Dr. Marie Andrée LeBlanc of LME Leblanc Medical Esthetique is a medical professional who launched herself into the business side of the medical aesthetics industry just four years ago. Her growing success has allowed her to expand into a much bigger space with new technologies that will allow her to offer more services to her clients while acquiring new ones. Located in Blainville on Boulevard des Chateaux, her new space is almost three times the size of the current clinic. We spoke to her about what it takes to run a successful practice, how to train and motivate a team whilst keeping the internal balance to do it all. This mother of three, proves that anything is achievable when you believe you can do it.
Did you always know you would have a career in the medical industry?
Since I was a young girl, I always knew I would end up becoming a doctor. I didn’t grow up in a family with doctors around me – I just knew it was meant for me. Funny enough, after I graduated – a lot of my younger cousins followed the foot steps in our family, so I am glad I was able to lead the way.
Did you head straight into med school? Why did you chose the generalist path?
Yes. I got lucky that I got accepted right away. I had a normal path that was really targeted towards getting my license. I am originally from New Brunswick, so I completed my studies there then went straight to Pre Med until I got accepted to University of Sherbrooke. I did my residency back in New Brunswick. Initially, I wanted to be a plastic surgeon but I didn’t get accepted which felt like a failure. So I went into general medicine as the area I grew up in was all I saw really – generalist. I come from a small town. I realized after a while that it was something I liked better. The long term aspect of patient care. As a general doctor even in aesthetics you have a loyal database of clients that follow you – and that’s what I really enjoy about it.
Why did you decide to start your own clinic?
It’s been four years now that we opened the medical clinic, neighbouring with the general medicine clinic next door. In fact, it was a doctor I was working with who approached me with the project – he said oh I think I want to start doing injections. And he planted a seed. I already owned the general clinic and then it sparked something in me – and it started with his demand and I saw an opportunity that’s how it was born.
How did you manage or develop the confidence to do both?
It’s true that a lot of doctors are not entrepreneurs, they stick to the medical field and they don’t have the “courage’ to jump into the business side of it. They’re not very ambitious in that sense as it’s two different things I saw it as a challenge. I love a challenge especially when someone tells me I can’t do it – it makes me want to do it even more. I find certain doctors also over analyze and never get to the action. I don’t think too much which might be a good thing because I just launch and what’s the worst case scenario anyways? That it doesn’t work? Big deal. Then you move on or shift your practice. My goal has always been to succeed. Doing something halfway is not for me. It’s all or nothing. I go above and beyond in finding the courses, the solutions and really making sure that I become the best at what I do.
Is it also advice that you would give to other doctors, to find something that you really love?
Absolutely. Medicine is not everything – it’s our work, yes but I don’t define myself sully on that. Finding something that we love is super important, then in the work itself there could be things we don’t like too much but I think it’s important to develop interest in our work as it is what keeps us motivated as well.
What would be a goal you would like to accomplish in the next ten years and then a more short term goal?
The classic question – I like to look backwards at just ten years ago – it would have been 2011. I was on maternity leave with three young kids at home. Never would I have imagined in ten years being where I am today. So in another ten years, how will it look like? Will I be just as surprised at where my path would take me? I don’t like to make such long term goals because anything can happen. I am more short term – yes I plan but I like to look at what does my next year look like.
I am an opportunist. If someone speaks to me about a project, and it sounds interesting – I am all ears. If not so much, I move to the next thing. I don’t force it it has to come naturally. Right now I am thinking of giving birth to my projects. In ten years, I would like to know that my businesses as stable and I don’t have to work. I do it for pleasure, but a different type of motivation.
So in the next year? What is something you want to accomplish?
This summer, I am doing the training for the threads. By the fall I would like to launch this at our clinic. I am always on the look out for the next technologies coming out, what I can implement into my techniques, etc. It’s an industry that is very fast paced – with a lot of things that come out that are not necessarily the best – so it’s also doing scouting for the right products, and services that would fit well with our model. It’s also big investments, so it’s ideal to go with something like threads for example where fifteen of my clients are already on a waiting list.
You have some exciting news to tell us about your new clinic!
The aesthetic clinic is moving! So new doctors, new technology, bigger local – we’re tripling our current space – so we’re super excited about this. Right on time for the winter which is the laser season so we’re just planning for that. We’ll be launching in the fall / winter. Right now we’re still at Fontainebleau. Our new location will be at 75 Boulevard des Chateaux, Blainville.
What motivates you?
To succeed in my project. To see it come to life and grow. Not even for the monetary way but to be able to hire more people, to see happy clients, to gain a reputation. If we’re able to expand it’s because we’re doing well – so that’s super motivation. Winning is a huge motivation! Without being pretentious, but it’s true I want to be the best. I want to be the reference point. I want to give aesthetic treatments that are natural. That’s what makes people scared something, it’s getting too much of anything doesn’t look good.
My mission is, come get everything done by staying natural. And the people are so happy to hear that. Deformation is not attractive.
How do you keep yourself grounded?
I think sometimes people forget to take time for themselves – to take time off – to go on vacation. People think if they don’t work every week 60 hours minimum -it’s part of the culture- you can’t feel guilty to take time off, to go for a bike ride, to enjoy your life. I am very flexible, but I am also able to turn off completely if I need it.
How do you keep your system for internal growth?
I use the SMART approach for result oriented goals. For example I have a sculpting machine – and we’ll do an entire event around the machine and the services – and I give the girls a goal. They have to sell 150 clients. If they reach it, they’ll get a photoshoot, hair and make up sushi night. So the girls are super motivated – and that was a minimal investment with a HUGE ROI. They feel like they really contributed – and they’re happy too. We make our monthly KPI – which service is doing better and why? I do it very quickly to make sure everything is floating naturally and to keep track of everything. My next goal is to implement a CRM – that will be a game changer for me. In terms of services and products too.
What advice would you give yourself looking back?
It’s definitely to be well surrounded. You can’t be a jack of all trades – you can’t be good at everything – it’s important to go and find the people to help you. Doctors don’t like to ask for help and it is primordial that we do. Hire smart and surround yourself with the right people.
Photo credit : Yan Bleney
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