“Be A Showman” 5 Leadership Lessons With Dr. Olusegun Ishmael Founder Of Besafemeds
“Being able to discuss your idea to a lot of people, investors, team members, customers and users. It is also important that you are open to feedback from the community; that is how your idea will grow into something you’ve never imagined.You must also be able to make sure that people feel the energy and purpose of your idea and make sure they understand how it works and how it will benefit them.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Olusegun Ishmael, MD, MBA, Founder and Chief Medical Officer of besafemeds. Dr. Segun Ishmael has over 20 years of healthcare experience, serving in academic, hospital and insurance settings. He has been residency faculty, hospital department chair (FM and EM), and co-chair of hospital quality improvement, along with having a variety of roles including medical director, vice president medical affairs, and as an interim plan president for multiple national health plans/insurers. Dr. Ishmael has also worked as a family physician (covering everything from deliveries to geriatric care), urgent care and emergency department physician (from inner city high volume to lower volume rural EDs.)
Yitzi: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I got the idea for besafemeds, a discrete STD treatment app, while I was visiting Las Vegas a few years back. I was sitting at an ER Conference and observing people and I thought to myself, “Not everything that happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. Las Vegas is a beacon of freedom where many do as they please. Unfortunately, for some, their actions have consequences that follow them wherever they go for the rest of their lives. Many consequences such as a potential STD can be discretely treated. I wanted an app to treat STD symptoms without the embarrassing trip to the doctors. Sometimes, the most interesting ideas occur at unexpected times by simply observing what people do or are doing can be a huge inspiration.
Yitzi: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company
A fear that I had when launching besafemeds is that people would be hesitant to discuss these important medical issues. However, I was shown multiple examples of how people were willing to discuss these issues with me on a personal and professional level.
The funniest story was that one gentleman offered to take picture and send me the issue he was having surrounding his private parts.
Yitzi: So how exactly does your company help people?
Besafemeds is a revolutionary new web-based app platform that connects the user, who may have STD symptoms, with the proper medical officials to properly diagnose any disease and discretely have medication delivered to the nearest pharmacy.
Yitzi: What makes your business stand out? Can you share a story?
My web-based application is in a niche market, it is one of a kind and it seeks to set a new trend in medical technology from the comfort of one’s own home. Technology is a double edged sword in the way that can help improve our lives but it can also help our health when we use it right.
Yitzi: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Over the years, many studies have shown that there is an increase in STD’s in the United States. The increase in STD’s has especially affected people between the ages of 18 to 25 with 1 in 2 people having contracted an STD. Our goal is to provide a discreet confidential platform without judgement for people to access the right care for their symptoms. We also provide education for people because we believe it is especially important for younger people to know what to do in the event of contracting an STD, especially in the age of online speed dating.
Yitzi: What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I Started my Business” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
Proving to people that your idea can is actually feasible is the hard part. There questions you need to ask yourself; How does it work and is this financially feasible. It is really a long process from an idea to a finalized product.
When I was ready to build my idea, I had to hire a developer to flush it out over meetings. As of now, we’ve built 5 separate versions based on responses from testers and focus groups. The web-based app has been live for around 9 months and I have been grappling with the idea of selling it for a profit or partnering with pharmacies.
Building a web-based app that can help people with their medical issues is not a cheap endeavor. There are times where money is slow and writing checks to staff and vendors can be painful, especially when you are not sure when you’re next payday will be. It costs alot of time to build out a business and their are only 24 hours in a day. You are going to have to give up certain activities for your startup. For example, I took my 6 year old with me to a public relations meeting, we made a game of it, he had his legos with him and the meeting went along perfectly.
Be a showman. Being able to discuss your idea to a lot of people, investors, team members, customers and users. It is also important that you are open to feedback from the community; that is how your idea will grow into something you’ve never imagined.You must also be able to make sure that people feel the energy and purpose of your idea and make sure they understand how it works and how it will benefit them.
When you are cultivating your ideas, it is important to have fun and enjoy what you are building. Of course, there will be some bad days, but how you get through those bad days is what matters and often times you can find something to help you get through.
Yitzi: Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
A person I would love to meet is Whitney Wolfe. Ms. Wolfe is empowering women through her app to initiate the dating process on her app, Bumble. I would love to get some tips on how I can empower women by encouraging them to take charge of their healthcare.
Yitzi: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Originally published at www.buzzfeed.com.