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Do Over: If Given the Chance This is What You Would Do Differently

More education, earlier ownership and trusting your gut more were all pretty popular.

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  • Achieve OD or by GODS blessed MD status. — Steven Gouveia, Target Optical, Seekkonk, MA
  • Briefly?? I’d learn from other people’s mistakes and trust my gut a little more. — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Run my business without ODs. — John LaShorne, Brown County Eye Care, Nashville, IN
  • I would have started making my own frames much earlier. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • Hire the personality and then train them. I have always wished for a complete training program, opposed to a ‘sink or swim method,’ prior to ever allowing the new staffer to assist patients. — Pam Housley, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • I would have started in optical sooner. I kind of fell into this position and now I love it! — Andrea Schall, Armstrong Eye Care, Kittanning, PA
  • So many costly mistakes that I don’t even know where to start! (From marketing to frame selection to working with vendors and consultants, hindsight is definitely 20/20.) — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Get everything in writing. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Stay in school and participate in activities. — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY
  • Profit first. My heck if had only known, I would have carved every penny I earned up and allocated it accordingly. It’s like bumper bowling for expenses. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • Go into a different field. — Greg Kyser, Gallery of Eyewear, Marysville, WA
  • Go bigger and push for my goals instead of playing it safe! — Stacey Nutting, The Eye Doctors at CNY Eye Care, East Syracuse, NY
  • Change majors in college instead of completely dropping out. It took 15 years before I went back. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Take school seriously! Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • I would buy an established practice instead of starting cold. Might have given me a bit of a head start with a steady patient base. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • Went to a four-year college instead of a two-year technical. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Listen to my gut! — Michelle Wright, DePoe Eye Center, Sharpsburg, GA
  • Believe in myself and my vision. (No pun intended) — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Paid closer attention to the acoustics in our optical. — James Armstrong, Alberta Eye Care, Portland, OR
  • Get my ABO sooner. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • I would have become an optician earlier than I did. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • I would’ve made the jump from corporate opticianry to private sooner. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • Do it my way from the beginning and start earlier. Take more time not seeing patients to work on office things. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Start sooner. — Rick Pascucci, Towpath Vision Care, Clinton, NY
  • Stay working in a lab instead of an office. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char, OD, Orange, OR
  • Start at the practice I’m at now. The other place was owned by a psycho Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde situation. Y’all know what I mean. — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • I am so happy with my life now and I believe that for every action there is a reaction if I did anything differently my life may not be this good. I have a most remarkable family with grandkids and great in-laws. Nothing could be better. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • I’m not sure how to answer that. — Annie Thompson, Lawrence Eye Care Optical, Lawrence, KS
  • Speak my mind more. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Gone to optometry school. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • Larger office. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • I would not buy a practice based on good will. I would purchase real estate and build a practice rather than rent. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Lose the partners and buy my own building. Rents are killing. — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • I wouldn’t do any of it differently. I feel my life works exactly the way it’s supposed to and I’m in the exact place I’m supposed to be. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • I would have stayed in U.S. Army Reserves and retired from the Reserves in 1985. — Texas L. Smith, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • In the latter part of my military career I wanted to go into flight school, but a deployment to Iraq as a flight medic changed my mind. I wouldn’t mind going back and become a pilot! — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Become licensed much, much sooner. — Pablo E Mercado, LensCrafters, Alpharetta, GA
  • I wouldn’t have taken time off school after high school. — Nicole Heyduk, Eye Centers of Northwest Ohio, Fremont, OH
  • My hobby is bidding at storage locker auctions. If I could do it all over again, I would start working in the auction business fresh out of high school and maybe have retired already! — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Go to optometry school. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • Absolutely, positively nothing! — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Would have done a residency. — Dennis Iadarola, OD, Center for Vision Care, Monroe, CT
  • I would not have gotten pregnant during my first semester of college. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • I would have gotten my license earlier on in my career. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Stayed in college. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Opened my unique eyewear optical much, much sooner! It’s so fun styling customers in unique eyewear and they come back to us so happy to be our “eyewear models.” — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • I’m not sure. — Vicki Thompson, Grandville Optical, Grandville, MI
  • Nothing! I love what every experience and challenge teaches me. — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • I would have picked my mentor’s brain on the business of running an optometric practice. — Kimberly Riggs, OD, Ligonier, PA
  • Make more money. — Katie Rutledge, Arnold Family Eyecare, Imperial, MO
  • Go to optical school sooner. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Go to optometry school. — David Saxton, Kern Optical, Gulfport, MS
  • Take the ownership plunge sooner. — Gerald Koss, Vision Source Partners, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Not worry so much about what other people think and listen to my own instincts. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • More education. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • I would have computerized sooner. People are impressed with technology even though it baffles me sometimes. When it works, it is amazing how much time and energy it saves. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • I’m doing it. Our new office that we opened to be closer to our kids and granddaughter has more social marketing and we are using iPads for most everything involved with patients. — Richard Frankel, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ
  • Not trust so many of our peers when purchasing used equipment. — Cassandra Brackmann, Danville Family Eye Care, Danville, IN
  • A few mistakes along the way… changed the original career choice that I never followed. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • I would have gone to optometry school. — Gail Bailey, Eye Care Clinic, Grand Rapids, MN
  • I would have done a residency, I would love to teach. — Chani Miller, OD, Park Eye Center, Highland Park, NJ
  • Never work Saturdays, be with family instead. — Hagen Eye Care, Miami, FL
  • Try to learn how to buy effectively earlier on. Also get a better background in marketing. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Be more proactive and present in the day to day operation. Staying off “autopilot.” — Jim Williams, Eye To Eye, Mexico, MO
  • I would have been more open minded about my goals. — Jessica Brundidge, Clarity Vision, Clayton, NC

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