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Should You Rent or Buy Your Office Space? — with Jeremy Warner, MD (Ep.182)

Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, and pose the question of, “should you rent or buy your office space?”

I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your Aesthetic Practice – What your patients are saying, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients and more profits. Now, today’s episode is called “Should You Rent or Buy Your Office Space? — with Jeremy Warner, MD.”

What’s smarter? To tread lightly and slowly grow your practice with a short term rented space, or jump in, double-down, and build the practice of your dreams that you own? Effectively, should you rent or buy your office space?

As always, there’s no right answer. Just the right answer for you. 

⬇️ Click below to hear “Should You Rent or Buy Your Office Space? — with Jeremy Warner, MD”

We talk about if you should rent or buy your office space on this week’s Beauty and the Biz; while interviewing Dr. Jeremy Warner, a board-certified plastic surgeon and facial plastic surgeon in private practice in a high-end suburb of Chicago. 

P.S. Watch for a big announcement next week. It’s something that I’ve been working on behind the scenes for months, so stay tuned!


Should You Rent or Buy Your Office Space? — with Jeremy Warner, MD

Catherine Maley, MBA: Hello everyone. Welcome to Beauty and the Biz, where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and ask the question of “should you rent or buy your office space?” I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of “Your Aesthetic Practice — what your patients are saying”, as well as consultant to get them more patients and more profits.

Now today’s special guest is Dr. Jeremy Warner of the Warner Institute in Chicago (who knows a lot about if you should rent or buy your office space); performing facial aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, and that includes having his own fellowship training and familiar with the question of “should you rent or buy your office space”. Now he attended medical school at the George Washington University of Medicine and continued his training in plastic surgery at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and spent an entire extra year of advanced surgical training fellowship in facial plastic surgery at the University of Toronto.

Now, Dr. Warner is on staff at the University of Chicago, section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as director and founder of the Chicago Rhinoplasty Symposium. Now, he’s also a member of numerous professional medical societies. He knows a lot about the question of “should you rent or buy your office space”. He’s published in multiple plastic surgery books, lectures at the medical meetings, and he’s even been featured in numerous major media outlets.

He’s also served as mission director of the Nepal Surgical and Medical Mission Under the Face The Future Foundation. Dr. Warner, thanks so much for joining us at Beauty and the Biz to discuss “should you rent or buy your office space”.

Jeremy Warner, MD: Thanks for having me. I’m really excited.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Good. All right. So, what I like to always start with was your journey to learn about if you should rent or buy your office space. How did you get from a little kid to be a plastic surgeon, and then why Chicago

Jeremy Warner, MD: Well, that’s, that’s going back, that’s going back always. You know, I, I did, I was not absolutely straight path to medicine. Growing up. I had a strong interest in psychology. I would say that it even started in high school. Of course, I didn’t know back then how well it was going to serve me. I think having a psychology background and, and making use of it in the world of plastic surgery is incredibly helpful.

For many, many, many different reasons. But yeah, my, my teacher in high school that really was my psychology teacher, I, I was just so fascinated with the whole subject. So, I then went on to college to study psychology, and when I finished that I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with all that information.

And I don’t know what happened, but I remember the day I was sitting in an elevator somewhere and all of a sudden in my brain it clicked. Maybe you want to actually go work on people’s brains not just talk about psychology. And I, I said, you know, I’m going to go to medical school, actually, this is what I want to do.

I want to be a, a neurosurgeon. So, I went to medical school to be a neurosurgeon and I was pretty set on that. And same thing happened at the end of medical school. We’re figuring out, you know, really nailing down what we want to do. And you know, I thought, well, love the brain. It’s fascinating also to think about operating on it.

But I spent some time on a plastic surgery service, mainly doing reconstructive work after head and neck cancers. And I just absolutely fell in love with it. And I said, this is definitely what I want to do for the rest of my life. So, I ended up going that route, did a plastic surgery training, and then through there decided I wanted to even sub-specialize further.

Primarily with plastic surgery of the head and neck, and specifically noses as well.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And you have a gorgeous office in Chicago. It’s like the northern suburbs, this beautiful neighborhood. Looks like you figured out if you should rent or buy your office space!

Jeremy Warner, MD: Thank you.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah, I’m actually from Chicago so I know it well, as well as if you should rent or buy your office space.. How did you get into your own building? Did you go through academia first for a while, got disillusioned with that and got went out on your own and learn about if you should rent or buy your office space?

How did that part happen?

Jeremy Warner, MD: I think this is a fantastic question because it’s something that everybody who’s going into practice in the beginning is trying to figure out what, what do I do and what do I need to know? I just had this conversation with one of our residents yesterday. When I graduated from my fellowship in Toronto, I had all the skills necessary to open my own practice and get going on my own.

And I was ready to do that and it was definitely a good option for me. When I moved to Chicago, another opportunity opened up where I joined a group practice. That was hospital based. So, we were all employees as a group. But it was a, you know I, I’m sure we don’t have time to get in all the details for that, but for a lot of details, it was, it was the right thing to do.

It felt good. And you know what? It worked out for a really long time. So just naturally I ended up progressing into thinking to myself, okay, well maybe if I was in my own practice, there are some things that I could do even better or some of the goals that I wanted to fulfill that I wasn’t able to do in a group hospital-based practice.

And for those reasons, I ended up leaving that situation and starting my own practice. And you know what? I learned a lot along the way, but it did, I was able to continue. Practice that I had been doing for all those years, I was able to continue it flawlessly, went out, everything worked out with those patients followed me.

I was able to do the surgeries I wanted to do. But it also did open up more doors for me, especially because I liked the business aspect. But it also allowed me to start my fellowship, which I was unable to do before, and also allowed me to start doing more medical mission work and take a, a greater role as mission director doing that.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So how many years were you in at the hospital before you jumped to solo and learned about if you should rent or buy your office space?

Jeremy Warner, MD: 11 years.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay. Yeah. Yeah, I’ve heard that answer several times. Maybe, you know, it’s your pain threshold. You know, like it’s about 11 years, it’s a bit frustrated, as it pertains to if you should rent or buy your office space. All right.

Jeremy Warner, MD: So, I think, I think that’s a really good way to put it, and I think that that’s probably true most of the time.

But it’s also it’s, you know, 10 years of practice is a really good amount of time. To get comfortable in your surgical skills, advance your surgical skills, get comfortable understanding what it would take to run your own practice. You may not know all of the details or have all of the knowledge at that point, but if you’re showing up every day for work and you’re spending time in a, in an operating room and you’re spending time in the office dealing with employees and patients, you really can’t help but build a really strong foundation for what it’s actually going to take to have your own practice.

So maybe that’s what it is. Maybe it’s the right amount of time, but yeah, of course there’s other factors, like the pain factor you’re talking about depends on what your initial interests were, what the group might have developed into, you know, if you’re in academia, there’s a lot of benefits. There’re some limitations.

In a hospital-based practice, it’s the same thing. There’s a lot of benefits, but there’s some limitations. And you’re also going to grow as a surgeon. So, me, for example, I grew into a point where I didn’t want to just show up for work every day and operate. I wanted to serve this global mission trip. I wanted to start a fellowship.

And at the end of the day, I, I know now that I’m in private practice, that I really wanted to be in private practice and have that business side of it as well. So.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And so, what would you say was the biggest challenge when you went solo and discovered if you should rent or buy your office space? Like, one of the big questions is, do I rent a space? Do I buy a building?

Do I hide up on the 20 first floor of the 30-floor building? Or do I try to get on the street? So, I have, you know, the, the street cred? Yeah. What, what did you decide to make that decision and learn about if you should rent or buy your office space?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Another good question. You’ve got lots of good questions. You know, a lot of people are going to give you different answers on this as the bottom line.

One of the biggest challenges, I don’t know if it’s so much of a challenge as just. An anxiety provoking unknown, which is, if I’m going to go out and practice on my own, how do I know that I’m going to succeed? I mean, obviously your, your biggest fear is either renting a place or buying a building and then not being able to sustain your business.

And so, I would say that’s the biggest challenge. But it’s, it’s, it’s also an unknown because you don’t really know what’s going to happen when you do that. But what, what you want to do is you ver you, you want to do your homework, you want to do your research, you want to look back at your career. And what you want to do is set yourself up to be as successful as possible, knowing what you know, and try to put as many factors in place.

Renting, you know, I mean, it, it, it seems fairly obvious to me. It would be ideal for anybody to go out and own their building. Okay? Otherwise, you’re paying rent to somebody not getting anything long term. And that’s money that’s coming, you know, into your practice, but then going right back out again and, and rent obviously can be one of your major expenses aside from your employees.

So, owning your own building is ideal. You’re keeping that money in your practice; you’re earning equity in that over time. But again, all of this falls back to what your intestinal fortitude, as I like to call it, is for the financial risk that it would take for any of these options to go out on your own, whether or not to buy your own building.

It’s pretty easy to rent somewhere if you’re going out on your own upfront, because you don’t have to come up with any money upfront. But if you’re going to own your own building, you have to buy a certain, you know, percentage of that building up front. And then if it’s just a building, you’re going to have to build it out.

If you want an operating room, you’re going to have to build an operating room. And all of those things taken quite a bit of time and energy to put into that. But and as well as whatever financial aspect is involved in whether or not you’re in a good position to do that or not. So, what did you end up doing when you left the hospital?

I bought a building —

Catherine Maley, MBA: No kidding. Good for you on figuring out if you should rent or buy your office space. Yeah. No, it’s a, we, we it’s do that, but I, I, but I have to say I’ve never seen it not work out. You’re building the equity. Everything has, of course, right now the economy’s not fantastic, but, you know, you’re not going to lose on that thing (especially if you know about if you should rent or buy your office space). I you just have to have the nerve to, to be in debt.

Yep. But it’s good debt.

Jeremy Warner, MD: Yeah. And I heard that from a lot of people when I was trying to decide very smart people that I trusted from friends to colleagues, to the bank side of things, the business side of things. That’s what I was told every time. These, you are not going to fail at this. But then I would think to myself, well then why does not every single person do this?

And at the end of the day, I really trusted what I was being told. I mean, I felt that way inside myself too, but I trusted the fact that I, that this was going to work out and that I just had to put my seatbelt on and strap in and get ready for the ride and just jump over whatever hoop needed to be jumped over or through in order to make it work and open the doors.

And while my building was being built, I did have to rent a space in the meantime. So, if you want to ask somebody about the differences, I, you’re talking to the perfect person for that because I went through both simultaneously. Again, yes, there are some benefits to renting, just like if you were going to buy a house or rent, you know, it’s, there’s pros and cons to both and going through the process of building a building, which we basically built from the ground up.

And then, and it has its own operating room in it, so there’s all that too. It’s building it out, it’s getting it accredited and there’s just a lot of steps to go through. So, you, as you mentioned, you just, you have to decide if you are ready to put in that extra effort, which it is and make it happen.

Or if at the end of the day you just want to spend your energy elsewhere and rent a place. But you know, for anybody that would be even considering between the two. As, as you also said already, there’s really no question that it’s better for you in the long term if you can manage to buy a building and make that work.

Because at the end of the day, you’re building the equity, you’re getting everything out of it. And you know what, it feels really good to me when I show up every day. And I know that everything I’m looking at is under my control. And yes, it’s my responsibility, but I also know at the end of the day that I’m not letting quite a big expense, just, you know, leave the door every day.

So how many square feet do you have? Well, the building has 8,000 square feet. We are currently using 4,000 square feet, which does house my entire clinical practice and a quad ASF, you know, ambulatory surgery center. The other 4,000 square feet, we didn’t need that in order to make things work.

So right now, we, it’s sitting empty. We’re trying to figure out what to do with it. We have. Made some effort to see if anybody’s interested in renting that space. Which again, as a business owner, if we’re talking business, is fantastic if somebody comes in and it’s helping you pay the mortgage on the place.

But we also have multiple ideas to expand into that space with either other business ideas related to the pro plastic surgery practice or potentially even other businesses that are completely unrelated. And just things that we want to start business wise between myself, my wife business partners, other people interested in certain things As much as I love my plastic surgery practice, and I have no idea where I’m going to find the time for it.

There’s like three other businesses that I want to start that have nothing to do with plastic surgeries.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Right. Well strategically your best bet is to get somebody in there like let’s say a dermatologist who, you know, just people walking through there all day. But, you know, I also know you like to train and maybe you could turn it into a training center of some sort, but you’ve got so many good options there and also in terms of if you should rent or buy your office space.

When you own the place, you can do what you want. So, congratulations.

Jeremy Warner, MD: Yeah, thanks so much. Yeah.

Catherine Maley, MBA: How much of your practice is recon versus cosmetic? How does that pertain to if you should rent or buy your office space?

Jeremy Warner, MD: At this point I would say it’s about 70% aesthetic and 30% reconstructive.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And you think you’ll keep it that way, or what’s your plan there as you continue learning about if you should rent or buy your office space?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Yes, yes, yes.

I do get asked this as well because the, the landscape of health insurance in this country these days, I’m not going to get on a political tangent, I promise. But there’s no question that it’s not optimal. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t care if you want to ask or what their solution is to solve it. But it’s not ideal.

So, I get asked this a lot, why don’t you just stop taking insurance? You got plenty of business on the aesthetic side. You could run your practice. Yeah, that’s true. But I, I don’t see myself giving up that insurance component anytime in the near future because there are a lot of patients at the end of the day who come to me for care that their care is completely insurance related.

And I really, really, really like taking care of them. They are cases and surgeries that I love doing. I get a lot of satisfaction out of them. And I just don’t really want to give that up, you know? I feel like every patient that I help is a worthwhile patient that makes me feel good about what I do, whether it’s aesthetic or reconstructive.

But that’s just one component that I, it gives me so much satisfaction and joy. I don’t want to give it up, but then that’s perfect.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You know, I’ve watched, here’s where I jump in. When somebody is so mired in the insurance and they’re just frozen, they can’t get into cosmetic because they’re so focused on the insurance, because the insurance patients will keep pulling you forward, you know, pulling you back, which is contrary to learning about if you should rent or buy your office space.

And I just say, you got to pick one right now. Like, if you’re trying to jump, you know, pick one. But you’re in that perfect position to keep what you love. But you can still be profitable if you can balance that. I’m all for it. But usually, you can’t, and that affects the ability to know if you should rent or buy your office space. You’ve got to choose, you know, are you going to play in the cosmetic arena or not, because your competitors are playing it 24/7.

Jeremy Warner, MD: So, yeah. And when you ask me for the, what percentage is what I mean, I feel like 70 30 is a pretty sweet spot, I think, because as you said, if you’re going to buy your own building, have your own operating room look, it’s also different in every state. Unfortunately, I live in a state, I love Chicago. I love being here.

But it’s one of the few states where you can’t do insurance cases out of your operating room. That’s very, well, you won’t, you can, but you don’t you’re not able to collect a surgery center fee, which means at the end of the day, you may be just losing money if you’re doing surgeries there. So, it basically more or less prohibits us from doing that.

Right? You know, so if you have that situation, you have to have a very strong aesthetic component in order to be profitable and make things happen. I think 70 30 is a pretty sweet spot where you know, I could fill up a hundred percent with my aesthetic practice, but 70%. You know, brings in enough collections that everything is well paid for.

And then I do get to maintain that percentage of insurance patients that I really like taking care of. And look, those patients come from referring doctors. Okay. So, let’s say someday my referring doctors retire or, you know, dry up or decide they’re going to refer somewhere else, you know, then those things naturally will take place.

But if I can maintain that at my own will it’s, that’s, that’s my plan because I just, I really enjoy doing a lot of those cases.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, in your practice, are you the only revenue generator or have you got others in there making you money to help with the concepts of if you should rent or buy your office space?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Right now, because again, I was in a group practice for 11 years.

I’ve been in private practice for three years. I was renting in the other space up until even six months ago. So, My practice has been evolving over time and I’ve had, I’ve had even more non-Jeremy Warner revenue generating people in the practice before than I do now, which sounds weird because I’m in private practice with my own building.

But I also want to do things right and things have changed and evolved and covid kind of change and evolve things as I, because I, I was going through this entire change process during that time. So right now, the answer is, is it’s pretty much only me. I do have an aesthetician but she just started basically, so she is going to be generating more revenues.

I have well, I, I have a, my wife is in nursing school right now. Okay. My wife was an MBA. She went to University of Illinois for business. She’s the smartest person I know. She’s definitely smarter than I am. And she’s had a long career in business and healthcare organization and the business side administration.

And she went on one of my mission trips to Katmandu Nepal, right, right before Covid. And she went as a business person to help run the, the, the mission trip. And when she came back, she said, I’m done. I’m done with business. I want to go to nursing school and I want to actually take care of people. Huge change for her.

Long story short, she’s in an accelerated program because she already had her business degree. So, she’s going to be done very soon. And then she’s planning on doing injections and injectables and generating revenue that way. Then of course you have the operating room, which generates its own revenue.

So that’s where I’m at right now. We’ll see what happens.

Catherine Maley, MBA: See now, you picked right, which certainly helps in knowing about if you should rent or buy your office space? For, for you, your partner.

Jeremy Warner, MD: I did.

Catherine Maley, MBA: She’s going to be a great asset to you and also in terms of if you should rent or buy your office space. I did later and forever. And just keep it, you know, keep it loving. You know, it can be tough to work together and live together. That’s another podcast I’ve done before.

But I mean, you too have this, have the same values, the same interests. Congratulations.

Jeremy Warner, MD: Yeah. Well, thank you. And, and you know, maybe that’s not the tangent you want to go on with this podcast, but I will say in short, at least that I think plastic surgery is a specialty that is actually a little more prone to spouses working together.

I think when people have their own practices, I think there’s a lot of people who work with their spouses to get things started. I think, you know, it, it just makes. And it’s not for everybody. And I’ve, I even have friends and colleagues who I hear, you know, stories where things didn’t work out so well and it wasn’t the best idea.

But I feel very lucky because my, my, I don’t want to sound cheesy. No, no one on your entire podcast is going to believe me when I say this, but my wife is my best friend. Right. And we work insanely well together. Wow. So, may that change in the future? Who knows? I’m not going to predict the future, but yeah, it’s a great asset to have us both working and generating revenue in the same practice.

And at the same time, you know, we’re very synergistic because she’s got that business side of her and I’m the surgery side, and it works out really well.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, in your, because she’s in school right now in your practice, is there an office manager or how is your practice set up? What kind of staff and what are they doing? How is that helping in terms of if you should rent or buy your office space?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Okay. I love this question. I think that the number one biggest mistake that plastic surgeons do, and maybe it’s all doctors, but I just know this because we we’re all, you know, we’re all friends. Everyone in my area is friends nationwide. You know, we’re, we’re as a specialty, I think we’re overall quite collegial.

So, we all kind of talk to each other, know what’s going on. And I think, in my opinion, I think one of the biggest challenges slash mistakes that plastic surgeons make is over-hiring staff. So, I see it all the time. I walk in a, you know, a friend’s office once in a while our colleague goes, holy cow, you’re paying a lot of people to do these things.

So, when I started my practice after being in group practice for 11 years, when I went out and I started my own practice, I, my, my schedule was full when I was in group practice and my patients followed me and business was actually stronger when I left and. At that time, I, I, I, my wife was working a healthcare job at the time and I begged her to come help me open my practice just because she’s smart.

And so, we had her running things at a high level, you know, on the employee side, financial side, accounting side, marketing side. And I had one surgery scheduler and one clinical staff member who was a medical assistant, not a nurse, not a pa. And then a couple days a week when we had our really busy clinics, we had a part-time person coming in and working at the front desk answering phones.

So, I was able to run an incredibly successful practice based on that. Now the problem is, is that we, even though we were really busy, we continued to grow very quickly after I went into private practice. So, It, it was a great model and it probably could work long term, but it was starting to get, I was starting to ask a lot of the people that were there and they loved being there and they loved their jobs and they loved every single thing they did.

And I had very open conversations with them. I’ve worked with these people for a long time, but you know, I could see three years down the road I could see the burnout coming. Them you know, you can only do so much and sustain it. So now that we have our own building, my wife went back to school, so we did hire an executive director, office manager who basically was replaced what my wife was doing from a business standpoint, overseeing employees, just making sure that everything was running properly, managing the building and more high-level things.

My wife is an ACI still, even though she’s in school, she still got her hand in helping with the financial stuff. We hired a nurse. Because we have our own operating room now. So, we did hire one nurse. We hired a second MA because my clinic days, I didn’t want the other medical assistant to burn out.

So, we hired another one. And you know, they’re both busy, but I think at a good, healthy level now. And they, they basically run the clinic Monday through Friday, making sure that everything runs smoothly, taking care of patients. And then I still have my same surgery scheduler who’s focused on getting all those surgery schedules, talking to patients every day.

Since we’re, since we’re on a marketing podcast, or at least I know you have a strong background in marketing, you know, she’s in charge of making sure that all that runs well at the same time. And then we have this employee who was working for me sort of in the, in the middle of this whole transition to the new building.

We hired someone to help answer phones and just kind of take care of all the loose ends. She’s the one that was in aesthetician school during that whole time. She now just finished last month in past her boards. She just had a baby, so she’ll be back in three months. She’s going to take a little break, but then when she gets back, we’re going to start her out having her full med spa aesthetic practice.

So that’s where I’m at right now.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Nice. I, I hear you say surgical scheduler, right? Does that help, in terms of if you should rent or buy your office space?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Yes.

Catherine Maley, MBA: All right. To me that means who did the consult then? Like, I call them patient care coordinators and they, I call them the revenue generators next to the surgeon. They’re the next revenue generator. So, do you really only have her schedule, or is she, are you working together as a team to convert these leads to help learn if you should rent or buy your office space?

Jeremy Warner, MD: We are working together as a team. I will actually correct myself because you pointed that. I have worked with this particular employee for almost 12 years. Oh. And she did start out as only my surgery scheduler. Okay. When I was in this group practice. That just gets stuck in my mind. So yes, she really is more of a patient care coordinator.

We do work together on consults, quoting marketing, getting patients excited about these things. So yeah, it is definitely, her role is definitely more comprehensive, as you say. You know, we could have a great debate about this subject because I think people feel differently about it. I feel like I have a lot of word-of-mouth business now.

I do some marketing. It may not be as much as a lot of other people. And when patients come in to see me for consults, I feel like they’re coming in to see me. I feel like they’re coming in because of my reputation. These people, you know, these patients, they heard about me from a friend or a family who thankfully said I was really great and go see this guy.

And I feel like when patients come in, they want that experience of having time with me and having me give them a lot of information and going through things with them. Okay. So, at the end of the day, we, yes, my patient care coordinator and I, we both work on things together, but if you ask my other employees, like say my executive director, she’s going to tell you that patients come in for me and that I’m the one who’s really doing 95% of the sales.

I do like talking to people, you know, sometimes, as you’ve probably already seen tonight, I probably talk too much sometimes. But you know, you know, other people might debate and say, you know what? If you want to see a lot more consults, you should spend a little less time with people and let your patient care coordinator do a lot of information and do the selling for you.

And I’ve seen that model work too. Okay. So, I’m not even sure there’s a right or wrong. And I, I think it would actually be kind of a fun debate because I think people would feel pretty strongly about either one. But I also think that, as an aside, it depends on what your business model is. I would say my business model is, you said you grew up in Chicago, you know the area I’m in the north suburbs of Chicago.

It’s a very, very, very affluent area of Chicago. And you know, I probably do charge maybe a little bit more than the average if you were to get on RealSelf or something and look up what are the averages for a certain place. But, you know, part of that added value that I’m asking patients to pay is spending time with me and getting the information from me.

So, and I’m telling you, it works. It works for me. So, yeah, I think maybe people feel a little differently about it. And how much should they do? And how much should I do and how I should be spending my time. And look, if I could see more consults during the day, I would love that. But at the same time, I, I try to offer this added value of sitting down with patients not feeling rushed.

And then when you ask them to pay just a little bit more, they, they do it cause they appreciate that you’re there, you know, taking care of them. So…

Catherine Maley, MBA: Another perspective coming from, I am a cosmetic patient. We have two things, in terms of if you should rent or buy your office space. We’re looking at the clinical side, which is you. We want to make sure you know what you’re doing and we’re going to get great results.

And we’re, as we’re reassured by you. The other side is the emotional side and the money side. I’ve learned that plastic surgeons should not negotiate. Should the minute a price comes up, say, let me go get Sarah for you. She’s going to care of you with that. Hundred percent agree with that. Yeah. And I just find other coordinator can be a nice buffer between the patient and the doctor.

So, there’s a chance, I’m just making this up, but there’s a chance you said something that confused her, let’s say, but she’s not going to say it to you because you’re not her friend. You know, the coordinator, like women love to talk. So, the coordinator can, you know, she can run it by her, take it, take care of it, and now she can keep moving forward with a Yes, which helps in terms of if you should rent or buy your office space.

I’d just like to cover both bases, you know?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Yep. The clinical I agree. Emotional, and then the money. I totally, I could not agree with you more. You summed it up. You summed it up perfectly, and I will tell you that that is how we function. But I, but I, but I’ve also seen other practices where the surgeon spends a lot less time than I do with patients at the consult and heavily relies on their patient co care coordinator to not only give information, but also really employ, I will say you know, a large number or some effective sales tactics as well.

And that’s fine too. I just feel from my business sense that there is a difference between those two models because I don’t feel like I have to, I believe me, I do employ some sales tactics. I understand what’s behind marketing and everything, but I don’t feel that that comes across to patients at all, and that I don’t have to be, you know, quote, really salesy in front of them.

Whereas if you unload that onto the other person in your office who’s not the doctor, I think they have to pull out of their pockets a lot more sales techniques. And, and, and I just, I hear it from patients who go shopping around different practices. I just hear this all the time. You know, patient will say, oh, well, I was over at someone else’s office and I just felt a lot of pressure and they were trying to get me to sign up for a bunch of surgeries added on that I wasn’t there for.

And I only spent five minutes with the doctor, and the other person just came across really overwhelming and pushy, for lack of a better term. And I’d like to think that people don’t say that about me. We actually do send out surveys after all of our consults and just hearing from our patients as to why they chose us, I just, I feel like there is a bit of Difference between those two types of models where if you spend a little more time as a physician, the other person definitely there to support, but probably doesn’t have to pull out as many sales tactics that might turn someone off.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You just have to know yourself, as it relates to if you should rent or buy your office space. And if you’re trying to scale, the problem is you’re trying to scale it, but it’s you, you are the business, you know, you’re the manager, you’re the service provider, you’re the visionary. So, you’re just, you’ll grapple with this your whole career. You’re trying to figure out, how do I make more of me so I can make more money, you know, so I can live a bigger, better life.

There’s nothing easy about that, but here’s what I would say. In today’s world of questioning if you should rent or buy your office space, there’s so much technology there you, there’s a lot you can do using technology that makes the patient appear as if they know you. They’ve known you forever and you’ve really only met the m for 10 minutes in real life.

But the rest of the time we spent on online, on video.

Jeremy Warner, MD: Yeah.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Anyway, I’m sure you’re doing just fine, especially in the areas of if you should rent or buy your office space.

Jeremy Warner, MD: But you know, I agree with that too. Mm-hmm.

Catherine Maley, MBA: But the answers come out in the results. If you have a good conversion rate that you’re happy with, who cares how you’re doing it, you know? Keep doing what you’re doing to help with knowing about if you should rent or buy your office space, but you’ll evolve eventually because Yeah, I think what happens is if you’ve been doing this a long time and you have talked about a rhinoplasty until you’re blue in the face you know, I think you start like shortening things or you start, you know, I would think that’s, anyway.

Jeremy Warner, MD: Oh, there’s, there’s definitely without a doubt there’s a tendency to want to do that. Somebody asked me the other day, they were just kind of making time of a conversation, asked me how many rhinoplasty consultations I’ve done. And I mean, I tried to think back, tried to quickly calculate, and I’m sure it was, I’m sure it wasn’t completely accurate, plus or minus, but I mean, it’s a lot of consults I’ve done.

And, you know, there are days, you know, you’re not on your game. You are, you were in surgery most a day, whatever the case may be, where you could easily find yourself spending three minutes instead of, you know, 40 and, you know, but again, it’s, it’s. My fellowship director taught me, taught this to me when I was in my fellowship, and I, and I, I, I use it all the time.

You’re asking when your patients come in and they are excited to see you and they want a certain result for something that they’ve been thinking about a long time, that’s going to make them happy. And you’re asking them to go through the risk of making that happen and also paying whatever fee to make it happen.

Your practice needs to be like going to a play or an opera or a show. It needs to be flawless. And you know, when you go to a show, you see the actors on stage, the lights, the music, it all comes together. It looks great. You don’t see all the people running around behind the curtains and the people up in the rafters.

And man, if you saw that, it would look like a complete chaotic mess. But all you see is the show and it comes across perfectly. And that’s. You know, if you’re going to ask somebody to pay all this money to have this surgery done, you got to put on the show every time. You know, you can’t give up, you can’t be off your game.

You know, you don’t go to a show and see someone just sit down on a chair and look at the audience and say, I’m tired. Sorry, I’m only doing half my lines tonight. You know? So that’s what I get in my head every single day I go to work is, yeah, I put on a show sometimes because I’m not, you know, I’m human.

I, I’m not a hundred percent on my A game every day just feeling great. But you have to come across to patience that way, because if you want to be lazy one day and not do that, and you got eight consults planned, you’re probably not going to convert any of them. So, like, why did I even show up to work today?

You know? I know. That’s just what I think in my.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, give me one business decision (as it pertains to if you should rent or buy your office space) that wasn’t your best. And I’m not, I don’t want to call it a mistake because I think it’s all a learning adventure. But what did you learn from it?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Well, I made, I made mistakes building my own building. And that might be a, a topic of interest to answer.

I already mentioned over hiring and I think a lot of plastic surgeons do it. You know, at this point where I’m at right now, today as we’re talking, I might be a little guilty of that, I don’t think as egregiously as a lot of other people. But you know you want employees to come to work every day and be busy, and you want them to like their jobs and you want them to be happy and you don’t, and it’s also your biggest expense, so you don’t want.

Over hiring for all those reasons. If you have people coming in and they’re sitting around all day bored, oh, they’re not going to like their jobs and they’re going to start, you know, I won’t say getting lazy, but you know, they’re going to start getting used to not being busy. And then when things get really busy, they’re not going to be used to it.

And then you’re going to have some HR problems or whatever. So, tons of reasons why you shouldn’t over hire. And again, I, I, I, I’m probably guilty of that right now, but not, like I said, egregiously. I would say the other one is when you build your own building, just be prepared to make mistakes. And that’s exactly what I’ll call them.

I mean, there are just things that you might not have anticipated or maybe you should have researched further. It took so much time and energy to build this building, and I really put in as much effort as I possibly could, which was a lot. But I, if I would’ve put in more, I might not have made some mistakes along the way.

You know, choosing how to build certain things, interior design, whatever it may be. Just to hit, hit home on it, my, my cousin is an architect at a very large firm, and he and I, he’s, he was following me along the whole building process. We got to the end and I said, Hey, Chris, what do you think a reasonable percentage would be for change orders while you’re building your building?

For, for, for people that haven’t built their own, building a change order is when you decide every single aspect of the whole building up front and they tell you what it’s going to cost and you build it. Change orders are where you find mistakes along the way and you have to change what you planned originally, and it costs money every time.

And he said, well, at our firm, we really try to stick close to three percent’s. Really good. Four percent’s. All right, 5% starting to get a little high. And he said, what was yours? What do you think yours was? And I calculate, and I have the sheet, I, I had the change order sheet in front of me, listed every change order.

And how much Chris? It was 18%. 18%! Okay. So, if I were to go build another building tomorrow, I guarantee you I could keep it to at least 5%. Cause I’ve learned.

Catherine Maley, MBA: To help with knowing if if you should rent or buy your office space, did you use, were you using consultants or you were just —

Jeremy Warner, MD: Oh yeah. I had a company that, that I had a company I don’t, I don’t know how deep you want to get into this conversation, but I had a comp.

When you build your own building, you can either do all the components yourself and organize everything. The architects, the builders, the interior design, the surgery center accreditation, you can, you can do all that yourself. I used a company that charges a bit of a premium to do everything for you.

Meaning? Meaning makes sense. Meaning I still made all the decisions at the end of the day how I wanted things to look. How I wanted the layout of the building to be where every room was. You know, you still have, you still get to decide all that, but you have people doing it for you initially and then just sort of showing up at your desk saying, Hey, do you like this?

Where do you want this? Do you want to change this? It’s much more efficient for a surgeon. There’s no way I would’ve had time to coordinate it all myself. So yes, I had a consultant, it was a company. They find the building, they help you find the building, they do the construction, drawing and plans for the building.

There’s an interior designer that helps you with everything and then, you know, they help, they, they know how to build it so that your or will get accredited and it’s kind of, you know, nuts to bolts. But there’s meetings. Okay. There’s lots of meetings for that. There were meetings, I remember I’d leave the office at 6:00 PM We’d go there, we’d order dinner and we would leave there at 11:30 PM I mean, you’re talking like 11:30 PM you’re sitting there picking out what toilet paper roll holders you want in the bathrooms.

So, do I care about that at that point? No. And so there’s things that you only, for me anyway, I gave it my all, but it definitely pushed my limits. There’re some things that I just wasn’t paying attention to during that process, and then they go to build it and I would go in the building and say, whoa, what are you?

Whoa, that’s wrong. And they would open up their laptops and they would say, okay, you know, January 14th, here’s your email approving this. And I would look at it and here’s my signature. Okay, well we have to change that. And that costs money. So, lots and lots and lots of mistakes along that front because we’re not taught that medical school well.

Catherine Maley, MBA: It just looks beautiful. So, I know the behind the story’s always long and lengthy and funny, but are not. But what ended up with, and talk about marketing (as it pertains to if you should rent or buy your office space), because that’s my favorite topic. You entered a very affluent neighborhood, like you mentioned, and it’s not short on talent there. So, is there, how did you enter that marketplace?

Cause you’re, you’re kind of, you’re, you were the new boy on the block, right? So how were, how did you enter, how’d you say, “here I am!”

Jeremy Warner, MD: I love talking about this because I feel like the way I went about it was slightly unique, slightly scary for me, risk taking. But again, just jump back to my fellowship.

I, I did a plastic surgery training head to toe, and, but I knew when I left residency that I was far more. Fascinated, you know, in facial procedures as opposed to body procedures. So, when I went and did my fellowship, I spent a whole year doing nothing but facial training. So, I knew when I got out and practice that that’s what I wanted to do, and I wanted my practice to be focused on that.

The vast, vast, vast majority of plastic surgeons in this country do everything from head to toe. So, one of my favorite books I’ve ever read is Blue Ocean Strategy, which I’m, I guarantee you’ve read. Yeah. And you know, that’s probably for me the best way to look at it. It’s, you know, you jump out in practice and you’re doing the same work that everyone else is doing.

And how do you set yourself apart? How do you market yourself when you know everyone’s doing everything from head to toe? Everyone’s got a med spa. Everyone’s got a similar looking office. You know, most plastic surgeons are patients love them and they’re sociable and take good care of patients. So, I mean, what are you going to do that’s different, you know?

And then, oh, now your book’s out in the background there. You buy your book and you figure out everything you need to do to make yourself different, but you’re very successful. And that book is fantastic, by the way. I’ll plug that book for you. Thank you. But the problem is, is every plastic surgeon in the country has your book now,

So, everyone’s doing the same thing. So, there you go again. It’s like you’ve so many great ideas in there, but I’m sure that most plastic surgeons, or if they’re smart, they’ve read that book and they’ve employed all those things. So maybe what you should do is create a, a, a 10 series book that you only give one series out to a certain number of plastic surgeons and let them fight against each other.

But so. When I graduated from Fellowship, I didn’t want to be head to toe. I wanted to specialize in face facial surgery and particularly noses. Now I’m sure you know this, maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Maybe not all your listeners know, but that’s not something that most plastic surgeons do.

It’s a little bit scary because when I went out and practice, I saw all of my partners when I went into this group practice who were doing mostly body stuff, a lot of reconstruction, and you know, they had lots of referrals coming from lots of different places and, you know, everything that came through the door they would do.

Whereas I was sort of limiting myself from the beginning in some way, which, which means I was not as busy as my partners in the beginning. Fast forward, three years paid off because what I did is I went out, I met as many referring physicians as I could meet, mainly EENT doctors. Dermatologists, MO surgeons, things that were related to me having both an aesthetic and reconstructive face-oriented practice.

And it just took a lot longer to dig my heels in and make it happen. But once it happened, the inertia was, the inertia was a little slow, but once it took off, it was exponential because I had automatically, I had set myself apart from everybody else. It finally got to the point where if someone mentioned, knows my name came up, and it doesn’t matter what group it was from so far, reaching all the way across Chicago into the neighboring states, around the Midwest.

And that’s just something that’s the kind of word of mouth and referral business and marketing, by the way, even paid marketing that is just so much easier to market as opposing to, as opposed to saying, No, I’m like everybody else. I’m a jack of all trades. I’m master of none. And you know, I’m good at what I do, but I don’t know how you want me to say I’m better than the guy down the street because I know him and he does great work and he also does everything I do.

So, it’s a lot easier for me, especially now fast forward 12, 13, 14 years, whatever it is that marketing, this is so just easy now because if you live in a big city like Chicago in an affluent neighborhood, it’s even easier to have patients come find you because you’re the expert, right? So yes, it’s very difficult to start a practice in an area that’s affluent with a lot of plastic surgeons.

And then Chicago’s not the only one. There’s lots of places. If you have one area of Uber expertise that you can set yourself apart from what everyone else is doing around, it doesn’t even matter how big the city is. It has been so easy to market that and so successful that, that when I teach residents and fellows and they’re trying to figure out, Hey, how do I buy a building and have a successful practice like you, here’s how it is.

You got to have at least one thing that really sets you apart that hopefully is a high collections generator and just market the heck out of it. Whether it’s going and meeting people face to face word of mouth, your referrals, marketing paid a SEO, paid, paid, paid advertising, organic advertising, whatever it may be.

It’s just so easy when you’re the expert because when you live in a big city, people are saying, I don’t need the everyday head to toe person. I need the expert for my problem. And it just, that’s to me is my number one key to success when people ask me, how did you get to where you’re now.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You didn’t mention if you should rent or buy your office space in terms of social media and rhino and social media go together.

Jeremy Warner, MD: I didn’t. I didn’t.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Are you dancing on TikTok or what to help you in terms of if you should rent or buy your office space?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Nope. Nope, nope. You’re not going to like my answer to this, but I have never been a fan of social media, and I’m okay saying this, and I’m talking personally. I’m not talking business wise. When Facebook came out and social media and now Instagram and now TikTok and everything else personally, I’ve never been a fan and I’ve never gotten into it.

And I, I, I never say never to anything, but I don’t think I ever will like it. Okay. Business, social media, I’m a little more lax on. I’m okay with it. But. Yeah, at the end of the day I didn’t mention that because we don’t really spend much time doing it now. Interesting. As a marketer, you could say you’re crazy, man.

Don’t you see what your colleagues are doing? Yeah, I do. But you know, here I am, I’m in my own practice. We have our own building, our own operating room. Lots of word-of-mouth referrals, lots of referral service. I, I, I, I, I, I’m, I’m only, I’m only saying this to prove a point. I don’t like saying this because I, I, I don’t ever boast or brag about anything.

I’m saying this to prove a point. Right now, our waiting list for consults to get in is somewhere in the order of like five months, something like that. Nice. Okay. So, and our conversion rate is high and we’re filling things up and business is good. Okay? So why, and this is what I always ask myself, and same thing true with websites as far as I’m concerned.

Why would I put in another 30 grand into a website or put all this energy into dancing around videoing editing and, you know, staying after clinic and it’s dark. And I, I love my family, I love my dogs. I want to go home. I love my job, but I’m not the guy that’s there 12 hours, eight days a week. And so, let’s say I put all this energy into that to do what?

To get a, a waiting list out to six months instead of five. I mean, you know, where does it end? I, I, I, I, I take no pride in having a, having a waiting list for five months, let’s say, or six months or a year. To me, that’s not good business sense. Okay. Cause a lot of those patients are going to find someone else in the meantime because they want something.

Now, you know, a better solution would be how do I create more time? And you already mentioned this up front, and to me that’s the number one biggest challenge in my life is, How do I continue to do exactly what I’m doing in my business right now, but get every single person in the door for a consult within a month and get them signed up for surgery because these people, you know, a lot.

I think when you have a long waiting list, it’s, you’re going to lose a lot of people. So, I don’t think that that’s anything to brag about, to be honest. But going back to my point, what I’ve done has worked with, I would, I would say fairly minimal marketing overall and really no social media at all.

And given the fact that I fundamentally, personally don’t partake in those things on a, on a personal level I don’t see how it’s going to help me right now to be totally honest with you. There are definitely people that make it work.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You know what? There is no one right answer for any of this in your particular scenario.

Social media is not needed in others to help with if you should rent or buy your office space, it’s vital, you know? Yeah. Especially for rhinos. So good for you. If you don’t have to play that game. I wouldn’t. It’s time consuming. It’s expensive. It takes, it takes you, you know, you can’t they can’t just Photoshop you in. You’ve got to be there. So, gosh, I mean, if your numbers are the way they are here, if you want my 2 cents, which you don’t need, but I would say that.

But if you have that much of a waiting list, I would be so good at qualifying the leads that are inquiries into suspects, into prospects. I would have them jumping over quite a few gates, because you’ve got to have a 90% close rate because you’re so in demand, just saying.

Jeremy Warner, MD: Well, you know, Next time you’re in Chicago, since you used to live here, we’ll go grab a coffee and I’d love to hear how to make that work.

Yeah. Well, like I said, the biggest, the biggest challenge to me is, you know like you said, duplicating myself, you know, because I do think patients find value in the way that I handle everything from the consultation through the surgery, through, you know, taking care of them. But you know, if I could see double the consults that I see in a consult day or consult time and do double the surgery, you know, I, you know, you take five months waiting list, let’s get it down to one month and let’s duplicate myself and do twice as much work.

Great. But, you know, that’s, that’s impossible. I can’t duplicate myself. So, it’s, it’s, it’s, I’m sure it’s something that every surgeon deals with when they get to that inflection point. I really work so hard to make my practice work and it’s really successful, and I was always so nervous about it getting to that point, and it’s finally there and it’s a dream come true.

But now I have this headache where I don’t want to make people wait that long and I want to get people in for surgery, and there’s certain things I don’t want to give up. I mean, I have given up a lot of things that I didn’t, that I never thought I would like Okay. It’s a good example. So, I know of surgeons around me and colleagues that they will see patients quickly.

They have their patient care coordinator sell the surgery that way they’re disabled to see a lot of consults. They don’t charge as much, so it’s more of a, it’s more of a hamster on a wheel I call it, where it’s, you know high volume, low price. And they have someone else selling their surgeries and then they do the surgery and then they probably, you know, not probably they hire a PA or a nurse.

Who sees most of their post ops. Okay. I don’t know how they make that work.

Catherine Maley, MBA: That actually came up in my book, as it relates to if you should rent or buy your office space. I, I said I don’t, did you?

Jeremy Warner, MD: I don’t, I don’t have the courage to jump off that ledge and do that. My, and maybe I’m wrong, but I do not feel like my patients would tolerate paying as much money as they do to never see me again after surgery.

Okay. Until they’re like in an extreme problem that should have been taking, that I should have seen a long time ago before, you know, it got to me. I just, I feel like, to me, that seems very stressful, that you’re going to have a lot of patients angry that they’re not seeing you, and it’s going to create a lot of negative, negative experience.

Come out in your reviews? Is that Yeah. Where whereas, you know, I am, I mean, every patient I ever operate on, for instance, has my cell phone. Not one patient’s ever abused it in my whole career. Right. But the fact that they have it, they love it. Okay. And it, and I only use that as an example of a theme where I’m telling you, yes, would I love to just operate and see consults and never see a postop patient again.

It would make my life easier. It would make my life easier. And I could see more consults and I could generate more revenue that way. But for me personally, there is a point at which I feel like that’s really hard to give some of that up because it’s I don’t want to say this in a judgmental way because it’s really not.

But at again, inflection points, there’s some point at which you could make more money. By compromising the patient experience with you personally. And, and that definitely can happen, but I guess it’s how you feel as a surgeon. There is a certain point at which I’m not willing to compromise that patient experience to generate more money.

It’s like, you know, if you have a good practice and it’s successful and you’ve got enough money, I don’t want to give up certain things to make more so, and I know not everybody feels that way. I see it. There are models out there where people just consult surgery. Let the paac, all the postops call me if their nose is about to fall off, you know?

And God, I just don’t know how they do it. I don’t know how God bless.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Right. So, we’re going to wrap it up, but I want to talk about the “if you should rent or buy your office space” mindset, because you didn’t get this business a marketing mindset from the hospital. Where did this come from?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Part of it was education. Part of it was internal drive and reflection and learning these things on my own because I was interested in them.

As I said before, my fellowship fully trained me and prepared me to be in private practice. I felt very comfortable with all aspects. Back then. That was 2008, 2009. So, internet marketing and all that wasn’t brand new by any means, but it was not as, you know the force that it is now. So, I didn’t, I wouldn’t say I learned a lot on that it technical marketing side of things, but I learned how to, I was ready to run a practice, so Some of it was taught by that.

And then I got in practice and, and, and as I said before, there was first three years was a little slow. I got to the point after like, let’s say year two where I was like, I don’t even know if I can stay in this practice. I don’t know if this is going to work. You know, my partners are way busier than I am.

I’m not getting any support from the hospital. My chairman of surgery said, I can’t help you. I’m a, I’m a, I’m a hepato biliary cancer surgeon. I don’t know anything about plastic surgery or marketing. So, it’s not that I’m not willing to help. I just, I don’t know how to help you. And it just forced me to say, either this is going to work or it’s not.

And, and I’m going to try to make it work, so I’m going to put all my effort into it. So, you know, I met people, I talked to people, I had friends. How do I market this? And the, the, the same theme came up that I already mentioned was everybody kept saying, you’re such a unique expert in these small, in this small area of things.

Why don’t you really market that and use that to your advantage, especially when you live in a big city like Chicago. And so that’s what I did. I went out, I met, like I already said this to some degree, I won’t beat a dead horse, but met the right referring doctors. That’s key. The right ones. Do good work.

You’ve got to have good surgical results or you’re never going to ever have a chance of getting word of mouth, which is what you really want. At the end of the day. If I had nothing but word of mouth, my life would be awesome. And so, you got to deliver good results. You got to deliver a good patient experience, especially if you’re asking people to pay average or even more.

And then the one thing that really helped me take off in year three was, was the digital was marketing with website, SEO, that kind of stuff. So, what I did is I created was not an expensive website. It was geared primarily to look like an expert in noses, because I was. And I just spent some money marketing that.

Now, the scary thing is, and my, the scary thing is my wife at the time said, you are not doing this. Because the hospital provided no support. So, I, I had to take me after taxes dollars and spend it on this marketing, which it’s crazy. It’s crazy. But you know what? The re the return on investment with that small amount of money each month with the website going was 20 times, 20 times Roi.

Okay. So, it works. And that really helped me get my no specific practice off the ground and got me little more well-known than just the referring physicians and the word of mouth and things like that. But that really helped bring in the volume, which then the word of mouth, it’s an inverted pyramid as we all know.

So, you get, you get, you get a good amount of volume in there and then the word of mouth takes off and then somebody goes to their physician who’s not heard of me and they say something nice and he says, oh, I’ve been looking for someone like that. So that’s, I would say that was the key to my initial success.

The, the, the launch off the launchpad to get there.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, you did a great job, especially in terms of if you should rent or buy your office space. I mean, in three years you’ve really made some progress. Good for you. So last question. Tell us something we don’t know about you that’s very interesting.

Jeremy Warner, MD: Oh, geez. I’m a pretty open guy. What do people not know about me? I would say, I don’t talk about him much.

People may not know that I’ve done two Ironman triathlons.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Aha, that’s very interesting!

Jeremy Warner, MD: Yeah. No, I think, I think, you know, we people want to talk about that all day.

Catherine Maley, MBA: For those people. Don’t know what an Ironman is, what do you have to do?

Jeremy Warner, MD: An Ironman race is something that humans were not meant to do and really should not do.

But there are a certain number of people on the planet, and I was one of them that wake up one day and say, I really want to do this. An Ironman triathlon is a one-day event. They have races all over the world now, but it’s a one-day event where you start at seven 30 in the morning in your swimming suit, cannon goes off, you jump in the water and you swim two and a half miles through the water, get out of the water, change into your bicycle clothing, get on a bicycle.

You ride 112 miles, and then you finish, you get off your bicycle, you put on your running clothes and your running shoes, and you run a full marathon. And this is all back-to-back in one day. So, It is my greatest achievement in my entire life. I love being you did it twice.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I can see it once, but to do it twice.

Jeremy Warner, MD: Oh, here’s the best part of this whole story. You ready for this? I did it the first time. I wasn’t going to do it again, to be honest. It was monumental. It was having a full-time job training. I wasn’t going to do it again. And then my wife, she came up to me one day and she said, I see how proud of you are. How proud you are of that accomplishment.

I can’t believe when you talk to people about it, nobody can believe that you did that. I want to do that. It is my goal in life and I want to do it. And she said, you’re going to train me because you’ve done it before, so you’re going to be my trainer. And I told her, if I’m going to train you, then I’m going to be in shape again, so I will then just do it with you.

So, we did it together and. I won’t make you guess who won. I’ll just tell you that my wife beat me by two hours. Oh my God. She beat me by two. I was nervous. She wasn’t going to; you were just letting her. No, she legitimately, I would listen. I used to let my kids get away with winning things when they were five there.

My, there’s no way I would let my wife win this on purpose. Okay. Two hours she beat me. Wow. And we were not married at the time. And when she came to me and wanted to do this race, of course I had done it. I was impressed with myself for doing it. I was so impressed with her for wanting to do it. I said, if this woman does an Ironman triathlon and finishes, I know I’m meant to be.

So, I, I proposed to her at the finish line.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Are you serious?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Oh, yeah. We got a video on everything. It’s awesome.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Did she want it that way or does she wish she had makeup, hair and makeup?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Yeah. Oh, no, she wanted it that way. She’s, she’s beautiful and she’s, you know, she’s dropped egg gorgeous, and she’s, you know, but, but she looks good whether she’s camping or, you know, going to a, a social event.

So, she, for her, she didn’t care about that at all.

Catherine Maley, MBA: All of us do not look this way when we wake up just so much. Dr. Warner, by the way, if somebody wants to talk to you about all of these various topics (including if you should rent or buy your office space), how could they get ahold of you?

Jeremy Warner, MD: The easiest way is probably email, which is J Warner. That’s my first initial, last name at Warner Institute, all one They can also call me on the phone, doesn’t, you know, doesn’t bother me. Phone number would be (224) 420-6140. Yes, that’s my cell phone. I give it out to pretty much everyone in the world. And those are going to be the two easiest ways of getting.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay. And your website is, right?

Jeremy Warner, MD: Correct. Yep.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Everybody that’s going to wrap it up for us today, a Beauty and the Biz and this episode on if you should rent or buy your office space, with Dr. Warner.

If you’ve got any questions or feedback for Dr. Warner, you can reach out to his website at,

A big thanks to Dr. Warner for sharing his experiences on if you should rent or buy your office space.

And if you have any questions or feedback for me, you can go ahead and leave them at my website at, or you can certainly DM me on Instagram @CatherineMaleyMBA.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode on Beauty and the Biz, please head over to Apple Podcasts and give me a review and subscribe to Beauty and the Biz so you don’t miss any episodes. And of course, please share this with your staff and colleagues.

And we will talk to you again soon. Take care.

-End transcript for the “Should You Rent or Buy Your Office Space? — with Jeremy Warner, MD.”


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Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.


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