No matter what kind of business you’re running, there is always the fear that your market is saturated, and getting noticed will be extremely difficult. So, whether you’re starting a private practice, a coaching practice, becoming a speaker, or developing a new product, this episode is for you because I’m showing you how to stand out in a saturated market.
When I started my private practice, there were five practices within a five-minute drive, two of them very well-established. That’s enough to put some people off. But I knew I could still stand out and become known and recognized for what I do, just like those other businesses did. And that is because I had a story.
Tune in this week to discover how to leverage your story so you can stand out even in the most saturated market. I’m sharing some inspiration from the students in the EntreMD Business School and showing you how to decide on the incredible story that sets you apart from the crowd.
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, it is Dr. Una here. So excited I get to be in your ears today. Thank you so much for being a listener. I know I say it every time, but I truthfully am really, really grateful. I was looking at our stats, and we are at 192,000 downloads. Isn’t that crazy? So wild. So thank you for listening. And thank you for sharing this. Thank you for reviewing this because it does help us get the word out.
And you know in EntreMD, as a movement, as a community, we’ve moved beyond just looking out for ourselves, but we’re looking out for the physician community, right? So I’m going to learn, I’m going to apply it so I can be an example. And I’m going to share with every physician in my world, right? That’s kind of our commitment this year.
And so thank you for doing that. Okay, thank you for doing that. Many of you have been taking action and getting great wins and sending me emails about it. And I appreciate that, the stories are so mind blowing. In fact, I’m going to read one of them on the next episode. But thank you.
And if you’re like, “Email? Hey, what’s the secret email?” It’s Dr. Una, D-R-U-N-A @entremd.com. And if you have a win you want to share, like something you applied from the podcast that totally rocked your world, changed your business. Maybe you started, you scaled, you brought on a new team member, you 10X stuff, let me know. I love reading those things, okay? All right.
Today, I’m going to talk about something that comes up a lot. And that is how to stand out in a saturated market. So sometimes someone wants to start a private practice and they’re like, but it’s saturated. Wants to become a coach, but it’s saturated. Wants to develop a product, but it’s saturated. Want to speak, but there’s so many speakers, it’s like, really, really saturated.
And I want to show you how to stand out. I understand that. When I started my private practice, in the city were – Not in the city, like within a five minute drive, there were five practices. And two of them were almost 40 years old each. You know what I mean? So really well established practices and all of that. And I’m like, my goodness, right?
And so when you think about that, sometimes it makes you feel like what you’re doing is not needed, somebody else is taking your idea, and stuff like that. And we’re going to kind of talk about how to still stand in your own category, you know what I mean? Still be known, still break through so you become one of the people known for what you do, okay?
And you might go like, “Yeah, I hear you but it’s saturated.” Well, think about this, think about how many medical school students graduate every year. And still we have a physician shortage, which is projected to be worse, right? So do we need more medical schools or less medical schools? We need more. Even though there’s a million physicians, we still need more. Okay? All right.
So let’s take a look at this, right. And this is a funny thing, I was going to do five ways to stand out in a saturated market, I’d already listed them all out and all of that. And I was like, you know what? I’m not going to do that. I’m going to take one of the ways and I’m going to do a deep dive. And I want you to start applying this today so you can start standing out today. And then in the course of the podcast, like other episodes, we’ll talk about the other four.
So one of the main ways to stand out is to leverage the power of your story. Leverage the power of your story. Now, the thing about our stories is that they’re ours. It’s our experience, we’ve lived through it. So it doesn’t seem fascinating. It doesn’t seem unique. It’s just like yeah, it’s just this thing.
But I cannot begin to tell you how much it resonates with people when you share your story. Because you can share a point, a truth, a thought and it’s like, okay, cool. You can share that, you can communicate that through story or with story and it hits completely differently. That’s just the way it is.
So you hear statements like facts tell, but stories sell. People buy into stories. When I say buy into, I don’t mean like just buy into programs or stuff like that, but ideologies and stuff like that. You sell them through stories, okay?
If you stop and think about the greatest communicators, they use stories. Think about TED Talks that you’ve watched, they use stories, right? Think about the movie industry. What is that? Stories told in picture. And movies are making millions and millions of dollars. I mean, we’re watching the movie, we know this is acted, okay? We know this is made up and people are watching and crying.
Why? Because of how deeply it resonates, right? So you’re watching and crying, you’re even watching somebody you’re like, “Oh, by the time this movie was released this person had already died.” But you’re still watching, still so convinced. Why? Stories are so powerful. And if you can add that to what you do, it will really make you stand out.
Now, as physicians, this is something that is a learned skill because typically in our speaking, we do a lot, I mean, we do stories when we do case studies and stuff like that, but we’re more in teacher mode without stories. You know, telling facts, giving away information. But when you want to speak for transformation, you need to use stories, okay?
So think about reality TV. I don’t watch reality TV, but why do you think a gazillion people do? Stories, right? Stories. We can learn the facts, but we want to know, you know, and stuff like that. So anyway, so stories, leveraging the power of stories.
And I couldn’t think of a better way of doing this than maybe pulling out some stories. These are students from the EntreMD Business School.
If you don’t know we have a business school, it’s a yearlong program for doctors who are like, “Man, I love what’s happening on the podcast. But I want to be in community. I want to learn this in sequence. I want to do this in community with other physicians who are doing this. I want live sessions with Dr. Una every week,” and stuff like that. We have a program for that.
And so I just want to pull out some of their stories. They have no idea I’m doing this, so this should be fun. But I want to give you examples.
So Dr. Jarita Hagans is a family medicine doc and she was opening a private practice, okay? And how many family medicine private practices are there in the United States? A gazillion, okay, a gazillion of them. Now, what will make her stand out? What would make someone interested in what she’s doing? What would make her be in a category of her own? Her story, okay?
Now, Dr. Jarita Hagans grew up in a church and the people in the church supported her, they’re there for her, all the tension of trying to get into school and all this stuff. They prayed for her, you know what I mean? All of that. And she went off to medical school, she finished her training, finished her residency, and then went back to go serve the community that supported her to become the person that she is today.
And the spot that she got where her private practice is, is right in the same building as the church. And so, a family practice is a family practice is a family practice. But a story of these are the people who supported me, I went back and now I’ve come back to give to my community. I am on a mission to bring health back to the community that helped me become a health care provider or a physician. I am coming back to bring healing to the people who supported me so I could become a healer.
Now, crafting that story and telling it, imagine that from stage and all of that. Of course there are family medicine practices, but there’s this woman who’s on a mission and I want to be part of her mission. What does that? A story, okay? And that’s a story I would tell, and tell, and tell. I would tell it in the church where I grew up, I will tell it in the churches around, I will tell it on other stages like Chamber of Commerce and all that, like I’m on a mission to bring health back to this.
People love to follow a mission. People love to be part of a movement, right? And so that automatically sets her apart from every other person who has a family medicine practice. Why? They don’t have her story. And you can argue with anything you want, but you cannot argue with her story.
And the beautiful thing about what she does is she is into showing how to cook healthy meals, she’s into gardening, I believe, as well, and all these kinds of things. And so these are events that she could host in the community and all that stuff and grab people and they will follow the story. Okay, so that’s one example.
This is so funny, I’m going to give you stories to explain what I’m telling you about the power of story. Okay, so that’s one example. We have another doctor. And this is Dr. Shenelle Wilson, she’s a urologist out of Atlanta, Georgia. She’s in private practice, but her thing has been about increasing the diversity in the field of urology, right? Because in her field, I don’t remember the exact numbers but I think it’s 3% are African American, 4% are Latino.
And so it’s like, very, very not diverse and she can just throw around buzzwords diversity and inclusion, diversity, diversity, diversity. Or she can leverage the power of a story. Now, I don’t know all her stories, I don’t know what story will be the best story but I have heard her tell this story. And she said that in her training she had gone in with an attending to see this patient.
She was in end stage kidney failure, end stage renal disease, that’s where she was. And I think the trigger was hypertension. And it was from non-compliance with hypertension and all that stuff that led to that complication. And so she went in and she was like, everybody was talking to her, but talking to her slower.
This was a woman, she was Hispanic, she didn’t speak English. So they were just talking louder and slower, as though that makes them understand anything you’re saying. And I’m not saying that to say nobody had a translator that explained things to her, I’m not saying that. But this was a part of the story, this is what happened when she walked into the room.
And she’s like, well, I speak Spanish. And then she went on and explained, like your medicine, you have to take it and all this stuff, and all this stuff. And the woman made this statement she’s like, “But nobody
told me. I didn’t know. I didn’t know.” Right? And so she started wondering, could it be that her kidneys failed that she’s having this complication because there’s no one like her to communicate, to explain things to her.
And that is a story that when you think about it, it’s like the work I do, the work I do is so important because there are people out there who are going to have complications, who are not going to do as well, who may not be compliant on their medicine because of the lack of diversity. I fix that problem, right?
So she has a nonprofit, called Urology Unbound, and all the links to all these amazing people will be in the show notes. But she has this amazing nonprofit called Urology Unbound and that’s what she does, that’s the mission of it.
Now imagine hearing this story, why wouldn’t you get behind it, right? Why wouldn’t you get behind it? And she has so many of those. But what I’m saying is she can come and say we’re fighting for diversity and all of that. You’re like, “Yay, good for you.” It’s only 3% of urologists are African American. “Yay, good for you too.” But this story is like we’re changing lives here. Many lives, right?
So what will make her stand out in a saturated market? Because diversity is a buzzword now. It’s like diversity, diversity. Okay, so what makes people stop and listen to you? What makes people stop and support what you’re doing? It’s the story. Okay, so that’s number two.
Number three, Dr. Catherine Toomer, and she is into wellness, health, weight loss, all of that stuff. Amazing, okay? Love, love, love, love, love. The first I heard her story I was like, “You need to tell this all the time, like nonstop. Your story is so amazing.”
So 20 years ago, she just had a baby and she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. Her ejection fraction, I do not remember, it was like 5% or 3%, some number like that. And they told her she most likely would not live to see her daughter turn five.
And she was, at the time, very overweight. And she kind of was caught between the devil and deep blue sea because, because of her heart nobody really wants to push exercise and all that stuff. They’re like you’re high risk, right? So she’s high risk because of her weight. She’s high risk, because of her heart. It’s kind of like what are you going to do?
And so she goes on this journey to figure out how am I going to lose this weight? How am I going to get healthy? How am I going to do this so I can still be here for my family? Okay, so she discovers all these things. She loses 60 pounds, six zero. And she has kept it off for 20 years, for two decades. I think by the end of this year she’ll be saying over two decades, right?
Now, anybody can say anything, right? But when you listen to that story, what do you hear? Number one, losing 60 pounds is possible. Number two, even if you’re high risk, wow, maybe there is a way that’s possible. Number three, you can keep it off. You can lose it and you can keep it off, right?
And so all the objections people have to working on this thing, and her story overcomes all the objections, right? So it’s so aspirational that you’re like, “Man, this person has done it.”
So there can be 100 people showing before and after pictures, 100 people saying I will get you in your skinny jeans again, 100 people doing that. But what makes her stand out? That story. Her story is so powerful that she shared it, she’s doing Facebook Lives and stuff and people have been like, “Will you do a TED Talk?” Her story is so powerful that someone even reached out, “Should we do a movie?” It is such a powerful story and it just puts her in a category of one.
The power of your story. You might be thinking, I have a powerful story. That’s the thing, when we started talking she didn’t think it was powerful either. But now she’s owned the story and she tells me with it reckless abandon. And I love listening to it every single time like it’s my first time. And we’ve been working together for, I don’t know, three years.
Okay, all right. Dr. Lara Hochman, she’s a family physician as well. And she experienced burnout, I want to say twice, right? Working in a setting where it’s more like administrators and investors and they’re just pushing the doctor to do whatever, and so many restrictions and can’t do this and can’t do that, just hamster wheel type of thing.
And so this happened to her and she started thinking, “Man, we don’t want to leave medicine. We love medicine. It’s just the system, the structure we’re in that gets us burnt out and all of that stuff.” And then she went on to become a physician career consultant, she established a company called Happy Day Health.
And what she does is she matches doctors with physician owned private practices. Is that crazy or what? Physician owned private practices where they can be in a place where they’re valued, they can be in a place where they can practice medicine as it should be practiced. And their risk of burnout is so much lower, right? And so that’s what she does.
And so her story is what sets her apart from everyone else. So there can be a gazillion physician recruiters. Well, how many of them have that story? How many of them understand the physician? How many of them understand burnout? How many of them are mission driven? How many of them are not just looking for a commission, they’re actually looking to make life better for doctors?
So what sells? Her story. What sets her apart? Her story. You have to become a boss at telling your story. And I mean, I could comb through the business school and tell you story after story after story. Own your story. It seems normal, it seems not exciting because it’s your lived experience. But it is to the people you’re called to serve.
Okay, so for me, because I want to give this example because sometimes the stories may not be as directly your story, right? Like Dr. Shenelle’s story was not quite her story, it was her experience of somebody else’s story, right? Like the woman who had the end stage renal disease.
So I don’t like waiting. Okay? I don’t like waiting. Let me explain this, when I started driving I had to coach myself because anytime I see a car in front of me, I’m like, “Oh, time to get ahead.” You know what I mean? So my driving is not based on how fast am I going, it’s like who’s in front of me that I have to get in front? Of that’s just the way my mind works, right?
And I was the kid who, at the dinner table, my mom is like, “You can eat as fast as you want, but you’re not getting up till everybody’s done.” Because it’s almost like when there’s food on my plate, it’s like we have to conquer this and eat it. So I don’t stop until it’s gone. It’s just the way I think, okay? So it’s just the way I think.
But anyway, so when I looked at health care and it’s like, well, long wait times, that’s just what we do. And there are times when long wait times, you know, that has to happen. But sometimes it’s a lot of inefficiencies on one hand, and on the other hand a lack of urgency. Like this is a medical place, you just wait. You know what I mean? I’m talking 12, 13 years ago, before I started my practice. You just have to wait, that’s the way this works.
And I didn’t like that. I didn’t like that at all. And that’s why when I started my practice, I made it that’s our aim. Our aim is that our turnaround times for an hour or less, where door to door an hour or less. It’s like we started looking for all those inefficiencies, like, what can we do to shorten the time? What can we do to make it faster? You know, and stuff like that.
And so what was the story that led to me creating the practice the way I created it? I don’t like waiting, I don’t see why we should wait. I don’t see why we can’t take that out, right? So I can even tell funny stories of how I was always the first one to finish my food on the dining table as a kid as a reason for setting up a practice like this, right? We respect your time, we respect this. Come join us.
That is a story. I’m trying to tell you there are all kinds of stories you can use. Okay? I’m a mom, I’m a pediatrician, right? Which means I’m a kid expert. But when I had kids, nothing prepared me for that. Nothing, right? And so I remember when, with my first kid, she had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, so she had surgery on the day of life and all of that stuff.
So putting her to the breast was not something that was going to happen. So they get me a pump, right? And I start pumping, in the beginning, we all know this, we’re all physicians it’s colostrum. It’s like two drops of colostrum, right? And I was so frustrated, I flung my breast pump across the room, my husband is diving to get it. He’s like, “Okay, but you can do this though, right?”
This is me, a physician, a pediatrician, right? And so when moms are struggling with breastfeeding or I’m just talking in general, like when I did my Facebook Live show for the private practice, I would tell this story. I cannot tell you how many people came to my practice because of that. Because they’re like, “She gets me. She’s not going to keep her nose up in the air like you’re a failure as a mom, I’m the expert. Let me tell you what to do.” They’re like, “She gets me,” right?
I’m just saying all these things to show you this is how you stand out. I cannot tell you, so I’ve said this a number of times that I started a Facebook show for my practice called The Legacy Parent Show. I don’t do it anymore, I had to stop it when I was not going into the office as often because it worked, right?
So I would tell stories, I would tell my stories, patient stories, of course, HIPAA compliant, you know, no identifiers and stuff, but lots of stories. And this is what started happening, I would have a new patient, I’m like, “Oh, how did you find out about us?” They were like, “Oh, I watched The Legacy Parent Show, you were the obvious choice.”
It’s the stories. It’s the stories, this person gets me, this person’s relatable. This person understands my fears, my limiting beliefs, my objection. Like this person, was me, right? And so what I want you to do is I want you to, first of all, own the fact that you have phenomenal– You may have listened to some of these stories and you’re like, “These are phenomenal.” I am telling you, for everybody who has a story, they’re like, “Okay,” right? Because it’s their lived experience.
So I want you to own the fact that you have phenomenal stories. Before you even start looking for them, own the fact that you have them. And then I want you to take an inventory of your stories. Take an inventory, what stories do I have? What have I overcome? What fears have I overcome? What limiting beliefs have I overcome? What mess did I go through that now could be a message?
Write three of them, four of them, five of them. But these are things you have in your back pocket that you can use over and over and over and over. Let me tell you, yes, the medical field is a field where a lot of people are introverts, but I attract introverts. Why? I tell my introvert stories.
I tell my stories about being terrified of being on camera, being terrified or being on stage and all that. Why? Because my people find themselves in that story. They’re like, “This person gets me.” That’s why I tell those stories. I was afraid of starting a business. I was afraid of marketing. I was afraid of all of that. I share those stories. Why? So you can find yourself, you’re like, “Oh my goodness, this person gets me.”
Your people are one story away from celebrating you and telling you that you get them. One story away, okay? So take inventory of those stories, file them away and use them with reckless abandon. Okay? Because three months, six months, nine months, 12 months from now, you can become known as the person, the person in your area. You can become known as the person if you apply this.
This is in social media posts. This is when you’re on podcasts. This is when you’re doing YouTube videos. This is when you’re doing Facebook Live. This is in conversation. Tell stories, become a storyteller. It’s a soft skill, it may seem that way, it’s not hardcore and stuff like that, but it is powerful. Anytime you’re in doubt, just go look at how much people make on movies. It is powerful.
Look at the number of people that watch movies. It is so powerful. Stories, we’re designed to resonate with stories, okay? All right. So that’s what I have with you. I’m super glad we did a deep dive as opposed to me giving you five different points. But this is one of the most amazing ways of standing out in a saturated market.
The market may seem saturated, but there’s space for you, my friend. So go make the space with your story. And I will see you on the next episode of The EntreMD Podcast.
Hey, if you love listening to The EntreMD Podcast I want to invite you to join EntreMD On Demand. It is my signature subscription program that gives you access to a library of business courses designed to help you do one thing as a physician entrepreneur, and that is to thrive. Just head out to entremd.com/ondemand and I’d love to have you join us. See you on the inside.