Q&A With Dr. Mark McKenna, Founder & CEO of OVME

Dr. Mark McKenna is a licensed surgeon. He completed his degree at Tulane University Medical School. Although he originally began practicing medicine with his father, he was attracted to the real estate development industry and launched McKenna Venture Investments. Unfortunately, Mark suffered devastating losses from Hurricane Katrina. This natural disaster destroyed much of his business interests, and he worked hard to rebuild the area. In 2007, he moved to Atlanta and began ShapeMed, a wellness/medical practice. A decade later, he founded OVME, a technology-rich, medical aesthetics business with the goal of reinventing elective healthcare. Speaking with Mark will give other entrepreneurs a closer look at his path and what makes him successful.

What made you think up the premise behind OVME?

While I was employed in the medical aesthetics industry, I began thinking of some ways to bring OVME to life. I was able to expand my practice and make it one of the most successful of its kind in this country. Throughout the process, I began seeing numerous chances to shake things up. This is what led to the idea behind OVME.

After Hurricane Katrina’s devastating losses, how did you afford to start OVME?

We were able to raise $4 million from a number of investment firms, including Equity 38. This helped us begin our mobile app and start clinics in Nashville and Atlanta, two major cities.

What is a normal day in the life of Mark McKenna? How do you stay productive?

I usually wake up early with my daughter and have breakfast every morning. Then, I shower and go to work. I put in a regular day and return home for a family dinner. After our meal, I practice Jiu Jitsu, return home, and keep working until bedtime.

What brings your ideas to fruition?

I believe in setting goals and visualizing positive results. When you truly see something happen, many times you work hard and don’t stop until it comes true. Also, I meditate. This frees my mind and allows me to keep my thoughts organized so that it is easier to bring my ideas to life.

What is a trend that excites you?

From a medical perspective, it is pleasing to see that more and more Americans are quitting the smoking habit.

Speaking of habits, do you do anything that increases your productivity?

I am an avid reader. I love books. They hold undiscovered knowledge that is just waiting to be unleashed. The more a person learns, the more productive he or she becomes. I read books in various genres to uncover things that are outside the medical field. When you expand your horizons, your ideas become limitless.

If you could turn back time, is there anything that you would change?

Some people do very little to uncover their true passions until an older age. I was one of them. If I could go back, I would have been more serious when I was younger. All I was worried about was getting through school and graduating. I think that this mindset rushes things. Sometimes, it’s okay to go slow. Speeding without a solid direction serves no purpose.

You started out in medicine and moved to real estate. What prompted this change?

My father was a doctor, so I grew up around the medical field. However, real estate was much more interesting to me.

If real estate excited you, why did you return to medicine with OVME?

I saw the writing on the wall. The real estate market was changing. When people with zero income were buying property at 100 percent financing, I knew that it was time to shift back to my second passion.

How does OVME differ from your other business ventures?

OVME was intended to build a brand around the retail medical aesthetics market. Botox is widely recognized, but there is no set outlet that offers the product. The new venture was meant to provide a top and luxurious client experience. Instead of going to a doctor, individuals can receive cosmetic procedures in a less “medical” setting. We are developing an app that lets us send providers to clients. We can perform virtual consults as well. It is like Uber for the aesthetics world.

What does “OVME” mean?

In the beginning, we wanted to name the business Face Medical. However, this couldn’t be trademarked. OVME, pronounced “of me,” is less obvious, but it captures how well we help patients improve themselves.

What is a strategy that has helped your business expand?

I truly believe in being surrounded by smart people. Even if you think that you are the heart of your business, it never hurts to have a team of intelligent people at your side. Tunnel vision leads down a narrow path. Having others who challenge your thoughts will always help you grow. This is true in business as well. Thanks to my staff, I am able to make better decisions.

What software do you use most often?

I like to keep things simple. To be honest, my computer houses few programs besides Microsoft Office. I use XCEL often as well. When you don’t get too technical, everyone can easily follow all of your work and ideas.

You said that you read frequently. What is one book that you would recommend to entrepreneurs?

One particular book, “Think and Grow Rich,” is definitely something worth reading. It discusses the power of visualization. Like I said before, this is one practice that I truly believe brings success. When you see something in your head, you have an end goal in mind.

Are there any people who have influenced your business decisions?

Michael Bloomburg has had a major influence over many of my decisions. He is known for his political career, but he is also an extremely successful businessman and philanthropist. He is a true leader who has a solid grasp on the financial sector and never compromises his moral perspective. This is exactly the type of person that I strive to become and follow by example.