What do you wish you knew about your practice that you don’t know now? If you listen to the advice in the newly released The E-Myth Optometrist: Why Most Optometry Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It, it’s all about putting on your entrepreneurial hat (as opposed to your optometrist’s hat) and focusing on strategic planning.

That includes incorporating practice-changing strategic planning, and adding purpose, passion, belief, personality, and method to your business. It requires thinking like an entrepreneur (what the “E” stands for) and, according to small business guru Michael E. Gerber and Riley F. Uglum, OD, means shifting from tactical thinking (working in your business) to strategic thinking (working on your business) and implementing innovative systems to produce consistent results as your practice grows.

Other points of advice:

  • Manage the processes – not the people for getting things done.
  • Schedule time for entrepreneurial work, using a weekly planning tool.
  • Create the story that becomes the heart of your practice.

Dr. Uglum, Founder of Eye Care Associates of New Hampton, IA, in particular, talks about changing the way you – and those who work for you – think. In 2008 when he overheard staff members discussing the state of the poor economy, he held a meeting announcing that “our business had decided not to participate in the recession,” and that they should plan on another good year for business. Thanks to a shift in attitude and hard work, they all received bonus checks in 2009.

Tough times are the ideal entrepreneurial environment, he stresses, and one of the best times to forge ahead with innovative ideas. And so, as the optical industry soldiers on through healthcare reform, EHR, and other challenges, keep this in mind: Change is good. Maybe you want to add some new “toys” to your practice (see “Buying vs. Leasing“), or learn more about custom contact lenses (see “The Changing Specialty Contact Lens Market“), or perhaps your passion lies with treating patients with “dry eye” (see “Treating Dry Eye Disease“).

You are the leader of your practice””the CEO. Advise the authors: Stop chasing work, money, life, and transform yourself from a successful optometric technician (optometrist) into a successful optometrist-manager-entrepreneur.



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