How to Become a Healthcare Thought Leader with Robin Farmanfarmaian, Professional Speaker, Entrepreneur, and Angel Investor
Thanks for tuning in to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I want to personally invite you to our first inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's a conference that the Outcomes Rocket and the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Sciences has teamed up on. We're going to put together silo crushing practices just like we do here on the podcast except it's going to be live with inspiring keynotes and panelists. To set the tone, we're conducting a meeting where you can be part of drafting the blueprint for the future of healthcare. That's right. You could be a founding member of this group of talented industry and practitioner leaders. Join me and 200 other inspiring health leaders for the first Inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's an event that you're not going to want to miss. And since there's only 200 tickets available you're going to want to act soon. So how do you learn more? Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference. For more details on how to attend that's outcomesrocket.health/conference and you'll be able to get all the info that you need on this amazing health care thinkathon. That's outcomesrocket.health/conference.
: Outcomes Rocket listeners, welcome back once again to be outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with the day's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I really thank you for tuning in again and I welcome you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you could rate and review today's podcast. She is no stranger to the show she's no stranger to health care. You guys have heard Robin Farmanfarmaian. Now the funny thing is that the first time I had her on the podcast I totally butchered her name. She taught me how to say it. I got it right this time Robyn so you should be proud of me.
: It was perfect to literally say it better than I do.
: Nailed it. Nailed it. And for those of you that didn't get a chance to listen to the first podcast with Robin, totally listen to it we dove into some major value but just to give you a refresher she's an entrepreneur, best selling author, professional speaker, angel investor. She's got a deep deep understanding of the convergence of what advancing technology and how healthcare bind together. And she's also the author of the Patient as the CEO. And on today's podcast we're going to be starting your discussion on a new book that she's begun to write. And we'll be able to you'll be able to have access to that within the next year. Robin it's a pleasure to have you back. And why don't we just kick it off with you telling us a little bit about this new project.
: Sure I'd be so excited to. Now was a new book is going to be called the Thought Leader Formula and it's literally going to be a step by step instruction manual on how you can turn yourself into a thought leader in today's market. Now this is both for the entrepreneur but also the corporate executive. You don't need to want to be, say a professional speaker. You could just want to advance your own career within your organization and by being a thought leader which is essentially a subject matter expert you begin visibility with people like in the C-suite and the decision makers so they can advance your career both internally. But then if you're someone like me, I'm an entrepreneur and a professional speaker it actually advances my ability to generate revenue through those channels.
: Robin, I think it's so great that you're doing this. We connected before we hit the airwaves here. And one of the things that I shared with you is that a lot of health leaders are definitely struggling to get their thoughts out there and to create that marketing platform for themselves. I think it's so cool that you're putting together the formula for them. Now is there an opportunity to get a sneak peek at any of that?
: Well I do too a keynote on this. So I'm hoping to get that on video soon so that I can at least give you a 20 minute overview of essentially what the book is going to incorporate and involved and hopefully I can get that done in the next month or two.
: That is so cool. And one of the neat things about Robin folks is that when she says she's going to do something, she delivers. So excited to get the opportunity to share that with you all. And Robin, you know when this goes live it will probably be about that time. Is there a landing page or anything you want to recommend to the listeners?
: Oh you can always just go to my website. It's thepatientceo.com or you can do robinff.com. But if you Google my name it is a 100% me about 20 pages on Google and I get pretty easily.
: Outstanding. I love that. So one of the things that I really enjoy about Robin is that she's also very deep into several different things in healthcare. Now tell us a little bit about why you decided to create this book, Robin.
: Sure. Well I was just being asked. I mean it's at least weekly if not more often. To either mentor somebody who wants to do this or to give a talk at a conference or to run a workshop or to write an article. I mean I am just being asked about being a thought leader almost as much as I'm being asked about science and medicine. So I said OK well maybe I should just create the instruction manual put a little bit of time into that and then I can help a lot more people all at once versus this one off stuff that I'm doing weekly just to essentially help my friends.
: I love it. So what do people not know that they should know about being a thought leader?
: Well what they don't realize is that you just literally to look at this as a business. This is a business first and foremost. So you need to work that out. We got a PNL, profit and loss statement, a budget, you need to think about branding, right? And signature looks and all of that that goes into building an actual brand of a new company. You're going to need departments. You're going to need to hire experts, consultants or employees. This is an actual company. If you're looking at building a thought leadership platform and you're not looking at it like a company you probably will not succeed or if you do you'll succeed by accident.
: Wow, that's really interesting Robin, and for most of us let's stop and think for a second. Are we thinking about ourselves as a company. And I think that the honest answer for anybody listening to this is probably no. And so this is pretty fresh approach and a pretty unique way to approach your thought leadership because one way or the other you are creating a brand for yourself. And why not take control of it?
: Exactly. And the big thing that it goes back down to is the profit and loss statement. Where is your revenue and what are your expenditures? Because you are not going to build a thought leadership platform for 200 dollars. This is thousands if not hundreds of thousands. And if you want to go really big, some people spend 250-500,000 dollars to go really big. You need to be able to understand where to get money, where to spend money, and what is going to be the most bang for your buck because you got to look at this as a an early stage startup company. And those of us who are entrepreneurs know early stage startup companies cash and time meaning people resources are really constrained and limited. So how do you completely hack it so that you can create a company for maybe only get two or a hundred thousand dollars?
: I think that's so cool Robin. Now let's dive deeper into the PNL. And so most folks are like well you know what? I just want to be known for what I have to say and I really don't care about the money. Is that a bad belief?
: Well I mean if you would like to spend your life volunteering and you happen to be sitting on a huge trust funds. Yes. A great way of going about it. But if you live in the real world with most of us that we have to actually have income and revenue in order to pay our rent or mortgage, put food on the table, and dress our children. Then you need to look at everything you do in your life as part of your overall Robin 8. And that's literally what I call myself. I call myself Robyn 8 and that and I bring in revenue from anywhere from three to ten sources a year minimum. I'm actually striving for 10 sources of revenue a year right. And then I know exactly where every dime goes and I don't think of separation between my personal life and my professional life. I pull in those same things that I would do in business into my personal life. So I hate doing something or if it's just not worth my time to do something I outsource it in my personal life. For instance I outsource 100 percent of my shopping. All of my shopping gets delivered. I never walk into a store. That's the reality that you have in a corporation. You would never go and run errands for your corporation. You wouldn't go and fill the snackroom with snacks at your corporation your executive assistant would do that for you.
: Yeah. Yeah.
: So why do you do that in your personal life?
: I love it Robin. The thing about is that you keep it simple and you keep it real. Folks, think about yourself as a company. And let's give some examples here, Robin. Maybe you could dive into some of the things that you would recommend somebody that's on the early aspects of this right. They haven't even started they're ground zero. What are some things that could be done from a revenue perspective to get things going?
: Absolutely, so well like with every business you're not going to be generating revenue for the first couple of years most likely. You need to understand that you are going to be investing in this and I'm going to give you in the book I give an actual timeline, my timeline and exactly how many dollars I spend at each and every node essentially on my timeline over a five year period. And I started out with education. That's the biggest thing. OK what am I an expert in? So I need to educate myself in my subject matter, an area that I wanted to be a thought leader in. For me that's the convergence of exponential technology. So I get a three year deep dive while building my thought leadership into learning the different verticals from A.I. to robotics to sensors to 3D printing in addition to really doing a deep dive into the world of entrepreneurship both on the educational level so taking some classes. But mostly I just got in there down and dirty and I've been an entrepreneur since about 2005. So I was taking that experience and combining it with getting myself educated in accelerating technology.
: That's so awesome. So listeners I want you to take note of the things that Robin is talking to us about. Take note of the things that she's highlighting and apply them to your own life because you have a choice in life. As a health leader if you want to improve your impact on the system you got to make sure that you're going to be heard. And the way you're heard is as a thought leader. And so, Robin is really making it so simple for us to understand how exactly to achieve that. And so make sure that you take the time to listen to this again because I think she's dropping some major value on us right now. So the thing that I'll share about my personal journey is that. Yeah you know built the podcast, and at the beginning Robin I'll be honest nobody wanted to be on.
: I would have been on for you.
: It was hard. And I know you would have you were one of the first and I thank you for that. But it's putting in the work right. And so we like fast forward to now, we definitely have some revenue coming into the podcast and it just doesn't happen overnight. So Robin a lot of the things that you're saying are totally striking a chord with me and it makes me happy to know that there's going to be a playbook for other people that want to increase their impact out there.
: Yes. And I've actually got to make it into a workbook style thing and I'm going to give people templates as well to utilize.
: Amazing. That's so cool. That is so cool and so. Fast forward to maybe a year from now. Is this going to be something that is going to be available as an online course. Talk to me about that.
: Yes. So that is going to be one of my revenue streams so my various revenue streams and Robin, Inc included that I'm a professional speaker so I charge upwards of sometimes 10 - 20,000 dollars for a corporate talk. I have my book sales right so that brings in quite a few thousand a year for me and then I have my day job. I sit inside of multiple companies as an employee doing very high level business development. Each one of my companies helps the others. So while I sit inside as an employee you could essentially looking at it as a consultancy, right. And so the different companies I worked for are my clients so I've got whatever 6 or so revenue streams coming in from those particular areas. And then a great one for thought leaders in general no matter what your day job is whether you're at the corporate environment or you're an entrepreneur or you're fulltime thought leader is obviously online educational things and those can actually bring in quite a lot of money.
: Robin, thank you. And folks if you're listening to this and you're thinking that could never be me. Robin's been in it for a while. She just knows her stuff it could never be me. I've got news for you. It can be you and you too can create an influencer brand that enriches your life not just with money. Money will be definitely part of it but also the quality of life because of the things that you're able to achieve and the impact you're able to get. So Robin wouldn't you agree?
: Absolutely. Absolutely. And being a thought leader that you don't ever go into this with just one reason, right? You don't do anything this big of a deal in your life without having local reasons. So I wanted to of course be able to drive my own businesses and the companies I work with I'm working on things like curing cancer, sleep apnea and inhaled insulin for diabetes that is of course a game changing companies and I'm a thought leader helped drive that particular mission forward. But in addition I use it as protection. I'm a small female in Silicon Valley and as you have heard in the past year with the media movement it's not really a great part of the world to be in if you are a woman and you are one to play in this particular world. So I use that as protection and the men can no longer push me down. I am no longer sexually harassed ever, right. In fact, the day my book launched was the day that the vast majority of men now do not even remotely come near me to ask me out, let alone sexually harass me. while it did this massive protection. And I knew it would. Going into it and that was one of the things that propelled me to work so hard on it.
: Robin, I'm glad you bring this up because it oftentimes gets swept under the rug. It's the attention to the fact that these things still do happen, the discrimination. So I think it's wonderful that you're working through your platform to empower not just entrepreneurs and professionals but especially women to take their lives, their brands to the next level. How exactly will this help them?
: Those are the ones who are asking me the most by the way and I do keynotes on this particular subject typically for audiences of all women and it really does leveled the playing field. In fact, Business Insider did an article on me that where it quoted me saying, now I am in a tank and the men are on horseback right?
: I just get a good visual of that.
: Exactly,because actually it's not even leveling the playing field. I have gone above them now right? And, to a point where everyone in the world is able to easily access what's in my brain. So they understand what I know and I'm putting my intelligence out there in the form of content for everyone to see. Plus the fact that I get up on stage talk about these technologies in a very competent manner and there are most people are actually quite terrified of public speaking. And so when you find a small woman who gets up on stage and talks about deep artificial intelligence in a very confident manner that right there gives me a massive amount of power.
: I love it. It's so great Robin and it's so awesome to just hear your story and your passion. Just about all the things that you do. And now this current project and so listeners by the time this goes live you'll be listening. And the book will be available. I'm excited to give you more information about that. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/robinf and you'll be able to find that information there. Robin, I love that you're doing this and I'm excited to get my hands on that book. So pleas do tell me when it goes live and with that I just want to have you just share some closing thoughts for the listeners and the best place where they could get a hold of you.
: Sure. So my closing thoughts would be yes, anyone can do it. Really. You can be a subject matter expert and you can have a high profile. If you put in the time, money and effort do it. You just need to be smart about it and you need to think about it as if you were building an actual company and a brand. And you can contact me through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. I am the only Robin Farmanfarmaian in the entire universe so it's really easy to find me.
: I love it. Robin, I really appreciate your taking the time to visit with us again on this important topic of being an influencer and making an impact and for the listeners. I know that they've taken a lot from this conversation so take action listeners, visit that link outcomesrocket.health/robinf. And Robin, a big thank you to you again for spending time on our show.
: Thank you so much for having me.
Thanks for tuning in to the outcomes rocket podcast. If you want the show notes, inspiration, transcripts and everything that we talked about on this episode, just go to outcomesrocket.health. And again, don't forget to check out the amazing healthcare thinkathon Where you can get together to form the blueprint for the future of healthcare. You can find more information on that and how to get involved in our theme which is "implementation is innovation". Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference that's outcomesrocket.health/conference. Be one of the 200 that will participate. Looking forward to seeing you there.
Best Way to Contact Robin:
Twitter - @Robinff3