Dr. Alicia Shelly is an internal medicine and obesity medicine physician, and when she came to the Business School, she was looking for something more. She started a podcast about weight loss, using her knowledge as a physician, started a YouTube channel, and a group coaching program, and she hasn’t looked back since.
Tune in this week to hear from the incredible Dr. Alicia Shelly. She’s talking us through her first year in the Business School, how she’s pushing herself in her business, training for an Ironman Triathlon, and she’s dissecting all of the business lessons she’s taken away from her athletic training which have kept her moving forward. Trust me, you’re going to love it.
Hi docs, welcome to The EntreMD Podcast, where it’s all about helping amazing physicians just like you embrace entrepreneurship so you can have the freedom to live life and practice medicine on your terms. I’m your host, Dr. Una.
Well, hello, hello, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of The EntreMD Podcast. I have a treat for you because I have Dr. Alicia Shelly. I remember when I first had her on I called her Dr. Alicia Kelly. Do you remember that? Very first interview?
Dr. Shelly: I do.
Dr. Una: So I had her on, she had been in the EntreMD Business School about 30 days at that point and we talked about her transformation then and all of that. Since then she has completed her first year in the EntreMD business school, she’s now an EntreMD, what we call an EBS master. That’s what we call them after the first year. And she’s done amazing things.
She’s had quite the journey, both as an entrepreneur and not an entrepreneur, and we’re going to talk a little bit about that, too. And I’m just so excited that she gets to come back on the show. And we’re going to go down memory lane a little bit and she’s going to take us behind the scenes and we’re going to talk all things entrepreneurship. So this is going to be great.
Dr. Alicia Shelly, I said it right this time, welcome to the show.
Dr. Shelly: Thank you so much for having me. Thank you so much for having me, it’s an honor.
Dr. Una: Absolutely. So give the people a little refresher, introduce yourself, let them know who the amazing Dr. Alicia Shelly is.
Dr. Shelly: Yes. So last year, I had joined Dr. Una’s EntreMD Business School. And prior to that, maybe about six months prior to that I was looking for something else. I didn’t know what something else was, I just was looking for more. I’m a current Internal Medicine, OBC medicine physician and have been doing that in my practice. But I just was looking for something more.
And for some reason I stumbled on to her podcast. And actually what happened was one of her other students, Dr. Barbara Joy, had posted about her. And she posted about her like two years ago and I looked at that and I’m like, “I don’t know, that’s not for me.” But then she posted again and I was like, “You know what? Let me look this up.” I was ready. I was ready then.
And so in April of that year I decided to start a podcast talking about weight loss and how to get back on track once you’ve lost weight and regained it back. And so a year ago, July 1st, I released my first podcast. Since then I’ve gotten over 1,000 downloads, I’ve gotten to 30 different countries, the podcast is taking off, I’m just trying to get it to go even further.
On top of that we’re really reaching people and helping people with their weight loss journey. I’ve also started a group coaching program where we’re focusing on how to thrive for life and just have a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight loss.
The funny thing, I also started a YouTube channel too where we’re putting the content and videos and interviews on YouTube. And I didn’t tell you this, but my friend asked me to consult with her just how she can start her podcast. And so for the last 12 weeks we’ve been doing that. And so she has her podcast up and going and so it’s going to release July 13th.
Dr. Una: That is amazing.
Dr. Shelly: Yeah.
Dr. Una: I was going to ask you about that because I saw a post that was like, oh, I helped a client, was that what you said? Or a friend, I don’t remember which, you know, launch their podcast. I’m like, huh, is she doing that as a business? That’s fascinating.
Dr. Shelly: I didn’t realize I liked it so much. Like she said, “Hey, can you help me?” I’m like, “Yes.” It took me 10 minutes to come up with a whole module. She’s like, “Oh my gosh, you have module 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.” So you’re absolutely right when you say your first business kind of propels to your next business, because I was ready to go. I’m like, okay, we have it all together, let’s just meet. Here’s the link schedule.
And she was so pleased because she used somebody else and they just didn’t work out. And so we were able to come up with the podcast. So that’s, I don’t know if I’m going to go into that business just yet. I’m dipping my feet it. We’ll see, we’ll see. But needless to say, coaching, consulting someone else.
Also, in the last year I was honored as one of the 40 under 40 for the Atlanta Business Journal. And so that was an amazing award. I’ve gotten to speak for the local Georgia ASMBS Society, and I’ll be talking for the Obesity Medical Association in their fall Summit.
So this has been a whirlwind from coming from I need more to, oh my gosh, I’m a podcaster, I’m a coach, I’m a, you know, a this and that. So it’s been a pretty eventful year.
Dr. Una: It seems like you got a lot more, not just more. It seems that way.
Dr. Shelly: I got a lot more. And I forgot to mention I finished my first Ironman 70.3, which is the Ironman half. And so I’m now training for the Ironman full. So that’s my non-entrepreneurial goal that I was able to meet.
Dr. Una: Okay, so I’m going to go on a tangent here with your whole Ironman thing. Where can people follow your Ironman journey? Because I find it fascinating. I follow you because I’m like, I was just asking before we got, I was like, “You did something over the weekend too.” She was like, “Yeah, I rode 70 miles on Sunday and then I did the Peachtree Road Race on Monday.” And I’m like, “With what legs?” Right? So where can people follow this?
Dr. Shelly: Yes, so I have the chronicles of Ironman training on my Instagram, where every week I come and I talk about what I’m doing. I post on my Instagram. I also post on my Facebook page, Dr. Shelly MD, and my Instagram is Dr. Shelly MD as well. So you can follow along, cheer me on. I need prayers, so please keep me in your prayers.
Dr. Una: Well, I’m praying for you if you’re going to be doing that kind of distance.
Dr. Shelly: Yeah.
Dr. Una: So the thing I find fascinating about sports and business is there are so many parallels, right? So many analogies. Anybody who listens to the podcast knows I talk a lot about basketball because that’s really the only sport I watch. And even with the games, the games are going on and my husband is like, “I know you’re just pulling podcast episodes out of this game, right?”
And so in the process of doing the Ironman, what are some business principles that you’ve been able to pull out of that experience?
Dr. Shelly: Yes, so lots and lots of business principles. The first one is you need to show up. So I started training in October of 2021 for this Ironman, that’s actually the full Ironman that’s coming up. And for those that aren’t familiar with the Ironman, it’s basically you do a 2.4 mile swim, 116 miles riding the bicycle, and a 26.2 miles of a run.
Now prior to this deciding to do an Ironman, I’ve done marathons. So I’ve done the 26.2, but I have never done the swim or the run. And I was just a regular swimmer, you know, I learned at YMCA. So I wasn’t like this avid swimmer, so we’re all starting from scratch. And so each day I have a trainer, I have a coach that helps me.
And that’s rule number two, get a coach. Get somebody who’s done it, who can show you the way. And she comes up with the plan on what I need to do on a daily basis. And there are some days I have to wake up at 5:30, actually like five o’clock, or actually 4:30, 5 o’clock so I can get to the pool so I can swim before my day starts because I’m actually still working full-time as a physician.
And so there are days, and I realized that swimming is not my favorite sport and there are days when I prefer to sleep in bed. But I just remind myself, you need to show up, you need to just go. And even if I’m late and I only get 45 minutes in or 30 minutes in, at least I did something.
So in your entrepreneurial journey, you need to show up. You need to continue to put yourself out there. Like I mentioned, how I found Dr. Una was because somebody, she was putting herself out there. Somebody shared one of her posts two years ago, then two years later I saw another post and I’m like, “Well, I need this.” And that’s what your ideal customer, your ideal client needs too. They need you to keep putting stuff out there.
One other thing I want to say, side note, we’re doing a challenge in our EBS this month called the audacity challenge. And one of the things I’ve been trying to do for myself is put out a weekly newsletter. And I didn’t realize that it had been like several months since I put out a weekly newsletter.
But since I’m doing this challenge I put out the newsletter. And I was like at the bottom of the newsletter, like in small print, I said, “Hey, if you would like to join my group coaching in October, here’s the wait list. Sign up here.” And someone signed up. It sounds really like, you know, just this should happen. But it doesn’t always happen that way. So that’s why you have to keep putting yourself out there.
So those are two rules, I got a couple more. Obstacles. Obstacles, regardless of what you do, there will always be obstacles. Like I said, I’m starting from scratch with the swimming and the bike riding. And so each time I go out it’s a new experience. When I started riding a bike I didn’t know that you needed to clip in the pedals. And when you clip in the pedals it’s like basically you and your feet are stuck to the bike. It’s like you and your bike are the machine that’s moving forward.
However, there’s a trick to getting in the clips and getting out of the clips. And you don’t find that out right away. It’s trial and error. There’s a lot of falling involved. I fell at least eight times this year.
Dr. Una: Did you post a picture or a video of you falling on Instagram?
Dr. Shelly: Yes.
Dr. Una: Yeah, because I remember seeing that.
Dr. Shelly: I was reliving it. I was like this is what this ride is about, me falling. And sometimes, if I know I’m about to fall I’ll just plan it, like just fall, fall on the grass. Just do what you have to do it. So there’s always obstacles you have to overcome.
One quick story, and the other thing you have to do is you have to kind of keep doing different races. So one of the races that I did was the Gran Fondo Hincapie race in Chattanooga. And they had us going up on this mountain called, Suck Creek Mountain was the name of it. And it was aptly named, because it literally was four miles going upward.
And if you ever go up on a hill, it’s very challenging. And what I realized is that you have to, you can’t stop while you’re going up on the hill because it’s really hard to gain momentum to keep going once you’re trying to get back on. So you have to keep moving forward, even though you’re going up on that hill.
And what I tell myself when I’m doing it is just like keep pedaling forward, keep putting one foot in front of the other. Even if you’re going slow, you’re still moving forward. The same with entrepreneurship, you’re going to have obstacles.
You may have a VA that just sucks and you’ve got to get somebody else. You may have a webinar and no one shows up. You may have put out a post that no one likes or no one even responds, and you’re like, is anybody looking at this? But know that if you just keep showing up, you keep moving forward, even when it’s tough, even when it’s uncomfortable, you just have to keep going and you’ll get to the top. You’ll get to the top, so just keep moving forward.
Can I say one more?
Dr. Una: You can say, this is so good you can say one more.
Dr. Shelly: I can say one more. All right, last one is power thoughts. Having affirmations, sayings, Bible verses, things that you can refer back to when it’s hard. So like I told you before, I don’t particularly care for swimming, especially in the pool. And you’re going like back and forth, back and forth in the pool. And sometimes I have to remind myself that I can do hard things. I can get in this pool and just do it.
On my bicycle when I was racing the Ironman 70.3 I had a power thought that said you can do it and then a Bible verses says I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. And so I was like, when I was riding and I was getting in my head like, you’re going to do 50 miles? How can you do this? I was like, okay, you got this and I can do all things.
And I kept repeating it, repeating it, repeating it. And, you know, I did it. I made it through. I was surprised as well, I like, “Yes!” And I made it through at my goal time, I was like, “Yes, I did it!”
Dr. Una: That’s amazing.
Dr. Shelly: It is, the affirmations, the power thoughts work, they’re so helpful. And when you’re getting discouraged in your entrepreneurial journey, have that saying, have that thing. I can do hard things, and just keep moving forward. So those would be my, I don’t know how many. I started listing a lot more.
Dr. Una: You gave me four but they’re really powerful. Because the entrepreneur in me is like this is so good. Because when you talk about, okay, so you started off with you need to show up. And there are many times we talk ourselves out of showing up.
And it’s like just show up. You may show up and it’s a little messy. You may show up and it’s not perfect. You may show up not fully confident. You may show up knowing step 1, 2, 3, but step 7 through 100 you don’t know what those are, but show up. And it’s so powerful because guess what? Everybody listening right now, you can show up, right?
You talked about getting a coach. And you know I’m all about that. And I budget for my coaching, like it’s a line item in my budget, I budget for it. And I invest heavily because I’m like, this is what makes the difference. And so you’re a physician, you’re a physician entrepreneur, we built the EntreMD Business School for you so you can have that environment where you get the coaching and you get challenges, right?
So this is funny, but Dr. Alicia did a Facebook Live in the EntreMD Business School group this morning and she called it the confessional where she talked about what she alluded to earlier. And she was like, “Okay, guys, the audacity challenge, I was like okay now I have to put out an email every week because that’s part of what we talked about.” Then she’s like, “Oh, the last one I do was three months ago.” Right?
And so you get called out, and you will be calling yourself out a lot of times because we didn’t have a conversation about this. She called herself out, did her own confessional, and then did that email. But because she did that email look at what happened. Now she has someone on her wait list and that’s someone as far as we know right now, there could be somebody else signing up right now as we speak.
And then you talked about keep moving forward because the amount of momentum you lose when you stop. So it may not be 700 steps like you planned, but if you could do 200, do 200, whatever. Just don’t stop, you’re going uphill. We don’t stop going uphill. That’s a beautiful analogy, I’m gonna remember that one.
And then the power thoughts, and I love that you said you get them ready before you need them.
Dr. Shelly: Yes.
Dr. Una: Right? So you’re not thinking, “What power thought do I use when I’m in the middle of an Ironman 70.3 and going like I’m at 30 and I can’t keep going?” You decide on that before and so when those tough times come, because they will, you just say, “Oh, I’m ready for you.” And you just pull it out, you know?
Man, thank you for sharing these. This is so good. So, so, so good. Sports is really a perfect analogy for entrepreneurship, really. So in all of these things that you’ve done this year of a lot more, because that’s what the last 12 months has been for you, what would you say is the biggest mindset shift you’ve experienced?
Dr. Shelly: Oh, I think the biggest mindset is to delegate. So when I first started here I was doing everything. I was editing, I was creating, I was editing my podcasts, I was creating the different posts. And I was getting burnt out. Like I was like, “Whew, I’m tired.” I think I interviewed so many people in the month of October and I was like, I need a break.
And so by learning to delegate and to batch, where it’s like you don’t have to do everything all at once, like I think I was interviewing like six or seven people every week.
Dr. Una: Oh my goodness, that’s the fastest way to quit podcasting, for me anyway.
Dr. Shelly: Yes, yes, yes. So I realized that and I was like, no, pick one day and you’re going to interview people on that day. And then I delegate to the lady, I’m like, “Here is my podcast, please edit this.” She comes up with the different posts and then all I have to do is post it. And then I have another lady that posts my social media.
So delegating has been key. It was hard. It’s hard to let go because you’re like, this is my baby. Only I can do this right. But then now it’s like, how else can I delegate? Who can do this better than me? I need to delegate more. Actually the funny thing is I was doing my own hair, I was like, no, we’re delegating. We’re going to the salon. I need you to cornrow my hair, get it all nice so I don’t have to worry about it. I actually went to a meal service.
Dr. Una: Oh, you’re on a delegating spree.
Dr. Shelly: I’m on a delegating spree.
Dr. Una: So let me track back a little bit because for me delegation was so hard. It took me a while to figure it out. Like it took me a long while to figure it out, and that’s why I talk about it so much. I’m like, get all this stuff off your plate. But what was the tipping point for you? Because we have this, I know I should delegate but I can’t delegate, right?
But then once we figure it out then we’re like, I’m delegating my business, my personal life, like I’m delegating everything, right? So what was that tipping point where you went from knowing should delegate till you actually started delegating? Was it a thought thing? Was it something somebody said? Was it you got so stuck or burnt out? What was that thing for you?
Dr. Shelly: I think definitely I got burnt out. But then in October we had the retreat in South Carolina.
Dr. Una: Yeah.
Dr. Shelly: So that retreat was very helpful because just kind of talking to people and just seeing how they’re doing things and realizing you don’t have to be burnt out. Like this is not a thing, you can overcome this. I think coming from that vision retreat I realized I need to donate. And like I said, I just started going on a spree.
The funny thing is, is that when you do podcasts you get all these emails and people are like, “Hey, I would love to edit your podcast.” “Oh, hey, well, I’d love to do your social media.” So the lady emailed me just when I was ready to delegate and I’m like, “Sure, please.” I didn’t even like go and find like, you know how usually get three quotes? I was like, nope, this is great. When can you start? And she’s been my podcast lady since that time, so I do not regret it at all.
Dr. Una: That is amazing. Now, so there are two things that you said that made me go like, oh, I could do cartwheels. I’m just 43 years old, I don’t do that anymore, but I could do cartwheels. So one is the tipping point came when you saw different people delegating, right?
And so this is the power of a community. And this is why I always, you know, in the beginning when we started EntreMD Business School people were like, “No, I just want to do one on one coaching with you.” And I’m like that is very powerful, but you have no idea what the power of coaching plus community is, like the community itself.
So there are things that you will hear, because I’m sure if you’re talking about October, you had been in the business school for four to five, well, four to five months at the time. And so you had heard me talk about delegation 300,000 times. You had heard, you know, we’d even done the training on five ways to build a team with little or no money down. We had done all these things.
But you walk into a room and you see examples, one after the other of people doing what you’re trying to do. And it just makes it click in a way that you can’t describe, right? And so that is the power of being in a room where people are doing what you want to do. You’re like, you can’t learn by osmosis. Oh, in a community, a curated community, you absolutely can. Absolutely, absolutely can.
And then the second thing you talked about your VA, like your podcast manager now sending an email, like, “Hey, I could manage your podcast.” And you were like, “Oh my goodness, I was ready to delegate, so I’m like, here you go.” So for every entrepreneur listening, please realize that somebody has a problem that you solve, and they’re just waiting for your email, or they’re waiting for your social media posts, or they’re waiting for you to say, “Hey, want to work with me?”
They literally have the problem, they have the money, they’re actually getting ready to look for somebody like you. So be the person they find. You know what I mean? Because we flip it. And that’s a business lesson we just learned from your podcast manager.
Dr. Shelly: That’s a good one.
Dr. Una: Right, because you were waiting.
Dr. Shelly: They’re waiting.
Dr. Una: Sometimes we think we have to convince people. No, people are waiting, but if we don’t show up and we don’t make offers and tell them, hey, come do this, then they don’t find us. So that’s ridiculously amazing.
Okay, so we’ve talked about where people can find you. So we talked about your Instagram and all of that stuff. If somebody is thinking, okay, someone is thinking, you know, they’ve listened to the podcast. They love the podcast, they’ve gotten wins in their business from the podcast. They follow the emails, they’re loving that. They’re in the EntreMD Facebook group, the general Facebook group and they’re like, this is amazing.
But they’re not sure about the Business School. They’ve thought about it. They don’t know if they have the time, if they have the money, if it will work for them. What would you tell that person?
Dr. Shelly: I would say, just do it. So I was in EBS for the year and I signed up for the next year. And the reason why is because I knew maybe before I had decided to come to EBS I was going to do a podcast. So I knew the what, but I didn’t know the how.
And if I hadn’t been in EBS, like you said, it is a community. So I’m seeing people who’ve been doing podcasts for years. And I’ve seen people who are starting their podcasts, and you’re seeing the different things that they’re doing, the fact that they’re having a social media.
I mean, I don’t think I knew to schedule my social media posts prior to this. You know, it’s just the small things that kind of helped you delegate. Yes, Dr. Una talks about delegation, but it didn’t click until I saw somebody else who, they just delegate and they just batch their podcasts one day a month, and then that’s it and then they don’t have to worry about it.
And so the community is so key, so key. Like when we go to these different conferences we get so much out of just being together just shooting ideas off. And it’s just like you’re just firing on all cylinders. You’re like, “Oh yes, oh yes, I can do this. I can do that.” Not only are you giving to someone else, they’re pouring out and giving to you.
So that’s the community that the EBS provides. And I’m telling you, I’m going to be a lifer because it is so good. Like, you know, I have people say, well, it’s the same principles. It’s the same principles but sometimes I’m a little hard headed, or it goes in one ear and out the other. So I got to keep getting repetition.
And honestly, I’m not the same person I was when I first started. So it’s a gradual thing that you’re learning, you’re getting better. And then when you have, like you said the audacity challenge, we have this challenge this month. And I’m like, well, I’m going to show up today and I’m going to keep going each and every day. And I’m a different person than I was before.
So I’m learning so much, and I’m moving my business forward probably faster than if I had done it by myself because I would not have known what to do.
Dr. Una: So good. So good. You just make me happy. And lifer, we can do life together, me and you.
Dr. Shelly: Yes.
Dr. Una: We can do it together. And you bring up something that I want to point out because for you it is the habit of the ultra-successful. People would sometimes say, “Well, I’ve done that before.” Or I’ve learned that principle before, or I read that book before. And one of the qualities of the ultra-successful is, well two. One is that they stay curious. They can learn from almost anything, right?
Like they can learn from almost anything. So they don’t go like, “I’ve read that book before.” You know what I mean? I have books I read every year, like every year. Like why not? Like I read Eat That Frog every year, of course. For me it’s like a Bible on productivity. And Brian Tracy speaks my language so I’m like, yes, let’s do that.
Ever since I found the miracle equation I’ve read that every year because, again, like you noticed, the version of you that reads it in 2020 is not the version of you that reads it in 2021, not the version of you that reads it in 2022. So each time you read it, the book is the same, the principles are the same, but you’re not. So you get so much more out of it, right?
And then the ultra-successful are very clear that their job to continue to do better and better is to become masters at the basics. Not masters at new things every year, masters at the basics. And so that’s why we call people who are in their second year or third year of the EntreMD Business School EBS Masters. It’s not about, oh, so now we’ve graduated, we’re going to learn all these new principles. No, you’re just going to become really great at doing the basics, right?
If you look at somebody who’s has a $100 million business and someone who has a $100,000 business, a lot of the things are the same principles, one person is just a master and that’s what it is. So kudos to you for going like, no, I’m different and I’m going to get new things out of this. So good for you.
Dr. Shelly: No, you’re absolutely right. And I like that, to be a master of the basics.
Dr. Una: Yes, because again, if we go back to sports, right, whatever you’re doing for the Ironman, if you’re doing a breaststroke a breaststroke is a breaststroke. It’s just that me doing one and Michael Phelps doing one is different, right? He’s just a master at it, you know what I’m saying?
Riding a bike is riding a bike. But if you’re going to do the Ironman, you’re going to do what did you say 116 miles? That is just so wrong. Right? But there’s some mastery there. It’s not that you have some innovative way of pedaling or whatever. You’re a master at the basics. And so it trips people up, they’re like, I’m looking for the new shiny thing. Not the way it works. Not the way it works at all.
Dr. Shelly, thank you for coming on to share your story. Thank you so much for coming to give us those analogies with the sports world, with the Ironman World. And this will be helpful for so many people. I got so much out of it.
So thank you for sharing because just like some people did for you during the vision retreat their example made new things possible for you. And you’ve come to do the same thing. And your example today is going to make new things possible for the people who are listening. So thank you so much for coming on.
Dr. Shelly: Thank you so much for having me, I had a great time.
Dr. Una: As did I. Okay, doc, so you’re listening, you got a lot out of this. This is one of those you should really listen to the second time, I’m just saying you should listen to it a second time. And then you want to share this episode with the physicians in your life.
Why? Because in the EntreMD world we have a target. And the target is the mass business education of physicians. And so we always say, oh, we didn’t get a business education and all this stuff, but we can get one now. That’s done. But we can get one now, right?
And this story right here is enough to help somebody make their next move in business, it’s enough to make them show up. It’s enough to make them not quit in the face of obstacles. It’s enough to make them get those power thoughts that will help them when the obstacles show up. So share it with another doctor and I will see you on the next episode of The EntreMD Podcast.
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