Dr. Susan O’Malley’s story is an incredible journey of beating the odds time and time again. After dropping out of college, she worked as a secretary for 11 years. When her life took a drastic change, she decided to go back to school. It was then when she changed her major from being a nutritionist to being a doctor.
After she was rejected from every medical school in the country, perseverance kicked in. It took her that long to figure out what her dream was, and she wasn’t going to be shut out of it. She was accepted just a few weeks before school started.
Times had changed, as she found herself pregnant and no husband. However, she decided to follow through and go to school.
How did you do it all being by yourself, with a baby, and in med school? Dr. O’Malley got through it one day at a time, and sometimes it was one hour at a time. Had she looked at graduation the first day of medical school, it would have been too overwhelming. Her focus was that she had to get through today.
After graduating, Dr. O’Malley decided to be an emergency room doctor. She went that route because it was going to allow her to be a good mother when she was home, and a doctor when she needed to be. She did that for several years.
Being an emergency room doctor is a young woman’s job. Sometimes you really don’t sit down, and as you get older, it really starts to take a toll on your body. When she got older she got to a point where she was ready to make a move.
She took a job out of the emergency room in a clinic. When she sat down with her boss at her end of year review, he told her that she was doing ‘okay’. She had never been told that in her life.
In that moment she knew she needed to go. The seed had already been planted. However, it that moment when she knew she had to make a change. Two days later she walked in and said that it wasn’t going to work. She had no idea what she was going to do.
It didn’t matter that she didn’t know what she was going to, but she just knew she didn’t belong there.
You decided to open a med spa, tell us about that journey. The med spa felt a bit like a mid-life crisis. But when she really started doing a lot of research of next steps, and the med spa was really a great choice for her.
When she started her business, she found a space that she got a year’s lease out of if she renovated it herself. She put in an ad to a paper for $75 and sat at the reception desk herself. It’s a great lesson for people starting a business. You have to get your hands dirty.
She built it to a multi-six-figure business.
What are some things you did to go from a $75 ad to a multi-six-figure business? Dr. O’Malley went from not knowing anything about business. She had to go from an employee to an entrepreneur. In the emergency room, she gave you everything you needed. The first time she had to ask for money, she thought the sky was going to fall. It just wasn’t who she was.
A defining moment was that she discovered she was motivated by fear. She was making exceptions for people out of fear. She knew she had set boundaries that she needed to honor for herself. She secured loans from a few different family members and learned to honor herself.
And it started to roll a little bit in her favor. She had no idea that there was a difference between marketing and advertising. She realized that she could put in $75 ads in the paper all day, but if no one knew who you are, it won’t do anything.
She started doing talks, and sent out a newsletter.
Be willing to make mistakes and be willing to roll up your sleeves and get it done. And if it doesn’t work, be willing to change course.
You can find Dr. Susan here: Dr. Susan O’Malley
You can find her book here: Tough Cookies Don’t Crumble: Turn Set-Backs into Success
More About Susan: Today, Dr. Susan O’Malley is a cosmetic doctor, author, professional speaker and personal development expert but her path was littered with potholes, challenges and drama. In her book, Tough Cookies Don’t Crumble: Turn Set-Backs into Success she shares lessons from her transformational journey from college drop-out and secretary into emergency room doctor and entrepreneur.
Dr. O’Malley started medical school at 35 years old, six months pregnant and unwed. At age 50, she walked away from a lucrative career as an emergency room doctor to open a medical spa dedicated to helping women look younger without surgery.
With a dream and no business training, she put a $75 ad in the newspaper and sat at the reception desk waiting for the phone to ring. Today, Sonas Med Spa is unrecognizable from its humble beginnings. Her life and career provide conclusive evidence, you’re never too old and it’s never too late.
A member of the National Speakers Association, Dr. Susan O’Malley travels from Madison, CT to bring her motivational message to appreciative audiences. She welcomes invitations to share content via teleseminar, webinar or live to inspire others to push through barriers and transform obstacles into victory in business and in life.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org