A physician knows better than anyone the changes that will improve their daily practice. They know what their patients want. And they may be sufficiently savvy with technology to see the possibilities. Dr. Mark McKenna is a physician who has set his own path and has emerged (with trial and error) as a highly successful entrepreneur.
In fact, Dr. McKenna’s track record as a serial entrepreneur won him a slot as a featured guest on the CBS television show entitled ‘Doctorpreneur.’ As the name suggests, the show highlights the entrepreneurial spirit in the medical and healthcare communities.
Physicians possess specific traits that give them the “entrepreneurial attitude and motivation,” notes an article in MD magazine. In reviewing Dr. McKenna’s career, it’s clear that he is the embodiment of these traits.
They relish getting out of their comfort zone, and into the unknown
While earning his degree at Tulane Medical School, Dr. Mark McKenna came to the conclusion that it would be tough to make a lot of money as a doctor. He practiced medicine with his father for five years, and saw how changes in billing and reimbursements affected his practice. While physicians used to drive nice cars and make a lot of money, he realized that no longer was true. For Dr. McKenna, medicine was rote. He was attracted to the ability to engage different parts of his brain.
They trust their instincts
In the early days of medical school, he started buying real estate. He would moonlight at prisons doing physicals on prisoners for $50 an hour, and invested 100% of the money.
When he first started practicing medicine, he simultaneously launched McKenna Venture Investments, a boutique real estate development firm. Over the years Dr. McKenna went on to acquire/launch Universal Mortgage Lending and Uptown Title, Inc.
This portfolio of companies would grow to over 50 employees and offered turnkey design-build, finance, and real estate closing services. Dr. McKenna was making more than $500,000 a year, and his business was worth between $4 million and $5 million.
They experience loss but learn how to rebound
When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, Dr. Mark McKenna lost millions overnight. He describes it as a “true gut check.” He and his girlfriend evacuated New Orleans thinking it would be just for a long weekend. His employees scattered throughout the country, his cash flow went to zero, his properties were devalued, and he was underinsured on many of his properties.
Dr. McKenna returned to New Orleans to rebuild his company and help with relief. There was a two-year period where flooded property could be bought for next to nothing, renovated and sold to investors who leased it as low-income housing. There were a ton of opportunities and a lot of government subsidies. His company would design, build and flip properties.
They trust their instincts
Eventually. Dr. McKenna saw the writing on the wall. The real estate market was changing. When people with zero income were buying property at 100 percent financing, he recognized that it was time to shift back to his second passion – medicine. He dissolved his real estate company, walking away with $700,000 or $800,000.
They realize the value of their medical training
Dr. Mark McKenna then moved to Atlanta, enrolled in an online MBA degree program, and opened ShapeMed, a chain of offices that offered cosmetic treatments like Botox injections, laser hair removal, and nutrition and weight counseling.
The company was an early adapter to the internet, to Google AdWords and social media. If someone searched “Botox” in Atlanta ShapeMed would come up at the top of the search.
Shape Medical Wellness Center became Atlanta’s premier medical weight loss and non-surgical aesthetic clinic. The highly trained staff of physicians, dietitians, and nutritionists provided affordable, convenient, and healthy weight loss and wellness solutions.
At the four offices, ShapeMed was doing $4 million in annual revenue and EBITDA margin was 20%. He was pocketing $1 million a year, reinvesting a lot, and spending on marketing. In 2015 he sold the business to a publicly traded big box gym chain, Lifetime Fitness, and joined the staff, but he quit a year later after Lifetime was bought out by private equity.
They have a “how and how else” mentality
Now Dr. Mark McKenna, 43, is working on a new venture, OVME, which will open its doors in early 2018.
His vision: a national chain of cosmetic medical offices with an app that will function like an Uber for Botox patients. Using OVME’s app, customers will be able to connect with freelance practitioners who will make house calls on demand. He has raised $4 million in capital, and projects growth to $25 million over the next five years.
The name OVME, pronounced “Of Me,” captures how well the company helps patients improve themselves. OVME is intended to build a brand around the retail medical aesthetics market. Botox is widely recognized, but there is no set outlet that offers the product, says Dr. Mark McKenna. The new venture was meant to provide a luxurious client experience.
The first OVME clinics will be in Atlanta and Nashville, then Las Vegas.
They bring ideas to life
Dr. Mark McKenna is a voracious reader who regularly sets goals and practices visualization. He also likes to meditate in a quiet place at least once a day. He has found the combination of meditation and active goal setting is a recipe for success.
Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg, and Barack Obama have influenced his thinking greatly, as has the Napoleon Hill classic, “Think and Grow Rich.”
Check out Dr. Mark Mckenna is his recent IdeaMensch feature for further reading: