Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, and alliances vs landlord.
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 “Alliances vs Landlord — with Sam Lam, MD”.
When I first started in this industry 23 years ago, I grew plastic surgery practices using lots of strategies, with one of them being alliances.
That means, I found other neighboring businesses who shared similar patient/customer demographics and then created co-marketing strategies to get them in front of new audiences that most likely were or would be interested in cosmetic rejuvenation.
Alliance strategies included:
- Events where the plastic surgeon aligned with a neighboring spa, high-end retailer or fitness center and they both invited their lists; and
- Fundraisers where plastic surgeon was the invited speaker sharing the latest trends.
While these worked very well, there is an easier way…..
⬇️ Click below to watch “Alliances vs Landlord — with Sam Lam, MD”
This week’s video is an interview I did with Sam Lam, MD, a facial plastic surgeon with 20 years of experience in private practice in Plano, TX.
Dr. Lam has a different approach to building alliances to attract new cosmetic patients.
He actually built a gorgeous building for his practice, but also made room for other businesses to rent space (hair salon, dentist and more).
That means he gets a ton of foot traffic coming into his building to see his alliances, who could also need his cosmetic services. Very smart!
We also talked about how Dr. Lam’s priorities have changed since he started a family later in life and how he paints every morning to get his head on straight for the day.
P.S. For more cosmetic patient attraction ideas, check out my latest checklist here…
👁 DON’T MISS THESE INTERVIEWS 👁
Alliances vs Landlord — with Sam Lam, MD
How to Find Preferred Patients – with Bradford Bader, MD
Alliances vs Landlord — with Sam Lam, MD
Catherine Maley, MBA: Hello, welcome to Beauty and the Biz, where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and alliances vs landlord. 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 profits. Now I have a really special guest today who is not only a gurgeon, but a landlord with alliances.
It’s Dr. Sam Lam. It’s Samuel Lam, but I just love his name. Sam Lam. Can’t miss that. Now, he’s a board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon with 20 years of experience and in private practice in Plano, Texas where he’s from actually. He also has a lot of experience with alliances vs landlord.
So, Dr. Lam completed his undergrad degree at Princeton and his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine. Then he trained for six years in head and neck surgery at Columbia University. In New York, and then he completed a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery as well as hair restoration.
Now, Dr. Lam has written over 250 articles, book chapters, and eight major medical textbooks, including the first textbook series on hair transplantation.
So, Dr. Lam lectures. Hair transplant courses all over the world. He’s been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC, Fox, and many other media channels. I met him many years ago. He’s been on the podium forever around the world talking about marketing. He’s a really good marketer, by the way. So, we’re going to dive into the business side of your practice and learn more about alliances vs landlord.
Dr. Lam, thank you so, much for joining me.
Sam Lam, MD: Thanks, Catherine. I appreciate it. I’m glad to be here.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, that’s fantastic. So, why facial plastic surgery and being a landlord with alliances? I always wondered that because when I was growing up, I never heard of facial plastic surgery. I heard of plastic surgery, but how did you land on facial plastic surgery? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Well, it was it was actually during my otolaryngology residency that a guy gene Tardy, who was my mentor, ed Williams’ mentor, and he came in a very patrician guy, very well dressed, and he started talking about rhinoplasty. And I’m an artist at heart. I paint every day and. I just like, wow, this is beautiful.
I mean, my whole life is driven by beauty, and so, even now, 20 years out, I’m probably one of the few guys that do, does his own injections as well as his own surgery. Because I just, I’m just passionate about all of it. I, you know, for me it’s, it, it took me from a position where I was doing the same procedures over and over again, and then now every, every patient is different than.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay. So, how, what was your, just quickly, what was your journey from, you graduate, you did your fellowship, you’re out, and how did you enter the marketplace and become a landlord with alliances? Did you go to a hospital? Did you go solo right away? How was that journey? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Well, I had a very nice cushion, and unfortunately from the business side of, of things, it’s, it’s, it’s obviously not something everyone can get.
I, I was literally in and not figuratively, literally my dad’s toilet. So, my dad was a family doctor and he had a toilet that I, I needed, I needed. I have an office, so, he took it out and that was my office. So, it was very nice because I lived at home. I wasn’t married and, and he basically they covered, my staff, covered everything.
And I was in a very small office for a fam, you know, family doctor in, in Richardson, which is an area that has mainly Asians. I trained a, a few months after my fellowship to learn. Asian cosmetic surgery and the Asians came in and they said, oh, this guy is affordable, which is perfect for me. And other people that were that, that, that were not Asian, were like this guy, I, I, I don’t think he can know.
He knows what he is doing. So, I started with him for a couple years. My mom, who was really a Is ne was never a developer, that she is the brains and the vision and the trust in me as a person that I’d even trust and built this at the time was 27,000 square foot wellness building that became 45,000 square feet.
And that’s another thing we can talk about, but she really, I would love to take credit for it, but she’s the one that built that. And. That’s how that in about two years morphed into an amazing, insane center that I would love to take credit for, but I can’t.
Catherine Maley, MBA: By the way we’re going to talk about it, but you have to go on his website, Lam facial plastics.com and check out the tour.
It’s quite impressive and showcases him being a landlord with alliances. Yeah, it’s right up there with like one of the best I’ve ever seen. So, how did you divvy up the services? Because are you still doing recons? At all? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Not, not anymore. I, I leave the reconstructive on my website only because its, people love to see that the song, there’s a little tag of warning of, yeah, it could be a little graphic.
And I, when I started my practice I said, look, and when I didn’t have a lot of rhinoplasty before and after is I said, look, I can put a nose back on the face. And they go, okay, so, I’ll, I’ll do, I’ll let, I’ll let you do my nose. So, no, not a lot of recons anymore. You know, some keloids and things like that.
But mainly it’s cause —
Catherine Maley, MBA: Then how do you divvy up your time while also being a landlord with alliances? Because you are getting so, well known for Rhino, but you also, do bleph. I’m, I’m sorry, for hair transplant, right? So, you do a lot of hair transplantation, then some rhino, then some facelifts. How are you? Divvying N And you do your own injectables.
So, how do you divvy up your time? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: So, the way that, that my, my, the, the way the work, the way that the week works is I, I, Monday and Wednesday are my big hair days. So, I do either one big strip or f u e case, then one big one on Wednesday, and that’s in the morning. I’m usually done. If it’s, if it’s a strip procedure, I’m done about 10 30.
If I’m doing an f u e, I’m done about 1230. I, and then I in the afternoons will be consults, injectables, small procedures, blepharoplasties, little things in the office, whatnot. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my big face days. I do either a facelift rhinoplasty fat graft, bluff, whatever may be bigger procedures on those two days.
Thursdays, I may switch out with a hair or I, or vice versa. I may fill in a hair a face on a Thurs on a, on a Wednesday. So, these are just, there’s a little bit of flexibility. And then the afternoon’s the same thing, small procedures. And then Fridays are my non-surgical days. I usually don’t do any big surgeries on that day, and I just, I just, the day just fills in, to be honest with you.
I just go back and forth a little bit here and there and run back and forth.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Do you have a preference for the procedures you like the most? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: I love it all. I, I love it all. I mean, you know, I just, everything is for me is creative and fun and I just, the way, you know, for me, I find that people. They oftentimes surgeons give up the injectables.
They, you know, I understand that from a money perspective, you get someone else to do it, it makes sense. But I love it and I find that there’s so, much overdone fillers and great facelifts and that it, it doesn’t look right or vice versa. You get really good fillers in bad surgery and doesn’t look right.
So, I look at myself as sort of Apple, Inc. I mean, I control the end-to-end user experience. So, I, my patients look good when they come out. I only, things I don’t do is like I p l and you know, microneedles and stuff like that, but anything that requires an artistic eye and control, I, I do it all.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, your business model, of being a surgeon and. alandlord with alliances, you’ve got Yeah. 45,000 square feet of facility. That is remarkable. It’s got. More than one water fountain or water flow thing. Oh, dear Lord, if the place is gorgeous, but somebody has to pay for all of that. So, as far as I can tell on your website, you look like the only revenue generator. Who, so, who’s on your team helping you make money? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Well, for my, for my center, it is mainly me, to be honest with you. It’s probably not the best business model, but it’s a business model that works for me because obviously I know people do better with 10 injectors and everything. Now I have people that do all the non-invasive little small things as we talked about.
There’s a lot, I’ve got a lot of lasers. They do all those things. I don’t do any of the. The little laser things, but the vast majority of the revenue comes from me. Now, there are things like, we do this thing called hair stem, which basically it’s an infusion therapy instead of p r p that helps with stimulating hair.
There are a lot of little things that are, I, I can’t even name so, many little things, but they do all that. But the vast majority of the profit still comes in mind from my hands.
Catherine Maley, MBA: How, how can you, your overhead must be insane. How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Well, let me clarify. The 45,000 square feet is not mine. I have about 10,000.
Okay. So, so, I’ve got a, a spa that I, I lease to that’s, you know pretty large six, 7,000. I’ve got a. A huge salon that’s across the way. I’ve got a dentist; I’ve got a marriage counselor. I’ve got a person that does eastern cupping medicine. I’ve got these med suites that’s about 6,000 square feet that, that has Ayurvedic medicine hair systems.
I’ve got, I can’t even think of it. There’s so, many different things.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, those are all tenants, which makes you a landlord with alliances? Okay. So, are you the owner of the… How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Yes. Yeah. And they’re tenants.
Catherine Maley, MBA: okay. So, that’s actually an incredibly interesting business model, being a surgeon and a landlord with alliances. But do you have any control over any of them, or are they just, because I look at them as alliances.
They’re a beautiful feeder to you, to what you’re doing, or are they, has it turned out to be like a reciprocal but not? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Not as much as, so, I tell, you know, from a business perspective, I tell. Young people coming into this, don’t overfocus on that being such an essential element. There are a few reasons. So, first of all, we’re all in it for ourselves.
We’re driving ourselves. And so, yeah, I send people there. They send me people. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily more than from external sources. And then of course, if you’ve got a salon in your, your space, other salons may feel like, oh, I, they’re not going to send me people or vice versa through, so, it’s not necessarily.
The most beneficial relationship. I look at it as just a long-term equity play to exit. And, you know, a lot of people are trying to sell their business in a way. I don’t even have to. I can retire in my building. So, so, that is, I, if you look at it from a long-term equity play, it’s great if you worried about trying to cross feed each other.
Yeah. Okay. But it’s not correct. I, and then, and then I, I made some mistakes along the way. I, I owned the Jose Bar Salon that was in my place, and I didn’t revenue a lot. And it was great because in the sense I, I learned never to do that again. And I learned that I’m, I just, it’s not my blue flame.
It’s not the area that I. I’m good at. I don’t own the time to manage it, and I own the spa. I, I didn’t make much money on the spa. And, and so, now that someone else is, that owns like eight centers in Dallas, they do it. And, and, and when I was initially starting, I was worried about having a. You know, having someone else doing Botox in my building now I’ve got multiple doing it.
I don’t care because I, I’ve established myself and my med spa offers it. It’s, I don’t even own the med spa. They, they do their own thing. If they don’t refer to me because of it, I’m busy enough right now that I’m not so, worried that I, I’m looking this, that I own the building or my mom owns the building.
To be honest with you, it’s, it’s, it’s to be clear and, and, and the future, I’ll own it, but that is something that doesn’t worry. That is so, interesting.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, you don’t have to manage these people since you’re a landlord with alliances. They all have their own separate LLCs or whatever. So, when you sell. Yeah, you are not, you can’t sell all of it. How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
You can only sell your piece of the practice and everyone else, all the —
Sam Lam, MD: No, no. So, this is not a condo. It’s not a condo. It’s a, they’re, they’re rent paying rent, so, they don’t own any of this. I, I, I will own the whole building and the real estate, everything. So, they’re, so, when someone purchases it from me, they’re buying everything.
They’re not having to worry about condos at.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Interesting. Wow. That’s, wow. Do you have any plans, like how I, you’re certainly too young to even think about exiting, but do you have any plans? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Well, yeah, I mean, eventually what I want to do is sell out and I’ll rent from, I’ll rent from the owner, you know, because and I’m fine with that, you know, so, I, my exit is not, I’m not, so, I’m, I, I’m not so, worried that I have to exit my business.
I, I make enough revenue from what I do. I’m looking at the building as my. Right. I the real estate. Right. It’s the, it’s the real estate, right?
Catherine Maley, MBA: There’s, there’s so, much equity and built up in that after all those, all after years go by. My gosh. Yeah. I think that’s a brilliant idea. How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
By the way, the real estate, just like McDonald’s, it’s not about the hamburgers, it’s about, but I also, but I also, tell people too, an —
Sam Lam, MD: Are we talking about the business side or is that, have I dive too fast into that? So, the, so, the, the, the thing is, I would, I, I would caution people when they hear that to say, oh man, I’m going to go get this big building and I’m going to do all that. The, the, the very honest truth is you can do really well.
By investing in something else. You don’t have to; you can invest in some other real estate. You can invest in some other business you don’t have; it doesn’t have to be yours. A lot of doctors have this mental idea and including me that we have to own where we work. I think if we can divorce the concept and say, look, if, if it works for you and you got the prime place to where you want to be and it all makes sense, do it.
Otherwise, don’t worry so, much. Even if you lease or rent for 10 or 20 years, if you’re making good revenue here and you’ve got a better business proposal somewhere else to exit on, do that.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I think they get such peace of mind from it. I know just being a homeowner, I just have a lot of peace of mind that nobody can kick me out.
I control my destiny there. And it’s like a little ATM machine if you ever need it, cause the equity’s there. So, I see why they do that and be, especially in today’s world, I don’t know how many young guys can join you and buy you out. I mean, I don’t like who’s going to buy you out. I you. How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: That’s, that’s exactly the case.
And so, that’s why I’m not quite as worried about that exit, which is a different mindset. You know, my, my building is my exit. It’s not, now, of course, I’m going to have someone come in and groom and, and build into the thing, or maybe it goes to VC at some point. I don’t even know. But right, right now I’m not so, worried about that exit as, as important as, as the other component.
Catherine Maley, MBA: What about the surgical center? Is it, is it as big of a deal as the office looks like? How many suites do you. How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Well, so, for, for the surgery center, I started with only one because it was for me. And so, what I do now is I have sort of two And so, let me explain what sort of means I do. One of the rooms is I, I build for my hair, hair, hair transplants.
I don’t need general anesthesia for it. It is completely med Gass ready to go. And so, what happens is I have a, a plastic surgeon that does body work does some face, but he basically does like 99% body work. And he comes in and the days I do hair in that, in the hair room, he uses. The surgery center to do the body stuff.
And then, you know, if in the future if I get busy enough or I want to exit on that, or I want to sell this as a surgery center, then I can easily, basically, it’s ready, it’s, it’s ready to get it’s gassed. I just need to put in a general anesthesia machine to do that if someone wants to do that. So, As a separate entity, as a profit center, profit center to sell that out.
Right now, it’s not built in for that. It would make a lot of sense. I did have discussions with the plastic surgeon to come in as a tenant and, and to buy over time some shares on the surgery center. You know, a lot of physicians are very risk averse. They just don’t see that as something that makes sense.
But it’s a no-brainer for me for where he was going to come in and do that. But, you know, it’s, I, I’m not sweating it, you.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, that plastic surgeon, your business arrangement with him, is it, is it completely, he rent some space and that’s it? Or do you have a, a relationship? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: No, he just comes in and uses my, my center and so, I, he is just using dead, dead air, so, to speak, you know?
Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah, I mean, I, I’ve, I’ve seen it go both ways. I’ve seen the surgeons who have put millions into a multi suite or thinking that the surgeons in the area will come to him, you know, to come do surgery there. That was way more difficult than they ever expected. They had, they had to go out of their, like the plastic surgeons wouldn’t come, so, they had to go with orthopedic surgeons or, I mean, they, they scrambled, you know, to build a time there and it was just one more big headache that they had to manage.
So, I’ve just heard such mixed reviews, like sometimes they were sorry, they ever got involved and they should have just kept it small. Like any thoughts about…? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: You know, I mean, to be honest with you, you need to have good people working around you to help you. So, if you are going to do that, the problem with cosmetic work is you don’t, it, it, you don’t make money on that from a surgery center.
You need, if you really want to make money on a surgery center, you need insurance. And the problem with that, that’s a whole different level and it depends on what level you want to take it. A friend of mine does bariatric work. He’s got a great surgical facility that does all the insurance stuff.
For him, it makes sense because he does insurance. But if you’re a cosmetic guy. I, I think if you are, unless if you want to go into the surgery center business, then you got to go into, from an insurance perspective, if you really want to put plastic surgeons together, too many egos going around. There’s no compensation at the level of a, of a surgery facility.
It just makes no sense to me.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, I did watch somebody in California many years ago. He, he was, 6 million building the place out as he’s building California. Took away all the insurance for breast reduction and workers comp and all of that. It just changed overnight. And he’s like, crap, what am I going to do?
And that really hurt a lot. And then somebody else came in and decided to do all the transgender. Yeah. And in California, I couldn’t believe this, but they were. Transgender patient was insured by up to a hundred grand for, you know whatever it is whatever you call it. Gender…? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Gender, affirmation, surgery.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah. Yeah. And it, it’s a huge business, so, It just depends, you know, like where, where you want to go with that. But it did, it completely destroyed his cosmetic side. Mm-hmm., because it’s a completely different world. It’s a different patient, it’s a different emotional background. And it, it, the two did not gel at all.
But when you just take that piece of it, the transgender part of that, I’ve watched some practices just crush it. How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: There’s, it’s so, many, there’s so, many right answers and wrong answers to everything.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. So, do, do you plan on ever like, bringing in another person? Another? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: No, no. I, I actually have the physical space for it now.
I just don’t have the bandwidth. The problem, honestly, several things. Number one is staffing has been a nightmare the last two years. Just trying to make sure that I’m, I’m having. Staffing for me has already been very difficult. So, until that part of the equation is solved, the answer is no. The other thing to me right now is you know, there’s, I, I need to find, I think, you know, ed always told me, ed Williams always told me, he says, don’t bring someone on board unless you’re willing to slow down.
Yeah. Or exit on it. And I’m not either one. I, I really love what I do and I, I don’t run a crazy business where I have to. I am running all over the place, but I, I don’t do, I do like two to three transplants a week, two to three major surgeries a week, and a ton of small ones. And then of course, a ton of injectables and I’m happy, so, I just don’t have the room or bandwidth to have someone come in right now, you know, maybe in the future for sure.
Catherine Maley, MBA: But it sounds like also, you’re trying to do work-life balance. You know, you’re not, you are not going to kill yourself doing this. And, and I’m so, glad you know that because some do. And., I don’t know if this made them any happier, but they’re grinding, you know, they, they, they’ve been grinding for 20 years, so, you know, the answer’s whatever’s right for you. How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: For sure. Absolutely.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah. Gosh. All right, so, we have to talk about actually, let’s just talk about staffing for a second. Sure. It has been universally. The biggest issue ever. It always was an issue like, isn’t staffing like your biggest challenge of running a practice, but now due to whatever has happened in the world, it’s just gotten so, difficult to find people, not find people, good people you know, who want to work and who are dedicated. How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
So, any tips on what has been working for you?
Sam Lam, MD: I have an amazing director who manages all this, first of all. So, I don’t and of course it’s, the thing is she’s so, well connected in the community. She finds a lot of friends. Of friends. Of course, that’s the best way to get people here. But that’s not even enough.
It’s too still too dry. Of course, indeed has worked really well for us. But there is no easy way to do it. It is, it is a slog. And I, I, I wish I could give you a good tip. That would be a pearl. No, there isn’t.
Catherine Maley, MBA: It’s, well, didn’t everybody, I think half of the state of California left because we’re so, crazy here right now.
And a lot of them went to Texas. So, did you feel a big rush of. Californians coming over. How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Yeah. I mean, from a real estate perspective, they’ve all come here to take over homes and things like that. So, from a business perspective, it definitely has, has helped us. I mean, I think that everyone has felt a really good plus, I mean, not everyone, but a lot of people have felt a really good plus during the pandemic time.
But now as inflation soars and everything else is going up, there’s definitely been a drop in the last six months. And I think things are trending and not in a good way. Everything’s a cycling. I mean, I, I’m not so, worried long term. People want facelifts. People want hair transplants and, and it’s just little bumps in the road, you know?
Catherine Maley, MBA: And it is cycles. We were both around for the recession and the comeback and all the crazy that goes on, but it’s very cyclical. It just is. So, let’s talk about marketing, because I used to say, Hmm, how do, could you possibly differentiate yourself from everybody else? Number one, your building.
Killer. That is unbelievable. How long did it take to build that thing? Two years. Right. I it’s amazing. Did you have that vision, like the, and you call it something like the Wellness Center, right? How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Well, you know, I had a vision for the Wellness Center, but I, it really, I, I, I would love to sound like an arrogant person and to come up with this, but my mom.
Is an amazing business person and you should interview her. Not me, I guess. No, but she, she really, honestly had a lot of trust in me to do this. And we built a lot of the stuff at a time where, you know, like right now, building is built, anything is crazy. I mean, it’s, it’s, you don’t, you want to, you know, buy low and sell high.
I mean, I, of course, if someone’s building right now, go for it. It’s, it’s, it’s great. But my God, it’s, it’s a tough time. And we just built at a very low time. I mean, the land was dirt cheap here. This in 2001, you know, it was just after some after nine 11 there was some depression. The marketplace.
The Tomans who owned the mall across the way that has had been up and down and still up and down. Unfortunately, right now with Covid post, post Covid, they wanted to, to get rid of stuff and, and so, it, we just be, we’re just very lucky that Texas has, has grown so, much. But the thing with real estate too, is that it, it’s not a surefire bet.
It’s not that just because. You think, well, it’s real estate, it’s real. And then you’re, you’re going to grow. Not every area grows, you know, and not everything multiplies in huge degrees. So, there is risk with that, you know? But we are just very blessed that the area we chose was like amazing. It’s the, the huge corridor of growth right here.
Catherine Maley, MBA: For sure. I did own some single-family homes in Austin, Texas. Yeah. Before, of course I sold at the wrong time, but I, I, it was there’s no money in that, quite frankly. They, there was no equity like you can build out here in California. Like, like it just, and it was difficult to manage, but I just remember thinking, wow, this place, it’s so, dirt cheap to buy real estate away from California.
Sure. But then when you sell, well now they’re the place, I mean, actually one of the houses, like the houses were They, during Covid, they jumped up to like over 400,000 in what I had bought it for. And it’s like, gosh darn, I didn’t see that coming at all. But here was the big, the big one for Texas is they get you on the property taxes.
Oh, of course. Like my property taxes like tripled one year and I thought, wait a second. I didn’t account for that. And so, it just didn’t, financially it didn’t make sense, but do you find that. Because somebody’s got to pay for all of this stuff somewhere along. How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Yes, yes. No, property taxes are terrible in Texas.
There’s no doubt. Get someone to negotiate it for you. That’s pretty obvious. I’ve got, I’ve got, someone negotiates my commercial. I’ve, and the same guy negotiates my home and everything’s negotiable. So, Nice. That’s good. That’s actually a good rule for everything. Everything’s negotiable,
Catherine Maley, MBA: Sure. By the way, what’s your commute like from your home to you. How has this impacted your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: In the morning, it’s eight to 12 minutes and home it is 12 to 30 minutes, and it’s, it, the 30 minutes has really gotten crappy now because sometimes I just deal with traffic. I never had to deal with that. I don’t know what’s going on, but I, I you know, Tony Robbins calls it no extra time or net and I learn languages when I drive home, I do audiobooks and I, fortunately, I, I mean, I, I can absolutely concentrate and learn a language, but I don’t like wasting time.
So, I, you know, I don’t even feel the commute.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I, I just think a as I get older commuting, commuting has become, I, I, I won’t do it. I just, I, I just, I think it’s not good for your peace of mind or your productivity or your just your, I just, it’s just so, nice. I mean, I, I’ve noticed also, surgeons will start moving closer. Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: There’s a book by Jonathan Hy called The Happiness Hypothesis. Oh, he said that it’s an actually, the farther you live from your, it’s directly related how f farther you live from your workplace. And the longer your commute, the less happy you are.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Isn’t that true? Although, you know, now we all listen to podcasts all the time.
I can listen to those all day long. I still don’t like be being forced to sit still. That that’s my, I’m just too a d d about that. Anyway. So, so, regarding marketing, you were, you were one of the very first people I ever met who got into video. Yes. And we were at the medical conferences, been going to those for years.
And you always had your camera up there, and I thought, good for you. And you were, you got really good at it, and you were the only one doing it. And then now the whole world has jumped in and they’re doing it. But how much did that help you to be at the still? All of that? Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: All of it does. All of it does. I, I think that, you know, I’m definitely not the leader anymore of this, of this space.
People are doing great work that I, I’m not doing that, but there’s no doubt that on a daily basis it’s the it’s the videos, the podcasts, the just patience getting to know you. I mean, just, you know, you, you know, and the great thing is lecturing and filming your own, I film my own lectures.
That’s been huge thing. People just go, oh my God, this guy is such an authority. But I come across pretty good on, on stage. And so, you know, if you’re, if you’re not a good lecturer or you’re nervous or something, then of course that is not good. But, you know, I feel very, people feel authenticity as you talked about as, as you’ve, as you have talked about that, that is an important element and there’s just a connection.
So, videos are still critical, you know.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, what’s working for you? I, your Instagram looks fantastic. Your YouTube channel looks fantastic, although on YouTube it definitely looks like you’re doing hair transplantation. Yeah. Like are, are you, is it meant to be that, like are you trying to, I can’t tell if you’re like trying to get away from facelift and Rhino or, or like putting all your eggs in the hair. Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: You know, it’s, I, here’s the thing from a lecture perspective, I, I just, what happens is in the world of lecturing, you get boxed into a certain category and you like, am I, am I doing huge advances in necklaces? No. I’m following what Mike Nig is doing with network. And so, I, I get podcasts about that.
I talk about it, but I am not, I don’t feel comfortable going on stage and say, look, I’ve innovated something. Whereas with hair, I am always on podium. You know, I have written now so, many books on hair transplant and I just am having another one come out next year. So, for me, I think a lot of it may read that way because of the academic stuff.
But the one thing that I will. Is that, you know, with long tail strategies of just putting videos up there, people are searching stuff and whatever comes up, they fi figure that’s what you’re, what you do. And so, I’m not so, worried about a composite location where they have to follow you, but when someone follows, finds something that I, for example recently I’ve been doing a lot of osteos and people find me because of all my videos in osteo.
They don’t care how to do hair. They don’t care how to do a facelift, but they find me because they’re looking for the word osteo. They’re looking for the word bone on the forehead or boney lesion on the forehead. And, and so, I think that if so, long as I keep throwing different things out there, it’s great, but sometimes, you know, there’s a lot more stuff about hair because I have a lot of, I do a lot of hair and I’m always on podium.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I know well there’s something else you do that’s really smart. I look at websites and digital presence from the consumer point of view. And if I was somewhere and I saw I wanted to talk about a facelift, and when I click on facelift, when you show up, you send me to a web page. That’s all about facelift and it has everything there.
It has to be before, after photos. It explains things. It has diagrams, it has many videos of you. It has video testimonials about facelift. You are not making me click all over the place. I don’t have to go to galleries, then I have to go to video testimonials. Then I have to go to learn more about the procedure.
It was all there on one page and I don’t, I tell everybody, you guys make this easy for the consumer. Give them what they want in one shot because they’re not going to click like they used to, you know? So, boom, whoever’s doing your website, I think they are doing it. Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: That was my idea. Go. Brilliant. So, the recent thing I just recently did is I, I had shot about it a couple years ago.
What are I call virtual consultations where I just, I basically the same thing I say every day. And now I move that up to the front of the page because that’s really the, you know, where people want to know, like, what is the procedure, what’s the recovery, what’s the, what’s the risk, what’s the limitation?
What are the goals? Anyway, so, I, I’ve now flagged that as my top one, and then everything follows from there. And I. And the other thing I’ve done with before and after is, which I’ve tried to do is people. They don’t want to go to a new page, they want to scroll. So, what I’ve done with my before and afters is I have one page scroll for like if it’s rhinoplasty or whatever it may be.
You just keep scrolling down and in that way you don’t. You, if you want to stop, you stop. And then what I’ve done with the before and afters is they’re swiping left and right. So, now you basically, what’s a tap it? The swipe didn’t work as well, but you, you go through all your videos and everything related to that one patient on, on a horizontal bar and then vertically.
There. It’s all in that one category. Of course, I’ve also, got subcategories. So, if you’re looking for ethnic hair restoration, ethnic rhinoplasty, whatever it may, that’s specific, you’ll, you’ll go into, dive deep into that category as well, besides a general one. But that whole, you know, finger left to right and depth and down has also, been helpful.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, that’s fantastic. By the way, you have 600 videos, but 6,000 before and after photos and more patient video testimonials than I’ve ever seen. How are you making that happen when everybody else says, oh, my patients are so, private, they won’t talk about this. How? How do you make that happen? Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: So, first of all, I, I’m a good salesperson, so, I’m the one in charge of it.
So, basically what happens is the way I first look, I have the patient, I have the staff put up the before and after for me, before I walk in the room, if it looks mind blowing, I’ll walk into the patient’s room and say, wow, you got to see this before and after. It’s amazing. So, they’ll see it and then I’ll ask the, just like, if you want to date a girl, if you don’t ask, you don’t go out with her.
So, or a guy, whatever it is. So, I, I asked the patient, would you. Mine to, to do this. And if they say, well, I don’t know, usually at that point I ask the simple question, is it privacy? Or what is, or what’s the reason? If they say it’s privacy, I, I don’t, I don’t push a testimonial, whatever it may. So, let’s say they say yes.
So, then from that, yes, I go to, I go to, well then you do a video, will you do a review? Will you do all these things so, I can capture all of it and then use it in all different platforms? If it is a no, it’s a privacy issue, then I ask. When you do review, can I use part of the image? How about what if I, if it’s autoplasty, can I black out your face and just use the ears?
Can I do you know, if it’s a hair, can I just do the hairline? Can I just do the eyebrows? Can I just do the eyes? Can I do the nose with the eyes blacked out? I try to negotiate what privacy allows and., if it goes toward the, yes, I can use it before and after is of course, the natural question I just mentioned is can I shoot a video?
And they’ll usually tell me, they may tell me, no, I’m not ready. I don’t accept that. I, I will, what I do is I just take, now I just use my phone and I take a little plugin thing with a wired mic to the us to the, the lightning cable. Clip it on them and put it on cinematic modes. So, the backgrounds.
Hold it up this way and just. So, I’m ready to roll because, and I, and I tell them this, I say this is the way I coach them. I’ll say, pretend I’m your best friend, Susan, or whatever your best friend’s name is, and I’m scared to do this procedure. I’m interested. I don’t know about it. Talk about why you wanted this done.
What is, you know, how, what was the experience with the staff? What was the experience with the surgery? How was the discomfort recovery? What did you feel about it? What do you think about your results? How’s it changed your life now? And I said, you can say all that, or you don’t have say any of it, just.
Don’t worry about it. And if you forget something I will crop it, cut it, and do, and they never forget. And if they do, then at the end, let’s say, they’ll say something and then I, I stop the filming and then they say, oh man, you know what? I forgot. I is, I, I wanted to say how lovely your patient coordinator was.
She just really made me feel, I said, okay, hold on sec. I’ll take the, the phone. I’ll say, okay, start with this. Say, you know, I forgot to mention something, and then say what you want to say, and then I’ll just splice it on iMovie and I’ll stick in a before and after onto my thing and just upload it myself.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Now the big Pearl there is you ask, you ask, you don’t delegate or advocate you, you ask. The patient’s much more likely to say yes to you than somebody else in your practice, and you’re making it very easy for them to do that. I will tell you though, people who are not used to video, they, they get scared when something is put in front of their face.
So, I would try to come up with, I don’t know, maybe like a big whiteboard with five things like. This is what the pain is, what I was in, like, the pain I was in. This is why I chose Dr. Lam. This is why you’re going to want to choose him. This is what my journey was like with the staff and the, and the surgery.
This is how great I feel now, and I wish I had done it sooner. If you could somehow, like give them a few pointers. In other practices, what they’ve done is they a, they’re interviewing them. So, they’ll, you know how when you do an interview, the. Reporter says, so, I’m going to ask you, oh, so, how did you hear about Dr.
Lam? And then I say, oh, I heard about Dr. Lam through da da da. So, a lot of them just need some coaching that they’re just scared, you know? So, you know, if you can help them with that, but whatever you’re doing is working because I’ve never seen so, many video testimonials. Very good. Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: You know what’s interesting is that they, they tell me they’re scared and they need a script or something, and they never need one.
They just go for it. Yeah. And it’s really interesting that, and the other thing I’m worried about with any pointer pointed stuff is if their eyes dart off. Yeah., like they’re reading a script. Right. Cause I really want them to be focused on that. And I tell them, look, the thing that makes it easy is I’ll hear that.
I’ll hear the complaint that, Hey, I’m nervous I don’t do this. And I’ll say, Pretend you’re talking to your friend. I love that. And I will edit it. Don’t worry about it. Just keep talking. Just tell me and I’ll say, you know what, and this is the other thing I’ll say, I’ll say, it can be 10 seconds. It can be 10 minutes.
Talk about whatever you want to talk about. I’ve given you some ideas. If you don’t want to talk about the recovery, don’t talk about it. Talk about. You know, what did you pretend you’re having a conversation with your friend. You don’t need a cue card for that. Just say, you know, why did you want this done?
And how has it changed your life? And those are the words I say, how does it change your life? And then that usually gets them clicked in and they’re so, emotional about it, they’ll just go off. And what that fear level is, it goes away. Yeah. You know?
Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah. What’s the timing on that? Because I have watched practices wait too long.
Yeah. There’s a, there’s a, a sweet spot when a cosmetic patient has been transformed and they’re totally emotionally attached to it. And then there’s the point where they, they, they’re used to it now, and so, the emotion is gone or the passion like it was there. Is there a certain time. Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: The timeframe is always, and I, and so, let me explain, is like, you know, sometimes a patient doesn’t follow up with you, so, what you thought was going to be a good time is not.
And people want to see a patient a day out, they want to see a week out, they want to hear from them all over the time. So, when I, if, if I like the before and after, that’s usually one. If, if I, if. That’s usually one of the catalysts that I have. The other catalyst is just thinking about it, thinking, you know what?
This is a really personal person, let’s just do it. Or if the person’s from out of town it’s like, let’s just shoot it right now. And, and sometimes what I’ll do is like, I had a guy this week, I, I just put on a hair transplant one, I remembered him doing a video, so, I already got the consent. I already knew he; he was comfortable.
They already told me how great the experience was. So, I went and he was six months out. He had a lot of hair growth at that point already. So, what I, when did I shoot the first one? A day after the procedure. And so, when did I shoot this one, six months out? I could shoot another one at, at one year. So, that same patient is giving me at least 2, 3, 4 testimonials.
So, it’s endless, you know? And then that is a great long tail because it gets spa smattered all over the, the.
Catherine Maley, MBA: For sure. The and the reviews, do you handle that the same way or do you do that differently? Are you, are you asking for everything all at the same time? Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Like, I, I. I usually do, my staff usually handles a review.
I, I don’t, I’m not necessarily a hundred percent happy with the way that I’m been taking the reviews, to be honest with you. So, I can’t a hundred percent advocate it. But we use a little doctor.com thing where they type in a little review and I don’t know if I don’t even, I haven’t checked my case, I probably should…
Catherine Maley, MBA: But if you have like two 50 or something, you have a good rating. Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Yeah. Good. I don’t even know, to be honest. That’s terrible to say that because I should know everything, but I. Check it because sometimes make a bad one or whatever in there. Right. You know, and I just, I don’t, you know, I, people ask, you know, how do you, I have one guy ask me, he said, how do you., you know, handle like a bad review.
I said, look, I, I don’t read it. I just live my life and do good work. And then there’s going to be a bad review. And those give more authenticity to the whole thing. But you know, it’s going to happen, you know?
Catherine Maley, MBA: I want to ask about marketing for different target markets because that’s getting more and more difficult to be the best at a rhino, the best in a facelift, the best at hair transplantation.
How do. How do you figure out the branding of all of that? Because you can, when you specialize, you can charge more. People will come in from all over the world because you’re the best at that one thing and you’ve done that really a good job with that, with hair transplants. But is that what you wanted?
Or how do you market to the young rhino patient, but then turn around and market to the man who needs hair? Then how do you turn around and the more mature woman who needs a facelift, those are such different target markets. How are you handling. Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: For me, it’s always been the video because as I said, people, it’s Google just sticks them up there and then when you see a 36-year-old deep necklace.
People relate to it and whether it’s on Instagram or somewhere else, but people just, they, they, they relate to the story. They relate to the before and after they relate to the person, and then they just find more like that their brain naturally proclivity, you know, has a proclivity to find people like themselves.
So, that’s one thing. And you know, I divide my website into those, those ethnic divisions. Know African rhinoplasty and, you know, all those key terms and African hair or I don’t even remember now. Yeah, it’s like traction, alopecia, black hair loss. So, I have all those, those ethnic and gender divisions on my website, but then I lump them.
So, I’ve got all male, all female. And I try to split all that up and then I’ve. Ron, I have a rhinoplasty website. I’ve got a hair website; I’ve got a face website. And you know, soon I probably will develop a, a, a facelift website. But those micro sites that I know now is not as in, in vogue, but people want to see your specializing something, so, that helps as well.
And then they’re universal truths, things that just make it different. Like with, with hair. I have a, a joint commissioner credit facility, so, I knock them out, so, there’s no. And, you know, I talk about their experience being better off, of how, and just I think the key is if you don’t, if you’re not good at speaking, public speaking, no one is to start, right?
You’re nervous the first time you’re on stage. I’m, I was nervous the first time on, on stage. Just keep doing it. And the more comfortable you get in front of the camera just talking and not worrying about what you’re saying. And you may flub and you go, oh my God, I forgot to say that. I’m going to say this.
People feel that authenticity and they connect with you and they want. You become this kind of pseudo celebrity and then they walk in, they feel comfortable with you, and that’s the real connection. You can have as many before and afters and, and no videos. You can have as much text and then without the video connection.
People need to connect with you before they come and see you. Of course, you have to have before and afters. You have to have great before and afters, not average ones, but you need to connect and there’s no other way to do it than with you. The voice is going.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I believe with everything going on with SEO and Google and apple and privacy and all of that.
Video is. The way in today’s world to market. So, anybody who is afraid of video, I always say just do it at home. Just get the phone in front of you and the iPad in front of you. Get used to it, like find your voice. When I was much younger, I knew I was going to be a public speaker. I couldn’t even say my name without forgetting it.
And I went to Toastmasters for one whole year, every Tuesday. I went to Toastmasters in a loving group who like never criticized. We were all always very positive with each other. And that’s where I found my voice and thank God, because I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not gotten over that public speaking fear.
Totally. And so, it’s, it’s totally surmountable. You just have to do it, you know? I agree. I want to talk about the, the mindset part. When I first met you, and I don’t know if you’ll remember this, but it was probably 15 years ago and it was a Greg Morgan Ross meeting and it was in at Stanford and in California.
And you were a very different person then. And you were, I, there is no nice way to say this. You, the, the impression I got was so, you were so, arrogant. I think you literally said to. You don’t know who I am, you know, like one of those things. And, but you are a great dancer. And, and then I hadn’t seen you for a couple years.
Next thing I see, I’ve never seen a surgeon transform as much as you had. You had lost a ton of weight. Yeah. You, you had a whole new aura about you. You were smiling and engaging and I almost didn’t recognize you. And then you gave a talk and it was about, The old you and the new you, and it had to do with you had some bad reviews, you know?
Yeah. Do you want to just tell that story because that was amazing. You just became this amazing, beautiful person. Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: I mean, there’s so, many components to evolution, right? Because I, I, I’ve evolved over 20 years of practice and, and also, my life. And you know, when you’re, for me being Asian, I, I was picked on a lot as a kid.
I got a lot of fights as a, as a teenager. Not proud of that. But you know, in the eighties was a different time. I think today there’s racism is much more subtle. It’s, it’s very un under undercurrent rather than, than, than. Than basically in front of you. So, I think I had, I dealt with a lot of inferiority complex about being an Asian male, my sexuality, my, you know whatever it may be.
And that confidence sometimes comes out as that in that lack of confidence comes out as arrogance when it’s not meant to be. And also, he is, you know, a young person trying to prove himself that doesn’t know his, his salt pushes, pushes the, pushes things very hard. But yeah, bad reviews. Humble you.
I had a guy that I. Did a hair transplant on and at six months he had poor growth. Back then it was even before regenerative medicine that was available to try to build faster growth. And he just said he was going to sue me for a quarter million dollars and he was going to put a sign, sign outside and post against everything.
and I made a lot of bad judgment errors at that time. I first ha let my staff handle this situation, which is a mistake I should have handled myself, and I know ways to, to circumvent that better now, not a hundred percent obviously, but that was one of the issues. So, it just, it, it humbles you when you get slapped in the face and you start to realize, hey, you’re not all that, and.
You know what people’s opinion of you are going to fluctuate. They’re, they’re going to think you’re great or not great. And, you know, it’s, it’s not it’s not about you. And, and, and, and many, many issues with that in terms of weight loss. The, the honest truth is just, I, I lived in New York and I walked all the time and ate like a New Yorker.
And now you get moved to Texas and I ate like a Texan and I, and it was bad. I ate a lot and I, and it was, you know, I just got fatter and fat. But it, that was, I think all of it is just this evolution of finding yourself men mature later than women. I think, you know, there’s a, a component where I didn’t get married.
I mean, I didn’t get married until my mid to late forties. And you know, still trying to find myself, I don’t think I was the right. Spiritual, psychological emotional, physical level to get married. Whereas I think women are, are much more mature than men faster. I have kids now. I, I have four and a two-year-old in my early fifties.
And I, I’m, you know, it’s great. I, I was watching the Sebastian Maniscalco thing. He says, he calls it lay and play where he lies down and, and basically as the kids run over, that’s basically me because I’m old and tired. But I think a large part of this is humbling yourself, you know, and realizing that that life is fun.
You know? It is, it’s incredible and it’s, and, and the other thing that’s really important you know, I’m, I’m a spiritual person. I believe God has given us a lot of this stuff. You know, when, when we’re arrogant, we think we have so, much talent it, it’s not the truth. I mean, to be honest, like I told you, look who built this.
I could easily say like, I built it, I did it, I did this. I didn’t, so, why should I say that? Because I didn’t. And the, the truth of the matter is we are given so, many opportunities, like with hair. Great example. Amina Vance, who came into my life, and he, she was ed Williams she sorry, Ed’s coordinator was Susan Sullivan.
No Ed’s hair transplant coordinator at the time that he was doing a lot of hair said, you got to meet this one, I mean, advanced when you go back to Dallas. And I said, okay, whatever. I met with her and, and, but it, it turned out to be this amazing relationship over 20 years. Now she’s like semi-retired, but she’s working on this new book with me for next year because we are an amazing team and, and you start to realize stuff that you suck.
and if you are transparent with that suckiness to the people around you, they know it already. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s obvious. And if you try to pretend that they don’t know, then it’s even worse Just. Know what you suck at. And for, for, for her and me, we’re very different. And my wife and I are very different in, in really good complimented ways.
I’m a really good visionary. I’m really good at artistic design and understanding big pictures. I know where I. Need to get better. I, I can write really fast. I, I, I, I wrote my last book in literally two months. I shot a hundred videos for this book and, and, and over four months all with no, no time at home, away from my family.
It’s all done very, very efficiently in microseconds of time between patients. But I’m really bad at looking at quality control, little details like what Amina’s done, even with this textbook, for example, is come back and, and just shredded it. I mean, the last book chapter on recipient migration, I thought, I was like, this is amazing.
She like shredded it, redlined it, put a new image, diagrams like, wow. So, the point of this is that we’re given all these amazing relationships that in our life that make us look really good. Like, Hey, I’m the hair guru, right? I just. Lifetime Achievement Award. They’ve only given 20 some awards out for this golden fall.
I got it. But you know what, it’s because I’ve got an amazing team around me that has made me look amazing. It’s, it’s not just because I’m all that in a bag of chips. So, I mean, those, that’s, that’s a long and short of it, you know.
Catherine Maley, MBA: But didn’t you also, take up like yoga and meditation and it like what I did a lot. Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: You know, for me it was very if, yeah, my spiritual journal journey is another story, which is really interesting. So, I can dive into that for a little while. You know, seeking for what’s. Real at the end of the day. Right. So, for me, yoga meditation was a huge part of my life in my mid to late thirties, early forties.
And then if you want to hear something weird, I I’m, I, I really had no faith in God at nothing. I, in my early forties, I was trying to run this marathon, this half marathon, I was sick and me. Tenant said, you know, you got to meet this guy. Like, well, whatever, I’m sick. I don’t want to meet this guy.
So, I, I, and he says, no, he, he doesn’t, I doesn’t mind come his come, you know, come meet. They’re fine. So, I was lying down in this treatment room. I, my, my, I was down, face down and his partner, his like business partner was doing acupuncture on me. And then it turns me over around and he’s, he’s, he’s this sort of like Catholic monk type of guy.
I don’t know what he is, but he, he’s putting the needles in me. and I immediately started crying for 90 minutes. I said, God, have mercy on my soul. Wow. And I was, I, I was a Christian growing up, but I lost my faith in college. I was a history major. I saw man’s inhumanity, man. So, I was seeking something spiritually to fill that void.
And for me it was yoga meditation for many years. And then I became a Christian again, I guess, or however you want to say, it returned my faith, not by any volitional effort. It was, I believe God came into my life because I was. I was I just believed it was like lightning struck and that occurred in my mid-forties.
And so, it’s that journey of, of that spiritualism helps me, anchor me, and I think it’s something I’ve always wanted. And I saw it through different avenues and things and then, and God, that, my God that came to me transformed me, not by me. So, that’s, that’s the spiritual side of things.
Catherine Maley, MBA: That’s amazing. God and I are really tight. I don’t know how you get through life without having that foundation. There are just too many things that I don’t believe in coincidences anymore., sure. But a lot of that takes maturity because you’ve tried every external thing on the planet to make yourself feel important and significant.
And eventually you, I think you just finally get there and say, you know what? It is what it is. I, I hope you like me, but if you don’t, I’ll, I’m okay with that because it’s just too hard to keep singing and dancing for everybody else, you know? I agree. So, congratulations. I have, I have watched you through the years going, what happened?
I, I want whatever he got, because you can tell you’re so, comfortable with yourself now, and that’s all it was. It was just insecurity. That’s what we’re all doing, you know, fighting our insecurities. And I thought, oh my gosh, he has just, I’ve never seen anything like that before, so, I really appreciate. So, I always ask at the end like, tell us something we don’t know about you.
You really were a great dancer. H where’d you learn that? And then this art, you’re not kidding that your art is serious art. So, tell us about that. Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: It’s my passion. I was, it, it, I was, I was doing a lot of abstract work. Now I’m recently doing one because my wife has asked me to do it, but I’ve always been.
Fascinated with, with art and design and museums and everything. And initially when I did my first textbooks, they just, the, the publisher said, look, hey, I, too, to get the book deal signed. I said, I’ll do my own drawings. And I didn’t know what I was doing and I finally did it all digitally and they came out okay.
But in the last few years, I started to really move from abstraction and started to trust my hand. And I’ve dived deeper and deeper into rep representational work. And every morning I get up, I work out and I paint before I go to work. And it’s this part of this if you will call the meditation side.
It’s a meditative part of my life and it is amazing. And I encourage all of you guys to, to paint. Now, I don’t know. I love it. And I, I, I learned it through YouTube during the pandemic. The pandemic was great because I spent that time watching some YouTube videos and learning and go to Patreon. If you haven’t done Patreon, It’s not well organized, but it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s YouTube and Patreon are ways to learn everything.
My God, I learned all my artistic techniques through that.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Are you selling your artwork? Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: No, but I recently donate. I was the chairman last year for this Dallas County children’s advocacy center, which is to help with child abuse cases horrible child abuse cases in Dallas County.
And I was the honorary chair with my wife. And, you know, it’s, it’s an art for advocacy where they. You donate you, you people, artists donate pieces and I said, I’ll donate my piece. And I’ve never, and it was great because I never met all these community of artists, but bam, I made, I made friends with those artists and my piece sold like in five minutes for max bid, which is you can buy it for twice the whatever.
They, they forced me to cap it. 10,000, I sold it 20,000. So, so, I, I sold that, if you will count that. But it, it, it, it all goes to charity. So.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Holy cow. Somebody buy for $20,000? Is this reflected in your understanding of alliances vs landlord?
Sam Lam, MD: Yeah. And so, next year, this, this year, excuse me, this is 2023. Now I’m going to do a 10-foot piece that my goal is to do this on the live auction.
So, out of 80 pieces, they allow five for the live auction. They turned me down last year. My arrogance said that I should be on the live auction, but this year I’m going to really, I said, I told them, look guys, I’ve sold this thing in five minutes, and even all the other artists said, Bottom told me this was like the best piece they’ve seen.
So, my goal is I, I already have the vision of how I’m going to do this 10-foot piece. It’s going to be, I’m hoping they will say yes. It, it’s based on the, the, the curatorial committee to say yes or no to it. It’s 10 feet tall. 10 feet wide and five feet heights, two canvases, five by five. It will be what I’m planning to do is these children that have gone through the suffering, they it’s an idea from what this woman did last year.
I’m going to have them work on and paint the backgrounds and the, the acrylics so, you’ll know that what you’re hanging in your room has been touched by the children that you have touched by buying this. Because the money goes, all, all goes to them. And so, then I’m going to do a, a web and network with birds and flowers, which I’ve painted a lot.
and those can be realistic. On the abstract background, it’s going to be called hope, or Hope Eternal because that’s the symbolism of the flight and the symbol of the, of the flowers blossoming because you know what? A child has been sexually abused and physically abused and it’s just horrific that this is, that you are going to hang that in your home.
That will show, show this, you know, flight and blossoming. So, that’s sort of mine.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Wow. Well, you know what? If plastic surgery doesn’t work out for you, you can always fall back on this.
Sam Lam, MD: I don’t know. I’m be a starving artist. I hate to tell you that.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, we’ll, we’ll wrap it up now, but is there any closing comments about alliances vs landlord or how can people reach you?
Any advice for others coming up?
Sam Lam, MD: You know what be passionate about. Don’t. If there’s something you don’t like, don’t do it. You know if, and that’s if you love it. Don’t, don’t let someone else tell you not to do it. Carve your own way. Like I was a history major in college and people thought, why’d you a history major?
Well, trans, trans, you know, Steve Jobs talks about if you hadn’t seen the Steve Jobs when he talks about connecting to odds backwards yeah, it’s a great, I always tell to people to watch that because I didn’t know that could actually allow me to write books so, fast. And it, it just follows your heart and your passion.
Just do what you like. Don’t worry about someone else telling you that you suck or you’re stupid and you shouldn’t do that because. You know, if you love it, you’re going to be, you’re going to get better at it. And, and that’s, that’s, those are my parting words, you.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, that’s fabulous. Thank you so, much Dr. Sam Lam.
I hope to see you at a meeting soon. Yeah, and that’ll wrap it up for us. For Beauty and the Biz, if you’d be so, kind to subscribe to Beauty and the Biz so, you don’t miss future episodes, that’d be terrific. Please share this with your colleagues and staff. If you’ve got any questions or feedback for me, you can always leave them at my website at www.CatherineMaley.com.
Dr. Lam’s website is at www.LamFacialPlastics.com.
Sam Lam, MD: Plastics with an s.com. Yeah. plastics.com it would be Dr. Lam, [email protected].
Catherine Maley, MBA: Gotcha. Alright. Righty. And then if you want to DM me, you can reach me at Catherine Maley, MBA at Instagram. What’s your
Sam Lam, MD: Instagram handle? I’ve got many, but if you want to follow my art Yeah.
Which has nothing to do with business. It’s @SamLamMD. I, I post every day a new piece of art. If you want to follow my facial, it’s @LFPDallas as in Lam facial plastics, @LFPDallas. And my hair is @HairTX and then my skincare is @OvaSkinCare. @OvaSkinCare.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Dear Lord, do you ever sleep?
Sam Lam, MD: Six hours.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Everybody that’s going to wrap it up for us today, a Beauty and the Biz and this episode on alliances vs landlord.
If you’ve got any questions or feedback for Dr. Lam, you can reach out to his website at, Visit Dr. Lam’s Website.
A big thanks to Dr. Lam for sharing his experience on alliances vs landlord.
And if you have any questions or feedback for me, you can go ahead and leave them at my website at www.CatherineMaley.com, 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.
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-End transcript for “Alliances vs Landlord — with Sam Lam, MD”.
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