Dr. Nima Shemirani is a Rhinoplasty and Facial Plastic Surgeon at Eos Rejuvenation – a medical office dedicated to all aspects of plastic surgery for the face. We discuss the problem with modern healthcare, how to get the most out of plastic surgery, and ways to exude positive energy in your business.
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Exude Positive Energy with Nima Shemirani
Good morning, Steve. Thank you for having me.
Absolutely. So I was very intrigued to have you come on the show because you have a special business which is actually a professional firm that you’re expanding into the business. And it’s quite rare to see doctors being able to leverage their expertise into beyond what they can do to involve other people to expand the business across potential multiple states. So what, why do you want to do this? What triggered your desire to become an entrepreneur?
It’s a great question. As a surgeon, we’re always worried about physical health. If anything were to happen to us or accidents and whatnot, one kind of motivating factor to expand my business is what if something were to happen to me where I can’t operate anymore? And I need to have a backup plan and that’s been one main driving force to help expand my business and bring on other surgeons and other providers. The second is just challenging yourself is one thing to move into a city like Beverly Hills and start your own practice, but then what’s next? Like, how do you grow from there and what can you do especially if you have a unique philosophy or a way you want to provide for your patients and an idea of the way you think medical care should be delivered? How can you expand that to more doctors to satisfy more patients and just improve the overall quality of medical care?
Okay, so that is what I’m really curious about. What is your framework for doing all that? Typically doctors, there is this concept that you have brains type of professional service where you have the star surgeon and everyone else is just a helper to make sure that they’re using their time the best, but essentially they are providing all the service. So what is your framework to go beyond that and to the quality of the service and the surgery at the same level or keep increasing it over time? There is a building a business around yourself. What is your framework for that?
Well, you know, I think when you look at all businesses who scale, they have systems in place and it starts off with an end of 1, which is myself and what processes we have and then documenting them and as you say, creating playbooks, but it’s essentially from how the initial phone call goes to how the patient is greeted at the door and the kind of setup that we have. So everything has been kind of like documented. So if there’s any turnover in staff, or if you want to scale, then you already have this framework to build upon and it just helps eliminate like that day to day, “What should we do next?” It’s almost like a little checklist that you can do so that you can provide a consistent experience for that patient.
So what is the idea of this experience? There’s this book about the experience economy that we are evolving from agricultural, industrial service economy. Now we are in the experience economy. And then we are going into the transformation economy. Almost like a plastic surgery. You are straddling the experience, the common and transformation economy. So tell me a little bit about how do you envision that and what is the experience that you’re trying to provide your patients?
First, it starts off with what are the problems with the modern health care experience. I’ve been to plenty of doctor’s offices and the furniture is shabby or it’s a little bit dirty, or they are so involved with their electronic medical record that they’re not even like looking at you or talking with you that they don’t know who you are. When you come in, you have to introduce yourself and it’s almost as if they’re not expecting you. And that’s what I would do to dissect a lot of those problems. And then when it came time for my practice, I would solve those problems for that person. So we’re a relatively lower volume, because we’re a higher end plastic surgery office. Patients are greeted at the door by their first name. They’re offered things like coffee or water, much like if you go to a designer store, they would offer you something to drink, we have even have a little sign like, Welcome to EOS Rejuvenation, Steve. And all these little touches help improve that experience that patients feel special. And then it comes with the language, how do you communicate with someone. Not using a lot of medical jargon, using diagrams and things like that to explain to them so they have an idea of what’s going on, because it’s a very complex and highly technical field, but you still need to be able to communicate with your patient in that regard. And then moving on to just making it as easy as possible for that patient, right. We have a little post op kit that has everything that they’re going to need to help them recover after surgery. So they’re not going to the pharmacy to buy a bunch of things they’ve never bought before.
Having text messaging available so people can send their questions in without having to call. How annoying is it for you to have to call your doctor’s office to reschedule or to set up an appointment? So now we have texting services to help improve a lot of that. So just bringing everything to a more modern communication for your patients to create that wonderful experience and it should be very pleasant. People should be happy to see you, happy to greet you, happy to take care of you. And I think that experience is what’s going to essentially make people feel better about coming to the doctor’s office.
Yeah, it can be scary to go to a doctor’s office. You are intimidated by this whole experience. You feel like you, you’re at the mercy of another person. And if you can remove as much of the stress as possible with these small attention to detail that could be really powerful. So Nima tell our listeners a little bit about plastic surgery. You are specialized in rhinoplasty which is nose surgery, essentially the way I understand it. Obviously, I’m not at your level. So if you could explain what’s the significance of that and what are other types of breast surgery and why did you choose rhinoplasty, and what is special about rhinoplasty?Dr. Nima believes that we are in a golden age of plastic surgery, where results are becoming more natural, and techniques are sophisticated. Click To Tweet
Sure. So plastic surgery in general we’re at a kind of a really wonderful time where the results for plastic surgery are becoming a lot more natural. So people are a lot less scared to get plastic surgery. Our techniques have gotten much, much more sophisticated. People also wanting to live longer. There’s a big like anti aging movements and looking younger helps feed that because you can be very healthy, but maybe the way that you look can betray your age and your essentially your vitality level and energy level. And then with zoom calls and video and social media and taking a lot more photos, people are a lot more aware of the way that they look in those aspects. So for plastic surgery, I think it’s a, like I said, a transformational experience where a lot of these patients come in and they feel very self conscious. They are limiting their own life based on the way they look. They don’t like taking photos so they’re less social. They feel very self conscious when they’re like in important meetings or talking to people because they might feel like they’re being judged about the way that they look. The special thing about rhinoplasty is that there’s also a functional component where if the nose is kind of crooked or maybe misshapen from the outside, they typically have breathing problems on the inside. So they’re not sleeping as well, they’re not breathing as well, they’re not as healthy. Rhinoplasty is a kind of a two for surgery where not only do you become more self confident after the surgery, but you’re also going to be able to breathe and sleep better which makes you have a healthier lifestyle. So that’s why I really love rhinoplasty. I mean, it’s just a very high impact surgery that you can provide for someone.Rhinoplasty is a kind of a two for surgery where not only do you become more self confident after the surgery, but you're also going to be able to breathe and sleep better which makes you have a healthier lifestyle. Click To Tweet
Yeah, that’s fascinating. And you’re talking about people being self conscious or people are not maybe realizing the potential because they feel like they don’t show up the way that they would like to. Could you even say that maybe there’s a business ROI to be made that business case made for the seat as an investment. If someone is a CEO maybe he doesn’t have good looks, can that person look at rhinoplasty as a way of investing in their business? Is this even a thing?
Oh, absolutely. I meet so many people who come in and as we’ve discussed, and I know this is maybe a stretch, but this is my little kind of field of where I can contribute. If you have a limited life, your potential is also limited and which in the end translates into a decreased potential in most of like our modern day society, and if we can unlock, you know, that potential in people where people feel less self conscious and more confident, how much more can we achieve as a society in general?
So if you’re self conscious about this, for example, I used to have bags under my eyes, um, and people would tell me I look tired all the time and it was distracting. I would shoot videos on TikTok and sometimes get comments about that. Not that it really ruined my self confidence, but it’s something I always just wanted to improve about myself. So I think it’s another form of self improvement that one can do to feel better about themselves.
So you mentioned TikTok, which is a good segue here because you obviously are really big on TikTok. You’ve got social media followers over 50, 000, if I remember well. And I was first surprised when we got to know each other that it is a thing for a doctor to go on social media and you analyze celebrity noses, you know, really interesting things there. So tell me a little bit about how did you discover social media as a business leverage point or an asset and how can you use it to build your business?
Social media, I think is a very powerful and wonderful thing. I mean, yes, there’s a lot of negatives associated with it, but there’s so many positives as well. I always think of a Spider Man, with great power comes great responsibility with social media. You have your results as on your website, that people can kind of find you on Google, but with social media, people have a chance to get to know you. And by the time they’ve come in to see me and they’ve watched a lot of my videos, they have an idea of who I really am. So it makes them feel a little bit more comfortable, a little less nervous about coming in, and when they meet me, they can see that I’m the same person on social media as I am in real life. And that’s been a great way to get people to come in to see you and differentiate yourself as a surgeon, right. Like, you have your great results that you can show, but you also have this personality that people can get along with and see you and essentially meet you before actually meeting you. So I found social media to be an excellent way to communicate with patients. You also get a finger on the pulse of what people are afraid of out there or what their concerns are. So they’ll comment about certain things and the kind of cool thing about social media is that as a surgeon or a person, you have a limited perspective. And sometimes they’ll post something that you think may not like generate a lot of buzz and all of a sudden it does. For example, as someone people come in for special requests for rhinoplasty. Someone had a bump that they wanted me to leave and a lot of surgeons won’t show those results because it looks like an incomplete results like, “Oh, why didn’t you shave that bump? But on a video you can say like, “This person want to leave the bump. Here’s what I did. Here’s the result.” And then it blows up and then you have all these other people coming in, like, “Oh, I didn’t know that you can get a nose job and keep certain features.” And it just starts a conversation for that. And again, it helps people feel less afraid coming in to get surgery, knowing that they can have special requests like that.
That is amazing because I thought that one of, maybe one of the negatives maybe of plastic surgery is that there’s a risk of everyone converging towards the ideal, and then people are becoming more alike as opposed to different. I mean, one of the beauties of being human is that all the 8 billion of us are all different, which is crazy to think about. So that is fantastic that you can actually maintain keep the positive characteristics of that nose and just eliminate maybe the negatives so that person continue to have a unique nose. I remember one of your videos, you explained about the celebrity. I can’t remember her name that she had a little tip in her nose. And you said that this is a very aggressive tip, but it actually works for that person because of their personality. That was really interesting. Can you actually tailor the surgery to the personality of the individual?
Yeah, that’s a cool thing. I think a nose has personality and when someone comes I get to meet them, ask them certain questions and there’s certain types of noses that work for a certain type of personality. So if someone comes in and they’re kind of like bubbly and cute, then you can create like a, maybe a little more scooped out a little curved nose, a little bit more upturned that would fit their face and fit their personality versus someone who might be a little bit more serious or someone who’s really tall, you don’t want to give them like a really small nose but that would look really weird as well. Gauging on maybe if they’re more serious, they maybe want a more straight profile, basically. So it is a kind of curious thing that the look of the nose can help can look like someone’s personality at the same time, and that’s part of what the consultation process is. And it’s also what makes my job fun because it’s not like creating the same nose on every single person.
Yeah, that is definitely fun. So now as you’re expanding the business, how are you doing it? How do you make sure that you are not stretching yourself thin? If you bring on other doctors then how are you going to make sure that they represent the EOS Rejuvenation way? What’s going to be your approach there?
So first I have amazing help, which is with you, Steve, you’re helping us build some playbooks, create core values that everybody can get behind so that as you grow, again, they just kind of fit into the system. And if they don’t align with the system, then they won’t be part of the practice. And I think that’s extremely important is to create this very strong foundation. So I knew that in order to grow, you do need a strong foundation of values that just makes it easier so you’re not just like going off the hip with each person like, “Oh, maybe this person will fit. Maybe this person won’t.” I think that’s very key and just getting everybody aligned with that. So that’s what our daily meetings that we have and then weekly tactical meetings just get everybody kind of rowing the boat in the same direction is commonly said. That’s the strategy behind being able to grow and expand practice.
So in terms of your core values, I was really excited by one of your core values which you selected as most important, which is loyal to the truth. So what do you mean by being loyal to the truth and why is it important?
Loyalty to the truth has to do with you want to, there’s a certain amount of trust that a patient has to have with you and if you are ever caught in a lie, that that trust goes out the window and then the entire relationship is ruined because there’s a lot of reassurance that goes with plastic surgery. It’s a process. Healing from a rhinoplasty takes a year and your patients need to be able to trust you so that you can reassure them like the swelling is normal, these asymmetries are normal. Like this early in the process, it’s going to get better and patients are generally reassured and feel better about themselves once they leave that appointment, knowing that things will get better. And if you’re not loyal to the truth and they catch you in a lie. Then the experience becomes extremely miserable. Same thing goes within surgery. If I’m doing a surgery and my scrub tech sees something that I don’t see, they should be empowered to tell me about like, “That nostril looks a little bit different than the other one.” or that “Nostril looks a little bit crooked.” Because in the end, we want the best result for that patient. And if you can’t be truthful and honest about the way things look, then you can’t achieve that excellent outcome that we’re looking for.Loyalty to the truth has to do with you want to, there's a certain amount of trust that a patient has to have with you and if you are ever caught in a lie, that that trust goes out the window and then the entire relationship is ruined. Click To Tweet
Yeah, I think that leads to your second core value. Which I think was committed to the best outcome. Yeah. So what does that mean? Committed to the best outcome.
There’s a Turkish surgeon who has a motto that said, “The result is the king. Meaning that no matter what, the most important reason why people come to see you is your result, right. You can have a great system and a great bedside manner and everybody can be super nice and you create this great experience, but if your results are subpar, then people are not going to come and see you. And I think of that core value when I’m in surgery because each nose is different and some noses are easy and some noses are very tricky and difficult. And when I’m in there and sometimes surgeries take five hours or six hours to get all the little details right. I’m thinking of that. I’m committed to the best possible outcome, it’s okay if it’s taking a little bit longer it’s okay. As long as the result looks great, you totally forget how long it took for you to get there and nothing is worse than you have a subpar outcome. You know it was subpar when you finish and you just have to reassure that patient like, “Oh, things will get better when.” It’s not going to be as great as you want to be and rhinoplasty is very unforgiving. If you have a millimeter bump it otherwise ruins a beautiful result. So that’s why I think committed to the best outcomes is part of our core values, because that’s why people come and see you.
The third one that I picked up on, which is very unique. I have not seen it with any other clients. You have a core value, exudes positive energy. So how do you make sure everyone exudes positive energy? What’s the recipe there?
We should have a little code for when someone’s being a little bit of a negative Nancy. In general, I think, like, the people that we hire have a good sense of humor and first of all, you have to create a positive workplace and it starts from the boss, right? Like, the person. So, if I’m not exuding positive energy, then the staff won’t either. And so you have to lead by example, definitely. The main reason behind the positive energy is, again, people are coming in to feel good about themselves, feel better. And if you’ve ever gone to a place where the people that you see don’t give you eye contact, don’t smile, don’t greet you by your name or possibly talking about negative things, then it just creates a miserable experience. And we try to keep it very positive in our office, very little political talk, people get very charged up about political issues or things like that. And it doesn’t mean that everybody’s like super happy all the time, and it’s okay for you to have a bad day, it’s not okay to be chronically negative. And that’s what we want to weed out.
Yeah. This energy thing is kind of an intangible, but it’s super important. I remember a few years ago, I saw a speaker, I was running a peer group and the speaker showed up and he made a talk, which is super interesting, engaging. And at the end of the talk, he asked the group, what do you think was the biggest value that I delivered here today? And people had different opinions. I don’t know, There’s this idea, there was this story and he said, “No, I think the biggest thing that you got from it today is my energy. 70% of my presentation was my energy. I came here and brought it to you and then you were charged up and you go out from this meeting and you’re going to do something positive.”
So I think this is fantastic. I think that one of the biggest role of a leader is to essentially energize the team around them, empower them, energize them, and then they can do great things that talent allows them to do so that’s pretty cool. So, last question before I let you go. I really want to ask you, where is this profession going? Where is plastic surgery evolving? Are we going to do more? Is it going to be more mainstream? Is it like having a tattoo, it used to be very frowned upon, and now a lot of people have it, and it’s totally normal in most places. So, how do you look at plastic surgery going forward?I think that one of the biggest role of a leader is to essentially energize the team around them, empower them, energize them, and then they can do great things that talent allows them to do so. Click To Tweet
It’s a really exciting time. As I mentioned, our techniques are becoming more sophisticated. Our results are looking better and more natural, less cookie cutter. We’re moving at a time with more videos and photos. People are a lot more social. People want to reinvest in themselves. The whole anti aging movement being longevity and increasing your health span, I’m sorry, your lifespan, like how well you want to live just all fits in with the plastic surgery ethos and the philosophy behind it and it’s a very exciting time. I think it’s going to grow. I think as generations go on, plastic surgery becomes much, much more accepted. As people become more truthful about the way they look and what they’ve done with themselves, especially on social media or even celebrities getting treatments done. I think the taboo goes away. And I think in the end, the reason why I’m not so worried about competition is that I think a great result by any surgeon is a great result for everybody, right. Like if someone sees a bad result, then that scares people and it decreases that pie of plastic surgery, but what a great result increases the pie so that everybody can become busier. So that’s why I believe that I think plastic surgery is really headed in the right direction.
Well, in your hands, I think that is absolutely true. So Dr. Nima Shemirani, thank you very much for coming on the show. It was a very different episode than our normal episode because it comes to our health. Obviously it’s a business, but it’s also much more important than a business. So thanks for sharing your perspective and those who are listening stay tuned because every week I have an exciting entrepreneur coming on the show.
Thank you so much for having me, Steve. It’s been a pleasure.
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- The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore