Dr Sheila Li is a multi-award winning cosmetic dentist with a special interest in cosmetic injectables. She spends her time between treating her high profile patients on Harley St, and mentoring other dentists in injectables training at her mentoring academy, Mediject.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
Having completed a BSc in Biomedical Sciences, I decided to take the graduate route into dentistry, so applied and went back to University to complete my degree in dentistry at Kings College London. It was here that I met my best friend, a doctor who was doing injectables to pay for dental school, so she could do maxillofacial surgery. This was where the interest in aesthetics started, having graduated and trained in aesthetics, I found it really difficult to implement, and this was because mentors within the industry is seriously lacking. Through trial and error, tons of setbacks and mistakes, I muddled through the field to build my experience. Having been through it all, I was determined to ensure I could become a mentor to others who wanted to excel. This is the reason why I set up Mediject.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
I had been training doctors, dentists and nurses in the industry for around 7 years prior to launching my own mentoring academy. I noticed clinicians were following me around to complete similar training at the various academies I was working for. This was something I found to be quite odd. Clinicians were investing more of their income for further training when they hadn’t implemented their previous training. Having set up another academy with two other colleagues to try to overcome this, I failed miserably. Despite giving clinicians a comprehensive programme, they were still leaving and very few were implementing their skills. This was when I realised that the answer wasn’t short courses, or comprehensive short courses, it was mentoring. This is how Mediject was born. My promise is to ensure every dentist who is mentored with us, implements their learning, and this promise is delivered through a comprehensive year long programme, with ongoing support.
How did you achieve awareness?
I have achieved growth of the business and awareness purely through social media, namely Instagram, and word of mouth. By ensuring I am delivering on my promise, my business has grown organically through word of mouth and referrals. I personally interview and select every dentist we work with to ensure we are a match for them, and this allows for a bespoke and incredible journey for each clinician joining us. The dentists who come through the programme have told me its life changing, and they are the advocates for the academy, when they speak about their experience and recommend the training to others.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
I haven’t needed to gain funding for the business. Growth has been organic through word of mouth and referrals. This year I will be engaging with sponsors and corporate companies to scale the business, in a way that will still enable a personal touch.
What are the key successes?
Understanding my niche and market has been crucial to our success, and delivering on the promise we make to every dentist who joins us.
In our first year we took on only 32 dentists, enhancing their skills and confidence and this generated an income of £770,000 for the business. Being able to do this single-handedly, whilst still working in practice myself 3-4 days a week, as well as being a mum to two young girls, Willow (4) and Autumn (3) has been one of my biggest achievements to date.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
As incredible as the success has been to date, the biggest challenge has been the growth of the business. I have had to rapidly expand my team. I was struggling with time commitments as I still work in clinic 3.5 days a week. I’ve had to expand my team and reduce clinical commitments in order to manage the business and keep up with the demand.
Time constraints with my family have also added to the pressure, and ensuring I give them the best of me as well, as been a huge rollercoaster. I have invested heavily in investing in my mental well-being, my relationships to overcome the pressures of being a working-mother who owns her business.
What are your plans now/for the future?
My goal is to impact as many lives as possible, and it starts with a positive contribution to dentistry. Mediject is going to be the go to mentoring academy for any dentist who is serious about implementing injectables into their clinical practice. My next step is to create a medical injectables brand of clinics, offering patients the very best experience in their wellness journey, ensuring comprehensive facial aesthetics plans will be delivered alongside cosmetic dentistry.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
Just start. Don’t spend time sweating all the details, write down your goal for 12 month’s time and pin it up, then start. Make a commitment to taking steps towards your goals every day. Don’t worry about perfection, gather the data and use that to make the process better. If it scares you, acknowledge the fear, and take a deep breath, and do it anyway. The worse thing we can do is waste time trying to perfect something before we even launch it. What if we spend all that time, and nobody wants it? Sell it first, then work your butt off to deliver it. When you do, give it your EVERYTHING. Then, review and make it better.
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
- Find something you love, and make that into a business, this way work is something you “get to do” rather than a job, and is an extension of your every day life
- Energy is KEY, so find time to rest and re-energise to ensure you always turn up in peak state
- Create an environment that people gravitate to
- Know your “Why” and your priorities for the business. Make this your mantra, and repeat it regularly. This helps makes decisions easier. Ensure your team know what this is too.
- If you are comfortable, you’re behind. Do things that stretch you outside of your comfort zone every single day.
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
My mother inspires me to become a financially independent woman
My daughters inspire me to love, laugh and find magic in the simplest of things
My husband inspires more kindness in me every single day
My business coach inspires me to push even after I think I’ve pushed hard enough
My relationship coach inspires me to want to work on the relationship I have with myself, and to be unapologetically myself
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
“You become what you believe, you are where you are today, based on everything you have believed” – Oprah Winfrey
If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room” – Confucius
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?
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