John Waterman, Med Business Advisors
John Waterman is the owner of Med Business Advisors, a business, financial and marketing consulting firm for the healthcare industry who got his start in business as a ‘turn around’ guy. For more than 20 years he has gone into businesses in various industries, consulting with them and helping them to become profitable. Including his first business (lawn services) in junior high school, John has owned seven businesses.
He is also an avid traveler and is a glass blowing aficionado. John wrote, directed, and produced an award-winning documentary on the art form called, My Glass Odyssey. He also created and maintains the largest, on-line glass community boasting more than 6000 participants world-wide.
1. What is the most interesting thing about you or your business?
I would say the most interesting thing about me and the business is that by doing what we do, it affects everybody. If you’re a business owner, we have a positive impact on bottom line. If you’re an employee, we will help by creating a stable workplace and job security. If you’re a consumer, it’s going to ensure the place is around for the long-term. So if you like the service, Med Business Advisors helps to ensure that medical practice is going to be around because it’s being run in a smart, organized, pragmatic manner.
2. What makes business ownership worth it to you?
I think the opportunity to create something where there was nothing is what makes it worth it to me. In the past, I had a home renovation business and there you can look at a piece of dirt or run-down building, and from that, create a sense of ‘home’, jobs, nice neighborhoods… Everyone wins. So, we had a positive influence, a ripple effect. It doesn’t matter what it is, when you put your time and sweat into something, you can tell that somebody cares and ultimately that’s what it comes down to. I care about the businesses I work with and we make a difference.
I also like the fact that if you do it right, you’re always learning. I’m very competitive. I like to challenge myself. If I can help an organization better analyze opportunities and evaluates risks and rewards, that’s what makes it rewarding.
3. Describe your typical day.
My typical day is not typical. That’s what I like about it. It’s different. One day I might be meeting with new or prospective clients. Some days are going to be admin days and filing, but you have to have that to do the fun stuff. Also, as you work with people and are successful in doing things, your scope can change and morph and expand. So you might have originally come in to solve a specific problem and because of your approach and/or results, are asked to take on something else. Before you know it you become enmeshed and a driving force behind success. I also make sure I’m able to be flexible enough to be able to deal with client needs that may come up unexpectedly.
4. Would you ever trade running your own business for a 9 to 5 job?
I don’t think I’ve ever had a 9 to 5 job, so I don’t think I can answer that. I think there are advantages and disadvantages to every situation. I think some larger companies recognize the need and value to corralling and stimulating entrepreneurial energy. For example, a company like Disney could be very entrepreneurial, very creative. But, never say never. I think you have to evaluate every opportunity.
5. What advice would you give to someone considering business ownership or entrepreneurism? Are there certain skills or traits they need to be successful?
There’s a whole spectrum of what it takes to be successful. You can be a successful person and launch a failing concept. Your score card can’t be cut and dried. You can learn a lot from a failed experience. Being an entrepreneur is kind of exploring and pushing the boundaries. I think if you have the personality for it, it’s important to just go for it.
6. Why do you think you’re successful? What does success mean to you?
I don’t dwell on whether I’m successful or not. I think that’s for other people to say. I think if I get to play with my dog and it’s a nice day outside and I’m able to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine and have a bottle of wine – doesn’t even have to be good wine – with someone I want to be with, than that’s a success. I think someone sitting on a pile of money isn’t necessarily successful. I also feel fortunate to come from the background I have. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and business owners. I think that family background, and my education is part and parcel to why opportunities have come to me. Then, it’s my personality that has allowed me to take advantage of those opportunities.