Welcome to “Beauty and the Biz”, where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery with Frank L Stile, MD, FACS.
I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of “Your aesthetic practice – What your patients are saying”, and consultant to plastic surgeons to get them more patients and profits.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS
Today’s guest is Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS.
He’s a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon running an uber successful private practice in Las Vegas, Nevada.
When your father is a tailor and your mother is a seamstress in Queens, you either follow in their footsteps, or go down a completely different path.
Dr. Frank Stile chose the latter. He took his parents’ lessons and carved out his own path to build his plastic surgery private practice and legacy on his terms.
It was so interesting and inspiring to hear how his growth mindset feeds his many interests as a surgeon, marketer, businessman, painter, author, philanthropist and finally, family man in his 50’s.
Watch my interview with Dr. Stile as he talks about:
✅ How he differentiates himself in crowded and flashy “Sin City”
✅ His biggest challenges scaling his thriving practice
✅ How fatherhood later in life has changed him
✅ Words of wisdom and what it takes to take your practice to the next level and so much more
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Transcript for interview with Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS:
Catherine Maley, MBA: Hello, everyone. And welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery. 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, I’m very excited about our guest today.
It’s Dr. Frank Stile and he’s a board-certified plastic surgeon originally from New York and somehow found his way to Las Vegas, which we’ll learn more about. And he’s in private practice in Vegas since year 2004. Now he’s designed and built out his own. Super accredited plastic surgery center.
Okay. and, by the way, that center is licensed by the state of Nevada Department of Health, as well as the joint commission. And that makes it the only private plastic surgery practice in Nevada to have both of those certifications. So that’s a great differentiator to help him distinguish himself from his competitors.
So, take note of that. Now, Dr. Stile has also developed his own line of medical cosmetic products that improve the appearance of ethnic and photo damaged skin. And again, there’s, that’s another differentiator. So please take note. Now he’s had plenty of press and he’s been featured in the New York times, Maxim and Huffington Post.
Now Dr. Stile is an avid painter and sculptor, and his work is displayed throughout his practice. Again, that’s another great differentiator. He’s also a new father to a really cute baby that he shows off Instagram, and it’s very interesting and his patients love it. And he’s also very proud and he should be of the Frank Stile Foundation established back in 2011.
To better. The health, nutrition, safety, and wellbeing of children, where he donates 1 million meals each year. Dr. Stile, welcome to Beauty and the Biz.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Hey Catherine. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here. I’ve always wondered how you get invited to be on your podcast. And here I am. So, it’s, it’s kind of cool.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Yep. You just got to know people,
Doctor Stile. I know you are like straight from New York because you’re very New York. I I’m just dying to hear. How did you get from New York to private practice in Vegas?
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Well, we’ll it’s really interesting because you know, when, when I first started practice here at 2004, a question that I was asked frequently by my patients and other physicians or friends or the, the, the wording of it was odd.
It was like, how did you end up. Yes, Las Vegas, like it was some kind of a prison sentence or a punishment or a witness protection program, but you know, it in looking back it was the result of a number of fortuitous events. And now it seems almost genius because as the population has grown more and more.
Young plastic surgeons want to be here. And so I was, this is one of the few times in my life that I was actually ahead of the curve, sort of on the ground level, in something that I think is going to be potentially very big. But I started out my general surgery training in Brooklyn at one of the Sunni affiliates, SUNY Brooklyn affiliates called Mimonities.
I did five. Plastic surgery training there. During that time, I did two years of research in the NYU plastic surgery department. And one of my mentors was Barry Zeid and Michael Longacre who were, I didn’t realize, you know, how huge they were at the time. I just sort of took it for granted, you know, but they were well-published well-known.
From there. I went to a SUNY Buffalo and did an orthopedic hand and wrist fellowship then to San Francisco with ha that was with clay Palmer. Who’s one of the big names in orthopedic cancer who wrote the two-volume book that I spent a year with. Actually, I did a junior fellowship with Harry buggy and Greg bunkie at the buggy clinic doing microsurgery.
Then finally a Mississippi with bill line Weaver and Mike angel, where I did a three three-year plastic surgery bloat program. So. Back to how I established a practice in Las Vegas. During that time, I, I spent my holidays sort of visiting other well-known plastic surgeons. And one of the guys I visited who had a show at the time, it was one of the first reality shows in plastic surgery was Garth Fisher.
And Beverly Hills and Garth was an incredibly kind and welcoming guy and he sort of opened my eyes to a private practice in general. And while I was you know, he invited me to. Into the operating room to observe which most residents and students get to do either. Except like I said, it was an exceptionally generous guy and his anesthesiologist, a gentlemen called no back said, Hey, so where do you want to go when you’re done?
And I said, oh, it’s going to either be New York or California. You know, something like, yeah, I would love Beverly Hills. And he said, well, you should really consider Las Vegas. And it was really odd because that was 2002. And I said, why? And he said, well, the population is young and growing. There are many plastic surgeons in Las Vegas and he said you know, that there are 29 plastic surgeons currently in Las Vegas.
And I said, wow. I didn’t realize what that number meant. And he said, well, how many plastic surgeons do you think there are in this building on Wilshire? I believe Garth’s office was there at the time. And he says there’s 32 in this building, you know? And it was really an eye-opening moment for me.
So just on that bit of advice and that suggestion still, you know, having thoughts about going to California, visited Las Vegas and For some reason, it seemed like the right thing to do. And I never looked back.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Had you been in Vegas before?
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Since 2004? I had never visited Las Vegas, ever
Catherine Maley, MBA: never went to a bachelor party in Vegas?
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Ever.
Never. It was always a place, you know, I still see Las Vegas on TV or. On shows and movies. And I was like, wow, where is that? And I forget that I actually live here because it’s really not about that for people who are residents who live and work here, you know, for me, I live in a nice, a nice community. I drive to work.
I drive home. It’s kind of like living in a town that has the circus in it year-round. You can visit it if you want, but otherwise, you know, for me, it’s like any other nice suburb. I mean, where I live actually. So. It has all the benefits of 24-hour nightlife, the best restaurants, the best shopping, best entertainment.
I mean, what more could you ask for, I’m sort of bummed that we’re not a hub in terms of air travel, but other than that, I mean, it’s an unbelievably great place to live.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Do you ever go down to the strip or like I live in San Francisco and I find it painful to go do touristy things, you know, like I wouldn’t, I just normally wouldn’t unless someone’s in town.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Exactly. That’s exactly. When I go, when I have a visitor wants to see it or to go to a new restaurant or to a new show, which is always amazing. But other than that, not really.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So how much did COVID affect you? Because they use is so travel centric. Was it like a ghost town there and it, did it hurt your practice or are you catering to the locals?
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: This is what’s really interesting. You know, we planned for the worst after 2008 when we had the economic downturn, because their real estate marketing, it was like turning off a faucet. I used to call my own office phone from my cell phone to make sure it was actually working because it was dead, not crushed.
We expected and planned for the worst with COVID as well. And strangely enough, we had a 30% increase. In cases.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I don’t think anyone saw that coming. I know I didn’t I’m stop.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: How could you explain it?
Catherine Maley, MBA: All right. I’ll adjust that people weren’t traveling or eating out. So, they gave
all their money.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: But, you know, for a time we basically scaled down because we didn’t want to do cases that might end up in a hospital, you know, with a complication. So, at one point we shut down altogether. And once we started picking up in January 10 months ago, I actually got COVID and we went a whole year being very careful, never had a problem.
And I ended up in the hospital, respiratory failure in the ICU. Yeah. 10 days on home oxygen for two months afterwards, seeing patients with an oxygen tank and a nasal cannular believe. No, my only preexisting condition was stubbornness. I was sick. I didn’t think it was COVID and I sort of worked not feeling well.
For about 10, 11 days. And then I woke up one morning and just couldn’t breathe, you know? And I went to the ER and it was as bad as it can possibly get, but you know I got through it. My staff got through it, we pulled together and We came out. The other side of it stronger, you know, I have a great crew and everyone rolled up their sleeves and pitched in.
We did a lot of rescheduling. Surprisingly, we didn’t have cancellations. They were very, very understanding. And I have great patience. I think I, after being here 18 years, We’ve it’s a combination of two things is attracting better patients and picking better patients now. And they worked with me. They were empathetic and sympathetic towards what was going on.
They still wanted their surgery. They were bummed, but they were delayed for a couple of weeks and we ended up working a little bit harder and we caught up and now it’s the rest is history. So.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I had no idea. You’re one of only two surgeons. I know that really got hit hard
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: by, well, we didn’t advertise it, you know?
And it was not exactly something that I’d post on Facebook hopes and prayers, you know, so we got through it and luckily my patients and my staff were unaffected, you know,
Catherine Maley, MBA: but let me go back to private practice. A lot of the surgeons are still in practices with partners or in hospitals, and they’re struggling to make that jump that leap from.
You know, the comfort or the security or the certainty of a group versus jumping into solo practice, any suggestions or,
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: well, well, here’s, what’s interesting, you know I started out so low, you know, I, I had a lot of the ideas that were sort of the mantra that was given to me by my attendings and T doctor teachers throughout my training, you know, The protocol or the accepted protocol was, you know, you graduate, you, you take call in an ER you get cases for your boards then maybe, you know, you’ll get to do a breast off on some kids.
Mom who’s laceration you. So, you join someone else and do all of their crap until they they’d be allowing you. Yeah. To make a living on your own. And I said, that’s absolutely not going to happen from day one. I never, you know, and I’m not saying I’m not knocking anybody who does. But I never did an insurance case, you know, and it was all on basically.
Just sheer will and, and work, you know, marketing. And I have to tell you, I wasn’t a very, I didn’t receive a warm welcome coming to Las Vegas with that attitude. Okay. And I mean, just because they bought into that, Didn’t mean that I had to. And I proved that you could do it. You could do it without going this traditional or accepted route.
You know, I didn’t want, I didn’t need anybody else’s permission to be successful, you know, so I took the chance. It’s scary. It’s scary. You know, now I, the strange thing is I find myself on the other side of is 18 years later where I would like to have a junior. So. So I could have some more time for myself and, you know, maybe someday make them a partner and eventually, you know, ride off into the sunset.
But you know what a partnership I’m learning is like a marriage and can be equally as painful or expensive if you make the wrong choice, you know? So that’s what I’m referring. I’m afraid of making that wrong choice. I didn’t, I waited till I was 52 to get married. You know, I’m certainly not going to jump into a partnership with a stranger.
You know, it’s risky. So, I understand that fear. I also understand the fear of someone who’s in a group that wants to go on. Cause then you’re the man, you know, or the woman you got, you, you pay all the bills, you take all the risk, but you also, you know the money’s yours. You reap the rewards solely, but you know, it’s a mindset.
That’s my, it’s a mindset. It’s like, what, what is your personality? Are you an alpha male or female? You know, do you want to be the boss, but being the boss, you know, BB king used to say, you got to pay the price to be the.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I will just give you my 2 cents after watching these partnerships implode. I think it’s so important to know thyself.
If you’re an alpha male, just know that and own it. Like if I were to consult with you, your best bet would be a female who might even have children. And. Yeah. If she wants to go home after dinner and she doesn’t mind you running the show at all, like not going to, that would be a good scenario for you.
Are you thinking about scaling? Like how, or do you want to scale or
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: when you say scaling, meaning expanding my practice with the same. Sure. I would love it. You know, we, we, we have a 10,000 square foot off. I used to say, it’s not big enough for me and my ego, you know, but it’s big enough for at least one or two other doctors.
We have two operating rooms that are basically fully accredited. We have, we have state-of-the-art. I stayed at the art facility. We’ve got great support personnel. I mean, this is, this is a dream for somebody who’d like to walk out of a residency and come someplace where it’s all set to go. You know what I try to explain to some of these younger graduates.
They do realize that if someone is paying you. $300,000. Let’s just use that number and they’re paying your malpractice and they’re paying for your staff and they’re paying for your overhead. Basically. That’s the equivalent of one to 1.2 million in gross revenue. Yep. You’re left with that three.
You don’t have to think about anything, but they see that other number and it’s very seductive, but it’s a lie, you know, we have 70% over. Yeah. You know, in a lot of what we do, you know, so, you know, you, you do the math, you know, you do the math, it doesn’t leave you with a whole lot. So, I think the younger and the new grads need me to as they used to say back in Queens, wake up and smell the coffee, right.
Because it’s an illusion, it’s an illusion. I, if I have. My deal. Someone was willing to give me the deal that I’m willing to give somebody I would’ve jumped on it, you know? But everybody’s different. You have to follow your heart, follow your own dreams, fail, learn from failing. And you know, you have to figure out what’s right for you.
You can’t make somebody see your vision. Or share your vision
Catherine Maley, MBA: and the skills you need in today’s world to compete you, you already have to be a great surgeon, but now you’ve got to be a great business person, a great marketer, a great leader or manager. I mean, there’s so many more skills you need now than you that you didn’t need before.
And I’ve noticed some of the best practices such as yours. You are the best marketer. Like you, you make the market. I guess that part makes it easy for your staff to work for you, represent you because you’ve done such a great job with your own marketing.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: If we could only get them to answer the phones correctly, Catherine, if we could only get them to do that, you’re, you’re
Catherine Maley, MBA: missing a million bucks right there.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Let me tell you something. We took a piece of advice. We hired a, a phone person and she’s. We’re going to put you in touch with her. And she’s, she’s very, very smart, very personable and very trainable. So that’s, that’s our next focus. So just the hot, put that on the list, Catherine, and
Catherine Maley, MBA: make sure she doesn’t go on vacation or get sick because there’s only one of her.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, it’s one more than what we had.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, talking about staff, I know you also have a large nonsurgical revenue profit center. Very busy surgical profit center. How are you balancing those two? And do you have the philosophy of patient for life? Is that, or is it just a hassle to do
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: No. No, it’s not a hassle to do both. I mean, you must, you must. You know, we have the, we have the plastic surgery practice. We have the accredited surgery center, which is now also a facilitator facilitating a DaVinci robot surgery. Okay. Where we’re doing outpatient, gallbladders, hernias, and now even colons in our center that is supporting our bottom line very nicely.
We just expanded. And created a, an independent skincare services center, which I, that was something I did sort of, not as a profit. It didn’t have any profit incentive, it more of a service incentive for my patients. I didn’t want them going anywhere else or things like injectables, laser services, et cetera.
We never made money on that in the past. And now we are. You know what consistency consistently in the black, that’s because I’ve made it its own business and hire the appropriate manager for it. But you, you have to, you have to, you have to have these services. You have to, you can’t do it. My philosophy is multiple revenue streams.
Coming together. Okay. And if you have these services here, it makes it easier to have a patient for life or a raving fan, so to speak. And that’s what we’re looking to create as a raving fan. And that’s, that’s, what’s at the end of that funnel, you know, that, that so many people talk about in business, you know, we do regular business or marketing needs.
As part of our weekly schedule here where my whole staff attends, you know, we learn about it’s all about customer service. It’s all about listening. It’s all about having the patients feel that they’re being heard. It’s all about respect and empathy. You know, not taking patients for granted. You know, my saying is numbers don’t lie.
You can talk all you want. But numbers don’t lie. If your revenue is going up and you’re having repeat business that tells you that you are providing a service that patients appreciate, and they want an experience that they appreciate it. They want to appreciate it. They want to have it over and over.
They send you family members and friends. They recommend you, you know it was Bruce canal once said, you know, when you do a good work. Your patients will talk about you while you sleep. And that’s, you know, real social media word of mouth, you know, and that comes from an experience because look, the bottom line is, you know, regardless of what you charge for breast dog, whether it’s 5, 7, 10, or $12,000, the patients are never concerned as concerned about the cost as they are about.
What, how, what they feel at the end of that transaction. Yeah. You know, if they feel like they’re getting a value, if they feel like they’re appreciated, if they feel like you care and you’re not taking them for granted, it’s just another patient, another number. They feel good about it and they’ll come back.
They want the experience. So, for me, you know, I, I would, I sometimes I would read things online, like, oh, he’s a great surgeon, but he’s an ass. And I’m like, wow, what does that even mean? I mean, so do you want to go back to an asshole? I mean, I’m sorry I’m using that language, but the reality is, you know I’d like my patients to think that I care.
I’d like my patients to believe and I do that. I appreciate them that they chose me. They can go anywhere else, you know? So that’s what I constant. Work with my staff on, on having them have the same vision and the same values. And they’re big. They’ve gotten pretty good at it.
Catherine Maley, MBA: What do you think are the biggest challenges with staff either hiring them or motivating them any
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Okay. Las Vegas is an unusual animal to begin with when it comes to staff. It’s always been challenged. In Las Vegas, it’s the only place in the world where, you know, you can do bottle service and go home with several thousand dollars at the end of the night. It’s just a fact. So, it’s kind of hard to convince somebody to come and sit someplace for eight hours a day for $18 an hour.
You know, so finding somebody who’s wants the job and is not only money, mostly. It’s very difficult in this town. What’s made it worse is has been the COVID pandemic. And it just seems like nobody wants to work. It’s a real, it’s a mystery to me. It’s like, I don’t want to work, but how do I pay my bills then?
Right. So. It’s gotten harder, but for me, you have to find the right people. You can’t make a B-player, an A-player. You gotta find the, a players. You have to pay them. You have to pay them and make them feel appreciated because you will pay. In retraining and retraining and rehiring. If you try to go cheap or cut corners, find the best people pay them, make them feel appreciated, train them, right.
So that you give them every opportunity to be successful. And then you’ll have, you’ll have a, a team member for life, whatever that means,
Catherine Maley, MBA: same thing, same thing. Patients for life staff for life.
So, what would you say let’s talk about marketing now because you’re really good at it? And everyone should go check out Dr. Stile’s website because he has this huge big black chair. It’s kind of like a throne and he uses it so beautifully.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: That’s from my dining room. Believe it or not in my house.
Catherine Maley, MBA: It makes you look like you are the king of. For sure. So how did you learn marketing? Are all those mentors, were they helpful to you with the marketing
or did you just watch truly not,
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: absolutely not all of my, well, you know I didn’t really know much about. Garth except that he was a very, very good surgeon.
You know, he was fortunate enough to have that kind of a pioneer experience with being on a TV show, which I, I was, I visited him around that time for a few days and his office was insanely busy, you know, and there’s nothing better than television to give you credible. And exposure now you know, when you think about that 20, 22 years later, that you have YouTube, you know, when the thing that I’ve learned is people can’t really, or don’t differentiate between television and a YouTube screen or YouTube video is video.
It’s you, it’s your personality coming across. You know, showcasing your expertise, your opinion, your special talents or abilities. And it also gives patients an opportunity to learn a little bit about your personality and that’s what they want. They want a real person or someone that they feel they know familiarity is most important.
So, you know I started out when I first came to Las Vegas in 2004 with a magazine ad campaign that I would do this one sort of risky. Add every month, which had absolutely nothing to do with plastic surgery, but created a lot of buzz. And if.
I would say very, very beautiful women in various, I wouldn’t say scantily dressed, but just, they were provocative that not sexually inappropriate in any way, but it created a buzz because no one had ever done it before. I mean, it, at one point it got. I mean, they, they were showing some of my ads, which I wish I would’ve known back then at some of the plastic surgery meetings as inappropriate marketing.
Oh, no kidding. Yeah. And that’s because I, you know, I have to love of my colleagues here in town for sharing that with the world, but. You know, I ended up having issues with the medical board and there was another nice fellow that actually tried to block me from getting my boards because of those ads.
It was a, it was a shit show for that time. And you know, I agreed to tone it down, but it did make an impact. People knew who I was.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, you know, the best marketers always say, you do not worry about what your colleagues say. And frankly, if they’re complaining about you, you’re doing something
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: right.
But if you have your boards in jeopardy medical license, he kind of have to sort of tone it down. And I did it, but I learned a lesson from it and I was like, wow, you know, I can, I can do this. I can do this. So, it went from that. Then when. Video and social media sort of came around. It was like, okay, how can, and now the things that I see other doctors posting are way crazier.
You know what, that’s not where I’m at anymore. You know? So now it’s, you know, we installed some. High-end HD cameras in my operating room. And we do live video streams of our surgery, where I do question and answers while I’m doing surgery, you know, and I have somebody actually feeding the questions into my monitor and I talk to patients from all over the country.
And that has really changed. That was the change that changed everything because now, you know, we’ve got close to 400 videos on our YouTube channel. We have a lot of content. We’ve taken a little break cause we’re regrouping with that right now. But if you want, if you want to have credibility, you have to have content.
Now I have some colleagues that were a little bit older than have basically retired because they don’t want to do the social media. Unfortunately, you know, you have to, you have to know you have it. My, my philosophy is my mantra now is post or perish. Right.
Catherine Maley, MBA: And I think you’ve got to have a videographer now on staff.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Absolutely. And they want to know a little bit about your personal life, not to where it’s creepy or they want to know you’re a real person. They want to know you’re a decent person. I never thought that having a baby would give me so much street cred. You know, I would’ve done it 10 years ago, but, but You know, they, they want to know you’re not, this is going to sound crazy, but they want to know you’re not crazy.
They want to know how to associate path and being somebody who somewhat settled in terms of having a family and having a child makes you a person that’s more relatable, you know? In addition to all this other stuff, But you do. And that was huge in sharing that without getting too personal. And my patients constantly talk about my daughter whenever they see me.
Oh, I saw that picture. She’s so great. She said this, how is it? Are you enjoying it? And I like, man, I never thought I’d be having these conversations. And it’s kind of neat. And, but it’s also taught me a lesson about what people look at and the answer is everything. Everything.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah. How much of your time do you think is spent on marketing or?
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: More time, time in general or time business time, I’d say about 10%, you know, and I find myself just sliding it in whenever. I have downtime like between cases or whatever. We always, we tend to always have a full-time social media person working here, which if you would ask the 10 years ago, would I ever do that?
I would say no. Now it’s. Yeah, it’s a must. And that’s another challenging position to fill. There are many people who think there are a lot better at it than they really are. They’re not. You know, I, I would make a joke that when I retire, I’m going to be a social media consultant because you really don’t have to know how to do anything, but you know, you have to have, and let’s, once again, you have to find a good person.
You have to pay them because they will do it. If you don’t, you know I I’m a big, I attended. Personal growth seminars and business seminars. And Tony Robbins has been one of my mentors for a long time. I was a platinum partner, so I got to travel with him, et cetera. Yeah. This is sincere since 1998.
And you know, you always say, say, Hey, Frank, if someone said to you, I’ll give you an extra million dollars a year, but would you pay a hundred thousand dollars for it? Of course. Yeah. So why wouldn’t you pay a marketing person, a hundred thousand dollars that they’ll increase your revenue by a million dollars a year.
So, it’s a, you have to really free your mind. That’s got
Catherine Maley, MBA: growth mindset
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Have to really free your mind because it’s only going to hurt a little bit in the beginning until you get that momentum, but you have to invest in yourself. You have to write your story. Otherwise, you won’t like the story that others, right.
For sure you have to be your biggest fan and that’s not being stuck up or conceited. That’s being confident, you know? I believe everybody has something to offer. Everybody has a gift, you know, and if you’re not going to share it, no one will ever know. Well first,
Catherine Maley, MBA: you have to know it because half of, I mean, that’s what self-development or personal development is all about.
You’re trying to figure out who are you? What is your skill? Can you develop skills? I know Tony Robbins and I were hanging around and when we still had Walkmans and I bought his 30-day personal,
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: she was talking about that. It was cassettes. And I used the word walk between everyone was like, what is it?
Catherine Maley, MBA: And I used to jog down to this golden gate. And every morning, and I thought I’m going to get this somehow. I’m going to get this I, and that’s how you do. If you hang around with bigger thinkers and you’re hanging around with the right people, I hope everyone’s hearing the pearls. Like you didn’t just grow up like this.
You invest, you invest. People hung around
with the right people.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: You know, another, I quote him all day. You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time. Who is your peer group? You know, I talked to myself like I, I go into a meeting one night, a week with people who were recently released from jail.
We do sort of a community outreach thing and I look at them, I go, Hey, who has goals in here? You know, there are so many people that don’t have goals, they don’t write down their plan. How do you know if you’re going in the right direction, whether it’s your business or personal life or your personal health, you know, everything for me has been on paper since my childhood?
You know, sometimes people have looked at those, those hopes and dreams and thought they were delusional. I have it all. I I’ve accomplished all of that now. Okay. So, what do you do when you’re done? Oh, you make a new list. You know, it’s the same thing with your practice. Okay. How many cases do you want to do a month?
Okay. How do you get there? What do you want your gross revenue to be in a year? How do you get there? If you don’t have that number? You’ll never know, you know? Okay. This didn’t work. Let me try something else. And it’s okay to fail. It’s okay. You’re not, you know and The, you have to be willing to sometimes eat a little Crow, you know, and learn from your mistakes.
Don’t be afraid to learn from your colleagues. I always had to say, you know, I’m not going to look at anyone else’s website. I don’t want to see anyone else’s because I don’t want it to influence me. And when I look at someone else’s website, I think my website sucks, you know, so I stopped doing that, you know, and I saved the biggest competition.
I haven’t seen. Yep. You know, I’m the only person I don’t, unfortunately, in our community, it’s not a very collegiate environment. You know, where, what was, it was like that in university, we worked with all the other departments and other plastic surgeons here, since it’s, it’s a little, it’s a little a catty, you know, a little cutthroat because everyone thinks they’re chasing the same nickel when they’re really not.
Barry’s I’d famous. Used to say, you say Stile, there’s always room with the. Nice. There’s always room at the top. And you know what? There are 4 million people in Las Vegas. Now there were 2 million when I came here.
Catherine Maley, MBA: You know how many plastic surgeons are there now?
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: I don’t know, but I think, I think at least 35, I’m not sure once again, it’s irrelevant because on me, I tell them, I tell some of my friends who are plastic surgeons say, Hey, look, my patients want me because I’m uniquely me or patients don’t want.
Right. You know, so we’re good, you know you know, and think about it 15,000 patients later. Right. I’ve got a great repeat business practice and referral base. So, I’m going to be okay. You know, if I want to do this for another five or 10 years, so. You know, just concentrate on you. Don’t worry about what I’m doing.
Catherine Maley, MBA: How about
just because it looks like you have it all so together, give us one big mistake or challenge that you had and how you handled it and the lessons you learned from it. Cause it can’t be all good.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Wasn’t all good. It was horrible. A lot of the time and that’s what I taught. That’s another thing we had our seven and seven meeting too, which is our business meeting.
I said, look, we’re at the zone of maximization in our, in our business lives. The zone is maximization. So, you could either stay here or if you start neglecting your business, you’d go towards death. You know, 50% of businesses are gone in the first year. 98% have gone within 10 years. No, we’ve been here 18 years.
That’s huge. So, what do we do? We, we keep doing what works, stop doing what doesn’t appreciate our patient. Let’s do all the good stuff, focus on what works does that mean? It’s not going to suck from time to time. Absolutely not. It sucks a lot of the time, you know, does it mean you’re not gonna have problems with patients?
Does that mean you’re not gonna have problems with staff or personnel? Absolutely not all the time, but you know how to handle it a little bit better because of the experience. So, what has been okay. The, the worst things that have happened to me so far, if bad outcomes with patients. You know what else has happened?
Okay. I had a $250,000 embezzled. Oh, nice. Right. Nice. Okay. That was lovely
Catherine Maley, MBA: about that for a minute because every practice I’ve ever worked with has had an embezzlement story. And if they happened, it’s coming. And typically, when the wife is working in the practice, that’s how she got there because there was an embezzlement issue.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: I don’t want a divorce either, so that’s not gonna happen. But you know, it’s funny after, after I had the embezzlement, I was at one of the plastic surgery means that I met a guy named Jay shore, J America, who were actually. Pretty funny guys. And he was giving a, he was giving a talk on embezzlement and he said, you know, 90% of plastic surgery practices have an embezzlement.
The other 10% just don’t know it, you know? And I was like, wow, I wish I would have heard this.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Yours is extremely high. How can you tell us what?
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Sure. I had a, I had a. Practice coordinator that decided she wanted to be a partner without telling me she had her own a credit card scanner that went into her account and not mine.
And she also made cash deals on the side. If you have a busy plastic surgery practice, it’s pretty easy to bleed it for a lot of money. If you, do it over several months without raising any. How
Catherine Maley, MBA: long did it take for her to get to 2
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: 56 months.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Holy cow, how did you find out?
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: I was working really late and the numbers weren’t going up in my bank account.
You know, when you’ve been doing this for a while, things feel a certain way. And then, you know, patients She was making a cash deal with patients, you know, and of course my lovely patients thought they were just getting a great deal because I was so kind, but things like that, it ended up being, it was ugly, you know, it costs me a bunch of money to, to basically make it right.
Which was absolutely they got arrested, you know, but it’s never as easy as you think, you know, you learn and, and here’s what you do. It’s hard if you’re super busy, but you have to watch your money. You have to, and basically, you know, you say, okay, what is the average, what do I charge for an average procedure?
Okay. So, I did. 62 procedures this month. Multiply it by that. Are we close? I mean, that’s, that’s like the gross way to do it, but we get daily income sheets everyday now. And I go over them. It takes 10 minutes. It’s all habits and rituals. You know, you also hire people who are not scumbags, basically. I’m sorry.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Did you have any feeling, a funny feeling about.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Well, you know, it’s funny on men con men are the best salespeople, so my numbers were great, you know, and I was like, wow, these people are awesome, you know, but they were selling for themselves. Yeah. That was bad. That
Catherine Maley, MBA: was bad. I do know another practice. I won’t say where they’re at, but they had a nurse injector and she took the allergen.
She told Alec, and I’m going to give you a different bank account. And she ended up getting 200 grand because Allegan was giving all of her, all, all the revenues to her. And the only way we found out is because I was called in to be a consultant and she was super resistant and
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: that’s always a, that’s a good one.
That’s a good one because our, our, we had an accountant that actually interviewed staff and the ones that were the froggy, just word. Yes. So, we’ll look and bezel mint. See, this is what’s interesting embezzlement, isn’t only stealing money. It’s riding the clock. It’s stealing supplies. It’s basically, you know, theft happens in a hundred ways, you know, and, and just because it isn’t a big hit, does it mean that it doesn’t really affect your bottom line at the end of the year?
You know you just, once again, this goes back to hiring the right. Yeah. And having the right culture,
Catherine Maley, MBA: culture is everything. And I don’t know how to train it. I can, I give everyone pointers on it, but a lot of the surgeons are just like, what, what culture, what
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: can we do? It takes one bad person to destroy everything you’ve got.
Catherine Maley, MBA: For sure. So, let’s move on at the, we’re kind of towards the end on the mindset. I love your growth mindset. I know you, a lot of that is just like somebody like our Fisher, like just watching him do what he did. I will tell you many, many years ago I was consulting with him or with his med spa group.
And they said, oh, you should probably order a book, a consultation. See what. And I booked a consult and it was actually a $500 consult fee. And the next day I was FedExed a huge box and it had a beautiful, almost like an AMX magazine. You know, how they have those catalogs. It was glossy gorgeous. It was probably 100 pages of his incredible rags to riches story.
It was so emotional and then it was. Before and after photos galore and it also included his full skincare line and not samples, they were full on. And I thought, does this guy know reframe
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: was that many years ago. That’s really cool. You know, I’m going to tell you from my small experience with them, I would expect nothing less.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Right? It’s just, he’s a class act. He charges a lot and you feel it and you’re excited to pay it. You know, it was a different way to do it. So, I’m so glad you learned from him and ran Tony Robbins. I mean, you hang around with somebody like that. Doesn’t your mind just expand.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: It may. Well, you get a lot of anxiety because you feel like there’s a lot of catching up to do.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Holy
cow. Good for you. Is there anything do you hang around the normal people or read any normal books?
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Yeah, I mean, I’m, I’m not an avid reader of like printed texts, but I listened to tons of audio books. I try to listen to at least a couple of months and I I’m embarrassed to say, I don’t know much about Bitcoin right now, but I, so I at least to just be.
Conversant in it, I’m listening to so things that were suggested by some of my younger friends and but yeah, I mean, I like to hang out with people who are not medical people, because it allows me to decompress and to get a more worldly view. I do other things for a living. I mean, I recently had my 55th birthday.
I know you find that hard to believe that I’m fifty-five, fifty fourth birthday in Costa Rica. And I invited and flew down 25 of my closest friends and they’re attorneys, they’re business people. They’re Computer young tech guys. And the conversation was like all over the map. And I said, this is wonderful.
I said, you know what? I should do something like this once every couple of months. And basically, almost like a mastermind group, a little mastermind, the Polian hill. Basically say, Hey, I’m interested in doing this idea of what are your thoughts? What’s the upside, what are the potential risks? And I mean, it’s, it was all there.
This brain trust in this room. So yeah, I, I want to hang around motivated creative people, regardless of what their professions are.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Can I just ask, how are you balancing all of this?
25 friends. I don’t even have three that I can feel
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: my helper four in the morning in the gym by five every day period.
And that’s the foundation for everything. Okay. My wife is exceptionally cool. Have a similar mindset. We take our baby everywhere. The baby is a team player. It’s not, she’s not. Okay. She’s the Y she’s my Y. Yep. Okay. And now I have a Y that actually means something. Right? Okay. So, there is no such thing as balance period.
Some days you’ll do more of some things and others you’ll do more of others and you hope it balances out at the end of the year, but there’s no such thing as balance you have to do what’s in front of you as to the best of your ability. And that’s. Don’t regret. Don’t look back. You will lose friends. You will have problems at home.
You will have all of those things. You will alienate some people that pursuit of your goals. You, there is no balance, but if you accept that and the people that love, you know what you’re doing, they’re okay with it. You know, there’s a book called limitless. Bye Tim Grover. Please read it. I recommend it changed my life.
He’s a trainer, the trainer to Michael Jordan, you know Kobe Bryant and all that. He talks about the cleaner mentality. And when I heard this, it validated everything that I thought and felt my whole life at Dora was exceptionally bizarre for thinking and feeling, you know you just have to go for it.
Don’t question yourself, follow your heart. Be all in, you know, apologize later.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I read that book and I thought I’d get that. I mean, I can, I get up at five, but not for, you know, I mean that,
yeah. Give me some last stuff. You’d give everyone a last Pearl, like, oh, you know what, tell us something we don’t know about you.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: I’m exceptionally hard on myself. Probably if anyone, 30 psychiatrists or psychologists listing, they’d probably know that I’m painfully sensitive, you know? And I think what’s good about me is what’s bad about me. It’s made me a great surgeon and a good doctor, but it’s made me incredibly challenging for me to have close relationships, even though I value.
Yeah, the function is very important to me. I’m a work in progress. I’m always in the process of becoming, you know, what that means at this point. I don’t know, but as long as I keep doing the right thing, the right thing is going to happen. And I don’t question, I don’t question the university more. It is what it is, do the best you can every day, you know, the four agreements do the best you can.
That means today, do the best you can, you know, be true to your word. You know, help others contribute and you know what? It all works out.
Catherine Maley, MBA: God good for you. You are from, well, I can tell you are doing it the right
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: way by. I had fun. I was kind of a little anxious about having this conversation, but I enjoyed it and hopefully, hopefully someone will get something out of it and say, you know, I feel that way too.
And please call me whoever you are. Call me, get ahold of you. They could call me they could email me a [email protected] or direct message me on any of our social media platforms @DrStile and I look forward to hearing from anyone and making new friends.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Thank you so much for being on Beauty and the Biz.I really appreciate it.
Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS: Hopefully, hopefully this turns out. Oh, it was
Catherine Maley, MBA: super. All right, everybody. That’s a wrap for us. If you do have any questions or feedback for me, please go ahead and leave them on my website at www.CatherineMaley.com. You can certainly subscribe to Beauty and the Biz, if you haven’t done so already.
So, you don’t miss out on any episodes. And if you want to reach out on Instagram, Go checks out Dr. Stile on Instagram. It’s really good. If you want to check out my boring one is @CatherineMaleyMBA that’s it. It’s a wrap and we will talk to you later. Take care.
This concludes the transcript for the interview with Frank L. Stile, MD, FACS
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