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Pharmacy Residency Podcast

Jun 13, 2018

Dr. Riley Uglum has been President of Eye Care Associates of New Hampton for the past 33 years. It is a highly systematized business that operates out of a modern facility and sets the standards for what an optometry practice should look and act like. It operates well beyond the realm of traditional practice management techniques by combining advanced financial strategies with systematic entrepreneurial wisdom. 

Dr. Uglum is the founder and CEO of Promethean Ventures, a wealth creation/preservation company for private practice physicians. The company also specializes in implementing automated revenue growth systems for optometrists. He has co-authored a book titled, The E-Myth Optometrist with Michael E. Gerber and is a founding partner in Michael E. Gerber Companies. 

Dr. Uglum is an Infusionsoft Certified Partner & Consultant and helps small businesses of all types implement automated marketing/workflow solutions.

Dr. Uglum is also the executive director of the National Wellness Alliance, whose mission is to provide wellness and anti-aging solutions for the patients of private practice healthcare providers worldwide.

Specialties: Medical Optometry, Strategic Consulting, Wealth Creation/Preservation, Entrepreneurial Coaching, Systems Automation, Marketing Automation, Fostering/Placing Service Dogs

Full Transcript:

welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast
with your host Tony Guerra the pharmacy
leaders podcast is a member of the
pharmacy podcast network with interviews
and advice from building your
professional network brand and a
purposeful second income from students
residents and innovative professionals
well welcome to the pharmacy leaders
podcast I'm Tony Guerra your host and
today we have dr. Riley alum who has
been president of I Care Associates of
New Hampton for the past 33 years
it's a highly systemized business that
operates out of a modern facility sets
the standards for what an optometric
practice should look like and operates
well beyond the realm of traditional
practice management combining advanced
financial strategies with systematic
entrepreneurial wisdom
dr. Uggla is the founder and CEO of
Promethean ventures a wealth creation
preservation company for private
practice physicians the company also
specializes in implementing an automatic
revenue growth system for optometrists
he co-authored the book titled the
e-myth optometrist with Michael Gerber
welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast
thank you Tony
glad to be here oh great so I just
wanted to start off with a question I
asked everyone just to give people an
idea of where you are and I gave some
introduction but everyone's
entrepreneurial Road is a little bit
I can tell us a little bit about yours
and how you got to where you are today
yeah basically where I'm at today is I
can get up every day and be productive
with things that I want to do the things
that I have a passion for rather than
having to show up as an employee and
sometimes we think we own our own
business but if we are the only owner or
the only person that can do the
professional work like a physician we
take a vacation we quickly realize that
we basically are a slave to the practice
so what I've done and you know have
coached other people to do is is move
yourself from being that employee in a
CIL's nest it doesn't matter what
business it is and transition from
working in the business
is what we call it an e myths
terminology to working on the business
and I still work on my business even
though I only see patients half a day a
week I still make passive income from
working on the business which is
basically more lucrative at this stage
then then working in the business which
I still do a half a day a week and I get
paid as an employee optometrist but now
I can I can focus on on some of the
passions that I have such as you know
therapy dog work traveling things I
don't get actually paid for but I'm
making you know the passive income by
properly structuring a business in an
email format and and working on it
instead of in it okay well often when
somebody comes out of school they're
looking for a job but the dream of
entrepreneurship may already be in them
we talked a little bit in the pre-chat
that there's a way to maybe get a
practice to somebody that doesn't have a
ton of money coming out of school but
certainly has the drive to succeed can
you talk a little bit about transitions
or how someone would transition to a
practice that's already systematized
like this yeah I'm actually doing that
with with my young partner and it's kind
of a complex formula but traditionally
when we sell a practice we get it
appraised and in enough time in the
optometry world most practices most good
practices are usually appraised at
somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of
the average of last three years gross
gross earnings or receipts and really a
practice should be based on the income
it produces in the future so the way
we've structured this is I get paid for
selling half the practice over a 10-year
period I get paid a percentage of what
the practice continues to produce and
that gives me a lot of incentive to work
on the business yet instead of just you
know taking off and traveling the world
and saying here's the keys good luck so
some incentive for me to stay in the
practice working on it doing some
marketing things some admin things
helping this partner do what I did
because I get paid as a direct result of
my my efforts there if he continues to
grow the practice and is successful then
I will continue to grow the amount that
I'm getting paid for selling that
practice he has incentive to do the same
to grow the practice because as part of
this formula you know he gets he gets
money paid to him which he in turn takes
part of and pays to me for buying the
practice but he has a lot more left over
and then there's some built-in
safeguards and in the event that you
know he comes and becomes a meth addict
or whatever or if I become or I become
enough okay safeguards built in so each
of us can can get out of that agreement
but you could talk to him I think he's
he's extremely happy I'm extremely happy
with the arrangement and we did not do
an appraisal which oftentimes costs you
know thirty thousand dollars to get an
appraisal done we didn't do that because
I'm gonna get paid based on what what
the practice produces in the future well
tell me a little bit about and I think
this may have come from the e-myth but
about generational passing on to
generations so you know maybe in our
will we have X number of dollars that go
to our children but in terms of a
business I think the numbers are 50% it
makes it to the next generation then
only 10% to the third before it but it
sounds like with what you're doing and
the way you're doing it it's much more
likely that next generation would not
only be able to take over the practice
but also continue to succeed and then
give it to the generation after that and
the generation after that can you talk a
little bit about giving or keeping a
family business within the family
well my piece you know both my kids
elected well my daughter's actually an
oncology pharmacist in Minneapolis she
chose not to take the optometry route so
she actually can't get into the
optometry business you have to be an
optometrist okay my son's the practice
manager so he's part of the practice but
he won't be able to practice
as a doctor now he could get into the
consulting site if he wanted to
something like that but in a profession
like mine you do actually have to have a
license but we do we do teach people how
to do a personal banking system which
has also been you know a huge part of
where I'm at right now and it's called
the infinite banking concept maybe
you've heard of it maybe you haven't and
it seems a little bit out there but the
guy that taught this to me you know 10
12 years ago that's had a huge effect on
my life and a part of Promethean
ventures that's we train people to do
that type of strategy too so that will
that is generational and and you go well
for example my kids I my children pay me
the mortgage on their homes I own their
homes and they basically pay me the
mortgage and they're paying actually a
higher interest than they would at the
however when I'm gone they will get all
of that back because it's paid into into
a system a banking system that we own
personally rather than financing through
traditional banks and losing all the
interests to someone else so that that's
extremely generational and how we do
that okay well you I think you talked
about this quite a bit in the book where
you actually started creating companies
to avoid paying other companies and
losing on the tax side and things like
that but you don't necessarily have an
accounting background
how did that happen or how did you gain
that savvy because many people read
books about these things but but how did
you start this kind of I don't want to
say maybe it's taxes maybe it's just
intelligence maybe it's just the way
it's set up but the United States is set
up for these things to happen too if you
do it right but how did you become
proficient at this Jim Rohn who's
probably the father of all personal
development guys you know Tony Robbins
and and everyone but he has a saying
yeah he has a lot of famous quotes but
one of them is
you will be the sum total of the five
people that you hang around with most
that's not his exact words but basically
he's saying if you hang around with
losers yeah it's hard it's gonna be hard
to make something of yourself so I've
just been fortunate to hang around with
people that have already done these
things so I did not create them but I
remember when I first figured out some
of it I was at I was just at a social
event with a couple other guys from my
hometown here who make a lot of money
and you know they owned companies and
they they make way more money than I do
but I was kind of complaining and the
taxes first time you know I made some
decent money in optometry and I had a
huge tax bill and I was kind of
complaining about that figuring they
would chime in too because they
obviously paid a lot more taxes than me
but they they were just not saying a
whole lot and I finally just looked at
my said I'm paying more taxes than you
are and I I mean it's not funny but it's
it's funny yeah that's what I realized
okay they're doing something I'm not and
I need to find out what that is
and so yeah I'm not a CPA I'm not an
accountant but I've been fortunate
enough to be around people who were
pretty astute at doing these things and
I just learned from them I'm just kind
of like a sponge okay well tell me a
little bit about choosing New Hampton
Iowa I'm also in Iowa now I've only been
here ten years so people look at me like
oh you're you know you're not from here
or whatever but I bought the t-shirt
says Iowa it's got home on it
I didn't say trapped or captive or
anything like that you know but we you
know we look at these kind of celebrity
chef shows and we see that you know
there's this Scandinavian chef in the
middle of you know the rural area and
Scandinavia and they're you know have
this great restaurant you know charging
300 a plate for 12 people and they're
full first you know six months out how
do you make a practice succeed in what
is probably not a very large metro well
I I've always looked at that as an
advantage you know we're we're the
biggest fish in the
Pond and we've had other small towns
come to us and say you know could you do
a clinic in our town like you know a
half a day a week or one day a week and
we've always turned them down and we
built a facility we have a lot of
cutting-edge equipment part of this
banking concept allows you you to to
purchase equipment that a lot of other
practices don't have and so we it was
kind of like the Field of Dreams concept
we said let's build this and they have
yeah and that's basically what's
happened so now the people from the
other small town we have people that
will drive 20 30 miles to see us because
they love the care that we provide and
in this one facility and I also don't
have ophthalmology practices nearby so
we can do a lot of medical optometry
that that people would if you're in a
city they're probably gonna go to an eye
surgeon for a lot of this occur and we
can do a lot of that right here in a
small town they don't have to drag 30 40
50 miles to do that so the medical side
of the practice has been a big part of
our growth back in the day okay well
tell me a little bit about being able to
serve the underserved because it sounds
like if you just happen to be in New
Hampton Iowa you actually probably get
some of the best primary care I work
that you would in the state how does
that you mentioned that you know other
places want to replicate it but I guess
if you are a practice in a smaller town
what would be your first step to maybe
getting towards the kind of systems
where you could you know be a regional
center I know that our 99 counties are
still set by that you know courthouse in
the middle of the county where you would
you know take your horse to or whatever
but but how would now with these other
counties that are maybe underserved
provides service for two three four
counties well you just you have to be
able to provide the services that a
metro area would provide and and and
there are set yourself apart from the
other practices do things that they're
not doing you know we recently put in a
dry ice spa in our practice so we
built the room it's like a like a
massage room we have it we have a
massage chair in there and we actually
have an instrument that expresses the
oil from the meibomian glands and the
lids which is a very clinical thing but
we do it in a setting it's more like
going to a spa we have you know Roma
therapy soft music playing in the
background we accept people falling
asleep why we do this for C Drive Wow no
but nobody else is doing that okay or
you just need to innovate like like
Michael Gerber always said you find a
need and fill it that that's how you
become a successful entrepreneur don't
just pick something you want to do or
like to do or are good at necessarily
when you got 50 other people doing the
same thing in the area you know find a
need and then fill it so yeah I guess
that would be my advice for somebody you
know going into a small town okay well
let's talk about Michael Gerber and how
did you guys meet or how did you guys
connect just for the background I've
listened to yours and the one by the
veterinarian I believe is name last name
is dr. Weinstein so though that's kind
of what I have in my background but tell
me a little bit about meeting the e-myth
author yeah I I've always done
mastermind groups without planetry and
again it kind of goes back to that Jim
Rohn principle you want to just hang
with people who are doing what you which
you want to do on a very high level you
know one of these mastermind groups
somebody was talking about email I've
never heard of it and so I investigated
and actually in Des Moines Iowa I don't
know if it's still there or not but they
actually have an email training center
so we we signed up with their program
and I didn't I have never met Michael
Gerber at this point or never thought I
would but he did what was called a
dreaming room thing down in Flagstaff
Arizona and it kind of intrigued me so
we went down there for a few days with a
few other entrepreneurs and he just
teaches you how to maybe do and think of
think of things in different ways as an
entrepreneur and as a result of that and
I signed up for some personal coaching
with him and then that's how I actually
got to know him on a
small basis and became a friend that
gives and then then he came to me with a
with this book idea and he'd done one
other book with what lawyers prior to
that I think I was the second or third
one that did the book but it was
basically taking email concepts and then
you know applying it to a specific
vertical market okay yeah he calls it
the vertical series I put in my two
cents to see if I could write the
pharmacist one we'll see how that works
out but I hear that you get some kind of
communication maybe a month later or
something like that so we'll see we'll
see how that works out and I wanted to
take a piece of what you talked about in
the book and you talked about adding a
product which you don't necessarily
think of because you had gotten to the
point where you could and maybe you can
explain it better than I that there's a
certain level of antioxidants that you
need to have for a good eye care and
obviously as a country were aging and
many people want to stop that aging
certainly with eye care I have
presbyopia you know I'm my I had to
start using the cheaters three years ago
went to the optometrist and then got my
glasses and and so tell me a little bit
about that that's to some people and say
so you give people vitamins and I feel
like it's it's much much more than that
yeah well especially in in macular
degeneration we were kind of ahead of
our time when we did that and it wasn't
really well accepted by our patients and
in a small town Iowa we it seemed kind
of out there for them but now I mean
there's tons of studies that show we use
omegas with lutein and zeaxanthin and in
a supplement that we are going to be
much better off you know from it from
the standpoint of macular degeneration
it it nourishes the macular cells and
it's a preventive way eating right you
know exercising you it doesn't matter
whether it's macular degeneration or
diabetes or cancer whatever but if we
take better care of ourselves just like
you know we buy a car and real and we
change the oil at the right time and
take care of it it's just gonna last a
lot longer and it's it's a it's a
concept that just makes sense to a lot
of us that are
health-oriented but and it's just I
think it's just starting to make sense
with with some of the people out there
that are you know eating in McDonald's
every day and and are overweight and and
sitting in the recliners too much so it
doesn't matter whether it's eye disease
or heart disease or whatever we're just
gonna be a lot better off when when you
get to be my age then if you are not
following those basic principles and
then supplements are just maybe a little
easier way to get the nutrition in there
that you should have if you eat all the
right things you probably don't even
need the supplements but you know what
what are the odds of that yeah I'm not
that person that weight but three almost
seven year olds I I tend to stress eat
so I wouldn't hate the supplements for
sure yeah well let's take it to a little
bit of a different place where they've
called loneliness the new smoking and as
many people retire they kind of don't
know what to do with their lives and yet
they may be in a position like you are
where they they have this money but the
reward for having this money is not
really having a lot of other people that
have you know succeeded and they're
still working so how do you spend time
when you don't necessarily have so much
passive income how do you structure a
week or a day and and you could travel
the world if you wanted to you've chosen
not to but but tell us a little bit
about your structure and what it looks
like at the end which you know they say
active retirement but I don't I don't
necessarily think that word means what
we think it does but maybe talk a little
bit about what what it is to have that
kind of passive income and to still be
very fulfilled from what you're doing
that's really good plan I think that's
really important I think there's a lot
of people right here in New Hampton Iowa
that you know I see him I see him go
into you know these guys that could they
go to the coffee groups every day and
talk about the same stuff and and I it's
I read an article just the other day
that that my
Ben Hardy who was a great personal
development guy but they've got studies
that shows as long as your brain is
learning new things all the time
you're forming new synapses you don't
age as fast and I've always just loved
to learn new things so you know I've
traveled and I've done I've done a lot
of that stuff it's not not as attractive
to me anymore I've been I've been more
of it you know a bit on the selfie side
as a taker focused on business making
money that type of thing and now due to
a series of things I realize I need to
give something back to the planet so I'm
passionate I do therapy dog work at Mayo
Clinic I do a grief support group for
the local church still active in the
business and I'm not as not Tomic
respite I want to see that business
thrive I don't have time to go to coffee
I can tell you and I'm doing things I'm
passionate about so for me it's it's
more service and volunteer stuff now and
it just makes me feel good inside you
know I've done I've done I've got stuff
and I've done stuff and you do the stuff
and then then what you look forward to
that vacation you come home like okay
now what so I think you just need to
find something you're passionate about
and if it's if it involves helping other
people if just you learn new things and
you hang around with different people
and you form new synapses and you just
need to stay a lot younger and more
vibrant can you tell me about the
therapy dogs I'm just not familiar with
it yeah well I I started out well gosh
seven eight years ago I was working with
a service dog group I've always loved
dogs and I've got a couple of my own and
I I decided as part of my giving back I
started helping them acquire dogs for
their service dog program they they do
dogs for PTSD service veterans for
autistic kids diabetic detection dogs
that type of thing and that's fulfilling
work and in fact and Kathy and I even
fostered a dog
time you you do the basic training
career and then you turn it over to them
for the formal training and it went to
an autistic child that was very
fulfilling but what I realized is with
therapy with service dogs you're
training a dog to serve one person that
has a special need with therapy dogs you
take your own pet you put them through a
training program that you can basically
do yourself
and that dog is designed to go out and
spread the love amongst many people so
we worked
we've worked at Minneapolis Airport
quite a bit in the past we work at Mayo
Clinic care centers Hospice so I take
I've got an 11 year-old golden doodle
and who loves the work and right now
we're pretty much focused on Mayo Clinic
so we go up there a few times a month
and we basically go around to hospital
rooms and and like people up by letting
them cut a dog and and we do a lot of
therapy dog for the nurse nurses at the
stations do they used to love to see
these dogs come through hang on my kids
would flip out they would absolutely
love it well I've asked you a lot of
questions there's I wanted to see if
there's anything that you wanted to talk
about that maybe I missed and maybe
especially talking about
interprofessionalism we're in in schools
you know they try to put the physicians
and nurses and pharmacists in this you
know emergency case but it sounds like
we could help each other as business
people and then just community leaders
as well so maybe you know talk a little
bit about as a final note how can we
work together as health practitioners
rather than you know individuals who
just happen to have our own shop yeah
that's a good point Tony and it may be
it's easier in a small town but I
remember I used to you know I would
write scripts for meds and and we get an
unusual case in and so I would I would
you know had back in the days we used
the PDR and and we look at the internet
and I I didn't want to look foolish when
I phoned that prescription into the
pharmacist and now also it's my my
daughter became a pharmacist
she's a dad why don't you just call and
ask us you know
that's all day long that oncology Doc's
and they say what would happen if I
combined this drug in this drug of that
is that viable should I do that or not
and I came to realize yeah you know so I
do that now you know if I'm in doubt I
just call up the pharmacy what do you
and I always in the pan pass you know
was more like an island I got to know
what I'm doing before I talk to somebody
else and we do the same thing now with
physicians you know become good friends
with some of the the family practice
guys here and and they can call me up
they get a weird eye case in the ER and
they can call me at Amen you know
they'll send a picture on their iPhone
or whatever wouldn't what do you think
this is or whatever so there's just I
think there's more collaboration maybe
than there used to be but far eh I love
you you pharmacy people I mean that is
so complex there's so many new drugs you
know you and I care that come out all
the time and we go to lectures and some
sometimes if I sleep through part of it
I I wonder a little more about that drug
and now I know I can just call up the
local pharmacies and just ask them and I
used to feel stupid doing that and you
just can't know everything there's just
too much to know now so we need to rely
on each other yeah I twenty years ago
when I graduated from pharmacy school
the the options were limited and and the
hospital pharmacist was often in the
basement so I would just tell people hey
you know what we're in the basement with
no windows we really want you to call
please call you know let me have some
human contact and and I was probably the
same way when my kids were first born
you know it's they're like adult
repellent until they get a certain age
you know so but but uh okay well was
there anything that maybe you wanted to
say before we went off a need last word
and maybe about a myth or anything like
that you know I would say just enjoy the
ride sometimes we get so caught up in
running a business you know as an
entrepreneur and we try and keep too
many balls in the air and you know I've
come to the point you know you just
gotta you got to enjoy the process
you know we're focused on goals and
that's important but I think you just
need to focus on the process and slow
down a little bit sometimes it's
it's a crazy world out there and it can
just it can consume us I just yeah I
pretty much I don't look at Facebook
anymore my LinkedIn you know very little
it's not that I'm anti-social but
there's just too many things too many
more important things to focus on and I
could you know you can call down that
Facebook rabbit hole pretty easy and
next thing you know there's there's an
hour to gone that you could have done
something or enjoyed life a little bit
more spend time with your kids grandkids
whatever so I'm still working on that
sometimes I still get consumed by the
all the stuff out there and I am a shiny
object person okay wait just just it
yeah and just enjoy the ride sometimes
alright well thanks so much for being on
the pharmacy leaders podcast yeah thank
you Tony it was good pleasure talking to
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