Connect with us

Buzz Session

No Regrets Here! ECPs Share the Best Mistake They Ever Made

It’s amazing how many of them landed them in the optical industry…




  • Calling a practice management consultant to see what they were all about. It didn’t work out with them and was totally a waste of money in my case, but if I never spoke to them, I would never have opened a practice. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Taking a receptionist position at an optical store 38 years ago. — Heidi Hipsher, Northland Eye Care, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Not hiring an overly aggressive employee with experience. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • Walking into my optometrist office, which had been sold to an ophthalmologist, to get my glasses adjusted and walking out with a business opportunity. Four months later we opened a new optical boutique. — Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson, Oxford Eyes, Orlando, FL
  • Back when I was single I accepted an invitation from a guy for New Year’s Eve. Mistake. He stood me up. But later that night I met the love of my life and we’ve now been married for 16 years. And he was my encouragement to follow my dream and open Eye Candy! — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Leaving another health care profession in college to work in the eyecare field. — Nicole Leonard, Custom Eye Care, San Antonio, TX
  • Over hiring. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • I mixed up a frame on an order for a patient but she liked the frame I accidentally used for her lenses. Luckily the frame was the same measurements as the one she really picked out. — Martha Davenport, Safe Vision, Wheatfield, IN
  • Buying Facebook stock at $28 a share when I thought it was going bankrupt. Turns out Mark Zuckerberg is paying for my granddaughter’s education at University of Kansas. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Starting to read INVISION Magazine. — Michael Davis, OD, Opti-Care, Eldersburg, MD
  • Forgetting to place an order and the patient cancelling the next morning. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • Having a kid. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • I entered an unhealthy partnership with a start-up company who claimed they would help us promote our e-commerce and make us the ‘go to’ for glasses in our area. $4500 down the drain, we were left in the red and ended the partnership. Yet, without this, we would not have signed up with our current company and they have increased our online presence tenfold. — David Greening, Astorino Eye Center, Newport Beach, CA
  • opening a business during an economic recession. — Sonja Franklin, OD, Modern Eyes, Austin, TX
  • The best mistake I ever made was marrying my husband whose family owned an optical. I started out in the safety area and worked my way to dispensing. Then, I went to work for a local optometrist for 35+ years and then another practice for 20. Now, winding down my career, I’m in another MD practice for the final countdown. — Chris Clark, Advanced Eye Care Optical Shoppe, Panama City, FL
  • I put a customer’s frame on the shelf without his lenses in it and ended up selling it three times in a week. — Steve Geis, Metro Eye, Milwaukee, WI
  • Moving to my current city. It was a challenging, rocky ride, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t, I may not even be in optical! I can’t bear the thought of that now. — Selena Jachens, Urban Eyecare & Eyewear, West Des Moines, IA
  • We once ordered over 1,000 nose pads by mistake. We didn’t send them back since we’re going to end up using them anyway. We haven’t ordered nose pads in five years. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care, Hackensack, NJ
  • Leaving the security of a regular paycheck, to open up and start my own optical store. There is no going back now! Nothing makes me happier! — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at [email protected].



Transform Your Multi-office Phone System Into a Revenue-generation Tool

Weave’s multi-office, multi-department, and multi-provider phone system is built to flexibly accommodate and augment your practices’ most powerful revenue-generation tool: ring phones across multiple locations, set up inter-office call overflow, support external call centers, and more. And by connecting to your patient data, call handlers see a patient’s upcoming appointments, overdue balances, overdue family members, and preferred location – all when they pick up the phone." Learn more at

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular