The journey to success is like your own shadow, if you try to catch it you’ll never succeed, ignore it, walk in your own path and it will follow you. Recently, we’ve listened to a powerful story similar to this.

The road to success is different for everyone. Some make sacrifices, some get it handed to them, but very few are like Dr. MaryAnn who took a leap of faith. She stepped into the unknown and solely moved across the country pursuing her optometric education.

Finally after 4 years of blood, sweat, and tears she graduated. Today, she is spreading health awareness at her independently owned Dr. MaryAnn Vision Care optometry office.

We had the honor to interview Dr. MaryAnn and we asked what motivated her to start her business. “I saw starting my own business as an investment in myself. Happiness is my number one priority and anyone who knows me knows that is my mantra. Owning my business gives me the freedom to work smarter not harder, without the restraints of another person calling the shots. I take all the risk and responsibility but also all the rewards”.

In business every mission is different. What makes us unique is our differences that we embrace and share with world. Dr. MaryAnn shares her vision with us.

“Dr. MaryAnn Vision Care is an optometry office that is passionate about you! It’s an office where every patient will enjoy a full comprehensive eye exam assessing both vision and health with the best quality care and attention. Every patient deserves to have all their issues addressed with the utmost respect having left with a good understanding of what took place. That’s my vision”.

On our road to success, we face many roadblocks. The owner of KFC had his recipe denied over a thousand times. Its story of proof that if you keep pushing through adversity, you’ll succeed. Dr. MaryAnn gives us great insight on her biggest challenges.

“Unfortunately, optometry students are not taught anything about business. We learn science extensively our whole lives but nothing about what comes after graduation; therefore, the biggest challenge was to educate myself on what it takes to run a business. Luckily, you can find just about anything on the internet these days and I have mentors who have already taken this journey who graciously answer all my questions. I also read a ton of books; you can never learn too much”!

A few other minor challenges:

  • Moving to a new state meant I needed to network quickly and effectively.
  • Hiring people who align with your mission and values takes time and patience.
  • Most importantly, learning to care for myself. In the beginning I was so excited to work that I always put my patients and business first which meant I never gave myself a lunch break and wasn’t paying attention to my own needs. While my patients are still my number one priority, I quickly learned how to balance my schedule in a more sustainable way. Taking care of myself is the best way to take care of my patients”.

With great success comes great advice. This is the result of trial and error. We only learn if we fail and we only succeed if we keep going. We asked what advice would she give those starting their own business.

“Always remember your why, your internal motivation stems from your purpose. Pay attention to what sets you apart, that’s your strength. Focus on the patients/customers and ensure you are providing your very best product/service. Customer service seems to be a lost art for some companies & remember people can shop/visit anywhere, so always put your patients/customers first”.

To find more on Dr. MaryAnn you can visit her on instagram @doctor.maryann as she continues to thrive building her practice in Tampa Florida.