Aspart of our series about the “Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Turbulent Times,” we had the pleasure of interviewing Larry Seigel.
Larry Siegel, NP, the founder, and medical director of Yunique Medical, has been practicing medicine for over 19 years, and became an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in 2008 who provides cutting-edge functional medicine therapies to both men and women for health optimization.
Larry is a Clinical Fellow, and is a mastermind in peptide therapy, hormone replacement therapy, functional medicine, integrative medicine, and cellular medicine with a passion for optimal health.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
At four years old I declared to my mother that I was going to be a doctor and make a million dollars. Of course, at that time, a million dollars was an almost unimaginable amount of money but to my four-year-old self that would make me beyond rich while doing exactly what I loved…helping people.
My journey obviously was not that linear for at a young age I was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD. This placed a stigma on me early in life as being the uncontrollable child…the ‘bad seed’ you might say. My teachers wanted to place me in special classes for children with SLD (Slow Learning Disability) and recommended to my mother that I be placed on medication, or I would never succeed in school.
Thankfully, my mother outright refused. She fought for me to be tested as she saw the spark in me that the school refused to see and to their surprise my IQ tested extremely high, and they had to succumb to placing me in advanced classes.
Unfortunately, the stigma of being the ‘bad seed’ stuck and my teachers struggled against me every step of the way. This eventually led to depression and anxiety, of which I still struggle with today, but thanks to the amazing support of my mother I never let anyone hold me back or place me in a ‘box’.
That struggle not only made me fight harder to reach my goals but allowed me to see that no label or stigma could ever define me. Upon graduating from the University of Florida, I gained a wealth of experience working as an ICU nurse for eight years and furthering my career at an urgent care center. I then spent six years developing HCG and lipotropic programs for a national weight-loss company while also serving on their medical advisory board and later trained in hormone pellet therapy, IV therapy, peptide therapy, cellular medicine, integrative therapy, and functional medicine with expert clinicians.
The experience I gained in the medical field, my instinctual ability to help people using my God-given talent for medical knowledge, and my lust to reach my four-year-old goals of attaining a million dollars has driven me to great entrepreneurial success. I have learned no stigma, label, or title (even an RN title) defines your success, your dreams, or yourself as a person. The ‘system’ is not set in stone so in my own words…F the system and chase your dreams no matter what!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Like many entrepreneurs, I don’t have just a single mistake from when I started out…more of a tragic comedy vibe. I dove in headfirst when launching my first practice expecting everything to just fall into place. I, of course, could not fail and would be infinitely wealthy and successful.
It was an epic failure…but also the best learning lesson on business that I wouldn’t change for the world.
Upon opening, it became clear very quickly that I had so much to learn in regard to running a successful business. Who knew you couldn’t just open the doors and find success! Instead, I was immediately forced to face my weaknesses, my inexperience, and my lack of knowledge regarding the business side of medicine and I made mistake after mistake.
Those experiences allowed me to recognize the flaws so that I could learn the skills necessary to overcome them and succeed. Failure is necessary in business and in life as it can drive you to greater success as long as you get right back up and keep moving forward with the lessons learned in your back pocket, so you never repeat them again.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I completely agree that success does not come without the help of others as we all need that one person who pushes us when we need it most or grounds us when we are off track. Becky Mann, my current practice manager is definitely my person, and I am grateful every day that she is part of my life.
I am the dreamer, the visionary, often with my head in the clouds and Becky is my rock who pulls me back to earth keeping me and my business on track. Together we have been through some extremely rough times but with her as my practice manager, we have been able to overcome obstacles together that have helped lead my business to outstanding growth and great success!
Everyone needs a Becky in their lives. She keeps me grounded, has been my sounding board, and has helped me successfully launch several of my projects and I would consider her a key person of my success!
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When your company started, what was its vision, what was its purpose?
Yunique Medical’s vision and purpose are to deliver game changing optimization to the average person that was once only available to the elite. Professional athletes, CEOs, movie stars, and prominent officials have long had access to therapies designed only for the uber rich. Therapies that were changing their lives for the better and as I stated earlier, I don’t believe anything should hold a person back or place them in a box, and no one should be denied game changing therapy due to the size of their wallet…so I decided I would bring it to everyone.
I made it my mission to study, practice, and share the optimization techniques with the general public allowing more people to get to the root cause of their symptoms and optimize their body and mind. The success of Yunique Medical has allowed me to expand into other locations across Florida with the big vision of opening multiple centers throughout the nation.
Yunique Medical does not only to offer innovative therapies to the public, but it is also empowers and creates an army of Nurse Practitioner entrepreneurs. It’s time that all nurse practitioners took their spot as leaders in the industry. No more being put behind or under Physicians…but go out and accomplish BIG things on our own. After all, we should not be placed in a box as we are so much more than we have been led to believe.
Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion. Can you share with our readers a story from your own experience about how you lead your team during uncertain or difficult times?
When COVID-19 was labelled a pandemic, the entire country seemed to go into panic mode. Businesses were closing around us and as a leader, my team looked to me for reassurance and guidance with the hopes that I would have answers. Well, to me the answer was obvious. We are in the health care industry for a reason…to help others so let’s use our skills and our knowledge to create programs to fit the demand of the time and continue to provide outstanding care to our clients.
I kept my team focused on the fact that our mission is to help guide our clients through this difficult time by finding and implementing cutting-edge therapies that allowed us to do what we love the most safely and effectively. I also pivoted our marketing directive to ensure we were able to jump ahead of our competition as I knew that if we acted fast and became a leader in this space, we would out last all our competition and grow faster than ever.
AND that’s exactly what we did…GROW! It’s a tough spot to be able to brag about growing when so many suffered but with my amazing team and my strength as a leader…that is exactly what we did and continue to do.
Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the motivation to continue through your challenges? What sustains your drive?
Never. I don’t give up… it’s just not in my DNA. Keeping my clients optimized and my team employed in a time when so many were facing an uncertain future is what motivated me to succeed. A lot of people were depending on me to make the tough decisions and get them through and there was no way I was going to give up on them. Reminding myself of the thousands of clients who need my expertise, and my team who continues to stand behind their mission of helping others sustains my drive.
What would you say is the most critical role of a leader during challenging times?
Being the decision maker! That is by far the most critical role. You have to make the tough calls and make the decisions necessary to drive the business forward. There isn’t anyone else who is going to step up and make them. You are solely responsible to make the call and accept the results.
Once you understand that everything is your fault it makes it easier to make good or bad decisions and move forward no matter the results. It’s most important that you just act fast. I don’t bog my mind down with minutia on a day-to-day basis. I’m always making the decisions on how to move us forwards.
The fear of making the wrong decision will never let you progress in life or business. You must take the leap, make mistakes, learn from them, and move forward.
When the future seems so uncertain, what is the best way to boost morale? What can a leader do to inspire, motivate and engage their team?
The first boost would be love. I know it sounds cheesy but if you genuinely care about your team and they can FEEL it is genuine, they will go above and beyond in times of tragedy. This does not mean you will never have difficult times but by approaching situations with genuine care and compassion, your team becomes your family and the obstacles your business faces won’t seem so big.
Second is to have infectious passion. A passion that your team feels and understands. By surrounding yourself with people who match your company mission and feel your passion, it’s easy to inspire and motivate. Be the leader your team wants to follow, and you will find success.
What is the best way to communicate difficult news to one’s team and customers?
Through HONESTY! I have brutal honesty with my clients and my team. No sugar coating. Whether it be good or bad news, it’s 100% honest. If you ‘keep it real’ with people, it builds trust that no matter what they will receive the honest truth and things will be okay.
Being vague or untruthful leaves both your team and your clients feeling confused and unsure of what to believe or where they stand. Honesty is still the best policy when approaching any situation and when delivering difficult news, it is essential to convey the message truthfully to relieve any doubt or confusion.
How can a leader make plans when the future is so unpredictable?
The future is and always will be unpredictable. Accept it! If you hesitate as a leader to decide to jump an on opportunity for fear of what the future may hold, you will have missed the boat. No one can guarantee what will happen next year, next week, or even in the next hour. The sooner you accept that you cannot control the future…the sooner you will realize that you can still help steer it in the right direction.
You will still fail. You will still make the wrong decisions but by taking a risk you will also find great success. Those who do not leap will never progress and be forever stuck in the ‘what if’ scenario. Get out of your own way and don’t let fear of the future control your success.
Is there a “number one principle” that can help guide a company through the ups and downs of turbulent times?
Learn to PIVOT fast. If something isn’t working, the shit is hitting the fan, and everything seems to have gone awry, make a decision and pivot as fast as possible.
In February of 2020 we were working on our weight loss programs and built out our entire year of specials, programs, and marketing. Then COVID hit. I realized immediately that no one is going to care about weight loss whilst in a pandemic. Although we had already spent countless hours and funds on building this program, we made the pivot to focus on wellness, the immune system, and getting the body optimized to help fight infections.
By pivoting we were able to not only remain open during the pandemic but were able to offer our clients new innovative treatments, increased our client base, and grew the estimated total gross revenue from end of year 2019 to end of year 2020 by 30.48%. If we had chosen to stick with the weight loss program because it is outstanding and we had put so much work into it, we would have been left in the dust.
Pivoting to total body wellness allowed us to connect more with our clientele and offer better services catered to address their needs during a pandemic.
Can you share 3 or 4 of the most common mistakes you have seen other businesses make during difficult times? What should one keep in mind to avoid that?
The biggest mistake would be hanging on to what worked in the past and not pivoting fast enough. Often business owners get stuck in the old song and dance not realizing the genre has changed. You may have started out with a waltz but hip-hop is the new rage and if you do not pivot to match the beat, you will stumble and fall.
Secondly, they decrease their marketing budget because they are scared of what the future may hold so they inevitable cut back. This is not the time to cut back…you have to double down to ensure you are not one of the many who get lost in the crowd. You need to be seen to survive and marketing is key.
Lastly, keeping their expenses to high. Many entrepreneurs have a large appetite for the fancy becoming accustomed to a wealthier lifestyle in times of great profit. However, should hard times hit they continue to spend like they did in the past but can no longer generate enough income to support themselves or their business. This leads to them making desperate decisions which ultimately end up costing them their business when in reality all they had to do was cut back.
Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?
As stated above, pivoting, refocusing your marketing, and meeting todays needs of your clients is essential to maintain focus and forging ahead. Surrounding yourself with a team who matches your passion is also imperative as your team keeps you in the driver’s seat allowing you to focus on growth.
Without the amazing team I have put together at Yunique Medical, it would have been much more difficult to maintain growth throughout this pandemic. But thanks to them and our shared mission of helping our clients discover optimal health during these unprecedented times, we have been able to continue to thrive and grow.
Here is the primary question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a business leader should do to lead effectively during uncertain and turbulent times? Please share a story or an example for each.
1. Make decisions fast: As I touched on earlier, you must not fear the future when making decisions as that will leave you with the inability to commit to anything and you will lose out on huge opportunities. Time is money. Stop wasting time and make decisions quickly to move your business forward at an unprecedented rate.
2. Pivot faster: Don’t get stuck in the ‘it worked before’ scenario. If it is not working, ditch the idea and pivot as fast as possible. Getting hung up on past thoughts, ideas, or projects will leave your company stuck in the past leading to the ultimate loss of your entire business.
3. Fail even faster than that: Failure is not your enemy. It is the driving force behind all successful people for if you never fail, you will never learn how to succeed. Fail and fail often. Pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes, and move forward even stronger than before.
4. Client and Team before yourself: Your business may have started out as your baby, but it is your clients and your team that will drive it to success. Push them away by focusing solely on your needs, and you will quickly lose it all.
5. Deliver un precedented VALUE: This should be a no-brainer for business owners but too many get caught up in profit margins thereby neglecting the importance of value. No matter how great your product or service is, if you are not delivering unprecedented value your clients will never commit to you or your company.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite quote is by boxer Rocky Balboa in the Rocky movies. “It’s not how hard you hit. BUT how hard you can be hit and keep moving forward.”
I’ve been a fighter my entire life and from martial arts to business, the quote still works. It’s not easy to overcome personal adversity combined with business adversity. You will definitely get hit and take many lumps as an entrepreneur. You get up and you KEEP FIGHTING. That is the key to true success.
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