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 drsusan@susanomalleymd.com