn’t true in most cases. By using a fluoroscope, a real time x-ray basically, we can see exactly where we are during a surgery, and therefore, make smaller incisions. Smaller incisions also allow the patient a quicker healing time with less pain involved.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I try to do as many procedures as possible using newer machines and methods, like the digital x-ray machine, which is more efficient and easier. I think having and using the newest products helps and it’s easier on the patients, too.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to go bigger. Whether that means the bigger office space, building or an expensive machine. I think when you’re younger, you hesitate sometimes, not knowing if you’re biting off more than you can chew. I would just tell myself to go bigger.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe that a lot of problems today and illnesses are psychological. There’s a lot of things that we bring on ourselves with all the stress, our belief systems and negative self-talk. I think we are capable of making ourselves better. I also think we need more alternative, holistic medicines. Too much of the medicine world is business driven and not always for the benefit of the patient, and that’s all aspects of it from insurance companies, to doctors, to corporations.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I think you have to get on a personal level with your patients, talk to them. I know I want my patients to be as relaxed and comfortable with me as they are with any of their friends. I want them to know that I truly care and want to see their issues taken care of. I think they heal better, too, when there’s a good relationship between us.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I think having an online presence is key. Having a website that can be found easily can help bring in potential patients. With technology today, you have to be in that space and have that presence.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
We took over an office that was in a mall location because the doctor there just left. It really wasn’t a good fit or good location for us, so we closed it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think the future is unlimited with technology, it truly is a wild card. The possibility of any type of diagnostic profiling is definitely something we will see in the future. With the ever-changing technological advances, people will only be limited by themselves as to what can/will be created. I would say anything in that arena would be a good business to get involved with.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought some golf clubs for my 11-year-old son. I play golf and I’d like for him to learn the game, too. I think sports is a great outlet for both children and adults.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
For electronic medical records, I use Practice Fusion. It’s makes things a lot simpler and easier, and it is user friendly for doctors. It really saves time and energy.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I read a lot, so that’s a tough one. I guess I would say the last one I read, Papillon, by Henri Charriere. It’s the story of a man wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to a life term in prison. He was sent to Devil’s Island and endured so much. The book covers the 14-year period, 1931-1945, of his escapes, recaptures and eventual escape, showing how he never gave up.
What is your favorite quote?
If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. Napoleon Hill.
I just think it’s a good way to live life.
- Don’t be afraid to go big.
- Everything starts as an idea. You have to work to make it happen.
- We are capable of making ourselves better.
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.