“I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me That I Would Be Working 7 Days A Week To Beat The Clock On The Burn Of Investment Funds”
“Words of Wisdom with Dr. William J. Binder”
I had the pleasure of interviewing world renowned head and neck plastic surgeon, Dr. William J. Binder. He is a key developer of novel techniques and technologies in this space, having discovered various breakthroughs such Structure Rhinoplasty, the prevailing technique used in plastic surgery of the nose, as well as the use of Botox® for both the treatment of facial lines and migraines. His sterling reputation and achievements have not gone unnoticed. He received the President’s Leadership Award from the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery for distinguished achievement and significant contributions to the field of aesthetic surgery as well as the certificate of Honor Award from the American Academy of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery.
Yitzi: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Thanks for this opportunity, it is a pleasure to be doing this interview with you! Well, first and foremost I was born and raised in New York and currently have my own practice in Beverly Hills, CA. I am also an Associate Clinical Professor at the UCLA School of Medicine and Attending Surgeon at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. However before I came to live and practice in LA, I was 3000+ miles across the country receiving my BA degree in Biology from Syracuse University and my MD degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. I then made my way to the west coast, San Francisco actually, where I did 2 years of postgraduate internship and general surgical residency training. Then I made my way back to the east coast where I devoted 3 years for my surgical specialty Residency and Chief Residency in head, neck and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the prestigious Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. While I was in my residency, I also held a teaching position which I found particularly interesting because I was able to wear two hats at that time as a student and mentor. The schooling didn’t end there though. I then completed a sixth postgraduate year of fellowship in advanced training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery in Los Angeles, CA. I am Board Certified by both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. I am a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery and the American Academy of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. Additionally, I hold various national elected and appointed committee positions and a published author in medical journals, magazines and edited academic textbooks.
Yitzi: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company
I designed my first patented implants in my living room with a model skull and some clay. Eventually I ended up in a garage in Arcadia California with a one man beta testing site for 3D CAM/CAD design software with some guy with a big grey beard that said “he could do it”. That is — make smooth surfaces in the computer. “revolutionary for its time”. To my surprise — he could. That led to the manufacturing of a new level of implant technology which is now the state of the art in the industry and sold and distributed to plastic surgeons around the globe.
Yitzi: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Why my company and all who work for me stand out? Apart from the logistical stand My answer would be my authenticity, loyalty and longevity. One of the principles that I have applied, which unfortunately now I feel is “old school” — is Authenticity and being honest with patient. What I can do and not do. Today, with the internet and social media, patients are often the promotional products of mischaracterized chat rooms or highly marketed procedures that may or may not apply to individual patients and their specific problems. I believe that the uniqueness of a practice or business is how long your employees have been there. My employees for either my surgicenter,, in my practice or businesses have been with me between 15 and 23 years. The loyalty factor goes a long way, and can only work when it’s reciprocal, in terms of benefits, profit sharing and ownership interests. But most of all, being there for anyone when they run into hard times and making sure you’re not just an employer — but a supporter of them as a person, particularly during the down times (Yes and there will be down times). This also applies to patients who continue to return for treatment knowing that they will get the most honest answers to some new (many times) gimmicky treatment options.
Yitzi: 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?
It’s always in your most formative years when you’re looking up to the people who are teaching and training you that you give credence to. One such person who gave me the surgical tools and inquisitive basis to ask necessary questions to challenge the status quo is Dr. William Lawson at the Mt. Sinai Hospital, where I did my surgical training. His insights and intellectual honesty was my inspiration that I tried to continue in my practice and business.
Yitzi: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I work in a very intricate and targeted field. Some may even say it is high-risk, but I find this particularly interesting and rewarding because I am giving people another chance and reconstructing (pun intended) hope, when a situation, out of there control even, has happened. I create 3-dimensional concepts which I then translate this into aesthetic surgery, to restore patients’ self-esteem by balancing, correcting, and refining facial contours. Plastic surgery allows a very positive impact on those individuals looking to rejuvenate their faces or add an aesthetic enhancement to their overall appearance. I am happy to give them this opportunity and a fresh start.
Yitzi: What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started” and why.
1. I would have wished someone would have told me to go to law school, since everything that is done to start a company requires an attorney.
2. In medical startup companies — it is exponentially perplexing re: the complexity of the Regulatory and FDA requirements for both medical device and particularly pharmaceuticals. I wished someone would have told me about the overwhelmingly difficulties related to medical products.
3. I wish I knew that — something that was new and obvious to me — was not obvious to others, which also translates to resistance to new ideas — until you have to prove it over and over again. (I.e. the “volumizing” the face to look younger — or the use of Botox to treat migraine headaches.
4. I wish I had better PR expertise and better able to launch my original ideas vs. others who have better PR machines based on original ideas.
5. I wish someone would have told me that I would be working weekends and Sundays — i.e. 7 days a week to beat the clock on the burn of investment funds.
6. I wish someone would have told me about the word “stamina”: that — the rule of “3”s is no longer valid. It’s the rule of “5”. 5 times more expensive and 5 times longer than you might expect — to get to profitability.
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. :-)
This may be changing the question up a bit, but I would love to meet the first doctor who performed plastic surgery and learn exactly how the procedure went. What instruments and techniques did he/she use and how has that procedure impacted the world of modern day medicine? Interesting stuff, huh? I’d love to then share with him how plastic surgery has revolutionized today and the opportunities he/she has given us in the world of medicine. I would probably not want to have this conversation over a meal though!
Yitzi: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
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If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.