We had the good fortune of connecting with Randa Djabri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Randa, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The very first day I shadowed an optometrist was at a private practice and by the end of that day I remember thinking to myself, this is what I wanted. This is where I envisioned myself one day. I didn’t know how it was going to happen, but I knew that this is where my happiness would be. At that point, I hadn’t even started my application to optometry school and was really just exploring around to see if I would find my dream career. At the time, I was oblivious to the fact that optometry had so many different modes of practice and yet, I knew I wanted a private practice.
Going through school, I was exposed to all the different modes of practice through guest speakers, meeting different doctors and anecdotes from my classmates that were technicians in the past. I don’t remember ever verbalizing my dream of having a private practice to anyone simply because it did not seem feasible at the time. I knew it was a dream that would require years of hard work, tons of experience and a fortune of money.
I finally graduated from optometry school and went on to residency training at the VA in Miami. Half way through my residency, the pressure of looking for a job started to become real.
My family was supportive and convinced me to go ahead and take the risk and start my own business and grow my dream little by little. I didn’t take the conversation so seriously at the time but I found myself noticing vacant office spaces as I drove down nearly every road. I found myself researching exam room equipment and eyeglasses frames online. Little by little, I decided to go for it. After all, you only live once.
My thoughts came down to: what’s the worse that can possibly happen? Everything I was going to invest in purchasing can be sold if things didn’t work out. I also thought that I would have to learn the business aspect of this regardless of whether I start the business now or 20 years from now. I was not taught how to be a business woman in school and I was willing to teach myself from scratch.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is a small optometry private practice. It is a relatively new business and I am proudly still building it step by step.
I believe that what sets me apart is the quality of the care I provide for my patients. I enjoy spending time with my patients and getting to know them one by one. To them, I don’t want to be know just as “that doctor I went to last year for new glasses.” I want to be known as “the doctor that really cared, and the doctor that teaches me something new about my eyes every time I visit.”
It was not easy, and it still is not easy. I’m hoping that one day it will become easy, but until then I have a lot to learn and a lot to figure out as I continue to grow my business. I am learning to accept new challenges, to be patient and to not go for the easy way out of these challenges. I think the biggest lesson I learned is to learn how to be uncomfortable because growth will never happen if you’re always comfortable.
All eye doctor perform the same eye exam, but to me, it’s the patient’s perception the exam that matters. I make sure to go above and beyond to make sure my patients know the association between their eyes and their systemic health. My approach to caring for my patients is educating them as much as I can.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a friend was visiting, I would take them to a picnic on the beach. I love going to beach and enjoying the mesmerizing view of the sand and the sea. Sipping on a nice cup of coffee and gazing out at the horizon makes me think of the endless possibilities.
There are so many fun activities that we could enjoy for the rest of the day.
We would spend the day, talking, relaxing, taking pictures, walking by the water, looking for seashells and writing fun messages on the sand.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family is a priceless gift in my life greater than anything I else I can think of. If it weren’t for my family’s love and support throughout life in general, I would not have been even close to where I stand today. I don’t have enough words to describe how thankful and fortunate I am for having all these amazing and supportive people in my life.
I also had so many friends that made everything just a little easier just by being there for me.
I cannot forget my professors and mentors for the difference they made in my career. Through their leadership, I was able to believe in myself and strive to fulfill my true potential.
I am not sure what I would have done or where I would’ve been without these people in my life. I do not have the words to tell you how truly fortunate I feel to have you all in my life. Thank you!
Krista Locklin (most images)