As a part of my interview series with prominent medical professionals about “How To Grow Your Private Practice” I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Will Cole.
Dr. Will Cole, IFMCP, DC, is a leading functional-medicine expert and consults people around the world via webcam at www.drwillcole.com and locally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Ketotarian, lauded by top-celebrities and CEO’s, in which he melds the powerful benefits of a ketogenic diet with a plant-based one. Dr. Cole was named one of the top fifty functional-medicine and integrative doctors in the nation and is a health expert for mindbodygreen and goop.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell our readers a bit about your ‘backstory”?
My family was into health and wellness decades before it was trendy. Growing up in the 80s and 90s in rural Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh, not L.A., I was the weird kid in school who drank herbal tonics and ate strange health foods before it was all over Instagram. My friends didn’t want to hang out at my house since they knew there wasn’t going to be much in terms of junk food snacks. While it was strange to me then, I am grateful for it all now since it laid the foundation for where I am at today.
What made you want to start your own practice?
I really just wanted to help as many people as possible and saw the benefits of offering webcam virtual consultation support in healthcare, which was severely lacking, especially back when I first started practicing functional medicine. By operating as both a local and virtual clinic I was able to expand my reach and help more people than I could in a traditional office setting.
Managing being a provider and a business owner can often be exhausting. Can you elaborate on how you manage both roles?
No one can do everything alone. I have a really great team that is very talented in their individual roles and we all work well together. It is great because we all share the same vision to put our patients first. Plus, we all have a great friendship with each other outside of work as well.
As a business owner, how do you know when to stop working IN your business (maybe see a full patient load) and shift to working ON your business?
It’s all the same thing in my mind as each aspect of the business is interconnected. It goes back to having a great team that I trust to manage different aspects of the business but being involved enough to still jump in where I want to and where I am needed that particular day.
From completing your degree to opening a clinic and becoming a business owner, the path was obviously full of many hurdles. How did you build up resilience to rebound from failures? Is there a specific hurdle that sticks out to you?
Honestly, there’s no specific hurdle that jumps out to me. There are always ups and downs in business but I was fortunate enough to not encounter any major hurdles, mainly because of my mentality. By staying relentless and focused, I was able to look past things that may have bothered other people more.
What are your “5 Things You Need To Know To Grow Your Private Practice” and why?
- Know the art and science of functional medicine. Your knowledge is your foundation for everything you do with your patients.
- Know your audience. Understanding who your patients are will help you know how to market to them and better serve them.
- Be true to who you are. There is constant temptation to compare yourself to others. If you stay in your lane your patients will be drawn to authenticity.
- Strive for excellence. You’ll be ahead of the game and patients will notice the difference in quality of care.
- Be at peace with the process. Mistakes will happen and people will criticize but you’ll be able to look back on the process and be grateful for what it taught you.
Many healthcare providers struggle with the idea of “monetization”. How did you overcome that mental block?
I had to acknowledge that what we are offering is of great value, we do a lot of hard work, and our time and experience has value. I had to remember that people pay for material things and we are talking about health which is priceless. Knowing your worth is not a bad thing.
What do you do when you feel unfocused or overwhelmed?
I carve out time to meditate and do intentional breathing exercises. Diffusing essential oils throughout my day helps me refocus also.
I’m a huge fan of mentorship throughout one’s career — None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Who has been your biggest mentor? What was the most valuable lesson you learned from them?
Terry Wahls and Alejandro Younger have both taught me time and time again to work hard and be kind.
What resources did you use (Blogs, webinars, conferences, coaching, etc.) that helped jumpstart you in the beginning of your business?
mindbodygreen was not only an inspiration to me but they gave me my first platform to write and share my message with the world.
What’s the worst piece of advice or recommendation you’ve ever received? Can you share a story about that?
I’ve only taken the advice that I know will help push me to the next level and I try to look at every piece of advice through the eyes of a prospective or current patient.
Please recommend one book that’s made the biggest impact on you?
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Where can our readers follow you on social media?
Facebook — @doctorwillcole
IG — @drwillcole
Twitter — @drwillcole
Pinterest — @drwillcoleinfo
For other incredible interviews, please check out our podcast: Healthcare Heroes.
A special thanks to Dr. Cole again! The purpose of this interview series is to highlight the entrepreneurs, innovators, advocates, and providers inside Healthcare. Our hope is to inspire future healthcare providers on the incredible careers that are possible!