Category Archives: Mike Simmons

Eolian Health Care Manifesto

The EolianVR Health Care Manifesto

We at EolianVR know that the health care industry is fascinatingly complex, multifaceted, and one of the most vital pillars that holds society together. The implications of its direction, evolution, improvement, are paramount to us all.

Regardless of how quickly firms, researchers, scientists, and front-line providers can innovate, the inevitable counter-punch strikes as new diseases emerge, political and administrative bureaucracy bogs down progress, or the sheer volume of humanity’s growth tips the scales in the other direction. Nevertheless, we must persist and never relent in this noble pursuit of progress.

Absolute magic is performed every single day, in countless ways, across the entire globe as professionals in the space manifest modern miracles on demand to save lives and treat their patients. However, the magnitude of how far we’ve come is often diminished and unappreciated as there simultaneously is still so far yet to go.

Just because the road ahead is difficult, and at times downright overwhelming, doesn’t mean that we should simply accept the status quo and settle for the way things are. On the contrary, the hard problems are the ones truly worth solving.

These ideals and sense of duty are what inspired our team at EolianVR to make the commitment to the health care industry. We want to do anything and everything we can to help contribute, even if just in a small way, to our firm’s primary mission: to help save lives.

We pursue this mission by leveraging technology to build customized software platforms for our clients in the health care industry. Specifically, we build these new worlds primarily using augmented reality/virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Then, we maximize the value and exposure of these platforms by ensuring that they interface with the more prevalent and widely available technology of today, such as mobile/tablet devices and personal computers.

We are currently working with some of the most world-renowned and innovative health care organizations on the planet on a variety of use cases ranging from patient treatment, clinical research, training and education, surgical demonstrations, to even creating a virtual walk through of a children’s hospital to make it less intimidating for future patients before they arrive.

Not only do we have a vast amount of experience in the health care industry, but our patent pending platform is being built for several other high level industries as well (more to come!). Again, our mission of saving lives was the motivation and inspiration that lead to its creation and we’re only just beginning to perceive the widespread implications of its potential

Due to the fact that the sky is the limit with respect to what we can assist organizations with, we typically try to start by identifying one or two of the primary objectives that exist and use those as an initial pilot project. We work with the appropriate stakeholders to determine the most appropriate problems that need solved and build a project plan around the desired outcome. We lay out key goals and metrics, establish the appropriate budget and deadlines, and collaborate to track progress along the way. Each engagement is customized in this way and ensures that at the end our clients are pleased with the result.

As a firm we make sure to stay on top of the latest technological innovations in our space and remain device agnostic in our development so that we can always make sure our platforms and software work on the best hardware that the industry gets to market. This agile and dynamic approach allows our clients to remain confident that the solutions they invest in will always maintain value and effective regardless of what comes out next.

It’s truly our honor to do our part in helping the health care industry continue to innovate. We would love the opportunity to partner with your organization and build new worlds together to help save lives. Just reach out to mike@eolianvr.com!

Starting a Company: When Do You Quit Your Day Job?

At a recent Charlotte Business Group event I moderated a panel on entrepreneurship. We hit various topics that provided the audience with a ton of value, so I wanted to share some of the key takeaways from the discussion with you. The event featured a great group of local entrepreneurs that covered a wide range of topics about starting, and running, a company.

Our panelists included:

To begin, as far as the “when do you quit your day job” question, there wasn’t a specific answer that fit everyone, as it’s a deeply personal situation. It truly varies for every individual. And in some cases, the answer is never. So, as you can imagine, most of the conversation surrounded providing details about what worked for each of the panelists, as well as them offering various ideas with respect to the way they thought about (act acted on) that at the time.

That being said, below are some of the key takeaways from the evening. There was a lot to unpack and share so I may come back and edit/add more in the coming days.

Ideas for businesses come from a variety of places. In some cases, you can innovate, break, and then reinvent the wheel. In others you can make small tweaks to existing business models that work elsewhere. Or you can find a specific niche and build from there. Business opportunities arise from a multitude of potential catalysts. One great takeaway that stuck with me was to use Bill’s “if you spend 30 minutes researching a problem and aren’t sold something (i.e. served ads) within that time frame you just might have a business idea.”

Just Start. You need to have a little bit of risk involved; you can never get rid of it completely so don’t let that keep you from starting. You don’t need to have absolutely everything figured out. The important thing is to take action consistently. Bill had another great gem; he created a list of 100 things/task and did 1 a day. By sticking to that he started his company in 100 days.

You don’t always NEED to quit your day job. It’s ok to keep your day job long term, keep it for a while as you get traction in the business, or “jump off the cliff and build the plane on the way down.” Everyone has a different risk tolerance and level of resources available to them. Others like Chris just like and prefer continuing to keep their job as they grow their businesses and don’t feel the need to quit.

Know your target market. Learn about what they value, the problems they need solved, and what needs they need met. These are the fundamental elements of launching a business. Market fit is crucial to identify the initial opportunity. Scalability comes later.

Create systems to lean on. As you build your business you want to create systems, procedures, automations, etc. to make sure the business can (eventually) run without you. You don’t need the latest and greatest technology for this, just implement processes that work to help you stay on top of managing everything as things can get overwhelming quickly.

Delegate the things you’re not good at. Pretty much everyone mentioned getting a good bookkeeper/accountant to manage the finances (as that wasn’t necessarily any of their strengths). That’s just an example to reiterate that in order to grow your business you need help and need to be able to delegate the tasks that aren’t suited to your strengths. This may take time as resources are limited, you may need to wear many hats in the beginning, but make this a priority as soon as you can.

There are a variety of ways to fund your business depending on your goals. This is yet another personal preference. Some people bootstrap, building with sales and revenue as they go. That was Elechia’s preferred approach as she met with doctor after doctor, potential patient after patient and growing along the way. Others raise money from investors to continue growing and scaling. You can also leverage debt with SBA loans, etc. There is plenty of research out there about ways to fund and grow your business.

Know what your long-term goals are. While you don’t need to do this first, eventually you should try to have an exit strategy in mind (or the lack there of) as you initially build your business. Whether you plan to eventually sell it, build a business you want to work at for the long haul, or simply want a side-hustle, they’re all fine as long as you’re transparent and honest with yourself and your partners.

All that being said, it’s ok to just have a short-term side hustle that only lasts a year or two and provides some additional income along the way. There doesn’t have to be a long-term vision if that’s your primary objective. As was mentioned several times, each situation and individual is different.

There are many other things to consider when starting and running a business. This was just a small snapshot of a great evening filled with plenty of additional takeaways. What are some of the things you’d add to the list?

The Charlotte Business Group has a lot more educational events like this planned where we share knowledge and experiences from local professionals. We aim to continue nurturing the business and entrepreneurial spirit and providing opportunities for the community to do so. Make sure to keep an eye our for the upcoming schedule!

navigating networking

Navigating Networking

Recently at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance’s 2nd Annual YP Leadership Convergence: Navigating the Career Jungle Gym (#YPLeaderCon) I moderated a panel about networking. This break out session was one among many others, along with some incredible keynote speeches and a great day full of, well networking.

The panelists I interviewed were:

Since we received such great feedback from our session, I wanted to share a few of the key points with you to highlight some of the primary takeaways.

Be authentic and a real person. People can spot a fake pretty easily and know when they’re just being sold. Begin a conversation with cultivating a real connection by being transparent.

Get to know people for who they are, not just their job. Yes, it’s common that the first thing people often ask in a networking setting is, “What do you do?” But you’re allowed, and encouraged, to take a different approach.

The elevator pitch: Yes, you should have one, but know when to use it. When to use the elevator pitch often comes much later in a conversation, and typically when it’s prompted by the other person. You should be able to comfortably speak about who you are and what you do naturally of course, but generally you can keep the elevator pitch in your back pocket.

Add value to others and give back. Every interaction doesn’t always lead to a sale or referral right off the bat. Rather, those often take time (roughly 5-7 touch points on average). If you focus on adding value to others first and going out of your way to help them it’s more likely that will be reciprocated later. That’s not a guarantee that it will. But trust us, just try it and see how well it works out for you.

Be strategic about where you spend your time. We all have a limited amount of time in the day. Be thoughtful and which events you plan to attend in order to get the most value for your precious time. Further, when you do commit to attending an event make sure to bring your best self and be present.

Leverage technology, (i.e. your phone, Outlook, LinkedIn, a CRM system, etc.). It’s pretty much impossible to remember every single person you meet, who you’ve made plans with, or where you met them, among the infinite amount of information we consume each day. Create a system and make sure to use it. If it’s in real time the better. Add their contact info into your phone and send the calendar invite right then and there (when appropriate) to maximize efficiency.

Follow Up! This is by far the most important tip yet so many people fail to do it. As they say, “the fortune is in the follow up”. Try to do so in as timely a fashion as possible to ensure you continue cultivating the relationship.

There are plenty of other networking guidelines to adhere to, what are some of yours?

 

For additional context on the YP Leader Con conference’s theme this year the description was: “The career path for a young professional often looks more like a jungle gym than a corporate ladder. During a full day of learning and exploration, you’ll gain insight from a diverse array of speakers with varied career and leadership paths.” It was a dynamic day packed with incredible content. If you live in, or near Charlotte make sure to sign up for next year’s conference!